Lenten Reflection – 10 April – Wednesday of the Fifth week of Lent, Year C
Deuteronomy 3:14-20, 91-92, 95; Daniel 3:52, 53, 54, 55, 56; John 8:31-42
Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would do as Abraham did but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth which I heard from God, this is not what Abraham did....John 8:39-40
Do as Abraham did
St John Chrysostom (345-407)
Doctor of the Church
Looking wholly to God’s promise and setting aside all human ways of looking at things, knowing God to be capable of accomplishments beyond nature to achieve, Abraham put his trust in the words addressed to him, he let no shadow of doubt cross his mind and did not waver as to the meaning he should give God’s words. For, it is in the nature of faith to put its trust in the power of the one who promises… God had promised Abraham that a posterity without number would be born of him. This promise exceeded the possibilities of nature and all purely human forms of perception and that is why his faith towards God “was credited him as righteousness” (Gn 15:6; Gal 3:6).
Well then, if we are on the watch, yet more wonderful promises have been made to us and we will be satisfied to an even greater extent, than human thought can dream. And for this we have only to put our trust in the power of Him who has made these promises to us, so as to merit the righteousness, that comes from faith and obtain the promised reward. For all those good things we are hoping for, far exceed all human conception and thought, so exceedingly wonderful is what we have been promised!
Indeed, these promises do not concern only the present, the flourishing of our lives and the enjoyment of visible goods but they are even more, about the time, when we have left this earth, when our bodies have become subject to corruption, when our remains have been reduced to dust. God promises us, that He will then raise them up and establish them in glorious splendour, “for that which is corruptible must clothe itself with incorruptibility,” Saint Paul assures us (1Cor 15:53). More than this, after the resurrection of our bodies, we have received the promise, of enjoying the Kingdom and of obtaining, throughout endless ages, in the company of the saints, those ineffable goods that “eye has not seen and ear has not heard nor has it not entered the human heart” (1Cor 2:9). Do you grasp the superabundance of the promises? Do you grasp the greatness of these gifts?
Enlighten our minds and sanctify our hearts.
In our reflection, Jesus is about to face a fiery furnace,
which represents the full rejection of all our sins,
and the crushing defeat of death itself.
Praying the Stations again,
might help us grow in a sense that this is all “for me,” for my freedom.
We grow in a sense of repentance and deep sorrow.
We grow in a desire to celebrate
the glorious Light in the midst of all darkness.
Rid yourself of all your sins
and make a new heart and a new spirit.
Gospel antiphon, based upon Ezekiel 18:31
I know in Your great love for me,
You see the deep sorrow in my heart.
Hear my prayers which are offered with such trust in You.
Be with me in both mind and heart
as I renew my life in Your spirit.
May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.