By Fr. Tom Zelinski, OFM Cap.
We are at the beginning of Lent. At this time I think it is helpful to review the structure or schedule of the Gospel readings for the weekday Masses of Lent. There is a pattern to these that I have always found helpful.
For the first three weeks of Lent, our Gospel passages are taken from the Synoptic Gospels, Matthew, Mark, and Luke. These readings are seen as lessons for discipleship. Of course we are to be disciples of Christ all year long, but sometimes Lent might give us more motivation to reflect on our lives and to see how we are doing as we try to take up our cross to follow Christ in our daily living.
The Gospels can present an ideal that perhaps most of us will never fulfill. One author suggests that it may even be good for us to stumble a bit and fail in our Lenten projects. This can always be a reminder that we need a savior and that we don’t become holy through our own efforts.
Then in the fourth and fifth week of Lent our Gospels turn to a focus on the mystery of Christ. These readings are taken from the Gospel of
John. We center on the person of Christ and what he might mean for us as we walk with him toward the events of Holy Week.
Of course, whether we are thinking of our own discipleship or reflecting on the person of Christ, the focus is always more on him than on ourselves. May we all deepen our relationship with Christ in this Holy Season.