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Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 10.03.24

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Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 10.03.24

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2ND CHRONICLES 36: 14 – 16, 19 – 23

In those days: All the leading priests and people were exceedingly unfaithful, following all the abominations of the nations; and they polluted the house of the Lord which he had hallowed in Jerusalem. The Lord, the God of their fathers, sent persistently to them by his messengers, because he had compassion on his people and on his dwelling place; but they kept mocking the messengers of God, despising his word, and scoffing at his prophets, till the wrath of the Lord rose against his people, till there was no remedy. And the Chaldeans burnt the house of God, and broke down the wall of Jerusalem, and burnt all its palaces with fire, and destroyed all its precious vessels. The King of the Chaldeans took into exile in Babylon those who had escaped from the sword, and they became servants to him and to his sons until the establishment of the kingdom of Persia, to fulfill the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed its Sabbaths. All the days that it lay desolate it kept Sabbath, to fulfill seventy years. Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be accomplished,  the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom and also put it in writing: “Thus says Cyrus king of Persia, ‘The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and he has charged me to build him a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whoever is among you of all his people, may the Lord his God be with him. Let him go up.” _*The Word of the Lord.*_ _*RESPONSORIAL PSALM*__Psalm 137: 1 – 2, 3, 4 – 5, 6 (R.) 6ab__*R/. O let my tongue cleave to my palate if I remember you not.*_By the rivers of BabylonThere we sat and wept,Remembering Sion;On the poplars that grew thereWe hung up our harps. *R/.*For it was there that they asked us,Our captors, for songs,Our oppressors, for joy.“Sing to us,” they said,“one of Sion’s songs.” *R/.*O how could we singThe song of the Lord on foreign soil?If I forget you, Jerusalem,Let my right hand writher! *R/.*O let my tongue cleave to my palateIf I remember you not,If I prize not JerusalemAs the first of my joys! *R/.* _*SECOND READING*__“When we were dead through our trespasses, we were saved by grace.”__*EPHESIANS 2: 4 – 10*_Brethren: God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with him, and made us sit with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness towards us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God not because of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them._*The Word of the Lord.*_ _*GOSPEL ACCLAMATION*__John 3: 16_Glory and praise to you, O Christ. _God do loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should have eternal life._Glory and praise to you, O Christ._*GOSPEL*__“God sent the Son that the World might be saved through him”__*JOHN 3: 14 – 21*_At that time: Jesus said to Nicodemus, “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”_*The Gospel of the Lord

GOSPEL REFLECTION: Seeking the Full Truth
March 10, 2024

Jesus said to Nicodemus: “Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.” (John 3:14–15)

The line quoted above concludes a dialogue that Jesus had with Nicodemus, a Pharisee and a member of the Sanhedrin. This is the first of three times Nicodemus is mentioned in the Gospel of John. The second time he appears is when he reminds the other members of the Sanhedrin that a man must be first heard before he is condemned. The third time was when Jesus was killed and Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes to prepare Jesus’ body for burial.

Jesus was not accepted by most of the Pharisees and within the Sanhedrin. For that reason, Nicodemus was taking a risk by going to him at night to talk. But Jesus clearly senses faith in the heart of Nicodemus, which is why when Nicodemus asks Jesus about His teaching, Jesus answers him. Unlike the other Pharisees, Nicodemus was not trying to trap our Lord; he sincerely wanted to understand.

At the beginning of this dialogue between Jesus and Nicodemus, Nicodemus professes the beginning of faith in Jesus when he says, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God, for no one can do these signs that you are doing unless God is with him” (John 3:2). Interestingly, Jesus then speaks to Nicodemus in figures of speech, saying that one can only enter the Kingdom of God when they are “born from above” and “born from water and the Spirit.” Nicodemus tries to understand but fails. Jesus then gently rebukes him by saying, “You are the teacher of Israel and you do not understand this?” (John 3:10). Jesus then goes on to speak further in symbolic language and figures of speech, concluding with the beginning of today’s Gospel quoted above when He speaks in a veiled way about His coming crucifixion.

One thing that is important to understand from this dialogue between Jesus and Nicodemus is that Jesus’ language is veiled in symbolic language because, even though Nicodemus was on the right path, he was not yet ready for the full revelation of the Gospel. He could not yet fully comprehend all that our Lord came to reveal. Thus, Jesus spoke in veiled language and invited Nicodemus to keep seeking its hidden meaning.

In our own lives, we can come to God and want Him to speak clearly and definitively to us, revealing His perfect will for our lives. But often He doesn’t. Why? Because God knows we are not yet ready for the full truth. When He speaks to us and when we gain insight in one way or another, this is good and reveals we are on the right path. But the Gospel, in its fullness, is so radical and so demanding that most people are not yet ready for the full truth. Therefore, in His compassion, God gives us only what we can handle at the moment. But this humble truth should encourage us, as it did Nicodemus, not to give up and to continue opening ourselves to the fullness of the Word of God.

Reflect, today, upon how open you are to the fullness of God’s Word. What would happen if God were to reveal to you, by an immediate personal revelation of divine knowledge, all that was in His sacred mind? Would it be too much for you to handle? Yes, it would be. But that humble admission is an important step toward that very goal. Humble yourself, today, more fully before the mysterious Word of God and pray that you will continue to be changed and open so that the clarity of God’s truth will more fully penetrate your soul.

PRAYER:
My teaching Lord, Your sacred Truth is so deep, so profound and so transforming that it remains too much for me to fully comprehend and embrace. For that reason, I thank You for the mercy of speaking to me in veiled ways so as to continually draw me deeper in my faith and knowledge of You. Please continue to open my mind and heart to You so that, one day, I will understand Your Truth most fully. Jesus, I trust in You.

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