Tuesday First Week of Lent
Sirach, Chapter 32, Verse 16-18
16Whoever fears the LORD will understand what is right, and out of obscurity he will draw forth a course of action. 7 The lawless turn aside warnings and distort the law to suit their purpose. 18 The sensible will not neglect direction; the proud and insolent are deterred by no fear.
Our Lord asks us to lead, follow or get out of the way. Our Lord tells us, “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. Therefore, I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.” (Mt. 12:30-31)
If you are a leader start leading in the church; follow where you can and do not hinder the work of the Holy Spirit.
EPISTLE. Isaias Iv. 6-11.
IN those days Isaias the prophet spoke, saying: Seek ye the Lord while He may be found call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unjust man his thoughts, and let him return to the Lord, and He will have mercy on him, and to our God: for He is bountiful to forgive. For My thoughts are not your thoughts: nor your ways My ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are exalted above the earth, so are My ways exalted above your ways, and My thoughts above your thoughts. And as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and return no more thither, but soak the earth, and water it, and make it to spring, and give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: so shall My word be, which shall go forth from My mouth : it shall not return to Me void, but it shall do whatsoever I please, and shall prosper in the things for which I sent it, saith the Lord Almighty.
GOSPEL. Matt. xxi. 10-17.
At that time: When Jesus was come into Jerusalem, the whole city was moved, saying: Who is this? And the people said: This is Jesus the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee. And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the money-changers, and the chairs of them that sold doves: and He saith to them: It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer: but you have made it a den of thieves. And there came to Him the blind, and the lame in the temple; and He healed them. And the chief priests and scribes seeing the wonderful things that He did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying: Hosanna to the son of David; were moved with indignation, and said to Him: Hearest Thou what these say? And Jesus said to them: Yea, have you never read: Out of the mouth of infants and of sucklings Thou hast per fected praise? And leaving them, He went out of the city into Bethania, and remained there.
Prayer. Look down upon Thy family, O Lord, and grant that our minds, which are afflicted by the mortifications of the flesh, may shine in Thy light with the desire of Thee.
Read: Lent is a time many often rededicate themselves to prayer. Check out these 9 ways to pray. . . from USCCB’s We Are Salt and Light for ideas on how to expand your prayer life this season.
Reflect: “Lent is to be lived as a time of conversion, as a time of renewal for individuals and communities, by drawing close to God and by trustfully adhering to the Gospel. In this way, it also allows us to look with new eyes at our brothers and sisters and their needs." (Pope Francis, General Audience, March 5, 2014)
Pray: Try one of the 9 ways to pray from the article that you have never tried before.
Act: If you found you liked one of the 9 ways to pray from above to be helpful to you, share your experience with a loved one.
Preparing for Battle
Know Your Battle
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the Devil. For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. EPHESIANS 6: 10– 13
The ordinary activity of demons is subtle and occurs within our thought life. They plant ideas within our minds seeking to influence our reason, memory, and imagination— and ultimately, our will. They use various methods to tempt us.
- First, the demons tempt through deception. (The Devil is the father of lies)
- Second, demons tempt through accusation.
- Third, the Devil tempts us through doubt as he seeks to diminish our faith. (Don’t hesitate in faith)
- Fourth, demons tempt us through enticement. (Don’t take the bait)
- Finally, demons can tempt us through provocation. (Don’t give into vexations)
We should always remember that not all temptations come directly from Satan and his minions. Many of them arise simply from our own weakness and the habits of sin we have developed.
Leadership and fasting
The practice of fasting that pleases God and goes further than going without food. God does not delight in our denying ourselves but in us turning eyes from ourselves to others and begin to loosen the chains that bind others. God is calling us to live from His values and ethics not ours. Fasting is good in that it redirects our focus and helps us to bring the body back under the control of the mind and spirit, but we must not fast while continuing to harbor destructive thoughts, assumptions and attitudes. Consider what God expects from the “Fasted life.”
1. Liberate the oppressed.
2. Share with the needy
3. Shelter the homeless
4. Clothe the naked
5. Stop judging and accusing others
Manhood of the Master-Day 23
 Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896
Thigpen, Paul. Manual for Spiritual Warfare. TAN Books.
 Maxwell, John. The Maxwell Leadership Bible.