Wednesday of the 4th Week of Lent

John 5:17-30

The Work of the Son

OTHER HOMILY SOURCES:

The tremendous impact of what Jesus said to the Jews must have been mind boggling and an unforgivable sin of blasphemy to which punishment by death is the just remedy. Jesus claimed this truth on the basis that:

1.    He sees Himself as closely identified with God. If we want to know how God thinks, feels and sees, and how God reacts in history then we have to look at Jesus.

2.    His identity is not on equality but on His complete obedience to the will of the Father, so much so that we see the Father in Jesus. If we like to be like Jesus then complete surrender and obedience is necessary.

3.    The obedience is not submission based on power but on love. This makes one heart and one mind possible. The relationship is perfect between Father and the Son. If only we could establish that love with Christ, then we can claim perfect identity with Jesus. (Fr. Jojo Cabales, SVD Bible Diary 2002)

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When an ordinary citizen drives through the streets of Manila, we could almost hear his secret thoughts:

“Everyday I see you begging in the streets as I drive my air-conditioned car. You tap on my window, with your grimy hands and face, but I look the other way, as I i didn’t see you.

“Every night i see you sleeping on street corners or under the bridge with only makeshift boards and newspapers as your pillow blanket. But I look the other way as if I didn’t see you.

“I see you in the early morning going through my piles of garbage. You look for my leftover food and other things that I have thrown away. Strange that you want the things that are no longer of any use to me. But I look the other way, as if I don’t see you.

“On my way to Church with my family, I see your dilapidated houses, your dirty esteros and your naked children. But still I look the other way, as if I don’t see you.”

The war we wage is that of massive poverty. It has two faces, material poverty and spiritual poverty. While the government continues to pursue criminal elements with a strong hand as it addresses the material poverty of our people, we in the Church and her educative agencies address the spiritual poverty of our people. Together, we have to work hand in hand in freeing a majority of our people from the tomb of destitution, from death to resurrection. Our Lord in today’s gospel says that indeed ‘the hour is coming in which all who are in the tomb…will come out.” We can participate in bringing that ‘hour’ to them. The Lord assures that ‘those who have done good deeds’ will also experience the ‘resurrection of life.’ (Fr. Joel Maribao, SVD Bible Diary 2004)

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Among the Mandaya in Davao Oriental, there is a strong belief that God speaks to His people through nature. When someone, for example, upon leaving for an appointment, hears the sound of a wet pigeon, it is believed that God is giving that person a warning, a sign not to proceed.

Our sacraments are also signs of God’s love. Through them God shares with us His life and happiness. Isaiah describes God’s overpowering love for those who are marginalized, the poor refugees. This is echoed in the famous Filipino song, Hindi KitaMalilimutan. It is very consoling to know that God will never forget us, just as a mother will never forget her child.

How can we show our gratitude to the Father and repay His love during this time of Lent? Christ sets an example for us to imitate. He showed His love and respect to the Father by listening and talking to Him. Together with fasting and almsgiving, prayer is one of the religious exercises we ought to intensify during Lenten time. Just as strengthened Christ to face His accusers, prayers helps us to do God’s will, face the world’s challenges with courage and witness to the world by good deeds, until we too become living signs of God’s presence to others. (Fr. Carlos Lariosa, SVD Bible Diary 2005)

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The gospel of Jesus speaks of life that comes from hearing His word and believing. The life that Jesus promises is a meaningful one in the midst of difficulties, sickness and even death.

Man does not live by bread alone. Man and woman were created for a purpose that is deeper than well-being. The purpose is found in the spoken word of God. Clinging to God’s word in the midst of difficulties, sickness and even death means life. Living for this worldly life alone inevitably leads to death. For man is a being towards death, as one philosopher claimed. On the contrary, living this life under the light of eternity is something else. Eternity and life is found in God alone. “…On hearing the voice of the Son of God, the dead will live,” (gospel).

Moreover, to live day by day in the presence of God has a comforter for a companion and a consoler during afflictions (1st reading). (Fr. Atilano Corcuera, SVD Bible Diary 2006)

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Little Ralph Erwin would catch fever at certain times which truly upsets his Mom. His mother could not pinpoint the cause, neither could his paediatrician. Worried Mom would always call her husband who works at a nearby town, a province, or wherever the call of duty was. When the little boy’s Dad arrives, the fever is gone. Everything goes well again when father and son get together.

