Thursday of the Fifth Week of Lent
Isaiah, Chapter 41, verse 5
The coastlands see, and fear; the ends of the earth tremble: they approach, they come on.
Even the coastlands will be able to recognize Christ says the prophet Isaiah. Yet, Christ was rejected by the Jews. Our loving God knew Israel would become full of hubris and haughtiness and forget the commandments that He enjoined them, and they needed a savior.
Let us NOT be like the Angels of God who fell from heaven by an act of pride and rebellion by refusing to honor Mary the Mother of God. Let us be like unto Gabriel who on announcing the conception of Christ said to Mary:
Let us this day emulate Christ’s mother and ours: Mary and never weary of union with Christ through the most Holy Eucharist. This day try to spend some time in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel.
Thursday of the Fifth Week of Lent
Prayer. GRANT, we beseech Thee, Almighty God, that the dignity of human nature, wounded by intemperance, may be reformed by healthful abstinence.
EPISTLE. Daniel iii. 34-45.
In those days Azarias prayed to the Lord, saying: O Lord our God, deliver us not up forever, we beseech Thee, for Thy name s sake, and abolish not Thy covenant. And take not away Thy mercy from us for the sake of Abraham Thy beloved, and Isaac Thy servant, and Israel Thy holy one: to whom Thou hast spoken promising that Thou wouldst multiply their seed as the stars of heaven, and as the sand that is on the seashore. For we, O Lord, are diminished more than any nation, and are brought low in all the earth this day for our sins. Neither is there at this time prince, or leader, or prophet, or holocaust, or sacrifice, or oblation, or incense, or place of first-fruits before Thee, that we may find Thy mercy: nevertheless, in a contrite heart and humble spirit let us be accepted. As in holocausts of rams, and bullocks, and as in thousands of fat lambs: so let our sacrifice be made in Thy sight this day, that it may please Thee: for there is no confusion to them that trust in Thee. And now we follow Thee with all our heart, and we fear Thee, and seek Thy face. Put us not to confusion, but deal with us according to Thy meekness, and according to the multitude of Thy mercy. And deliver us according to Thy wonderful works, and give glory to Thy name, O Lord: and let all them be confounded that show evils to Thy servants, let them be confounded in all Thy might, and let their strength be broken. And let them know that Thou art the Lord, the only God, and glorious over all the world, O Lord our God.
GOSPEL. Luke vii. 36-50.
At that time one of the Pharisees desired Him to eat with him. And He went into the house of the Pharisee, and sat down to meat. And behold a woman that was in the city a sinner, when she knew that He sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment: and standing behind at His feet, she began to wash His feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head, and kissed His feet, and anointed them with the ointment. And the Pharisee, who had invited Him, seeing it, spoke within himself, saying: This man if He were a prophet, would know surely who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth Him: that she is a sinner. And Jesus answering, said to him: Simon, I have somewhat to say to thee. But he said: Master, say it. A certain creditor had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And whereas they had not wherewith to pay, he forgave them both. Which therefore of the two loveth him most?
Simon answering said I suppose that he to whom he forgave most. And He said to him: Thou hast judged rightly. And turning to the woman, He said unto Simon: Dost thou see this woman?
I entered into thy house, thou gavest Me no water for My feet: but she with tears hath washed My feet, and with her hairs hath wiped them. Thou gavest Me no kiss: but she, since she came in, hath not ceased to kiss My feet. My head with oil thou didst not anoint but she with ointment hath anointed My feet. Wherefore I say to thee: Many sins are forgiven her, because she hath loved much. But to whom less is forgiven, he loveth less. And He said to her: Thy sins are forgiven thee. And they that sat at meat with Him began to say within themselves: Who is this that forgiveth sins also?
And He said to the woman: Thy faith hath made thee safe: go in peace.
Read: The Servant Songs, Day Four:
(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 fourth song proclaims the salvific value of the Servant’s innocent suffering that will justify many and blot out their offenses.
Pray: Take time with the fourth Servant Song today. Read from Isaiah 52:13 to Isaiah 53:12.
Act: Here the prophet proclaims the “prosperity” of God’s servant, but it is not a worldly prosperity accomplished through human wisdom. “Who would believe what we have heard?” God’s silent and afflicted servant prospers through a life given to God as an offering for sin. Through suffering, the servant acquires great wealth and “offspring” before God: many are justified before God, iniquity is removed, wounds are healed, and sinners receive an intercessor. The servant prospers in what is true wealth to God.
World Autism Awareness Day seeks to raise awareness of the autism spectrum disorders and improve the lives of those currently living with autism. Autism refers to a lifelong brain development disorder that affects social interactions, learning, routines and communication. It is estimated that approximately 1% of the global population is autistic. World Autism Awareness Day was designated by the United Nations in 2007 in an effort to end stigmatization and discrimination against those with autism. World Autism Day is celebrated annually on April 2nd and fits in with the UN's Agenda for Sustainable Development, which promises to leave no one behind.
World Autism Awareness Day Facts & Quotes
· Autism now affects 1 in 68 children and 1 in 42 boys. Boys are 5 times more likely to have autism than girls.
· Autism costs a family $60,000 a year on average.
· 35 % of young adults (aged 19-23) with autism have not had a job or received postgraduate education after leaving high school.
· Who do you think made the first stone spears? The Asperger guy. If you were to get rid of all the autism genetics, there would be no more Silicon. – Temple Grandin, world-renowned Autism spokesperson and university professor.
World Autism Awareness Day Top Events and Things to Do
· Wear blue in order to support World Autism Day. The color blue is internationally recognized as a symbol of support for World Autism Day and it is accompanied by the catchphrase wear blue, April 2.
· Watch a movie about autism such as Fly Away, Sounding the Alarm and The Story of Luke.
· Light up your home or your business in blue like many famous buildings or monuments worldwide. There are many ways you can do this. It can be as simple as putting blue plastic over floodlights to project the color blue on your home. You can also use a blue Phillips light bulb, which can be bought at Home Depot.
· Get active on social media by taking a picture of yourself wearing blue and posting it using the hashtags #LIUB (Light it up Blue), #WorldAutismAwarenessDay, #WAD and #autism. You can also turn your profile photo blue on social media by putting a blue frame over it.
· Take part in an Autism Speaks Walk that raises money for the cause. You can gather a team and walk in support of someone you know with autism or simply donate, walk and enjoy the day with thousands of others.
 Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896