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Lent: March 21st

Monday of the Third Week of Lent


March 21, 2022 (Readings on USCCB website)


Monday of the Third Week of Lent: May your unfailing compassion, O Lord, cleanse and protect your Church, and, since without you she cannot stand secure, may she be always governed by your grace. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever.


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Communion Antiphon, Ps 117 (116):1, 2:

O praise the Lord, all you nations, for his merciful love towards us is great.

The Liturgy today is concerned with Baptism. Water by itself cannot cleanse leprosy; but God can use it to do so. If God can cleanse the leprosy of the body with water there is no reason why he cannot use it to wash leprosy of soul. The second point which the Liturgy intends to bring home to us is that God’s salvation is offered and available to all men who believe in his words and obey them. —St. Andrew Bible Missal

According to the previous liturgical calendar (1962), today is the feast of St. Benedict, "Father of Western Monasticism," twin brother of St. Scholastica. His feast is now celebrated on July 11, except for Benedictine communities who honor him on both days.

Today's Station Church >>>

Meditation—Baptized in Christ
Baptism is a key word in Lent. As we know, its institution was as a period of intense preparation for baptism at the Easter Vigil, and ideally it still has this slant. Baptism is never over and done with. Baptism is a state—it must always continue. We have been put into a state of Baptism and we must live out the truth of that state.

What does it mean to be baptized? Various answers will come to mind, but if the answers are authentic they will reflect different aspects of the basic truth. Baptism is ultimately the sacrament of the Fatherhood of God, by it we become His sons and daughters, which is what humanhood is all about.

How is this metamorphosis of becoming a child of God effected? By dying to our purely natural life and being born again into new life, spiritual life, the life of the Risen Christ which is the life of God Himself.

How is this metamorphosis of becoming a child of God effected? By dying to our purely natural life and being born again into new life, spiritual life, the life of the Risen Christ which is the life of God Himself.

Baptism takes us up into the movement of Jesus, “I go to the Father.” We know the incredible pain, grief, darkness of that journey which we call the passion and death of Jesus. Basically it is our journey through the sadness and darkness sin or estrangement from God has caused. It is because our only way to the Father lies through death that Jesus died. He transformed that dark passage. Now it is truly a pathway of light leading straight to the Father.

We are summoned to faith. Summoned to deny, move off our own base and to stand on God’s fidelity as revealed in Jesus. We are summoned to accept His judgements, His values, His point of view; to surrender to His will, His guidance. The opposite of sin is not virtue but faith. Faith destroys sin as light destroys darkness.

To be baptized, to live in the state of baptism is to live in and by faith: not just to make acts of faith now and then but to live our lives by faith—absolute trust in the forgiving, self-donating God.

What we tend to do is live faith in fits and starts, acknowledging Him in some areas, denying Him in others. Baptism only becomes total when faith is total. Then truly we have died with Christ to a purely human life, and risen to His divine way of being.

There can be no realism in our living unless we keep our eyes on the blessed passion of Christ, and Lent is the time when the Church bids us accept the pain of having this sacred passion always before our eyes. In the passion we measure the greatness of His love, the seriousness of our lives with their countless choices, the certitudes upon which we base ourselves.

Lent is the time of effort, warfare, discipline. Let us look and look again at the suffering Jesus and take the weight of shame and sorrow.

It is often said, and rightly, that we cannot contemplate the death and resurrection of Jesus save in the radiance of the resurrection. But because of what we are, there is a need that, at a particular time of year we should, as it were, step out of this radiance and stand in the unredeemed dark—looking at what our sins have done, looking at what our redemption cost the Lord.

“You who have been baptized in Christ are clothed head to foot in Christ.” Let us accept the shame of the necessary stripping so that we may indeed rise anew at Easter, clothed in the glory of the risen Jesus.
—Ruth Burrows, Through Him, With Him, In Him

Monday of the Third Week of Lent
Station with San Marco al Campidoglio (St. Mark at the Capitol):

The Station is in the church of St. Mark, the full official name San Marco Evangelista in Campidoglio, St Mark the Evangelist at the Capitol, which was built in the fourth century in honor of the evangelist, by the holy Pope Mark, whose relics are kept there. This was the one of the oldest churches constructed. The church has undergone several reconstructions and restorations, including a heavy Baroque restoration.

For further information on the Station Churches, see The Stational Church.

Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Lent
Station with San Lorenzo in Damaso (St. Lawrence at the House of Damasus):

The church of today's station is believed to have been built over the house of Pope St. Damasus, (366-383), by the Pope himself. The church was rebuilt in the late 15th century and restored several times, the latest being after fire damage of 1944. This is yet another church dedicated to St. Lawrence, deacon and martyr, who has ten churches just in Rome dedicated to this popular saint.

For more on San Lorenzo in Damaso, see:

For further information on the Station Churches, see The Stational Church.