Friday, April 07, 2006
Saturday 5th week of Lent
April 8, 2006
Saturday 5th week of Lent - Yr II
Thus says the Lord God: I will take the children of Israel from among
the nations to which they have come, and gather them from all sides to
bring them back to their land. I will make them one nation upon the
land, in the mountains of Israel, and there shall be one prince for
them all. Never again shall they be two nations, and never again shall
they be divided into two kingdoms. No longer shall they defile
themselves with their idols, their abominations, and all their
transgressions. I will deliver them from all their sins of apostasy,
and cleanse them so that they may be my people and I may be their God.
My servant David shall be prince over them, and there shall be one
shepherd for them all; they shall live by my statutes and carefully
observe my decrees. They shall live on the land that I gave to my
servant Jacob, the land where their fathers lived; they shall live on
it forever, they, and their children, and their children's children,
with my servant David their prince forever. I will make with them a
covenant of peace; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them, and I
will multiply them, and put my sanctuary among them forever. My
dwelling shall be with them; I will be their God, and they shall be my
people. Thus the nations shall know that it is I, the LORD, who make
Israel holy, when my sanctuary shall be set up among them forever.
Many of the Jews who had come to Mary and seen what Jesus had done
began to believe in him. But some of them went to the Pharisees and
told them what Jesus had done. So the chief priests and the Pharisees
convened the Sanhedrin and said, "What are we going to do? This man is
performing many signs. If we leave him alone, all will believe in him,
and the Romans will come and take away both our land and our nation."
But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them,
"You know nothing, nor do you consider that it is better for you that
one man should die instead of the people, so that the whole nation may
not perish." He did not say this on his own, but since he was high
priest for that year, he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the
nation, and not only for the nation, but also to gather into one the
dispersed children of God. So from that day on they planned to kill
him. So Jesus no longer walked about in public among the Jews, but he
left for the region near the desert, to a town called Ephraim, and
there he remained with his disciples. Now the Passover of the Jews was
near, and many went up from the country to Jerusalem before Passover to
purify themselves. They looked for Jesus and said to one another as
they were in the temple area, "What do you think? That he will not come
to the feast?"
When Ezekiel wrote the passage in today's first reading, the Jewish
people were caught up in the Babylonian exile. Jerusalem had been
destroyed, the Temple reduced to ruins, the house of David had come to
an end, the nation had vanished. Earlier in his Book, Ezekiel had put
the blame for this tragedy on the people themselves for they paid no
attention to their obligations under the covenant. Instead they had
worshipped the idols of the gentiles and had refused to live with one
another in justice and charity. It is at this low point in Israel's
history when Ezekiel writes today's section, which some call "The Book
of Consolation" - God will heap gifts on the people: unity, cleansing
from idolatry and sin, a prosperous land, a populous posterity, a
restored Davidic dynasty, Temple and priesthood. "My dwelling shall be
with them; I will be their God and they shall be my people."
In the Gospel, John still sees the hand of God in the intrigue and evil
plotting of Pharisees and priests as they move toward the fulfillment
of God's own desires. John understands the high priest's condemnation
of Jesus as a prophecy that the One condemned would indeed gather all
of God's dispersed children into one. The whole world would come to
believe in him.
Rev. Paul J. Schmidt concludes his commentary on these two readings:
"We cannot take the sorrow and pain out of Holy Week. But, as tragic
and sobering as the events of Christ's passion and death were, we do
not observe Holy Week as a tragedy. From death comes life; from sorrow
joy. These events are the celebration of our own baptismal initiation
into Christ's dying and rising."
We pray ...
- for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the
- for the eternal repose of the soul of Virginia S. Cruz. Eternal
rest grant unto her and may perpetual light shine upon her. May she
and all the souls of the dearly departed rest in peace.
- for the personal intentions of Charles and Cheryl C.
- for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Birthday: Andrea Dominique Yu
- Birthday: Elsie Llama
- In Memoriam (+): Visitacion de la Pena
- In Memoriam (+): Ordonio de la Pena
- In Memoriam (+): Jerry Vista
- for world peace and reconciliation.
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our
prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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