APRIL 23, 2016 – FOURTH WEEK OF EASTER – SATURDAY – PART ONE – SEEING THE FATHER

(John 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.

APRIL 23, 2016 – FOURTH WEEK OF EASTER – SATURDAY – PART TWO – DOING GREATER WORKS

(John 14:11-14)

Prayer: O Jesus, help me to do great work for your glory.

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

Context:

In this text, Jesus makes two promises. The apostles will do greater works and their prayers in Jesus’ name will be answered. First, however they must believe in Jesus’ relationship with his Father.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? Otherwise, believe because of the works I do. Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do even greater than these because I go to the Father.

Whatever you will ask the Father in my name, I will do, so that the Father will be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, that I will do.

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

  1. Jesus always demands that the apostles believe in him.
  2. The works he does helps them to believe.
  3. Suddenly, Jesus offers them a new gift.
  4. The disciples will do the same works as Jesus, and even greater ones.
  5. They will enjoy great intercessory power with the Father.
  6. Jesus himself will answer their requests.
  7. Jesus has changed the whole reality. A new stage of divine power resides in Jesus’ name.

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

  1. O Jesus, you always have greater promises and new gifts.
  2. I believe in you.
  3. You will give me everything that I need for eternal life.
  4. O Jesus, you share your powers with me so I can give glory to the Father.
  5. You have gone to the Father and pour out heaven’s gifts upon the earth.
  6. O Jesus, if I believe, you will rain down heavenly treasures.

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

  1. Today, I will intercede with great hope.
  2. I will thank Jesus for going to the Father and changing all reality.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

Whatever you ask the Father in my name, I will do.

APRIL 22, 2016 – FOURTH WEEK OF EASTER – FRIDAY – THE WAY, THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE

(John 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.

APRIL 21, 2016 – FOURTH WEEK OF EASTER – THURSDAY – AFTER WASHING THE FEET

(John 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.

APRIL 20, 2016 – FOURTH WEEK OF EASTER – WEDNESDAY – A RECAPITULATION

(John 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.

APRIL 19, 2016 – FOURTH WEEK OF EASTER – TUESDAY – SHEEP IN THE FATHER’S HANDS

(John 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.

APRIL 18, 2016 – FOURTH WEEK OF EASTER – MONDAY – THE GOOD SHEPHERD

(John 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.

APRIL 17, 2016 – FOURTH SUNDAY OF EASTER (C) – SHEEP IN THE FATHER’S HANDS

(John 10:24-30)

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. O 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.