“The one who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, because I always do what is pleasing to him.”
The essence of our gift of self, always free, creative, and joyful: “I always do what is pleasing to him.” Our Lord reminds us today of the beauty of being a gift of self in our relationship; there is nothing more valuable.
“The seed is the word of God, Christ is the sower; all who come to him will live forever.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Jesus bent down and began to write on the ground with his finger. But when they continued asking him, he straightened up and said to them, ‘Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.’ Again he bent down and wrote on the ground.” (JN 8: 6-8)
This is a perfect reminder for us to check the right conscience—not the conscience of our spouses but our own one. Jesus bent twice, and “teaches us to bend down in humility to examine ourselves both before and after addressing the faults of our neighbor” (St. Bede). When we practice to defend our spouses even if accusation comes from me, we do what we are obliged to do—stop changing your spouse, change yourself.
“I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked man, says the Lord, but rather in his conversion, that he may live.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“When Jesus heard this he said, ‘This illness is not to end in death, but is for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.’” (JN 11: 4)
In these days, when people are dying because of coronavirus, it is good to remember, that our lives are not “ending in death,” but “for the glory of God.” We are called to live with God in heaven forever. Death is not the end, it is actually a new beginning. It is good to remember:
“I am the resurrection and the life, says the Lord; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will never die.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“So the guards went to the chief priests and Pharisees, who asked them, ‘Why did you not bring him?’ The guards answered, ‘Never before has anyone spoken like this man.’” (JN 7: 45-46)
In heaven we will hear Our Lord’s voice, in heaven we will listen to Him in an amazing way—seeing Him, touching Him, being close to Him. Today we have only access to His words, written by Evangelists; we can’t listen to Him, to watch Him. But still, when we are communing with His words, we can receive the same love from Him.
“Blessed are they who have kept the word with a generous heart and yield a harvest through perseverance.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“So they tried to arrest him, but no one laid a hand upon him, because his hour had not yet come.” (JN 7: 30)
It is always about God’s will and about His providence; there are no mistakes, no accidents, nor stopgaps. History of mankind is not “the effect of chance” but protected by God, history of God’s love to us and the mystery of salvation. We are expecting “His hour,” we are preparing ourselves to celebrate this hour in the Good Friday liturgy, and today we use our hours to fulfill our missions—to be spouses and parents, friends and neighbors, siblings and citizens.
“One does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“You search the Scriptures, because you think you have eternal life through them; even they testify on my behalf. But you do not want to come to me to have life.” (JN 5: 39-40)
Our Lord is the only source of life. When we take the Scriptures we are looking for Him, to find answers in our lives how to make our lives closer to Him, how to love like Him, how to be in a relationship like Him. He knows all the answers and He is the Life.
“God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, so that everyone who believes in him might have eternal life.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary.” (LK 1: 26-27)
Last week we celebrated the solemnity of St. Joseph, today we celebrate the solemnity of Annunciation of the Lord. And again, God perfectly knows who we are, where we are, to whom we are related and what are our names. Our Lord doesn’t come to the human beings, to the earth population, He comes to us—recognized by names, by cities, by relatives, by homes; He doesn’t come as a stranger, He comes as an inmate.
“The Word of God became flesh and made his dwelling among us; and we saw his glory.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been ill for a long time, he said to him, ‘Do you want to be well?’” (JN 5: 6)
I like this question. This is how Our Lord looks for our limits, our weaknesses. He respects our freedom, but shows the direction—“to be well.” We can come to Him, and to bring Him all our problems. He will change our hearts and our lives.
“A clean heart create for me, O God; give me back the joy of your salvation.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“The royal official said to him, ‘Sir, come down before my child dies.’ Jesus said to him, ‘You may go; your son will live.’ The man believed what Jesus said to him and left.” (JN 4: 49-50)
I admire “the royal official” so much. How difficult it was for him—to leave his dying son, go more than 15 miles to ask for help and believe immediately: “the man believed what Jesus said to him and left.” How happy he was when he met his servants bringing the good news. How many people are asking Our Lord in these days for their relatives to protect them from the coronavirus. God’s word reminds us: “Seek good and not evil so that you may live, and the Lord will be with you.”
“Seek good and not evil so that you may live, and the LORD will be with you.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“When he had said this, he spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva, and smeared the clay on his eyes, and said to him, ‘Go wash in the Pool of Siloam’ —which means Sent—. So he went and washed, and came back able to see.” (JN 9: 6-7)
Jesus, God’s Son, Who was sent by His Father, is the source of living water and the true life, makes it possible to see the earth in light of heaven, to see time in light of eternity, and to see our lives in light of our destiny. He is so close to us and personally involved to make us able to see: “he spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva, and smeared the clay on his eyes.”
“I am the light of the world, says the Lord; whoever follows me will have the light of life.” (Gospel Acclamation)