March 12, 2016 – Saturday in the 4th Week of Lent
Saint for the day: Maximilian (d. 295)
Scripture Readings for today’s Liturgy:
“May the working of your mercy, O Lord, direct our hearts aright, for without your grace we cannot find favor in your sight.” (today’s opening Mass prayer.”)
The opening prayer of today’s Liturgy, which is captioned above, is key to our following of Jesus in this Lenten time. It also fits in well with Scripture readings appointed for today’s Liturgy. The reading from the Book of the Prophet Jeremiah presents him as a “foreshadowing” of what will happen to Jesus. The responsorial Psalm – which is also from the Old Testament – will later be quoted by Jesus after His arrest. In that psalm we can read, “Do me justice, O Lord, because I am just.” It reminds me, that in this “Year of Mercy” (which runs from December 8, 2015 to November 20, 2016) we are being asked by our Holy Father to exercise the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy. The other day, I asked you to look up to see exactly what those works of mercy are. I hope you did that! They are seven of each and really not that difficult to do. I’m not going to repeat them here, but ask you to read from the holy Gospel of Matthew 25:35ff where the Gospel writer puts the “Works of Mercy” in practical terms which should be easy for us to try to incorporate into our daily life experiences. Most of us, if we wanted to put these goals into our personal, spiritual life, could do them fairly easily. Most parishes already have programs in place that cover all these bases and are usually open to whoever desires to put their faith into real action. The Spiritual Works of Mercy fit very well with today’s Holy Gospel. Read through the Gospel and then read these “Spiritual Works of Mercy:” to convert sinners; to instruct the ignorant; to advise the doubtful; to comfort the sorrowful; to bear wrongs patiently; to forgive injuries; to pray for the living and the dead. This is not all that hard to do if you put your mind to at least praying over each of them to see how the Lord reveals Himself through them. Amen.