Quote/s of the Day – 5 May – Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Easter, Readings: First: Acts 15: 1-6; Psalm: Psalms 122: 1-2, 3-4ab, 4cd-5; Gospel: John 15: 1-8 and the Memorial of the Conversdion of St Augustine
“Without Me you can do nothing”
“You do not know when your last day may come. You are an ingrate! Why not use the day, today, that God has given you to repent?”
“What do you possess if you possess not God?”
St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctor of Grace
“A saint is not someone, who never sins, but one who sins less and less frequently and gets up more and more quickly.”
St Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153) Mellifluous Doctor
“Each day then, we ought to renew our resolutions and arouse ourselves to fervour, as though it were the first day of our turning back to God. We ought to say: “Help me, O Lord God, in my good resolution and in Your holy service. Grant me now, this very day, to begin perfectly, for thus far I have done nothing.” … Just men depend on the grace of God rather than on their own wisdom in keeping their resolutions. In Him they confide every undertaking …” ”
Thomas à Kempis CRSA (1380-1471)
“A soul makes room for God by wiping away all the smudges and smears of creatures, by uniting its will perfectly to God’s, for to love is to labour, to divest and deprive oneself for God, of all that is not God . When this is done, the soul will be illumined by and transformed in God.”
St John of the Cross (1542-1591) Mystical Doctor of the Church
Our Morning Offering – 5 May – The Memorial of the Conversion of St Augustne of Hippo (354-430)
Blessed Virgin Mary, Receive Our Gratitude By St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctor of Grace
Blessed Virgin Mary, who can worthily repay you with praise and thanks for having rescued a fallen world by your generous consent! Receive our gratitude and by your prayers, obtain the pardon of our sins. Take our prayers into the Sanctuary of Heaven and enable them to make our peace with God. Holy Mary, help the miserable, strengthen the discouraged, comfort the sorrowful, pray for your people, plead for the clergy, intercede for all women consecrated to God. May all who venerate you feel now your help and protection. Be ready to help us when we pray and bring back to us, the answers to our prayers. Make it your continual concern to pray for the people of God, for you were blessed by God and were made worthy to bear the Redeemer of the world, Who lives and reigns forever. Amen
Saint of the Day – 5 May – Feast of the Conversion of St Augustine (354-430) Bishop, Father and Doctor of Grace. Born on 13 November 354 at Tagaste, Numidia, North Africa (Souk-Ahras, Algeria) as Aurelius Augustinus Hipponensis and died on 28 August 430 at Hippo, North Africa, which date is his primary Feast day. The Augustinians celebrated today’s memorial on 24 April. St Augustine is the Patron of against sore eyes, against vermin, brewers, printers, theologians, 7 Dioceses, 7 Cities
The Roman Martyrology states of today’s memorial: “In Milan, the Conversion of St Augustine, Bishop and Doctor of the Church, whom the blessed Bishop St Ambrose instructed in the Catholic Faith and baptised on this day.”
The story of a soul’s journey to God is what we celebrate today in the feast of the Conversion of Saint Augustine. Or, perhaps, we might also say, the story of God’s tireless pursuit of His beloved and the attentiveness and openness of that soul at last to God’s love. Conversion, or the turning to God, is a movement that is possible for us at every moment of our journey – not simply once and forever but continually and ever more deeply.
During the Easter Vigil, on the night between 4 and 5 April 387, Augustine was baptised by Bishop Ambrose in the Cathedral of Milan ,together with his son, Adeodatus and a small group of friends, including the ‘brother of (his) heart,’ Alypius. Thus was brought to its happy end, the long and tiring journey of Augustine’s conversion to the Catholic faith. Augustine himself records, in Book 8 of the Confessions, the climactic moment in which he surrendered to God’s grace and was relieved of the doubts and fears, which had so long kept him imprisoned.
How many things came together now, in one moment, to bring him freedom: – the story of a visiting countryman, the song of a young child, repeating Tolle Lege, Tolle Lege – Take up, read. Take up, read, moving him to pick up St Paul’s Letter to the Romans, to find there, the response to his heart’s longing.
“I found myself weeping in the bitter sorrow of my heart. And suddenly I heard a voice from a nearby house, a child’s voice, boy or girl I do not know – but it was sort of a sing song that repeated over and over again. ‘Take and read, take and read.’ Wiping away my tears I took this as a divine command and opened the Scriptures and in silence read the passage on which my eyes first fell – ‘Not in rioting and drunkenness, not in debauchery and impurity, not in contention and envy but put on the Lord Jesus…’”
“How sweet did it suddenly become to me to be free of the sweets of folly -things that I once feared to lose, it was now joy to put away. You cast them forth from me, You the true and highest sweetness, You cast them forth and in their stead, You entered in, sweeter than every pleasure…” (Conf. 9, 1).
Certainly the story of Augustine’s conversion, numbers among the most well-known and most significant of all of Christian history – well-known, through Augustine’s own recording of it in his Confessions; significant, not only for the impact which his life of faith – as Monk, Bishop and Theologian – has had on the Catholic Church ever since but also, on the many men and women of every period, whose own personal lives have been altered by reading it and then hastening to go on and read and read and read the words of love of St Augustine!
Let us now thank God for the great light that shines out from St Augustine’s wisdom and humility and pray the Lord to give to us all, day after day, the conversion we need to lead us toward true life. And we ask our beloved Father and Doctor of Grace, St Augustine, to not forget us in his supplications and intercessions. as he gazes on the Face of God. Amen.
Our Morning Offering – 4 May – “Mary’s Month” – Tuesday of the Fifth Week of Easter
Hail, O Mother! By St John Chrysostom (347-407) Father and Doctor of the Church
Hail, O Mother! Virgin, heaven, throne, glory of our Church, it’s foundation and ornament. Earnestly pray for us to Jesus, your Son and Our Lord, that through your intercession, we may have mercy on the day of judgement. Pray that we may receive, all those good things which are reserved for those who love God. Through the grace and favour of Our Lord, Jesus Christ, to Whom, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, be power, honour and glory, now and forever. Amen
Quote/s of the Day – 3 May – “Mary’s Month” – Monday of the Fifth Week of Easter, Readings: First: First Corinthians 15: 1-8; Psalm: Psalms 19: 2-3, 4-5; Gospel: John 14: 6-14 and the Feast of Sts Philip and James Apostles and Martyrs
“Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.”
“I am in my Father a nd you in me and I in you.”
“It is no advantage to be near the light, if the eyes are closed.”
“Faith is to believe what you do not see. The reward of this faith, is to see what you believe.”
