Posted by: livingscripture | April 28, 2015

Fourth Tuesday of Easter

From the Word of the DayGood Shepherd

 “My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me.  I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish.  No one can take them out of my hand.”   (John 10: 27-28)

How should we live this Word

 It is a winter day during the feast that recalls the solemn Dedication of the Temple of Jerusalem.  Jesus is walking inside in the part called the Portico of Solomon.  The Jews are ready there as well to ask Him trick questions or to show their impatience in His regard.  “If you are the Christ, tell us plainly”.

Jesus answers by focusing on the fact that the works He does in the name of the Father, precisely those works, bear witness to Him.  Thus, He takes up an image dear to Him, that of the shepherd and the sheep and highlights a truth that is deeply certain and familiar.  His sheep, that is, His true followers, are recognized by three verbs: they listen to Him, they know Him through listening to His Word, and therefore, they follow Him by living His Word.

What Jesus then adds is a marvelous consequence.  He the Lord opens never–ending life to those who follow Him, without any more risk of ever being lost.  The beauty of it is that there will not be any human or angelic or any other power that can overcome God, and be able to take these creatures from Him, from His infinitely loving heart.  The reason for this certain victory is the fact that the Father Himself has given this gift to His Son Jesus; the Father who is the very omnipotence of God, One in Three, the Father who is one thing alone with the Son.

 In my pause for silent contemplation, I will reflect on Jesus’ words and rejoice in the fact that no one can ever take me from Him.

Lord, help me to live with authenticity as I follow You.  Remove from me all fear.  I believe deeply that my Christian life coincides with the certainty that, if I live in You, and You in me, joy begins here and will be the fullness of happiness in Heaven.

The Voice of Edith Stein, German Carmelite, Philosopher, Author, Mystic

Those who seek truth seek God whether they know it or not.

Posted by: livingscripture | April 27, 2015

Fourth Monday of Easter

From the Word of the Day

“What God has made clean, you are not to call profane.”   (Acts 11: 9)

How should we live this WordImage522

 Closed minds and hearts now as in the past not only can create confusion in consciences but can cast discredit on true believers.  In this case, the zeal of the apostles and certain converts to the faith were moved to strongly reprove St. Peter because he had accepted the invitation to sit at table with pagans who had invited him to their home.  We must say that Peter was taught by Heaven through a vision that was somewhat like a lesson and from which emerged precisely what we would like to pause on today.

Certain expressions of the Law of Moses and in the many complications that were added to it, resulted in the belief that to live according to God means to fear ‘impurity of the soul’ through enjoying some of the goods of the earth.  What serious sin there is at the root of this fear!  It is that of having lost the way of the Sacred Scriptures that finds its apex in the fact that Jesus gave His life and all His blood, so that all that all that had perhaps become morally impure, would be purified.  I say ‘serious’ because it gives just motivation for opposing those who oppose Christ and the Church today.  All, truly all, that God has created in humans and for humans is pure.  What makes things good or bad is the use we make of them and the reason. For example, if I eat something offered me and it is good and tasty and I enjoy it, there is nothing wrong with this.  But if I eat that same thing with avidity, with gluttony, and never sharing with others, this is not in keeping with what pleases God.

 In my pause for silent contemplation, I will render thanks to God for all His gifts and ask Him to help me be ever ready to share what I have with others.

Lord, thank You for all good and beautiful things You give me to enjoy.  Educate me to the joy of living each of Your gifts as a song of Gratitude.

The Voice of H. Hesse, German Author

There is nothing more difficult than to lead a person to his/her own happiness.

Posted by: livingscripture | April 26, 2015

Fourth Sunday of Easter – World Day of Prayer for Vocations

From the Word of the Day

 “A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”   (John 10: 11)

 

Shephrd1[1]How should we live this Word

 This expression is from Jesus, brought to us by John’s Gospel.  Many of us know it by heart and it no longer arouses emotions or reflections.  Let us shake off the dust of what we know, of what lies in our memory as a deposit that is no longer used.  Then it will be ‘new’ like the eternal newness of this passage.

