“Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever hears My Word and believes in the One who sent Me has eternal life and will not come to condemnation,
but has passed from death to life.”
Day 29: Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Lent – John 5:24
“Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever hears My Word and believes in the One who sent Me has eternal life and will not come to condemnation, but has passed from death to life.”
Additional Reading(s) today: John 5:17-30; Isa 49:8-15
Today’s Lenten Reflection
Jesus does not mince words in today’s Gospel. In black and white terminology, He lays out what will or will not get us into Heaven: Belief in Him and the One who sent Him. This is our starting point. It seems fitting on this feast of St. Patrick, a man who risked everything — returning to the land where he had been taken as a slave — in order to preach this message. We, too, must believe. We must believe in Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the Holy Trinity, and keep Christ always before us. A powerful prayer that is often attributed to St. Patrick, known as St. Patrick’s Breastplate, puts it plainly: “Christ be with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right, Christ on my left, Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, Christ when I arise…”. Hallelujah and Amen! Everything in and for Jesus Christ always. By this path we are promised “resurrection of eternal life [after death]” rather than “resurrection of eternal condemnation.” We have a choice. God gives us a choice and the free-will to choose. Today we look to St. Patrick as a model of steadfastness in our faith and in our witness of that faith to the world. We may not convert an entire country like he did, but so long as we do all that we can do for our Lord’s glory, we will have fought the good fight of faith.
Day 29 Lenten Meditation
St. Patrick had every reason to be bitter. Taken from his home in Britain by Irish pirates to serve as a slave in Ireland, he could have become an angry and resentful man. But after escaping slavery and eventually becoming a missionary, he opted to return to the land of his oppression in order to preach God’s goodness. Because of his faith and humility and unwavering commitment to the Gospel, Patrick was able to see beyond the things that divide people and find the common thread that holds all of humanity together. In this troubled world of ours, St. Patrick shows us how to love our enemies, how to be kind to those who mistreat us, and how to preach the Good News in the face of our harshest critics. Turns out, St. Patrick’s Day has nothing to do with green beer and leprechauns after all. But then again, true stories are always much more fascinating than their fiction counterparts.
Lord Jesus, Your beloved servant of God, St. Patrick, never let the struggles he faced break his trust in You. Accompany us as You did him along our journey through this challenging world and help us to see only the good of others. Almighty Father, destroy also everything in our lives that separates us from You, so that we can enter into the perfect contentment of your eternal Sabbath. Amen.
Today’s suggested penance
*Do something kind for someone you love as well as for someone you struggle with.
“God alone and the desire of His glory. Nothing else matters” –Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne.