Beyond Happiness Joy goes beyond happiness. Joy is the happiness that does not depend on what happens. It springs from gratefulness. When we begin to
Joy goes beyond happiness. Joy is the happiness that does not depend on what happens. It springs from gratefulness. When we begin to take things for granted, we get sucked into boredom. Boredom is deadly. Yet, everything within us longs for life in fullness. The key to life in fullness is gratefulness.
–from the book: The Way of Silence: Engaging the Sacred in Daily Life
✞ APRIL 28, 2017
"Be peace-loving. Peace is a precious treasure to be sought with great zeal. You are well aware that our sins arouse God's anger. You must change your life, therefore, so that God in his mercy will pardon you. What we conceal from men is known to God. Be converted, then, with a sincere heart. Live your life that you may receive the blessing of the Lord. Then the peace of God our Father will be with you always."
— St. Francis of Paola
✞ MEDITATION OF THE DAY
"How many souls might reach a high degree of sanctity if properly directed from the first. I know God can sanctify souls without help, but just as He gives the gardener the skill to tend rare and delicate plants while fertilizing them Himself, so He wishes to use others in His cultivation of souls. What would happen if the gardener were so clumsy that he could not graft his trees properly, or knew so little about them that he wanted to make a peach tree bear roses?"
— St. Therese of Lisieux, p. 64
AN EXCERPT FROM
The Story of a Soul
✞ VERSE OF THE DAY
"But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous."
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Saint Peter Chanel
Saint of the Day for April 28
(1803 – April 28, 1841)
Saint Peter Chanel's Story
Anyone who has worked in loneliness, with great adaptation required and with little apparent success, will find a kindred spirit in Peter Chanel.
Born in France, Peter's interest in the missions began in school, when he read letters missionaries to America sent back home. As a young priest, Peter revived a parish in a "bad" district by the simple method of showing great devotion to the sick. Wanting to be a missionary, he joined the Society of Mary, the Marists, at 28. Obediently, he taught in the seminary for five years. Then, as superior of seven Marists, he traveled to Western Oceania. The bishop accompanying the missionaries left Peter and a brother on Futuna Island northeast of Fiji, promising to return in six months. He was gone five years.
Meanwhile, Peter struggled with this new language and mastered it, making the difficult adjustment to life with whalers, traders, and warring natives. Despite little apparent success and severe want, he maintained a serene and gentle spirit, plus endless patience and courage. A few natives had been baptized, a few more were being instructed. When the chieftain's son asked to be baptized, persecution by the chieftain reached a climax. Father Chanel was clubbed to death.
Within two years after his death, the whole island became Catholic and has remained so. He was canonized by Pope Pius XII in 1954. Peter Chanel is the first martyr of Oceania and its patron.
Suffering for Christ means suffering because we are like Christ. Very often the opposition we meet is the result of our own selfishness or imprudence. We are not martyrs when we are "persecuted" by those who merely treat us as we treat them. A Christian martyr is one who, like Christ, is simply a witness to God's love, and brings out of human hearts the good or evil that is already there.
Saint Peter Chanel is the Patron Saint of:
Friday of the Second Week of Easter
Reading 1 Acts 5:34-42
A Pharisee in the Sanhedrin named Gamaliel,
a teacher of the law, respected by all the people,
stood up, ordered the Apostles to be put outside for a short time,
and said to the Sanhedrin, "Fellow children of Israel,
be careful what you are about to do to these men.
Some time ago, Theudas appeared, claiming to be someone important,
and about four hundred men joined him, but he was killed,
and all those who were loyal to him
were disbanded and came to nothing.
After him came Judas the Galilean at the time of the census.
He also drew people after him,
but he too perished and all who were loyal to him were scattered.
So now I tell you,
have nothing to do with these men, and let them go.
For if this endeavor or this activity is of human origin,
it will destroy itself.
But if it comes from God, you will not be able to destroy them;
you may even find yourselves fighting against God."
They were persuaded by him.
After recalling the Apostles, they had them flogged,
ordered them to stop speaking in the name of Jesus,
and dismissed them.
