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

Archive for April, 2019

4-30-2019 Gospel JN 3:7B-15

Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/043019.cfm

Jesus said to Nicodemus: “‘You must be born from above.’ The wind blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes; so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” Nicodemus answered and said to him, ‘How can this happen?” Jesus answered and said to him, “You are the teacher of Israel and you do not understand this? Amen, amen, I say to you, we speak of what we know and we testify to what we have seen, but you people do not accept our testimony. If I tell you about earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? No one has gone up to heaven except the one who has come down from heaven, the Son of Man. And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.”

Jesus calls out this man who teaches the word of God to the people because he has seen and listened to Jesus and still did not understand. He apparently listened but did not pay attention. We are all guilty of that. We “assume” we know what God is saying, but we are really not listening to His words, we do not hear what he says. When that happens we usually end up not doing God’s will. How carefully do you listen?

Prayer: Heavenly Father give me ears to listen, eyes to see and a heart to do your will. In Jesus’ holy name, Amen and Alleluia!

The Lord is king; he is robed in majesty, Alleluia!

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4-29-2019 Memorial of Saint Catherine of Siena, Virgin and Doctor of the Church  Gospel JN 3:1-8

St. Catherine of Siena

Learn more about St. Catherine of Siena: https://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=9

Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/042919.cfm

There was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. He came to Jesus at night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God, for no one can do these signs that you are doing unless God is with him.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless one is born from above, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.”  Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man once grown old be born again? Surely he cannot reenter his mother’s womb and be born again, can he?” Jesus answered, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless one is born of water and Spirit he cannot enter the Kingdom of God. What is born of flesh is flesh and what is born of spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I told you, ‘You must be born from above.’ The wind blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes; so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

When you are baptized you are born again. Jesus plainly says that we must be born of water and Spirit! No confession of our lips makes us “born again”.  But we can invite the Spirit into our lives and change our ways. We can blow with the Spirit and grow with the Spirit! Have you invited the Spirit into your life? Please do, do not wait to change your life.

Prayer: Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth. O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, Through Christ Our Lord, Amen, Alleluia!

Blessed are all who take refuge in the Lord, Alleluia!

4-28-2019 Sunday of Divine Mercy Gospel JN 20:19-31

Divine Mercy

Learn more about Divine Mercy Sunday: https://catholicexchange.com/the-octave-of-easter-divine-mercy-sunday-2

Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/042819.cfm

On the evening of that first day of the week, when the doors were locked, where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.”

Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples said to him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nailmarks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

Now a week later his disciples were again inside and Thomas was with them. Jesus came, although the doors were locked, and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe.” Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”

Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples that are not written in this book. But these are written that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that through this belief you may have life in his name.

Jesus imparted His power to His disciples, He gave them the power to forgive our sins, when we confess them to their descendants, our Priests. Thomas believed after seeing, praise God for all who believe without seeing. Do you believe? His grace and mercy are sufficient.

Prayer: For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on the whole world.

Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, his love is everlasting, Alleluia!

4-27-2019 Saturday in the Octave of Easter Reading 1 ACTS 4:13-21

Learn more about the Octave of Easter: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11204a.htm

Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/042719.cfm

Observing the boldness of Peter and John and perceiving them to be uneducated, ordinary men, the leaders, elders, and scribes were amazed, and they recognized them as the companions of Jesus. Then when they saw the man who had been cured standing there with them, they could say nothing in reply. So they ordered them to leave the Sanhedrin, and conferred with one another, saying, “What are we to do with these men? Everyone living in Jerusalem knows that a remarkable sign was done through them, and we cannot deny it. But so that it may not be spread any further among the people, let us give them a stern warning never again to speak to anyone in this name.”

So they called them back and ordered them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. Peter and John, however, said to them in reply, “Whether it is right in the sight of God for us to obey you rather than God, you be the judges. It is impossible for us not to speak about what we have seen and heard.” After threatening them further, they released them, finding no way to punish them, on account of the people who were all praising God for what had happened.

The leaders saw, could not deny but refused to believe! They had their own interests in their heart and refused to acknowledge the work of God among them. But Peter and John could not deny God, they stood up to them. As we know today, they did not stop speaking the truth of God and healing people. Today, many people are like the leaders then, they see the truth but because it will upset their life, they refuse to acknowledge the work of God. Which one do you follow? The leaders or Peter and John? Your life depends on who you follow.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I believe in you and all that you have done. I pray for those who do not and those who will not open their heart to you. In Jesus’ holy name, Amen and Alleluia!

I will give thanks to you, for you have answered me, Alleluia.

