Since Christ is resurrected, we can look with new eyes and a new heart at every event of our lives, even the most negative ones. Moments of darkness, of failure and even sin can be transformed and announce the beginning of a new path. When we have reached the lowest point of our misery and our weakness, the Risen Christ gives us the strength to rise again. If we entrust ourselves to him, his grace saves us! The Lord, Crucified and Risen, is the full revelation of mercy, present and working throughout history."—Pope Francis
The tricky thing about Easter is that while our faith and often our minds tell us that now life is all alleluias and rainbows, the reality is that sometimes we're still caught in some dark places. We might not be quite feeling the joy of resurrection. In today's Gospel, Peter, James, John and the other disciples are going back to their fishing boats. We get the sense that they've given up on this life of proclaiming the Good News. They're discouraged, they're confused. They've seen the Risen Christ in the upper room but then he vanished again. It turns out the fishing isn't all that great either. But they listened to the stranger on the beach telling them to try the other side of the boat. And Peter remembered the very beginning of his time with Jesus, when the novice told the experienced fisherman how to catch fish. He recognized the voice, the call, the inspiration. And, once again, his life was about to change. Pope Francis reminds us that at the heart of it all—our joys, our sorrows, our trials, our challenges, our heartaches—God's presence is as simple and profound as a fire, a simple meal, a new way of seeing reality. The death and resurrection of Jesus reminds us that God knows it's never easy. The Risen Christ bore the wounds of the cross as a sign of that. Remember that he's with us every step of the way, loving us, nudging us forward, showing us a new way to see.
— from the book The Hope of Lent: Daily Reflections from Pope Francis,
by Diane M. Houdek
†Saint Quote "The Eucharist is the Sacrament of Love; It signifies Love, It produces love. The Eucharist is the consummation of the whole spiritual life." — St. Thomas Aquinas
†MEDITATION OF THE DAY† "We may have become careless in being faithful to our spiritual commitments such as attendance at daily Mass, our daily time of prayer, spiritual reading, and so on. Or we may have become careless in valuing the gifts God gives us, or in rejecting or dallying with temptation. Or we may have begun to allow distractions, entertainments, and engagement in worldly activities to deaden our hunger for God . . . Dryness experienced as a result of negligence, lukewarmness, and infidelity—and whatever stage of the downward spiral it may have led to—have only one solution: repentance. This dryness is self-induced; the solution to it is to return to fidelity in our spiritual practices." — Ralph Martin, p.166 AN EXCERPT FROM The Fulfillment of All Desire
† VERSE OF THE DAY "Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How inscrutable are his judgments and how unsearchable his ways!...For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen." Romans 11:33 and 36
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BL. KATARZYNA CELESTYNA FARON
Bl. Katarzyna Celestyna (Catherine Celestine) Faron (1913-1944) was born in Zabrzez, Poland. At the age of five she was orphaned and raised by pious, childless relatives. Desiring the religious life, she entered the Congregation of the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate in 1930. She served in the community as a kindergarten teacher and catechist. After the breakout of World War II she became the leader of her religious house, ran an orphanage, and helped the poor. She was eventually arrested by the Gestapo, charged with conspiracy against the Nazis, and sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp on the feast of Epiphany in 1943, where she was assigned to manual labor digging ditches. She praised God in all her suffering and resigned herself to following his will. Due to the poor conditions she developed typhoid fever and tuberculosis. Because she completed the nine First Fridays devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, she trusted that she wouldn't die without Holy Communion, as Our Lord promised. On December 8, 1943, the feast of the Immaculate Conception, she received Holy Communion as viaticum which was secretly brought to the camp by a prisoner priest. While on her deathbed she prayed intensely for various intentions on a rosary made of bread. According to witnesses she offered her sufferings for the conversion of a priest who had fallen away from the Church, who later did return to the true Faith. Bl. Katarzyn finally died from her illness on Easter morning. She is one of the 108 beatified Polish Catholic Martyrs killed during World War II by Nazi Germany. Her feast day is April 9th.
Friday in the Octave of Easter
After the crippled man had been cured, while Peter and John were still speaking to the people, the priests, the captain of the temple guard, and the Sadducees confronted them, disturbed that they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead. They laid hands on Peter and John and put them in custody until the next day, since it was already evening. But many of those who heard the word came to believe and the number of men grew to about five thousand.
On the next day, their leaders, elders, and scribes were assembled in Jerusalem, with Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly class. They brought them into their presence and questioned them, "By what power or by what name have you done this?" Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, answered them, "Leaders of the people and elders: If we are being examined today about a good deed done to a cripple, namely, by what means he was saved, then all of you and all the people of Israel should know that it was in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead; in his name this man stands before you healed. He is the stone rejected by you, the builders,
which has become the cornerstone. There is no salvation through anyone else, nor is there any other name under heaven given to the human race by which we are to be saved."
118:1-2 and 4, 22-24, 25-27a
R. (22) The stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone. or: R. Alleluia. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
for his mercy endures forever. Let the house of Israel say,
"His mercy endures forever." Let those who fear the LORD say,
"His mercy endures forever." R. (22) The stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone. or: R. Alleluia. The stone which the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone. By the LORD has this been done;
it is wonderful in our eyes. This is the day the LORD has made;
let us be glad and rejoice in it. R. (22) The stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone. or: R. Alleluia. O LORD, grant salvation!
O LORD, grant prosperity! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD;
we bless you from the house of the LORD.
The LORD is God, and he has given us light. R. (22) The stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone. 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.
