Posted by: livingscripture | April 23, 2014

EASTER WEDNESDAY

From the Word of the Day

 

Were not our hearts burning within us while he spoke to us on the way and opened the Scriptures to us?”

 (Luke 13: 32)     

How should we live this Word Emmaus

The episode of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus is very suggestive and timely for our reality of persons on a journey who have doubts, perplexities, and desires.  We see two persons who are sad and deluded, who are retracing their steps away from Jerusalem and the community, and who think they are aware of the last events that had happened.  They think everything is over and that it is useless to continue in an experience that seemed to be exhilarating.

Jesus accompanies them on the way.  He listens to them with interest and then intervenes, explaining the Scriptures.  Then He stops to dine with them and is recognized in the breaking of the bread.  The two hurriedly return to Jerusalem to share the Good News.

This is truly a faith journey.  Through the Church, Jesus today is present in the divine Word and in the Eucharist.  He comes to us in our everyday life.  He questions us and illumines us on events, rereading them in the light of God.

Today as I pause for silent contemplation, I will be attentive to the real presence of Jesus in my life. I will open my eyes to the truth and my heart to love and to sharing.

Lord, increase my faith so that I may recognize You on my life’s journey and my heart may burn with joy as I hear Your Word.                 

The voice of Cardinal Maria Martini, Biblist and Pastor

The two disciples of Emmaus, after they met the Lord and recognized Him in the sign of the bread, return to the community they had abandoned with their hearts full of sadness.  Community life must offer a climate of faith and charity that sustains witness, together with prayer.  Ask Jesus to accompany each of us as He accompanied the two disciples of Emmaus, so that we too, at the end of the journey, may repeat their prayer, “Stay with us for it is nearly evening.”

 

Posted by: livingscripture | April 22, 2014

EASTER TUESDAY

From the Word of the Day

 

Mary Magdalene went to announce to the disciples, ‘I have seen the Lord!’ and what He had told her.”

 (John 20: 18)    

 

How should we live this Word risen

Mary Magdalene had experienced the suffering of separation from and death of Jesus.  She finds herself alone and in tears with her suffering and her immense sorrow.  She was not yet aware of Easter exultation.  She can only see the emptiness around her and wants to remain close to the One she loved.  She can only exclaim, “They have taken away my Lord…”

Suddenly, she hears the tone of a familiar voice that questions her, asking her the motive of her tears.  Finally, she is called by name and it makes her understand His deep identity, His closeness, His understanding of her sorrow.  At the same time, He invites her to look to the future and to leave her isolation.  He tells her to go to the disciples to proclaim the Good News that Christ is risen and will ascend to the Father.

This meaningful Bible passage helps us to see a part of Jesus’ deep attentiveness to persons, His preoccupation to alleviate suffering.  “Woman, why are you crying?”  Jesus is sensitive to our suffering and desires to bring us serenity and joy.

Jesus is also our Teacher who leads us to avoid keeping to ourselves what is dear and gratifying, to leave our little world and transmit to others the immensity of divine love.  In a word, He purifies us from every attachment to anything and leads us to confide in Him alone.

Today as I pause for silent contemplation, I will listen to Jesus telling me that my thirst for Him never ends in a satisfying communion between two, but is always finalized to making Jesus known by everyone.

My Risen Lord Jesus, grant that I too may rejoice in hearing Your voice calling me by name as happened to Mary.  Open my heart to my sisters and brothers as I proclaim Your resurrection to them.                

The voice of Marina Corradi, Journalist 

Mary Magdalene’s love for Jesus is so feminine.  As a woman, she must be the first to go to the tomb.  She is not resigned to not knowing where His body is.  Finally, she wants the embrace to last forever.  In a maternal physicality, in her inability to be content with words, she must touch Him, embrace Him, and almost cradle Him.  Jesus’ coming out of the tomb seems like a new birth in which the Son first finds Himself in the arms of a woman, whose nature is to receive.

 

Posted by: livingscripture | April 21, 2014

EASTER MONDAY

From the Word of the Day

 

And behold, Jesus met them on their way and greeted them.  They approached, embraced his feet, and did him homage.  Then Jesus said to them, ‘Do not be afraid.  Go tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.”

 (Matthew 28: 9-10)          

 

How should we live this Word t_Healing_the_Woman

Today’s Gospel shows the joyous attitude of the holy women who run to tell the disciples of Jesus’ resurrection, just the opposite of the guards who are paid to tell lies.

