In the words of Pope Francis, "The Lord in the Eucharist makes us follow his path, that of service, of sharing, of giving—and what little we have, what little we are, if shared, becomes wealth, because the power of God, which is that of love, descends into our poverty to transform it. Let us ask ourselves…do I let myself be transformed by him? Do I let the Lord who gives himself to me, guide me to come out more and more from my little fence, to get out and be not afraid to give, to share, to love him and others?"
–from the book Meeting God in the Upper Room: Three Moments to Change Your Life
✞ ""Occupy your mind with good thoughts, or the enemy will fill them with bad ones. Unoccupied, they cannot be." — St. Thomas More
✞ MEDITATION OF THE DAY "Infinite grief I wish from My creature in two ways: in one way, through her sorrow for her own sins, which she has committed against Me her Creator; in the other way, through her sorrow for the sins which she sees her neighbors commit against Me. Of such as these, inasmuch as they have infinite desire, that is, are joined to Me by an affection of love, and therefore grieve when they offend Me, or see Me offended, their every pain, whether spiritual or corporeal, from wherever it may come, receives infinite merit, and satisfies for a guilt which deserved an infinite penalty, although their works are finite and done in finite time; but, inasmuch as they possess the virtue of desire, and sustain their suffering with desire, and contrition, and infinite displeasure against their guilt, their pain is held worthy. Paul explained this when he said: If I had the tongues of angels, and if I knew the things of the future and gave my body to be burned, and have not love, it would be worth nothing to me. The glorious Apostle thus shows that finite works are not valid, either as punishment or recompense, without the condiment of the affection of love." — St. Catherine of Siena, p. 4 AN EXCERPT FROM Dialogue of St. Catherine of Siena
✞ VERSE OF THE DAY "But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus." Ephesians 2:4-7
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BLESSED IMELDA LAMBERTINI
Bl. Imelda Lambertini (1322–1333) was born to a noble and devout family in Bologna, Italy. As a child she developed a great love for prayer, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and the Holy Eucharist. She spent much of her time in the Dominican monastery praying with the nuns, and at nine years of age requested to enter there as a postulant. Her parents and the nuns allowed her to enter, however, in that era children her age were not permitted to receive Holy Communion. Imelda repeatedly pleaded to receive Communion, but each time she was denied. Nevertheless, she developed a close relationship with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. When the feast of the Ascension approached, Imelda begged to make her First Holy Communion on this feast. Again, she was denied. On the Vigil of the Feast of the Ascension she was in the chapel praying, as usual, as the other Sisters received Holy Communion. Afterwards a glowing host was seen suspended in the air above the child. The priest understood this as a sign that the child should be permitted to receive, and he ministered the Holy Eucharist to her. Imelda remained kneeling in prayer in thanksgiving as the nuns left the chapel. When they returned for her, they found her just as they had left her, but her body was lifeless. It was understood that Imelda died of pure estatic joy after receiving Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, as she had so ardently desired. Bl. Imelda Lambertini is the patron saint of First Communicants. Her feast day is May 12th.
Friday of the Fourth Week of Easter
Reading 1 Acts 13:26-33
When Paul came to Antioch in Pisidia, he said in the synagogue: "My brothers, children of the family of Abraham, and those others among you who are God-fearing, to us this word of salvation has been sent. The inhabitants of Jerusalem and their leaders failed to recognize him, and by condemning him they fulfilled the oracles of the prophets that are read sabbath after sabbath. For even though they found no grounds for a death sentence, they asked Pilate to have him put to death, and when they had accomplished all that was written about him, they took him down from the tree and placed him in a tomb. But God raised him from the dead, and for many days he appeared to those who had come up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem. These are now his witnesses before the people. We ourselves are proclaiming this good news to you that what God promised our fathers he has brought to fulfillment for us, their children, by raising up Jesus, as it is written in the second psalm, You are my Son; this day I have begotten you."
Responsorial Psalm Ps 2:6-7, 8-9, 10-11ab . (7bc) You are my Son; this day I have begotten you. or: R. Alleluia. "I myself have set up my king on Zion, my holy mountain." I will proclaim the decree of the LORD: The LORD said to me, "You are my Son; this day I have begotten you." R. You are my Son; this day I have begotten you. or: R. Alleluia. "Ask of me and I will give you the nations for an inheritance and the ends of the earth for your possession. You shall rule them with an iron rod; you shall shatter them like an earthen dish." R. You are my Son; this day I have begotten you. or: R. Alleluia. And now, O kings, give heed; take warning, you rulers of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice before him; with trembling rejoice. R. You are my Son; this day I have begotten you. or: R. Alleluia.
