THIRD WEEK OF EASTER – TUESDAY – MAY 3, 2022 – SEEING THE FATHER (JN 14:6-14)

Prayer:

O Jesus, I will know you so I can know the Father.

Imagination:

Picture Jesus teaching at the Last Supper.

Context:

In this text, Jesus describes two different periods of time, before the resurrection (when the disciples do not really know Jesus) and after the resurrection (when they did know him).

Philip’s question allows Jesus to expand upon what he has said.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

Jesus said, “If you had known me, then you would also have known my Father. From now on, you do know him and you have seen him.” Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”

Jesus said, “Have I been with you so long a time and still you do not know me? Philip, he who sees me, sees the Father also. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in me?”

Thoughts (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)

  1. Jesus expands his glory to the disciples. They will know Jesus and see the Father.
  2. Philip grows excited and blurts out the unthinkable request, “Show us the Father” (whom none have ever seen.)
  3. Jesus is disappointed. Philip has not yet understood.
  4. Philip already experiences the Father by seeing Jesus.
  5. This extraordinary blessing comes through Mary who gave Jesus his body.
  6. Philip must do just one thing – believe that Jesus is in the Father and the Father is in Jesus.

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)

  • O Jesus, I know you. You are the Father’s only son.
  • When I speak to you, I speak also to the Father.
  • When I see you, Jesus, I see the Father. When I am close to you, Jesus, I am close to the Father.
  • O Jesus, you and the Father cannot be separated. You are bound together by the Holy Spirit of love.
  • O Jesus, how long will I be with you and still not understand? You and the Father are one.

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)

+ I will spend this day in Jesus’ presence.

+ I will thank the Father for sending Jesus.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation.)

Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?

THIRD WEEK OF EASTER – MONDAY – MAY 2, 2022 – FOOD THAT DOES NOT PERISH (JN 6:22-29)

Prayer:

O Jesus, let me seek the Bread of life everlasting.

Imagination:

Picture Jesus teaching the crowds.

Context:

After Jesus multiplied the loaves and fishes, he prays alone on the mountain. Meanwhile, his disciples cross the Sea of Galilee to Capernaum and Jesus walks on the water to rescue them. In this gospel, the crowd finds him at Capernaum, obviously wanting Jesus to multiply food again.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

The crowds searched for Jesus and when they found him, they asked him, “Rabbi, when did you come here?” Jesus answered, “Amen, amen, I say to you. You do not seek me because you see miracles, but because you have eaten and been filled with the loaves.

Do not work for the 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 has set his seal.

They asked, “What can we do to accomplish the works of God?” Jesus answered, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom God has sent.”

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)

  1. The crowds make extraordinary efforts to be with Jesus.
  2. They want his miracles.  
  3. The miracles are signs of the Kingdom.
  4. Jesus wants them to seek the Kingdom, not the signs.
  5. Jesus has a special food which they should seek. It will give eternal life.
  6. The crowds have an excellent question. How do they accomplish the works of God?”
  7. Jesus gives a direct answer. The “work of God” is “to believe in him.”

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)

  • Jesus, I will do everything possible to find you.
  • You welcome me and rejoice that I have come.
  • Jesus, you give me signs so I keep searching.
  • I will search for the food that gives eternal life.
  • With all my heart, I ask, “What works can I do for you, Jesus?”
  • He says, “Just believe in me.”

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)

+ Today, I will seek Jesus with all my heart.

+ I will hunger and thirst for Holy Communion.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation.)

The crowds searched for Jesus and found him.

THIRD SUNDAY OF EASTER – (C) – MAY 1, 2022 – VISION AT THE SEA OF GALILEE (JN 21:1-8)

Prayer:

O Jesus, make me aware of your presence.

Imagination:

Picture Jesus standing on the shore at the Sea of Galilee.

Context:

Because Jesus promised to appear to his disciples in Galilee, the apostles return there and resume fishing. In John’s gospel, this is the third recorded vision to these disciples.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

Jesus showed himself again at the Sea of Galilee. Simon Peter said to Thomas, Nathanael of Cana, the sons of Zebedee and two others, “I am going fishing.” They replied, “We will come with you.”  However, all night they caught nothing.

In the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but they did not recognize him. He called out to them, “Children, have you caught anything to eat?”  “No,” they answered. “Throw your nets to the right side of the boat and you will find something.” When they did, they caught so many fish that they could not pull them in.

The disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord.” When he heard it was the Lord, he tucked in his garment (he was lightly clad) and jumped into the sea. The other disciples came in the ship dragging the net with their fishes.

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder those that attract you.)

  1. Peter is the leader. The other seven are blessed by going with him. The beloved disciple is a witness to this event.
  2. Their fishing experience and skill profit nothing. The nets are empty.
  3. Although they do not recognize this mysterious figure, they obey his words.
  4. The miracle reveals to the beloved disciple that “it is the Lord.”
  5. Peter believes his words and plunges into the sea.
  6. The others arrive in a more conventional way. Yet, all experience Jesus’ presence.

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)

  • O Jesus, keep me united with Peter and the Church. This is how I will be blessed.
  • Make me of one mind and heart with other disciples who love you.
  • Speak to me, Lord, and I will obey your word.
  • Give me the beloved disciple’s sensitive faith, who first realizes that it is you.
  • May I see your loving hand in all my blessings.
  • May I always come to you, whether exuberantly (like Peter) or more calmly (like the others).
  • Fill me with your presence.