4-26-2019 Friday in the Octave of Easter Gospel JN 21:1-14

Learn more about the Octave of Easter: https://catholicexchange.com/the-octave-of-easter-divine-mercy-sunday-2

Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/042619.cfm

Jesus revealed himself again to his disciples at the Sea of Tiberias. He revealed himself in this way. Together were Simon Peter, Thomas called Didymus, Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, Zebedee’s sons, and two others of his disciples. Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We also will come with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. When it was already dawn, Jesus was standing on the shore; but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. Jesus said to them, “Children, have you caught anything to eat?” They answered him, “No.” So he said to them, “Cast the net over the right side of the boat and you will find something.” So they cast it, and were not able to pull it in because of the number of fish. So the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord.” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he tucked in his garment, for he was lightly clad, and jumped into the sea. The other disciples came in the boat, for they were not far from shore, only about a hundred yards, dragging the net with the fish. When they climbed out on shore, they saw a charcoal fire with fish on it and bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you just caught.” So Simon Peter went over and dragged the net ashore full of one hundred fifty-three large fish. Even though there were so many, the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, “Come, have breakfast.” And none of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?” because they realized it was the Lord. Jesus came over and took the bread and gave it to them, and in like manner the fish. This was now the third time Jesus was revealed to his disciples after being raised from the dead.

They obeyed Jesus even though they were not sure who this man was. Something in their heart must have prompted them to follow Him. And when they did, they caught more fish than they ever have! They learned again that when they obey the Lord, our work will bear much fruit. How well do you listen? How well do you obey?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I am trying to obey your wishes and commands, it is sometimes hard, but pleasing you is all that matters. In Jesus’ holy name, Amen.

The stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone, Alleluia!

 

4-25-2019 Thursday in the Octave of Easter Gospel LK 24:35-48

Learn more about the Octave of Easter: https://todayscatholic.org/the-octave-of-easter-and-the-sunday-of-divine-mercy/

Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/042519.cfm

The disciples of Jesus recounted what had taken place along the way, and   they had come to recognize him in the breaking of bread.

While they were still speaking about this, he stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” But they were startled and terrified and thought that they were seeing a ghost. Then he said to them, “Why are you troubled? And why do questions arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you can see I have.” And as he said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. While they were still incredulous for joy and were amazed, he asked them, “Have you anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of baked fish; he took it and ate it in front of them.

He said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the law of Moses and in the prophets and psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. And he said to them, “Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.”

Seeing is not always believing. The disciples watched Him eat before they were convinced. We cannot see Jesus eating fish, but we have the accounts of those who did, that is why we believe. We have the accounts that have survived over the centuries of Him and all that He did. There is no reason not believe in Him now. The only thing keeping anyone from believing is a hardened heart. Do you believe? If so, tell your story. If not, why not?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I give thanks for all who believe because of what they have been taught and I pray for the hearts and eyes of those who do not believe to be opened. In Jesus’ holy name, Amen and Alleluia!

O Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth! Alleluia.

4-24-2019 Wednesday in the Octave of Easter Gospel LK 24:13-35

Learn more about the Octave of Easter: https://catholicexchange.com/the-octave-of-easter-divine-mercy-sunday

Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/042419.cfm

That very day, the first day of the week, two of Jesus’ disciples were going to a village seven miles from Jerusalem called Emmaus, and they were conversing about all the things that had occurred. And it happened that while they were conversing and debating, Jesus himself drew near and walked with them, but their eyes were prevented from recognizing him. He asked them, “What are you discussing as you walk along?” They stopped, looking downcast. One of them, named Cleopas, said to him in reply, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know of the things that have taken place there in these days?” And he replied to them, “What sort of things?” They said to him, “The things that happened to Jesus the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, how our chief priests and rulers both handed him over to a sentence of death and crucified him. But we were hoping that he would be the one to redeem Israel; and besides all this, it is now the third day since this took place. Some women from our group, however, have astounded us: they were at the tomb early in the morning and did not find his Body; they came back and reported that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who announced that he was alive. Then some of those with us went to the tomb and found things just as the women had described, but him they did not see.” And he said to them, “Oh, how foolish you are! How slow of heart to believe all that the prophets spoke! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them what referred to him in all the Scriptures. As they approached the village to which they were going, he gave the impression that he was going on farther. But they urged him, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them. And it happened that, while he was with them at table, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them. With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him, but he vanished from their sight. Then they said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he spoke to us on the way and opened the Scriptures to us?” So they set out at once and returned to Jerusalem where they found gathered together the Eleven and those with them who were saying, “The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon!” Then the two recounted what had taken place on the way and how he was made known to them in the breaking of the bread.

In their grief they could not see who Jesus was, but He went through all the passages related to His birth, life and death. It was only after He broke bread with them that they recognized Him. At every Mass, the Priest breaks the bread and Jesus is present for all to recognize. Do you see Him? Do you believe as they did?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, the body and blood of Christ is the source and summit of our faith. Thank you for the blessings I receive every time I receive Him. Amen and Alleluia!

Rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord, Alleluia!

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