It does not matter if today’s social-cultural reality has little to do with the shepherd’s occupation, with sheep, or with idyllic scenes that were once well known and a life-style of the past.

The Good Shepherd is here.  Jesus is alive and true in His absence.  When he said these words, He was fully aware of what He was about to undergo, His way to Calvary with the weight of the cross on His shoulders, the ridicule, the cruelty of the soldiers, and finally the shedding of His blood to the last drop on the infamous cross.

Jesus identifies Himself with the Good Shepherd to express the passionate tenderness He nourishes for the weak and the poor like us.  It is a love that is not just words.  Even the Greco-Roman poets, thinkers, and philosophers had exalted love expressed in the will to give one’s life.  But how many of them lived it?  You, Jesus, and only You, did not only speak about it but lived it fully in all its sublimity as Gift.

 In my pause for silent contemplation, I will ask Jesus to help me appreciate fully the fact that He is my Good Shepherd.

Lord, grant me a new and vibrant heart.  Make me aware and committed to make my life a daily giving of myself.

The Voice of Pope Francis

At the root of every Christian vocation, there is this basic movement of the experience of faith.  To believe means to leave ourselves, to leave our comfort zone and the rigidity of our ego to concentrate our life in Jesus Christ, to abandon our land like Abraham, and journey with trust, knowing that God will indicate the road toward the new land.

Posted by: livingscripture | April 25, 2015

Third Saturday of Easter

From the Word of the Day

 “Jesus appeared to the Eleven and said to them, ‘Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.  Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned.  These signs will accompany those who believe in my name, they wild drive out demons, they will speak new languages.  They will pick up serpents with their hands, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not harm them.  They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover’.  Then the Lord Jesus, after he spoke to them, was taken up into heaven and took his seat at the right hand of God.  But they went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and continued the word through accompanying signs.”   (Mark 16: 15-20)                      

How should we live this Wordcrowds

 On the feast of St. Mark, we want to thank him for having given us the Gospel and thus allowed the faith to grow in many generations of Christians.  We thank him for being a disciple of St. Paul and St. Peter, eye-witnesses of the Faith Tradition of the beginnings.  We thank him because his Gospel is built around the question, truly who is Jesus of Nazareth for me?  This questions us on our personal rapport with the Master.  Today, besides recalling the mission Jesus entrusted to us to, “Go into the world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature”,  it calls us to live this commitment above anything else, to then be able to bring the Good News that is Jesus, “with our life, and, if necessary, also with words”.  (St. Francis)

 In my pause for silent contemplation, I will ask Jesus to help me to make Him and His Word truly the center of my life and to proclaim Him to all I meet.

Jesus, You are my Life!

The Voice of Pope Paul VI

Contemporary people listen more willingly to witnesses than to teachers, and if they listen to teachers, it is because they are witnesses.

 

Posted by: livingscripture | April 24, 2015

Third Friday of Easter

From the Word of the DayJesus speaking

 “The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, ‘How can this man give us his flesh to eat?’  Jesus said to them, ‘Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the Flesh of the Son of Man and drink his Blood, you do not have life within you.  Whoever eats my Flesh and drinks my Blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day.  For my Flesh is true food, and my Blood is true drink.  Whoever eats my Flesh and drinks my Blood remains in me and I in him.  Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me.”     (John 6: 52-57)                                                                     

How should we live this Word

 Jesus tells us that He alone gives us eternal life.  Here, ‘eat’ means ‘chew’ with the teeth.  His Flesh is to be chewed so that it is well assimilated in order to receive its vital energy.  The fruit of this ‘chewing’ is that we remain in Him, that is, we are in communion with the life that is proper to love.  Love is not ‘con-fusion’, by which one suppresses the other.  Love is ‘communion’, a reciprocal dwelling in each other, to inhabit and be inhabited by the other.  Only by chewing Him can we live of Him, by Him, and for Him.  The beloved becomes the life of the one who loves Him.  “It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me,” (Cf. Galatians 2: 20).  This is the fruitful and liberating Mystery of Love!

