The Office of the Passion was rooted in the practice of seeing each of the required hours of prayer as parallel to the chronology of the hours of Jesus's suffering. Thus, the one praying entered into the mind of Jesus, seeking to identify with him as he prayed the psalms during his ultimate humiliation. The one praying could follow him in spirit from Gethsemane to the Holy Sepulcher. Each hour consisted of a psalm with antiphons and short prayers as a framework. Each psalm came from the biblical psalter, but Francis rearranged the verses to reflect how he imagined Jesus would pray at each of those hours. Thus, the psalms are filled with lament, with expressions of fear, of desire to be spared, to be protected from one's enemies. At the same time, they proclaim trust in the loving will of the Father, and confidence in ultimate salvation. Clare's writings often include the metaphor of a mirror. In Francis's body she beheld a stark mirror of the Passion. She then taught the sisters how clearly they must pattern their lives on that of Jesus. He had to become their Mirror.
— from the book Light of Assisi: The Story of Saint Clare
by Margaret Carney, OSF
†Saint Quote "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 "Moreover we learn from the principles of our Faith and the teaching of the Saints that often God Himself by His immediate action withdraws the visible effects of His grace for purposes in accordance with His wisdom and goodness. How many persons who have become lukewarm and careless in their duties are roused by the awareness of God's absence and are able to regain the fervor they had lost! How many more have been led to the practice of the highest virtue by interior trials! Who can measure the degree of heroic virtue saints like St. Ignatius, St. Teresa or St. Francis de Sales attained by this means? We must consider it the action of a Providence unceasingly attentive to the welfare of His children, who feigns to abandon them in order to rouse them from slumber or increase their humility, self-distrust and self-renouncement, their confidence in God, submission to His will and perseverance in prayer. Hence instead of allowing ourselves to become discouraged and fainthearted under trials which may seem to overwhelm us, let us act in the same way as we do when our bodies are sick, consult a good doctor—a good spiritual director—and applying the remedies he advises, patiently await the effects that it pleases God to give. Everything is meant for our good, and such trials ought to be counted as special graces from God. Whether or not they are sent as a punishment for our sins, they come from Him and we should thank Him for them, placing ourselves entirely in His hands. If we bear them with patience we shall receive greater grace than if we were filled with a sense of fervent devotion." — Jean Baptiste Saint-Jure, p. 74 AN EXCERPT FROM Trustful Surrender to Divine Providence
† VERSE OF THE DAY "Therefore, do not make any judgment before the appointed time, until the Lord comes, for he will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will manifest the motives of our hearts, and then everyone will receive praise from God." 1 Corinthians 4:5
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St. Timon (1st c.) is mentioned by name in the Acts of the Apostles. He belonged to the group of seventy disciples who followed Jesus during his earthly ministry. After Jesus' ascension into heaven, St. Timon was one of the original seven deacons, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, chosen by the Apostles to help with the work of ministering to the growing Christian community. Timon was later ordained a bishop by the Apostles. He baptized many Greeks and Jews into the Christian faith. He also had the supernatural ability to heal the sick and to cast out devils. St. Timon suffered martyrdom for preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. According to tradition he was thrown into a furnace, but by the power of God he came out of it unharmed, and later died by crucifixion. His feast day is April 19.
Monday of the Third Week of Easter
Lectionary: 273 Reading I
Stephen, filled with grace and power, was working great wonders and signs among the people. Certain members of the so-called Synagogue of Freedmen, Cyreneans, and Alexandrians, and people from Cilicia and Asia, came forward and debated with Stephen, but they could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he spoke. Then they instigated some men to say, "We have heard him speaking blasphemous words against Moses and God." They stirred up the people, the elders, and the scribes, accosted him, seized him, and brought him before the Sanhedrin. They presented false witnesses who testified, "This man never stops saying things against this holy place and the law. For we have heard him claim that this Jesus the Nazorean will destroy this place and change the customs that Moses handed down to us." All those who sat in the Sanhedrin looked intently at him and saw that his face was like the face of an angel.
119:23-24, 26-27, 29-30
R. (1ab) Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord! or: R. Alleluia. Though princes meet and talk against me,
your servant meditates on your statutes. Yes, your decrees are my delight;
they are my counselors. R. Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord! or: R. Alleluia. I declared my ways, and you answered me;
teach me your statutes. Make me understand the way of your precepts,
and I will meditate on your wondrous deeds. R. Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord! or: R. Alleluia. Remove from me the way of falsehood,
and favor me with your law. The way of truth I have chosen;
I have set your ordinances before me. R. Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord! or: R. Alleluia.
R. Alleluia, alleluia. One does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
[After Jesus had fed the five thousand men, his disciples saw him walking on the sea.] The next day, the crowd that remained across the sea saw that there had been only one boat there, and that Jesus had not gone along with his disciples in the boat, but only his disciples had left. Other boats came from Tiberias near the place where they had eaten the bread when the Lord gave thanks. When the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they themselves got into boats and came to Capernaum looking for Jesus. And when they found him across the sea they said to him, "Rabbi, when did you get here?" Jesus answered them and said, "Amen, amen, I say to you, you are looking for me not because you saw signs but because you ate the loaves and were filled. Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him the Father, God, has set his seal." So they said to him, "What can we do to accomplish the works of God?" Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in the one he sent."
Daily Meditation: John 6:22-29
You are looking for me not because you saw signs but because you ate the loaves and were filled. (John 6:26)
At first glance, Jesus' words to the crowd following him in today's Gospel seem perplexing, perhaps even a little harsh. The people had witnessed him miraculously multiplying the loaves and fishes to feed them. He had not only provided for them in their hunger, but he had also revealed that God's power and authority rested in him. Doesn't it make sense that they would search for him again?
But a closer look reveals that Jesus knows what's on their hearts and minds. They are searching for him because they had eaten and were filled, not necessarily for any other reason. He seems to be saying to them, You ate the bread and were satisfied. But there is one standing before you who can give you bread that will satisfy your deepest hunger. The people were content with being fed physically, but Jesus had so much more to give them—his own Body and Blood.
As followers of Jesus, we sometimes find ourselves acting like the people in that crowd. Certainly there is nothing wrong with asking Jesus to fill our immediate needs. We worry about losing a job or paying our bills. We worry about a loved one battling a serious illness. Of course, we have every reason to be concerned. But if we focus only on these difficulties, we risk missing the real grace of the "spiritual bread" that he gives us at every Eucharist: deeper communion and friendship with him. This is what we truly hunger for.
Today in prayer, put your immediate needs before Jesus with trust and confidence in his care for you. But don't stop there. Listen to him. Let him tell you what's on his heart. That's what good friends do. He may remind you of his steadfast love for you or encourage you in some way that you didn't expect. Even if you don't hear anything, sit before him in silence and let him fill you with a sense of his presence and peace. If you look to Jesus with faith that he, and he alone, can satisfy your hunger, you will be amazed at the "bread" he offers you!
"Lord Jesus, help me to look beyond my immediate needs for the 'food' that never perishes (John 6:27)."
Acts 6:8-15 Psalm 119:23-24, 26-27, 29-30
A French Catholic writer of a century ago, Léon Bloy, frequently wrote this sentence. It is one of the most profound sentences I have ever read: 'There is only one tragedy, in the end: not to have been a saint.' That is the meaning of life. The meaning of life is to be a saint. Nothing less. — Peter Kreeft from his book How to Destroy Western Civilization
my2cents: "We have heard him speaking blasphemous words against Moses and God." Someone asked me the other day "wasn't it the Catholics that crucified Christ?" Boy, I've never heard that one before. How twisted can things get? It was the Jews that crucified Him. Or was it? What are Christians doing with Christ now...when they sin? And do they not know how devastating their sins really are...is it another crucifixion...keeping of Christ on the cross? It is self death when we sin. It is more harmful to the sinner than we will ever know. And so, the question is, are we really faithful to our Lord? Or are you faithful more to your own rules, thoughts, and regulations? How does that allow our Lord to fully reign in your life?
