"We must faithfully keep what we have promised. If through human weakness we fail, we must always without delay arise again by means of holy penance, and give our attention to leading a good life and to dying a holy death. May the Father of all mercy, the Son by his holy passion, and the Holy Spirit, source of peace, sweetness and love, fill us with their consolation." — St. Colette
MEDITATION OF THE DAY
"The glory of a good person is the evidence of a good conscience. Have a good conscience and you will always be happy. A good conscience can bear a great deal and still remain serene in the midst of adversity, while a bad conscience is fearful and easily ruffled. Only be glad when you have done well. Evil persons are never really happy, nor do they feel peace within them; for 'there is no peace for the wicked, says the Lord' (Isa. 48:22). Even though the wicked may protest that peace is theirs and that no evil shall harm them, do not believe them. For God's wrath will suddenly overtake them, and all they have done will be brought to nothing and their plans destroyed." — Thomas á Kempis, p.76 AN EXCERPT FROM Imitation of Christ
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Sts. Marian and James
Often, it's hard to find much detail from the lives of saints of the early Church. What we know about the third-century martyrs we honor today is likewise minimal. But we do know that they lived and died for the faith. Almost 2,000 years later, that is enough reason to honor them.
Born in North Africa, Marian was a lector or reader; James was a deacon. For their devotion to the faith they suffered during the persecution of Valerian.
Prior to their persecution, Marian and James were visited by two bishops who encouraged them in the faith not long before they themselves were martyred. A short time later, Marian and James were arrested and interrogated. The two readily confessed their faith and, for that, were tortured. While in prison they are said to have experienced visions, including one of the two bishops who had visited them earlier.
On the last day of their lives, Marian and James joined other Christians facing martyrdom. They were blindfolded and then put to death. Their bodies were thrown into the water. The year was 259.
Lord, God, my Creator, Be close to me now. My soul yearns for your presence. Freedom
Your death on the cross has set me free. I can live joyously and freely without fear of death. Your mercy knows no bounds. Consciousness
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
Friday of the Sixth Week of Easter
Reading 1 Acts 18:9-18
One night while Paul was in Corinth, the Lord said to him in a vision, "Do not be afraid. Go on speaking, and do not be silent, for I am with you. No one will attack and harm you, for I have many people in this city." He settled there for a year and a half and taught the word of God among them.
But when Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews rose up together against Paul and brought him to the tribunal, saying, "This man is inducing people to worship God contrary to the law." When Paul was about to reply, Gallio spoke to the Jews, "If it were a matter of some crime or malicious fraud, I should with reason hear the complaint of you Jews; but since it is a question of arguments over doctrine and titles and your own law, see to it yourselves. I do not wish to be a judge of such matters." And he drove them away from the tribunal. They all seized Sosthenes, the synagogue official, and beat him in full view of the tribunal. But none of this was of concern to Gallio.
Paul remained for quite some time, and after saying farewell to the brothers he sailed for Syria, together with Priscilla and Aquila. At Cenchreae he had shaved his head because he had taken a vow.
Responsorial Psalm PS 47:2-3, 4-5, 6-7 R. (8a) God is king of all the earth. or: R. Alleluia. All you peoples, clap your hands, shout to God with cries of gladness, For the LORD, the Most High, the awesome, is the great king over all the earth.
R. God is king of all the earth. or: R. Alleluia. He brings people under us; nations under our feet. He chooses for us our inheritance, the glory of Jacob, whom he loves.
R. God is king of all the earth. or: R. Alleluia. God mounts his throne amid shouts of joy; the LORD, amid trumpet blasts. Sing praise to God, sing praise; sing praise to our king, sing praise.
R. God is king of all the earth. or:
R. Alleluia. Alleluia See Lk 24:46, 26 R. Alleluia, alleluia. Christ had to suffer and to rise from the dead, and so enter into his glory. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Jn 16:20-23
Jesus said to his disciples: "Amen, amen, I say to you, you will weep and mourn, while the world rejoices; you will grieve, but your grief will become joy. When a woman is in labor, she is in anguish because her hour has arrived; but when she has given birth to a child, she no longer remembers the pain because of her joy that a child has been born into the world. So you also are now in anguish. But I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you. On that day you will not question me about anything. Amen, amen, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you."
Some thoughts on today's scripture
▪ In the four Gospels, the emphasis on Christ's Passion and crucifixion almost overwhelms the Resurrection narrative. Church teaching often suggests that we find God through suffering, but far less frequently that we find God through joy. Yet Jesus himself never saw suffering as an end in itself – he endured the Cross "for the joy that was set before him." At the Last Supper, he urged his disciples to abide in his love, "that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full".
▪ According to Teilhard de Chardin, joy is the infallible sign of the presence of God. Lord, may your joy be abundant in our hearts!
Dear Lord, stay by my side always. Gain for me a trusting heart. Thank you for loving me.
I thank God for these few moments we have spent alone together and for any insights I may have been given concerning the text.
