SECOND WEEK OF EASTER – THURSDAY – APRIL 27, 2017 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.)

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

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

  1. I will think of the uniqueness of Jesus Christ.
  2. 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 26, 2017 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.)

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

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

  1. I will thank Jesus for dying on the cross.
  2. 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 25, 2017 Feast of St. Mark, Evangelist JESUS FINAL COMMAND (MK 16:15-20)

Prayer: O Jesus, send me to all the nations.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus sending His disciples to teach and to baptize).

Context:
This is the final scene of Mark’s gospel. Before ascending into heaven, Jesus commissions the disciples to teach and to baptize. To whomever believes and accepts Baptism, he promises eternal salvation and charismatic powers.

Gospel Text (Read slowly, possible aloud.)
Go and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved. Whoever does not believe will be condemned. These signs shall follow those that believe. In my name they will cast out devils. They will speak in new tongues. They shall take up deadly serpents. If they drink any deadly poison, it will not harm them. They shall lay their hands on the sick and they will recover.
Teach them to observe everything I have commanded you. Behold I am with you all days, even to the end of the world.

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)
1. These are Jesus’ final words before ascending into heaven. They contain clear instructions.
2. The disciples must preach and baptize so that everyone can enter Jesus’ Kingdom.
3. The stakes are high. Those who believe will be saved. Those who do not will be condemned.
4. Jesus promises miraculous signs and wonders to the new believers.
5. To insure the disciples’ success, Jesus himself will remain with them.

Affections. (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
1. O Jesus, send me to the nations.
2. What a privilege! I will preach and lead others to Baptism and to eternal salvation.
3. Jesus, keep me safe and give me your powers.
4. Remain with me. With you, I can do all things.
5. Return, Jesus. Return soon. Then, history will be complete.

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
1. Today, I will speak to others about faith in Jesus.
2. I will believe that Jesus’ power will follow my words.

Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)
Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved. Whoever does not believe will be condemned.

SECOND WEEK OF EASTER – MONDAY – APRIL 24, 2017 NICODEMUS (Jn 3:1-13)

Prayer: O Jesus, help me to grow in faith.

Imagination: (Picture Nicodemus speaking with Jesus.)

Context:

Nicodemus appears in three different stories in John’s gospel. In this meditation,
we will use all three because they show his growth into discipleship.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

Scene One (Jn 3:1-10): Nicodemus, a Pharisee and a ruler of the Jews, came to
Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God
for no one can do these signs that you are doing unless God is with him.” Jesus said, “No one can see the Kingdom of God without being born from above.” Since Nicodemus did not understand, Jesus went on,
“No one can enter the Kingdom of God
without being born of the water and the Spirit.” Nicodemus answered, “How can this happen?” Jesus responded, “You are a teacher is Israel and you do not understand this?”

Scene Two (Jn 7:50-56): The Pharisees were accusing Jesus. Nicodemus,
who had come to him earlier, said to them,
“Does our law condemn a person
before it first hears him and find out what he is doing?” They said, “You are not
from Galilee also, are you?”

Scene Three (Jn 19:38-39): Joseph of Arimathea, secretly a disciple of Jesus, came and took Jesus’
body down from the cross. Nicodemus, the one who had first come to him at night,
also came bringing a mixture
of myrrh and aloes weighing about a hundred pounds.”

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

  1. Fearful about what others might think, Nicodemus comes secretly at night.
  2. He does not have a full understanding of Jesus. He calls him a “Rabbi” and knows only that he is a teacher who performs some signs.
  3. This first meeting seemingly has no results. Nicodemus makes no act of faith and does not become a disciple.
  4. In the second scene, he gains some boldness. He confronts the Pharisees and speaks in Jesus’ defense.
  5. In the final scene, Nicodemus casts off all his fears and publicly shows that he loves Jesus.
  6. He is now a disciple and an important help in Jesus’ burial.

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

  1. Jesus, I do not know you fully.
  2. My natural powers cannot comprehend you.
  3. I am filled with fears, but I desire to come to You.
  4. Still my heart and reveal yourself.
  5. Plant your seeds of conversion within me.
  6. Claim my thoughts and feelings for yourself.
  7. As your presence grows, I will become bold.
  8. Some day, I will openly tell the world that I am Your disciple.

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

  1. I will pay attention to God’s inner stirrings.
  2. I will grow in discipleship, even if it is hidden from others.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

The one who came only at night, later joined Jesus at His cross.

SECOND SUNDAY OF EASTER – (A) APRIL 23, 2017 PART 1 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.)

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

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

  1. I will ask Jesus to send me His Spirit.
  2. 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 22, 2017 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.)

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

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

  1. I will thank Jesus for the abundant evidence that he rose from the dead.
  2. 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 – (PART 2) – APRIL 21, 2017 JESUS PREPARES A MEAL (Jn 21:9-14)

Prayer: O Jesus, call me to your table.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus with his disciples around the charcoal fire.)

