Lent 2024 – Week 3 reflections

Feb 29, 2024
2024 Lenten Reflections by Newman University Community for Week 3

As we near the midway portion of our Lenten journey, Newman University community members share their reflections on the Mass readings for each of day of Lent. We will continue through Easter Sunday.

You can visit newmanu.edu/lent to read today’s reflection.

March 3 – Third Sunday of Lent (Exodus 20:1 – 17; 1 Cor 1:22 – 25; John 1:13 – 25)

Sister Barb Hudock, ASC

On this third Sunday of Lent, we are reminded in the gospel acclamation that God so loved the world that we were given the Son. When I was young, our church had a huge, beautiful, larger-than-life-size crucifix hanging over the altar. It made a lasting impression on me of love poured out. It said to me, “This love has been given to you. Live out of this love.” I believe that’s our goal in life. Receive God’s love and let it spill over into our everyday life.

Reflecting on the gospel, I’m finding myself called to put God first. If I want to see where God fits in my life, I look at how I spend my time. It is good to spend time with God. But we never think we have enough time for all that happens every day, let alone have time to spend with God. My awareness of God in my life can be as simple as my daily thoughts. I am grateful for the people I’m with — thank you, God. Steeped in worries, I might tell God I could use some extra grace right now. I can daily believe that God is with me and blesses my every step and thought and action.

I can live as if God is with me in all ways — because God is.

Monday, March 4 – (2 Kings 5:1 – 15; Luke 4:24 – 30)

Lindsey Stillwell, assistant professor of social work

Today’s readings reveal God’s presence in unexpected places: Naaman found healing in the muddy waters of the Jordan; Nazareth did not realize their neighbor Jesus was the Messiah. It makes me wonder where have I overlooked God in my life? This Lent, may we all open ourselves to His manifestations, wherever they may be.

Tuesday, March 5 – (Daniel 3:25, 34 – 43; Matthew 18:21 – 25)

Alex Klein, student seminarian

As Lent progresses, we must continue with perseverance! The devil tempts us to stop, especially on days when we fail. But on days of failure or struggle we must rise to the occasion for today is our day of salvation. For as Azariah prays, “So let our sacrifice be in your presence today as we follow you unreservedly for those who trust in you cannot be put to shame.” Azariah keeps faith though things in life tell him otherwise. We mustn’t lose faith in God. If we are desperate for God’s help or fear that we cannot continue any longer with our Lenten observances, we must remind ourselves that God is worth it all. Ponder the question, “Where is God loving me and where am I refusing him?”

In Matthew, Jesus says to Peter about forgiving his neighbor, “I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times.” Forgiveness is a necessary aspect of our lives if we are to live for Christ. If we have a grudge with a friend or someone we know or if I am angry with myself, then listen to Christ’s words. Forgive others. Forgive yourself. Keep in mind the question, “Where am I unable to receive God’s mercy into my own heart by ways of not forgiving others or myself? How can I be more like God in mercy?

Wednesday, March 6 – (Deuteronomy 4:1, 5-9, Matthew 5:17-19)

Kathie Schiffler Myers ‘72

Yahweh calls us to always keep in mind the laws He has taught us. This is the way we will have glorious life in the land God is giving us. All peoples will recognize that our God is a God near and dear to His people’s hearts. We need to be vigilant in keeping this reality always in our minds. God is a God of love. God’s greatest desire is to live in relationship with His people and to bring us into the land of eternal life and joy. God has created us solely for this purpose. People will marvel at the love and fulfillment displayed as we live the “laws and customs” He has taught us, the greatest of which is love. Jesus tells us that He is the fulfillment of all the laws and prophecies; they were leading to Him who is the beginning and the end. We are called to bring each other to His kingdom by helping each other keep God’s laws, culminating in the love of self and neighbor. We are walking each other home by our lifestyle which catches others’ attention.

Thursday, March 7 – (Jeremiah 7:23 – 28; Luke 11:14 – 23)

Sister Helene Trueitt ASC

Come, sit under the acia tree during this time where we can rest, where we are sheltered from the storms of life, where God will comfort us with food, life-giving “sweet water” and strength. Believing that our responses will not, could not, should not be an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. For Jeremiah teaches us we are sheltered, shaded by the thick branches and deep roots of the eternal promises of light and love and not the might of arms, drones or machines that kill. During this time of mid-Lent let us find time to sit under the acia tree.

Friday, March 8 – (Hosea 14:1 – 9; Mark 12:28 – 34)

Amy Ponce ’23, administrative coordinator, School of Business & Technology

In Mark, Jesus responds to a scribe’s question about the greatest commandment. Jesus emphasizes the centrality of love: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself.” Love is the foundation of true wisdom. Hosea echoes this theme. “The ways of the Lord are right; the righteous walk in them, but the rebellious stumble in them.” God responds with abundant mercy, promising restoration and healing. In our lives, we face adversities and we must trust and pray for God’s Love to heal all wounds.

Saturday, March 9 – (Hosea 6:1 – 6; Luke 18:9 – 14)

Larry Hund ‘74

A theme of today’s readings has to do with human’s naive expectations of God. The presumptuous Israelites expected God to deliver them in spite of their wickedness. Jesus’ followers thought that the kingdom of God would appear in Jerusalem “immediately” as Jesus was ending his traveling ministry and approaching the city. A number of Old Testament prophesies stated that the Jews would reject the Messiah. Jesus teaches that being self-righteous is not the disposition for prayer. In our prayer today, let us reflect on what was surely in our Lord’s heart and mind as he neared the time and place of his horrendous suffering and death on the cross.

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