Readings & Reflections with Cardinal Tagle’s Video: Third Sunday of Easter A & St. Pius V, April 30,2017
The disciples on the road to Emmaus hear the Scriptures interpreted in a way that had never occurred to them before. It causes their hearts to burn within them; it is what they have been waiting to hear all their lives. It moves them to beg the Stranger, “Stay with us.” Our hearts burn as we hear Peter interpret Psalm 16 with the same striking authority. It is as if the words that speak of Christ’s Resurrection – “You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence” – have totally revivified Peter’s own life. The Word, the breaking of the Eucharistic bread, the companionship of other followers are what make us realize how truly we have been “ransomed from all our futile conduct.”
Readings & Reflections: Saturday of Second Week of Easter & St. Catherine of Siena, April 29,2017
Born the twenty-fourth of twenty-five children, Catherine experienced vision from an early age. Angered by her decision not to marry, her parents treated her like a servant. In 1365 A.D., she joined the Dominican tertiaries, took the habit, and remained at home in prayer for three years. Jesus joined her to himself in a “mystical marriage,” and bade her express her love through action. She attended in plague victims, brokered peace between warring factions in Italy, and dictated The Decalogue, a conversation between the soul and God. She died at the age of thirty-three. Catherine was the first woman and the first lay person to be named a Doctor of the Church.
Readings & Reflections: Friday of the Second Week of Easter & St. Peter Chanel, April 28,2017
“A large crowd followed” Jesus because “they saw the signs he was performing.” However, when the Sanhedrin members see similar signs in the Apostles who speak “in the name of Jesus,” it makes them want to “destroy” the Apostles. Thank God for the hunger in our life that moves us to proclaim of “Christ, Jesus:” “This is truly the Prophet.”
“Lord, you satisfy the deepest longings of our hearts and you feed us with the finest of wheat (Ps 81:16). Fill us with gratitude and give us a generous heart that we may freely share with others what you have given to us.” In Jesus’ Mighty Name, we pray. Amen.
Readings & Reflections: Thursday of the Second Week of Easter & St. Louis Mary Grignion de Montfort, April 27,2017
“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever disobeys the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God remains upon him”(Jn 3:36). “Belief is certainty that God has shown himself and has opened up for us the view of truth itself” (Pope Benedict XVI). God has shown himself in the different humanity of Peter and the Apostles who declare, “We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29). Their witness moves us to want to obey the God who is “trustworthy.” For what is better than their certainty and conviction?
Readings & Reflections: Wednesday of the Second Week of Easter & St. Pedro de San José Betancur, April 26,2017
“Whoever lives the truth comes to the light.” This happens literally to Peter when the angel of the Lord leads Peter out of the darkness of the jail into the morning light of the Temple area. “God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son.” “Look to him.”
“Lord Jesus Christ, your love is better than life itself. May your love consume and transform my life that I may desire you above all else. Help me to love what you love, to desire what you desire, and to reject what you reject”. In Your Name, I pray. Amen
Readings & Reflections: Monday of the Second Week of Easter & St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen, April 24,2017
Fidelis was born Mark Rey, of well-to-do parents in Sigmaringen (modern Germany). He excelled at philosophy and both civil and ecclesial law. In 1611 A.D., he took up practice as a “poor man’s lawyer.” Seeing the frequent bribes pressed into the hands of his colleagues convinced him to enter the Capuchins. Fidelis received a commission to preach in Prattingau (present-day Switzerland) among Catholics who had turned to Protestantism. In April 1622, residents of Seewis assaulted him, demanding his apostasy. When Fidelis refused, he was killed by a blow to the head. Fidelis is one of the patrons of the legal profession.
Readings & Reflections with Cardinal Tagle’s Video: Second Sunday of Easter A – Divine Mercy Sunday & St. George, April 23,2017
In April 27, 2014 was 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: “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.” Before St. Faustina we recall the words of St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274 A.D.), “mercy consists in bringing a thing out of non-being into being.” We see this transpire concretely in the life of the early Church. The believers “devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles and to the communal life, to the breaking of bread and to prayers.” They were filled with awe; they were witnesses of wondrous signs; they lived for the good of the other; they were selfless and generous; they overflowed with “exultation and sincerity of heart.” God “in his great mercy” gave them – and us – “a new birth to a living hope” through the Resurrection of Jesus Christ (cf. Acts 2:42-47). That is what the Apostle Thomas is looking for the Lord’s open side (cf. John 20:19-31). This is what John the Apostle 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.
Readings & Reflections: Saturday within the Octave of Easter & St. Adalbert of Prague, April 22,2017
“The boldness of Peter and John” that “amazes” the “leaders, elders, and scribes” was born from doubt. The Gospel relates that, after the risen Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene, “she went and told his companions who were mourning and weeping.” “They did not believe,” so much so that the Lord himself “rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart.” But then they took to heart what the Resurrected One commanded of them: “Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.” Thus, when the leaders ordered Peter and John “not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus,” they replied with perfect conviction, “It is impossible for us not to speak about what we have seen and heard.” The leaders, elders, and scribes pay Peter and John the highest tribute that can be given to any Christian: “They recognized them as the companions of Jesus.” We beg that the same may be said of us.
Readings & Reflections: Friday in the Octave of Easter & St. Anselm of Canterbury, April 21,2017
A native of Aosta, Italy, Anselm desired to enter the Benedictines at the age of fifteen. His father’s strong opposition kept him from the monastery until he was twenty-seven. Only three years later he was made abbot. He led his brothers at Bec in Normandy until he went to Canterbury, England, where he was elected archbishop. An able statesman in a time of tense Church-state relations, Anselm was at heart a monk. During times of exile, he gave himself to prayer and study. His motto, “Faith seeking understanding,” demonstrates how he did philosophy: on his knees. He died in 1109 A.D. and was declared a Doctor of the Church in 1720 A.D.
Readings & Reflections: Thursday within the Octave of Easter & St. Conrad of Parzham, April 20,2017
When we, like the disciples in today’s Gospel, are “startled,” “terrified,” or “troubled,” what restores our peace? The humanity of Jesus Christ. The risen Lord says to the distressed disciples, “Look at my hands and my feet…. Touch me and see.” To prove that they are not “seeing a ghost,” Jesus takes the piece of baked fish given to him and eats it in front of the disciples. Jesus woos us away from our anxiety with the words, “Why do questions arise in your hearts?” For the pierced man who stands before us is our Answer. The repentance and conversion that Saint Peter preaches make it possible for God to “grant you times of refreshment and send you the Christ already appointed for you, Jesus.” “All the holiness God has destined for our souls has been placed in the humanity of Christ, and it is from this source that we must draw” (Blessed Columba Marmion). Those who dare to look at his wounds an live as “witness of these things” hear the risen Christ say, “Peace be with you.”
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