Thứ Năm, 30 tháng 3, 2017

MARCH 31, 2017 : FRIDAY OF THE FOURTH WEEK OF LENT

Friday of the Fourth Week of Lent
Lectionary: 248


Reading 1WIS 2:1A, 12-22

The wicked said among themselves, 
thinking not aright:
"Let us beset the just one, because he is obnoxious to us;
he sets himself against our doings,
Reproaches us for transgressions of the law
and charges us with violations of our training.
He professes to have knowledge of God
and styles himself a child of the LORD.
To us he is the censure of our thoughts; 
merely to see him is a hardship for us,
Because his life is not like that of others,
and different are his ways.
He judges us debased;
he holds aloof from our paths as from things impure.
He calls blest the destiny of the just
and boasts that God is his Father.
Let us see whether his words be true;
let us find out what will happen to him.
For if the just one be the son of God, he will defend him
and deliver him from the hand of his foes.
With revilement and torture let us put him to the test
that we may have proof of his gentleness
and try his patience.
Let us condemn him to a shameful death;
for according to his own words, God will take care of him."
These were their thoughts, but they erred;
for their wickedness blinded them,
and they knew not the hidden counsels of God;
neither did they count on a recompense of holiness
nor discern the innocent souls' reward.

Responsorial PsalmPS 34:17-18, 19-20, 21 AND 23

R. (19a) The Lord is close to the brokenhearted.
The LORD confronts the evildoers,
to destroy remembrance of them from the earth.
When the just cry out, the LORD hears them,
and from all their distress he rescues them.
R. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted.
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted;
and those who are crushed in spirit he saves.
Many are the troubles of the just man,
but out of them all the LORD delivers him.
R. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted.
He watches over all his bones;
not one of them shall be broken.
The LORD redeems the lives of his servants;
no one incurs guilt who takes refuge in him.
R. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted.

Verse Before The GospelMT 4:4B

One does not live on bread alone,
but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.

GospelJN 7:1-2, 10, 25-30

Jesus moved about within Galilee;
he did not wish to travel in Judea,
because the Jews were trying to kill him.
But the Jewish feast of Tabernacles was near.

But when his brothers had gone up to the feast,
he himself also went up, not openly but as it were in secret.

Some of the inhabitants of Jerusalem said,
"Is he not the one they are trying to kill?
And look, he is speaking openly and they say nothing to him.
Could the authorities have realized that he is the Christ?
But we know where he is from.
When the Christ comes, no one will know where he is from."
So Jesus cried out in the temple area as he was teaching and said,
"You know me and also know where I am from.
Yet I did not come on my own,
but the one who sent me, whom you do not know, is true.
I know him, because I am from him, and he sent me."
So they tried to arrest him,
but no one laid a hand upon him,
because his hour had not yet come.


Meditation: His hour had not yet come
What can hold us back from doing the will of God? Fear, especially the fear of death and the fear of losing the approval of others, can easily rob us of courage and the will to do what we know is right. Jesus met opposition and the threat of death with grace and determination to accomplish his Father's will. Jesus knew that his mission, his purpose in life, would entail sacrifice and suffering and culminate with death on the cross. But that would not be the end. His "hour" would crush defeat with victory over sin and Satan, condemnation with pardon and freedom, and death with glory and everlasting life. 
Jesus offered up his life for us to restore us to friendship with God
He willingly suffered for our sake and embraced the cross to redeem us from sin and to restore us to new life and friendship with God our Father.
Saint Augustine of Hippo (354-430 AD) wrote:
"Our Lord had the power to lay down his life and to take it up again. But we cannot choose how long we shall live, and death comes to us even against our will. Christ, by dying, has already overcome death. Our freedom from death comes only through his death. To save us Christ had no need of us. Yet without him we can do nothing. He gave himself to us as the vine to the branches; apart from him we cannot live."
No one can be indifferent with Jesus for very long. What he said and did - his miraculous signs and wonders - he did in the name of God. Jesus not only claimed to be the Messiah, God’s Anointed One - he claimed to be in a unique relationship of sonship with God the Father and to know him as no one else did. To the Jews this was utter blasphemy. The religious authorities did all they could to put a stop to Jesus because they could not accept his claims and the demands he made.
Jesus alone can set us free from the power of sinful pride, rebellion, and fear 
We cannot be indifferent to the claims which Jesus makes on us. We are either for him or against him. There is no middle ground. We can try to mold the Lord Jesus to our own ideas and way of thinking or we can allow his word of truth to free us from our own sinful blindness, stubborn pride, and ignorance. Do you accept all that Jesus has taught and done for you with faith and reverence or with disbelief and contempt? The consequences are enormous, both in this life and in eternity.
"Eternal God, who are the light of the minds that know you, the joy of the hearts that love you, and the strength of the wills that serve you; grant us so to know you, that we may truly love you, and so to love you that we may fully serve you, whom to serve is perfect freedom, in Jesus Christ our Lord." (Prayer of Saint Augustine)
A Daily Quote for LentChrist our physician, by Augustine of Hippo, 354-430 A.D.
"As Christians, our task is to make daily progress toward God. Our pilgrimage on earth is a school in which God is the only teacher, and it demands good students, not ones who play truant. In this school we learn something every day. We learn something from commandments, something from examples, and something from sacraments. These things are remedies for our wounds and materials for study." (excerpt from Sermon 218c,1) 

