FIFTH WEEK OF EASTER – TUESDAY – MAY 16, 2017 JESUS’ FAREWELL GIFT (Jn 14:27-31)

Prayer: O Jesus, fill me with your total peace.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus teaching his disciples at the Last Supper).

Context:

This gospel concludes Jesus’ teaching at the Last Supper.
He tries to prepare the apostles in two ways. First,
he promises to place a lasting peace in their hearts. Second, he explains that his death results from his battle with Satan,
the prince of this world. Jesus suffers because he is obedient to the Father.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you.
Not as the world gives do I give. Let not your heart be troubled or be afraid. You have heard me say to you, I go away and I come back to you. If you loved me you indeed would be glad, because I go to the Father,
for the Father is greater than I.

I have told you this before it happens, so that when it does happen, you will believe. I will not go on saying many things. For the prince of this world comes
and he has no hold on me. However, the world must know that I love the
Father and I do as the Father commanded.

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

  1. The heart of Jesus is broken. Obeying the Father entails leaving the apostles in great distress.
  2. He tries to soften this hardship by filling their hearts with peace.
  3. His “going away” is just for “a little while”, the three days in the tomb.
  4. He will come back. Only Jesus could do that.
  5. They must try to enter into Jesus’ joy. He will be returning to the Father.
  6. He prophesies all these events, so that they believe.
  7. He must stop speaking. The battle is at hand, the eternal combat between Jesus and Satan.
  8. His death on the cross will prove to the whole world that he loves the Father.

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

  1. O Jesus, your heart is always broken for me in all my trials.
  2. Fill me with your peace.
  3. O Jesus, for a little while you have “gone away”.
  4. Come back, Jesus. Return soon.
  5. By your words, I know you live within me.
  6. O Jesus, all your words have proven true. I believe.
  7. I see your arms, extended on the cross, in obedience to your Father.
  8. You have destroyed my adversary, Satan. You have won the victory for me.

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

  1. I will try to understand Jesus’ infinite love for me.
  2. I will seek his peace so I can serve him.

Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation)

The Prince of this world has no control over me.

FIFTH WEEK OF EASTER – MONDAY – MAY 15, 2017 REVEALED TO THE DISCIPLES (Jn 14:21-26)

Prayer: O Jesus, send me the Holy Spirit who will teach me all things.

Imagination (Picture Jesus at the Last Supper with his apostles.)

Context:

Jesus has promised that the apostles would see him. In this text, he explains that this seeing will not be an external manifestation,
but an internal, religious experience. These gifts are new and the Spirit will explain them. For now, they must be at peace.

Gospel Text (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

Judas (not the Iscariot) said, “Lord, how is it that you will manifest
yourself to us and not to the world?” Jesus answered, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word and my Father will love him. We will come to him and make our abode with him.

These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. But the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name,
he will teach you all things and bring all things to your mind, whatever I have told you.

Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled or be afraid.”

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

  1. This is an important question, “Why does not the whole world see Jesus? Why does Jesus reveal himself only to these disciples?”
  2. Jesus and the Father are revealed internally. Only a disciple who loves God can receive this revelation.
  3. Keeping the commandments prepares the disciple’s heart to be God’s dwelling place.
  4. After coming to the disciple, Jesus will send the “Paraclete”, the Holy Spirit.
  5. This Spirit will teach and remind the disciples of Jesus’ teaching.
  6. The final result is a peace, which removes all fear from their hearts.

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

  1. O Jesus, what a great mystery! You manifest yourself to me but not to the world.
  2. If I love you, you and the Father will come and abide with me.
  3. O Jesus, send your Spirit into my heart. He will teach me.
  4. O Jesus, let your peace burst forth and flood my whole being.
  5. O Holy Spirit, how can I grow troubled when you abide with me?

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

  1. I will treasure the presence of Father, Son and Spirit in my soul.
  2. I will seek quiet moments, so the Spirit can teach me.

Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)

My Father and I will come and abide with him.

