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SONGS FOR THE SEASON OF LENT

 

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The Themes for Lent emphasize our need to return to God, to take up our daily cross, and to renew our appreciation for the Supreme Love of Jesus.  He took on our humanity, lived and preached the Good News, and gave up his life to redeem us.  He invites us to life everlasting by Following in His Footsteps with Love and Service to The Poor and The Oppressed.  1.  SONGS OF ENDLESS LOVE SONG ALBUM: Endless Love;  Out of the Darkness; and Who Do You Say That I Am?  2.  PRAY FOR DELIVERANCE SONG ALBUM:  My Sins Surround Me;  Whiter Than Snow;  and We Shall Always Overcome.  3.  I CALL TO YOU SONG ALBUM:  I Call To You;  Lead Us Home;  and Rising To The Call.  4.  HE IS RISEN SONG ALBUM: Surrender your Soul, Your Heart;  Last Words Of The Lord;  First Born;  Lord Of The Last Supper;  Lord, Remember Me; and Two Thousand Years Of The Cross.  5.  GOD IS WITH YOU SONG ALBUM: The Greatest Truth Ever Told;  Stand with The Poor;  and Love The Lord My Soul.

 

shutterstock_48949129_150x112.jpg 1. SONGS OF ENDLESS LOVE SONG ALBUM.  I want to call your attention to and share with you a brief reflection on some of the songs in this ALBUM that I think are appropriate for this season. The first One is:  ENDLESS LOVE. This is one of my favorite songs since it deals with love.  St. John says God is Love:  this love is the reason for the Incarnation, the Public Life, the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus, our Redeemer and Savior.  Everything Jesus did was BY and FOR LOVE.  The Father loves us so much that He gave us his Only Begotten Son.  We respond to this love by " Walking our own Way of the Cross" and praying that Jesus be our companion on this journey.  St. Paul takes up this theme of Love in the First Letter to the Corinthians.  This eloquent discourse is but the concrete translation of the commandment from Jesus: "love one another as I have loved you..."  

 

10403595_640745436054635_8570076777128222455_n__2__150x112.jpg 2. THE LENTEN JOURNEY.  In a few days, as Christians, we are invited to enter the yearly journey of the Lenten Season. The themes for Lent are many: Repent and Believe, Prayers, Fasting, Alms Giving.  During the next 40 days, we are asked to enter into the desert of our souls to face our own sins and to ask for mercy and forgiveness from the Lord.  We are also asked to reach out to others in concrete actions of alms giving and other works of mercy.

The following songs are appropriate for the season:  From the Song Album "Pray For Deliverance":  My Sins Surround Me and Whiter Than Snow.  From the Song Album "I Call To You":  I Call To You and Lead Us Home.  From the Song Album "God Is With You":  Stand With The Poor.  From the Song Album " He Is Risen":  Lord Of The Last Supper, The Hour Has Come, Lord Remember Me, and Last Words Of The Lord.  There are more specific reflections on each song in the Song Albums.  May we be blessed with the "strength of will and grace from the Lord," as we proceed.

 

shutterstock_24857020_150x136.jpg 3. LEAD US HOME AND I CALL TO YOU from the I CALL TO YOU SONG ALBUM.   The Lyrics of "Lead Us Home" are a prayer of one who is aware of his/her tendency to wander off from the right path of the Gospels.  It is a simple, yet sincere and honest petition to the Lord - the God of understanding and mercy.  We all know what being "lost" and "alone" feel like.  We also know, that on our own, we may not have the spiritual strength to get back "home."

 The other song "I Call To You" reflects the same theme of praying for help, but it seems the request is a lot more "urgent" and "desperate." The one who prays has been crying out to the Lord  insistently and at great length.  In his/her moments of need, the one who prays is recalling how Jesus "walked the earth to preach the Good NEWS of the Kingdom and of all his saving kindness." Strengthened by this knowledge the believer confidently asks to be delivered from the hardships and challenges of life.

These two songs are prayers from the heart, with humility, honesty, and trust.  They are the cries of a suffering, but confident soul, who knows that God is ultimately our Savior and Deliverer.

 

shutterstock_25745413_800x560_500x350_150x105.jpg 4.  RISING TO THE CALL from the I CALL TO YOU SONG ALBUM.  The lyrics of this song are based on and developed from a relatively obscure passage of the Old Testament - from the Book of Joshua (Chapter 6:10-20) that recounts the "method" by which the city of Jericho was captured by the Israelites.  The "walls" in this song represent our failings of commissions and omissions regarding the Law of Love toward others, like hate, injustice, indifference, and blindness.  We are called to rise together and go to Jerusalem to the House of God and the City of Peace - to meet Jesus there, to acknowledge our failures, and to ask for love and forgiveness of One who is the Way, the Truth and the Life.

This is a very uplifting and encouraging song.  It is appropriate for all Liturgical Seasons, but it is particularly fitting during Lent, when we are instructed to take time and effort to see with the eyes of faith and pray for the clarity to connect or reconnect with our merciful and forgiving God.  Our lives and its struggles would have no meaning, unless the Lord Jesus and His graces are at the center of it.

 

shutterstock_4089172_150x226.jpg 5.  STAND WITH THE POOR from the GOD IS WITH YOU SONG ALBUM.  One of the disciplines or Lenten Practices for Christians is Alms-Giving, because Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew , chapter 25th, very clearly indicates that what we do for others, we do for Him;  conversely, what we fail to do for others, we fail to do for Him. The lyrics for this song "Stand With the Poor" remind us of the struggles of  the sick, the weak, and the displaced.  Our "modern day" poor includes those who work in factories, in the fields, and in the mines. They are those who live in the ghettos and in the slums. They are also the homeless.  We are to adhere to their cry for help by working for justice, equality and fairness.  Our Lord knows the challenges of this Law of Love.  He is very clear in His expectation, because He knows ultimately all of us are "poor" and will benefit from one another' s good work.  We are all one and equal before the Lord.


10383813_823273281064962_83742644569344938_o__2__150x84.jpg 6.  MY SINS SURROUND ME and WHITER THAN SNOW from the PRAY FOR DELIVERANCE SONG ALBUM.  These two songs are prayers asking for the Lord's Mercy and Forgiveness, so that God's grace will be like water to wash away our sins to restore our souls to its snow-white state of grace.  Faith teaches us that the Lord's forgiveness and mercy are ever available to all;  however, we have to make the effort to return and to come back to him in sincerity, humility, and honesty.  As members of the community of believers, we are to live the Commandment of Love in two   ways:  We express our love for God through acts of worship and praying.  We also live our love for others through acts of charity - corporal and spiritual - as well as through refraining from other negative, unfair and unjust thoughts or words against others.  We are reminded to "forgive as we have been forgiven,"  and "the measure we measure out to others will be the measure we get back."


shutterstock_19409788_150x100.jpg 7.  HEAVEN AWAITS from the SONGS OF ENDLESS LOVE SONG ALBUM.  The lyrics of this song  express the readiness and joyful expectation of  the heavenly community in regard to its members, who still struggle while on the way there.  While on earth, many of us encounter losses, sorrows, burdens, and cares.  We do not always stay on course, and at times, are led astray by the confusing values of light and darkness, right and wrong.  God, in his mercy, has placed in our hearts a restless longing that hungers and thirsts for Him.  He is there, like the father of the "prodigal son," waiting and urging us to return - to come back to him.  Are we ready to get up and go to Him, to find peace and light?

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