Week 5: Lent 2024 Reflections

Mar 11, 2024
Newman Community Shares Reflection for Week 5 of Lent 2024

We are nearing the end of our Lenten journey. We pray God has given you much to reflect upon and many ways to grow closer to him.

Below are reflections based on the Mass readings for the fifth 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.

March 17 Fifth Sunday of Lent

Jeremiah 31:31-34; Hebrews 5:7-9; John 12:20-33

Sister Stephanie Heskamp, ASC

St. Paul says that “now we see as through a veil, indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then, face to face.” There is much to see, to understand, to ponder. This Sunday, we find many contrasting elements in the life of Jesus, as he approaches his final agony and death. The “covenant” referred to in Jeremiah is still a living reality in our relationship with God, the God who reveals himself in the beauty of all created things and living beings. The covenant is a gift.

How amazing that this God/man, Trinity, who share their life with humans and instill in us the capacity to desire union with the holy one! In re-living the life of the historic Christ, we enter into and prepare to experience again the death and resurrection of Jesus. How heart-rending Jesus’ cry to the father to spare him from this hour! As always, Jesus gives total surrender to the father’s will. Now, after centuries of human greed, hunger, hate, racism, materialism and domination, all creation cries out with Jesus in this terrible suffering. The hour is coming when Jesus will be glorified, but first the grain of wheat must die.

In God there is no time; all is present. In the evil we do, we are part of Christ’s crucifixion. It is all now, there is no past in God! Still there is divine mercy and forgiveness, and we have the promise, ”When I am lifted up, I will draw all things to myself!”

Monday, March 18

Daniel 13: 1-9, 15-17, 19-30, 33-62; John 8:1-11

Courtney Klaus ‘20

“I will fall into your hands, rather than sin in the sight of the Lord.”

For me, the story of Susanna serves as a reminder of how we, as sinners, frequently rush to judgment. Before Daniel stepped in, the assembly was quick to believe the elders over Susanna, without so much as an examination. How many times in our lives are we tempted to think similarly? To cast judgment without asking questions? To read only the headline and neglect to think deeply? Susanna knows that God is the one, perfect and righteous judge, and she wisely chooses to sacrifice her reputation and life to do right by God. That’s inspiring!

Tuesday, March 19 – Feast of St. Joseph

2 Samuel 7:4-5a, 12-14a,16; Romans 4:13, 16-18,22; Matthew 1:16,18-21,24a

Alan Oberley, professor of chemistry

St. Joseph is described as a just man. I remember hearing these words when I was a child. As I continue through this Lenten season, reflecting on the role of St. Joseph in the life of Christ leads me to consider my own life. St. Joseph did the day-to-day things that are required of a father and provider. Are my actions in my daily life, the actions that I perform as a part of my vocation, those of a just man? Am I giving a just day of work for a just day of pay? Am I giving my wife and children a just amount of attention? It’s easy to look at others and judge, but when I look through my own actions, do I meet the definition of “a just man?” Let us pray daily for the grace to do the little things that are required in life.

Wednesday, March 20

Daniel 3:14-20, 24-25, 28; John 8:31-42

Mary ‘68

Today’s readings invite us to extraordinary trust in God. Am I willing to undergo the “fire of death” in whatever form it presents itself to be faithful to God? Am I a son/daughter of Abraham and God who knows deeply in my heart the truth that will make me free? Jesus assures us that, if we love him, truth will be known to us, and we will be disciples. How much am I willing to risk to be known as a disciple of Christ?

Thursday, March 21

Genesis 17:3-9; John 8:51-59

Gabriel Trevino, Newman Student

“I am not seeking glory for myself; but there is one who seeks it, and he is the judge … At this, they picked up stones to stone him. …”

Our Lord saves, and he is just. Jesus works through us, and we work through his word. I don’t want anyone’s glory; I just want to be saved. I don’t want to “just” speak his words; I want to rejoice in his name! Stones may kill us, but they will never kill our spirit — that I know, and that I live for. May I be judged and blessed with grace.

Friday, March 22

Jeremiah 20:10-13; John 10:31-42

Geoff Louvar, admissions digital marketing manager

On this Friday of Lent, we are reminded of the challenges faced by the prophets and Jesus himself in proclaiming the truth. Jeremiah’s lamentation echoes the struggles many face when speaking truth in the face of opposition. In John’s gospel, we witness Jesus confronting those who refuse to accept his divinity, yet he remains steadfast in his mission. Both readings urge us to remain resolute in our faith, even when faced with adversity. In our Lenten journey, let us draw strength from the examples of Jeremiah and Jesus, trusting in God’s guidance and persevering in our witness to the truth.

Saturday, March 23

Ezekiel 37:21-28; John 11:45-57

Jeff Lipp ’88 Board of Trustees

During Jesus’ teaching mission, he encountered many who had faith and others who were confused or filled with doubt or lacked faith. The latter wanted to kill Jesus, to take this troublemaker from their midst. Jesus’ teachings about self-denial and the importance of serving others are key takeaways in the Gospel. He emphasizes that following Him requires a willingness to let go of personal desires and ambitions in favor of a life dedicated to serving God and others. Today we are encouraged to pray for a stronger understanding and acceptance of the mysteries of faith, as well as the assurance that God’s plan is being fulfilled through Jesus. This will help guide us toward a deeper understanding of God’s love and salvation plan, encouraging a personal and communal transformation that aligns with the heart of the Lenten season.

Daily Lenten Reflections – 2024

From Ash Wednesday through Easter, Newman community members shared their thoughts about the daily Mass readings for the 2024 Lenten season.