Posted by: livingscripture | April 23, 2017

Meditation

Morning Offering.
Morning Offering

APRIL 23, 2017

“The limitless loving devotion to God, and the gift God makes of Himself to you, are the highest elevation of which the heart is capable; it is the highest degree of prayer.”
— St. Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein)

  MEDITATION OF THE DAY

“We are all sinners. We have all turned away from the Lord, but the Lord is always ready to take us back. When we sin we hurt ourselves, we break our own hearts. The Father sends His Holy Spirit into our hearts to bring us forgiveness and to heal whatever damage we have done to ourselves.”
— Rev. Jude Winkler,
Posted by: livingscripture | April 23, 2017

DIVINE MERCY SUNDAY

 

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD

April 23, 2017

SECOND SUNDAY OF EASTERTIDE

DIVINE MERCY SUNDAY

 

 

 

WORD of the DAY

Now a week later his disciples were again inside and Thomas was with them. Jesus came, although the doors were locked, and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.  Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe.”  Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20: 26-28)

How shall I live this Word?

The Lord is risen!  Today He is beside me and offers me and you His mercy.  Alleluia!  Easter, the day of light without setting gives meaning to our life.  On that day, the Lord made Himself present and His presence is forever.

The Living Jesus appears in the midst of His disciples and they experience a new encounter, one that is true, beautiful, great; one that fills their heart with joy and peace.  Only Thomas is not present and merely listens to the account of faith from his friends, but he wants to experience Jesus himself.

We too, like Thomas, have heard tell of Jesus; we have listened to the witnesses that have transmitted the truths of the faith in His name, but like Thomas, we want to experience the encounter that transforms and opens us to the precious mystery of recognizing Jesus as our Lord and God.

Jesus, my Lord and my God, I remain with You, only You and Your mercy are enough for me.

The Voice of André Frossard, Philosopher and Convert

 When we meet God, the first discovery is the insignificance of all things that even today  Christians, obviously excluding the saints, so ridiculously take seriously.

 

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Posted by: livingscripture | April 22, 2017

EASTER SATURDAY

 

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD

April 22, 2017

EASTER SATURDAY – JESUS LIVES!

 

 

WORD of the DAY

When he had risen, early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene.  She went and told his companions who were mourning and weeping.  When they heard that he was alive and had been seen by her, they did not believe.  After this he appeared in another form to two of them walking along on their way to the country.  They returned and told the others; but they did not believe them either.

[But] later, as the eleven were at table, he appeared to them and rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart because they had not believed those who saw him after he had been raised.   He said to them, “Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature.      (Mark 16: 9-15)

How shall I live this Word?

In today’s Gospel there is a refrain that is repeated and that creates in the reader a certain surprising and unsettling effect.  Mary Magdalene arrives to tell the disciples she had seen the Risen Lord: “They did not believe her”.  The two disciples of Emmaus return and tell them all they had seen and heard along the way and how they had recognized Jesus in the breaking of the bread but “they did not believe them either”.  Finally, Jesus appears to the eleven while they were at table and He scolds them for their incredulity and hardness of heart “because they had not believed those who saw Him after He had been raised”.

It seems Mark wants to show the difficulty in believing in the Resurrection, already in the beginning of the new Church, not only by its adversaries, but also by those who belonged to the closest circle of the apostles friends.  Even the disciple runs the risk of living with unbelief and closed in on self, a slave to one’s own plans and too self-assured.  There are forms of disbelief that can exist even in those who believe.

What is most surprising comes at the conclusion of the Gospel when, in spite of their incredulity, the Lord never rejects or renounces His disciples but His trust in them remains without any after thoughts.  True, they are incredulous and hard of heart, but Jesus entrusts to them the proclamation of His Gospel to every creature!

The Voice of Cardinal Maria Martini, Archbishop of Milan

 I hold that each of us has in ourselves a non-believer and a believer, that speak within, ask each other, have between each other questions that are piercing and disquieting.  The non-believer in me disturbs the believer and vice versa…The clarity and sincerity of such a dialog seem to me symptoms of a human maturity reached.

