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LENTEN REFLECTIONS

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LENTEN REFLECTIONS

For the next 40 days on your Lenten journey here, you will find a sprinkle of reflective possibilities. Every Monday morning, a new set of Daily Reflections will be here just waiting for you to take the time. The format shall be as follows:

1) A brief reflective thought able to stand on it's own. Hopefully it will capture a "whisper" from God to your heart.

2) A link to the Creighton University Online Ministry Daily Reflection PRAYING LENT. This is here should you wish to dig deeper, walk a little longer with the Lord.

3) A Prayer, sometimes of my own making, other times captured from some of the great spirits of Christians past.

Know that every time you visit here, I will have already offered a morning prayer for your intentions. May God's peace, joy, and love be ever at your side, wherever the journey leads.




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As we enter one of, if not the most important time of reflection in the Catholic Faith, I would like to share with you a story that I wrote for my book Walking Between The Lines (which can be purchased on Amazon.com with all proceeds going to the OLDP School of Religion Programs). The story is told through the eyes of one of the principal instruments of God's goodness and grace. I thought it might serve for you as a small, but poignant diversion from your deep journey through the remembrance of all that Jesus chose to do FOR US. May this Holy Week, and the Easter Season to follow, be filled with all of God's peace, joy, and love. And now...


Calev’s Story
(based on Matt. 26:31-35, and Mark 14:27-31)

I cannot take full credit for the content of this story. It came to me through an idea put forth by Thomas Groome (author of the book Educating For Life). Permission was granted to expound on the possibility.

Do you have any idea what it is like to view the world from about a cubit and a half off the ground? Do you know what it is like to depend on a human to throw enough seed on the ground for you to get enough to eat, especially when you need to fight off fifteen or so ravenous hens?

For the record, my name is Calev. I think I came about that name because, when I was younger I was always wandering into the house of my master and I was a very curious rooster. Every time mam Rachel, mar Aaron’s wife, would start to cook, I would flap my wings as best as I could and I would try to land somewhere where I could see what was happening. One day, mar Aaron was in the way, and I clipped his ear on my way to the usual spot on the window sill. And I heard him yell…

“We are going to call this blasted cock, Calev. He reminds me of the story of Moses’ spy.”
From that moment on, everyone in the household called me Calev. I grew to be a rather handsome rooster, handsome as roosters go. I did keep the hens in check, I never let them stray very far from the yard. I did not want to give mar Aaron any reason to wring my neck because he lost a hen, or one was stolen because she strayed too far from the house. I had a good life.

We lived almost in the center of the great city Jerusalem. Mar Aaron managed a large inn. Business was very good, and mam Rachel’s cooking was second to none, at least that’s what all our patron’s proclaimed. Our house was right next door to the inn, making it very easy for mar Aaron to manage his work and his household. There was a room on the second floor of the house that everyone called the Upper Room. It was one large room, with a large table, with space for at least a dozen or more people to recline. Groups of Pharisees, and Saducees would often come in, just to spend time. With some of the conversations I have overheard, I could ruin careers. Then there was that group of visitors that showed up the day before Passover was to begin. Now this is the story that I really want to share with you.

It started like any of my days. I called in the sunrise as good as any cock this side of Samaria. I once heard a man tell my master that he heard my crow all the way at the Praetorium. Well, enough of my exploits. I finished what I do best, pushing the hens into their bins so they could commence with the laying. Then I found my favorite perch in the window that faced the main path. I had just settled in nicely when I saw crazy Omer, carrying his jar of water, walking up to the house.

 “Calev! My favorite fowl, how’s things hanging?”

I gave him a little low crow. And he turned to mam Rachel.

“Rachel, can I interest you in a full jar today?”

“Yes, Omer, that would be nice. Just go empty it into the well. Here’s your payment.”

For the life of me I don’t know why she humors that crazy man. Doesn’t he know, because we run an inn, we have our own well? But, that’s my mistress’ heart. She treats even the lost of Israel with understanding.

As soon as crazy Omer came back from emptying his jar into our well of water, two very strange looking men approached my window. Mam Rachel bid Omer a blessed day, and turned to the two gentlemen, who had hoods drawn over their heads. They did not appear to be Zealots, and they definitely were not Pharisees or Sadducees. Those guys absolutely made sure you knew who they were whenever they approached.

“Shalom mam! The teacher has sent us to secure a place for Passover. I am Thomas, and this is Judas.”

