Lent Reflections

Lent Reflections Graphic

Fasting from idle gossip, Feasting on purposeful silence
Fasting from pessimism, Feasting on optimism
Fasting from complaining, Feasting on hope
Fasting from negatives, Feasting on positives

No Lent Reflection Today

Lent Reflections will begin on February 14, 2024 (Ash Wednesday). Please visit us again soon.

February 14, Ash Wednesday

Joel 2:12-18; 2 Cor 5:20-6:2; Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18

Being Catholic on Ash Wednesday - Growing up Catholic I remember so well as a child trying to explain to my public school, non- Catholic classmates why I had a black smudge on my forehead. Quite the challenge to explain as a kid.

Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. We will receive ashes on our forehead. The ashes will come from the burning of dried, brown and dead palm branches; much like our souls that can become dried and dying from sinful behavior. This is our opportunity for renewal and cleansing.

St. Paul writes, “Do not receive the grace of God in vain.” During Lent, we do not want to receive the grace of God in vain.

Jesus, in the Gospel of Matthew spoke of humble prayer, fasting and giving to the poor. What a perfect time for all of us to be renewed and increase our prayer life, fast, and take care of the poor with our time, talent and treasure. Oh, how I wish I knew this when trying to answer my classmates, why I had a black smudge on my forehead.

Myra Pfannenstiel, Director of Financial Aid

February 15, Thursday after Ash Wednesday

Deuteronomy 30:15-20; Luke 9:22-25

Within these verses from Luke, Jesus foretells his forthcoming rejection, suffering, death, and resurrection. He extends an invitation to all, urging us to shoulder our daily challenges and walk in his footsteps. I frequently ponder the nature of my own trials, questioning whether I am wholeheartedly embracing them to align myself with Jesus. Am I leading a purposeful life rooted in self-discovery and a meaningful relationship with God? Is there a divine calling prompting me to dedicate my life to serving others with genuine compassion? Am I fulfilling that which God is calling me to do?

Myra Pfannenstiel, Director of Financial Aid

February 16, Friday after Ash Wednesday

Isaiah 58:1-9; Matthew 9:14-15

In Isaiah 58:1-9 we read, “Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife... you cannot fast as you do today and expect our voice to be heard on high... Is this what you call a fast?” There is danger in turning the gift of sacrifice into a very self-centered thing. We can become cynical or prideful when sacrifice is not focused on glory of God and service of our brothers and sisters. The LORD asks us about fasting, “Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter?” Fasting is sacrifice, which includes both contrition for love of the LORD and compassion for our brothers and sisters.

Eliana Gayton, Student

February 17, Saturday after Ash Wednesday

Isaiah 58:9b-14; Luke 5:27-32

In Luke, Jesus responds to the question, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” with these words, “Those who are healthy do not need a physician, but the sick do.

I have not come to call the righteous to repentance but sinners.” Lord, let me not be so prideful that I forget that I, too, am sick. My efforts at holiness do not change my need for the Divine Physician. Let the awareness of my need for divine healing drive me to solidarity with my fellow tax collectors and sinners.

Kristen Martin ‘14

February 18, First Sunday of Lent

Genesis 9:8-15; First Peter 3:18-22; Mark 1:12-15

Where will the flowing waters lead us today and through the rest of our Lenten river? The waters in today’s readings take us on a journey with water from the ark to baptism, to the desert where we thirst for more. Many days we turn on the faucet first thing in the morning to wash our face and brush our teeth and repeat these steps to end our day. There are parts of our country and world where the access to potable water takes many more steps than simply turning on the faucet. What if every time we turn on our faucets, we pause to let our hearts journey with Christ to be present in prayer with our dear neighbors who struggle to meet even their basic needs. May our prayers and pauses this day and every day forward be the living waters of hope and love as we continue to be in connection and communion with our dear neighbor.

- Sister Kristin Forgotch ASC

February 19, Monday - First Week of Lent

Leviticus 19:1-2, 11-18; Matthew 25:31-46

Preface: As the season of Lent begins, allow yourselves to seek after God’s Love and the command to Love placed on us all, so not to forget the perfect love Jesus displayed on the cross.

