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Isaiah 1:10, 16-20; Matthew 23:1-12

Lent is a season for listening, as it is a time of renewing and re-greening one’s interior life. Six weeks is a long time to have one’s ear cocked for the slightest whisper or the loudest sound which suggests that God is afoot in your life and in your relationships. One of the central challenges of Lent is discerning and identifying the voice of God in the cacophonous sounds and competing slogans that surround each of us.

Identifying the authentic voice of God is complicated. Jesus tells us that there is but “one teacher”, “one father”, and “one master.” But we are surrounded by competing teachings, slogans, diets, miracle drugs, would-be masters and ideologies. Lent is a time to discern and identify, to reject the voices of false teachers for the authentic teachings of the one teacher; to replace the dross of winter with the verdant colors of spring.

Listen carefully for God’s voice as you clear the underbrush of your spiritual garden; listen for God’s call as you prune the branches of self-confidence, self-doubt or self-sufficiency. Listen for God’s directive in the songs of the returning robins and the shower of spring rains. For as has been said: “The world is charged with the grandeur of God.” Amidst that grandeur God speaks! Our creator God, our savior God, the spirit of God, speak to each of us in our own time and circumstance. God speaks gently in love and thunders fiercely in judgment. God comforts and secures those who are faithful.

Lent, as a forerunner of spring, has time left before spring is upon us, before Lent matures into the Easter mystery. Ours is the opportunity and the responsibility to live these days well. There is time to stir from the doldrums of sin and selfish involvements. There is time to rip-up and replant the weak places in one’s life. Ours is the opportunity for a renewal and a re-greening of our spiritual life in our own context and setting. For as Isaiah says in today’s first reading: “If you are willing and obey, good things will come your way…”

By John Schlegel

 

Pope Francis Twitter Feed

* Our Way of Life *

"Our diverse talents and abilities, our differences in culture, nationality and age are assets for the richness of the community. Although we may be engaged in a variety of ministries, we all share the common call to apostolic discipleship in a community of the Catholic Apostolate of St. Vincent Pallotti."(OWL, 91)

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"Christ, the Apostle of the Eternal Father, and his mission are central to our personal and community life, giving meaning and direction to our thinking, our spirituality, our prayer, action and suffering." (OWL, 19)

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"As a community of disciples we are gathered around Jesus, the Apostle of the Eternal Father. Like the first disciples, we want to be with Jesus, be sent out by him and return to him to evaluate our service in the light of his presence." (OWL, 88)

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"As Pallottines, it is our special charism to foster growth in faith and love among the laity, to awaken them to awareness of their apostolic call, and to cooperate with them in furthering the apostolic mission." (OWL, 21)

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"Our relationships with one another should be marked by a love that bears all, believes all and hopes for all, a love that is neither conceited nor jealous, which hurts no one, nor is embittered or resentful. It is never discouraged but remains patient and kind. It rejoices with others and shares their suffering. It is with this kind of love that we should help and support one another." (OWL, 90)

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