February 26, 2024
February 27, 2024
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Day Eleven of Lent – Living in Exile

Day Eleven of Lent
Living in Exile

Behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you. Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him.” Joseph rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed for Egypt. Matthew 2:13-14

As our Blessed Mother stood before the Cross of her Son, she would have recalled her flight into Egypt with Saint Joseph. They fled so as to protect Jesus from the brutality of Herod. But now that brutality had caught up with Him.

Perhaps Mother Mary wondered what Saint Joseph would have done this day if he were present. Would he have saved Jesus again by fleeing from Jerusalem? Would he have protected her Son from the evil that had befallen Him?

As she pondered these things, Mother Mary would have embraced the mystery of this suffering with full acceptance. They fled from Herod long ago because that was not His time. That was not the time for Jesus to give His life for the salvation of the world. But now His hour had come. Now all she could do was to stand in faith and trust as she was face to face with the great mystery of suffering.

In each of our lives there are moments to flee from suffering and pain and there are moments to embrace them. In some situations, God will protect us. In others He will invite us to fully embrace the cross we have been given.

As we gaze upon the Cross with Mother Mary, we should be aware of the perfect timing of the will of God. Jesus did not suffer before His time. The Father in Heaven protected Him from evil men until it was His moment of glory. This was His day. This was His hour. This was His moment to embrace sin and death.

Reflect, today, upon the timing of God in your own life. What is God calling you to embrace today? What cross is being given to you today? If the time is right and the day for your own cross has come, do not hesitate to embrace it. Do not look for a way out or for a place to escape. Face the Cross with Jesus and our Blessed Mother and know that you do so with their strength and support.

Dearest Mother, you were called to protect your Son throughout His life. You were called to be vigilant in your motherly care. Be my mother, this day, and cover me with your mantle of love. Free me from evil when God so wills it and always protect me from sin.

My Mother, when the time of my own suffering and cross arrives, help me to say “Yes” to that cross with confidence, knowing that you are standing right beside me.

My precious Lord, I know that You will always protect me from the evil one. Give me the grace to endure his malice and to do so with confidence and hope. May I keep my eyes upon You and Your glorious throne of the Cross. I love You, dear Lord. Help me to follow Your perfect example.

40 Days Journey with Our Lord
Day Eleven: Creation

Saint Mark’s version of Jesus’ time in the desert says that “He was among wild beasts…” (Mark 1:13). In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth, “beasts” were not “wild.” They were perfectly tame and all Creation lived in perfect harmony.

Since Jesus had much time for prayer and meditation within the desert, He would have allowed the witness of these wild beasts to be a visual reminder to Him of the disorder of Creation. In God’s original plan, in the Garden of Eden, animals were not predators or prey. God provided for them.

But since all of creation was affected by the fall of Adam and Eve, even animals now share in the effects of this fallen world. Thus, animals die, they consume one another, and they experience disease, hunger, and violence. Their sense of survival is an instinct that mirrors the self-centeredness we all tend toward in life. These qualities were not present at the beginning of time, before the effects of Original Sin.

Imagine the scene when Jesus came face-to-face with wild beasts acting on impulse, consuming one another for food, being killed, corpses rotting in the heat, and even the dryness of the few plants trying to survive. Though animals are incapable of moral choices, the natural disorder in which they now share would have allowed our Lord to ponder the effects of Original Sin with His own eyes. As He pondered these effects, He would have longed for the complete transformation of this fallen world into the New Creation He came to establish.

He would have anticipated the glorious New Heavens and New Earth when the “wolf shall be a guest of the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the young goat; The calf and the young lion shall browse together, with a little child to guide them” (Isaiah 11:6). He would have longed for that future time when plants would grow to superabundant fruitfulness, disease and death among the irrational beasts and vegetation would cease, and nature itself would experience a transformation that goes beyond even the abundance and harmony of the Garden of Eden.

Though all things are made in the likeness and image of God, “all creation is groaning in labor pains even until now” as it awaits its redemption (see Romans 8:22). Therefore, as beautiful as creation is, the created world of animals, landscapes, and vegetation is an imperfect reflection of God.

Jesus would have been keenly aware of this fact, given that His mind was perfectly aware of not only the state of Original Innocence within the Garden of Eden, but also of the future transformation of the created world into something far more glorious and far more reflective of God the Creator.

Ponder, today, the beauty of God’s creation as you encounter it within this fallen world. First try to see the beauty of God the Creator reflected in creation. Then try to imagine what creation will be like when the New Heavens and New Earth are established at the end of time. The “beasts” will no longer be “wild.” Harmony will exist to perfection, the land will be superabundant, predators and prey will cease to be, and God will be made perfectly manifest to us through the New World that He establishes.


Lord of Creation, though Your act of Creation was perfect, the sin of Adam and Eve introduced disorder. While in this life, help me to see beyond the current disorder of Creation so that I can discover You, reflected in all You have created. Help me also to anticipate that glorious day to come when everything in this world will be made new, harmony will be reestablished, disease eliminated, and Your glory and beauty will be seen in all that You have created.

Mother Mary, pray for me. Jesus, I trust in You.

Source: mycatholiclife

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