Wednesday, March 9th – Christyn Dupre
Gospel: JN 5:17-30
Jesus answered the Jews:
“My Father is at work until now, so I am at work.”
For this reason they tried all the more to kill him,
because he not only broke the sabbath
but he also called God his own father, making himself equal to God.
Jesus answered and said to them,
“Amen, amen, I say to you, the Son cannot do anything on his own,
but only what he sees the Father doing;
for what he does, the Son will do also.
For the Father loves the Son
and shows him everything that he himself does,
and he will show him greater works than these,
so that you may be amazed.
For just as the Father raises the dead and gives life,
so also does the Son give life to whomever he wishes.
Nor does the Father judge anyone,
but he has given all judgment to the Son,
so that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father.
Whoever does not honor the Son
does not honor the Father who sent him.
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.
Amen, amen, I say to you, the hour is coming and is now here
when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God,
and those who hear will live.
For just as the Father has life in himself,
so also he gave to the Son the possession of life in himself.
And he gave him power to exercise judgment,
because he is the Son of Man.
Do not be amazed at this,
because the hour is coming in which all who are in the tombs
will hear his voice and will come out,
those who have done good deeds
to the resurrection of life,
but those who have done wicked deeds
to the resurrection of condemnation.
“I cannot do anything on my own;
I judge as I hear, and my judgment is just,
because I do not seek my own will
but the will of the one who sent me.”
How Quickly We Become Aimless Wanderers
I will never forget what seemed to be the most dramatic night of my life, when my older brother, Arthur, at age 7, decided to run away from home. Most of us have been there before, mom and dad punish us for not eating all our dinner and we think our lives are completely OVER. So Arthur did what every 7 year old boy who is running away would do, packed his Ninja Turtles backpack with his favorite action figures, hot wheels cars, and a change of underwear. He didn’t get far before stopping at the corner and sitting under the street light, only 2 houses away. We assumed what my dad was going to do was force him to come back, but instead he met him out there to have a “man to man” talk. “So Buddy, here’s a quarter so you can call us when you get where you are going, that way we can tell Santa where to send your Christmas presents. And here’s a couple of peanut butter crackers and granola bars incase you can’t find food for the next few days. Well, I wish you weren’t running away, but we love you so much and I hope you change your mind at some point.” And shortly after, my dad came back to the house. We all sat inside, worried, crying, and begging my dad to go after him! “Trust me”, he reassured us, although in the moment we were all convinced my dad was the meanest! It didn’t take longer than 20 minutes for Arthur to come walking back through the front door. “Hey Buddy! Did you forget something?!” my dad asked, pretending to be concerned. “Uhh, well…I think I might need to wait until I can get a job and get more money before I run away, and maybe you can come with me next time…” With a quick wink from my mom and dad to us, my dad responded, “Glad you’re home Arthur. We love you so much.”
This idea of wandering without guidance can create instability, anxiety, and naturally, fear within us. But that is anything but what God is trying to communicate to us in both readings today. Instead, He is promising us HOPE and LIFE. God refuses to allow us to become an aimless wanderer! God is making Himself and His ways known to us, without holding anything back. He promises us things like “They shall not hunger or thirst…has eternal life and will not come to condemnation…”. How quickly we forget that this life was not meant to live alone or even by our own accord, and how quickly we doubt He Who has reminded us from the beginning He will never leave us! We have all attempted to take life into our own hands and “run away” from our Father who continues to offer us what we need to never become aimless wanderers in this beautiful journey of life. God makes Himself known to us as He is constantly “at work” manifesting His love for us in so many ways in our lives. No matter how far we run, how much we push Him away, shut Him out, and even deny Him, He is continuously whispering in our hearts “I will never forget you”. Even when the pressures of the world seems to scream louder with responsibilities, expectations, and even empty promises, God is always whispering in the depths of our hearts “I will never forget you”. Especially during this Year of Mercy, let us strive to not seek ultimate happiness and comfort in our own strengths or what the world offers, but let us never fail to seek our Father who is constantly “at work”— the work of His mercy and LOVING YOU!
“It is Jesus that you seek when you dream of happiness; He is waiting for you when nothing else you find satisfies you; He is the beauty to which you are so attracted; it is He who provoked you with that thirst for fullness that will not let you settle for compromise; it is He who urges you to shed the masks of a false life…”- Pope Saint John Paul II "Lord, increase my love for you and unite my heart and will with yours, that I may only seek what is pleasing to you".
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