Wednesday, March 09, 2016

The Will of the One Who Sent Me

In a time of favor I answer you, on the day of salvation I help you; and I have kept you and given you as a covenant to the people, To restore the land and allot the desolate heritages, Saying to the prisoners: Come out! To those in darkness: Show yourselves! Along the ways they shall find pasture, on every bare height shall their pastures be. They shall not hunger or thirst, nor shall the scorching wind or the sun strike them; For he who pities them leads them and guides them beside springs of water.  Isaiah 48:8-10

“I cannot do anything on my own; I judge as I hear, and my judgment is just, because I do not seek my own will but the will of the one who sent me.”  John 17:30

Jesus answered and said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, a son cannot do anything on his own, but only what he sees his father doing; for what he does, his son will do also.  John 5:19

The notes on today’s reading remind us that the proverb or parable at John 5:19 is taken from apprenticeship in a trade: the activity of a son – any son but certainly this carpenter’s son – is modeled on that of his father. Jesus’ dependence on the Father is justification for doing what the Father does.

The Father is at work.  The Son is at work.  All the complaining that the Pharisees did about the cures on the Sabbath, Jesus refuted in two sentences.  While Jesus does claim authority, it is not on his own but only by surrendering his will to the will of the Father like Mary did at the Annunciation and Nativity. 

Isaiah reminds us of the “pastoral” imperatives.  Restore the land.  Free the prisoners.  Feed the hungry.  Protect those who are homeless from the winds and sun.  Like the Good Shepherd, he guides us to springs of refreshing water.  However, the reminder in the New Testament is that this work does not stand on its own.  This work has intrinsic value when we care for other out of love.  It has eternal value when we also care for others out of faith.

As we continue on our path through the scorching wind and sun of the last two weeks of Lent, Jesus reminds us that our action is not an end but a means of growing closer to God by serving the children of God.  We, too, are children of God and we must depend as much on the Father as Jesus did. Thus, action without piety is called social work not evangelization.

Are you filling up a CRS Rice Bowl with your treasury and your prayers?
Are you donating 40 cans and 40 rosaries for Lent?

Tie your alms giving to your prayer life in some way to give it added meaning as the days of spring get longer and the warmth of the sun gets stronger.

Note: In the Monday edition of Your Daily Tripod, the lyrics of “How Can I Keep from Singing?” were attributed to the wrong writer.  While Pete Seeger has performed and adapted the song, the words and music are by Ro­bert Low­ry, 1860. He wrote about 500 Gospel tunes and the 190th anniversary of his birth is this Saturday.  Happy birthday, Rev. Lowry.  My apologies. As always, the errors in Your Daily Tripod are all mine. Thanks to our loyal readers for keeping a watchful eye.

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