Quote/s of the Day – 6 May – “Mary’s Month” – Thursday of the Fifth Week of Easter. Readings: First: Acts 15: 7-21; Psalm: Psalms 96: 1-2a, 2b-3, 10; Gospel: John 15: 9-1
“As the Father hath loved me, I also have loved you. Abide in my love.”
“You shall love the Lord your God with ALL your heart”
“Remember God more often than you breathe!”
St Gregory of Nazianzen (330-390) Father and Doctor of the Church
“Choose the opposition of the whole world, rather than offend Jesus. Of all those who are dear to you, let Him be your special love. Let all things be loved, for the sake of Jesus but Jesus, for His own sake.”
Thomas à Kempis CRSA (1380-1471)
(Book 2 Ch 8)
“My dear souls, let us recognise, I pray you, Christ’s infinite charity towards us in the institution of this Sacrament of the Eucharist. In order that our love be a spiritual love, He wills a new heart, a new love, a new spirit for us. It is not with a carnal heart but with a spiritual one, that Christ has loved us with a gratuitous love, a supreme and most ardent love, by way of pure grace and charity. Ah! One needs to love Him back with one’s whole, whole, whole, living, living, living and true, true, true heart!!”
St Lawrence of Brindisi(1559-1619) Apostolic Doctor of the Church
“By giving yourself to God, you not only receive Himself in exchange but, eternal life as well!”
St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Doctor Caritatis
“If a man wants to know if he is living a good Christian life, therefore, all he has to do is ask himself if he loves God above everything and his neighbour as himself. … Love gives wings to his feet and pours enthusiasm and fervour into his heart.”
One Minute Reflection – 6 May – “IMary’s Month” – Thursday of the Fifth Week of Easter. Readings: First: Acts 15: 7-21; Psalm: Psalms 96: 1-2a, 2b-3, 10; Gospel: John 15: 9-11 and the Memorial of St John the Evangelist at the Latin Gate
“Abide in my love.” – John 15:9
REFLECTION – “You may well believe that there is no-one in the world, neither friend nor brother, father or mother, husband or betrothed who loves you more than your God loves you. Divine grace is that treasure of great price, that boundless treasure of which the wise man speaks, which, as soon as we use it, makes us participants in friendship with God (cf. Wis 7:14). In God’s sight we were only miserable creatures, poor servants and now, we become friends, beloved friends of our Creator himself!
Precisely so as to make us more at ease with Him, He emptied Himself (cf. Phil 2:7), so to speak, humbling Himself, so far, as to become man, in order to converse familiarly with men (cf. Bar 3:38).8). Even this was not enough, He became a child, became poor, he even let Himself be put to death on a cross, by a miscarriage of justice, before a whole people. Even more, He went so far as to put Himself under the species of bread, so as to make Himself our companion each day and unite Himself, in close union with each one of us – “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood,” He said, “remains in me and I in him” (Jn 6:56). In sum, one could say, that He has no love but for you, He loves you so much.
Therefore, it is Him you should love and no other. Of Him you could and should say “My Beloved is mine and I am his” (Sg 2:16); my God has given Himself without reserve and, without reserve, I give myself to Him; He has chosen me as the object of His tenderness and He, among thousands, He, the radiant and ruddy one (Sg 5:10), so loveable and so loving, He is the chosen of my heart, the only one I wish to love.”- St Alphonsus Maria de Liguori (1696-1787) Bishop and Most Zealous Doctor of the Church – The manner of conversing with God, trans. from the Italian
PRAYER – In Your gentle mercy Lord, guide our wayward hearts, for we know that left to ourselves, we cannot do Your will. Almighty God, turn our hearts to Yourself, so that we, seeking the one thing ne cessary, may worship You in spirit and in truth. We give You thanks for our faith, increase our faith O our God! May the prayers of St John and all your saints and the Virgin Mary, Queen of All Saints, obtain the gift of humility and fidelity for us and for every believer, so that our prayer may always be genuine and pleasing to the Lord. Through Christ our Lord and Redeemer, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.
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
One Minute Reflection – 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
“Remain in me as I remain in you ” … John 15:4
REFLECTION – “Whatever be the stage in which the soul is, its work, however, is never anything but a work of co-operation. The soul is not alone, God works in and with it, for He is ever the first Author of its progress.
