“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 Twenty Five of Lent: Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Lent – John 5
“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” –Jn 5:24.
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 reminds us of St. Patrick, a man (turned saint) who risked everything by returning to the land where he had been taken as a slave and preached this message. Similarly, we too must believe. We must believe in Father, Son and Holy Spirit – the triune God – and keep Christ and the dogma of our faith always before us.
Speaking of St. Patrick, there is a powerful prayer that is attributed to him known as the St. Patrick’s Breastplate. In it the saint proclaims, “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 to that! Everything in and for Jesus Christ always.
When we ourselves abide by this path, we are promised resurrection of eternal life [after death] rather than resurrection of eternal condemnation. And through the gift of free-will, the choice is always ours. So today, as we reflect upon St. Patrick as a model of steadfastness in faith and a witness of that faith out in the world, let us prayerfully consider the words of today’s Gospel. We may not convert entire countries like some of the saint’s did, but so long as we do all that we can do for God’s glory (given our state in life), we will come to the end of our days and know that we too have fought the good fight of faith … and won.
Day 25 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 angry and resentful. Instead, after escaping slavery and eventually becoming a missionary, the saint opted to return to the land of his oppression in order to preach God’s goodness. Because of his faith, humility and unwavering commitment to the Gospel, St, Patrick was able to see beyond the things that divide people and find the common threads that hold all of humanity together. In this troubled world of ours today, St. Patrick, as well as the saints of old, continue to show us how to love our enemies, be kind to those who mistreat us, and to preach the Good News in the face of the world’s harshest critics.
Additional Readings Today
John 5:17-30; Isa 49:8-15
Lord Jesus, Your beloved servants of God never let the struggles they faced break their trust in You. Accompany us as You did him along our journey through this challenging world and help us to see only the good in others. We pray for the grace to destroy anything in our lives that threatens to separate us from You and Your will, and we desire above all to enter into the perfect contentment of Your eternal Sabbath. We pray this all in the Name of the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit, amen.
Today’s suggested penance
Do something kind for someone you love as well as for someone you have been struggling with. Expect nothing in return.
“God alone and the desire of His glory; nothing else matters” –Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne.