Lenten Reflection – 5 April – Friday of the Fourth Week of Lent, Year C
Wisdom 2:1A, 12-22; Psalm 34:17-18, 19-20, 21 and 23; John 7:1-2, 10, 25-30
St Pope John Paul (1920-2005)
Encyclical « Dives in Misericordia » # 8
“You know me and you know where I come from?
But I have not come of my own accord;
he who sent me is true and him you do not know.”…John 7:28
The Paschal Mystery is Christ at the summit of the revelation of the inscrutable mystery of God. It is precisely then that the words pronounced in the Upper Room are completely fulfilled: “He who has seen me has seen the Father” (Jn 14:9). In fact, Christ, whom the Father “did not spare” (Rm 8:32) for the sake of man and who in His passion and in the torment of the cross did not obtain human mercy, has revealed in His resurrection, the fullness of the love that the Father has for Him and, in Him, for all people. “He is not God of the dead, but of the living” (Mk 12:27).
In His resurrection Christ has revealed the God of merciful love, precisely because He accepted the cross as the way to the resurrection. And, it is for this reason, that, when we recall the cross of Christ, His passion and death, our faith and hope are centred on the Risen One – on that Christ who “on the evening of that day, the first day of the week, . . .stood among them” in the upper Room, “where the disciples were, …breathed on them, and said to them: ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained’ ” (Jn 20:19).
Here is the Son of God, who in His resurrection, experienced in a radical way, mercy shown to Himself, that is to say the love of the Father which is more powerful than death. And it is also the same Christ, the Son of God, who… reveals Himself as the inexhaustible source of mercy, of the same love… more powerful than sin.
May we reach out with joy to grasp Your hand.
We keep acknowledging that God is the source of our life.
We realise that we have been seeking other sources of life.
We recognise our weakness and turn to God for help.
Though our hearts are being opened up to their depths,
though we cry out to God for help, we are not discouraged.
The Lord is near to broken hearts.
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted,
and saves the crushed in spirit.
Many are the afflictions of the righteous
but the Lord delivers him out of them all.
Loving God of forgiveness,
I come before You humbled and sad
in the face of my own repeated failings.
I hold out my hands as a petitioner would,
asking for mercy.
It is then that I feel You reach out and take my hand
in Your loving grasp.
Thank You for the love You pour out on me so lavishly.
Help me to follow more closely
in the path You have set for me,
the path of Your Son.
May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.