"Mercy and Love have conquered sin! We need faith and hope in order to open ourselves to this new and marvelous horizon. And we know that faith and hope are gifts from God, and we need to ask for them: 'Lord, grant me faith, grant me hope! I need them so much!' The silent witness to the events of Jesus's Passion and Resurrection was Mary. She stood beside the Cross: she did not fold in the face of pain; her faith made her strong. In the broken heart of the Mother, the flame of hope was kept ever burning. Let us ask her to help us too to fully accept the Easter proclamation of the Resurrection, so as to embody it in the concreteness of our daily lives."—Pope Francis
The Gospels of Easter week unfold the mystery of the resurrection through those who were its first witnesses. In their words and in their actions we have a model for our own lives. The first reading, from the Acts of the Apostles, shows us how Peter and the others were inspired to speak out in ways that they never dreamed of before the resurrection. And Matthew's Gospel reminds us that from the beginning, there was opposition from those who felt threatened by this new movement of the Spirit. Our day is not much different. Sometimes our faith moves us outward with great joy and fervent hope. But sometimes we need to go within, to renew our strength and our courage in quiet times of prayer. Depending on the circumstances of our lives this year, we might not be feeling the exuberant joy we expect in this season of Easter. Illness, death, unemployment, depression, and other human realities don't necessarily happen according to the liturgical year. But in a time when it seems the only constant is change, our faith—and even more, our hope—reminds us that God's love will always be there for us.
The beauty of the liturgical seasons is that they offer us a new chance each year to experience the richness of God's work of salvation in our lives. Each year we grow a bit more in our faith. Each year the events in our lives offer us new insight into what the resurrection means for us and our loved ones. What one thing is different about your life this Easter?
— from the book The Hope of Lent: Daily Reflections from Pope Francis,
by Diane M. Houdek
†Saint Quote "I urge you to remain steadfast in faith, so that at last we will all reach heaven and there rejoice together." — St. Andrew Kim Taegon
† MEDITATION OF THE DAY "And let me make it quite clear that when Christians say the Christ-life is in them, they do not mean simply something mental or moral. When they speak of being 'in Christ' or of Christ being 'in them', this is not simply a way of saying that they are thinking about Christ or copying Him. They mean that Christ is actually operating through them; that the whole mass of Christians are the physical organism through which Christ acts—that we are His fingers and muscles, the cells of His body. And perhaps that explains one or two things. It explains why this new life is spread not only by purely mental acts like belief, but by bodily acts like baptism and Holy Communion. It is not merely the spreading of an idea; it is more like evolution—a biological or superbiological fact. There is no good trying to be more spiritual than God. God never meant man to be a purely spiritual creature. That is why He uses material things like bread and wine to put the new life into us. We may think this rather crude and unspiritual. God does not: He invented eating. He likes matter. He invented it." — C.S. Lewis, p. 64 AN EXCERPT FROM Mere Christianity
† VERSE OF THE DAY "Guard your steps when you go to the house of God; to draw near to listen is better than to offer the sacrifice of fools; for they do not know that they are doing evil. Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven, and you upon earth; therefore let your words be few." Ecclesiastes 5:1-2
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ST. VINCENT FERRER
St. Vincent Ferrer (1350-1419) was born in Valentia, Spain, the son of a knight. From his parents he learned virtue and generosity to the poor. As a child he fasted every Wednesday and Friday and was tenderly devoted to the Passion of Christ and the Blessed Mother. He excelled in his studies and joined the Dominican Order with the support of his parents. He flourished in both austerity and scholarship, and became famous for performing more miracles than any other saint. His miracle-working powers began in the womb with the healing of a blind woman who touched his mother's pregnant belly. He began a preaching career across Europe that continued for twenty years. He was followed by a train of priests, nuns, penitents, and pilgrims that numbered in the thousands. When he arrived in a village his retinue would set up camp, and St. Vincent would preach to great crowds on the subjects of sin, death, heaven, and hell. He would also celebrate Mass and hear confessions daily. He slept on the floor and maintained a perpetual fast. Twice a day the "Bell of Miracles" was rung when all the sick and infirm were brought to him for cures; it was not unusual for him to perform one hundred miracles in a day. He also made scores of converts among the Muslims and Jews. St. Vincent believed that he was a special messenger of penance sent by God to prepare men for the final judgment; at that time the Black Death was ravaging across Europe killing millions, and the Great Schism was rending the Church in two. Through him multitudes were brought to penance and conversion. St. Vincent Ferrer's feast day is April 5th.
