THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for March 27th, 2014
Thursday of the Third Week of Lent
Liturgical texts here
HOW did Satan tempt Adam and Eve? With his voice. And today, he works no differently, except with the added advantage of technology, which can propel a horde of voices at us all at once. It is the voice of Satan that led, and continues to lead man into darkness. It is the voice of God that will lead souls out.
Listen to my voice; then I will be your God and you shall be my people. (First reading)
We have, of course, the voice of Apostolic Tradition, the voice of Christ carried to us through the succession of Apostles (bishops) over the centuries. In this voice, we hear the express will of God through the commandments and deposit of faith.
But there is so much more! I continue to hear yesterday’s first reading ringing in my ears: “For what great nation is there that has gods so close to it as the Lord, our God, is to us whenever we call upon him?” cf. Deut 4:7 When we come to God in prayer, talking to Him from the heart, as a child talks to a parent, or one friend to another, something beautiful begins to happen. A real, living relationship is established.
In the New Covenant, prayer is the living relationship of the children of God with their Father who is good beyond measure... —Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 2010
And, because it is a relationship, the Father will speak to you. And you will hear His voice, if you take the time to listen. Believe me when I say this to you—I who never thought God could speak to my restless heart. But He does, and will to any heart that seeks Him like a child. And we must, otherwise we will inevitably follow the “other” voices.
…we tend to forget him who is our life and our all… “We must remember God more often than we draw breath.” But we cannot pray “at all times” if we do not pray at specific times, consciously willing it. —Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 2697
You have to make time for the Lord. If Jesus gave us a pattern to imitate so that we could in turn bring His presence into the world (see Bringing Jesus Into the World), it is only because He often took time alone with the Father to pray so that He would know what to do. Jesus said, “a son cannot do anything on his own, but only what he sees his father doing.” cf. 5:19 You and I may know the commandments and laws, but it is through prayer that we gain the wisdom and grace as to how to apply them in our own lives and situations. It is through prayer that the tender voice of the Father and Son speak to your situation, and guide you with the sweetest love. And when deserts come—and they do and will—your faithfulness in prayer will draw even more graces than those times when all is at peace in your soul.
Prayer attends to the grace we need for meritorious actions. —Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 2010
Come, let us bow down in worship; let us kneel before the LORD who made us. For he is our God, and we are the people he shepherds, the flock he guides. (Today’s Psalm)
For Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd… my sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” cf. Jn 10:11, 27 Make prayer, then, the very center of your day and your life. As the earth needs the sun, does your heart need prayer.
Obedience and prayer, therefore, are the two legs of the spiritual life that will help you walk toward unity with God, and thus enable you to bring His presence into the world…
…and to be His voice to lead others out of the darkness.
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