The following are homilies, images, clipart, videos, toon and multimedia slides you might find useful for your celebration of the Fourth Sunday of Lent (Year C). In this Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus tells a parable of a man who has two sons. The younger son demands his share of his inheritance and goes off to squander all his money to the point that he has to take work as a swineherd. When he comes to his senses he decides to return home. Upon his arrival, his father greets him with open arms.
The second video can be downloaded here and the third one here.
A Love That Is Too Much to Take! [www.bible.claret.org]
The story leaves us with the message that there are two kinds of bad people. The bad bads are those who have fallen through human weakness and who eventually come to admit it and repent. The good bads are those who hold themselves up as paragons of virtue and who self-righteously reject the lesser mortals who are tainted by human weakness. Another shock! The Lord is much more partial towards the bad bads than he is towards the good bads. The people who get the worst press in the Gospels are the Pharisees who looked down on, and set themselves apart from sinners. Read more…
I will Arise and Go to My Father [dailyscripture.net]
In this parable Jesus gives a vivid picture of God and what God is like. God is truly kinder than us. He does not lose hope or give up when we stray. He rejoices in finding the lost and in welcoming them home. Do you know the joy of repentance and the restoration of relationship as a son or daughther of your heavenly Father? Read more…
Fourth Sunday of Lent [www.catholicmatters.com]
For the vast majority of us, Christians, our message of consolation and hope is in the first part of today’s parable. All of us have, many a time, been prodigal, ungrateful, selfish sons of our loving Father. But he is still a Father of infinite love, of boundless mercy. He is not only waiting for us to return, like the human father in the story. He is continually sending out messengers to recall us and to help us on the return journey. Read more…
The following are homilies, images, clipart, video, toon and multimedia slides you might find useful for your celebration of the Third Sunday of Lent (Year C). In this Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus told a parable about a person who had a fig tree planted in his orchard. Seeing that it hasn’t borne fruit, the owner said to the gardener to cut the tree down. But the gardener asked the owner to leave the tree for a year and give it a chance to bear fruit.
The video below is about second chances, which is the core message of the parable Jesus told to his listeners in this Sunday’s gospel. Our God is so loving, that every time we fail He gives us a clean slate and a fresh start. That is because His only interest is for us to bear fruit. It can be downloaded here. If you don’t know how to download videos from YouTube then follow this link to watch a tutorial.
Do You Deserve What You Get? [www.bible.claret.org]
Mercy is not mercy if it is deserved. A gift is not a gift if it is deserved. Gifts and mercy are what we get from God. Often the gifts are extremely well disguised – sometimes so well disguised that it takes a lifetime to recognize them as gifts! What comes to us from God, good or bad, is totally undeserved. But even if it is unsolicited and undeserved it calls for a response from us. These are the paradoxes of God’s ways of working with us, and Jesus is trying to grapple with them in today’s Gospel Story. Read more…
If It Does Not Bear Fruit, You Can Cut It Down [dailyscripture.net]
Jesus’ parable of the barren fig trees illustrated his warning about the consequences of allowing sin and corruption to take root in our hearts and minds. Fig trees were a common and important source of food for the people of Palestine. A fig tree normally matured within three years, producing plentiful fruit. If it failed, it was cut down to make room for more healthy trees. A decaying fig tree and its bad fruit came to symbolize for the Jews the consequence of spiritual corruption caused by evil deeds and unrepentant sin. Read more…
Third Sunday of Lent [www.catholicmatters.com]
The parable of the useless fig tree, while it applies directly to the stubborn Jews of Christ’s time, has a lesson for all time and for all sinners. God’s mercy is infinite but man’s earthly life, during which he can obtain that mercy, is very finite. God’s mercy can forgive sins no matter how grievous, but it cannot forgive even less serious sins unless the sinner is sorry and asks for forgiveness. Christ, our true mediator with God, is continually interceding for us, but unless we do our part by repenting and changing our behavior, his intercession will be of no avail to us. No man is lost because God so wishes it, but no man is saved unless he himself wishes it and works for it. Read more…
The following are homilies, images, clipart, video, toon and multimedia slides you might find useful for your celebration of the Second Sunday of Lent (Year C). In this Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus took Peter, John, and James and went up the mountain to pray. While Jesus was praying his face changed in appearance and his clothing became dazzling white. And a voice from the cloud said, “This is my chosen Son; listen to him.”
