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3/26/20 4th week of Lent

3/26/20 4th week of Lent Daily Readings Exodus 32:7-14 Psalms 106:19-20, 21-22, 23 John 3:16 John 5:31-47 Exodus 32:7-14 The LORD said to Moses, “Go down at once to your people whom you brought out of the land of Egypt, for they have become depraved. They have soon turned aside from the way I pointed out to them, making for themselves a molten calf and worshiping it, sacrificing to it and crying out, ‘This is your God, O Israel, who brought you out of the land of Egypt!’ The LORD said to Moses, “I see how stiff-necked this people is. Let me alone, then, that my wrath may blaze up against them to consume them. Then I will make of you a great nation.” But Moses implored the LORD, his God, saying, “Why, O LORD, should your wrath blaze up against your own people, whom you brought out of the land of Egypt with such great power and with so strong a hand? Why should the Egyptians say, ‘With evil intent he brought them out, that he might kill them in the mountains and exterminate them from the face of the earth’? Let your blazing wrath die down; relent in punishing your people. Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Israel, and how you swore to them by your own self, saying, ‘I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky; and all this land that I promised, I will give your descendants as their perpetual heritage.’“ So the LORD relented in the punishment he had threatened to inflict on his people. Psalms 106:19-20, 21-22, 23 (4a) Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people. Our fathers made a calf in Horeb and adored a molten image; They exchanged their glory for the image of a grass-eating bullock. R. Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people. They forgot the God who had saved them, who had done great deeds in Egypt, Wondrous deeds in the land of Ham, terrible things at the Red Sea. R. Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people. Then he spoke of exterminating them, but Moses, his chosen one, Withstood him in the breach to turn back his destructive wrath. R. Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people. John 3:16 God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, so that everyone who believes in him might have eternal life. John 5:31-47 Jesus said to the Jews: “If I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is not true. But there is another who testifies on my behalf, and I know that the testimony he gives on my behalf is true. You sent emissaries to John, and he testified to the truth. I do not accept human testimony, but I say this so that you may be saved. He was a burning and shining lamp, and for a while you were content to rejoice in his light. But I have testimony greater than John’s. The works that the Father gave me to accomplish, these works that I perform testify on my behalf that the Father has sent me. Moreover, the Father who sent me has testified on my behalf. But you have never heard his voice nor seen his form, and you do not have his word remaining in you, because you do not believe in the one whom he has sent. You search the Scriptures, because you think you have eternal life through them; even they testify on my behalf. But you do not want to come to me to have life. “I do not accept human praise; moreover, I know that you do not have the love of God in you. I came in the name of my Father, but you do not accept me; yet if another comes in his own name, you will accept him. How can you believe, when you accept praise from one another and do not seek the praise that comes from the only God? Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father: the one who will accuse you is Moses, in whom you have placed your hope. For if you had believed Moses, you would have believed me, because he wrote about me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?”

Devotional |

Waiting on Me means directing your attention to Me in hopeful anticipation of what I will do. It entails trusting Me with every fiber of your being instead of trying to figure things out yourself. Waiting on Me is the way I designed you to live: all day, every day. I created you to stay conscious of Me as you go about you daily duties.

I have promised many blessings to those who wait on Me: renewed strength, living above one’s circumstances, resurgence of hope, awareness of My continual Presence. Waiting on Me enables you to do My will. It also helps you to enjoy Me; in My Presence is fullness of Joy.

Lamentations 3:24-26; Isaiah 40:31; Psalm 16:11

Instead of pleading for Me to act in this time of waiting, take some time to enjoy My Presence. Then tell Me what you need, and wait in hopeful anticipation.

Saint of the Day |

Saint Catherine of Genoa (1447-1510) March 26

Going to confession one day was the turning point of Catherine’s life.

When Catherine was born, many Italian nobles were supporting Renaissance artists and writers. The needs of the poor and the sick were often overshadowed by a hunger for luxury and self-indulgence. Catherine’s parents were members of the nobility in Genoa. At 13, she attempted to become a nun but failed because of her age. At 16, she married Julian, a nobleman who turned out to be selfish and unfaithful. For a while she tried to numb her disappointment by a life of selfish pleasure.

