|You Are a Beacon |
|He has chosen each one of you for Himself, to be His light and His love in the world. The simplest way to become His light is to be kind and loving, thoughtful and sincere with each other. As Jesus said: "By this they will know that you are my disciples."|
St. Bernadette Soubirous
"Tsk, tsk. What is the problem with that poor, ignorant girl who claims that the Blessed Mother has appeared to her?"
Poor Bernadette, indeed. The uneducated French peasant who first reported visions of Mary in Lourdes, France, in 1858, was disbelieved by clergy and dismissed by townspeople. But she wasn't shaken. She insisted that Mary had appeared to her 18 times over six months. And, she reported, the Blessed Mother identified herself as the Immaculate Conception, a title given to Mary by Pope Pius IX only four years earlier.
According to young Bernadette, Mary called for the conversion of sinners through penance. She also urged people to visit the place of the apparitions and asked that a church be built on the site. Since then, millions of people have bathed in the springs at Lourdes and many have reported miraculous healings.
Bernadette joined the Sisters of Notre Dame at Nevers. There she lived as Sister Maria Bernarda until her death in 1879 at age 35. She was canonized in 1933.
Saint of the DayLives, Lessons and FeastBy Leonard Foley, O.F.M.; revised by Pat McCloskey, O.F.M.
I pause for a moment and think of the love and the grace that God showers on me, creating me in his image and likeness, making me his temple....
Lord, you granted me the great gift of freedom.
In these times, O Lord, grant that I may be free
From any form of racism or intolerance.
Remind me, Lord, that we are all equal
in your Loving eyes.
I remind myself that I am in the presence of the Lord.
I will take refuge in His loving heart. He is my strength in times of weakness. He is my comforter in times of sorrow.
The Word of God
When the court officers had brought the Apostles in
and made them stand before the Sanhedrin,
the high priest questioned them,
"We gave you strict orders did we not,
to stop teaching in that name.
Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching
and want to bring this man's blood upon us."
But Peter and the Apostles said in reply,
"We must obey God rather than men.
The God of our ancestors raised Jesus,
though you had him killed by hanging him on a tree.
God exalted him at his right hand as leader and savior
to grant Israel repentance and forgiveness of sins.
We are witnesses of these things,
as is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him."
When they heard this,
they became infuriated and wanted to put them to death.
R. (7a) The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
I will bless the LORD at all times;
his praise shall be ever in my mouth.
Taste and see how good the LORD is;
blessed the man who takes refuge in him.
R. The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
The LORD confronts the evildoers,
to destroy remembrance of them from the earth.
When the just cry out, the LORD hears them,
and from all their distress he rescues them.
R. The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted;
and those who are crushed in spirit he saves.
Many are the troubles of the just man,
but out of them all the LORD delivers him.
R. The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
You believe in me, Thomas, because you have seen me, says the Lord;
blessed are those who have not seen, but still believe!
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The one who comes from above is above all.
The one who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of earthly things.
But the one who comes from heaven is above all.
He testifies to what he has seen and heard,
but no one accepts his testimony.
Whoever does accept his testimony certifies that God is trustworthy.
For the one whom God sent speaks the words of God.
He does not ration his gift of the Spirit.
The Father loves the Son and has given everything over to him.
Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life,
but whoever disobeys the Son will not see life,
but the wrath of God remains upon him.
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Watch a video reflection
Jesus, you always welcomed little children when you walked on this earth. Teach me to have a childlike trust in you. To live in the knowledge that you will never abandon me.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be,
world without end.
2nd Week of Easter
We are witnesses of these things. (Acts 5:32)
The apostles couldn't keep quiet! The Jewish Sanhedrin had given them strict orders not to teach in Jesus' name, but they still felt the need to fill Jerusalem with the good news of Jesus' resurrection. The Holy Spirit was urging them to proclaim Christ and his truth to all that they met, and no one, not even the high priest, could stop them. What's more, it wasn't just their public preaching that was causing such a stir. The things they said, the way they related to people, even their very demeanor, revealed the love and power of Christ.
When asked for alms by a man lame from birth, Peter replied, "In the name of Jesus Christ ... rise and walk." And the man did! When asked, "By what power or by what name have you done this?" he replied that the man was standing before them because of the "name of Jesus" (Acts 3:6; 4:7, 10). The power of God was flowing out of them so much that they had to explain where it was coming from.
There is great power in the name of Jesus! Consider this: when an ambassador acts in the name of his or her president, things happen. When a spokesperson acts in the name of the head of a corporation, people take notice. Similarly, Scripture tells us that when we act in the name of Jesus, things get done. Divine power flows, and lives are changed. The apostles knew that there was power in that name, and they didn't hesitate to call upon his name to heal, to evangelize, and to build up the Church.
