Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Were Not Our HEarts ... †


Take Up the Word of God

"The road to Emmaus thus becomes a symbol of our journey of faith: the Scriptures and the Eucharist are the indispensable elements for encountering the Lord. We too often go to Sunday Mass with our worries, difficulties and disappointments…. Life sometimes wounds us and we go away feeling sad, towards our "Emmaus," turning our backs on God's plan. We distance ourselves from God. But the Liturgy of the Word welcomes us: Jesus explains the Scriptures to us and rekindles in our hearts the warmth of faith and hope, and in Communion he gives us strength."—Pope Francis

The story of Emmaus carries a depth of feeling that resonates with us because we've all experienced some level of disappointed hopes and dreams in our lives. Dreams jobs turn to daily drudgery. Failed relationships leave us brokenhearted. Illness and injury break our bodies and sometimes our spirits. If we're in the midst of such a time, the pope's words can sound hollow to our ears. And yet, if we heed them, we will discover the deeper truth to which they point. The Word of God can speak a word of hope and promise to our despair. The Bread of Life can fill an emptiness, a hunger, that gnaws at us. Sometimes all we have to do is show up. We have to make that much of an effort. Often we go with no expectations, almost no hope. And God surprises us with the right word, the right thought, a much-needed smile or hug from someone. The message of Easter is that God shows up when we least expect it: a voice in the garden calling our name, a stranger on the road, a tap on the shoulder, breakfast on the beach or dinner after a long day at work. Sometimes the alleluias are quiet, but no less heartfelt for all that.

— from the book The Hope of Lent: Daily Reflections from Pope Francis,

by Diane M. Houdek


†Saint Quote
""At each step we can admire the grandeur, the power, the goodness of God. How bountifully He provides for all our wants—I would even say for our pleasures!"
— St. Théodore Guérin

"Do not look for the faults of your friend. Do not repeat the shortcomings of your neighbors in your talk. You are not the judge of creation. You do not have dominion over the earth. If you love righteousness, admonish your soul and yourself. Be the judge of your own sins, and chastise your own transgressions."
— St. Ephrem the Syrian
A Year with the Church Fathers

"All these things my hand has made, and so all these things are mine, says the Lord. But this is the man to whom I will look, he that is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word."
Isaiah 66:2


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St. John Baptist de la Salle (1651-1719) was born in Rheims, France, to a noble family. He was pious and smart, and his parents took great care over his moral and intellectual training. He entered seminary and was ordained at the age of twenty-seven. In St. John Baptist's era, only the noble and wealthy classes had access to a good education. His work among the poor led him to establish a home and school for rough and illiterate orphaned boys. The institution was successful and soon a second was established. St. John Baptist then dedicated his life to the cause of education, giving his wealth to the poor and resigning his respectable position as canon at Rheims. He recruited and trained men to teach in free schools he founded for the poor, which grew into a brotherhood of young men who were attracted to a life of service in teaching and catechesis. This became the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, or Christian Brothers. They took vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, but not Holy Orders. The Christian Brothers expanded, and in many parts of France parish priests sent young men to be trained by St. John Baptist to serve as schoolmasters in their villages. Although he was initially opposed in his innovative work, both inside and outside the Church, St. John Baptist's foundations and methods soon became the standard for education in France and spread internationally. St. John Baptist de la Salle is the patron of schoolteachers. His feast day is April 7th.


Wednesday in the Octave of Easter

Lectionary: 263
Reading I

Acts 3:1-10

Peter and John were going up to the temple area
for the three o'clock hour of prayer.
And a man crippled from birth was carried
and placed at the gate of the temple called "the Beautiful Gate" every day
to beg for alms from the people who entered the temple.
When he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple,
he asked for alms.
But Peter looked intently at him, as did John,
and said, "Look at us."
He paid attention to them, expecting to receive something from them.
Peter said, "I have neither silver nor gold,
but what I do have I give you:
in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean, rise and walk."
Then Peter took him by the right hand and raised him up,
and immediately his feet and ankles grew strong.
He leaped up, stood, and walked around,
and went into the temple with them,
walking and jumping and praising God.
When all the people saw him walking and praising God,
they recognized him as the one
who used to sit begging at the Beautiful Gate of the temple,
and they were filled with amazement and astonishment
at what had happened to him.

