(AmericanCatholic.org site down this morning for Saint of The Day)
EDUCATOR, FOUNDER, CONFESSOR
Feast: April 7
Read more: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/J/stjohnbaptistdelasalle.asp#ixzz2yCgL6XkC
Dear Jesus, I come to you today
If God were trying to tell me something, would I know?
At this moment Lord I turn my thoughts to You. I will leave aside my chores and preoccupations.
The Word of God
Remembering that I am still in God's presence, I imagine Jesus himself standing or sitting beside me, and say whatever is on my mind, whatever is in my heart, speaking as one friend to another.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
Meditation: John 8:1-11
Saint John Baptist de la Salle, Priest
Neither do I condemn you. (John 8:11)
In Victor Hugo's classic novel Les Miserables, the main character, Jean Valjean, is imprisoned several years for stealing a loaf of bread. When he is finally released, he is so desperate for money that he steals a pair of silver candlesticks from a kindly bishop—only to be arrested again. Knowing he is guilty, Valjean fears a return to prison. But the bishop surprises him by telling the police that Valjean didn't steal the candlesticks; the bishop had given them to him as a gift. Speechless in the face of such mercy, Valjean turns his life around completely. From that day on, he leads a life of generosity and charity, treating other people with the same compassion that he had received.
In today's Gospel reading, we find a woman who, having been caught committing adultery, is also well aware of her sin and trembling in fear of the punishment that she surely deserved. But like Valjean, she too was stunned to find that rather than condemnation, she received mercy. Instead of being met with stones, she felt the healing touch of Jesus' words. And her heart was so softened by them that she was prepared to respond in love when he told her, "Go, and from now on do not sin any more" (John 8:11).
Both stories show us what conversion looks like. Someone who is headed in one direction—toward selfishness and sin—has an encounter with God's deep love and mercy and begins to move in a completely different direction. Touched by love and moved by grace, he or she becomes a new creation.
Lent is a time of conversion for all of us—even those of us who have been following the Lord for years. Is there an area of your life where you are heading in the wrong direction? Bring it to the Lord. Let him show you his mercy so that you can turn it around. Take it to Confession so that you can hear the stunning, surprising, life-giving words that have saved so many other people: "Neither do I condemn you. Go and do not sin any more."
"Oh, the love and mercy of God—where would we be without it! Lord, thank you, thank you! Your mercy endures forever!"
Daniel 13:1-9, 15-17, 19-30, 33-62; Psalm 23:1-6
I have been wearing this ring as a small mortification reminder for lent; it is not real comfortable, and leaves a greenish stain on my finger by the end of the day, it was pretty cool when new, but I am wearing it out, it spins around with two words and two crosses, Trust God. In today's first Holy Scripture, we read of a woman who was accused of adultery. In the most Holy Gospel, we read of a woman accused of adultery. The Psalm prays "Even though I walk in the dark valley I fear no evil; for you are at my side." The story of trusting God remains forever engraved in History and remains to this day that we live for the Lord. Do you trust Him with everything? With your whole life? Do you trust in His mercy and love? Do you trust His mercy is greater than your sin? And if you trust in His mercy, how great should are gratefulness be? There is nothing we can do or give greater than what God gave to us, the Love of His life, to free us from sin and death, for there is no greater love. In the Gospel of John 15:13, we read "No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends." the very words of Jesus our Lord and Master. And He would lay His life, save a life like Daniel but even more, coming between life and death as a Savior forever.
As noble and awesome as this is, we have to keep in mind though, the words that followed this sentence of our Lord, because immediately after, if you keep on reading the Holy Gospel it says "You are my friends if you do what I command you." And so now we have something to keep in mind. He calls us friends (He lays His life for us) but are we His friends (will we lay our lives for Him)? In other words, am I doing what He has commanded me? Many so called "friends" of Jesus fled the scene when it got down to the nitty gritty. We come out with full force "Yes Lord, I'll do whatever you want and say" and then you get back to life and realize the real sacrifice it takes to do what you just said and begin to flee the scene, first one step back, and then another, and soon you are gone, away from the church, away from His side, away from this "friend". But "Oh Susanna, Oh don't you cry for me!" goes the old song, LOL, Susanna was faithful, she was a friend of God and God heard her cries. We don't have a name for the adulterer in the Holy Gospel, but we do know that Jesus saved her, simply by forgiving her. Why don't we go to be saved? Why don't we partake of His mercy? Why don't we trust this "Friend"?
Most often parishioners say they are embarrassed of going to their priest for confession, I mean, can you imagine saying this is your friend and then telling him how you really are? Wait...is this a two sided friend? Uh oh. I have seen though, a parishioner go to a priest and tell him his darkest secrets in confession, only to see them as good real friends. Isn't that how a true friendship is? You confide and trust in one another? What we have here is Susanna was God's friend, and Jesus was the adulterer's friend, one in need of the other, a circle of life with a circle of friends, and in the middle of all is Jesus. How soon do we sin and feel I am not worthy of God? How soon and how often does it happen? Probably more than we care to admit, but I will tell you what has helped my ongoing conversion, talking to my "Friend", and His love is overpowering, sin and death having nothing on Jesus, not any more until forever. This makes me know I am alive. Lent has been extraordinary so far as we approach Holy Week, the entire reason for being Christians, the Easter to come. I want you to know, that you have a friend. I want you to know, that this is a trust relationship, where we do what He says and trust that Friend. In the cursillo, we have a motto, "Make A friend,
Be A Friend,
Bring A Friend to Christ" And this could only mean one thing...being a friend of Christ brings friends to Christ. And when this happens we realize we are more than friends but brothers and sisters, and even more than that...that Christ is in every soul
Food For The Poor
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