Context:

In many Resurrection appearances, Jesus has a meal with his disciples. This helps them to believe that Jesus is truly risen and also teaches
them the importance of the Eucharist.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

As soon as they came to land, they saw hot coals with fish and bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring here the fishes that you have caught.” Simon Peter went to the boat and brought the net to shore, filled with 153 large fish. Although there were so many, the net was not broken.

Jesus said to them, “Come and eat.” None of those who ate dared to ask him,
“Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. Jesus took bread and gave it to them. He also gave them fish, in like manner. This was the third time that Jesus manifested himself after he had risen from the dead.

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

  1. Their experience is totally real. They hear Jesus’ words and they catch the fish.
  2. They see him clearly and they eat with him. This is no ghost.
  3. Although Jesus has bread, charcoal fire and his own fish, he invites them to share their fish.
  4. The miraculous catch is so real, that they even counted the fish (153).
  5. They ask no questions. All eight disciples are certain that this is Jesus.
  6. They eat with Jesus. This is a symbol of the Eucharist.

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

  1. O Jesus, Your Kingdom is real and will never pass away.
  2. You multiply all the evidence. You break into my life and you fill my empty nets.
  3. O Jesus, You give me talents to use for your Kingdom.
  4. You give large fish in great quantities, abundant blessings of every kind.
  5. Reveal yourself. Your presence makes the meal unforgettable.

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

  1. I will receive Communion frequently. This is the meal that Jesus prepares.
  2. I will bring my talents to Jesus’ table.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

No one dared to ask “Who are you?”

EASTER WEEK – FRIDAY – (PART 1) – APRIL 21, 2017 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.)

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

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

  1. I will join with others who search for Jesus.
  2. 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 20, 2017 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.)

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

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

  1. I will ponder the remarkable truth that Jesus of Nazareth has risen from the dead.
  2. 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 19, 2017 TWO DISCIPLES LEAVING JERUSALEM TO EMMAUS (Lk 24:13) (PART 1)

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.)

  1. O Jesus, do not let external events control my life.
  2. Jesus, if I lose 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.

EASTER WEEK – WEDNESDAY – APRIL 19, 2017 JESUS REVEALS HIS PRESENCE (Lk 24:25) (PART 2)

Prayer: O Jesus, reveal your presence in my life.

Imagination: (Picture the two disciples at table with Jesus.)

Context:

After Jesus instructs these two disciples, they invite him to stay with them. He celebrates Eucharist and “in the breaking of the bread”, their eyes are opened. They regain their dream and return to Jerusalem. There, they can begin again..

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

Jesus said to the two disciples. “How foolish you are! How slow of heart to 
believe in all that the prophets said. Should not the Christ have suffered 
these things and so to enter his glory?” Then, beginning with Moses and the prophets, he explained all the scriptures 
that spoke of himself.

As they came to Emmaus, he pretended to go on, but they said, “Stay with us, 
for it is late and the day is far spent.” He went in with them and when he 
was with them at table, he took bread, 
said the blessing, broke it and gave it to them. Their eyes were opened and they knew him. He, then, vanished from their sight.

They said to one another, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he spoke 
on the way and opened the scriptures for us.” At once, they returned to Jerusalem and told the eleven gathered there, who said, 
“The Lord is risen and has appeared to Simon”. They told them of all that happened on the road and how they knew him in the 
breaking of the bread.

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

  1. In one sentence, Jesus dismisses their thinking. “How foolish you are.”
  2. His sufferings were no mistake. His death was no defeat. They led Jesus “to enter his glory.”
  3. The disciples regain enough hope to say “Stay with us. It is almost night.”
  4. When Jesus repeats the Last Supper, they recognize him in the breaking of the bread.
  5. Jesus vanishes, His work is complete. The disciples know that he has risen.
  6. They do not delay. They return immediately.
  7. They find a community which also believes that “He is risen.”

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

  1. Teach me, Lord for I am slow to believe.
  2. Explain the Scriptures and my heart will burn within.
  3. Stay with me, Lord. It is already dark. The night is at hand.
  4. At Mass, open my eyes to your presence.
  5. Give me back my dream, and I will resume my work.
  6. Place me with others who believe.

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

  1. I will attend mass as often as possible.
  2. I will recall my broken dreams and lost hopes. There is still time!

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

Their eyes were opened. They knew him in the breaking of the bread.

EASTER WEEK – TUESDAY – APRIL 18, 2017 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.)

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

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

  1. I will ask Jesus for Magdalene’s generosity.
  2. I will listen for Jesus to call me by name.

Thought for Today: (To recall your meditation)

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

APRIL 2, 2016 – EASTER WEEK – SATURDAY – REBUKING THE DISCIPLES

(Mark 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.)

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

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

  1. I will thank Jesus for the abundant evidence that he rose from the dead.
  2. 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.

APRIL 1, 2016 – EASTER WEEK – FRIDAY – PART ONE – VISION AT THE SEA OF GALILEE

(John 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 Disciples (who wrote this gospel), is one of the “two other disciples.”
  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.)

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

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

  1. I will join with others who search for Jesus.
  2. 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.”

APRIL 1, 2016 – EASTER WEEK – FRIDAY – PART TWO – JESUS PREPARES A MEAL

(John 21:9-14)

Prayer: O Jesus, call me to your table.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus with his disciples around the charcoal fire.)