We are called to love God first and foremost, then to love our neighbors, including our enemies. (Matthew 5:44) It is impossible to love, unless we fully surrender, allowing Christ to make us a new creation and be reconciled to the One whose name is Love (1 John 4:8). Today’s readings both demonstrate instances where a person is given a command or commands to follow and then judged based on ability to live up to the task. Failure will always arise unless our behavior is motivated by God’s love. Through that kind of love, we have passion to help and care for the less fortunate. Our “love actions” can help mend parts of this broken world back together.

- Aliana Waters, Student

February 20, Tuesday - First Week of Lent

Isaiah 55:10-11; Matthew 6:7-15

Bread – the staple food of almost every country in some form, a food sustaining life when almost nothing else is available. A symbol of culture and religious rituals and spirituality. Both readings today speak of bread – “giving seed to the sower and bread to those who eat” (Isaiah) and “give us this day our daily bread.” (Matthew) Lent is a special time to daily “eat” the bread of the living Word of God that “goes forth from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty but it shall accomplish what I mean it to do.”

As I eat bread today, will I be grateful for God’s care and love for me? Will I make time this Lent to read, even for 5 minutes, the nourishing bread of Sacred Scripture?

- Anonymous

February 21, Wednesday - First Week of Lent

Jonah 3:1-10; Luke 11:29-32

Most of us remember the biblical story of Jonah being swallowed by the whale because he refused God’s demand to visit Nineveh, a pagan city known for its wickedness. Jonah fled on a ship, was thrown overboard during a storm and swallowed by a large fish for three days. Jonah prayed to God to have mercy on him. God did and “commanded the fish to spew Jonah upon the shore,” where today’s reading of Jonah begins. Jonah obeyed God’s command and traveled through Nineveh prophesizing it would be destroyed in 40 days if the people did not repent. Fortunately, the entire nation repented.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus is preaching to a large crowd. Instead of celebrating the arrival of the Messiah, the people cast doubt on what Jesus was saying and demanded a sign. Jesus said, “This generation is an evil generation, it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it, except the sign of Jonah.” As Jonah preached to the Ninevites about repentance, Jesus was preaching the same.

At our final judgement, will we be like the Ninevites and the followers of Jesus who repented?

Betty Weninger Hund ‘79

February 22, Thursday - Feast of the Chair of St. Peter

Peter 5:1-4; Matthew 16:13-19

Today the Church celebrates the feast of the Chair of Saint Peter. Yes, a chair, or ‘cathedra,’ from which where we get the word ‘cathedral.’ It is a celebration of the ‘seat of authority’ Jesus entrusted to Peter and his successors (the popes); a seat that symbolizes the immovable rock of faith on which Jesus builds his Church. This seat of authority is not for Peter to “lord it over” but to “tend the flock of God” and to faithfully witness through the ages that Jesus is “the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Individual popes through history may have served this office well or poorly, but the chair remains and the proclamation of the truth of Christ continues to our day. Now, in this season of repentance and turning our lives back to the Lord, we take seriously again the question of Jesus, “Who do you say that I am?”

Father Adam Grelinger ’11, Campus Chaplain

February 23, Friday - First Week of Lent

Ezechiel 18:21-18; Matthew 5:20-26

Today’s readings take us on a journey, the first from bad to goo d- if the wicked person turns away from all the sins committed…he/she shall surely live. The Gospel takes us from good to better - leave your gift at the altar, go first and be reconciled with your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift. Realizing we need to reroute doesn’t mean we are failures; it means that we can go somewhere better. God wants us to journey ever closer to him, and it’s natural that a journey starts far from its destination. Even if we are already on the path for something good (like the offering), there might be something more important (like reconciliation) that God is asking of us. This Lenten season let’s allow God to be our guide.

Anna Lobmeyer, Student

February 24, Saturday - First Week of Lent

Deuteronomy 26:16-19; Matthew 5:43-48

In the Scriptures, we are given a unique invitation to live out our Newman mission to transform society for the common good of all. The Lord invites us to be His people, observe the commandments, and to be perfect – not as the world defines it, but “as the heavenly Father is.” The surest way to transform society for the common good is to first and foremost let Jesus Christ transform us and dwell in us, to let Jesus love, heal, fulfill and make us perfect, to rely on and cling to Christ who is Himself perfect. To let Jesus Christ transform and dwell in us, we must faithfully devote time to foster a relationship with Christ in prayer, the Sacraments, Scripture, and the Church’s teachings. In giving ourselves and becoming one with Christ, we let Jesus accomplish His perfect work in and through us. In this way, we can do our part to help transform society into the Kingdom of Heaven right here on earth.

