Fr. Brian’s Gospel Reflection
“Scripture cannot be set aside”, Jesus says in today’s gospel reading (John 10:35). Jesus is giving a little scripture study by quoting Psalm 82:6 that says ‘I declare: “Gods though you be, and offspring of the Most High all of you”. It is a difficult Old Testament passage to understand, where the ‘gods’ refer to either human kingly rulers or high judges of the Israelites appointed by God to lead the people. The quote could be used to justify calling God’s chosen leader a ‘Son of God’. Jesus refers to Psalm 82 as His defense against the Jews’ charge against Him of blasphemy because He called God His Father (Therefore He is ‘Son’). I did not mean to get into the scripture dispute between Jesus and the crowd (He handles that Himself). I simply wanted to point out a central principle of bible interpretation according to Jesus, and it is this: Every word has to be dealt with in declaring its meaning. We cannot ignore or throw out passages that are inconvenient or uncomfortable to us. One thing I love about being a priest is that I do not pick my passages to preach about on Sunday. The Church selects them for me. I open the day’s readings and they say, “Deal with me!” Again, “scripture cannot be set aside” (Jn 10:35). Sometimes it is a complete joy and I study it enthusiastically and don’t want to stop researching the depth of God’s word. But then there are hard passages I am tempted to say one word (really, just one word like ‘Wow’) and then don’t let the book slam on my fingers as I close the cover quickly. No, I am kidding. I do have passages that I still puzzle over their complexity and others I find difficult to preach because they are so harsh/condemnatory in tone. Maybe you wonder which passages those might be? I think if you read and study with me awhile, it will become clear what passages they are, or just ask me some time what they are? We can talk!
But again, I love our Catholic Church’s pre-established reading plan of daily bible verses. We call it the Lectionary, or Book of Readings. We follow a three year cycle of nearly continuous Sunday readings through the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke (and John is inserted in the high holy days and feasts). Then for weekdays, we have a two-year cycle of daily readings that bring in a lot more of the Old Testament. Overall, both cycle sets, we cover the majority of the New Testament and a lot of the Old Testament. But back to today’s gospel. Jesus is saying that we should not overlook or discard any of the Word of God because He always has something to instruct or enlighten us about by in His Word. Jesus says about this same thig when he declared in the Sermon on the Mount, “Do not think I came to abolish the Law, I came not to abolish but to fulfill” (Matthew 5:17). I understand Jesus to mean that if I am struggling with understanding what His word means, then I need to go to Him in deep prayer and ask for its meaning. He says, “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, I will give you rest” (Matt 11:28). If I am weary studying, He will lift the cloud of confusion. Sometimes I call upon that same Holy Spirit of God who composed the Word, to also come and open my mind to its understanding. And God will provide. I work to keep the humble attitude in bible study, the same attitude Peter expressed when Jesus asked Him if he wanted quit and walk off because of difficult teaching. Peter responded there, “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life” (John 6:68). Jesus gives meaning to life, answering all questions. How did I do with this passage?
Spiritual Challenge for the Day
Being Friday, offer the catholic prayer devotion of the Stations of the Cross, and determine which stations specifically cannot be identified in or sourced by exact quotes from the gospel accounts? They are not against anything in the scripture, it is just that some stations fill in the gaps, or add helpful detail in imagining Jesus’ walk to the cross.
Blessed Palms from Palm Sunday Mass will be available outside the church after Palm Sunday Mass.
Please follow the directions that will be posted near the pick-up point. Thank you!
Prayer for the Day:
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth. O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, Through Christ Our Lord, Amen.
Lord, please open my eyes to the truth of your word. I pray for wisdom as I prepare to read your word, for clarity while I read it, and discernment as I apply your word to my life. Let your word change my heart and bear fruit in my actions. I pray the truth I find here will transform my life to more faithfully follow you. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen
Psalm 119:18 “Open my eyes to see clearly, the wonders of your law.”
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St. Anthony of Padua Parish!
HOLY WEEK MASS SCHEDULE (On-line Only)
All Masses and Services will be on-line via Facebook Live.
April 5: Palm Sunday Mass 9:30AM from St. Anthony of Padua Parish, Grand Rivers
April 9: Holy Thursday Mass 6:00PM from St. Pius X Parish, Calvert City
April 10: Good Friday Stations of the Cross 2:00PM from St. Pius X Parish, Calvert City
April 10: Good Friday Service 6:00PM from St. Anthony of Padua Parish, Grand Rivers
April 12: EASTER SUNDAY 9:30AM from St. Pius X Parish, Calvert City
April 3, 2020
Friday of the Fifth Week of Lent
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