Matching Face and Heart [www.bible.claret.org]
The face of Jesus always showed who he truly was. On Tabor he was the divine Son of God; in Gethsemane he was a frightened human being whose face sweated blood as he was denied even human companionship. To be Christians we are called to be who we truly are; God touched but frail. Sometimes we have a glimpse of our being God touched. More often we are all too aware of our frailness. Read more…
Jesus Transfigured in Glory [dailyscripture.net]
What can blind us or keep us from recognizing God’s glory in our lives? Sin and unbelief for sure! Faith enables us to see what is hidden or unseen to the naked eye. Through the eyes of faith Abraham recognized God and God’s call on his life. He saw from afar not only what God intended for him, but for his descendants as well – an everlasting covenant of friendship and peace with the living God. Abraham is the father of faith because he put his hope in the promises of God. Faith makes us taste in advance the light of God’s glory when we shall see him face to face (1 Corinthians 13:12) as he is (1 John 3:2). Read more…
Second Sunday of Lent [www.catholicmatters.com]
“Lord, it is good for us to be here,” it is wonderful to be adopted sons of God on the road back to our Father. It is wonderful to be assured that in death this body of ours with its pains and aches, its attraction to earthly things and worse still its propensity to sin, will give place to a glorified body. This glorified body will be free from all pain and corruption and will possess all the human spiritual gifts of intelligence and will to so much greater a degree as will enable us to appreciate and enjoy the eternal happiness in store for us. Read more…
The following are homilies, images, clipart, video, toon and multimedia slides you might find useful for your celebration of the First Sunday of Lent (Year C). In this Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus fasted forty days and forty nights in the wilderness. Then the devil appeared to Jesus and tempted him. Jesus refused each temptation and once the temptations were over, the devil departed.
Not Settling for Pleasure [www.bible.claret.org]
The extraordinary story that we read in today’s Gospel is a sort of Psycho-drama which tells us what becoming human meant to Jesus. It meant that he, like us, had to struggle with the temptation to settle for pleasure rather that to aim at transcendence. Not only that but the tempter wanted him to use his divinity to escape the human struggle. He wanted him to avoid accepting his humanity by solving his problems through miracles. He wanted him to settle for an easy pleasure, as we all tend to desire, rather than to aim at transcendence. Read more…
Tempted by the Devil [dailyscripture.net]
Jesus was tempted like us and he overcame sin not by his own human effort but by the grace and strength which his Father gave to him. He had to renounce his will for the will of his Father. He succeeded because he wanted to please his Father and he trusted that his Father would give him the strength to overcome the obstacles that stood in the way. Read more…
First Sunday of Lent [www.catholicmatters.com]
There are few, if any, amongst us who can honestly say: “I am free from such inclinations or temptations.” The vast majority of us can and should beat our breasts and say with the publican: “O God, be merciful to me a sinner.” And merciful he will be if we turn to him with true humility. He may not remove all our temptations, all our wrong inclinations, but he will give us the grace to overcome them if we sincerely seek his aid. Read more…
The music video begins with these words: “There’s a little black spot on your head today. I guess it must mean today is Ash Wednesday. And we enter a time when we will give things up. For some it’s so easy but for me it’s tough.”
The title of the video is “This Time of Forty Days” and it is a funny take on Ash Wednesday in particular and on Lent in general. Its upbeat melody is borrowed from The Police’s “King of Pain”. According to its uploader, the video aims “to inject some much needed joy into the Lenten season.”
Although it is about almsgiving, prayer and fasting, you do not have to look desolate and cheerless to observe Lent. The three traditional practices of Lent are acts of love, not just some obligations to fulfil. As Jesus said the Gospels, “whenever you fast, do not look dismal,… (but) put oil on your head and wash your face, so that your fasting may be seen not by others but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you” (Mt 6:16-18).
Lent is a forty-day period of preparation for the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus. It begins on Ash Wednesday (17 February 2010) and concludes right before the evening Masses of Holy Thursday, however Lenten penance continues through Holy Saturday (03 April 2010). Sundays are skipped when we count the forty days, because each Sunday represents a “mini-Easter”, a commemoration of the Resurrection. Lent is about radical conversion – leaving behind our old ways of being and doing in order to become like Christ.
