One Minute Reflection – 8 March – Tuesday of the First Week of Lent – Isaias 55:6-11 Matthew 21:10-17-1and the Memeorial of St John of God (1495-1550)
“For just as from the heavens, the rain and snow come down and do not return there, until they have watered the earth, making it fertile and fruitful, giving seed to him who sows and bread to him who eats.” – Isaias 55:11
REFLECTION – “For the rain and the snow do not return to heaven but accomplish in the earth the will of him that sends them. So the Word that He shall send through His Christ, Who is Himself, the Word and the Message, shall return to Him with great power. For when He shall come and bring it, He shall come down like rain and snow and through Him all that is sown shall spring up and bear righteous fruit and the Word shall return to His Sender but not in vain shall His going have been but thus shall He say, in the presence of His Sender, “Behold, I and the children that the Lord has given me.” And this is the Voice through which the dead shall live. And this is the Voice of God that shall sound from on high and raise up all the dead.” – St Aphraates “the Sage” (Died c 345) (Feast Day – 29 January) Abbot, Father of the Church [see note below] (Demonstrations 8).
PRAYER – Lord God, bestow a full measure of Your grace upon us, who seek to make our lenten journey fruitful. Confirm us in Your service and help us to bear witness to You in the society in which we live by our lives, our fasting and prayer, our gift of self. Listen kindly we pray, to the prayers of St John of God who so avidly followed in the footsteps of our Saviour, Lord Jesus Christ, in whose name, with the Holy Ghost, we pray, one God forever, amen.
St Aphraates was a Syriac Christian author of the third century from the Persian Empire who composed a series of twenty-three sermons on points of Christian doctrine and practice. He was an Ascetic and Celibate. He may have been a Bishop and later Syriac tradition places him at the head of Mar Mattai Monastery near Mosul, therefore, he was certainly an Abbot.