Friday, April 5, 2024

† "..Children, Have you Caught anything .... "


†Quote of the Day

"If you truly want to help the soul of your neighbor, you should approach God first with all your heart. Ask him simply to fill you with charity, the greatest of all virtues; with it you can accomplish what you desire."
–St. Vincent Ferrer

Today's Meditation

I see my Jesus, exhausted and degraded in the dust, prostrate before the face of His heavenly Father. Looking upon His beloved Son, God perceived all the crimes of sacrilege, manslaughter, perjury, etc., and He saw the capital sins, the mortal sins, venial sins, the perfidy, and unfaithfulness of souls favored with the grace of being chosen by God. Consequently, our sweetest Lord endured a double martyrdom; one, of His entire being; the other, a martyrdom of love since He felt rejected by His Father."
—Mother Raohael Lubowidzka of the sweetest Heart of Jesus, CSFN, p.

Daily Verse

"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


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.


Friday in the Octave of Easter

Reading 1 Acts 4:1-12

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."

Responsorial Psalm 118:1-2 and 4, 22-24, 25-27a

R. (22) The stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone.
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. The stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone.
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. The stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone.
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. The stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone.
R. Alleluia.

Sequence -- optional Victimae paschali laudes

Christians, to the Paschal Victim

Offer your thankful praises!
A Lamb the sheep redeems;

Christ, who only is sinless,

Reconciles sinners to the Father.
Death and life have contended in that combat stupendous:

The Prince of life, who died, reigns immortal.
Speak, Mary, declaring

What you saw, wayfaring.
"The tomb of Christ, who is living,

The glory of Jesus' resurrection;
bright angels attesting,

The shroud and napkin resting.
Yes, Christ my hope is arisen;

to Galilee he goes before you."
Christ indeed from death is risen, our new life obtaining.

Have mercy, victor King, ever reigning!

Amen. 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 Jn 21:1-14

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

I am going fishing. (John 21:3)

Why would Peter return to fishing? It's possible that his hope was starting to waver. Yes, he had seen the risen Lord. He knew that Jesus had forgiven him and had removed his guilt. But maybe there were nagging questions: Could he still be an apostle? Was there still a place for him in Jesus' kingdom?

So Peter went back to what he knew. He and his friends fished all night—but without catching anything. Then he heard a man call out to them from the shore, "Cast the net over the right side of the boat" (John 21:6). Surely those words sparked a memory of another morning, years before, when Jesus had told him to lower his nets for a miraculous catch. That first amazing catch was a turning point in Peter's life; it happened immediately before Jesus called him to follow him and start "catching men" (Luke 5:10). Could it be Jesus again?

Maybe Peter's heart started to lift as he pulled in the net, heavy with another miraculous catch of fish. Maybe he started to wonder if another turning point could be in store for him. As we know, just following the passage we read today, Jesus recommissions Peter, and Peter reverses his threefold denial with a threefold reaffirmation of love (John 21:15-19). Jesus hadn't changed his mind about Peter!

When Peter looked at his past, he saw his failures and sins, and that made his hope waver. But Jesus saw a much bigger picture. He hadn't forgotten Peter's yes three years before. His call for Peter remained. That's because he is the God who never gives up. And he won't give up on you.

You may not have miraculous signposts pointing to pivotal moments in your relationship with the Lord. But even those small moments when Jesus called you, brought you into deeper relationship with him, or set you off on a new phase of life can be heavenly reminders of his love. Let him reassure you that, even if you have stumbled over the years, he hasn't forgotten your yes to him. He is always ready to welcome you back. Let that assurance prepare and inspire you, like Peter, to reaffirm your love for Jesus and your willingness to follow him wherever he leads.

"Jesus, thank you that you never give up on me!"

Acts 4:1-12
Psalm 118:1-2, 4, 22-27


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Reflections with Brother Adrian:
Audio English


In the Holy Scripture we hear today:
"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."
end quote.