FIFTH SUNDAY OF EASTER – A – (PART 2) – MAY 14, 2017 SEEING THE FATHER (Jn 14:7-10)

Prayer: Come, Jesus, help me to know and see the Father.

Imagination Picture Jesus teaching at the Last Supper

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

Philip’s question allows Jesus to expand upon what he has just 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 gift. The disciples will know and see the Father.
  2. Growing excited, Philip blurts out the unthinkable request, “Show us the Father” (whom none have ever seen).
  3. Jesus is disappointed. The apostles have already experienced the Father when they see Jesus.
  4. This extraordinary blessing began when Mary became the Mother of God.
  5. Philip must do 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.)

  1. Jesus, You are the Father’s only son.
  2. When I speak to you, I speak also to the Father.
  3. O Jesus, how long you have been with me.
  4. Yet, I still do not understand. You and the Father are one.
  5. When I see you, Jesus, I see the Father. When I am close to you, Jesus, I am close to the Father.
  6. O Jesus, you and the Father cannot be separated. The Holy Spirit of love binds you together.

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

  1. I will spend this day in Jesus’ presence.
  2. During the day, I will say, “Let me see you, Jesus.”

Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)

You must believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me.

FIFTH SUNDAY OF EASTER – A – (PART 1) MAY 14, 2017 THE WAY, THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE (JN 14:1-6)

Prayer: Jesus, bring me to the heavenly mansion which you have prepared for me.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus teaching at the Last Supper)

Context: The scene now shifts dramatically. Jesus is still in Jerusalem but no
longer teaching the crowds. He has just completed the Last Supper and gives these
extensive teachings only to his apostles, who will soon experience his leaving them.

Gospel text (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

Jesus said, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God,
believe also in me. In my Father’s house, there are many mansions. If not, would I have told you that I go and prepare a place for you? I will come back and take you to myself, so that where I am, you also may be.
Where I am going, you know the way.”

Thomas said, “Lord, we do not even know where you are going, how can we know the way? Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father,
except through me.”

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

  1. After speaking about his death, Jesus uses these words to calm the disciples’ fears.
  2. Jesus never wants our “hearts to be troubled.”
  3. Jesus’ death will be his door into glory.
  4. Jesus has a place for them in his glory.
  5. He will come back and take them to himself.
  6. Without realizing it, they even know the way.
  7. Thomas’ question brings the full revelation. Jesus is the way into the Father’s glory.

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

  1. Jesus, how I need you to calm my fears.
  2. You always whisper in my heart, ‘Do not be troubled. Do not be troubled.”
  3. O Jesus, you have entered into glory. Carry me there in your heart.
  4. You will come back for me. I await you with great hope.
  5. I can even set out, because I know the way.
  6. You are the way and I will follow you.
  7. You are the fullness of all reality. You are all in all.

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

  1. In difficult moments, I will walk by faith’s light.
  2. I will refuse to take any other road. Jesus is truth. All else is false.

Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)

Do not let your hearts be troubled. Have faith in me.

FOURTH WEEK OF EASTER – SATURDAY – (PART 1) – MAY 13, 2017 SEEING THE FATHER (Jn 14:7-10)

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.)

  1. O Jesus, I know you. You are the Father’s only son.
  2. When I speak to you, I speak also to the Father.
  3. When I see you, Jesus, I see the Father. When I am close to you, Jesus, I am close to the Father.
  4. O Jesus, you and the Father cannot be separated. You are bound together by the Holy Spirit of love.
  5. 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.)

  1. I will spend this day in Jesus’ presence.
  2. 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.

FOURTH WEEK OF EASTER – FRIDAY – MAY 12, 2017 THE WAY, THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE (Jn 14:1-6)

Prayer: Jesus, bring me to the heavenly mansion which you have prepared for me.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus teaching at the Last Supper)

Context: The scene now shifts dramatically. Jesus is still in
Jerusalem but no longer teaching the crowds. He has just completed the Last Supper and gives these extensive teachings
only to his apostles.

Gospel text (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

Jesus said, “Do not let your hearts be troubled.
You believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house, there are many mansions. If not, would I have told you that I go and prepare a place for you? I will come back and take you to myself, so that where I am, you also may be.
Where I am going, you know the way.”

Thomas said, “Lord, we do not even know where you are going, how can we know the way? Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father, except through me.”

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

  1. After speaking about his death, Jesus tries to calm the disciples’ fears.
  2. Jesus never wants our “hearts to be troubled.”
  3. The apostles must believe that his death will be their door into glory.
  4. Jesus has a place for them in heaven and he will come back for them.
  5. Without realizing it, they even know the way.
  6. Thomas’ question brings out the full revelation. Jesus is the way into the Father’s glory.

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

  1. O Jesus, how I need you to calm my fears.
  2. You always whisper in my heart, ‘Do not be troubled. Do not be troubled.”
  3. O Jesus, you have entered into glory. Carry me there in your heart.
  4. You will come back for me. I await you with great hope.
  5. I can even set out, because I know the way.
  6. You are the way and I will follow you.
  7. You are the fullness of all reality. You are all in all.

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

  1. In difficult moments, I will walk by faith’s light.
  2. I will refuse to take any other road. Jesus is truth. All else is false.

Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)

Do not let your hearts be troubled. Have faith in me.

FOURTH WEEK OF EASTER – THURSDAY – MAY 11, 2017 AFTER WASHING THE FEET (Jn 13:16-20)

Prayer: Jesus, I will follow your example.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus with his apostles at the Last Supper.)

Context:

After washing the apostles’ feet, Jesus makes clear what that action meant. He has served the Apostles and they must serve others. Even here, the betrayal
by Judas claims Jesus’ attention. He predicts the betrayal so the apostles are
not scandalized by that action.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

Amen, amen I say to you. The servant is not greater than the master. Nor is the apostle greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, then you will be blessed if you put them into practice.

I do not speak to all of you. I know whom I have chosen. My purpose is to fulfill the scripture, “The one who eats bread with me,
shall lift up his heel against me.” I tell you this now, before it happens, so that when it does happen, you may believe that I am.

Amen, amen I say to you, “Whoever receives the one whom I send, receives me. Whoever receives me, receives the one who sent me.”

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

  1. Jesus renounced all of his privileges to serve mankind.
  2. He expects his disciples to do the same.
  3. If the disciple imitates Jesus, the gospel message will be clear.
  4. We are blessed only by imitating Jesus.
  5. Jesus worrying about Judas’ betrayal will affect the others. Jesus predicts the event to soften the blow.
  6. Jesus describes the greatness of a disciple. Whoever receives them, receives Jesus and the Father.

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

  1. O Jesus, my greatest dignity is to serve with you.
  2. O Jesus, I will think like you, speak like you, act like you.
  3. O Jesus, with all my faults, you have chosen me.
  4. You worry about me. You are concerned. You ease my every sorrow.
  5. Send me. Wherever I go as your apostle, you will go with me.

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

  1. I will imitate Jesus’ spirit of service.
  2. I will recall moments when Jesus softened my hardships.

Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation)

Blessed are you if you put these things into practice.

FOURTH WEEK OF EASTER – WEDNESDAY – MAY 10, 2017 A RECAPITULATION (Jn 12:44-50)

Prayer: O Jesus, do not let me stay in darkness.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus teaching in the Temple)

Context: Jesus is about to leave the temple to go into hiding.
His public teaching ministry is over. These verses in John’s gospel are
a summary of his main themes, an overview of all that Jesus has taught.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

Jesus cried out, “Whoever believes in me, does not just believe in me,
but also in the one who sent me.

I have come into the world as light so whoever believes in me does not stay in darkness.

If any man hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him because
I have not come to judge the world. Whoever despises my words is
judged by the word I have spoken. I did not speak on my own but the Father,
who sent me, told me what to say
and I know that his commandment is eternal life.

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

  1. These verses provide an excellent review of the Jesus’ teachings.
  2. To believe in Jesus is to believe in the Father.
  3. Jesus is the light of the world.
  4. He alone can lead us out of darkness.
  5. Therefore, when we hear Jesus’ words, we must take them to heart.
  6. If we do this, Jesus will not judge us.
  7. His words will give us everlasting life.

