Archive for the ‘DFWCatholic “Recommended Reads”’ Category

Lenten Reflection for Tuesday, April 15

April 15, 2014

Isaiah 49:1-6 * John 13:21-33, 36-38

“Amen, amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me.”

As we continue through Holy Week, we get this scene of the Last Supper, and we hear these heavy words from Jesus. The disciples are confused by Jesus’ statement, and they simply look at each other, wondering about whom Jesus is referring to; surely none of them will turn against him. In reading this Gospel, my mind kept going to the passage in Genesis when the Lord asks Cain where his brother is, to which he replies, “Am I my brother’s keeper?”

Surely we are each other’s keepers. As members of the Mystical Body of Christ, we rely on one another to continue growing in faith, especially in our darkest moments. You never know where you will find the doubtful or the weak.

We need to always be alert and see how the devil is not only trying to tempt us, but also trying to tempt our brothers and sisters. Even those with the strongest of faith experience doubts. Simon Peter ends up denying Jesus three times, as it is foreshadowed at the end of the reading.

Amidst all the darkness, Jesus fills us with hope by saying that we “will follow later.” This is the promise that we will be reunited with him in his glory. So let us await his glorious resurrection.

  • What are some ways Satan might be trying to tempt you?
  • What is keeping you from truly giving your heart to God?
  • What is holding you back to following Christ?


St. Mary’s Catholic Center will post a daily reflection from a student, former student, or staff member every day of Lent. We have compiled these reflections into a handout, given to our students on Ash Wednesday.

For God So Loved The World

On Good Friday, we listen to the story of the Passion of Our Lord as told by John the Evangelist. In listening and reflecting, we might find it to be overwhelming because it is a gripping drama that reaches deep within us, evoking the strongest of human emotions, emotions that tug at our hearts. If […]

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The Passion Reminds Us That God Is On Our Side

With the liturgy of Palm Sunday, the Church begins its holiest week of the year. We enter more intensely into the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Our Lord. Because the crucifixion of Jesus is intimately connected with our salvation, we hear the passion account twice. This year we listen to both Matthew’s account and John’s […]

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Lenten Reflection for Monday, April 14

April 14, 2014

Isaiah 42:1-7 * John 12:1-11

The Gospel today gives us a glimpse of a man whose life has been radically transformed by an encounter with Jesus Christ. Lazarus was a normal guy. He had friends, went to the store, and enjoyed leisurely pastimes. Eventually he grew ill, fought sickness, and died. Lazarus could be me or you.

It is not until Jesus Christ comes into the picture that Lazarus becomes a noteworthy figure. Lazarus is freed from the confines of death that entrap all other people and rises to new life in Christ.

We hear in the Gospel that Lazarus caused many Jews to believe in Jesus. Lazarus became a walking testament to the power of Jesus Christ. His every action and conversation made Christ present to those around him, and Lazarus lived with the knowledge that every breath was a gift from God. His life could not help but echo the cry of the psalms, “The Lord is my light and my salvation.”

We too then, who have the joy of knowing Christ, should spend every living moment shining his light.

  • In what area of my life do I need Christ to bring me fully alive?
  • How do I walk each day with the knowledge that Christ has brought me back from the dead?
  • How can I make my life a living testament to the glory of God?

Colby Jackson
Class of 2014
Major: Management Information Systems
Future Plans: I’d like to be a saint some day, but at the moment I am applying to study as a seminarian for the Diocese of Austin.

St. Mary’s Catholic Center will post a daily reflection from a student, former student, or staff member every day of Lent. We have compiled these reflections into a handout, given to our students on Ash Wednesday.

Holy Week and The Triduum

Some insights into Holy Week and the Triduum from Pope Francis to start us off:

This week begins with the festive procession with olive branches: the entire populace welcomes Jesus. The children and young people sing, praising Jesus.

But this week continues in the mystery of Jesus’ death and his resurrection. We have just listened to the Passion of our Lord. We might well ask ourselves just one question: Who am I? Who am I, before my Lord? Who am I, before Jesus who enters Jerusalem amid the enthusiasm of the crowd? Am I ready to express my joy, to praise him? Or do I stand back? Who am I, before the suffering Jesus?

We have just heard many, many names. The group of leaders, some priests, the Pharisees, the teachers of the law, who had decided to kill Jesus. They were waiting for the chance to arrest him. Am I like one of them?