One Minute Reflection – 3 May – “Mary’s Month” – Monday of the Fifth Week of Easter, Readings: First: First Corinthians 15: 1-8; Psalm: Psalms 19: 2-3, 4-5; Gospel: John 14: 6-14 and the Feast of Sts Philip and James Apostles and Martyrs
“Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you for so long a time and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? …” -John 14:9
REFLECTION – “In the Church, I know of only one image, that is, the image of the unseen God. God has said about this image, “Let us make man [humankind] in our image.” Of this image it is written that Christ is the “effulgence of the glory and impress of His hypostasis.” In that image, I perceive the Father, as the Lord Jesus Himself has said, “The one who has seen me has seen the Father.” For this image is not separated from the Father, which indeed, has taught me the unity of the Trinity, saying, “I and the Father are one” and again, “All things whatever the Father has are mine.” [In this image, also perceive] the Holy Spirit, seeing that the Spirit is Christ’s and has received of Christ, as it is written, “He shall receive of mine and shall announce it to you.” – St Ambrose (340-397) Bishop of Milan, Father and one of the original four Doctors of the Latin Church( – Sermon Against Auxentius, 32)
PRAYER – Lord God, each year You grant us the blessing of celebrating with joy, the feast day of Your Apostles and Martyrs Saints Philip and James. Make us partners with them by their prayers, in the Passion and Resurrection of Your only-begotten Son, so that we may come, with them, to the eternal vision of Your glory. We make our prayer through Jesus Christ, our Lord in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God now and forever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 3 May – “Mary’s Month” – Monday of the Fifth Week of Easter
Mary, Mother of Grace St Athanasius (297-373) Father & Doctor (whose Feast we celebrated yesterday, 2 May)
It becomes you to be mindful of us, as you stand near Him who granted you all graces, for you are the Mother of God and our Queen. Help us for the sake of the King, the Lord God and Master, Who was born of you. For this reason, you are called full of grace. Remember us, most holy Virgin, and bestow on us gifts from the riches of your graces, Virgin full of graces. Amen
Quote/s of the Day – 2 May – “Mary’s Month” – and the Memorial of St Athanasius (297-373) Father & Doctor of the Church
“If we follow Christ closely we shall be allowed, even on this earth, to stand, as it were, on the threshold of the heavenly Jerusalem and enjoy the contemplation, pf that everlasting feast, like the blessed Apostles, who, in following the Saviour as their leader, showed and still show, the way to obtain the same gift from God. They said – See, we have left all things and followed You. We too follow the Lord and we keep His feast by deeds rather than by words.”
“He cries out, saying: See, I am with you all the days of this age. He is Himself the shepherd, the high priest, the way and the door, and has become all things at once for us.”
“Mary, Mother of Grace, it becomes you to be mindful of us, as you stand near Him who granted you all graces, for you are the Mother of God and our Queen. Help us for the sake of the King, the Lord God and Master, Who was born of you.”
Quote/s of the Day – 1 May – Saturday of the Fourth Week of Easter, Readings: Acts 13:44-52, Psalm 98:1-4, John 14:7-14
“If you know me, then you will also know my Father. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”
“We will follow You, Lord Jesus. But in order for us to follow You, call us,because without You, no-one will ascend towards You. For You are the way, the truth, the life. You are also our help, our trust, our reward. Welcome those who belong to You, You who are the way; strengthen them, You who are the truth; give them life, You who are the life.”
St Ambrose (340-397) Father & Doctor of the Church
“O you sons of men, how long will you be dull of heart? … Behold – daily He humbles Himself as when from heaven’s royal throne He came down into the womb of the Virgin. Daily, He Himself, comes to us with like humility; daily He descends from the bosom of the Father, upon the Altar, in the hands of the Priest.”
One Minute Reflection – 1 May – Saturday of the Fourth Week of Easter, Readings: Acts 13:44-52, Psalm 98:1-4, John 14:7-14
“He who has seen me has seen the Father…”… John 14:9
REFLECTION – “Beloved, Jesus Christ is our salvation, He is the high priest through whom we present our offerings and the helper who supports us in our weakness. Through Him, our gaze penetrates the heights of heaven and we see, as in a mirror, the most holy face of God. Through Christ, the eyes of our hearts are opened and our weak and clouded understanding, reaches up toward the light. Through Him the Lord God willed that we should taste eternal knowledge, for Christ is the radiance of God’s glory and as much greater than the angels as the name God has given Him is superior to theirs. … Think, my brothers, of how we first came into being, of what we were at the first moment of our existence. Think of the dark tomb out of which our Creator brought us into His world, where He had His gifts prepared for us, even before we were born. All this we owe to Him and for everything, we must give Him thanks. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen.” … St Pope Clement of Rome (c 35-99), Apostolic Father, Bishop of Rome and Martyr – An excerpt from his Letter to the Corinthians
PRAYER – Since it is from You God, our Father, that redemption comes to us, Your adopted children, look with favour on the family You love, give us true freedom and to all who believe in Christ and bring us all alike to our eternal heritage. Grant we pray, that by the prayers of Your holy angels and saints, Blessed Giovanni Benincasa and most especially our beloved Virgin Mary, Mother of Christ, we may run this race always in prayer, trusting in Your divine Son’s intercession, to attain the Glory of Your Kingdom and the Light of Your Face. Through Jesus Christ, in the union of the Holy Spirit, God with You, forever and ever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 1 May – “Mary’s Month” and Friday of the Third Week of Easter
Hail, O Mary, Mother of God By St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) Father & Doctor of the Church
Hail, O Mary, Mother of God, Virgin and Mother! Morning Star, perfect vessel. Hail, O Mary, Mother of God, Holy Temple in which god Himself was conceived. Hail, O Mary, Mother of God, Chaste and pure dove. Hail, O Mary, Mother of God, Who enclosed the One who cannot be encompassed in your sacred womb. Hail, O Mary, Mother of God, From you flowed the true light, Jesus Christ, our Lord. Hail, O Mary, Mother of God, Through you the Conqueror and triumphant Vanquisher of hell came to us. Hail, O Mary, Mother of God, Through you, the glory of the Resurrection blossoms. Hail, O Mary, Mother of God, You have saved every faithful Christian. Hail, O Mary, Mother of God, Pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen
One Minute Reflection – 29 April – Thursday Fourth Week of Easter, Readings: Acts 13:13-25, Psalm 89:2-3, 21-22, 25, 27, John 13:16-20 and the Memorial of St Hugh the Great of Cluny (1024-1109)
“A servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.” … John 13:16
REFLECTION – “Remember the wonders He has done for us (Ps 104:5) in the past and those he does still. … In response to what He has done for us let us do even more and return what we owe Him, most venerable brethren. And what He wants from us is surely that we should fear Him, love Him with all our heart and all our mind (cf. Mt 22:37) and imitate His life in the flesh insofar as we can?
He made Himself a stranger, by leaving heaven for earth, so that we too might become strangers, to thoughts that come from self-will. He obeyed His Father ,so that you too should unhesitatingly obey …. He humbled Himself even to death (cf. Phil 2:8), so that you too should share this sentiment, abasing and humbling yourselves in thought, deed, word and act. Where is divine and true glory to be found, if not in becoming, without glory amongst men for God’s sake? … That which is small and despised, that is what He has chosen, my Saviour and God, who put on our flesh to confound (1 Cor 1:27-28) human fame and wealth.
This is why He was born in a cave, was laid in a manger, was called the son of a carpenter, called a Nazarene. He was clothed in one poor tunic and a single cloak; He went by foot, suffered, was stoned by the Jews (cf. Jn 10:31), insulted, arrested, crucified, pierced with a lance, placed in the tomb, after which He rose again. And so, He wishes to persuade us, brethren, to choose the same things as Himself before the angels, so that we may be crowned in the Kingdom of Heaven, into Christ our Lord Himself, to whom belongs glory and power, together with the Father and Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen.” … St Theodore the Studite (759-826) Monk and Theologian at Constantinople – Catechesis 78
PRAYER – Lord God, stand by us in Your saving work and stay with us in Your gifts of grace. You have rescued us from the darkness, keep us ever in Your light. May the ways of truth and life which Jesus Christ Your Son taught us, be our anchor and our light. We ask that You hear the intercession of Mary, the Blessed Virgin Mother and Saint Hugh of Cluny, Your servant, whom we beseech for help as we work to reach our heavenly home. Through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen
Acts 13: 13-25 13 Now when Paul and they that were with him, had sailed from Paphos, they came to Perge in Pamphylia. And John departing from them, returned to Jerusalem. 14 But they, passing through Perge, came to Antioch in Pisidia and entering into the synagogue on the sabbath day, they sat down. 15 And after the reading of the law and the prophets, the rulers of the synagogue sent to them, saying: Ye men, brethren, if you have any word of exhortation to make to the people, speak. 16 Then Paul rising up and with his hand bespeaking silence, said: Ye men of Israel and you that fear God, give ear. 17 The God of the people of Israel chose our fathers,and exalted the people when they were sojourners in the land of Egypt and with an high arm brought them out from thence, 18 And for the space of forty years endured their manners in the desert. 19 And destroying seven nations in the land of Chanaan, divided their land among them, by lot, 20 As it were, after four hundred and fifty years and after these things, he gave unto them judges, until Samuel the prophet. 21 And after that, they desired a king:and God gave them Saul the son of Cis, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, forty years. 22 And when he had removed him, he raised them up David to be king to whom giving testimony, he said: I have found David, the son of Jesse, a man according to my own heart, who shall do all my wills. 23 Of this man’s seed, God according to his promise, has raised up to Israel a Saviour, Jesus. 24 John first preaching, before his coming, the baptism of penance to all the people of Israel. 25 And when John was fulfilling his course, he said: I am not he, whom you think me to be: but behold, there comes one after me, whose shoes of his feet I am not worthy to loose.
