Archive for “2015”

5/22/2015 Lectio Divina

Friday, May 22 ~ Seventh and Last Week in the Season of Easter

Saint Rita of Cascia, Religious

 

Holy Gospel: John 21:15-19 After Jesus had revealed himself to his disciples and eaten breakfast with them, he said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.” He then said to Simon Peter a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”  He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was distressed that he had said to him a third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. Amen, amen, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” He said this signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God. And when he had said this, he said to him, “Follow me.”

 

Meditation: Jesus calls us, even in our weakness and sin, to love him above all else. Saint Augustine in his book Confessions wrote: “Late have I loved you, O Beauty so ancient and so new.  Late have I loved you! …You shone your Self upon me to drive away my blindness. You breathed your fragrance upon me… and in astonishment I drew my breath…now I pant for you!  I tasted you, and now I hunger and thirst for you. You touched me! – and I burn to live within your peace.” Nothing but our stubborn human pride, our sinfulness, and our willfulness can keep us from the love of God. God’s love is a free gift, unmerited and beyond payment. We can never outmatch God in love. He loved us first; we must reciprocate with total love for Him by following His commands, and the teachings of His Son and His Catholic Church.

 

Prayer: Bestow on us, we pray, O Lord, the wisdom and strength of the Cross, with which you were pleased to endow Saint Rita, so that, suffering in every tribulation with Christ, we may participate ever more deeply in his Paschal Mystery. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

 

Contemplation: Do you want the fire of God’s love to burn in your heart? John the evangelist tells us that “God is love” (1 John 4:16). His love is unconditional, without limit, and everlasting. It’s the beginning and the end; and it’s the essence of Christianity. It draws us to the heart of God and it compels us to give to him our full allegiance and our very lives. Saint Paul the Apostle tells us that God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given us (ref. Romans 5:5). As so we ask ourselves: Do I love God with all my mind, all my heart, and all my soul?  If not, then ask yourself: what is holding me back?

 

 

Scripture passages (NAB translation) courtesy of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops;

prayers are from The Roman Missal, Catholic Book Publishing, 2011;

information about saints, solemnities, feasts and memorials courtesy of Catholic Culture.

frlumpe:2015

 

5/21/2015 Lectio Divina

Thursday, May 21 ~ Seventh and Last Week in the Season of Easter

St. Christopher Magallanes, Priest and Martyr, and his Companions, Martyrs

 

Holy Gospel: John 17:20-26 Lifting up his eyes to heaven, Jesus prayed saying: “I pray not only for these, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me. And I have given them the glory you gave me, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may be brought to perfection as one, that the world may know that you sent me, and that you loved them even as you loved me. Father, they are your gift to me. I wish that where I am they also may be with me, that they may see my glory that you gave me, because you loved me before the foundation of the world. Righteous Father, the world also does not know you, but I know you, and they know that you sent me. I made known to them your name and I will make it known, that the love with which you loved me may be in them and I in them.”

 

Meditation: The unity of Jesus and his Father is a unity of love and obedience, and a unity of personal relationship. Because Jesus loves us and united us through the Sacrament of Baptism we are called to live in a unity of love. Through the Eucharist, we are united to Christ in the greatest gift to us – Christ’s Body and Blood. Through his teachings, we follow him wherever he leads us as his disciples. Through the Sacrament of Reconciliation, we demonstrate our heartfelt desire to reunite ourselves with him, recognizing our sinfulness, our sorrow for having sinned, and our pledge not to sin again. Jesus’ prayer on the eve of his sacrifice shows the great love and trust he has in his beloved disciples. He knows they would abandon him in his hour of trial, yet he entrusted to them the great task of spreading his name throughout the world and to the end of the ages. The Lord entrust us with the same mission…to make him known and loved by all. Jesus died and rose again that all might be one as he and the Father are one.

 

Prayer: Almighty and eternal God, who made the Priest Saint Christopher Magallanes and his companions faithful to Christ the King even to the point of martyrdom, grant us, through their intercession, that, persevering in confession of the true faith, we may always hold fast to the commandments of your love. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

 

Contemplation: Look around at the people in the pews who are with you in Church.  Look around at the people in your office, your school, your home, your neighborhood.  The distinctive mark of Jesus’ disciples is their love for God and their desire to do his will, and their love for one another. Jesus’ prayer at the Last Supper concludes with the prayer for all men and women who will come after him and follow him as his disciples. In a special way Jesus prays here for us that as members of his body we would be one as he and his Father – God the father – are one.

