February 28, 2024
February 28, 2024
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Day Thirteen of Lent – A Mother’s Ponderings

Day Thirteen of Lent
A Mother’s Ponderings

When his parents saw him, they were astonished, and his mother said to him, “Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.” And he said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand what he said to them. He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and his mother kept all these things in her heart. Luke 2:48-51

As our Blessed Mother stood at the foot of the Cross, she may have recalled that time when Jesus, at age twelve, stayed behind in Jerusalem for three days. Our Blessed Mother and Saint Joseph returned to Jerusalem and searched diligently for Jesus. Finally, they found Him in the temple with the teachers and religious leaders.

At that time, while the Child Jesus was among the teachers of Israel, they were greatly impressed by Him. He asked them deep and probing questions and manifested a wisdom beyond His years. Scripture says that “all who heard him were astounded at his understanding and his answers” (Luke 2:47). Painfully, just two decades later, Our Blessed Mother watched these same religious leaders question her Son over and over again.

During those three years of His public ministry, Our Blessed Mother saw that the religious leaders turned on her Son, seeking to trap Him, accuse Him and discredit His profound wisdom. What a difference the years had made. What they thought was interesting coming from a twelve year old, they interpreted as threatening coming from a thirty year old. The religious leaders now were jealous and envious. And it was primarily on account of their new malice that she was standing before her crucified Son, gazing at Him as He offered the sacrifice of His human life.

In our own lives, we may find that people turn on us as we grow closer to our Lord and our Blessed Mother. We should expect nothing less than the same treatment that Jesus received. People who were once our friends will, at times, become our greatest persecutors.

Reflect, today, upon any experience you have had with those who have turned on you or betrayed you on account of your faith in Jesus. Though not everyone experiences this to the same degree as our Lord, when it is experienced it can be a source of confusion, hurt, anger and even despair. As our Blessed Mother watched the cruelty toward her Son unfold, she would have forgiven those religious leaders who treated Him this way. She would have shown mercy to them and prayed for them in the midst of her own suffering. We are called to do the same in imitation of our Lord and our Blessed Mother.


My dear Blessed Mother, when Jesus was only a Child, you were amazed at the reaction of the religious leaders in the temple as they listened to Him and were astonished by His wisdom. You also saw those same leaders turn on your Son during His public ministry. You watched their affection for Him turn into loathing and their amazement turn into jealousy.

My dear Mother, when I seek to act as an instrument of your Son and to speak His Words. Pray for me that I may always forgive and accept misunderstanding and ridicule with the same faith and hope that you had as you stood before the Cross.

Precious Lord Jesus, You never ceased proclaiming Your perfect wisdom and love to the world. Though many accepted Your words, many did not. Help me to know that I am called to follow in Your footsteps. Help me to never be scandalized or shaken by the persecution of myself or another. Keep me faithful to You and faithful to the proclamation of Your holy Word.

40 Days Journey with Our Lord
Day Thirteen: Identity

During Jesus’ forty days in the desert, there would have been many subtle temptations He permitted Himself to endure. But at the end of the forty days, the devil approached our Lord in a final attempt to overcome Him. The first temptation begins with a subtle questioning of Jesus’ sacred identity as the Son of God. The devil says to Jesus, “If you are the Son of God…” By beginning with the statement, “If you are…,” the devil essentially calls into question Jesus’ divine identity. This was an attempt to rouse up pride in Jesus, the very sin that resulted in the devil being cast out of Heaven.

Though Jesus did not allow this questioning of His sacred identity to affect Him, this is a temptation that we all face and too often fail to conquer. Too often we fail to be confident in who we are. When someone questions, doubts, disagrees with, ridicules, belittles, or challenges our core identity in any way, we are tempted to pride through self-justification, anger, or even despair. However, if we know who we are, if we see ourselves only as God sees us, then we will never allow others’ false opinions or judgment to affect us.

Who are you? You are a son or daughter of God. You have been adopted by the Father into the new family of grace and truth. True, you are also a sinner—but a sinner who has been forgiven as many times as you have repented of your sins and turned back to God. There is great freedom found in knowing your identity.

Challenges to our dignity and identity often come in in the form of temptations, such as, “You are worthless…You can’t do anything right…No one likes you…You will never conquer your sin…God is so disappointed with you,” etc. When tempted by these lies, we can give into despair and self-doubt, questioning who we are and God’s perfect love for us. Despair and self-doubt are subtle forms of pride. Humility is the key to authentic self-knowledge and an embrace of our identity as a child of God. Humility is nothing other than a profound knowledge of who you are in the light of truth. Jesus knew Who He was and did not allow the evil one to stir up any doubt. We must strive to do the same.

Ponder the mind of Jesus as He endured having satan question His identity. Jesus never forgot Who He was. The same must be our goal. You are God’s precious and beloved child. You are endowed with grace and mercy. You are in dire need of God’s mercy. You are forgiven every time you sincerely repent. God loves you and no lie of the evil one will ever change that. Seek the virtue of humility today, for humility is the virtue by which we pierce through the many lies about ourselves and see ourselves as we are, as God sees us. Our Lord’s humility was perfect; let us seek to more fully imitate Him.


My humble Lord, You knew Your identity, and You never allowed the subtle lies of the evil one to affect You. Please help me to remember who I am as Your child. May I only see myself as You see me and love myself as You love me. Free me from all lies, self-pity, doubt, and despair.

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

Source: mycatholiclife

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