So they left the presence of the Sanhedrin,
rejoicing that they had been found worthy
to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name.
And all day long, both at the temple and in their homes,
they did not stop teaching and proclaiming the Christ, Jesus.
Responsorial Psalm Ps 27:1, 4, 13-14
R. (see 4abc) One thing I seek: to dwell in the house of the Lord.
The LORD is my light and my salvation;
whom should I fear?
The LORD is my life's refuge;
of whom should I be afraid?
R. One thing I seek: to dwell in the house of the Lord.
One thing I ask of the LORD
this I seek:
To dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
That I may gaze on the loveliness of the LORD
and contemplate his temple.
R. One thing I seek: to dwell in the house of the Lord.
I believe that I shall see the bounty of the LORD
in the land of the living.
Wait for the LORD with courage;
be stouthearted, and wait for the LORD.
R. One thing I seek: to dwell in the house of the Lord.
Alleluia Mt 4:4b
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.
Gospel Jn 6:1-15
Jesus went across the Sea of Galilee.
A large crowd followed him,
because they saw the signs he was performing on the sick.
Jesus went up on the mountain,
and there he sat down with his disciples.
The Jewish feast of Passover was near.
When Jesus raised his eyes and saw that a large crowd was coming to him,
he said to Philip, "Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?"
He said this to test him,
because he himself knew what he was going to do.
Philip answered him,
"Two hundred days' wages worth of food would not be enough
for each of them to have a little."
One of his disciples,
Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, said to him,
"There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish;
but what good are these for so many?"
Jesus said, "Have the people recline."
Now there was a great deal of grass in that place.
So the men reclined, about five thousand in number.
Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks,
and distributed them to those who were reclining,
and also as much of the fish as they wanted.
When they had had their fill, he said to his disciples,
"Gather the fragments left over,
so that nothing will be wasted."
So they collected them,
and filled twelve wicker baskets with fragments
from the five barley loaves that had been more than they could eat.
When the people saw the sign he had done, they said,
"This is truly the Prophet, the one who is to come into the world."
Since Jesus knew that they were going to come and carry him off
to make him king,
he withdrew again to the mountain alone.
Mass Reading & Meditation for April 28, 2017
Meditation: John 6:1-15
Saint Peter Chanel, Priest and Martyr (Optional Memorial)
Gather the fragments left over, so that nothing will be wasted. (John 6:12)
If you've ever had unexpected dinner guests, then you can probably identify with Philip and Andrew. When Jesus asked them how to feed an enormous crowd, they must have wondered, "What is he talking about? We can't feed this many people!" They looked at what they had—two fish and five barley loaves—and concluded that it wasn't enough. What they had was too little to be useful.
We can feel this way about ourselves. When we face the challenges of our day—getting along with a coworker or juggling the demands of family life—we might conclude that our resources of kindness or energy or money are too little. What we have feels like it's not enough to get us through the day, let alone be of much use to God.
But look at what Jesus did with a few loaves and fish: he fed thousands. He made it clear that it's not the size of the gift that matters; it's the immensity of his power that makes the difference.
So what can we learn from this miracle?
First, little isn't little when we give it to the Lord. He can do great things when we offer our gifts to him. If we give him just ten minutes in quiet prayer, he can fill us with his love and show us how to love each other. When we offer someone a smile, he can use that kindness to warm their heart. When we make a casserole for a family in need, he does so much more than satisfy their hunger—he reminds them that they have dignity and that they are loved.
Second, nothing is wasted in God's economy. Even the leftover "fragments" of our acts of love are precious to the Lord. He sees and cares about the tiny sacrifices that nobody notices, the unappreciated energy we put into helping someone out. He promises to bless every moment we spend in prayer by filling us with grace so that we can pour it out again for his people.
So be courageous! Offer what you have to the Lord and trust that he will multiply it. Offer him your time in prayer and offer your love to those around you. And watch how he meets people's needs through you!
"Jesus, fill me with your love and use me to feed others."