5/20/2015 Lectio Divina

Wednesday, May 20 ~ Seventh and Last Week in the Season of Easter

Saint Bernardine of Siena

 

Holy Gospel: John 17:11b-19 Lifting up his eyes to heaven, Jesus prayed, saying: “Holy Father, keep them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one just as we are one. When I was with them I protected them in your name that you gave me, and I guarded them, and none of them was lost except the son of destruction, in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled. But now I am coming to you. I speak this in the world so that they may share my joy completely. I gave them your word, and the world hated them, because they do not belong to the world any more than I belong to the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world but that you keep them from the Evil One. They do not belong to the world any more than I belong to the world. Consecrate them in the truth.  Your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I sent them into the world. And I consecrate myself for them, so that they also may be consecrated in truth.”

 

Meditation: Jesus prayed that his disciples would be sanctified and consecrated in God’s truth and holiness. The scriptural word for consecration comes from the same Hebrew word which means “holy” or “set apart for God.” This word also means to be “equipped with the qualities of mind and heart and character for such a task or service.” Just as Jesus was called by the Father to serve in holiness and truth, so we, too, are called and equipped for the task of serving God in the world as his ambassadors. God’s truth frees us from ignorance and the deception of sin. It reveals to us God’s goodness, love, and wisdom. And it gives us a thirst for God’s holiness. The Holy Spirit is the source and giver of all holiness. As we allow the Holy Spirit to work in our lives, he transforms us by his purifying fire and changes us in the likeness of Christ. Is your life consecrated to God?

 

Prayer: O God, who gave the Priest Saint Bernardine of Siena a great love for the holy Name of Jesus, grant through his merits and prayers, that we may ever be set aflame with the spirit of your love. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

 

Contemplation: Have you ever given time, thought and prayer to know what your purpose and mission in life is? Jesus’ aim and mission was to glorify his heavenly Father. All he said and did gave glory to his Father. On the eve of his sacrifice and in the presence of his disciples, Jesus made his high priestly prayer: “Holy Father, keep them in your name that they may be one as we are one”. Jesus prayed for the unity of his disciples and for all who would believe in him. Jesus’ prayer for his people is that we be united with God the Father in his Son and through his Holy Spirit and be joined together, in unity with all who are members of Christ’s body. Jesus saw glory in the cross rather than shame. Obedience to his Father’s will was his glory. Jesus kept his Father’s word even when tempted to forgo the cross. His strength was not in himself but in his Father who kept him. We, too, must take up our cross and follow the Lord Jesus wherever and whenever he may call us.

5/19/2015 Lectio Divina

Tuesday, May 19 ~ Seventh and Last Week in the Season of Easter

 

Holy Gospel: John 17:1-11a Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come. Give glory to your son, so that your son may glorify you, just as you gave him authority over all people, so that your son may give eternal life to all you gave him. Now this is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ. I glorified you on earth by accomplishing the work that you gave me to do. Now glorify me, Father, with you, with the glory that I had with you before the world began. I revealed your name to those whom you gave me out of the world. They belonged to you, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything you gave me is from you, because the words you gave to me I have given to them, and they accepted them and truly understood that I came from you, and they have believed that you sent me. I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for the ones you have given me, because they are yours, and everything of mine is yours and everything of yours is mine, and I have been glorified in them. And now I will no longer be in the world, but they are in the world, while I am coming to you.”

 

Meditation: What is this “glory” of which Jesus speaks in this scripture passage? It is the cross which Jesus speaks of here. How does the cross reveal his glory? In the cross God reveals the breadth of his great love for sinners and the power of redemption which cancels the debt of sin and reverses the curse of our condemnation. Jesus gave his Father the supreme honor and glory through his obedience and willingness to go to the cross. In times of defense the greatest honor belongs not to those who fought and survived but to those who gave the supreme sacrifice of their own lives for their fellow citizens. Jesus speaks of the Father bringing glory to the Son through the great mystery of the Incarnation and Cross of Christ. God the Father gave us his only begotten Son for our redemption and deliverance from slavery to sin and death. There is no greater proof of God’s love for each and every person on the face of the earth than the Cross of Jesus Christ. In the cross we see a new way of love – a love that is unconditional, sacrificial and generous beyond comprehension.

