Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Be Baptized

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Minute Meditations
Making it Count Minute Meditations
Sometime back, a high government official said, "You are doing social work and we also are doing the same. But we are doing it for something and you are doing it for somebody." To do our work, we have to be in love with God.
— from Thirsting for God 

St. Adalbert of Prague


Opposition to the Good News of Jesus did not discourage Adalbert, who is now remembered with great honor in the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary and Germany.

Born to a noble family in Bohemia, he received part of his education from St. Adalbert of Magdeburg. At the age of 27 he was chosen as bishop of Prague. Those who resisted his program of clerical reform forced him into exile eight years later.

In time, the people of Prague requested his return as their bishop. Within a short time, however, he was exiled again after excommunicating those who violated the right of sanctuary by dragging a woman accused of adultery from a church and murdering her.

After a short ministry in Hungary, he went to preach the Good News to people living near the Baltic Sea. He and two companions were martyred by pagan priests in that region. Adalbert's body was immediately ransomed and buried in Gniezno cathedral (Poland). In the mid-11th century his relics were moved to St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague.


Preaching the Good News can be dangerous work whether the audience is already baptized or not. Adalbert fearlessly preached Jesus' gospel and received a martyr's crown for his efforts. Similar zeal has created modern martyrs in many places, especially in Central and South America. Some of those martyrs grew up in areas once evangelized by Adalbert.


"O God, bestowed the crown of martyrdom on the Bishop St. Adalbert, as he burned with zeal for for souls, grant, we pray, by his prayers, that the obedience of his flock may never fail the shephered, nor the care of the shepherd be ever lacking to the flock." (Roman Missal, Common of a Martyr in the Easter season).

Saint of the Day
Lives, Lessons and Feast
By Leonard Foley, O.F.M.; revised by Pat McCloskey, O.F.M. 



"Come to me all you who are burdened 
and I will give you rest"
Here I am, Lord.
I come to seek Your presence.
I long for your healing power.


Lord, you created me to live in freedom.
May your Holy Spirit guide me to follow you freely. 
Instil in my heart a desire 
To know and love you more each day.


To be conscious about something is to be aware of it. Dear Lord help me to remember that You gave me life. Thank you for the gift of life. Teach me to slow down, to be still and enjoy the pleasures created for me.
To be aware of the beauty that surrounds me. The marvel of mountains, the calmness of lakes, the fragility of a flower petal. I need to remember that all these things come from you.

The Word of God

Reading 1

ACTS 2:36-41

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.

Responsorial Psalm PS 33:4-5, 18-19, 20 AND 22

R. (5b) The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.
R. Alleluia.
Upright is the word of the LORD,
and all his works are trustworthy.
He loves justice and right;
of the kindness of the LORD the earth is full.
R. The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.
R. Alleluia.
See, the eyes of the LORD are upon those who fear him,
upon those who hope for his kindness,
To deliver them from death
and preserve them in spite of famine.
R. The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.
R. Alleluia.
Our soul waits for the LORD,
who is our help and our shield.
May your kindness, O LORD, be upon us
who have put our hope in you.
R. The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.
R. Alleluia.

Gospel JN 20:11-18

Mary Magdalene stayed outside the tomb weeping.
And as she wept, she bent over into the tomb
and saw two angels in white sitting there,
one at the head and one at the feet
where the Body of Jesus had been.
And they said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping?"
She said to them, "They have taken my Lord,
and I don't know where they laid him."
When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus there,
but did not know it was Jesus.
Jesus said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping?
Whom are you looking for?"
She thought it was the gardener and said to him,
"Sir, if you carried him away,
tell me where you laid him,
and I will take him."
Jesus said to her, "Mary!"
She turned and said to him in Hebrew, "Rabbouni," 
which means Teacher.
Jesus said to her, "Stop holding on to me,
for I have not yet ascended to the Father.
But go to my brothers and tell them,
'I am going to my Father and your Father,
to my God and your God.'"
Mary went and announced to the disciples,
"I have seen the Lord,"
and then reported what he had told her.


Do I notice myself reacting as I pray with the Word of God? Do I feel challenged, comforted, angry? Imagining Jesus sitting or standing by me, I speak out my feelings, as one trusted friend to another.


Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end.

Catholic Meditations

Meditation: Acts 2:36-41

View NAB Reading at | 

Tuesday within the Octave of Easter

The promise is made to you and to your children and to all those far off. (Acts 2:39)

Imagine you had a friend who was always true to his word. When he said he would help you out, you could be confident that he would be there, steady as a rock. Well, you do have a friend like this: your heavenly Father. He is perfectly faithful in all his ways. And he is completely committed to you.

