Lenten Reflection – 22 March – Friday of the Second week of Lent, Year C
“Therefore, I tell you, the kingdom of God
will be taken away from you
and given to a nation producing the fruits of it.”...Matthew 21:43
Help us open our hearts to you.
We hear of the vineyard owner whose tenants killed his servants and then his son.
Let us open our hearts and lives
to the challenge of Your Gospel.
“Let us serve God but let us do so according to His will.
He will then take the place of everything in our lives.
He will be our strength and the reward of our labours.”
St Vincent de Paul (1581-1660)
“The vineyard of the Lord of Hosts is the house of Israel” says the prophet (Is 5:7). We ourselves are this house… and, since we are His Israel, we are the vineyard. So let us take good care that grapes of wrath (Rv 14:19) rather than sweetness do not grow from our branches, so that no one may say to us: “I expected grapes but it yielded wild grapes” (Is 5:4). What fruitless soil! The soil that should have presented its master with fruits of sweetness, pierced Him with its sharp thorns. In the same way His enemies, who ought to have welcomed our Saviour with all the devotion of their faith, crowned Him with the thorns of His Passion. In their eyes this crown expressed insult and abuse but in the Lord’s eyes it was the crown of virtue…
My brethren, take good care that no one says with regard to you: “He expected it to yield grapes but it yielded wild grapes” (Is 5:2)… Let us be careful that our evil deeds do not rub against our Lord’s head like thorns. There are thorns in the heart that have even wounded the word of God, as our Lord says in the gospel when he relates how the sower’s seed fell among thorns that grew and choked what had been sown (Mt 13:7)… So take care that your vineyard does not bring forth thorns instead of grapes and your vintage produce vinegar instead of wine. Anyone who gathers in the grapes, without sharing them with the poor, is collecting vinegar instead of wine and anyone who stores his harvests, without sharing them with the needy, is not setting aside the fruit of almsgiving but the briars of greed.”
Saint Maximus of Turin (c 380-c 420)
Sermon for the feast of Saint Cyprian – CC Sermon 11
Loving God, caring parent,
I am a child who so often turns my back
on Your love.
Please accept my small acts of sorrow today
and help to release me from the self-absorption
that closes my heart to You.
As I journey through Lent,
let me remember the feast You have prepared for me
in the resurrection
and let me be filled with gratitude to You.
May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.