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Remember the Words of Jesus

Remember the words of Jesus, remember all that he has done in our lives. Let us not forget his words and his works, otherwise we will lose hope and become “hopeless” Christians. Let us instead remember the Lord, his goodness and his life-giving words which have touched us. Let us remember them and make them ours, to be sentinels of the morning who know how to help others see the signs of the Risen Lord. 

—from the book The Hope of Lent: Daily Reflections from Pope Francis by Diane M. Houdek

The Hope of Lent: Daily Reflections from Pope Francis

God Loves Us to the End

In you, Holy Cross, we see God who loves even to the end, and we see the hatred of those who want to dominate, that hatred which blinds the minds and hearts of those who prefer darkness to light. O Cross of Christ, Arc of Noah that saved humanity from the flood of sin, save us from evil and from the Evil One. O Throne of David and seal of the divine and eternal Covenant, awaken us from the seduction of vanity! O cry of love, inspire in us a desire for God, for goodness and for light.

—from the book The Hope of Lent: Daily Reflections from Pope Francis by Diane M. Houdek

The Hope of Lent: Daily Reflections from Pope Francis

As I Have Done, So You Must Do

Perhaps no action by Pope Francis has generated as much astonishment  as his washing the feet of prisoners—men, women, Christian, Muslim. It is a return to what Jesus intended: As I have done, so you must do. The Holy Thursday liturgy is marked by the ritual gesture of the washing of the feet. The central action of service reminds us that our communion is more than a meal, more than nourishment for our bodies and souls. It’s the act of taking on the mission, the ministry, the very body of Christ. And it is a challenge to us to remain in communion with one another.

—from the book The Hope of Lent: Daily Reflections from Pope Francis by Diane M. Houdek

The Hope of Lent: Daily Reflections from Pope Francis

Kiss the Cross of Christ

Jesus calls us to follow him on his own path of humiliation. When at certain moments in life we fail to find any way out of our difficulties, when we sink in the thickest darkness, it is the moment of our total humiliation, the hour in which we experience that we are frail and are sinners. It is precisely then, at that moment, that we must not deny our failure but rather open ourselves trustingly to hope in God, as Jesus did.

Dear brothers and sisters, this week it will do us good to take the crucifix in hand and kiss it many, many times and say: Thank you, Jesus, thank you, Lord. So be it. 

—from the book The Hope of Lent: Daily Reflections from Pope Francis by Diane M. Houdek

The Hope of Lent: Daily Reflections from Pope Francis

Pray for Grace


Most of us aren’t likely to betray anyone to a death squad. But as we meditate on the events of the Passion, we might reflect on the times we’ve betrayed a trust, the times we’ve talked about someone behind their back, the times we’ve stayed silent when a friend has been ridiculed. Resolve to keep silent when tempted to gossip and to speak out when others are gossiping. That sounds like a challenge, doesn’t it? It is. Pray for the grace to meet it.

—from the book The Hope of Lent: Daily Reflections from Pope Francis by Diane M. Houdek

The Hope of Lent: Daily Reflections from Pope Francis

Live Life as a Gift

Love always takes this path: to give one’s life. To live life as a gift, a gift to be given—not a treasure to be stored away. And Jesus lived it in this manner, as a gift. And if we live life as a gift, we do what Jesus wanted: “I appointed you that you should go and bear fruit.” So, we must not burn out life with selfishness. Judas’s attitude was contrary to the person who loves, for he never understood—poor thing—what a gift is. Judas was one of those people who does not act in altruism and who lives in his own world. On the contrary, when Mary Magdalene washed Jesus’s feet with nard—very costly—it is a religious moment, a moment of thanksgiving, a moment of love.

—from the book The Hope of Lent: Daily Reflections from Pope Francis by Diane M. Houdek

The Hope of Lent: Daily Reflections from Pope Francis

We Are the Body of Christ


As members of the body of Christ, we experience the death and resurrection that Jesus did. Everything in our lives—the heights of joy and triumph, the depths of suffering and death—is united with the life of Christ. The cross is before us now with its wordless challenge to love beyond death. Take some time this week to think about events in your own life that have given you an experience of Jesus’ command to pick up your cross and follow him.

—from the book The Hope of Lent: Daily Reflections from Pope Francis by Diane M. Houdek

The Hope of Lent: Daily Reflections from Pope Francis

Love Frees Us


Selfishness leads nowhere and love frees. Those who are able to live their lives as a gift to give others will never be alone and will never experience the drama of the isolated conscience. Jesus says something remarkable to us: “Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” Love always takes this path: to give one’s life.

—from the book The Hope of Lent: Daily Reflections from Pope Francis by Diane M. Houdek

The Hope of Lent: Daily Reflections from Pope Francis 

The Good News


Jesus’ death and resurrection express a reality that is complicated, emotionally moving, and yet joyful. Death does not have the last word. And that is indeed the good news. God is the one who will be there for us! God is the one who is concerned and cares for us! God is the one who, as we pray in Psalm 34, hears the cry of the poor! 

—from The Last Words of Jesus: A Meditation on Love and Suffering by Daniel P. Horan, OFM

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Love and Community

God is love, light, truth, and beauty. God is like a mother, gently trying to coax another step out of a young child learning to walk, God exists as an infinite patience that endures all things. The cross of Christ reveals that God works far differently than do our imaginations. God never overpowers anyone. God’s power to create love and community.

—from the book The Passion and the Cross by Ronald Rolheiser

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