Day 1: Ash Wednesday
“...your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you.” —Matthew 6:18
Today we kick off our 40 Day Journey with Christ! Lent begins with Ash Wednesday: “The act of putting on ashes symbolizes fragility and mortality, and the need to be redeemed by the mercy of God.” —Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy
Ash Wednesday Gospel Reflection
In our Gospel today, Jesus tells us to do our good deeds in secret - not to be praised or noticed. Jesus is really asking & challenging us to depend on Him and to do all things truly out of love.
3 Pillars of Lent
In the Gospel we hear about the 3 pillars of Lent: giving alms, prayer & fasting. This Lent can you begin these lasting practices?
Jesus tells us “when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right is doing” (MT 6:3). This means that your love for God is so strong that out of love for Him, you give generously. Can you give some of your time, talent &/or treasure to your parish family and the community this Lenten Season?
Jesus tells us to pray in secret. Along with communal prayer, personal prayer maintains the authenticity of your relationship with Christ. Can you spend some extra time with Christ this Lenten Season? Our Perpetual Adoration Chapel is open 24/7! We also offer an additional daily Mass on Monday at 8:30 AM during Lent.
Finally, Jesus tells us to fast but “that you may not appear to be fasting.” (MT 6:16) Through the act of truly fasting, we become more aligned with Christ and it serves as a reminder of our dependence on God. What can you fast from this Lenten Season: social media, electronics, soda, etc? God knows what our desires are, what can we do to bring ourselves closer to Him?
I pray that you spend this 40 Day Journey with Christ seeking ways to become closer to Him & to call upon the Holy Spirit to guide you on this journey. I ask that you pray for me and our parish to do the same.
-Katie Pechin (Pastoral Asst. for Mission & Discipleship)
“Jesus asked us to be selfless. If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” -5th grade
-When Jesus was with his disciples, they didn’t have to fast because they were with Him. In the Gospel, we look at “Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The day will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.” They didn’t need to mourn/fast because they were with the bridegroom, once left they mourned. We fast to grow closer with God our Lord. As you fast, reflect on why you are truly fasting and how you are growing closer to God during this time.
-Kaitlyn Callahan, Director Formation, Mission and Discipleship
While Julianne and Jayden were listening to this passage, the first message they got was to follow Jesus which they drew in the top picture. The second message was to eat and drink with sinners or people you may not agree with.
-1st Grade Julianne and Jayden
Jesus tells us in our Gospel reading today that we must serve those in need. He tells us this service is an expectation of those who follow Him. His language is so abundantly clear that one should take serious note of what He tells us.
First, Jesus begins by telling us that when He comes in His glory He will separate the goats from the sheep. The goats are those who chose to do things their own way, whereas the sheep were attentive to the voice of the shepherd and followed His direction. He will invite those who followed Him into the Kingdom of His Father.
Second, Jesus tells us that we should take care of the poor and needy in the same way that we would care for Him. He tells us “whatever you did for these least brothers of mine, you did for me.”
Third, He tells us that those who decide to do it their own way will be eternally separated from Him.
What are you doing this Lent to help the poor and needy? How are you responding this demanding call of Jesus to care for the poor and needy?
-Patrick Duggins, RCIA Coordinator
“Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” - MT 6:8
Actions or Reflections
1. How they Pray
2. adding extra Pray time
3 Pray for someone special
4. Remembering that this is the prayer that Jesus thought us
- 3rd Grade Dany, Jackson, Haley, Gatlin
"This generation is an evil generation; it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it, except the sign of Jonah." - Luke 11:29
The sign of Jonah for an evil generation
- Old Testament version: Jonah 3:1-10
- Do you pay careful attention to warning signs
- Where in life are warning signs present?
- Where in your Spiritual Life do you see these warning signs?
- God warns us for our good - do you listen?
- What would happen if we ignored warning signs in real life?
- Why do they put warnings on things?
- Why would God our Father give us these clear warnings in our own faith lives?
Let us pray together: "Lord Jesus, change my heart and fill me with your wisdom that I my love your ways. Give me strength and courage to resist temptation and stubborn willfulness that I may truly desire to do what is pleasing to you."
