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March 18, 2018 - Fifth Sunday of Lent

The Coming of Jesus’ Hour John 12:20-33 Jesus’ death is near. He explains it is necessary that, like the new fruit produced from the grain of wheat fallen to the ground, he die to return in glory. There is a seeming reference to his agony in the garden. He is troubled yet knows that he must go on. He turns to the Father, hears his voice, and obeys. Prayer: Lord, you listened to your Father and obeyed him through suffering and to your death. In your glory is our salvation.

March 17, 2018 - Saturday of the Fourth Week of Lent

Discussions about the Origin of the Messiah John 7:40-53 The people go round and round in their discussion about Jesus. Their expectations of the Messiah do not help their understanding of who is before them. It is interesting that the temple guards are the ones who sense something special in this man, and it is Nicodemus who settles the crowd. Prayer: Minds are made up. No one will listen. They look to the law for answers, not to the person. It is no different today. We pray that the Spirit leads all people to the truth.

March 16, 2018 - Friday of the Fourth Week of Lent

The Feast of Tabernacles/The First Dialogue John 7:1-2, 10, 25-30 The setting for John’s Gospel is the Feast of Tabernacles, the annual autumn celebration in Jerusalem. Because of the risk, Jesus travels secretly but comes out into the open, teaching in the temple. There are people who come to believe in him because of his discourse, others who still want additional proof through signs, and others who want to arrest him, but it is not yet time. Prayer: Guide your disciples to those who have no knowledge of you, to those who do not have the desire to seek you, and to those who reject you.

March 15, 2018 - Thursday of the Fourth Week of Lent

Witnesses to Jesus/Unbelief of Jesus’ Hearers John 5:31-47 Testimony has been given about Jesus repeatedly, by John the Baptist, by his works, by Moses and the words of Scripture. His Father has rendered testimony, and still they don’t get it. Jesus’ challenging words are directed at his listeners. Do they understand? Prayer: So many messengers then and now. Open the minds and hearts of those receiving the message of your love and mercy.

March 14, 2018 - Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Lent

Cure on the Sabbath/The Work of the Son John 5:17-30 John moves from narrative to discourse. Two have been cured by Jesus’ word. The latter took place on the Sabbath. This breaking of the Sabbath law riles the Jews, but what he says next takes things to a new level. He speaks of God’s divine prerogative over life and death even on the Sabbath as being his prerogative in curing the sick on the Sabbath. What God the Father does, he, the Son of God, must also do. Prayer: Lord, you are kind and merciful, faithful and slow to anger. You lift me up when I fall, and you raise my face to yours when I am bowed down in shame. I know that I am loved and want to share your love with others.

March 13, 2018 - Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Lent

Cure on the Sabbath John 5:1-16 On the Sabbath, Jesus goes to the pool called Bethesda where healings are known to take place. He encounters one man who has been ill for a very long time. The man wants to get into the pool to be healed but cannot. By his word, Jesus restores the man to health. Those who witness and question the man after the fact are more focused on the breaking of the Sabbath laws than the miraculous healing. Prayer: Help us to be less scrupulous and to see the good in all people. Remove from us the tendency to judge others without knowing what is in their hearts.

March 12, 2018 - Monday of the Fourth Week of Lent

Return to Galilee/Second Sign at Cana John 4:43-54 Jesus returns to Cana, the site of his first miracle. He is sought out by an official from Capernaum whose son is near death. The man implores Jesus to go with him to save his child. Jesus sends the official home, making no attempt to accompany him, rather reassuring him that his son is well. The child is not healed by Jesus’ touch but by his life-giving word. Prayer: You are the source of life. Draw near to us so that we may bask in your light and love.

March 11, 2018 - Fourth Sunday of Lent

Nicodemus John 3:14-21 Jesus alludes to an incident in the book of Numbers. The Son of Man is the source of salvation and, like the serpent, “must be lifted up” on the cross in order to be raised up to the Father. One of the most beautiful and often quoted passages in John’s Gospel speaks of God’s love, a love so great that he gives his only son not to condemn but to save. Prayer: Sensitize us to those who do not feel loved. Let us be light in their lives and guides to the truth in you.

March 10, 2018 - Saturday of the Third Week of Lent

The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector Luke 18:9-14 The tax collector is self-righteous and prideful. Even though he tithes, prays, and fasts as required, he does not acknowledge the weakness of his human nature exhibited in his blatant criticism of others. The tax collector, on the other hand, is very aware of his sinful nature, and his prayer is a humble and contrite expression of his dependence on God’s goodness. Prayer: Strengthen within us the virtues of humility, kindness, and generosity. Help us to find the way to the hearts of those so caught up in themselves that they cannot see beyond.

March 9, 2018 - Friday of the Third Week of Lent

The Greatest Commandment Mark 12:28-34 Jesus is questioned by a scribe. His response combines two commands given by Moses to Israel, the Schema from Deuteronomy and a new command about loving one’s neighbor from Leviticus. He has presented the scribe with the heart of the Ten Commandments, and the scribe acknowledges the truth in Jesus’ words. Prayer: Make us a sign of your love by our visible relationship with you through prayer and sacrament and our compassionate care of neighbor.