†Saint Quote "At each step we can admire the grandeur, the power, the goodness of God. How bountifully He provides for all our wants—I would even say for our pleasures!" –St. Theodore Guerin
†Today's Meditation "Always give good heed to the Word of God, whether you hear or read it in private, or hearken to it when publicly preached: listen with attention and reverence; seek to profit by it, and do not let the precious words fall unheeded; receive them into your heart as a costly balsam; imitate the Blessed Virgin who 'kept all the sayings' concerning her Son, 'in her heart.' And remember that according as we hearken to and receive God's words, so will He hearken and receive our supplications." —St. Francis de Sales, p. 99
An Excerpt From An Introduction to the Devout Life
†Daily Verse "All these things my hand has made, and so all these things are mine, says the Lord. But this is the man to whom I will look, he that is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word." –Isaiah 66:2
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St. John Baptist de la Salle
(1651-1719) was born in Rheims, France, to a noble family. He was pious and smart, and his parents took great care over his moral and intellectual training. He entered seminary and was ordained at the age of twenty-seven. In St. John Baptist's era, only the noble and wealthy classes had access to a good education. His work among the poor led him to establish a home and school for rough and illiterate orphaned boys. The institution was successful and soon a second was established. St. John Baptist then dedicated his life to the cause of education, giving his wealth to the poor and resigning his respectable position as canon at Rheims. He recruited and trained men to teach in free schools he founded for the poor, which grew into a brotherhood of young men who were attracted to a life of service in teaching and catechesis. This became the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, or Christian Brothers. They took vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, but not Holy Orders. The Christian Brothers expanded, and in many parts of France parish priests sent young men to be trained by St. John Baptist to serve as schoolmasters in their villages. Although he was initially opposed in his innovative work, both inside and outside the Church, St. John Baptist's foundations and methods soon became the standard for education in France and spread internationally. St. John Baptist de la Salle is the patron of schoolteachers. His feast day is April 7th.
Thursday of the Fifth Week of Lent
Lectionary: 254 Reading I
When Abram prostrated himself, God spoke to him: "My covenant with you is this: you are to become the father of a host of nations. No longer shall you be called Abram; your name shall be Abraham, for I am making you the father of a host of nations. I will render you exceedingly fertile; I will make nations of you; kings shall stem from you. I will maintain my covenant with you and your descendants after you throughout the ages as an everlasting pact, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. I will give to you and to your descendants after you the land in which you are now staying, the whole land of Canaan, as a permanent possession; and I will be their God."
God also said to Abraham: "On your part, you and your descendants after you must keep my covenant throughout the ages."
105:4-5, 6-7, 8-9
R. (8a) The Lord remembers his covenant for ever. Look to the LORD in his strength;
seek to serve him constantly. Recall the wondrous deeds that he has wrought,
his portents, and the judgments he has uttered. R. The Lord remembers his covenant for ever. You descendants of Abraham, his servants,
sons of Jacob, his chosen ones! He, the LORD, is our God;
throughout the earth his judgments prevail. R. The Lord remembers his covenant for ever. He remembers forever his covenant
which he made binding for a thousand generations – Which he entered into with Abraham
and by his oath to Isaac. R. The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
Verse Before the Gospel
If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
Jesus said to the Jews: "Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever keeps my word will never see death." So the Jews said to him, "Now we are sure that you are possessed. Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say, 'Whoever keeps my word will never taste death.' Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? Or the prophets, who died? Who do you make yourself out to be?" Jesus answered, "If I glorify myself, my glory is worth nothing; but it is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, 'He is our God.' You do not know him, but I know him. And if I should say that I do not know him, I would be like you a liar. But I do know him and I keep his word. Abraham your father rejoiced to see my day; he saw it and was glad." So the Jews said to him, "You are not yet fifty years old and you have seen Abraham?" Jesus said to them, "Amen, amen, I say to you, before Abraham came to be, I AM." So they picked up stones to throw at him; but Jesus hid and went out of the temple area.
