Importantly, the cross does not have the last word. His resurrection does. Without the resurrection, the cross would be a seal of failure. Instead the cross is a sign of victory.
✞ "The bread you store up belongs to the hungry; the cloak that lies in your chest belongs to the naked; the gold you have hidden in the ground belongs to the poor." — St. Basil the Great
✞ MEDITATION OF THE DAY "We must cultivate that sacred silence which makes people remember the words of Jesus: See how they love one another. How often we find ourselves speaking of the faults of another. How often our conversation is about someone who is not present. Yet see the compassion of Christ toward Judas, the man who received so much love yet betrayed his own master. But the master kept the sacred silence and did not betray Judas. Jesus could have easily spoken in public—as we often do—telling the hidden intentions and deeds of Judas to others. But he didn't. Instead, he showed mercy and charity. Rather than condemning Judas, he called him his friend." — St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta, p. 41 AN EXCERPT FROM Thirsting for God: Mother Teresa
✞ VERSE OF THE DAY "Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive commendation from God." 1 Corinthians 4:5
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Saint of the Day for April 19
Saint Gianna Beretta Molla
(October 4, 1922 – April 28, 1962)
Saint Gianna Beretta Molla's Story
In less than 40 years, Gianna Beretta Molla became a pediatric physician, a wife, a mother and a saint!
She was born in Magenta near Milano, the 10th of Alberto and Maria Beretta's 13 children. An active member of the St. Vincent de Paul Society and a leader in the Catholic Action movement, Gianna also enjoyed skiing and mountain climbing. She earned degrees in medicine and surgery from the University of Pavia, eventually specializing in pediatrics. In 1952, Gianna opened a clinic in the small town of Mesero, where she met engineer Pietro Molla.
Shortly before their 1955 marriage, Gianna wrote to Pietro: "Love is the most beautiful sentiment that the Lord has put into the soul of men and women." In the next four years the Mollas had three children: Pierluigi, Mariolina, and Laura. Two pregnancies following ended in miscarriage.
Early in her sixth pregnancy, doctors discovered that Gianna had both a child and a tumor in her uterus. She allowed the surgeons to remove the tumor but not to perform the complete hysterectomy that they recommended, which would have killed the child. Seven months later in April 1962, Gianna Emanuela Molla was born at the hospital in Monza, but post-operative complications resulted in an infection for her mother. The following week, Gianna Molla died at home in Mesero, where she was buried.
Gianna Emanuela went on to become a physician herself. Gianna Beretta Molla was beatified in 1994 and canonized 10 years later.
With great faith and courage, Gianna Molla made the choice that enabled her daughter to be born. We can often wish that we were in different circumstances, but holiness frequently comes from making difficult choices in bad situations.
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. or: R. Alleluia. 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. or: 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. R. Rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord. or: R. Alleluia. 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. or: R. Alleluia. 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. 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 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.
What I do have I give you: in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean, rise and walk. (Acts 3:6)
Imagine that you're cleaning junk out of an old relative's house and you discover a dusty painting that turns out to be a valuable work of Renoir! You have pushed it aside plenty of times, not recognizing it, yet suddenly looking at it with new eyes, you realize how priceless it is.
This scenario is similar to what happened in today's first reading. Every day as they went to the Temple to pray, Peter and John would walk past this "Beautiful Gate" that scholars believed was adorned with hammered bronze and gold (Acts 3:2). It must have been delightful to look at. However, they would also walk past this lame beggar who sat at the foot of this gate. It seems that they had never really taken note of him before. He must have seemed so insignificant compared to his stunning surroundings.
But for whatever reason, the Holy Spirit decided to open Peter and John's eyes to the man on this particular day as they pass him by. They feel drawn to look at him and confidently invite him to be healed. Then the man responds to his miracle with such excitement that everyone around suddenly recognizes this beggar as well and sees how precious and beautiful he is. After all, God wouldn't bother to work a miracle unless the fellow had some value!
The beauty of the world is always before us, and we should always appreciate it. However, God also wants us to open our eyes to the veiled treasures hidden around us. He wants to teach us how to look beyond at the people we pass every day and see how precious they are to the Lord. And he does this not just so that we will admire them but so that we will treat them with the dignity they deserve. Imagine the healing, the restoration, and the peace that we can bring to this world as we see the beauty and glory present in each and every person around us!
"Lord, help me to see how precious people are in your eyes. Fill me with your love and compassion. Give me the courage to extend your love to them."
Psalm 105:1-4, 6-9 Luke 24:13-35
The First Holy Scripture ends today with "...they were filled with amazement and astonishment at what had happened to him." What happened? Jesus happened. Peter and John were gathered in the name of Jesus. Jesus was there. The THREE rose up the crippled man, the man got up, and walked into the temple, and in the temple began to jump and praise God in excitement.
We prayed today "Rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord". Rejoice. The Lord says rejoice, you who seek the Lord. When I see the news, I see one negative thing one man did, out of hundreds of millions of people. I don't see the hundreds of thousands of good things shown. There is more to rejoice about than not. God is good, and this is why His Word is called the Good News.
And now we will focus on one man that they followers of Christ don't recognize. They are in a sense, moping, confused, and the Lord joins these two. Funny how He joins those going 2 by 2. This is why yesterday's 2cents was left off saying something about a small group making a huge impact. For those having lived a cursillo, may I remind you with Eduardo Bonin's words that the Cursillo was not founded so that there may be more Cursillos, but that that Cursillo was founded so that friendship groups may exist. These are the fundamental basic building blocks that exist to co-exist with other groups that join the larger and soon the movement is on the move. If you are not in a group after Cursillo, you are not living the method provided...by Christ. Eduardo Bonin was interviewed one time and they asked him "What is Cursillo?" And He replies "It is Christ". And on his tomb it says "An Apprentice of Christ". Someone who is a learner of Christ. Someone who follows His way. Those going 2 by 2 in the name of Christ have Christ among them. Then, REJOICE. It was only after they invited the stranger to eat with them that they realized He was Christ. This is a message, a hidden one. Hidden because it is Christ, only to be revealed to those who invite Him into their homes and hearts. Why would you invite someone into your home and not open your heart? And so Christ Blesses the bread, breaks it and as soon as He does it they see Jesus and then He disappears. Why would He disappear? Why not? The world wants answers. Why? So it won't have to trust. At some point, you'll just have to believe Him and not be able to know why. The only way you'll know why is by seeing things with a million year view, but we don't have that kind of time...all we got is that kind of love from Him. The kind that joins us in an instant, and is gone in the next. So you'll learn how to walk and swim in the waters of baptism, so you'll learn to fly by jumping out of the nest. It is spring. It is time for life to happen, let Him flourish !