3/24/20 4th week of Lent
Daily Readings Ezekiel 47:1-9, 12 Psalms 46:2-3, 5-6, 8-9 Psalms 51:12A, 14A John 5:1-16 Ezekiel 47:1-9, 12 The angel brought me, Ezekiel, back to the entrance of the temple of the LORD, and I saw water flowing out from beneath the threshold of the temple toward the east, for the façade of the temple was toward the east; the water flowed down from the right side of the temple, south of the altar. He led me outside by the north gate, and around to the outer gate facing the east, where I saw water trickling from the right side. Then when he had walked off to the east with a measuring cord in his hand, he measured off a thousand cubits and had me wade through the water, which was ankle-deep. He measured off another thousand and once more had me wade through the water, which was now knee-deep. Again he measured off a thousand and had me wade; the water was up to my waist. Once more he measured off a thousand, but there was now a river through which I could not wade; for the water had risen so high it had become a river that could not be crossed except by swimming. He asked me, “Have you seen this, son of man?” Then he brought me to the bank of the river, where he had me sit. Along the bank of the river I saw very many trees on both sides. He said to me, “This water flows into the eastern district down upon the Arabah, and empties into the sea, the salt waters, which it makes fresh. Wherever the river flows, every sort of living creature that can multiply shall live, and there shall be abundant fish, for wherever this water comes the sea shall be made fresh. Along both banks of the river, fruit trees of every kind shall grow; their leaves shall not fade, nor their fruit fail. Every month they shall bear fresh fruit, for they shall be watered by the flow from the sanctuary. Their fruit shall serve for food, and their leaves for medicine.” Psalms 46:2-3, 5-6, 8-9 R. (8) The Lord of hosts is with us; our stronghold is the God of Jacob. God is our refuge and our strength, an ever-present help in distress. Therefore we fear not, though the earth be shaken and mountains plunge into the depths of the sea. R. The Lord of hosts is with us; our stronghold is the God of Jacob. There is a stream whose runlets gladden the city of God, the holy dwelling of the Most High. God is in its midst; it shall not be disturbed; God will help it at the break of dawn. R. The Lord of hosts is with us; our stronghold is the God of Jacob. The LORD of hosts is with us; our stronghold is the God of Jacob. Come! behold the deeds of the LORD, the astounding things he has wrought on earth. R. The Lord of hosts is with us; our stronghold is the God of Jacob. Psalms 51:12A, 14A A clean heart create for me, O God; give me back the joy of your salvation. John 5:1-16 There was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is in Jerusalem at the Sheep Gate a pool called in Hebrew Bethesda, with five porticoes. In these lay a large number of ill, blind, lame, and crippled. One man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been ill for a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be well?” The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; while I am on my way, someone else gets down there before me.” Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your mat, and walk.” Immediately the man became well, took up his mat, and walked. Now that day was a sabbath. So the Jews said to the man who was cured, “It is the sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to carry your mat.” He answered them, “The man who made me well told me, ‘Take up your mat and walk.’“ They asked him, “Who is the man who told you, ‘Take it up and walk’?” The man who was healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had slipped away, since there was a crowd there. After this Jesus found him in the temple area and said to him, “Look, you are well; do not sin anymore, so that nothing worse may happen to you.” The man went and told the Jews that Jesus was the one who had made him well. Therefore, the Jews began to persecute Jesus because he did this on a sabbath.
This is a time in your life when you must learn to let go: of loved ones, of possessions, of control. In order to let go of something that is precious to you, you need to rest in My Presence, where you are complete. Take time to bask in the Light of My Love. As you relax more and more, your grasping hand gradually opens up, releasing your prized possession into My care.
You can feel secure, even in the midst of cataclysmic changes, through awareness of My continual Presence. The One who never leaves you is the same One who never changes: I am the same yesterday, today, and forever. As you release more and more things into My care, remember that I never let go of your hand. Herein lies your security, which no one and no circumstance can take from you.
Psalm 89:15; Hebrews 13:8; Isaiah 41:13
I can help you let go of those people and things you are trying to control. Release them to Me here so I can give you My Peace.
Saint of the Day |
Saint Oscar Arnulfo Romero (1917-1980) March 24
The night before he was murdered while celebrating Mass, Archbishop Oscar Romero of San Salvador said on the radio: “I would like to appeal in a special way to the men of the army, and in particular to the troops of the National Guard, the police, and the garrisons. Brothers, you belong to our own people. You kill your own brother peasants; and in the face of an order to kill that is given by a man, the law of God that says, ‘Do not kill!’ should prevail.
