NASHVILLE, Tenn. — One of the biggest challenges of Lent, for many people who are caught up in the demands of everyday life, is to set aside meaningful time during the penitent season to forge a deeper connection with Christ.
"Despite our busy-ness, we need to find a way to pay attention to God" during Lent, said Father Ed Steiner, rector of the Cathedral of the Incarnation in Nashville.
VATICAN CITY — Salvation has nothing to do with the tidy business of bartering — earning God's love in return for good behavior, Pope Francis said.
"If you do well you get a reward; if you do poorly you get punished. This is not the logic of Jesus," whose ability to love and forgive is unconditional and infinite, the pope said May 11 at his weekly general audience.
The pope reflected on the Gospel parable of the prodigal son, which teaches everyone is a child of God not because of one's merits or actions, but because of God's "unchanging love and ready forgiveness."
When I first got involved with Charismatic Renewal, or Renewal in the Holy Spirit, I was amazed to see the power of Jesus Christ operating through ordinary lay men and women. When they prayed over people, those people changed. The authority of Jesus Christ worked in and through them.
This week, we begin a cycle of readings from Genesis, the first book of the Bible; and we celebrate the feasts of three martyrs: St. Thomas More and St. John Fisher on June 22 and St. John the Baptist on June 24.
The cycle of readings from Genesis will take us from chapter 12 to chapter 50. These chapters tell the stories of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph. The story goes all the way from God's calling of Abraham through the almost-sacrifice of Isaac, from Jacob wrestling with the angel to the settling of the Israelites in Egypt in the time of Joseph.