Information: Feast Day: March 30 Born: 525, Syria Died: 30 March 606, Mount Sinai
St John, generally distinguished by the appellation of Climacus, from his excellent book entitled Climax, or the Ladder to Perfection, was born about the year 525, probably in Palestine. By his extraordinary progress in the arts and sciences he obtained very young the surname of the Scholastic. But at sixteen years of age he renounced all the advantages which the world promised him to dedicate himself to God in a religious state, in 547. He retired to Mount Sinai, which, from the time of the disciples of St. Anthony and St. Hilarion, had been always peopled by holy men, who, in imitation of Moses, when he received the law on that mountain, lived in the perpetual contemplation of heavenly things. Our novice, fearing the danger of dissipation and relaxation to which numerous communities are generally more exposed than others, chose not to live in the great monastery on the summit, but in an hermitage on the descent of the mountain, under the discipline of Martyrius, an holy ancient anchoret. By silence he curbed the insolent itch of talking about everything, an ordinary vice in learned men, but usually a mark of pride and self-sufficiency. By perfect humility and obedience he banished the dangerous desire of self-complacency in his actions. He never contradicted, never disputed with anyone. So perfect was his submission that he seemed to have no self-will. He undertook to sail through the deep sea of this mortal life securely, under the direction of a prudent guide, and shunned those rocks which he could not have escaped, had he presumed to steer alone, as he tells us. From the visible mountain he raised his heart, without interruption, in all his actions, to God, who is invisible; and, attentive to all the motions of his grace, studied only to do his will. Four years he spent in the trial of his own strength, and in learning the obligations of his state, before he made his religious profession, which was in the twentieth year of his age. In his writings he severely condemns engagements made by persons too young, or before a sufficient probation. By fervent prayer and fasting he prepared himself for the solemn consecration of himself to God, that the most intense fervour might make his holocaust the more perfect; and from that moment he seemed to be renewed in spirit; and his master admired the strides with which, like a mighty giant, the young disciple advanced daily more and more towards God, by self-denial, obedience, humility, and the uninterrupted exercises of divine love and prayer....
What is present to me is what has a hold on my becoming. I reflect on the Presence of God always there in love, amidst the many things that have a hold on me. I pause and pray that I may let God affect my becoming in this precise moment.
Many countries are at this moment suffering the agonies of war. I bow my head in thanksgiving for my freedom. I pray for all prisoners and captives.
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
Wednesday in the Octave of Easter
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.
Responsorial Psalm PS 105:1-2, 3-4, 6-7, 8-9
R. (3b) Rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord.
Give thanks to the LORD, invoke his name; make known among the nations his deeds. Sing to him, sing his praise, proclaim all his wondrous deeds.
R. Rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord.
Glory in his holy name; rejoice, O hearts that seek the LORD! Look to the LORD in his strength; seek to serve him constantly.
R. Rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord.
You descendants of Abraham, his servants, sons of Jacob, his chosen ones! He, the LORD, is our God; throughout the earth his judgments prevail.
R. Rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord.
He remembers forever his covenant which he made binding for a thousand generations— Which he entered into with Abraham and by his oath to Isaac.
R. Rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord.
Alleluia Ps 118:24
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
This is the day the LORD has made; let us be glad and rejoice in it.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Lk 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 the bread.
Some thoughts on today's scripture * Join the two disciples on their journey from Jerusalem to Emmaus. Sense their disappointment, despondency, disorientation. Listen as Jesus explains the meaning of the scriptures to them. Be aware how their hearts are burning within them. What a change of mood! From desolation to consolation! Is Jesus warming your heart? Are you seeing anything in a new light?
▪ Sit at table with the disciples and Jesus in the inn at Emmaus. Notice the Eucharistic overtones of what Jesus does with the bread. Each time we attend Mass do we recognise him in the breaking of the bread? Are we like the two disciples in wanting to share their experience of the Risen Lord?
How has God's Word moved me? Has it left me cold? Has it consoled me or moved me to act in a new way? I imagine Jesus standing or sitting beside me, I turn and share my feelings with him.
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.
_They were filled with amazement and astonishment. (Acts 3:10) _
Life can certainly be messy at times. Perhaps there are times when we feel like this fellow at the gate: unable to move forward, begging our way through each day, not knowing what tomorrow will bring. Or perhaps we feel like the two disciples in today's Gospel reading: heartbroken that the man they thought was the Messiah had been killed on a cross. But just as the apostles healed the beggar and just as Jesus showed himself to the two disciples, we can trust that God is still with us, even in the messiest parts of our lives. The real question is, "How do we find him?"
Today's readings offer two hopeful suggestions: share your burdens, and look for him in the people around you.
The two traveling disciples shared their disappointments with the stranger who walked beside them. They didn't know it was Jesus, but he was so openhearted toward them that they felt safe enough to pour out their hearts to him. And having done so, they were also open to hearing him as he replied. There's something about opening ourselves to other people that makes us more open to the Lord's presence and his comfort.
Similarly, the first reading tells us that it's okay to feel helpless, crumpled up outside of a beautiful gate. Just don't forget to look up every now and then to see if God is sending someone to you to help. Surely the beggar wasn't expecting Peter and John to be vessels of God's power. But that's part of the adventure of Christianity—you never know whom the Lord will use!
Don't think that you are supposed to take up this Christian life all alone. The Church is called the body of Christ for a reason—you are surrounded by brothers and sisters eager to help. In fact, that's where you're most likely to find God's presence and comfort—in the people around you. They may have "neither silver nor gold" to share with you (Acts 3:6). They may seem just as helpless as you, but that doesn't matter. Sometimes it's the people closest to us, as well as the people most like us, who can help us the most. Besides, we're all needy and hurting in different ways. So why not try to help each other out?
