Life is about interactions

Video of the Day
His Holiness Pope Francis’ TED Talk

Quotes from Pope Francis’ TED Talk,
in which he looks at the future through the lens of “you”

How wonderful would it be, while we discover faraway planets, to rediscover the needs of the brothers and sisters orbiting around us.

When one realizes that life, even in the middle of so many contradictions, is a gift, that love is the source and the meaning of life, how can they withhold their urge to do good to another fellow being?

Yes, love does require a creative, concrete and ingenious attitude.

The story of the Good Samaritan is the story of today’s humanity. People’s paths are riddled with suffering, as everything is centered around money, and things, instead of people. And often there is this habit, by people who call themselves “respectable,” of not taking care of the others, thus leaving behind thousands of human beings, or entire populations, on the side of the road.

We have so much to do, and we must do it together.

Every one of us is precious

we are precious, each and every one of us. Each and every one of us is irreplaceable in the eyes of God. Through the darkness of today’s conflicts, each and every one of us can become a bright candle, a reminder that light will overcome darkness, and never the other way around.

The door of hope

To Christians, the future does have a name, and its name is Hope. Feeling hopeful does not mean to be optimistically naïve and ignore the tragedy humanity is facing. Hope is the virtue of a heart that doesn’t lock itself into darkness, that doesn’t dwell on the past, does not simply get by in the present, but is able to see a tomorrow.

Hope is the door that opens onto the future. Hope is a humble, hidden seed of life that, with time, will develop into a large tree. It is like some invisible yeast that allows the whole dough to grow, that brings flavor to all aspects of life.

A single individual is enough for hope to exist. And that individual can be you.

When there is an “us,” there begins a revolution.

The revolution of tenderness

God himself descended into Jesus to be on our level. …This is the path that Jesus himself took. He lowered himself, he lived his entire human existence practicing the real, concrete language of love.

Yes, tenderness is the path of choice for the strongest, most courageous men and women. Tenderness is not weakness; it is fortitude. It is the path of solidarity, the path of humility.

Please, allow me to say it loud and clear: the more powerful you are, the more your actions will have an impact on people, the more responsible you are to act humbly. If you don’t, your power will ruin you, and you will ruin the other.

There is a saying in Argentina: “Power is like drinking gin on an empty stomach.” You feel dizzy, you get drunk, you lose your balance, and you will end up hurting yourself and those around you, if you don’t connect your power with humility and tenderness.

Question of the Day

Why them, and not me?

My Lord, My God

Second Sunday of Easter: Feast of Divine Mercy

February 22, 1931

47. In the evening when I was in my cell, I saw the Lord Jesus clothed in a white garment. One hand [was] raised in the gesture of blessing, the other was touching the garment at the breast. From beneath the garment, slightly drawn aside from at breast, there were emanating two large rays, one red, the other pale. In silence I kept my gaze fixed on the Lord; my soul was struck with awe, but also with great joy. After a while, Jesus said to me, Paint an image according to the pattern you see, with the signature: Jesus, I trust in You. I desire that this image be venerated, first in your chapel, and [then] throughout the world.

48. I promise that the soul that will venerate this image will not perish. I also promise victory over [its] enemies already here on earth, especially at the hour of death. I Myself will defend it as My own glory.

49. …My image is already in your soul. I desire that there be a Feast of Mercy. I want this image, which you will paint with a brush, to be solemnly blessed on the first Sunday after Easter; that Sunday is to be the Feast of Mercy.

Divine Mercy in My Soul: Diary of Saint Faustina

Image of Divine Mercy

divinemercy_vilnius

313. Once when I was visiting the artist [Eugene Kazimirowki] who was painting the image, and saw that it was not as beautiful as Jesus is, I felt very sad about it, but I hid this deep in my heart. When we had left the artist’s house, Mother Superior [Irene] stayed in town to attend to some matters while I returned home alone. I said to the Lord, “Who will paint You as beautiful as You are?” Then I heard these words: Not in the beauty of the color, nor of the brush lies the greatness of this image, but in my grace.

