22, మార్చి 2023, బుధవారం

Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Lent

Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Lent

Isaiah 49:8-15
John 5:17-30

For the LORD comforts his people and shows mercy to his afflicted. I will never forget you. (Isaiah 49:13,15)

Generally speaking, whenever we feel hurt, upset and sick our family and friends try to comfort us with their presence and encouraging words in order to make us feel better. Though it may not totally change everything but assures us the best that everything will be good soon.

Today’s first reading promises us that God is there to comfort us when we are in need, worry and sorrow. God is always with us to make things better for us even if we feel dry. His presence assures us better days for us. He promises that he will not forget.

God promises to the people of Israel that He heard their cry, saw their sorrows and sufferings. He promised that he is with them always, he will lead and guide them to the springs of living water. Therefore, it is a time of rejoicing and celebration for he is going to restore the land, bring freedom to prisoners, bring light to those in darkness, grant fertile land and water.

But the people are still unconvincing and thinking that God had abandoned and forgotten them. They are wrong. He never forgets because he is loving and compassionate. Even in the darkest moments he will not forget, because of his unflinching love for us.

Jesus in the Gospel claims the same authority to work on sabbath as that of Father and has the same powers over life and death. This enrages the leaders and decides to kill Jesus for this. They understood that Jesus was making himself equal to God the father. He confirms it by saying His reply is “my Father is at work, so I am at work”.

Dear friends, Jesus mirrors God, the Father. God, the Father speaks and acts through Jesus. So everything Jesus does is according to the will of the Father, so to refuse to honor him is to refuse to honor the father. Jesus thus the way, only way to the father.

Therefore, the readings assure us two things for us:

God is our comforter, he will not abandon us in our struggles and troubles.
Jesus is the perfect reflection of God, the Father. He promises strength in our stresses, guidance in our doubts, perseverance in our difficulties.
And it’s restoring and rejoicing time being with God, and walking in his ways.

When cares increase within me, your comfort gives me joy. (Psalm 94:19)

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and God of all encouragement,who encourages us in our every affliction, so that we may be able to encourage those who are in any affliction with the encouragement with which we ourselves are encouraged by God. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)
Fr. Jayaraju Manthena OCD

Thursday of the Fourth Week of Lent

Thursday of the Fourth Week of Lent

Exodus 32:7-14
John 5:31-47

Forgetfulness produces ingratitude, which produces disbelief and disobedience.

The people of Israel rather than being grateful to God for liberating them from slavery and oppression in Egypt, they started to complain about food, when God provided food they expressed disdain towards manna. They were focused only on their material needs, forgetting the freedom and other blessings God had showered on them.

In today’s first reading we see, while Moses was still praying and receiving the law from the Lord they became impatient and made “a golden calf”, symbolising the presence of God. they started paying homages, worshipping as though it was their saviour who brought them out of slavery. They started to worship a creation of their own hands. When God sees this, he is furious and decides to punish them with fire but Moses pleads for them. He does this often whenever they went against the law of the Lord and whenever they complained against him.

Certainly their attitude towards God was one of ungratefulness, no matter what God did for them they constantly complained and murmured. It was never enough for them. They tend to worship instead god of their own hands, prophet Hosea also speaks of this in his book chapter 14. They forgot the God who redeemed them, which made them to be ungrateful and thus disobey God’s command, for such people there is no sense of obligation. Today’s reading is one such example.

In the Gospel of the day, Jesus continues to affirm to the Leaders that He is from God and his works are from God that God himself is the witness. Jesus presents in four ways that what He says is True:

The testimony of John the Baptist
The Works of Jesus indicate Divine Origin
The Father himself given testimony (at Baptism and Transfiguration)
The Scriptures testify about Jesus ( Prophecies referring to Him)
But the Leaders neither accepted nor believed in him. If they would carefully go through these four ways they would surely accept and believe.

Dear Brothers and Sisters, Both readings present to us the ingratitude towards God and his works in their lives, the liberation and the kingdom through Jesus and many more blessings showered through Jesus.

We too are in similar ungrateful situations many times, forgetting the great things God has done for us, all that he is continuing to do for us and complaining and fashioning our own gods, trusting and worshipping them.

As God has forgiven the people of Israel in the first reading, so He is ready to forgive us and show His mercy towards us. Let us today during this time of lent reflect on this aspect and let us be grateful for all that He has given us right from our life, family, friends and works.

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,his mercy endures forever. (Psalms 118:1)

Rejoice always; Pray without ceasing; In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.(1 Thessalonians 16-18)
FR. JAYARAJU MANTHENA OCD

11వ సామాన్య ఆదివారం

11వ సామాన్య ఆదివారం  యెహెజ్కేలు17:22-24, 1 కొరింతి 5:6-10, మార్కు 4:26-34 ఈనాటి పరిశుద్ధ గ్రంధ పఠణములు దేవుని యొక్క రాజ్య విస్తరణ గురించి బో...