Thursday of the Fourth Week of Lent




Thursday of the Fourth Week of Lent

Today’s Audio Mass Readings – Lectionary: 247

1st Reading – EX 32:7-14

The LORD said to Moses,
“Go down at once to your people
whom you brought out of the land of Egypt,
for they have become depraved.
They have soon turned aside from the way I pointed out to them,
making for themselves a molten calf and worshiping it,
sacrificing to it and crying out,
‘This is your God, O Israel,
who brought you out of the land of Egypt!’
The LORD said to Moses,
“I see how stiff-necked this people is.
Let me alone, then,
that my wrath may blaze up against them to consume them.
Then I will make of you a great nation.”

But Moses implored the LORD, his God, saying,
“Why, O LORD, should your wrath blaze up against your own people,
whom you brought out of the land of Egypt
with such great power and with so strong a hand?
Why should the Egyptians say,
‘With evil intent he brought them out,
that he might kill them in the mountains
and exterminate them from the face of the earth’?
Let your blazing wrath die down;
relent in punishing your people.
Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Israel,
and how you swore to them by your own self, saying,
‘I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky;
and all this land that I promised,
I will give your descendants as their perpetual heritage.'”
So the LORD relented in the punishment
he had threatened to inflict on his people.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 106:19-20, 21-22, 23

R. (4a) Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.
Our fathers made a calf in Horeb
and adored a molten image;
They exchanged their glory
for the image of a grass-eating bullock.
R. Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.
They forgot the God who had saved them,
who had done great deeds in Egypt,
Wondrous deeds in the land of Ham,
terrible things at the Red Sea.
R. Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.
Then he spoke of exterminating them,
but Moses, his chosen one,
Withstood him in the breach
to turn back his destructive wrath.
R. Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.

Verse Before The Gospel – JN 3:16

God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son,
so that everyone who believes in him might have eternal life.

Gospel – JN 5:31-47

Jesus said to the Jews:
“If I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is not true.
But there is another who testifies on my behalf,
and I know that the testimony he gives on my behalf is true.
You sent emissaries to John, and he testified to the truth.
I do not accept human testimony,
but I say this so that you may be saved.
He was a burning and shining lamp,
and for a while you were content to rejoice in his light.
But I have testimony greater than John’s.
The works that the Father gave me to accomplish,
these works that I perform testify on my behalf
that the Father has sent me.
Moreover, the Father who sent me has testified on my behalf.
But you have never heard his voice nor seen his form,
and you do not have his word remaining in you,
because you do not believe in the one whom he has sent.
You search the Scriptures,
because you think you have eternal life through them;
even they testify on my behalf.
But you do not want to come to me to have life.

“I do not accept human praise;
moreover, I know that you do not have the love of God in you.
I came in the name of my Father,
but you do not accept me;
yet if another comes in his own name,
you will accept him.
How can you believe, when you accept praise from one another
and do not seek the praise that comes from the only God?
Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father:
the one who will accuse you is Moses,
in whom you have placed your hope.
For if you had believed Moses,
you would have believed me,
because he wrote about me.
But if you do not believe his writings,
how will you believe my words?”

Catholic Daily Reflections

The Testimony of the Works of God

“The works that the Father gave me to accomplish, these works that I perform testify on my behalf that the Father has sent me.” John 5:36

The works performed by Jesus offer testimony to His mission given Him by the Father in Heaven. Understanding this will help us to embrace our own mission in life.

First of all, let’s look at the fact that Jesus’ works offered testimony. In other words, His works spoke a message to others about who He was. The witness of His actions revealed His very essence and His union with the will of the Father.

So this begs the question, “Which works offered this testimony?” One might immediately conclude that the works Jesus was speaking of were His miracles. When people witnessed the miracles He performed they would have been convinced that He was sent from the Father in Heaven. Right? Not really. The fact of the matter is that there were many who saw Jesus perform miracles and remained stubborn, refusing to accept His miracles as proof of His divinity.

Though His miracles were extraordinary and were signs to those who were willing to believe, the most profound “work” that He performed was that of His humble and genuine love. Jesus was genuine, honest and pure of heart. He exuded every virtue one could have. Therefore, the testimony that His ordinary actions of love, care, concern and teaching gave were what would have won over many hearts first and foremost. In fact, for those who were open, His miracles were, in a sense, only icing on the cake. The “cake” was His genuine presence revealing the mercy of the Father.

You cannot perform miracles from God (unless you were given an extraordinary charism to do so), but you can act as a witness to the Truth and share the Heart of the Father in Heaven if you humbly seek to be pure of heart and allow the Heart of the Father in Heaven to shine through you in your daily actions. Even the smallest action of genuine love speaks volumes to others.

Reflect, today, upon your call to give testimony to the Father in Heaven. You are called to share the love of the Father with everyone you meet. If you embrace this mission, in great and small ways, the Gospel will be made manifest to others through you, and the will of the Father will be more fully accomplished in our world.

Lord, I pray that I act as a witness to the love flowing from Your Heart. Give me the grace to be real, genuine and sincere. Help me to become a pure instrument of Your merciful Heart so that all my works will give testimony to Your mercy. Jesus, I trust in You.

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