We pray in the Psalms: "Remove from me the way of falsehood, and favor me with your law. The way of truth I have chosen; I have set your ordinances before me. Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!" What was wrong with following the Mosaic Laws of the Jews? The first laws were the commandments. But then, hundreds of new laws were piled on top, laws the Jews had eventually made. And that's how it is today believe it or not. I've seen a person crucified because they weren't doing or following ways in the church, "oh that lady thinks she is a priestess on that altar, she shouldn't be touching those things on the altar like that, she has no business doing what she is doing". It was a ruthless onslaught of verbal attack. I found out later that the lady was helping a priest that couldn't walk and he had asked her to do what she did. Later that lady quit helping at church, couldn't stand the negativity in the Church she said was "an underlying rift in the church that has always existed". She left and never came back. I was crest fallen. And to top things off, the person with all the negativity talk has left the church too. It was another blow...to what? To the church? No. It is a blow to themselves. Sin hurts the sinner, more than we will ever know.
Our Lord said in John 6: "Amen, amen, I say to you, you are looking for me not because you saw signs but because you ate the loaves and were filled. Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him the Father, God, has set his seal." Those who see signs are one group. Another group are those who eat the bread and are filled. So what do we make of those who eat and say "I am not filled"?
I go to Mass almost every day of the week. Been doing it for years. I go to Mass fasting, not eating before I go, especially in the mornings. I leave and I feel full, not hungry for material food. Is that what Jesus meant that we are filled? No. Our Lord means much more than that. Yesterday we sung a song in Mass for first Communion in spanish that says in a part "ya no me falta nada, tengo todo, tengo a Ti". In English "now I lack nothing, I have everything, I have You". It is a song I often sing during Communion. And it is a wonderful verse to sing intimately to our Lord. I recorded it a while back and I'll link here so you can hear it.
The message is to find total fulfillment in Christ, as the title of the book by Ralph Martin says "The Fulfillment of All Desire". The followers looked for Him, were they hungry for more of what He provided? The founder of the Cursillo Movement which is now the basics for all 3 day retreats and an encounter with our Lord, Eduardo Bonin, said that the "cursillo is not to fill you with Christ but to make you more hungry for Christ". You see, things are backwards in the Kingdom of God, and this is why our Lord says that the last shall be first and the first shall be last.
We heard in the following verse: "they said to Him. "What can we do to accomplish the works of God?" Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in the one he sent." Believe. That's it. That's it? You've heard of a placebo? It's a fake pill they do in tests, and scientists are baffled at how effective a placebo can be. For instance: "A 2014 study led by Kaptchuk and published in Science Translational Medicine explored this by testing how people reacted to migraine pain medication. One group took a migraine drug labeled with the drug's name, another took a placebo labeled "placebo," and a third group took nothing. The researchers discovered that the placebo was 50% as effective as the real drug to reduce pain after a migraine attack." Why do I bring this up?
Faith. Every day I bring up things to help your faith. BELIEVE. If you believe negative things, negative things will happen. If you believe in Jesus in the Eucharist in Holy Mass, HE COMES ALIVE. If you believe nothing...nothing happens, there is your false god giving you nothing...forever.
But if you Believe in Christ... eternity awaits. Believe every last word, and amazing things start happening in your life. Become a Jesus in the world, and suddenly, the world starts changing. The little things you do now, become great things in the future.
Let us pray: Mark 9:24 "If You can?" echoed Jesus. "All things are possible to him who believes!" Immediately the boy's father cried out, "I do believe; help my unbelief!" Lord, I want to believe, to heal those around me.
Lord, I want to believe to be able to preach the Gospel. Lord, I want to believe, to be able to do Your Holy Will. Lord, I want to believe to leave this world a shining light forever united with You.
Lord, I do believe You love Me, help me believe it even more, with all my heart, mind, body, and soul!
from your brother in Christ our Lord, adrian
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Random online bible verse from a random verse generator:
Romans 8:29 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.
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