FIFTH WEEK OF EASTER – SATURDAY – MAY 8, 2021 – THE WORLD’S HATRED (Jn 15:18-21)

Prayer:

O Jesus, help me to be a servant who is just like his master. 

Imagination:

Picture Jesus with his apostles at the Last Supper.

Context:

Jesus begins a long teaching about how this unity between the disciples and himself will arouse the world’s hatred. The world has hated Jesus and will hate his chosen disciples. In this text, Jesus makes a very sharp distinction between his disciples and the world. 

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.) 

Jesus said, “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before you. If you had been of the world, the world would love its own. You are not of the world but I have chosen you out of the world. Therefore, the world hates you. 

Remember my word. The servant is not greater than his master. If they have persecuted me, they will persecute you also. Yet, all these things they will do to you for my name’s sake, because they did not know him who sent me.” 

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

  1. When they preach the gospel, the disciples will be hated by the world. 
  2. The world will persecute them because they do not belong to the world any longer. 
  3. Being aligned with Jesus, the disciples are unacceptable to the world. 
  4. How blessed are the disciples. Jesus has chosen them out of the world. 
  5. Persecution is such a small price to pay to be Jesus’ disciple. 
  6. The world is consistent in its hatred. Having persecuted Jesus, it will persecute his disciples. 
  7. All this hatred happens because the world does not know the Father Who sent Jesus. 

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

  • O Jesus, if I love you, the world will not love me. What a small price! 
  • What more could I ask? A servant wants to be treated like the Master. 
  • You have chosen me, and taken me away from the world. 
  • I have said my “Goodbyes.” I have parted company. I am with you forever. 
  • Being persecuted for your name is greater than any worldly honor. 
  • Jesus, the one who sent you is now my Father. You have made me his child. 

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

+ Today, I will rejoice to think, “Jesus has chosen me out of the world.” 

+ If people do not understand me, I will think of how the world misunderstood Jesus. 

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

If you were of the world, the world would love its own. 

FIFTH WEEK OF EASTER – FRIDAY – MAY 7, 2021 – NOW CALLED FRIENDS (Jn 15:12-17)

Prayer:

O Jesus, I seek only to be your friend. 

Imagination:

Picture Jesus teaching at the Last Supper. 

Context:

After showering his own love upon the disciples, Jesus asks that they love one another. Before asking for this love, he has made them his friends and has chosen them for an important task. 

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.) 

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love than this no man has, that a man lay down his life for his friend. You are my friends, if you do what I command you. 

I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know what his lord does. I have called you friends because I have made known to you all that I have heard from the Father. 

You have not chosen me. I have chosen you and have appointed you to go and bring forth abiding fruit, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he will give you.” 

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

  1. Loving others as you love yourself is no longer enough. Jesus gives a new commandment. 
  2. You must love others as Jesus loves you. 
  3. In his total love, Jesus is willing to lay down his life. 
  4. Jesus has raised you to a new level. You are no longer his servant. You are his friend. 
  5. You are his friend simply because he chose you. 
  6. Because you are his friend, he reveals all his mysteries. 
  7. You have one task – to fulfill God’s purpose in your life. 

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

  • Jesus, you loved me before I loved you. 
  • Help me to love others even before they love me. 
  • O Jesus, “I will lay down my life for you.” (Jn 13:37) 
  • What a gift – to be your friend! 
  • Reveal all your secrets to me, Jesus. I will be attentive and listen closely. 
  • O Jesus, you have a task for me. Speak, Lord, I am listening. 

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

+ I will value my new status of being a friend of Jesus. 

+ Being Jesus’ friend, I will seek to know what he wants of me. 

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

I no longer call you servants, because I have revealed my mysteries to you. I call you friends. 

FIFTH WEEK OF EASTER – THURSDAY – MAY 6, 2021 – LOVE ONE ANOTHER (Jn 15:9-17)

Prayer:

O Jesus, I seek only to be your friend. 

Imagination:

Picture Jesus teaching at the Last Supper. 

Context:

After showering his own love upon the disciples, Jesus asks that they love one another. Before asking for this love, he has made them his friends and has chosen them for an important task. 

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love than this no man has, that a man lay down his life for his friend. You are my friends, if you do what I command you. 

I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know what his Lord does. I have called you friends because I have made known to you all that I have heard from the Father. 

You have not chosen me. I have chosen you and have appointed you to go and bring forth abiding fruit, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he will give you.” 

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

  1. Loving others as you love yourself is no longer enough. Jesus gives a new commandment. 
  2. You must love others as Jesus loves you. 
  3. In his total love, Jesus is willing to lay down his life. 
  4. Jesus has raised you to a new level. You are no longer his servant. You are his friend. 
  5. You are his friend simply because he chose you. 
  6. Because you are his friend, he reveals all his mysteries. 
  7. You have one task – to fulfill God’s purpose in your life. 

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

  • Jesus, you loved me before I loved you. 
  • Help me to love others even before they love me. 
  • O Jesus, “I will lay down my life for you.” (Jn 13:37) 
  • What a gift – to be your friend! 
  • Reveal all your secrets to me, Jesus. I will be attentive and listen closely. 
  • O Jesus, you have a task for me. Speak, Lord, I am listening. 

