To remain in God’s infinite love

Feast Day of Pope Saint John I (c. 470–526)

Gospel of the Day: John 15:9–11

Jesus said to his disciples:
“As the Father loves me, so I also love you.
Remain in my love.
If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love,
just as I have kept my Father’s commandments
and remain in his love.

“I have told you this so that
my joy might be in you and
your joy might be complete.”

Quotes of the Day
from Pope Francis’ homily at daily morning Mass, Casa Santa Marta

Jesus teaches us the way of love, of having an open heart, of loving without measure, putting other kinds of love aside.

There are other loves. The world itself offers many other loves: love of money for example, vanity, boastfulness, pride, love of power which can even lead to unjust actions to achieve more power… these loves have nothing to do with the love of Jesus or of the Father. In fact these loves distance us from Jesus’ love.

Love and joy are gifts we must ask the Lord for.

The sheep hear his voice

Good Shepherd Sunday
World Day of Prayer for Vocations

Prayer of the Day
Diocese of Arlington Prayer for Vocations

Heavenly Father, Lord of the Harvest, call forth vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life from our diocese and families. Inspire men to imitate Christ the Eternal High Priest in sacrificial service to your Church. Move the hearts of men and women to offer themselves wholly to You in poverty, chastity, and obedience. Send them as laborers for Your harvest. Inspire the faithful to support them with prayer and sacrifice. Raise up holy families who foster openness to Your call. We ask this through Christ, Our Lord. Amen.

Video of the Day: Love to pray, pray to love
God wants me

“God is in your life.” — Aunt Helen

Every happy mistake was probably something that was really just meant to be. — Anne Goetze talking about the process of making the artwork for Pray to Love

Scriptures of the Day

Early Church: Acts 2:14A, 36–41

Then Peter stood up with the Eleven,
raised his voice, and proclaimed:
“Let the whole house of Israel know for certain
that God has made both Lord and Christ,
this Jesus whom you crucified.”

Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart,
and they asked Peter and the other apostles,
“What are we to do, my brothers?”
Peter said to them,
“Repent and be baptized, every one of you,
in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins;
and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
For the promise is made to you and to your children
and to all those far off,
whomever the Lord our God will call.”
He testified with many other arguments, and was exhorting them,
“Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.”
Those who accepted his message were baptized,
and about three thousand persons were added that day.

Psalm: 23:1–3A, 3B–4, 5–6

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
In verdant pastures he gives me repose;
beside restful waters he leads me;
he refreshes my soul.

He guides me in right paths
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk in the dark valley
I fear no evil; for you are at my side.
With your rod and your staff
that give me courage.

You spread the table before me
in the sight of my foes;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.

Only goodness and kindness follow me
all the days of my life;
and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
for years to come.

Epistle: 1 Peter 2:20B–25

Beloved:
If you are patient when you suffer for doing what is good,
this is a grace before God.
For to this you have been called,
because Christ also suffered for you,
leaving you an example that you should follow in his footsteps.
He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.

When he was insulted, he returned no insult;
when he suffered, he did not threaten;
instead, he handed himself over to the one who judges justly.
He himself bore our sins in his body upon the cross,
so that, free from sin, we might live for righteousness.
By his wounds you have been healed.
For you had gone astray like sheep,
but you have now returned to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.

Gospel: John 10:1–10

Jesus said:
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever does not enter a sheepfold through the gate
but climbs over elsewhere is a thief and a robber.
But whoever enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep.
The gatekeeper opens it for him, and the sheep hear his voice,
as the shepherd calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
When he has driven out all his own,
he walks ahead of them, and the sheep follow him,
because they recognize his voice.
But they will not follow a stranger;
they will run away from him,
because they do not recognize the voice of strangers.”
Although Jesus used this figure of speech,
the Pharisees did not realize what he was trying to tell them.

So Jesus said again, “Amen, amen, I say to you,
I am the gate for the sheep.
All who came before me are thieves and robbers,
but the sheep did not listen to them.
I am the gate.
Whoever enters through me will be saved,
and will come in and go out and find pasture.
A thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy;
I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.”

