Meditation for the Day

Monday of the Fifth Week of Lent, March 30

May Each of Us Open Our Hearts and Our Souls, Allowing Ourselves to Show Complete Filial Trust in God’s Providential Love.

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff comfort me.” – words from the 23rd Psalm, words which give us comfort and consolation in the midst of the trials which beset us in life, words of trust in the Merciful Love of God.

In today’s Readings, both the First Reading from the Book of the Prophet Daniel and today’s Gospel, they speak about the letter of the Mosaic Law, rather than the concept of the spirit of true justice.

Susanna, whom we find in the Book of Daniel, trusted in God’s Love and Mercy, even though she found herself walking in “the shadow of death”. And this is exactly where the adulteress in today’s Gospel finds herself – facing imminent death due to the letter of the Law.

One is innocent, the other apparently guilty in today’s Gospel – two opposing realities, yet the same Mosaic Law which would deal with a single ultimate outcome – a death by stoning.

Another common thread that runs through both of our Readings today is the fact that the people were quick to judge and believe the worst. In both instances, there was a “crowd” mentality, which was void of any sense of justice or fairness, void of any sense of compassion, mercy or understanding.

And in today’s Gospel, there was the added complication that the Pharisees were trying to trap Jesus in saying anything that would undermine the Mosaic Law, giving them cause to arrest Him.

In reflecting upon today’s Scriptures, there are questions which beg to be asked by each one of us – do we find ourselves quick to judge others, while failing to reflect upon our own sinfulness, our own weaknesses and shortcomings?

Are we fair and compassionate with others, especially with those whom we do not understand or whose politics or way of life we may not always agree with? Do we find ourselves distrusting others? And, as a Christian people, where or in whom do we ultimately place our trust?

Susanna, as the First Reading tells us, was a “God-fearing woman” and the daughter of “pious parents”. During her trial, if that is what you wish to call it, as she was being falsely accused in front of others, Scripture says, “she looked up to heaven, for she trusted in the Lord wholeheartedly.”

“She trusted” – Trust is oftentimes a very difficult concept for some people. Depending upon one’s life experiences, truly trusting in others, even family members, can sometimes become very difficult. It depends upon how often we have been betrayed, how often we have been hurt.

Saint Paul reminds us, however, in his Second Letter to the Corinthians, when he writes “…we must trust not in ourselves, but in God.” And this is exactly what Susanna did – she put her trust wholeheartedly in God’s providential Love.

To trust, and I mean to trust completely in the God who gives us life, in the God who gave us His Only-Begotten Son, is to empty oneself completely of ego, to empty oneself completely of pride and self-importance – to let go of what constrains us and what controls us, and to surrender ourselves to the God of limitless Mercy, the God of Infinite Love, the God of boundless Compassion.

Is it easy? No, of course not! What it does take is a deepening faith and a growing awareness, a growing desire to be ever closer to God – gifts which God wishes to share with each and every one of us through the workings of His Most Holy Spirit. It is for us to say “yes” and to open our hearts to His gifts.

In a homily that our late Holy Father, Pope Saint John Paul II, gave on Divine Mercy Sunday back in April of 2001, he was quoting from the Diary of Saint Faustina when he stated, “Humanity will never find peace until it turns with trust to Divine Mercy.” And he continued further on in his homily with the prayer of Divine Mercy itself, “Jesus, I trust in You.”

And this is a trust which we take with us in our hearts when we approach the Sacrament of Reconciliation – a trust which causes us to reach out to God, imploring His Mercy and forgiveness through the words of absolution which we receive from His priest, who sits in “persona Christi”, in the person of Christ, and we walk away feeling cleansed and refreshed.

It is the same as when our Lord spoke to the adulteress, ‘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.’

During this latter portion of our Lenten journey, let each one of us open our hearts and our souls, allowing ourselves to fully trust in God’s Love and Mercy – for it is His desire that we empty ourselves completely, that we show complete filial trust in His providential Love.

Only in this way, only with a truly humbled and contrite heart, will He fill our yearnings and our needs with His Loving Presence.

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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

  • “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4)
  • “Through her tears she looked up to heaven, for she trusted in the Lord wholeheartedly… Susanna cried aloud: ‘O eternal God, you know what is hidden and are aware of all things before they come to be: you know that they have testified falsely against me. Here I am about to die, though I have done none of the things with which these wicked men have charged me.’ The Lord heard her prayer.” (Daniel 13:35, 42-44)
  • “…we must trust not in ourselves, but in God…” (2 Corinthians 1:9b)
  • “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, on your own intelligence rely not. In all your ways be mindful of him, and he will make straight your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
  • “Then Jesus…said to her, ‘Woman, where are they? 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.’(John 8:10-11)
  • “At dawn let me hear of your kindness, for in you I trust. Show me the path I should walk, for to you I entrust my life.” (Psalm 143:8)
  • “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)
  • “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)

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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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