Florence Felipe Maipid Barles, Student Seminarian

February 28 Wednesday, Second Week of Lent

Deuteronomy 26:16-19; Matthew 5:43-48

Entering the second week of Lent, I think about the great gratitude I have towards our Lord for all that he came to do for us. In Jeremiah we see the people ready to destroy Jeremiah about anything he spoke. He asked that his suffering be taken away. But Jesus was willing with full knowledge to enter into the passion as we read in Matthew. But he would rise again. The excitement of our Lent is to consider that all the suffering on earth has meaning because of Jesus. Recognizing that we are sinners, and that Jesus knew that his sacrifice was our ultimate gain, our heavenly reward, we pray, “Oh, how we are blessed! We thank you our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

Diana Crook ‘85 Board of Trustees

February 29 Thursday, Second Week of Lent

Jeremiah 17:5-10; Luke 16:19-31

Reflecting on Jeremiah…we are so fortunate for the glorious gifts we have been given by God to serve others through teaching and service through our university mission. “I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every person according to his ways, and according to the fruit of their doings.” While there is much sin, greed, and materialism in our world today, using our gifts with dedication and passion as humble servants for the benefit of our students and others is living out God’s will. What will I do today for others? How else can I use my talents to honor the gifts that God has given me?

Steve Karlin, Professor of Education

March 1 Friday, Second Week of Lent

Genesis 37:3-4, 12-13m 17-28; Matthew 21:33-43, 45-46

What must Joseph have felt when he realized his own brothers planned to kill him or leave him for dead? His emotions, I am sure, were running wild with confusion, betrayal, and hurt. How often have we all felt those same emotions when coming into contact with the faults of people? I know I have. But what brings me comfort comes from the Gospel today when Jesus says, “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; by the Lord has this been done, and it is wonderful in our eyes.” Let us always remember that God is with us and, whatever the world throws at us, we are wonderful in His eyes.

Laura Hartley, Director of Advancement Services and Annual Giving

March 2 Saturday, Second Week of Lent

Micah 7:14-15, 18-20; Luke 15:1-3, 11-32

This Lent I think of both sons. The older son so we don’t become bitter with God and the younger son, so we don’t take advantage of what we are given. More often than we like to admit, we have been the prodigal younger son, being wasteful and reckless; we have also been the older self-righteous brother, diligent and doing what is asked of us. I ponder and realize how this is very much like parenting. We can have one child who does everything asked of them and another who is challenging and pushes all the limits. As a parent, we love them both and work to give them understanding. Through the six weeks of Lent, we need to remember the Father’s generosity through it all.

Joanna Pryor, Director of Athletics

March 3 Third Sunday of Lent

Exodus 20:1 - 17; 1 Cor 1:22 - 25; John 1:13 - 25

On this Third Sunday of Lent we are reminded in the gospel acclamation that God so loved the world that we were given the Son. When I was young our church had a huge, beautiful, larger than life size crucifix hanging over the altar. It made a lasting impression on me of loved poured out. It said to me, “This love has been given to you. Live out of this love.” I believe that’s our goal in life. Receive God’s love and let it spill over into our everyday life.

Reflecting on the gospel I’m finding myself called to put God first. If I want to see where God fits in my life, I look at how I spend my time. It is good to spend time with God. But we never think we have enough time for all that happens every day, let alone have time to spend with God. My awareness of God in my life can be as simple as my daily thoughts. I am grateful for the people I’m with...thank you, God. Steeped in worries, I might tell God I could use some extra grace right now. I can daily believe that God is with me and blesses my every step and thought and action.

I can live as if God is with me in all ways…because God is.

