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.

APRIL 16, 2016 – THIRD WEEK OF EASTER – SATURDAY – THE MURMURING DISCIPLES

(John 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.

APRIL 15, 2016 – THIRD WEEK OF EASTER – FRIDAY – HIS FLESH AND BLOOD

(John 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.

APRIL 14, 2016 – THIRD WEEK OF EASTER – THURSDAY – STOP MURMURING

(John 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.

APRIL 13, 2016 – THIRD WEEK OF EASTER – WEDNESDAY – TRUE BREAD FROM HEAVEN

(John 6:32-39)

Prayer: O Jesus, hold me tight. Never let me go.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus teaching the crowds.)

Context: In the debate with Jesus, the crowd talks about the great sign of manna. In the desert, God promised Moses that he would send “bread from heaven” (Ex. 16:4). Jesus explains that the manna came from his Father.

Gospel text (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

Jesus said to them, “Amen, Amen, I say to you, Moses did not give you bread from heaven. My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. The bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world. They said to him, “Lord, give us this bread always”. Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me shall not hunger. He who believes in me shall never thirst.

But I told you that although you have seen me, you do not believe. All that the Father gives me shall come to me, and whoever comes to me, I will not cast out. I came down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me.

This is the Father’s will. That I should lose nothing but raise it up again on the last day.

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

  1. In the desert, the Father gave earthly food which sustained human life for a short time.
  2. Now, the Father will give his Son, (the Word made Flesh), which sustains us forever.
  3. Although the crowd asks for this heavenly bread, they do not understand the gift.
  4. First they must believe in Jesus and come to him.
  5. To whomever comes, Jesus gives everlasting life. This is the Father’s plan.

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

  1. Jesus, you provide for every need.
  2. Father, I hunger for the true bread.
  3. Father, your greatest gift is your only-begotten Son.
  4. Jesus, you are the bread of life. I seek nothing else.
  5. O Jesus, I believe that you hold me in your hands.
  6. Call me and I will come. Keep me and I will never wander.

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

  1. I will not delay any longer. This day, I will come to Jesus.
  2. I will let him hold me. I will not walk away from his grasp.

Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)

“I will lose nothing but will raise him up on the last day.”

APRIL 12, 2016 – THIRD WEEK OF EASTER – TUESDAY – THE HEAVENLY FATHER’S BREAD

(John 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.

APRIL 11, 2016 – THIRD WEEK OF EASTER – MONDAY – FOOD THAT DOES NOT PERISH

(John 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.

APRIL 10, 2016 – THIRD SUNDAY OF EASTER – (C) – 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 shoe at the Sea of Galilee.)

Context:

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

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

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

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

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

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

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

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

  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 other disciples who love you.
  3. Speak to me, Lord, and I will obey your word.
  4. Give me the beloved disciple’s sensitive faith, who first realizes that it is you.
  5. May I see your loving hand in all my blessings.
  6. May I always come to you, whether exuberantly (like Peter) or more calmly (like the others).
  7. Fill me with your presence.

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

  1. I will try to be united with others who search for Jesus.
  2. I will ask to experience Jesus’ presence.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

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

APRIL 9, 2016 – SECOND WEEK OF EASTER – SATURDAY – JESUS WALKS ON THE SEA

(John 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.

APRIL 8, 2016 – SECOND WEEK OF EASTER – FRIDAY – FEEDING THE FIVE THOUSAND

(John 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.

APRIL 7, 2016 – SECOND WEEK OF LENT – THURSDAY – NO RATIONING OF THE SPIRIT

(John 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.

APRIL 6, 2016 – SECOND WEEK OF EASTER – WEDNESDAY – SENT INTO THE WORLD

(John 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.

APRIL 5, 2016 – SECOND WEEK OF EASTER – TUESDAY – THE QUESTIONING NICODEMUS

(John 3:7-15)

Prayer: O Jesus, let me come to you for wisdom.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus teaching Nicodemus)

Context:

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

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. I will ask to receive the Holy Spirit today.
  2. I will think of Jesus in heavenly glory and ask for eternal life.

Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation)

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

APRIL 4, 2016 – SECOND WEEK OF EASTER – MONDAY – NICODEMUS

(John 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.
  1. 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.

APRIL 3, 2016 – SECOND SUNDAY OF EASTER, (C) – PART TWO – THOMAS THE DOUBTER

(John 20:24-29)

Prayer: Jesus, remove all my doubts so I can proclaim you as Lord and God.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus offering Thomas the opportunity to touch his wounds.)

Context:

This is the high point of the gospel. John has put forth all the evidence to show Jesus has come from the Father. He has told many stories of people accepting Jesus. In this text, Thomas gives the clearest and greatest expression of faith in Jesus, “My Lord and my God.”

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

When the disciples told Thomas that they had seen the Lord, he said, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nail marks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

A week later, Jesus came, even though the doors were locked. He said, “Peace be with you.” Then, he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands. Bring your hand and put it into my side. Do not be unbelieving but believe.” Thomas answered, “My Lord and my God.”

Jesus said “Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”

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

  1. Even a week later, the doors are still locked from fear.
  2. Thomas’ doubts have closed his mind to faith.
  3. Jesus overcomes both the locked doors and the closed mind.
  4. To gain Thomas heart, Jesus accedes to his requests.
  5. Thomas’ story, (more than any other), shows that Jesus’ body was truly risen.
  6. Thomas’ faith goes beyond the other disciples. He is the first to proclaim Jesus as “Lord and God.”
  7. Jesus praises us. We believe without seeing his risen body.

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

  1. Enter my heart, Jesus. Do not let my closed doors keep you away.
  2. You arrange everything to bring me to faith.
  3. Jesus, let me touch your hands and enter your open heart.
  4. O Lord, let me experience you. Come in your fullness.
  5. You are “Lord, God, Saviour, Redeemer” – my all!

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

  1. I will ask Jesus to come to me.
  2. I will believe even though I do not see.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.