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Monday, fourth week of Lent

April 4, 2011

Blessed St. Isidore of Seville’s Day!

You can find his story here.

Father, Creator, You give the world new life by Your sacraments.
May we, Your Church, grow in Your life
and continue to receive Your help on earth.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(Opening Prayer for today’s Mass)

Readings:
Isaiah 65:17-21 (new heavens and a new earth)
Psalm 30:2-13 “I will praise You, Lord, for You have rescued me”
+John 4:43-54 (Jesus heals the ruler’s son)

God wants us to live…forever.

Now choose life, so that you and your children may live
-Deuteronomy 30:19

He wants abundant life for us, a new life of rejoicing and happiness
in which He can rejoice and exult over us (see Isaiah 65:18-19).

He needs some cooperation from us in order to accomplish this, though.
It doesn’t just happen automatically
anymore than a healthy physique or wise mind happen automatically.

Life comes from faith.
And faith develops with practise.

Jesus, having ample experience of His people’s lack of faith…

Unless you people see signs and wonders, you do not believe
-John 4:48

…challenged the royal official to exercise his.

Return home. Your son shall live.
-John 4:50

With the little faith he had, the man started for home.
Knowing that his faith could use a boost,
Jesus arranged for him to receive the good news before he even arrived

his servants met him with the news that his boy was going to live
-John 4:51

That really kick-started his faith!
When he realized that the recovery began
at the very hour when Jesus had promised the cure,
he and his whole household became believers.

New life came to his house!
…and not just natural life either.
This whole household,
rescued not only from natural death, but from supernatural death,
became a new creation,
a joy and a delight to God

Jesus knows our lack of faith too.
In the many trials of our lives, He challenges us to exercise the little faith we do have,
giving us bits of encouragement along the way to help us grow.

Once in a while, with our cooperation, He gives our faith a kick-start,
a taste of life that points to so much more.

We need to treasure those miracles,
to make them the catalyst for a whole new, supernatural life,
and bring our entire household along with us.
We need to make the story a part of our heritage,
telling our children and our children’s children.
“Remember when God did this for us? Let me tell you about it…”
(see Exodus 12:26-27, 13:8, 14, Deuteronomy 6:20-21)

On a larger scale, this is what the whole liturgical year is for.
That’s what we’re doing right now in this season of Lent,
what we will be doing with still greater drama in just a few short weeks.
We re-member, we live through, the great mysteries of our faith,
the marvellous things God has done for us.
We tell–and live–the story in vivid color,
entering into it with all of our senses.

The Mass itself is a retelling of salvation history in microcosm,
from the beginning of time (the beginning of the Mass)
through the giving of the Law and the preaching of the prophets (the Liturgy of the Word),
through the birth of Jesus (the consecration),
His Passion and Death (symbolized by His Body and Blood being separated)
and Resurrection (symbolized by the reunion of Body and Blood
when the priest drops a fragment of the sacred Host into the chalice),
to the sending forth of the disciples to go out into all the world
and proclaim the Good News to every creature (the sending rite at the end of Mass).

This is our life.
This is our faith.
And faith develops with practise.

May God bless our practise
that we, too, may become a joy and a delight to God!

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