Land of the Living Like the good thief who hung condemned next to the sinless Christ on a cross, anyone who confesses at the end of life may experien
Land of the Living
Like the good thief who hung condemned next to the sinless Christ on a cross, anyone who confesses at the end of life may experience the same eternal reward as those who have lived a lifetime of piety and penitence for their sins. Their lives, St. Bernard of Clairvaux says, can be like "a short bridge from the religion of death unto the land of the living."
-from: The Saint vs. The Scholar: The Fight Between Faith and Reason
✞ "Go forth and set the world on fire."
— St. Ignatius of Loyola
✞ MEDITATION OF THE DAY
"[Joseph] loved her so exceedingly, with a love like what the heavenly spirits feel for each other, and would have readily given his heart's blood for her: and as yet he knew not her incomparable dignity! Yes, he loved her exceedingly, and we may hold for certain that Joseph, as he was the first, so was he the most devoted servant of Mary."
— Edward Healy Thompson, p. 149
AN EXCERPT FROM
The Life & Glories of Saint Joseph
✞ VERSE OF THE DAY
"For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord."
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ST. WILLIAM OF ROCHESTER
St. William of Rochester (d. 1201), also known as St. William of Perth, was born in Perth, Scotland. He was a wild youth who matured into a man devoted to God. He became a baker, and out of his charity would always set aside bread to feed the poor. One day, while walking into the church for Mass, he found an abandoned baby boy on the church steps. He adopted the child, raised him, and taught him his trade. Years later St. William made a vow to visit the sacred sites of Our Lord's life on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, and decided to take his adopted son along with him. The two set out on their journey. While traveling through England his son deceived him, slit his throat, and stole the money William had saved for their pilgrimage. William's abandoned body was discovered and mourned over by a mentally deranged woman. She made a crown of flowers and placed it on the head of William's murdered corpse, then afterwards put the garland on her own head. Upon doing this, she was immediately cured of her mental illness. The local monks learned of this miracle and carried William's body to the cathedral in Rochester to give it the proper burial of a saint. His shrine later attracted many pilgrims. St. William of Rochester is the patron of adopted children. His feast day is May 23rd.
Tuesday of the Sixth Week of Easter
Reading 1 Acts 16:22-34
The crowd in Philippi joined in the attack on Paul and Silas,
and the magistrates had them stripped
and ordered them to be beaten with rods.
After inflicting many blows on them,
they threw them into prison
and instructed the jailer to guard them securely.
When he received these instructions, he put them in the innermost cell
and secured their feet to a stake.
About midnight, while Paul and Silas were praying
and singing hymns to God as the prisoners listened,
there was suddenly such a severe earthquake
that the foundations of the jail shook;
all the doors flew open, and the chains of all were pulled loose.
When the jailer woke up and saw the prison doors wide open,
he drew his sword and was about to kill himself,
thinking that the prisoners had escaped.
But Paul shouted out in a loud voice,
"Do no harm to yourself; we are all here."
He asked for a light and rushed in and,
trembling with fear, he fell down before Paul and Silas.
Then he brought them out and said,
"Sirs, what must I do to be saved?"
And they said, "Believe in the Lord Jesus
and you and your household will be saved."
So they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to everyone in his house.
He took them in at that hour of the night and bathed their wounds;
then he and all his family were baptized at once.
He brought them up into his house and provided a meal
and with his household rejoiced at having come to faith in God.
Responsorial Psalm Ps 138:1-2ab, 2cde-3, 7c-8
R. (7c) Your right hand saves me, O Lord.
I will give thanks to you, O LORD, with all my heart,
for you have heard the words of my mouth;
in the presence of the angels I will sing your praise;
I will worship at your holy temple,
and give thanks to your name.
R. Your right hand saves me, O Lord.
Because of your kindness and your truth,
you have made great above all things
your name and your promise.
When I called, you answered me;
you built up strength within me.
R. Your right hand saves me, O Lord.
Your right hand saves me.
The LORD will complete what he has done for me;
your kindness, O LORD, endures forever;
forsake not the work of your hands.
R. Your right hand saves me, O Lord.
Alleluia See Jn 16:7, 13
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I will send to you the Spirit of truth, says the Lord;
he will guide you to all truth.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Jn 16:5-11
Jesus said to his disciples:
"Now I am going to the one who sent me,
and not one of you asks me, 'Where are you going?'
But because I told you this, grief has filled your hearts.
