Mon, 31 March 2014
Mon, 24 March 2014
1 Samuel 16:1, 6-7, 10-13
Tue, 18 March 2014
Listen to Mike Aquilina discuss this amazing Saint
Mon, 17 March 2014
Psalm 95:1-2, 6-9
Romans 5:1-2, 5-8
The Israelites' hearts were hardened by their hardships in the desert.
Though they saw His mighty deeds, in their thirst they grumble and put God to the test in today's First Reading - a crisis point recalled also in today's Psalm.
Jesus is thirsty too in today's Gospel. He thirsts for souls (see John 19:28). He longs to give the Samaritan woman the living waters that well up to eternal life.
These waters couldn't be drawn from the well of Jacob, father of the Israelites and the Samaritans. But Jesus was something greater than Jacob (see Luke 11:31-32).
The Samaritans were Israelites who escaped exile when Assyria conquered the Northern Kingdom eight centuries before Christ (see 2 Kings 17:6,24-41). They were despised for intermarrying with non-Israelites and worshipping at Mount Gerazim, not Jerusalem.
But Jesus tells the woman that the "hour" of true worship is coming, when all will worship God in Spirit and truth.
Jesus' "hour" is the "appointed time" that Paul speaks of in today's Epistle. It is the hour when the Rock of our salvation was struck on the Cross. Struck by the soldier's lance, living waters flowed out from our Rock (see John 19:34-37).
These waters are the Holy Spirit (see John 7:38-39), the gift of God (see Hebrews 6:4).
By the living waters the ancient enmities of Samaritans and Jews have been washed away, the dividing wall between Israel and the nations is broken down (see Ephesians 2:12-14,18). Since His hour, all may drink of the Spirit in Baptism (see 1 Corinthians 12:13).
In this Eucharist, the Lord now is in our midst - as He was at the Rock of Horeb and at the well of Jacob.
In the "today" of our Liturgy, He calls us to believe: "I am He," come to pour out the love of God into our hearts through the Holy Spirit. How can we continue to worship as if we don't understand? How can our hearts remain hardened?
Mon, 10 March 2014
Psalm 33:4-5,18-20, 22
2 Timothy 1:8-10
Today's Gospel portrays Jesus as a new and greater Moses.
Moses also took three companions up a mountain and on the seventh day was overshadowed by the shining cloud of God's presence. He too spoke with God and his face and clothing were made radiant in the encounter (see Exodus 24,34).
But in today's Lenten Liturgy, the Church wants us to look back past Moses. Indeed, we are asked to contemplate what today's Epistle calls God's "design...from before time began."
With his promises to Abram in today's First Reading, God formed the people through whom He would reveal himself and bestow His blessings on all humanity.
He later elevated these promises to eternal covenants and changed Abram's name to Abraham, promising that he would be father of a host nations (see Genesis 17:5). In remembrance of His covenant with Abraham he raised up Moses (see Exodus 2:24; 3:8), and later swore an everlasting kingdom to David 's sons (see Jeremiah 33:26).
In Jesus' transfiguration today, He is revealed as the One through whom God fulfills his divine plan from of old.
Not only a new Moses, Jesus is also the "beloved son" promised to Abraham and again to David (see Genesis 22:15-18; Psalm 2:7; Matthew 1:1).
Moses foretold a prophet like him to whom Israel would listen (see Deuteronomy 18:15,18) and Isaiah foretold an anointed servant in whom God would be well-pleased (see Isaiah 42:1). Jesus is this prophet and this servant, as the Voice on the mountain tells us today.
By faith we have been made children of the covenant with Abraham (see Galatians 3:7-9; Acts 3:25). He calls us, too, to a holy life, to follow His Son to the heavenly homeland He has promised. We know, as we sing in today's Psalm, that we who hope in Him will be delivered from death.
So like our father in faith, we go forth as the Lord directs us: "Listen to Him!"
Mon, 3 March 2014
Genesis 2:7-9; 3:1-7
Psalm 51:3-6; 12-14,17
In today's Liturgy, the destiny of the human race is told as the tale of two "types" of men - the first man, Adam, and the new Adam, Jesus (see 1 Corinthians 15:21-22; 45-59).
Paul's argument in the Epistle is built on a series of contrasts between "one" or "one person" and "the many" or "all." By one person's disobedience, sin and condemnation entered the world, and death came to reign over all. By the obedience of another one, grace abounded, all were justified, and life came to reign for all.
This is the drama that unfolds in today's First Reading and Gospel.
Formed from the clay of the ground and filled with the breath of God's own Spirit, Adam was a son of God (see Luke 3:38), created in his image (see Genesis 5:1-3). Crowned with glory, he was given dominion over the world and the protection of His angels (see Psalms 8:6-8; 91:11-13). He was made to worship God - to live not by bread alone but in obedience to every word that comes from the mouth of the Father.
Adam, however, put the Lord his God to the test. He gave in to the serpent's temptation, trying to seize for himself all that God had already promised him. But in his hour of temptation, Jesus prevailed where Adam failed - and drove the devil away.
Still we sin after the pattern of Adam's transgression. Like Adam, we let sin in the door (see Genesis 4:7) when we entertain doubts about God's promises, when we forget to call on Him in our hours of temptation.
But the grace won for us by Christ's obedience means that sin is no longer our master.
As we begin this season of repentance, we can be confident in His compassion, that He will create in us a new heart (see Romans 5:5; Hebrews 8:10). As we do in today's Psalm, we can sing joyfully of our salvation, renewed in His presence.