Call: 877-542-7664

He Has Been Raised; He Is Not Here

Easter Vigil

Throughout Lent, we’ve shared excerpts from Lenten Grace, an inspiring journey through the season’s Gospel readings. Please enjoy today’s Easter Vigil reading. Also, you can get this entire six-volume series of daily Gospel reflections at 20% off.  Get it now.

Already own Lenten Grace? Open today’s reading in Verbum.

Lectio

Mark 16:1–7

Meditatio

“Do not be amazed! You seek Jesus of Nazareth, the crucified.

He has been raised; he is not here.”

The sun was just inching its way over the horizon when the women sought to anoint you, Lord. Their love for you pushed aside any apprehension they must have felt at seeing the stone rolled away. Your messenger, the young man in white, told them the Good News: “The Crucified has been raised!” They saw the empty space where your body lay on Good Friday evening. They believed and were immediately commissioned: “go and tell” the apostles that Jesus is alive and “you will see him, as he told you.”

Lord, I often take this Good News for granted. Your paschal mystery encompasses your saving passion, death and resurrection. Sometimes I fall into a sort of spiritual denial by resenting opportunities to share in the first two parts of your paschal mystery. My sufferings and the little “deaths” of daily living pull a thick curtain over the window of my soul. When your grace reminds me of the resurrection, it pulls aside that curtain and floods my soul with the light of resurrection hope and joy. Of all the days of the year, today is a day to “rejoice and be glad.” Your resurrection erases all fear. It’s the bedrock of my faith. As Saint Paul says, without the resurrection, our faith would be in vain (see 1 Cor 15:17). Two millennia of martyrs and saints, a true “cloud of witnesses,” have gone before us and invite me to join them. Like the holy women, I too am entrusted with the message “to go and tell” the consoling news that death is not the end, but the beginning of eternal life.

Oratio

Lord Jesus, I kneel in awe before your tomb. I do believe in your resurrection and in my resurrection in the life to come! Thank you for your resurrection that roots me in Christian hope. Demolish the tomb of my woundedness, regrets, and bad habits. Let me look beyond myself to see those longing to hear the Good News from my lips, to see Good News in my actions and my conviction. Let me be aware of those next to me longing for your Good News. May my life be a sign of hope for all to see, and a song of thanksgiving for your dying and rising. Amen.

Contemplatio

He has been raised.… He is going before you.

***

Download Lenten Grace: Daily Gospel Reflections to guide you throughout this lenten season. You can get this entire six-volume series of daily Gospel reflections for 20% off. Get it now.

I Thirst

Good Friday

Throughout Lent, we’re sharing excerpts from Lenten Grace, an inspiring journey through the season’s Gospel readings. Check back tomorrow for the Easter Vigil reading. Also, you can get this entire six-volume series of daily Gospel reflections at 20% off.  Get it now.

Already own Lenten Grace? Open today’s reading in Verbum.

Lectio

John 18:1–19:42

Meditatio

“I thirst.…”

So much has been written about the Passion in the last 2,000 years. What more can be said? Even more, how can words describe everything that the words “Good Friday” encompass and all that Jesus suffered for us? Perhaps Jesus’ cry, “I thirst,” best captures the human and divine pathos of this day. All of us know what thirst is. Did Jesus only mean that he thirsted for something to drink? Or was he thirsting for much more? What was Jesus really saying with these two poignant words? What resounding significance these words have! They declare that Jesus, the Son of God, had so completely been stripped of everything that he could not even alleviate his own thirst.

Was he expressing the thirst of God the Father for the restoration of our ruptured relationship? Was Jesus thirsting to taste once more the food of the kingdom of heaven, where he would enjoy the presence of not only his Father, but ours as well?

What will my response be? How will I alleviate Jesus’ thirst? Will I understand it simply as a cry for something to drink—a desire that an immediate human need be satiated? Can I hear Jesus cry out these words in the depths of my heart, allow them to reverberate in the hollow of my own abyss, and hear in the echo an invitation? Will this invitation become a point of continual intimacy with myself and Jesus, so that his death is truly the consummation of his life and mine?

The litmus test of my response will not be an abstract internal affair. Rather, it will take flesh in the way I respond to the cry of thirst from those in my life, a cry that is often suffocated. If I can hear the undertones of Jesus’ cry of thirst, I may be able to hear my own and others’ unspoken thirst. Such a thirst can only be satiated by one gift—me.