FRIDAY, MARCH 31, JOHN 7;1-2, 10, 25-30
Lenten Weekday

(Wisdom 2:1a, 12-22; Psalm 34)

KEY VERSE: "I did not come on my own, but the one who sent me, whom you do not know, is true" (v.28).
TO KNOW: The Jews celebrated three major feasts: Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles annually. The Feast of Tabernacles was also known as the Feast of Booths (Hebrew, Sukkot). During the seven day feast, the people dwelt in branched "booths" (or tents), a commemoration of the time when their ancestors lived in tents during their wilderness journey (Lev.23:43). During the celebration, the people offered thanksgiving for the temple, the place of worship given them to them in the Promised Land (1 Kgs 8:2; 12:32). They also gave thanks for the crops harvested that year (Deut 16:13; Ex 23:16). When some relatives of Jesus urged him to go to the feast and publicly perform his miracles, he knew that his life would be at risk. So Jesus went in secret and, while he was there, he taught in the temple. Some people knew Jesus' human origin. They knew that his home was in Nazareth; they knew his parents; and they knew his brothers and sisters (close relatives). But popular belief in that day held that the Messiah would appear suddenly and no one would know where he had come from. Jesus declared that he had not come on his own. He had been sent by God, the one whom they did not know.
TO LOVE: Am I growing in God's word through Jesus this Lent?
TO SERVE: Lord Jesus, dwell with me throughout my life's journey.

Friday 31 March 2017

Fri 31st. St Guy of Pomposa. Ws 2:1a,12-22; Jn 7:1-2,10,25-30.
‘Some of the people of Jerusalem were saying, “Isn’t this the man they want to kill?”’ John 7:25
Oscar Wilde, when he first went to Oxford as a student, was asked to read and translate a chapter of the New Testament in Greek. He started out on a Gospel, and the tutor soon went to take the book off him, saying “Thank you Mr Wilde, very good’. To which Mr Wilde replied: ‘This is most interesting, I want to see how it ends.’ Seriously though, imagine reading the Gospel of John for the first time, with this tension of impending murder continuing to build.
Violent death is everywhere in my world. It is so extensive that I can only see it as evil, so a small-hearted god who has no sense of evil and death will be little use to me. On the other hand, a loving God who enters my world, who embraces my suffering, fully knowing the cost, is my hope for salvation. Jesus, I believe you are with me in my suffering. Help me see the power of divine love over human grief.

BL. JANE OF TOULOUSE

Blessed Jane lived in the French town of Toulouse during the 13th century. A Carmelite monastery was founded in the same town in 1240 which exposed Jane to the Carmelite lifestyle and spirituality.
In 1265 when St. Simon Stock, a 13th century reformer of the Carmelites, was passing through Toulouse, Jane met him and requested to be affiliated with the Carmelites. Simon agreed and Jane became the first Third Order Carmelite.
Jane vowed herself to perpetual chastity and applied herself completely to the Carmelite Rule. In addition to many daily holy practices and penances, she reached out to the community and worked to help the sick and poor. One of Jane's primary missions was encouraging the boys of the town to help her serve the poor and help them discern whether or not they were called to be Carmelites. 
Blessed Jane is considered to be a founder of the Carmelite tertiary order and is considered to be its first member.
She died in 1286.

