GRAMMY NOMINATED SARAH HART at SJA on MARCH 11th
With her upbeat lyrics, musicianship and a faith that shines through in every song, Grammy nominated Christian artist and songwriter Sarah Hart will be at St. Joan of Arc for a night of song and inspiration. More Information & Music Videos>
This Wednesday is Ash Wednesday. Below are resources and suggested activities for your Lenten journey. Please come back frequently as this issue will be updated regularly during Lent.
- Bishop Barron's Reflections | Sign up for Bishop Barron's Daily Lenten Reflections
- Matthew Kelly's Best Lent Yet | Sign up for Matthew Kellys' Daily Relections
- 40 Simple Lenten Activities for Kids | Check out this resource> for some great ideas & resources
#1 Conversation Starters
- Pope Francis | Read Pope Francis' message for Lent 2016
- Lenten Project - SJA RF | Mary's Meals - read & watch a very moving video w/your family
- Feast Day | Our Lady of Lourdes
- Movie | 'The Song of Bernadette' about Our Lady of Lourdes
- Music Video | Vertigo, by U2 - song about this Sunday's Gospel where Jesus is tempted in the desert by the devil
- Music Video | 40, by Matt Maher - song about 40 days of Lent (and Jesus' temptation in the desert)
#2 Recipes | Commit to 2 Meals
Below are recipes and ideas that are consistent with the Lenten spirit.
- SJA Lenten Soup Suppers are back! Each Friday at 5:45 in the Parish Center
- Try eating what the world eats: Lent is a communal act. As a means to be in solidarity with the poor people of the world, consider eating, on a daily basis, what much of the world eats - just beans and rice. Given this is the Year of Mercy - this seems like a very apropos way of celebrating Lent.
- Eat Rice & Beans for 3 weeks | See the various rice & beans recipes below
- Recipe | Pretzels - Did you know pretzels are the official food of Lent. They symbolize praying
- Recipe | Simple Fish Meal - Enjoy these simple recipes for Fish during Lent
#3 Get to Know the Gospel
- Reclaiming Sundays - Podcast
- Ash Wednesday - Gospel & Art Reflection
- Preparing for Sunday: First Sunday of Lent (Feb 14) - In the desert, Jesus is tempted by the devil
- Art Reflection
#1 CONVERSATION STARTERS
POPE FRANCIS | Read Pope Francis' message for Lent 2016
In the Bull of Indiction of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, I asked that “the season of Lent in this Jubilee Year be lived more intensely as a privileged moment to celebrate and experience God’s mercy” (Misericordiae Vultus, 17). By calling for an attentive listening to the word of God and encouraging the initiative “24 Hours for the Lord,” I sought to stress the primacy of prayerful listening to God’s word, especially his prophetic word. The mercy of God is a proclamation made to the world, a proclamation which each Christian is called to experience first-hand. For this reason, during the season of Lent, I will send out Missionaries of Mercy as a concrete sign to everyone of God’s closeness and forgiveness. Read More>
LENTEN PROJECT | Mary's Meals by the RF students
The SJA Relgious Education students (grades 1-8) have selected Mary's Meals as their Lenten project. Watch this incredibly moving video about the Story of Mary's Meals. Mary’s Meals began by feeding just 200 children in famine-struck Malawi in 2002. Today, the charity provides a life changing meal to over 822,000 children every school day in 16 different countries around the world.
- More information can be found on their official website -- www.Child31Film.com
- Watch the 30 minute film below:
FEAST DAY | Our Lady of Lourdes (Feb 11)
Today marks the first apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary in 1858 to fourteen-year-old Marie Bernade (St. Bernadette) Soubirous. Between February 11 and July 16, 1858, the Blessed Virgin appeared eighteen times, and showed herself to St. Bernadette in the hollow of the rock at Lourdes. On March 25 she said to the little shepherdess who was only fourteen years of age: "I am the Immaculate Conception." Since then Lourdes has become a place of pilgrimage and many cures and conversions have taken place. The message of Lourdes is a call to personal conversion, prayer, and charity.
MOVIE | The Song of Bernadette
Watch Movie on Amazon Prime Videos> | Watch for Free Here> | Tells the story of St Bernadette as an adolescent peasant girl who has a vision of a "beautiful lady" presumed to be the Virgin Mary, is set in 1858, primarily in the village of Lourdes, France. Watch trailer below.
MUSIC VIDEO | VERTIGO, by U2 - temptation in the desert
U2 is the most successful rock band of all time. But few people realize how religious many of their songs are as well as the band - particularly their front man, Bono. This song is about this coming Gospel - In the desert, Jesus is tempted by the devil. CLICK HERE to watch video and read the post with the full meaning of the song>
MUSIC VIDEO | 40 Days, by Matt Maher
Catholic tradition teaches that the number 40 refers to a time of testing. God told Noah to build an ark, and that it would rain for 40 days and 40 nights to flood the world. Moses was on the mountain with God for 40 days. The Israelites spied in Canaan for 40 days, and, as a result of their poor report, the Israelites wandered in the desert for 40 years. Before he started his ministry, Jesus fasted in the desert for 40 days. So, you can see that the number 40 is very important in Catholic theology.
One of Matt Maher's Lenten songs is '40 Days'. The first verse states: '40 days to wander, 40 days to die to self, 40 days to grow stronger as faith breaks open the gates of hell.' This clearly refers to Jesus in the desert, where he fasted and prayed, and was tempted by the devil. Jesus was tempted as the Israelites under Moses were tempted. In contrast to the Israelites who did not trust God and failed, Jesus put his faith in the Father and passed the test.
#2 RECIPES - COMMIT TO 2 QUALITY MEALS
Try eating what the world eats: Lent is a communal act. As a means to be in solidarity with the poor people of the world, consider eating, on a daily basis, what much of the world eats - just beans and rice. Given this is the Year of Mercy - this seems like a very apropos way of celebrating Lent.
Beans and Rice Recipes
RECIPE | Hunger Challenge Beans & Rice. Beans and rice, rice and beans. As a Dave Ramsy fan I hear this phrase all the time, and get the impression it’s meant to depict the image of eating the absolute cheapest most boring and monotonous food possible. In fact this recipe is so filling and satisfying, you won’t believe it’s only 40 cents a serving.This year, I’m making the Hunger Challenge all about bulk bins
RECIPE | Black Beans with Rice. Your family will never miss the meat in this hearty, colorful and fresh-tasting main dish. Served over brown rice, it makes a healthy, stick-to-the-ribs dinner.
Pretzels During Lent | Did you know pretzels are the traditional food of Lent?
See Recipe for Homemade Pretzels > | When early Christians would pray, they would cross their arms and touch each shoulder with the opposite hand. They also fasted very strictly during lent, making their bread with only water, flour, and salt. A monk shaped this in the form of praying arms for children, and the pretzel was born! To read more about the religious history of the pretzel and for the pretzel prayer, check out Catholic Culture’s pretzel page. See also this recipe for Whole Wheat Pretzels
Recipes | Simple Fish Recipes for Lent
See Recipe> | This recipe, for Lenten Fasting and Abstinence, was submitted by Amelia. She says that it is "a very simple one that we normally do during Lent any days cause growing up in the Philippines we always have Fish or any sea food on Fridays."
See these other Fryless Fish Recipes for Lent>
#3 - PREPARING FOR SUNDAY
LISTEN NOW> | There is no better time than Lent to reclaim Sundays. If you have lost your vigor for Sunday Mass or if you are trying to inspire your family or friend to go to Mass, this talk on Ave Maria Radio is a must listen.
Early Christians used to define Sunday as “the day we can not not live without”. Because it orientates everything we do. It defines everything we do. This talk is an honest reflection on how one may view Sunday and how we would like to view Sunday. And then it defines a healthy approach to Sunday.
Father Riccardo's pod cast poses several questions:
- What is my approach to Sunday?
- Is Sunday the last day of my weekend, or the first day of my week?
- Is there any difference between my Saturday and my Sunday?
- Could I live without the Eucharist?
- Is there any real rest in my life? LISTEN NOW>
Return to the Lord for he is merciful.
Create a clean heart in us, O God, and be merciful.
2 Corinthians 5:20—6:2
Be reconciled to God; now is the day of salvation.
Jesus teaches that almsgiving, prayer, and fasting should be done in secret.
Background on the Gospel Reading
Today we celebrate Ash Wednesday, the first day of the liturgical season of Lent. In this season, we prepare ourselves to celebrate the high point of our Christian life, Easter. Each year, the readings for Ash Wednesday are the same. They call us to a change of heart and teach us about the traditional Lenten practices of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. These disciplines are to be part of the Christian life during every season, but during the season of Lent, we renew our commitment to them.
The meaning behind tracing a cross on our foreheads with ashes (the liturgical sign of Ash Wednesday) is a summary of our Christian life. On one level, the ashes remind us of our origin and our death. (In the words of the prayer said when we receive ashes: “Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return.”) The ashes are also the sign of our victory: the cross of Christ. In his death and resurrection, Christ conquered death. Our destiny as Christians is to receive the victory over death that Christ won for us. We acknowledge that victory when we “[t]urn away from sin and [are] faithful to the gospel,” words from the alternative prayer when we are signed with ashes.
Today's reading is part of the Sermon on the Mount. In the sermon, Jesus warns his followers against acting for the sake of appearance. When Jesus' disciples give alms, pray, and fast, they are to do so in such a way that only God, who sees the heart and knows what is hidden, will know. Although our Lectionary reading omits the Lord's Prayer, we can recall that Matthew presents that prayer as a model for the disciples' prayer (Matthew 6:9-15).
- PAINTING: John Berney Crome, “Great Gale at Yarmouth on Ash Wednesday,” 1836
John Berney Crome’s Great Gale at Yarmouth on Ash Wednesday invites us into the Lenten season with a story told in the visual language of romanticism. This style of painting often showcased strong emotion through the power and majesty of nature. Crome preferred marine and coastal scenes, as in the case of this turbulent depiction of clouds and waves converging on the coast of Yarmouth.
Listen to the art commentary below:
PREPARING FOR SUNDAY (Feb 14th)
Moses describes the offering of praise for God's deliverance of Israel.
A prayer for God's protection
Paul teaches that we are saved by faith.
In the desert, Jesus is tempted by the devil.
Background on the Gospel Reading
In each of the three Synoptic Gospels, after his baptism, Jesus is reported to have spent forty days in the desert, fasting and praying. In Luke and in Matthew, the devil presents three temptations to Jesus. The devil tempts Jesus to use his power to appease his hunger, he offers Jesus all the kingdoms of the world if Jesus will worship him, and he tempts Jesus to put God's promise of protection to the test. In each case, Jesus resists, citing words from Scripture to rebuke the devil's temptation.
Each temptation that Jesus faces offers insight into the spirituality we hope to develop as we keep the forty days of the Season of Lent. We can trust God to provide for our material needs. We worship God because God alone has dominion over us and our world. We can trust God to be faithful to his promises. Jesus' rejection of the devil's temptations shows that he will not put God to the test. Grounding himself on the Word and authority of Scripture, Jesus rebukes the devil by his confidence in God's protection and faithfulness.
This Gospel highlights for us one of the central themes of the Season of Lent. We are dependent upon God for all that we have and all that we are. Anything that leads us to reject this dependency or to distrust its sufficiency, is a temptation from the devil.
Luke ends his report of Jesus' temptation in the desert by noting that the devil departs for a time. The implication is that the devil will return. Jesus knows that he will be tempted again in the Garden of Gethsemane. The depth of Jesus' trust in God is shown most fully when Jesus rejects the temptation to turn away from the task God has given to him. Jesus' final rebuke of the devil is his sacrifice on the Cross.
Jesus' responses to the temptations of the devil teach us how we can respond to temptation. As we start our journey through Lent, this Sunday's Gospel calls us to adopt the same confidence that Jesus had in the face of temptation: God's word alone will suffice, God's promise of protection can be trusted, and God alone is God.
- PAINTING: Limbourg brothers, “The Temptation of Christ,” between 1411 and 1416
This scene of the temptation of Christ comes from the Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry, a 15th-century book of hours, or personal devotional book created especially for Duke Jean de Berry. The book offered meditations based on the time of day, as well as the feasts and seasons of the liturgical calendar. As the Latin text on the bottom tells us, this scene comes from the Gospel for the first Sunday of Lent. Watch and Listen to the art commentary below:
**** END OF TABLE TALK LENT EDITION - WEEK 1 ****