Greetings on this the Saturday of the Fifth Week of Lent Readings: Ez 37:21-28; Jeremiah 31:10, 11-12abcd, 13; Jn 11:45-56 Notes: Saturday before Palm Sunday
Everyone in Jerusalem wondered what Jesus is going to do?
Now the Passover of the Jews was near, and many went up from the country to Jerusalem before Passover to purify themselves. They looked for Jesus and said to one another as they were in the temple area, “What do you think? That he will not come to the feast?”
First reading My dwelling shall be with them; I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Thus the nations shall know that it is I, the LORD, who make Israel holy, when my sanctuary shall be set up among them forever.
Responsorial From Jeremiah The Lord will guard us, as a shepherd guards his flock.
Verse Before the Gospel Cast away from you all the crimes you have committed, says the LORD, and make for yourselves a new heart and a new spirit.
The Lord’s Plan per Jeremiah:
Covenant with you
Dwell with you
Those in Power Worried
Take away our lands
Take away our nation
What are we going to do?
Which has the stronger hold upon us: the Promise or the Fear?
Greetings on this the Friday of the Fifth Week of Lent Readings: Jer 20:10-13; PS 18:2-3a, 3bc-4, 5-6, 7; Jn 10:31-42 Notes: We SHOULD be making ourselves God (by way of the Sonship of Jesus and the invitation to share in the divine life). Many are greatly mistaken.
In the Catholic Church today the Church is going through some sort of attempted purge.
Rumors, gossip and un-listening ears/hearts looking and probing for any reason to convict the Pope, the Bishop, the Pastor, the Deacon, and the Believer.
Any chance at all.
Even among the ranks of clerics some do likewise.
They picked up rocks to stone Jesus (my translation).
Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from my Father. For which of these are you trying to stone me?”
“We are not stoning you for a good work but for blasphemy. You, a man, are making yourself God.”
But so hopeful that we would!! Be like God in what we do and how we think!!!!
First reading I hear the whisperings of many: “Terror on every side! Denounce! let us denounce him!” All those who were my friends are on the watch for any misstep of mine. “Perhaps he will be trapped; then we can prevail, and take our vengeance on him.”
Reply: Just keep doing good. Resist evil. Trust the Lord.
Responsorial Psalm In my distress I called upon the Lord, and he heard my voice.
I love you, O LORD, my strength, O LORD, my rock, my fortress, my deliverer.
Verse Before the Gospel Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life; you have the words of everlasting life.
Gospel Portion If I do not perform my Father’s works, do not believe me; but if I perform them, even if you do not believe me, believe the works, so that you may realize and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.” Then they tried again to arrest him; but he escaped from their power.
In friendly dialogue with all branches of knowledge
The Church’s social doctrine avails itself of contributions from all branches of knowledge, whatever their source, and has an important interdisciplinary dimension. “In order better to incarnate the one truth about man in different and constantly changing social, economic and political contexts, this teaching enters into dialogue with the various disciplines concerned with man. It assimilates what these disciplines have to contribute”. The social doctrine makes use of the significant contributions of philosophy as well as the descriptive contributions of the human sciences.
Greetings on this the Thursday of the Fifth Week of Lent Readings: Gn 17:3-9; PS 105:4-5, 6-7, 8-9; Jn 8:51-59 Notes: Confusion. For Discussion.
If I could describe this age in a different way it would be the Age of Confusion.
So many norms upended. Some I am glad to see go. Some I lament their passing away.
I hesitate to make a list because then you would want to put me in a labelled group. All our thinking has content of faith, religion, business, government, community and the common good. But how vastly different our opinions!
Patience and compromise.
Acceptance and divergence.
Domination and control.
We seem to have lost the ability to read between the lines. We’ve become literalists and lost the literary understanding of life (if you will, the poetry, the irony, the good tensions, and the good intentions).
Imagine how the early Church had the same. Heresies have been around since the beginning and the fights continue.
Today we suffer awfully in our arrogance.
First reading A Royal Grant with a touch of Suzerain-Vassal covenant:
God also said to Abraham: “On your part, you and your descendants after you must keep my covenant throughout the ages.”
