Monday, April 8, 2018
Monday of the Fifth Week of Lent
9 I rescued you from the power of Egypt and all your oppressors. I drove them out before you and gave you their land. 10 And I said to you: I, the LORD, am your God; you shall not fear the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are dwelling. But you did not listen to me.
Sometimes people lose hope when they enter a strange land. John McCain highlights in his book Character is Destiny the hopefulness of John Winthrop who left the security of his native country to face the dangers of an unknown world to create and shape the character of a new civilization in America. Is there still hope in this country He helped found? Only if we have hope!
John Winthrop was a puritan and followed the idea that they are to be in the world but not of the world. They should not love earthly pleasures but neither should they shun the blessings of God. To be humble and grateful and give hope to others, by being faithful and encouraging in their own society. He believed men should strive to build a shining city on the hill by putting one’s duty to God and community before one’s own personal desires and to never despair.
He wrote and preached the sermon, “Model of Christian Charity” to give hope to others. He led always by example and never, never gave up hope.
Monday in Passion Week
Prayer. SANCTIFY our fasts, we beseech Thee, O Lord, and mercifully grant us the pardon of all our faults.
EPISTLE. Jonas iii. 1-10.
In those days: The word of the Lord came to Jonas the prophet the second time, saying: Arise, and go to Ninive the great city: and preach in it the preaching that I bid thee. And Jonas arose, and went to Ninive, according to the word of the Lord: now Ninive was a great city of three days journey. And Jonas began to enter into the city one day s journey: and he cried, and said: Yet forty days, and Ninive shall be de stroyed. And the men of Ninive believed in God: and they proclaimed a fast, and put on sack-cloth from the greatest to the least. And the word came to the king of Ninive: and he rose up out of his throne, and cast away his robe from him, and was clothed in sack-cloth, and sat in ashes. And he caused it to be proclaimed and published in Ninive from the mouth of the king and of his princes, saying: Let neither men nor beasts, oxen nor sheep, taste anything: let them not feed, nor drink water. And let men and beasts be covered with sack-cloth, and cry to the Lord with all their strength, and let them turn everyone from his evil way, and from the iniquity that is in their hands. Who can tell if God will turn, and forgive: and will turn away from His fierce anger, and we shall not perish?
And God saw their works, that they were turned from their evil way: and our Lord God had mercy on His people.
GOSPEL. John vii. 32-39.
At that time: The rulers and Pharisees sent ministers to apprehend Jesus. Jesus therefore said to them: Yet a little while I am with you: and then I go to Him that sent Me. You shall seek Me, and shall not find Me: and where I am, thither you cannot come. The Jews therefore said among themselves: Whither will He go, that we shall not find Him? will He go unto the dispersed among the gentiles, and teach the gentiles? What is this saying that He hath said: You shall seek Me, and shall not find Me: and where I am, you cannot come?
And on the last and great day of the festivity, Jesus stood and cried, saying: If any man thirst, let him come to Me, and drink. He that believeth in Me, as the Scripture saith, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. Now this He said of the Spirit which they should receive who believed in Him.
Read: The Servant Songs, Day One: Within the Book of the Prophet Isaiah we encounter four poetic sections known as the Songs of the Suffering Servant. The specific identity of this Servant of the Lord remains the topic of scholarly debate. Perhaps it refers to the prophet Isaiah himself, perhaps the entire nation of Israel, or possibly the promised Messiah. Christian faith sees these prophetic utterances fulfilled in the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus the Lord. Because of the Christian identification of the Suffering Servant with Jesus, the four Servant Songs become a way of encountering the Lord during this Lenten Season. Not only do they give us a sense of the commitment and endurance that characterized his messianic ministry, but they become a way of touching the bruised face of the Messiah, of hearing the resolute determination that sustained him in the midst of trial, and of rejoicing with him in God’s ultimate vindication of his calling and service. The first song introduces God’s Servant who will establish justice upon the earth.
Pray: Take time with the first Servant Song. Read Isaiah 42:1-4.
Act: In this passage, the prophet Isaiah portrays a servant who pleases God. This servant shows meekness and is one who will never extinguish even the smallest, faintest light of faith. Likewise, the faith of this servant will never grow dim; distant nations will await his teaching and look for the justice that he brings.
Aids in Battle  The Devil and his cohorts as a siege force
Beloved brothers and sisters, we must strive with all our strength to repel the enemy of our souls, with full attention and vigilance, as he rages and aims his darts against every part of us that can be assaulted and wounded. This is what the Apostle Peter, in his epistle, warns.
· “Be sober, be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Pt 5: 8).
· He and his forces circle around each of us and watches. When weaknesses are found, the siege forces break through them and then penetrate to the inside.
· The enemy presents to the eye’s seductive images and easy pleasures, so he can destroy chastity through the sense of sight.
· He tempts the ears with seductive music, so that by hearing these sweet sounds, the soul relaxes its guard and loses strength.
· He provokes the tongue by rebukes.
· He instigates the hand to do evil through exasperating wrong.
· He presents the lure of dishonest gains.
· He promises earthly honors so that he can deprive us of heavenly ones.
· He makes a show of false things, so that he can steal away the true ones. And when he can’t deceive through stealth, he threatens explicitly and openly, holding out the fear of violent persecution to vanquish God’s servants.
· For these reasons, beloved brothers and sisters, the mind ought to stand arrayed and armed against all the Devil’s deceiving snares and open threats, as ever-ready to repel as the foe is ever ready to attack.
· Manhood of Christ Day 6, Fifth Week.
McCain, John and Salter, Mark. (2005) Character is destiny. Random House, New York.
Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896
 Thigpen, Paul. Manual for Spiritual Warfare. TAN Books.
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