Thought for the Day – 3 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Love of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Revealed in the Gospel
“The whole life of our Saviour was motivated by love for us, from the moment of birth to the moment of death. Let us recall to mind, an incident of particular significance; Jesus was at the gate of Nain when a funeral procession came out from the City. The only son of a poor widow had died. He was all that she had in life. The Heart of Jesus was moved with compassion. He stopped the procession, recalled the young man to life and restored him to his mother.
Once, when Jesus was preaching in the desert, He was surrounded by a multitude who had followed Him there, without giving thought to material necessities. His Heart was touched by th sight of this hungry crowd. “I have compassion on the crowd,” (Mk 8:2) He said and performed the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves.
One day, Jesus saw a poor woman in tears who was surrounded by a group of men who were planning to stone her. She was an adulteress and this was the penalty commanded by the law of Moses. But Jesus looked into the soul of the unfortunate woman and saw, that she was repentant. He looked into the hearts of the men who had condemned her and saw, that they were full of evil. “Let him who is without sin among you,” He said, “be the first to cast a stone at her.” At this, her accusers went away. Jesus turned to the woman, “has no-one condemned thee,” He asked her. “Neither will I condemn thee. Go thy way and from now on, sin no more” ((Jn 8:1-2).
Let us recall the touching parables of the prodigal son and the lost sheep. Let us recall all these pages in which the human-divine love of Jesus is forcefully shown and we shall feel eager to return such great love, to weep for our sins and to live entirely for Jesus, as He lived entirely for us.
Thought for the Day – 24 April – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“The Gospel is the books of books, for it contains, not the words of men but the words of God. In the beginning, the Word of God was made man ad became the life-giving Word during His earthly life. Thus we have the written Word in the Sacred Scriptures. When we read the Gospel, we should imagine that Jesus is there before us, so that we can hear the Words from His divine lips and feel the breath of His life and the fire of His love.
“In heaven” says St Augustine, “Jesus continues to speak to us on earth through His Gospel.” His Words are the bright stars which should gude men – often wandering in the darkness of error or engulfed in the abyss of sin – through the way of virtue and goodness towards Heaven.
The more one penetrates the Gospel, the more one gets to know Jesus Christ. St Augustine writes that the Gospel is another way, which Jesus has chosen, of remaining among us. The same holy Doctor does not hesitate to say, that “he who scorns even of these sacred words, would be no less guilty, than if he let the Blessed Eucharist fall on the ground through negligence.”
When we read the sacred pages, we begin to understand the infinite goodness of Jesus. We see Him whimper and suffer in the manger at Bethlehem; we see Him humbly working as a poor labourer in the workshop in Nazareth; we see Him pardon Magdalene and the penitent adulteress; we see Him restore life to the dead, sight to the blind and health to all kinds of sick people; in the supper room, we see Him give us Himself, under the veil of the Blessed Eucharist, at the very moment when He was forgotten, denied and betrayed; we see Him in the Praetorium before Pilate, where He was scourged for our sins; we see Him on Calvary dying on a cross for us, forgiving His crucifiers and promising Heaven to the penitent thief and, finally, we see Him rising from the dead and ascending gloriously into Heaven, where He went to prepare a place for us, should we persevere as His faithful followers, “I go to prepare a place for you” (Jn 14:2).
The Saints often read and meditated on the Gospel. It provided spiritual food for their souls. In the life os St Philip Neri, we read, that during his last years, he read nothing but the Gospels, especially the Gospel of St John, which treats profoundly of the love of God.
Do you read the Gospels? With what dispositions and with what results do you read it? In modern times, unfortunately, very few read it at all. That is why so many stray so far from the spirit of Jesus and why, they often display a material form of piety, insipid and useless, in the practice of the Catholic life!”
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 – 11 April – The Octave Day of Easter, Readings; First: Acts 4: 32-35,salm: Psalms 118: 2-4, 13-15, 22-24,Second: First John 5: 1-6, Gospel: John 20: 19-31
“… Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands and bring your hand and put it into my side and do not be unbelieving but believe.” – John 20:27
REFLECTION – “After the resurrection, we shall have the same members that we now use, the same flesh and blood and bones, for it is not the nature of these, that is condemned in Holy Scripture but, their works. The true confession of the resurrection declares that the flesh will be glorious but without destroying its reality. And so, when the Apostle says, “This [flesh] is corruptible and mortal,” his words denote this very body, in other words, the flesh that was then seen. But when he further adds, that it “puts on incorruption and immortality,” he is not saying that what was put on [i.e., the clothing] does away with the body that it adorns in glory. Rather, it makes that body glorious that previously lacked glory. When the more worthless robe of mortality and weakness is laid aside, then we can be clothed with the gold of immortality and the blessedness of strength as well as virtue.” – St Jerome (343-420) Father and One of the original four Doctors of the Church- Against John of Jerusalem
PRAYER – God of eternal compassion, each Easter, You rekindle the faith of Your consecated people. Grant still greater grace, so that all may truly understand, the water in which they were cleansed, the Spirit by which they were reborn, the Blood by which they were redeemed. May Mary’s help, Mater Misericordiae, Mother of the Risen Jesus Christ, be always with us. Through Christ, Redeemer and Merciful Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God for always and forever, amen.
