WEDNESDAY, FOURTH WEEK OF LENT
(Memorial of Saint Patrick, Bishop)
Reading 1: Is 49: 8-15 God assures his people that he loves them more than a mother can possibly love her child; he comforts and has mercy always.
Gospel: Jn 5: 17-30 The growing enmity towards Jesus is based on his claim that God is his Father. He claims that he desires to do his Father’s will.
SUFFERING BRINGS US CLOSER TO GOD
Our experience of suffering, can cause some of us to doubt the love of God for us. We will often question his presence and compassion when we are afflicted by misery, wondering, “Why would our omnibenevolent God allow us to experience such anguish?” However, the truth is, suffering is a part of the human experience, that can actually serve to help us get closer to God. Yet, though it is in our darkest moments that we need most to reach out to God’s compassionate assistance, we fail to do so. In our foolishness, we attempt to endure the misery alone, believing the mistaken assumption that when suffering is present, God is absent.
In the first reading today, through the prophet Isaiah, we see God’s compassion overflowing in his words to the people of Israel, “Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you.” Through these words, God reassures Israel that his compassion will always be shown, and mercy will always be granted to the afflicted. In the gospel, Jesus reminds us of the necessity of the Divine, as he, like us, couldn’t do anything without the presence of the Spirit. Jesus reveals the need of God over and above everything else.
Often, we are comfortable with living our lives on our own without God’s assistance, and then we encounter obstacles that we are unable to overcome. They become for us, reminders to reacquaint ourselves with the love of the Lord, and of our helplessness without his grace. In our human vulnerability, we must have the courage to embrace faith in the love of the Lord even when we are afflicted with suffering. The season of Lent keeps before our eyes Jesus on the cross, who was able to endure his passion, by the strength of his surrender to God, and we are assured that he will be with us in the time of our suffering as well.
Responsorial Psalm: Ps 145: 8-9, 13-14, 17-18 The Lord is kind and full of compassion.
Copyright ©2021 ©Springs of Living Water