Gospel: John 13: 16-20 16 Amen, amen I say to you: The servant is not greater than his lord; neither is the apostle greater than he that sent him. 17 If you know these things, you shall be blessed if you do them. 18 I speak not of you all, I know whom I have chosen. But that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eats bread with me, shall lift up his heel against me. 19 At present I tell you, before it come to pass, that when it shall come to pass, you may believe that I am he. 20 Amen, amen I say to you, he that receives whomsoever I send, receives me and he that receives me, receives him that sent me.
Quote/s of the Day – 27 April – Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Easter, Readings: Acts 11:19-26, Psalm 87:1-7, John 10:22-30
“My sheep hear my voice and I know them and they follow me.”
“If anyone serves me, he must follow me and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honour him.”
“Whatever you do, do from the heart, as for the Lord and not for others, knowing that you will receive from the Lord the due payment of the inheritance; be slaves of the Lord Christ.”
“This is the glory of man – to persevere and remain in the service of God. For this reason, the Lord told His disciples: ‘You did not choose Me but I chose you.’ He meant that His disciples did not glorify Him by following Him but, in following the Son of God, they were glorified by Him. As He said: ‘I wish that where I am they also may be, that they may see My glory.’”
St Irenaeus (130-202) Father of the Church and Martyr
“My sheep follow me,” says Christ. By a certain God-given grace, believers follow in the footsteps of Christ. No longer subject to the shadows of the Law , they obey the commands of Christ, and guided by His words, rise through grace, to His own dignity, for they are called children of God. When Christ ascends into heaven, they also follow Him.”
St Cyril of Alexandria (380-444) Father & Doctor of the Church
I Will Love and Follow You By Thomas à Kempis CRSA (1380-1471)
Oh my Lord, Let my heart expand in Your love. Let me learn to know how sweet it is, to serve You, how joyful it is, to praise You and to be absorbed in Your love. Oh, I am possessed by love and rise above myself because of the great fervour I feel, through Your infinite goodness. I will sing the canticle of love to You and I will follow You, my Beloved, wherever You go and may my soul never weary of praising you, rejoicing in Your love. I will love You more than myself and myself, only for Your sake. I will love all others in You and for you, as Your law of love commands. Amen
Quote/s of the Day – 26 April – Monday of the Fourth Week of Easter, Readings: First: Acts 11: 1-18, Psalm: Psalms 42: 2-3; 43: 3-4, Gospel: John 10: 1-10 and the Memorial of St Raphael Arnaiz Baron (1911-1938)
“I am the door. Whoever enters through me will be saved…. “
“In You is the source of life and in Your Light Lord, we see light“
“Now is the time for us to choose! … Listen to me, you holy seed, for I have no doubt, that it is here, in abundance… Listen to me or, rather, listen to Him, in me, Who was first called a good seed. Do not love your life in this world! If you truly love yourselves, do not thus love your life and then, you will save your life!”…
St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of Grace
“He is the origin of all wisdom. The Word of God in the heights, is the source of wisdom. Christ is the source of all true knowledge, for He is “the way, the truth and the life.” (Jn 14:6). … As way, Christ is the teacher and origin of knowledge … Without this Light, which is Christ, no-one can penetrate the secrets of faith.”
St Bonaventure (1221-1274) Seraphic Doctor
“Love Him, then, keep Him as a friend. He will not leave you as others do, or let you suffer lasting death. Sometime, whether you will or not, you will have to part with everything. Cling, therefore, to Jesus in life and death, trust yourself to the glory of Him, Who alone can help you when all others fail.“
Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471) (Book 2 Ch 7)
“Where, then, is true freedom? It is in the heart of one who loves nothing more than God. It is in the heart of one who is attached neither to spirit nor to matter but only to God. It is in that soul which is not subject to the “I” of egoism, which soars above its own thoughts, feelings, suffering and enjoyment. Freedom resides in the soul whose one reason for existence is God, whose life is God and nothing else but God.”
St Raphael Arnaiz Baron (1911-1938) Spanish Trappist Monk
One Minute Reflection – 26 April – Monday of the Fourth Week of Easter, Readings: First: Acts 11: 1-18, Psalm: Psalms 42: 2-3; 43: 3-4, Gospel: John 10: 1-10 and the Memorial of Our Lady of Good Counsel / Our Lady of Genazzano (1467)
“I am the door. Whoever enters through me will be saved….” – John 10:9
REFLECTION – “My solemn word is this: “I am the sheepgate.” Jesus just opened the gate that He had shown us to be closed. He Himself is that gate. Let us recognise Him, let us enter and rejoice to have entered.
“All who came before me were thieves and marauders.” We must understand: “Those who came outside of me.” The prophets came before He arrived; were they thieves and marauders? Not at all, for they did not come outside of Christ; they were with Him. He had sent them as messengers before Him and He held in His hands the heart of these people whom He had sent… He said: “I am the way and the truth and the life.” (Jn 14:6) If He is the truth, those who were in the truth, were with Him. Those who, on the contrary, came outside of Him, are thieves and marauders, for they came only to plunder and kill. Jesus said: “The sheep did not heed them.”…
But the righteous believed that He would come, just as we believe, that He has already come. Times have changed, faith is the same… One single faith unites those who believed that He would come and those, who believe that He has come. We all see Him at different times coming in by the same gate of faith, that is to say, through Christ… Yes, all who believed in the past, at the time of Abraham, of Isaac, of Jacob, or of Moses or the other patriarchs and prophets, who all announced Christ, were already His sheep. They heard Christ Himself through them – they did not hear a strange voice but His own.” – St Augustine (354-430) Bishop of Hippo, Father & Doctor of Grace of the Church – 45th Treatise on the Gospel of Saint John
PRAYER – Almighty God and Father, You have rescued Your faithful from enslavement to sin, by Your Son’s self-abasement. You have raised up the world through His suffering. Fill us now with holy joy at His rising and triumph. Let us hear His voice and follow Him to everlasting life. Our Lady of Good Counsel, pray for us! Through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God now and forever, amen.
