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  • Father David M. Knight

We are the risen body of Jesus. In and through us he is winning the battle today.

Invitation:

Live by the Spirit. Dedicate yourself to listen to Jesus as a disciple of his mind and heart. Let his words

open you to the Spirit, and let the Spirit give you life.

Ask yourself in prayer and others in discussion, for each statement below: “Do you see this in the Scripture reading? What response does it invite?

Sunday: We know Jesus is triumphing, not from what we see happening in the world around us, but from what we see happening within ourselves.

Faced with injustice or hostility, our immediate response should not be, “How can I fight back?” It should be life-giving: “How can I help, how can I heal this person?”

Monday: The child-abuse horror is a story of clericalism, defined as the unmerited assumption that priests and bishops are more sacred than laypersons.

In God’s human-divine Church, no rank, position, function, even sacramentally bestowed, makes anyone holier or more to be trusted a-priori than anyone else.

Tuesday: “Dryness” teaches us that discipleship is not just human discipline and will-power but a gift of God.

Living as Christ can only be learned by surrender to letting Jesus act with us, in us and through us.

Wednesday: When being unfaithful to God is for us simply a non-negotiable, we have reached the first level of proper relationship to God.

Jesus gives four benchmarks of spiritual freedom: • living by Christ’s teaching;” • being free through personal interaction with Christ; • being faithful to your heritage (e.g. still going to Mass); • knowing God as Father, not just Creator and Judge.

Thursday: Jesus promises us more than God promised Abraham: 1. a “posterity” of people to whom we have communicated the divine life of God; and 2. the Kingdom of God as our “permanent possession “for all eternity.

Friday: It takes courage to study God’s word. But the assurance of victory gives peace even in the midst of conflict.

Saturday: Each of us must be willing to “die” to whatever in us is an obstacle to unity— in our home, parish, workplace, with other Christians and non-Christians.

Decisions:

Say the WIT prayer. Persevere in human efforts to stay conscious of being divine.

Have the courage to read, reflect, speak and do. Be Christ visibly.

Promote unity. Believe in each one’s grace. Hope for change. Live in love.


  • Father David M. Knight

April 8, 2017

SATURDAY, Lent week five

View Today's Readings

The Responsorial (from Jeremiah 31:10-13) is a promise for all time: “The Lord will guard us as a

shepherd guards his flock”.

In Ezekiel 37:21-28 God is promising to restore unity to his People by uniting the tribes again as they were under King David.[1] But it was under the kingship of the promised “Son of David” that true unity would be restored; not just to Israel, but to the human race. The “miracle of tongues” at Pentecost was a sign and preview of this, when God reversed the Tower of Babel by letting people present “from every nation under heaven” understand the apostles speaking the “language of the Spirit.”[2]

Paul announced God’s “plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in Christ, things in heaven and things on earth.” Paul was sent to the Gentiles so that through him Christ “might create in himself one new humanity in place of the two, thus making peace”:

So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but citizens with the saints and members of the household of God... with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone... in whom you also are built together spiritually into a dwelling place for God.[3]

This unity was broken by the schism between Catholics of East and West, and by the Protestant Reformation. We can never rest until unity is restored. What is holding it back?

It is an axiom in most organizations that “the buck stops” at the top. John Paul II may have been thinking this when he said that if his way of “exercising the primacy” was keeping the Eastern Rites separated, he would change it. “This is an immense task, which we cannot refuse and which I cannot carry out by myself.” He asked for “a patient and fraternal dialogue... in which, leaving useless controversies behind, we could listen to one another, keeping before us only the will of Christ for his Church and allowing ourselves to be deeply moved by his plea ’that they may all be one...’”.[4]

This sets a principle for all renewal in the Church. The authorities — bishops, pastors and lay professionals in charge of various ministries — have more power than anyone to bring about reforms, but without the committed participation of everyone else, lay and cleric, it will be “too little, too late.”

John 11:45-57 tells us that when the high priest said, “It is better to have one man die than the whole nation destroyed,” he unknowingly “prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation... and to gather into one all the dispersed children of God.”

So what are you willing to do to bring about unity? In your home? Parish? School? Workplace? With other Christians? With Muslims” Other non-Christians? The non-churched? What would you have to “die” to? If all are as willing as Jesus was, then “the Lord will guard us as a shepherd guards his flock."

Initiative: Strive for unity. Believe in each one’s grace. Hope for change. Love.

[1] 2Samuel 5:1-3.

[2] Acts 2:12.

[3] Ephesians 1:9-10, 2:13-22.

[4] See the enchyclical Ut Unum Sint, nos. 95-96.


  • Father David M. Knight

April 7, 2017

FRIDAY, Lent week five

View Today's Readings

The Responsorial (Psalm 18) is a reminder we never stop feeling the need for: “In my distress I called upon the Lord and he heard my voice.”

Jeremiah 20: 10-13 shows us what Jesus predicted for his disciples:

“Terror on every side! Denounce! Let us denounce him. Those who were my friends are on the watch for any misstep of mine.

Jesus said, “Do you think that I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division!’

See, I am sending you out like sheep into the midst of wolves... Beware of them.... Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child.... You will be hated by all because of my name.

It takes courage to study God’s word. We may get insights we don’t want — about ourselves, others, friends and family, the Church, the world we live in. Once we see the truth, what do we do with it? Put it under a bushel basket? Speak it? Live it out? The last two can get us in trouble. But Jesus calls this peace!

I have said this to you, so that in me you may have peace. In the world you face persecution. But take courage; I have conquered the world![1]

The assurance of victory gives peace even in the midst of conflict. “In my distress I called upon the Lord and he heard my voice” — and answered, “Peace!”

John 10: 31-42 is all about Jesus’ identity. His enemies were stoning him because “you who are only a man are making yourself God.”

If we are honest in professing our faith, the same can be said of us. We say we are the actual, physical body of Christ, not just God’s creatures but his true children. His own divine life is in us, because we are filii in Filio, “sons and daughters in the Son.” Each of us says with St. Paul, “It is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me.” By Baptism we have “become Christ.”

And we claim that this groping, sinful “pilgrim Church” we are is uniquely the “one true Church” of Jesus Christ! While all Christian assemblies have something of his Church in them, we alone have all that is required to be the full Church Jesus founded. Does that make us popular?[2]

Jesus said, “If I do not perform my Father’s works, put no faith in me.” We as a Church may hesitate to suggest that, but people will do it anyway. If the “fruit of the Spirit” is not visible in us; if we don’t obviously love God and all our neighbors; read and reflect on God’s word as disciples; live a lifestyle different from our culture as prophets; celebrate liturgy with enthusiasm and nurture one another as priests; care for the poor and work to establish the reign of God’s justice and peace on earth as stewards of his kingship, no proofs from Scripture or theology will convince anyone that we actually are the living body of Jesus Christ on earth.

Initiative: Have the courage to read, reflect, speak and do. Be Christ visibly.

[1] Luke 12:51; Matthew 10:16-22; John 16:33. See John 7:40-43, 15:18-20.

[2] See Romans 12:1-5; Galatians 2:20; Catechism of the Catholic Church, nos. 795, 460.


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