We have also heard another name: Judas. Thirty pieces of silver. Am I like Judas? We have heard other names too: the disciples who understand nothing, who fell asleep while the Lord was suffering. Has my life fallen asleep? Or am I like the disciples, who did not realize what it was to betray Jesus? Or like that other disciple, who wanted to settle everything with a sword? Am I like them? Am I like Judas, who feigns loved and then kisses the Master in order to hand him over, to betray him? Am I a traitor? Am I like those people in power who hastily summon a tribunal and seek false witnesses: am I like them? And when I do these things, if I do them, do I think that in this way I am saving the people?

Am I like Pilate? When I see that the situation is difficult, do I wash my hands and dodge my responsibility, allowing people to be condemned – or condemning them myself?

Am I like that crowd which was not sure whether they were at a religious meeting, a trial or a circus, and then chose Barabbas? For them it was all the same: it was more entertaining to humiliate Jesus.

Am I like the soldiers who strike the Lord, spit on him, insult him, who find entertainment in humiliating him?

Am I like the Cyrenean, who was returning from work, weary, yet was good enough to help the Lord carry his cross?

Am I like those who walked by the cross and mocked Jesus: “He was so courageous! Let him come down from the cross and then we will believe in him!”. Mocking Jesus….

Am I like those fearless women, and like the mother of Jesus, who were there, and who suffered in silence?

Am I like Joseph, the hidden disciple, who lovingly carries the body of Jesus to give it burial?

Am I like the two Marys, who remained at the Tomb, weeping and praying?

Am I like those leaders who went the next day to Pilate and said, “Look, this man said that he was going to rise again. We cannot let another fraud take place!”, and who block life, who block the tomb, in order to maintain doctrine, lest life come forth?

Where is my heart? Which of these persons am I like? May this question remain with us throughout the entire week.

The Triduum is made up of the three days before Easter – Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday. It is a single prayer of final preparation where we enter into the redemption of humanity and the salvation of the world made present in the Resurrection of our Lord.

This is the holiest part of the year and makes present the mystery of Jesus passion and death before He rises again.

  • Holy Thursday - The Mass of the Lord’s Supper, it is the celebration of the first Eucharist in the upper room. This is when we have the annual washing of feet. Usually there is no other Mass celebrated on this day. Extra hosts are consecrated and then all of the Blessed Sacrament are taken from the Church and the tabernacle is left open to signify our longing for Christ. We have adoration after this mass as our last act of worship before the sorrow of Good Friday. 
  • Good Friday - Celebration of the Lord’s Passion. There is no Mass this day. Usually there are Stations of The Cross and a Communion service. This is when we have veneration of the Cross and the entire Passion of Christ is read. 
  • Easter Vigil – This is the high-point of the Church’s year. During this celebration of Christ’s death and Resurrection we have the RCIA candidates and elect receive the Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist). The vigil must take place after night falls. It starts with an Easter fire outside of the Church. Then the paschal (Easter) candle is lit and processed into the Church. Then we all share the light of Christ with one another. Afterward, we have the Liturgy of the Word, which will have many readings about the story of God’s Salvation history (7 Old Testament and 2 New Testament readings). Then after the homily, we celebrate baptism and confirmation. After this we celebrate the Eucharist. It is a long and absolutely beautiful liturgy with many “smells and bells”. 

We should prayerfully enter into the coming Holy Week in preparation for Christ’s rising from the dead. Christ have mercy on us all!

A Worthy Path

In his homily of January 30, 2014, Pope Francis reminded us that “the first fruit of our Baptism is to make us a part of the Church, a member of the people of God.” In recalling the words of Pope Paul VI, he noted the absurdity “to claim that we love Christ without the Church, […]

The post A Worthy Path appeared first on Catholic Journal.

Lenten Reflection for Palm Sunday, April 13

April 13, 2014

Matthew 21:1-11 * Isaiah 50:4-7 * Philippians 2:6-11 * Matthew 26:14-27: 66

Thinking about the best and worst days you’ve ever had is a good entrance into the mystery of Palm Sunday. In comparison, think about Jesus’s visit to Jerusalem. He experienced both a high and a low far beyond anything we will ever experience. The two don’t seem to fit together, but they had to happen together. Even though they did not realize it, the people who cheered Jesus and hailed him as the Messiah exalted him because of the sacrifice he would offer of himself. Yet, when the time came, many of them—without really knowing or truly understanding it—would demand that sacrifice when they asked for Jesus to be executed.

