May the word of the Lord fill you with love and bring you peace.

 Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/052215.cfm

After Jesus had revealed himself to his disciples and eaten breakfast with them, he said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.” He then said to Simon Peter a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was distressed that he had said to him a third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. Amen, amen, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted;  but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” He said this signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God. And when he had said this, he said to him, “Follow me.” 

Peter denied Jesus three times. Now Jesus gives Peter three times to reaffirm his love and devotion to Him. Jesus forgave him and gave Peter the task of watching over His Church. The Lord has great plans for those who come to Him in love for forgiveness and healing. Come to Him in humility, asking for forgiveness. He has great plans for you! 

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for your capacity to forgive. My life has not been the same since I came home to you. The things I do in your name are beyond anything I would have believe possible. Help me to always follow you on the path you have set out. In Jesus’ holy name, Amen. 

The Lord has established his throne in heaven,  Alleluia!

 

Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/052115.cfm

Wishing to determine the truth about why Paul was being accused by the Jews, the commander freed him and ordered the chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin to convene. Then he brought Paul down and made him stand before them. 

Paul was aware that some were Sadducees and some Pharisees, so he called out before the Sanhedrin, “My brothers, I am a Pharisee, the son of Pharisees; I am on trial for hope in the resurrection of the dead.” When he said this, a dispute broke out between the Pharisees and Sadducees, and the group became divided. For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection or angels or spirits, while the Pharisees acknowledge all three. A great uproar occurred, and some scribes belonging to the Pharisee party stood up and sharply argued, “We find nothing wrong with this man. Suppose a spirit or an angel has spoken to him?” The dispute was so serious that the commander, afraid that Paul would be torn to pieces by them, ordered his troops to go down and rescue Paul from their midst and take him into the compound. The following night the Lord stood by him and said, “Take courage. For just as you have borne witness to my cause in Jerusalem, so you must also bear witness in Rome.” 

Paul had no question about his mission from God. He knew where he was headed, but he spoke boldly and proclaimed the word of God. The Lord gave him the courage to do His work. Just as He will give you the courage you need to do His work. Will you be like Paul and take up His challenge? 

Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me to stand firm in your purpose, brave in my speaking and trusting in you always. In Jesus’ holy name, Amen. 

Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope, Alleluia!

Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/052015.cfm

Lifting up his eyes to heaven, Jesus prayed, saying: “Holy Father, keep them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one just as we are one. When I was with them I protected them in your name that you gave me, and I guarded them, and none of them was lost except the son of destruction, in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled. But now I am coming to you. I speak this in the world so that they may share my joy completely. I gave them your word, and the world hated them, because they do not belong to the world any more than I belong to the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world but that you keep them from the Evil One. They do not belong to the world any more than I belong to the world. Consecrate them in the truth. Your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I sent them into the world. And I consecrate myself for them, so that they also may be consecrated in truth.” 

What a beautiful prayer. Jesus asked His Father, Our Lord to consecrate us in His truth. He wants us to go an spread His word. Are you willing? Do you speak the truth of God or the lies of the world? You have been consecrated to God, how can you speak anything but the truth? 

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I pray I always walk the path you have sent me on, speaking your truth, not the lies of the world. In Jesus’ holy name, Amen. 

Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth, Alleluia!

 Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/051915.cfm

From Miletus Paul had the presbyters of the Church at Ephesus summoned. When they came to him, he addressed them, “You know how I lived among you the whole time from the day I first came to the province of Asia. I served the Lord with all humility and with the tears and trials that came to me because of the plots of the Jews, and I did not at all shrink from telling you what was for your benefit, or from teaching you in public or in your homes. I earnestly bore witness for both Jews and Greeks to repentance before God and to faith in our Lord Jesus. But now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem. What will happen to me there I do not know, except that in one city after another the Holy Spirit has been warning me that imprisonment and hardships await me. Yet I consider life of no importance to me, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to bear witness to the Gospel of God’s grace. 