Doubtless, at the outset, when the soul is yet encumbered with vices and evil habits, it must needs apply itself with virility and ardour to remove these obstacles, which are opposed to divine union. The co-operation that God requires of it, at this period, is particularly great and active and is revealed very clerly to the conscience. During this period, God grants sensible graces that uplift and encourage. But the soul experiences inward vicissitudes, it falls then rises up again; it labours, then rests; it takes breath again then goes forward on its way.
As far and in the measure as the soul advances and obstacles give way, the inner life becomes more homogeneous, more regular, more uniform; the action of God is felt to be more powerful because it is more free to act and because it meets with less resistance and more suppleness in the soul; then, we rapidly go forward in the path of perfection. … Our Lord has so clearly given us this fundamental doctrine: “I am the Vine, you are the branches; abide in me that you may bear fruit, for without me you can do nothing” (Jn 15:5). …
To imagine, then, that Christ will take upon Himself all the work would be a dangerous illusion but, to believe that we could do anything, whatsoever without Him, would be no less perilous. We must be convinced too, that our works are only of value by reason of our union with Jesus. ” – Blessed Columba Marmion (1858-1923) Abbot – The “instruments of good works” (Christ, the Ideal of the Monk
PRAYER – Holy God and Father, help us to discern through prayer and meditation what You truly want of us. Then enable us to offer it to You and indeed, to offer ourselves and all we have and all we are, to You. When You bring us sufferings to mould us closer and make us more like You, help us to accept them and offer them back to You. Following Your divine Son, let us pick up those crosses in peace and love. Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God and our mother, pray for us! St Aaugustinet, pray for us. Through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God now and forever, amen.
Quote/s of the Day – 4 May – “Mary’s Month” Tuesday of the Fifth Week of Easter, Readings: Acts 14:19-28, Psalm 145:10-13, 21, John 14:27-31
“Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”
“Can any of you by worrying add a moment to your life-span?”
“Lord, help me to live this day, quietly, easily. To lean upon Thy great strength, trustfully, restfully. To wait for the unfolding of Thy will, patiently, serenely. To meet others, peacefully, joyously. To face tomorrow, confidently, courageously.”
St Frances of Assisi (c 1181-1226)
“Remember that you have only one soul; that you have only one death to die; that you have only one life. . . . If you do this, there will be many things about which you care nothing.”
“Let nothing perturb you, nothing frighten you. All things pass. God does not change. Patience achieves everything.”
St Teresa of Jesus of Avila (1515-1582) Doctor of Prayer
“Let us think only of spending the present day well. Then, when tomorrow shall have come, it will be called TODAY and then, we will think about it.”
St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Doctor of the Church
“Prayer is our strength, our sword, our consolation and the key to paradise.”
One Minute Reflection – 4 May – “Mary’s Month” Tuesday of the Fifth Week of Easter, Readings: Acts 14:19-28, Psalm 145:10-13, 21, John 14:27-31
“My peace I give to you” – John 14:27
REFLECTION – ‘He breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the holy Spirit” Lord Jesus Christ, once again grant that of us, too, there may be but “one heart and mind” (Acts 4:32) for then there will be “a great calm” (Mk 4:39). My dear listeners, I exhort you to good will and kindness to one another and peace with all. For were we to have charity among ourselves, we would have both peace and the Holy Spirit. Let us undertake to become devout and pray to God… since the apostles persevered in prayer… If we set ourselves to fervent prayer then the Holy Spirit will enter us and say: “Peace be with you! It is ,; be not afraid” (cf. Mk 6:50)… And what ought we to ask God for, my brethren? For all that is for His honour and the salvation of your souls and, in a word, for the help of the Holy Spirit – “Send forth your Spirit and they will be created” (Ps 104:30) – peace and tranquillity…” – St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Bishop of Geneva and Doctor of Charity of the Church – First Sermon for Pentecost
PRAYER – Loving Father, grant us the grace to strive after perfect love. Help us to bring forth frequents acts of love so that we may grow in this greatest of virtues and thus find perfect peace. In the great love of Your divine Son, who gave Himself for us, He filled us with peace and hope. May these gifts grow always in our hearts. We ask for the intercession of Mary, the Blessed Virgin, His Mother. Through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God 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.
