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March 20, 2010

March 21st Holy Spirit Novena
Scripture selection is Day 2 Period II.

The Novena Rosary Mysteries  
for
March 21st are Sorrowful.

  
 

March 20, 2010

 


 

5th Sunday of Lent

Isaiah 43: 16-21

Thus says Yahweh, 
who made a way through the sea, 
a path in the raging waters, 
who led out chariot and horse 
together with an army of picked troops: 
they lay down never to rise again, 
they were snuffed out, put out like a wick. 
No need to remember past events, 
no need to think about 
    what was done before. 
Look, I am doing something new, 
now it emerges; can you not see it? 
Yes, I am making a road in the desert 
and rivers in wastelands. 
The wild animals will honour me, 
the jackals and the ostriches, 
for bestowing water in the desert 
and rivers on the wastelands 
for my people, my chosen one, to drink. 
The people I have shaped for myself 
will broadcast my praises.

 

Psalm 126

When Yahweh brought back Zion's captives
   we lived in a dream;
then our mouths filled with laughter,
   and our lips with song.

Then the nations kept saying, 'What great deeds
   Yahweh has done for them!'
Yes, Yahweh did great deeds for us,
   and we were overjoyed.

Bring back, Yahweh, our people from captivity
   like torrents in the Negeb!
Those who sow in tears
   sing as they reap.

He went off, went off weeping,
   carrying the seed.
He comes back, comes back singing,
   bringing in his sheaves.

 

Philippians 3: 8-14

Yes, I will go further: because of the supreme advantage of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, I count everything else as loss. For him I have accepted the loss of all other things, and look on them all as filth if only I can gain Christ and be given a place in him, with the uprightness I have gained not from the law, but through faith in Christ, an uprightness from God, based on faith, that I may come to know him and the power of his resurrection, and partake of his sufferings by being moulded to the pattern of his death, striving towards the goal of resurrection from the dead. Not that I have secured it already, nor yet reached my goal, but I am still pursuing it in the attempt to take hold of the prize for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not reckon myself as having taken hold of it; I can only say that forgetting all that lies behind me, and straining forward to what lies in front, I am racing towards the finishing–point to win the prize of God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus.

  

John 8: 1-11

and Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. At daybreak he appeared in the Temple again; and as all the people came to him, he sat down and began to teach them. 

    The scribes and Pharisees brought a woman along who had been caught committing adultery; and making her stand there in the middle they said to Jesus, ‘Master, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery, and in the Law Moses has ordered us to stone women of this kind. What have you got to say?’ They asked him this as a test, looking for an accusation to use against him. But Jesus bent down and started writing on the ground with his finger. As they persisted with their question, he straightened up and said, ‘Let the one among you who is guiltless be the first to throw a stone at her.’ Then he bent down and continued writing on the ground. When they heard this they went away one by one, beginning with the eldest, until the last one had gone and Jesus was left alone with the woman, who remained in the middle. Jesus again straightened up and said, ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’ ‘No one, sir,’ she replied. ‘Neither do I condemn you,’ said Jesus. ‘Go away, and from this moment sin no more.’

 

March 25, 2007

INTRODUCTION - Imagine you have been captured by radical Moslems in Iraq, and turned into a slave. Then God sends you a message through a holy person that you will soon be liberated and would be able to come back home. Well, if you can imagine how you would feel, you can imagine how the Jews felt when Isaiah the prophet spoke to them the words in today’s first reading. At that time in history, 500 years before Christ, the land we now know as Iraq was known as Babylon. The Jews were their captives and slaves. God tells them their release from the Babylonians would be no less spectacular than their release from slavery in Egypt centuries earlier. Even as the prophet speaks, he tells them the road back to their own land is being made ready. God’s statement “see, I am doing something new” leads us into the gospel, where we see Jesus taking a new approach to sinners. He did not come to condemn but to save. His kindness to a woman caught in adultery freed her from both the death sentence and from her sins.

