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 John returned to Rome, he found that the emperor had begun to suspect his friendship with his eastern rival. On his way home, John was imprisoned when he reached Ravenna because the emperor suspected a conspiracy against his throne. Shortly after his imprisonment, John died, apparently from the treatment he had received.
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 John returned to Rome, he found that the emperor had begun to suspect his friendship with his eastern rival.
On his way home, John was imprisoned when he reached Ravenna because the emperor suspected a conspiracy against his throne. Shortly after his imprisonment, John died, apparently from the treatment he had received.
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).
"Martyrdom makes disciples like their Master, who willingly accepted death for the salvation of the world, and through it they are made like him by the shedding of blood. Therefore, the Church considers it the highest gift and supreme test of love. And while it is given to few, all however must be prepared to confess Christ before humanity and to follow him along the way of the cross amid the persecutions which the Church never lacks" (Vatican II, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, 42, Austin Flannery translation).
Saint of the Day
Lives, Lessons and Feast
By Leonard Foley, O.F.M.; revised by Pat McCloskey, O.F.M.
Daily Prayer - 2015-05-18
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 gave me life and the gift of freedom.
How do I find myself today? Where am I with God? With others? Do I have something to be grateful for? Then I give thanks. Is there something I am sorry for? Then I ask forgiveness.
The Word of God
Monday of the Seventh Week of Easter
Reading 1 Acts 19:1-8
While Apollos was in Corinth,
Responsorial Psalm PS 68:2-3ab, 4-5acd, 6-7ab
R. (33a) Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.
Alleluia Col 3:1
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Jn 16:29-33
The disciples said to Jesus,
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He entered the synagogue and for three months spoke out boldly, and argued persuasively about the kingdom of God.
Some thoughts on today's scripture
Remembering that I am still in God's presence, I imagine Jesus himself standing or sitting beside me, and say whatever is on my mind, whatever is in my heart, speaking as one friend to another.
I thank God for these few moments we have spent alone together and for any insights I may have been given concerning the text.
Meditation: John 16:29-33
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Saint John I, Pope and Martyr
Do you believe now? (John 16:31)
Toddlers and teenagers seem to "know" everything, don't they? "I know how to swim," declares the three-year-old. "Be careful." "I know, Mom," spouts the new teen driver as she rolls her eyes in exasperation. Almost any explanation offered is cut short with "I know." And so often, you know they don't really know.
That's how Jesus must have felt when the disciples told him, "We believe that you came from God" (John 16:30). He knew they didn't really know—he even warned that they would scatter and abandon him.
There Jesus was, on the eve of his death, exhorting his disciples to take courage. He was the One about to face gruesome trials, and yet he was peaceful enough to offer comfort to his friends. All because he knew—he really knew—that the Father was with him. The disciples assented to the truth and value of what Jesus had told them, but Jesus' "knowing" went beyond logical assent. It was rooted in a deep, personal, ongoing connection with the Father. Because of that connection, he was able to hold fast when the others couldn't.
That same "knowing" that Jesus had is for you, too. You are created for it! You are fearfully, wonderfully, and exactly made so that you can know, as Jesus did on earth, God's presence in you. Not in theory alone, but in actual practice. You can know it because Jesus died and rose, ascended to the Father, and sent his Holy Spirit to live in your heart. He did all this so that you could live in peace and live courageously every day, knowing that he has overcome death for you.
Take a few minutes right now to tell Jesus that you want these truths to take root inside you. Ask him to make it even more personal to you. And then hold on to that connection as you go about your day. When situations arise that shake your confidence or threaten your peace, turn to the Lord, and ask, "What are you thinking right now? What do you want to tell me here?" Listen for his answer. He may surprise you, but he will always reassure you and comfort you.
"Jesus, take me into a deeper relationship with you. I want to know you better today than yesterday."
Acts 19:1-8; Psalm 68:2-7
Today's 5 minutos said:
"Jesus would be turned in and wants to give encouragement to His disciples from today, before it happens. He wants to fortify their faith, that is going to suffer very soon grave oppositions...After winning various archery competitions, the young man and boastful champion challenged a master of Zen that was recognized for his skill in archery. The young man demonstrated a notable technique when he hit the bull's-eye in the center on the first attempt, and then he split that arrow on the second shot..."There you go" he said to the old man, "Let's see if you can do the same!". Immutable, the master did not unsheath his bow, but invited the young archer to follow him to the mountain. Curious about the intentions of the old man, the champion followed him to the top of the mountain until they got to a profound abyss crossing by a shaky trunk. Standing calmly in the middle of the unstable and certainly dangerous bridge, the old man chose as a target, a distant tree, he took out his bow, and shot clean and direct. "Now it is your turn" he said while he stood graciously on firm ground. Contemplating with terror the abysm apparently bottomless, the young man could not make himself get on the trunk, much less make the shot. "You have much ability with the bow" said the master, "But you have little ability with the mind, the fear dominates you and makes you miss the shot". Let us ask in our prayer to go out fortified in our faith, able to conquer our fears".
Today St. Paul baptizes with fire, the Holy Spirit. The Psalms pray "God arises; his enemies are scattered, and those who hate him flee before him." And "Sing to God O Kingdoms of the earth". What kind of power are we talking about here? Because surely it is not of this earth. Prayers transcend death, people say they love beyond death, and God does this first. This power is not what you would expect, because it is subtle and overpowering. This is my beloved...life in the Spirit.
Our Lord says today "TAKE COURAGE, I HAVE CONQUERED THE WORLD". What else could we fret? If then we hold true to Him, dying with Him is a walk of faith. At many moments in my life, I have to wonder, why am I dying to all my likings? Why have I given up so many things to do what very few do? I do it so that you will have courage. I do and say things so that you will have courage my beloved. And I've done it for years so that you will not see that it is a lie, but the truth that is prevailing in me...the power of the Holy Spirit, relentless as is His Divine Mercy. Such power that gives into His will. Ultimately, that is my vision of Heaven, my beloved, that my soul becomes one with Him...in other words...I stop being me.
I have an aunt that speaks in tongues in prayer meetings in another state, where I was born. A year or two ago, a report by fellow parishioners had her ousted, and almost excommunicated, for speaking in tongues, to which the priest said "we're not sure if what you're doing is demonic in nature". And so without further investigation, she was threatened. Yet her joy continues to this day. I told her a few weeks ago "be patient, be obedient". Just because things don't go our way doesn't mean we have to lose our head. This is the kind of power i'm talking about. The kind that only knows humility, obedience, all things opposite of the worldly way. The world has lost the rosary. The world has lost the hope. The world lost its weapon. The world lost a way to a grace lived life. I say this, soyou will find the rosary. I say this so you will find your hope. I say this so you will pick up your weapon. I say this so you will find the way to the grace filled life of being Christ to the world...it's on you now