 

Prayer: Grant, we pray, almighty and merciful God, that the Holy Spirit, coming near and dwelling graciously within us, may make of us a perfect temple of his glory. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

 

Contemplation: Jesus tells his disciples that they can know the only true God. Knowledge of God is not simply limited to knowing something about God, but we can know God personally. The essence of Christianity, and what makes it distinct from Judaism and other religions, is the knowledge of God as our Father. Jesus makes it possible for each of us to personally know God as our Father. To see Jesus is to see what God is like. In Jesus we see the perfect love of God – a God who cares intensely and who yearns over men and women, loving them to the point of laying down his life for them upon the Cross. Jesus is the revelation of God – a God who loves us completely, unconditionally and perfectly. And so we might ask ourselves: Do I seek unity of heart, mind and will with God? With my neighbor?

 

5/18/2015 Lectio Divina

 

“Brothers and sisters, let us contemplate the witness of holiness given by Friar Junípero (Serra). He was one of the founding fathers of the United States, a saintly example of the Church’s universality and special patron of the Hispanic people of the country. In this way may all Americans rediscover their own dignity, and unite themselves ever more closely to Christ and his Church. With the universal communion of saints and, in particular, with the assembly of American saints, may Friar Junípero Serra accompany us and intercede for us, along with the many other holy men and women who have distinguished themselves through their various charisms:

— contemplatives like Rose of Lima, Mariana of Quito and Teresita de los Andes;

— pastors who bear the scent of Christ and of his sheep, such as Toribio de Mogrovejo, Francois de Laval, and Rafael Guizar Valencia;

— humble workers in the vineyard of the Lord, like Juan Diego and Kateri Tekakwitha;

— servants of the suffering and the marginalized, like Peter Claver, Martín de Porres, Damian of Molokai, Alberto Hurtado and Rose Philippine Duchesne;

— founders of communities consecrated to the service of God and of the poorest, like Frances Cabrini, Elizabeth Ann Seton and Katharine Drexel;

— tireless missionaries, such as Friar Francisco Solano, José de Anchieta, Alonso de Barzana, Maria Antonia de Paz y Figueroa and Jose Gabriel del Rosario Brochero;

— martyrs like Roque Gonzalez, Miguel Pro and Oscar Arnulfo Romero;

and so many other saints and martyrs, whom I do not mention here, but who pray before the Lord for their brothers and sisters who are still pilgrims in those lands. May a powerful gust of holiness sweep through all the Americas during the coming Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy! Confident in Jesus’ promise, which we heard today in the Gospel, we ask God for this special outpouring of the Holy Spirit. There was so much holiness, so much holiness planted in America!” ~Pope Francis, homily excerpt, May 2, 2015

 

Monday, May 18 ~ Seventh and Last Week in the Season of Easter

Saint John I, Pope and Martyr

 

Holy Gospel: John 16:29-33 The disciples said to Jesus, “Now you are talking plainly, and not in any figure of speech. Now we realize that you know everything and that you do not need to have anyone question you. Because of this we believe that you came from God.” Jesus answered them, “Do you believe now? Behold, the hour is coming and has arrived when each of you will be scattered to his own home and you will leave me alone. But I am not alone, because the Father is with me. I have told you this so that you might have peace in me. In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world.”

 

Meditation: Notice how Jesus warned his disciples that their faith would be put to the test and that they would fail. Jesus spoke plainly about the tragedy of betrayal and the triumph of the cross. Jesus knew the hearts of his disciples better than they knew. He knew they would desert him in his hour of trial. Such knowledge could have easily led to bitterness and rejection. Jesus met the injury of betrayal and disloyalty with supreme love and trust in his disciples. He loved his disciples to the very end even when they left him alone to die on the cross. He knew that the cross would not bring defeat but victory over sin and death. Jesus speaks the same word to us today.  “My love for you is unconditional and I will never abandon you.” While we cannot avoid all pain and suffering in this life, Jesus, nonetheless assures us that he will guide us safely through any difficulty or trial we may have to undergo for his sake. Jesus calls each of us to take courage, because he has overcome the world. The Holy Spirit gives us a living hope in the power of the resurrection and a confident trust in God’s abiding presence. Nothing can overcome this faith and hope in Christ’s victory – no trial, suffering, temptation, or testing. The Holy Spirit gives us the strength and courage we need to overcome adversity and to persevere in faith.

