A priest raises the chalice at an altar with lit candles.
Father Francisco raises the chalice during Mass in Guatemala. Join us as we reflect on the Lord’s sacrifice and resurrection.

A Catholic Reflection for Lent and Easter

But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here.”

I can only imagine the hope and elation those words from the angel in Mark 16:6 must have brought to the women at the tomb. Their Lord had been tortured and crucified. He had lain in the grave for three days. Then suddenly — after all the sorrow, grief and pain these women had suffered — God intervened and they became witnesses to the single-most incredible miracle of all time: the resurrection.

It must have felt like the coming of dawn after the darkest night, piercing the gloom with brilliant light!

While we are still looking forward to Easter Sunday and awaiting the miracle to come, it might be easy to relate to the feelings of grief and longing Christ’s faithful followers must have experienced in the hours before his resurrection. Many of us are yearning to see a miracle in our own lives and are praying for God’s light to eradicate the darkness in our world.

That’s the beautiful thing about our faith, though — the Lord’s light lives in us, and through us, it can shine for all to see! Today, the Holy Spirit dwells within our hearts, revealing that Christ is very much alive and still reaching out with love to heal an aching world.

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Proclaiming Christ’s Resurrection Through the Pillars of Lent

A woman’s hands hold a small black and silver cross.
We pray Christ’s light will shine through us all as we draw near to him, reflecting on his cross and resurrection.

As we consider how the Lord might use us to proclaim his resurrection life, the three pillars of Lent can help focus our efforts during this holy season.

  • Prayer: Prayer draws us close to Jesus and prepares our hearts for him. It also invites us to cast the cares of this world into his capable hands. As we pray together this season, remember also to lift up those who are the poorest and living in greatest distress around the world.

    St. Philip Neri once said, “Nothing helps a man more than prayer.” Prayer illuminates our own hearts, and it raises every person we pray over up before the throne of our living Lord.

  • Fasting: Pope Francis has said, “Fasting involves choosing a sober lifestyle; a way of life that does not waste, a way of life that does not throw away. Fasting helps us attune our hearts to the essential and to sharing.”

    It is also true that fasting causes us to deny our flesh, symbolizing how Christ denied his flesh on the cross. He suffered willingly, giving up all earthly comforts so we could have life abundantly. As we empty ourselves in unity with Jesus, we make more space to experience his light alive in us.

  • Almsgiving: “Fasting is the soul of prayer. Mercy is the lifeblood of fasting. So, if you pray, fast. If you fast, show mercy. If you want your petition to be heard, hear the petition of others. If you do not close your ear to others, you open God’s ear to yourself,” said St. Peter Chrysologus.

    The three pillars of Lent go hand in hand. The fruit of prayer and fasting comes to life in a new way when we put faith into action and step forward to help those in need. Almsgiving and service to the poor are evidence of a living, active faith. They signify Christ in the world, reaching out with mercy through his Body, the Church.

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Christ Alive in Us

In a church, two young children share a plate of rice with their mother while other women can be seen holding cups and plates in the background.
At a rural church in Guatemala, women and children enjoy a protein-rich Vitafood meal. Almsgiving communicates Christ’s love, ensuring that precious children have food to eat, water to drink and life’s other essentials.

We reveal the living Christ to the world at large when we allow his love to shine through us. As all creation groans and waits for the Lord’s return, we unveil his hope and glory day by day — proclaiming, “He is risen!” in both word and deed.

A blessed Lent and happy Easter to all our supporters and ministry partners, and to the poor around the world. It is an honor to be with you in the family of God, rejoicing that “by his grace and mercy, he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:3).

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