Mini Homily on Jesus the Good Shepherd

Quote of the Day

Commitment to mission is not something added on to the Christian life as a kind of decoration, but is instead an essential element of faith itself. A relationship with the Lord entails being sent out into the world as prophets of his word and witnesses of his love.

Even if at times we are conscious of our weaknesses and tempted to discouragement, we need to turn with God with confidence. We must overcome a sense of our own inadequacy and not yield to pessimism, which merely turns us into passive spectators of a dreary and monotonous life. There is no room for fear! God himself comes to cleanse our “unclean lips” and equip us for the mission: “Your guilt has departed and your sin is blotted out. Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send and who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here am I, send me’” (Is 6:6-8). — Pope Francis message for World Day of Prayer for Vocations 2017

Jesus is anointed by the Spirit and sent. To be a missionary disciple means to share actively in the mission of Christ. Jesus himself described that mission in the synagogue of Nazareth in these words: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour” (Lk 4:18-19). This is also our mission: to be anointed by the Spirit, and to go out to our brothers and sisters in order to proclaim the word and to be for them a means of salvation. — Pope Francis message for World Day of Prayer for Vocations 2017

Equation of the Day

Truth + Beauty + Goodness = God

A share in the divinity of Jesus Christ

Feast Day of Saint Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria, Father of Orthodoxy,
Doctor of the Church, and Defender of Christ’s Divinity

The spiritual battle will not end until Christ comes again. The divinity of Christ is questioned and denied as much now, if not even more, than it was during the time of Athanasius (4th century). The Catholic Church teaches that the eternal God chose to participate in our humanity, making a total gift of himself, so that we might have a share in his divinity.

Athanasius Creed
A meditation on the Trinity of God

Whoever wishes to be saved must, above all, keep the Catholic faith.

For unless a person keeps this faith whole and entire, he will undoubtedly be lost forever.

This is what the Catholic faith teaches: we worship one God in the Trinity and the Trinity in unity.

Neither confounding the Persons, nor dividing the substance.

For there is one person of the Father, another of the Son, another of the Holy Spirit.

But the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit have one divinity, equal glory, and coeternal majesty.

What the Father is, the Son is, and the Holy Spirit is.

The Father is uncreated, the Son is uncreated, and the Holy Spirit is uncreated.

The Father is boundless, the Son is boundless, and the Holy Spirit is boundless.

The Father is eternal, the Son is eternal, and the Holy Spirit is eternal.

Nevertheless, there are not three eternal beings, but one eternal being.

So there are not three uncreated beings, nor three boundless beings, but one uncreated being and one boundless being.

Likewise, the Father is omnipotent, the Son is omnipotent, the Holy Spirit is omnipotent.

Yet there are not three omnipotent beings, but one omnipotent being.

Thus the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God.

However, there are not three gods, but one God.

The Father is Lord, the Son is Lord, and the Holy Spirit is Lord.

However, there as not three lords, but one Lord.

For as we are obliged by Christian truth to acknowledge every Person singly to be God and Lord, so too are we forbidden by the Catholic religion to say that there are three Gods or Lords.

The Father was not made, nor created, nor generated by anyone.

The Son is not made, nor created, but begotten by the Father alone.

The Holy Spirit is not made, nor created, nor generated, but proceeds from the Father and the Son.

There is, then, one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three sons; one Holy Spirit, not three holy spirits.

In this Trinity, there is nothing before or after, nothing greater or less. The entire three Persons are coeternal and coequal with one another.

So that in all things, as is has been said above, the Unity is to be worshipped in Trinity and the Trinity in Unity.

He, therefore, who wishes to be saved, must believe thus about the Trinity.

It is also necessary for eternal salvation that he believes steadfastly in the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Thus the right faith is that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is both God and man.

As God, He was begotten of the substance of the Father before time; as man, He was born in time of the substance of His Mother.

He is perfect God; and He is perfect man, with a rational soul and human flesh.

He is equal to the Father in His divinity, but inferior to the Father in His humanity.

Although He is God and man, He is not two, but one Christ.

And He is one, not because His divinity was changed into flesh, but because His humanity was assumed unto God.

