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.

APRIL 3, 2016 – SECOND SUNDAY OF EASTER – (C ) – PART ONE – JESUS BESTOWS THE SPIRIT

(John 20:19-23)

Prayer: O Jesus, breathe upon me and anoint me with your Spirit.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus appearing to his disciples in the Upper Room.)

Context:

This vision occurs on Easter Sunday evening and reveals many truths. By coming through a closed door, Jesus clearly shows that he has a risen, glorified body. Showing his hands and his side proves that he is the crucified Jesus, born of Mary. His final action of bestowing the Spirit is really a Pentecost. Instead of bestowing the gift of tongues, the Spirit gives the greater power of forgiving sins.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

On the first day of the week, when the disciples were gathered in the upper room, the doors were locked for fear of the Jews. Jesus came and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.” Then, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.

He said to them again, “Peace be to you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” Having said this, he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you shall forgive are forgiven them. Whose sins you shall retain are retained.”

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

  1. In his mortal life, Jesus never came through locked doors.       His glorified body has greater powers.
  2. Seeing his hands and side, the disciples rejoice immediately.       They know who Jesus is.
  3. Before anything else, Jesus gives the disciples inner stillness, “Peace be with you”.
  4. Filled with peace, they are ready to receive the Holy Spirit.
  5. This is Pentecost! Jesus breathes on them and pours out the Holy Spirit of forgiveness.
  6. This power to forgive will remain in the Church until the end of time.

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

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

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

  1. I will ask Jesus to send me His Spirit.
  2. I will seek forgiveness in the sacrament.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.