Jesus did not fit their expectations of who the Messiah would be. They expected a king who would come in great glory. But Jesus came as a servant. Yet the question persists to this day and even for us believers: Who is this Jesus and what does he mean to me? We too are just as likely to look in the wrong places for Jesus. We tend to think he is found only in places marked as holy, in cathedrals and in beautiful stained-glass chapels and churches. He is, however, just as likely to be found in an impoverished day care center or a food bank for the poor. Jesus is everywhere.
If we truly want to see the glory of God, a glory and praise that give life, we need to move downward with Jesus. We need to become aware of the glory that comes from God by helping the poor, by attending to the needs of those less fortunate than ourselves, by being more sensitive to the sick, the shut ins, those on the fringe of our society, the handicapped, the oppressed. They are the ones through whom God’s glory can manifest itself to us. They show us the way to God, the way to salvation.
The Annunciation of the Lord –
As followers of Jesus we have received the power of the Spirit. We have been anointed to carry the message of evangelizing, healing, freeing and bearing a message of hope to the world. We are the body of Jesus visible today. Do we have enough faith in ourselves to believe that all this is once again fulfilled in us each day? Do we believe in this fulfillment which we have all received?
The first essential need towards receiving the healing of Jesus is the intense desire for it. Jesus comes to us and says: “Do you really want to be changed?”If in our inmost hearts we are well content to stay as we are there can be no change for us. The desire for the gifts from God must be surging in our hearts.
St. Turibius of Magrovejo –
Anxieties and sorrows have the capacity to remind us of our need for God and to start us on a spiritual search. The result of such a quest has to be some amount of good. This is not to suggest that trouble, itself is good. To the contrary, it is essentially bad. But when we are going through it, let us try to remember this: Bad though it is, suffering does have its good side. It is often in the dark valley that we realize the Good Shepherd at our side.
Fourth Sunday of Lent –
Let us pray each day that we all have the courage to live the gospel by proclaiming through our lives what Jesus is doing in us. The man said,“I know this much: He is a prophet. I was blind. Now I can see.” Such is the simple, practical and convincing sermon of a life that has been changed by the power of God. We have all been touched by the power of God. Let us have the courage to proclaim it to the world by the way we live!
How can we ever be so foolish to think that petty pious actions would impress God or gain favor with him. The Pharisee was a fool to think this way. With regard to the Publican and with regard to all of us, it is not because we are sinners that God is pleased, but because we admit our need for his forgiveness.
To love someone presupposes some kind of relationship. The Scribe agreed with Jesus. And Jesus said to him some very important words: You are not far from the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God is about right relationships. God’s kingdom is not some far off distant dream. It is right here, right now, depending on how we live with God, our neighbor and ourselves.
St. Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary –
St. Joseph never once asked, “What’s in this for me?” Joseph is noted for his immediate “yes-response” to the task at hand. He lovingly takes Mary into his home at the call of the angel and he provides a loving home no matter what the consequences are for him. Instead of being manipulative he complies with and accepts the Lord’s challenge in his life.
St. Cyril of Jerusalem –
Through his life, death and resurrection Christ achieved what no one else could. As we celebrate that truth, let’s also rejoice in the principle behind it: God always completes the task. What was true in history can and will be true in our lives as well.