Lenten Reflection – 3 April – Friday of the Fifth Week of Lent, Readings: Jeremiah 20:10-13, Psalm 18:2-7, John 10:31-42
“Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall declare your praise.”
“If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me
but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works,
that you may know and understand
that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.” … John 10:37-38
Set us free.
“The Apostle teaches that Christ offered Himself for us to God as a fragrant offering and sacrifice. He is the true God and the true high priest who for our sake entered once for all into the holy of holies, taking with Him not the blood of bulls and goats but His own blood. This was foreshadowed by the high priest of old when each year he took blood and entered the holy of holies.
Christ is, therefore, the one who in Himself alone, embodied all that He knew to be necessary to achieve our redemption. He is at once Priest and Sacrifice, God and Temple. He is the Priest through whom we have been reconciled, the Sacrifice by which we have been reconciled, the Temple in which we have been reconciled, the God with whom we have been reconciled. He alone is Priest, Sacrifice and Temple because He is all these things as God, in the form of a Servant but He is not alone as God, for He is this with the Father and the Holy Spirit in the form of God.
Hold fast to this and never doubt it – the only-begotten Son, God the Word, becoming man offered Himself for us, to God, as a fragrant offering and sacrifice. In the time of the Old Testament, patriarchs, prophets and priests sacrificed animals in His honour and in honour of the Father and the Holy Spirit, as well. Now in the time of the New Testament the Holy Catholic Church, throughout the world, never ceases to offer the Sacrifice of bread and wine, in faith and love, to Him and to the Father and the Holy Spirit, with whom He shares one Godhead.” … St Fulgentius of Ruspe (c 462 – 533) – An excerpt from his Treatise on Faith addressed to Peter
The Lord is my rock, and my fortress and my deliverer,
my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised
and I am saved from my enemies.
Thanks be to Christ the Lord,
who brought us life by is death on the cross.
With our whole heart let us askHhim:
By Your death raise us to life.
Teacher and Saviour,
You have shown us Your fidelity and made us a new creation by Your passion,
– keep us from falling again into sin.
Help us to deny ourselves today,
– and not deny those in need.
May we receive this day of penance as Your gift,
– and give it back to You through works of mercy.
Master our rebellious hearts,
– and teach us generosity.
Most forgiving Lord,
again and again You welcome me back into Your loving arms.
Grant me freedom from the heavy burdens of sin
that weigh me down
and keep me so far from You.
May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
“O Fountain of everlasting love,
what shall I say of You?
How can I forget You,
Who have vouchsafed to remember me
even after I was corrupted and lost?”
Thomas á Kempis (1380-1471)
Imitation of Christ, Book 3, Chapter 10