 

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Posted by: livingscripture | April 21, 2017

MEDITATION

Morning Offering.
Morning Offering

APRIL 21, 2017

“Here is a rule for everyday life: Do not do anything which you cannot offer to God.”
— St. Jean Marie Vianney

  MEDITATION OF THE DAY

“There is not a moment in which God does not present Himself under the cover of some pain to be endured, of some consolation to be enjoyed, or of some duty to be performed. All that takes place within us, around us, or through us, contains and conceals His divine action. It is really and truly there present, but invisibly present, so that we are always surprised and do not recognise His operation until it has ceased. If we could lift the veil, and if we were attentive and watchful God would continually reveal Himself to us, and we should see His divine action in everything that happened to us, and rejoice in it. At each successive occurrence we should exclaim: ‘It is the Lord’, and we should accept every fresh circumstance as a gift of God. We should look upon creatures as feeble tools in the hands of an able workman, and should discover easily that nothing was wanting to us, and that the constant providence of God disposed Him to bestow upon us at every moment whatever we required.”
— Jean-Pierre de Caussade
Posted by: livingscripture | April 21, 2017

EASTER FRIDAY

 

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD

April 21, 2017

EASTER FRIDAY – JESUS LIVES!

 

 

 

WORD of the DAY

 After this, Jesus revealed himself again to his disciples at the Sea of Tiberius. … 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. (John 21: 1-14)

How shall I live this Word?

The apostles had left their nets to follow the Lord and become fishers of men.  After the days of the tremendous events of the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of the Lord, they were upset by those tragic events and were very discouraged.  There was nothing to do but to return to their ordinary life as fishermen on the lake, in the places where they had lived with the Lord.  But they caught nothing that night and the nets drawn by the boat were empty, and were there to remind them of the failure of their hopes.  When all seemed ended, Jesus comes in person to look for them with unchanged love, these His sheep, regardless of their flight and their betrayals on the way to Calvary.

All at once they hear a voice that is unmistakable: “Cast your nets!”  even though they are tired and discouraged, they obey and “cast the nets on the right side of the boat”.  They immediately recognize the unforgettable echo of the voice they had heard in the past along that lake that had gathered them.  The catch is miraculous, abundant beyond imagining.  Now they recognize the Lord.  The efficacy of His Word opens their eyes and their heart.  Now they understand better what the Master had often repeated to them: “Without me you can do nothing”.  Only with Him does the impossible become possible!

It is always the disciple He loved who is the first to recognize the Risen One and he tells Peter, “It is the Lord!”  On those shores of Tiberius the disciples experience communion with the Lord.  Jesus has prepared with great tenderness a ‘charcoal fire with fish and bread’ for them and waits for the fish they miraculously caught.  It is the banquet of the Risen one for His own!

The Voice of Albert-Marie Besnard, A Certain Jesus, in «Foi Vivente» 79 (1968)

 This collection of remembrances and feelings is magnificently expressed in the account of the apparition of Jesus on the Sea of Galilee.  The disciples’ boat nears the shore:  they come back with no fish.  A man calls to them from the shore and invites them to throw their nets once more and they do this.  The fish are plentiful and John understands.  He tells Peter, It is the Lord!  These three words are enough so that Peter too understands and jumps into the water to reach the Teacher.  “It is the Lord”.  By now there is no other!

 

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Posted by: livingscripture | April 20, 2017

EASTER THURSDAY

 

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD

April 20, 2017

EASTER THURSDAY – JESUS LIVES!

 

 

WORD of the DAY

 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.       
(Luke 24: 35-45)

How shall I live this Word?

Today’s Gospel brings us to the end of Easter day.  The two disciples of Emmaus have just arrived at the Cenacle and recount to the apostles what had happened to them along the way and how they had recognized Jesus in the ‘breaking of the bread’.  Now Jesus appears to the eleven and fills the scene with His presence, alive and real.  He greets them, asks them, shows them His hands and feet, and He even eats with them.  The disciples remain silent and nothing is said of them, except that they offer Jesus a piece of baked fish.  However they are minutely described in their most intimate feelings: awe, fear, discomfort, doubt, and incredulity, and finally, joy.  but the feelings that predominate in them are manifested in their difficulty in believing that He is Risen.  In fact, it is not easy for anyone to believe in the Resurrection.  This is the refrain that is repeated over and over, as we will see later as well during this octave of Easter.

Jesus knows this and tries to offer more convincing evidence in a kind of ascending scale.  The empty tomb, the apparitions of the angels to the women, the apparition to Mary of Magdala, the meeting with the disciples of Emmaus, and finally now, the apparition to the eleven together.  Here Jesus shows them His hands and His feet; He shows them He is a living person in flesh and bone, He even eats a piece of fish.  Jesus is really Risen!  He is not a vanishing ghost, a shadow, an unreal and inconsistent apparition, or a projection of their  imagination.

Finally, He opens their mind to understand the Scriptures.  He had already done this with the Emmaus disciples, because without this intelligence, we are blind and incapable of knowing Him, even if He is walking beside us.