One day in confession she had a new sense of her own sins and how much God loved her. She reformed her life and gave good example to Julian, who soon turned from his self-centered life of distraction. Julian’s spending, however, had ruined them financially. He and Catherine decided to live in the Pammatone, a large hospital in Genoa, and to dedicate themselves to works of charity there. After Julian’s death in 1497, Catherine took over management of the hospital.

She wrote about purgatory which, she said, begins on earth for souls open to God. Life with God in heaven is a continuation and perfection of the life with God begun on earth.

Exhausted by her life of self-sacrifice, Catherine died September 15, 1510, and was canonized in 1737.

Catholicism Around the World |

VATICAN – Vatican City, Mar 26, 2020 / 04:04 am (CNA).- Pope Francis Thursday prayed for everyone who is fearful of the future because of the coronavirus outbreak, asking the Lord for help in bearing these worries.

“In these days of so much suffering, there is so much fear,” he said March 26.

“The fear of the elderly, who are alone, in retirement homes, or in the hospital, or in their home and do not know what can happen,” he said. “The fear of unemployed workers who are thinking about how to feed their children and see hunger coming.”

There is also, he said, the fear felt by many social servants who are helping to keep society running, putting themselves at risk to catch the coronavirus.

“Also, the fear – the fears – of each of us,” he noted. “Each of us knows his own. Let us pray to the Lord to help us to trust and to bear and overcome our fears.”

During the coronavirus pandemic, Pope Francis is offering his daily Mass in the chapel of the Vatican’s Santa Marta guesthouse for all those affected by COVID-19.

In his homily at Mass, the pope reflected on the day’s first reading from Exodus, when Moses prepares to descend from the mountain where God has given him the 10 Commandments, but the Israelites, freed from Egypt, have created an idol: They are worshiping a golden calf.

The pope noted that this calf was made from the gold God told them to ask from the Egyptians. “It is a gift of the Lord and with the gift of the Lord they make the idol,” Francis said.

“And this is very bad,” he said, but this “also happens to us: when we have attitudes which lead us to idolatry, we are attached to things which distance us from God, because we make another god and do it with the gifts the Lord has given us.”

“With intelligence, with willpower, with love, with the heart... they are the gifts proper to the Lord which we use for idolatry.”

Religious articles, like an image of the Blessed Virgin Mary or a crucifix, are not idols, he explained, because idols are something in our hearts, hidden.

“The question I would like to ask today is: what is my idol?” he said, noting that there can be idols of worldliness and idols of piety, such as a nostalgia for the past which does not put trust in God.

Francis said one way people worship the world is by turning the celebration of a sacrament into a worldly feast.

He gave the example of a wedding, where “you do not know if it is a sacrament where the new spouses really give everything, loving each other before God, promising to be faithful before God, receiving the grace of God, or if it is a fashion show…”

“Everyone has their own [idols],” he said. “What are my idols? Where do I hide them?”

“And may the Lord not find us at the end of life and say of each of us: ‘You are perverted. You have strayed from the way I had pointed out. You prostrated yourself before an idol.’”

Educational Fact |

Located in New Orleans, Xavier University of Louisiana is the only historically black Roman Catholic institution of higher education in the United States! Xavier University was founded by St. Katherine Drexel and the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament in 1925. St. Drexel’s father, Francis Drexel, was a very successful banker who supported his daughter and the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament in founding the school. The university started as a coeducational secondary school particularly focusing on taking care of the Native Americans and African Americans. The university has had great success. In 2018, Xavier had an endowment of about $171 million, which ranks fourth highest in the state of Louisiana.

Fun Fact |

The word “Catholic” was first used by Ignatius of Antioch around the year A.D. 110. It is from the Greek word katholikos, which means “toward the whole.” Ignatius was suggesting that the Church is a gift offered by Christ to all people.

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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