Divine Mercy in My Soul: Diary of Saint Faustina

Message of Divine Mercy
Ask for mercy; be merciful to others; completely trust in Jesus

965. Jesus looked at me and said, Souls perish in spite of My bitter Passion. I am giving them the last hope of salvation, that is, the Feast of My Mercy. If they will not adore My Mercy, they will perish for all eternity. Secretary of My Mercy, write, tell souls about this great mercy of Mine, because the awful day, the day of My justice, is near.

Divine Mercy in My Soul: Diary of Saint Faustina

699. My daughter, tell the whole world about My Inconceivable mercy. I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and shelter for all souls, and especially for poor sinners. On that day the very depths of My tender mercy are open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the Fount of My Mercy. …On that day all the divine floodgates through which graces flow are opened. Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet. My mercy is so great that no mind, be it of man or of angel, will be able to fathom it throughout all eternity. Everything that exists has come forth from the very depths of My most tender mercy.

Divine Mercy in My Soul: Diary of Saint Faustina

Scriptures of the Day

Early Church: Acts of the Apostles 2:42–47

They devoted themselves
to the teaching of the apostles and to the communal life,
to the breaking of bread and to the prayers.
Awe came upon everyone,
and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles.
All who believed were together and had all things in common;
they would sell their property and possessions
and divide them among all according to each one’s need.
Every day they devoted themselves
to meeting together in the temple area
and to breaking bread in their homes.
They ate their meals with exultation and sincerity of heart,
praising God and enjoying favor with all the people.
And every day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.

Epistle: 1 Peter 1:3–9

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who in his great mercy gave us a new birth to a living hope
through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading,
kept in heaven for you
who by the power of God are safeguarded through faith,
to a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the final time.
In this you rejoice, although now for a little while
you may have to suffer through various trials,
so that the genuineness of your faith,
more precious than gold that is perishable even though tested by fire,
may prove to be for praise, glory, and honor
at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Although you have not seen him you love him;
even though you do not see him now yet believe in him,
you rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy,
as you attain the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

Gospel of the Day: John 20:19–31

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.

Mini Homily: Mercy Heals a Wounded Heart

Pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy

Questions of the Day

  • What obstacle prevents you from believing in Jesus?
  • Are you present to the presence of Jesus?

502. Only love has meaning; it raises up our smallest actions into infinity.

Divine Mercy in My Soul: Diary of Saint Faustina

Walking in the bright light of faith

For centuries, Christians have walked the Stations of the Cross (Via Crucis) during Lent; year-round on Fridays; and daily at 3 p.m., the hour of Christ’s death. In recent times, we’ve received a set of stations to walk during the Easter season, to celebrate and meditate on the Resurrection of Jesus. It’s called the Via Lucis, or Way of Light.

The Via Lucis

153. A pious exercise called the Via Lucis has developed and spread to many regions in recent years. Following the model of the Via Crucis, the faithful process while meditating on the various appearances of Jesus – from his Resurrection to his Ascension – in which he showed his glory to the disciples who awaited the coming of the Holy Spirit (cf. John 14, 26; 16, 13-15; Lk 24, 49), strengthened their faith, brought to completion his teaching on the Kingdom and more closely defined the sacramental and hierarchical structure of the Church.

Through the Via Lucis, the faithful recall the central event of the faith – the resurrection of Christ – and their discipleship in virtue of Baptism, the paschal sacrament by which they have passed from the darkness of sin to the bright radiance of the light of grace (cf. Col 1, 13; Ef 5, 8).

Via Lucis: Stations of the Resurrection
(prayers by Father Cameron, Magnificat)

Introductory prayer

First station: Jesus rises from the dead (Matthew 28:1-7)
Prayer: Lord Jesus, may this Easter be fore me a new beginning in grace, in which I keep my mind and heart fixed on the higher things of heaven.

Second station: The disciples find the empty tomb (John 20:1-9)
Prayer: Lord Jesus, make me as empty as your tomb of everything that separates me from you, and fill me with your risen presence.