Thought for the Day – 2 May – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Intercession of Our Lady
“There is a passage in the Gospel which illustrates, in outstanding fashion, Mary’s great power of intercession. St John relates (Cf Jn 2:1-2) that, along with Mary and the Apostles, Jesus took part at a wedding celebration in Cana of Galilee. During the banquet, the wine ran short. Mary realised how embarrassing this would be for the young couple and took pity on them. She said to Jesus in a tone of request: “They have no wine.” But Jesus seemed quite indifferent to her appeal. “What would thou have me do, woman?” He said, “My hour has not yet come.”
One would have imagined from the coolness of this reply, that it would have been useless to press the matter and further. Mary, on the other hand, was sure, that Jesus would not refuse the favour which she asked. She turned without any hesistation to the attendants and directed them: “Do whatever he tells you.”
As if disarmed by His Mother’s trustfulness, Jesus then worked His first miracle through her intercession. When we pray we should do so with the same confidence and we shall certainly be answered.
Remember Mary’s words,however, “Do whatever he tells you.” We must do whatever Jesus tells us, if we want Mary to listen to us and to work in us, the miracle of our sanctification. If we desire to be true sons of Mary, her advice to us, is to carry out the commands of Jesus Christ.”
One Minute Reflection – 2 May – The Fifth Sunday of Easter, Readings: Acts 9:26-31, Psalm: Psalms 22: 26-27, 28, 30, 31-32 (26a), Second: First John 3: 18-24, Gospel: John 15: 1-8 and the Memorial of St Athanasius (297-373)
“I am the vine, you the branches; he that abides in me and I in him, the same bears much fruit; for without me you can do nothing.” – John 15:5
REFLECTION – “I must warn each of you about His vine – for who has never cut back everything that is superfluous in himself ,to the point of thinking that there is nothing more to cut?
Believe me, what has been cut, grows back; the vices that have been chased away return and we see tendencies that had gone to sleep, waking up again. It is, therefore, not enough to cut one’s vine once; rather, we have to do it again and often and if possible, even without ceasing. For if you are sincere, you ceaselessly find in yourself ,something to cut…
Virtue cannot grow among the vices; for virtue to develop, we must prevent the vices from increasing. So suppress what is superfluous; then the necessary will be able to spring up.
For us, Brothers, it is always the time for cutting, it is always necessary. For I am sure that we have already left winter behind us, we have left behind the fear without love, which introduces us all to wisdom but which doesn’t let anyone grow in perfection. When love comes, it chases away that fear just as the summer chases away the winter… So may the winter rains stop, that is say, the tears of anguish that arise because of the memory of your sins and the fear of judgement… If “the winter is over” and “the rain has topped” (Song 2:11)… the sweetness of the spring of spiritual grace shows us, that the time has come to cut our vine. What else is there for us to do other than to become entirely committed to this work?” – St Bernard (1091-1153) Mellifluous Doctor of the Church – Sermon 58 on the Song of Songs
PRAYER – Holy God and Father, help us to discern through prayer and meditation what You truly want of us. Then enable us to offer it to You and indeed, to offer ourselves and all we have and all we are, to You. When You bring us sufferings to mould us closer and make us more like You, help us to accept them and offer them back to You. Following Your divine Son, let us pick up those crosses in peace and love. Our Lady Holy Mother of Our Lord and our own, pray for us! St Athanasius, pray for us. Through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God now and forever, amen.
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 – 30 April – Friday of the Fourth Week of Easter +2021, Readings: Acts 13:26-33, Psalm 2:6-11, John 14:1-6
Jesus said to his disciples: “Let not your heart be troubled. You believe in God, believe also in me. ” – John 14:1
O Christ Jesus, When All is Darkness By St Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556)
O Christ Jesus, when all is darkness and we feel our weakness and helplessness, give us the sense of Your presence, Your love and Your strength. Help us to have perfect trust in Your protecting love and strengthening power, so that nothing may frighten or worry us, for, living close to You, we shall see Your hand, Your purpose, Your will through all things. 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.