Oratio

Jesus, I see you naked, bloody, suffering terribly. You cry out in pain and agony. I hear you say, “I thirst.” I feel helpless because I don’t know what you mean. How do you want me to alleviate your thirst? I need help getting in touch with my own thirst—a thirst that I unconsciously fill with so many distractions that leave me unsatisfied. I thirst. I thirst. I thirst. I know most of all, Lord, that I thirst for love. Could that be what you ultimately thirst for, too? Then help me fall in love with you. Amen.

Contemplatio

“Let anyone who thirsts come to me and drink” (Jn 7:37).

***

Download Lenten Grace: Daily Gospel Reflections to guide you throughout this lenten season. You can get this entire six-volume series of daily Gospel reflections for 20% off. Get it now.

He Began to Wash His Disciples’ Feet

Holy Thursday

Throughout Lent, we’re sharing excerpts from Lenten Grace, an inspiring journey through the season’s Gospel readings. Check back tomorrow for Good Friday’s reading. Also, you can get this entire six-volume series of daily Gospel reflections at 20% off.  Get it now.

Already own Lenten Grace? Open today’s reading in Verbum.

Lectio

John 13:1–5

Meditatio

“[Jesus] began to wash his disciples’ feet.”

For three years these twelve followers of Jesus had listened to him preach, watched him heal and raise the dead, felt his power as he forgave sins. But now Jesus was doing something unexpected. Evening meals had been times of camaraderie and conversation, discussion and sharing. Tonight, however, Jesus was coming uncomfortably close. The conversation died down as Jesus knelt and tenderly washed and dried their feet. In this act, at this moment, Jesus seemed to say, “Everything that has gone before has been a preparation for this. Knowledge, information, and moral conversion are not enough.” He broke through all their inner barriers with this act of gently washing their feet. And he got their attention!

Imagine washing the feet of family members, friends, employees, employers, or enemies. It is an uncomfortable thought because it is so physical and so intimate. We often treat each other like shoe salesclerks. We’ll help others fit their shoes, but we’ll rub our noses as we do so, sit as far away as we can, and stay with them only as long as necessary. (And please keep your socks on.) Instead, Jesus is calling us to relate to one another as hospice nurses washing a terminally ill patient. What tenderness, gentleness, and acceptance there is on the part of nurse and patient in this act of vulnerability!

As Jesus knelt before his chosen apostles, he said that with this act of physical contact: “I know you. I know all about you, and I love you. I will keep on loving you.” It is difficult to believe that Jesus can know us and love us. It is even more difficult for us to know another and love that person.

Perhaps that is why Jesus continues to sustain this prolonged personal contact in the Eucharist. As the Last Supper, the Eucharistic Celebration is about familial, human, essential things, where we too are touched, held, and washed by Jesus in very intimate ways.

Oratio

Jesus, wash from me the leprosy of self-hate. Wash me again and again until I can love myself because you have loved me, loved me enough to give your life for mine. When I receive you in the Eucharist, it is easy to be distracted or bored. Jesus! Impress on me how close you are at this precious moment. Break through my inner barriers with your intimate personal presence. Amen.

Contemplatio

You know me and you love me.

***

Download Lenten Grace: Daily Gospel Reflections to guide you throughout this lenten season. You can get this entire six-volume series of daily Gospel reflections for 20% off. Get it now.

This Cup Is the New Covenant in My Blood

Palm Sunday

Throughout Lent, we’re sharing excerpts from Lenten Grace, an inspiring journey through the season’s Gospel readings. Check back on Holy Thursday for a new reading. Also, you can get this entire six-volume series of daily Gospel reflections at 20% off.  Get it now.

Already own Lenten Grace? Open today’s reading in Verbum.

Lectio

Luke 22:14–23:56

Meditatio

“This is my body.… This cup is the new covenant in my blood.…”

An interesting contemplative exercise would be to jot down in two separate columns the words said by Jesus and those said by everyone else in this Gospel passage.

The disciples and religious and civil leaders say things such as: “Who is the greatest?” “Lord, I am ready to go to death for you!” “Look, here are two swords. Shall we use them?” “If you are the Messiah, tell us.” “This man perverted our nation.” “Crucify him!” (cf. Lk 22:24–23:21).