Third station: Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene (John 20:11-18)
Prayer: Lord Jesus, help me to understand that suffering means receiving your love in the measure that you desire to give it, for my benefit and to your glory.

Fourth station:  Jesus walks with the disciples to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-27)
Prayer: Lord Jesus, as I journey through the day be close to me, so that all those I encounter may experience your presence through your Word dwelling within me.

Fifth station: Jesus reveals himself in the breaking of the bread (Luke 24:28-35)
Prayer: Lord Jesus, help me to live by faith so that my life may be a perfect gift of self.

Sixth station:  Jesus appears to his disciples  (Luke 24:36-43)
Prayer: Lord Jesus, may I live fully mindful of your Presence, and fully alive through my union with you.

Seventh station: Jesus confers on his disciples the power to forgive sins (John 20:19-23)
Prayer: Lord Jesus, keep me united to you in holiness, that I may always be generous in showing forgiveness to others.

Eighth station: Jesus confirms Thomas in faith (John 20:24-29)
Prayer: Lord Jesus, heal me by your wounds, and make me compassionate and generous in embracing the woundedness of others.

Ninth station: Jesus appears to his disciples on the shore of Lake Galilee (John 21:1-13)
Prayer: Lord Jesus, may the appearance of your grace transform my worldly ways, and keep me obedient to your commandments with confidence and joy.

Tenth station: Jesus confers primacy on Peter (John 21:15-17)
Prayer: Lord Jesus, help me to make every moment of my life an act of unceasing love for you, and to be ever obedient by loving your Church.

Eleventh station: Jesus entrusts his disciples with a universal mission (Matthew 28:16-20)
Prayer: Lord Jesus, may the witness of my life proclaim your holy name so as to draw others into union with you.

Twelfth station: Jesus ascends into heaven (Acts 1:6-11)
Prayer: Lord Jesus, give me the eyes of faith, and make me deeply spiritual, so that I will always think and act in a godly way.

Thirteenth station: Mary and the disciples await the coming of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:12-14)
Prayer: Lord Jesus, through the maternal mediation of your holy Mother, bring about in me the moral perfection and holiness befitting the children of God.

Fourteenth station: Jesus sends the Spirit promised by the Father to his disciples (Acts 2:1-13)
Prayer: Lord Jesus, free me from all shackles of the flesh to live by the Spirit to your everlasting glory.

Walk the Way of Light

Come, have breakfast

Easter Friday
The Resurrected Christ desires to dine with us

Gospel of the Day: John 21:1–14

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.

Disciples on the Journey
Take a moment to enter the scene, walk with the disciples, and encounter the Risen Christ

We know this scene well. The stage is being set for Jesus to restore Peter (but today’s reading does not take us that far). Peter denied him by a charcoal fire. Now Christ forgives his betrayal and continues to prepare his disciples for their mission. But let’s set aside what we know about what happens next. The focus of this Easter reading is that moment in which we move from not recognizing Jesus—Jesus who is present yet hidden—to the moment of realization: It is the Lord! My Lord, my God! ♣

The Resurrected Christ has appeared with his wounds. He has told his disciples, who will go through much persecution and be killed for their faith not to be afraid. The Risen Jesus enters the daily lives of his disciples and meets them in their ordinary work and needs. He strengthens them. He guides them. We, too, can expect to meet the Risen Lord in the same places, and in his church we receive his strength and guidance.. Come, have breakfast.

The disciples do not recognize him at first. A miraculous catch of fish causes Peter to exclaim “It is the Lord!” and jump into the sea. All for All. This is the precious moment of wonderment and awe. The heart of Peter, who wept bitterly at his betrayal of Jesus, who was still working out his faith one day at a time, rises to a new height. The love of Jesus is still his.

