Thursday of the Fourth Week in Lent
Exodus 32:7-14 — John 5:31-47
March 18, 2010
Scripture readings from Holy Mass: CLICK HERE
Verse for Recollection throughout the Day:
“…for a while you were content /
to rejoice in his light. /
But I have testimony greater than John’s.”
Jesus’ words to us in today’s Gospel passage are very moving. They are all about “testimony”. That may not seem like a moving word: it might, at first hearing, suggest a courtroom trial. So would a nearly synonymous word: “witness”. Yet maybe we need to reach down and recover the religious meaning at the root of these words…
Jesus mentions a number of “witnesses” that He has: John the Baptizer; the works that the Father gave Him; “the Father who sent me”; and the Scriptures. And what do these witness to about Jesus: that He ran a red light? that’s He’s a nice guy? that He’s the son of Mary? Jesus elaborates for us, in speaking about the witness of His works: “these works that I perform testify on my behalf that the Father has sent me.” Here is one of the themes that John stresses over and over again in his account of the gospel: the divinity of Jesus, which (of course) is based on His relationship to God the Father.
Holy Trinity by Andrey Rublev
To digress for one paragraph, often when Catholics consider the purpose for the Sacrament of Confession, they think primarily of their sins being forgiven. The forgiveness of sins is one of the chief purposes of Confession, but it’s not the only one. Receiving the Sacrament of Confession also confers sacramental graces that one did not have even before committing one’s sins: this is one of the reasons why the Church commends Confession even to those who have committed only venial sins. This is why many of the saints, who we can presume had few sins at all, went to Confession weekly: not only to have their sins forgiven, but also to receive the sacramental graces that strengthen one’s Christian life.
Now apply this example to the Seasons of Lent and Easter. If you were to ask the average Christian, “Why did Jesus die on the Cross?”, you might well get the response, “To wash away our sins.” This response is true. But Jesus’ Passion, Death and Resurrection accomplish more than this only. The Cross and Resurrection are the foundation of one’s Christian life.
And when we say “one’s Christian life”, what exactly are we talking about? The phrase “one’s Christian life” sounds a little abstract, but at the foundation of the Christian life is the truth that through Jesus Christ, we are sons and daughters of God the Father. There is nothing abstract about this relationship. The glory of the Resurrection is a glory that is promised to us as God’s sons and daughters. But what is most moving about this truth is that we already share in this glory, if but dimly, to the extent that we live our Christian life now as witnesses to Jesus Christ, the Father’s only-begotten Son.
Is my relationship with God the Father at the heart of all I do and offer during Lent?
Please pray for these intentions:
special intention of V.
special intentions of E.
special intention of M.
special intention of L.
special intention of S.
prayers for a 16-year old, D.,
who is on the wrong path
special intention of J.
special intention of T.
special intention of R.
special intention of N.
repose of the soul of Fr. Stuchlik
special intention of Fr. Hoisington
You are invited to submit your own petitions to Father Hoisington by means of the Reflections Facebook group, or to his email address: email@example.com.