He is one, not by a mingling of substances, but by unity of person.

As a rational soul and flesh are one man: so God and man are one Christ.

He died for our salvation, descended into hell, and rose from the dead on the third day.

He ascended into heaven, sits at the right hand of God the Father almighty. From there He shall come to judge the living and the dead.

At His coming, all men are to arise with their own bodies; and they are to give an account of their own deeds.

Those who have done good deeds will go into eternal life; those who have done evil will go into the everlasting fire.

This is the Catholic faith. Everyone must believe it, firmly and steadfastly; otherwise He cannot be saved.

Scriptures of the Day

Early Church: Acts 7:51–8:1A

Stephen said to the people, the elders, and the scribes:
“You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears,
you always oppose the Holy Spirit;
you are just like your ancestors.
Which of the prophets did your ancestors not persecute?
They put to death those who foretold the coming of the righteous one,
whose betrayers and murderers you have now become.
You received the law as transmitted by angels,
but you did not observe it.”

When they heard this, they were infuriated,
and they ground their teeth at him.
But Stephen, filled with the Holy Spirit,
looked up intently to heaven and saw the glory of God
and Jesus standing at the right hand of God,
and Stephen said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened
and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”
But they cried out in a loud voice,
covered their ears, and rushed upon him together.
They threw him out of the city, and began to stone him.
The witnesses laid down their cloaks
at the feet of a young man named Saul.
As they were stoning Stephen, he called out,
“Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”
Then he fell to his knees and cried out in a loud voice,
“Lord, do not hold this sin against them”;
and when he said this, he fell asleep.

Now Saul was consenting to his execution.

Psalm: 31:3CD–4, 6, 7B, 8A, 17, 21AB

Be my rock of refuge,
a stronghold to give me safety.
You are my rock and my fortress;
for your name’s sake you will lead and guide me.

Into your hands I commend my spirit;
you will redeem me, O LORD, O faithful God.
My trust is in the LORD;
I will rejoice and be glad of your mercy.

Let your face shine upon your servant;
save me in your kindness.
You hide them in the shelter of your presence
from the plottings of men.

Gospel: John 6:30–35

The crowd said to Jesus:
“What sign can you do, that we may see and believe in you?
What can you do?
Our ancestors ate manna in the desert, as it is written:

He gave them bread from heaven to eat.”

So Jesus said to them,
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
it was not Moses who gave the bread from heaven;
my Father gives you the true bread from heaven.
For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven
and gives life to the world.”

So they said to Jesus,
“Sir, give us this bread always.”
Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life;
whoever comes to me will never hunger,
and whoever believes in me will never thirst.”

Quote of the Day

4) You may be wondering why we are discussing the origin of men when we set out to talk about the Word’s becoming Man. The former subject is relevant to the latter for this reason: it was our sorry case that caused the Word to come down, our transgression that called out His love for us, so that He made haste to help us and to appear among us. It is we who were the cause of His taking human form, and for our salvation that in His great love He was both born and manifested in a human body. For God had made man thus (that is, as an embodied spirit), and had willed that he should remain in incorruption. But men, having turned from the contemplation of God to evil of their own devising, had come inevitably under the law of death. Instead of remaining in the state in which God had created them, they were in process of becoming corrupted entirely, and death had them completely under its dominion. For the transgression of the commandment was making them turn back again according to their nature; and as they had at the beginning come into being out of non-existence, so were they now on the way to returning, through corruption, to non-existence again. The presence and love of the Word had called them into being; inevitably, therefore when they lost the knowledge of God, they lost existence with it; for it is God alone Who exists, evil is non-being, the negation and antithesis of good. By nature, of course, man is mortal, since he was made from nothing; but he bears also the Likeness of Him Who is, and if he preserves that Likeness through constant contemplation, then his nature is deprived of its power and he remains incorrupt. So is it affirmed in Wisdom: “The keeping of His laws is the assurance of incorruption.” And being incorrupt, he would be henceforth as God, as Holy Scripture says, “I have said, Ye are gods and sons of the Highest all of you: but ye die as men and fall as one of the princes.”