Context:

In many Resurrection appearances, Jesus has a meal with his disciples. This helps them to believe that Jesus is truly risen and also teaches them the importance of the Eucharist.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

As soon as they came to land, they saw hot coals with fish and bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring here the fishes that you have caught.” Simon Peter went to the boat and brought the net to shore, filled with 153 large fish. Although there were so many, the net was not broken.

Jesus said to them, “Come and eat.” None of those who ate dared to ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. Jesus took bread and gave it to them. He also gave them fish, in like manner. This was the third time that Jesus manifested himself after he had risen from the dead.

 

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

  1. Their experience is totally real. They hear Jesus’ words and they catch the fish.
  2. They see him clearly and they eat with him. This is no ghost.
  3. Although Jesus has bread, charcoal fire and his own fish, he invites them to share their fish.
  4. The miraculous catch is so real, that they even counted the fish (153).
  5. They ask no questions. All eight disciples are certain that this is Jesus.
  6. They eat with Jesus. This is a symbol of the Eucharist.

 

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

  1. O Jesus, Your Kingdom is real and will never pass away.
  2. You multiply all the evidence. You break into my life and you fill my empty nets.
  3. O Jesus, You give me talents to use for your Kingdom.
  4. You give large fish in great quantities, abundant blessings of every kind.
  5. Reveal yourself. Your presence makes the meal unforgettable.

 

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

  1. I will receive Communion frequently. This is the meal that Jesus prepares.
  2. I will bring my talents to Jesus’ table.

 

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

No one dared to ask “Who are you?”

MARCH 31, 2016 – EASTER WEEK – THURSDAY – JESUS IN THE UPPER ROOM

(Luke 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.)

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

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

  1. I will ponder the remarkable truth that Jesus of Nazareth has risen from the dead.
  2. 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?

MARCH 30, 2016 – EASTER WEEK – WEDNESDAY – PART TWO – JESUS REVEALS HIS PRESENCE

(Luke 24:25)

Prayer: O Jesus, reveal your presence in my life.

Imagination: (Picture the two disciples at table with Jesus.)

Context:

After Jesus instructs these two disciples, they invite him to stay with them. He celebrates Eucharist and “in the breaking of the bread”, their eyes are opened. They regain their dream and return to Jerusalem. There, they can begin again.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

Jesus said to the two disciples. “How foolish you are! How slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets said. Should not the Christ have suffered these things and so to enter his glory?” Then, beginning with Moses and the prophets, he explained all the scriptures that spoke of himself. As they came to Emmaus, he pretended to go on, but they said, “Stay with us, for it is late and the day is far spent.” He went in with them and when he was with them at table, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it and gave it to them. Their eyes were opened and they knew him. He, then, vanished from their sight.

They said to one another, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he spoke on the way and opened the scriptures for us.” At once, they returned to Jerusalem and told the eleven gathered there, who said, “The Lord is risen and has appeared to Simon”. They told them of all that happened on the road and how they knew him in the breaking of the bread.

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

  1. In one sentence, Jesus dismisses their thinking. “How foolish you are.”
  2. His sufferings were no mistake. His death was no defeat. They led Jesus “to enter his glory.”
  3. The disciples regain enough hope to say “Stay with us.       It is almost night.”
  4. When Jesus repeats the Last Supper, they recognize him in the breaking of the bread.
  5. Jesus vanishes, His work is complete. The disciples know that he has risen.
  6. They do not delay. They return immediately.
  7. They find a community which also believes that “He is risen.”

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

  1. Teach me, Lord for I am slow to believe.
  2. Explain the Scriptures and my heart will burn within.
  3. Stay with me, Lord. It is already dark. The night is at hand.
  4. At Mass, open my eyes to your presence.
  5. Give me back my dream, and I will resume my work.
  6. Place me with others who believe.

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

  1. I will attend mass as often as possible.
  2. I will recall my broken dreams and lost hopes. There is still time!

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

Their eyes were opened. They knew him in the breaking of the bread.

MARCH 30, 2016 – EASTER WEEK – WEDNESDAY – PART ONE – TWO DISCIPLES LEAVING JERUSALEM TO EMMAUS

(Luke 24:13)

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.
  1. These two disciples see only one choice. They leave Jerusalem and abandon their dream.
  2. In their despair, they cannot recognize Jesus. They can only talk about these events.
  3. Cleopas is even annoyed that this stranger doesn’t know what happened.
  4. 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.)

  1. O Jesus, do not let external events control my life.
  2. Jesus, if I lose 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.

MARCH 29, 2016 – EASTER WEEK – TUESDAY – MAGDALEN SEES JESUS

(John 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.)

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

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

  1. I will ask Jesus for Magdalene’s generosity.
  2. I will listen for Jesus to call me by name.

Thought for Today: (To recall your meditation)

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

MARCH 28, 2016 – EASTER WEEK – MONDAY – THE GOOD NEWS

(Matthew 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.)

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

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

  1. I will try to find moments of quiet, so Jesus can come to me.
  2. 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.