Sister Barb Hudock, ASC

March 4 Monday, Third Week of Lent

2 Kings 5:1 - 15; Luke 4:24 - 30

Today’s readings reveal God’s presence in unexpected places: Naaman found healing in the muddy waters of the Jordan; Nazareth did not realize their neighbor Jesus was the Messiah. It makes me wonder where have I overlooked God in my life? This Lent, may we all open ourselves to His manifestations, wherever they may be.

Lindsey Stillwell, Assistant Professor of Social Work

March 5 Tuesday, Third Week of Lent

Daniel 3:25, 34 - 43; Matthew 18:21 - 25

As Lent progresses, we must continue with perseverance! The devil tempts us to stop, especially on days when we fail. But on days of failure or struggle we must rise to the occasion for today is our day of salvation! For as Azariah prays, “So let our sacrifice be in your presence today as we follow you unreservedly for those who trust in you cannot be put to shame.” Azariah keeps faith though things in life tell him otherwise. We mustn’t lose faith in God! If we are desperate for God’s help or fear that we cannot continue any longer with our Lenten observances, we must remind ourselves that God is worth it all. Ponder the question, “Where is God loving me and where am I refusing him?”

In Mathew Jesus says to Peter about forgiving his neighbor, “I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times.” Forgiveness is a necessary aspect of our lives if we are to live for Christ! If we have a grudge with a friend or someone we know or if I am angry with myself, then listen to Christ’s words! Forgive others! Forgive yourself! Keep in mind the question, “Where am I unable to receive God’s mercy into my own heart by ways of not forgiving others or myself? How can I be more like God in mercy?”

Alex Klein, Student Seminarian

March 6 Wednesday, Third Week of Lent

Deuteronomy 4:1, 5-9, Matthew 5:17-19

Yahweh calls us to always keep in mind the laws He has taught us. This is the way we will have glorious life in the land God is giving us. All peoples will recognize that our God is a God near and dear to His people's hearts. We need to be vigilant in keeping this reality always in our minds. God is a God of love. God’s greatest desire is to live in relationship with His people and to bring us into the land of eternal life and joy. God has created us solely for this purpose. People will marvel at the love and fulfillment displayed as live the "laws and customs" He has taught us, the greatest of which is love. Jesus tells us He is the fulfillment of all the laws and prophecies; they were leading to Him Who is the beginning and the end. We are called to bring each other to His Kingdom by helping each other keep God’s laws, culminating in the love of self and neighbor. We are walking each other Home by our lifestyle which catches others' attention.

Kathie Schiffler Myers ‘72

March 7 Thursday, Third Week of Lent

Jeremiah 7:23 - 28; Luke 11:14 - 23

Come, sit under the Acia tree during this time where we can rest, where we are sheltered from the storms of life, where God will comfort us with food, life-giving ‘sweet water’ and strength. Believing that our responses will not, could not, should not be an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. For Jeremiah teaches us we are sheltered, shaded by the thick branches and deep roots of the eternal promises of light and love and not the might of arms, drones or machines that kill. During this time of mid-Lent let us find time to sit under the Acia tree.

Sister Helene Trueitt ASC

March 8 Friday, Third Week of Lent

Hosea 14:1 - 9; Mark 12:28 - 34

In Mark, Jesus responds to a scribe’s question about the greatest commandment. Jesus emphasizes the centrality of love: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself.” Love is the foundation of true wisdom. Hosea echoes this theme. “The ways of the Lord are right; the righteous walk in them, but the rebellious stumble in them.” God responds with abundant mercy, promising restoration and healing. In our lives, we face adversities and we must trust and pray for God’s Love to heal all wounds.

Amy Ponce ’23 Administrative Coordinator, School of Business & Technology

March 9 Saturday, Third Week of Lent

Hosea 6:1 - 6; Luke 18:9 - 14

A theme of today’s readings has to do with human’s naive expectations of God. The presumptuous Israelites expected God to deliver them in spite of their wickedness. Jesus’ followers thought that the kingdom of God would appear in Jerusalem “immediately” as Jesus was ending his traveling ministry and approaching the city. A number of Old Testament prophesies stated that the Jews would reject the Messiah. Jesus teaches that being self-righteous is not the disposition for prayer. In our prayer today, let us reflect on what was surely in our Lord’s heart and mind as he neared the time and place of his horrendous suffering and death on the cross.