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)

+ I will try to be united with others who search for Jesus.

+ I will ask to experience Jesus’ presence.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation.)

“Have you caught anything to eat? Throw your nets to the right side.”

SECOND WEEK OF EASTER – SATURDAY – April 30, 2022 – JESUS WALKS ON THE SEA (JN 6:16:21)

Prayer:

O Jesus, help me when the storms of life become too strong.

Imagination:

Picture Jesus approaching the disciples’ boat.

Context:

Multiplying food is a powerful miracle but walking on the sea is even greater. Jesus is much more than a miracle-worker. He is God and has power over the sea.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

When evening came, the disciples went to the sea, intending to embark to Capernaum. It was dark and Jesus was not with them. Moreover, with a strong wind blowing, the sea was becoming rough. When they had rowed three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking upon the sea and approaching their boat. They were afraid. Jesus said to them, “I am. Do not be afraid.” They wanted to take him into the boat, but suddenly it came aground on the shore where they were going.

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder those that attract you.)

  1. The disciples make a mistake. They try to cross the sea without Jesus.
  2. They think that they can overcome the darkness and the wind.
  3. The conditions are too much. They find themselves miles from shore and helpless.
  4. Suddenly, Jesus appears and chooses to approach their boat.
  5. Why do they grow afraid? Because they do not know who it is.
  6. “I am” says Jesus. The Father spoke those same words to Moses.
  7. The disciples want to take Jesus into their boat.
  8. God works yet another miracle. The boat arrives safely with Jesus at their side.

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)

  • Jesus, do not let me face my trials without you.  
  • If I use only my own talents, I will always fail.
  • With your power, I will always succeed.
  • O Jesus, how difficult life can be.
  • Come to me, Jesus. The waves are very high.
  • You are “I Am.” You always existed. You created me.
  • Suddenly, I will reach the shore. Life will be over and I will be in heaven.
  • Stay with me, Jesus. It is night.

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)

+ I will never trust my own strength.

+ I will ask Jesus to accompany me.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation.)

They saw Jesus walking on the sea toward them.

SECOND WEEK OF EASTER – FRIDAY – APRIL 29, 2022 – FEEDING THE FIVE THOUSAND (JN 6:1-15)

Prayer:

Come, Holy Spirit. Multiply your gifts within me.

Imagination:

Picture Jesus feeding the crowds.

Context:

This multiplication of food is very important and is told in all four gospels. The Early Church loved this miracle because it prefigures Jesus’ gift of Eucharist. Why is this story told in Easter time? The miracle is a manifestation and at Easter Jesus is manifesting himself.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

When Jesus looked up and saw the vast crowd, he asked Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for all to eat?” He said this to try him because he knew what he was going to do.

Philip replied, “Two hundred days’ wages is not enough to feed all these.” Andrew said, “A boy here has five barley loaves and two fishes, but what is that among so many?”

Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.” He took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed them to the disciples. He did the same with the fish. When all had eaten, he told the disciples to gather up the fragments, which filled twelve baskets.

Realizing that they would try to make him King, Jesus fled to the mountain alone.

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)

  1. Jesus is concerned about the crowd’s hunger.
  2. He decides what to do, but he allows the apostles to cooperate.
  3. Once they bring the loaves and fishes, Jesus can multiply them.
  4. Jesus looks up to heaven, blesses the food and breaks it. He will do these same actions again at the Last Supper. This miracle is a preview.
  5. Jesus brings all to completion. The people have their fill and twelve baskets are gathered up for us.

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)

  • Jesus, I am your sheep, part of your flock.
  • O Lord, stay with me.
  • O Jesus, you care for all of my needs.
  • You bless me to overflowing.
  • Every day, you multiply the bread from heaven. Help me to love the Eucharist.
  • You are my King.
  • Take me to the mountain with you, Jesus.

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)

+ Today, I will thank Jesus for his abundance.

+ My heart will seek the Bread of Life.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation.)

Seeing the vast crowd, Jesus wanted to feed them.

SECOND WEEK OF EASTER – THURSDAY – APRIL 28, 2022 – NO RATIONING OF THE SPIRIT (JN 3:31-36)

Prayer:

O Jesus pour out the fullness of your Spirit.

Imagination:

Picture Jesus teaching his disciples.

Context:

John the Baptist was a great preacher but he knew only earthly truths. Jesus knows heaven and can speak about what he has seen in heaven. Jesus is not just an earthly Messiah. He “comes from above” and brings heavenly life.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

The One who comes from above is above all. Whoever comes from earth is earthly and speaks of earthly things. Whoever comes from heaven is above all. He testifies to what he has seen and heard, but no one accepts his testimony. Whoever does accept his testimony certifies that God is truthful. The one whom God has sent speaks the words of God and God does not ration the Spirit.

The Father loves the Son and has given everything over into his hands. Whoever believes in the Son, has everlasting life.  Whoever does not believe in the Son, will not see life because the wrath of God abides in him.

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder those that attract you.)

