Mary as a good mother teaches us to be, like her, capable of making definitive decisions; definitive choices, at this moment in a time controlled by, so to speak, a philosophy of the provisional. It is very difficult to make a lifetime commitment. And she helps us to make those definitive decisions in the full freedom with which she said "yes" to the plan God had for her life (cf. Luke 1:38). Let us ask Mary to help us fix our eyes intently on Jesus, to follow him always, even if this is demanding.
-from the book Mother Mary: Inspiring Words from Pope Francis
✞ ""Love Mary! She is loveable, faithful, constant. She will never let herself be outdone in love, but will ever remain supreme. If you are in danger, she will hasten to free you. If you are troubled, she will console you. If you are sick, she will bring you relief. If you are in need, she will help you. She does not look to see what kind of person you have been. She simply comes to a heart that wants to love her." — St. Gabriel Possenti of Our Lady of Sorrows
✞ MEDITATION OF THE DAY Jesus Christ is the one whom the Father anointed with the Holy Spirit and established as priest, prophet, and king. The whole People of God participates in these three offices of Christ and bears the responsibilities for mission and service that flow from them. On entering the People of God through faith and Baptism, one receives a share in this people's unique, priestly vocation: ... The baptized, by regeneration and the anointing of the Holy Spirit, are consecrated to be a spiritual house and a holy priesthood." "The holy People of God shares also in Christ's prophetic office," above all in the supernatural sense of faith that belongs to the whole People, lay and clergy, when it "unfailingly adheres to this faith . . . once for all delivered to the saints," and when it deepens its understanding and becomes Christ's witness in the midst of this world. Finally, the People of God shares in the royal office of Christ. He exercises his kingship by drawing all men to himself through his death and Resurrection. Christ, King and Lord of the universe, made himself the servant of all, for he came "not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." For the Christian, "to reign is to serve him," particularly when serving "the poor and the suffering, in whom the Church recognizes the image of her poor and suffering founder." The People of God fulfills its royal dignity by a life in keeping with its vocation to serve with Christ. — (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 783-786) AN EXCERPT FROM Catechism of the Catholic Church
✞ VERSE OF THE DAY "With the loyal you show yourself loyal; with the blameless you show yourself blameless; with the pure you show yourself pure, and with the crooked you show yourself perverse. You deliver a humble people, but your eyes are upon the haughty to bring them down." 2 Samuel 22:26-28
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St. John I
Saint of the Day for May 18
(c. 470 – May 18, 526)
Pope John I inherited the Arian heresy, which denied the divinity of Christ. Italy had been ruled for 30 years by an emperor who espoused the heresy, though he treated the empire's Catholics with toleration. His policy changed at about the time the young John was elected pope.
When the eastern emperor began imposing severe measures on the Arians of his area, the western emperor forced John to head a delegation to the East to soften the measures against the heretics. Little is known of the manner or outcome of the negotiations—designed to secure continued toleration of Catholics in the West.
On his way home, John was imprisoned at Ravenna because the emperor had begun to suspect that John's friendship with his eastern rival might lead to a conspiracy against his throne. Shortly after his imprisonment, John died, apparently from the treatment he received in prison.
John's body was transported to Rome and he was buried in the Basilica of St. Peter.
We cannot choose the issues for which we have to suffer and perhaps die. John I suffered because of a power-conscious emperor. Jesus suffered because of the suspicions of those who were threatened by his freedom, openness, and powerlessness. "If you find that the world hates you, know it has hated me before you" (John 15:18).
Thursday of the Fifth Week of Easter
Reading 1 Acts 15:7-21
After much debate had taken place, Peter got up and said to the Apostles and the presbyters, "My brothers, you are well aware that from early days God made his choice among you that through my mouth the Gentiles would hear the word of the Gospel and believe. And God, who knows the heart, bore witness by granting them the Holy Spirit just as he did us. He made no distinction between us and them, for by faith he purified their hearts. Why, then, are you now putting God to the test by placing on the shoulders of the disciples a yoke that neither our ancestors nor we have been able to bear? On the contrary, we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they." The whole assembly fell silent, and they listened while Paul and Barnabas described the signs and wonders God had worked among the Gentiles through them.
After they had fallen silent, James responded, "My brothers, listen to me. Symeon has described how God first concerned himself with acquiring from among the Gentiles a people for his name. The words of the prophets agree with this, as is written:
After this I shall return and rebuild the fallen hut of David; from its ruins I shall rebuild it and raise it up again, so that the rest of humanity may seek out the Lord, even all the Gentiles on whom my name is invoked. Thus says the Lord who accomplishes these things, known from of old.
