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All Issues > Volume 23, Issue 2

<< Sunday, March 18, 2007 >> Fourth Sunday of Lent
Joshua 5:9, 10-12
2 Corinthians 5:17-21

View Readings
Psalm 34
Luke 15:1-3, 11-32

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"On that same day after the Passover on which they ate of the produce of the land, the manna ceased. No longer was there manna for the Israelites, who that year ate of the yield of the land of Canaan." —Joshua 5:11-12

Each day for forty years, God fed the Israelites with miraculous manna from heaven. When they had entered the promised land and their first harvest was complete, "the manna ceased" (Jos 5:12). What a loving, providing Father is our God!

For the forty days of Lent, we, like the Israelites, journey through the desert of self-denial toward the promised land of Easter. Many draw close to God with spiritual exercises such as increased prayer, fasting, increased participation in Confession and daily Masses, intense Bible reading, etc. These nourish our Lenten resolve much like the manna God provided in the desert.

When the Israelites reached the promised land, they rejoiced. Yet they now faced a new trial. With their newfound abundance came the temptation to stop relying on God's care. Over time, the Israelites tended to be like the prodigal son: they often forgot God in prosperity and turned to Him in time of trial (see Lk 15:13, 16ff).

Decide today to follow the Lord in "every circumstance," whether "well provided for" or not (Phil 4:12). May your Lenten sufferings and your Easter renewal of your Baptismal promises lead you to lifelong covenant faithfulness to God.

Prayer: Father, "may my tongue cleave to my palate if I remember You not" (Ps 137:6). Never let me forget you in time of abundance (Prv 30:9).
Promise: "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old order has passed away; now all is new!" —2 Cor 5:17
Praise: Praise You, risen Jesus, the Promise Keeper (2 Cor 1:20). You are "the Faithful Witness" (Rv 3:14). Alleluia!
(This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Imprimatur ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from February 1, 2007 through March 31, 2007.
†Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 3, 2006 & September 18, 2006.
The Imprimatur ("Permission to Publish") is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Imprimatur agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.
Volume 23, Issue 2
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