 

Prayer: O God, who reward faithful souls and who have consecrated this day by the martyrdom of Pope Saint John the First, graciously hear the prayers of your people and grant that we, who venerate his merits, may imitate his constancy in the faith. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

 

Contemplation: How did Jesus convince his disciples that he was the Son of God? Jesus could read their hearts like an open book. He answered their questions before they could even speak them out. And he showed them the glory of God. For a Christian, believing in God cannot be separated from believing in the One he sent, his “beloved Son,” in whom the Father is “well pleased.” We can believe in Jesus and in the words he speaks because he is himself God, the Word made flesh. Since he “has seen the Father,” and is “one with the Father,” Jesus is the only one who knows the Father as he truly is and can reveal him to us. Our faith is “certain” because it is founded on the very word of God who cannot lie. Faith is already the beginning of eternal life. Saint Basil the Great says: “When we contemplate the blessings of faith even now, as if gazing at a reflection in a mirror, it is as if we already possessed the wonderful things which our faith assures us we shall enjoy one day.”

From the Rector 5/17/2015

ON THIS ASCENSION SUNDAY we celebrate the ascension of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, into heaven, where He is seated at the right hand of the Father.  And this, folks, is where we turn our eyes to Jesus, in heaven. We celebrate the day Jesus returned home, to the place from which He came to earth to save us and redeem us. He returned differently than He left, taking our human nature with Him across the great threshold of death into life. But we also celebrate the fact that Jesus awaits us there – each and every one of us. The whole point of our human life journey is to prepare us for life with God, here in this world, and eternally with Him in the next. Prior to His Ascension, during the Last Supper, Jesus told His closest followers about this connection between his ascension and our assumption. He said, “I am going to the Father, … the one who sent me” (Jn 14:17, 16:5). But he also said, “You have faith in God, have faith also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also.” Heaven is the place where Christ has prepared for us so that we might rejoice with him forever. The mission that Jesus gives each of us as His disciples is simply this – to be zealous and faithful witnesses to Him, to His message, to proclaim “repentance and forgiveness of sins … to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem” (Lk 24:47), to “go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation” (Mk 16:15). As Jesus was ascending into heaven, He gives us a share in the mission which the Father gave Him – the salvation of the world. He basically has us look at the reality that there are many people on that wide road leading to eternal perdition and says to us, “What are you going to do about it?” Jesus gives us the mission to proclaim to them, by our words, by our deeds, by our love, by our service, the Good News – call everyone to repentance, to baptism, to Jesus. This is the greatest mission we’ve ever received or will receive — a share in Jesus’ own mission of salvation and redemption. He loved us enough and He trusted us so much that He placed his own mission into our hands. He died for those on that wide road, that broad dead end, but he sends us to try to help them turn back, to get on the uphill road that leads to life. After his massive conversion from a dissolute life, St. Augustine went back to his friends and said to them, “I don’t want to be saved without you!” We’re called to do likewise.  To help us accomplish this mission, God has given to each of us an incredible gift. During the Last Supper, Jesus said something startling: “I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you” (Jn 16:7). The Holy Spirit would be sent as tongues of fire, so that we could preach this mission with ardent love.  Thus on this Solemnity of the Ascension of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, we pray for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. And we learn from the example of the first apostles. As soon as the Lord ascended, they went back to the Upper Room, surrounded themselves around Mary, and prayed for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Nine days later, they were filled with the Holy Spirit. Those who previously were cowards and abandoned the Lord on the night He was betrayed, now gave fearless witness to Him, such was the help that the Holy Spirit gave. We ask Mary to teach us how to pray, so that we might respond just as courageously. If we do this, if we live with our hearts set on the Lord, set on heaven, set on eternal life, we will be fearless.