Jesus says, “This is my body.… This is my blood, which will be shed for you.” “The leader is the one who serves. I am among you as the one who serves.” “You, Peter, will deny me.” “Pray not to enter into temptation.” “Judas, do you betray me with a kiss?” “If I tell you who I am you will not believe me.” “Father, forgive them” (cf. Lk 22:23–23:34).

The words of the disciples and leaders are characterized by self-protection. They are the words of people seeking to plan and control their lives from within their own framework or perspective. They are words of violence toward others. Their words reveal their desire to forfeit their identity for the safety of the rush of the mob. Jesus’ words, on the other hand, show that he has made himself vulnerable, that he will hand himself over for the sake of others. Jesus wasn’t trapped in his own fear of death, but knew himself to exist within a reality more spacious than his own fearful neediness, something ultimately good in which his life was held, beloved, even were he to die on the cross.

In a word, perhaps that was just it. The attitude of the disciples and leaders in the face of threat was one of non-acceptance and fear. Jesus’ attitude was one of acceptance despite his fear.

Oratio

Jesus, when my plans, security, or future are threatened by the cross, I want to protect myself, like the disciples. I want to be first, successful, important, beautiful, happy. I think that if I plan things just right, everything will lead to success. I hold on to everything so tightly, and in grabbing things I crush them. It was only after your crucifixion and resurrection, when you forgave the apostles, that they realized that something greater was planned for their good, that the cross was not a threat and couldn’t ultimately destroy them. They were beloved and safe. They discovered that they could trust you. And so can I. And so will I.

Contemplatio

I am beloved and safe.

***

Download Lenten Grace: Daily Gospel Reflections to guide you throughout this lenten season. You can get this entire six-volume series of daily Gospel reflections for 20% off. Get it now.

Whoever Lives the Truth Comes to the Light

fourth sunday

Throughout Lent, we’re sharing excerpts from Lenten Grace, an inspiring journey through the season’s Gospel readings. Check back every Sunday through Easter for a new reading. Also, you can get this entire six-volume series of daily Gospel reflections at a 20% off.  Get it now.

Already own Lenten Grace? Open today’s reading in Verbum.

Lectio

John 3:14–21

Meditatio

“God so loved the world that he gave his only Son …”

The liturgy proclaims that God sent his Son to redeem us. How hard it is to wrap our minds around this fact! The Creator of the universe loves human beings so much that his Son entered into and endured our human condition, gave his life for us, and will continue to be one of us for all eternity! Mind-boggling. If we start to think about this, the question comes spontaneously: Why?

The age-old answer is still valid. We humans hadn’t gotten it right. We hadn’t taken the natural law implanted in us seriously enough, or at least we were too weak to follow it well. We continued to hurt ourselves and others. Our attitude toward God was skewed. God was someone to fear when nature’s forces were unleashed, or to try to manipulate when we wanted to have our way. God was not someone to love. Yet God had created human beings so that he might enjoy our company, love us, and be loved in return.

Only God could “break through our deafness,” as Saint Augustine would say, and get our attention. Only he could restore the right relationship between him and us. His choice of how to do this was astounding. He became one of us and died for us. “No one has greater love than this” (Jn 15:13). If we let this sink in, the sensational in contemporary life becomes trivial—headlines, films, novels.… Can anything be more sensational than the love of God for the human race?

How can we better appreciate this love? How better know the mind and heart of such a God? Again, there are age-old answers: reading or hearing the Word; praying; trying to live uprightly. As today’s Scripture passage says, “whoever lives the truth comes to the light.” It’s the challenge of a lifetime, and now is the best time to start. “Today is the first day of the rest of my life.”

Oratio

Jesus, help me to understand the love that motivated the Father to send you into the world. It is the same love that compelled you to live and die for me. Show me the relative unimportance of so many other things in my life. Give me a new perspective. Help me to see that coming to know you and the Father is the challenge of a lifetime—a challenge I need to accept here and now, in this Lenten season. Enable me to live the truth, come to your light, and respond wholeheartedly to your love for me.

Contemplatio

[W]hoever lives the truth comes to the light.

***

Download Lenten Grace: Daily Gospel Reflections to guide you throughout this lenten season. You can get this entire six-volume series of daily Gospel reflections at a 20% off. Get it now.