The Voice of St. Ignatius of Antioch, Ancient Bishop and Martyr 

In fact, I know and I believe that even after the Resurrection, He is in the flesh.  And when He came to those who were around Peter, He said to them, “Take, feel, and see that I am not a bodiless spirit”  and immediately they touched Him and believed; it was Jesus in flesh and spirit.  For this reason, they despised even death, they were found to be superior to death.

 

 

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Posted by: livingscripture | April 19, 2017

EASTER WEDNESDAY

 

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD

April 19, 2017

EASTER WEDNESDAY – JESUS LIVES!

 

WORD of the DAY

Now that very day two of them were going to a village seven miles   from Jerusalem called Emmaus, and they were conversing about all the things that had occurred.  And it happened that while they were conversing and debating, Jesus himself drew near and walked with them,  but their eyes were prevented from recognizing him.  He asked them, “What are you discussing as you walk along?” They stopped, looking downcast.  One of them, named Cleopas, said to him in reply, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know of the things that have taken place there in these days?”  And he replied to them, “What sort of things?” They said to him, “The things that happened to Jesus the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, how our chief priests and rulers both handed him over to a sentence of death and crucified him.   But we were hoping that he would be the one to redeem Israel; and besides all this, it is now the third day since this took place.   Some women from our group, however, have astounded us: they were at the tomb early in the morning  and did not find his body; they came back and reported that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who announced that he was alive.  Then some of those with us went to the tomb and found things just as the women had described, but him they did not see.”  And he said to them, “Oh, how foolish you are! How slow of heart to believe all that the prophets spoke!  Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer  these things and enter into his glory?”  Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them what referred to him in all the scriptures.  As they approached the village to which they were going, he gave the impression that he was going on farther.  But they urged him, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them.  And it happened that, while he was with them at table, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them.  With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him, but he vanished from their sight.  Then they said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning [within us] while he spoke to us on the way and opened the scriptures to us?”  So they set out at once and returned to Jerusalem where they found gathered together the eleven and those with them who were saying, “The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon!”  Then the two recounted what had taken place on the way and how he was made known to them in the breaking of the bread.   (Luke 24: 13-35)

How shall I live this Word?

Today’s episode of the two disciples on their way to Emmaus is one of the most known of Luke’s Gospel and it is very precious for us and very timely because the thread that connects it is the Sunday Eucharist where we can meet Jesus and recognize Him.  There are two disciples but only one is named and the other remains anonymous almost as though saying that we are invited to identify ourselves with the unnamed one.  We could say that Cleopas is the disciple at the time of the events and the other is myself who walks along the same road.  It can often happen that we arrive at Sunday Mass with many preoccupations, difficulties, anxieties, and our heart in pieces…Then we hear the readings, and Jesus Himself explains the Scriptures to us so that our eyes are opened and our heart burns within us.  Jesus reminds us of two words that we often forget: cross and glory.

He helps us understand the need of the cross that brings us to redemption and resurrection!  Then the Liturgy of the Eucharist places us with the disciples who recognized Jesus ‘in the breaking of the bread”.  This is a summary gesture that reveals the permanent identity of the Lord: of Jesus on earth, of Jesus Risen, of Jesus present today in the community.  Once recognized, Jesus flees being possessed and disappears.  But now even the unnamed disciple knows well the essential traits that identify His presence and knows how to meet Him on the journey!

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Posted by: livingscripture | April 18, 2017

MEDITATION

Morning Offering.
Morning Offering

APRIL 18, 2017

“One just soul can obtain pardon for a thousand sinners.”
— St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

  MEDITATION OF THE DAY

“No one who follows Me will ever walk in darkness (Jn 8:12). These words of our Lord counsel all to walk in His footsteps. If you want to see clearly and avoid blindness of heart, it is His virtues you must imitate. Make it your aim to meditate on the life of Jesus Christ. Christ’s teachings surpasses that of all the Saints. But to find this spiritual nourishment you must seek to have the Spirit of Christ. It is because we lack this Spirit that so often we listen to the Gospel without really hearing it. Those who fully understand Christ’s words must labor to make their lives conform to His.”
— Thomas á Kempis
Posted by: livingscripture | April 18, 2017

EASTER TUESDAY

 

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD

April 18, 2017

EASTER TUESDAY – JESUS LIVES!

 

 

WORD of the DAY

 Mary stayed outside the tomb, crying; …She saw Jesus there, but did not know it was Jesus.   Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?    She thought it was the gardener and said to him, “Sir, if you carried him away, tell me where you laid him, and I will take him.”  Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni,”  which means Teacher.  Jesus said to her, “Stop holding on to me,  for I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”  Mary of Magdala went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” and what he told her. (John 20: 11/14-18)

How shall I live this Word?