Acts 11: 1-18 1 And the apostles and brethren, who were in Judea, heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God. 2 And when Peter was come up to Jerusalem, they that were of the circumcision contended with him, 3 Saying: Why didst thou go in to men uncircumcised and didst eat with them? 4 But Peter began and declared to them the matter in order, saying:
5 I was in the City of Joppe praying and I saw, in an ecstasy of mind, a vision, a certain vessel descending, as it were, a great sheet let down from heaven by four corners and it came even unto me. 6 Into which looking, I considered and saw fourfooted creatures of the earth and beasts and creeping things and fowls of the air:
7 And I heard also a voice saying to me: Arise, Peter – kill and eat.
8 And I said: Not so, Lord = for nothing common or unclean hath ever entered into my mouth. 9 And the voice answered again from heaven: What God hath made clean, do not thou call common. 10 And this was done three times and all were taken up again into heaven. 11 And behold, immediately there were three men come to the house wherein I was, sent to me from Caesarea. 12 And the Spirit said to me, that I should go with them, nothing doubting. And these six brethren went with me also: and we entered into the man’s house. 13 And he told us how he had seen an angel in his house, standing and saying to him: Send to Joppe and call hither Simon, who is surnamed Peter, 14 Who shall speak to thee words, whereby thou shalt be saved and all thy house. 15 And when I had begun to speak, the Holy Ghost fell upon them, as upon us also in the beginning. 16 And I remembered the word of the Lord, how that he said: John indeed baptised with water but you shall be baptised with the Holy Ghost. 17 If then God gave them the same grace, as to us also, who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ; who was I, that could withstand God? 18 Having heard these things, they held their peace and glorified God, saying – God then hath also, to the Gentiles, given repentance unto life.
Gospel: John 10: 1-10 1 Amen, amen I say to you: He that enters not by the door into the sheepfold but climbs up another way, the same is a thief and a robber. 2 But he that enters in, by the door, is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the porter opens and the sheep hear his voice and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 And when he has let out his own sheep, he goes before them and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 But a stranger they follow not but fly from him because they know not the voice of strangers. This proverb Jesus spoke to them. But they understood not what he spoke to them. 7 Jesus therefore said to them again: Amen, amen I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All others, as many as have come, are thieves and robbers and the sheep heard them not. 9 I am the door. By me, if any man enter in, he shall be saved and he shall go in and go out and shall find pastures. 10 The thief comes not but for to steal and to kill and to destroy. I am come, that they may have life and may have it, more abundantly.
Quote/s of the Day – 25 April – The Fourth Sunday of Easter, Good Shepherd/, Readings: First: Acts 4: 8-12, salm: Psalms 118: 1, 8-9, 21-23, 26, 28, 29 (22), Second: First John 3: 1-2, Gospel: John 10: 11-18
“The mark of Christ’s sheep is their willingness to hear and obey, just as disobedience is the mark of those who are not His. We take the word ‘hear’ to imply obedience to what has been said.”
St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) Father and Doctor of the Incarnation
“Like Matthew, therefore, follow this most devoted shepherd; like Zacchaeus receive Him with hospitality; like the sinful woman, anoint Him with ointment and wash His feet with your tears, wipe them with your hair and caress them with your kisses, so that finally, with the woman presented to Him for judgement, you may deserve to hear the sentence of forgiveness: “Has no one condemned you? Neither will I condemn you. Go, and sin no more” (Jn 8:10-11).”
One Minute Reflection – 25 April – The Fourth Sunday of Easter, Good Shepherd/, Readings: First: Acts 4: 8-12, salm: Psalms 118: 1, 8-9, 21-23, 26, 28, 29 (22), Second: First John 3: 1-2, Gospel: John 10: 11-18
“I am the good shepherd and I know mine and mine know me.”- John 10:14
REFLECTION – “Let us consider Christ, our shepherd …. He rejoices in those sheep of His that are around Him and goes in search of those, that stray. Mountains and forests cause Him no fear; He crosses ravines to reach the sheep that is lost. Even if He finds it in a piteous state, He is not angry but touched with pity; He takes it on His shoulders and, from His own weariness, heals the exhausted sheep (Lk 15:4 f.) …
With good reason Christ declares: “I am the Good Shepherd, I seek out the lost sheep, the strayed I will bring back, the injured I will bind up, the sick I will heal (Ez 34:16). I have seen the flock of mankind struck down by sickness; I have witnessed my lambs wander about where demons dwell; I have seen my flock ravaged by wolves. All this I have seen and have not witnessed it from on high. That is why I took hold of the withered hand, gripped by pain as if by a wolf; I have unbound those whom fever had bound; I taught him to see whose eyes had been shut from his mother’s womb; I brought Lazarus out from the tomb where he had lain for four days (Mk 3:5; 1:31; Jn 9; 11). For I am the Good Shepherd and the good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep.” …
The prophet knew this shepherd when, long before His Passion, He declared what would take place: “Like a sheep led to the slaughter or a sheep, dumb before the shearers, he opened not his mouth” (Is 53:7). Like a sheep, the shepherd has offered His neck for His flock …. By His death, He heals from death; by His tomb, He empties the tomb …. The tombs are full and the prison shut until the shepherd, comes down from the cross, He has come to bring His captive sheep the joyful news of their liberation. We see Him in hell where He gives the order for their release (1 Pt 3:19); we see Him call His sheep once more, giving them the call to life from the dwellings of the dead. “The good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep.” This is how He intends to win the affection of His sheep and those who know how to listen to His voice, love Christ.” – Basil of Seleucia (Died 448) Bishop of Seleucia, Writer – Oratio 26
PRAYER – Almighty, ever-living God, bring us to the joy of Your heavenly city, so that we, Your little flock, may follow where Christ, our Good Shepherd, has gone before us, by the power of His Resurrection. May the prayers Blessed Virgin, guide us, that we may always follow our Shepherd and thus reach our heavenly home, to praise Him forever. We make our prayer through Christ, our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God now and for all eternity, amen.
GOSPEL: John 10: 11-18 11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives his life for his sheep. 12 But the hireling and he that is not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees:and the wolf catches and scatters the sheep. 13 And the hireling flees because he is a hireling: and he has no care for the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd and I know mine and mine know me. 15 As the Father knows me and I know the Father and I lay down my life for my sheep. 16 And other sheep I have, that are not of this fold, them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice and there shall be one fold and one shepherd. 17 Therefore, doth the Father love me because I lay down my life, that I may take it again. 18 No man takes it away from me: but I lay it down of myself and I have power to lay it down and I have power to take it up again. This commandment have I received of my Father.
Our Morning Offering – 25 April – The Fourth Sunday of Easter / Good Shepherd Sunday
O Good Shepherd, You Whom My Soul Loves. By St Gregory of Nyssa (c 335–C 395) Father of the Church
Where are You pasturing Your flock, O good Shepherd, Who carry the whole flock on Your shoulders? (For the whole of human nature is one sheep and You have lifted it onto Your shoulders). Show me the place of peace, lead me to the good grass that will nourish me, call me by name so that I, Your sheep, hear Your voice and by Your speech, give me eternal life. Answer me, You Whom my soul loves. … Show me then (my soul says), where You pasture Your flock, so that I can find that saving pasture too and fill myself with the food of heaven, without which, no-one can come to eternal life and run to the spring and fill myself with the drink of God. You give it, as from a spring, to those who thirst – water pouring from Your side, cut open by the lance, water that, to whoever drinks it, is a spring of water, welling up to eternal life. Amen
This is a tiny excerpt from St Gregory of Nyssa’s commentary on the Song of Songs (Cap. 2: PG 44, 802), using the imagery of Psalm 23, appeals to the Lord Jesus Christ for the promised green pastures, restful waters and noonday rest that is the final, eternal destination of those who love God and walk in His ways.
Quote/s of the Day – 24 April – Saturday of the Third Week of Easter, Readings: Acts 9:31-42, Psalm 116:12-17, John 6:60-69
“And Simon Peter answered him: Lord, to whom shall we go? you have the words of eternal life.”
“For the one whom God sent speaks the words of God. He does not ration his gift of the Spirit… he who does not obey the Son, shall not see life.”
“When it comes to obeying the commandments or enduring adversity, the words uttered by the Father should always echo in our ears – “This is my Son, the beloved, in whom I am well pleased, listen to Him.”
