04.02.14 ~ Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Lent

Meds

Is 49:8 – 10, 13

Thus says the LORD: In a time of favor I answer you, on the day of salvation I help you, To restore the land and allot the desolate heritages, Saying to the prisoners: Come out! To those in darkness: Show yourselves! … They shall not hunger or thirst, nor shall the scorching wind or the sun strike them … Sing out, O heavens, and rejoice, O earth, break forth into song, you mountains. For the LORD comforts his people and shows mercy to his afflicted.

CCC #342

The hierarchy of creatures is expressed by the order of the “six days”, from the less perfect to the more perfect. God loves all his creatures and takes care of each one, even the sparrow. Nevertheless, Jesus said: “You are of more value than many sparrows”, or again: “of how much more value is a man than a sheep!”

In Conversation with God:

He came into the world so that men might have light and stop thrashing about in the dark… For centuries, many have lived their lives… in separation from the faith… as a consequence of this separation temporal realities have been adversely affected, existing, as it were, in the shadows on the fringes of the light of Revelation… many generations which should belong to Christ and the Church are being lost… harmful influence of a new paganism is being sent into the whole world… contemporary paganism is characterised by the search for material well-being at any cost, and by the corresponding disregard – or, to put it more accurately, fear, genuine terror – of anything that could cause suffering. With this outlook, words such as God, sin, Cross, mortification, eternal life… become incomprehensible to a great number of people, who are ignorant of their meaning and content… people began by putting God in parentheses… then, as God demands, loves, and asks, they end up throwing Him out – like an intruder – from their civil laws and from the lives of their nations. With a ridiculous and presumptuous pride they want to lift up in his place the poor human creature, who has lost his supernatural and human dignity, and has become reduced – it is no exaggeration, one can see it everywhere – to a stomach, sex and money…

If we Christians really lived in accordance with our faith, the greatest revolution of all times would take place. The effectiveness of our co-redemption depends on each one of us… 

Adam, with his pride, introduced sin into the world, breaking the harmony which existed between all created beings and man himself… the intellect was to become dimmed, with the possibility of falling into error; the will weakened; and freedom immediately to love the good infected though not corrupted. Man became deeply injured, handicapped in his ability to learn and to achieve his true wellbeing. The Alliance wiht God was broken, leading on the one hand to internal disintegration and, on the other, to an inability to build up a union with others… The sin of man… his rupture with God, is the root cause of the tragedies which mark the history of freedom. To understand this, many of our contemporaries will have to discover again the sense of sin…

It is necessary for us Christians to know how to put this Christian stamp on our daily relationships within the family, with our neighbours, at work and in our leisure. This stamp or seal consists of simplicity, sincerity, fidelity, meekness, generosity, solidarity and joy…

… it is not possible for man to be respected – and even less to be loved – if God is neglected or opposed, for man is only man when he is the true image of God…

‘Non est abbriviata manus Domini’, the hand of God has not been shortened… 

Office of Readings:

God’s desire for our salvation is the primary and preeminent sign of his infinite goodness. It was precisely in order to show that there is nothing closer to God’s heart that the divine Word of God the Father, with untold condescension, lived among us in the flesh, and did, suffered, and said all that was necessary to reconcile us to God the Father, when we were at enmity with him, and to restore us to the life of blessedness from which we had been exiled. He healed our physical infirmities by miracles; he freed us from our sins, many and grievous as they were, by suffering and dying, taking them upon himself as if he were answerable for them, sinless though he was…

… when he found wandering in the mountains and hills the one sheep that had strayed from God’s flock of a hundred, he brought it back to the fold, but he did not exhaust it by driving it ahead of him. Instead, he placed it on his own shoulders…

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