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

+ I will value my new status of being a friend of Jesus. 

+ Being Jesus’ friend, I will seek to know what he wants of me. 

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

I no longer call you servants, because I have revealed my mysteries to you. I call you friends. 

FIFTH WEEK OF EASTER – WEDNESDAY – MAY 5, 2021 – THE VINE AND THE BRANCHES (Jn 15:1-8)

Prayer:

Bring forth your fruits in me. 

Imagination:

Picture Jesus at the Last Supper. 

Context:

Jesus begins a long discourse, which the apostles do not interrupt by any questions. In this text, Jesus uses the imagery of vine and branches, highlighting the necessity of the disciples being one with Jesus. 

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.) 

“I am the true vine. My Father is the vinedresser. He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit. A branch that bears fruit, he will prune, so that it bears more fruit. You are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. 

Abide in me and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in me. I am the vine. You are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him bears much fruit. Without me you can do nothing.” 

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

  1. Jesus seeks the fruit of a devout life that brings forth prayer and virtues. 
  2. If a soul brings forth good works the Father prunes it. 
  3. The Father (the vinedresser) does everything to gain more fruit from the vine. 
  4. Every branch must “abide.” A cut-off branch can bring forth no fruit. 
  5. Jesus says it perfectly, “I am the vine. You are the branches.” 
  6. His conclusion is self-evident. “Whoever abides in me brings forth much fruit.” 

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

  • Jesus, you alone are the vine that gives life. I will abide in you. 
  • I once was a dead branch, but you have grafted me onto yourself. Now, I bear fruit. 
  • Father, prune away all that is lifeless in me. 
  • Jesus, I want to bring forth greater virtues, pleasing to you. 
  • Jesus, I only need to abide in you. You do the rest. 
  • With you, all things are possible. This is the secret of staying with you. 

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

+ I will abide with Jesus by thinking of him often today. 

+ I will dedicate this whole day to Jesus. 

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

Whoever abides in me and I in him bears much fruit. 

FIFTH WEEK OF EASTER – TUESDAY – MAY 4, 2021 – JESUS’ FAREWELL GIFT (Jn 14:27-31)

Prayer:

O Jesus, fill me with your total peace. 

Imagination:

Picture Jesus teaching his disciples at the Last Supper. 

Context:

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

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.) 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

+ I will try to understand Jesus’ infinite love for me. 

+ I will seek his peace so I can serve him. 

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

The Prince of this world has no control over me. 

FIFTH WEEK OF EASTER – MONDAY – MAY 3, 2021 – SEEING THE FATHER (Jn 14:6-14)

Prayer:

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

Imagination:

Picture Jesus teaching at the Last Supper. 

Context:

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

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

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.) 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

+ I will spend this day in Jesus’ presence. 

+ I will thank the Father for sending Jesus. 

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

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

FIFTH SUNDAY OF EASTER – B – MAY 2, 2021 – THE VINE AND THE BRANCHES (Jn 15:1-8)

Prayer:

Jesus, bring forth your fruits in me. 

Imagination:

Picture Jesus at the Last Supper 

Context:

Jesus begins a long discourse, which the apostles do not interrupt by any questions. In this text, Jesus uses the imagery of vine and branches, highlighting the necessity of the disciples’ union with Jesus. 

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.) 

“I am the true vine. My Father is the vinedresser. He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit. One that bears fruit, he will prune, so that it bears more fruit. You are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. 

Abide in me and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in me. I am the vine. You are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him bears much fruit. Without me you can do nothing.” 

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

  1. The good fruit is a devout life that brings forth prayer and virtues. 
  2. The Father (the vinedresser) does everything to gain fruit from the vine. 
  3. If a soul brings forth good works he prunes it so it will bear more. 
  4. Every branch must “abide.” A cut-off branch can bring forth no fruit. 
  5. Jesus’ says it perfectly, “I am the vine. You are the branches.” 
  6. His conclusion is self-evident. “Without me, you can do nothing.” 

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

  • O Jesus, you alone are the vine that gives life. I will abide in you. 
  • I once was a dead branch, but you have grafted me onto yourself. Now, I bear fruit. 
  • O Father, prune away all that is lifeless in me. 
  • O Jesus, I want to bring forth greater virtues pleasing to you. 
  • O Jesus, I only need to abide in you. Then, your life flows in me. 
  • With you, all things are possible. This is the secret of a fruitful life. 

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

+ I will abide with Jesus by thinking of him often today. 

+ I will dedicate this whole day to Jesus. 

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

Whoever abides in me and I in him bears much fruit. 

FOURTH WEEK OF EASTER – SATURDAY – MAY 1, 2021 – SEEING THE FATHER (Jn 14:7-10)

Prayer:

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

Imagination:

Picture Jesus teaching at the Last Supper. 

Context:

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

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

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.) 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

+ I will spend this day in Jesus’ presence. 

+ I will thank the Father for sending Jesus. 