One Minute Reflection – 28 April – Wednesday of the Fourth week of Easter, Readings: Acts 12:24–13:5, Psalm 67:2-3, 5-6, 8, John 12:44-50 and the Memorial of St Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort (1673-1716)
“I am come as light into the world, that whosoever believes in me, may not remain in darkness..” – John 12:46
REFLECTION – “The humility with which Christ “emptied himself, assuming the condition of a servant” (Phil 2:7) is our light. His denial of the world’s glory, He who chose to be born in a stable rather than a palace and to undergo a shameful death on the cross, is light for us. Owing to this humility, we can know just how detestable is the sin of a creature of clay (Gn 2:7), a wretched man of no worth, when he puffs himself up, vaunts himself and refuses to obey, while we see the infinite God, humiliated, despised and delivered up to men.
A light for us, too, is the meekness with which He bore hunger, thirst and cold, insults, blows and wounding, when “like a lamb led to the slaughter and like a sheep before its shearers, he did not open his mouth” (Is 53:7). Indeed, in view of this meekness, we see how pointless anger is, as also threats. Then we consent to suffer and do not serve Christ out of habit. Thanks to this, we learn to pay heed to all that is asked of us, weeping for our sins in submission and silence and patiently bearing the sufferings that come our way. For Christ bore His torments with such great meekness and patience, not for sins He had not committed but for those of others.
From now on, dearest brethren, ponder over all the virtues Christ taught us by the example of His life, that He recommends to us through His preaching and. gives us the strength to imitate, by the aid of His grace.” – Lanspergius the Carthusian (1489-1539) Monk, theologian – Sermon 5
PRAYER – Lord God, life of those who believe in You, glory of the humble and happiness of the Saints, listen kindly to our prayer. We long for what You promises, fill us from Your abundance, give us true faith and obedience. May the Blessed Virgin, Mother of Your Son, be our constant recourse. and may her cliet and Yours, St Louis Marie de Montfort, pray for us all. Through Our Lord, Jesus with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.
Acts 12: 24 — 13: 5a 24 But the word of the Lord increased and multiplied. 25 And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem, having fulfilled their ministry, taking with them John, who was surnamed Mark. 13:1 Now there were in the church which was at Antioch, prophets and doctors, among whom was Barnabas and Simon who was called Niger and Lucius of Cyrene and Manahen, who was the foster brother of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. 2 And as they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Ghost said to them: Separate me Saul and Barnabas, for the work whereunto I have taken them. 3 Then they, fasting and praying and imposing their hands upon them, sent them away. 4 So they being sent by the Holy Ghost, went to Seleucia and from thence they sailed to Cyprus. 5 And when they were come to Salamina, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews.
Gospel: John 12: 44-50 44 But Jesus cried and said: He that believes in me, does not believe in me but in him that sent me. 45 And he that sees me, sees him that sent me. 46 I am come as light into the worl, that whosoever believes in me, may not remain in darkness. 47 And if any man hears my words and keeps them not, I do not judge him: for I came not to judge the world but to save the world. 48 He that despises me and receives not my words, has one that judges him; the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. 49 For I have not spoken of myself but of the Father who sent me, he gave me commandments what I should say and what I should speak. 50 And I know that his commandment is life everlasting. The things, therefore, that I speak, even as the Father said unto me, so do I speak.