First Reading: Acts 4: 32-35 32 And the multitude of believers had but one heart and one soul: neither did any one say that aught of the things which he possessed, was his own; but all things were common unto them. 33 And with great power did the apostles give testimony of the resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord; and great grace was in them 34 For neither was there any one needy among them. For as many as were owners of lands or houses, sold them and brought the price of the things they sold 35 And laid it down before the feet of the apostles. And distribution was made to every one, according as he had need.
Second Reading: First John 5: 1-6 1 Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ, is born of God. And every one that loveth him who begot, loveth him also who is born of him. 2 In this we know that we love the children of God: when we love God, and keep his commandments. 3 For this is the charity of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not heavy. 4 For whatsoever is born of God, overcometh the world: and this is the victory which overcometh the world, our faith. 5 Who is he that overcometh the world but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? 6 This is he that came by water and blood, Jesus Christ: not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit which
Gospel: John 20: 19-31 19 Now when it was late that same day, the first of the week, and the doors were shut, where the disciples were gathered together, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them: Peace be to you. 20 And when he had said this, he shewed them his hands and his side. The disciples therefore were glad, when they saw the Lord. 21 He said therefore to them again: Peace be to you. As the Father hath sent me, I also send you. 22 When he had said this, he breathed on them and he said to them: Receive ye the Holy Ghost. 23 Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained. 24 Now Thomas, one of the twelve, who is called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 The other disciples, therefore, said to him: We have seen the Lord. But he said to them: Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails and put my finger into the place of the nails and put my hand into his side, I will not believe. 26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them. Jesus cometh, the doors being shut and stood in the midst and said: Peace be to you. 27 Then he saith to Thomas: Put in thy finger hither and see my hands and bring hither thy hand and put it into my side and be not faithless but believing. 28 Thomas answered and said to him: My Lord, and my God. 29 Jesus saith to him: Because thou hast seen me, Thomas, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen and have believed. 30 Many other signs also did Jesus in the sight of his disciples, which are not written in this book. 31 But these are written, that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God and that believing, you may have life in his name.
Our Morning Offering – Easter Wednesday and the Memorial of St John Baptiste de La Salle (1651-1719)
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
Quote/s of the Day – 10 March – Wednesday of the Third Week of Lent, Readings: Deuteronomy 4:1, 5-9, Psalms 147:12-13,15-16, 19-20, Matthew 5:17-19
“I have come, not to abolish but to fulfil.”
“The sacrifice of the lamb, the Passover rite and the letter of the Law, have reached their term in Jesus Christ, in view of Whom, everything in the ancient Law took place – and, even more so, in the new dispensation. For the Law became the Word; from being old it became new … the commandments have been transformed into Grace and the foreshadowing into truth; the lamb has become the Son, the sheep has become man and man has become God. …”
St Melito of Sardis (Died c 180) Bishop, Apologist – Paschal Homily
“In the first instance, the finger of God inscribed the laws on tablets of stone but now, it is in human hearts, that He writes it (Ex 31:18; 2 Cor 3:3).”
“The New Testament lies hidden, in the Old; the Old is made accessible, by the New.”
St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of Grace
“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
Quote/s of the Day – 12 December – “Month of the Immaculate Conception” – Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Readings: Zechariah 2:14-17, Judith 13:18, 19, Luke 1:26-38.
“And if any man will not receive His birth from a virgin, how shall he receive His resurrection from the dead? For it is nothing wonderful and astonishing and extraordinary, if one who was not born, rose from the dead – nay indeed, we cannot speak of a resurrection of him who came unto being without birth. For one who is unborn and immortal and has not undergone birth, will also not undergo death. For He, who took not the beginning of man, how could He receive His end?”
St Irenaeus (130-202) Martyr, Theologian, Father
“What shall we say, brethren? Is she not our mother? Certainly, brethren, she is in truth our mother. Through her we are born, not to the world but to God.”
“Scripture says, ‘Praise the Lord in his saints’. If the Lord is to be praised in those saints through whom He performs mighty works and miracles, how much more should He be praised in HER, in whom He fashioned Himself, He who is wonderful beyond all wonder.”