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

  1. O Jesus, your teaching is clear, easy to grasp.
  2. O Jesus, I will walk only in your light.
  3. You call me out of darkness.
  4. You unite me to the Father.
  5. You give me eternal life.
  6. O Jesus, I embrace your words. They lead me to eternal, abundant life.

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

  1. I will reflect on the great gift. Jesus unites me with the Father.
  2. I will accept my responsibility to keep Jesus’ word.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

The Father who sent me told me what to say.

FOURTH WEEK OF EASTER – TUESDAY – MAY 9, 2017 SHEEP IN THE FATHER’S HANDS (Jn 10:22-30)

Prayer: O Jesus, I will hear your voice and follow you to eternal life.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus teaching in the Temple)

Context: Even this image of shepherd gets drawn into controversy. Not being Jesus’ sheep, the hearers do not believe that Jesus can give everlasting
life to those who follow him. Jesus explains that he holds every person in his hands,
just as His Father does.

Gospel text (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

The Jews said to Jesus, “How long are you going to keep us in suspense?
If you are the Christ, tell us plainly. Jesus answered, “I told you and you did not believe. The works I do in the Father’s name, testify to me. But you do not believe,
because you are not of my sheep.

My sheep hear my voice. I know them and they follow me. I give them everlasting
life and they shall never perish. No one can pluck them out of my hand.
My Father has given them to me and no one
can take them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.

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

  1. The Jews ask a question which seemingly deserves a plain answer.
  2. However, the question comes because they refuse to believe Jesus’ testimony.
  3. More words, even plainer words, will not help them.
  4. They need to make a decision. They must accept Jesus.
  5. Because the true sheep desire to live forever, they easily understand.
  6. Jesus holds these sheep and no one snatches them away.
  7. Jesus reveals his identity. He is one with the Father.

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

  1. Jesus, you have already given me enough words. Now, I must believe.
  2. I will give you my heart. Then, I will fully understand your words.
  3. Awaken in me immense desires for eternal life.
  4. Jesus, I will share your relationship with the Father.
  5. Speak loudly in my soul, Jesus. Silence all other voices.
  6. Where else would I rather be than in your hands?

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

  1. I will listen today for Jesus’ voice.
  2. I will stay in Jesus’ hands. I am safe there.

Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)

The Father has given these sheep to me and no one will snatch them from my hands.

FOURTH WEEK OF EASTER – (A) MONDAY – MAY 8, 2017 THE GOOD SHEPHERD (Jn 10:11-15)

Prayer: O Jesus, You laid down your life for me.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus teaching in the Temple)

Context: Jesus’ care for his sheep knows no limits. Besides enduring the rigors of sleeping outside, He is willing to die to protect his sheep. The “hired man” would reject this responsibility and flee.

Gospel text (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd. A good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep. When the hired man, who is not a shepherd and who does not own the sheep,
sees the wolf coming, he leaves the sheep and runs away. Then, the wolf catches and scatters the sheep. The hired man flees because he works
for pay and has no concern for the sheep.

I am the good shepherd. I know mine and mine know me, just as the Father
knows me and I know the Father. I will lay down my life for my sheep.

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

  1. Jesus takes his care to the highest level. He is ready to give his life for the sheep.
  2. Hired hands fail this test. They have no desire to give their lives.
  3. Abandoned by the hired hand, the sheep are scattered and killed by the wolf
  4. Jesus explains why he is willing to die. He knows the sheep, just as he knows the Father and the Father knows him.
  5. The sheep are part of the mystery of the Trinity. They are valuable to Jesus. That is why he dies for them.

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

  1. Jesus, now I understand your love.
  2. You love me because you love the Father.
  3. You do for me what you would do for your Father.
  4. You expect no pay. You seek no reward. Your love is the mystery of the Trinity.
  5. No one else is like you. No one else makes such a sacrifice.
  6. I choose you as my Shepherd.
  7. Without you, the wolves of life would devour me.
  8. Jesus, why should I not lay down my life for you when you have died for me?

