Moved to Greater Love
Moved to Greater Love

Wednesday, April 9

Today's Grace

I pray for the grace to be united with the Lord Jesus in his vision as I journey with Him to Jerusalem and the cross.

Scripture/Reading

Reading via the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops website:

Dn 3:14-20, 91-92, 95
St. IgnatiusKing Nebuchadnezzar said:
"Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego,
that you will not serve my god,
or worship the golden statue that I set up?
Be ready now to fall down and worship the statue I had made,
whenever you hear the sound of the trumpet,
flute, lyre, harp, psaltery, bagpipe,
and all the other musical instruments;
otherwise, you shall be instantly cast into the white-hot furnace;
and who is the God who can deliver you out of my hands?"
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered King Nebuchadnezzar,
"There is no need for us to defend ourselves before you
in this matter.
If our God, whom we serve,
can save us from the white-hot furnace
and from your hands, O king, may he save us!
But even if he will not, know, O king,
that we will not serve your god
or worship the golden statue that you set up."

King Nebuchadnezzar's face became livid with utter rage
against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
He ordered the furnace to be heated seven times more than usual
and had some of the strongest men in his army
bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego
and cast them into the white-hot furnace.

Nebuchadnezzar rose in haste and asked his nobles,
"Did we not cast three men bound into the fire?"
"Assuredly, O king," they answered.
"But," he replied, "I see four men unfettered and unhurt,
walking in the fire, and the fourth looks like a son of God."
Nebuchadnezzar exclaimed,
"Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego,
who sent his angel to deliver the servants who trusted in him;
they disobeyed the royal command and yielded their bodies
rather than serve or worship any god
except their own God."

Jn 8:31-42
Jesus said to those Jews who believed in him,
"If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples,
and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
They answered him, "We are descendants of Abraham
and have never been enslaved to anyone.
How can you say, ‘You will become free'?"
Jesus answered them, "Amen, amen, I say to you,
everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin.
A slave does not remain in a household forever,
but a son always remains.
So if the Son frees you, then you will truly be free.
I know that you are descendants of Abraham.
But you are trying to kill me,
because my word has no room among you.
I tell you what I have seen in the Father's presence;
then do what you have heard from the Father."

They answered and said to him, "Our father is Abraham."
Jesus said to them, "If you were Abraham's children,
you would be doing the works of Abraham.
But now you are trying to kill me,
a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God;
Abraham did not do this.
You are doing the works of your father!"
So they said to him, "We were not born of fornication.
We have one Father, God."
Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love me,
for I came from God and am here;
I did not come on my own, but he sent me."

Reflection Questions

  1. In the reading from Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego trusted in God and are faithful to the very end in the face of persecution and death. In their suffering, God comes to console and free them from their enemies. How does my suffering allow me to enter into the mystery of Christ's suffering for me? Encountering Christ at the cross, I find comfort and hope in the profound realization that God has not abandoned us in our suffering and brokenness.
  2. Those who receive the Word of God and live by them will be saved. Jesus reassures his disciples, "If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." The truth of Christ reveals God's salvific plan and love for the world. Let us remain in Christ this day and be obedient to his teaching, "Remain in me as I remain in you. Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in me." (Jn 15:4)
  3. Where have I responded to God's call in Christ to be prophetic? Through my own trials, what should I take up as the cause of the crucified world as my own? What should I do for Christ?

Reflection

From Death to Life
by St. Peter Faber, SJ

Jesus Christ, may your death be my life
and in your dying may I learn how to live.
May your struggles be my rest,
Your human weakness my courage,
Your embarrassment my honor,
Your passion my delight,
Your sadness my joy,
In your humiliation my I be exalted.
In a word, may I find all my blessings in your trials.
Amen.

Selection from Santa Clara University Commencement Address, June 1982, by Ignacio Ellacuría, SJ:

Liberation theology has emphasized what the preferential option for the poor means in authentic Christianity. Such an option constitutes an essential part of Christian life — but it is also an historic obligation. For the poor embody Christ in a special way; they mirror for us his message of revelation, salvation and conversion. And they are also a universal social reality. Reason and faith merge, therefore, in confronting the reality of the poor. Reason must open its eyes to their suffering; faith — which is sometimes scandalous to those without it — sees in the weak of this world the triumph of God, for we see in the poor what salvation must mean and the conversion to which we are called…

…But we also have been encouraged by the words of Archbishop Romero — himself so soon to be murdered. It was he who said, while we were burying an assassinated priest, that something would be terribly wrong in our Church if no priest lay next to so many of his assassinated brothers and sisters. If the University had not suffered, we would not have performed our duty. In a world where injustice reigns, a university that fights for justice must necessarily be persecuted.

I would like to think — and this is the meaning I give to this honorary degree — that you understand our efforts, our mission. Something of the tragic reality that is El Salvador. And how do you help us? That is not for me to say. Only open your human heart, your Christian heart, and ask yourselves the three questions Ignatius of Loyola put to himself as he stood in front of the crucified world: What have I done for Christ in this world? What am I doing now? And above all, what should I do?


Martyrs of El Salvador by Mary Pimmel

Other Resources

View the daily readings at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops website.





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