Larry Hund ‘74

March 10 Fourth Sunday of Lent

2 Chron 36:14 - 17, 19 - 23; Ephesians 2: 4 - 10; John 3:14 - 21

The message in today’s scripture presents us with images of LOVE, LIGHT, and LIFE: God’s LOVE for us, shown in his gift to us of the LIGHT who is Christ, who brings us LIFE. The message of God’s love is clear: “God has compassion on his people…” “God is rich in mercy, because of his great LOVE for us.” “God so loved the world that he gave his only son…”

God sent his own son—Christ, the LIGHT—into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. By coming into the LIGHT of Christ, we who were dead in sin now live this gift of God’s LOVE. “It is not our own doing, it is God’s gift.” We are truly God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus, to lead the life of good deeds which God has prepared for us. With such a powerful affirmation of God’s LOVE, and empowered by the LIGHT of Christ, we are challenged to bring God’s LIFE into our broken world.

Sister Tarcisia Roths ASC, former President of Newman

March 11 Monday, Fourth Week of Lent

Isaiah 65: 17 – 21; John 4: 43-54

In Isaiah, we are promised a vision of heaven that is beyond our imagination. Isaiah speaks of Jerusalem being transformed into a place of delight and joy. In this Lenten season we are invited to release the burdens and shortcomings of our past, knowing that God is making all things new and there will be an end to sorrow and suffering.

Jesus, returning to Galilee, is met by a father whose son is very ill. This father's heartache resonates with us as we face many trials and challenges in life. The father’s faith is tested when Jesus responds without complete reassurance: "Go, your son will live." Lent calls us to a deeper faith and to trust, even in the absence of miracles.

Debbie and Kent Shank, Parents of a Newman Student

March 12 Tuesday, Fourth Week of Lent

Ezekial 47: 1-9, 12; John 5: 1-3, 5-16

As I learn and experience more of life, I contemplate what my role is in all of it? What does God ask of me and how can I respond? What God asks of me is to obey the voice of his servant, Jesus. Though this may cause me to walk in darkness at times and not see the effects of the light or cause me to lie down in torment at times, I know that if I trust in and rely on the Lord, God will bring me to everlasting life. I will walk by the light of the fire that God kindles in my heart if I but obey and trust and, most importantly, love.

Caleb Garner, Student Seminarian

March 13 Wednesday, Fourth Week of Lent

Isaiah 49: 8-15; John 5:17-30

In Isaiah, the Lord says that, just like a mother does not forget her nursing child, so will God remember His people. Having witnessed the strength of the bond between mother and infant, these words provoke the image of God holding me in His arms and giving me life. The Israelites during that time probably interpreted this as a promise of freedom from their captivity, but looking forward to the Messiah, I can see the even bigger promise of salvation fulfilled, as shown in John. As we come closer to the remembrance of Christ’s loving sacrifice, let us “sing for joy” and give thanks for the life we have received from our loving Father!

Alysha Keck, Student

March 14 Thursday, Fourth Week of Lent

Exodus 32:7-14; John 5:31-47

Actions speak louder than words. In the Gospel Jesus says that He could have the testimony of other people, even John the Baptist, but that his works are the best testimony about who He is. But this is a challenge to us. What are our works saying? Would the person on the street recognize us as a Christ follower based on our actions? Moses stood in the gap to plead with God for mercy on His chosen people. Jesus intercedes on our behalf and sends us the Holy Spirit to empower us for works that will testify about Him.

Robert ’82 and Vanessa Jacobs Condreay ‘20

March 15 Friday, Fourth Week of Lent Wisdom 2:1, 12-22; John 7:1-3, 10, 25-30

Exodus 32:7-14; John 5:31-47

Prejudice and evil blind us, we are told in the Book of Wisdom, and prevent us from “knowing the secret purposes of God.” This was also true for the people of Jesus’ time. “Yet we know where this man comes from.” How could the Messiah possibly come from Nazareth? Each of us has our blindness, our inability to see the good in every person and sometimes in ourselves. We need to “rev up” our prayer as we enter these last days of Lent and ask for “in-sight” to know the One who created and loves us and every other person. God is very near, within us…let God give you wisdom and new sight.