You shouldn't hesitate to call on the name of Jesus, either! It is one of the greatest weapons available to us in the spiritual battle. When you find yourself getting upset, you can say, "In the name of Jesus, I cast out anger or resentment." When you see a friend struggling, you can say (maybe under your breath), "In the name of Jesus, I proclaim peace and healing." Begin today, and you'll find more and more opportunities to call on the name of the Lord—and to see the power that flows when you do.
"Lord, teach me how to echo the psalmist: 'Some rely on chariots, others on horses, but we on the name of the Lord our God!' (Psalm 20:8)."
Psalm 34:2, 9, 17-20; John 3:31-36
Do you remember what we read in today's 1st Holy Scripture? I tried to remember as I meditated before typing, but I couldn't, about two dozen thoughts had hit me at once and I couldn't even remember what was critical to remember, and so as I scrolled up my eyes stopped on the verse of the first scripture: "We must obey God rather than men."
Enough said. Enough said in an incredulous world. Because we have way too many so called "believers" and not enough followers. Too many with things on their mouths instead of good.
The Psalms pray "I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall be ever in my mouth." and what if all we spoke were blessings!? Wouldn't life be different? And the Psalms continue "The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; and those who are crushed in spirit he saves. Many are the troubles of the just man, but out of them all the LORD delivers him. R. The Lord hears the cry of the poor. I told a student during lenten longings class "I'm glad you suffered, now you get a taste of what it is like to do good ...God gave you a cross". How many despise it? How many fail to see God's gift?
For this we need the Holy Spirit in our lives. Because this is life.
The Gospel says today "...He testifies to what he has seen and heard, but no one accepts his testimony." We accept everyone else's beliefs but Jesus. We fall into their fads, fashions, trends, and so called "lifestyles", yet none the lifestyle of Christ. Just snips and bits that put on an outside facade, a mask if you will. And there is hell to pay for this. The 5minutos ends with the bible verses of St. Paul to the Romans chapter 8:5-7: "For those who live according to the flesh are concerned with the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the spirit with the things of the spirit. "
What pleases God is in Heaven. Who pleases God belongs to Heaven. I don't know how to speak other than my testimony to relay the faith so it is not abstract, and this is the challenge of writing to you, but it helps get a picture. And so the one that is coming to mind is that of Divine Mercy Sunday, when we had the chaplet of Divine Mercy going on at 3pm. Easily I invited 20-30 people. Only my wife and a brother in law showed up, and another brother in Christ that had said he may not make it. We began. In comes a flow of confirmation students, maybe 20-30, I don't know. As we prayed, I noticed what bothers me. We were there out of free will. They were there because they were brought in, not so much because they love Divine Mercy Sunday or even know about its message. But they should! "Now wait Mr. Adrian, we all got to learn". Yup. Eventually some will learn. But will they fall in love with Christ? Because, those students and teachers sat on one side of the church, and us 2 or 3 sat on the other side across the entrance isle that leads to the altar. My hope and dream would be that they cross over to the other side, to that of free will, not that which is lead by the law.
Because the laws of the world are on the side of flesh, where greed, pride and more are intertwined. Those who oppose traditional marriage have laws pushing against the Catholic Church. I've nothing against people, but the spiritual forces that are at hand, pushing and shoving. I told my brother in law as we walked into the church and he told me how he had challenges and no backup in his faith. I said "brother, you got to start PUSHing, PUSH! Do you know what PUSH means?
Because The Lord Hears The Cry Of the Poor (today's Psalm).
It is a matter of very few doing very much in the Church. The same for the devil's side. Very few are doing very much. Those in between, well, that's the battle...for souls.
I write to you in testimony of the power of God and His Holy Name by which there will be healing tonight in our prayers (I ask for your prayers) for a woman that has gone blind and had a stroke this week and almost died, and another man that has stage 4 cirhossis of the liver and tuberculosis and still tells me he "may or may not go" to the prayer gathering.
I am at a loss, dumbfounded by how hard it is to break a hard heart so God can come in and heal, and transform it. This was the message of today if you didn't get it. Our Lady of Lourdes told St. Bernadette to build a Church for Jesus, for people to be converted and how? By repenting. Conversions through repentance. Doing what is from above. It was reiterated in the 1st reading " The God of our ancestors raised Jesus, though you had him killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him at his right hand as leader and savior to grant Israel repentance and forgiveness of sins." Sadly we re-live the hanging of our Lord on a tree when we refuse to accept, refuse to repent. He grants repentance, a gift, and forgives, a gift. And we refuse by not following Him to the cross, true believers in His WAY