March 27: Friday of the Fourth Week of Lent

Fritz Eichenberg, Christ of the Breadlines, 1950

Readings for Mass
First Reading: Wisdom 2:1, 12-22
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 34:17-18, 19-20, 21, 23
Gospel: John 7:1-2, 10, 25-30

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted, and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord rescues them from them all (NRSV, Ps 34:18-19).

Let us pray.

Father, you reveal who you are to us at every moment at the depths of our innermost being through your Word who is always present to us. This revelation, only brought to conscious comprehension by us gradually, has been made clearer to us through your prophets, who seem to respond to you more sensitively than many of the rest of us, and especially through the Word made flesh, our Lord Jesus Christ, in whom you share our human life with us.

When Jesus lay dying on the cross, your presence to him was most manifest. In Mark’s gospel the pagan centurion at the foot of the cross, alone in the whole gospel, comes to recognize your divine presence in your Son. In Matthew the universe goes into convulsion in union with our Lord. Luke speaks eloquently of the healing that goes from Jesus to those around him. John sums it all up by indicating that passage through death, a human being’s most difficult moment, can be truly an hour of glory.

Father, you were with your Son Jesus as he passed through death and you will be also with us empowering us as you did your Son. As death is the saving moment, Lord, so is every moment. I truly believe that there is no time when you are not present to us. In every moment, even the bleakest, when all others seem to have abandoned us, you are there, sharing your life with us, or, if we are in serious sin, calling us back to you through your Word. Every moment then can be blessing opening up to new and even more glorious future.

May we find you, Father, when we are most troubled and seemingly most abandoned, that we may rejoice in the life that you always share with us.

Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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