He sailed for Syria, together with Priscilla and Aquila. (Acts 18:18)
Some people thrive on change, but not all of us. We like to have some sense of order and a feeling that we know what is going to happen next. The reality is, however, that life is full of changes: new jobs, new homes, children, grandchildren, and so much more—our lives can be very unpredictable. Yet from Paul's example, we can see that companionship is an important key to help us embrace all these transitions.
Paul spent many years traveling far and wide to preach the gospel. He would stay in one place for a year or so and then move on to a different city. In today's passage, for example, we are given a glimpse of his time in Corinth, and then we read of his departure for Syria. Yet in all of his journeying, Paul was rarely alone. Barnabas, Silas, Timothy, Luke, and Priscilla and Aquila—these are just a few of the people who accompanied him. They probably taught and preached together, prayed and shared their lives together, and, above all, helped each other keep their eyes on Jesus in the midst of the challenges and trials they faced. Imagine how much more challenging Paul's constantly changing circumstances would have been if he were on his own!
We may not be missionaries like Paul, but companionship is just as important for us. Friends support us by listening to our joys and struggles. They encourage us and cheer us up when things look dim. They offer us a different perspective when we are stumped by a challege. They even let us vent about things that are annoying! Most of all, they add stability to our lives as we experience the transitions and upheavals that life can throw at us. Because of them, life can become a shared journey and not a solitary adventure.
Are you facing some kind of change or transition right now? Imagine it as a kind of voyage. Who would you take with you? Maybe your companions are facing their own challenges—you can help each other along the way! Give someone a call today, and share what's going on in your life. Ask them how they are doing. May the Lord deepen our friendships, especially when everything else seems up in the air!
We heard the Word of our Lord say today ""Do not be afraid. Go on speaking, and do not be silent, for I am with you. No one will attack and harm you, for I have many people in this city." Allow me to translate today's 5minutos (spanish reflection from Mexico):
" Perhaps against the first that we have to fight so that nothing nor anyone takes our peace and joy, would be ourselves and like so we can conquer our greatest fears...A lion came up to a lake of mirrored waters to soothe its thirst and, upon arriving to it, it saw its face reflecting and thought to itself "oh my, this lake must belong to this lion. I have to be very careful with him". Terrorized it left the waters, but it had such a thirst, that it returned to the same. Once again there was that 'lion'. What to do? The thirst was devouring it and there was no other lake close by. It gnarled. A few minutes later it returned to that 'lion' it opened its jaws in a threatening manner, but upon seeing the other 'lion' would do the same, it felt fear. It left running, but it was such a tremendous thirst! It attempted several times again. And because the thirst was more intense every time, it took the final decision to drink no matter what would happen. And so it did. And upon putting its head in the waters, the 'lion' disappeared! Many of our fears are imaginary. Only when we confront them, they disappear. Do not let your uncontrolled imagination take the place of reality, nor let yourself get lost in the creations and reflections of your own mind. The mature Christian, already formed in Christ, lives a joy which no temptation can conquer, no sin, no persecution, nor our very selves. "
We prayed the Holy Psalms " God is king of all the earth." It has been said today in some reflection parts that a clean consciousness makes for peace. A clean heart makes for true joy. God cleanses the closer we come to Him. And what an honor to be one with Him, as a friend, and as a child of the King of All the Earth.
In comes our Lord and our King in the Gospel "...you will grieve, but your grief will become joy." The great vision that was appearing as I read the Holy Gospel today was of entering a new world, perhaps after death. All our sufferings are normal, but in comes the joy that transforms all of that. And we can get a glimpse of this by transforming our lives, being born into Him through death. And it starts on the day of repentance, of stopping the sin in our lives. Stop hating your Father, stop distrusting your Father, stop ignoring our Father, stop muting Him when you go see Him, stop the violence against the innocent, and then, and then you will faintly begin to hear the call of the Lord, and it gets louder and louder, the closer we come to Him. This is our journey. This whole world we live in now, it is special because it is special to Him, but what He has in store for the faithful is much more. What is in store is worlds that can not be crossed, that of evil and of His Reign. That, that is something to look forward to, a world without darkness, a world full of hope, a world of belonging and being able to love like no other could love. The most tremendous gift God gives and we give back is love in action called faith. If there is hope for an evildoer, there is hope for any one of us. No one is exempt from death and so it is in how we end and give our lives to it that matters, and death to self comes first, having given our lives for the greater good. And the greatest Good is Love and God is Love. Remember all of this, because the sufferings are intense but they are short lived in comparison to forever, when a child is born of its mother, and the Father stands in awe and amazement. So the Holy Church, the Mother gives birth to His children in the Spirit. He is amazed at you. He loves you so very much, if you are quiet, if you are shy, if you are loud, if you are obnoxious, if you are active, if you stray, the heart is still there. This is a call for unity and freedom, for being one with Him means freedom, no longer bound to sin and death, for we are bound to Him. Life then becomes vibrant, even brilliant. Thank you for taking part in this journey. It is leading to good, and God is good