There are so many needy people who hunger—but not for bread, they have plenty of bread—but for God! Go there, to tell this truth: Jesus Christ is the Lord and he saves you. But always go and touch the flesh of Christ! The Gospel cannot be preached purely intellectually: the Gospel is truth but it is also love and it is also beauty! And this is truly the joy of the Gospel!
–from The Spirit of Saint Francis
✞ "Here is a rule for everyday life: Do not do anything which you cannot offer to God." — St. Jean Marie Vianney
✞ MEDITATION OF THE DAY "There is not a moment in which God does not present Himself under the cover of some pain to be endured, of some consolation to be enjoyed, or of some duty to be performed. All that takes place within us, around us, or through us, contains and conceals His divine action. It is really and truly there present, but invisibly present, so that we are always surprised and do not recognise His operation until it has ceased. If we could lift the veil, and if we were attentive and watchful God would continually reveal Himself to us, and we should see His divine action in everything that happened to us, and rejoice in it. At each successive occurrence we should exclaim: 'It is the Lord', and we should accept every fresh circumstance as a gift of God. We should look upon creatures as feeble tools in the hands of an able workman, and should discover easily that nothing was wanting to us, and that the constant providence of God disposed Him to bestow upon us at every moment whatever we required." — Jean-Pierre de Caussade AN EXCERPT FROM Abandonment of Divine Providence
✞ VERSE OF THE DAY "Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obedience to the voice of the Lord? Surely, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams." 1 Samuel 15:22
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Saint of the Day for April 21
(1033 – April 21, 1109)
Saint Anselm's Story
Indifferent toward religion as a young man, Anselm became one of the Church's greatest theologians and leaders. He received the title "Father of Scholasticism" for his attempt to analyze and illumine the truths of faith through the aid of reason.
At 15, Anselm wanted to enter a monastery, but was refused acceptance because of his father's opposition. Twelve years later, after careless disinterest in religion and years of worldly living, he finally fulfilled his desire to be a monk. He entered the monastery of Bec in Normandy, was elected prior three years later, and 15 years later, was unanimously chosen abbot.
Considered an original and independent thinker, Anselm was admired for his patience, gentleness, and teaching skill. Under his leadership, the Abbey of Bec became a monastic school, influential in philosophical and theological studies.
During these years, at the community's request, Anselm began publishing his theological works, comparable to those of Saint Augustine. His best-known work is the book Cur Deus Homo ("Why God Became Man").
Against his will, Anselm was appointed archbishop of Canterbury in 1093, at age 60. His appointment was opposed at first by England's King William Rufus and later accepted. Rufus persistently refused to cooperate with efforts to reform the Church.
Anselm finally went into voluntary exile until Rufus died in 1100. He was then recalled to England by Rufus' brother and successor, Henry I. Disagreeing fearlessly with Henry over the king's insistence on investing England's bishops, Anselm spent another three years in exile in Rome.
His care and concern extended to the very poorest people. Opposing the slave trade, Anselm obtained from the national council at Westminster the passage of a resolution prohibiting the sale of human beings.
Like every true follower of Christ, Anselm had to carry his cross, especially in the form of opposition and conflict with those in political control. Though personally a mild and gentle man and a lover of peace, he would not back off from conflict and persecution when principles were at stake.
After the crippled man had been cured, while Peter and John were still speaking to the people, the priests, the captain of the temple guard, and the Sadducees confronted them, disturbed that they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead. They laid hands on Peter and John and put them in custody until the next day, since it was already evening. But many of those who heard the word came to believe and the number of men grew to about five thousand.
On the next day, their leaders, elders, and scribes were assembled in Jerusalem, with Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly class. They brought them into their presence and questioned them, "By what power or by what name have you done this?" Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, answered them, "Leaders of the people and elders: If we are being examined today about a good deed done to a cripple, namely, by what means he was saved, then all of you and all the people of Israel should know that it was in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead; in his name this man stands before you healed. He is the stone rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. There is no salvation through anyone else, nor is there any other name under heaven given to the human race by which we are to be saved."
Responsorial Psalm Ps 118:1-2 and 4, 22-24, 25-27a R. (22) The stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone. or: R. Alleluia. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his mercy endures forever. Let the house of Israel say, "His mercy endures forever." Let those who fear the LORD say, "His mercy endures forever." R. The stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone. or: R. Alleluia. The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. By the LORD has this been done; it is wonderful in our eyes. This is the day the LORD has made; let us be glad and rejoice in it. R. The stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone. or: R. Alleluia. O LORD, grant salvation! O LORD, grant prosperity! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD; we bless you from the house of the LORD. The LORD is God, and he has given us light. R. The stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone. 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 Jn 21:1-14
Jesus revealed himself again to his disciples at the Sea of Tiberias. He revealed himself in this way. Together were Simon Peter, Thomas called Didymus, Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, Zebedee's sons, and two others of his disciples. Simon Peter said to them, "I am going fishing." They said to him, "We also will come with you." So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. When it was already dawn, Jesus was standing on the shore; but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. Jesus said to them, "Children, have you caught anything to eat?" They answered him, "No." So he said to them, "Cast the net over the right side of the boat and you will find something." So they cast it, and were not able to pull it in because of the number of fish. So the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, "It is the Lord." When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he tucked in his garment, for he was lightly clad, and jumped into the sea. The other disciples came in the boat, for they were not far from shore, only about a hundred yards, dragging the net with the fish. When they climbed out on shore, they saw a charcoal fire with fish on it and bread. Jesus said to them, "Bring some of the fish you just caught." So Simon Peter went over and dragged the net ashore full of one hundred fifty-three large fish. Even though there were so many, the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, "Come, have breakfast." And none of the disciples dared to ask him, "Who are you?" because they realized it was the Lord. Jesus came over and took the bread and gave it to them, and in like manner the fish. This was now the third time Jesus was revealed to his disciples after being raised from the dead.
Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, answered them. (Acts 4:8)
Everyone knows that if you place a tea bag in a cup of hot water, that water will be transformed. It's no longer just water, but a cup of tea with a distinct color and flavor. Once they're combined, it's no small task to remove the tea from the water. It would take a chemist a complex series of steps to separate the elements.
This is a good analogy for the way God changes our lives. Take Peter and John, for example: they had been fishermen, but once Jesus came into their lives, something changed them. Then they spent three years being steeped in his love, his teachings, and his power to heal. They saw him in the day-to-day activities of their lives. They saw his death and his resurrected glory. Then they received the Holy Spirit, who came to live in them. How could they not be changed?
You have been changed by the Lord, too. Like the tea bag in hot water, the Holy Spirit is in you; he is making a difference in your life. Every time you go to Mass, every time you ponder the Scriptures, you are "steeping" yourself in him. Every time you go to Confession or spend time serving people in need, his life is becoming stronger in you. He is making you "look" and "taste" more like him. You are becoming a living, breathing example of the truth that anyone who is "in Christ" is a "new creation" (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Do you know what this means? God can use you to change a little part of the world! You may not feel ready to pray with people for healing or to share your faith like Peter and John. But that doesn't change the fact that the Holy Spirit lives in you and he's moving in your life. Besides, it's the Spirit's job to make you like Christ—only he can manage such a transformation. You don't need a complicated program of self-improvement. You just need to spend time with the Lord and let him do his work. Isn't that good news?
"Thank you, Lord, for the gift of your Holy Spirit. Thank you that your life in me is ever growing!"
Psalm 118:1-2, 4, 22-27 John 21:1-14
The first Holy Scripture ends today with "There is no salvation through anyone else, nor is there any other name under heaven given to the human race by which we are to be saved." We prayed today "The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone." Have you ever been part of a construction project, one with blocks and stones? To square off, the foundation has to be constructed, and then the block layers. You begin with a corner, and it begins the entire construction. And normally construction never ends, but those stones are forever set. This is how the Church started and it is with Jesus, and we are built as one with Him. In the Holy Gospel, Jesus speaks these words "Children, have you caught anything to eat?" These professional fishers had caught nothing. They then had to trust when the Lord says "Cast the net over the right side of the boat and you will find something." They simply obeyed. They were humble. Alas, what could they lose? This is casting on the right side, not the wrong side. The wrong side of being stubborn. The wrong side is of "knowing better'. The wrong side is "you don't tell me what to do" kind of attitude. The wrong side is the darks side and that dark cast is emptiness where pride leads. And the most humbled? Saint Peter our first Pope. This repented soul, once someone murmured "It is the Lord", he cast himself into the sea to swim to the Lord. Who does that? Why didn't St. Peter wait in the boat with everyone else? It is an act of extreme love, a gesture of sacrifice, the kind that goes above and beyond a typical response to the Lord. Imagine, swimming nearly 100 yards, your heart pumping, and you try to get a glimpse of the shore, and you see the Lord walking around, messing with the fire, waiting, and expecting you. And as you drag yourself up, all wet and tired, you see Him, and your mind goes crazy because it is trying to recognize Him physically, but your heart knows regardless. He smiles. Very few words are said, but you rest and bask in His presence. This is why he had swam so hard, to be at once with the Lord you love. So few will run 100 yards to Him, even fewer will swim 100 yards. So few take to get ready, and make the drive to waste the time to be with Him. Few will wait when the rest decide to go and are ready. What is your response to His call?
Because if you're tired of doing things your way and being unsuccessful, then try them His way. Listen. And be prepared to be amazed. Jesus feeds them on that morning shore. It'd be the start of a new life. Listen. Listen to the waves crashing on the shore, and listen to them fade, and listen to the crackling of a fire bringing warmth and food. It is Jesus, our Father. How exciting to open the doors of the house and kids come running "Daddy!". And as they grow older, they remain on the couch, no longer excited to run to daddy. Daddy still loves them. Daddy still wishes they'd rush over to hug him. Daddy then has to look for them in their rooms to say hi. Frowning faces don't look up to see their daddy expecting a hug. By now, you know I'm talking about our God. Who runs 100 yards now? Who goes to church excited? Who has this kind of love of the Lord?