Anonymous Staff

March 16 Saturday, Fourth Week of Lent

Jeremiah 11:18-20; John 7:40-53

“No man has ever spoken like this man.” This response by the temple guards in today’s Gospel is as true now as it was then. But why should we be surprised? Jesus is the Word…the Word of God who is Truth and Life and Love poured out, even to the shedding of each drop of His Blood. Jesus is the “gentle lamb, led to the slaughter.” (Jeremiah) What is Jesus saying to me today?

Sister Therese Wetta ASC

March 17 Fifth Sunday of Lent

Jeremiah 31:31-34; Hebrews 5:7-9; John 12:20-33

St Paul says that “now we see as through a veil, indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then, face to face.” There is much to see, to understand, to ponder! This Sunday, we find many contrasting elements in the life of Jesus, as He approaches His final agony and death. The “Covenant” referred to in Jeremiah, is still a living reality in our relationship with God, the God who reveals Himself in the beauty of all created things and living beings! The Covenant is gift!

How amazing that this God/man, Trinity, who share their life with humans and instill in us the capacity to desire union with the Holy One! In re-living the life of the historic Christ, we enter into and prepare to experience again the death and Resurrection of Jesus. How heart-rending Jesus’ cry to the Father to spare him from this hour! As always, Jesus gives total surrender to the Father’s will! Now, after centuries of human greed, hunger, hate, racism, materialism, and domination, all creation cries out with Jesus in this terrible suffering! The hour is coming when Jesus will be glorified, but first the grain of wheat must die.

In God there is no time; all is Present. In the evil we do, we are part of Christ’s Crucifixion. It is all NOW, THERE IS NO PAST IN GOD! Still there is Divine Mercy and forgiveness, and we have the promise, ”When I am lifted up, I will draw all things to myself!”

Sister Stephanie Heskamp ASC

March 18 Fifth Monday of Lent

Daniel 13: 1-9, 15-17, 19-30, 33-62; John 8:1-11

“I will fall into your hands, rather than sin in the sight of the Lord.” For me, the story of Susanna serves as a reminder of how we, as sinners, frequently rush to judgement. Before Daniel stepped in, the assembly was quick to believe the elders over Susanna, without so much as an examination. How many times in our lives are we tempted to think similarly? To cast judgement without asking questions? To read only the headline and neglect to think deeply? Susanna knows that God is the one, perfect and righteous judge, and she wisely chooses to sacrifice her reputation and life to do right by God. That’s inspiring!

Courtney Klaus ‘20

March 19 Feast of St. Joseph

2 Samuel 7:4-5a, 12-14a,16; Romans 4:13, 16-18,22; Matthew 1:16,18-21,24a

St. Joseph is described as a just man. I remember hearing these words when I was a child. As I continue through this Lenten season, reflecting on the role of St. Joseph in the life of Christ leads me to consider my own life. St. Joseph did the day-to-day things that are required of a father and provider. Are my actions in my daily life, the actions that I perform as a part of my vocation, those of a just man? Am I giving a just day of work for a just day of pay? Am I giving my wife and children a just amount of attention? It’s easy to look at others and judge, but when I look through my own actions, do I meet the definition of “a just man”? Let us pray daily for the grace to do the little things that are required in life.

Alan Oberley, Professor of Chemistry

March 20 Fifth Wednesday of Lent

Daniel 3:14-20, 24-25, 28; John 8:321-42

Today’s readings invite us to extraordinary trust in God. Am I willing to undergo the “fire of death” in whatever form it presents itself to be faithful to God? Am I a son/daughter of Abraham and God who knows deeply in my heart the Truth that will make me free? Jesus assures us that, if we love Him, Truth will be known to us, and we will be disciples. How much am I willing to risk to be known as a disciple of Christ?

Mary ‘68

March 21 Fifth Thursday of Lent Genesis 17:3-9; John 8:51-59

Daniel 3:14-20, 24-25, 28; John 8:321-42

"I am not seeking glory for myself; but there is one who seeks it, and he is the judge...At this, they picked up stones to stone him...."