It is my judgment, therefore, that we ought to stop troubling the Gentiles who turn to God, but tell them by letter to avoid pollution from idols, unlawful marriage, the meat of strangled animals, and blood. For Moses, for generations now, has had those who proclaim him in every town, as he has been read in the synagogues every sabbath."
Responsorial Psalm Ps 96:1-2a, 2b-3, 10 R. (3) Proclaim God's marvelous deeds to all the nations. or: R. Alleluia. Sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all you lands. Sing to the LORD; bless his name. R. Proclaim God's marvelous deeds to all the nations. or: R. Alleluia. Announce his salvation, day after day. Tell his glory among the nations; among all peoples, his wondrous deeds. R. Proclaim God's marvelous deeds to all the nations. or: R. Alleluia. Say among the nations: The LORD is king. He has made the world firm, not to be moved; he governs the peoples with equity. R. Proclaim God's marvelous deeds to all the nations. or: R. Alleluia.
Alleluia Jn 10:27 R. Alleluia, alleluia. My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord; I know them, and they follow me. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Jn 15:9-11
Jesus said to his disciples: "As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and remain in his love.
"I have told you this so that my joy might be in you and your joy might be complete."
Catholic Meditations Meditation: Acts15:7-21
Saint John I, Pope and Martyr (Optional Memorial)
We ought to stop troubling the Gentiles who turn to God. (Acts 15:19)
There it was. After all the debate, argument, and discussion, the apostles discerned that grace and faith were at the heart of God's covenant with his people. They decided that the Gentiles were not required to embrace the entire Mosaic law when they converted to Christianity. The Law was a work of God's grace, just as Jesus' death and resurrection had been. It was enough for them to accept this grace by believing in Jesus and by being baptized into his name.
This is a great insight that we need to remember. The covenant that God made with the Jews and the new covenant he made with believers through Jesus are both works of grace. They are both gifts given by a generous and loving God. From the very beginning, he has been reaching out to his people, offering them a share in his divine life.
The apostles focused on God's action, not theirs or anyone else's. And because of that, both Jews and Greeks could be saved in the same way: by the gift of grace. It was all based on God's work.
This focus is essential for us too. It's not about how well you keep the rules. It's about knowing that God's love is at work in you and that his grace has the power to change your life far more effectively than your human efforts alone.
So here's the question: Can you identify how God's grace is at work in you? Every time your heart goes out to someone who is suffering, that's grace. Every time you notice that you are more patient with your kids, that's grace. Every time you find yourself wanting to please God and feeling sorry for offending him, that's grace. These kinds of things are proof that God's love is making a difference in your life. He is teaching you to obey his law out of love, not fear!
So praise God for your faith. Put gratitude above fretting over legal requirements. It's not primarily about what you do, but what God has done for you.
"Father, thank you that grace is at work in my life. Thank you for giving me the gift of faith."
Psalm 96:1-3, 10 John 15:9-11
my2cents: From today's 1st Holy Scripture: "God made his choice among you..." We pray "Proclaim God's marvelous deeds to all the nations. Announce his salvation, day after day. Tell his glory among the nations; among all peoples, his wondrous deeds." Day after day, not once in a while, but every single day, it is about faith! Our Lord exclaims today "I also love you. Remain in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love"
Day after day, Remain! Do as the Lord has commanded. Remain in love. In His love. Remain! Do not veer off. Do not lose the light. Do not lose, THE JOY! For He says today ""I have told you this so that my joy might be in you and your joy might be complete."
So who is incomplete today? Let them have their fill. Let yourself be infused with the Lord to fill the hearts of the poor. Pour yourself out with God's joy. And let that thorn in your flesh spur you into His work. It's like this: "I know I'm a sinner, but admitting it, and repenting, and receiving God's grace makes me joyful!". It is a real life story of the Holy Sacraments. Completeness in joyfulness. Remain in the vine, remain in Jesus.
I want you to consider your plans for God in your life. Every day I invite someone to a "church thing". Let's do this, and let's do that. Well, today, I'm going to invite you into a secret: Our Lady, God's mother, wants to help. God says He will not leave us orphans. He chose a mother and then gave us His mother. The secret is, she can make your heart into a Sacred Heart, one totally devoted to our Lord in Heaven, our God, our Father. And if God is saying to remain today, this is a key...faithfulness.
God is saying He loves you today. "I love you My child, More than ever thought possible. More than what is imaginable. More than anyone in this world. More than yourself. Because I AM I AM Love I AM who Am and I AM yours
adrian To make the Gospel live: • Write something you have done in your life out of love (with friends, family, classmates, etc ...). • How do Christians show love for others? • Make this week something that is really out of love ...