GOD’S WORD FOR THE DAY – 29TH MARCH 2017
GOD’S WORD FOR THE DAY (based on Catholic Liturgical Readings)
DATE: 29TH MARCH 2017
WEDNESDAY OF THE FOURTH WEEK OF LENT
FIRST READING: Isaiah 49:8-15
PSALM: Psalm 145:8-9, 13-14, 17-18
GOSPEL: John 5:17-30
THEME: I WILL NOT FORGET YOU
A discouraged person is like a deflated balloon that lies flat on the ground and unable to soar in the sky. Such a person feels and thinks that everything in a given space and time is against him/her.
Discouragement is the absence of courage. It is a strong feeling of not wanting to go on again. Like stagnant water, when we choose not to flow again, we lose our vitality. There are many people out there who out of discouragement have chosen to indulge themselves in unpleasant and unwholesome living. It often leads to spiritual and moral suicide. Unfortunately, some end up committing physical suicide as well.
In life, you cannot always dodge disappointment but you can choose not to be discouraged when you are disappointed. Discouragement can only rear its ugly head up in the face of disappointment when faith in God is deactivated or put to sleep.
The experience of discouragement characterised the people of Judah after the unfortunate exilic experience in Babylon and its aftermath. Memories of their defeat and perhaps some unpleasant experiences made in Babylon kept haunting them. Rebuilding the city of Jerusalem and the temple was a frightful challenge that continually stared at them.
In today’s First Reading, the nation of Judah gives rein to their frustration, “The LORD has forsaken me, my Lord has forgotten me” (Isa 49:15). In response, the Lord says, “Can a woman forget her nursing child, or show no compassion for the child of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you” (Isa 49:15).
The response of the Lord to the discouraged people of Judah reveals the depth of his compassion for us. God gives a promise that he will never forget his own. This promise should encourage anyone of us who is battling with the feeling of abandonment and discouragement at this point in time in his/her life. What it means is that God is thinking about you. It means he is not against you; he is for you.
The loving arms of Jesus are opened towards each one of us and Jesus assures us in today’s Gospel text, “whoever listens to my words and believes in the one who sent me, has eternal life; without being brought to judgment such a person has passed from death to life” (Jn. 5:24). Like children, let us run during this season of Lent into the loving embrace of Jesus our Lord and master.
PRAYER: I thank you Jesus for your gift of love. I long to be in your eternal embrace and to experience your love every hour of my life. Here and now, I surrender at your feet. Love me Lord. Amen
Andrews Obeng, svd
DIVINE WORD MISSIONARIES
BIBLICAL PASTORAL MINISTRY
“May the darkness of sin and the night of unbelief vanish before the light of the Word and the Spirit of grace. And may the heart of Jesus live in the hearts of all people” (St. Arnold Janssen).