St Aelred of Rievaulx (1110-1167) From his sermons – Sermon 20
One Minute Reflection – 30 December – The Sixth Day in the Christmas Octave, Readings: 1 John 2:12-17, Psalm 96:7-10, Luke 2:36-40
“She spoke about the child to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem” ... Luke 2:38
REFLECTION– “O Root of Jesse, who stand as a sign to the peoples” (Is 11: 10), “how many kings and prophets wanted to see you and did not” (Lk 10:24)? Simeon is the happiest of them all because by God’s mercy he was still bearing fruit in old age. For he rejoiced to think that he would see the sign so long desired. He saw it and was glad (Lk 8:56). When he had received the kiss of peace, he departed in peace but first, he proclaimed aloud that Jesus was born, a sign that would be rejected (Lk 2:25-34). And so it was. The sign of peace arose and was rejected, by those who hate peace (Ps 119:7). For what is peace to men of goodwill (Lk 2:14) is a stone to make men stumble, a rock for the wicked to fall over (l Pt 2:8). “Herod was troubled and all Jerusalem with him” (Mt 2:3). He came to His own and His own did not receive Him (Jn 1:11). Happy those shepherds keeping watch at night who were found worthy to be shown the sign of this vision! (Lk 23:8)
For even at that time He was hiding Himself from the wise and prudent and revealing Himself to the simple (Mt 11:25; Lk 10:21). ( … ) The angel said to the shepherds, “This is a sign for you” (Lk 2: 12), you who are humble, you who are obedient, you who are not haughty (Rom 12: 16), you who are keeping vigil and meditating on God’s law day and night (Ps 1:2). “This is a sign for you,” he said. What is this sign? The sign the angels promised, the sign the people asked for, the sign the prophets foretold, the Lord Jesus has now made and He shows it to you. ( … )
This is your sign. What is it a sign of? Indulgence, grace, peace, “the peace which will have no end” (Is 9:7). It is this sign: “You will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger” (Lk 2: 12). But this baby is God Himself, reconciling the world to Himself in Him (2 Cor 5: 19). ( … ) He is the Kiss of God, the Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus (1Tm 2:5), who with the Father and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns world without end.” … St Bernard (1091-1153) Cistercian monk and Doctor of the Church
PRAYER – Almighty God and Father, the human birth of Your Only-begotten Son, was the beginning of new life. May He set us free from the tyranny of sin. We make our prayer through Christ, our Lord with the Holy Spirit, God forever and ever, amen.
One Minute Reflection – 29 November – Friday of the Thirty Fourth week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Luke 21:29–33 and the Memorial of Blessed Bernardo Francisco de Hoyos SJ (1711-1735)
“But my words will not pass away….” …Luke 21:33
REFLECTION – “The Word of God makes us change our concept of realism. Indeed, the realist is the one who recognises in the Word of God, the foundation of all things. As you see these things happening, you know that the Kingdom of God is near (Lk 21:31). Now the word is not simply audible, not only does it have a voice, now the word has a face, one which we can see – that of Jesus of Nazareth.” …. Pope Benedict XVI
PRAYER – Lord God, open our hearts to Your grace and the Light of Your word. Let it go before us and be with us, open our eyes to see and our hearts to love, that we may always be intent upon doing Your will and following Your Word which has the Face of Your dearly beloved Son, Jesus our Saviour. Please hear the prayers of the beloved of Heart of Jesus, Blessed Bernardo de Hoyos on our behalf. We make our prayer through Jesus our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.
Quote/s of the Day – 18 July – Thursday of the Fifteenth week in Ordinary Time, Year C – Today’s Gospel: Matthew 11:28-30.
“Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
“Jesus asks us to go to Him, for He is true Wisdom, to Him who is “gentle and lowly in heart.” He offers us “his yoke”, the way of the wisdom of the Gospel, which is neither, a doctrine to be learned, nor an ethical system but rather a Person to follow – He Himself, the Only Begotten Son, in perfect communion with the Father.”
Pope Benedict XVI
General Audience, 7 December 2011
“The WORD is not a bible verse BUT living flesh and blood, Jesus Christ!
One Minute Reflection – 9 May – Thursday Third Week of Easter, C, First Reading: Acts 8:26–40
“… and was returning home. Seated in his chariot, he was reading the prophet Isaiah.”…Acts 8:28
REFLECTION – “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, claiming as an excuse their living with a wife, conscription in military service, caring for children, attending to domestics and looking after other concerns, they do not think it necessary for them to show any interest in reading the holy Scriptures.” … St John Chrysostom (347-407) Father & Doctor (Homilies on Genesis, 35.)
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 lead 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, as we follow in the footsteps of Your Word and may the prayers of Blessed Maria Carmen Rendiles, be a help in our trials. Through Christ, our Lord Jesus, with You in union with the Holy Spirit, now and forever, amen.