"We need to overcome the fear of joy; we need to think of the many times that we are not joyful because we are afraid. In my homeland there is a saying that goes like this: when someone gets burned by boiling milk, he cries when he sees the cow. The disciples, who were burned by the drama of the cross, said: no, let's stop here! He is in heaven, that's excellent, he is risen, but may he not come back again because we can't handle it!" —Pope Francis
On the surface, we might be tempted to scoff at the pope's claim that we're afraid of joy. But how often have we become so used to crisis and dread in our lives that we can't relax and enjoy a moment of peace, a time of no stress? How often do we manufacture a crisis just because we know how to solve a problem or fix something that's broken? Easter joy takes some getting used to. We love the rigors and the austerities of Lent. We're not as familiar or comfortable with the joy of Easter. One reason for this is that the kind of joy Jesus brings comes from living fully in the present. We are so much better at looking back to past pain or dreading the uncertainty of the future. Living in the present, the eternal now, requires both gratitude and grace.
— from the book The Hope of Lent: Daily Reflections from Pope Francis,
by Diane M. Houdek
†Saint Quote "Dismiss all anger and look into yourself a little. Remember that he of whom you are speaking is your brother, and as he is in the way of salvation, God can make him a saint, in spite of his present weakness." — St. Thomas of Villanova
†Meditation of the Day "All creatures that exist are in the hands of God. The action of the creature can only be perceived by the senses, but faith sees in all things the action of the Creator. It believes that in Jesus Christ all things live, and that His divine operation continues to the end of time, embracing the passing moment and the smallest created atom in its hidden life and mysterious action." —Fr. Jean-Pierre de Caussade, p.21 An Excerpt From Abandonment to Divine
†Verse of the Day "I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the desolate pit, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord." Psalm 40:1-3
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St. Julie Billiart (1751-1816) was born in Cuvilly, France, to a large and prosperous farming family. By the age of seven she knew her catechism by heart, and would gather her playmates together and teach it to them. Her spiritual progress was so remarkable that her parish priest allowed her to make an early first communion at the age of nine, at which time she took a vow of chastity. As a teenager she already had the reputation of being a living saint. When financial ruin struck her family she worked in the fields alongside the reapers. At the age of twenty-two she became paralyzed and remained a bed-ridden invalid for the next twenty-two years. However this did not prevent her from having an active life. She received Holy Communion daily, made altar laces and linens, catechized the village children from her bedside, and spent many hours in contemplative prayer. When the French Revolution erupted she gave aid to priests in her home, and soon after was smuggled to safety while hidden in a hay cart. She took refuge in the home of a countess, and due to her sanctity soon had a company of young, noble ladies gathered around her bed to whom she taught the ways of the interior life. From this St. Julie founded and led the Institute of the Sisters of Notre Dame dedicated to the Christian education of girls and the training of catechists. After making her vows in 1804, she was cured of her paralysis. For the next twelve years she made over a hundred journeys as she founded fifteen convents of her order. St. Julie Billiart's feast day is April 8th.
Thursday in the Octave of Easter
Reading I Acts 3:11-26
As the crippled man who had been cured clung to Peter and John, all the people hurried in amazement toward them in the portico called "Solomon's Portico." When Peter saw this, he addressed the people, "You children of Israel, why are you amazed at this, and why do you look so intently at us as if we had made him walk by our own power or piety? The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus whom you handed over and denied in Pilate's presence, when he had decided to release him. You denied the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you. The author of life you put to death, but God raised him from the dead; of this we are witnesses. And by faith in his name, this man, whom you see and know, his name has made strong, and the faith that comes through it has given him this perfect health, in the presence of all of you. Now I know, brothers and sisters, that you acted out of ignorance, just as your leaders did; but God has thus brought to fulfillment what he had announced beforehand through the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would suffer. Repent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be wiped away, and that the Lord may grant you times of refreshment and send you the Christ already appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the times of universal restoration of which God spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets from of old. For Moses said:
A prophet like me will the Lord, your God, raise up for you
from among your own kin;
to him you shall listen in all that he may say to you.
Everyone who does not listen to that prophet
will be cut off from the people.
"Moreover, all the prophets who spoke, from Samuel and those afterwards, also announced these days. You are the children of the prophets and of the covenant that God made with your ancestors when he said to Abraham,
In your offspring all the families of the earth shall be blessed. For you first, God raised up his servant and sent him to bless you by turning each of you from your evil ways."
Responsorial Psalm 8:2ab and 5, 6-7, 8-9 R. (2ab) O Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth! or: R. Alleluia. O LORD, our Lord,
how glorious is your name over all the earth! What is man that you should be mindful of him,
or the son of man that you should care for him? R. (2ab) O Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth! or: R. Alleluia. You have made him little less than the angels,
and crowned him with glory and honor. You have given him rule over the works of your hands,
putting all things under his feet. R. (2ab) O Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth! or: R. Alleluia. All sheep and oxen,
yes, and the beasts of the field, The birds of the air, the fishes of the sea,
and whatever swims the paths of the seas. R. (2ab) O Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth! or: R. Alleluia.
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.
Gospel Lk 24:35-48
The disciples of Jesus recounted what had taken place along the way, and how they had come to recognize him in the breaking of bread. While they were still speaking about this, he stood in their midst and said to them, "Peace be with you." But they were startled and terrified and thought that they were seeing a ghost. Then he said to them, "Why are you troubled? And why do questions arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you can see I have." And as he said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. While they were still incredulous for joy and were amazed, he asked them, "Have you anything here to eat?" They gave him a piece of baked fish; he took it and ate it in front of them. He said to them, "These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the law of Moses and in the prophets and psalms must be fulfilled." Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. And he said to them, "Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things."
