Daily Reflection Questions For Pondering During Lent / Easter 2017.
March 1 - April 16, 2017
3/1 (Ash Wednesday): “Rend your hearts, not your garments, and return to the LORD, your God” – Joel 2:13 During Lent, we are called to repentance through prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. Can I change my heart and not just my habits?
3/2: “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” – Luke 9:23 There are many things in my life that upset me. Can I carry my crosses without complaint?
3/3: “My sacrifice, O God, is a contrite spirit; a contrite, humbled heart, O God, you will not scorn.” – Ps. 51:19 Am I truly “humble of heart”? Can I sacrifice my anger and frustration with the world and seek God’s will?
3/4: Jesus said to them in reply, “Those who are healthy do not need a physician, but the sick do.” – Luke 5:31 What are the “sicknesses” that keep me from embracing and living my faith?
3/5 (1st Sunday of Lent): Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. – Mt. 4:1 What are the biggest temptations I face? What can I do to strengthen myself to face them?
3/6: “When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?” – Matt. 25:39 During Lent, we are called to repentance through prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. Can I change my heart and not just my habits?
3/7: “But if you do not forgive men, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.” – Matt. 6:15 Who do I need to forgive in my life? Who do I need to seek forgiveness from?
3/8: “The people of Nineveh believed God; they proclaimed a fast and all of them, great and small, put on sackcloth.” – Jonah 3:5 What am I willing to do to show God that I believe in Him and that I am sorry for my sins?
3/9: Queen Esther (said) “Help me, who am alone and have no help but you, for I am taking my life in my hand.” – Esther 43:14-15 When I feel completely alone and afraid, do I trust that God is there with me no matter what happens? Do I pray when things are going well, too?
3/10: “But if the wicked man turns away from all the sins he has committed … he shall surely live. He shall not die.” – Ezekiel 18:21 Do I believe that God loves me? Do I accept that I can be forgiven for my sins, no matter how bad, if I am truly sorry and turn away from them?
3/11: “But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you” – Matt. 5:44 How do I overcome the fear and anger that I feel for those I consider enemies? Can I pray that God will enter their hearts with healing and forgiveness too?
3/12 (2nd Sunday of Lent): “So do not be ashamed of your testimony to our Lord … but bear your share of hardship for the gospel with the strength that comes from God.” – 2 Timothy 1:8 Do I stand up for my faith to those who put it down, even if it is friends or family? Do I live my faith open for all to see, or do I hide it?
3/13: “Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven.” – Luke 6:37 When I pick up a paper or turn on the news, am I judging others on what I see? Do I wish them harm instead of forgiving them?
3/14: “Why do you recite my statutes, and profess my covenant with your mouth, though you hate discipline and cast my words behind you?" – Psalm. 50:16-17 Am I Catholic in name only? What teachings of the Church do I ignore or reject? Why?
3/15: “You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the cup that I am going to drink?” – Matt. 20:22 Am I willing to pay the price demanded of me to follow Jesus? Am I willing to pay the price if I don’t?
3/16: “And he cried out, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me. Send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am suffering torment in these flames.’” – Luke 16:24 When I am faced with trials or suffering, do I take advantage of others to ease my own discomfort, mindless to the suffering they face?
3/17: “When his brothers saw that their father loved him best of all his brothers, they hated him so much that they could not say a kind word to him.” – Genesis 37:4 Who am I jealous of? Do I wish harm or bad luck on family members, former friends or co-workers because of perceived preferential treatment they have received?
3/18: “His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you; I no longer deserve to be called your son.’” – Luke 15:21 Am I estranged from family, former friends or co-workers because of my personal actions or sins? Am I afraid of admitting I was wrong, of asking them for forgiveness?
3/19 (3rd Sunday of Lent): “…and they said to the woman, “We no longer believe because of your word; for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is truly the savior of the world.” John 4:42 Do I listen to others when they talk of Christ? Do I speak of Christ to others in a way that leads them to Him? Do I believe that He can save the world today?
3/20 (Solemnity of St. Joseph, Spouse): “But they did not understand what he said to them.” – Luke 2:50) Do I frequently misunderstand the words or actions of others? Can I accept that there are things that my children or those that I love do that hurt me that are not sins?
3/21: “…for those who trust in You cannot be put to shame.” – Daniel 3:40 Am I embarrassed to practice my faith in front of others? Do I allow my trust in God to give me courage when I am facing challenges in my life?
3/22: “Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew 5:19 Do my actions honor God’s laws, or do they show a disregard for them? Have I led others astray by my actions?
3/23: “This is the nation which does not listen to the voice of the LORD, its God, or take correction.” – Jeremiah 7:28 Do I live in a God-fearing nation? Am I willing to defend the laws of God, such as the those that demand respect for all life, even when they conflict with those of the nation?
3/24: “And when Jesus saw that [he] answered with understanding, he said to him, ‘You are not far from the kingdom of God.’” – Mark 12:34 Do I really understand what it means to “love God and love my neighbor”? What keeps me from loving God or my neighbor?
