Optional memorial of St. John Baptist de la Salle

In my distress I called upon the LORD

and cried out to my God;

From his temple he heard my voice,

and my cry to him reached his ears. (Ps 18:7)

The Lord has drawn near to us. Throughout this Lent our little and great sacrifices have hopefully given us a little more appreciation of our need for compassion and mercy. Fasting and abstinence, seeking to meet some of the material needs of others, and regular prayer have been the standard we have followed. Perhaps our very struggle in being faithful to these practices has given us humility and led us to see our need and how the Lord comes to us in our need. “Everything John said about this man was true.” (Jn 10:41) Above all, John had pointed out Jesus as the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world. (Jn 1:29) How has God drawn near to us in our need?

“…realize that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.” (Jn 8:38) The Son has come to us, has spoken to us, has revealed the Father to us. To look upon the face of Christ is to look into the eyes of God. To hear His words is to hear the voice of the Father. Do we appreciate then what we have remembered these Fridays during Lent and will especially commemorate next week? Christ draws so close to us that He even takes our struggles upon Himself. On behalf of the whole human race He can pray the words of the Psalmist, “In my distress I called upon the LORD and cried out to my God.” (Ps 18:7) He takes up our sufferings, our distress, and upon His lips is heard our cry. Let us have great confidence that the Father hears our prayers, because the Son intercedes for us. As we meditate on the gift of the Spirit of Christ leading us to love as He loved, let us also pray for deep appreciation for how the Spirit joins us to Christ, joins our sufferings to His, and so brings us His Redemption.

April 7th, 2017