HOMILY – It was God’s law. In the book of Leviticus (20,10) and in the book of Deuteronomy (22,22), it states that if a man commits adultery, both the adulterer and the adulteress shall be put to death. The scribes and Pharisees who brought this woman to Jesus acted as if they were interested in observing the law, but they weren’t. Otherwise they would have brought both parties to Jesus. The woman wasn’t their target, Jesus was. They thought they had him trapped. If he said let her be free, they could accuse him of breaking the Law which he always respected. If he said put her to death, he would be contradicting all he had preached about mercy and forgiveness. In addition, if Jesus said she must be put to death according to the law, he would have been in violation of Roman law, which reserved capital punishment to the Roman governor. And the Romans ruled the Holy Land in the time of Jesus. They thought they had Jesus cornered. No one knows whether he was really writing something or just stalling for time as he moved his finger in the dusty earth. But when they pressed for an answer Jesus said, “Let him who is without sin be the first to cast a stone at her.”

I see two moral lessons worth noting in today’s gospel.

The first lesson is the most basic of all. Every organization, from the small family unit to the world’s largest nations, has to have laws. Without laws, chaos would reign supreme. And there has to be someone to enforce those laws, or they would be meaningless. Jesus observed all God’s laws and taught others to do so. He even added a few of his own. But Jesus was able to balance law with mercy. Unfortunately, the notion of mercy is distorted in many people’s minds today. They think God is so forgiving that it matters little as to whether they do what God wants or not. Notice Jesus told the lady, “Go, and do not sin again.” In the minds of many people, God is an overly permissive parent but God is not. God is a good parent who cares and who loves us and who wants us to be good for our own well being and happiness. That is the first lesson in our gospel: God is merciful, but his mercy is meant to help us lead holier lives. It’s not meant to be an excuse to follow the rules he gave us if we like them and ignore the ones we don’t.

The second point in today’s gospel is this: It relates to judging others. Some people have a responsibility to judge the behavior of others: parents, teachers, doctors, safety personnel like the police, managers, or anyone with authority. We judge the people we vote into office to govern us. That’s the beauty of a democracy. We judge people whose behavior affects us in a negative way (like someone driving like an idiot on the expressway). When we make those kinds of judgments that’s fair enough, but people don’t need our anger, they need our prayers and a patrolman to convince them they can’t drive like idiots. But sometimes we get carried away in our tendency to judge others. Especially we tend to consider ourselves better than others because they’re not as smart, or as well off, or the same nationality as we are. So we pick up stones to throw at them, stones that frequently are not real stone, but verbal ones: destructive and negative words that tear down. Maybe they’re words that we hurl at the offending party. Maybe they’re words we pass on to others to hurt the other’s reputation. Those destructive words (often called gossip) go around faster than a virus. We need to keep recalling Jesus’ words: “Let him who is without sin be the first one to cast a stone at her.”

If we consider ourselves as followers of Christ, we have the responsibility to live according to the moral lessons Christ taught us. But let us end with a word of comfort: when we get down on ourselves over our weakness and sins we must remember the Lord is always kind and merciful to those who turn to him for forgiveness.

 

 

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July 31, 1994

Words of Jesus to Members of
Shepherds of Christ Associates:

"My beloved priest-companion, I intend to use the priestly newsletter, Shepherds of Christ, and the movement, Shepherds of Christ Associates, in a powerful way for the renewal of My Church and the world.

"I will use the newsletter and the chapters of Shepherds of Christ Associates as a powerful instrument for spreading devotion to My Heart and My Mother's Heart.

"I am calling many to become members of Shepherds of Christ Associates. To all of them I will give great blessings. I will use them as instruments to help bring about the triumph of the Immaculate Heart and the reign of My Sacred Heart. I will give great graces to the members of Shepherds of Christ Associates. I will call them to be deeply united to My Heart and to Mary's Heart as I lead them ever closer to My Father in the Holy Spirit."

- Message from Jesus to Father Edward J. Carter, S.J., Founder, as given on July 31, 1994,
feast of Saint Ignatius Loyola, Founder of the Society of Jesus (The Jesuits)

 

  

 

  


 

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