One must remember covenant relationships are partly Suzerain-Vassal covenants. Types of Covenants: Kinship, Royal Grant, and Suzerain-Vassal covenants are distinct types and the Lord invites us to merge the lines between them into one covenant of love.
Responsorial Psalm The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
Verse Before the Gospel If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
Gospel Portion Abraham your father rejoiced to see my day; he saw it and was glad.”
Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, before Abraham came to be, I AM.”
Jesus up-ends everything we understand about time. In his Transfiguration we see Moses and Elijah alive. Here Jesus describes how Abraham was filled with joy to see Jesus come.
Abraham, Moses and Elijah all testify to Jesus. Abraham, Moses and King David all had different types of covenants with the Lord.
The Lord invites us to merge the lines between them into one covenant of love.
Greetings on this the Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Lent Readings: Dn 3:14-20, 91-92, 95; Daniel 3:52, 53, 54, 55, 56; Jn 8:31-42 Notes:
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered King Nebuchadnezzar with faith in the Lord no matter the earthly outcome. They understood who they are and who they belong to, the Lord.
In today’s gospel portion those challenging Jesus had a false understanding of who they are and who they belong to.
We were never slaves – but you were in Egypt a slave and even now slave to sin.
We are children of Abraham, he is our father – yes, descendants, but you act in contradiction to the ancestor.
We have one father, God – no! You have no relation to God because you cannot see Him at work in His Son.
First reading If our God, whom we serve, can save us from the white-hot furnace and from your hands, O king, may he save us! But even if he will not, know, O king, that we will not serve your god or worship the golden statue that you set up.
“Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who sent his angel to deliver the servants who trusted in him; they disobeyed the royal command and yielded their bodies rather than serve or worship any god except their own God.”
Responsorial Psalm Glory and praise for ever!
Verse Before the Gospel Blessed are they who have kept the word with a generous heart and yield a harvest through perseverance.
Gospel Portion “If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Free from slavery to sin.
Free to know God as Father.
Free to know God in His Son.
Free to know truth as person.
In this gospel portion Jesus makes the distinction between being descendants and being children. Descendants by Ancestry is not being children of which in this case is closely understood as disciple or at least one who is righteous.
Trying to kill me because your father is the father of sin, Satan. They are expressing:
children or disciples of evil.
actions of evil.
Take heart in this Lent! Reject Satan and seek good.
We don’t have to rationalize and make elaborate intellectual arguments of who we are and to whom we belong like those arguing with Jesus.
Strive for good. Strive to live in truth. And you will be free.
Greetings on this the Tuesday of the Fifth Week of Lent Readings: Nm 21:4-9; PS 102:2-3, 16-18, 19-21; Jn 8:21-30 Notes: We are fast approaching The Hour.
In the gospel portion today Jesus is referring to the two basic points of reference.
Below – that is to say – the here, myself and now.
Above – that is to say – everywhere, everyone and always.
The Above includes the Below but the Below ignores the Above.
First reading But with their patience worn out by the journey, the people complained against God and Moses, “Why have you brought us up from Egypt to die in this desert, where there is no food or water? We are disgusted with this wretched food!”
The manna was very miraculous food in the sense of timing, availability, quantity, nutrition, flavor, and as gift. It was divinely appointed.
They began to loathe it (always remember the people here are a sign of us all, not unique in their troubles).
Prefiguring the Christ to come, the Suffering Servant. “Make a saraph and mount it on a pole, and whoever looks at it after being bitten will live.” Moses accordingly made a bronze serpent and mounted it on a pole, and whenever anyone who had been bitten by a serpent looked at the bronze serpent, he lived.
Moving our sight to the Above.
Responsorial Psalm O Lord, hear my prayer, and let my cry come to you.
O LORD, hear my prayer, and let my cry come to you. Hide not your face from me in the day of my distress. Incline your ear to me; in the day when I call, answer me speedily.
Verse Before the Gospel The seed is the word of God, Christ is the sower; all who come to him will live for ever.
