Tuesday, April 08, 2014
Wednesday Fifth Week of Lent
Wednesday Fifth Week of Lent
Dn 3: 14-20, 91-92, 95 / Dn 3:52, 53, 54, 55, 56 / Jn 8: 31-42
Reading: Dn 3: 14-20, 91-92, 95
King Nebuchadnezzar questioned them, "Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the golden statue I have set up? If you hear now the sound of horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes and other instruments, will you fall down and worship the statue I made? If you won't, you know the punishment: you will immediately be thrown into a burning furnace. And then what god can deliver you out of my hands?" Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego answered, "King Ne-buchadnezzar, we need not defend ourselves before you on this matter. If you order us to be thrown into the furnace, the God we serve will rescue us. But even if he won't, we would like you to know, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden statue you have set up." Nebuchadnezzar's face reddened with fury as he looked at Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. He ordered the furnace heated seven times hotter than usual and commanded some of his strongest soldiers to bind Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and throw them into the burning furnace. Then King Nebuchadnezzar suddenly rose up in great amazement and asked his counselors, "Did we not throw three men bound into the fire?" They answered, "Certainly." The king said, "But I can see four men walking about freely through the fire without suffering any harm, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods." Nebuchadnezzar exclaimed, "Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego who sent his angel to free his servants who, trusting in him, disobeyed the king's order and preferred to give their bodies to the fire rather than serve and worship any other god but their God.
Gospel: Jn 8: 31-42
Jesus went on to say to the Jews who believed in him: "You will be my true disciples if you keep my word. Then you will know the truth and the truth will make you free." They answered him, "We are the descendants of Abraham and have never been slaves of anyone. What do you mean by saying: You will be free?" Jesus answered them, "Truly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave. But the slave doesn't stay in the house forever; the son stays forever. So, if the Son makes you free, you will be really free. I know that you are the descendants of Abraham; yet you want to kill me because my word finds no place in you. For my part I speak of what I have seen in the Father's presence, but you do what you have learned from your father." They answered him, "Our father is Abraham." Then Jesus said, "If you were Abraham's children, you would do as Abraham did. But now you want to kill me, the one who tells you the truth - the truth that I have learned from God. That is not what Abraham did; what you are doing are the works of your father." The Jews said to him, "We are not illegitimate children; we have one Father, God." Jesus replied, "If God were your Father you would love me, for I came forth from God, and I am here. And I didn't come by my own decision, but it was he himself who sent me.
To kill is a strong word. And yet today's Gospel finds Jesus using the word kill. He addresses this word to the Jews who were his fellow countrymen and believed in him. And if this word is proclaimed to us today, it means that this word is applicable to us. We are slaves because we have idols that control our lives. Be it money, career, affections of people, job, fame, fortune or any other earthly concern. It is this addiction, slavery and obsession that forces us to commit sin. God understands our nature not as evil but weak and sends his word to hopefully find place in our hearts with the purpose of freeing us from this slavery. Every time we reject the word, we kill the Spirit that wants to free us. Do we kill Christ? Yes, every time we reject the Holy Spirit. When we kill the impulses of our conscience, we are in fact killing Christ's advances to us. Let us be alert to notice when the Spirit speaks to us that we may listen to the word that Christ sends to us to help us in our daily life.
We pray ...
... for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn
... for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary
... for families who are in need of healing
... for world peace and reconciliation
... for personal intentions
* Fr. Cesar Marin SJ
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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