When Peter spoke to the crowd on the day of Pentecost, he assured them that they were heirs of God's promise, just as the disciples were. Having come from all over the world to Jerusalem to worship in the Temple, they were clearly "far off" (Acts 2:39). But that distance was no obstacle to God. Just so, we too are far off—separated by the march of time, not the stretch of miles—and that distance is no obstacle, either.

The promise is for you! Today and every day. This year and every year. It never fades. It never diminishes. Salvation is yours. So too is the promise of God's presence, his guidance, and his consolation. So too is the call to follow him and to imitate him. And so too is the assurance that the Holy Spirit will give you every grace and blessing you need to fulfill this great call. God's faithfulness means that he will always do everything he promised to do. No sin, no circumstance, no darkness can deter him.

How should we respond to this awesome truth? With praise and thanksgiving, of course! But how about a little curiosity as well? Take some time today to do a little Bible study. Choose any Gospel passage you want, and try to identify some of God's promises that are embedded in it. Look either for promises he makes in this passage, or for promises of his that are being fulfilled in it. If you want some hints, try reading the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5--7) or some of Jesus' parables (Mark 4) or the story of Easter (John 20). As you do this study, keep reminding yourself that these promises are for you. They're yours for the taking—each and every one of them!

"Father, I praise you for your faithfulness. May my heart always rest in the assurance of your love."

Psalm 33:4-5, 18-20, 22; John 20:11-18

The Spanish reflection ends today with the line:
"Jesus responds to us with His extraordinary gifts, in the measure of our love, fidelity and unconditional surrender to Him".
  The first followers of Christ were true, in their love for Christ.  Days after His burial, they still found themselves going to the tomb and crying for the love of their life.  Maria Magdalena stayed weeping while the apostles had come, seen, and left.  Alone, weeping, at a loss, Jesus appears unrecognizable at first.  Where?  In the garden, and it is said that Mt. Calvary was the place of the skull, Golgotha, for the skull of Adam, was buried there.  So the garden came to fulfillment from the first man, to the Son of Man.  It took several thousand years to get there, but it did, just in time.  Here we are, a couple thousand years later, from the moment Mary Magdalene was weeping at the tomb, fulfilling the Word of God.  We want everyone to repent and be baptized.  And for what?  The answer is for Who.  In exasperation last night, a brother related his frustration with family not getting married "right" by the Catholic Church, and we spoke of the child to come to be baptized in what faith.  I too had come with a heavy  heart, loved ones not seeming to take to the faith, even going to other churches than the Catholic for Easter.  This "after so much we've done for them" and "prayed for them".  And I found myself consoling another, and at the same time consoling myself.  They say there is healing in doing such, perhaps that is why we need friendship group reunions.  So we prayed the rosary, and afterwards realized a truth; it is God that does the converting, not me.  Now, my job is to no let up and simply leave all in His hands, I too must still pray and invite, and baptize souls for their salvation.  My sacrifices for lent were just for that, for them, those whom I want to see baptized.  
And so, I find myself in a way, alone, like Mary Magdalene.  What now?  Who will console me?  Because I was feeling exactly that yesterday, who could I turn to?  Who would heal this aching heart?  It happened at Church, in the friend, at the Blessed Sacrament.  The one who has always been there, because I've gone through many "friends" from cursillo whom are no longer with me in reunion, and a couple who have passed away.  Alone, more often than not.  Where do I get the strength to go on?  LOL.  I don't, I just cry without anybody knowing, and I cry to the Lord...and then He heals with His presence.  And then WALAH!  It's all better, and a new cursillo friend shows up, and guess what?  It's time to rock with the Rock, Peter our first Pope, and roll, roll with the punches and keep moving them legs!  Walk His Way.  That is what Easter celebrates, for every time Jesus appears, He encourages them to the point of martyrdom, dying for the faith.  And so I encourage you to get up, wipe them tears off your face and rejoice in the living Lord, because I just met Him yesterday, and I'll meet Him again today (if I haven't already, LOL).  You meet Him in the Eucharist, the Priest, the Holy Catholic Church, and in the solemnity of your sincerity and prayers, and then in the others, those we will meet.  This is the power that allows us as One Body to baptize everyone.  This is how I feel as of Easter;  "I have two friends, those in the Church, and those not yet in the Church" 



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