March 20, 2015

March 20

March 20, 2015:  Friday, Fourth Week of Lent



  • 'Pierced hearts' suspenders:  God is close to the brokenhearted (psalm)
  • 'Bony person' tie pin:  God watches over all the just person's bones (psalm)
  • 'Hands' tie:  Evildoers:  "If the just one is the son of God, God will deliver him from the hand of his foes" (1st reading); No one laid a hand on Jesus... (gospel)
  • 'Clock' tie bar:  ...because his hour had not yet come. (gospel)
  • Purple shirt:  Lenten season

Listen

Pope Francis
On evangelization, to Japan bishops:  You're celebrating your “hidden Christians” who fanned the flames of Christian faith after lay missionaries and priests were expelled.  Missionary activity and those Christians continue to support the Church and guide us in living the faith.  The Church is a missionary Church, seeking to make disciples of all nations while enriching the faith of believers and instilling in them the responsibility to nurture the faith.

Evangelization isn't just the responsibility of those who go to distant lands; baptism calls us all to witness to the Good News wherever we are, to go forth, to be an evangelizing community, even if simply in our neighborhood.  An evangelizing community gets involved in people’s daily lives, bridging distances, willing to abase itself, embracing human life, touching the suffering Christ in others, taking on the ‘smell of the sheep’ willing to hear their voice.  

The hidden Christians' example has much to teach us:  they preserved the faith by being attentive to their relationship with Jesus, one built on prayer and commitment to the community.  The Church today is also strengthened and her evangelization made effective when we're anchored in a personal relationship with Christ and supported by community.  Fostering the life of the Church and evangelizing needs the lay faithful's full and active participation; they engage in Church life and permeate the social order with their witness, beginning in the family.  Instill in them an appreciation of their calling and support and guide them so that they may answer this call with generosity and courage.
Read
  • Wis 2:1a, 12-22  The wicked: “Let's beset the just one; he's against our doings, and seeing his ways is a hardship.  He professes to be a child of the Lord.  If he really is, God will deliver him, so let's torture and kill him to see.”  Their wickedness blinded them to God's counsels and the reward of the innocent.
  • Ps 34:17-21, 23  "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted."  The Lord confronts evildoers but hears, protects, and rescues the just.
  • Jn 7:1-2, 10, 25-30  The Jews were trying to kill Jesus.  Some said, “Isn't he the one they're trying to kill?  He's speaking openly, but they say nothing.  When the Christ comes, no one will know where he's from. but we do know where Jesus is from.”  Jesus:  “You know me and where I'm from, but I didn't come on my own.  You don't know the one who sent me, but I do and he's true.”  They tried to arrest him, but his hour hadn't yet come.
Reflect
    • Creighton:  Justice leads us to public life, where we act in the company of strangers.  Mercy and justice go hand in hand:  mercy consoles; justice shines its light into what is possible.  Both show us the beauty and the broken in ourselves and our world.
    • One Bread One Body:  "Set free in the open":  Jesus repeatedly took His place amid opposition and proclaimed God's word.  The keys to his fearlessness are his relationship with his Father, his knowledge the Father sent him to proclaim God's Word, and his love.  Jesus tells us:  "As the Father sent me, so I send you." 
    • Passionist:  When we do evil, we don't know God's hidden counsels or discern the reward of the innocent....  Jesus knows who he is, where he's from, and that the Father sent him because God is close to the brokenhearted.  When our hearts get broken, we realize we're not in control and we open to God's healing touch. God’s love is more powerful than feelings of hopelessness or unworthiness.
    • DailyScripture.net:  Fear can hold us back from doing God's will:  of death, of losing others' approval....  Jesus met opposition and death threats with determination to accomplish his Father's will; he knew his mission would entail sacrifice and suffering, but that he'd have victory.  He embraced the cross to redeem us and restore us to life and friendship with God.  St. Augustine:  "Our Lord had the power to lay down his life and to take it up again, but we can't choose how long we'll live.  Our freedom from death comes only through Christ's death.  Without him we can do nothing.  He gave himself to us as vine to branches; apart from him we can't live."