In the gospel reading Jesus spoke of the Father as Someone so close to Him, a relationship which gave Him authority to speak the truth and do wonders. His closeness to the Father made Him fearless in proclaiming the truth even if it meant giving up His life.

A loving giant! That is what Jesus is. He gives life to those whom He wills, just as the Father does. Jesus heals and forgives without condition just as what He sees the Father does. Jesus loves, embraces us with tenderness and promises fidelity, just as the Father holds each of us gently with His loving hands.

To experience this heart to heart connection that gives healing and life, Jesus wants us to hear and believe His words. Getting connected with Jesus is getting connected to the Loving Father who is Life Himself. One reason why God will never forget us. (Bible Diary 2007)

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March 9, 2016 Wednesday

In November 2014, the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) advertised 16 key positions for its project among the Congolese refugees in Burundi. Out of more than 600 applicants, we shortlisted 64 candidates for the first round of interviews. One of them was a woman in her early 40s. She applied for the position of Assistant Coordinator for Urban Refugees. When I asked her about her motivation in applying for this job, she said that she had been involved in refugee work for more than 10 years then. Hence working with refugees was already part of her life and had somehow become her “identity.”

Jesus’ identity cannot be separated from his work of salvation. In fact that is exactly what his name means: God saves. Importantly, his identity and that of his Father are intrinsically one and the same. For this reason, he said to the Jews, “My Father is at work until now, so I am at work.”

Furthermore he said, “Amen, amen, I say to you, a son cannot do anything on his own but only what he sees his father doing, for what he does, his son will do also.”

Jesus, in healing sick people on the Sabbath day, did not rescind the importance of the Sabbath.

The Synoptics present the Sabbath as a time “to do good” (Mt 12:12), “to save” (Mk 3:4), “to loose” human beings from physical and spiritual bonds (Lk13:16-17), and to show “mercy” rather than religiosity (Mt 12:7). Unfortunately, instead of seeing the redemptive work that Jesus was doing, the Pharisees chose only to see the man carrying his mat on a Sabbath day.

Sabbath (Sunday) is a day for us to experience God’s redemptive work by ministering to the needs of others. Hopefully, those who hear the words of Jesus and believe in the one who sent him may have eternal life. (Fr. Romeo Cagatin, SVD Burundi, Republique du Togo Bible Diary 2016)

rveritas-asia.org/index.php/daily-reflection/516-march-9-2016-wednesday

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THE HIGHWAY: “I will cut a road through all my mountains, and make my highways level.” – Isaiah 49:11

It was a thrilling experience to drive to Subic through the new SCTEX highway. I was cruising at top speed!

I noticed that many mountains were cut to make way for the wide and long, straight road.

This brings me to recall the time when I was called to start The Feast in a foreign country.

I was facing a mountain of challenges: no co-servants to help, no venue, no one to sing in the prayer meeting, etc. There was literally no Light of Jesus (LOJ) presence in the city.

But the Lord has His ways.

One by one, I began to see the hand of the Lord moving: mountains were cut, roads were built.

I was able to easily arrange for an audience with the archbishop. I was given quick approval to establish the LOJ Family in his archdiocese. Out of nowhere, a man called up and volunteered to help. I was introduced to a worship leader. Everything just fell into place! In a few months, we started The Feast in Port Moresby.

How wonderful it is to journey with the Lord. He can cut mountains and make highways level to pave a better way! Danny Tariman (dtariman.loj@gmail.com)

Reflection: Are you facing a mountain of problems? Is the road narrow and winding? Trust the Lord — He will make a way!

