THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for April 14th, 2014
Monday of Holy Week
NO one can fathom how wide and how deep is the love of God for humanity. Today’s first reading gives us an insight into this tenderness:
A bruised reed he shall not break, and a smoldering wick he shall not quench, until he establishes justice on the earth…
We are on the threshold of the Day of the Lord, that day which will bring about an era of peace and justice, establishing it to “the coastlands.” The Church Fathers remind us that the Day of the Lord is not the end of the world or even a single 24 hour period. Rather…
…this day of ours, which is bounded by the rising and the setting of the sun, is a representation of that great day to which the circuit of a thousand years affixes its limits. —Lactantius, Fathers of the Church: The Divine Institutes, Book VII, Chapter 14, Catholic Encyclopedia; www.newadvent.org
Behold, the Day of the Lord shall be a thousand years. —Letter of Barnabas, The Fathers of the Church, Ch. 15
The number a “thousand” is symbolic for a long period of time. What we are entering into is a new era as the old dies away. There is no easy way to put it: this is going to be a significant and painful transition, like labour pains that give way to new life:
For you yourselves know very well that the Day of the Lord will come like a thief at night. When people are saying, “Peace and security,” then sudden disaster comes upon them, like labor pains upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. (1 Thess 5:2-3)
This is why the Lord is patient, because the purifying of the earth will be a Day unlike any other, as many saints and mystics have attested. cf. Three Days of Darkness But God is so patient, treading so lightly among the bruised reeds—that is, those souls who are still open to His mercy before the Day of Justice comes.
…before I come as a just Judge, I first open wide the door of My mercy. He who refuses to pass through the door of My mercy must pass through the door of My justice... —Divine Mercy in My Soul, Diary of St. Faustina, n. 1146
He comes like a gentle breeze, even now, so that the smoldering wick is not quenched—that is, so that the dying faith of many may have one last chance of being fanned into a brilliant flame, before the darkness of midnight engulfs the world. It is precisely because of such mercy and kindness in our God that we can pray with the Psalmist:
The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom should I fear? The LORD is my life’s refuge; of whom should I be afraid?
With Mary, then, let us bend today and kiss the feet of Jesus. Let our praise of His mercy rise like a fragrant oil to the heavens as we thank Him for waiting… waiting for us to be born, to find Him, know Him and to love Him, before the great and terrible Day of the Lord comes…
The Lord does not delay his promise, as some regard “delay,” but he is patient with you, not wishing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief… (2 Pet 3:9-10)
…let all mankind recognize My unfathomable mercy. It is a sign for the end times; after it will come the day of justice. While there is still time, let them have recourse to the fount of My mercy… —Divine Mercy in My Soul, Diary of St. Faustina, n. 848
Listen to Mark’s song Unconditional,
about the unfathomable love of God…
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