“No soldier is obliged to obey an order counter to the law of God. No one has to comply with an immoral law. It is the time now that you recover your conscience and obey its dictates rather than the command of sin. . .. Therefore, in the name of God, and in the name of this long-suffering people, whose laments rise to heaven every day more tumultuous, I beseech you, I beg you, I command you! In the name of God: ‘Cease the repression!’” Simultaneously, Romero had eloquently upheld the gospel and effectively signed his own death warrant. When he was appointed archbishop of San Salvador in 1977, Bishop Romero was considered a very “safe” choice. He had served as auxiliary bishop there for four years before his three years as bishop of Santiago de Maria.
Oscar’s father wanted him to be a carpenter—a trade for which he demonstrated some talent. Seminary classes in El Salvador preceded his studies at Rome’s Gregorian University and his ordination in 1942. After earning a doctorate in ascetical theology, he returned home and became a parish priest and later rector of an interdiocesan seminary.
Three weeks after his appointment as archbishop, Romero was shaken by the murder of his good friend Jesuit Father Rutilio Grande, a vigorous defender of the rights of the poor. Five more priests were assassinated in the Archdiocese of San Salvador during Romero’s years as its shepherd. When a military junta seized control of the national government in 1979, Archbishop Romero publicly criticized the US government for backing the junta. His weekly radio sermons, broadcast throughout the country, were regarded by many as the most trustworthy source of news available. Romero’s funeral was celebrated in the plaza outside the cathedral and drew an estimated 250,000 mourners.
His tomb in the cathedral crypt soon drew thousands of visitors each year. On February 3, 2015, Pope Francis authorized a decree recognizing Oscar Romero as a martyr for the faith. His beatification took place in San Salvador on May 23, 2015. He was canonized on October 14, 2018.
Catholicism Around the World |
VATICAN – Pope Francis has expressed closeness to the people of Croatia, affected by an earthquake. Speaking during the Angelus on Sunday he said, "May the Lord give them the strength and solidarity to face this calamity.” The quake caused much damage and injured at least 27 people adding to hardship due to a partial coronavirus lockdown of the country.
The clean up has begun in Zagreb's iconic cathedral. It's among several historic buildings that were damaged by a 5.5 magnitude earthquake on Sunday. But the partial damage to the basilica comes as a shock for this heavily Catholic nation. Also, Croatia's government says 250 houses have been damaged, and some 60 people had to be housed in temporary shelters following the initial Sunday quake.
Residents have told Vatican News how they felt the Croatian capital shaking during the earthquake. They called it the worst quake in some 140 years after seeing the destruction of the center of Zagreb.
Hundreds of women’s congregations throughout the world are responding to the crisis, their members signing on for endless hospital shifts, tending to stricken patients, keeping an open-line with those most in need, making sure basic services such as sharing prayers and updating information, continue to be provided.
In Italy, a Covid-19 hotspot, the Daughters of St. Camillus, whose charism is to dedicate themselves to nursing the sick and the elderly, have been in the trenches since the start of the pandemic.
The Camillians run five important Italian Hospitals; they are to be found in Rome, Trento, Treviso, Brescia and Cremona, the latter three at the heart of the crisis in the north of the country. But the sisters, are not afraid… on the contrary! "We Daughters of St. Camillus make a fourth vow, in addition to the three classic vows of poverty, obedience and chastity: that of serving the sick even at the cost of our lives.” (Sr. Lancey)
This vow, she continued, has become even more meaningful today as the Sisters go about their work in isolated hospital wards coping with the covid-19 infection.
As well as the nurse nuns caring for the sick in hospital wards, thousands of other women religious throughout the Italian peninsula are using prayer in the fight against the virus.
Some pray the rosary using megaphones placed on the balconies of their convents; some are mastering social media to be able to share novenas and prayers online; others, in the solitude of their cloisters, are more dedicated than ever to sacrifice and prayer.
Educational Fact |
Did you know that some of the most influential scientists were Catholic? According to the book, God’s Soldiers, written by Jonathon Wright, by the 18th century the Jesuits had contributed to the making of the pendulum clocks, reflecting telescopes, microscopes, optics and electricity. Many of the Jesuit scientists of the time were the first to discover the colored bands on Jupiter’s surface and the first to view Saturn’s rings! Gregor Mendel was an Augustinian monk who is known as the “father of genetics”. His discovery, through using plants in the monastery garden, gave insight to how fertilization works, and scientists around the world began to study how hereditary traits are passed down to the next generation. These methods are still used today!
Fun Fact |
The Catholic Church’s Vatican has diplomatic relations with almost every country in the world.
Prayer for Healing – O God who are the only source of health and healing, the spirit of calm and the central peace of this universe, grant to me such a consciousness of your indwelling and surrounding presence that I may permit you to give me health and strength and peace, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. Have a blessed day!
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