Responsorial Psalm

105:1-2, 3-4, 6-7, 8-9

R. (3b) Rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord.
R. Alleluia.
Give thanks to the LORD, invoke his name;

make known among the nations his deeds.
Sing to him, sing his praise,

proclaim all his wondrous deeds.
R. (3b) Rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord.
R. Alleluia.
Glory in his holy name;

rejoice, O hearts that seek the LORD!
Look to the LORD in his strength;

seek to serve him constantly.
R. (3b) Rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord.
R. Alleluia.
You descendants of Abraham, his servants,

sons of Jacob, his chosen ones!
He, the LORD, is our God;

throughout the earth his judgments prevail.
R. (3b) Rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord.
R. Alleluia.
He remembers forever his covenant

which he made binding for a thousand generations-
Which he entered into with Abraham

and by his oath to Isaac.
R. (3b) Rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord.
R. Alleluia.


Ps 118:24

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
This is the day the LORD has made;
let us be glad and rejoice in it.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.


Lk 24:13-35

That very day, the first day of the week,
two of Jesus' disciples were going
to a village seven miles from Jerusalem called Emmaus,
and they were conversing about all the things that had occurred.
And it happened that while they were conversing and debating,
Jesus himself drew near and walked with them,
but their eyes were prevented from recognizing him.
He asked them,
"What are you discussing as you walk along?"
They stopped, looking downcast.
One of them, named Cleopas, said to him in reply,
"Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem
who does not know of the things
that have taken place there in these days?"
And he replied to them, "What sort of things?"
They said to him,
"The things that happened to Jesus the Nazarene,
who was a prophet mighty in deed and word
before God and all the people,
how our chief priests and rulers both handed him over
to a sentence of death and crucified him.
But we were hoping that he would be the one to redeem Israel;
and besides all this,
it is now the third day since this took place.
Some women from our group, however, have astounded us:
they were at the tomb early in the morning
and did not find his Body;
they came back and reported
that they had indeed seen a vision of angels
who announced that he was alive.
Then some of those with us went to the tomb
and found things just as the women had described,
but him they did not see."
And he said to them, "Oh, how foolish you are!
How slow of heart to believe all that the prophets spoke!
Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things
and enter into his glory?"
Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets,
he interpreted to them what referred to him
in all the Scriptures.
As they approached the village to which they were going,
he gave the impression that he was going on farther.
But they urged him, "Stay with us,
for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over."
So he went in to stay with them.
And it happened that, while he was with them at table,
he took bread, said the blessing,
broke it, and gave it to them.
With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him,
but he vanished from their sight.
Then they said to each other,
"Were not our hearts burning within us
while he spoke to us on the way and opened the Scriptures to us?"
So they set out at once and returned to Jerusalem
where they found gathered together
the Eleven and those with them who were saying,
"The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon!"
Then the two recounted what had taken place on the way
and how he was made known to them in the breaking of the bread.


Daily Meditation: Luke 24:13-35

Stay with us. (Luke 24:29)

The two disciples on the road to Emmaus were dejected and confused. So when a stranger drew near to them, they were eager to talk about the painful events of the previous two days. Yet when he opened up the Scriptures to them, they were so intrigued that they weren't ready to let him go. "Stay with us," they asked (Luke 24:29).

Stay with us. Those three words changed everything for these disciples. When their fellow traveler broke the bread, they recognized him as Jesus, risen from the dead. He had been walking by their side all along!

We know the risen Christ is always with us. Through our baptism, he lives in us. At Mass, he is there in the breaking of the bread. And yet this prayer, "Stay with me," can be life changing for us as well because it reflects the true desires of our hearts and invites Jesus to respond.

When we ask Jesus to stay with us, it shows our deep longing for him. We don't want him to leave our side—ever—because, as he did for the disciples, he opens our eyes to spiritual realities we would otherwise miss. He is always ready to fill our hunger for him.

When we make that plea, it's also an acknowledgment of how much we need Jesus. We need him to stay with us so that he can give us his grace, wisdom, and guidance. We need him to stay with us so that we can hear his voice and do his will. And when we bring our needs to Jesus, he responds by giving us even more than we have asked for.

Finally, this prayer shows we want more—more of Jesus' love, mercy, and light in our lives. It reflects an awareness of God's abundance and generosity. No matter what we have received from him yesterday, there is always more that he wants to give us today.

