Tuesday, April 30, 2019

“Don't believe the dark whisperings that invite you to walk backward. At any time in your life, you have the power to turn forward.”

To live is to change, and to be perfect is to have changed often. -Bl. John Henry Cardinal Newman: (1801 – 1890: was a theologian and poet)

Gospel Text: (JN 3:7B-15)
Jesus said to Nicodemus:
"'You must be born from above.'
The wind blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes,
but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes;
so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit."
Nicodemus answered and said to him,
'How can this happen?"
Jesus answered and said to him,
"You are the teacher of Israel and you do not understand this?
Amen, amen, I say to you,
we speak of what we know and we testify to what we have seen,
but you people do not accept our testimony.
If I tell you about earthly things and you do not believe,
how will you believe if I tell you about heavenly things?
No one has gone up to heaven
except the one who has come down from heaven, the Son of Man.
And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert,
so must the Son of Man be lifted up,
so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life."

All believers of Christ are re-born in baptism in water and the Holy Spirit and hope to reach eternal life through their faith in the Son of God who became man and died on the cross for man's salvation.

We pray for an increase in our faith in the Lord Jesus.

Monday, April 29, 2019

His baptism was a public act of faith, and so we should do likewise.

"The fruit of Baptism, or baptismal grace, is a rich reality that includes forgiveness of original sin and all personal sins, birth into the new life by which man becomes an adoptive son of the Father, a member of Christ and a temple of the Holy Spirit. By this very fact the person baptized is incorporated into the Church, the Body of Christ, and made a sharer in the priesthood of Christ" (CCC 1279).

Gospel Text: (JN 3:1-8)
There was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews.
He came to Jesus at night and said to him,
"Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God,
for no one can do these signs that you are doing
unless God is with him."
Jesus answered and said to him,
"Amen, amen, I say to you,
unless one is born from above, he cannot see the Kingdom of God."
Nicodemus said to him,
"How can a man once grown old be born again?
Surely he cannot reenter his mother's womb and be born again, can he?"
Jesus answered,
"Amen, amen, I say to you,
unless one is born of water and Spirit
he cannot enter the Kingdom of God.
What is born of flesh is flesh
and what is born of spirit is spirit.
Do not be amazed that I told you,
'You must be born from above.'
The wind blows where it wills,
and you can hear the sound it makes,
but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes;
so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit."

All baptized Christians are called to ask themselves: How do I embrace my life as a vocation? How have I fully embraced that specific call which God has planned for my life?

Christ is calling us to become involved in what God is doing in the world. There are some things we must do for God, or they will not be done.

Friday, April 26, 2019

“You never change your life until you step out of your comfort zone; change begins at the end of your comfort zone.”

“F-E-A-R has two meanings: 'Forget Everything And Run' or 'Face Everything And Rise.' The choice is yours.” ― Zig Ziglar: (926 – November 28, 2012) was an American author

Gospel Text: (JN 21:1-14)
Jesus revealed himself again to his disciples at the Sea of Tiberias.
He revealed himself in this way.
Together were Simon Peter, Thomas called Didymus,
Nathanael from Cana in Galilee,
Zebedee's sons, and two others of his disciples.
Simon Peter said to them, "I am going fishing."
They said to him, "We also will come with you."
So they went out and got into the boat,
but that night they caught nothing.
When it was already dawn, Jesus was standing on the shore;
but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.
Jesus said to them, "Children, have you caught anything to eat?"
They answered him, "No."
So he said to them, "Cast the net over the right side of the boat
and you will find something."
So they cast it, and were not able to pull it in
because of the number of fish.
So the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, "It is the Lord."
When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord,
he tucked in his garment, for he was lightly clad,
and jumped into the sea.
The other disciples came in the boat,
for they were not far from shore, only about a hundred yards,
dragging the net with the fish.
When they climbed out on shore,
they saw a charcoal fire with fish on it and bread.
Jesus said to them, "Bring some of the fish you just caught."
So Simon Peter went over and dragged the net ashore
full of one hundred fifty-three large fish.
Even though there were so many, the net was not torn.
Jesus said to them, "Come, have breakfast."
And none of the disciples dared to ask him, "Who are you?"
because they realized it was the Lord.
Jesus came over and took the bread and gave it to them,
and in like manner the fish.
This was now the third time Jesus was revealed to his disciples
after being raised from the dead.

Today we see Peter jumping into the water to swim to Jesus who waits for him on the lakeshore. Peter knows he needs to get to Jesus. But that means leaving the boat. That boat, remember, represents what he knows best – fishing. It is his comfort zone. But Peter knows what he needs to do. And it means leaving the boat.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

“No God, no peace; know God, know peace.”

We are not at peace with others because we are not at peace with ourselves, and we are not at peace with ourselves because we are not at peace with God - Thomas Merton: (1915 – 1968: was an American Trappist monk)

Gospel Text: (LK 24:35-48)
The disciples of Jesus recounted what had taken place along the way,
and how they had come to recognize him in the breaking of bread.

While they were still speaking about this,
he stood in their midst and said to them,
"Peace be with you."
But they were startled and terrified
and thought that they were seeing a ghost.
Then he said to them, "Why are you troubled?
And why do questions arise in your hearts?
Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself.
Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones
as you can see I have."
And as he said this,
he showed them his hands and his feet.
While they were still incredulous for joy and were amazed,
he asked them, "Have you anything here to eat?"
They gave him a piece of baked fish;
he took it and ate it in front of them.

He said to them,
"These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you,
that everything written about me in the law of Moses
and in the prophets and psalms must be fulfilled."
Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.
And he said to them,
"Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer
and rise from the dead on the third day
and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins,
would be preached in his name
to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
You are witnesses of these things."

Peace, peace and there is no peace. Where is this peace? It is not to be found in the world. It is not to be found in the absence of violence, terrorism and war. If you are waiting for peace in the world, don’t hold your breath. Given human nature and man’s proven capacity for evil it is not a bright prospect.

Peace is not to be found in other people. Yet, how often our peace depends on the mind and the lips of other people; on what they think or say about us. How foolish is human respect whether it be the fear of criticism, ridicule or failure or the inordinate desire of human praise, honor and esteem.

Peace is not to be found in myself. “I see a law in my body warring against the law in my mind…the good I will I do not, the evil I will not I do.” (Romans 7: 13-24) When I look at myself I get discouraged. I realize that I do not have it all together. My experience tells me that I am a bundle of contradictions.

The peace of Christ is not to be found in the world, in others or in myself. It is not the result of human effort. It is a gift of Jesus. While our peace is a gift of Jesus, peace in the world is our responsibility.

Peace in the world is our responsibility. We must use the peace of Christ to create peace in the world. We do this first of all by sharing this peace of Christ with others. The more people there are who share the peace of Christ the greater potential there is for peace in the world. Secondly, if we want peace in the world we have to work for justice. As long as there are grave injustices in the world there will never be peace.

“Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.”