  1. Having come from heaven, Jesus brings all of heaven’s riches.
  2. Jesus has seen the Father. Having seen, he can testify.
  3. Jesus’ frustration is that no one believes his testimony.
  4. If people believed, the Father would pour out the Holy Spirit abundantly upon them.
  5. Believing in Jesus bestows eternal life.
  6. Not believing in Jesus closes the door to eternal life. God’s wrath is not removed.

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)

  • Tell me about heaven, Jesus.
  • Bring me all of heaven’s treasures.
  • Pour out your fire. Do not ration your Holy Spirit.
  • You alone can give me eternal life.
  • O Jesus, bring me into the Father’s love. Remove me from his wrath.

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)

+ I will think of the uniqueness of Jesus Christ.

+ I will open my heart today to a complete infilling of the Spirit.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation.)

God does not ration the Holy Spirit.

SECOND WEEK OF EASTER – WEDNESDAY – APRIL 27, 2022 – SENT INTO THE WORLD (JN 3:16-21)

Prayer:

O Jesus, you were lifted up on the cross to save me.

Imagination:

Picture Jesus teaching Nicodemus.

Context:

This gospel contains the famous John 3:16 verse about God so loving the world. It explains that God’s motive was to save, not to condemn. However, anyone who rejects this light is subject to God’s judgment.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

Jesus said to Nicodemus, “Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up so that whoever believes in him may not perish, but may have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, so that whoever believes in him may not perish but may have everlasting life. God did not send his Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved by him.

Whoever believes in him, will not be condemned but whoever does not believe in him is already condemned because he does not believe in the name of God’s only Son.

The Judgment is this. The light came into the world and men loved the darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who practices evil hates the light. He does not come near it so his deeds are not exposed. But whoever acts in truth comes into the light so his works can be clearly seen as done in the light.”

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder those that attract you.)

  1. When the Israelites in the desert disobeyed God, they grew sick from a serpent’s bite.
  2. God provided the remedy. When Moses nailed a bronze serpent to a cross, whoever gazed on it was saved (Numbers C21).
  3. This story prefigured Jesus being lifted up on the cross to save us.
  4. God sent Jesus because “he so loved the world.”
  5. Through faith in Jesus, all can be saved. 
  6. Jesus is the eternal light.  
  7. Evil people do not want this light. It reveals their deeds.
  8. Good people rejoice to have their deeds revealed. They act in truth.

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)

  • Jesus, you were lifted up on the cross for me.
  • Only your cross can save me from eternal death.
  • Father, loving me so much, you sacrificed your Son to save me.
  • I believe. I accept you, Jesus. You are the Father’s only begotten Son.
  • Come Jesus. Reveal my heart. Make me a child of light.
  • Open my heart to light and truth.

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)

+ I will thank Jesus for dying on the cross.

+ I will bring all my sins into Jesus’ light.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation.)

God so loved the world that he gave his only Son.

SECOND WEEK OF EASTER – TUESDAY – APRIL 26, 2022 – THE QUESTIONING NICODEMUS (JN 3:7-15)

Prayer:

O Jesus, let me come to you for wisdom.

Imagination:

Picture Jesus teaching Nicodemus.

Context:

Nicodemus is a trained Jewish scholar. His questions to Jesus contrast the Jewish faith with the mysteries of Christ. His questions allow Jesus to explain these truths. If Nicodemus cannot understand the mystery of the Holy Spirit, how can he understand the Trinity.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

Jesus said to Nicodemus, “Do not be surprised that I said to you that you must be born again. The spirit breathes where he will and you hear his voice but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone born of the spirit.

Nicodemus asked, “How can this happen?” Jesus said, “Are you a teacher in Israel and you do not know these things? Amen, amen, I say to you. We speak what we know and we testify to what we have seen but you do not receive our testimony. If I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe when I speak to you about heavenly things?

No one has ascended into heaven except the one who has descended from heaven, the Son of Man who is in heaven. Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up so that whoever believes in him may not perish but may have everlasting life.”

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder those that attract you.)

  1. “Being born from above” is receiving the Holy Spirit in Baptism.
  2. After Baptism, the Spirit leads the believer wherever he chooses (like the wind blowing).
  3. Nicodemus is confused because these Christian truths go far beyond the Jewish faith.
  4. The early Church easily understands them and gladly explains them to the world.
  5. Jesus’ heavenly role as Son of Man goes beyond Baptism and the Spirit’s indwelling.
  6. Jesus even describes his own death which will bestow eternal life.

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)

  • O Jesus, help me to be born again.
  • Pour out your Holy Spirit.
  • I will let your Spirit lead me wherever he wishes.
  • You are lifted up on the cross. You died for me.
  • You have ascended to heaven so I can ascend with you.
  • Without you, I perish. With you, I have everlasting life.

Resolution: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)

+ I will ask to receive the Holy Spirit today.

+ I will think of Jesus in heavenly glory and ask for eternal life.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation.)

We speak what we know and we testify to what we have seen.

SECOND WEEK OF EASTER – MONDAY – APRIL 25, 2022 – REBUKING THE DISCIPLES (MK 16:9-15-20)

Prayer:

O Jesus, heal my lack of faith.

Imagination:

Picture Jesus gathered with his disciples at table.