Alleluia Jn 14:6 R. Alleluia, alleluia. I am the way and the truth and the life, says the Lord; no one comes to the Father except through me. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Jn 14:1-6
Jesus said to his disciples: "Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me. In my Father's house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be. Where I am going you know the way." Thomas said to him, "Master, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?" Jesus said to him, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."
Meditation: Acts 13:26-33
Saints Nereus and Achilleus, Martyrs (Optional Memorial)
We ourselves are proclaiming this good news to you. (Acts 13:32)
Do you recognize this story? Most likely, you do. In these few verses, through his account of St. Paul's preaching, Luke has penned the heart of the gospel message. He managed to cram years of Jesus' ministry into a few short sentences—along with a backdrop, a plot, and a climax!
Let's see . . . Jesus came to the people he and his Father created, but we didn't recognize him. Though he was an innocent man, we condemned him to die a criminal's death. He was crucified and buried in a tomb sealed by a large stone. But God raised him from the dead to be the fulfillment of his promises and the answer to our prayers. That's the "word of salvation," or the gospel, in a nutshell (Acts 13:26).
It's pretty simple, isn't it? In fact, it's easy enough that probably anyone could recount this story. And that's exactly the point. We can all be witnesses to this joyfully simple plan of redemption. We can all respond to the call to evangelize. But sometimes it can feel pretty hard to get those words out of our mouths, even when the perfect opportunity presents itself. Why is that?
One of the most common reasons is that we doubt our effectiveness. We wonder whether we can make the gospel attractive enough or persuasive enough to convince someone to receive it. We may get so anxious that we don't say anything at all! But the soul-tugging power of the gospel doesn't come from us. Yes, we need to share the truth as we have come to know it, but only God himself is in charge of changing someone's heart. It's only by a work of his grace that someone is moved to open his or her heart to the Lord. Only the Spirit of God can drive the point home, not our eloquent words. What a huge relief!
So always remember that you don't have to be a theologian or a priest or religious to share the gospel. All you have to be is open and available to proclaim the simple message and then to leave the heavy lifting to God.
"Lord, fill me so full of your love that I overflow with the good news of the gospel."
Psalm 2:6-11 John 14:1-6
We heard Saint Paul exclaim today: "... you who are God-fearing, to us this word of salvation has been sent." The Word has been sent, and the Word of God is Jesus.
The Psalms Proclaim: "Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice before him; with trembling rejoice. You are my Son; this day I have begotten you". The reason the world lost so many millions of lives in the world wars was because they had first lost the fear of God. And so many innocents had to pay the price, perhaps for a few that could have been evangelized, but people were afraid of them, instead of God. Bishop Barren said today "So much depends on the spiritual meaning of the little word "trust." Jeremiah the prophet laid it out as starkly and simply as possible: "Cursed be the one who trusts in human beings, who seeks his strength in flesh, whose heart turns away from the Lord." And conversely, "Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose hope is in the Lord."
Our Lord says some words that not even His Disciples understood fully: "Where I am going you know the way." Thomas asked "but...where are you going?" and "how will we know the way?" And the Lord replies "I AM". And before that the Lord had said ""Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me." No one comes to the Father except through Jesus. 100 years of the apparition of Fatima is celebrated tomorrow. But before that, an angel was imploring fasting, sacrifices, and endless prayer, and adoration of the Eucharist, the Lord. She enters and implores people to take the Holy Eucharist for the first 5 Saturdays with confessions and prayers of rosary and meditations which ultimately are all about Jesus. No one comes to the Father except through the Son.
Now a thought pervades, initiated by something we read in a reflection today: "Infinite grief I wish from My creature in two ways: in one way, through her sorrow for her own sins, which she has committed against Me her Creator; in the other way, through her sorrow for the sins which she sees her neighbors commit against Me". In the Jewish days, there are acts of atonement, sacrifices made to help us reconcile with God. Jesus becomes the atonement, the sacrifice, and this we celebrate in the Eucharist. But before that, we must have been reconciled to make a more perfect offering to God. We can't just personally confess to God, as if to say "hey, uh, sorry" and move on! I don't like it when someone keeps saying sorry to me and keeps doing the offense. It's as good as a lie, and I grow tired of it. To the point that I say "Stop saying sorry to me! Just stop doing what you're sorry for!" This is the aim of a good confession. And so an act of reparation is a good offering...a penance. Only then do we present ourselves an acceptable offering to the Lord in Heaven. Does He need this? No. But we do. This way you can evangelize with the grace of God. This way, the way of Peace is revealed to the world. And that was the angel that appeared to the children of Fatima...the angel of Peace. And He came imploring endless prayer and adoration of God. That is to focus and centralize ourselves in Him, when he says today "You have faith in God; have faith also in me".
These words "Have Faith" will happen to a soul prepared for His coming