They had just been going to the tomb with great sadness to pay homage to a dead body.  Now they joyfully and a bit fearfully, aware of an event superior to their human comprehension, meet the Risen Lord who greets them and calms them.  The women had given an example of faithful love and dedication during Jesus’ life.  Now Jesus rewards them with a special gesture of attention. He appears to them and makes them apostles of the apostles.  “Go and tell my brothers…”

How consoling this is for all of us.  The Risen Jesus identifies Himself as the ‘brother’ of all His disciples.  He makes us enter into His joy and into His glory as God’s children.  He overcomes our sadness.  Discouragement can be conquered if we are aware of His Presence in every moment of our life.

Today as I pause for silent contemplation remembering Jesus’ triumph, I will delight in His Presence in me and in my life and draw hope and joy from this fact.

Risen Lord Jesus, You have restored life to me!  Grant that I may joyfully proclaim Your Gospel of salvation to all those who are fearful and anguished. Help me to lead them to follow You in all the obstacles of life, knowing we are never alone.                 

The voice of Pope Francis at General Audience of April 3, 2013

The women are urged by love.  They receive this announcement with faith.  They believe and immediately transmit it, they do not keep it for themselves; they transmit it.  The joy of knowing that Jesus is alive, the hope that fills their heart, cannot be contained.  This must happen in our life as well.  Let us feel the joy of being Christians!  It is beautiful that women were the first witnesses of the Resurrection.  The Apostles narrated only what the women had seen.  This is a part of the mission of women, to bear witness to their children and grandchildren that Jesus is Risen.

 

Posted by: livingscripture | April 20, 2014

EASTER SUNDAY

From the Word of the Day

 

Then the other disciple also went in, the one who had arrived at the tomb first, and he saw and believed.  For they did not yet understand the Scripture that he had to rise from the dead.”

 (John 20: 8-9)   

 

How should we live this Wordresurrection 2

The Resurrection signifies that God gives new life to Jesus, who as man, died to save us, giving the supreme proof of His love.  John’s Gospel reminds us that belief in the Resurrection requires faith.  It means trusting God who never disappoints our expectations.

Mary of Magdala, Peter, and John go to the tomb and find it empty.  They understand that something marvelous and surprising has happened.  Only through faith and love do they grasp the Good News that Christ is risen as the Holy Scriptures had prophesied.

We believe in the risen Christ through the testimony of these disciples.  We demonstrate it concretely when we act as persons who meet the Risen One along our way and in the faces of others.  Easter calls us to give proof of our joy, of the new life that Christ has given us, of our renouncement of sin.  It requires us to put God in first place in our existence, to live in the awareness and the enthusiasm of being children of the God who loves us immensely.

Today as I pause for silent contemplation on this day commemorating Jesus’ triumph, I will bask in the light of His glory, re-confirming my faith in Him, and my love for Him.

Lord Jesus, risen from the dead, grant me to meet You in Your Word of life and in the witness of faith and love of Your disciples.                 

The voice of Easter Sequence

Christ my Hope is arisen:

To Galilee, He goes before you.

Christ indeed from death is risen,

our new life obtaining.

Have mercy, Victor King, ever reigning!

 

Posted by: livingscripture | April 19, 2014

HOLY SATURDAY

From the Word of the Day

 

Brothers and sisters: Are you aware that we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?  We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live in newness of life.”

 (Romans 6: 4)   

How should we live this Word resurrection 2

Holy Saturday has a note of expectancy in this Holy Week of the Liturgical Year.  “It is consummated,” Jesus said as He was dying on the Cross.  Now this consummation is a silence pervaded by hope.  We believe that Christ has conquered death with His resurrection and because of this we too can rise to fullness of life.  This is our Faith founded on hope, rooted in our living in God who does not disappoint; precisely because He is God and not an idol, not an ideology, nor an illusion of the marketplace.

The fact that we are baptized confers on us not only the knowledge of this Mystery that saves, but the strength to live it.  This happens if we allow ourselves to be persuaded to unite ourselves closely with Jesus in all that we live, in our joys, and in our sorrows.  Then we can be redeemed from emptiness, from meaninglessness, from confusion.  Then we can truly walk in ‘newness of life’.

We know it is difficult to live with misunderstandings, within and outside our families, and the passage of days in the shadow of death, when we do not know how to forgive, how to love.  It is precisely from this kind of death that we ask Our Lord to resurrect us in His Easter.

The chocolate egg, the dove, the outing are the dressings for the feast.  The Truth, the Goodness, the Beauty, and the Joy are Jesus Christ.

Today as I pause for silent contemplation during this Easter Vigil, I will unite myself with Jesus in His Paschal Mystery and ask Him to release me from the ‘tomb’ so that I may rise to new life in Him, one that is authentically human and truly Christian.