The following videos challenge viewers to make a difference this Lenten Season – to share what we have with those who have less in life and be of service to the poor and the powerless.
SIGNIFICANT SACRIFICE 2010
This video is about sacrificing with purpose during Lent. It encourages viewers to follow in Jesus’ footsteps by caring for the poor around the world by providing safe water, hygiene education, and adequate sanitation.
GIVE IT UP: MAGAZINES INTO SHELTER
Watch this clip to see how the money raised by giving up magazines during Lent could be transformed by CAFOD into things that people in the worlds poorest countries really need such as giving a family a home that protects them from disaster.
SHARE LENT 2010
This video challenges viewers to help in the effort to reduce hunger in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East.
LENT: PREPARE THE WAY
This video show us that Lent is about serving “the least of these”.
SEASON OF LENT
This video asks one important question: What will you give up for Jesus?
If you plan to make good use of your iPhone or iPod Touch this Holy Week, you might want to install these applications:
1. Way of the Cross – contains colorful images and the traditional text of the fourteen Stations of the Cross.
2. Via Crucis – similar to the the application above, except that the prayers and meditations used in this app are from the Vatican website.
3. iConfess – a guidebook to the Sacrament of Reconciliation for Catholics. It covers such important topics as the Ten Commandments, Examination of Conscience and the basics of confession (what, why, how).
4. Cards for Easter – a collection of 11 Easter cards that users can send out through email directly from the iPhone or iPod Touch.
5. iMissal – the first and so far the only Catholic Missal/Missalette app for iPhone and iPod Touch. It features a full calendar of the liturgical seasons, the Mass readings for the whole liturgical cycle, over 50 of the most popular Catholic prayes and of course the Order of Mass.
This is a slideshow presentation based on John 3:14-21, the Gospel reading for the Fourth Sunday in the season of Lent (Year B). You may embed this slideshow into your own blog/website or download the original PowerPoint/Pdf file so you may use it in your liturgical celebrations.
And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.” For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. He who believes in him is not condemned; he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does what is true comes to the light, that it may be clearly seen that his deeds have been wrought in God.
Today, Ash Wednesday, is the beginning of the season of Lent. During my mass today I daubed ashes on the foreheads of the faithful and told them to “repent and believe in the Gospel”. The ritual imposition of ashes on the forehead is a symbolic act of humbling oneself, of being sorry for sins committed, and of accepting God’s forgiveness. The cross of ashes on our foreheads is a reminder to us and to those we meet that we belong solely to God. Continue reading →
The Vatican website has made available valuable resources for the observance of Lent this year. You’ll find the messages of the Holy Father, a list of stational churches, a collection of sacred music in MP3 format, a calendar of celebrations, and a link to the live webcast made possible by the Vatican Television Center (CTV).
The messages of Pope Benedict XVI for this year’s Lenten cycle are arranged in chronological order. It starts with his general statement then followed by his missive for Ash Wednesday and subsequently by his messages for each Sunday of Lent until Palm Sunday. The Holy Father’s messages for the upcoming Sundays are not yet available, so one needs to come back for the latest updates.
The Lenten Stations page gives a complete list of all stational Churches for each day of the season. The Pontifical Academy Cultorum Maryrum will soon provide a guide and story for each stational church. However this list is helpful mostly for those who live in Italy and for those who will visit the country during this liturgical season.
The Lenten music posted on the site comes from two sources: a collection from the Pontifical Chorus of the Sistine Chapel and another collection from the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music. All tracks are in MP3 format and they can be dowloaded to your harddisk or straight to your portable digital audio player. You can also play them online if you have the necessary browser plug-ins. I distinctly like Signore, mostrami il tuo volto (Lord, show me your face). The feel of the music reminded me of the many liturgical celebrations I have participated in at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.
There is also an online calendar of celebrations over which Pope Benedict XVI will preside. It includes links to images already taken and those still to be taken during these celebrations. They are of excellent quality and are neatly arranged as a gallery of thumbnailed images, which are clickable to reveal bigger versions.
These dedicated Lent 2007 webpages on the Vatican website are of particular use to liturgists and liturgical presiders. The ordinary faithful who want to make their celebration of the cycle of Lent more meaningful and interesting can also benefit from them.