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

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

 

FOURTH WEEK OF EASTER – FRIDAY – APRIL 30, 2021 – THE WAY, THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE (Jn 14:1-6)

Prayer:

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

Imagination:

Picture Jesus teaching at the Last Supper. 

Context:

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

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.) 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

+ In difficult moments, I will walk by faith’s light. 

+ I will refuse to take any other road. Jesus is truth. All else is false. 

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

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

FOURTH WEEK OF EASTER – THURSDAY – APRIL 29, 2021 – AFTER WASHING THE FEET (Jn 13:16-20)

Prayer:

Jesus, I will follow your example. 

Imagination:

Picture Jesus with his apostles at the Last Supper. 

Context:

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

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.) 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

+ I will imitate Jesus’ spirit of service. 

+ I will recall moments when Jesus softened my hardships. 

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

Blessed are you if you put these things into practice. 

FOURTH WEEK OF EASTER – WEDNESDAY – APRIL 28, 2021 – A RECAPITULATION (Jn 12:44-50)

Prayer:

O Jesus, do not let me stay in darkness. 

Imagination:

Picture Jesus teaching in the Temple. 

Context:

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

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.) 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

+ I will reflect on the great gift. Jesus unites me with the Father. 

+ I will accept my responsibility to keep Jesus’ word. 

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

The Father who sent me told me what to say. 

FOURTH WEEK OF EASTER – TUESDAY – APRIL 27, 2021 – SHEEP IN THE FATHER’S HANDS (Jn 10:22-30)

Prayer:

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

Imagination:

Picture Jesus teaching in the Temple. 

Context:

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

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.) 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

+ I will listen today for Jesus’ voice. 

+ I will stay in Jesus’ hands. I am safe there. 

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

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

FOURTH WEEK OF EASTER – MONDAY – APRIL 26, 2021 – THE GOOD SHEPHERD (Jn 10:1-10)

Prayer:

O Jesus, you will be my good Shepherd. 

Imagination:

Picture Jesus teaching in the Temple. 

Context:

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

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.) 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

+ I will listen today for the voice of the Shepherd. 

+ I will follow wherever he leads me. 

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

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

FOURTH SUNDAY OF EASTER – B – APRIL 25, 2021 – THE GOOD SHEPHERD (Jn 10:11-18)

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.)

  • Jesus, now I understand your love. 
  • You love me because you love the Father. 
  • You do for me what you would do for your Father. 
  • You expect no pay. You seek no reward. Your love is the mystery of the Trinity. 
  • No one else is like you. No one else makes such a sacrifice. 
  • I choose you as my Shepherd. 
  • Without you, the wolves of life would devour me. 
  • O 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.)

+ I will ponder this great mystery. Jesus loves me because he loves the Father. 

+ 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.” 

THIRD WEEK OF EASTER – SATURDAY – APRIL 24, 2021 – THE MURMURING DISCIPLES (Jn 6:60-69)

Prayer:

O Lord Jesus, to whom else shall I go? 

Imagination:

Picture Jesus with his twelve apostles. 

Context:

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

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.) 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

+ I will deepen my friendship with Jesus by more frequent reception of Holy Communion. 

+ I will never abandon Jesus. 

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

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

THIRD WEEK OF EASTER – FRIDAY – APRIL 23, 2021 – HIS FLESH AND BLOOD (Jn 6:52-59)

Prayer:

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

Imagination:

Picture Jesus teaching to the crowds.

Context:

These are among the most important verses in the New Testament because they provide a clear teaching on the power of the Eucharist to give eternal life. These are verses dear to all Catholics because they teach that Holy Communion is 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.)

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

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

+ I will try to receive Eucharist every day. 

+ I will cherish this sacrament as the food of eternal life. 

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

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

THIRD WEEK OF EASTER – THURSDAY – APRIL 22, 2021 – STOP MURMURING (Jn 6:44-51)

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.)

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

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

+ I will receive Holy Communion as often as possible. 

+ I will let the Father draw me into this mystery. 

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

Whoever eats this bread will live forever. 

THIRD WEEK OF EASTER – WEDNESDAY – APRIL 21, 2021 – TRUE BREAD FROM HEAVEN (Jn 6:35-40)

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.)

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

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

+ I will not delay any longer. This day, I will come to Jesus. 

+ 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.” 

THIRD WEEK OF EASTER – TUESDAY – APRIL 20, 2021 – THE HEAVENLY FATHER’S BREAD (Jn 6:30-35)

Prayer:

O Jesus, give me bread 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.)

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

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

+ I will go to mass every day if possible. 

+ I will trust God for my daily bread. 

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

Whoever comes to me will never hunger. 

THIRD WEEK OF EASTER – MONDAY – APRIL 19, 2021 – FOOD THAT DOES NOT PERISH (Jn 6:22-29)

Prayer:

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

Imagination:

Picture Jesus teaching the crowds. 

Context:

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

Gospel text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.) 

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

Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him, the Father has set his seal. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

+ I will hunger and thirst for Holy Communion. 

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

The crowds searched for Jesus and found him.