St Pope Leo the Great (400-461) Father and Doctor of the Church
“Never before has anyone spoken like this one”
“God could answer: “My Son is My entire Locution a nd Response, Vision and Revelation, which I have already spoken, answered, manifested and revealed to you, by giving Him to you as a Brother, Companion, Master, Ransom and Reward… ”
St John of the Cross (1542-1591) Mystical Doctor of the Church
The Saving Word By St John Baptiste de La Salle (1651-1719)
No father on earth loves his children as much as You love the beings You created. Lord. Not content with just giving them existence, You inspire them with the means for happiness in this life and someday, having a place in Your House. First through the prophets and then through Your holy Apostles. You have given us the Word of Life. But it was through Jesus. Your beloved Son. that You gave the definitive Word to the world: the “Good News’ that saves us. Strengthen us. Lord, against our weakness; guide our steps along the road You have pointed out – Christ our brother, Who is the Way, He, the Truth and He, the Life. Amen
One Minute Reflection – 24 April – Saturday of the Third Week of Easter, Readings: Acts 9:31-42, Psalm 116:12-17, John 6:60-69
“You have the words of eternal life” – John 6:68
REFLECTION – “To whom shall we go?” Peter asks. In other words: “Who else will instruct us in the divine mysteries the way you do?” or, “To whom shall we go to find anything better? You have the words of eternal life.” They are not hard words, as those other disciples say but words, that will bring us to the loftiest goal unceasing, endless life removed from all corruption. These words surely make quite obvious to us, the necessity for sitting at the feet of Christ, taking Him as our one and only teacher and giving Him our constant and undivided attention. …
That the desire to follow Christ alone and to be with Him always, is a good thing leading to our salvation, is entirely self-evident, yet we may learn this from the Old Testament as well. When the Israelites had shaken off Egyptian tyranny and were hastening toward the promised land, God did not allow them to make disorderly marches, nor did the Lawgiver let each one go where he would, for without a guide they should undoubtedly have lost the way completely. … Keeping with their guide was the Israelites’ salvation then, just as not leaving Christ is ours now. For He was with those people of old under the form of the tabernacle, the cloud and the fire (Ex 13:21; 26:1f) …
“Whoever serves me must follow me, so as to be with me wherever I am” (Jn 12:26) … But accompanying the Saviour Christ and following Him, is by no means to be thought of as something done by the body. It is accomplished rather, by deeds springing from virtue. Upon such virtue the wisest disciples firmly fixed their minds…. With good reason they cried out, “Where can we go?” It was as though they said: We will stay with You always and hold fast to Your commandments. We will receive Your words without finding fault, or thinking Your teaching hard, as the ignorant do but thinking rather: “How sweet are Your words to my throat! Sweeter to the mouth are they, than honey or the honeycomb!” (Ps 118:103).” … St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) – Father and Doctor of the Church – Commentary on Saint John’s Gospel, 4, 4
PRAYER – Mould our minds and our hearts, we pray You Lord, by the union of Your Son and His Church. As we belong to You, You joined us to Your Son to become one with Him. May we always strive to live up to this union and may we make our lives, a constant sharing, in Christ’s death and Resurrection. May His Mother give us her heart, to love Him as she does. We make our prayer through Him and in Him and with Him, in the union of the Holy Spirit, God for always and forever, amen.
Acts 9: 31-42 31 Now the church had peace throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria and was edified, walking in the fear of the Lord and was filled with the consolation of the Holy Ghost. 32 And it came to pass, that Peter, as he passed through, visiting all, came to the saints who dwelt at Lydda. 33 And he found there a certain man named Eneas, who had kept his bed for eight years, who was ill of the palsy. 34 And Peter said to him: Eneas, the Lord Jesus Christ heals thee: arise and make thy bed. And immediately he arose. 35 And all that dwelt at Lydda and Saron, saw him and they were converted to the Lord. 36 And in Joppe there was a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas. This woman was full of good works and almsdeeds which she did. 37 And it came to pass in those days, that she was sick and died. Whom when they had washed, they laid her in an upper chamber. 38 And forasmuch as Lydda was nigh to Joppe, the disciples hearing that Peter was there, sent unto him two men, desiring him that he would not be slack to come unto them. 39 And Peter rising up, went with them. And when he was come, they brought him into the upper chamber. And all the widows stood about him weeping and shewing him the coats and garments which Dorcas made them. 40 And they all being put forth, Peter kneeling down prayed and turning to the body, he said: Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes and seeing Peter, she sat up. 41 And giving her his hand, he lifted her up. And when he had called the saints and the widows, he presented her alive. 42 And it was made known throughout all Joppe and many believed in the Lord.
GOSPEL: JOHN 6:60-69 60 Many, therefore, of his disciples, hearing it, said: This saying is hard and who can hear it? 61 But Jesus, knowing in himself, that his disciples murmured at this, said to them: Doth this scandalise you? 62 If then you shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? 63 It is the spirit that quickens, the flesh profits nothing. The words that I have spoken to you, are spirit and life. 64But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning, who they were that did not believe and who he was, that would betray him. 65 And he said: Therefore, did I say to you, that no man can come to me, unless it be given him by my Father. 66 After this, many of his disciples went back and walked no more with him. 67 Then Jesus said to the twelve: Will you also go away? 68 And Simon Peter answered him: Lord, to whom shall we go? thou has the words of eternal life. 69 And we have believed and have known, that thou art the Christ, the Son of God.
One Minute Reflection – 23 April – Friday of the Third Week of Easter, Readings: Acts 9:1-20, Psalm 117:1-2, John 6:52-59
“ He that eats my flesh and drinks my blood, abides in me and, I in him. ” … John 6:56
REFLECTION – “This bread you see on the Altar, consecrated by the word of God, is the Body of Christ. This cup consecrated by the word of God, or rather its contents, is the Blood of Christ. In these two elements our Lord desired to hand over, for our veneration and love, His Body and Blood, shed for the remission of our sins. If you have received them with a good disposition, then you are what you have received. As the apostle Paul declares: “We are, all of us, one bread, one body” (1 Cor 10,17)…
This bread reminds you how much you ought to love unity. Was this bread made out of only one wheat grain? To begin with, weren’t there a large number of grains? Before taking on the form of bread, they were separated. It was water that brought them together once they had been ground. If the wheat isn’t first of all, crushed and then soaked, one cannot give it the shape of a loaf.
In the same way, you have been ground down by the humiliation of fasting and the exorcism of the scrutinies. Then the baptismal water came to soak you, so that you could take on the form of bread.
However, we cannot make bread without fire. What represents the fire here? Holy chrism. For the oil that feeds our fire is the Sacrament of the Holy Spirit… On the day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit was revealed in the form of tongues of fire… … Thus the Holy Spirit comes here like fire after water and you become that bread which is the body of Christ. Thus this Sacrament is like a symbol of unity.” – St Augustine (3540430) Bishop, Father, Doctor of Grace – Sermon 227, 4th Sermon for Easter day; to the newly baptised, concerning the Sacrament
PRAYER – Almighty God, You sent Your Son and we have now come to know the grace of His Resurrection. Through Him we live and move and have our being. As we follow Him, He walks with us and leads us to You. Grant we pray, that His Mother and ours, may guide our way to Him and be a solace in our trials. Through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God now and forever, amen.