Context:

Mark summarizes the Easter visions. Jesus rose and appeared to Mary Magdalen. She told the disciples. He appeared to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. They, too, announced the good news but the other disciples did not believe. When Jesus comes, he has to rebuke them for lack of faith.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

Jesus rose from the dead early on the first day of the week, appearing first to Mary Magdalen, out of whom he had cast seven devils. She went and told his disciples who were mourning and weeping. When they heard that he was alive and that she had seen him, they did not believe.  Later on, as two disciples were walking in the country, he appeared to them, totally changed in appearance. They told the disciples also, but they did not believe them either.

Finally, he appeared to the eleven as they were at table. He rebuked them for their lack of faith and hardness of heart because they did not believe those who had seen him after he had risen.  He said to them, “Go into the whole world and preach the gospel to every creature.”

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder those that attract you.)

  1. Mark recounts Jesus’ appearances so we believe.
  2. Everyone who saw Jesus told the story to the disciples.
  3. The evidence mounts up, but they refuse to open their minds.
  4. Finally, Jesus has to come. He loves the disciples and wants them to have faith.
  5. At the same time, he must confront their hard hearts which continually stayed closed.  
  6. In spite of this, Jesus chooses them to be his messengers to all the world. 
  7. Their great success in preaching justifies Jesus’ faith in them.

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)

  • O Jesus, I know the stories of your rising. The evidence overwhelms me.
  • Thank you, Jesus, for dying and rising for me.
  • You come to me. You sit at table. You give me your Body and your Blood.
  • You commission me. You send me. You say “Tell the whole world.”
  • I will preach. I will witness. I will tell everyone. Certainly, some will believe.
  • Come, Lord Jesus, come soon.

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)

+ I will thank Jesus for the abundant evidence that he rose from the dead.

+ I will also study his many more apparitions (Sacred Heart and Divine Mercy).

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation.)

While they were at table, Jesus was revealed to the Eleven.

SECOND SUNDAY OF EASTER – C – APRIL 24, 2022 – JESUS BESTOWS THE SPIRIT (JN 20:19-23)

Prayer:

O Jesus, breathe upon me and anoint me with your Spirit.

Imagination:

Picture Jesus appearing to his disciples in the Upper Room.

Context:

This vision occurs on Easter Sunday evening and reveals many truths. By coming through a closed door, Jesus clearly shows that he has a risen, glorified body. Showing his hands and his side proves that he is the crucified Jesus, born of Mary. His final action of bestowing the Spirit is really a Pentecost. Instead of bestowing the gift of tongues, the Spirit gives the greater power of forgiving sins.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

On the first day of the week, when the disciples were gathered in the upper room, the doors were locked for fear of the Jews. Jesus came and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.” Then, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.

He said to them again, “Peace be to you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” Having said this, he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you shall forgive are forgiven them. Whose sins you shall retain are retained.”

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder those that attract you.)

  1. In his mortal life, Jesus never came through locked doors. His glorified body has greater powers.
  2. Seeing his hands and side, the disciples rejoice immediately. They know who Jesus is.
  3. Before anything else, Jesus gives the disciples inner stillness, “Peace be with you.”
  4. Filled with peace, they are ready to receive the Holy Spirit.
  5. This is Pentecost! Jesus breathes on them and pours out the Holy Spirit of forgiveness.
  6. This power to forgive will remain in the Church until the end of time.

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)

  • O Jesus, how fearful I am.
  • Come quickly, Jesus, even though my doors are closed.
  • Fill me with your stillness of peace.
  • Joy! I experience joy when you come. 
  • Breathe on me. Send the Spirit into my heart.
  • O Jesus, your forgiveness is your greatest gift to me.

Resolution: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)

+ I will ask Jesus to send me His Spirit.

+ I will seek forgiveness in the sacrament.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation.)

The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.

EASTER WEEK – SATURDAY – APRIL 23, 2022 – REBUKING THE DISCIPLES (MK 16:9-15)

Prayer:

O Jesus, heal my lack of faith.

Imagination:

Picture Jesus gathered with his disciples at table.

Context:

Mark summarizes the Easter visions. Jesus rose and appeared to Mary Magdalen. She told the disciples. He appeared to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. They, too, announced the good news but the other disciples did not believe. When Jesus comes, he has to rebuke them for lack of faith.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

Jesus rose from the dead early on the first day of the week, appearing first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils. She went and told his disciples who were mourning and weeping. When they heard that he was alive and that she had seen him, they did not believe.  Later on, as two disciples were walking in the country, he appeared to them, totally changed in appearance. They told the disciples also, but they did not believe them either.

Finally, he appeared to the eleven as they were at table. He rebuked them for their lack of faith and hardness of heart because they did not believe those who had seen him after he had risen.  He said to them, “Go into the whole world and preach the gospel to every creature.”

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder those that attract you.)

  1. Mark recounts Jesus’ appearances so we believe.
  2. Everyone who saw Jesus told the story to the disciples.
  3. The evidence mounts up, but they refuse to open their minds.
  4. Finally, Jesus has to come. He loves the disciples and wants them to have faith.
  5. At the same time, he must confront their hard hearts which continually stayed closed.  
  6. In spite of this, Jesus chooses them to be his messengers to all the world. 
  7. Their great success in preaching justifies Jesus’ faith in them.

