Among the proper lessons of culture is that we remind ourselves of our limits, of our need for community, of our ignorance and the tragic realities of living in such ignorance—lessons, in other words, that help us remember that we are creatures. It is through such recollection, being gathered back to ourselves from the diffuse ambitions that draw us away from our roots, that we are able to begin to heal the damage done to the world and ourselves. "The task of healing," writes Wendell Berry, "is to respect oneself as a creature, no more and no less." Humility, by helping to return us to the integrity of our humanity, which involves an acceptance of our particularly human creatureliness, also helps to make our lives more coherent, more integrated. "The more coherent one becomes within oneself as a creature," writes Berry, "the more fully one enters into the communion of all creatures."
†Saint Quote "Let us stand fast in what is right, and prepare our souls for trial. Let us wait upon God's strengthening aid and say to him: 'O Lord, you have been our refuge in all generations.'" — St. Boniface
† MEDITATION OF THE DAY "Everything that exists is a gift from God. Yet oftentimes we look to the things and creatures created by God for a satisfaction and fulfillment that only God Himself can provide. When the soul wraps itself around the things and the people of this world, looking for satisfaction or fulfillment that only God can give, it produces a distortion in itself, and in others as well. Many spiritual writers call the process of unwinding this possessive, self-centered, clinging, and disordered seeking of things and persons 'detachment'. The goal of the process of detachment is not to stop loving the things and people of this world, but, quite to the contrary, to love them even more truly in God, under the reign of Christ, in the power of the Holy Spirit. Things and people become even more beautiful and delightful when we see them in this light. There are almost always painful dimensions to this process of 'letting go' in order to love more, but it's the pain of true healing and liberation. Christian detachment is an important part of the process by which we enter into a realm of great freedom and joy." — Ralph Martin, p.205 AN EXCERPT FROM The Fulfillment of All Desire
† VERSE OF THE DAY "As God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive." Colossians 3:12-13
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STS. CLETUS & MARCELLINUS
St. Cletus (1st c.) and St. Marcellinus (3rd c.) were both Romans, popes, and martyrs who ruled the Holy See during the terrible persecution of Christians at the hands of the Roman Empire. St. Cletus was a convert and disciple of St. Peter the Apostle who became the third Bishop of Rome from 76 to 89 A.D., under the reigns of Roman Emperors Vespasian and Titus. His name appears in the Roman Canon of the Mass. St. Marcellinus was the twenty-ninth Bishop of Rome from 296 to 304 A.D. during the infamous persecution of the Roman Emperor Diocletian, on the eve of the legalization of Christianity across the Empire. Statues of these two popes of the early Church sit on opposite corners of the portico ceiling of Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome. They share a feast day on April 26th.
Monday of the Fourth Week of Easter
Lectionary: 279 Reading I
The Apostles and the brothers who were in Judea heard that the Gentiles too had accepted the word of God. So when Peter went up to Jerusalem the circumcised believers confronted him, saying, 'You entered the house of uncircumcised people and ate with them." Peter began and explained it to them step by step, saying, "I was at prayer in the city of Joppa when in a trance I had a vision, something resembling a large sheet coming down, lowered from the sky by its four corners, and it came to me. Looking intently into it, I observed and saw the four-legged animals of the earth, the wild beasts, the reptiles, and the birds of the sky. I also heard a voice say to me, 'Get up, Peter. Slaughter and eat.' But I said, 'Certainly not, sir, because nothing profane or unclean has ever entered my mouth.' But a second time a voice from heaven answered, 'What God has made clean, you are not to call profane.' This happened three times, and then everything was drawn up again into the sky. Just then three men appeared at the house where we were, who had been sent to me from Caesarea. The Spirit told me to accompany them without discriminating. These six brothers also went with me, and we entered the man's house. He related to us how he had seen the angel standing in his house, saying, 'Send someone to Joppa and summon Simon, who is called Peter, who will speak words to you by which you and all your household will be saved.' As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them as it had upon us at the beginning, and I remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said, 'John baptized with water but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.' If then God gave them the same gift he gave to us when we came to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to be able to hinder God?" When they heard this, they stopped objecting and glorified God, saying, "God has then granted life-giving repentance to the Gentiles too."
42:2-3; 43:3, 4
R. (see 3a) Athirst is my soul for the living God. or: R. Alleluia. As the hind longs for the running waters,
so my soul longs for you, O God. Athirst is my soul for God, the living God.
When shall I go and behold the face of God? R. Athirst is my soul for the living God. or: R. Alleluia. Send forth your light and your fidelity;
they shall lead me on And bring me to your holy mountain,
to your dwelling-place. R. Athirst is my soul for the living God. or: R. Alleluia. Then will I go in to the altar of God,
the God of my gladness and joy; Then will I give you thanks upon the harp,
O God, my God! R. Athirst is my soul for the living God. or: R. Alleluia.
R. Alleluia, alleluia. I am the good shepherd, says the Lord; I know my sheep, and mine know me. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Jesus said: "Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever does not enter a sheepfold through the gate but climbs over elsewhere is a thief and a robber. But whoever enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens it for him, and the sheep hear his voice, as the shepherd calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has driven out all his own, he walks ahead of them, and the sheep follow him, because they recognize his voice. But they will not follow a stranger; they will run away from him, because they do not recognize the voice of strangers." Although Jesus used this figure of speech, the Pharisees did not realize what he was trying to tell them.
