BELIEVE - A Lenten Study with Bishop Ruben Saenz Jr.

"Lent is my favorite season of the Christian year because it invites us to pay attention again to the centrality of the gospels and our faith, the Lord’s passion and resurrection. Lent also invites us to pay attention to all that is happening in and around us through self-examination, penitence, prayer, fasting, worship and meditating on the Word of God. This Lent, I invite you to join me as, together, we work through what it means to “BELIEVE” as understood by John the evangelist through his gospel. I pray that you may join me on this BELIEVE Lenten spiritual pilgrimage and that it blesses, strengthens and grows your faith and vocation as a Christ follower. Let us all observe a Holy Lent."


Please click on the player below to view the most recent Lenten reflection from Bishop Saenz and/or click the title to go to the CTC Vimeo page and download. Previous BELIEVE devotionals are posted below.

Bishop Saenz concludes his 2023 Lenten series based in the gospel of John with a message for Easter focusing on the world changing proclamation from Mary Magdalene on that first Easter morning, "I have seen the Lord."
Mary Magdalene’s identity has been historically blurred, all four gospels tell us that she was a devoted disciple of Jesus, that she did not abandon him during his passion and was the first to encounter the risen Lord and be personally commissioned by Jesus to proclaim the good news of his resurrection.
Mary Magdalene is the model for all the devoted and loyal Christ-followers who have been heralds of good news to us - those who, through their passionate prayerful life, loving presence in difficult times, gracious generosity, kindness and selfless service, and their witness to the life of Christ at work in and through them, stunningly announce to  the world, “I have seen the Lord.”

Previous BELIEVE Reflections

A Reflection for Ash Wednesday from John 1:35-39 "Here He is, God's Passover Lamb"
Originally posted Feb. 22
Bishop Saenz invites all to join him on a Lenten journey to work through what it means to “BELIEVE” as understood by John the evangelist through his gospel and begins the Lenten journey with a reflection on John 1:35-39. 
A Reflection for the First Sunday of Lent from John 2:1-11 "The Wedding at Cana"
Originally posted Feb. 26
On this first Sunday of Lent, Bishop Saenz continues our BELIEVE Lenten journey by meditating on how belief is born in Jesus' disciples at the wedding of Cana. This passage from John 2:1-11 also offers us a unique glimpse into the collectivist societal norms of Jesus' day.
A Reflection for the Second Sunday of Lent from John 3:1-18 "Nicodemus and Jesus: A Model of Transitioning Discipleship"
Originally posted March 5
Bishop Saenz reflects on how belief is born in the Pharisee Nicodemus through what he hears during his encounter with Jesus.
A Reflection for the Third Sunday in Lent from John 4:39-42 "The Savior of the World"

Originally posted March 12

On the third Sunday in Lent, Bishop Saenz focuses on how belief is born in a Samaritan woman through what she hears during her encounter with him and how her willingness to share what she heard led many from her community to belief in Jesus as the Messiah - the Savior of the World.

A Reflection for the Fourth Sunday in Lent from John 9:34-38 "Who Is Jesus to You?"

Originally posted March 19

The fourth Sunday in Lent reflection finds Bishop Saenz focusing on John 9:34-38 and the gospel writers account of Jesus healing a blind man with mud from the ground. You are also invited to actively seek out and react to human suffering in your community and during your prayer time, ask yourself just who is Jesus to you.

A Reflection for the Fifth Sunday in Lent from John 12:1-2 & 9-11 "There is Life in Christ After Trauma"

Originally posted March 26

Bishop Saenz takes a unique slant on the story and tradition of Lazarus' resurrection, focusing on the hours and then decades after being called out of the tomb by Jesus. It seems, the resurrection of Lazarus terribly disrupted and traumatized his life.

A Reflection for the Sixth Sunday in Lent from John 14:1-4 "Don't Let Your Hearts Be Troubled"
Originally posted April 2
As his hour of betrayal, suffering, and death on the cross is at hand, Jesus gets his affairs in order  and calms his disciples trouble hearts during a private and intimate Passover meal.