Today April 27, 2014 is the canonization of the two Popes: Blessed Pope John XXIII and Blessed Pope John Paul II who died in 2005 on Divine Mercy Sunday. Today is also the Divine Mercy Sunday as promoted by St. Faustina Kowalska: “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. The soul that will go to confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins. On that day all the divine floodgates through which grace 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 angel, will be able to fathom it throughout all eternity.” The Gospel today (Jn 20:19-31) speaks about God’s mercy that Jesus empowers his disciples to be a reconciling community as He prayed for his persecutors’ forgiveness as he hung on the cross. The first message of the Risen Christ is: “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them” (Jn 20:22- 23). Those who accepted the Holy Spirit and His mission becomes the New Creation (2 Cor 5:17). It does experience a bit as a foretaste – the justice, peace and joy of the Kingdom in the power of the Holy Spirit (Rom 14:17) but still experiences itself and the world as permeated by sin. Thus, the struggle will go on as dark as the world may seem, Christians should always keep in mind St. Paul’s battle cry: “Keep in mind that Jesus Christ is Risen from the Dead” (1 Cor 15:20-28). We are sure to follow Him.
“Lord Jesus Christ, you have triumphed over the grave and you have won new life for us. Give me the eyes of faith to see you in your glory. Help me to draw near to you and to grow in the knowledge of your great love and power. Lord Jesus, through the gift of your Holy Spirit, you fill us with an indomitable spirit of praise and joy which no earthly trial can subdue. Fill me with your resurrection joy and help me to live a life of praise and thanksgiving for your glory. May I witness to those around me the joy of the gospel and the reality of your resurrection.” Amen.
After the crippled man had been cured,
while Peter and John were still speaking to the people,
the priests, the captain of the temple guard,
and the Sadducees confronted them,
disturbed that they were teaching the people
and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead.
They laid hands on Peter and John
and put them in custody until the next day,
since it was already evening.
But many of those who heard the word came to believe
and the number of men grew to about five thousand.
“Lord Jesus, open our minds to understand the scriptures that we may fully comprehend the truth of your word. Anoint us with power and boldness to be your witnesses to all the nations.” Amen.
As the crippled man who had been cured clung to Peter and John,
all the people hurried in amazement toward them in the portico called “Solomon’s Portico.” When Peter saw this, he addressed the people, “You children of Israel, why are you amazed at this, and why do you look so intently at us as if we had made him walk by our own power or piety? The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus
whom you handed over and denied in Pilate’s presence, when he had decided to release him. You denied the Holy and Righteous One
and asked that a murderer be released to you. The author of life you put to death, but God raised him from the dead; of this we are witnesses. And by faith in his name, this man, whom you see and know, his name has made strong, and the faith that comes through it
has given him this perfect health, in the presence of all of you.
Now I know, brothers and sisters, that you acted out of ignorance, just as your leaders did; but God has thus brought to fulfillment
what he had announced beforehand through the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would suffer. Repent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be wiped away, and that the Lord may grant you times of refreshment and send you the Christ already appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the times of universal restoration of which God spoke through the mouth
of his holy prophets from of old.
“Lord Jesus Christ, open the eyes of my heart to recognize your presence with me and to understand the truth of your saving word. Nourish me with your life-giving word and with the bread of life.” In your Mighty Name, I pray. Amen.
Reading 1 Acts 3:1-10
Peter and John were going up to the temple area
for the three o’clock hour of prayer.
And a man crippled from birth was carried
and placed at the gate of the temple called “the Beautiful Gate” every day
to beg for alms from the people who entered the temple.
When he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple,
he asked for alms.
But Peter looked intently at him, as did John,
and said, “Look at us.”
He paid attention to them, expecting to receive something from them.
Peter said, “I have neither silver nor gold,
but what I do have I give you:
in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean, rise and walk.”
Then Peter took him by the right hand and raised him up,
and immediately his feet and ankles grew strong.
He leaped up, stood, and walked around,
and went into the temple with them,
walking and jumping and praising God.
When all the people saw him walking and praising God,
they recognized him as the one
who used to sit begging at the Beautiful Gate of the temple,
and they were filled with amazement and astonishment
at what had happened to him.
“Lord, may I never fail to recognize your voice nor lose sight of your presence in your saving word.” Amen.
On the day of Pentecost, Peter said to the Jewish people,
“Let the whole house of Israel know for certain
that God has made him 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.
“Lord, may we always live in the joy and hope of the resurrection and never lose sight of its truth for our lives.” In Jesus’ Name, we pray. Amen.
Acts 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:
The Resurrection of the Lord
The Mass of Easter 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. Through Jesus we do know ‘the room where exiled love lays down its victory.’ He himself is this place, and he calls us to be with him and in dependence on him. He calls us to keep this place open within the world so that he, the exiled love, may reappear over and over in the world…. God exists: that is the real message of Easter. Anyone who even begins to grasp what this means also knows what it means to be redeemed” (Pope Benedict XVI).
At the Easter Vigil in the Holy Night of Easter
In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth,
the earth was a formless wasteland, and darkness covered the abyss,
while a mighty wind swept over the waters.
Then God said,
“Let there be light,” and there was light.
God saw how good the light was.
God then separated the light from the darkness.
God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.”
Thus evening came, and morning followed—the first day.
“Lord, only you can save me from the blindness of sin and despair. May your light dispel the darkness of my life and give me hope and joy. Fill my heart with mercy and compassion that I may bring hope to those who have no hope and show them the light of Christ. Lord Jesus, you laid down your life for me that I might walk in the freedom of your love and mercy. Free me from love of the world and from attachment to sin and hurtful desires, that I might love whole-heartedly and sincerely what you love and reject whatever is false and contrary to the gospel. Give me the courage to take up my cross each day in humble obedience to your will and in gratitude and love for your willing sacrifice for my sake” Amen.
Daily readings with reflections, Pope's messages, Bishop's messages, Church's music & videos, Educational Speaker, Bible Stories, Christopher Notes, Church Militant Video, Religious Movies, Journey Home