LENTEN REFLECTIONS FROM ROSARY ACADEMY
FOR THE 2022 LENTEN SEASON
- 6th Sunday of Lent by Anthony Bravo
- 5th Sunday of Lent by Fr. Ian
- 4th Sunday of Lent by Eileen Kearns
- 3rd Sunday of Lent by Nina Dorsett
- 2nd Sunday of Lent by Maureen Tunstill
- 1st Sunday of Lent by Fr. Ian
Blessings Rosary families – I hope your Lenten Journey is going well, if not, no worries, get back on track, there are 3 weeks left until Easter!
Each week Fr. Ian puts out a video reflection on the upcoming Sunday Gospel, I encourage you to view it on the Rosary Academy website, look under Faith & Service – Fr. Ian’s Blog – here’s the link: Fr. Ian's Blog - Rosary Academy
This week our Gospel focuses on one of the most famous parables, the Parable of the Prodigal Son. Almost everyone has heard the story of the Prodigal Son, and most of us resonate with one of the two brothers, we can easily place ourselves in the story.
What do your relationships look like, with your family, friends, God? Have you ran away from any of those relationships, if so why and would you ever consider coming back home to give that relationship a “second chance”?
The parable speaks about a broken relationship and a departure. A younger son chooses a different path. Have you ever departed abruptly from a tough situation, a job, a relationship, your family, your faith?
The younger son, probably a young adult, has decided to move on, he wants to get on with his life. The young man has his own vision about what life should be and how it should be lived. The world is calling out to the younger son and he is seduced into the lifestyle that is offered to him. Have you ever been seduced by worldly callings? He realizes that life isn’t what he thought it would be, he becomes disenchanted, discouraged, and depressed. He is embarrassed and humbled by the circumstances he finds himself in – have you ever felt that way?
Many young people want very much to leave their home and live their lives in a way they see fit. They don’t always want to listen to the wisdom and guidance offered to them by their parents, or mentors. Many of us struggle to listen to others because we feel “we know best” but has that proven to be true for you? Is the grass always greener on the other side? Are you willing to listen to the guidance or wisdom from another or does your ego get in the way?
The younger son is welcomed home by his Father, how fair is that? Why would anyone welcome back an ungrateful child? The older son is upset his Dad would welcome his brother home - the younger son was irresponsible and careless with his life, and yet is welcomed back home, no questions asked, no finger pointing and offered a big party too, incredibly unfair! Have we ever been welcomed back home, have we been given a second chance?
When I reflect on this story, I often resonate with the older son/daughter, I’ve always stuck around and have been loyal, consistent, and responsible. I’ve resented when others flake and are not held responsible – remember the saying, “you made your bed, now lie in it!” Thank goodness our Father doesn’t react that way. Our Heavenly Father is just waiting to give us all a “second chance”, He is the God of endless mercy. We have a Good, Good Father who is just waiting for us to come home…..what are you waiting for?
This story is really about “relationships”, the older son claims to have always been there, but in what capacity? Does the older son really have a relationship with his Father or has he emotionally and spiritually walked away – did he know how much his Father was suffering from the loss of his younger son? If he was in relationship with his Father, why was he surprised in his Father’s response, he should have helped his Father prepare the party because he know his Father’s prayers were heard. I’m a parent, I worry about my kids all the time and yet their grown adults. I celebrate the times when we are together because we are family – they will always be welcomed back home! My life would be empty without my family and without my faith. What is your current relationship with God like? Do you “thirst” for God, are you drawing closer to Him? Do you need to be brought to your knees like the Prodigal before you reach out and come running home? Do you even see the need to grow deeper in your relationship with your Heavenly Father or are you satisfied with the status quo?
The Lenten Season calls us to “draw near to Christ”, have you done that? Don’t allow shame, embarrassment or lack of humility get in the way – run back home to Him. He is the God of immeasurable mercy who will receive you with open arms, don’t miss the opportunity to “draw near to Him” and allow him to wrap His loving arms around you. Nothing can separate you from the love of God –
Immerse yourself in these last three weeks of Lent, let the Lord’s goodness, mercy and love infuse you. Prepare for His Resurrection/rebirth in your heart – your Father in Heaven is waiting for you to come back home to Him – join the banquet he has set out for you! Then let us celebrate with a feast, because this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again; he was lost, and has been found.’ Then the celebration began. Luke 15:23-24
Take some time this week to reach out to a family member who has gone away, who has drifted apart, offer a bridge for them to return. Rebuild and restore the relationships that offer life!