Acts 9: 1-20 1 And Saul, as yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest, 2 And asked of him letters to Damascus, to the synagogues: that if he found any men and women of this way, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. 3 And as he went on his journey, it came to pass that he drew nigh to Damascus and suddenly, a light from heaven shone around about him. 4 And falling on the ground, he heard a voice saying to him: Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? 5 He said: Who art thou, Lord? And he: I am Jesus whom thou persecute. It is hard for thee to kick against the goad. 6 And he trembling and astonished, said: Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? 7 And the Lord said to him: Arise and go into the city and there, it shall be told thee what thou must do. Now the men who went in company with him, stood amazed, hearing indeed a voice but seeing no man. 8 And Saul arose from the ground and when his eyes were opened, he saw nothing. But they leading him by the hand, brought him to Damascus. 9 And he was there three days, without sight and he did neither eat nor drink. 10 Now there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias. And the Lord said to him in a vision – Ananias. And he said: Behold I am here, Lord. 11 And the Lord said to him: Arise and go into the street that is called Stait and seek in the house of Judas, one named Saul of Tarsus. For behold he prays. 12 (And he saw a man named Ananias coming in and putting his hands upon him, that he might receive his sight.) 13 But Ananias answered: Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints in Jerusalem. 14 And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that invoke thy name. 15 And the Lord said to him: Go thy way; for this man is to me a vessel of election, to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings, and the children of Israel. 16 For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake. 17 And Ananias went his way and entered into the house. And laying his hands upon him, he said: Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus hath sent me, he that appeared to thee in the way as thou came; that thou may receive thy sight and be filled with the Holy Ghost. 18 And immediately there fell from his eyes, as it were, scales and he received his sight and rising up, he was baptised.
Gospel: John 6: 52-59 52 The Jews, therefore strove among themselves, saying: How can this man give us his flesh to eat? 53 Then Jesus said to them: Amen, amen I say unto you: Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you. 54 He that eateth my flesh and drinks my blood, has everlasting life and I will raise him up in the last day. 55 For my flesh is meat indeed and my blood is drink indeed. 56He that eats my flesh and drinks my blood, abides in me and, I in him. 57As the living Father hath sent me and I live by the Father, so he that eats me, the same also shall live by me. 58This is the bread that came down from heaven. Not as your fathers did eat manna and are dead. He that eats this bread, shall live forever. 59These things he said, teaching in the synagogue, in Capharnaum.
Quote/s of the Day – 22 April – Thursday of the Third Week of Easter, Readings: Acts 8:26-40, Responsorial Psalm 66(65):8-9.16-17.20, John 6:44-51
“Seated in his chariot, he was reading the prophet Isaiah.”
“Consider, I ask you, what a great effort it was not to neglect reading even while on a journey and, especially, while seated in a chariot. Let this be heeded by those people who do not even deign to do it at home but rather think reading the Scriptures is a waste of time …”
“Jesus, open the eyes of my heart, that I may hear Your word and understand and do Your will. Open the eyes of my mind to the understanding of Your Gospel teachings. Speak to me the hidden and secret things of Your wisdom. Enlighten my mind and understanding with the light of Your knowledge, not only to cherish those things that are written but to do them. Amen”
St John Chrysostom (347-407) Father & Doctor of the Church
O Lord, You have given us Your word for a light to shine upon our path, grant us so to meditate on that word and follow its teaching, that we may find in it, the light that shines more and more until the perfect day. Amen
One Minute Reflection – 22 April – Thursday of the Third Week of Easter, Readings: Acts 8:26-40, Responsorial Psalm 66(65):8-9.16-17.20, John 6:44-51
“The bread that I will give, is my flesh for the life of the world.” – John 6:51
REFLECTION – “They are wholly mistaken who reject God’s plan for His creation, deny the salvation of the flesh and scoff at the idea of its regeneration, asserting that it cannot put on an imperishable nature. If the flesh is not saved, then the Lord did not redeem us with His Blood, the Chalice of the Eucharist is not a share in His Blood and the Bread which we break is not a share in His Body (1Cor 10,16). For… the human substance, which the Word of God truly became, redeems us with His Blood…
Since we are His members (1Cor 6,15) and are nourished by His creation… He declared, that the Chalice of His creation is His own Blood, from which He augments our own blood and He affirmed, that the Bread of His creation is His own Body from which He gives growth to our being.
So, when the mixed chalice and the baked loaf receive the word of God and when the Eucharistic elements become the Body and Blood of Christ, which brings growth and sustenance to our bodily frame, how can it be maintained that our flesh is incapable of receiving God’s gift of eternal life?
For our flesh feeds on the Lord’s Body and Blood and is His member. So Saint Paul writes: “We are members of his body, of his flesh and of his bones” (Eph 5,30; Gn 2,23). He is not speaking about some spiritual and invisible man…: he is speaking of the anatomy of a real man, consisting of flesh, nerves and bones. It is this that is nourished by His Chalice, the Chalice of His Blood and gains growth from the Bread which is His Body… In the same way, our bodies are nourished by the after being buried in the earth and… rise again in due season, when the word of God confers resurrection upon them “for the glory of God the Father” (Phil 2,11).” – St Irenaeus of Lyons (130-202) Bishop, Theologian and Martyr Against the heresies, V, 2, 2
PRAYER – Almighty, ever-living God, in Your Word, You shed the light of Your glory on the peoples who are living in the shadow of death. By Your Word, You teach us all things and ‘draw’ us in the way of hope and love. For Your Word is Truth and Your Word became flesh and filled our world with the Sun of Justice, Your Son, He who is the Sun and the Truth. May our steps be guided by His Mother, Our Blessed Lady, as we follow in the footsteps of Your Word and be a protection in our trials by the Bread of Life. Through Christ, our Lord Jesus, with You in union with the Holy Spirit, now and forever, amen.
Acts 8: 26-40 26 Now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying: Arise, go towards the south, to the way that goeth down from Jerusalem into Gaza:=, this is desert. 27 And rising up, he went. And behold a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch, of great authority under Candace the Queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge over all her treasures, had come to Jerusalem to adore. 28 And he was returning, sitting in his chariot, and reading Isaias the prophet. 29 And the Spirit said to Philip: Go near and join thyself to this chariot. 30 And Philip running thither, heard him reading the prophet Isaias. And he said: Thinkest thou that thou understand what thou readest? 31 Who said: And how can I, unless some man shew me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him. 32 And the place of the scripture which he was reading was this: He was led as a sheep to the slaughter and like a lamb without voice before his shearer, so openeth he not his mouth. 33 In humility his judgEment was taken away. His generation who shall declare, for his life shall be taken from the earth? 34 And the eunuch answering Philip, said: I beseech thee, of whom doth the prophet speak this? of himself, or of some other man? 35 Then Philip, opening his mouth and beginning at this scripture, preached unto him Jesus. 36 And as they went on their way, they came to a certain water and the eunuch said: See, here is water, what doth hinder me from being baptised? 37 And Philip said: If thou believe with all thy heart, thou may. And he answering, said: I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. 38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still; and they went down into the water, both Philip and the eunuch:and he baptised him. 39 And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord took away Philip and the eunuch saw him no more. And he went on his way rejoicing. 40 But Philip was found in Azotus and passing through, he preached the gospel to all the cities, till he came to Caesarea.
Gospel: John 6: 44-51 44 No man can come to me, except the Father, who has sent me, draw him and I will raise him up in the last day. 45 It is written in the prophets: And they shall all be taught of God. Everyone that has heard of the Father and has learned, cometh to me. 46 Not that any man has seen the Father but he who is of God, he has seen the Father. 47 Amen, amen I say unto you: He that believes in me, hath everlasting life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your fathers did eat manna in the desert and are dead. 50 This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that if any man eat of it, he may not die. 51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever and the bread that I will give, is my flesh, for the life of the world.