 

THE BISHOP’S ANNUAL APPEAL is underway.  I will be speaking at all of the Masses this Sunday at the Cathedral, and next Sunday at Holy Cross, about our respective parish BAA goals.  All of us have a part to play in supporting the BAA which supports the mission and works of the Diocese, and the “forced overage” which benefits our two parishes.  Please give!


5/15/2015 – Lectio Divina

Friday, May 15 ~ Sixth Week in the Season of Easter

Saint Isidore the Farmer

 

Holy Gospel: John 16:20-23  Jesus said to his disciples: “Amen, amen, I say to you, you will weep and mourn, while the world rejoices; you will grieve, but your grief will become joy. When a woman is in labor, she is in anguish because her hour has arrived; but when she has given birth to a child, she no longer remembers the pain because of her joy that a child has been born into the world. So you also are now in anguish. But I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you. On that day you will not question me about anything. Amen, amen, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you.”

 

Meditation: Why does Jesus tell his disciples to weep and mourn? Jesus was neither a pessimist nor a masochist, and he was certainly more than a realist! The way to happiness and joy in the kingdom of God is through the cross. Sin must be brought to the cross of Jesus Christ and evil can only be completely mastered by the power of God’s redeeming love. Jesus told his disciples that it was more blessed to mourn for sin because it would yield the fruit of peace, joy, and righteousness. Jesus knew that the cross would be a stumbling block for those who refused to believe in him. The cross for Jesus was not defeat but victory – victory over sin, over the forces of evil in the world, and over the devil – the arch-enemy of God and humankind.

 

Prayer: Lord God, to whom belongs all creation, and who call us to serve you by caring for the gifts that surround us, inspire us by the example of Saint Isidore to share our food with the hungry and to work for the salvation of all people. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

 

Contemplation: We must remember that through his death on the cross, Jesus won for us new life and freedom over the power of sin, despair, and death. The Easter victory of Jesus teaches us courage in the face of suffering and death. In the resurrection of Christ our fears are laid to rest. His resurrection is total, final triumph, and for us peace and joy at the end. We will have troubles in the present reality. Through the eyes of faith, we know the final outcome – complete victory over sin, suffering, and death in Jesus Christ. That is why we can pray confidently now, knowing that the Father will give us everything we need to live as his children and as disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ. Do you know the Easter joy of Christ’s victory over sin and death?

 

About Saint Isidore: When he was barely old enough to wield a hoe, Isidore entered the service of John de Vergas, a wealthy landowner from Madrid, and worked faithfully on his estate outside the city for the rest of his life. He married a young woman as simple and upright as himself who also became a saint-Maria de la Cabeza. They had one son, who died as a child. Isidore had deep religious instincts. He rose early in the morning to go to church and spent many a holiday devoutly visiting the churches of Madrid and surrounding areas. All day long, as he walked behind the plow, he communed with God. His devotion, one might say, became a problem, for his fellow workers sometimes complained that he often showed up late because of lingering in church too long. He was known for his love of the poor, and there are accounts of Isidore’s supplying them miraculously with food. He had a great concern for the proper treatment of animals. He died May 15, 1130, and was declared a saint in 1622 with Ignatius of Loyola, Francis Xavier, Teresa of Avila and Philip Neri. Together, the group is known in Spain as “the five saints.” Many implications can be found in a simple laborer achieving sainthood: Physical labor has dignity; sainthood does not stem from status; contemplation does not depend on learning; the simple life is conducive to holiness and happiness. Legends about angel helpers and mysterious oxen indicate that his work was not neglected and his duties did not go unfulfilled. Perhaps the truth which emerges is this: If you have your spiritual self in order, your earthly commitments will fall into order also. “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness,” said the carpenter from Nazareth, “and all these things will be given you besides” (Matthew 6:33).

 

Scripture passages (NAB translation) courtesy of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops;

prayers are from The Roman Missal, Catholic Book Publishing, 2011;

information about saints, solemnities, feasts and memorials courtesy of Catholic Culture.

frlumpe:2015

 


5/14/2015 – Lectio Divina

Thursday, May 14 ~ Sixth Week in the Season of Easter

Feast of Saint Matthias, Apostle

 

Holy Gospel: John 15:9-17 Jesus said to his disciples: “As the Father loves me, so I also love you.
Remain in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. “I have told you this so that my joy might be in you
and your joy might be complete. This is my commandment: love one another as I love you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing.
I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father. It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you. This I command you: love one another.”