St. Padre Pio wrote a beautiful prayer that echoes these two disciples' words. The prayer ends like this: "Stay with me, Lord, for it is you alone I look for, your love, your grace, your will, your heart, your Spirit, because I love you and ask no other reward but to love you more and more." Today, may we make that prayer our own.

"Lord, I love you with all my heart. Stay with me."

Acts 3:1-10
Psalm 105:1-4, 6-9



The constant penetration of Jesus' life-story by the light of the Resurrection only lengthens the shadow of the Cross.
— Hans Urs von Balthasar
from his book Mysterium Paschale


"Peter and John were going up to the temple area
for the three o'clock hour of prayer."
So this became the holy time to pray until today. And until does not change the fact that it is a holy hour to pray today and forever. What happens at this hour? Nowadays, and we are on our way to Divine Mercy Sunday, we pray for Divine Mercy, on us and on the whole world. What will you be doing at 3pm today? Friday? Sunday? Let us pray the Divine Mercy prayers, and preferably the chaplet of Divine Mercy. It was at this hour that a paralyzed man was healed by Peter our first Pope and St. John the Apostle. Here they had no alms, but a sheer love of God. Do you need healing? Does someone around you need healing? I bet so. Let us turn to the Divine and infinite healer...mercy. Mercy is written on the cross with blood. And therefore Mother Mary traced every drop of mercy to Calvary. It is amazing and precious. What is precious to you? In the infinite, that is, immortal world that awaits us, mercy is an extraordinarily precious gift. And it is still here, but we are blind to appreciate its taste, and its value.


We pray: "Glory in his holy name; rejoice, O hearts that seek the LORD! Look to the LORD in his strength; seek to serve him constantly. Rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord."
Seek to serve Him. Rejoice you that seek Him. Perhaps the reason we are sad at times is because we do not seek to serve Him. To heal, you must heal (others). To receive mercy, you must be mercy. To be joyful, you must make someone joyful. That is, to see the joy of the Lord, to see Him smile...have you ever made a baby smile? The reward is amazing. Have you ever heard a room full of kids laughing? The roar is heavenly. And so much more it is to make our Lord smile, blessings issue forth from Heaven for the world.


Our Lord appears and says "Oh, how foolish you are! How slow of heart to believe all that the prophets spoke!"
Perhaps one could write another book on this one verse our Lord said. How slow we are to believe. Why? Why are we slow to believe? We are we over-cautious on believing? Why are we afraid to believe like a child? Are we afraid to be gullible? Are you afraid of falling for lies? It used to be that everything was believed to be a miracle. And now the world teaches that miracles do not exist. It used to be that life was a daily walk with God in the garden. And now the garden is left unattended. Are you going to try to plant a garden this spring? Be prepared for work, lots of attention, and lots of love for the work. And so it is with the Kingdom of God. We must believe that miracles will happen, if we tend to Him and His Kingdom. All we've to do is our part. So don't fall for the lies that miracles don't exist. Those lies are for the lazy. You must avail yourself to full faith, believe fully in works, and believe fully in His Grace. Both, for each hand availed on the cross and we are called to the same.

"...he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them.
With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him, but he vanished from their sight."
Have you ever witnessed a Eucharistic miracle? I have, twice. The first time it happened at my cursillo. The 2nd time at a Sunday Mass. Now I'm speaking of miracles. The Eucharist was a piece of flesh the priest raised. Would you believe what I have seen? So the first time I was choked up in tears before He was raised up. The second time years later, I was normally adoring Him in Mass. I found out later my parents had also witnessed what I had seen with our Monsignor Gully presiding and is now kind of retired. In the same tone, I ask, do you believe an eye witness?

Now we are speaking faith. Now we are being asked to move mountains. We are asked to walk on water. And much like I implore people to believe in the Holy Eucharist...I feel like the apostles speaking to doubting Saint Thomas. To which our Lord will soon speak to Himself...if you seek.

Lord, I want to believe, help my disbelief! I want to completely submerge myself into your Holy Will! Divine Mercy, pray for us!

from your brother in Christ our Lord,


Random online bible verse from a random verse generator:

Psalm 29:11
11 May the LORD give strength to his people!

May the LORD bless1 his people with peace!


If one day you don't receive these, just visit
God Bless You! Peace

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