O Holy Spirit, Breath of Love in Person, grant me interior silence, one that is filled with expectancy, pervaded by Faith and Hope for Jesus to resurrect me so that I may commit myself to live in Him, in His Word, with a life that is under the sign of His Love.                 

The voice of St. Paul of Tarsus 

If Christ had not risen, vain would be our faith.

Posted by: livingscripture | April 18, 2014

GOOD FRIDAY

From the Word of the Day

 

By his stripes we were healed.”

 (Isaiah 53: 5)    

 

How should we live this Word gesicht-christus-impegno

During the Paschal Triduum, the Liturgical texts are very rich and beautiful.  Every believer is invited to read these texts slowly, with a humble and attentive heart, and especially Jesus’ Passion and His death on the Cross.  Let us now try to spiritually ‘breathe’ this brief and strong affirmation of Isaiah the prophet.

At a distance of centuries, before Jesus had shed all His blood, Isaiah had seen and proclaimed that fire which redeemed the darkness and cast light on all the meaninglessness of history.  The festering wounds, ours and those of human beings of every age, become bright roses in our life.  I have understood the depth of the wounds, of His terrible suffering.  But I asked Him above all to believe.  The wounded Jesus is not an image for masochists or human refuse of any kind.  To let the cross rise on the horizon of the crucified is not an invitation to the submissiveness, the giving in, the emptying of death.  Rather it means to act, precisely because God took upon Himself all human suffering and He took it because of Love. Thus, that cross becomes strong, like a weapon of Light.

Today as I pause for silent contemplation on this Good Friday, I will ask Jesus to completely heal me of egoism, of closure, of fear so that I may be one with Him in His Passion and in His Glory.

Lord, with my contemplation and prayer of trustful invocation, I receive in myself Your holy wounds.  I adore You and thank You with all my heart.  Let Your Love help me to live and remain in You always. 

The voice of Teihard De Chardin, French Philosopher & Theologian 

For the Christian, it is not the case to annihilate oneself in the shadow of the Cross, but to climb into its light”.

 

Posted by: livingscripture | April 17, 2014

HOLY THURSDAY

From the Word of the Day

 

The spirit of the Lord is upon me for the Lord has consecrated me with oil.  He has sent me to bring glad tidings to the suffering, to bind the wounds of the broken hearted, to proclaim freedom to slaves, and liberty to prisoners.”

 (Isaiah 61: 1)    

 

How should we live this Word Bread 2

The Lord Isaiah presents is Jesus, the promised Redeemer.  It is not by chance that he speaks in the first person here.  What the Spirit of the Lord makes Him accomplish by clothing Him totally in His power is decisively salvation.  These brief lines say He is, above all, the bringer of good news.  This is not atypical.  On the contrary, it stands out precisely because of the adjective ‘Good’ that qualifies its substance.

Attention is also placed on the recipients.  It deals with suffering, with those on the periphery of existence, who not only have nothing, but also count for nothing.  Other recipients are the many who have wounded hearts due to lack of love or mistaken love.  It is the strong proclamation of what men and women have the greatest right to, freedom from all that enslaves the mind, sentiments, and decisions.

The proposal is to reflect on these lines, to remember in our heart all the kinds of oppression that today cause the degradation of society.  On this Holy Thursday, it helps us to be aware of how this painful reality accords with the Mystery of Jesus.  How true it is that in His Passion and Death, He took upon Himself all these evils and suffered so that we could re-discover our good, so that we could  return to be ourselves, people who walk with heads held high, knowing they are loved and forgiven, and therefore able to love in turn.

Today as I pause for silent contemplation during this Holy Thursday, I shall reflect at length on the great love Jesus has for me and for each person and how much He suffered to relieve our pain.  I will ask Him to help me see how I can best imitate Him.

Jesus, thank You for the Eucharist, the memorial that renews this mystery of grace, of joy, of freedom! 

The voice of St. Francis de Sales, Spiritual Director 

In the strength of adoring and eating Beauty, Goodness, and Purity in person in this divine Sacrament, you will become beautiful, good, and pure.

Posted by: livingscripture | April 16, 2014

Wednesday of Holy Week

From the Word of the Day

 

The Lord has given me a well-trained tongue, that I might know how to speak to the weary a word that will rouse them.”

 (Isaiah 50: 4)     

 

How should we live this Wordimage004-light to my feet

 

It is interesting to note that the Prophet Isaiah recognizes that his speech is not that of a teacher, but that of a disciple.  Who is his teacher?  It is not a secret.  Every morning, he dedicates himself to listening first.  There must have been an initiation for listening, because the Prophet affirms that the Lord Himself opened his ear.  It must not have been a very easy operation.  The most immediate temptation is that of resisting, of drawing back, avoiding an involvement that implies a life commitment.  However, once the temptation is overcome and he listens like a disciple who trusts his teacher, the result is the gift of an important capacity, that of knowing how to console the weary.