Jesus revealed himself again to his disciples at the Sea of Tiberias. He revealed himself in this way. Together were Simon Peter, Thomas called Didymus, Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, Zebedee's sons, and two others of his disciples. Simon Peter said to them, "I am going fishing." They said to him, "We also will come with you." So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. When it was already dawn, Jesus was standing on the shore; but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. Jesus said to them, "Children, have you caught anything to eat?" They answered him, "No." So he said to them, "Cast the net over the right side of the boat and you will find something." So they cast it, and were not able to pull it in because of the number of fish. So the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, "It is the Lord." When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he tucked in his garment, for he was lightly clad, and jumped into the sea. The other disciples came in the boat, for they were not far from shore, only about a hundred yards, dragging the net with the fish. When they climbed out on shore, they saw a charcoal fire with fish on it and bread. Jesus said to them, "Bring some of the fish you just caught." So Simon Peter went over and dragged the net ashore full of one hundred fifty-three large fish. Even though there were so many, the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, "Come, have breakfast." And none of the disciples dared to ask him, "Who are you?" because they realized it was the Lord. Jesus came over and took the bread and gave it to them, and in like manner the fish. This was now the third time Jesus was revealed to his disciples after being raised from the dead.
Daily Meditation: John 21:1-14
Simon Peter . . . tucked in his garment . . . and jumped into the sea. (John 21:7)
The apostles' lives had changed so much in so little time. Jesus had washed their feet on Holy Thursday and then faced his death on Good Friday. Three days later came the news of his resurrection on Easter Sunday. Some had seen him a few times since that morning, but the apostles must have longed to see Jesus again, to be with him one more time. But he didn't come back. So you might forgive them for being a bit slow to recognize Jesus when he appeared on the shore of the Sea of Galilee.
All that changed with the miraculous catch of fish and with John's cry of recognition: "It is the Lord!" (John 21:7). Immediately Peter jumped into the water and waded to the shore.
Like the apostles, we can have days when we feel as if the Lord is distant from us. We try to pray to him, but we just don't sense his presence. Even now, just a few days after Easter, the excitement may have worn off, leaving us with the sense that everything has returned to the ho-hum way it was before Ash Wednesday.
It's okay to feel that way every now and then. After all, it's just a feeling. It's not as if Jesus has changed his mind and decided to stop loving you or caring for you. You could be having a bad day. Questions at home or at work may be weighing on you. Or maybe you just didn't get enough sleep the night before. Whatever the case, you can still trust that Jesus is with you and that he is looking out for you.
When you find yourself feeling discouraged like this, take a few moments to reflect on why Peter jumped out of that boat. He had waited long enough; he couldn't wait even a few more minutes to be next to the Lord! Similarly, know that a moment of recognition is in your future as well, a moment when the clouds clear and you sense his presence once again. Until that day, stay watchful in prayer, confident in his love, and ready to jump into the sea as soon as you spot him.
"Lord, help me to hold fast to you in faith."
Acts 4:1-12 Psalm 118:1-2, 4, 22-27
Oh, how great is the goodness of God, greater than we can understand. There are moments and there are mysteries of the Divine Mercy over which the heavens are astounded. Let our judgement of souls cease, for God's mercy upon them is extraordinary. — Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska
my2cents: "...it was in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead; in his name this man stands before you healed." In the name. In the Name of JESUS, and He is Christ. Jesus Messiah. Jesus Savior. The very one we had crucified just last Friday, now is celebrated for still, saving and healing souls. For this He came to our shores. To invite us to follow Him in the Exodus He has ushered in.
And so we pray today: "The stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone. O LORD, grant salvation! O LORD, grant prosperity! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD: we bless you from the house of the LORD. The LORD is God, and he has given us light." Who comes in the name of the Lord? It is Jesus. And He puts Himself in us to come to the world in the name of the Lord! To be the very light He desires in our hearts and souls.
In the Holy Gospel today, we heard the disciples went fishing after the Resurrection, and we heard: "Jesus said to them, Children, have you caught anything to eat?" Did you notice how He called to them? Children. Children! Children? These were full grown adults, disciples, fishermen, workers, family men. But, He calls out to them and in spanish this would mean way more than in english language, "Hijos!". If you say it in Spanish, it sounds like a Father calling out to his children to get their attention. He is calling His children to Himself and once again, teaching them to obey, but they were already obedient.
"Children (Hijos!) , have you caught anything to eat?" They answered him, "No." So he said to them, "Cast the net over the right side of the boat and you will find something."
He asked if they had anything to eat. The story gets interesting. Because eventually they realize that man calling is the Lord. St. Peter our Pope dives into the water to swim to the shore to our Lord. He still can't walk on water, but He's about to encounter Him anyway, seek and ye shall find.
Do you have anything to eat? Why would He ask that if we heard in the Gospel today, "When they climbed out on shore, they saw a charcoal fire with fish on it and bread." Our Lord already had food cooking, and bread. Yet He goes on "Bring some of the fish you just caught." They must've looked at each other, but no questions asked, Peter went to haul in the 153 fish, a load that almost sank their boat. And our Lord goes on about the food: "Come, have breakfast." He feeds on the shores as He fed the thousands before....bread, and fish. He has something cooking. Just you wait and see. He asks you to fish and trust, trust and fish. You are hearing this message because our Lord desires you to become one of His followers on the seashore, ready to cross to the other side, where He has a banquet, a feast prepared, ready for you the faithful. Ready for you the obedient. Ready for you the ....children. His children. You are His child. And this very fact is quite simply and awesomely amazing!
Lord, Father, you are amazing. You teach us things and ways that are not of this world. Help us to trust and love you with our every life decision no matter how small. Help us love one another to Heaven, to Your banquet of Love.
from your brother in Christ our Lord, adrian
Random online bible verse from a random verse generator:
1 Corinthians 13:7–8
7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.
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