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PRAYER / Reflections for Ordinary Time

Sister Rea McDonnell, SSND, offers daily reflections on the Liturgical Readings for each day. If you wish to share your own reflections or have comments or questions, please feel free to email Sister Rea. For information about Sister Rea's publications, visit our online gift shop.


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This week's Lenten Reflections are shared with us by Maureen Michael Byrne, SSND.
Sunday, March 19, 2006
Third Sunday in Lent
Exodus 20:1-17, Psalm 19:8-11, 1Corinthians 1:22-25, John 2:13-25

Let our mantra be, "My eyes are ever fixed on the Lord."

Today's Gospel shows us how truly human Jesus was. He was infuriated at the money changers in the Temple area and at those selling goods there. He threw them out and overturned the tables. It must have been quite a mess. Jesus had passion for His Father's house and as the first reading admonishes us to "honor your father and mother that you may have long life in the land which the Lord your God is giving you."

Can you name one issue you are passionate about?
Will you share this passion with others?


Monday, March 20, 2006
2 Samuel 7:4-5, 12-14, 16, Psalm 89:2-5, 27, 29, Romans 4:13, 16-18, 22, Matthew 1:16, 18-21, 24

Our mantra for today... "I will sing forever the promises of the Lord."

Mary and Joseph were in the caravan returning home after being in Jerusalem for the feast of Passover and after a while realised that Jesus was missing. They returned to Jerusalem only to find him in the Temple sitting in the midst of the teachers asking questions and listening to them. Can you imagine the look on the faces of Mary and Joseph? I imagine that their anxiety showed and maybe they were a bit annoyed with Jesus and yet overjoyed that they found him safe and sound. I wonder about the teachers. Why didn't they shoo him out and send him on to catch up with his mother and father? They were probably mesmerized by his knowledge of scripture and captivated by his presence.

Jesus' reponse to his mother and father seems a bit sassy but I think that Jesus was so at home in the temple he would assume that his parents would understand why he had to stay behind. In the end he left with them for Nazareth.

Have there been times in your life when you had to "stay behind" because you felt such a strong calling from God?
How did you handle the questions people asked of you? Were you obedient to those in authority over you?


Tuesday, March 21, 2006
Daniel 3:25, 34-43, Psalm 25:4-9, Matthew 18:21-35

"Your ways O Lord make known to me."

"Moved with compassion the master of that servant let him go and forgave him the loan." Earlier in the week I spoke of living a passionate life. Well here we are listening to a master who was passionate about justice. The servant he forgave forgot very quickly the pity shown to him and the master became angry with him because of his lack of compassion toward a fellow servant. Of course the first servant paid dearly for his lack of compassion.

Are there times when I think I am being taken advantage of because of my compassionate side?
When have I limited my forgiveness? Why?


Wednesday, March 22, 2006
Deuteronomy 4:1, 5-9, Psalm 147:12-13, 15-16, 19-20, Matthew 5:17-19

"Lord, direct my steps."

Both Moses and Jesus valued those who taught God's ways. The Jewish people put a massuseh on the doors of their houses and inside their houses with the passage from Deuteronomy encased in a pouch. This is to be a reminder to them that they are to teach their children the ways and commandments of the Lord and never forget them. And they pass this on from generation to generation. Jesus gives us the same command. Teach God's ways.

How will I teach God's ways today? Who will I tell about the goodness of the Lord our God?


Thursday, March 23, 2006
Jeremiah 7:23-28, Psalm 95:1-2, 6-9, Luke 11:14-23

"Let me be a gatherer not a scatterer."

"Every kingdom divided against itself will be laid waste and house will fall against house."
"Whoever is not with me is against me and whoever does not gather with me scatters."
We human beings seem to be divided from the inside out. Men don't admit to their feminine side. Women don't admit to their masculine side. We have divided loyalties. We tend toward both good and evil, light and dark. But Jesus shows us that unless we find a common ground, a way to reconcile all phases of our life, we will destroy ourselves. This is pretty scary. However if we always try to gather rather than scatter then we will be closer to reconciliation. A concrete image comes to mind. Everyday, I watch the parrots in the palm tree outside our house. They are quite gregarious and watch out for one another and keep their eyes and ears open for any inclement weather or predator. They are a good lesson for me on how to work together for the good of all.

Is my heart divided? Am I a gatherer or a scatterer?
What do I need to ask Jesus?


Friday, March 24, 2006
Hosea 14:2-10, Psalm 81:6-11, 14, 17, Mark 12:28-34

"Lord you are great and do wonderful things."

To love God with all your heart, and your neighbor as yourself, is a greater thing than all the temple sacrifices. Mk 12:23.

How can I show my love in some practical way today?


Saturday, March 25, 2006
Isaiah 7:10-14, Psalm 40:7-11, Hebrews 10:4-10, Luke 1:26-38

"I have come to do your will O God."

Christ comes to dwell in us when we like Mary say, "Yes."

How will my YES invite Christ to live in and through me today?


Last updated: Tuesday, 21 March, 2006 7:56 PM

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