LECTIO DIVINA: JOHN 7, 1-2.10.25-30
Lectio Divina: 
 Friday, March 31, 2017
Lent Time

1) OPENING PRAYER
Our God and Father,
we claim to be your sons and daughters,
who know that you love us,
and that you call us to live
the life of Jesus, your Son.
Give us the courage
to live this life consistently
not to show off, not to reprove others,
but simply because we know
that you are our Father
and we your sons and daughters,
brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ, our Lord.
2) GOSPEL READING - JOHN 7, 1-2.10.25-30
After this Jesus travelled round Galilee; he could not travel round Judaea, because the Jews were seeking to kill him.
As the Jewish feast of Shelters drew near, his brothers had left for the festival, he went up as well, not publicly but secretly.
Meanwhile some of the people of Jerusalem were saying, 'Isn't this the man they want to kill? And here he is, speaking openly, and they have nothing to say to him! Can it be true the authorities have recognised that he is the Christ? Yet we all know where he comes from, but when the Christ appears no one will know where he comes from.' Then, as Jesus was teaching in the Temple, he cried out: You know me and you know where I came from. Yet I have not come of my own accord: but he who sent me is true; You do not know him, but I know him because I have my being from him and it was he who sent me.
They wanted to arrest him then, but because his hour had not yet come no one laid a hand on him.
3) REFLECTION
• Throughout the chapters from 1 to 12 of the Gospel of John, one discovers the progressive revelation which Jesus makes of himself to the disciples and to the people. At the same time and in the same proportion, the closing up and the opposition of the authority against Jesus increases, up to the point of deciding to condemn him to death (Jn 11, 45-54). Chapter 7, on which we are meditating in today’s Gospel, is a type of evaluation in the middle of the journey. It helps to foresee what will be the implication at the end.
• John 7, 1-2.10: Jesus decides to go to the feast of the Tabernacles in Jerusalem. The geography of the life of Jesus in the Gospel of John is different from the geography in the other three Gospels. It is more complete. According to the other Gospels, Jesus went only once to Jerusalem, the time when he was taken and condemned to death. According to the Gospel of John he went there at least two or three times to Jerusalem for the feast of the Passover. This is why we know that the public life of Jesus lasted approximately three years. Today’s Gospel informs us that Jesus directed himself more than once to Jerusalem, but not publicly; hidden because in Judah the Jews wanted to kill him.
• In this chapter 7 as well as in the other chapters, John speaks about the “Jews” and of “you Jews”, as if he and Jesus were not Jews. This way of speaking shows the situation of a tragic breaking which took place at the end of the first century between the Jews (Synagogue) and the Christians (Ecclesia). Throughout the centuries, this way of speaking in the Gospel of John contributes to make anti-Semitism grow. Today, it is very important to keep away from this type of polemics so as not to foster anti-Semitism. We can never forget that Jesus is a Jew. He was born a Jew, lives as a Jew and dies as a Jew. He received all his formation from the Jewish religion and culture.
• John 7, 25-27: Doubts of the people of Jerusalem regarding Jesus. Jesus is in Jerusalem and he speaks publicly to those who want to listen to him. People remain confused. They know that the authorities want to kill Jesus and he does not hide from them. Would it be that the authorities have come to believe in him and recognize that he is the Messiah? But how could Jesus be the Messiah? Everybody knows that he comes from Nazareth, but nobody knows the origin of the Messiah, from where he comes.
• John 7, 28-29: Clarification on the part of Jesus. Jesus speaks about his origin. “You know me and you know where I come from”. But what people do not know is the vocation and the mission which Jesus received from God. He did not come on his own accord, but like any prophet he has come to obey a vocation, which is the secret of his life. ”Yet, I have not come of my own accord but he who sent me is true, and you do not know him. But I know him, because I have my being from him and it was he who sent me”.
• John 7, 30: His hour had not yet come. They wanted to arrest him, but no one laid a hand on him, “because his hour had not yet come”. In John’s Gospel the one who determines the hour and the events which will take place are not those who have the power, but it is Jesus. He is the one who determines the hour (cf. Jn 2, 4; 4, 23; 8, 20; 12.23.27; 13, 1; 17, 1). Even up to the time when he was nailed to the Cross, it is Jesus who determines the hour of his death (Jn 19, 29-30).
4) PERSONAL QUESTIONS
• How do I live my relationship with the Jews? Have I discovered sometimes some anti Semitism in me? Have I succeeded in eliminating it?
• Like in the time of Jesus, today also, there are many new ideas and opinions on things which refer to faith. What do I do? Am I attached firmly to the old ideas and close myself up in them, or do I try to understand the why, the reason for the novelty?
5) CONCLUDING PRAYER
Yahweh ransoms the lives of those who serve him,
and there will be no penalty
for those who take refuge in him. (Ps 34,24)