 

Meditation: Do you know the love that produces immeasurable joy? Jesus speaks of the love which the Father and he have for those who belong to him. We can never out give God in love, because he has loved us without measure. Our love for him is a response to his exceeding mercy and kindness towards us. Paul the Apostle tells us that we can abound in joy and hope because “God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us” (Romans 5:5). In God’s love we find the fullness of grace, life, peace, and joy. Jesus gives his disciples a new commandment – a new way of love. We are to love others as Jesus has loved us.

 

Prayer: O God, who assigned Saint Matthias a place in the college of Apostles, grant us, through his intercession, that, rejoicing at how your love has been allotted to us, we may merit to be numbered among the elect. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

 

Contemplation: What is the essence of this new commandment? True love is sacrificial. It gives all to the beloved. And there is no greater proof in love than the sacrifice of one’s life for the sake of another. Jesus proved his love for his disciples by giving his life for them, even to death on the cross. We prove our love for God and for one another when we embrace the way of the cross. What is the cross in my life? When my will crosses with God’s will, then God’s will must be done. Do you know the joy and contentment of a life fully surrendered to God and consumed with his love?

5/13/2015 – Lectio Divina

Wednesday, May 13 ~ Sixth Week in the Season of Easter

Our Lady of Fatima

 

Holy Gospel: John 16:12-15  Jesus said to his disciples: “I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now. But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth. He will not speak on his own, but he will speak what he hears, and will declare to you the things that are coming. He will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you. Everything that the Father has is mine; for this reason I told you that he will take from what is mine and declare it to you.”

 

Meditation: Jesus told his disciples that he would send them the Spirit of truth who will guide you into all the truth…and declare to you the things that are to come (John 16:13). Through the gift and working of  the Holy Spirit poured out on the new community of faith on the day of Pentecost, we too are able to profess the same creed which the apostles proclaimed – that Jesus died, and was buried, and rose again on the third day, and will come again to judge, raise the dead, and give everlasting life (the Apostles Creed). We not only have the same faith given to the apostles and early believers, but we have the same Spirit in us who raised Jesus from the dead. The Lord Jesus gives each of us his Holy Spirit as our divine Teacher and Helper that we may grow in the knowledge and wisdom of God. Do you listen attentively to God’s word and allow his Holy Spirit to give you understanding of God’s truth and will for your life?

 

Prayer: Grant, we pray, O Lord, that, as we celebrate in mystery the solemnities of your Son’s Resurrection, so, too, we may be worthy to rejoice at his coming with all the Saints. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

 

Contemplation: What we would all give to know all truths! Truth, however, is not something we create nor is it our discovery. It is the gift of God who is the possessor and the giver of all truth. Jesus tells his disciples that it is the role of the Holy Spirit to reveal what is true. How can this be? Skeptics of truth don’t want to believe in an absolute Truth. If truth is objective then it must be submitted to as authoritative. Some fear the truth because they think it will inhibit their freedom to act and think as they wish. Jesus told his disciples that the truth will set you free (John 8:32). The truth liberates us from doubts, illusions, and fears. Since God is the source of all truth, then the closer we draw to him and listen to his word, the more we grow in the knowledge of him and of his great love and wisdom for us.

 