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

  1. I will ponder this great mystery. Jesus loves me because he loves the Father.
  2. I will return his love. I will offer my life to Jesus.

Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)

I know mine and mine know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father.

FOURTH SUNDAY OF EASTER (A) – MAY 7, 2017 THE GOOD SHEPHERD (Jn 10:1-6)

Prayer: O Jesus, you will be my good Shepherd.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus teaching in the Temple.)

Context:

At night, many shepherds would bring their sheep into the city and place
them in a large building. In the morning, the owner (a gatekeeper)
would allow the true shepherds
to enter the building. Because the sheep would be mingled, each shepherd had to call out. Knowing his voice, his sheep would come forward. Then, the shepherd could
lead them out to pasture.

Gospel text (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

Jesus said, Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever does not enter the sheepfold by the door,
but climbs in another way, is a thief and a robber.
Whoever enters by a door is the shepherd of the sheep.
The gatekeeper opens for him. The sheep hear his voice.
He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.

Then, he goes before them. The sheep follow him because they know his voice.
A stranger they do not follow. They flee from him because they do not know a stranger’s voice. Although Jesus used this example, they did not understand him.

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

  1. The Father is the gatekeeper. He gives Jesus full access to the sheep.
  2. Others are kept away because they will steal the sheep.
  3. A shepherd trains his sheep to recognize his voice.
  4. Their safety depends upon their recognizing their shepherd’s voice.
  5. When called by another voice, the sheep flee. He is not their shepherd.
  6. Those listening to Jesus cannot understand this easy example because their
    hearts are set against him.

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

  1. O Jesus, you alone are my shepherd.
  2. Train me to know your voice and to recognize your words.
  3. Call me, Jesus, and I will follow.
  4. Lead me out of a sinful life and into the daylight of goodness.
  5. O Jesus, when I followed false shepherds, they stole my heavenly treasure.
  6. I want only your voice, your words, your path, and your will.

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

  1. I will listen today for the voice of the Shepherd.
  2. I will follow wherever he leads me.

Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)

He calls the sheep by name and leads them out. They follow because they know his voice.

THIRD WEEK OF EASTER – SATURDAY – MAY 6, 2017 THE MURMURING DISCIPLES (Jn 6:60-69)

Prayer: O Lord Jesus, to whom else shall I go?

Imagination: (Picture Jesus with his twelve apostles.)

Context:

Jesus has just finished his talk on the Eucharist, using the very
explicit phrases “eat my flesh” and “drink my blood.”
Some disciples could not accept this teaching. They walked away. Jesus now asks the Twelve. Peter answers that they will stay with Jesus. This is a very important text.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

Many of the disciples said, “This is a difficult saying, who can accept it?” But Jesus, knowing that his disciples were murmuring, said, “Does this scandalize you? What if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before?
It is the spirit which gives life. The flesh profits nothing. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.
But there are some of you that do not believe.”

Jesus knew from the beginning the ones who would not believe and the
one who would betray him. Jesus continued,
“This is why I have said that no one can come to me,
unless it is given to him by my Father.

From this time on, many of his disciples walked away. Jesus said to the Twelve,
“Will you also go away?” Simon Peter answered, “Lord, to whom shall we go?
You have the words of everlasting life. We have come to believe.
We are convinced that you are God’s Holy One.”

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

  1. Jesus is hurt by the desertion of so many disciples.
  2. Their human intellects cannot grasp Jesus’ great spiritual gifts.
  3. If they cannot believe Jesus’ teaching about the Eucharist, how will they believe his ascending into heaven?
  4. Jesus gives everyone complete freedom. Even the Twelve can leave.
  5. Peter does not grasp everything. However, he knows that Jesus is the Anointed One. That is enough.
  6. He and the other apostles make the right decision, but Judas’ heart is not right.