God humbled and lowered himself to the likeness and limits of man, takes on himself the burden and punishment merited by our sin, allows himself to suffer torments and die. That we may have life. Without Jesus we cannot ascend to God. Out of love, God descends to us. Though Jesus has ascended to the Father and sits at his right hand, he continues to descend and humble himself by becoming the Bread of Life. He is ready to meet us at the dawning of each new day. He hungers to feed us that we may have life to the full. Laudetur Jesus Christus

Question of the Day

  • When have you recognized Christ showing up in your life, and how have you responded? Do you exclaim “It is the Lord!”?
  • Like Peter, are you ready to give All to the one who is All? (If not, to what, if anything, do you give your all?)
  • Do you recognize Christ in the Eucharist?
  • Will you meet Christ at his Eucharistic table? Do you approach in wonderment, awe, and gratitude?

 

He opened their minds to the scriptures

Easter Thursday
The resurrected Christ desires to give us His peace,
a peace that comes when we repent of our sins and receive God’s forgiveness

Gospel of the Day: Luke 24:35–48

The disciples of Jesus recounted what had taken place along the way,
and how 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.”

Disciples on the Journey

Jesus handpicked his apostles. He spent three years training them during his public ministry. They watched him suffer, and scattered. Even as they witnessed his resurrection, they struggled to understand. Our journey is like theirs: we don’t get it; we have trouble believing; our hearts are troubled, lacking peace; we are full of questions; we don’t know how to pray; we want to believe, but we need proof. We are totally dependent upon Jesus opening our minds to the scriptures, and until he does, we must be patient and trust. We must seek and knock and trust that the door will be opened as promised. In the Gospel reading today, Jesus says “touch me and see.” We may not be able to physically touch the Risen Jesus, but we can be touched by him when he fills us with his Spirit. And we can dine with him when we receive him in the Eucharist. Laudetur Jesus Christus

Question of the Day

Are you amazed and incredulous for joy by the reality that Christ is Risen?

Prayer for the Evening
From the Te Deum

Come then, Lord, and help your people,
bought with the price of your own blood,
and bring us with your saints
to glory everlasting.

United in prayer for peace

Rosary Warriors Needed for Operation Storm Heaven
In honor of the 100th anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima

GOAL: one million prayer warriors united in faith and intention for peace in the world

Message of Cardinal Raymond Burke About Operation Storm Heaven

The first temptation Satan uses to break us down is discouragement. This temptation is only an illusion, for Christ alive within us always gives us courage, even in the most trying of times. In such times, as today, we must pray more than ever, especially in the presence of the Most Blessed Sacrament, and all throughout the day.

While we witness evil advance in minds and hearts, and become enshrined in law even as it becomes the social norm, we must remember that God is always victorious. God is testing our Faith at this most difficult time, but He remains always with us. Christ alive for us in the Church and in our individual souls speaks to us: Be not afraid!

Be courageous, my beloved brothers and sisters! Stand fast with sure Hope! Let us together, storm Heaven with steadfast prayer, through Operation Storm Heaven, in order to obtain from Our Beloved Savior, through the intercession of His and our Blessed Mother, the victory of Good, Truth, and Beauty in all things. May God’s will be done on earth as it is in Heaven!

Intentions

Each Mass and rosary is offered to obtain from God through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the following graces and for the following intentions:

  • For Holy Mother Church: that Our Lord guide the Pope, the bishops and all members of the clergy to be holy in all things, faithful shepherds, beacons of Truth, and defenders of Good;
  • In reparation for the sins and offenses committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary;
  • May all confusion be dispelled from the hearts and minds of all people and may the Light of Truth shine in them;
  • For our families and the family institution that is being so attacked in our world;
  • For the conversion of all sinners to the True Faith;
  • For the salvation of my soul, the souls of my loved ones, and the souls of all;
  • For the sanctification of each and every Catholic, especially for my personal sanctification. May I live holy every moment of every day of my life. May I be a true follower of Jesus Christ in all things;
  • To make each and every one of us a faithful soldier of Christ in the struggle against the world, the flesh and the devil;
  • To obtain the graces necessary to stop abortion, stop the onslaught of the homosexual revolution, to overturn legalized same-sex marriage, to stop the spread of physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia, and to stop the culture of death in all its forms and establish the Culture of Life in all souls, in all minds and in all hearts;
  • For our beloved Nation and for every nation on earth;
  • For all the personal intentions that have been submitted to Operation Storm Heaven.