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)

  • O Jesus, I know the stories of your rising. The evidence overwhelms me.
  • Thank you, Jesus, for dying and rising for me.
  • You come to me. You sit at table. You give me your Body and your Blood.
  • You commission me. You send me. You say, “Tell the whole world.”
  • I will preach. I will witness. I will tell everyone. Certainly, some will believe.
  • Come, Lord Jesus, come soon.

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)

+ I will thank Jesus for the abundant evidence that he rose from the dead.

+ I will also study his many more apparitions (Sacred Heart and Divine Mercy).

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation.)

While they were at table, Jesus was revealed to the Eleven.

EASTER WEEK – FRIDAY – APRIL 22, 2022 – VISION AT THE SEA OF GALILEE (JN 21:1-8)

Prayer:

O Jesus, make me aware of your presence.

Imagination:

Picture Jesus standing on the shore at the Sea of Galilee.

Context:

Jesus had appeared to the apostles in Jerusalem on Easter Sunday and then to the doubting Thomas. This is the third recorded vision in John’s gospel. Since Jesus had promised to appear also in Galilee, the apostles return there and resume fishing. John carefully records the seven apostles who see the risen Jesus.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

Jesus showed himself again at the Sea of Galilee. Simon Peter said to Thomas, Nathanael of Cana, the sons of Zebedee and two others, “I am going fishing.” They replied, “We will come with you.” However, all night they caught nothing.

In the morning, Jesus stood on the shore. However, they did not recognize him. He called out to them, “Children, have you caught anything to eat?”  “No” they answered. “Throw your nets to the right side of the boat and you will find something.” When they did, they caught so many fish that they could not pull them in.

The disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord.” When he heard it was the Lord, he tucked in his garment (he was lightly clad) and jumped into the sea. The other disciples came in the ship dragging the net with their fishes.

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder those that attract you.)

  1. Peter is the leader. The other six are blessed by going with him.
  2. The Beloved Disciple (who wrote this gospel) is a witness to this event.
  3. Their natural knowledge and skill profit nothing. The nets are empty.
  4. Although they do not recognize this mysterious figure on the shore, they obey his words.
  5. This miracle reveals to the Beloved Disciple that “it is the Lord.”
  6. Peter believes the Beloved Disciple and plunges into the sea.
  7. Although the others arrive in a more conventional way, they, also experience Jesus’ third appearance.

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)

  • O Jesus, keep me united with Peter and the Church. This is how I will be blessed.
  • Make me of one mind and heart with your other disciples.
  • Speak to me, Lord. Show me where to fish.
  • You stand on the shore and get my attention. O Jesus, you see all my difficulties.
  • Give me the sensitive faith of the Beloved Disciple.
  • Fill me with the enthusiasm of Peter.
  • May I always experience your presence.

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)

+ I will join with others who search for Jesus.

+ I will listen to Jesus’ words.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation.)

“Have you caught anything to eat? Throw your nets to the right side.”

EASTER WEEK – THURSDAY – APRIL 21, 2022 – JESUS IN THE UPPER ROOM (Lk 24:35-48)

Prayer:

O Jesus, flood my soul with faith.

Imagination:

Picture Jesus in the Upper Room with his disciples.

Context:

The disciples have heard the news about Jesus’ rising, but when Jesus actually comes, they experience fear and even disbelief. Slowly, he proves to them that he is truly risen. The skepticism of the disciples in these resurrection stories shows that they needed proof to believe. This helps our own faith.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

While all the disciples were still speaking, Jesus appeared in their midst and said, “Peace be to you. It is I, do not be afraid.” However, they were troubled and fearful, thinking that they saw a ghost. 

He asked, “Why are you troubled and why do questions arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet. See that it is I myself. Touch and see. A ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” Saying this, he showed them his hands and feet.

They were still incredulous because of joy and were amazed. He asked, “Have you anything here to eat?” They gave him some broiled fish which he ate in their midst. He said, “I told you, while I was with you, that everything written in the law of Moses, in the prophets and in the psalms concerning me had to be fulfilled.” He opened their minds to understand the scriptures.

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder those that attract you.)

  1. The disciples take a step backward. Before Jesus appears, they were talking about his rising.  Now, they grow fearful and troubled.
  2. Jesus is patient and gives them signs.  
  3. He repeats his plea “See that it is I myself.”
  4. This is too good to be true. Jesus has to show them his hands and his feet.
  5. He eats food so they know he is not a ghost.
  6. He reminds them of all the fulfilled prophecies.
  7. Jesus battles for their minds and hearts.
  8. He loves them and chose them to carry the message to the world.

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)

  • Jesus, you can come to me at any time.
  •  You are so patient with my slowness to believe.
  • Do not let anxieties destroy my faith.
  • Your rising from the dead is no myth. You are flesh and blood.
  • O Jesus, you are always concerned, always asking, “Why are you troubled?”
  • Jesus, You are risen. Almost too good to be true!

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)

+ I will ponder the remarkable truth that Jesus of Nazareth has risen from the dead.

+ I will believe that he will raise me up to glory.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation.)

Why do questions arise in your heart?

EASTER WEEK – WEDNESDAY – APRIL 20, 2022 – TWO DISCIPLES LEAVING JERUSALEM TO EMMAUS (LK 24:13-35)

Prayer:

O Jesus, restore my hope.

Imagination:

Picture Jesus with these two disciples.

