Fifth Lent Reflection for 2017

Wednesday, March 15, to Saturday, March 18


Although we tend to assume that the proper prayerful attitude is quiet and serious, there are moments when a humorous take on something can reveal a truth. I love church architecture―and do take it very seriously―but among my books on the subject is one* which collected church signs across our country. They range from “Don’t give up! Moses was a basket case!” to “Be yourself. Everyone else is taken.” Some are really thought-provoking, for example, “Worry is the dark room where negatives develop.”

Sometimes these are quite down to earth and practical: “Tithe if you love Jesus. Anyone can honk!” or “Give to God what is right, not what is left.” Some signs contain a whole lesson: “Go to the Cross. Make right, then go straight” or “Seven days without prayer makes one weak.” Some of these signs offer advice―“Lord Keep your arm around my shoulders and your hand across my mouth” or “Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape.”

My personal favorite is “Jesus is the rock that doesn’t roll.”

But all of these honest-to-God signs in front of churches have an energy that is engaging. Through our chuckles, we hear a truth. So though we may work hard to find the lessons of Lent, sometimes they may just come to us, unbidden, leaving us wiser, and with a smile on our faces.

*Church Signs Across America, by Steve and Pal Paulson, Overlook Press, NY, 2009.


Readings for Wednesday, March 15

  • Reading 1, Jeremiah 18:18-20
  • Responsorial Psalm, Psalm 31:5-6, 14, 15-16
  • Verse Before Gospel, John 8:12
  • Gospel, Matthew 20:17-28
  • Click here to go to USCCB Readings for March 15.

Readings for Thursday, March 16

  • Reading 1, Jeremiah 17:5-10
  • Responsorial Psalm, Psalm 1:1-2, 3, 4 & 6
  • Verse Before Gospel, Luke 8:15
  • Gospel, Luke 16:19-31
  • Click here to go to USCCB Readings for March 16.

Readings for Friday, March 17

  • Reading 1, Genesis 37:3-4, 12-13A, 17B-28A
  • Responsorial Psalm, Psalm 105:16-17, 18-19, 20-21
  • Verse Before Gospel, John 3:16
  • Gospel, Matthew 21:33-43, 45-46
  • Click here to go to USCCB Readings for March 17.

Readings for Saturday, March 18

  • Reading 1, Micah 7:14-15, 18-20
  • Responsorial Psalm, Psalm 103:1-2, 3-4, 9-10, 11-12
  • Verse Before Gospel, Luke 15:18
  • Gospel, Luke 15:1-3, 11-32
  • Click here to go to USCCB Readings for March 18.

Click here to go to March 12 – March 14 …

Click here to go to March 19 – March 21 …