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 Wednesday March 24, 2004   Fourth Week of Lent

Reading (Isaiah 49:8-15)    Gospel (St. John 5:17-30)

In the beginning of the first reading today from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah, the Lord says, In a time of favor I answer you, on a day of salvation I help you, and then speaking to His servant He says, I have set you as a covenant to the people. Now when we consider these points, there are really a couple of points that we have to look at. The one is the fact that God will hear us on this day of salvation, that He will show us His favor. But there is a second point, and that is dealing with the covenant, dealing in this case with the person who is the covenant, and that is Our Lord.

When we listen, then, in the Gospel reading to the words of Our Lord, He tells us that the Father judges no one, but rather that He Himself is the judge. And He is the judge because He took on our human nature that we will not ever be able to look at Him and say, “But You don’t understand. Did You ever experience what I experienced? Do You have any idea?” He does, perfectly; therefore He is the judge because He is the One Who understands. He has been there; He has lived it; He has done it. And so none of us will have an excuse before the Lord. Beyond that Our Lord tells us, with regard to this judgment, that He will not judge according to His own will but only according to the Will of His heavenly Father; and that if anyone rejects Him, that person rejects the Father Who sent Him.

Now if we consider that same proposition, one can carry it to the next step. One can look and say, “Anyone who rejects the Son rejects the Father, therefore anyone who rejects the Son rejects His mother. Or vice versa: Anyone who rejects His mother rejects the Son because you do not have one without the other.” This is something that is critically important in our day and age because Our Blessed Lady pretty much gets short-tripped with a lot of people. The vast majority of non-Catholics who want to call themselves Christian have absolutely no time for her; in fact, they have a hatred for her. And there are many, many Catholics who think they do not need her at all, that somehow this is not important.

All you have to do is simply look and ask yourself, “Did Jesus need her?” Are you a member of the Mystical Body of Christ? Then you need her exactly as Jesus needs her. He needed her because He chose that – not out of necessity, but out of choice. He decided that He would have a mother, He decided that He would be obedient to His mother, and He decided that He would make Himself dependent on His mother. Therefore, because it was His choice, it is the way that He did it. And for those who are members of His Mystical Body, who are called to do exactly what Jesus did, He says, I do nothing except what I see My Father doing, which means the Father chose that the Son would be dependent on His mother. For us, Jesus stands as the example not only in His teaching but in His deeds. Therefore, we should be able to say, “I do nothing except what I see the Son of God doing.” And what we see the Son of God doing is being obedient and being dependent with regard to His own mother, as well as, of course, to His Father. So it is for us, then, to be able to look at what He did and say, “If God has made Himself dependent on this extraordinary woman, so too must we be. If God has made Himself obedient to this most wonderful of all women, so too must we be,” because we are to do nothing other than what we see the Son of God doing, and He does nothing except what He sees His Father doing. The relationship is clearly set out.

We are members of Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ has a Father Who is in heaven, and thus we call Him “Our Father” because we are a member of Christ. Our Lord also has a mother whom we call “Our Mother” for the exact same reason. And if we do not accept the mother, we do not accept the Son, because you do not have one without the other. If we reject the Son, we reject the Father. If we reject the Son, we also reject the mother. The same works the other way. Reject the Father and you reject the Son. Reject the mother and you reject the Son, because they are one. So we have to make sure for ourselves that if we want to have our voices heard on a day of salvation, on a day that is acceptable to the Lord, it is going to be to do things the way that He did them because that is the acceptable way. It is the means to salvation. It means being humble, it means being obedient, it means being dependent, and it means loving perfectly; not only God, not only Jesus, but Our Blessed Lady, because that is the way He has chosen for Himself and it is the way He has chosen for those who are members of His Mystical Body. When we have done that then has salvation come to our house, then it will be an acceptable day, then will be truly the day of salvation.

5 posted on 03/24/2004 8:29:44 AM PST by NYer (Prayer is the Strength of the Weak)
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March 24, 2004 / Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Lent

John 5:17-30

Jesus said to the Jews, "My Father is at work until now, so I am at work." For this reason the Jews tried all the more to kill him, because he not only broke the sabbath but he also called God his own father, making himself equal to God. Jesus answered and said to them, "Amen, amen, I say to you, a son cannot do anything on his own, but only what he sees his father doing; for what he does, his son will do also. For the Father loves his Son and shows him everything that he himself does, and he will show him greater works than these, so that you may be amazed. For just as the Father raises the dead and gives life, so also does the Son give life to whomever he wishes. Nor does the Father judge anyone, but he has given all judgment to his Son, so that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes in the one who sent me has eternal life and will not come to condemnation, but has passed from death to life. Amen, amen, I say to you, the hour is coming and is now here when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For just as the Father has life in himself, so also he gave to his Son the possession of life in himself. And he gave him power to exercise judgment, because he is the Son of Man. Do not be amazed at this, because the hour is coming in which all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and will come out, those who have done good deeds to the resurrection of life, but those who have done wicked deeds to the resurrection of condemnation. "I cannot do anything on my own; I judge as I hear, and my judgment is just, because I do not seek my own will but the will of the one who sent me.

Introductory Prayer:Lord, I am constantly seeking honors for myself. But I want to simplify my life and direct all honor and glory to you. I know this will give my life a sense of meaning and peace to my soul.

Petition:Grant me the humility to depend on you, Lord, in everything.

1. Divine intimacy Not every parent shows their children all their secrets; however, the Father “shows [Jesus] all that he is doing.” This is intimacy. Yet, the relationship between the Father and the Son is not a closed circle; Christ invites his listeners and us to be drawn into this circle. This should make us marvel. Who are we, his creatures, to be able to enjoy such intimacy with him? The Son sees all that the Father does, and is therefore able to do exactly what the Father has done. Let yourself be drawn into intimacy with Jesus and the Father, especially in prayer.

2. Honoring the Father Jesus’ accusers would charge that his claim to equality with the Father was a claim to independence from the Father’s authority. This was “blasphemy”. But in reality the opposite is true: his claim to equality with God is accompanied by his submission to the Father’s authority. How can the one God work against himself? If I too wish to honor my Father, I mustn’t “do anything on my own”, but all things through him and with him. What better way can I honor my Father than by helping others perceive his presence in this secular world?

3. Dependence Obviously, the more we realize our complete dependence on God, the easier it is for us to submit to his plan. Divine intimacy with the Father and the Son will enable us to obey not as a fearful slave but as a loving son. “I no longer call you slaves, but friends….” Friends share common aspirations, common dreams, and they depend on each other. One asks, the other gives. Then the second asks and the first gives. Naturally. When we fully recognize our dependence on God, he can more readily act in us and through us.

Dialogue with Christ: Lord, I realize it takes more than will power to remain faithful to the Father’s will: it takes love. I know that in many small ways fidelity will demand that I lay down my life for you. I ask for the grace to respond with generosity to what you ask of me. May my whole life reflect your example of what it means to be a faithful son, reinforcing it in the hearts of men. Lord, convince me that if I am to be perfect like my heavenly Father, I must first be able to submit to his will in the smallest of details.

Resolution: I will speak with Christ about my prayer life, whether it reflects a true dependence on God or not.
6 posted on 03/24/2004 8:37:03 AM PST by NYer (Prayer is the Strength of the Weak)
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