Our Lord saves, and he is just. Jesus works through us, and we work through his Word. I don't want anyone's glory; I just want to be saved. I don't want to "just" speak his words; I want to rejoice in his name! Stones may kill us, but they will NEVER kill our spirit - that I know, and that I live for. May I be judged and blessed with grace.

Gabriel Trevino, Newman Student

March 22 Fifth Friday of Lent Jeremiah 20:10-13; John 10:31-42

Daniel 3:14-20, 24-25, 28; John 8:321-42

On this Friday of Lent, we are reminded of the challenges faced by the prophets and Jesus himself in proclaiming the truth. Jeremiah's lamentation echoes the struggles many face when speaking truth in the face of opposition. In John's Gospel, we witness Jesus’ confronting those who refuse to accept his divinity, yet he remains steadfast in his mission. Both readings urge us to remain resolute in our faith, even when faced with adversity. In our Lenten journey, let us draw strength from the examples of Jeremiah and Jesus, trusting in God's guidance and persevering in our witness to the truth.

Geoff Louvar, Admissions Digital Marketing Manager

March 23 Fifth Saturday of Lent

Ezekiel 37:21-28; John 11:45-57

During Jesus’ teaching mission, he encountered many who had faith and others who were confused or filled with doubt or lacked faith. The latter wanted to kill Jesus, to take this troublemaker from their midst. Jesus' teachings about self-denial and the importance of serving others are key takeaways in the Gospel. He emphasizes that following Him requires a willingness to let go of personal desires and ambitions in favor of a life dedicated to serving God and others. Today we are encouraged to pray for a stronger understanding and acceptance of the mysteries of faith, as well as the assurance that God's plan is being fulfilled through Jesus. This will help guide us towards a deeper understanding of God's love and salvation plan, encouraging a personal and communal transformation that aligns with the heart of the Lenten season.

Jeff Lipp ’88 Board of Trustees

March 24 Palm Sunday

Isaiah 50:4-7; Philippians 2:5-11; Mark 14 – 15:1-47

Today we experience a range of emotions: the joy of waving palms and greeting Jesus and the reading of the Passion with the pain and loss of the way of the cross and Jesus’ Crucifixion. This is typical of our lives: joy and sadness. I sometimes ask myself why Jesus would choose to become human with all our pain - and knowing what he would experience being betrayed by one of his own.

Jesus asked the apostles to watch with him but, when he returned from praying, he found them asleep. Could they not watch one hour with him? Can we not watch with him without going to sleep? It seems easy to move from centering prayer to sleep as we are relaxed. I believe God accepts sleep as part of our prayer. We read that “Peter broke down and wept.” This is a sign for all of us. No matter how strong we think we are, there is a time when our strength is present in our tears.

We take a palm today to remind us of the range of emotions and the variety of actions put before us. May we remember and reflect often on today’s readings as they relate to our lives.

Sister JoAnn Mark ASC

March 25 Monday of Holy Week

Isaiah 42:1-7; John 12:1-11

God tells us in Isiah that He loves us so much that He is sending His Chosen, Jesus, to bring justice and light. The light will show us our faults, but it also shows us the way and helps cleanse us of the injustice in our hearts. What are our faults that keep us from growing closer to God?

In John’s Gospel today, we hear about Mary anointing Jesus’ feet with expensive perfume, yet she poured it lavishly. What is our expensive perfume that we can use to anoint Jesus? Possibly giving our time in prayer, fasting, and helping those in need with the gifts God has given us?

David Munn, Parent of a Newman Student

March 26 – Tuesday of Holy Week

Isaiah 42:1-7; John 12:1-11

The readings call us to recognize and embrace the purpose for our lives, reminding us that, despite moments of doubt, we are in God's care. The two biblical texts have a similarity. Both Isaiah and Peter wanted everything to be done in their own time, acting as mere human beings destroying God's plan, Jesus replied that it will be done in his time. Transcribing these passages to our daily life teaches us that our simple human foolishness leads us to make a thousand and one mistakes. As any good father, God teaches us and yet, along the way, we forget what he taught us. When we are lost and without compass, we raise our hands in search of God who, with his infinite mercy, welcomes us.