"Lord, teach me how to find you in the people around me."
my2cents: Allow me to begin with the Words of Christ ""For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them." Mt18:20. Listen to this impacting Fact of God. Because in today's first Holy Scripture, Peter and John are presented, to pray at 3pm. Do you pray at 3pm? Don't have to? Right. But we can, and we should honor the hour the Lord passed away, giving His life in honor of you and me. They find a crippled man at the "beautiful gate". Lazarus, perhaps again presented, and Jesus loves the Lazarus of another time too. Our first Pope and the beloved disciple of Jesus, John, said they didn't have anything to their name, but the love of Christ and they offered this Christ to the man that couldn't walk in the beautiful gate. How many of these men will you encounter throughout your life? Men or women, young or old. There are many. Again I got a call "when do you have bible studies Adrian?" I told him, and he didn't come. I get that alot. I figure now, in my faith, this call, is a beggar, a poor soul that begs for alms...blessings. What I can offer then is Jesus to them. I pray little, and will pray more for these that call out to me. We read in RCIA last night, that a woman regretted something for the rest of her life....never having helped a young mother and her skinny child that asked for help. This moved her, for the rest of her life. If you want a moving story, read about Mother Angelica, founder of the Catholic television network, EWTN. She was crippled when she was involved in an accident, and had settled in her crippled state afterwards, offering it up and as an example for those that couldn't walk. But after 42 years of suffering, a miracle happened that not even doctors could explain...she walked again! Without crutches or braces. The story involved someone like St. Peter, this one was a mystic that asked Mother Angelica to pray the rosary with her, and then a revelation came from the Blessed Mother to Mother Angelica with these powerful words ""What joy you give to the Heart of Jesus your beloved Spouse!....Defend the holy Eucharist even with your own life. Yes, Jesus still today is being made a fool of and sneered at..... I bless this location; I bless you, my daughter, and with so much love I tell you: Don't stop! Go forword for the love of Jesus, unperturbed along the way that Jesus traced for you since you were in your maternal womb..." Defend life said the Virgin Mother Mary. Defend Jesus. Defend the Holy Eucharist. And if you notice...at my2cents, these are things we hear constantly being inspired by the Lord for you to read, digest, and make real in your life. Where two or three are gathered in His name, He is there and spectacular things happen, like, walking and dancing through beautiful Gates: Mother Angelica passed away on Easter Sunday at 5pm. The gates were flung wide open for her.... In comes the Psalms into our lives, the life of Christ: ". Rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord. R. Alleluia. Glory in his holy name; rejoice, O hearts that seek the LORD! Look to the LORD in his strength; seek to serve him constantly." Mother Angelica served the Lord. Her first surrender was another miracle, of being healed after a Novena. She realized something with this healing...Jesus loved her. Watch this: Her surrender to Him was her thanksgiving to Him. If we only apply what is told to us by the people of God in truth, and if we only reply to this with an action...love, thanksgiving, life awaits, triumphant. The Lord of our lives appears out of nowhere, because the pending issue after Easter was "where is He? WHere is Jesus?" Who took Him away? Who stole Him? Who? And the mystery is solved when two where gathered in His name, discussing these things, perhaps even praying for answers. A stranger joins them in conversation. Their hearts start burning with the fuel of the Holy Spirit, to such a point that they didn't want this "stranger" to leave them alone, and was invited to dinner...the Eucharist takes place, the banquet of the Humble Lord. He breaks bread and giving thanks, He appears, then vanishes before their eyes. Where did He go? Not again! Where is He? WHere is JEsus? Time after time, they fail to see Him, for He comes as a stranger to human eyes. This does not take from the fact that He is actually Here among us. Allow me to divulge another story. One time, a thin man walks into my office, sort of scruffy, I can't even remember the color of his hair. He was selling lights, lights that he promised would last. He spoke, I listened, but something was burning in my heart. My heart said, "here is Jesus!". I bought lights and in our conversation learned his wife was sick, going blind, cancer in the eyes and brain. What could I do? I offered the best part of my life...I invited him to go pray with me at the Most Blessed Sacrament. He followed in his vehicle. I told Him that Jesus was actually here. We knelt and prayed aloud before the Lord. We left each other. After months, he swung by again to check up on how things were going. Then he said the real reason for coming...."you know when we prayed for my wife? On her next check up they found the cancer had gone away" and he was so amazed and happy. To this day I send him these emails and I'm pretty sure he reads most and is being led to Jesus in the Eucharist, the source and summit of our Catholic faith. Where two or three are gathered, there He is. My life, it is an outpouring of myself to Him. Last night, I took two more, these two young teens, brother and sister to the Blessed Sacrament when we left RCIA they were waiting for their ride home and I didn't want to leave them stranded so I invited them to go pray with me and learn to pray in front of the Lord. We knelt mostly in silence us three. As I prayed with my heart, I felt something strange happening, as if the Lord was adopting these children. It was very moving, and I pray now for them and their faith journey. It is a time of rejoicing, isn't it? A time to dance with those healed? It is a time to realize the everything behind the movement and healing...the thanks giving, the thanks offering of the Lord our Christ, our Lord JESUS. He is eternally grateful for the love you give to Him and one another. This is worth more than any gold or silver.. Giving to Him means the world to the soul. Life is not the same, life is ALIVE!