About Our Lady of Fatima: The famous apparitions of the Virgin Mary to the children of Fatima took place during the First World War, in the summer of 1917. The inhabitants of this tiny village in the diocese of Leiria (Portugal) were mostly poor people, many of them small farmers who went out by day to tend their fields and animals. Children traditionally were assigned the task of herding the sheep. The three children who received the apparitions had been brought up in an atmosphere of genuine piety: Lucia dos Santos (ten years old) and her two younger cousins, Francisco and Jacinta. Together they tended the sheep and, with Lucy in charge, would often pray the Rosary kneeling in the open. In the summer of 1916 an Angel appeared to them several times and taught them a prayer to the Blessed Trinity. On Sunday, May 13, 1917, toward noon, a flash of lightning drew the attention of the children, and they saw a brilliant figure appearing over the trees of the Cova da Iria. The “Lady” asked them to pray for the conversion of sinners and an end to the war, and to come back every month, on the 13th. Further apparitions took place on June 13 and July 13. On August 13 the children were prevented by local authorities from going to the Cova da Iria, but they saw the apparition on the 19th. On September 13 the Lady requested recitation of the Rosary for an end to the war. Finally, on October 13, the “Lady” identified herself as “Our Lady of the Rosary” and again called for prayer and penitence. On that day a celestial phenomenon also took place: the sun seemed to tumble from the sky and crash toward earth. The children had been forewarned of it as early as May 13, the first apparition. The large crowd (estimated at 30,000 by reporters) that had gathered around the children saw the phenomenon and came away astounded. Official recognition of the “visions” which the children had at the Cova da Iria came on October 13, 1930, when the bishop of Leiria – after long inquiry – authorized the cult of Our Lady of the Rosary at the site. The two younger children had died: Francisco (who saw the apparition but did not hear the words) on April 4, 1919, and his sister Jacinta on February 20, 1920. Sister Lucia died on February 13, 2005, at her Carmelite convent in Coimbra, Portugal, after a long illness.

5/12/2015 – Lectio Divina

Tuesday, May 12 ~ Sixth Week in the Season of Easter

Saints Nereus and Achilleus, Martyrs; Saint Pancras, Martyr

 

Holy Gospel: John 16:5-11 Jesus said to his disciples: “Now I am going to the one who sent me, and not one of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ But because I told you this, grief has filled your hearts. But I tell you the truth, it is better for you that I go. For if I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes he will convict the world in regard to sin and righteousness and condemnation: sin, because they do not believe in me; righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will no longer see me; condemnation, because the ruler of this world has been condemned.”

 

Meditation: Why does God seem far from us at times? Separation and loss of relationship often lead to grief and pain. The apostles were filled with sorrow when Jesus spoke about his imminent departure. Jesus explained that it was for their sake that he must leave them and return to his Father. He promised,  however, that they would never be left alone. He will send in his place the best of friends, the Holy Spirit. Paul reminds us that “nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:39). By sending the Holy Spirit to his followers, the Lord Jesus makes his presence known to us in a new and on-going way. We are not left as orphans, but the Lord himself dwells within us through the power of the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 4:9; 6:16b). Jesus tells his disciples three very important things about the work of the Holy Spirit – to convince the world of sin and of righteousness and of judgment. The original word for convince also means convict. The Holy Spirit is our Sanctifier. He makes us holy as God is holy. He does this first by convicting us of our sin and by bringing us humbly to the foot of the Cross. The Spirit convinces us of God’s love and forgiveness and of our utter dependence on God for his mercy and grace.  We need the power of the Holy Spirit to lead us from the error of our sinful ways and to show us the way of love and truth.

 

Prayer ~ Saints Nereus and Achilleus: Grant, we pray, almighty God, that we, who know the great courage of the glorious Martyrs Nereus and Achilleus in confessing you, may experience their loving intercession for us in your presence. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

 

Prayer ~ Saint Pancras: May your Church rejoice, O God, confident in the intercession of the Martyr Saint Pancras, and by his glorious prayers may she persevere in devotion to you and stand ever firm. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

 

Contemplation: The Jews who condemned Jesus as a heretic and blasphemer thought they were serving God rather than sinning when they crucified Jesus. When the gospel was later preached on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:37), many were pricked in their heart and convicted of their sin. What made them change their mind about Jesus? It is the work of the Holy Spirit to both convict us of wrongdoing and to convince us of God’s truth. The Spirit convinces us of the righteousness of Christ, backed by the fact that Jesus rose again and went to his Father. The Holy Spirit also convicts us of judgment. The Spirit gives us the inner and unshakable conviction that we shall all stand before the judgment seat of God. God’s judgments are just and good. When we heed his judgments we find true peace, joy and reconciliation with God. Do you allow the Holy Spirit free reign in your life that he may set you free from the grip of sin and set you ablaze with the fire of God’s love?