Friday, April 03, 2009



APRIL 4, 2009

EZEKIEL 37:21-28
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.

JOHN 11:45-56
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. Earlier in his Book, Ezekiel had put the blame for this
tragedy on the people for paying no attention to their obligations
under the covenant. Instead they had worshipped the idols and refused
to live in justice and charity. It is at this 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 restored Davidic dynasty,
Temple and priesthood. In the Gospel, John still sees the hand of God
in the intrigue and evil plot ting 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 healing and strength of:
- Sophia Gonzalez
- Ester Marcelo
- Lisa
… for the safety of Johnson Cuiting
… for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Birthday: Beth B. Francisco
- Birthday: Josefina O. Gagui
- Birthday: Arbie Zalamea
- Birthday: Rev. Fr. Alex Balatbat
- Birthday: Anthony Kaw Boon
- In Memoriam (+): Robert Ng
… for the healing and peace of all families

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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