- Sean O’Dea, Pastoral Assistant for Youth & Evangelization
"Do to others whatever you would have them do to you." - MT 7:12
God shows us in this passage we must give thanks to others. Examples to give thanks to others: Being nice to others, share with people, if they don’t have any friends, you could be a friend, give complements, people work for other people.
-1st Grade: Miles, Lyon and Silvia
"...go first and be reconciled with your brother." - MT 5:24
It's a reflection of how you should always forgive and look on the other person's perspective. Not always think "that person did it". And just because someone did something bad doesn't mean they can't and shouldn't be forgiven. And just because they were bad doesn't mean they ARE bad. They did one bad thing doesn't mean they don't deserve a second chance.
"But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you..." - MT 5:44
In our world today we often hear the phrase “nobody’s perfect.” This seems to make sense because we are sinful human beings who often make mistakes daily. So why is Jesus telling us to “be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect?” Those seem like unrealistic expectations. Jesus knows that we are not perfect. When he said to be perfect, He was giving us a goal to strive for. Even though we can never match God’s perfect mercy, we can continually work toward being more merciful.
It’s easy for us to retaliate when we’re provoked, especially by those we consider to be an enemy. It’s even easier to fall into hateful thoughts driven by anger, but this is not what we should be striving for. Living our faith is not meant to be easy. God is calling us to His greatest commandment: love. Imagine a family member insulted you. Do you write them out of your life, or do you try to forgive? Oftentimes with family we are more likely to forgive. However, the reality is that we are all brothers and sisters in Christ. Why are we so willing to forgive family members but are not as willing to forgive strangers? It’s likely because we know our family members much better. We know all the good they hold in their hearts. Even though we may not know a stranger the way we know a family member, we can choose to act lovingly toward them anyway.
I challenge you today to love your enemy. Try and open your heart to see how God is working through that person. Thank them for their goodness, compliment them, or do a good deed for them. Most importantly, pray for them. Pray that God may be with them and that they might come to better know God’s love.
-Stephanie Snyder, Notre Dame ECHO Apprentice
"For the measure with which you measure
will in return be measured out to you." - Lk 6:38
The Passage is describing Jesus telling us to be merciful. He asked us to measure with love. What could you do to stop Judging?
“They went up according to festival custom.”-Luke 2:42
Isn’t it wonderful to read the story of the Holy Family traveling to the Passover feast together as a family? Jesus’ parents hoped to experience their customs together with their child. Together as a family they would strengthen their beliefs and faith.
Then also how special it is for us to go through this Lenten season with our families - both our immediate families and our parish family. We can support each other in our paths to find greater understanding and increased love of the Lord.
As we travel together, may we have faith in the journey!
-Debbie Siciliano – Parish Council
"... the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve." - MT 20:28
The emphasis was on 1st place, that everyone gets a trophy. Everyone wants to be the most important person of the team, instead of being the one who encourages. We tend to always want to be first, want to be the leader, in sports want to be the one up to bat. But now focusing in on how we can change that and serve others. How we recommend to serve today is to sit with someone at lunch who seems to be alone. If that person doesn't have food or lunch, share your food with them, show them the love God shows us.
"Abraham replied, 'My child, remember that you received what was good during your lifetime
while Lazarus likewise received what was bad; but now he is comforted here, whereas you are tormented." - Lk 16:25
1. To give extra money during lent
2. To give homeless and poor food
3. Give up toys
1. To donate food
2. Donate clothes
3. To give up the iPad
-3 grade: Marshall, Anna, Natalie, Gus and Nate
Matthew 21:33-43, 45-46
"The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
by the Lord has this been done,
and it is wonderful in our eyes?"
Reflection on how to be a good person.
Good Person examples: Kind, helping, good friend and generous
-1st Grade, Emily, Ben, Connor
Luke 15:1-3, 11-32
"Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I no longer deserve to be called your son..." - LK 15:18-19
Free will is given to us by God, this makes it possible to become prodigal sons and daughters. But like the prodigal son, we must be sure of our willingness to make the confession of sin to our loving Father. Be sure of your willingness to start life anew in a very special relationship with God and that you can accept the responsibility to live in this covenant you make with God. The Lord invites us as a loving Father to confess and to amend our lives. Jesus loves you no matter what, ask and you will receive His graces.
-Steve Sullivan, Maintenance Technician