Gospel Portion He said to them, “You belong to what is below, I belong to what is above. You belong to this world, but I do not belong to this world.
So Jesus said to them, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will realize that I AM.
Greetings on this the Monday of the Fifth Week of Lent Readings: Dn 13:1-9, 15-17, 19-30, 33-62 or 13:41c-62; PS 23:1-3a, 3b-4, 5, 6; Jn 8:12-20 Notes: The 5th Sunday Lent the gospel portion of the A Woman Caught in Adultery. Yesterday – https://bible.usccb.org/bible/john/8?1
First reading The story of Susanna in the book of the prophet Daniel is a must read.
Such a compelling story of the complexity of faith and sin. Susanna, innocent and humble, together with her faithful friends and family coming to her aid. The wicked two old men intent on making their desires satisfied and, if not, to destroy the one whose innocence can destroy them.
God stirred up the holy spirit of a young boy named Daniel. He used wisdom and divine logic to free Suzanna and punish the wicked men.
Greetings on this the Fifth Sunday of Lent Year C Readings Readings: Is 43:16-21; Ps 126:1-2, 2-3, 4-5, 6; Phil 3:8-14; Jn 8:1-11 Notes:
Cross reference: Exodus 31:18 and Deuteronomy 9:10,
When the LORD had finished speaking to Moses on Mount Sinai, he gave him the two tablets of the covenant, the stone tablets inscribed by God’s own finger.
The LORD gave me the two stone tablets inscribed, by God’s own finger.
The Law of the Lord.
Lev 20:10 both share face the consequence.
Deut 22:22 both share face the consequence.
Ez 33:11 I take no pleasure.
Answer them: As I live—oracle of the Lord GOD—I swear I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! Why should you die, house of Israel?
First reading See, I am doing something new! Now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
Wild beasts honor me, jackals and ostriches, for I put water in the desert and rivers in the wasteland for my chosen people to drink, the people whom I formed for myself, that they might announce my praise.
Responsorial Psalm The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.
The return from Exile is an outward sign of the forgiveness of sin.
Second reading For his sake I have accepted the loss of all things and I consider them so much rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having any righteousness of my own based on the law but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God.
Verse before the Gospel Even now, says the Lord, return to me with your whole heart; for I am gracious and merciful.
For my homily today, I will be blindfolded and have a walking stick.
Tell the story of the ex-official of a repressive regime that came upon hard times having been shot through the temple, blinded and left to die by the same regime officials.
The Lord had other plans.
What did Jesus write?
Jesus bent down and began to write on the ground with his finger. Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her. Again he bent down and wrote on the ground.
Again he bent down and wrote on the ground.
What did Jesus write? See, I am doing something new! Now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
Has no one condemned you?” She replied, “No one, sir.” Then Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go, and from now on do not sin any more.”
Greetings on this the Thursday of the Fourth Week of Lent Readings: Ex 32:7-14; PS 106:19-20, 21-22, 23; Jn 5:31-47 Notes:
One of the great Christian tragedies is for this to happen:
You search the Scriptures, because you think you have eternal life through them; even they testify on my behalf. But you do not want to come to me to have life.
The meaning is that some search the scriptures not for life-giving word but for armor in battle, a secular battle, enrobed in sacred scripture. A very big tragedy!
First reading But Moses implored the LORD.
Moses, a great intercessor, stood in the breach. He advocated for the sinful and the disobedient. He pleaded for mercy.
Mercy above justice.
Moses’s entire ministry was a balancing act of compliance, mercy, rule and regulation. He did not shy away, no, he was deeply burdened by the complexity and contradictions of personal and social life.
Be a Moses.
Responsorial Psalm Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.
Verse Before the Gospel God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, so that everyone who believes in him might have eternal life.
Gospel Portion Jesus is Moses’s Moses.
Intercessor of Intercessors.
Jesus takes up Moses’s mission and brings it to the fullest completion. (remember the Transfiguration).
Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father: the one who will accuse you is Moses, in whom you have placed your hope. For if you had believed Moses, you would have believed me, because he wrote about me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?”
Read sacred scripture with the heart of mercy and mercy shall be how you see all things.