Lenten Reflection – 18 March – Wednesday of the Third week of Lent, Readings: Deuteronomy 4:1, 5-9, Psalm 147:12-13, 15-16, 19-20, Matthew 5:17-19
“Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall declare your praise.”
“Think not that I have come to abolish the law
and the prophets, I have come,
not to abolish them but to fulfil them.”…Matthew 5:17
The law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
“In Him the promise made through the shadows of prophecy stands revealed, along with the full meaning of the precepts of the law. He is the one who teaches the truth of prophecy through His presence and makes obedience to the commandments possible through grace.
In the preaching of the holy Gospel all should receive a strengthening of their faith. No-one should be ashamed of the Cross of Christ, through which the world has been redeemed.
No-one should fear to suffer for the sake of justice, no-one should lose confidence in the reward that has been promised. The way to rest is through toil, the way to life is through death. Christ has taken on Himself the whole weakness of our lowly human nature. If then we are steadfast in our faith in Him and in our love for Him, we win the victory that He has won, we receive what He has promised.
When it comes to obeying the commandments or enduring adversity, the words uttered by the Father should always echo in our ears – “This is my Son, the beloved, in whom I am well pleased, listen to Him.” … St Pope Leo the Great (400-461) – An excerpt from Sermo 51
He has not dealt thus with any other nation;
they do not know his ordinances.
Praise the Lord!
Blessed be God, the giver of salvation, who decreed that mankind should become a new creation in Himself, when all would be made new. With great confidence let us ask Him:
Lord, renew us in Your Spirit.
Lord, You promised a new heaven and a new earth; renew us daily through Your Spirit,
– that we may enjoy Your presence forever in the heavenly Jerusalem.
Help us to work with You to make this world alive with Your Spirit,
– and to build on earth a city of justice, love and peace.
Free us from all negligence and sloth,
– and give us joy in Your gifts of grace.
Deliver us from evil,
– and from slavery to the senses, which blinds us to goodness.
O Sweet Name of Jesus
By Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)
O sweet Name of Jesus,
holy above all names
in heaven and on earth
and to which every knee,
both of men and of angels in heaven,
on earth and in hell bends.
You are the Way of the just,
the Glory of the saints,
the Hope of those in need,
the Balm of the sick,
the Love of the devout
and the Consolation
of those that suffer.
O, Jesus be to me a help and a protector
so that Your Name may be blessed for all times.
“Where can we fix our gaze, then, throughout this Lenten journey?
Upon the Crucified One.
Jesus on the cross is life’s compass, which directs us to heaven.
The poverty of the wood, the silence of the Lord, His loving self-emptying,
show us the necessity of a simpler life, free from anxiety about things.
From the cross, Jesus teaches us the great courage involved in renunciation.”
Basilica of Santa Sabina
Ash Wednesday, 6 March 2019