Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Lent
Jesus answered the Jews, “My Father is at work until now, so I am at work.” For this reason, the Jews tried all the more to kill him, because he not only broke the Sabbath, but he also called God his own father, making himself equal to God. Jesus answered and said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, a son cannot do anything on his own, but only what he sees his father doing; for what he does, his son will do also. For the Father loves his Son and shows him everything that he himself does, and he will show him greater works than these, so that you may be amazed. For just as the Father raises the dead and gives life, so also does the Son give life to whomever he wishes. Nor does the Father judge anyone, but he has given all judgment to his Son, so that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes in the one who sent me has eternal life and will not come to condemnation but has passed from death to life. Amen, amen, I say to you, the hour is coming and is now here when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For just as the Father has life in himself, so also, he gave to his Son the possession of life in himself. And he gave him power to exercise judgment, because he is the Son of Man. Do not be amazed at this, because the hour is coming in which all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and will come out, those who have done good deeds to the resurrection of life, but those who have done wicked deeds to the resurrection of condemnation. “I cannot do anything on my own; I judge as I hear, and my judgment is just, because I do not seek my own will but the will of the one who sent me.”
Introductory Prayer: Christ, I certainly believe in you, because in baptism you gave me the gift of faith. I believe for all those who do not believe in you. See my effort, Lord. I trust in your divine plan, and I hope in your saving grace.
Petition: Lord, grant me the gift of piety.
1. Like Father, Like Son: “I say to you, a son cannot do anything on his own, but only what he sees his father doing; for what he does, his son will do also. For the Father loves his Son and shows him everything that he himself does.” The relationship between Christ and his Father was one of total respect and love. It wasn’t marred by the breakdown so frequently and tragically experienced in our modern family. The intensity of filial love that Jesus lived toward his Father was so powerful that it provides a path for all of us to follow. One of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is the gift of piety. Piety lavishes the soul with the capacity for considering God as our Father and all men as our brothers. A forgiving heart, which prevails over any rancor for injuries received, is one of the fruits of this gift.
2. The Requirements of Piety: Jesus said, “Do not be amazed at this, because the hour is coming in which all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and will come out, those who have done good deeds to the resurrection of life, but those who have done wicked deeds to the resurrection of condemnation.” There is no need to squander time in hatred for our brothers and sisters. Only God can judge their hearts. Our duty is to treat everyone with respect and love; this is the best way we have to foster the gift of piety.
3. Humility is The Key: Jesus said, “I do not seek my own will but the will of the one who sent me.” Believe it or not, the humble are the only ones who can lead a peaceful coexistence with all and, at the same time, stalwartly uphold truths and principles. Who can imagine a sunny day without the sun? Who can imagine the gift of piety without the practice of humility? I should examine those times when I blame everyone else for my impatience. Are they not a result of the difficulty I experience in shouldering someone else’s plans over my own or in accepting God’s will at the expense of my preferences?
Conversation with Christ: Lord, so many times have I come to you on my knees. I come now, confident that you will pour into my heart an abundance of the gift of piety through the infinite merits you won for me on the cross. Help me, Lord, to see you in everyone I meet.
Resolution: I will be a pious friend and a forgiving neighbor. I will humbly offer my services to the neighbor who interests me the least.