Context:

This is the longest story of any Easter vision and presents a model for Christian initiation. In this first part we see the disciples’ sadness and dejection. They are walking away from being disciples.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

Two disciples left Jerusalem to go to Emmaus, discussing all that had happened. Jesus joined them, but their eyes were kept from recognizing him.

“What are you discussing?” Jesus asked. Cleopas responded, “Are you the only one in Jerusalem who does not know the things that happened?” “What things?” Jesus asked.

“Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, a prophet powerful in word and deed, before God and all the people. Our chief priests and rulers delivered him to death and crucified him. We were hoping that he would redeem all Israel.

Also, this is the third day and some women of our group astounded us. Before dawn, they were at the tomb. They did not find the body but said they had seen angels who said he was alive.  Some of our number went to the tomb. They found it just as the women said, but did not find him.”

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder those that attract you.)

  1. Without God, our happiness depends upon events that are outside of our control.
  2. These two disciples see only one choice. They leave Jerusalem and abandon their dream.
  3. In their despair, they cannot recognize Jesus. They can only talk about these events.
  4. Cleopas is even annoyed that this stranger doesn’t know what happened.
  5. The whole story seemingly ends in confusion. The tomb is empty. Angels have spoken.  Some have seen the empty tomb but no one has seen Jesus. 

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)

  • O Jesus, do not let external events control my life.
  • Jesus, if I lose you, I will lose my dream.
  • Draw near, Lord Jesus. My life is in shambles, and all is in confusion.
  • Stay with me, even if I do not recognize you.
  • When life crushes all my dreams, you are my only hope.

Resolution: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)

+ I will place all my hope in the Risen Jesus.

+ I will not abandon the dreams which Jesus has given me.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation.)

We were hoping that he would redeem all Israel.

EASTER WEEK – TUESDAY – APRIL 19, 2022 – MAGDALEN SEES JESUS (JN 20:11-18)

Prayer:

Jesus, fill me with Magdalen’s love and devotion to you.

Imagination:

Picture Magdalen at the tomb with Jesus.

Context:

This is a very rich text, containing many teachings for both devotion and doctrine. Magdalen stays at the empty tomb, thinking the body has been stolen. Jesus appears and reveals who he is. She grasps Jesus but Jesus tells her not to hold him because he is ascending to the Father. A new relationship now exists. Jesus is preparing the way to heaven.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

After the disciples left, Magdalene remained at the tomb, weeping.  When she looked into the tomb, she saw two angels dressed in white, one at the head and the other at the feet where the body of Jesus had been. They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?”  She said, “Because they have taken away my Lord and I do not know where they have placed him.”

Turning around, she saw Jesus standing there, but did not know it was he. Jesus said, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for? Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have taken him, tell me where you have put him and I will take him away.”

Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She replied, “Rabboni” (meaning ‘Master’). Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to my Father. Go to my brothers and tell them, “I am ascending to my Father and to your Father, to my God and your God.” Mary went and told the disciples, “I have seen the Lord and these are the things he has told me.”

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder those that attract you.)

  1. Magdalen’s love is greater than the two apostles. She alone stays at the tomb.
  2. She listens to her heart, not to her head.
  3. She acts quite irrationally. She sees angels but doesn’t question why they are standing in the tomb.
  4. She sees a man and asks him to return the body (if he has stolen it).
  5. Her physical eyes do not recognize Jesus because his glorified body has been transformed.
  6. However, she recognizes his voice. Jesus, the good Shepherd, calls her by name.
  7. She embraces Jesus as if nothing has changed, but he is ascending to the Father.
  8. Everything is new. The disciples are now Jesus’ brothers and sisters, and God is their Father.
  9. Magdalen becomes the Apostle to the Apostles – telling them that she had seen the Lord.

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)

  • Where are you, Lord? 
  • I am searching for you with all my heart.
  • I embrace you, Jesus.
  • You are ascending so that I can ascend with you.
  • Let my tears prepare for your coming.
  • Jesus, call me by name. 
  • O Jesus, you have made God my Father.
  • Make me an apostle. I will tell all my friends about your rising.

Resolution: (Possibly you might want to make your own)

+ I will ask Jesus for Magdalene’s generosity.

+ I will listen for Jesus to call me by name.

Thought for Day:  (To recall your meditation.)

They have taken away my Lord and I do not know where they have placed him.

EASTER WEEK – MONDAY – APRIL 18, 2022 – THE GOOD NEWS (MT 28:8-15)

Prayer:

O Jesus, I will carry the good news to the whole world.

Imagination:

Picture the two women meeting Jesus.

Context:

This gospel has 2 quite different scenes. The women meet Jesus and he tells them to bring the good news to his disciples. In the second scene, a cover-up takes place. Bribes are paid so this good news remains hidden from the people. This battle will go on until the end of time. Only then will all see that Jesus is truly risen from the dead. 

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

The women left the tomb quickly, filled with both fear and great joy, running to tell the disciples. Then, Jesus stood before them and said, “Peace.” They came up, took hold of his feet and adored him.  Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers that they are to go to Galilee. There they shall see me.”

As they were going, some of the guards came into the city and told the chief priests all that had happened. They assembled with the elders to decide what to do. They gave a great sum of money to the soldiers and said, “You are to say that the disciples came at night and stole the body while we were asleep. If the Procurator should hear of this, we will settle it and keep you out of trouble.” They took the money and did as they were told. This is the story that circulates among the Jews even to this day.