Juan Cordova, Student

March 27 Wednesday of Holy Week

Isaiah 50:4-9; Matthew 26:14-25

Reading the passage from Isaiah had me thinking that there are times of suffering and times in which I ask myself "why me"? Why do bad things happen to me, my family, my friends but others seem to live very fortunate lives. I am reminded that God doesn't give me anything I can't handle, and I must trust that God will walk alongside me in my times of hardship and struggle. I trust in his protection and that I won't be humiliated by my enemies. I am not one to issue judgement on those who have hurt me as God is the only one who can do that. Through Isaiah, I realized that, while my earthly struggles may be difficult, I am rich in what is to welcome me after my time here on earth when God welcomes me to His eternal family.

Ian Lecki ’22, ‘23, Director of Resident Life

March 28 Holy Thursday

Exodus 12:1-8, 11-14; l Cor 11:23-26; John 18:1-15

“Everything God does is love – even when we do not understand Him.” Basilea Schlink My twin grandbabies were born this week. I never tire of witnessing the selfless love of a parent towards their child. A parent’s love is humble. The parent acts solely for the good of the child, disregarding their own worries and insecurities. The baby knows a parent’s embrace, warmth, and tenderness, but can’t possibly fully understand the depth of the parent’s love. And so it must be for us as children of God. How can we fully understand God’s love for us? Jesus demonstrates love for His disciples through the humbling act of washing their feet. He knows the betrayal to come from His friends and the suffering and death He will endure, yet He humbles himself as a slave to serve those He loves. He asks His disciples, “Do you know what I have done to you?” How could they? Christ will be the Paschal Lamb, offering Himself as the ultimate Sacrifice so that we may inherit everlasting life. A parent provides for their child through nourishment, guidance, and sacrifice so that the child will flourish. God wants us, His children, to flourish. He gifts us through His Church with the sacrament of the Eucharist so that by consuming His Body and Blood at the Lord’s table, we may continue to be nourished and strengthened with His love.

Lori Steiner, Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences

March 29 – Good Friday

Isaiah 52:13-53:12; Hebrews 4:14-16, 5:7-9; John 18:1- 19:42

As a theologian, one of my jobs is to study the creeds and definitions of the faith. Good Friday is striking in that regard. There’s a whole range of official teachings on the Trinity, Incarnation, and sacraments, but very little about the Cross. And as I get older, the wisdom of that becomes clearer.

So often attempts to explain evil, suffering, and death are empty at best and offensive at worst. What today’s readings give us is not an explanation or justification; instead, we learn that God has chosen to share in the darkest aspects of our existence. Jesus sorrows and grieves (Is 53:3). He sends up loud cries and tears to heaven (Heb 5:7). And he dies (John 19:30).

Good Friday doesn’t offer explanations for suffering and death, but it assures us we are not alone. God has chosen to enter into our suffering. He understands what we go through in the darkest hours of our lives because he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows (Is 53:4). On Good Friday, we reflect on that fact and trust that there is more to come in the story of Jesus, and for us.

Josh Papsdorf, Dean of the School of Catholic Studies

March 30 Easter Vigil

Isaiah 55:1-11; Romans 6:3-11; Mark 16:1-8

As a theologian, one of my jobs is to study the creeds and definitions of the faith. Good Friday is striking in that regard. There’s a whole range of official teachings on the Trinity, Incarnation, and sacraments, but very little about the Cross. And as I get older, the wisdom of that becomes clearer.

So often attempts to explain evil, suffering, and death are empty at best and offensive at worst. What today’s readings give us is not an explanation or justification; instead, we learn that God has chosen to share in the darkest aspects of our existence. Jesus sorrows and grieves (Is 53:3). He sends up loud cries and tears to heaven (Heb 5:7). And he dies (John 19:30).

Good Friday doesn’t offer explanations for suffering and death, but it assures us we are not alone. God has chosen to enter into our suffering. He understands what we go through in the darkest hours of our lives because he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows (Is 53:4). On Good Friday, we reflect on that fact and trust that there is more to come in the story of Jesus, and for us.

Austin Fullerton, Student

March 31 Easter

Acts 10:34, 37-43; Colossians 3:1-4; John 20:1-9

Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Christ, our paschal lamb, has been sacrificed; let us then feast with joy in the Lord. Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Austin Fullerton, Student