Monday in the Octave of Easter
Lectionary: 261 Reading I
Acts 2:14, 22-33
On the day of Pentecost, Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice, and proclaimed: "You who are Jews, indeed all of you staying in Jerusalem. Let this be known to you, and listen to my words.
"You who are children of Israel, hear these words. Jesus the Nazorean was a man commended to you by God with mighty deeds, wonders, and signs, which God worked through him in your midst, as you yourselves know. This man, delivered up by the set plan and foreknowledge of God, you killed, using lawless men to crucify him. But God raised him up, releasing him from the throes of death, because it was impossible for him to be held by it. For David says of him:
I saw the Lord ever before me,
with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed.
Therefore my heart has been glad and my tongue has exulted;
my flesh, too, will dwell in hope,
because you will not abandon my soul to the nether world,
nor will you suffer your holy one to see corruption.
You have made known to me the paths of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence.
My brothers, one can confidently say to you about the patriarch David that he died and was buried, and his tomb is in our midst to this day. But since he was a prophet and knew that God had sworn an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants upon his throne, he foresaw and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that neither was he abandoned to the netherworld nor did his flesh see corruption. God raised this Jesus; of this we are all witnesses. Exalted at the right hand of God, he poured forth the promise of the Holy Spirit that he received from the Father, as you both see and hear."
Responsorial Psalm 16:1-2a and 5, 7-8, 9-10, 11
R. (1) Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope. or: R. Alleluia. Keep me, O God, for in you I take refuge;
I say to the LORD, "My Lord are you." O LORD, my allotted portion and my cup,
you it is who hold fast my lot. R. (1) Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope. or: R. Alleluia. I bless the LORD who counsels me;
even in the night my heart exhorts me. I set the LORD ever before me;
with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed. R. (1) Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope. or: R. Alleluia. Therefore my heart is glad and my soul rejoices,
my body, too, abides in confidence; Because you will not abandon my soul to the nether world,
nor will you suffer your faithful one to undergo corruption. R. (1) Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope. or: R. Alleluia. You will show me the path to life,
fullness of joys in your presence,
the delights at your right hand forever. R. (1) Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope. or: R. Alleluia.
R. Alleluia, alleluia. This is the day the LORD has made; let us be glad and rejoice in it. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went away quickly from the tomb, fearful yet overjoyed, and ran to announce the news to his disciples. And behold, Jesus met them on their way and greeted them. They approached, embraced his feet, and did him homage. Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid. Go tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me."
While they were going, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests all that had happened. The chief priests assembled with the elders and took counsel; then they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers, telling them, "You are to say, 'His disciples came by night and stole him while we were asleep.' And if this gets to the ears of the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble." The soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has circulated among the Jews to the present day.
Daily Meditation: Acts 2:14, 22-33
He foresaw and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ. (Acts 2:31)
Did David really know about Jesus and his resurrection? Not exactly. But he had received a promise from God that one of his descendants would reign forever, and he clung to that promise (2 Samuel 7:12-16). And not just David. All of Israel eagerly looked forward to the promised "Son of David" who would restore Israel (Matthew 12:23).
So what does all this have to do with us on Easter Monday? Simply that, in Christ, we have received an even better promise: because death could not overcome Jesus and because we have been baptized into Christ, then death won't defeat us either. Death is not the end for us!
Let's take a few moments to reflect on some of God's other promises to us—promises that are also fulfilled in Jesus' resurrection.
God has promised to renew creation. As Jesus' crucified body was resurrected and glorified, ours will be too. Disease, pain, and anxiety will be swallowed up. Jesus will make all things new, not just us (Revelation 21:5). He will restore all of creation.