From Bishop Barron today:
"Friends, we must attend to the mystical depth of today's Gospel. At the break of dawn, the disciples spy a mysterious figure on the distant shore who shouts out to them, "Children, have you caught anything to eat?" When they answer in the negative, he instructs them to cast the net over the right side of the ship. When they do, they bring in a huge catch of fish.
This fishing expedition is a symbol of the Church (the barque of Peter), across space and time, at its apostolic task of seeking souls. The life and work of the Church, John seems to be telling us, will be a lengthy, twilight struggle, a hard toil that will often seem to bear little or no fruit. But after the long night, the dawn of a new life and a new order will break, the transfigured world inaugurated by Jesus. The catch of fish that he makes possible is the totality of people that Christ will gather to himself; it is the new Israel, the eschatological Church.
We know this through a subtle bit of symbolism. When the fish are dragged ashore, John bothers to tell us their exact number, 153—a figure commonly taken in the ancient world to signify the total number of species of fish in the sea....." end quote.

It was about this gospel that inspired me to put on a men's retreat called "Catch" in 2018. My dad was even involved before he passed. In the retreat, the first challenge was to have the men go catch a wild rabbit in the field and junk iron behind our ranch. I even offered $500 cash to whoever caught. My plan was to prove that it was impossible to catch a wild rabbit, an elusive soul that refuses to let God catch them. Well, that didn't happen.

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Two guys decided that together they would make the effort to catch a rabbit and they actually succeded.
And I had to give them their reward. But we sat to talk, and a little miracle happened; the rabbit that was released decided to stay and join us.

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We carried, drug a cross across a field, I had told them to choose their cross, some chose a light one, some chose a big ugly heavy one, and that one needed help, so the light ones had to let go of theirs or carry both. And then we arrived to a place of crucifixion. It was Good Friday. And right after, I asked them to walk towards a pond (to symbolize the lake, but we were intercepted by my dad (all part of the plan). As we walked he drove up in his 1940's truck and cowboy hat. He gave his testimony of how he had lost his life chasing a rabbit and was electrocuted to death with his cousin on a farm because the rabbit was in a pipe which they lifted and struck 480volt powerlines. My dad saw his body laying there and after saying "everyone is going to believe that body is me!" and prayed he could have a wife and console his mother he was zapped back into his body into a world of pain. It was a resurrection story. And then we left him to the pond to fish, like Peter left pondering.

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The men caught absolutely nothing. They had hopes from the rabbit catch, but were crest fallen. But it was all part of the plan no matter what. The Lord would provide fish. I had cursillo family come cook fish without the men knowing, and one to act as Jesus, a complete stranger and invited them to come eat by the shore of that pond, and we sat and ate, and shared the broken bread the fish of the Lord, because everything is His.

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We ate and were happy in the beautiful day and light and meal and sharing. And then the night came and we shared stories of the Lord at a campfire by the shore.
The shooting stars were amazing to witness. Everything about the day, the whole of life was much to digest. And the last part ended in church, where we were to spend the night.
But there was adoration, so we quietly prayed and left. And the Samuel Night retreat came this past Lent which I spoke to you about. Not one of the men that was at the Catch retreat came to the Samuel retreat. I always tell people that the best retreat you should go to is the next one they invite you to. Never again would anyone hear the story direct from my dad. It was special to have an eye witness give his personal testimony of life after death.

And so it was with our Lord. He came, fed the confused men. Nourished them with His meal, fed them Himself literally. And then they were off on the mission.

That is the story of the fisher of men, the lover of souls, the story of our Lord. He desires that we make the world the pond, the catch for all His children to join Him forever in the light!

Before we go today, pray with us and the whole world, Sunday, at 3pm the Divine Mercy at dark moment of the eclipse to usher in the light for the world!


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Random Bible Verse 1

Delight yourself in the LORD,

and he will give you the desires of your heart.


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