Objective of the week:
To pray on the theme of the Easter Encounter ‘I thirst’ and to live out the Lenten practice of prayer as apostles who listen with their mind and heart.
This week we are one in contemplating on the theme of the upcoming Easter encounter “I THIRST”.
When we were young and heard that Jesus spoke these words I thirst, we assume that he was referring to his desire to drink. But the true meaning of this cry of Christ speak of a thirst which is consuming his life’s blood, the core for his coming, for becoming human like us. This thirst is a deep spiritual thirst: the thirst for the soul of all mankind. He thirsts for the conversion and eternal salvation of all people around the world. Jesus thirsts for each one of us. Do you thirst to know more of the God who thirst for us and love us so much? What does this thirst of Christ mean for you? How does this thirst of Christ be quenched?
After this, aware that everything was now finished, in order that the scripture might be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I thirst.” There was a vessel filled with common wine. So they put a sponge soaked in wine on a sprig of hyssop and put it up to his mouth. When Jesus had taken the wine, he said, “It is finished.” And bowing his head, he handed over his spirit.
The love of God breaks through that fatal withdrawal into ourselves which is indifference. The Church offers us this love of God by her teaching and especially by her witness. But we can only bear witness to what we ourselves have experienced. Christians are those who let God clothe them with goodness and mercy, with Christ, so as to become, like Christ, servants of God and others.
Jesus hanging on the cross and towards the end of his breath, expresses to all in front of him that HE is thirsty. Jesus is thirsty not for wine or water, but for people who grasp the reason of his suffering and death on the cross and are willing to be transformed in mind and heart; those who understand and practice justice, mercy, compassion and love. Those who are encouraged to follow His ways, those who want to build sincere relationship with HIM in Prayer.
Are you willing to quench the thirst of Jesus? Dialogue with HIM in prayer.
"You are my Friend"
This is my commandment: love one another as I love you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father.
A true Friendship is what Jesus desires to all of us. A friendship that is characterized by total trust and confidence. A friendship that is lasting and knows no boundary. A friendship that is leading to the truth. A friendship that is bound by strings of LOVE.
How strong is that string of LOVE you have with the LORD? Tighten up the knot; Pray more.
"Listen to Him"
After six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no fuller on earth could bleach them. Then Elijah appeared to them along with Moses, and they were conversing with Jesus. Then Peter said to Jesus in reply, rabbi, it is good that we are here! Let us make three tents: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” He hardly knew what to say, they were so terrified. Then a cloud came, casting a shadow over them; then from the cloud came a voice, “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.” Suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone but Jesus alone with them. As they were coming down from the mountain, he charged them not to relate what they had seen to anyone, except when the Son of Man had risen from the dead. So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what rising from the dead meant.
Our life’s journey is a constant conversion of Heart and to be transformed we need to Listen to Christ as God the Father command us to, not just yesterday, today and tomorrow but at all times.
"This is how you ought to pray"
“When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners so that others may see them. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you. In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need before you ask him. (Matthew 6:5-8)
God does not ask of us anything that he himself has not first given us. “We love because he first has loved us” (1 John 4:19). He is not aloof from us. Each one of us has a place in his heart. He knows us by name, he cares for us and he seeks us out whenever we turn away from him. He is interested in each of us; his love does not allow him to be indifferent to what happens to us.
How is your prayer this time? Can you count the answered prayer you have? Are you contented with it? Is our prayer more focused on petitions? Prayer is more than a petition. It is a conversation for a concrete relationship to the person who has been loving us and teaching us how to pray. Prayer is thanksgiving, prayer is reconciliation, prayer is acknowledging God’s sovereign providence, and prayer is listening. Prayer is everything.
"How do I listen?"
All you who are thirsty, come to the water! You who have no money, come, buy grain and eat; Come, buy grain without money, wine and milk without cost! Why spend your money for what is not bread; your wages for what does not satisfy? Only listen to me, and you shall eat well, you shall delight in rich fare.
Pay attention and come to me; listen, that you may have life. I will make with you an everlasting covenant, the steadfast loyalty promised to David
20 But as for the seed that fell on rich soil, they are the ones who, when they have heard the word, embrace it with a generous and good heart, and bear fruit through perseverance.
There must be a concrete reason(s) why we go to prayer. There is something missing that we need to fill in us and no other thing or person can except God. Listening to God is a quest of looking for the longing of our hearts that would give us the fulfillment in life. To be always sensitive to the beating of our hearts for the lord, to be open to whatever invitation that He will be giving us, to be humble to collaborate with others and to persevere in moment of difficulties. Listen to God with our mind and heart.
“Learn to pray for one another as a family.”
One of the scribes, when he came forward and heard them disputing and saw how well he had answered them, asked him, “Which is the first of all the commandments?” Jesus replied, “The first is this: ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is Lord alone! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.
With all prayer and supplication, pray at every opportunity in the Spirit. To that end, be watchful with all perseverance and supplication for all the holy ones and also for me, that speech may be given me to open my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel for which I am an ambassador in chains, so that I may have the courage to speak as I must.
In order to receive what God gives us and to make it bear abundant fruit, we need to press beyond the boundaries of the visible Church by uniting ourselves in prayer with the Church in heaven and to go out of itself and to be engaged in the life of the greater society of which it is a part, especially with the poor and those who are far away.
3rd Sunday of Lent
1st Reading: Exodus 20:1-17
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 19:8-11
2nd Reading: 1 Corinthians 1:22-25
Gospel: John 2:13-25
Weekly Prayer Guidelines
Read this week's guidelines to help you deepen in the Word of God for today.