Daily Meditation: Genesis 17:3-9
I will maintain my covenant with you . . . to be your God. (Genesis 17:7)
In today's first reading, God makes a covenant with Abraham and promises him many things: that he would become the father of nations, that kings would stem from him, and that he would enter the Promised Land. Abraham didn't see the complete fulfillment of these promises in his lifetime. He saw glimmers of them in the gift of his son, Isaac, but not much more. However, at the heart of God's covenant with Abraham was the assurance of his everlasting love and presence. God promised he would never leave Abraham—and he didn't. Through thick and thin, he remained faithful as Abraham's God.
From Abraham's descendants came a savior, Jesus Christ, who ushered in a new covenant of love. Now, not only do we have the assurance of God's love and presence, but through Jesus' death and resurrection, we have been forgiven and redeemed. And the glimmer of the fulfillment yet to come? One day, when he comes again, we will be raised with him!
So no matter the ups and downs we face in life, no matter how things appear, we know that God keeps his covenant promises. When things were difficult for Abraham—when he wondered how he could conceive a child in his old age and then when he was called to sacrifice that child—he believed that God was going to be faithful. He believed that somehow, though he couldn't predict exactly how or when, God would show him his steadfast love and keep his word. That's true for us as well.
This is what it means that God is covenanted to us: that though we might not know all the details or see everything unfold in our lifetime, God will continue to love us, forgive us, and walk with us. It's this covenant love that helps us to persevere in those times when we are waiting and wondering about how God will respond to us.
There's so much we can't know about the future. There's so much we can't control. But we can stand on the certainty of God's commitment to us. He is a God who "remembers his covenant for ever" (Psalm Response).
"Thank you, Lord, for your steadfast love!"
Psalm 105:4-9 John 8:51-59
From today's 1st Holy Scripture: "God also said to Abraham: "On your part, you and your descendants after you must keep my covenant throughout the ages."
The covenant remains forever. It still stands. Today there are over 3 Billion known descendants of Father Abraham in the world's largest religions, and those are alive today, those are not counting all the billions upon billions that have gone before us. History reveals God's truths. We should take head, and learn that God is trustworthy. Faith.
We pray in Psalms: "He remembers forever his covenant which he made binding for a thousand generations –Which he entered into with Abraham and by his oath to Isaac."
So I've heard that a generation typically is about 40 years. So, what of a promised thousand generations? 40,000 years are promised? And we are already over about what, maybe 6,000 years? How much longer will the earth last? What about humanity? The earth will eventually be engulfed by our sun if something else doesn't happen first. What does this mean? It means that you can rely on Him. And we are now missing one generation of children through abortion, an unprecedented slaughter has occurred within the last 40 years. What have we done? We've robbed ourselves, not really God. We cannot harm God directly ourselves, but hurting ourselves hurts Him.
In today's Gospel we heard: ""You are not yet fifty years old and you have seen Abraham?" Jesus said to them, "Amen, amen, I say to you, before Abraham came to be, I AM." So they picked up stones to throw at him"
Here come the stones. Faith used to be taken more seriously back then. Today? Not so much. Today we have a watered down version of how things used to be. Take fasting for instance. People used to really fast, like before Mass, fasting all the way to the night before, then it was moved to midnight, then to an hour before, and now I'm hearing its possible to count the hour of mass as a fast before communion! And in the U.S. we've tailored the Mass times to all hours of the day on Sunday and now even on Saturdays for "work". But it our lives that should be tailored around God, for we are made for Him and in His image. And so when our Lord says I AM, how wrong was He? Some say that we could consider Jesus as a lunatic, a liar, or truly who He is. So if He is a lunatic or a liar, why the stones? Yet, that is how it is today. What do you consider Him?
Lord, You are the Truth, the ONLY Way to Our Father. You are the new Covenant sealed with YOUR precious blood. May we learn to sacrifice too this Way to Heaven.
from your brother in Christ, Adrian
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Random bible verse generator: Hebrews 11:6
6 And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
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