Loving Jesus, you never ask us to do the impossible, but you often ask us to do something difficult. Help us to remember that you are with us always, even in times of trouble. And help us today and throughout Lent to be open to your grace.
-from Peace and Good
✞ "The school of Christ is the school of love. In the last day, when the general examination takes place ... Love will be the whole syllabus." — St. Robert Bellarmine
✞ MEDITATION OF THE DAY "Set free from human judgment, we should count as true only what God sees in us, what he knows, and what he judges. God does not judge as man does. Man sees only the countenance, only the exterior. God penetrates to the depths of our hearts. God does not change as man does. His judgment is in no way inconstant. He is the only one upon whom we should rely. How happy we are then, and how peaceful! We are no longer dazzled by appearances, or stirred up by opinions; we are united to the truth and depend upon it alone. I am praised, blamed, treated with indifference, disdained, ignored, or forgotten; none of this can touch me. I will be no less than I am. Men and women want to play at being a creator. They want to give me existence in their opinion, but this existence that they want to give me is nothingness. It is an illusion, a shadow, an appearance, that is, at bottom, nothingness. What is this shadow, always following me, behind me, at my side? Is it me, or something that belongs to me? No. Yet does not this shadow seem to move with me? No matter: it is not me. So it is with the judgements of men: they would follow me everywhere, paint me, sketch me, make me move according to their whim, and, in the end, give me some sort of existence ... but I am disabused of this error. I am content with a hidden life. How peaceful it is! Whether I truly live this Christian life of which St. Paul speaks, I do not know, nor can I know with certainty. But I hope that I do, and I trust in God's goodness to help me." — Bishop Jacques-Benigne Bossuet AN EXCERPT FROM Meditations for Lent
✞ VERSE OF THE DAY "For all of us must appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each may receive recompense for what has been done in the body, whether good or evil." 2 Corinthians 5:10
SAINT OF THE DAY
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Saint of the Day for March 27
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Lazarus, the friend of Jesus, the brother of Martha and Mary, was the one of whom the Jews said, "See how much he loved him." In their sight, Jesus raised his friend Lazarus from the dead.
Legends abound about the life of Lazarus after the death and resurrection of Jesus. He is supposed to have left a written account of what he saw in the next world before he was called back to life. Some say he followed Peter into Syria. Another story is that despite being put into a leaking boat by the Jews at Jaffa, he, his sisters, and others landed safely in Cyprus. There he died peacefully after serving as bishop for 30 years.
A church was built in his honor in Constantinople and some of his reputed relics were transferred there in 890. A Western legend has the oarless boat arriving in Gaul. There he was bishop of Marseilles, was martyred after making a number of converts, and was buried in a cave. His relics were transferred to the new cathedral in Autun in 1146.
It is certain there was early devotion to the saint. Around the year 390, the pilgrim lady Etheria talks of the procession that took place on the Saturday before Palm Sunday at the tomb where Lazarus had been raised from the dead. In the West, Passion Sunday was called Dominica de Lazaro, and Augustine tells us that in Africa the Gospel of the raising of Lazarus was read at the office of Palm Sunday.
Many people who have had a near-death experience report losing all fear of death. When Lazarus died a second time, perhaps he was without fear. He must have been sure that Jesus, the friend with whom he had shared many meals and conversations, would be waiting to raise him again. We don't share Lazarus' firsthand knowledge of returning from the grave. Nevertheless, we too have shared meals and conversations with Jesus, who waits to raise us, too.
Thus says the LORD: Lo, I am about to create new heavens and a new earth; The things of the past shall not be remembered or come to mind. Instead, there shall always be rejoicing and happiness in what I create; For I create Jerusalem to be a joy and its people to be a delight; I will rejoice in Jerusalem and exult in my people. No longer shall the sound of weeping be heard there, or the sound of crying; No longer shall there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not round out his full lifetime; He dies a mere youth who reaches but a hundred years, and he who fails of a hundred shall be thought accursed. They shall live in the houses they build, and eat the fruit of the vineyards they plant.
Responsorial Psalm Ps 30:2 and 4, 5-6, 11-12a and 13b R. (2a) I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me. I will extol you, O LORD, for you drew me clear and did not let my enemies rejoice over me. O LORD, you brought me up from the nether world; you preserved me from among those going down into the pit. R. I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me. Sing praise to the LORD, you his faithful ones, and give thanks to his holy name. For his anger lasts but a moment; a lifetime, his good will. At nightfall, weeping enters in, but with the dawn, rejoicing. R. I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me. "Hear, O LORD, and have pity on me; O LORD, be my helper." You changed my mourning into dancing; O LORD, my God, forever will I give you thanks. R. I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.
Verse Before the Gospel Am 5:14 Seek good and not evil so that you may live, and the LORD will be with you.
Gospel Jn 4:43-54
At that time Jesus left [Samaria] for Galilee. For Jesus himself testified that a prophet has no honor in his native place. When he came into Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him, since they had seen all he had done in Jerusalem at the feast; for they themselves had gone to the feast.