Lord, I surrender to You my situation and problems. Have Your way in me. Amen.

kerygmafamily.com/modules/dailyreadings/read.php?date=2014-04-02

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READING: The time of the Messiah will be recognizable by many signs. One is that the highways of the Lord will be made level. What does this mean? I believe that this is a prophecy indicating the universal nature of salvation that the Messiah will bring — that is, salvation will not be exclusively for the Jews but will be available to all peoples of all nations. Isaiah 49:8-15

GOSPEL: We cannot do anything without the grace of God. If Jesus relied on unity with His Father in order to do anything, why do we think it would be any different for us? As we learn to accept our need for God’s grace to do anything good, let us pray that we never waste the opportunities given to us to both live the blessings of the Kingdom of God starting now, and also share it with others whenever we can. John 5:17-30

think:  We cannot do anything without the grace of God.

kerygmafamily.com/modules/dailyreadings/read.php?date=2014-04-02

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HONORING GOD WITH OUR WORKS: Every day, I pray my “Morning Offering.” Since my days in Catholic school, I have regarded lifting up to God “my prayers, actions, joys and sufferings of this day” an appropriate way to begin acknowledging the day as truly a gift from God.

Jesus’ words deepen for us what it means to work for God and to do His work. Constantly and continuously repeated by Jesus — like a mantra — is the allusion to God as “Father.” In fact, the English text of the Gospel periscope today mentions “Father” around nine times. This is primordial: As true Christians, we honor God not just as the Great and Absolute Maker, but as the Loving Father.

To work for God as Father is to:

Love work. The first two chapters of Genesis tell us the story of how the universe and all that is in it are the product of God the Father’s deliberate and orderly work. God the Father directly willed to make everything. The universe is not, in any way, the result of an accident.

Work with power and confidence. Jesus says what He does are what the Father “has given” to Him. Therefore, even the resistance and opposition of the Jewish leaders failed to bring down Jesus. Likewise, it is the Father who supplies us breath, time, inspiration, talents and resources for all our work.

Await all from the Father. Jesus was led by the Father. He waited for the “hour” as the Father has determined. Jesus declares: “I cannot do anything on my own… I do not seek my own will…” It is not enough that one is empowered, but that one must truly be led by God.

Give all glory to the Father. Like Jesus, let us remember that we are only “sent” and we cannot be greater than the One who sends! Fr. Domie Guzman, SSP

REFLECTION QUESTION: Make the “Our Father” your opening prayer in every task, and in every meeting you have for today. Focus on the word “Father.” What encouraging images come to you? Allow God to minister to you with these images.

Our Father, thank You for today and for all that is to come.

kerygmafamily.com/modules/dailyreadings/read.php?date=2014-04-02

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My Reflection for Wednesday April 2, fourth Week of Lent, John 5:17-30

Reflection: Do you believe in the oneness of Jesus with God the Father? Then, count yourself as blessed for others do not believe. After believing in the oneness of Jesus and God the Father, what must you do next? You must obey His teachings and help Jesus spread the good news of His salvation for this is His will for you.

As we journey in this world there would be instances that we would veer away from Jesus and disobey His commands. We would embrace the teachings of this world, we would embrace sin and in the process we slowly but surely are creating distance between us and Jesus.

But all is not lost yet no matter how despicable the sins that we have committed. The infinite love of Jesus is always there for us, it’s there for us to take and to ask for. Therefore, let us be aware of this infinite love and mercy of Jesus while we are still alive. Let us go to Him and let us turn our backs from the evils of sin.

In the latter part of the gospel Jesus mentions about judgment that would befall to those who have done evil. Let us not wait for that judgment to come to us. Marino J. Dasmarinas

mjdasma.blogspot.com/2014/04/my-reflection-for-wednesday-april-2.html

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Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Reflection for March 9, Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Lent; John 5:17-30

Reflection: Do you believe in the oneness of God the Father and God the Son?

We can best summarize the first half of Jesus pronouncements in the gospel as, “Like father like son.” We believe this because Jesus is the second person in the Trinity. He is the word made flesh (John 1:14).

Since we look-up to Jesus as the leader of our faith it is without doubt that we are His followers. But are we worthy followers of Jesus? Yes, we believe His pronouncements in the gospel about His oneness with the Father. But do we translate this belief or this adherence to actual actions of faith?

For example, do we extend help if there’s someone in need? Do we speak the truth when we need to speak the truth? Do we always embody the great virtue of humility? Do we live what read in the gospel?

Do we live the preaching of Jesus? For example, if a spouse who went ashtray will ask for your forgiveness and wants to reconcile with you. Will you forgive and reconcile? Or you will already slam the door and lock it permanently with unforgivingness?

