The blog of the Dominican student brothers at Blackfriars, Oxford.

Built on the four pillars of our Dominican life – preaching, prayer, study, and community – Godzdogz offers many resources for exploring the Catholic Faith today.
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Lent Week 3: Thursday

Thursday, March 31, 2011
Todays readings: Jeremiah 7:23-28; Psalm 95:1-2, 6-7, 8-9; Luke 11:14-23 Read more

Lent Week 3: Wednesday

Wednesday, March 30, 2011
 Today's readings: Deuteronomy 4:1,5-9; Psalm 147: Matthew 5:17-19

Our Lenten penances can be a great source of spiritual strength to us, allowing us to deepen our relationship with Christ and enter further into the Paschal Mystery. We can allow our daily penitential observances to help us in ‘transcending the good life’ as Herbert McCabe once wrote. On the other hand, we can become a little too obsessed with the externals of observance and forget why we are performing such actions; indeed, the actions themselves can become a source of anxiety and fear and so be rendered meaningless.
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Lent Week 3: Tuesday

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Lent Week 3: Monday

Monday, March 28, 2011
Today's reading: 2 Kings 5:1ff; Psalm 42:2, 3; 43:3, 4; Luke 4:24-30

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Third Sunday of Lent: A Rock and a Hard Place

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Lent Week 2: Saturday

Saturday, March 26, 2011
Today's readings: Micah 7:14-15, 18-20; Psalm 103; Luke 15:1-3, 11-32 Read more

March 25 - The Annunciation of the Lord

Friday, March 25, 2011
Today's readings: Isaiah 7:10-14; 8:10; Psalm 39; Hebrews 10:4-10; Luke 1:26-38 Read more

Lent Week 2: Thursday

Thursday, March 24, 2011
Today's readings: Jeremiah 17:5-10; Psalm 1; Luke 16:19-31

In today's gospel we find the parable of the unnamed rich man and the destitute Lazarus. During their time on earth these two were separated by the rich man's gates which divided the world of luxury and plenty from the world of poverty, hunger, and humiliation. The rich man chose to cut himself off from his community and from God, and instead devote his attention to 'fine clothes' and 'sumptuous feasting' (Luke 16:19). It is almost as if this choice of material things over communion, over love, has become fixed in eternity in the form of an 'unbridgeable chasm' (Luke 16:26) between the rich man and his neighbour. After his death the rich man is alone, tormented by the flames of his desire, longing for sensual consolation in the form of a drop of water (Luke 16:24). In contrast Lazarus, who suffered so much at the rich man's gates, is taken to Abraham's bosom by the angels. He is in communion with God and neighbour; he is at rest.

The gospel concludes with a sting in the tail: the rich man begs Abraham to send Lazarus back from the dead to warn his wealthy brothers of the doom that awaits them if they do not change their ways (Luke 16:27-28). Abraham answers:

'If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead' (Luke 16:31).

St. Luke, of course, when choosing what to include in his gospel, knew that in fact someone had risen from the dead. Christ had died, Christ had risen - yet many still refused to believe. For Luke, then, this rejection of Christ stems from a failure to 'hear' Moses. It is a failure to recognize that the Incarnation is a fulfillment of the Old law and that, as Aquinas puts it, what has been made explicit by the revelation of Christ was implicitly held by Moses.

Loosely speaking, then, we can speak of the Old Testament as a kind of Lent, a preparation for God's great act of salvation. At the heart of this prophetic preparation was the profound insight that we must put no false god before the one true God (Exodus 20:3), and that we must turn away from evil and do good (Psalm 34(33): 14). Like the people of Israel, we too are prepared, by Moses and the prophets, to receive Christ. We too need to put away our idols, our worship of things which are not God, and renew our commitment to virtue. Read more

Lent Week 2: Wednesday

Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Today's readings: Jeremiah 18:18-20; Psalm 30; Matthew 20:17-28 Read more

Lent Week 2: Tuesday

Tuesday, March 22, 2011
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