Spiritual Crusaders

The rosary is the “weapon” for these times. — Saint Padre Pio

PLEDGE (and add your petitions to the list of intentions) to pray the rosary on the first day of every month in union with the Mass offered by Cardinal Raymond Burke and the intentions of Operation Storm Heaven

Already pledged? UPDATE your prayer intentions each month

LEARN MORE at Catholic Action for Faith and Family

How to Pray the Rosary

The path of life made known

Easter Monday

Abide in confidence

Scriptures of the Day

New Testament Proclamation: Acts of the Apostles 2:14, 22–33

On the day of Pentecost, Peter stood up with the Eleven,
raised his voice, and proclaimed:
“You who are Jews, indeed all of you staying in Jerusalem.
Let this be known to you, and listen to my words.

“You who are children of Israel, hear these words.
Jesus the Nazorean was a man commended to you by God
with mighty deeds, wonders, and signs,
which God worked through him in your midst, as you yourselves know.
This man, delivered up by the set plan and foreknowledge of God,
you killed, using lawless men to crucify him.
But God raised him up, releasing him from the throes of death,
because it was impossible for him to be held by it.
For David says of him:

I saw the Lord ever before me,
with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed.
Therefore my heart has been glad and my tongue has exulted;
my flesh, too, will dwell in hope,
because you will not abandon my soul to the nether world,
nor will you suffer your holy one to see corruption.
You have made known to me the paths of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence.

My brothers, one can confidently say to you
about the patriarch David that he died and was buried,
and his tomb is in our midst to this day.
But since he was a prophet and knew that God had sworn an oath to him
that he would set one of his descendants upon his throne,
he foresaw and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ,
that neither was he abandoned to the netherworld
nor did his flesh see corruption.
God raised this Jesus;
of this we are all witnesses.
Exalted at the right hand of God,
he poured forth the promise of the Holy Spirit
that he received from the Father, as you both see and hear.”

Psalm 16:1–2A, 5, 7–8, 9–10, 11

Keep me, O God, for in you I take refuge;
I say to the LORD, “My Lord are you.”
O LORD, my allotted portion and my cup,
you it is who hold fast my lot.

I bless the LORD who counsels me;
even in the night my heart exhorts me.
I set the LORD ever before me;
with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed.

Therefore my heart is glad and my soul rejoices,
my body, too, abides in confidence;
Because you will not abandon my soul to the nether world,
nor will you suffer your faithful one to undergo corruption.

You will show me the path to life,
fullness of joys in your presence,
the delights at your right hand forever.

Gospel: Matthew 28:8–15

Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went away quickly from the tomb,
fearful yet overjoyed,
and ran to announce the news to his disciples.
And behold, Jesus met them on their way and greeted them.
They approached, embraced his feet, and did him homage.
Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid.
Go tell my brothers to go to Galilee,
and there they will see me.”

While they were going, some of the guard went into the city
and told the chief priests all that had happened.
The chief priests assembled with the elders and took counsel;
then they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers,
telling them, “You are to say,
‘His disciples came by night and stole him while we were asleep.’
And if this gets to the ears of the governor,
we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.”
The soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed.
And this story has circulated among the Jews to the present day.

Ever New

In his homily at Mass today Father stressed the need “to realize there is something more.”

How appropriate to dwell on this truth the day after Easter. No matter how many times we have read or heard a story or passage of scripture, there is always something more to discover. It is a mistake to think, oh, I know that story, and move on to something else.

However close Jesus has drawn us toward him, we can always be drawn closer. Whatever love flows through (to or from) your heart, move love is possible. Whatever suffering you are being asked to endure this day, there is something greater and beyond the pain.