(5) This, then, was the plight of men. God had not only made them out of nothing, but had also graciously bestowed on them His own life by the grace of the Word. Then, turning from eternal things to things corruptible, by counsel of the devil, they had become the cause of their own corruption in death; for, as I said before, though they were by nature subject to corruption, the grace of their union with the Word made them capable of escaping from the natural law, provided that they retained the beauty of innocence with which they were created. That is to say, the presence of the Word with them shielded them even from natural corruption, as also Wisdom says: “God created man for incorruption and as an image of His own eternity; but by envy of the devil death entered into the world.” When this happened, men began to die, and corruption ran riot among them and held sway over them to an even more than natural degree, because it was the penalty of which God had forewarned them for transgressing the commandment. Indeed, they had in their sinning surpassed all limits; for, having invented wickedness in the beginning and so involved themselves in death and corruption, they had gone on gradually from bad to worse, not stopping at any one kind of evil, but continually, as with insatiable appetite, devising new kinds of sins. Adulteries and thefts were everywhere, murder and raping filled the earth, law was disregarded in corruption and injustice, all kinds of iniquities were perpetrated by all, both singly and in common. Cities were warring with cities, nations were rising against nations, and the whole earth was rent with factions and battles, while each strove to outdo the other in wickedness. Even crimes contrary to nature were not unknown, but as the martyr-apostle of Christ says: “Their women changed the natural use into that which is against nature; and the men also, leaving the natural use of the woman, flamed out in lust towards each other, perpetrating shameless acts with their own sex, and receiving in their own persons the due recompense of their pervertedness.”

— Saint Athanasius, On the Incarnation, chapter 1, Creation and Fall

The transforming encounter with the Lord

Third Sunday of Easter: Reoriented

Scriptures of the Day

Early Church: Acts 2:14, 22–33

Then 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 Israelites, hear these words.
Jesus the Nazarene 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 netherworld,
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 received the promise of the Holy Spirit from the Father
and poured him forth, as you see and hear.”

Psalm: 16:1–2, 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 netherworld,
nor will you suffer your faithful one to undergo corruption.

You will show me the path to life,
abounding joy in your presence,
the delights at your right hand forever.

Epistle: 1 Peter 1:17–21

Beloved:
If you invoke as Father him who judges impartially
according to each one’s works,
conduct yourselves with reverence during the time of your sojourning,
realizing that you were ransomed from your futile conduct,
handed on by your ancestors,
not with perishable things like silver or gold
but with the precious blood of Christ
as of a spotless unblemished lamb.

He was known before the foundation of the world
but revealed in the final time for you,
who through him believe in God
who raised him from the dead and gave him glory,
so that your faith and hope are in God.

Gospel: Luke 24:13–35

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 bread.

Quote of the Day

The road to Emmaus thus becomes a symbol of our journey of faith: the Scriptures and the Eucharist are the indispensable elements for encountering the Lord. We too often go to Sunday Mass with our worries, difficulties and disappointments…. Life sometimes wounds us and we go away feeling sad, towards our “Emmaus”, turning our backs on God’s plan. We distance ourselves from God. But the Liturgy of the Word welcomes us: Jesus explains the Scriptures to us and rekindles in our hearts the warmth of faith and hope, and in Communion he gives us strength. The Word of God, the Eucharist. Read a passage of the Gospel every day. Remember it well: read a passage from the Gospel every day, and on Sundays go to Communion, to receive Jesus. This is what happened to the disciples of Emmaus: they received the Word; they shared the breaking of bread and from feeling sad and defeated they became joyful. Dear brothers and sisters, the Word of God and the Eucharist fill us with joy always. Remember it well! When you are sad, take up the Word of God. When you are down, take up the Word of God and go to Sunday Mass and receive Communion, to participate in the mystery of Jesus. The Word of God, the Eucharist: they fill us with joy. — Pope Francis, Regina Caeli, May 4, 2014

Mini Homily
Jesus appears to people in the most ordinary places

Questions of the Day

  • Are you present to Jesus?
  • In his presence, what would you like to thank Jesus for? ask forgiveness for?

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.

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?