Stop Making My Father’s House a Marketplace


Throughout Lent, we’re sharing excerpts from Lenten Grace, an inspiring journey through the season’s Gospel readings. Check back every Sunday through Easter for a new reading. Also, you can get this entire 6 volume series of daily Gospel reflections at a 20% off. Get it now.

Already own Lenten Grace? Open today’s reading in Verbum.

Lectio

John 2:13–25

Meditatio

“[S]top making my Father’s house a marketplace.”

It is easy when we read Scripture to comment upon how Jesus interacted with others. Look at those people Jesus drove out of the Temple! Imagine challenging Jesus like that!

The treasure of Scripture, however, is that it is really about us, about how Jesus interacts with you and me. Jesus comes into our practice of religion and overturns what we think had been good. I arrive at church on time. I drop my kids off at CCD. I volunteer to count the money three times a year. I cantor at the 12:15 Mass. I’ve entered a religious community of women and spend my life taking care of the elderly.… We too can settle into routine, just as the people selling animals for sacrifice in the Temple had settled into a routine expression of their religion.

Routine is not all that bad. At first it remains connected to the deeper meaning and motivation that prompts a way of living or believing. But what is simply routine over time can become disconnected with the deeper values that permeate it and slip into a rut, gradually degenerating over time into a mindless, heartless activity we no longer know why we are carrying out. Completing the activities of religious practice can then hide a heart that does not belong entirely to God.

Zeal for his Father’s house led Jesus to shake up the system, in a sense to force a personal answer to the questions: Why are you here? What are you doing? What do you expect of God? What have you given to God? What is your whole life all about? Jesus’ words refer to a prophetic verse in Jeremiah: Do not come to the Temple and say, “the Temple of the Lord, the Temple of the Lord, the Temple of the Lord,” as though that would cover over other areas of your life where you cheat and lie.… You’re making the Temple a den of thieves (cf. Jer 7:1–11).

Ask Jesus to come in and overturn those parts of your life where you have slipped into a rut; ask him to fill you with a zealous fire that burns with love of God.

Oratio

If I had been there that day when you, Jesus, came in and overturned all of our tables, doing what we thought was a good thing, I would have been angry and confused. If you come into my life today and force me to look at issues that I have safely swept under the carpet, I will be angry and confused. But I need you to do that, Jesus. So come gently but firmly, and show me where you would like me to change and grow into a deeper relationship with you.

Contemplatio

Help me out of the rut I’m in.

***

Download Lenten Grace: Daily Gospel Reflections to guide you throughout this lenten season. You can get this entire 6 volume series of daily Gospel reflections at a 20% off. Get it now.

Rabbi, It Is Good That We Are Here!

second Sunday of Lent

Throughout Lent, we’re sharing excerpts from Lenten Grace, an inspiring journey through the season’s Gospel readings. Check back every Sunday through Easter for a new reading. Best of all, you can get this collection of daily Gospel reflections free. Get it now.

Already own Lenten Grace? Open today’s reading in Verbum.

Lectio

Mark 9:2–10

Meditatio

“Rabbi, it is good that we are here!”

Before the humiliation and loss of his crucifixion and death, Jesus gives three of his apostles an experience of his glory. Jesus knows of what we are made. He knows we are fitful and frightened creatures. He knows that we dread the cross, that we fear loss. So he brought these apostles to Mount Tabor to experience with him the glory that is his.

Our community receives prayer intentions from many people who entrust to us their most heartfelt desires or deepest fears and problems. We pray for these persons who are encountering the cross and bearing life’s burdens. Though we all bear the cross in some way, in order to be like Jesus and to be with Jesus, we need to remember our own Mount Tabor moments. We all have had them.

These joyfully transfigured moments may have been celebrations of weddings, watching sunsets or sunrises with someone we love, the birth of a child, an experience of God’s presence at prayer or the liturgy. If we can’t remember a Mount Tabor experience, then perhaps our eyes have become more accustomed to the cross than to the transfiguration. Though the crucifixion and death of Jesus play an important part in redemption, they are only a part of the great paschal mystery, which includes the death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus. John even refers to the death of Jesus as his glorification.

