March 29, 2017

March 29

March 29, 2017:  Wednesday, 4th week, Lent

  • 'Clef' pin:  Sing out, heavens, earth, and mountains (1st reading)
  • Blue shirt:  The Lord guides his people beside springs of water (1st reading)
  • 'Phone' tie bar:  The Lord is near to all who 'call' upon him (psalm)
  • "I ♥ my dad" tie with baby feet:  Can a mother forget her child? (1st reading), Father/Son love (gospel)
  • 'Clock' tie bar:  "In a time of favor I answer you" (1st reading); "the hour is coming, and now here, when the dead will hear the Son's voice and live..." (gospel)
  • Purple suspenders:  Lenten season
  • 20-year pin:  Today is ACC Staff Appreciation Day
For Psalm 145
Pope Francis audience
Paul presents Abraham only as both our father in faith and our father in hope.  He tells us Abraham put his faith in the God who gives life to the dead, who calls all things into being.  Hoping against hope, he trusted in God’s promise that, despite his and Sarah's age, he'd become the father of many nations.  In Abraham we see the close bond between faith and hope.  His hope in God’s promises was fulfilled in the birth of his son Isaac, and, in time, in the “many nations” gathered into a new humanity set free from sin and death by the power of Christ’s resurrection.  Faith teaches us to hope against hope by putting our trust in God’s word even when hope seems impossible.  May we be confirmed in faith and hope and show ourselves children of Abraham by accepting the promise of new life given us in the Lord’s resurrection.
  • Is 49:8-15  I'll restore the land and say to prisoners, "Come out!" and to those in darkness, "Show yourselves!"  They won't hunger or thirst.  I'll lead and guide them.  I'll cut a road through my mountains, comfort you, and show mercy.  Can a mother forget her infant?  Even should she, I'll never forget you.
  • Ps 145:8-9, 13cd-14, 17-18  "The Lord is gracious and merciful."  The Lord is good, faithful, and just, near to all who call on him.  He lifts up the falling.
  • Jn 5:17-30  The Jews tried to kill Jesus because he broke the sabbath and called God his father.  Jesus:  The Son can only do what he sees the Father doing.  The Son, like the Father, gives life; whoever hears my word and believes in the one who sent me has eternal life.  The dead will hear the Son and rise:  those who have done good, to life; others, to condemnation.  I seek the will of the one who sent me.
  • Creighton:  Isaiah reminds God’s people that though they're in exile, there's hope that things will be better.  The Lord, responding to their cries that he'd forgotten and forsaken them, says he'll be with them no matter what.  God is with us even in our darkest moments, our moments of exile.  When we turn from God and are in exile, God doesn’t turn from us!  Many experience exile through unforgiveness.  Unforgiveness eats away at us....
    • One Bread, One Body:  "The truth about death":  We have been given the greatest treasure:  eternal life in Jesus.  "Much will be required of those to whom much has been given."  We must proclaim that death has lost its power, victory, and sting.  "An hour is coming, has come, when the dead shall hear the Son's voice, and those who have heeded it shall live."  People don't need to be enslaved by fear of death; "all in their tombs shall hear His voice and come forth." We must shout that Jesus' name is above every name, even Death.  May we be witnesses for the risen Christ. With faith and love let us share this great treasure.  "Death is swallowed up in victory!"
    • Passionist:  The 1st reading is a message of hope in the desert:  a reminder of the covenant given to us though our ancestors, a message that calls us out of darkness and imprisonment.  We can be in the dark about many things, especially ourselves; we can be imprisoned by fear, addiction, low self-esteem, or an abusive situation.  God doesn't forget the children he created out of love.  Our relationship with God is cause for rejoicing.  We're comforted and shown mercy, not alone or forgotten....
    •  "My Father is still working, and so am I ":  Jesus claimed authority over life and death and showed God's power to heal and restore people to life.  He showed God's mercy by releasing people from their burden of sin.  He claimed to have power to raise the dead and to judge the living and dead.  The Jewish authorities, troubled with such claims, looked for a way to get rid of him.  He was either a madman and impostor, or who he claimed to be.  Since they couldn't accept his claim to be the Messiah, they sought to kill him; they didn't recognize he was God's answer to the his people's prayers.  The Father sent Jesus to reconcile his people with God and restore to them the promise of paradise.  Jesus fulfills Isaiah's prophecy when he brings healing, restoration, and forgiveness.  To the religious authorities Jesus was a Sabbath-breaker and blasphemer, claiming equality with God.  Jesus answered their Sabbath-breaking charge law by saying God's purpose for creation and redemption is to save and restore life; Jesus doesn't stop showing the Father's mercy on the Sabbath.  He answered them about equality with God by saying he had a close personal relationship with the Father and so wasn't acting independently.  Jesus says his identity with the Father is based on trust and obedience; his obedience was based on love.  The Son loves the Father and gives himself to the Father's will; the Father loves the Son and shares all he is and has with him.  We are called to submit our lives to God with the same love, trust, and obedience....

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