THURSDAY OF THE FIFTH WEEK OF LENT APRIL 11, 2019 FEAST DAY OF ST STANISLAUS
A reading from the the holy Gospel according to John 8:51-59
Jesus said to the Jews: "Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever keeps my word will never see death." So the Jews said to him, "Now we are sure that you are possessed. Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say, 'Whoever keeps my word will never taste death.' Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? Or the prophets, who died? Who do you make yourself out to be?" Jesus answered, "If I glorify myself, my glory is worth nothing; but it is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, 'He is our God.' You do not know him, but I know him. And if I should say that I do not know him, I would be like you a liar. But I do know him and I keep his word. Abraham your father rejoiced to see my day; he saw it and was glad." So the Jews said to him, "You are not yet fifty years old and you have seen Abraham?" Jesus said to them, "Amen, amen, I say to you, before Abraham came to be, I AM." So they picked up stones to throw at him; but Jesus hid and went out of the temple area.
REFLECTION: "whoever keeps my word will never see death."
Stanislaus of Szczepanow, Bishop of Krakow, was murdered by King Boleshaw II the Bold on April 11, 1079
Bishop Stanislaus had chastised the King on his treatment of the soldier's wives but also for the King's own personal sexual immorality. In fact the Bishop had the King excommunicated for this latter reason. The King sought vengeance. None of his soldiers, however, would kill the Bishop. The King then stabbed the Bishop as he was celebrating Mass. For speaking out on the moral tenets of the Church and not allowing people to control his speech, the Bishop became a martyr. Today is St Stanislaus Feast Day.
The scribes and the Pharisees did not like what Jesus was telling them and they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid and went out of the temple. Jesus, too, was not to be silenced when speaking the truth or when teaching again that whoever kept His word would never die.
Jesus reveals that He is the Son of God, that He knows everything about God and it is through Him that we will have full Communion with God and live in everlasting eternity with Him. The scribes and Pharisees, through their hate and envy, were willing to kill Jesus right there for these reasons. But it was not Jesus' time and He slipped away.
May our priests have the courage to stand up for what is correct and right--stand up against sexual immorality, stand up against abortion and the courage to never let people control their message or silence them.