Lenten Devotional Week 4

Lenten Devotional Week 4

Lenten Devotional Week 4

We have been invited, in the name of the Church, to the observance of a holy Lent: by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and alms-giving; and by reading and meditating on God’s holy word.
This week we continue our examination of what a life of faith in Jesus Christ looks like and what changes it will bring about in our hearts. In particular, we will consider Paul’s exhortation to “… be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” (Ephesians 5:1-2)

Day 1
How does the imitation of Jesus affect my life?
Day 2:
Read:
Philippians 2:3-8
Matthew 20:25-28
Do you consider yourself a servant of the poor, the sorts of people who are on God’s heart?
How do you work to follow the Gospel injunction of serving rather than being served?
Day 3:
Read:
Matthew 9:9-1311:18-19
Luke 15:1-7
Is your religion merely comfortable or is it sharpened by contact with the poor and hungry of this world, or with the ‘tax collectors and sinners’ of today?
Does your commitment to serving others extend beyond momentary, casual contact with them?
Day 4:
Read:
Isaiah 53:3-4
Matthew 9:35-36
Mark 1:40-41
Matthew 23:37
John 11:32-36
Are you moved, as Jesus was, by the plight of the poor and the lost? 
Does your heart break for those who are frightened or suffering? Do you grieve injustice?
Are you willing to “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ?” (Galatians 6:2)
Day 5:
Read:
Luke 14:25-33
John 15:18-20
2 Timothy 3:12-14
1 Peter 3:13-18a            Does service make you fearful? If so, what do you fear?
Do you accept that suffering and persecution are an expected part of your life as a follower of Christ?
Day 6:
Have this week’s reading and reflection broadened and deepened your understanding of this question: 
How does the imitation of Jesus affect my life?

[Theme and questions drawn from “15 days of prayer with Saint Vincent de Paul” by Jean-Pierre Renouard, New City Press, 2010.]

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