Daily Gospel – Friday, June 7, 2024 – John 19:31-37 – Catholic Bible

First Reading (Hosea 11,1.3-4.8c-9)

Reading of the Prophecy of Hosea.

This is what the Lord says: “When Israel was a child, I already loved him, and from Egypt I called my son. I taught Ephraim to take his first steps, I took him in my arms, but they did not recognize that I cared for them. I attracted them with ties of humanity, with ties of love; I was like someone carrying a child in their arms, and I lowered myself to giving them something to eat. My heart was moved within and burned with compassion. wrath, I will not again destroy Ephraim, I am God, and not man; the holy one among you, and I will not use terror.”

– Word of the Lord.

– Thank God.

Second Reading (Ephesians 3:8-12:14-19)

Reading of Saint Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians.

Brothers: I, who am the last of all saints, received this grace to announce to the pagans the unfathomable riches of Christ and to show everyone how God fulfills the mystery always hidden in him, the creator of the universe. Thus, from now on, the authorities and powers in the heavens know, thanks to the Church, the manifold wisdom of God, in accordance with the eternal plan that he executed in Jesus Christ, our Lord. In Christ we have, through faith in him, the freedom to approach God with complete confidence. That is why I bow my knees before the Father, from whom each and every family receives its name, in heaven and on earth. May he grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened by his Spirit in the inner man; May he make Christ dwell in your hearts through faith, may you be rooted and founded in love. You will thus have the ability to understand, with all the saints, what is the width, the length, the height, the depth, and to know the love of Christ, which surpasses all knowledge, so that you may be filled until you receive all the fullness of God.

– Word of the Lord.

– Thank God.

Gospel (John 19,31-37)

— PROCLAMATION of the Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John.

— Glory to you, Lord.

It was the day of preparation for Easter. The Jews wanted to prevent the bodies from remaining on the cross during the Sabbath, because that Sabbath was a solemn feast day. Then they asked Pilate to have the legs of those crucified broken and to take them off the cross. The soldiers went and broke the legs of one and then the other who were crucified with Jesus. When they approached Jesus, and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs; but a soldier opened his side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. He who saw it bears witness, and his witness is true; and he knows that he speaks the truth, so that you also may believe. This happened to fulfill the Scripture, which says: “They shall not break any of his bones.” And yet another Scripture says: “They will look upon him whom they have pierced.”

— Word of Salvation.

— Glory to you, Lord.

Reflecting the Word of God

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Today, the readings that the liturgy presents to us form an extraordinary mosaic of God’s love for us. From the tenderness described by the prophet Hosea, through the depth of the apostle Paul to the Ephesians, until culminating in the pierced heart of Jesus in the gospel of John, we are invited to dive into the ocean of divine love.

Let’s start with the reading of Hosea. “When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son. But the more I called them, the more they went away from me.” Here, God reveals himself as a loving father, full of affection and care for his people. He tells us about Israel’s first steps, like a father teaching his son to walk, holding him by the hand. It is an image of tenderness and protection. However, despite this immense love, Israel moved away, seeking idols and paths that took them away from God.

Imagine a father holding his young child as he takes his first steps. The father is there, ready to support, protect, teach. The son, however, is curious, and in his curiosity, he sometimes moves away, stumbles, falls. This is how we are before God. He calls us, guides us, but we often prefer to follow our own paths, distancing ourselves from His love.

Even so, God does not give up on us. “My heart is moved within me, all my tenderness is awakened. I will not let my anger explode… because I am God and not man: I am the Holy One in your midst and I do not use wrath.” This is the heart of God: a heart that is moved, that is moved by compassion. He is holy, unlike us, he does not act out of impulse or anger, but out of love. He loves us with a love that has no end, a love that is faithful, even when we are not.

In our second reading, Saint Paul, in his letter to the Ephesians, tells us about the greatness of this love. Paul, considered “the least of all saints”, feels privileged to be able to announce the unfathomable riches of Christ. He speaks of a mystery hidden for centuries in God, the Creator of all things, which is now revealed. This mystery is the love of God manifested in Jesus Christ, a love so vast, so deep, that it is difficult to fully comprehend.

Paul prays that we might, along with all the saints, “comprehend what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. ” He uses spatial dimensions – width, length, height and depth – to try to help us visualize the immensity of Christ’s love. It is an all-encompassing love, which penetrates every aspect of our lives, which surrounds us and sustains us.

And how can we understand this love? Let us look at the gospel of John, where we find the supreme proof of this love. “As it was the day of preparation, so that the bodies would not remain on the cross during the Sabbath, the Jews asked Pilate that the legs of the crucified men be broken and that they be removed. The soldiers went and broke the legs of the first one and then the other who was crucified with Jesus. But when they came to Jesus, seeing that he was already dead, they did not break his legs, but one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear and immediately blood and water came out.”

Jesus’ heart was pierced, and blood and water flowed from it, symbols of the sacraments of the Eucharist and Baptism, sources of life for the Church. The image of Jesus’ heart open on the cross is the most powerful image of God’s love. It is a love that gives itself completely, that gives itself without reservation, that loves us until the end.

Let’s imagine, for a moment, that we are at the foot of the cross. We see the body of Jesus, wounded, bruised, his heart open. We feel the pain, the sadness, but at the same time, we feel immense gratitude. Because there, on the cross, is proof of the deepest and truest love that exists. Jesus, God incarnate, died for us. His heart was opened by us. This is the love that passes all understanding, the love that Paul wanted us to understand.

And how can we respond to this love? First, we are called to welcome him into our lives. Let this love transform us, heal us, strengthen us. Let us allow it to fill us and lead us in everything we do. This love must be the center of our lives, the force that drives us, the light that guides our steps.

Secondly, we are called to live this love in our relationships with others. If God loves us so deeply and unconditionally, we should also love our brothers and sisters in the same way. This means forgiving, being patient, being generous, helping those in need, being compassionate. We must be reflections of God’s love in the world.

Let’s think about the example of a candle. When we light a candle, its light illuminates the environment, but for that to happen, the candle needs to be consumed. So are we. To illuminate the world with God’s love, we need to donate ourselves, consume ourselves in service and love for others.

Let us now have a moment of silence, letting these words resonate in our hearts. Let us ask God for the grace to understand the width, length, height and depth of his love. May this love transform us and make us instruments of His peace and love in the world.

Lord, we thank You for the words we heard today. Help us to welcome Your love into our lives, to be transformed by it, and to live this love in our daily actions. May we be light in the world, reflecting Your love in every gesture and word. Amen.

As we leave here, let us remember that we are called to be witnesses of God’s love. May the grace of the Lord accompany us, strengthen us and guide us. Let us live this love and let each of us be a beacon of hope and kindness in the world. Amen.