Then he returned to Cana in Galilee, where he had made the water wine. Now there was a royal official whose son was ill in Capernaum. When he heard that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judea, he went to him and asked him to come down and heal his son, who was near death. Jesus said to him, "Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will not believe." The royal official said to him, "Sir, come down before my child dies." Jesus said to him, "You may go; your son will live." The man believed what Jesus said to him and left. While the man was on his way back, his slaves met him and told him that his boy would live. He asked them when he began to recover. They told him, "The fever left him yesterday, about one in the afternoon." The father realized that just at that time Jesus had said to him, "Your son will live," and he and his whole household came to believe. Now this was the second sign Jesus did when he came to Galilee from Judea.
_I am about to create new heavens and a new earth. (Isaiah 65:17) _
We may be tempted to view this promise of restoration as something God has planned for the far distant future, maybe in some Hollywood version of heaven where we will be sitting on clouds and playing harps.
Think again. God is asking us to rejoice in what he is doing right now. The fulfillment of his promise of restoration began the moment after our first parents fell into sin, and it continues to unfold today. From the call of Abraham to the exodus under Moses and the kingship of David and Solomon, God was paving the way. Then came Jesus, the Son of God, whose death and resurrection ushered in a new age of redemption and freedom. Through him, we can experience the new creation we read about today. But how does that happen?
To answer this question, we need to understand who is making such a grand promise—God himself. "I am creating," the Lord says. We are the ones being restored, not the ones doing the restoring. This means that we need to let God do the work. If we fall back on our natural tendency to try to fix everything ourselves, we'll find these words from Scripture to be not only challenging, but maybe even disheartening. After all, who among us can restore ourselves to God's image? Of course we need to cooperate with God, but as humble servants who know when to step aside and let the Master take over.
The more space you give God to work, the more refreshed, invigorated, and restored you will feel. So as you enter into the second half of Lent, let the Lord nourish you. Sit quietly, pondering his word. In prayer, recall all he has done for you already, and praise him for all he still wants to do. Cherish the gift of the Eucharist. Or maybe share God's blessings with someone in your home. Whatever you do, make it a point to balance out the things you do for God with how much you let him restore you.
"Father, make me new today. I want to become a vessel of your love and grace to the people around me."
Psalm 30:2, 4-6, 11-13 John 4:43-54
my2cents: The Lord said: "Lo, I am about to create new heavens and a new earth; No longer shall the sound of weeping be heard there, or the sound of crying"
We pray today " I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me" and "O LORD, be my helper." You changed my mourning into dancing; O LORD, my God, forever will I give you thanks."
Giving thanks is the key. A life of being grateful, of being truly appreciative, of being in awe and wonder of God, this is a sign of the Spirit and reverence, and is pointing to humility.
In the Gospel, there is a persistent man in his pleading, in his interceding for his son's life. Jesus says ""Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will not believe." Is that not the truth? One of our requirements to believe is to see. Well, thankfully, God says in the bible "taste and see" in Psalms 34:8 This poor one cried out and the LORD heard, and from all his distress he saved him. The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he saves them. Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the stalwart one who takes refuge in him. Fear the LORD, you his holy ones; nothing is lacking to those who fear him". Fear means filial fear, which means a fear to ever break the bond of love which is what happens in sin. It is tied with faith, with love. Bishop Barren says today "Theologian Paul Tillich said that "faith" is the most misunderstood word in the religious vocabulary. And this is a tragedy, for faith stands at the very heart of the program; it is the sine qua non of the Christian thing. What is it? The opening line of Hebrews 11 has the right definition: "Faith is confident assurance concerning what we hope for, and conviction about things we do not see." Faith is a straining ahead toward those things that are, at best, dimly glimpsed. But notice, please, it is not a craven, hand-wringing, unsure business. It is "confident" and full of "conviction." Think of the great figures of faith, from Abraham to John Paul II: they are anything but shaky, indefinite, questioning people. Like the royal official, they are clear, focused, assured."
The official in the Holy Gospel believed Jesus, and his son was saved. The official hadn't seen a sign, he only heard the word and went on his way. What was the journey like, when he walked away having heard his son would live? It is our journey in life, when Jesus says that we will not die, but live on.
Lately, I've been receiving the Lord almost daily in the Holy Eucharist, in daily Mass, and this has made its way through my mind: with this mystery of eternity before us, we can not fathom eternity because we are focused only on the temporal, on the external, and fail to see the internal, and the eternal. This is where faith kicks in. After reading today's Gospel, I can't wait for an opportunity like forever, to give thanks. Because this life is not enough. I can not repay God what He has done for us. This is what eternity was designed for. Because the official's family was saved from that point on when Jesus said "he will live" and this meant they all would be saved. I want this for every soul I encounter. I want this for you, if it were not the case, I would not pray for you for reading this every day. And what a precious moment being in the now with the Lord, it truly is the present....
adrian Reedeemedonline: Action for today: Write down a list of saints, and prominent Catholic figures that inspire you. What do they have in common? What do you admire about them? Instead of looking at these people as unattainable models of holiness, learn from their example. Let their lives inspire you to live more faithfully. Maybe add a new daily devotion modeled after a saint you love, or find new ways to serve the people around you, as the Catholic speakers motivate you to! Let the Holy Spirit show you what you need to know about God through these holy people, and then let Him activate it in your life!
Prayer for today: Holy Spirit, come into my heart. Fill me with the fire of Your love!
Quote for today: "Every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future." – Oscar Wilde
Be a Hero today - #ShareJesus: Share the words of a Catholic saint or speaker you admire with a friend. Tell them how this person motivates you to work on your relationship with God.