There is something more than what my eyes see and ears hear. Something beyond what the body experiences. Perception is not always reality. All that we know and understand from having lived in this body for a few brief years and also as the whole of humanity passing through time and space, there is something more: eternity.

Questions of the Day

  • How seriously do you take the reality of eternity—that place beyond space and time, which awaits us after we pass from this life?
  • Have you tasted “something more”?
  • Does your flesh “dwell in hope”?

Song of the Day
Matt Maher, Alive Again

 

Raised to New Life

The Resurrection of the Lord

Quote of the Day

Faith in the Resurrection of Jesus says that there is a future for every human being: the cry for unending life which is a part of the person is indeed answered. — Pope Benedict XVI

Scriptures of the Day

Witnesses: Acts of the Apostles 10:34A, 37–43

Peter proceeded to speak and said:
“You know what has happened all over Judea,
beginning in Galilee after the baptism
that John preached,
how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth
with the Holy Spirit and power.
He went about doing good
and healing all those oppressed by the devil,
for God was with him.
We are witnesses of all that he did
both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem.
They put him to death by hanging him on a tree.
This man God raised on the third day and granted that he be visible,
not to all the people, but to us,
the witnesses chosen by God in advance,
who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.
He commissioned us to preach to the people
and testify that he is the one appointed by God
as judge of the living and the dead.
To him all the prophets bear witness,
that everyone who believes in him
will receive forgiveness of sins through his name.”

Raised With Christ: Colossians 3:1–4

Brothers and sisters:
If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above,
where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.
Think of what is above, not of what is on earth.
For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
When Christ your life appears,
then you too will appear with him in glory.

Love Runs: John 20:1–9

On the first day of the week,
Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning,
while it was still dark,
and saw the stone removed from the tomb.
So she ran and went to Simon Peter
and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them,
“They have taken the Lord from the tomb,
and we don’t know where they put him.”
So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb.
They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter
and arrived at the tomb first;
he bent down and saw the burial cloths there, but did not go in.
When Simon Peter arrived after him,
he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there,
and the cloth that had covered his head,
not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place.
Then the other disciple also went in,
the one who had arrived at the tomb first,
and he saw and believed.
For they did not yet understand the Scripture
that he had to rise from the dead.

Easter Hope

We, like Peter and the women, cannot discover life by being sad, bereft of hope. Let us not stay imprisoned within ourselves, but let us break open our sealed tombs to the Lord – each of us knows what they are – so that he may enter and grant us life. Let us give him the stones of our rancour and the boulders of our past, those heavy burdens of our weaknesses and falls. Christ wants to come and take us by the hand to bring us out of our anguish. This is the first stone to be moved aside this night: the lack of hope which imprisons us within ourselves. May the Lord free us from this trap, from being Christians without hope, who live as if the Lord were not risen, as if our problems were the centre of our lives.

We see and will continue to see problems both within and without. They will always be there. But tonight it is important to shed the light of the Risen Lord upon our problems, and in a certain sense, to “evangelize” them. To evangelize our problems. Let us not allow darkness and fear to distract us and control us; we must cry out to them: the Lord “is not here, but has risen!” (v. 6). He is our greatest joy; he is always at our side and will never let us down.

This is the foundation of our hope, which is not mere optimism, nor a psychological attitude or desire to be courageous. Christian hope is a gift that God gives us if we come out of ourselves and open our hearts to him. This hope does not disappoint us because the Holy Spirit has been poured into our hearts (cf. Rom 5:5). The Paraclete does not make everything look appealing. He does not remove evil with a magic wand. But he pours into us the vitality of life, which is not the absence of problems, but the certainty of being loved and always forgiven by Christ, who for us has conquered sin, conquered death and conquered fear. Today is the celebration of our hope, the celebration of this truth: nothing and no one will ever be able to separate us from his love (cf. Rom 8:39).

The Lord is alive and wants to be sought among the living. After having found him, each person is sent out by him to announce the Easter message, to awaken and resurrect hope in hearts burdened by sadness, in those who struggle to find meaning in life. There is so necessary today. However, we must not proclaim ourselves. Rather, as joyful servants of hope, we must announce the Risen One by our lives and by our love; otherwise we will be only an international organization full of followers and good rules, yet incapable of offering the hope for which the world longs.