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
One Minute Reflection – 27 April – Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Easter, Readings: Acts 11:19-26, Psalm 87:1-7, John 10:22-30
“I and the Father are one.” – John 10:30
REFLECTION – “Sent out, issuing from the Father, the Word came down and dwelt wholly within the Virgin’s womb. Wholly in the Father, wholly in that virginal breast, He, Whom nothing can contain, was wholly in all things. While remaining what He was, He assumed the form of a slave (Phil 2:7) and, when He had been sent into the world, He became a man in every way. …
How are we to state, what to all angels, archangels and created things, is impossible to explain? It can be thought truly, yet not by any means expressed and indeed our minds cannot understand it perfectly. God and man and man-God, how can He also be wholly Son of the Father in so inseparable a way? How has He become the Virgin’s Son and come into the world? And how is it, that He has remained impossible for anything to contain? …
Now you will become silent, for even if you wished to speak your spirit would find no words and your chattering tongue, is reduced to silence. …
Glory to You, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, divinity impossible to grasp, indivisible in nature. We worship You in the Holy Spirit, we who possess Your Spirit because we have received Him from You. Beholding Your glory, we do not cast about unrestrainedly but it is in Him, in Your Spirit, that we see You, O Father unbegotten and Your only-begotten Word Who comes forth from You. And we adore the Trinity, without division or confusion, in His simple divinity, majesty and power.” – Symeon the New Theologian (c 949-1022) Monk – Hymn 21
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. Draw us constantly to Your Son, Jesus, our Lord, teach us to know Him and may the prayers of our Blessed Mother , guide us 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 11: 19-26 19 Now they who had been dispersed by the persecution that arose on occasion of Stephen, went about as far as Phenice and Cyprus and Antioch, speaking the word to none but to the Jews only. 20 But some of them were men of Cyprus and Cyrene, who, when they were entered into Antioch, spoke also to the Greeks, preaching the Lord Jesus. 21 And the hand of the Lord was with them and a great number believing, were converted to the Lord. 22 And the tidings came to the ears of the church, that was at Jerusalem, touching these things and they sent Barnabas as far as Antioch. 23 Who, when he was come and had seen the grace of God, rejoiced and he exhorted them all, with purpose of heart to continue in the Lord., 24 For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith. And a great multitude was added to the Lord. 25 And Barnabas went to Tarsus to seek Saul, whom, when he had found, him, he brought to Antioch. 26 And they conversed there in the church a whole year and they taught a great multitude, so that at Antioch the disciples were first named Christians.
Gospel: John 10: 22-30 22 And it was the feast of the dedication ,at Jerusalem: and it was winter. 23 And Jesus walked in the temple, in Solomon’s porch. 24 The Jews , therefore, gathered around about him and said to him: How long dost thou hold our souls in suspense? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly. 25 Jesus answered them: I speak to you and you believe no,: the works that I do in the name of my Father, they give testimony of me. 26 But you do not believe because you are not of my sheep. 27 My sheep hear my voice: and I know them and they follow me. 28 And I give them life everlasting and they shall not perish forever and no man shall pluck them out of my hand. 29 That which my Father has given me, is greater than all and no-one can snatch them out of the hand of my Father. 30 I and the Father, are one.
Our Morning Offering – 27 April – Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Easter
O the Word of My Lord Song of a Young Prophet By Brother Damian Lundy FSC (1944-1997)
O the word of my Lord Deep within my being, Oh the word of my Lord, You have filled my mind.
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you through and through, I chose you to be Mine. Before you left your mother’s side I called to you, My child, to be My sign. Refrain
I know that you are very young, But I will make you strong. I’ll fill you with My word And you will travel through the land, Fulfilling My command Which you have heard. Refrain
And everywhere you are to go My hand will follow you; You will not be alone. In all the danger that you fear You’ll find Me very near, Your words, My own. Refrain,
This hymn, based on Jeremiah 1, was composed by English Brother and teacher Brother Damian Lundy of the De La Salle Order. It is sometimes referred to as “Song of a Young Prophet.” It is set to an unnamed tune, also by Bro Damian. He died in 1997 at the age of 53. He is widely respected as a leading innovator in many forms of Catholic apostolate and education in the UK. He is credited with devising the currently standard form of Catholic Residential Youth Work and for writing many popular hymns and prayers and leading seminars and conferences. In 1975, Damian founded St Cassian’s Centre, Kintbury, which is still operating today as a widely visited and respected Catholic Youth Retreat Centre.
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.
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.
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 – 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.
Quote/s of the Day – 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 Conrad of Parzham OFM Cap. (1818-1894)
“I am the bread of life; he who comes to me, shall not hunger and he who believes in me, shall never thirst.”
“May Jesus be known, loved and adored by all and be, in every moment, the receiver of thanksgiving, in the most holy and most divine Sacrament.”