Mam Rachel seemed to know exactly what the men were there for. The one called Judas produced a payment, and mam Rachel dropped everything she was doing and led them to the upper room. After a while all three came down the stairs.

Thomas spoke, “Everything is as it should be. Thank you. The teacher will be pleased. Shalom!”

The men left just as mar Aaron was coming over from the inn.

“Good morning my wonderful wife. Who were those men?”

“They were with the teacher. I showed them the upper room.”

My master turned to me and smiled, “Calev, tonight, in my house, the prophecy will be fulfilled.”

There was a look of joy in my master’s face that I have never seen before. Even I felt a tinge of excitement.

****

Sundown was quickly approaching, Passover would be beginning soon. From my favorite perch in the kitchen window, I watched as a group of men, and several women arrived and made their way to the upper room. Within a breath or two of the group’s entrance, I noticed a tall man standing a little off to the side speaking with mar Aaron. They embraced. Then the man walked right over to where I was observing all the goings on. A sense of peace and calm, unlike anything I have ever felt in my life, came over me.

The man reached out and lifted me off the sill. He turned me so that my eyes were staring directly into his. He spoke…

“Tonight, you, one of Yahweh’s holy creatures, will fulfill the words of the Son of Man.”

As he set me back on the sill, I wasn’t sure what to think, but I knew I was not going to miss this meal. I followed the soft spoken man up the stairs and found a spot on top of the cabinet in the far east corner. I must have dozed off, for I was awaken by the sound of pitcher clanging up against plate. When I looked up, I saw the strangest sight. The man who spoke to me was going around and washing the feet of all who were present. Why would anyone stoop so low as to wash another man’s feet?

Then the man did something really strange. He returned to his seat, then he broke a loaf of bread and passed it to all present and said, “This is my body, which will be given for you, do this in memory of me.”

Then the man, whom all in the room referred to as Yeshua, rose and left the room. A few from the group followed. I started counting…one, two, three... “Hey,” I thought to myself, “what happened to that Judas fellow?” He came in with the others, but he wasn’t with them now. Well, I wasn’t about to miss this. I followed the men out the door and down the path. It looked like they were going toward the Mount of Olives, to the Garden of Gethsemene. I followed my master there once. The olive groves there are amazing.

A group of the men sat down, some fell right asleep. Then I heard the one called Yeshua turn to one of the others, “Simon, walk with me.” I was curious so I followed.

Yeshua began to speak of everyone losing faith in him. The one named Simon got a little angry, “Though all may have their faith in you shaken, mine will never be.”

Yeshua spoke, “This very night before the cock crows, you will deny me three times.”

“Never, even if I have to die, I will never deny you,” screamed Simon.

Some of the others who must have overheard shouted likewise. Then the gentle man looked over at me, and smiled.

As my master Aaron would say whenever things didn’t go as planned, “Gehenna exploded.”

Soldiers arrived, led by the one I knew to be Judas. Most of those who had followed Yeshua woke up and ran away.  Judas walked over to the man and kissed him on the cheek. The soldiers grabbed Yeshua and led him away.

I looked around for Simon, and saw him cowering behind a rock. When things cleared, Simon followed at a distance behind the soldiers. I decided to do likewise. Before I realized it we were standing in the courtyard of what looked like a Roman palace. This must be the home of the prelate I thought. Nearly knocking me over, a woman walked up and spoke to Simon, “I know you. You were with the Galilean.”

“I was not,” challenged Simon, as he pulled his hood over his head.

Two men walked by and one of them tapped Simon on his shoulder, “You were with the man they called Yeshua, the one who claims he is the fulfillment of the prophecy.”

Simon pushed them away, and screamed out, “You are mistaken, I do not know the man you speak of.”

Simon tried to walk away when another woman bumped into him, his hood fell down. She spoke, “You were definitely with the Galilean they just brought in. I saw you with him two days ago when he rode into the city.”

Simon pulled his hood back over his head and turned to her, “I do not know that man.”

Just as he finished the sunlight began to appear in the eastern sky, and my nature filled me, and I crowed louder than I have ever crowed in my life. As he was trying to walk away, Simon fell to his knees and began to weep.

*****





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LENTEN NOTE:
Have you ever wondered about some of our Lenten practices and observances? Well, if you click the link below, James Akin of EWTN gives a fairly complete rundown on the why's and the wherefore's: