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the journey

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of the faithful!

20050430

The Catholic Calendar for Saturday, April 30, 2005
Saturday of the Fifth Week of Easter
St. Pius V, pope


Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
Acts 16:1-10
Psalm 100:1-3,5
John 15:18-21

A reflection on today's Sacred Scripture:

After a successful first missionary journey, Paul embarks on a second journey, finding in Lystra a promising young man, Timothy, who he takes with him as companion. Timothy even helped write four of Paul's letters. We are surprised that, after Paul's vigorous belief that circumcision was no longer necessary for converts, he has Timothy circumcised "because of the Jews of that region."

Here is a lesson about flexibility being needed for the bearer of Good News. Paul tells us in another place that he was "all things to all men." He was willing to bend on non-essentials for the sake of the core message of Jesus. He never compromised on the fundamentals, however. He often incurred the wrath of the authorities and the crowds, enduring beatings, stonings, ridicule and imprisonment rather than water down the message.

For us, who must daily grow ever closer and closer to Jesus, we must keep our wits about us, and with prudence assess a particular situation. Just as Paul and Timothy were "prevented by the Spirit" from following their own will in the choice of locales for preaching, so, too, we must never allow discouragement when it seems God does not favor or support certain projects of ours. Let us humbly accept failure in that area, and beg the Holy Spirit to direct our energies and gifts as He desires.


-Msgr. Paul E. Whitmore
(smartins at twcny dot rr dot com)

____________________

These meditations are also available by email subscription
©1986-2005 The Way, The Truth, The Life


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20050429

The Catholic Calendar for Friday, April 29, 2005
Friday of the Fifth Week of Easter
St. Catherine of Siena, virgin, doctor of the Church


Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
Acts 15:22-31
Psalm 57:8-12
John 15:12-17

A reflection on today's Sacred Scripture:

"Love one another as I have loved you. . ."

What in the world could Jesus mean by this? How can we love one another in the way He loved us? Are we each called to crucifixion and death for the benefit of others?

Probably not in the literal sense that Jesus was crucified and died. And yet, every day we are given the opportunity for numerous, nearly endless small sacrifices, endless "deaths to self" that would be small crucifixions. When someone wants something from us that we simply don't wish to give--that is a call. When a child wakes us earlier than we would wish, or acts up, or demands things from us that push our very limits -- we can give ourselves up to the grace of God, die to self and love one another as He loved us.

Christians are known by their love. Our love has one source, one completion: Jesus Christ, Crucified, died, resurrected. He is the source of our ability to love and the source of all love. When we love with His love we make the resurrected Christ present to the person being loved. They may not see Him, but they can come to know Him if we make Him present at every opportunity.

So, when the opportunity comes today: Love one another as Jesus loves you.

- JuandelaCruz
(http://floscarmeli.stblogs.org/)

____________________

These meditations are also available by email subscription
©1986-2005 The Way, The Truth, The Life


20050428

The Catholic Calendar for Thursday, April 28, 2005

Thursday of the Fifth Week of Easter
St. Peter Chanel, priest and martyr
St. Louis Marie de Montfort, priest


Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
Acts 15:7-21
Psalm 96:1-3,10
John 15:9-11

A reflection on today's Sacred Scripture:

"All this I tell you that my joy may be yours
and your joy may be complete."
(John 15:11)

One of the most difficult things we are called to do is to accept change.This is seen in our First Reading when Peter is faced with former Pharisees who converted to Christ but who wanted to incorporate into Christianity certain practices imposed by Judaism. In particular, they saw circumcision as a necessity because it was once a sign that the Jews had been consecrated to God, set apart from the world to be His own special and holy people. Peter tells them they must not put unnecessary burdens on converts because God goes beyond external signs by reading and acting directly upon men's hearts. Salvation results from genuine faith in Jesus for both Jews and Gentiles; and "believers" will be imbued with God's Holy Spirit to strengthen and guide them in God's ways.

In John's Gospel Jesus defines what true faith requires. A disciple is to learn to love with the same self-sacrificing love that originates in God made visible to us in Christ. Jesus foretells His own destiny when He says there is no greater love than to lay down one's life for one's friends. He implies that our love has a genuinely divine source when we are consumed by a desire to keep God's commandments. There is one question, however, that we should ask ourselves: are we obeying God's Word for the sake of our appearing to the world as holy people or to inflate our own self-esteem by presenting ourselves to God as shining little examples? It is pride like that of the Pharisees who condemned Jesus, that slavishly follows rules which do not prompt human hearts to increasingly be filled by God's love and the same self-giving humility of Christ.

O Precious Lord, bring us to the realization that the fullness of human joy can only be complete through obedience to the grace that unites us to You in heart, mind and will. Amen.

- Marie Bocko, ocds
(mlbocko at earthlink dot net)

____________________

These meditations are also available by email subscription
©1986-2005 The Way, The Truth, The Life


20050427

TThe Catholic Calendar for Wednesday, April 27, 2005
Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Easter


Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
Acts 15:1-6
Psalm 122:1-5
John 15:1-8

A reflection on today's Sacred Scripture:

If you remain in me and my words remain in you,
ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you.

Today's Gospel is an extra special one and one that most of us will be quite familiar with. Jesus is the one true vine and we are the branches -- the branches that bear fruit He prunes so that we they can bear more fruit. Living in Christ we are called to bear fruit with our lives -- to rid ourselves of dead and self-defeating thoughts and actions. We are called to live in the Light, to live in Truth, honouring the presence of Christ within us. By living in Christ we can choose wisely -- not necessarily choosing the easy path but choosing the right path for us to grow and deepen -- the right path for us to bear much fruit.

Choosing to reside in Jesus, we choose Life -- gurgling, vibrant, immediate Life which courses through our mind, body and spirit. With Jesus all matter of things and healing are possible.


- Cliodhna Doyle
(cliadoyle at hotmail dot com)

____________________

These meditations are also available by email subscription
©1986-2005 The Way, The Truth, The Life


20050426

The Catholic Calendar for Tuesday, April 26, 2005
Tuesday of the Fifth Week of Easter


Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
Acts 14:19-28
Psalm 145:10-13,21
John 14:27-31

A reflection on today's Sacred Scripture:

I'm fascinated today by what initially appears to be a large contrast in today's readings. In the first reading we find Paul being stoned, dragged out of the city and left for dead. In the Gospel Reading we hear our Lord tell the disciples, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you." I find myself wondering what kind of peace is this that permits one of the great apostles to be stoned to death!

As we read on, Our Lord's next line in today's Gospel smoothes out the contrast. "Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid." Yes, NOT as the world gives -- that is the key! Our Lord's peace is something not found anywhere else. It comes with the knowledge that no matter what happens to us in this world, our true selves belong to Him and no one else. Christ's peace allowed Paul to be stoned and left for dead. It allowed Stephen to be stoned as the church's first martyr; it allowed all but one apostle to be martyred; and it allowed many to persevere through unthinkable trials and pain for two thousand years. Yes, His peace is something altogether different.

I often find myself under the pressures the world offers and have no peace whatsoever. It is then that I realize I have wrongfully put my trust in things other than our Lord; and when I come to Him, the peace returns. Praise and thanks to you, my Lord, for your complete peace and love.



- Don Claunch, SFO
(dlclaunch at bresnan dot net)

____________________

These meditations are also available by email subscription
©1986-2005 The Way, The Truth, The Life


20050425

The Catholic Calendar for Monday, April 25, 2005
Monday of the Fifth Week of Easter
St. Mark, evangelist


Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
1 Peter 5:5-14
Psalm 89:2-3,6-7,16-17
Mark 16:15-20

A reflection on today's Sacred Scripture:

Today the Church celebrates the feast of St. Mark the gospel evangelist.

Recently I had the wonderful opportunity of hearing a Scripture study on the Gospel of Mark, to learn the cultural context of the Gospels and other important and interesting information which made the familiar words all the more alive and meaningful. It changed forever (I pray) the somewhat "ho-hum" way I've often read the Sacred Word and raced mindlessly through the text.

As a result of the study, I realize we're all so much more blessed than we can imagine by God's Holy Word and the working of the Holy Spirit who inspired the sacred writers.

Today on St. Mark's Feast I pray for his intercession with the Almighty that the Living Word which is Jesus may find its way into the heart of a needy world. And that the fidelity and love that fueled his mission to write may bear abundant fruit in our own time.

On today's Feast of St Mark, I encourage all to read "Dei Verbum", The Dogmatic Constitution On Divine Revelation

- Donna Raye Nelson, OCDS
(drn3rd at hotmail dot com)

____________________

These meditations are also available by email subscription
©1986-2005 The Way, The Truth, The Life


20050424

The Catholic Calendar for Sunday, April 24, 2005
Fifth Sunday of Easter


Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
Acts 6:1-7
Psalm 33:1-2,4-5,18-19
1 Peter 2:4-9
John 14:1-12

A reflection on today's Sacred Scripture:

"I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life"

Jesus is the Way to the Father because He and the Father are One. We enter and remain One with He who is the Way, through the prayerful and sacramental joining of our wills, as He leads, guides, and takes us through Himself to the Father.

Jesus is the Truth and testifies, "...the Father who dwells in me is doing His works." He encourages us, "You will do greater works than these because I am going to the Father." Jesus reminds us as we remain in union with Him, we too will do the works of the One who dwells in us. These 'works' are the work of bringing souls to eternal Life in the fullness of Truth Who is the Way to the Father.

Jesus is the Life. He and the Father share the work of creating our temporal and mortal life so that we may freely choose to remain with them eternally. They are the source and the communion of all who would will to be eternally One. It is through Jesus, our Way that we are restored to eternal Life with God. Our sins that separate us from God are remitted by Jesus' perfect sacrificial offering to the Father. Apart from Jesus, Who is the 'place,' for us to remain one in God, we have no Life.

O Lord, help us to see that You are truly the Way for us to live eternally with You and the Father in the Holy Spirit. Amen


- Mary Williams
(www.impactbydesign.biz)

____________________

These meditations are also available by email subscription
©1986-2005 The Way, The Truth, The Life


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20050423

The Catholic Calendar for Saturday, April 23, 2005
Saturday of the Fourth Week of Easter
St. George, martyr
St. Adalbert, bishop and martyr


Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
Acts 13:44-52
Psalm 98:1-4
John 14:7-14

A reflection on today's Sacred Scripture:

Jesus' Mission was an ambitious one--to bring all peoples of the world to salvation. Yet, at times, Jesus was reluctant to share the message and the healings with non-Jews. He left so much of that to those with whom He shared the Mission. Paul and Barnabas felt the brunt of Jewish displeasure when they shared The Light with pagans. They suffered much, even as Jesus suffered. And they would meet opposition even as Jesus met misunderstanding.

Isn't it interesting that, in the Gospel, Jesus promises that his followers would do the works that He did, "and even greater"! How could the servants do greater works than the Master? Jesus, like a good parent, wanted the best for His children, and hoped that the scope of their activity would spread even beyond his three years of public ministry.

Now, from heavenly glory, He directs and empowers the efforts of all who through the ages have given of themselves to his Mission. And I am one of them! Ask yourself the question, "Did I ever dream, when I began in the service of Jesus, that I would be called upon to do what I have done?" Now, after this question, beg of Jesus the grace to do "even greater works than these" -- to do whatever Jesus will ask of you in the years ahead!


- Msgr. Paul E. Whitmore
(martins at twcny dot rr dot com)

____________________

These meditations are also available by email subscription
©1986-2005 The Way, The Truth, The Life


20050422

The Catholic Calendar for Friday, April 22, 2005
Friday of the Fourth Week of Easter


Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
Acts 13:26-33
Psalm 2:6-11
John 14:1-6

A reflection on today's Sacred Scripture:

"Do not let your hearts be troubled. . ."

Our Holy Father of recent memory began his episcopate with the words, "Be not afraid." Jesus says something similar today. Do not be troubled. Believe in God and believe in me.

Each morning as we wake and turn our attention to God, we do well to remember that Jesus is "the way, the truth, and the life." He is the way to the father, the single door through which all humanity enters the throneroom of God.

He is the truth of God the father, the full exposition of the Father's rich and faithful love for us. He loves us intensely, entirely, and completely. He loved us into being and he will love us into eternity.

Jesus is the life of eternity. There is no meaning beyond the present day without Jesus. There is no hope, no light, no rising in the morning without Jesus. Jesus is the true light of God, the Son and The Sun, and He is Life for all eternity.

So each morning we do well to remind ourselves that Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. We find all meaning through Him.

- JuandelaCruz
(http://floscarmeli.stblogs.org/)

____________________

These meditations are also available by email subscription
©1986-2005 The Way, The Truth, The Life


20050421

The Catholic Calendar for Thursday, April 21, 2005
Thursday of the Fourth Week of Easter

St. Anselm, bishop and doctor of the Church

Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
Acts 13:13-25
Psalm 89:2-3,21-22,25,27
John 13:16-20

A reflection on today's Scripture. . . .

"...whoever receives the one I send receives me,
and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me."
(John 13: 20)

If we accept the Scripture that God is the Author of all life and that He created man in His image, it follows that He intended humanity to reflect His holiness, His virtues. Surely, He has given us intellectual and moral dimensions lacking in the lower species. However, this discovery of our human potential for "good" and the love relationship with Him to which God calls us had to undergo many generations of preparation, successes and failures before it could be fully revealed. At the proper time, this revelation was given to us when God Himself came in Human flesh to illustrate in Christ His true Image, the One whose traits and virtues we are individually to emulate and embody in our own flesh. In our first reading Paul reviews Jewish history leading to the coming of their promised Messiah and world's Savior.

In today's Gospel, Jesus cites an ancient principle that is actually at the root of all missionary work. He, the Christ, is the One who had been sent by God to deliver the message of our need for salvation, first through our repentance and God's forgiveness of sin, and second, through a gradual process of restoration to the holy image of the One Who created us. Recall that the quotation upon which this reflection is based follows Christ's washing of His disciples' feet. Jesus here emphasizes that His followers who will proclaim Him as Savior, must, like Him, be humble, obedient servants of God. He also stresses that He and His message are genuinely of divine origin by foretelling Judas' betrayal, that they may then know that He is "I Am" of one and the same essence as His heavenly Father.

O Loving Redeemer,
make us good and faithful messengers of Your saving truth and love
through our proclaiming of Your word
and through the manner in which we live. Amen.

- Marie Bocko,
OCDS
(mlbocko at earthlink dot net)

____________________

These meditations are also available by email subscription
©1986-2005 The Way, The Truth, The Life


20050420

The Catholic Calendar for Wednesday, April 20, 2005
Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Easter


Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
Acts 12:24--13:5
Psalm 67:2-3,5-6,8
John 12:44-50

A reflection on today's Sacred Scripture:

The readings for today lay out a framework for the process of evangelization or the spreading of the Word. Each of us at our Baptism and again at the time we receive the sacrament of Confirmation are reminded of our role as a priestly people.

In the first reading we hear of the emphasis on prayer and fasting as key elements in preparation for evangelization. We cannot, of course, spread the Word if we are strangers to Christ. We are also reminded that each of us are sent by the Spirit. Each of us have our distinct mission in life, one that no one else can accomplish.

It is frustrating in our secular world to see that there are those who do not accept the Word of God. There is the temptation to judge them for their lack of faith, especially when it is a person close to us. Jesus gives us direction on that subject in the gospel of today. Christ stated that He was not sent to judge, but rather to save the world and that His words would judge the person at the end of time. It is not our role to judge either.

Our role then in evangelization if that of prayer, fasting, listening to the Spirit and acting on that direction either by our word or example. It's pretty straightforward....and all from scripture. How
fortunate we are for such a source of direction!

- Joan of Jesus,
OCDS
(jmurphy at utica dot edu)

____________________

These meditations are also available by email subscription
©1986-2005 The Way, The Truth, The Life


20050419

The Catholic Calendar for Tuesday, April 19, 2005
Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Easter


Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
Acts 11:19-26
Psalm 87:1-7
John 10:22-30

A reflection on today's Sacred Scripture:

Just a week ago today in our scripture reading, we heard about the young church's first martyr Stephen. While Stephen died for the glory of his savior and God the Father, one might ask what other good came from such a tragedy. A good man, doing the work of the Lord perishes at a young age at the hands of a mad crowd. Why?

Well, they say our Lord works in mysterious ways and today we find out there was a greater plan involved with Stephen's martyrdom and the subsequent persecution that followed. Our first reading for today tells us that it was because of Stephen's martyrdom and the early persecution that the believers fled to distant cities and spread the Good News of the risen Lord and Savior. The scripture continues and reveals to us that the Word was being given in these far away places not only to Jews, but to gentiles as well. The tragedy of Stephen's death was key to the birth of the church and its eventual migration to all the continents and to all peoples.

It is easy to question why tragic things seem to happen and wonder why. Asking and seeking is well and good -- all we must do is search to find the far larger plan God has in mind in all things, whether they appear to be good or bad.

- Don Claunch,
SFO
(dlclaunch at bresnan dot net)

____________________

These meditations are also available by email subscription
©1986-2005 The Way, The Truth, The Life


20050418

The Catholic Calendar for Monday, April 18, 2005
Monday of the Fourth Week of Easter


Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
Acts 11:1-18
Psalm 42:2-3; 43:3-4
John 10:11-18

A reflection on today's Sacred Scripture:

Sadly many, never hear the readings that are read at daily Mass during these days of Eastertide. Taken from the Acts of the Apostles, they are some of the most descriptive and beautiful accounts of our early Church. In them we see the how the Holy Spirit empowered and transformed Jesus' followers, giving to those formerly weak and often puzzled men, clear and decisive direction.

It's wonderful to see what the grace of God accomplished in them and how the things they learned from their experiences with Jesus were put into practice. Wise teachers have said that Jesus chose the most unseeming men to be His apostles so that there would be no doubt, but that it was the Spirit of God and not their own ingenuity and power at work in them. It is a wonderful thought and certainly a source of encouragement when we feel like we have nothing important to give.

With God's grace may we too be transformed into more-brave witnesses to the truth, become more faithful in prayer, be filled with compassion and love -- modern-day disciples and heralds of the Good News.

- Donna Raye Nelson,
OCDS
(drn3rd at hotmail dot com)

____________________

These meditations are also available by email subscription
©1986-2005 The Way, The Truth, The Life


20050417

The Catholic Calendar for Sunday, April 17, 2005
Fourth Sunday of Easter


Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
Acts 2:14,36-41
Psalm 23:1-6
1 Peter 2:20-25
John 10:1-10

A reflection on today's Sacred Scripture:

"I am the gate for the sheep ...Whoever enters through me will be saved and will come in and go out and find pasture.... I came so they might have life and have it more abundantly."
(John 10:9,10)

Jesus is the "gate" for those who, like sheep, listen for Him, recognize His voice, strive to follow, and remain in Him. The Shepherd and sheep are one as the sheep rely upon their Shepherd safely going only with Him.

Jesus reveals that the Way to be "saved" is to unite ourselves wholly to Him. He eucharistically re-members us into Himself reforming us and sending us out again to "belove" others in Him. This is how He is the Gate we enter and go out from.

We "enter in" to this Eucharistic communion as one does a gate. Jesus gathers willing souls into His eternal and passionate, self giving, as He sacrificially presents Himself in love to the Father. With the immense joy of receiving this most perfect gift, the Father BeHolds His BeLoved Son in whom we are intimately made One. He sees us belovedly in His only begotten Son.

The perils of sin that besiege a soul will not suffers the terror of separation as it "listens for His voice", and remains close enough to always hear Him when He "goes out." Leaving the ninety-nine He finds the one, for the sheep knows he is not safe without his Good Shepherd.

O Lord may we desire to come in,
go out,
and remain in You,
our Gate,
and find the pasture of peace that is Your love:
sweet repose in You, Who desires that we may have Life
and have it more abundantly.
Amen.

- Mary Williams
(www.impactbydesign.biz)

____________________

These meditations are also available by email subscription
©1986-2005 The Way, The Truth, The Life


20050416

The Catholic Calendar for Saturday, April 16, 2005
Saturday of the Third week of Easter


Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
Acts 9:31-42
Psalm 116:12-17
John 6:60-69

A reflection on today's Sacred Scripture:

In today's readings, we find that, after a period of persecution, the Church is at peace. In that time, Peter and the other apostles worked many miracles, including raising a dead woman, Dorcas, to life. What must Peter have felt like when asked to perform such a miracle? What would we have done? Peter kneels in prayer, then simply commands the dead woman to arise. He affirms this, not in his own name, but in the name of Jesus. God asks miracles of us very often--in the forgiving of a deep hurt, in the acceptance of a death in the family, or an illness that depresses us and tests our faith--in a hundred ways. Do we have the faith and humility to let Jesus work those miracles?

In the Gospel, Jesus affirms that faith is needed to accept the miracle of His body present in what looks like bread, or His blood present in what looks like wine. Only the eyes of faith will see what is really there. Pope John Paul II once wrote that Jesus exalted and affirmed the dignity of every person by His willingness to enter whatever person approached Him in Communion without distinction. Of course, we are responsible for the purity of our hearts and our freedom from sin. To be so privileged makes us truly a priestly people and a royal race. We who participate in this miracle must ourselves be ready to let the Spirit perform them through us!

- Msgr. Paul E. Whitmore
(smartins at twcny dot rr dot com)

____________________

These meditations are also available by email subscription
©1986-2005 The Way, The Truth, The Life


20050415

The Catholic Calendar for Friday, April 15, 2005
Friday of the Third Week of Easter


Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
Acts 9:1-20
Psalm 117:1-2
John 6:52-59

A reflection on today's Sacred Scripture:

"You do not have life within you. . ."

In the year of the Eucharist, this is a tremendously important passage. It is one of those passages that make tremendous difficulties for our fundamentalist brethren who insist upon literal interpretation of the Bible until they get to this passage.

This is one of those passages we can go to time and again to remind us, Christ's flesh is real food, Christ's blood is real drink and they are confected in the Eucharist by a validly ordained priest.

All of John 6 is wonderful, but this passage and related passages around it make this profoundly good spiritual reading for every day of this year dedicated to the Eucharist.

- JuandelaCruz
(http://floscarmeli.stblogs.org/)

____________________

These meditations are also available by email subscription
©1986-2005 The Way, The Truth, The Life


20050414

The Catholic Calendar for Thursday, April 14, 2005
Thursday of the Third Week of Easter


Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
Acts 8:26-40
Psalm 66:8-9,16,17,20
John 6:44-51

A reflection on today's Scripture. . . .

"The bread I give you is my flesh for the life of the world."
(Acts 8: 40)

Our Lord is ever seeking for human hearts who are sensitive to His call, willing to respond affirmatively and truly receive Him. Such was the case of one who may seem, an unlikely convert, the eunuch in charge of a queen's treasury who sought Baptism into Christ from the apostle Philip. Through his welcoming Christ into his heart and then going forth to announce the "good news" to all, he shows how God, through one faithful person, can manifest His love, goodness and power and cause His kingdom to grow.

Today Christ's search continues for those who have Faith in God's Word. As Catholics we are blessed by being able to reaffirm our faith each time we receive Christ at Mass in the Eucharist. The bread and wine not only nourishes us physically; in Communion we know that Christ is fully present and giving Himself to us -- body, blood, soul and Divinity. As we welcome Him into our being, we should also be making a pledge to give ourselves as totally to Him as He has to us. Let us meditate upon His self-sacrificing love culminating in the resurrection life He manifested on Easter Sunday, a new life He desires to share with us.

The grossly misinformed are fond of equating Catholicism with cannibalism; they cannot see that Christ's giving of Himself to us was completed on the cross; His giving is a physical and a spiritual reality as mysterious as it is real. We take God at His Word. The effect of our partaking of His Person, if done with sincere faith, offers us the grace to love Him more deeply and to give ourselves more fully to Him and in consequence to one another.

Blessed Father, as we receive Your Son and welcome Him into our hearts, may we renew our resolve to allow Your Spirit to transform us in His image of truth and love. Amen.

- Marie Bocko,
OCDS
(mlbocko at earthlink dot net)

____________________

These meditations are also available by email subscription
©1986-2005 The Way, The Truth, The Life


20050413

The Catholic Calendar for Wednesday, April 13, 2005
Wednesday of the Third Week of Easter

St. Martin I, pope and martyr

Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
Acts 8:1-8
Psalm 66:1-7
John 6:35-40

A reflection on today's Sacred Scripture:

"I am the bread of life;
whoever comes to me will never hunger,
and whoever believes in me will never thirst."
(John 6:35)

There are yearnings in our heart and soul that only God can fill. Recognising our need for God's love, forgiveness, acceptance, allows us to deal with the practicalities of daily living. Only when we have recharged our 'spiritual' battery are we then equipped to deal with the world in all its brokenness and complexity. To truly understand an issue or problem we delve into the source of its origin. So in order to truly understand our human nature and our divine aspirations, we need to go to the one Source who is God, the Alpha and the Omega - the Beginning and the End.

Today, let us examine our lives and seek out the areas where we have been misplacing our focus, looking for answers. Let us reengage in communication with Jesus to find our true path.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Amen.

- Cliodhna Doyle
(cliadoyle at hotmail dot com)

____________________

These meditations are also available by email subscription
©1986-2005 The Way, The Truth, The Life


20050412

The Catholic Calendar for Tuesday, April 12, 2005
Tuesday of the Third Week of Easter


Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
Acts 7:51--8:1
Psalm 31:3-4,6-8,17,21
John 6:30-35

A reflection on today's Sacred Scripture:

The problems of the world seemed to be crashing down around me. I called for help.

My Pleading:

O my Lord, why am I so weak? Why must I always need a sign? Why am I always asking for proof? Why am I so like those who, 2000 years ago, wanted a miracle so they could believe? Why am I like Thomas and refuse to believe unless I see? My Lord and Savior, I know in my heart that You are the bread of life, that You are the fountain of living water that quenches a killing thirst. When my life is easy, I need no proof; when times get rough I beg for a sign that You are here, that You are with me. So, why, Lord, do I search so?

And He Answered:

You are My brother, My son, My loved one, part of My bride the Church, and like a brother, son, loved one and bride I cannot, and never will, abandon you. My beloved, you do not need proof, nor a sign. You need Me and that is truly what you seek. Like I waited for My servant Stephen, who gave all for me, I am standing here for you, arms outstretched, ready to hold you close to me. Like My Father did for the chosen wandering in the desert, I too will feed you for I am the Bread of Life. Come taste My pure, Refreshing Water. The troubles of the world are but momentary. My love is eternal. My resurrection is your sign, come to Me.

And as He spoke to me in the Holy Scripture we read today, I was comforted and He confirmed to me again that He is real, He is here and He is always!

Amen. Thank You O Lord, my God.

- Don Claunch,
SFO
(dlclaunch at bresnan dot net)

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20050411

The Catholic Calendar for Monday, April 11, 2005
Tuesday of the Second Week of Easter

St. Stanislaus, bishop, martyr

Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
Acts 6:8-15
Psalm 119:23-24,26-27,29-30
John 6:22-29

A reflection on today's Sacred Scripture:

In Today's reading from the Acts of the Apostles we see the growing plot against St. Stephen. As with the previous act of treachery against Jesus, the condemning allegation is one of blasphemy. Those who would destroy the innocent cannot bear hearing the truth and so must silence it at all cost.

It is no different in our present age. Truth as defined by the teaching authority given to the Church is always under attack - always has those with clever strategies that mute, distort and strangle it.

In these days following the death of Pope John Paul II we are reminded of the many beautiful things that he said and wrote. Somehow, the vitality of his words were in the very fact that they resonated with truth, with authenticity not motivated by self-centered interest for human honor, but for the honor and glory of God.

We are reminded in today's Responsorial Psalm that those who live a blameless life are happy, and that choosing the way of truth and meditating on the Lord's decrees is a delight.

Let us pray that God's Holy indwelling Spirit may animate all our activities, so that in our own sphere of influence others may discover the "splendor" of the Truth.

- Donna Raye Nelson,
OCDS
(drn3rd at hotmail dot com)

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20050410

The Catholic Calendar for Sunday, April 10, 2005
Third Sunday of Easter


Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
Acts 2:14,22-23
Psalm 16:1-2,5,7-11
1 Peter 1:17-21
Luke 24:13-35

A reflection on today's Sacred Scripture:

"Were not our hearts burning within us
while He spoke to us on the way
and opened the scriptures to us?"

(see Luke 24:32)

The Word incarnates as Scripture and Eucharist which is our Emmaus, and transforms grief to joy.

We grieve and journey and He appears in our midst!

He consoles, coming in the Word of Scriptures and the Word of Eucharist to open our own eyes.

When we 'See', He vanishes
to allow us then to 'Make known His presence. . .

We hasten to the Jerusalem of expectant souls and proclaim Him alive. Yes, we too beg Him to "Stay with us," each time we hear Him proclaimed and receive Him Eucharistically.

Yes, we are often "foolish, slow of heart to believe all that the prophets spoke that it is necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory. . ."

We 'see'. . . .

He suffers today.

Sin imposes on her pure soul of innocence
a holocaust sacrifice we fail to protect.

He is the Priest, the Altar, and the Sacrifice.
She is His Own.
Christ suffers all and enters into His glory.

Our beloved vicar of Christ on earth, magnifies His Glory, proclaims again Christ's triumph over death; suffers, embraces, and beholds her, His innocent one to The One.

"Are not our hearts burning within us?"

O Lord, help us return to the land of God, the homeland soil of our souls, and proclaim this joy and Truth. May we rededicate ourselves in this springtime of your Church, to know, love and serve you with all our hearts, minds, souls and strength as today, she and he are beheld and beloved in You.

Life is His.
The Church's hope and life is in Life eternal.
His sweetness and hope is Life eternal.
One in the One -- for all.

Amen

- Mary Williams
(www.impactbydesign.biz)

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20050409

The Catholic Calendar for Saturday, April 9, 2005
Saturday of the Second week of Easter


Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
Acts 6:1-7
Psalm 33:1-2,4-5,18-19
John 6:16-21

St. Luke, in today's readings, is correcting a severe problem in the early church--neglect of those Greek-speaking widows. Because they did not speak Aramaic, they were isolated from the other Jewish widows. The Apostles are so concerned that they consult the community, asking for the names of seven men of good reputation who could take over the care of these "Hellenists." These men are the first deacons in the new Church.

How fortunate that our modern church has revived the ancient practice of Deacons. With our priest shortage today, they have become quite indispensable in caring for the needs of parishes, not just in caring for physical needs, but so effectively assisting in the spiritual needs of the people. Let us pray for them, appreciate them, and thank them.

At the same time, the Gospel reminds of our responsibility to acknowledge Jesus as the master of wind and wave, that is, the Power Person who alone can free us and protect us from many dangers which threaten to overwhelm us. Perhaps it is the actual caring for victims of a tsunami. Perhaps it is giving encouragement and aid to victims of addictions, enslaved by uncontrollable appetites. Whatever the situation, and because of our Baptism, we share in the responsibility and the power of Jesus himself to be alert to needs of our brothers and sisters.

- Msgr. Paul E. Whitmore
(smartins at twcny dot rr dot com)

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20050408

The Catholic Calendar for Friday, April 8, 2005
Friday of the Second Week of Easter


Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
Acts 5:34-42
Psalm 27:1,4,13-14
John 6:1-15

A reflection on today's Sacred Scripture:

"When the Christ comes, no one will know where He is from."
(see John 7:27)

These poor ignorant souls. Little did they know that they did not know where Christ was from. They knew where He was born, where He lived, and where His carpenter's shop was; but they did not know where he was from.

Sometimes our own lives can become like that. We forget one part of Jesus or another. Sometimes we focus so hard on the Son of God that we forget the Son of Man. We look so hard at the divinity that we forget the humanity. And Jesus was fully human and fully divine.

Our Holy Father--may his name be raised among the saints--never forgot this. He never forgot that in Jesus was humanity divinized. All of his work and all of his philosophy was centered around Jesus Christ, the Cross, and the dignity of humanity that Christ had died for.

Today as we say our goodbyes to the Holy Father in the blessed sacrifice of his funeral Mass, let us recall the Jesus he always taught us--fully human, fully divine, completely loving, completely interested in every human being. Let us pray that the Holy Father is welcomed into the loving arms of Him who loved us unto death and into life. The arms of Him about whom the Holy Father, Pope John Paul II never tired of teaching, speaking, and bringing to all the people of the world. Shalom.....


- JuandelaCruz
(sriddle415 at yahoo dot com)

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20050407

The Catholic Calendar for Thursday, April 7, 2005
Thursday of the Second Week of Easter

St. John Baptist de la Salle, priest

Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
Acts 5:27-33
Psalm 34:2,9,17-20
John 3:31-36

A reflection on today's Scripture. . . .

