Week 4: 2024 Lenten reflections

Mar 04, 2024
Bread and Wheat Lenten Reflection images

We hope your Lenten journey has been fruitful so far! Below are reflections based on the Mass readings for the fourth week of Lent, provided by Newman University community members. We encourage you to ponder how God is reaching out to you during this time of preparation. May he bless you as you continue to walk toward Easter Sunday.

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

Sunday, March 10 – Fourth Sunday of Lent

2 Chron. 36:14-17, 19-23; Ephesians 2: 4-10; John 3:14-21

Sister Tarcisia Roths ASC, former president of Newman

The message in today’s scripture presents us with images of love, light and life: God’s love for us, shown in his gift to us of the light who is Christ, who brings us life. The message of God’s love is clear: “God has compassion on his people.” “God is rich in mercy, because of his great love for us.” “God so loved the world that he gave his only son.”

God sent his own son — Christ, the light — into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. By coming into the light of Christ, we who were dead in sin now live this gift of God’s love. “It is not our own doing, it is God’s gift.” We are truly God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus, to lead the life of good deeds that God has prepared for us. With such a powerful affirmation of God’s love, and empowered by the light of Christ, we are challenged to bring God’s life into our broken world.

Monday, March 11

Isaiah 65: 17 – 21; John 4: 43-54

Debbie and Kent Shank, parents of a Newman student

In Isaiah, we are promised a vision of heaven that is beyond our imagination. Isaiah speaks of Jerusalem being transformed into a place of delight and joy. In this Lenten season, we are invited to release the burdens and shortcomings of our past, knowing that God is making all things new and there will be an end to sorrow and suffering.

Jesus, returning to Galilee, is met by a father whose son is very ill. This father’s heartache resonates with us as we face many trials and challenges in life. The father’s faith is tested when Jesus responds without complete reassurance: “Go, your son will live.” Lent calls us to a deeper faith and to trust, even in the absence of miracles.

Tuesday, March 12

Ezekial 47: 1-9, 12; John 5: 1-3, 5-16

Caleb Garner, student seminarian

As I learn and experience more of life, I contemplate what my role is in all of it? What does God ask of me and how can I respond? What God asks of me is to obey the voice of his servant Jesus. Though this may cause me to walk in darkness at times and not see the effects of the light or cause me to lie down in torment at times, I know that if I trust in and rely on the Lord, God will bring me to everlasting life. I will walk by the light of the fire that God kindles in my heart if I but obey and trust and, most importantly, love.

Wednesday, March 13

Isaiah 49: 8-15; John 5:17-30

Alysha Keck, student

In Isaiah, the Lord says that just like a mother does not forget her nursing child so will God remember His people. Having witnessed the strength of the bond between mother and infant, these words provoke the image of God holding me in His arms and giving me life. The Israelites during that time probably interpreted this as a promise of freedom from their captivity, but looking forward to the Messiah, I can see the even bigger promise of salvation fulfilled, as shown in John. As we come closer to the remembrance of Christ’s loving sacrifice, let us “sing for joy” and give thanks for the life we have received from our loving Father!

Thursday, March 14

Exodus 32:7-14; John 5:31-47

Robert ’82 and Vanessa Jacobs Condreay ‘20

Actions speak louder than words. In the Gospel, Jesus says that He could have the testimony of other people, even John the Baptist, but that his works are the best testimony about who He is. But this is a challenge to us. What are our works saying? Would the person on the street recognize us as a Christ follower based on our actions? Moses stood in the gap to plead with God for mercy on His chosen people. Jesus intercedes on our behalf and sends us the Holy Spirit to empower us for works that will testify about Him.

Friday, March 15

Wisdom 2:1, 12-22; John 7:1-3, 10, 25-30

Anonymous staff member

Prejudice and evil blind us, we are told in the Book of Wisdom, and prevent us from “knowing the secret purposes of God.” This was also true for the people of Jesus’ time. “Yet we know where this man comes from.” How could the Messiah possibly come from Nazareth? Each of us has our blindness, our inability to see the good in every person and sometimes in ourselves. We need to “rev up” our prayer as we enter these last days of Lent and ask for “insight” to know the one who created and loves us and every other person. God is very near, within us — let God give you wisdom and new sight.

Saturday, March 16

Jeremiah 11:18-20; John 7:40-53

Sister Therese Wetta ASC

“No man has ever spoken like this man.” This response by the temple guards in today’s Gospel is as true now as it was then. But why should we be surprised? Jesus is the Word — the Word of God who is Truth and Life and Love poured out, even to the shedding of each drop of His Blood. Jesus is the “gentle lamb, led to the slaughter.” (Jeremiah) What is Jesus saying to me today?