So Jesus said again, "Amen, amen, I say to you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. A thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy; I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly."
Daily Meditation: Acts 11:1-18
Peter began and explained it to them step by step. (Acts 11:4)
We all know what hindsight is: it's a look in the rearview mirror, when we are able to make sense of a situation only after it's already happened. It's what Peter experienced as he looked back at the amazing events in today's first reading.
As this story unfolds, Peter faces some very unusual situations, and by the end, his whole perspective changes. His vision, the three men knocking on the door, his choosing to go with them "without discriminating" (Acts 11:12), the Holy Spirit falling upon a Gentile household—each of these was another step in God's plan. But only with spiritual hindsight could Peter see that God wanted to include Gentiles in his Church. Peter became so convinced, in fact, that he was able to explain it to the circumcised believers in Jerusalem (11:2).
Think of how this works in your life. You might go through a situation that doesn't make sense at the time. Maybe you lost a job and had to stay at home with your children. Or maybe a good friend moved halfway across the country. It was a hard transition, but as you looked back on it later, you saw that God had a perfect purpose and plan in every step. Maybe you were able to have a breakthrough with one of your children or found a new way to deepen your friendship from afar.
Spiritual hindsight can help you stand in awe of God's plan. What's more, it can inspire you to lean on God the next time something unexpected comes along.
That's why it's worth it every now and then to look back on some of the events in your life or in the lives of your loved ones. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you see how God might have been at work through these circumstances. Even better, write down your insights as a reminder of God's faithfulness when you doubt. As you do this, you will be better able to imitate Peter: though he might not have understood how everything was going to work out, he tried to follow the Holy Spirit each step along the way.
"Holy Spirit, give me spiritual hindsight to see your faithfulness throughout my life."
Psalm 42:2-3; 43:3-4 John 10:1-10
For the Christian there is no 'strange human being.' He is in every instance the 'neighbor' whom we have with us and who is most in need of us. It makes no difference whether he is related or not, whether we 'like' him or not, whether he is 'morally worthy' of help or not. The love of Christ knows no bounds, it never ceases, it never withdraws in the face of hatred or foul play. — St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross
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my2cents: "'Send someone to Joppa and summon Simon, who is called Peter, who will speak words to you by which you and all your household will be saved.' As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them..." The entire household was saved, through baptism, everyone of every age, child, parent, grandparent. And then baptism of the Holy Spirit comes into the conversation. The baptism of our Lord. What is this strange talk? As he spoke, the Holy Spirit fell on them. How does this happen? It happens when a heart is open to God, things start happening, spectacular things, and then, they are ready to be baptized with fire from our Lord, for it is one thing to receive our Lord in Baptism of Water, but another to GIVE our Lord, the light, the Love, the Grace, the Mercy after receiving Him in Confession, Confirmation, and the Eucharist.
We pray in the Psalms: "Send forth your light and your fidelity; they shall lead me on And bring me to your holy mountain, to your dwelling-place. Athirst is my soul for the living God." Like a light tower shows the way, so is the Lord showing the way to Himself, and by the light being on always, we show others the way to Christ. And what does it mean to come to Christ? It means everything. This realm presents one life, and in the next, this life comes into fulfillment in the eternal.
Our Lord speaks today: " the shepherd calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has driven out all his own,he walks ahead of them, and the sheep follow him, because they recognize his voice. But they will not follow a stranger; they will run away from him..." Can you imagine a shepherd that knows each sheep by name? LOL, I have a hard time calling our 8 kids in a rush, but He calls you my child by name. And why are we called sheep and lambs? Because, Jesus Himself is called the Paschal Lamb. The great Master Lamb that leads the rest to the good pasture, the shepherding Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, including death which is a mere byproduct of sin. You should be comforted that these words have reached your ears and your heart. You know truth and the truth makes you rejoice, and at times the truth you may not want to hear, like the Pharisees.
Our Lord said to them:
"Amen, amen, I say to you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate." What does a good Pastor, a Shepherd do?
I spoke with some adult students, some couples yesterday, and I said that it is good to spend some alone time together, maybe lunch once a week, or a date once a month or both if possible, things I've been taught, I teach them. What is it about spending intimate time together? It strengthens the bond of love. By now, you should be thinking of spending some intimate time alone...with our Lord, our Shepherd, in perhaps prayer at home and prayer with Him in His Blessed Presence of the Holy Tabernacle, the Blessed Sacrament in the Church. This will strengthen your bond with TRUE Love. This will make love shine in the world that refuses to turn to the truth of True Love, our Master Lamb on the Cross, to see how horrendous we can be with our sins, and to turn from sin and be saved, and thus, be led to the great pasture, of eternal bliss with Him always...an incomprehensible, yet very amazing gift from our God, the Great I AM in the bread from Heaven, His very Eucharistic Being.
He says: I AM the Gate, the Truth, the Way, the VERY LIFE!
Let us pray: Lord, You are my Amazing Pastor, my Master, help me listen always for Thy voice speaking so beautifully to my Soul and Heart, as you gently nudge me and sometimes break me and carry me on Your shoulders, because of immense Love that we cannot understand. I want that for my fellow brethren, family in You My Lord....always. Amen.
from your brother in Christ our Lord, adrian
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Random Bible Verse from online generator:
Proverbs 12:19 19 Truthful lips endure forever,
but a lying tongue is but for a moment.
If one day you don't receive these, just visit Going4th.com God Bless You! Peace