"Whoever believes in the Son has life eternal."
(John 3:36)

A careful reading of Christ's "Sermon on the Mount" in Matthew's Gospel (chapters 5-7) reveals that our God requires His children to abide by a moral and ethical standard far above that practiced by this world. Those who say that the standard set by God is humanly impossible are absolutely correct; for through our own unaided efforts we will surely fail. History proves this when one considers the harm created by the many perversions of God's law engineered to suit selfish desires. The violent hatred now seen in the Middle-East is a case in point.

Our hope is in Christ Who prepared His disciples for His death by promising not to leave them "orphaned." He told them He would remain with them in the Person of the Holy Spirit. Today's readings assert that those who, from their hearts, sincerely proclaim faith in Christ will be given His Spirit to guide them in the knowledge of God's truth and love and also strengthen them in their pursuit of living in the new life Jesus provides us through His resurrection.

In today's Gospel Christ affirms His Divinity by stating He receives God's power without limit so that through His words and deeds He could make God clearly visible in this world. Jesus also tells His disciples that those to whom He has revealed God's truth and love are called to obey Him, God's living Word. He warns those who have seen and heard His Word but insist on disobeying Him, that they will forfeit eternal life. There is no middle ground; we're free to choose between life and death.

Merciful Savior,
pour Your Holy Spirit upon us
to keep us faithful to You, the Word of God.
Give us the humility to see
that without our Lord's aid and guidance
we will fail. Amen.

- Marie Bocko,
OCDS
(mlbocko at earthlink dot net)

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20050406

The Catholic Calendar for Wednesday, April 6, 2005
Wednesday of the Second Week of Easter


Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
Acts 5:17-26
Psalm 34:2-9
John 3:16-21

A reflection on today's Sacred Scripture:

The messages of today's readings are quite direct and come to us at an appropriate time, while we are still basking in the light and joy from Easter! Yes, Christ has Risen and we do find joy, hope, and consolation from that reality.The first reading, which involves the apostles being set free from prison by an angel, reminds us of our responsibilities as Christians.

During the Easter liturgy we were given the opportunity to renew our baptismal promises. By our own baptism we benefit from the redemptive powers of Christ and become followers of Christ. Just as the apostles, freed from their prison cell by an angel, were directed to go into the temple and teach, we too have ways in which we are to spread the message of Christ. Each of us, through our individual vocations, are challenged to serve by example and word.

Great spiritual writers such as St. Teresa and St. John of the Cross direct us on handling consolations. The Easter season can be one-sided, where we bask in the scent of lilies and incense. Let us also remember that it took Good Friday to reach Easter and not let the spilling of Christ's blood be in vain. Others are waiting for us to tell them about the message of Easter!

- Joan of Jesus,
OCDS
(jmurphy at utica dot edu)

____________________

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20050405

The Catholic Calendar for Tuesday, April 5, 2005
Tuesday of the Second Week of Easter

St. Vincent Ferrer, priest

Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
Acts 4:32-37
Psalm 93:1-2,5
John 3:7-15

A reflection on today's Sacred Scripture:

Today's readings show a sharp contrast between the newly converted community of believers in the early Church and those who had not yet heard the Lord's calling, as represented by Nicodemus. Those in the early Church understood exactly what their salvation meant and the mystery Jesus brought to us all. Hence, they freely gave their property--earthly physical possessions--for the good of all. They had found the pearl of great price; the value of their wealth paled in comparison to the Great Gift and the betterment of the young community.

Nicodemus, on the other hand, was not quite getting it. Still looking for a messiah in the physical, worldly sense, he struggled with the Lords teachings, asking, "How can this be?" Jesus plainly tells him that if he cannot understand things of the world, he cannot understand things of the spirit. He also questions why Nicodemus is so ignorant of these mysteries when he is a teacher of God's chosen.

Our faith is a collection of mysteries. We have the mystery of the Blessed Sacrament. We have the mysteries upon which we meditate when praying the rosary. We have the mystery of Baptism. Therefore, we celebrate these mysteries and rejoice in them. Sometimes our faith is difficult, as mysteries many times are, and that is all right. He did not leave us alone: we have the Holy Spirit to guide us, as well as the strength of the holy Church to support us when it is difficult. Let us be ever-mindful of this as we approach Pentecost and the celebration of the mystery of the Holy Spirit and rejoice in these great gifts of mystery.

- Don Claunch,
SFO
(dlclaunch at bresnan dot net)

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20050404

The Catholic Calendar for Monday, April 4, 2005
The Annunciation of the Lord

Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
Isaiah 7:10-14
Psalm 40:7-11
Hebrews 10:4-10
Luke 1:26-38

A reflection on today's Sacred Scripture:

In today's Gospel we hear the memorable and potent words of Mary, "I am the maidservant of the Lord. Let it be done to me as you say." With this pronouncement of willing assent, God's plan for the salvation of the world moved closer to fulfillment.

How many times in our lives have we failed initially to do what God has called and instructed us to do? How much longer and more difficult did the road become until finally we relented and let God's will be done in us?

Today the lesson for me is that Will of God will always be done in the final analysis. Mankind will eventually turn away from their error-filled ways and literally see the "Light," but how much suffering to both mankind and the Sacred Heart of Jesus will have to be experienced in the meantime. "How long O Lord, how long," we lament with the prophets.

Like Mary, may we be simple and obedient -- though not always understanding the full meaning of all God's overtures in our lives; but never-the-less, trustingly turning over to God the only thing that He has deigned not to control or own: our free will.

