September 28, 2023
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Photo by Tiago Rosado on Unsplash

I will not leave you orphans. God loves us, and he sends people in our lives to love us. What a gift and grace. In Day Three of this novena, help us to grow in love of God and neighbor.
Day Three of the Getting Ready for Lent Novena: If God is our friend, we will never be friendless.

Silence. Find a quiet place in your house, at work or school, or best, in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. Breathe slowly. Relax. Imagine that your cares and concerns are being placed in a box where they will not be forgotten, where you and God can together seek to solve them at the right time. God’s time. At the beginning, it may be helpful to set a timer. Three minutes of silence is probably a minimum. It could seem long at first, but hopefully becomes more peaceful as you get used to the silence. This time of silence and focus on breathing is like stretching before exercise.

Ask God to come into your heart. Ask Jesus to come into your heart. Seeking Jesus is at the heart of all prayer, even if we do not always realize it.

Today’s Scripture. Sirach 6:14-17. Faithful friends are a sturdy shelter; whoever finds one finds a treasure. Faithful friends are beyond price, no amount can balance their worth.  Faithful friends are life-saving medicine; those who fear God will find them. Those who fear the Lord enjoy stable friendship, for as they are, so will their neighbors be.

Today’s Reflection. God says “I will not leave you orphans.” It is a human desire to belong. We seek to live in community, with others. It can be painful to be left out. Most interestingly, it is when we feel most insecure that we try to exclude. When we are most afraid, we close others out of our lives. It is at the times when we feel the most attacked that we lash out at others.

Jesus understands. As God, he did not need to call disciples. He could have done everything himself. But his ministry begins when he calls others to join him in his mission. Often, the disciples are more trouble than they are help. They fight with each other, get jealous, and do not understand. But in all of this, as a community, they are loved.

We imitate Jesus in our lives by seeking out friends. At our best, we feel the most belonging in our families. So powerful is this desire, that children seek to do the same thing by making friends, and as adults, by seeking exclusive, life-long love.

But while the call of Jesus reaches to everyone, not everyone answers yes. When people get married, they should do so because they see in their relationship with each other the necessary love and support to fully accept Jesus. When it comes to our friends, we should choose those who make us better persons. We should do the same for them. Moreover, when we see anyone in need, we should do our best to remember they are the person of Christ, and the way in which we care for them is the very way we care for Jesus.  

Our Father. Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed by the name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day, our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. Amen.

Hail Mary. Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Glory Be. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Today’s Challenge. Think about the friendships and relationships in your life. Do they bring you closer to God? Do you help them to become more holy?

Intentions. Take a moment today to pray for those you love.

Closing Prayer. Jesus, from the first creation of humans you assured us that we were made for community. It is not good for us to be alone. We need others. Help us to understand the many ways in which you wish to send wonderful people into our lives. In loving them, help us Jesus, to love you more fully. In your name, Jesus, I pray.

Brothers Unite by Alexander Nakarada
Link: https://filmmusic.io/song/4864-brothers-unite/
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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