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

  1. O Jesus, I am free. I can abandon you or stay with you.
  2. Draw me so I cling to you.
  3. My intellect is so small, Lord, and your mysteries are so great.
  4. O Jesus, you know my heart. I am weak but loyal.
  5. What a privilege to know that you are present in Holy Communion!
  6. You are the ascended Jesus who descends into my heart.
  7. If you don’t mind, Jesus, I will stay with you.

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

  1. I will deepen my friendship with Jesus by more frequent reception of Holy Communion.
  2. I will never abandon Jesus.

Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation)

Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.

THIRD WEEK OF EASTER – FRIDAY – MAY 5, 2017 HIS FLESH AND BLOOD (Jn 6:52-59)

Prayer: O Jesus, may I eat your flesh and drink your blood every day of my life.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus teaching to the crowds.)

Context: These are among the most important verses in the New Testament
because they provide a clear teaching on the power of the Eucharist to give eternal life. These are verses dear to all Catholics because they teach that Holy Communion Jesus’
body and blood.

Gospel text (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

Jesus said, “If anyone eats of this bread, he shall live forever; and the
bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.” The Jews asked,
“How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” Jesus said, “Amen, Amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son
of Man and drink his blood, you shall have no life in you.

He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has everlasting life and I will
raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood
is drink indeed. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me and I in him. As the living Father has sent me and I live by the Father, so, whoever eats of
me will have life because of me.

This is the bread come down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever.” Jesus said these things while teaching in Capernaum.

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

  1. The words are strikingly clear. This “bread from heaven” is Jesus’ flesh and blood.
  2. Jesus gives an unconditional promise. Whoever eats his flesh and drinks his blood has
    everlasting life. Jesus will raise them up on the last day.
  3. Jesus also gives a warning. Unless the person eats his flesh and drinks his blood they will have no life.
  4. Jesus explains. By eating his body and drinking his blood, the person abides in Jesus just as Jesus abides in the Father.
  5. Five times, Jesus teaches that His flesh and blood are the food come down from heaven
    and that whoever eats will live forever.
  6. The message is important. His disciples remember that he taught this at Capernaum.

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

  1. Jesus, what could be clearer? The Eucharist is your flesh and blood, and I am invited to the table.
  2. By your Eucharist, give me eternal life.
  3. Jesus, Raise me up or else I will perish forever.
  4. Abide with me. Live in me. Give me your life. I will live forever.
  5. You warn me O Jesus. Your warning is very serious.
  6. If I do not I eat this food, I will have no life with you.
  7. Draw me to your table. I want to live with you forever.

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

  1. I will try to receive Eucharist every day.
  2. I will cherish this sacrament as the food of eternal life.

Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)

Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood will live forever.

THIRD WEEK OF EASTER – THURSDAY – MAY 4, 2017 STOP MURMURING (Jn 6:43-51)

Prayer: O Jesus, teach me to learn from the Father.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus teaching the crowds.)

Context: Jesus continues to speak about the Israelites in the desert.
Just as they murmured against Moses, Jesus’ audience is murmuring against him. Yet, Jesus is the bread of life, ensuring that we will live forever.

Gospel text (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

Many murmured because Jesus said, “I am the bread come down from heaven.”
Jesus said, “Do not murmur. No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draw him,
and I will raise
him up on the last day. Everyone who listens to my Father and learns from him, comes to me. No one has seen the Father except the one who is of God. He has seen the Father.

Whoever believes in me has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate manna
in the desert and died. This is the bread come down from heaven.
Whoever eats this bread will never die. I am the living bread come down from heaven.

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

  1. Before receiving the manna, their ancestors murmured.
  2. This crowd also murmurs because they cannot believe what Jesus promises.
  3. Their minds do not grasp this mystery and they refuse to listen.
  4. They do not believe that Jesus has seen the Father and speaks his word.
  5. These listeners are helpless – unable to grasp and unwilling to learn.
  6. The heavenly bread will do them no good.

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

  1. Jesus, how patient you are with me when I murmur.
  2. O Father, instruct me. My own intellect cannot absorb this mystery.
  3. Jesus, draw me to the Father.
  4. O Jesus, you have seen the Father and you reveal him to me.
  5. Jesus, raise me up on the last day.
  6. Nourish me, O Bread of Life, and I will live forever.