But I tell you the truth, it is better for you that I go.
For if I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you.
But if I go, I will send him to you.
And when he comes he will convict the world
in regard to sin and righteousness and condemnation:
sin, because they do not believe in me;
righteousness, because I am going to the Father
and you will no longer see me;
condemnation, because the ruler of this world has been condemned."
Meditation: John 16:5-11
6th Week of Easter
Sin and righteousness and condemnation . . . (John 16:8)
If you were to read this line out of context, it might sound like the start to a fire-and-brimstone sermon. But it's not. It's a description of three key roles of the Holy Spirit.
In this passage, the disciples are coming to the realization that Jesus won't be with them forever. But Jesus assures them that he will send the Holy Spirit, the "Advocate," to take his place. What was this Advocate going to do for them? Jesus lists three things, all of which apply to us as well.
First, the Holy Spirit comes to show us our sin—but not to accuse us or overwhelm us with guilt. On the contrary, even as he shows us our imperfections, he sets our hearts at rest by telling us how merciful God is.
That leads us to his second role: to show us the righteousness of Christ. Since Jesus is not walking with us in the flesh, the Holy Spirit speaks to our hearts about who Jesus is. He reveals Christ in the Scriptures, in Communion, and in our prayer. He shows us Jesus' justice, his mercy, his compassion, and his power.
Finally, the Spirit comes to bring condemnation. But this condemnation is not directed at us. Rather, he shows us that Satan is condemned and that all his plots and schemes are doomed.
The Holy Spirit is at work in you all the time, even when you can't sense him. He is the One urging you to go to Confession when your conscience is weighing heavy on you. He is the One encouraging you to spend time with the Scriptures or be more attentive at Mass. He is the One who inspires you to live differently, one day at a time. He is always urging you to get to know Jesus better.
Invite the Holy Spirit to move more freely in your heart today. Ask him to show you areas that he wants to help you change. Let him give you a deeper understanding of the holiness and love of Jesus. Just as Jesus assured his disciples that the Holy Spirit would be with them, he assures you that the Holy Spirit is—and will always be—working in you.
"Holy Spirit, I invite you into every area of my life. Speak to me today."
Psalm 138:1-3, 7-8
"About midnight, while Paul and Silas were praying
and singing hymns to God..." while others in jail listened, in the dark, listening for hope, listening to the power of God's light. And the earth shook and they were free. It is the story of Jesus when crucified, the earth shook, the veil tore in half, and you could see the glory of God, and prisoners were set free, the dead walked the earth and people were terrified. And Jesus our Lord and our Father dies. To rise again. The prison guard was about to commit suicide in the dark, terrified. Saint Paul says to stop and listen, and the guard takes them into his home, takes Jesus to heart and his life is saved, for eternity, as a matter of fact every single one women and children too "he and all his family were baptized at once." For God's grace knows no boundaries, nor ages, nor race nor religion, He crosses over to salvation.
We pray today the very essence of Christ and Holy Communion, of community in gathering to give glory and thanks to our Lord "Your right hand saves me, O Lord." I will give thanks to you, O LORD, with all my heart, for you have heard the words of my mouth;
in the presence of the angels I will sing your praise;I will worship at your holy temple, and give thanks to your name." And giving thanks is what the body of Christ means, Eucharist. It means holiness, it means life, it means mercy, and it means eternity.
We heard our beloved Lord from Heaven "For if I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you". If I remain with you, you will not have an inheritance. How can you have an inheritance if I do not die? And what happens is Jesus is magnified millions of times over through His death, brings forth the Holy Spirit, which we will celebrate in a couple weeks. That what makes you go out into the world unafraid. Right now, you may feel distraught. You may feel terror in the night. But Saint Paul did not. He was singing hymns and praises to God, testifying, like the birds I hear throughout the night calling, chirping away, like the rooster that announces the coming of the light, a new day, a new present. You are here, and Jesus is near. He is only a whisper away. If I did not believe this, I would not say this. Because before I write to you, I invoke His Holy Spirit, I provoke it to move inside, because the Spirit of God is everywhere and is amazing. It is a source to tap into and feed off of...remain. He pumps life giving blood into our souls. And the fruitful souls are thankful souls. And thankful souls are humble souls. And the humble souls are what God treasures and delights in. Can you imagine we can be God's treasure? He came to seek, to find. And He finds anything He desires. Let it be your heart pouring out Himself...His light in the dark