Wednesday, March 13, 2024

† "Hear the voice of the . . ."


†Quote of the Day

"To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible."
–St. Thomas Aquinas

Today's Meditation

"The Passion is described as the mystery of Christ's suffering. It was a mystery at the time because people could not reconcile it with what they had expected. In the sense that we can never fully understand the idea of God suffering, the Passion is still a mystery. Now if our sufferings are somehow or other to fit into the Passion of Christ—and this is no fiction because this is where they belong—there will surely be an element of mystery about them. They will make demands on our faith."
—Fr. Hubert van Zeller, OSB

Daily Verse

Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show his works by a good life in the humility that comes from wisdom."
–James 3:13


St. Euphrasia

St. Euphrasia (380-410 A.D.) was the only child of noble Christian parents serving the court of the Christian Emperor Theodosius I, their relative, in Constantinople. After her birth her parents vowed to remain celibate in order to commit their lives fully to prayer and penance. Her father died soon after, and Euphrasia moved with her mother to Egypt near a large monastery of nuns. At the age of seven Euphrasia vowed her virginity to Christ and desired to join the monastery. Her mother gladly presented her to the abbess, and then died soon after. When the Emperor heard of her mother's death, he sought out Euphrasia for an arranged marriage. Euphrasia denied the offer due to her vow, and requested that her large estate be sold with the money given to the poor, and all her slaves freed. The Emperor was greatly pleased with her chosen course in life, and did all that she asked. As a nun Euphrasia did great penances. In order to resist temptations to sin, she would perform difficult manual labor, often lifting heavy stones and moving them from one place to another for days on end, and other such drudgery. She was known to perform miracles both before and after her death at the age of thirty. Her feast day is March 13th.


Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Lent

Reading 1 Is 49:8-15

Thus says the LORD:
In a time of favor I answer you,
on the day of salvation I help you;
and I have kept you and given you as a covenant to the people,
To restore the land
and allot the desolate heritages,
Saying to the prisoners: Come out!
To those in darkness: Show yourselves!
Along the ways they shall find pasture,
on every bare height shall their pastures be.
They shall not hunger or thirst,
nor shall the scorching wind or the sun strike them;
For he who pities them leads them
and guides them beside springs of water.
I will cut a road through all my mountains,
and make my highways level.
See, some shall come from afar,
others from the north and the west,
and some from the land of Syene.
Sing out, O heavens, and rejoice, O earth,
break forth into song, you mountains.
For the LORD comforts his people
and shows mercy to his afflicted.

But Zion said, "The LORD has forsaken me;
my Lord has forgotten me."
Can a mother forget her infant,
be without tenderness for the child of her womb?
Even should she forget,
I will never forget you.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 145:8-9, 13cd-14, 17-18

R. (8a) The Lord is gracious and merciful.
The LORD is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger and of great kindness.
The LORD is good to all
and compassionate toward all his works.
R. The Lord is gracious and merciful.
The LORD is faithful in all his words
and holy in all his works.
The LORD lifts up all who are falling
and raises up all who are bowed down.
R. The Lord is gracious and merciful.
The LORD is just in all his ways
and holy in all his works.
The LORD is near to all who call upon him,
to all who call upon him in truth.
R. The Lord is gracious and merciful.

Verse Before the Gospel Jn 11:25a, 26

I am the resurrection and the life, says the Lord;
whoever believes in me will never die.

Gospel Jn 5:17-30

Jesus answered the Jews:
"My Father is at work until now, so I am at work."
For this reason they 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, the Son cannot do anything on his own,
but only what he sees the Father doing;
for what he does, the Son will do also.
For the Father loves the 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 the 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 the 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."


Daily Meditation: John 5:17-30

The Son cannot do anything on his own. (John 5:19)

Throughout the Gospels, we see Jesus doing some amazing things: controlling the weather, walking on water, healing diseases, feeding thousands of people with a few loaves and fishes, and even raising the dead! And yet twice in today's Gospel, he claims that he "cannot do anything on [his] own" (John 5:19, 30, emphasis added). He can only do "what he sees the Father doing" (5:19).