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

  1. I will receive Holy Communion as often as possible.
  2. I will let the Father draw me into this mystery.

Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)

Whoever eats this bread will live forever.

THIRD WEEK OF EASTER – WEDNESDAY – MAY 3, 2017 Feast of Sts. Philip & James, Apostles SEEING THE FATHER (Jn 14:7-10)

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.)
1. O Jesus, I know you. You are the Father’s only son.
2. When I speak to you, I speak also to the Father.
3. When I see you, Jesus, I see the Father. When I am close to you, Jesus, I am close to the Father.
4. O Jesus, you and the Father cannot be separated. You are bound together by the Holy Spirit of love.
5. 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.)
1. I will spend this day in Jesus’ presence.
2. 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 – TUESDAY – MAY 2, 2017 THE HEAVENLY FATHER’S BREAD (Jn 6:30-35)

Prayer: O Jesus, give me to eat from the heavenly table.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus with his disciples teaching the crowds.)

Context:

After Jesus multiplies the food and the people seek him out, he gives a
lengthy teaching on heavenly bread. This heavenly bread is both his teaching and
the Eucharist, his flesh and blood.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

The crowds said to him, “What sign do you give us that we might see and believe?
What work do you do? Our fathers ate manna in the desert, as it is written,
‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat’”. Jesus said, “Amen, Amen, I say to you, Moses did not give you bread from heaven
but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. The bread of God is what comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.

Therefore, they said to him, “Lord, give us this bread always.” Jesus said, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me shall not hunger and whoever
believes in me shall not thirst.”

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

  1. The crowd wants more signs.
  2. Jesus has already given them enough signs.
  3. So, he demands that they have faith in him.
  4. They want earthly bread, like the father provided for the Israelites.
  5. Now, the Father has sent Jesus, the true heavenly bread.
  6. Finally, the crowds seek the right bread, “Give us this bread always.”
  7. This bread is already given. Jesus is here.

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

  1. O Jesus, I do not need signs. I need only you.
  2. You will provide my daily bread. Why am I anxious?
  3. You have come down from heaven, a gift of the Holy Spirit through the Virgin Mary.
  4. O Jesus, give me always the bread of your presence.
  5. I will come to you and will never hunger again.

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

  1. I will go to mass every day possible.
  2. I will trust God for my daily bread.

Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)

Whoever comes to me will never hunger.

THIRD WEEK OF EASTER – MONDAY – MAY 1, 2017 FOOD THAT DOES NOT PERISH (Jn 6:25-29)

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 Caparnaum and Jesus walks
on the water to rescue them. In this gospel, the crowd finds him at Caparnaum,
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.)

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

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

  1. Today, I will seek Jesus with all my heart.
  2. 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 (A) – APRIL 30, 2017 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. This story highlights the human dilemma. Without God, our happiness depends upon events outside of our control.
  2. Now that Jesus is dead, these two disciples see only one possibility. They should
    leave Jerusalem and abandon their dream.
  3. In their despair, they cannot even recognize Jesus.
  4. They can talk only about these sad and depressing events.
  5. Cleopas is even annoyed that this stranger doesn’t know what happened.
  6. The whole story seemingly ends in confusion. The tomb is empty. Angels have spoken to the women but no one has seen Jesus.

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

  1. Jesus, do not let external events take command over me. May you control my life.
  2. Jesus, if I walk away from you, I will lose my dream.
  3. Draw near, Lord Jesus. My life is in shambles and all is in confusion.
  4. Stay with me, even if I do not recognize you.
  5. When life crushes all my dreams, you are my only hope.

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

  1. I will place all my hope in the Risen Jesus.
  2. 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.

SECOND WEEK OF EASTER – SATURDAY – APRIL 29, 2017 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.)

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

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

  1. I will never trust my own strength.
  2. 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 28, 2017 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.)

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

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

  1. Today, I will thank Jesus for his abundance.
  2. 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.