Since we know that God desires only what is for our good, may we with simple faith-filled voices say, "I am the maidservant of the Lord. Let it be done unto me as you say." Then will the Word become flesh for us and live in us, speak through us, and hasten all of us to that day and time when the fulfillment of God's divine plan will be accomplished for all eternity -- that final and glorious day when all the remaining and faithful people throughout all generations will finally be gathered into the everlasting peace of heaven. Let it be done unto me as You say, Lord.

Alleluia! Alleluia!


- Donna Raye Nelson,
OCDS
(drn3rd at hotmail dot com)

____________________

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20050403

The Catholic Calendar for Sunday, April 3, 2005
Second Sunday of Easter

Divine Mercy Sunday

Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
Acts 2:42-47
Psalm 118:2-4,13-15,22-24
1 Peter 1:3-9
John 20:19-31

A reflection on today's Sacred Scripture:

"I will not believe . . . "
John 20:19-31

Standing in their fear, Jesus stands in their midst. He transforms His Apostles: "Peace be with you."

His hands and His side unveil their eyes to hope and faith. "Peace be with you", He blesses again and immediately dispatches them to bring this Peace to souls as the Father sends Him. Jesus in-spires them with the Holy Spirit of God, breathing upon them the power to 'heal the wounds of sin through the forgiveness of sins.' "Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained."
(John 20:23)

Thomas persists in his fears, for he has not experienced their "eye-opening" faith; the blessings of Peace, the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the commissioning to heal through the forgiveness of sins. Fear shutters his will to see Truth. He has lost his beloved Lord. He will not lose himself. "I will not believe...." Thomas declares, "....unless I see."

Jesus hastens to heal Thomas, "Peace be with you." Absolved, Thomas "sees," and is healed. He 'enters into the kingdom of God, the very wounds Jesus gives him as a refuge for peace and rest. This is the very kingdom we "enter in" and which enters us in the most holy Eucharist. The very wounded flesh and blood given to us, as to Thomas, restores us in Jesus. Eucharistically rising anew, we are dispatched for souls to find refuge and healing in what we will suffer to heal, when we will give our woundedness in Him as Peace that heals.

Eucharistically we remain one in Him, His one sacrifice. Commissioned, we are one in His healing, His one peace. Thomas voices our own release from the prison of sin that will not believe, "My Lord and my God."

- Mary Williams
(www.impactbydesign.biz)

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20050402

The Catholic Calendar for Saturday, April 2, 2005
Saturday within the Octave of Easter


It was not the end; it was only the beginning. The empty tomb revolutionized the way of thinking and acting of the whole world, to say nothing of the eleven apostles. The force that shattered the rock, shattered also the dreams of these men for prominence, power, and control of the "new order' they had hoped Jesus would establish. He did indeed establish a new order, but it was far from what they had planned.

It was one thing to flank the Master while He performed a miracle, uttered a wise parable, or taught a new Truth; it was quite another for these men, without Jesus present, to be His voice for servant love, unlimited forgiveness, and a life of witness that placed self last. No wonder the Jewish leadership arrested them, flogged them, and forbade them to preach such "nonsense." These Pharisees had to bite their tongues many times for fear of the crowds when Jesus was alive, but now they knew first hand how revolutionary this all was. They would have to be firm and decisive!

Everything in the Hebrew Scriptures had new meaning, and a different interpretation was necessary. The life and teaching of Jesus meant that everything was different, especially the lifestyle of anyone who accepted such teaching. Jesus had told them that, if they wished to be his followers, they must take up their cross daily. Now they knew just how hard a saying that really was.

And yet, did they really have a choice? In the light of Jesus' Resurrection, nothing made sense without Him. There was only one choice--give Him their total allegiance. Total. And trust in the power of the Holy Spirit He had sent upon them.
And so must we!

- Msgr. Paul E. Whitmore
(smartins at twcny dot rr dot com)

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20050401

The Catholic Calendar for Friday, April 1, 2005
Friday in the Octave of Easter


Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
Acts 4:1-12
Psalm 118:1-2,4,22-27
John 21:1-14

A reflection on today's Sacred Scripture:

"Even though there were so many, the net was not torn. . ."

Alleluia, He is Risen! May this Friday in the Octave of Easter be a source of great blessing to you!

Today we learn of the greatness of the Lord in a way we may not completely understand. Early in the gospels of Matthew and Mark, Jesus invites the apostles to join Him and says that He will make them "fishers of men." While John does not record this incident, there is no question that he knew of it and counted on his audience knowing it.

Here, Jesus leads them in fishing and as a result, they haul in a catch beyond their greatest expectations. The haul is so huge that it should break and tear the nets, yet is does not do so.

The fishing net is the Church itself, the direct descendants of the apostles, our bishops and priests, and even the lay people of the Church are the fishers. When we follow Jesus' instructions, we will bring in such a catch that it would seem that all could not fit without destroying the net. But the Church is truly catholic, there is room for every human being and the net will not fail. This is the promise of Jesus Christ, this is the promise of our Christian Baptism. This is the promise of salvation. All are invited in, and the net is strengthened with the strength of God himself to assure that all will be able to remain.

This is what we celebrate as we celebrate Easter--salvation is for everyone, but God needs the fishers to spread the nets--the net of the Church and her teachings in Scripture and Tradition--that all men might be caught up in them. We are the fishers. We are God's voice, and face, and hands, and arms to those who do not yet know him. So be bold when casting your nets and help God pull everyone to the Salvation wrought for us by His death and resurrection.

- JuandelaCruz
(sriddle415 at yahoo dot com)


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