Daily Meditation: Acts 3:11-26
Of this we are witnesses. (Acts 3:15)
Peter and John were firsthand witnesses of Jesus' resurrection. They had seen him with their own eyes. But when Peter healed the crippled man "in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean," everyone who was there that day became witnesses as well (Acts 3:6). They saw firsthand the power and glory of Jesus.
"Witness" could actually be a good job description for Christians. The apostles were the first witnesses, and through their preaching and healing, other people became Christians. And so it has been from one generation to the next. Today that role has been passed on to you! God has called you to be a witness by the way you live. But he also calls you to share your faith openly—and not only of the historical event that happened a long time ago, but of the risen Jesus, alive and present today.
How? You don't have to get up in front of a crowd and preach as Peter did. But every day gives you opportunities to share creatively and tactfully how Jesus is living and working in your life.
For example, you might share with a friend an incident from the past when you saw God answer a prayer. Or you could talk about what you think the Lord is saying to you today. You might even want to share some of your own struggles and doubts as a way of showing that these can exist alongside real faith.
It's not just creativity that is important; you also need tact. That starts with being sensitive to where another person is coming from. It means doing more listening than speaking and refraining from forcefully pushing your beliefs onto them. Even if someone seems closed off to the idea of faith at the moment, you could offer to pray for any special need for themselves or their family.
This is the Easter season, a time when we celebrate Jesus' resurrection. So be ready to witness to his power and glory in your own life. You never know just how important you can be in continuing that chain of witnesses that stretches across the centuries and well into the future.
"Jesus, give me a greater desire to witness to you!"
Psalm 8:2, 5-9 Luke 24:35-48
The Cross is the centre of the world's history, for it transcends the categories of 'elect' and 'non-elect' by reconciling all human beings in the crucified body which hangs there. — Hans Urs von Balthasar from his book Mysterium Paschale
my2cents: "For you first, God raised up his servant and sent him to bless you by turning each of you from your evil ways." The whole of our Lord's purpose was sent in the Holy Word, for our salvation, for our benefit, for our everything, He came. His life would be that sign that people asked for but didn't want. What does this mean? An evil generation seeks a sign, but no other sign will be given except that of Jonah, which was a man coming back to life after 3 days in darkness...to proclaim one message: "REPENT". Repent that you may be saved. Repent that you may be blessed!
We prayed today: "O LORD, our Lord, how glorious is your name over all the earth! What is man that you should be mindful of him, or the son of man that you should care for him?" Last night, I went to see Lazarus of Jesus. Who is that? A neighbor so to speak. An alcoholic sleeping in his car down my dirt road. I spotted him while I was reading scripture outside at night. In the conversation, he spoke of things that made an insinuation that he was unchangeable, that who he was is who he is and there is no changing him (the alcoholic was talking) the sinful man was talking. I told him that I begged to differ, and that I see things on the other side of the fence. He said "I don't need help" and I said I begged to differ. A group of friends that are willing to help will make a difference, so I invited him to go to AA meetings. Then he said "i'm not afraid of anything, not even the devil". Then I said "but the devil has lured you into so many temptations" and I think I left him perplexed. I made some tremendous propositions to help him be saved. Lazarus, the ball is in your hand. On my end, I would have to pay his debts. Jesus is offering.
In the Holy Gospel we heard: "Peace be with you." But they were startled and terrified. How can His words startle and terrify His own disciples? Surely it wasn't the words but His Presence. What if I told you that His presence can be startling and terrifying? In a Eucharistic Miracle or vision, He is not terrifying, but when He appears face to face in the flesh out of nowhere? Anyone except Mary would be terrified. Why does "Peace be with You" startle us? We hear the priest acting as Christ in Mass, presenting Himself before the table of the resurrection saying "Peace be with YOU" and we are not startled. But we should be from now on. Next time you hear Our Father say those words, it is Jesus saying those words. And next time you hear Him say "I absolve you of your sins" in Holy Confession, it is Him speaking. So the right disposition was had by the prayerful and holy disciples, they were startled and afraid, a holy fear of God.
Our Lord asks: ""Why are you troubled? And why do questions arise in your hearts?" How many questions where in their hearts? Perhaps they asked inside themselves: "is this for real?" or, " is this a vision?" or, "is this a trick of evil?" But our Lord settles the doubts and fears with what else than proof of His flesh and proof of His love...in a holy meal shared together. He asked to eat. "Have you anything here to eat?" And as soon as He eats, AGAIN He reiterates how He was fulfilling all the prophecies of centuries. "I AM the Messiah!" He says. "I AM the fulfillment of all desires". "I AM the Way, the Truth, and the Life!".
"Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things."
Lord, it is incredible. For many, it is too much. For me, I want to believe with my whole heart, mind, and soul. Help me touch Your sacred Hands and Feet, and please, O please hold my hand as I have to feel the wounds that the sin I have done have caused on Your precious body...because without Your hand holding mine...I cannot do anything daring enough to cut my heart for Yours....
from your brother in Christ our Lord, adrian
Random online bible verse from a random verse generator:
"Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self1 with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator."
If one day you don't receive these, just visit Going4th.com God Bless You! Peace