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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

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Isaiah 55:10-11
Psalm 34:4-7, 16-19
Matthew 6:7-15

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this lent

"When the just cry out, the Lord hears them, and from all their distress He rescues them. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; and those who are crushed in spirit He saves." —Psalm 34:18-19

Lent is seven days old. Have you fasted and prayed in imitation of Jesus these seven days? Have you forgiven all who have hurt you — even all your enemies? (see Mt 6:12) Are you emptying yourself (see Phil 2:7) so as to be filled with "the breadth and length and height and depth of Christ's love"? (Eph 3:18) Lent is a grace, a gift of a springtime for our relationship with the Lord. However, this grace is not forced on us. We must show we accept it by fasting, praying, forgiving, repenting, and obeying.

Through this Lent, the Lord will make deserts "fertile and fruitful" (Is 55:10). Where there is nothing, the Lord will plant something — "giving seed to him who sows and bread to him who eats" (Is 55:10). If we let God have His way, this Lent will not be wasted, empty, or "void," but shall do His will, "achieving the end for which" He sent it (Is 55:11).

Make this Lent the best one of your life. Observe it as if it were the first Lent or your last one. May this Lent culminate in the renewal of your baptismal promises at Easter Vigil or Easter Sunday Mass. Totally commit your life to Jesus. May this Lent prepare you to meet the risen Christ and to be risen by Him from the dead. May this Lent prepare you for the end of the world, Christ's final coming, Judgment Day, and eternal happiness in heaven.

Prayer:  Father, may this be the Lent of a lifetime.

Promise:  "This is how you are to pray: 'Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name, Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.' " —Mt 6:9-10

Praise:  Ann's fasting reminds her to pray. Her prayer helps her fast.

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 8, 2013

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