Even in the midst of the crosses we carry we need to keep our sight attuned to Jesus, who bursts in upon our lives with light, with hope, with the sudden surprise of resurrection.

It is hard to do this. Contradictions, failure, or fear can wear us down unless we are invincible in our courage. The best place to begin anew to expose ourselves to the transfiguration of Jesus is in prayer—not the prayer that pleads for what we think we absolutely must have, but the prayer that quietly asks for light and surrenders to hope.

Oratio

Jesus, now, today, in this moment, in this place I drop all thought, memories of the past, figuring out of the future. You want to meet me today. You want to shine in my life. Sometimes you immerse me in gentle light. Other times when I encounter you in your glory, it is like coming out of a tunnel into broad daylight. Today—how will you come to me? How will you transfigure my life? How will you prepare me for my share in your cross? Come, Jesus, come.

Contemplatio

How will you come to me today?

***

Download Lenten Grace: Daily Gospel Reflections to guide you throughout this lenten season. You can get it free through February! Get it now.

The Angels Ministered to Him

First Sunday

Throughout Lent, we’re sharing excerpts from Lenten Grace, an inspiring journey through the season’s Gospel readings. Check back every Sunday through Easter for a new reading. Best of all, you can get this collection of daily Gospel reflections free. Get it now.

Already own Lenten Grace? Open today’s reading in Verbum.

Lectio

Mark 1:12–15

Meditatio

“… and the angels ministered to him …”

Mark gives a very brief account of the temptation of Jesus. We do not get a list of temptations nor of Jesus’ responses. The little detail we are given is that angels came to minister to him.

In the verse preceding this passage, the Father says to Jesus, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased” (v. 11). Jesus is the Son of God—Jesus is God. Does he really need help combating Satan? This verbal and spiritual battle is between God and Satan, yet the angels are present. We can assume that God the Father sent the angels, but why? It is not to fight Satan in Jesus’ place, but simply to be with him during this time in the desert.

God’s love for us is so great that we too have angels all around us—not just heavenly creatures, but people through whom God leads us into a closer relationship with him. Lent gives us the opportunity to reflect on the many ways God graces us each day, especially through the many people he sends to be our angels.

I am reminded of times of difficulties in my own life and the people who gathered around me. I received so much strength and comfort simply because I was accompanied. I could have easily dismissed their actions because they weren’t doing great acts. No, they sat with me, listened to me pour out my heart, and/or prayed for me. From their simple acts of love, God’s blessings and graces have reached me.

As countless others have ministered to us, we can ask God for the grace to be open to go to the people that he wishes to send us to as messengers of his love. Just as the angels were sent by God to minister to Jesus, God sends us to minister to Jesus in all we do for our brothers and sisters.

Oratio

Lord, each day your love touches me through the people I come into contact with. Help me today to see these angels of yours and to be grateful for the many ways that you reach out to tell me of your great love for me through them. Help me to grow in gratitude of heart as well as in the desire and ability to serve you by serving others. What ways are you asking me to be your hands, voice, and heart in my daily life? Give me the grace to be open to your invitations today and throughout this Lenten journey.

Contemplatio

“This is the time of fulfillment …”

***

Download Lenten Grace: Daily Gospel Reflections to guide you throughout this lenten season. You can get it free through February! Get it now.

Pope Francis’ Thoughts on Lent

"

Each year, the Holy Father publishes his thoughts and reflections on the upcoming Lenten season.  This year is no different and the theme comes from Matthew 24:12: “Because of the increase of iniquity, the love of many will grow cold.” Below is an overview of his message and at the end we’ve got a link to his message so you can read for yourself.

False Prophets & Cold Hearts

The Holy Father begins by reflecting on two problem areas in our world today.  He first reflects on “false prophets” and, second, on hearts that have grown cold.

False Prophets

He characterizes false prophets as “snake charmers” and “charlatans.” Snake charmers, “who manipulate human emotions in order to enslave others and lead them where they would have them go.” The charlatans “offer easy and immediate solutions to suffering that soon prove utterly useless.” In the end, it is “the devil, who is ‘a liar and the father of lies ’(Jn 8:44), has always presented evil as good, falsehood as truth.”

