Friday of the Fourth Week of Lent
Isaiah, Chapter 25, verse 3
Therefore, a strong people will honor you, ruthless nations will FEAR you.
Pope Emiratis Benedict XVI wrote in his Theology of the Covenant that we are a people of many faiths with one covenant with God. Therefore it is reasonable that strong people will honor us in our faith as we have the same covenant with the living God but may worship in a different way.
What are some of the traits we and our cousins in the covenant may have as strong people? According to the daily elite-the voice of generation Y there are 20 things that strong people DON’T do:
What Strong people DON’T do.
1. Dwell on the past (but stay in the present).
2. Stay in their comfort zone.
3. Refuse to listen to the opinion of others.
4. Avoid change.
5. Keep a closed mind (but are open to new ideas).
6. Let others make decisions for them.
7. Get jealous over the success of others.
8. Dwell on the possibility of failure (they keep a positive perspective).
9. Feel sorry for their selves.
10. Focus on their weaknesses.
11. Try to please people.
12. Blame themselves for things outside their control.
13. Be impatient.
14. Let misunderstandings continue.
15. Feel they are entitled or privileged.
16. Repeat mistakes.
17. Give into their fears.
18. Act without using prudence.
19. Refuse to help.
However, on the other hand, we must realize that ruthless nations will fear a covenant people because ruthless nations are made up of ruthless people and ruthless people fear what they cannot control.
These are 6 assumptions that the ruthless people make according to Askmen.com.
· Emotion is to be avoided in all decision making.
· No tolerance for incompetence.
· Never forgive.
· Punish quickly and brutally.
· Instill fear in others.
· Stay focused and determined.
To be a people of the covenant we must remember the urgings of Christ that “This is the time of fulfillment. The Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the Gospel.” (Mark 1:15). “Do to others whatever you would have them do to you. This is the law of the prophets.” (Mt. 7:12)
Friday of the Fourth Week of Lent
Prayer. O God, Who renewest the world by unspeakable mysteries, grant, we beseech Thee, that Thy Church may profit by Thy eternal institutions, and not be deprived of Thy temporal assistance.
EPISTLE, m. Kings xvii. 17-24.
In those days the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, fell sick, and the sickness was very grievous, so that there was no breath left in him. And she said to Elias: What have I to do with thee, thou man of God? art thou come to me that my iniquities should be remembered, and that thou shouldst kill my son?
And Elias said to her: Give me thy son. And he took him out of her bosom, and carried him into the upper chamber where he abode, and laid him upon his own bed. And he cried to the Lord, and said: O Lord my God, hast Thou afflicted also the widow, with whom I am after a sort maintained, so as to kill her son?
And he stretched, and measured himself upon the child three times, and cried to the Lord, and said: O Lord my God, let the soul of this child, I beseech Thee, return into his body. And the Lord heard the voice of Elias: and the soul of the child returned into him, and he revived. And Elias took the child, and brought him down from the upper chamber to the house below, and delivered him to his mother, and said to her: Behold thy son liveth. And the woman said to Elias: Now, by this I know that thou art a man of God, and the word of the Lord in thy mouth is true.
GOSPEL. John xi. 1-45.
At that time: There was a certain man sick named Lazarus, of Bethania, of the town of Mary and of Martha her sister. (And Mary was she that anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped His feet with her hair: whose brother Lazarus was sick.) His sisters therefore sent to Him, saying: Lord, behold, he whom Thou lovest is sick. And Jesus hearing it, said to them: This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God: that the Son of God may be glorified by it. Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister Mary, and Lazarus. When He had heard therefore that he was sick, He still remained in the same place two days: then after that He said to His disciples: Let us go into Judea again. The disciples say to Him: Rabbi, the Jews but now sought to stone Thee: and goest Thou thither again?
Jesus answered: Are there not twelve hours of the day? If a man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world: but if he walk in the night, he stumbleth, because the light is not in him. These things He said; and after that He said to them: Lazarus our friend sleepeth: but I go that I may awake him out of sleep. His disciples therefore said: Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well. But Jesus spoke of his death; and they thought that He spoke of the repose of sleep. Then therefore Jesus said to them plainly: Lazarus is dead; and I am glad for your sakes, that I was not there, that you may believe but let us go to him. Thomas, therefore, who is called Didymus, said to his fellow- disciples: Let us also go, that we may die with Him. Jesus therefore came and found that he had been four days already in the grave. (Now Bethania was near Jerusalem, about fifteen furlongs off.) And many of the Jews were come to Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother. Martha, therefore, as soon as she heard that Jesus was come, went to meet Him; but Mary sat at home. Martha therefore said to Jesus: Lord, if Thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. But now also I know that whatsoever Thou wilt ask of God, God will give it Thee. Jesus saith to her: Thy brother shall rise again. Martha saith to Him: I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. Jesus said to her: I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in Me although he be dead, shall live: and everyone that liveth and believeth in Me, shall not die forever. Believest thou this? She saith to Him: Yea, Lord, I have believed that Thou art Christ the Son of the living God, Who art come into this world. And when she had said these things, she went, and called her sister Mary secretly, saying: The Master is come and calleth for thee. She, as soon as she heard this, riseth quickly and cometh to Him. For Jesus was not yet come into the town: but He was still in that place where Martha had met Him. The Jews, therefore, who were with her in the house and comforted her, when they saw Mary that she rose up speedily and went out, followed her, saying: She goeth to the grave, to weep there. When Mary therefore was come where Jesus was, seeing Him, she fell down at His feet, and saith to Him: Lord, if Thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. Jesus, therefore, when He saw her weeping, and the Jews that were come with her, weeping, groaned in the spirit, and troubled Himself, and said: Where have you laid him? They said to Him: Lord, come and see. And Jesus wept. The Jews therefore said: Behold how He loved him. But some of them said: Could not He that opened the eyes of the man born blind, have caused that this man should not die? Jesus therefore again groaning in Himself cometh to the sepulcher: now it was a cave; and a stone was laid over it. Jesus saith: Take away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith to Him: Lord, by this time he stinketh. for he is now of four days. Jesus saith to her: Did not I say to thee, that if thou believe, thou shalt see the glory of God? They took therefore the stone away. And Jesus lifting up His eyes said: Father, I give Thee thanks that Thou hast heard Me. And I knew that Thou hearest Me always, but because of the people who stand about have I said it: that they may believe that Thou hast sent Me. When He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice: Lazarus, come forth. And presently he that had been dead came forth, bound feet and hands with winding-bands, and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus said to them: Loose him and let him go. Many therefore of the Jews who were come to Mary and Martha, and had seen the things that Jesus did, believed in Him.
May the Lord help us conquer our fear
“The fear of the elderly who are alone in nursing homes, or hospitals, or in their own homes, and don't know what will happen. The fear of those who don’t have regular jobs and are thinking about how to feed their children. They foresee they may go hungry. The fear of many civil servants. At this moment they're working to keep society functioning and they might get sick. There’s also the fear, the fears, of each one of us. Each one knows what their own fears are. We pray to the Lord that He might help us to trust, and to tolerate and conquer these fears.”
From the Living God to idols
“It was a true apostasy. From the Living God to idolatry not knowing how to wait for the Living God. This nostalgia is an illness, which is ours. We begin to walk enthusiastically toward freedom, but then the complaining begins: ‘This is really difficult. It's a desert. I’m thirsty. I want water. I want meat… In Egypt we ate good things. There's nothing here’.
Idolatry is selective
Idolatry takes everything
“This mechanism also happens to us. When we do things that lead us to idolatry, we become attached to things that distance us from God. We make another god with the gifts that the Lord has given us: with our intelligence, our will, our love, our heart. We use God’s very gifts to make idols.”
Idols in our hearts
The question today
“May the Lord not find us at the end of our lives and say to us: ‘You apostatized. You deviated from the way that I marked out. You prostrated yourself before an idol’. We ask the Lord for the grace of recognizing our own idols.”
 Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896
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