3/25 (Solemnity of the Annunciation): “May it be done to me according to your word.” – Luke 1:38 Am I ready and willing to accept whatever it is that God has planned for me? Can I accept the bad with the good?
3/26 (3rd Sunday of Lent): “… God does not see as a mortal, who sees the appearance. The LORD looks into the heart.” – 1 Samuel 7 Do I judge others by appearance? How can I look beyond the surface and into another’s heart?
3/27: “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will not believe.” – John 4:48 What part of the Gospel message do I have trouble believing? What “proof” do I seek from God to overcome my unbelief?
3/28: “Every month they will bear fresh fruit because the waters of the river flow out from the sanctuary.” – Ezekiel 47:12 Am I replenished with the water of faith that I receive each Sunday? Am I bearing fruit for God’s Kingdom as a result?
3/29: “…and my judgment is just, because I do not seek my own will but the will of the one who sent me.” – John 5:30 Do I seek my will or God’s will for me? Do I understand what God’s will is for me? If not, what am I doing to discover it?
3/30: “You search the scriptures, because you think you have eternal life through them; even they testify on my behalf.” – John 5:39 Do I take time to read the Bible? How do I deal with those things in the Bible that I find hard to understand or accept?
3/31: “But we know where he is from.” – John 7:27 How often do I judge others because of what I think I know about them? Does where a person comes from affect my opinion of them?
4/1: “Never before has anyone spoken like this one.” – John 7:46 Do I “hear” Jesus speaking to me, personally? What is he saying to me that is different than what the world says to me?
4/2 (5th Sunday of Lent): “Let us also go to die with him.” – John 11:16 It is easier to face trials when we don’t face them alone. Do I have friends who will be with me through the trials I face? Am I a friend enough to others to be with them through theirs? Are we Christian enough to stand together against those who would persecute our faith?
4/3: “Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” – John 8:7 Am I quick to condemn others when they have done something wrong? Do I justify myself by thinking my sins are less serious than theirs?
4/4: “He has not left me alone, because I always do what is pleasing to him.” – John 8:29 Do I think God has left me alone when something bad happens to me? Do I think I need to please Him to earn His love? Can I accept that He loves me even when I’ve done something wrong?
4/5: “Amen, amen, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin.” – John 8:34 Am I enslaved by my sins? What are my “habitual” sins? hat demands do they place on me? How can I break free of them?
4/6: “For your part, you and your descendants after you must keep my covenant throughout the ages.” – Genesis 17:9 If Jesus came to establish a new Covenant, what must I do to keep his Covenant? Am I doing it?
4/7: “LORD of hosts, you test the just, you see mind and heart” – Jeremiah 20:12 Do I believe that God knows what is in my mind and heart? Am I honest with myself? Do I see the trials I face as an opportunity to build character and prepare me for greater challenges?
4/8: “What are we going to do? This man is performing many signs.” – John 11:47 Do I believe in the many signs performed by Jesus as recorded in the Gospels? Do I see the signs he’s performing today? What am I going to do?
4/9 (Palm Sunday): “Amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” – Matthew 26:21 How many times have I betrayed Jesus through my actions or inactions? Have I taken the time to ask for his forgiveness?
4/10: “You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.” – John 12:8 Do I use Jesus’ words as an excuse to neglect the poor? Do I use the poor as an excuse to neglect God?
4/11: “Though I thought I had toiled in vain, and for nothing, uselessly, spent my strength, Yet my reward is with the LORD, my recompense is with my God.” – Isaiah 49:11 Do I feel frustrated when my good efforts seem to be ignored or unappreciated? Are my efforts focused on following God’s will, or for my own satisfaction?
4/12: “Deeply distressed at this, they began to say to him one after another, “Surely it is not I, Lord?” – Matthew 26:22 How often have I betrayed God’s trust in me? Have I betrayed the trust others have placed in me?
4/13 (Holy Thursday): “I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do.” – John 13:15 Do I follow the example of Jesus in my everyday life? Am I willing to sacrifice myself in service to others?
4/14 (Good Friday): “Shall I not drink the cup that the Father gave me?” – John 18:11 Do I accept that the trials in my life have meaning, even if I don’t understand what they are? Do I ask God for strength to face them?
4/15 (Easter Vigil): “Consequently, you too must think of yourselves as [being] dead to sin and living for God in Christ Jesus.” – Romans 6:11 Am I dead to sin? Am I living for God in Christ Jesus, or am I still living for earthly pleasures and rewards? How can I bring them into balance?
4/16 (Easter Sunday): “This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice in it and be glad!” – Psalm 118:24 Jesus Lives! Does the fact that Jesus lives make a difference in my life today? Am I ready to rejoice because Christ is in my life?
Thank you for journeying with me through Lent.
May your Easter Season be one of joy and heavenly blessings!