Third Sunday of Lent: 2021

— Dominica Tertia in Quadragesima — Statio ad S. Laurentium extra muros —

The prayers throughout Lent are so fitting for the time of fasting and penance. I am not an expert when it comes to the Propers of each Mass during Lent, or through the year. But, each year having the same readings, the same prayers, the same introits, etc., gives us the opportunity to dive into the depths of their meanings. It is a conversation with the Lord, the Church herself praying, but also each individual Christian praying to God. Think about it, we don’t always have to be talking about new things with those whom we love. We only have ourselves, in our gifts, in our limitations, in our joys, in our personalities, in our sorrows, only so much to share with others. It is a vulnerability that each has to learn, to say, “Here I am. This is me.”

I say this because we need to learn that our friendships our meant to teach us how to love Christ. Any friendship, any relationship, that doesn’t lead you to Christ, that is, doesn’t reflect the relationship you need to have with Christ, is pointless. And, for me, I always have to remember that Christ is the perfect Friend. He has to be the end of all relationships, because at the end of the day I have to kneel before Him, to be alone with “He Who is the Alone.”

The “Ecce Homo” at the Scala Santa – Roma

With the Introit of today’s Mass, follow where the conversation can be led between the Psalmist and our Lord:
Ps 24:15-16
[The Psalmist says:] My eyes are ever toward the Lord, for He will free my feet from the snare. Look toward me, and have pity on me, for I am alone and afflicted.
Ps 24:1-2
[With confidence we can say:] To You I lift up my soul, O Lord. In You, O my God, I trust; let me not be put to shame.
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.
R. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
My eyes are ever toward the Lord, for He will free my feet from the snare. Look toward me, and have pity on me, for I am alone and afflicted.

What response do you think our Lord gives? We go to Him for freedom, freedom that He alone is able to give. And He shows us the path towards freedom, that is, a call to console Him in His Passion, poignantly, where He was alone and afflicted. In His Passion, He had “nowhere to lay His Head.” (Luke 9:58) Will you give Him your heart as a resting place?

Taken at a monastic Church near my friend’s hometown in Germany

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