Our Morning Offering – 22 April – Thursay of the Third Week of Easter
As today is the Memorial of St Leonides, Martyr for Christ, Origen’s Father, let us pray his son’s words:
May the Lord Jesus Touch Our Eyes By Origen (c 185-253) Father of the Church
May the Lord Jesus touch our eyes, as He did those of the blind. Then we shall begin to see in visible things those which are invisible. May He open our eyes to gaze, not on present realities but on the blessings to come. May He open the eyes of our heart, to contemplate God in Spirit, through Jesus Christ the Lord, to Whom belong, all power and glory, through all eternity. Amen
One Minute Reflection – 21 April – Wednesday of the Third Week of Easter, Readings: Acts 8:1-8, Psalm 66:1-7, John 6:35-40 and the Memorial of St Anselm (1033-1109) Doctor of the Church
“I am the bread of life” John 6:35
REFLECTION – “When Christ Himself has said of the bread: “This is my body” who could waver? And when He asserts that “This is my blood” who could be in doubt? Once, in Cana of Galilee, Jesus changed water into wine – which is akin to blood. So who could now refuse to believe it, if He transforms wine into blood? He wrought this amazing miracle when invited to an earthly marriage, so how could anyone refuse to acknowledge that He might grant the happiness of His own Body and Blood, to “the friends of the Bridegroom,” (Mt 9,15)?
For His body, has been given to you under the appearance of bread and His blood, under the appearance of wine, so that, when you have partaken of the body and blood of Christ, you might be one body and one blood with Him. So shall we become Christ-bearers [“Christophers”]. His body and blood are diffused through all our members – see, then, how we become participants in the divine nature! Formerly, when He was talking to the Jews, Christ said: “Unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood, you do not have life in you” (Jn 6,53. If the bread and wine only seem to be purely natural substances to you, don’t stop at that… If your senses lead you astray, let your faith reassure you.
So when you draw near to receive him do not do so without respect, holding out the palms of your hands with your fingers spread apart. But since the King is about to rest in your right hand, make a Throne for Him with your left. Receive the Body of Christ in the hollow of your hand and answer: Amen!” – St Cyril of Jerusalem (313-350) Bishop of Jerusalem, Father & Doctor of the Church – Catechetical Lectures to the Newly Baptised, 22
PRAYER – Holy almighty God, in Your wisdom You created us and by Your providence You rule and feed us with the bread of life, Your Divine Son Penetrate our inmost being with Your holy light, so that our way of life may always be one of faithful service, as we follow Your Son, who leads us to eternal life. May the prayers of Mary our Mother and St AAnselm, help us to shine Your light on our neighbour. Through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.
Acts 8: 1b-8 1 There was raised a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem and they were all dispersed through the countries of Jude, and Samaria, except the apostles. 2 And devout men took order for Stephen’s funeral, and made great mourning over him. 3 But Saul made havock of the church, entering in from house to house and dragging away men and women, committed them to prison. 4 They. therefore. that were dispersed, went about preaching the word of God. 5 And Philip going down to the City of Samaria, preached Christ unto them. 6 And the people with one accord were attentive to those things which were said by Philip, hearing and seeingthe miracles which he did. 7 For many of them who had unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, went out. 8 And many, taken with the palsy and that were lame, were healed.
Gospel: John 6: 35-40 35 And Jesus said to them: I am the bread of life,-he that comes to me, shall not hunger and he that believeth in me, shall never thirst. 36 But I said unto you, that you also have seen me and you believe not. 37 All that the Father gives to me, shall come to me; and him that comes to me, I will not cast out. 38 Because I came down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him that sent me. 39 Now this is the will of the Father who sent me, that of all that he hath given me, I should lose nothing but should raise it up agaiin, the last day. 40 And this is the will of my Father that sent me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him, may have life everlasting and I will raise him up on the last day.
Quote/s of the Day – 19 April – Monday of the Third Week of Easter, Readings: First: Acts 6: 8-15, Psalm: Psalms 119: 23-24, 26-27, 29-30, Gospel: John 6: 22-29
“This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he hath sent.”
“He Himself will help us and lead us to what He has promised.”
St Pope Leo the Great (400-461) Father and Doctor of the Church
“You first loved us so that we might love You— not because You needed our love but because, we could not be what You created us to be, except by loving You.”
William of Saint Thierry (c 1075-1148)
“For God, … does not work in those who refuse to place all their confidence and hope in Him alone. But He does impart the fullness of His love upon those who possess a deep faith and hope; for them He does great things.”
St Jerome Emiliani (1486-1537)
“As for me, my God, I am so convinced, that You watch over those who hope in You and, that one cannot lack for anything, when one expects everything from You, that I have resolved, to live in future, without any anxiety and to unload all my worries onto You …”
St Claude de la Colombiere (1641-1682)
Lord, May Your kingdom Come Into My Heart By Fr Jean Pierre de Caussade (1675-1751)
Lord, may Your kingdom come into my heart to sanctify me, nourish me and purify me. How insignificant is the passing moment, to the eye without faith! But how important each moment is, to the eye enlightened by faith! How can we deem insignificant anything which has been caused by You? Every moment and every event is guided by You and so contains Your infinite greatness. So, Lord, I glorify You in everything that happens to me. In whatever manner You make me live and die, I am content. Events please me for their own sake, regardless of their consequences because Your action lies behind them. Everything is heaven to me because all my moments, manifest Your love. Amen
“You leave the land just as it is when you depart; you do not carry anything away. Our first aim is to go to God, we are not on earth for anything but this!”
Quote/s of the Day – 18 April – The Third Suday of Easter, Readings: First: Acts 3: 13-15, 17-19,salm: Psalms 4: 2, 4, 7-8, 9 (7a), Second: First John 2: 1-5a Gospel: Luke 24: 35-48
“It is I, mMself.”
“Elizabeth says: ‘Blessed are you because you have believed.’ You also are blessed, because you have heard and believed. A soul that believes, both conceives and brings forth the Word of God and acknowledges His works.”
St Ambrose of Milan (340-397) Great Latin Father and Doctor of the Church
“Have faith and the One you cannot see, is with you.”
“The Lord is near do not be anxious about anything.”
St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of the Church
“Jesus is happy to come with us, as Truth is happy to be spoken, as Life to be lived, as Light to be lit, as Love is to be loved, as Joy to be given, as Peace to be spread.”
St Francis of Assisi (1181/2–1226)
“Only by faith is He known to be present… He removed His visible presence and left but a memorial of Himself. He vanished from sight, that He might be present in the Sacrament and in order to connect His visible presence with His presence invisible … ”
One Minute Reflection – 18 April – The Third Suday of Easter, Readings: First: Acts 3: 13-15, 17-19,salm: Psalms 4: 2, 4, 7-8, 9 (7a), Second: First John 2: 1-5a Gospel: Luke 24: 35-48
“It is I, myself. Touch me and see” – Luke 24:39
REFLECTION – “How was the Lord’s body, which could come in to the disciples through closed doors after the Resurrection, a real one? We must be certain that if a divine work is understood by reason it is not wonderful, nor does our faith have any merit, when human reason provides a proof. We have to consider these works of our Redeemer, which can in no way be understood of themselves, in the light of other works of His, so that His more miraculous deeds, may provoke faith in the miraculous. For the Lord’s Body, which made its entrance to the disciples through closed doors, was the same as that, which issued before the eyes of men from the Virgin’s closed womb at his birth. Is it surprising if He who was now going to live forever, made His entrance through closed doors after His Resurrection, Who on His coming in order to die, made His appearance from the unopened womb of the Virgin?