These are questions that are so hard and difficult to answer but in hindsight we have to forgive and we have to reconcile if we truly profess to be followers of the Father and the Son. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

mjdasma.blogspot.com/2016/03/reflection-for-march-9-wednesday-of.html

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WEDNESDAY OF THE 4TH WEEK OF LENT (YEAR B) – JUAN 5:17-30. KANG KINSANG MANG KABUBUT-ON ANG ATONG GISUNOD SA ATONG KINABUHI? Adunay mga tawo nga walay pagtagad sa hunahuna sa uban; ang ilang gusto ra gayod maoy matuman. Naa puy mga tawo nga gasunodsunod ra sa kagustohan sa uban – sa ilang agalon, mga ginikanan, mga igsoon, o kaha mga kahigalaan. Sila ang mga tawo nga walay baroganan. Lahi ang panig-ingnan nga gipakita ni Kristo diha sa ebanghelyo karon. Gipasabot niya nga ang Dios Amahan ug siya nahiusa diha sa gugma. Ang tanan nga iyang gibuhat nahisubay gayod sa mga buluhaton sa iyang Amahan. Wala siyay gisulti ug gihimo nga sukwahi sa pamaagi sa Langitnong Amahan. Pagkanindot unta kon sa atong kinabuhi ang mga laraw ug buhat sa Dios mao usab ang atong gisunod ug gipuy-an. Posted by Abet Uy

abetuy.blogspot.com/2015/03/wednesday-of-4th-week-of-lent-year-b.html

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Tuesday, March 8, 2016

WEDNESDAY OF THE 4TH WEEK OF LENT (YEAR C) – JUAN 5:17-30. KANG KINSA MANG KABUBUT-ON ANG ATONG GISUNOD SA ATONG KINABUHI? Adunay mga tawo nga walay pagtagad sa hunahuna sa uban; ang ilang gusto ra maoy matuman. Naa puy mga tawo nga gasunodsunod ra sa kagustohan sa uban – sa ilang agalon, ginikanan, igsoon, ug kahigalaan. Sila ang mga tawo nga walay baroganan. Lahi ang panig-ingnan nga gipakita ni Kristo diha sa ebanghelyo karon. Gipasabot niya nga ang Dios Amahan ug siya nahiusa diha sa gugma. Ang tanan nga iyang gisulti ug gibuhat nahisubay gayod sa mga buluhaton sa iyang langitnong Amahan. Pagkanindot unta kon sa atong kinabuhi ang mga laraw ug buhat sa Dios mao usab ang atong gisunod ug gipuy-an. Si Dietrich Bonhoeffer nagpahimangno: “Being a Christian is less about cautiously avoiding sin than about courageously and actively doing God’s will.” Posted by Abet Uy

abetuy.blogspot.com/2016/03/wednesday-of-4th-week-of-lent-year-c.html

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Is 49:8-15; Jn 5:17-30

Every child of God is called to be active like his Father

My Father is at work until now, so I am at work.” This is a pronouncement of Jesus that is not given the due attention it merits, because for many this dictum of Jesus is an inconvenient truth. Priests always prefer a resting God over an active God. It is difficult to represent and contain an active God. There is uncertainty and flexibility if God is still active. Precision and definition are priestly preferences. That is why the priestly tradition of the Bible insisted on sending God to rest after his six days of intense activity! An active God is a dodgy God. It is difficult to contain him. Wherever we find rigidity and severity we find this priestly attitude. However, the biblical God is a God of evolution. He is not weary of change. In scholastic philosophical terms: God is actus purus (pure act). Anybody who tries to restrict and contain God in the past events, in the old scriptures and dogmas is trying to idolize and imprison God in the past and in the known. But God is both known and unknown. God is never at rest. He is actus purus. God is Emmanuel. Our God is a moving God, who pitched his tent among his children and partaking in their day to day affairs. Why is it like that? The answer is given in today’s first reading.

