Meditation for the Day

Friday, April 12

As Faithful Disciples of Jesus Christ, Each of Us Is Called to Give Witness to Our Faith, Embracing All of God’s Truth, Not Just Those Parts of Our Faith We Choose to Like or Accept.

To those who were intent on stoning Jesus, He asks them, “I have shown you many good works from my Father. For which of these are you trying to stone me?”

The message we receive from our Scripture Readings today reminds us of the rejection that people oftentimes experience as a result of speaking the truth about their faith. The prophet Jeremiah, about whom we read today in our First Reading, certainly experienced it more than once. He felt the rejection of his friends and the entrapment by his enemies.

But he places his trust in God when he says, “But the LORD is with me, like a mighty champion.” And later he says, “…praise the LORD, for he has rescued the life of the poor from the power of the wicked!”

Even our psalmist from today’s Responsorial, whom we believe to be David, is praying a song of thanksgiving for being rescued from the hands of King Saul who was trying to kill him. David prays – “In my distress I called upon the LORD and cried out to my God; From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry to him reached his ears.”

Again, just as in our First Reading, the theme of today’s psalm speaks of a trusting faith in a Merciful God, a God who hears our pleas.

In today’s Gospel, we read how the scribes and Pharisees were rejecting Jesus and accusing Him of blasphemy for making Himself equal to God. Jesus responds by affirming the fact that He has performed His “Father’s works”, and if they cannot put their faith in Him, then at least put their faith in the good works He has done.

But then He ends His discourse with them by, once again, making Himself equal to God the Father when He says, “…the Father is in me and I am in the Father.”

Jesus knew the path upon which He was traveling. He knew that these confrontations would ultimately end with His own death. Yet, it was for this very reason that He came into the world, to bring us the fullness of God’s Truth, to teach us about the profound and true wonder of the indescribable Love and limitless Mercy which Almighty God offers to each and every one of us, and to ultimately reconcile us with His Father by being nailed to a Cross and dying a painfully agonizing and humiliating death.

Jeremiah and David had an incomplete knowledge of God. Yet, even in the midst of the trials and difficulties they faced, they were able to trust in a God whom they only partially knew and understood. We, on the other hand, have been given the gift of faith with a much greater knowledge and understanding of who God is and what He expects of us.

During our Lenten journey, we need to ask ourselves the questions: “Have we grown in our relationship with Jesus Christ?” “Have we been able to open the eyes and ears of our hearts and our souls to that which is miraculous, but unseen – to that which is Divine, but invisible to the human eye?”

Faith is a most wondrous gift, freely given by God to those whom He chooses. The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us that “Faith is the theological virtue by which we believe in God and believe all that he has said and revealed to us, and that Holy Church proposes for our belief, because He is Truth itself” (CCC, § 1814).

For you and me, faith allows us to experience God in a very unique and intimate way on this side of Heaven. Faith, which is truly lived out in our thoughts, our words and our actions – through the selfless giving of love – gives us an opportunity to be truly Christ-like to all those who are deeply in need of feeling loved, of feeling God’s Presence in their lives.

In the culture in which we live today, there are many who can be likened to the Pharisees – whereby they profess their belief in God, but are not opened to His Truth nor all that His Truth implies and requires of us.

How many profess their faith in God, but live something entirely different, whereby they choose to ignore those elements of His Truth, those precepts of our faith, which are uncomfortable or inconvenient – such as birth control, abortion, Sunday and Holy Day obligations, adultery, fornication, homosexual activity, and this sad list goes on-and-on?

As followers, as faithful disciples of Jesus Christ, you and I are each called to give witness to our faith. We are each called to recognize Jesus in all those whom we meet; we are called to imitate Jesus to each other; we are called to embrace all of His Truth, not just those parts of our faith we choose to like or with which we feel comfortable.

For this is what it means to truly believe! This is what it means to truly love! This is what it means to truly strive for holiness – so that, one day, we may enjoy the fruits of eternal life!

We know only too well that following Christ and His teachings is counter-cultural today, and we, too – like Jeremiah, like Jesus – may be ridiculed for our beliefs, for truly living our faith. But Jesus says to each and every one of us, even today –

“Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.”

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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 Jews again picked up rocks to stone him. Jesus answered them, ‘I have shown you many good works from my Father. For which of these are you trying to stone me?’(John 10:31-32)
  • “Yes, I hear the whisperings of many…But the LORD is with me, like a mighty champion…Sing to the LORD, praise the LORD, for he has rescued the life of the poor from the power of the wicked!” (Jeremiah 20:10a, 11a, 13)
  • “In my distress I called out: LORD! I cried out to my God. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry to him reached his ears.” (Psalm 18:7)
  • “The Father and I are one…believe the works, so that you may realize and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.” (John 10:30, 38b)
  • “I came into the world as light, so that everyone who believes in me might not remain in darkness.” (John 12:46)
  • “For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.” (John 18:37cd)
  • “In this way the love of God was revealed to us: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might have life through him.” (1 John 4:9)
  • “Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.” (Matthew 5:11-12a)

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Prayer for the Day

“Dearest Holy Spirit,

teach me to know and seek my last end;

please grant me the holy fear of God;

grant me true contrition and patience

and do not let me fall into sin.

“Give me an increase of faith, hope and charity,

and bring forth in my soul

all the virtues proper to my state in life.

“I ask that You make me a faithful disciple of Jesus

and an obedient child of the Church.

Give me the grace sufficient to keep the Commandments

and to always receive the Sacraments worthily.

“I pray that You please grant me the four Cardinal Virtues,

Your seven Gifts, Your twelve Fruits.

Raise me to perfection in the state of life

to which You have called me,

and lead me through a happy death to everlasting life.

Through Christ our Lord. Amen.”

Saint Augustine

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