Blessings and Peace,
Director of Campus Ministry
In today’s Gospel (Year A, John 4:5-42), Jesus tears down all of society’s walls to encounter the Samaritan woman. He talks to her, shows her that he knows all about her personal life, and reveals his identity to her, which she proclaims to the nearby townspeople. Pope Francis describes “encounter” as, “not just passing people by, but stopping with them… allowing yourself to be moved with compassion.” Jesus gives us a perfect example of encounter with the Samaritan woman; he gently prompts her to be truthful with him. And beyond that, Jesus wants her to enter into relationship with him: to follow him and allow herself to be loved by him. This conversation must have been life-changing for the Samaritan woman. She goes to the well at noon, trying to avoid as much human contact as possible, and this is when Jesus encounters her. This is when Jesus encounters us, too: when we are ashamed, imperfect, and avoidant. In these moments, he calls on us- not to be perfect- but to allow him into our hearts and into our lives. How do our lives (or even our days) change when we allow Jesus to tear down our walls and live within us, not just around us?
We can use this passage as a model for when we encounter those around us, too. Who in our daily lives, communities, and whole society is marginalized? It is these people, that “go to the well at noon,” that Jesus calls you and I to encounter. As Pope Francis prompts, may we “not just see, but look; not just hear, but listen,” and may that encounter lead us to prayer, action, and compassion for the good of our neighbors.
Friends, I pray that you and I can let Jesus into our lives more and more every day, through prayer and the choices that we make. I pray that we allow his gentle and persistent love to permeate into our beings. Jesus wants nothing more than to be close to us.
Campus Ministry Associate
Approaching the second Sunday of Lent, we recall a significant "mountaintop event in Luke's Gospel, the Transfiguration." Jesus took his disciples Peter, James, and John up the mountain, where they became drowsy after the trek and fell asleep! As Jesus was praying, He was 'transfigured.' His face began to glow like the sun, and his clothes became a dazzling white. Well, this certainly got the disciples' attention as they witnessed Jesus change in such a glorious way. The gospel tells us that Moses, the great Law-giver, and Elijah, the great Prophet, had seen God's glory on the Mountain. They also appeared and began to talk with Jesus about his imminent death. Peter offered to build three shelters for them when a cloud overshadowed the apostles, and God's voice from heaven echoed the words spoken at Jesus' baptism, "This is my beloved Son. Listen to Him!" This is the most dramatic confirmation of Jesus's identity, yet when this brief experience ends, Jesus tells the disciples not to tell anyone. They simply left and went back down the mountain. Now what? What lesson did Jesus reveal at the Transfiguration?
The gospel passage that recounts the Transfiguration leads me to focus this second week of Lent on three specific themes: my prayer life, my crosses, and Christ's glory.
How many times in scripture do we hear that as Jesus is praying, the disciples are snoozing? Am I spiritually awake? Can I set my 'Jesus-alarm' to be more purposeful this Lent? When I come home from work each day, am I glued to the news or other means of being stagnant? Instead, could I carve out more time to spend in conversation with the Lord? Could I pray about what is happening in the world instead of spending endless hours watching it? To this day, my mother has had one of the most profound effects on how I should approach Lent. After a full day of work and making dinner for us kids, she would attend 7:00 pm mass each night of the week during Lent. Was she purposeful? Yes! Lord, help me to set aside extra time just to be with you.
The second area I consider as I reflect on the Transfiguration is Jesus' sonship necessitates an obedient response to Jesus' message, that is, "Take up your cross, and follow me." How do I take up my cross? Do I throw it on my shoulder like a weightlifter defying the enormous pressure on every muscle in my body, or am I dragging the cross along the road leaving a great abyss behind me? Whatever the cross, short-term annoyances, or long-term suffering, am I allowing the cross to transform me? When Jesus says to take up my cross, He continues by saying, "Follow me." That means He is right there with me. It does not mean I have to like my cross, but since I am carrying it, I want to learn something from it. Can I carry my cross with dignity while at the same time acknowledging that it is unpleasant? If our greatest growth comes from our most difficult moments of life, then suffice to say that my crosses are sacred. My crosses are indispensable. Lord, transform me by your Holy Cross in my seasons of trials.
Finally, Peter wanted to erect three tents because his immediate reaction was that he wanted to stay and hold on to these moments of Christ's glory. Years ago, while visiting the Wailing Wall in Old Jerusalem, I witnessed many devout Jewish people praying at the wall. The Jewish belief is that the divine Presence never departs from the Western Wall. For the Jews, this temple wall is the closest place that they can be to God's presence on earth. In the Transfiguration, the Trinity is present in the Father's voice, the Son, and the Holy Spirit in the cloud. It leads me to think of God the Father, who has created everything out of His love for us. His precious Son, who willingly sacrificed his life for our sins and offers Himself daily to us in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and the Holy Spirit who dwells in us through our Baptism. I have many opportunities to hold on to the moments of Christ's glory throughout my day. Can I erect tents around all of God's creation, His Precious Body and Blood, His baptized children, His assembly of believers, to savor these moments and to appreciate that I am always in God's presence and witnessing Christ's glory? Am I aware? Am I grateful? Am I present? Am I giving honor and glory to Him in the way that I live and in the choices that I make? The Transfiguration is a "foretaste of the Kingdom and of Jesus' glory!" Lord, help me to be ever mindful of your Presence and glory. Amen.
Service & Outreach Coordinator