The day that Jesus suffered and died is called Good Friday, and, in a sense, that’s a funny name. People ask, “What’s so good about Good Friday?” “Didn’t Jesus die?” “What’s good about that?” All of these are fair questions. I’m sure the disciples on that Friday didn’t understand how good would come from the events of the day. Without the Holy Spirit, they were unable to figure out how everything fit together.

We have an advantage that the disciples did not. We have already read the next chapter in the Gospels—we know why everything happened and we know what happens next. Jesus knew that submitting himself to his Father’s will and embracing death, would free billions from eternal death. This is why we are a people of hope and why we know that it is very good, indeed.

Deacon David Reed
Deacon David is a permanent deacon at St. Mary’s Catholic Center.

St. Mary’s Catholic Center will post a daily reflection from a student, former student, or staff member every day of Lent. We have compiled these reflections into a handout, given to our students on Ash Wednesday.

The Weekly Francis – Volume 54 – 13 April 2014

This version of The Weekly Francis covers material released in the last week from 3 March 2014 to 12 April 2014. The Weekly Francis is a compilation of the Holy Father’s writings, speeches, etc which I also post at Jimmy Akin’s The Weekly Francis. Jimmy Akin came up with this idea when he started “The Weekly [...]

Lenten Reflection for Saturday, April 12

April 12, 2014

Ezekiel 37: 21-28 * John 11: 45-56

On this last Saturday of Lent, the prophet Ezekiel is practical about details, and says we should be united in politics (one prince), in worship (one sanctuary), and in our country and world (one land).

Our Gospel tells us that many of the Jews had seen what Jesus was doing and put their faith in him; however, some went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus was doing. To the religious leaders, Jesus’ miracles could not be from God. So, there is an emergency meeting of the religious leaders, Sadducees and Pharisees, chief priests, elders among the people, experts in the law; and their conclusion was . . . “If we leave him alone, all will believe in him, and the Romans will take away our land and nation . . . one man should die instead of the people, so that the whole nation may not perish”.

Jesus lived out the hopes and the injunctions of Ezekiel. He interacted with politics, religion, and social customs. He cured the sick and the handicapped on the Sabbath and broke religious taboos; he threatened political structures where even the high priest was the tool and appointee of the Romans; he ate and drank with publicans and other non-observant people. Jesus was showing us how to share the best of himself, even at the risk of his life.

  • Do we allow fears or people-pleasing, or an exaggerated feeling of our own ego to prevent us from following the values of Jesus when we know we should?
  • Do we sometimes look the other way and just let things slide past so we won’t be confronted or corrected?

Deacon Switzer Deason
Deacon Switzer Deason serves as a permanent deacon at St. Mary’s Catholic Center.

St. Mary’s Catholic Center will post a daily reflection from a student, former student, or staff member every day of Lent. We have compiled these reflections into a handout, given to our students on Ash Wednesday.

Lenten Reflection for Friday, April 11

April 11, 2014

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

“I’m tired.” “I’m frustrated.” “Life is too hard.” “I didn’t sign up for this!” How many times do we hear or even say these words? We feel the pressing weight of daily responsibilities and the heaviness of life.

Today’s Liturgy guides us to pray: In my distress I called upon the Lord…
Do I “go to God” when I am in need? Do I ask for help? No, I’m an independent woman! No, I’m a guy—I can figure this out! I wonder if self-reliance could be one of the biggest struggles of our time. It is both a sin—the matter is a lack of trust in God—and a lie that the Evil One wants us to believe to prevent us from having a true relationship with the Father.

…and he heard my voice. The Father hears the cry of the poor one who calls out to him. But, to be heard does not imply that God has to do what we want! Trusting in him is not about results; rather, trust takes us far beyond our own understanding and into the depths of God’s love and mercy. It is there where he receives us and where we can experience communion with him.

I love you, O LORD, my strength, O LORD, my rock, my fortress, my deliverer.

  • Do I ask for help when I am in need, or am I self-reliant?
  • Do I believe that God hears my voice?
  • Do I desire intimacy and communion with the Lord?

Resolution: Today, pick a practical way in which to trust God more.

Sr. Elena Morcelli
Sister Elena Morcelli is an Apostle of the Interior Life Sister and campus minister at St. Mary’s Catholic Center.

St. Mary’s Catholic Center will post a daily reflection from a student, former student, or staff member every day of Lent. We have compiled these reflections into a handout, given to our students on Ash Wednesday.

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