Category: Message of the Day

A SUNDAY TO REMEMBER

“Then Jesus was led into the desert by the Spirit to be tempted by the devil.” —Matthew 4:1 I have wonderful memories of the graces of the first Sunday of Lent. I was also intrigued by Jesus being led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by Satan. I consider it a great insight that the first and fundamental temptation of Christ and Christians is the temptation to doubt the Spirit’s proclamation of our being sons or daughters of God the Father (Mt 4:3). It is so glorious to hear Jesus boldly state His divinity at the beginning...

FOLLOW-UP FASTING

“They shall call you, ‘Restorer of ruined homesteads.’ ” —Isaiah 58:12 One of the later catalytic effects of fasting is: “The ancient ruins shall be rebuilt for your sake, and the foundations from ages past you shall raise up; ‘Repairer of the breach,’ they shall call you, ‘Restorer of ruined homesteads’ ” (Is 58:12). Our culture of death is by definition a culture of broken relationships. We have mass-produced ruined homesteads. If you will let the Lord rebuild these ancient ruins for your sake, your fasting and obedient follow-up to fasting is exceptionally important to the world. You are the...

GROWLING STOMACHS AND HUNGRY MINDS

“Why do we fast, and You do not see it? afflict ourselves, and You take no note of it?” —Isaiah 58:3 On this third day of Lent and worldwide day of abstinence from meat, it is good to recall that Lent is not merely abstaining but also fasting, that is, limiting our intake of food and drink. Lent is a forty-day fast in imitation of Jesus’ fasting in the desert (Mt 4:2). Fasting must be done in the right spirit (see Is 58:3-4), but this right spirit should not substitute for fasting but authenticate it. For example, it’s good to...

A MOST UNUSUAL MASS

Jesus “must first endure many sufferings.” —Luke 9:22 Today, on this second day of Lent, I celebrated one of the most unusual Masses of my almost thirty years of priesthood. I was in a hospital room, and the time for my colon surgery was moved up. The nurses had already put a tube down my nose, and the anesthesiologist was about to give me my first shot. I had to rush to have Mass, all the while enduring the irritation of the tube down my nose. When I painstakingly read the Gospel, the verses meant much more to me than...

LENT IN THE HOSPITAL

“Blow the trumpet in Zion! proclaim a fast.” —Joel 2:15 I have written One Bread, One Body for about twenty years. Most of the time I have written these daily teachings in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. Occasionally, I have to write these teachings on airplanes and at other sundry locations. Today, on this first day of Lent, I write from my hospital bed with an IV in my arm, as I await potential surgery. Today, throughout the world, many millions of Catholics hear the sobering words: “Remember, man, that you are dust, and unto dust you shall return.”...

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