Bl Mary Magdalene of the Incarnation (1770-1824)
Prayer of Adoration and Repentance/Night Prayer By St Conrad of Parzham (1818-1894)
I have come to spend a few moments with You, O Jesus and in spirit I prostrate myself in the dust before Your Holy Tabernacle to adore You, my Lord and God, in deepest humility. Once more, a day has come to its close, dear Jesus, another day which brings me nearer to the grave and my beloved heavenly home. Once more, O Jesus, my heart longs for You, the true Bread of Life, which contains all sweetness and relish. O my Jesus, mercifully grant me pardon for the faults and ingratitude of this day and come to me, to refresh my poor heart which longs for You. As the heart pants for the waters, as the parched earth longs for the dew of heaven, even so does my poor heart long for You, You Fount of Life. I love You, O Jesus, I hope in You, I love You and out of love for You, I regret sincerely all my sins. May Your peace and Your benediction be mine, now and always and for 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.
One Minute Reflection – 20 April – Tuesday of the Third Week of Easter, Readings: Acts 7:51–8:1, Psalm 31:3-4, 6-8, 17, 21, John 6:30-35
“I am the bread of life, whoever comes to me shall not hunger and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” … John 6:35
REFLECTION – “God, – Whose nature is goodness, Whose substance is love and Whose whole life is benevolence – sent His own Son into the world, the bread of angels, “because of the great love he had for us” (Eph 2,4), because He wanted to show us the meekness of His nature and the affection He has for His children. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son” (Jn 3,16).
This is the real bread that the Lord sent from heaven so that we may eat it…; this is what God, in His goodness, has prepared for the poor (Ps 67,9s). For Christ, who came down form heaven for all men and to the level of each one, attracts everything to Himself through His inexpressible goodness; He does not reject anybody and He receives all men who wish to repent. He gives all those who receive Him, the most delicious taste. He is the only one who can fulfill all our desires… and, He adapts Himself in different ways, to one and the other, according to the tendencies, the desires and the appetites of each one…
Everyone finds in Him a different taste… For He does not have the same flavour for the one who repents and for the beginner, for the one who progresses and for the one who is at the end. He does not have the same taste, in an apostolic life and in a contemplative life, nor for the one who makes use of the world and for the one who does not, for the bachelor and for the married man, for the one who fasts and for the one who makes a distinction between the different days and for the one who considers all days alike (Rom 14,5)…
This bread has a sweet taste because it delivers one from all worries, it heals sicknesses, it eases trials, it assists one’s efforts and strengthens one’s hopes…Those who have tasted it hunger for it, those who hunger, will be satisfied.” – Baldwin of Canterbury O.Cist (c 1125-1190) Cistercian Abbot, then Bishop – The Sacrament of the Altar III, 2
PRAYER – Almighty Father, to whom this world, with all it’s goodness and beauty belongs, give us grace joyfully to begin this day in Your name and to fill it with the active love for You and our neighbour. By the food You give us, to sustain us on this journey, we are brought to holiness in Your Son, our Lord Jesus the Christ, whom You gave to us as our food. May the Mother of Your Son and our mother, lead us to You and be a succour on our way. Through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God now and forever, amen.
Acts 7: 51 -60 51 You stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Ghost, as your fathers did, so do you also. 52 Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? And they have slain them who foretold of the coming of the Just One; of whom you have been now the betrayers and murderers: 53 Who have received the law by the disposition of angels,and have not kept it. 54 Now hearing these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed with their teeth at him. 55 But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looking up steadfastly to heaven, saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God. 56 And he said: Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God. 57 And they crying out with a loud voice, stopped their ears and with one accord ran violently upon him. 58 And casting him forth without the city, they stoned him and the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man, whose name was Saul. 59 And they stoned Stephen, invoking and saying: Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. 60 And falling on his knees, he cried with a loud voice, saying: Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep in the Lord. And Saul was consenting to his death.
Gospel: John 6: 30-35 30 They said, therefore, to him: What sign, therefore, dost thou shew, that we may see, and may believe thee? What dost thou work? 31 Our fathers did eat manna in the desert, as it is written: He gave them bread from heaven to eat. 32 Then Jesus said to them: Amen, amen I say to you,Moses gave you not bread from heaven but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world. 34 They saidthereforeunto him: Lord, give us always this bread. 35 And Jesus said to them: I am the bread of life, he that comes to me, shall not hunger and he that believes in me, shall never thirst.