Thursday, February 28, 2008

Thursday of the Third Week of Lent


GOSPEL. ST. LUKE iv, 38-44.

(The Son of God Performs Miracles, and the Savior carries His Cross.)

At that .time Jesus, rising up out of the synagogue, went into Simon’s house. And Simon’s wife’s mother was taken with a great fever, and they besought Him for her. And standing over her, He commanded the fever, and it left her. And immediately rising, she ministered to them. And when the sun was down, all they that had any sick with divers diseases brought them to Him. But He laying His hands on every one of them, healed them. And devils went out from many, crying out and saying: Thou art the Son of God. And rebuking them He suffered them not to speak, but they knew that He was Christ. And when it was day, going out He went into a desert place, and the multitudes sought Him : and they stayed Him that He should not depart from them. To whom He said: To other cities also I must preach the Kingdom of God: for therefore I am sent. And He was preaching in the synagogues of Galilee.

How many miracles has our divine Savior performed, and by them proven that He is the Son of God, the Redeemer of the world! Even the devils cried out saying: "Thou art the Son of God." But this faith did not help them, nor will your faith help you, O Christian soul, if it be dead, and if you do not confess it in word and deed, and render it by good works fruitful in the love of God. The mother-in-law of Simon was suffering an attack of severe illness, and she confessed her faith by patiently carrying her cross. And now they besought the Son of God for her. She became well, "and immediately rising, she ministered to them." She serves our Lord with equal fidelity in days of health and in days of illness; and she confesses Him as the Son of God by her faith, in word and in deed. She confesses Him not only when witnessing His divine miracles, but also when "bearing His own cross he went forth to that place which is called Calvary," for the purpose of satisfying the offended God, and of redeeming the world by His cross. With what zeal, with what willingness does your Savior take the cross upon His shoulders. Should not the remembrance of your Savior carrying the cross make it easier for you, in your sufferings and humiliations, when you are ill-treated and persecuted, to confess your faith in Him by patience and pious resignation, and to give an edifying example in time of illness as well as in days of health?


May Thy heavenly favor increase the number of Thy devoted people, O Lord, we beseech Thee, and make them ever servants of Thy commandments.

Divine Savior how hard it is for us to perceive our own misery. When our body is ill, we use every means to recover our health. But how little fear and anxiety do we show when our soul is afflicted with the disease of impatience, of pride, of sensuality, and of every form of sin. By Thy painful carrying of the cross, help us faithfully to confess Thy divinity by prayer and good works, whether we are in sickness or in health. Amen.

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