 In my pause for silent contemplation, I will thank Jesus for becoming my Food and Drink and for sharing His intimate life with me in the Eucharist.

Lord Jesus, every time you enter into me, transform me into You so that I too, like St. Paul, may say, “It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me”.

The Voice of Father Turoldo

Christ, my sweet ruination; You are joy and torment together.  It is impossible to love you with impunity.  Sweet ruination, Christ, who destroys in me all that is not love.  It is impossible to love You without paying the price of the money of life!  It is impossible to love You and not change my life and not throw emptiness out of my arms, and not widen the horizons I breathe.

 

 

Posted by: livingscripture | April 23, 2015

Third Thursday of Easter

From the Word of the Day

 “I am the bread of life.  Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died, this is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my Flesh for the life of the world.”   (John 6: 48-51)                                             

 

How should we live this Word2011041851holy_mass_1_inside[1]

 Jesus is not only bread, but living bread, alive and vital, able to transmit life.  The life that is in Him is the same life of the Living Father.  This bread, which recalls the manna, is the flesh that recalls the lamb.  Christ is our Easter.  His flesh is the cornerstone of salvation!  The Eucharist is the Mystery of the Body and Blood of Christ!

 In my pause for silent contemplation, I will ask Jesus to increase my faith in Him, in the Mystery of the Eucharist so that my life may be lived in Him.

Lord, strengthen my faith in You and in Your Word.

The Voice of the Acts of Thomas

We eat Your sacred Body, crucified for us.  We drink Your precious Blood, poured out for us.  May Your Body be our salvation!  May Your Blood remit our sins!  Through Your Resurrection that recalls Life, we will live again and be the elect before Your justice.

 

 

Posted by: livingscripture | April 22, 2015

Third Wednesday of Easter

From the Word of the Day

 “Jesus said to them, ‘I am the Bead of life, whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.  Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and I will not reject anyone who comes to me, because I came down from heaven not to do my own will but the will of the one who sent me.  And this is the will of the one who sent me, that I should not lose anything of what he gave me, but that I should raise it on the last day’.”   (John 6: 35-39)                                                                                

 

How should we live this WordBread 2

 ‘I AM’ is the Name with which God revealed Himself to Moses.  Here the verb reveals who He is and what He does in that Name.  He is the bread that communicates His life to those who eat of it.  We are at the highest level of understanding the sign.  The bread, the life that we desire and receive is Jesus Himself.  The Son, who gives His life for us in obedience to the Father’s will, clearly tells us what this Will is:  that of communicating His Life to us, His Love, so that at the last day, all may have life in Him and not death.

 In my pause for silent contemplation, I will ponder Jesus’ words.  Do I really believe that I receive Jesus in the Eucharist?  Do I really believe Jesus?

Lord, strengthen my faith in You and in Your Word.

The Voice of St. Bonaventure

Jesus, Bread of the angels, food of the elect, our daily bread, more than any other nutriment and fragrant with sweetness… may my mind and heart be ever securely fixed and firmly rooted in You.

Posted by: livingscripture | April 21, 2015

Third Tuesday of Easter

From the Word of the Day

 

“So they said to Jesus, ‘Sir, give us this bread always’.  Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst’.”   (John 6: 34-35)    

 

How should we live this WordJesus food 1

 

Just as the Samaritan woman asked for the water that gives eternal life, today the crowd asks for the bread.  “Sir, give us this bread always,” the bread that accomplishes God’s work and gives life to the world.  How similar this dialog in the synagogue of Capernaum is to the one before Jacob’s well!  It is hunger and thirst that masks the deep hunger of thirst for what our soul yearns.