God has promised to reconcile his people. There will be no more war, injustice, or division. Jesus will gather his Church from across all time and space, and he will make us into one family of God. We'll even be reunited with our loved ones in Christ who have passed away.
God has promised to reward his servants. We can't imagine the joy that awaits us in God's presence—but it doesn't hurt to try. Even now, he's preparing to reward every sacrificial act of love, no matter how small.
Like David, no one knows exactly how or when these things will happen. But God will keep his word. Is there an element of God's promise that's especially meaningful for you today? As you pray, try to take hold of it and let the hope of Easter fill your heart.
"Lord, thank you for your faithfulness to your promises!"
Psalm 16:1-2, 5, 7-11 Matthew 28:8-15
When I see that the burden is beyond my strength, I do not consider or analyze it or probe into it, but I run like a child to the Heart of Jesus and say only one word to Him: "You can do all things." And then I keep silent, because I know that Jesus Himself will intervene in the matter, and as for me, instead of tormenting myself, I use that time to love Him. — Saint Faustina from the book The Diary of St. Faustina Maria Kowalska
my2cents: "But God raised him up, releasing him from the throes of death, because it was impossible for him to be held by it." How can you hold death as the ultimate be all and end all? Yet, I see it. I see it in the worldly. I see it in those who don't hope. I see it in the faithless. As if death was the ultimate...anything. But it is not so for God. The world teaches other things against life. The world preaches depopulation, meaning death, so it pushes homosexual lifestyles, push abortion, push and push life to the brink and edge of the cliff. They say there is one island with only 3 kids left in it. What's going to happen to life there now? And this is the direction we will face in what is known as the demographic timebomb. In this scenario, there is a shortage of people, humans, brothers and sisters, manpower and love. If the world seems to fizzle, it is because a lack of love. There are countries on a set path to a collapse. Is it tied with fertility rates? No. Fertility rates and proliferation are only a symptom of the core...values. And some of these soon to fizzle are those who declare "there is no eternity".
We pray: "Therefore my heart is glad and my soul rejoices, my body, too, abides in confidence; Because you will not abandon my soul to the nether world, nor will you suffer your faithful one to undergo corruption. Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope." Yet the whole of our faith is based on Christ's resurrection, on eternity. He is our living hope. We speak of the body, but we speak of the soul. And there, things get super interesting.
"Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went away quickly from the tomb, fearful yet overjoyed, and ran to announce the news to his disciples." This sinful woman turned saint has become the first Evangelist. Why a woman? Isn't it a man's world? Why aren't women priests then? God created man and woman, each to their God given role. From what I've been learning from exorcists and even Fulton Sheen, venerable future saint, is that women have a role that a man could only wish to aspire to...and I'm speaking of holiness. Get this, isn't the 2nd version better than the first? Such is woman, for she was second after man. But she came from man. Now we are speaking of God and man. And just as things are getting complicated, we must turn back to the joy of the woman that found man...ALIVE. This meant she would live. This meant way more than she bargained for and was crying about. His resurrection meant the end of all things as we know them to be. A whole new world. A whole new set of circumstances to be in....with God. Men are called to serve. Men are called to fight. Men are called to be servants of Love. Women create men and God creates souls to put into men. Now the man and woman have their role.
I was in Holy Mass before writing to you, and my prayer and thoughts were lost in the resurrection, and the question of eternity. Ask anyone if they want eternity and they'll most likely say yes. But ask anyone if they want to spend an eternity worshiping God...and then we'll find the truth of who loves what or whom....
Lord, I find myself in wonder and in awe of Your most awesome gift to man...a whole new life with no temporal holds. May we begin to let go of the temporal and enter the eternal, with all our hearts, minds, and souls....to Love You with my dearest King.
from your brother in Christ our Lord, adrian
Random online bible verse from a random verse generator: WHOA!
32 Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty,
and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.
If one day you don't receive these, just visit Going4th.com God Bless You! Peace