Statistics show the evident growth of depression in the world today.  Is it possible to bring people back to a serene meaning of life?  We can believe this if our speaking, if our words are born directly from our discipleship.

Yes, my God free my interior ear from the ‘wax’ of many useless preoccupations.  Give me always a heart attentive to Your Word that is a light to my path and a comfort to my life.

Today as I pause for silent contemplation during Holy Week, I will renew my joy in being a disciple of the Lord.  I will ask Jesus to help me persevere in listening to His Word, meditating on it, and living it.  Thus, I can bring words of hope and consolation to the sad and depressed.

Thank You, Lord!  How beautiful it is to be Your disciple! 

The voice of a Commentator 

Pope Bergoglio learned that the search for peace must begin with an interior journey and relief of suffering.  In this sense, his passage from the See of Buenos Aires to that of Rome did not require a change of attitude.  The visit to the refugees of Lampedusa was in full continuity with his visits to the shantytowns at the periphery of the Argentine capital.

 

Posted by: livingscripture | April 15, 2014

Tuesday of Holy Week

From the Word of the Day

 

The Lord called me from birth; from my mother’s womb he gave me my name.”

 (Isaiah 49: 1)    

 

How should we live this Wordholy Face 3

During Holy Week, the spiritual journey becomes more intense in the light and fire of the Biblical passages that enlighten the mystery of Jesus in the Passion.  Yes, it is the mystery of great suffering as the value and meaning of Jesus who freely accepts to be annihilated, acquires density.  What the prophets had said of Him shows the greatness and the human-divine identity of His Person.  It is not by chance that the author exhorts us, asking for attentive listening, not only on the part of the Israelites, but from people of faraway nations as well.

What is shown here is the call, the pronouncement of the name, not at birth, but already from when he was a little ‘seed’ in his mother’s womb.  It is a beginning that sinks its roots in a plan of salvation that is so awesome it emerges in this way.  However, what we want to reflect on today is the power of God’s call regarding each one of us.

It is power and beauty, power and consolation.  Guarded and called by name well before we opened our eyes to life, we become aware of the value and dignity and greatness that are ours in being a Christian man or woman.

Today as I pause for silent contemplation during Holy Week, I will reflect on my call and the fact that God knows me from my mother’s womb and loves me.  What an awesome reality!

Thus even in our difficult days when in our life there arise threats or accusations, or contradictions, we can be certain that we come from the great Love of God who is Father and Mother in the power and tenderness with which He desires only and always our good.  This is authenticated when we live God’s plan at the service of our sisters and brothers. 

The voice of St. John Bosco

We must all carry our cross like Jesus, and our cross is the sufferings that we all meet in life!

 

Posted by: livingscripture | April 14, 2014

Monday of Holy Week

From the Word of the Day

 

Mary took a liter of costly perfumed oil made from genuine aromatic nard and anointed the feet of Jesus and dried them with her hair; the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.”

 (John 12: 3)       

 

How should we live this Word sinner

The evangelist John, the one closest to the Lord, evokes a scene that is in strong contrast with that which he is about to narrate.  In a short while, he will tell in detail the terrible horrors of Jesus’ Passion and Death.  Here he evokes an event where devotion, tenderness, and adoring Love prevail.  It is the gestures and objects that speak.  They express ways of being with the Lord and His Person that divinely rules.  They tell of sentiments and the ways different persons behave with Him.

There is the way of service, like that of Martha.  There is the adoring transport of Mary. There is the malevolent reaction of Judas.  However, the gesture of pouring the perfume of precious nard on Jesus’ feet by Mary and drying them with her hair is of such beauty that it has drawn the awed attention of many mystics through the centuries.

We need not be redundant, but rather we must stimulate ourselves at any cost to set aside time for contemplation, for entering into the home of Bethany, into the depths of our heart.  We need be preoccupied about our worthiness.  Let us reread the passage and immerse ourselves in Mary’s gesture.  The pure, precious nard is the attitude of heart that the Holy Spirit creates in us if we invoke Him with faith.  The pure nard is Love, the one we give Jesus and His living members, those who dwell with us or those we meet on our way.

Today as I pause for silent contemplation during Holy Week, I will place myself at Jesus’ feet, pouring out my love and desire for Him and giving Him the best of my time, my energy, my entire self.

O Lord, give me Your pure nard, infuse me with Love.  This is everything.  Empty it completely into me…oh then, what perfume! 

The voice of Pope Francis 

Hate, envy, and pride dirty life.  You do not have to fear goodness and tenderness.

 

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