March 23, 2010
Tuesday of the Fifth Week of Lent
Jesus said to the Pharisees: "I am going away and you will look for me, but you will die in your sin. Where I am going you cannot come." So the Jews said, "He is not going to kill himself, is he, because he said, 'Where I am going you cannot come'?" He said to them, "You belong to what is below, I belong to what is above. You belong to this world, but I do not belong to this world. That is why I told you that you will die in your sins. For if you do not believe that I AM, you will die in your sins." So they said to him, "Who are you?" Jesus said to them, "What I told you from the beginning. I have much to say about you in condemnation. But the one who sent me is true, and what I heard from him I tell the world." They did not realize that he was speaking to them of the Father. So Jesus said to them, "When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will realize that I AM, and that I do nothing on my own, but I say only what the Father taught me. The one who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, because I always do what is pleasing to him." Because he spoke this way, many came to believe in him.
Introductory Prayer: Lord, by doing your holy will the Church grows and becomes more faithful in your service. You are life and truth and goodness. You are also peace and mercy. How grateful I am to have this moment to turn to you. Without you I can do nothing good. In fact, when I do good, it is you working through me, despite my failings. Thank you, Lord. Here I am ready to love you more.
Petition: Lord, help me to please you in what I think, say and do.
1. IN the World but not OF the World
We profess in the Creed that Jesus Christ came down from heaven “for us and our salvation.” This truth colors everything about the Savior. He comes into the world without being of the world. His doctrine appeals to our highest and most noble aspirations. His way, his lifestyle, clashes with the way and lifestyle of the children of this world and therefore is never without resistance. In my innermost thoughts, in my words and deeds, am I striving to belong to “what is above”?
2. Lovingly Telling the Truth
When we truly love someone, we tell that someone the truth about the things that really matter, even when the truth could be perceived as inconvenient, painful or demanding. God the Son has loved us from all eternity. His love compels him to tell us the truth about the Father, which is a message of infinite mercy and love. His love compels him to tell us the truth about our relationship with that merciful Father: how it should be filled with gratitude and loving obedience and devoid of anything that could separate us from him. In order to belong to Jesus and to what is above, I must strive to open my heart and mind to his truth, especially in those areas of my life where he is asking for change and conversion.
3. Seeking to Please the Beloved
Love transforms our intentions and desires. When we love someone, we want to please that person in everything. Jesus loves the Father, and therefore he does what is pleasing to him, even though the Father’s will leads Jesus to embrace suffering, rejection, and death. He endures this agony so as to bring us the gift of resurrection and eternal life. If I love Christ, then I necessarily wish to do what is pleasing to him. And what pleases Christ? My faith, hope and love; My obedience and my humility; So also my selfless service to him in those who are materially, morally or spiritually needful of my attention and support.
Conversation with Christ:
I will love all my brothers, Lord.
The small ones, lowering myself to their abyss;
the clean of heart, becoming as they;
the naked, clothing them;
the sick, consoling them;
the imprisoned, visiting them,
my brothers of every tribe, language, and race,
spilling my sweetness as a gentle perfume
because kindness in love
is the strongest of all chains.
Resolution: I will strive to please Christ today in all my thoughts, words and deeds.
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