The resurrection of Jesus is not simply a pledge of a new life in the future, but rather an affirmation that the new life Jesus has promised has already begun. St. Paul once urged the new Christians in Corinth to allow God to be "everything in all of you." The resurrection of Jesus shows the type of life toward which God's grace and mercy will always lead each of us—if we allow that.
–from the book Peace and Good
✞ "It is not lengthy prayers, but generous deeds that touch God's heart." — St. Arnold Janssen
✞ MEDITATION OF THE DAY "[Mary] is the heavenly archetype. The Church—the rest of us—must struggle toward those mystical realties during all our days on this earth. Thus says the council: 'While in the most holy Virgin the Church has already reached that perfection whereby she is without spot or wrinkle, the followers of Christ still strive to increase in holiness by conquering sin. And so they turn their eyes to Mary who shines forth to the whole community of the elect as the model of virtues' (Lumen Gentium 65). Our struggle is individual, but it is communal, too. As members of God's family, we are concerned for one another and concerned to bring many others into the family. ... Indeed, our efforts at evangelization must have a Marian component. Evangelization should begin with Marian prayer and it should be suffused with Marian doctrine and devotion. For evangelization is all about building up a family, and no one can belong to a family without honoring the family's mother. … Mary plays an indispensable role in each of her children's growth in holiness. Yet how many people, even among those who are brothers of Christ, do not know they are children of Mary?" — Scott Hahn, p.144-45 AN EXCERPT FROM Hail, Holy Queen
✞ VERSE OF THE DAY "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return there; the Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord." Job 1:21
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Saint Benedict Joseph Labre
Saint of the Day for April 17
(March 25, 1748 – April 17, 1783)
Saint Benedict Joseph Labre's Story
Benedict Joseph Labre was truly eccentric, one of God's special little ones. Born in France and the eldest of 18 children, he studied under his uncle, a parish priest. Because of poor health and a lack of suitable academic preparation he was unsuccessful in his attempts to enter the religious life. Then, at age 16, a profound change took place. Benedict lost his desire to study and gave up all thoughts of the priesthood, much to the consternation of his relatives.
He became a pilgrim, traveling from one great shrine to another, living off alms. He wore the rags of a beggar and shared his food with the poor. Filled with the love of God and neighbor, Benedict had special devotion to the Blessed Mother and to the Blessed Sacrament. In Rome, where he lived in the Colosseum for a time, he was called "the poor man of the Forty Hours devotion" and "the beggar of Rome." The people accepted his ragged appearance better than he did. His excuse to himself was that "our comfort is not in this world."
On April 16, 1783, the last day of his life, Benedict dragged himself to a church in Rome and prayed there for two hours before he collapsed, dying peacefully in a nearby house. Immediately after his death, the people proclaimed him a saint.
Benedict Joseph Labre was canonized by Pope Leo XIII in 1881.
In a modern inner city, one local character kneels for hours on the sidewalk and prays. Swathed in his entire wardrobe winter and summer, he greets passersby with a blessing. Where he sleeps no one knows, but he is surely a direct spiritual descendant of Benedict, the ragged man who slept in the ruins of Rome's Colosseum. These days we ascribe such behavior to mental illness; Benedict's contemporaries called him holy. Holiness is always a bit mad by earthly standards.
The Liturgical Feast of Saint Benedict Joseph Labre is April 16.
Saint Benedict Joseph Labre is the Patron Saint of:
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:
I saw the Lord ever before me, with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed. Therefore my heart has been glad and my tongue has exulted; my flesh, too, will dwell in hope, because you will not abandon my soul to the nether world, nor will you suffer your holy one to see corruption. You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.
My brothers, one can confidently say to you about the patriarch David that he died and was buried, and his tomb is in our midst to this day. But since he was a prophet and knew that God had sworn an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants upon his throne, he foresaw and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that neither was he abandoned to the netherworld nor did his flesh see corruption. God raised this Jesus; of this we are all witnesses. Exalted at the right hand of God, he poured forth the promise of the Holy Spirit that he received from the Father, as you both see and hear."
Responsorial Psalm Ps 16:1-2a and 5, 7-8, 9-10, 11 R. (1) Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope. or: R. Alleluia. Keep me, O God, for in you I take refuge; I say to the LORD, "My Lord are you." O LORD, my allotted portion and my cup, you it is who hold fast my lot. R. Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope. or: R. Alleluia. I bless the LORD who counsels me; even in the night my heart exhorts me. I set the LORD ever before me; with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed. R. Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope. or: R. Alleluia. Therefore my heart is glad and my soul rejoices, my body, too, abides in confidence; Because you will not abandon my soul to the nether world, nor will you suffer your faithful one to undergo corruption. R. Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope. or: R. Alleluia. You will show me the path to life, fullness of joys in your presence, the delights at your right hand forever. R. Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope. or: R. Alleluia.
