The Jews fetched stones to stone Jesus, so Jesus said to them, 'I have done many good works for you to see, works from my Father; for which of these are you stoning me?'
The Jews answered him, 'We are not stoning you for doing a good work but for blasphemy: you are only a man and you claim to be God.'
Jesus answered: 'Is it not written in your Law: I said, you are gods? So the Law uses the word gods of those to whom the word of God was addressed, and scripture cannot be rejected. Yet you say to someone the Father has consecrated and sent into the world, "You are blaspheming", because he says, "I am the son of God".'
'If I am not doing my Father's work, there is no need to believe me; but if I am doing it, then even if you refuse to believe in me, at least believe in the work I do; then you will know for sure that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.'
They wanted to arrest him then, but he eluded them. Jesus withdrew to the other side of the Jordan. He went back again to the far side of the Jordan to stay in the district where John had once been baptising. Many people who came to him there said, 'John gave no signs, but all he said about this man was true'; and many of them believed in him.
Gospel Comment To God we must turn in time of trial. It is God who will be the final judge of the rightness of the cause. Both Jesus and the prophet Jeremiah faced a lack of belief but were supported by the knowledge that the Lord was on their side.
Short Reflection: Putting people down for their good works
When we think of heroes we run the risk of jumping to non-existing fantasy superheroes as found in movies or on tv. There is no need to do this we have plenty of real people who risk everything for their beliefs and visions and have done so since humanity began.
Many are imprisoned for their faith/ vision, or values as today in China, Burma and across North Africa and their good works are written off as 'political'. People throughout the world, fighting for human, civil or family rights very often feel helpless, rejected, ignored, or unsupported. In the Gospel, Jesus was threatened with stoning for his vision, words and good works . In the Old Testament there were people like Moses, David, Jeremiah. In the New Testament, Simon who Helped carry the cross, the three Marys on Golgotha,
- the mourning women weeping for Jesus,- Dismas, the good thief and Paul's during his missionary years.
In our own days we remember St Maximillian Kolbe in Auschwitz, - Dr Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks in the U.S., Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Mahatma Gandhi, -Aung San Suu Kyi of Burma. All tried to bring some vision and hope, support and comfort to others.
Any support we can offer to people in such positions is very important. It can often be what tilts the balance between their courageously continuing or giving up in despair. We may not be able to take away their pain like Jesus did at the stoning of Mary in the Gospel but we often can help people to continue to survive until better times come around. Many international aid agencies work on these principles - and we can do our bit too by supporting these agencies working abroad like Trócaire, Goal, Bothar, Doctors without borders, Sightsavers, the list is long and waiting for us to do our bit for the vision.
Storu : St Faustina - Jesus' Secretary
Sister Maria Faustina Kowalska was in Poland on 25th August 1905. From a tender age she was an obedient child, showed a love of prayer, a sensitivity to the poor and a great desire to be a saint. At twenty she entered the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy. She performed very ordinary duties - cook, gardener and doorkeeper but suffered from poor health. She developed a child-like trust in God as well as mercy toward her neighbors. In her spiritual life she showed a love of the Eucharist and a deep devotion to the Mother of Mercy.
On February 22, 1931, Jesus appeared to this simple nun, she wrote: In the evening, when I was in my cell, I became aware of the Lord Jesus clothed in a white garment. One hand was raised in blessing, the other was touching the garment at the breast. From the opening of the garment at the breast there came forth two large rays, one red and the other pale. In silence I gazed intently at the Lord; my soul was overwhelmed with fear, but also with great joy. After a while Jesus said to me: “Paint an image according to the pattern you see, with the inscription: Jesus, I trust in You”.
Jesus asked her to sacrifice her life to make God’s mercy known to every human being and entrusted her with a mission of mercy. The mission consisted of three tasks:
1.To remind the world of God’s merciful love of God for every human being, no matter how great their sins. 2.To pray for God's mercy for the whole world and particularly for sinners, especially through the practice of new forms of devotion to the Divine Mercy presented by Jesus, such as: the veneration of the image of the Divine Mercy with the inscription:'Jesus, I Trust in You'and to follow the devotion. 3.To initiate an apostolic movement of Divine Mercy.
Jesus chose Sr. Faustina as the "Secretary" of his mercy, so that she could tell the world about his great message. He said to her: 'In the Old Covenant I sent prophets wielding thunderbolts to my people. Today I am sending you with my mercy to the people of the whole world. I do not want to punish aching mankind, but I desire to heal it, pressing it to my merciful heart.'(Diary 1588).
Sr. Faustina's work sheds light on the mystery of the God's mercy. It delights not only the simple and uneducated people, but also scholars who see it as an additional source of theological research. Her Diary has been translated into many languages.Weakened by tuberculosis and sufferings which she accepted as a voluntary sacrifice for sinners, she died in Krakow in 1938 at the age of just 33.
A gentle call to action
Think about any of your relatives or friends who may be ill in mind or body whom you may have forgotten about recently.
Fridays in Lent are special days of prayer and fasting in the widest sense. Some like to spend some time ‘doing the stations’. Check out our Way of the Cross in the resources section of this website.
Use your parish Sacrament of reconciliation before the Easter rush takes over.
Have you ever checked out the Divine mercy devotions in your parish?
Jesus, Lord of all, you are our hope in times of need.
Keep us safe in times of trouble, keep us caring for others in pain. Help the needy in these economic times. It is a very difficult and worrying time as we see whole countries in economic meltdown, our own savings diminish and jobs evaporate.
Help famlies whose homes are at risk of repossession or whose morgages or credit cards are out of control.
In caring for others, may we come to know you better as Lord of Abundant life and friend of all families, and love you more as our provider in times of need. Amen.
Prayer image of the Day.
They wanted to arrest Jesus but he eluded them. ...........John 10:31