Psalm 27:1, 4, 13-14
The Word of the Lord said today "But if it comes from God, you will not be able to destroy them"
We pray today "One thing I seek: to dwell in the house of the Lord.
I believe that I shall see the bounty of the LORD in the land of the living."
The Holy Gospel brings us the Lord, who is bringing bread to thousands of people on a mountainside, and He ascends the mountain and provides. This is what He did for us, came to live with us, and then ascends into Heaven to provide the bread. He goes into the people and then disappears. These are actual happenings to this day. He is bread, the Eucharist, appears and then disappears. This is the joy of Easter and the joy of the Gospel.
A Spanish, reflection said today at the end (I'll translate):
"According to the World Food Program some 795 million people are going hungry in the world. Never before has humanity produced so much food, however, millions of people die every year because of poor nutrition. In the cities of the first world tons of food are thrown out daily. It is preferred to throw in the sea many products to maintain prices in the international market. What is spent on the arms race of the world powers could ensure the food, health and education of mankind.
In such a context, Jesus' invitation resonates strongly: "Give him something to eat." Let us examine our life in the light of the paschal experience of our capacity to share, what we are, what we have, with those who need it most.
First let it be the bread
Freedom with hunger is a flower on top of a corpse.
Where there is bread,
There is God.
Rice is a heaven
Says the poet of Asia.
it is a gigantic plate of rice,
An immense bread and ours,
For the hunger of all.
God becomes bread
_ Work for the poor,
Says the prophet Ghandi.
The Bible is a menu of Fraternal Bread.
Jesus is the living Bread.
The universe is our table, brothers.
The masses are hungry,
And this Breads his flesh,
Shattered in the struggle,
Winner in death.
We are family in the breaking of bread.
Only when breaking bread
Can recognize us.
Let's be bread, brothers.
Give us, O Father, the daily bread:
Rice, or corn, or tortilla,
The bread of the Third World!
Every day I make the best effort to attend daily Mass and receive the daily bread. My life is not the same without it. It seems a little lost, a little vagabond, a little hungry in the soul. People may wonder how come I am so devoted. It is because of the bread Jesus provides. People flocked and gravitated to Him by the thousands and today by the millions. He does this and especially in the Holy Eucharist, the Holy Sacrifice of a Holy Mass in the Holy Catholic Church where this bread has been offered since Jesus said DO THIS. If there are starving people in the world, you can point the finger to all you want. Then we will be asked at the gates of Heaven, "Why didn't you feed the hungry?"
Then you can blame the government, politics, and the darkness of people. But it will not be good enough.
"Why didn't you send money to the poor?"
"Why didn't you take a plate of food to that starving person?"
"Why didn't you take Jesus to the poor?"
Last night I told people that I can feel God's presence in people daily, and I said to them that we should be God's presences as well. Reach out, DAILY. Every day we will be held accountable. Faith without works is dead. We do not live by bread alone but by every Word that comes from God.
My question is, where were all these thousands of people when Jesus was being slaughtered to death?
Where were the baptized people that today's saint loved and helped when he was being beat to death with clubs?
What kind of club are you in?
In the things of God, there are no clubs. You know, I recall some life and death experiences people share and some experienced hell, and one guy said he saw the ugly and terrible looking devil sitting on a pile of gold staring blankly, and it was like the man was non-existent, not even being ignored, and the man tried to get the devil's attention by yelling at it. There was no attention. This is hell. No love. And God is love. I say this so we focus our attention on one...Jesus. How many of us coward by not giving proper attention? "But, but, how can we feed the poor?" Physically? Easy, find them. Or mail them a check to good trustworthy organizations. The liar is in the world saying lies like "the reason there is starvation is because there are TOO MANY people" and they say this so abortions can kick on and contraception, all things immoral, and death. No, we here throw away so much food, it's not funny. Eat only enough and send money to the poor. Sharing your bread is not that hard, sharing your love...unless the heart is hardened. That's when you can't see the light, nor see how to share. Never say no to someone who asks...perhaps....it is the Lord