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder those that attract you.)

  1. The women are overwhelmed with joy. 
  2. They see an angel and then they experience the Risen Jesus.
  3. They are prepared to be messengers, the first to know and to tell the story.
  4. Many more visions will follow. Jesus will appear for forty days to prepare the disciples.
  5. The guards, too, had this experience. They could have become evangelists.
  6. They sell out. They take the money and close the door to truth.
  7. How many did they deprive of eternal life, themselves included?
  8. Lies can blunt the power of the gospel.

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)

  • O Jesus, I experience great joy at this story.
  • Prepare me to be your evangelist. Come to me often.
  • Remove all fear so I can follow you.
  • O Jesus, you called even the guards to preach you, but the soldiers lost their vocation.
  • Do not let me sell you out, no matter what the cost.
  • O Jesus, I will tell your story to everyone. 

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)

+ I will try to find moments of quiet, so Jesus can come to me.

+ I will be totally committed to the truth.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation.)

They took the money and did as they were told.

EASTER SUNDAY, APRIL 17, 2022 – THE DISCIPLES AT THE TOMB (Lk 24:1-12) – This meditation combines readings for Easter for Cycles A, B & C

Prayer:

Come, Holy Spirit. Give me the faith to seek the risen Christ.

Imagination:

Picture the disciples at the empty tomb.

Context:

If Jesus has risen from the dead, then his tomb must be empty. All four gospels begin their Easter stories with visits to the empty tomb and with descriptions of the disciples’ reactions.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

When it was still dark on the first day of the week, Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been taken away. She ran to Peter and to the disciple whom Jesus loved and said to them, “They have taken away the Lord from the tomb and we do not know where they have placed him.”

Then, Peter and the other disciple went out to the tomb. They both ran together but the other disciple outran Peter and came first to the tomb. When he bent down, he saw the linen cloth lying there, but he did not go in. When Peter arrived, he went into the tomb and saw the linen clothes. The cloth that had been around his head was not lying with the linen clothes, but was wrapped together in another place.

Then, the other disciple, who came to the tomb first, went in. He saw and believed. As yet they did not understand the scripture that he must rise from the dead. The disciples left and went home, but Mary stayed outside the tomb weeping.

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder those that attract you.)

  1. The Beloved Disciple is the author of John’s gospel. All of the many details, (about the various linens, where they were placed, and who arrived first) are memories of his personal experiences.
  2. Notice the readiness of these three disciples. Magdalen comes as early as possible, while Peter and the Beloved Disciple run to the tomb.
  3. Although experiencing the empty tomb, the disciples still do not know that Jesus is risen.   
  4. Peter seems totally confused. The Beloved Disciple believes, but does not understand the full story. Magdalen is weeping.
  5. This is God’s first stirring. The full gift will soon come. At least, they are searching.
  6. The two disciples return home. Magdalen’s great love, however, takes her in a more important direction. She stays at the tomb.

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)

  • O Lord, thank you for these eyewitnesses. My faith in your resurrection is based on their witness.
  • All this evidence captures my intellect. The stone is rolled away. The body is not there. The linens are in various places.  
  • My heart is ready to believe.   
  • Let me run. Let me hurry quickly. I must find you.
  • Give me the heart of Magdalen. I don’t want to return home to the empty world.

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)

+ I will renew my faith in the risen Jesus.

+ I will study the scriptures

Thought for Day: (To recall your Meditation.)

Magdalen ran to the apostles. Peter and the Beloved Disciple ran to the tomb.

HOLY SATURDAY – APRIL 16, 2022 – AT THE TOMB (Lk 24:1-12 – and taken from MT 28:1-10)

Prayer:

O Risen Jesus, show yourself to me in the quiet of this prayer.

Imagination:

Picture the holy women meeting Jesus.

Context:

The four gospels have different stories about the Resurrection and the church has not tried to harmonize these accounts, because the diverse stories witness to the reality of the resurrection, the most world-shattering event. These resurrection stories begin with the empty tomb.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

After the Sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalen and the other Mary came to inspect the tomb. Behold there was a great earthquake, as the angel of the Lord descended from heaven. He came, rolled back the stone, and sat upon it. In appearance, he resembled a flash of lightening, while his garments were as white as snow. Out of fear, the guards were struck with terror and became as dead men.

The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid. I know that you seek Jesus, the crucified one. He is not here because he has risen as he said. Come and see the place where the Lord was laid. Then, go quickly and tell the disciples that he is risen and that he will go before you into Galilee. There you shall see him. This is my message to you.”

They left the tomb quickly, with fear and great joy, running to tell the disciples. On their way, Jesus met them and said, “Peace.” They came up, took hold of his feet and adored him. Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers that they are to go to Galilee. There they shall see me.”

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder those that attract you.)

  1. The women are observant Jews, faithfully keeping the Sabbath rest.
  2. They are also Christian believers whose hearts lead them to Jesus’ tomb.
  3. It was dawn, not just for them, but for the whole world. A new day had come.
  4. What an experience, to see an angel roll back a stone and sit upon it.
  5. The angel gives them a tour of the tomb. After all, they were going to be witnesses.
  6. They do not need to see the Risen Jesus but they believe and are filled with joy.
  7. They become the first evangelists and preach to the disciples.
  8. Then comes the great favor. Jesus appears and allows them to touch him.  
  9. They know he is God and adore him.

