Meditation for the Day

Monday, April 1

This Lenten Season Invites Us to Take Our Anxieties, Our Grief, Our Sins and Failings to Our Healing and Merciful God, Always Trusting in His Providential Love.

In today’s Gospel, we hear our Lord say, “Unless you see signs and wonders, you will not believe.”

How many of us walk through our daily lives asking for signs – a confirmation that we have made the right choice, or that we are walking down the right path? I must admit that it is a very human approach to our faith in God, and even I sometimes find myself practicing this behavior – seeking some sign that I am following His will.

Living our faith from childhood to old age is a journey – a journey which oftentimes tests us, sometimes even stretches our faith to its very limits due to difficult situations and trying experiences in life. It is a faith in a God who hears us and asks that we trust in the providential care which He has for each of us. For just as the royal official in today’s Gospel asked for healing for his son, so we, too, reach out for God’s assistance on so many different occasions and circumstances of our lives.

How many of us have children or loved ones who need healing, not necessarily a physical cure like that requested by today’s royal official, but a healing of the soul, asking that our children – or others we love – be touched in such a way that they open their hearts and be reconciled to God’s Love and Mercy?

How many parents grieve because their children have left the Church and are not living according to its precepts which we have been taught and that we have honestly tried to instill in them, setting a good example for them to follow – only to see them turn their back on all that we hold so dear?

And how many of us have the faith that this royal official had – possibly someone who had heard stories concerning what this Jesus of Nazareth was doing? He walked away trusting in Jesus’ word, “You may go; your son will live.” Today’s Scriptures tell us that he opened his heart and believed – a faith that was justified when he heard that his son had been healed.

When we actually take the time to think about it, this royal official’s actions are consistent with the words which Jesus would one day say to Thomas, “Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”

What we can learn from this account is that trusting in Jesus’ words brings its own verification by the good that happens within us – a strengthening of faith in our own hearts – a belief within our very being that God does love us, that He does listen to the prayers of His faithful children, that He truly cares and does respond to our needs.

Even within our First Reading from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah, we are told of God’s desire to bring joy and happiness to His people, a peace which only He can give – a promise of “new heavens and a new earth”, wherein His children will always rejoice.

Even the psalmist tells us in our Responsorial Psalm that God’s “anger lasts but a moment; a lifetime, his good will,” and that He will change our “mourning into dancing.”

We thus come back to the original statement concerning “signs.” We know that signs are not the most important part of our faith. Rather, what is most important is a constant and deepening awareness and belief in God’s unquestioning and indescribable Love which He has for each and every one of us, inviting us to embrace His Divine will in our daily lives –

– and that He is always with us in both good times and bad, that He is always at our side supporting us, strengthening us, especially during those moments in our lives when we are faced with our greatest trials and tribulations, which will test our faith in God, pushing it to its very limits.

Even if we should feel that we are all alone and that God has abandoned us, a time in which we experience a “dark night of the soul”, a metaphor to describe our own sense of spiritual loneliness and desolation – and there may be days when we will actually feel that way – it is then that our Lord is truly closest to us.

During this time of Lent as we approach Good Friday, Jesus teaches us about the trust that we are called to live in our daily life, imitating our Lord’s unquestioning trust in His Father’s Love, always submitting to His Father’s will.

You and I are each called to experience this Love and Mercy which God offers to each of us – not in the external signs, but rather in the encounter that we should have with Him in the recesses of our own hearts – a relationship which will allow us to encounter His compassionate and providential Love which is real, true and lasting!

This Lenten season invites us to take our anxieties, our grief, our sins and failings – all the troubles which we experience in this life – to this healing and merciful God. Each day, He invites us to renew our faith in Him – by emptying from ourselves all that shuts us off from God, and by allowing God’s Spirit to truly rest within us – strengthening us and blessing us with His grace, whereby we ourselves become a new creation.

God is inviting both you and me to open our hearts and trust that He will fulfill His promise with the gift of everlasting happiness and unending joy, as He turns our “mourning into dancing” – as He brings us into the “new heavens and a new earth” which He offers to each one of us – a gift, a sign of the Infinite Love which our Eternal Father has for each and every one of His children.

It is for each of us to freely and unreservedly open our hearts and invite Him in – and trust in His providential Love. †

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Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.

Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.

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Scripture for the Day

  • “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.” (John 4:49-50)
  • “Jesus said to him, ‘Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.’(John 20:29)
  • “See, I am creating new heavens and a new earth; the former things shall not be remembered nor come to mind. Instead, shout for joy and be glad forever in what I am creating.” (Isaiah 65:17-18a)
  • “For his anger lasts but a moment; his favor a lifetime…You changed my mourning into dancing; you took off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness.” (Psalm 30:6, 12)
  • “If God so clothes the grass of the field, which grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow, will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith?” (Matthew 6:30)
  • “My soul rests in God alone, from whom comes my salvation…My soul, be at rest in God alone, from whom comes my hope…Trust God at all times, O my people! Pour out your hearts to God our refuge!” (Psalm 62:2, 6, 9)
  • “[The LORD] will be with you and will never fail you or forsake you. So do not fear or be dismayed.” (Deuteronomy 31:8b)
  • “Cast all your worries upon [God] because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)
  • “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me.” (John 14:1)

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Prayer for the Day

“O Christ Jesus,

when all is darkness

and we feel our weakness and helplessness,

give us the sense of Your Presence,

Your Love, and Your Strength.

“Help us to have perfect trust

in Your protecting Love

and strengthening Power,

so that nothing may frighten or worry us,

for living close to You,

we shall see Your hand,

Your purpose, Your will through all things.”

Saint Ignatius of Loyola

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