Cold Hearts

The Holy Father then turns to reflect on Dante’s depiction of Satan in the Inferno: the devil is “…seated on a throne of ice, in frozen and loveless isolation.” Pope Francis goes on to conclude:

Love can also grow cold in our own communities. In the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, I sought to describe the most evident signs of this lack of love: selfishness and spiritual sloth, sterile pessimism, the temptation to self-absorption, constant warring among ourselves, and the worldly mentality that makes us concerned only for appearances, and thus lessens our missionary zeal.

Prayer, Fasting & Almsgiving

The Holy Father paints a rather daunting picture of the false prophets and the “the cooling of charity” that he sees everywhere in our world.  But what are we to do?  Prayer, fasting, and almsgiving are the antidote to these worldly ailments.

“By devoting more time to prayer,” the Holy Father says, “we enable our hearts to root out our secret lies and forms of self-deception, and then to find the consolation God offers. He is our Father and he wants us to live life well.”

Almsgiving sets us free from greed,” Pope Francis continues, “and helps us to regard our neighbour as a brother or sister. What I possess is never mine alone. How I would like almsgiving to become a genuine style of life for each of us! How I would like us, as Christians, to follow the example of the Apostles and see in the sharing of our possessions a tangible witness of the communion that is ours in the Church!”

Finally, the Holy Father concludes by reflecting on fasting:

Fasting weakens our tendency to violence; it disarms us and becomes an important opportunity for growth. On the one hand, it allows us to experience what the destitute and the starving have to endure. On the other hand, it expresses our own spiritual hunger and thirst for life in God. Fasting wakes us up. It makes us more attentive to God and our neighbour. It revives our desire to obey God, who alone is capable of satisfying our hunger.

You can read Pope Francis’s reflection here in full.

You can also read his homily for Ash Wednesday, preached in the Basilica of Santa Sabina (Founded by St. Dominic) here.

May you all have a blessed and fruitful Lent!

Your Father who sees in secret will repay you

Ash Wednesday

Throughout Lent, we’re sharing excerpts from Lenten Grace, an inspiring journey through the season’s Gospel readings. Check back every Sunday through Easter for a new reading. Best of all, you can get this collection of daily Gospel reflections free. Get it now.

Already own Lenten Grace? Open today’s reading in Verbum.

Lectio

Matthew 6:1–6, 16–18

Meditatio

“… [Do not] perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them
… your Father who sees in secret will repay you.”

“What are you going to do for Lent?” As children each year we had to answer this question. We gave up cookies, candy, TV, video games …; the list was made up of our most precious pleasures. We struggled through the forty days of Lent, flexing our spiritual muscles as we raced toward the Easter Day finish line. As adults we’ve settled into a more sophisticated Lenten spirituality, but often we end up giving up the same things we did as kids, perhaps hoping to lose a little weight or gain a little time.

Today’s Gospel reading prods us to go deeper. It centers around theatrics. We all are mini-celebrities of our own lives, imagining a trail of adoring fans following us. We can even make Lent into a minor Hollywood production. We conceive the idea for our Lenten penance. We write the script. We are producer, director, actor, and audience all wrapped in one. And we end up at the Easter Day finish line as self-absorbed as we were on Ash Wednesday.

Perhaps these words of Jesus spoken to us today are asking us to go backstage, take the last seat, sit down, and wait for God to reveal to us the script he has written for us this Lent. Perhaps as adults we should be asking at the beginning of Lent: What is God going to do for me in these next forty days? What is it that I desire God to do for me in this long Lenten retreat?

Instead of theatrics, Jesus is inviting us to simple honesty. To smallness. To just being there and sensing his grace, quiet enough, still enough to feel the gentle tugs of the Spirit to newness, to giving up obstacles to the growth of a treasured relationship, to finding a few moments daily to read the Word of God, to surrender fear.… What God is going to do in your life will surprise you. Expect it.

Oratio

Jesus, I am not accustomed to telling you to do whatever you want in my life. In fact, it’s kind of scary to see what you would do if I let you write my life’s script. I think I am doing a pretty good job at my life on my own. But it seems you want something more of me now. Instead of Lent being my focus, you are placing me front and center in your focus. I am expecting you to show me what you want to give me at this stage of my life. I trust you.

Contemplatio

I expect you, God, to do something with me this Lent.

***

Download Lenten Grace: Daily Gospel Reflections to guide you throughout this lenten season. You can get it free through February! Get it now

Help Desk Software