From Deacon Dick

LENTEN THEME: “DO NOT BE AFRAID” 
Today’s Focus: Follow Me

Last week we focused on how we begin to satisfy our hunger for God. In light of the apostle, Mathew’s account of the Transfiguration, we reflected on the importance of listening to the gentle whisper of God’s voice into our souls.   This week we again listen to the voice of God both in the Hebrew Scriptures and in the Gospel.  In our readings from the Book of Exodus and from the Gospel of John, there are conversations taking place between the human and the divine.  The fruits of these exchanges are an openness of heart to follow in the footsteps of the Lord.  

In the reading from the Book of Exodus, we hear that the people grumbled against Moses because of their thirst for water. This excerpt is sometimes referred to as one of the ”grumbling” readings.  At this place, called Massa and Meribah, the people were stressed and tested the Lord with the question:  “Is the Lord in our midst or not?’  And so Moses implores the Lord to help him lest he be stoned.  In doing so, he listens with the ears of one who is a follower of the Lord.  Through Moses, the Lord caused water to flow from what was thought to be barren …  a rock.

In John’s Gospel we hear the story of the Samaritan woman at the well. She too must have been stressed because she comes to the well at a most unusual time when others would not be there midday.  In the midday stress and strain of our lives, we are like that woman …  we need refreshment to stay the course …   to hearken to Jesus’ invitation:  “Follow me.”  Let’s face it, as we struggle to live as Christians, don’t we sometimes feel like were walking in a dry place?  Aren’t there particularly stressful times when we ask:  “Is the Lord in our midst or not?”    

And yet, as followers of Jesus, we are consoled and heartened with this example of Jesus reaching out to this woman despite all the reasons he should not have done so. As those who heed Jesus’ command to “follow me,” are we like that woman who was sent from unbelief (maybe tepid belief) to becoming a proclaimer of the Good News?

In both these readings, the grace of God flows freely in the most unlikely of places and in the most unlikely of people. During this Lent, Jesus invites us to pause in a special way amid the rush of our lives …  to sit by that well of refreshment and have a conversation …  and then to follow him by telling others about this “life giving water.”

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Monday: 12:15 PM (unless a Funeral)
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Daily Reading

Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord

Reading 1 Is 7:10-14; 8:10The LORD spoke to Ahaz, saying:

Ask for a sign from the LORD, your God;

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Friday of the Third Week of Lent

Reading 1 Hos 14:2-10Thus says the LORD:

Return, O Israel, to the LORD, your God;

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Thursday of the Third Week of Lent

Reading 1 Jer 7:23-28Thus says the LORD:

This is what I commanded my people:

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Vatican News

Pope’s Mass in Monza: ‘A people at the peripheries’

(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis celebrated Holy Mass in Monza Park for the people of the Archdiocese of Milan, Italy on Saturday during a pastoral visit, reflecting on the annunciation of Jesus as a message of joy at the peripheries of society.

The Holy Father invited them to be joyful members of God’s people and to avoid “speculating” on the future of others.

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Pope Francis spends time with prison inmates in Milan

(Vatican Radio) One of the highlights of Pope Francis’ 1-day pastoral journey to the Italian city of Milan is his visit to the city’s main detention center, the San Vittore Prison.

Shortly after midday and the recitation of the Angelus, the Pope travelled to the prison where he was welcomed by the director,Gloria Manzelli, and by the prison chaplain, don Marco Recalcati.

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Pope speaks to Milan's religious, prays Angelus at Duomo

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Saturday is making a one day pastoral visit to Milan. This morning he paid a call on Milan’s Duomo and traveled to the peripheries of the city to meet with immigrant families.

Listen to our report:

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