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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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To: NYer
"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." (Jn. 5:28-29)

Before the reform of the Roman Calendar this was the feast of St. Gabriel. This feast has been transferred to September 29 which is also the feast of Sts. Michael and Raphael.

This day was called the 'Feria of the great scrutiny,' because in the Church of Rome, after the necessary inquiries and examinations, the list of the catechumens, who were to receive Baptism, was closed. The Station is held in the basilica of St. Paul outside the walls, both because of the size of the building, and also in order to honor the apostle of the Gentiles by offering him these new recruits, which the Church was about to make from paganism. The reader will be interested and edified by a description of this ceremony.

Meditation - Submission and Christian Obedience
Continual submission to the holy will of God is the most universal of all virtues and its practice should be most familiar to you, since at every moment there arise opportunities of renouncing your own will and submitting to the will of God. His will is always easy to recognize. God has willed that all things that are extremely necessary should also be very easy to obtain. The sun, for instance, and air and water, and the other elements are most necessary for man's natural life; so, also, these things are common and freely available to everyone.

In the same way, since God has placed you in this world only to do His holy will, and your salvation depends upon this, it is, therefore, extremely necessary that you should easily know God's will in all that must be done. So, He has made it easily recognizable, manifesting His holy will in five chief ways which are very certain and evident:
  1. by His commandments;

  2. by His counsels;

  3. by the laws, rules and obligations of our state in life;

  4. by the authority of those placed over you or directing you;

  5. by events, since every happening in an infallible sign that God so wills, either by absolute or by permissive will.
So, if you would but open the eyes of faith even a little, you could easily, at all times and in every situation, recognize God's most holy will, and this knowledge would lead you to love Him and to submit yourself to Him. — The Life and Kingdom of Jesus in Christian Souls, St. John Eudes
9 posted on 03/24/2004 9:03:41 AM PST by NYer (Prayer is the Strength of the Weak)
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