Think about what this means for us. Just as Jesus, in his human nature, kept his eyes fixed on his Father, how much more should we if we want to bear fruit that will last!

The truth is, we often try to do things on our own, without looking to our Father for guidance or help. But when we let him lead us instead of trying to go our own way, we become more peaceful and find courage to face our challenges. That's because we don't feel so much pressure to be perfect and get everything right! Confident that the Lord is always by our side, we try our best and then leave the results in his hands. And even when those results aren't exactly what we had hoped for, we can still trust that he is guiding us and helping us.

However, admitting our dependence on the Lord doesn't mean that we are just puppets or robots taking orders from him. We still need to use our free will to choose to cooperate with him; we still need to put forth our effort to do what he is asking us to do.

Of course, there are times when our pride can coax even the best of us into doing what we want without seeking God's wisdom or guidance first. Following our own will instead of his may seem like the easier path at first, but in the long run, it only makes our lives more difficult—and less satisfying as well, since it leads us away from him.

So welcome Jesus into the situations of your life! Admit your need for him, and tell him that you don't want to do anything without him. Let him guide you and help you and, yes, correct you when you need it. He wants nothing more than to empower you to do his will!

"Jesus, teach me to imitate your humility. Lord, I need your grace for everything I do!"

Isaiah 49:8-15
Psalm 145:8-9, 13-14, 17-18


click to hear 2cents

Reflections with Brother Adrian:
Audio English


In the Gospel today we heard:
"For just as the Father has life in himself,
so also he gave to the 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....."
end quote.

This message is coming a little later than usual as I was just asked to preside over a funeral service at the last minute when a pastor got sick. And these scriptures, as I come straight from the cemetery, resonate truly, about death and life, about our judgement.
The Father has given authority to Jesus His Son over life. This is very good news. Because Jesus has proven to the world that He is worthy to be honored, and adored, and why? Because He can be trusted. Why? Because He gave Himself totally to the world, as if to have consecrated Himself to us. This is amazing. Ever heard of that word "consecration"?

A quick question to Mr. Google and we get the response about Consecration as:

"the action of making or declaring something, typically a church, sacred.
"the consecration of this cathedral was a magical event"

(in Christian belief) the action of declaring bread and wine to be or represent the body and blood of Christ.

"the consecration of bread and wine in the Eucharist"

the action of ordaining someone to a sacred office, typically that of bishop."
God has made something sacred. What? Church? What Church?

He has made the body of Christ sacred.
The prayers and words I spoke at the grave earlier were to a crowd that probably don't go much to church, which probably very typical of most funerals. People that don't go to church. What does that mean? People that are not fully aware of what it means to be totally consecrated to God, to emulate Christ, to follow closely the commands of the Lord. Perhaps they've been hurt, or never touched by the Lord.
And so, I did my best to let them know that we have a God a Father that loves us dearly. For this man that passed, "Pedro" had lost his wife a few years ago, he had 4 daughters, and after losing his wife, he lost his daughters in a weird family takeover. The dad yearned for his daughters, I heard. He always wanted to be reunited with his daughters. I told the crowd, "This is how a father loves, always wants to be with his children, always wants to see them". And they put a restraining order on him. Not only did the seize the daughters, but they refused to let him anywhere near them.
This is how evil works when it seizes a wants you NO WHERE NEAR The Father. Why? Because, the where the Father is, true Love, there is no place for evil or darkness.
And this love equates to life.

And life means more than what we can explain. So for our feeble minds, all we have to know is to stay far away from darkness, and let God do God, let God Love through you. How? Simply stop gossip. Stop rumors. Stop hatred. Stop violence. Stop things of darkness. Stop holding grudges. Stop thinking of those who owe you anything, even an apology. To give is to give and expect nothing in return I told them last night and today.
This is God's message. So how can we repay God...with our lives?
Eucharist means gratefulness. God knows you have no way of paying. So, He gave us His Son, the most precious of all beings of Himself.

Let us come to Jesus on our Knees and drink of life saving love pouring out from Him always.


Click for Audio

This is amazing:

Random Bible Verse
James 4:8
8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.


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