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 Mt 28:8-15
Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went away quickly from the tomb, fearful yet overjoyed, and ran to announce the news to his disciples. And behold, Jesus met them on their way and greeted them. They approached, embraced his feet, and did him homage. Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid. Go tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me."
While they were going, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests all that had happened. The chief priests assembled with the elders and took counsel; then they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers, telling them, "You are to say, 'His disciples came by night and stole him while we were asleep.' And if this gets to the ears of the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble." The soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has circulated among the Jews to the present day.
These are the kinds of thoughts that come to us when we think of Easter Sunday. But put yourself in the disciples' place as they woke up that morning. Jesus of Nazareth, their teacher and friend, had just endured an agonizing death at the hands of the Romans. No wonder they stayed behind locked doors! They were terrified that they might be arrested next.
But recall the first words the angel said to the women who found the empty tomb: "Do not be afraid. . . . Go quickly" (Matthew 28:5, 7). Recall how, when they met Jesus on the road, he also told them, "Do not be afraid. Go to Galilee"—to the place of revelation and miracles (28:10).
Jesus wants to say the same thing to you as we enter the Easter season. So use your imagination and listen as he urges you:
"Go quickly! You may not be hiding from authorities threatening your life, but you may feel as if you are being pursued by shame and regret over past sins. I am risen, and I have conquered fear and guilt. So come to me in Confession, and let me set you free."
"Go quickly! Maybe your future looks like a bleak landscape. But that's not what I see. I have a plan for your life—a plan to care for you and sustain you. So come to me. Lift up your eyes to the heavens. Remember that I care for you even more than I care for every star in the sky. Come, and let me show you a future full of hope."
"Go quickly! Don't remain in the graveyard, where Mary Magdalene found my tomb. Don't dwell on all the sins that put me there. No, come to me, the risen Savior, and receive a new outpouring of the redemption I have won for you. Let me convince you that nothing can separate you from my love."
"Go quickly! Whenever you feel overwhelmed or discouraged, gaze upon my cross, and tell yourself, 'Jesus died for me. I am a new creation, and I belong to him.' Say it over and over, and watch as I lift your burdens."
Today, right now, go quickly to the Lord, and let him lift up your heart!
"Jesus, I believe that you are risen in victory. Lord, I run to you today. Let me share in that victory."
Acts 2:14, 22-33 Psalm 16:1-2, 5, 7-11
my2cents: We heard the Word today "I saw the Lord ever before me, with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed."...therefore, I will live in hope. We pray today "Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope." And so the women are running to spread the news from angels and they run into our Lord, can you imagine the joy? They fall to His feet and embrace them. It is now a new life. They don't know what's going to happen next, they just know it's a whole new life now. We spent 40 days in preparation for this. Now we are to GO as the angels ask us to go and be angels, messengers of the Lord. As you are going, you too will run into the Lord, and you too will fall and praise in adoration and worship. But first you must GO. The end of a Holy Mass is a "sending forth" on a mission. The priest in the place of the Lord says "GO". We will celebrate this for 50 days until the coming of the Holy Spirit.
Now this speaks volumes. We've got to do our part in obedience. Jesus was obedient and so were these women. Now we are to obey and the greatest commandment is of hope, because it is of Jesus, the new life. I was trying to rest in my backyard alone, trying to get over the fever, and it was just me there, but fluttering around was a butterfly. I kept thinking of how it came to be this flying creature, because at one point, this was just a crawling creature, always just crawling and eating and getting along until one day it is in a cocoon, a tomb, if you will, and at the allotted time, it bursts forth with wings and flies away, taking to the skies for all its beauty to be seen here and there with erratic movements.
Now the Lord has broken the tomb and flies and appears here and there, spontaneously. He appears and is heard speaking. I have seen the Lord and in the most strangest of faces. I have heard the Lord and in the most softest of voices, sometimes so soft that the ears can not hear a thing...just the heart.
So where do we go now?
We will go where the Lord says. And for this we have to listen. Obey. And be ready. Because we are about to hear of the times when they'd be with Jesus and they didn't even know it was Him! Isn't this exciting news?