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)

  • O Jesus, I will not wait. I will seek you today.
  • You are the dawn. When you come, the night is over.
  • O Jesus, you provide all the evidence. I need to believe that you are the Lord.
  • I will tell others that you are risen.
  • O risen Jesus, come to me whenever I lift my heart to you.
  • Do not let me fear. With you, I can overcome all of life’s difficulties.

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)

+ I will ponder today the great gift of Jesus’ rising from the dead.

+ I will study my faith and witness to others.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation.)

They fell at his feet and adored him.

PASSING ON THE FLAME OF LOVE OF OUR RISEN LORD

Our Risen Lord bestows on each of us the extraordinary gift of inspiring faith and hope during the Easter Season. Elizabeth Kindelmann writes, “While I adored Him, a religious sister came near to me.  She became wrapped in that same love that was burning in my soul and maintained me in the presence of the Holy Majesty of God.” Elizabeth was even more surprised when priests began to experience the effects of the graces of the Flame of Love from her intercessory prayers.

My own personal initiation to the graces of the Flame of Love came through Tony Mullen who began a cenacle in our Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Tony inspired me to study and join our cenacle with his intense desire to purify his soul in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, reverent reception of the Eucharist and his love for Adoration. During this Easter Season, believe that by your prayers, devotions and frequent reception of the Sacraments, you too can pass on the gift of faith in the Risen Lord. For our Lord explained to Elizabeth: “I am the One who radiates these graces upon you, and through you, on the souls that come to you. The Flame of Love our Mother obliges Me.”

As we prepare for our celebration for the National Day of Prayer on May 5, 2022, please ask our Risen Lord will heal our Nation by strengthening our faith, family life and trust in our political leaders. Only Jesus can deliver us from the lies of the devil, who is the source of sickness, sin and death. When we worship together as a family of faith, we grow in compassion and care. Moreover, Jesus reveals the way and the truth to our heavenly home, where there is no more sickness and sadness. By practicing the spiritual and corporal works of mercy, we can taste the joy of the Communion of Saints.

How can we entrust our lives to the grace and guidance of God’s Powerful Spirit (our GPS) who wants to makes us channels of his love and mercy? First, believe that God is always loving and forgiving. Secondly, when we feel powerless over sickness and sin, know that Jesus suffers with us in our humanity, but heals and forgives us through his divinity. Thirdly, we need to associate with people of faith willing to share our struggles and teach us how to live the Be-Attitudes of Christ. Finally, as Gifted-Givers, we must share the blessings of our Risen Lord with our compassionate hearts and caring hands.

Honor Tony Mullen and the person who touched your heart by sharing your personal witness with all who hunger for healing and holiness from our Divine Physician. Inspire our spiritual and political leaders by becoming the living, loving and forgiving presence of our Risen Lord. For all our hearts are restless, until we rest in the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Rejoice this Easter Season and expect miracles of divine love, peace and joy!

Grateful for all your love and prayers for all our Cenacle leaders and participants,

Monsignor Ralph J. Chieffo

National Spiritual Director

GOOD FRIDAY – APRIL 15, 2022 – JESUS WITNESSES TO PILATE (Jn 18:1-19:42)

Prayer:

Jesus, let your Kingdom claim my heart.

Imagination:

Picture Jesus standing before Pilate.

Context:

John’s gospel presents a lengthy dialogue in which Jesus preaches to Pilate and offers him a chance to make a different decision. Pilate can even be a member of the Kingdom instead of an instrument used by the Jewish leaders. Unfortunately, he does not accept Jesus as King and turns his back on him.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

Pilate asked Jesus, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus responded, “Do you say this by yourself, or have others told you?”  Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and your chief priests have handed you over to me. What have you done?”

Jesus said, “My Kingdom is not of this world. If my Kingdom were of this world, my servants would certainly fight so I would not be handed over. But my Kingdom is not here.”

Pilate said, “Then you are a King.” Jesus responded, “You say that I am a King. For this was I born. For this I came into the world. That I should testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth, hears my voice.” Pilate said, “What is truth.” Then he went out to the Jews and said, “I find no guilt in him.”

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder those that attract you.)

  1. Jesus speaks the truth. His Kingdom is not of this world.
  2. He is a unique king and those who belong to his kingdom recognize his voice.
  3. Jesus spends time with Pilate and explains everything.  
  4. However, Pilate has no interest in truth and does not receive the Kingdom.
  5. Pilate, however, cannot deny his own feelings.
  6. He says honestly, “I find no guilt in him.”
  7. What a hero Pilate would have been if he had acted on this belief.

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)

  • Jesus, You are my King. May you reign forever.
  • Your Kingdom is in my heart. There, I hear your word.
  • You call me to truth. You invite me into your light.  
  • Jesus, I will come quickly out of my darkness. 
  • To know you, to love you, and to serve you. For this I was born. For this I came into the world.
  • I will proclaim to the whole world, “Jesus is my King.”

Resolutions:  (Possibly you might want to make your own.)

+ I will commit my life to living the truth.

+ I will choose the right King – Jesus the Lord.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation.)

For this I was born. For this, I came into the world. To witness to the truth.