“But now I know that none of you to whom I preached the kingdom during my travels will ever see my face again. And so I solemnly declare to you this day that I am not responsible for the blood of any of you, for I did not shrink from proclaiming to you the entire plan of God.” 

Paul, the man who hated the followers of Christ to the point of hunting them down, was converted by Christ. He then pursued the truth of Christ and followed Him to his own death. He willingly gave his life for that truth. How vigorously do you pursue the truth of Christ?  

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I willingly search for your truth. What you have revealed to me through teachings, friends and the Church has convinced me that what Paul did is what we should all do. Help me to follow that path. In Jesus’ holy name, Amen. 

Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth, Alleluia!

 Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/051815.cfm

While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul traveled through the interior of the country and down to Ephesus where he found some disciples. He said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?” They answered him, “We have never even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” He said, “How were you baptized?” They replied, “With the baptism of John.” Paul then said, “John baptized with a baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, in Jesus.” When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied. Altogether there were about twelve men. 

He entered the synagogue, and for three months debated boldly with persuasive arguments about the Kingdom of God. 

When we are confirmed we are baptized in the Holy Spirit. The Paraclete, the one of whom Jesus said would always be there to help us and guide if we would only listen to Him.  The Holy Spirit gives us the power to speak boldly of Our Lord and what He taught. We receive the courage to speak boldly of Our Lord. We become unfraid of His detractors and focus on His truth. 

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for sending the Holy Spirit to be with us. His love and guidance are a powerful force in my life and with Jesus I praise your holy name, Amen. 

Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth, Alleluia!

 Ascension 2

 Learn more about the Ascension of Our Lord: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01767a.htm 

Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/051715-ascension.cfm

In the first book, Theophilus, I dealt with all that Jesus did and taught until the day he was taken up, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. He presented himself alive to them by many proofs after he had suffered, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. While meeting with them, he enjoined them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for “the promise of the Father about which you have heard me speak; for John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” 

When they had gathered together they asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” He answered them, “It is not for you to know the times or seasons that the Father has established by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” When he had said this, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him from their sight. While they were looking intently at the sky as he was going, suddenly two men dressed in white garments stood beside them. They said, “Men of Galilee, why are you standing there looking at the sky? This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven will return in the same way as you have seen him going into heaven.” 

Jesus ascended into heaven to take His place with His Father. He showed Himself to many so they would believe and become His witnesses on earth. We do not need to see Him to believe, because we have His word and we have the testimonies of the witnesses. Jesus died and rose from the dead for us, for you. Rejoice in the gift He gave to you and to the Apostles, the power of the Holy Spirit. 

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I believe, help me at the times I do not believe. In Jesus’ holy name, Amen! 

God mounts his throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord, Alleluia!

 Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/051615.cfm

After staying in Antioch some time, Paul left and traveled in orderly sequence through the Galatian country and Phrygia, bringing strength to all the disciples. 

A Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, an eloquent speaker, arrived in Ephesus. He was an authority on the Scriptures. He had been instructed in the Way of the Lord and, with ardent spirit, spoke and taught accurately about Jesus, although he knew only the baptism of John. He began to speak boldly in the synagogue; but when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the Way of God more accurately. And when he wanted to cross to Achaia, the brothers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples there to welcome him. After his arrival he gave great assistance to those who had come to believe through grace. He vigorously refuted the Jews in public, establishing from the Scriptures that the Christ is Jesus. 

We need to be more like Apollos and learn scripture and preach the word of God wherever we go. He was not an original disciple but once he knew the complete teachings of Jesus he became very effective in helping those who had converted to the new faith. We need to help those who are just learning the faith and those who think they know but need guidance. Are you willing to do this? Lead others to the Lord and you will be glorifying Christ. You do not have to do it alone, the Holy Spirit will guide you. 

Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me to speak eloquently, giving me the words I need at the moment I need them. Thank you for all that have led me to you and bless them abundantly. In Jesus’ holy name, Amen. 

God is king of all the earth, Alleluia!

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