But because the faith of those who beheld it, wavered concerning the Body they could see, He showed them at once, His Hands and His Side, offering them the Body which He brought in through the closed doors to touch. … Now, it cannot be otherwise then, that what is touched is corruptible and what is not corruptible cannot be touched. But, in a wonderful and incomprehensible way, our Redeemer, after His Resurrection, manifested a Body that was incorruptible and touchable. By showing us that it is incorruptible, He would urge us on toward our reward, and by offering it as touchable, He would dispose us towards faith, He manifested Himself as both incorruptible and touchable to truly show us, that His Body after His Resurrection, was of the same nature as ours but of a different sort of glory. Alleluia!” – St Gregory the Great (540-604) Pope, Father, Doctor of the Church – Homilies on the Gospels, no.26
PRAYER – Lord God, grant Your people constant joy in the renewed vigour of their souls. They rejoice because You have restored them to the glory of Your adopted children, let them look forward gladly to the certain hope of the resurrection. May the prayers of our Blessed Mother, be our succour amidst the storms of this mortal life. We make our prayer through our Resurrected Christ, with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen, alleluia!
Acts 3: 13-15, 17-19 13 The God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus, whom you indeed delivered up and denied before the face of Pilate, when he judged he should be released. 14 But you denied the Holy One and the Just and desired a murderer to be granted unto you. 15 But the author of life you killed, whom God hath raised from the dead, of which we are witnesses 17 And now, brethren, I know that you did it through ignorance, as did also your rulers. 18 But those things which God before had shewed by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled. 19 Be penitent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out.
First John 2: 1-5a 1 My little children, these things I write to you, that you may not sin. But if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the just: 2 And he is the propitiation for our sins and not for ours only but also for those of the whole world. 3 And by this we know that we have known him, if we keep his commandments. 4 He who saith that he knoweth him and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar and the truth is not in him. 5 But he that keepeth his word, in him in very deed the charity of God is perfected.
Gospel: Luke 24: 35-48 35 And they told what things were done in the way and how they knew him in the breaking of the bread. 36 Now whilst they were speaking these things, Jesus stood in the midst of them and saith to them: Peace be to you. it is I, fear not. 37 But they being troubled and frightened, supposed that they saw a spirit. 38 And he said to them: Why are you troubled and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? 39 See my hands and feet, that it is I myself; touch and se -: for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as you see me to have. 40 And when he had said this, he shewed them his hands and feet. 41 But while they yet believed not and wondered for joy, he said: Have you any thing to eat? 44 And he said to them: These are the words which I spoke to you, while I was yet with you, that all things must needs be fulfilled, which are written in the law of Moses and in the prophets and in the psalms, concerning me. 45 Then he opened their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures. 46 And he said to them: Thus it is written and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise again from the dead, the third day: 47 And that penance and remission of sins should be preached in his name, unto all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 And you are witnesses of these things. 42 And they offered him a piece of a broiled fish and a honeycomb. 43 And when he had eaten before them, taking the remains, he gave to them.
One Minute Reflection – 16 April – Friday of the Second Week of Easter, Readings: First: Acts 5: 34-42, Psalm: Psalms 27: 1, 4, 13-14, Gospel: John 6: 1-15
“They gathered up and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves” – John 6:13
REFLECTION – “In the twinkling of an eye the Lord multiplied a little bread. What human beings do in ten months of work, His ten fingers do in an instant … Nevertheless, He didn’t measure this miracle by its power but, according to the hunger of those who were there. If the miracle had been measured by its power, it would be impossible to evaluate it; measured according to the hunger of those thousands of people, the miracle went beyond the twelve baskets. Among artisans, their power is inferior to the customers’ desire; they cannot do everything that is asked of them. Contrary to them, what God accomplishes goes beyond all desire …
When they had been satiated, like the Israelites in past times through the prayer of Moses, they cried out: “This is undoubtedly the Prophet who is to come into the world.” They were referring to the words of Moses: “A prophet like me will the Lord, your God, raise up for you.” Not just any prophet, but “a prophet like me” (Dt 18:15), Who will satiate you with bread in the desert. Like me, He walked on the sea, He appeared in the luminous cloud (Mt 17:5), He freed His people. He handed Mary over to John just like Moses handed over his flock to Joshua … But the bread of Moses was not perfect, it was only given to the Israelites. Because He wanted to show, that His gift is superior to that of Moses and the call to the nations still more perfect, our Lord said: “If anyone eats this bread he shall live forever,” for the bread from God “has come down from heaven” and is given to the whole world (Jn 6:51).” – St Ephrem (306-373) Deacon in Syria, Father & Doctor of the Church – Diatessaron, 12, 4-5, 11
PRAYER – Stay with us Lord Jesus, be our companion on our way. In Your mercy enflame our hearts and raise our hope, so that, in union with our brethren, we may share with each other Your food of life. Listen to the prayers of your Angels and Saints and as we entrust ourselves to the Blessed Virgin Mary, may she open our hearts to compassion. Through Your grace with God our Father and the Holy Spirit, forever and ever amen.
Acts 5: 34-42 34 But one in the council rising up, a Pharisee, named Gamaliel, a doctor of the law, respected by all the people, commanded the men to be put forth a little while. 35 And he said to them: Ye men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what you intend to do, as touching these men. 36 For before these days rose up Theodas, affirming himself to be somebody, to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves; who was slain and all that believed him were scattered and brought to nothing. 37 After this man, rose up Judas of Galilee, in the days of the enrolling and drew away the people after him – he also perished and all, even as many as consented to him, were dispersed. 38 And now, therefore, I say to you, refrain from these men and let them alone; for if this council or this work be of men, it will come to nought; 39 but if it be of God, you cannot overthrow it, lest perhaps you be found even to fight against God. And they consented to him. 40 And calling in the apostles, after they had scourged them, they charged them that they should not speak at all in the name of Jesus and they dismissed them. 41 And they indeed went from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were accounted worthy to suffer reproach for the name of Jesus. 42 And every day they ceased not in the temple and from house to house, to teach and preach Christ Jesus.
Gospel: John 6: 1-15 1 After these things Jesus went over the sea of Galilee, which is that of Tiberias. 2 And a great multitude followed him because they saw the miracles which he did on them, that were diseased. 3 Jesus, therefore, went up into a mountain and there he sat with his disciples. 4 Now the pasch, the festival day of the Jews, was near at hand. 5 When Jesus, therefore, had lifted up his eyes and seen that a very great multitude cometh to him, he said to Philip: Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat? 6 And this he said to try him. for he himself knew what he would do. 7 Philip answered him: Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one may take a little. 8 One of his disciples, Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, saith to him: 9 there is a boy here that hath five barley loaves and two fishes; but what are these among so many? 10 Then Jesus said: Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. The men therefore sat down, in number about five thousand. 11 And Jesus took the loaves: and when he had given thanks, he distributed to them that were set down. In like manner also of the fishes, as much as they would. 12 And when they were filled, he said to his disciples: Gather up the fragments that remain, lest they be lost. 13 They gathered up, therefore, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above to them that had eaten. 14 Now those men, when they had seen what a miracle Jesus had done, said: This is of a truth the prophet, that is to come into the world. 15 Jesus, therefore, when he knew that they would come to take him by force and make him king, fled again into the mountain himself alone.
Quote/s of the Day – 15 April – Thursday of the Second Week of Easter, Readings: Acts 5:27-33, Psalm 34:2, 9, 17-20, John 3:31-36
“And I will ask the Father and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always, the Spirit of truth, which the world cannot accept, because it neither sees nor knows it. But you know it, because it remains with you and will be in you.”
“Remember, then, that you received a spiritual seal, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of knowledge and reverence, the spirit of holy fear. Keep safe what you received. God the Father sealed you, Christ the Lord strengthened you and sent the Spirit into your hearts as the pledge of what is to come.”
St Ambrose (340-397) Father & Doctor of the Church
“I believe in the surprises of the Holy Spirit. The story of the Church is a long story, filled with the wonders of the Holy Spirit. Why should we think that God’s imagination and love might be exhausted?”