Daily Prayer & Reflection

Our Franciscan Charism focus for this school year is: RESPECT/REVERENCE AND GRATITUDE

​To revere someone, or something, is to afford that person or thing more than just respect. The word reverence conveys a sense of treasuring with unquestioned esteem or awe. Reverence implies, by its nature, a sense of sacredness. Reverence reminds us that each and every one of us is created in God's own image and likeness. The opening of the Book of Genesis tells us this. We also need to appreciate that the phrases, 'God's image and likeness' and 'God saw that it was good,' were spoken by God on each day of creation, including our source of life and well being - our Mother Earth - as well as our own creation. Our responsibility is not to dominate by destroying, abusing, or making extinct any part of the delicate balance of this world in which we live, but to steward and care all creatures, human and animal, as well as all aspects of nature that sustain our human existence from day to day. We live our calling when, as children of God and God's world, we foster this reverence toward one another and toward our earth. How we are responding to this call to reverence for one another and our world is a question each and every one of us must answer with our voice and our actions each and every day. We strive to move forward together with this sense of reverence for one another and for our earth as we live our daily lives, consciously choosing to treat one another as we would like to be treated, both here at TCHS and beyond. We strive to make good decisions when affecting the world in which we live as well. 

May God bless all of us as we share this journey together.

As we look to this fifth Sunday of Lent we can see Jesus reaching an undeniably critical moment in His life. The previous Sundays of Lent have highlighted Gospels focused on Jesus' public life unfolding after His baptism by John.  Those early months show us both His humanity and the reality that Jesus is the Son of God.  His time in the desert, tempted by Satan but true to His calling, shows us both the power of temptation and the strength of faith and trust in God. 
 Then we see a beautiful story of Jesus and his kindness and tenderness with the outcast woman at the well. His patience in guiding her to recognizing just who He was, allowing her discovery to change her forever, foretells His approach to people for the rest of His life. In every encounter with someone needing help, a miracle even, Jesus involves the person in the experience of his or her conversion or cure. Even the blind man who made no request of Jesus was cured through Jesus' compassion. Jesus loved opportunities to assist others and open their eyes to life's deeper meaning and call...to get to know our Creator God and treasure that relationship.  
His great sadness which actually made him weep, was looking at Jerusalem, the center of His Jewish ancestry and upbringing and the Promised Land in which He was never accepted for who He was. At every turn the leaders of the Jewish communities He encountered would try everything to discredit Him, accusing Him of countless violations of the Law. The very leaders who should have recognized His coming only saw Him as a threat to their lifestyles and wealth, their comfort with power.
Jesus sensed that this trip to Jerusalem would be His last.  He could read the times and the politics and knew that staying true to His mission would likely cost Him His life.  
Delayed in His journey, just before He arrived in Jerusalem, Jesus was told that a dear friend, Lazarus, brother to Martha and Mary, had died.  When taken to the small town in which Lazarus lived, even Martha and Mary expressed their deep disappointment that Jesus could not get there to save their loved one.  Surely there was nothing He could do now?  Lazarus had been dead for three days and the smell of his decaying body was easily detected when approaching his tomb. Jesus ignored all of the doubts and frustrations of those near him and headed to the tomb.  In a loud voice, He called Lazarus to come out.  People thought His grief had addled His brain, what was He thinking?  
What must it have been like when, moments later, Lazarus emerged from the tomb, burial cloths still covering him, and looked at His friend, Jesus, in disbelief...how could this be possible? Still not fully comprehending, Lazarus must have looked at Jesus and smiled at His good friend, searching for words, and Jesus, returning His smile, must have sighed in relief, knowing that His friend would now witness to a most amazing miracle to come. Surely, the greatest of Jesus' life.
This fifth Sunday's Gospel and the preceding four, weave a meaningful story of God's immeasurable love for us in sending His Son to guide us but our stubborn, legalistic determination keeping us from recognizing, in Jesus, that deep love of the Father.
Lent is about calling us back, yet again, to mend our ways, search deep within ourselves for our real purpose for which God created us, and changing ourselves into better people, reflecting the love of God to others every day.
God often says throughout Scripture that God desires not sacrifices and burnt offerings, but hearts contrite, humble, and loving. During these last few weeks of Lent may we look back at the last four weeks and their readings, see ourselves in those moments, and look for ways to be transformed into someone new...someone ready to take Jesus seriously and make changes in our lives that don't come easy but mean everything to God. Spring is a time of renewal and rebirth...may we take this time in the next few weeks to really focus on who we are and what we are meant to be and be sure that, with God's help, we can become those people.
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