February 12, 2012 GospelAnd a leper came to him beseeching him, and kneelingsaid to him, "If you will, you can make me clean.“Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touchedhim, and said to him, "I will; be clean.“ Andimmediately the leprosy left him, and he was madeclean. And he sternly charged him, and sent him away atonce, and said to him, "See that you say nothing to anyone; but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer for yourcleansing what Moses commanded, for a proof to thepeople.“ But he went out and began to talk freely about it,and to spread the news, so that Jesus could no longeropenly enter a town, but was out in the country; andpeople came to him from every quarter.
Lepers during the time of Jesus were condemned, rejected and exiled by the society. They experienced agony, pain and hopelessness. But with Jesus this is not the case – He let lepers approach him, he even touched them and healed many of them – both both and spirit.
Today there are many types of “leprosy” inour society. e.g. physical leprosy,handicaps, the drug sddicts, AIDS victims,those uin extreme poverty and ignorance.These people, in one way or the otherexperience rejection: these people are oftencondemned to isolation and prejudices.As Christians we are expected to showpity, love and concern to these people asJesus did.
A leper approached Jesus. Instead of avoiding him.Jesus extends help to him.The leper’s faith made Jesus cure him.As a sign of humility (and the time is not yet athand) Jesus warned the leper not to tell this toanyone. Instead Jesus asked him to show himselfto the priests as prescribed by Moses: a proof ofhealing. But the leper proclaimed Jesus insteadAs Christians we are expected to showpity, love and concern to these people asJesus did.
February 19, 2012 GospelAnd when he returned to Capernaum after some days,it was reported that he was at home. And many weregathered together, so that there was no longer room forthem, not even about the door; and he was preachingthe word to them. And they came, bringing to him aparalytic carried by four men. And when they could notget near him because of the crowd, they removed theroof above him; and when they had made an opening,they let down the pallet on which the paralytic lay. Andwhen Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic,"My son, your sins are forgiven.“ Now some of thescribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts,"Why does this man speak thus? It is blasphemy! Whocan forgive sins but God alone?”
February 19, 2012 GospelAnd immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spiritthat they thus questioned within themselves, saidto them, "Why do you question thus in your hearts?Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, Your sinsare forgiven, or to say, Rise, take up your palletand walk? But that you may know that the Son ofman has authority on earth to forgive sins"--he saidto the paralytic-- "I say to you, rise, take up yourpallet and go home.“ And he rose, andimmediately took up the pallet and went out beforethem all; so that they were all amazed andglorified God, saying, "We never saw anythinglike this!”
We are afflicted by many forms of illnesses andweaknesses. We ay be physically healthy but wemay have problems in the emotional and spiritualaspects of our life. We need total healing whichonly God can give.Jesus came to give us this “healing.” He is thebearer of salvation that can liberate us from allour “wounds” and longings.Jesus start to heal our sinfulness. If this is healour “wounds” and other longings can be healedand we can become better persons.
The Jews expected a political Messiah whowill liberate them from foreign yoke, butJesus was not! He came to liberate us in amuch deeper and far-reaching situations, inparticular - our sinfulness. He came toliberate us from our enslavement in sin.In the Gospel, Jesus displays authority andpower over sin and suffering. He showed firsthis authority over sin and then over sickness.
February 22, 2012 (Ash Wednesday)"Beware of practicing your piety before men in order to beseen by them; for then you will have no reward from yourFather who is in heaven. "Thus, when you give alms, soundno trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagoguesand in the streets, that they may be praised by men. Truly, Isay to you, they have received their reward. 3 But when yougive alms, do not let your left hand know what your right handis doing, so that your alms may be in secret; and your Fatherwho sees in secret will reward you.And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites; forthey love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the streetcorners, that they may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you,they have received their reward. 6 But when you pray, go intoyour room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is insecret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
February 22, 2012 (Ash Wednesday)"And when you fast, do not look dismal,like the hypocrites, for they disfigure theirfaces that their fasting may be seen bymen. Truly, I say to you, they havereceived their reward. But when you fast,anoint your head and wash your face, thatyour fasting may not be seen by men butby your Father who is in secret; and yourFather who sees in secret will reward you.
3 religious acts mentioned by Jesus in the Gospel. Almsgiving – to give or share something to our less fortunate brothers and sisters Prayer - not only for your self but for others as well; sincerity and humility in prayer Fasting – to sacrifice; whatever we can save, give it to the poor. Jesus’ warning: Do not be hypocrite! Do not boast of what you are doing Do not let others know what you are doing! Otherwise you are already rewarded. Jesus’ admonitions: Be humble, do everything sincerely God who sees your heart will reward you.
FEBRUARY 26 GOSPEL (Mk 1:12-15)At once the Spirit drove him out intothe desert, and he remained in thedesert for forty days, tempted bySatan. He was among wild beasts, andthe angels ministered to him. AfterJohn had been arrested, * Jesus cameto Galilee proclaiming the gospel ofGod: “This is the time of fulfillment.The kingdom of God is at hand.Repent, and believe in the gospel."
FEBRUARY 26 GOSPEL We often experience the need to make a fresh start. This need usually happens after our experience of failure, frustrations, fatigue and even sickness. We want to bounce back.
FEBRUARY 26 GOSPELLent is a golden moment, a divineopportunity given by God so that we canrenew, refresh and strengthen our life –practically in all aspects.We need healing for the wounds caused bysin and acquire virtues to strengthen our life.We need to transform and be strong in ourspiritual life.
FEBRUARY 26 GOSPELIn this Lenten Season, God isinviting us to repentance thatwould lead to our transformation.God has once again taken theinitiative.What is our response?
FEBRUARY 26 GOSPELIn Jesus’ baptism, his mission wasformally announced and his identityconfirmed.The Holy Spirit (dove) appeared as a signof his confirmation as the sufferingservant (Messiah) – this stresses hishumanity;The voice of the Father declared hisdivinity (my beloved Son).
FEBRUARY 26 GOSPELAfter his baptism, Jesus retreated tothe desert and prayed before hestarted his apostolic life orpreaching.In the desert Jesus showed us thepower of prayer and his strength toovercome temptation. Heexperienced what we all experienceand overcame it.
FEBRUARY 26 GOSPELWhat are these temptation?1. To turn stones into bread: Money2. Throw yourself down: Power3. All the kingdoms of the world: Prestige
FEBRUARY 26 GOSPELWith these as the background, weare made aware of two things in thelife of Jesus:3.His victory over sin / Satan4.It heralded the start of his publicministry (the proclamation of theGospel)
FEBRUARY 26 GOSPEL Questions for reflection: (on page 126 - God’s Word in my Life)1. Answer question #1. If yes, how? If not, why?3. Answer question #2. Why? What plans do I have this Lenten season in order to strengthen it?6. In what way will I practice fasting and abstinence this Lenten Season? Give at least two and explain how you do them.