Today’s Gospel is very touching in its enchanting simplicity.  The loving figure of Mary of Magdala reappears.  A note of interest in her regard is that Pope Francis has explicitly willed that the memorial of Mary be raised to that of ‘feast’ with the title ‘Apostle of the Apostles’ on June 22nd and a recent document (2016) of the Congregation of Divine Worship has done this.  John describes to us this woman of faith who was outside the tomb, crying.  Instead, the apostles had come and had gone away.  Mary remains  there stricken with grief, held by a deep love for the Master that however, is still human but readies her for the imminent encounter with the Risen One.  Jesus is already present but Mary does not recognize Him, she is too immersed in her sorrow.  Mary must be converted to Easter faith; she is looking for a dead person, and does not yet know that she must look for someone alive!  Only the Risen One can work this conversion, but first He must call His little sheep by name: “Mary!”  Then everything changes.

It is what happens with us as well.  It is not our eyes that allow us to recognize Jesus, but His voice.  That timbre, that tone, that name whispered within us with infinite tenderness, makes all the barriers fall that separate us.  It is enough to have heard it even only once, for it to remain engraved  indelibly forever in our soul.  We can never forget the voice of Jesus.  Heard for a moment, if received in our depths, it remains there.  Mary grasps Jesus’ feet and embraces Him with the tenderness of one who has found the Man-God of her life.  But Jesus tells her not to hold on to Him; she cannot hold Him only for herself.  The love of Christ is a power that pushes us to go beyond, to not close in ourselves, to keep only for ourselves.  The encounter  with the Risen One puts everything in motion: and Mary becomes the first proclaimer of the Gospel of the Resurrection to the disciples.  She is the Apostle of the Apostles!

The Voice of St. Thomas Aquinas, Angelic Doctor

It is noteworthy that Mary was also given a triple privilege.  Above all, the prophetic privilege for the fact that she merited to see the Angels.  The second angelic privilege was that she saw Christ.  The third privilege is the apostolic ministry; she herself became the apostle of the apostles for the fact that she was entrusted with the task of proclaiming the Resurrection of the Lord to the disciples.

 

Posted by: livingscripture | April 17, 2017

EASTER MONDAY

 

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD

April 17, 2017

EASTER MONDAY – JESUS LIVES!

 

WORD of the DAY 

Then they went away quickly from the tomb, fearful yet overjoyed, and ran to announce this to his disciples.   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.”   While they were going, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests all that had happened.  They assembled with the elders and took counsel; then they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers,  telling them, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came by night and stole him while we were asleep.’                (Matthew 28: 8:13)

How shall I live this Word?

The Church as Mother and Teacher, knows how difficult it is to have faith in the Resurrection and thus, during this Octave of Easter, the apparitions of the Risen One continue in order to give ulterior confirmation for our Easter faith.  Today, Matthew recounts the women who see the angel who proclaims the Resurrection to them.  While they run to bring the good news to the disciples, they meet Jesus who tells them not to be afraid and to tell His brothers they will see Him in Galilee.  Galilee is the preferred land of Jesus and very dear to Him; it is there He began His preaching.  From there, the Gospel of the Resurrection must also begin.

This is the invitation that is valid for all the disciples of Christ!  Every generation must reach its own Galilee to meet the Risen One and proclaim Him to everyone, so that everyone may encounter Him.  Even today, there are those who want to block the news of Easter.  Matthew recounts how the temple leaders react to the frightened soldiers’ news, whom they corrupt with a sizable amount of money so that they will lie about the evidence saying His body had been stolen while they slept!  Here we have two opposite  testimonies: that of a group of poor women without any credibility, against the soldiers of the guard who are much more credible than they.  The world wants the tomb to remain sealed, closed, and it works for this end with lies and corruption so that no one will ever know that He is Risen, that Life has conquered death, that Love has triumphed over hatred and violence.

The Voice of Bishop Tonino Bello

On Easter Morning, the women arrived at the garden and saw the stone rolled away from the tomb.  Each of us has our stone: an enormous stone placed at the mouth of the soul…it is the stone of solitude, of misery, of sickness, of hatred, of desperation, of sin.  Then let Easter be for all of us, the rolling back of the stone, the end of the nightmares, the beginning of the light.

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Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Via dell’Ateneo Salesiano 81, 00139 Rome, ItalyE-mail: srmterzo@gmail.com – Website: www.sanbiagio.org  info@sanbiagio.org

Blog: livingscripture.wordpress.com

Comment by Fr. F. Bergamelli, SDB

 

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