Lenten Reflection – 1 April – Monday of the Fourth week of Lent, Year C
Isaiah 65:17-21; Psalms 30:2 and 4, 5-6, 11-12A and 13B; John 4:43-54
“Go, your son will live.”…John 4:50
Saint Anastasius II of Antioch (550-609)
Monk, then Patriarch of Antioch from 549-570 and from 593-599
Sermon 5, on the Resurrection of Christ, (trans. cf breviary, Office of the Dead)
“To this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living” (Rm 14:9). But “God is not God of the dead, but of the living” (Lk 20:38). Consequently, the dead over whom He who lives has power are no longer dead but alive. Life has power over them so that they may live without any further fear of death just as “Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again” (Rm 6:9). Raised up and freed from corruption they shall see death no more. They will share in the Resurrection of Christ just as He shared in their death. For no other reason did He descend to earth, whose bars are barriers to eternity, except to “shatter the doors of bronze and cut in two the bars of iron” (Ps 107:16). He came to lead our lives away from corruption to Himself and gave us freedom in place of slavery.
If the work of this arrangement of providence does not seem to be finished yet, for men still die and their bodies rot in the grave, this should in no way undermine our faith. In advance of all the good things already mentioned we have even now received a pledge through Christ our first fruits. Through Him, we attain the highest heaven and take our places with Him who carried us up to the heights with Himself. That is what Saint Paul says somewhere: “he raised us up with him and made us sit with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Eph 2:6).
You give us new life.
We now begin the second part of Lent.
The Gospel according to John will be our guide.
Before we enter into the controversy and the sense of being in a court room,
we have a wonderful story of a healing.
In this gospel, the acts of power that Jesus works
are the “signs” that help us see who He is.
We are reminded that He is the one, who will give us new life.
Lo, I am about to create
new heavens and a new earth.
Isaiah 65:17 The First Reading
God who created me,
You offer me new life through Your Son
and through the gift of Your sacraments.
While I see new life all around me,
I don’t always recognise the new life You offer me.
Help me to grow this Lent in an awareness
of the gifts You place in my life
and in a greater appreciation for Your care.
Give me the courage to ask for help.
May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.