Moved to Greater Love
Moved to Greater Love

Monday, April 14

Today’s Grace

I pray for the grace to feel sorrow and compassion, so that I may be united with the Lord Jesus in his Passion.

Scripture/Reading

Reading via the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops website:

Is 42:1-7
Here is my servant whom I uphold,
my chosen one with whom I am pleased,
Upon whom I have put my Spirit;
he shall bring forth justice to the nations,
Not crying out, not shouting,
not making his voice heard in the street.
A bruised reed he shall not break,
and a smoldering wick he shall not quench,
Until he establishes justice on the earth;
the coastlands will wait for his teaching.

Thus says God, the LORD,
who created the heavens and stretched them out,
who spreads out the earth with its crops,
Who gives breath to its people
and spirit to those who walk on it:
I, the LORD, have called you for the victory of justice,
I have grasped you by the hand;
I formed you, and set you
as a covenant of the people,
a light for the nations,
To open the eyes of the blind,
to bring out prisoners from confinement,
and from the dungeon, those who live in darkness.

Jn 12:1-11
Six days before Passover Jesus came to Bethany,
where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead.
They gave a dinner for him there, and Martha served,
while Lazarus was one of those reclining at table with him.
Mary took a liter of costly perfumed oil
made from genuine aromatic nard
and anointed the feet of Jesus and dried them with her hair;
the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.
Then Judas the Iscariot, one of his disciples,
and the one who would betray him, said,
“Why was this oil not sold for three hundred days’ wages
and given to the poor?”
He said this not because he cared about the poor
but because he was a thief and held the money bag
and used to steal the contributions.
So Jesus said, “Leave her alone.
Let her keep this for the day of my burial.
You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.”

The large crowd of the Jews found out that he was there and came,
not only because of him, but also to see Lazarus,
whom he had raised from the dead.
And the chief priests plotted to kill Lazarus too,
because many of the Jews were turning away
and believing in Jesus because of him.

Reflection Questions

  1. Isaiah speaks of the suffering servant who endures in silent suffering and humiliation, alluding to Christ’s suffering for us. How am I attentive to and in solidarity with those who are suffering because of oppression, injustice, persecution, poverty? How am I moved by their helplessness and called to be an instrument of Christ’s love and peace in the world?
  2. We are once again in Bethany, the place where Lazarus was raised from the dead. Watch as Mary lovingly anointed Jesus with the perfume in preparation for what is to come. How am I attentive to the Lord this day as I journey with him to Jerusalem?

Reflection

“Following Christ” from “A Fire that Kindles Other Fires” - Decree 2 of the Society of Jesus’ General Congregation 35:

To follow Christ bearing his Cross means opening ourselves with him to every thirst that afflicts humanity today. Christ is nourishment itself, the answer to every hunger and thirst. He is the bread of life, who, in feeding the hungry, draws them together and unites them. He is the water of life, the living water of which he spoke to the Samaritan woman in a dialogue that surprised his disciples because it took him, like free-flowing water, beyond the river-banks of what was culturally and religiously familiar and into an exchange with someone with whom custom forbade him to speak at all. Jesus, in his outreach, embraced difference and new horizons. His ministry transcended boundaries. He invited his disciples to be aware of God’s action in places and people they were inclined to avoid: Zacchaeus, a Syro-Phoenician woman, Roman centurions, a repentant thief. As water bringing life to all who thirst, he showed himself interested in every parched area of the world; and in every parched area of the world he can thus be welcomed, for all who are thirsty can understand what living water means. This image of living water can give life to all Jesuits as servants of Christ in his mission because, having tasted this water themselves, they will be eager to offer it to anyone who thirsts and to reach out to people beyond frontiers — where water may not yet have welled up — to bring a new culture of dialogue to a rich, diverse, and multi-faceted world.

Arrest and Imprisonment of Pedro Arrupe, SJ, 28th Superior General of the Society of Jesus (from www.ignatianspirituality.com):

After the December 7, 1941, bombing of Pearl Harbor, the Japanese security forces arrested Arrupe on suspicion of espionage. He was kept in solitary confinement. Arrupe described the privation and uncertainty he suffered as he waited for the disposition of his case. He missed celebrating the Eucharist most of all. In the midst of his suffering, Arrupe experienced a special moment of grace. On Christmas night, 1941, Arrupe heard a group of people gathering outside his cell door. He could not see them and wondered if the time of his execution had come.

Suddenly, above the murmur that was reaching me, there arose a soft, sweet, consoling Christmas carol, one of the songs which I had myself taught to my Christians. I was unable to contain myself. I burst into tears. They were my Christians who, heedless of the danger of being themselves imprisoned, had come to console me. (Pedro Arrupe: Essential Writings, Kevin Burke, Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books 2004, p. 57)

After the few minutes of song, Arrupe reflected in the presence of Jesus, who would soon descend onto the altar during the Christmas celebration: “I felt that he also descended into my heart, and that night I made the best spiritual communion of all my life.” (Ibid. p. 58)

When the security forces came after 33 days to release him from captivity, Arrupe was convinced that they were coming to execute him. The experience of captivity filled him with a deep inner calm founded on a radical trust in God.

Music: “O Lord, Hear My Prayer” (Taizé)

Other Resources

View the daily readings at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops website.





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