— Pope Francis, Easter Vigil 2016 homily

Questions of the Day

What was it about the burial cloths of Jesus left behind in the tomb that caused John to see and believe?

Is the Shroud of Turin the winding sheet of Jesus?

Is Jesus Christ Crucified and Resurrected at the center of your life?

The last enemy to be destroyed

First Question of the Day

Is God absent from your life?

Holy Saturday
He descended to the dead

We began the Easter Triduum (three days in our time that are one continuous day in the spiritual realm), the evening of Holy Thursday, by celebrating the Mass of the Lord’s Supper. At the Last Supper, Jesus instituted the Eucharist, so that he might be with us always in the most intimate way, so that our souls would be strengthened on their journey back to God. Another aspect of Holy Thursday is Jesus’ Agony in the Garden. This is where we bring our own agonies and learn to accept God’s will and plan for our lives, including our suffering, be it that which he has ordained or that which he has permitted.

Yesterday, the Church accompanied Our Lord Jesus Christ as he suffered his Passion and death. We walked the stations of the cross; we adored and reverenced the Holy Cross.

This morning the Church is silent. Holy Saturday is the darkest day of the year. The Church will not celebrate Holy Mass. We are unable to receive Jesus in the Eucharist. So what are we to do on this day? We wait with the Blessed Virgin Mary at the tomb of her son.

Yesterday the Blessed Virgin Mary stood at the foot of the cross. Her eyes did not turn away. She must not have wanted to blink. How great was Mary’s faith and hope that she stood and watched and suffered with Jesus, who was innocent yet condemned. Only unshakable confidence in the divinity of her Son could give her strength to stand and watch.

How is our faith? In what state is our spirit this morning? Will we allow and embrace the heaviness of the spiritual darkness and silence, or will we run from it? Are we eager to eat after fasting yesterday, or will we continue to fast for at least some of the day? Will we take time to contemplate what Jesus has done for us?

For contemplation on Holy Saturday, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has three meditations on the anguish of the absence of God.

Will we die to self and rise in Christ, becoming a new creation? Do we believe that Jesus will make us a new creation? Do we long to be free, at peace?

Scripture Snippets

Come, all you who pass by the way, look and see whether there is any suffering like my suffering. — Lamentations 1:12

The last enemy to be destroyed is death. — 1 Corinthians 15:26

We know that Christ, raised from the dead, dies no more; death no longer has power over him. — Romans 6:9

He saved us and called us to a holy life, not according to our works but according to his own design and the grace bestowed on us in Christ Jesus before time began, but now made manifest through the appearance of our savior Christ Jesus, who destroyed death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, — 2 Timothy 1:10–11

He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain, [for] the old order has passed away. — Revelation 21:4

More Questions of the Day

Did Jesus really descend into hell?
answer

Do you lack faith? Do you desire an increase in faith, because it is not yet the size of a mustard seed?

 Do you desire the gift of contemplation—the ability to ponder with Mary the great mystery of her divine Son?

Do you desire to move from fear and despair to peace and joy?

What difficulty is God asking you to endure with a watchful, prayerful presence—your own waiting for the coming of the Lord?

ask. seek. knock. find.

His grace is infinite

Prayer of the Day
Psalm 43: Prayer to Worship God Anew

Grant me justice, O God;
defend me from a faithless people;
from the deceitful and unjust rescue me.
You, O God, are my strength.
Why then do you spurn me?
Why must I go about mourning,
with the enemy oppressing me?
Send your light and your fidelity,
that they may be my guide;
Let them bring me to your holy mountain,
to the place of your dwelling,
That I may come to the altar of God,
to God, my joy, my delight.
Then I will praise you with the harp,
O God, my God.
Why are you downcast, my soul?
Why do you groan within me?
Wait for God, for I shall again praise him,
my savior and my God.