 In my pause for silent contemplation, I will thank Jesus for giving me His Body as Bread to satisfy my hunger, the deepest hunger of my heart that longs for Him.  I will thank Him for the Holy Mass of His Eucharist that I am able to approach with ease.

Lord, give me always of the Bread of Your Body.  Without You I cannot live!

The Voice of Saturnine, Martyr of the Early Church

In the Acts of the Martyrs, we have an inspiring narration of the interrogation of Saturnine, Dativo, and others from the colony of Abitina in Africa during the Diocletian persecution in 304, which led to their martyrdom.

 “You have acted against the prescriptions of the Emperors and of the Caesars by gathering these”.  The priest Saturnine, inspired by the Holy Spirit, responded, “We have celebrated Sunday Eucharist without being preoccupied by them”.  The Proconsul demanded, “Why?”  He responded, “Because the Sunday Eucharist cannot be left aside”.  Then the Proconsul questioned Emeritus.  “Do you hold reunions in your house against the decree of the emperor?”  And Emeritus, inspired by the Holy Spirit, said, “We have celebrated the Sunday Eucharist in my home”.  And the other asked, “Why do you allow them to enter?”  He answered, “Because they are my brothers and I could not stop them”.  The Proconsul continued, “It was your duty to stop them”.  And he said, “I could not because we Christians cannot remain without the Sunday Eucharist”.

 

Posted by: livingscripture | April 20, 2015

Third Monday of Easter

From the Word of the Dayjcheart

 “Amen, amen, I say to you, you are looking for me not because you saws signs but because you ate the loaves and were filled.  Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you.  For on Him the Father, God, has set his seal.”   (John 6: 26-27)                         

How should we live this Word

 By their very nature human beings are mystics searching for the ‘mystery’ hidden in everything.  For the human, in fact, what is seen is a reality to be understood and interpreted.  Jesus tells the crowd that they are not looking for Him because they saw signs, but because they had eaten the bread and were satisfied.

Jesus makes us face our difficulty in being truly human.  This happens above all when we renounce going ‘beyond’ and we content ourselves with what we see.  Even Jesus can be sought only to guarantee us material bread for survival…what we see!  Jesus, instead, educates us and takes us out of our egoism to open us to receive His Love by helping us to raise our gaze!

 In my pause for silent contemplation, I will ask myself what I am truly seeking in my relationship with Jesus and ask Him to bring my gaze where He desires it to be.

Lord Jesus, educate me always so that I may not delude myself into thinking that I am seeking You when in truth I am only seeking myself.

The Voice of Edith Stein, Witness and Martyr

O Lord, give me all that leads me to You. O Lord, take from me all that takes me from You. O Lord, take me from myself and give me to You alone.

Posted by: livingscripture | April 19, 2015

Third Sunday of Easter

From the Word of the Day 

“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’.”        (Luke 24: 44-48)               

How should we live this Wordtogether

 The Risen One helps His disciples overcome the time of crisis they are living, recalling to their mind the words He has said before the events in Jerusalem.  He takes them by hand as He had done with the two of Emmaus and opens their mind to penetrate the meaning of what had happened, placing it in the plan of salvation revealed in the Sacred Scripture.  Now their ‘understanding’ in respect to their ‘not understanding’ of before is a gift of the Risen Christ and it leads them to receive Him as the fulfillment of the Scriptures, as the Key to understand it in its deepest and truest sense.

 In my pause for silent contemplation, I will ask Jesus to open my mind and heart to His word in the Scriptures so that I may enter ever more deeply into their Truth.

Lord, may Your Spirit help me to read the Scriptures and to grow in my awareness of Your loving Presence in the most hidden and painful crevices of my life in this world. 

The Voice of Cardinal Maria Martini

Lord Jesus we strongly desire to seek You in the Scriptures; we want to understand that You live in the words of the Gospel; we want to understand, moved by the Spirit, what You want to tell us today.

Older Posts »

Categories

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 230 other followers