The book of Prophet Isaiah presents one of the most powerful revelations Yahweh has ever made to his people, “Zion said, “The LORD has forsaken me; my Lord has forgotten me.” Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb? Even should she forget, I will never forget you.” What a revelation! What a guarantee! What an incredible promise! It is his love that prompts him to be active and involved in our day to day affairs. It is indeed surprising to hear God comparing himself to a mother rather than a father as he speaks to a patriarchal society which was discriminative and biased towards women through and through. However, God preferred himself to be compared to a mother rather than a father. Because only a mother is constantly alert and attentive of her child even while sleeping. She will be the first one to notice even the slightest discomfort of her child. Jesus continues to inform his listeners, “Amen, amen, I say to you, the Son cannot do anything on his own, but only what he sees the Father doing.” What we observe in Jesus is what he shares with and learned from his Father. Every child of God therefore, is called to be active like Jesus to the very end. Dr Kurian Perumpallikunnel CMI

navchetana.com/web/homilies.php?date=2016-03-9

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Is 49:8-15; Jn 5:17-30

Every child of God is called to be active like his Father

My Father is at work until now, so I am at work.” This is a pronouncement of Jesus that is not given the due attention it merits, because for many this dictum of Jesus is an inconvenient truth. Priests always prefer a resting God over an active God. It is difficult to represent and contain an active God. There is uncertainty and flexibility if God is still active. Precision and definition are priestly preferences. That is why the priestly tradition of the Bible insisted on sending God to rest after his six days of intense activity! An active God is a dodgy God. It is difficult to contain him. Wherever we find rigidity and severity we find this priestly attitude. However, the biblical God is a God of evolution. He is not weary of change. In scholastic philosophical terms: God is actus purus (pure act). Anybody who tries to restrict and contain God in the past events, in the old scriptures and dogmas is trying to idolize and imprison God in the past and in the known. But God is both known and unknown. God is never at rest. He is actus purus. God is Emmanuel. Our God is a moving God, who pitched his tent among his children and partaking in their day to day affairs. Why is it like that? The answer is given in today’s first reading.

The book of Prophet Isaiah presents one of the most powerful revelations Yahweh has ever made to his people, “Zion said, “The LORD has forsaken me; my Lord has forgotten me.” Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb? Even should she forget, I will never forget you.” What a revelation! What a guarantee! What an incredible promise! It is his love that prompts him to be active and involved in our day to day affairs. It is indeed surprising to hear God comparing himself to a mother rather than a father as he speaks to a patriarchal society which was discriminative and biased towards women through and through. However, God preferred himself to be compared to a mother rather than a father. Because only a mother is constantly alert and attentive of her child even while sleeping. She will be the first one to notice even the slightest discomfort of her child. Jesus continues to inform his listeners, “Amen, amen, I say to you, the Son cannot do anything on his own, but only what he sees the Father doing.” What we observe in Jesus is what he shares with and learned from his Father. Every child of God therefore, is called to be active like Jesus to the very end. Dr Kurian Perumpallikunnel CMI

navchetana.com/web/homilies.php?date=2016-03-9 (2016.03.10)

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March 09, 2016

REFLECTION: Today’s saint, Frances of Rome, was born at Rome and died there on this day in 1440. She belonged to the noble Roman family of Busso and was married very young, in obedience to the wishes of her parents, to Lorenzo dei Pongiani, a wealthy landowner. From him she had three children. All her life she aided the poor with great generosity and provided for the care of the sick in the city hospitals. Towards the end of her life she founded a religious community dedicated to works of charity.

Now this remarkable woman is classified in the Vatican II Weekday Missal as a “religious,” she who was married most of her life and had three children. Is that not strange? It is as if her married life had no role in her becoming a saint! St. Bridget (July 23) is also classified a “religious,” although she had eight children. The same holds true for St. Hedwig (October 16) who had seven children, for St. Elizabeth of Hungary (November 17) who had three children, for St. Jane Frances de Chantal (December 12) who had four children. It seems at first blush that the organizers of the liturgical books (no doubt all males) do not hold the married state in very high esteem… Perhaps it is time that we, the people of God, do something about it.

CLARETIAN COMMUNICATIONS FOUNDATION, INC.

8 Mayumi Street, U.P. Village, Diliman, 1101 Quezon City, Philippines

Tel.: (02) 921-3984, 922-9806 • Fax: (02) 921-6205

schoolofthewordonline.com/scriptural-library/daily-gospel/english/item/3467-march-09-2016

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See Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

Back to: Wednesday of the 4th Week of Lent

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