Lenten Meditations: Thursday 18 March

Mar 18, 2021 by

Mar 18
am: 143, 146
pm: 140,141
Micah 7:7-9 Rom 7:1-12 John 6:1-15

THURSDAY OF LENT IV – St Cyril of Jerusalem, Bishop and Catechist, 386

LITURGICAL THEME FOR THE DAY:  St. Cyril was born near Jerusalem in the year 315. It was a time when the Arian heresy, which denied the divinity of Christ, threatened the Church.

Well-educated, especially in the study of the Scriptures, he was ordained by St. Maximus and succeeded him as bishop of Jerusalem around 350. His episcopate lasted until his death, but he got caught up in the Arian controversy of the time, accused of Arianism by Saint Jerome, who had a reputation as a fierce defender of the faith.

Saint Cyril was also accused of other wrongdoing and spent 16 years of his episcopate in exile, sent away by emperors influenced by the Arian bishop of Caesarea who claimed ecclesiastical jurisdiction over Jerusalem. The Council of Antioch later dispatched Saint Gregory of Nyssa to investigate Cyril and his diocese. Saint Gregory cleared Saint Cyril’s name, reporting that, while Jerusalem was rife with factionalism and Arianism, Cyril was orthodox. After being ordained a priest, Saint Cyril was given the task of educating those preparing to enter the faith. His writing brings to light the theology of the Church in the mid-fourth century and is still treasured today.

MEDITATION OF THE DAY: Pertaining to todays Gospel, St. Cyril who we commemorate this day poses this question about t the text and the event itself.  He writes in Catechetical Lecture XIII… “Marvelous it was, that five loaves should pour forth food for the five thousand; but what is that to those who are famishing in ignorance through all the world? It was marvelous that she should have been loosed who had been bound by Satan eighteen years: yet what is this to all of us, who were fast bound in the chains of our sins? But the glory of the cross led those who were blind through ignorance into light, loosed all who were held fast by sin, and ransomed the whole world of mankind.”

This harkens back to the words of the Prophet Isaiah (5:13) “Therefore my people will go into exile for lack of understanding; those of high rank will die of hunger and the common people will be parched with thirst.” The world today needs feeding in Body and Soul In some parts of the USA one out of four children go to bed hungry. a Gospel message that only nurtures the soul will be credible only so far. What does the Lord ask of us to feed the soul and body for those in need?

PRAYER OF THE DAY:  Almighty God, we pray for those who hunger. We pray for You to give the hungry daily bread today (Matthew 6:11) and end their persistent hunger. Provide the food they need to grow and thrive. Pour out Your grace on hungry families, especially parents straining to feed their children despite dwindling resources and give to them that which also needed to nurture their souls. We ask this through Christ Our Lord. AMEN


ANCIENT WISDOM/PRESENT GRACE: “O strange and inconceivable thing! We did not really die, we were not really buried, we were not really crucified and raised again, but our imitation was but a figure, while our salvation is in reality. Christ was actually crucified, and actually buried, and truly rose again; and all these things have been vouchsafed to us, that we, by imitation communicating in His sufferings, might gain salvation in reality. O surpassing loving-kindness! Christ received the nails in His undefiled hands and feet, and endured anguish; while to me without suffering or toil, by the fellowship of His pain He vouchsafed salvation.” – St. Cyril of Jerusalem


Lenten Discipline Take time to learn what certain communities are doing to meet the needs of body and soul especially during the days of COVID. Here is one example


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