MAY 14, 2016 – SEVENTH WEEK OF EASTER – SATURDAY – PART TWO – PETER AND THE BELOVED DISCIPLE

(John 21:20-25)

Prayer: O Jesus, help me to find my call.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus with Peter and the Beloved Disciple)

Context:

Tomorrow is the feast of Pentecost. So today’s gospel brings an end to the Easter visions. The story of the two apostles closest to Jesus are Peter and the Beloved Disciple. Peter has just received authority in the church. This text shows that the Beloved Disciple has a different role.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud).

When Peter turned around, he saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following. This was the disciple who leaned on Jesus’ breast at the supper and asked, “Lord, who will betray you?” When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what shall he do?” Jesus said, “What if I have him stay until I come? How does that concern you?” As this saying spread, many thought that Jesus said that the disciple would not die. However, Jesus did not say he would not die, but “Suppose I want him to stay until I come? What is that to you?”

This is the disciple who gives testimony of these things and has written them. We know that his testimony is true. There are many other things that Jesus did. If they were all written down, the world itself, I think, could not contain the books that would be written.

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

  1. This final story deliberately links Peter who has Jesus’ special authority with the Beloved Disciple who had Jesus’ special love.
  2. The story prepares for the Church which always needs authority and faithful people.
  3. People who know and love Jesus will remain until he returns.
  4. Jesus’ promise was not limited to the first Beloved Disciple.       All are called to know and love Jesus.
  5. All can lean on Jesus’ heart at the moment of Holy Communion.
  6. This gospel has special credibility, written by an eyewitness, the disciple most loved by Jesus.
  7. The whole world cannot contain all the stories of Jesus because they continue to happen every day.

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

  1. O Jesus, I, too, am your beloved, special to you.
  2. Let me rest in your Sacred Heart. You want me there.
  3. Jesus, you know the length of my life and the day of my death.
  4. Thank you for the stories of your life. They are heaven in our midst.
  5. You are always drawing me into your Kingdom.
  6. O Jesus, make me your beloved disciple. This is my greatest desire.

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

  1. I will accept Jesus’ invitation to place my head on his heart.
  2. I will read some gospel stories today.

Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation)

This is the disciple who has written these things.

MAY 14, 2016 – SEVENTH WEEK OF EASTER – SATURDAY – PART ONE – VOCATION OF THE BELOVED DISCIPLE

(John 21:20-25)

Prayer: O Jesus, draw me to your heart.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus speaking with Peter).

Context:

This is the final story in John’s gospel and defines the relationship between Peter and the Beloved Disciple. The Church needs authority (Peter) and faithful disciples (John). Both will remain until the end of time.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

At the Sea of Galilee, Peter turned around and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them. This was the disciple who laid his head on Jesus’ breast at the supper and asked, “Lord, who is the one who will betray you?” Peter, seeing this disciple, asked Jesus, “What will this man do?” Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you? You are to follow me.”

The rumor went about that this disciple would not die, but Jesus did not say he would not die. He only said, “If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you?”  This is the disciple who has given testimony and has written these things. We know that his testimony is true. There are many other things which Jesus did. If all of these were written, I think the world itself could not contain all the books.

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

  1. Jesus has told Peter that he will be martyred. The Beloved Disciple will not be.
  2. The Beloved Disciple enjoys an intimacy with Jesus to which even Peter has no access.
  3. Peter is curious about this relationship, but Jesus allows no discussion.
  4. The Beloved Disciple will have his own role in the Church.
  5. Peter is the Shepherd, the teacher, the hierarchical head. The Beloved Disciple is the faithful soul, the believer and the lover.
  6. These faithful souls will sustain the Church until the end of the world.
  7. The Beloved Disciple knew Jesus and wrote this gospel, to explain the great mystery. Jesus is the “Word Made Flesh among us.”

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

  1. Make me your Beloved Disciple, faithful in everything.
  2. How close you hold me! What intimacy you offer to me! Why should I seek anything else?
  3. O Jesus, captivate my heart. Never let me go.
  4. Make me faithful to the very end.
  5. Reveal your secrets to me, O Lord, and I will make You known to the whole world.

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

  1. Today, I will allow Jesus to draw me to his heart.
  2. I will curb my imagination and limit my curiosity about world events, so God can reveal his mysteries.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you?

MAY 13, 2016 – SEVENTH WEEK OF EASTER – FRIDAY – JESUS QUESTIONS PETER

(John 21:15-19)

Prayer: O Jesus, fill my heart with love so I can serve you.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus speaking with Peter on the share of Galilee.)

Context:

This text is extremely important. In Matthew’s gospel, Jesus gives Peter the Keys to the Kingdom. In this passage, Jesus also gives Peter authority, using the image of “feeding the sheep.”

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

After they had eaten, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these? He answered, ‘Lord you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” A second time, Jesus said, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Tend my sheep.” A third time, Jesus said, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Simon was annoyed because he asked a third time. He said, “Lord you know all things. You know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.”

“Amen, amen I say to you. When you were younger, you would dress yourself and go where you wanted. When you are old, you will stretch out your hands and another shall lead you where you do not want to go.” With these words, Jesus signified by what kind of death Peter would glorify God. Then he said, “Follow me.”

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

  1. Jesus’ three questions give Peter an opportunity to reverse his three denials.
  2. For Jesus, Peter’s personal love is important. He had to know where Peter’s heart was.
  3. Assured of his love, Jesus makes Peter the guiding Shepherd of the Church.
  4. Jesus speaks of Peter’s first moments, when his task concludes.
  5. The impetuous Peter won’t choose his path. His young man’s strength will fail.
  6. He will go where others take him. This requires spiritual maturity.

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

  1. Lord, you always give me an opportunity.
  2. I will correct my errors and undo my mistakes.
  3. Lord, please ask me if I love you.
  4. Lord, you know where my heart is. Claim it as your own.
  5. You know everything, O Lord. You know my call. You know my future. You know the moment of my death.
  6. I will go where you want me to go.
  7. Your final words touch my heart. “Follow me”, you say.

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

  1. I will hear Jesus’ question in my soul, “Do you love me?”
  2. I will follow Jesus until I die.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

Lord, you know that I love you.

MAY 12, 2016 – SEVENTH WEEK OF EASTER – THURSDAY – JESUS’ PRAYER FOR FUTURE BELIEVERS

(John 17:20-26)

Prayer: O Jesus, restore our oneness in your glory.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus with the apostles at the Last Supper)

Context: Jesus’ prayer is for us, the future believers. Two thousand years later, as the word reaches us, we receive the same glory given by the Father to Jesus, and from Jesus to his Church.

If Jesus’ word forges a unity, the world also, will believe in Jesus.

Gospel text (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

Jesus said, “I pray not only for them, but for all who will believe in me through their word. That they all may be one, as you Father are in me and I in you. That they, also, may be one in us, so that the world will believe that you have sent me.

I have given them the glory that you gave me, so they might be one as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they might be brought to perfection as one, and that the world may know that you sent me, and that you loved them as you loved me.”

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

  1. Jesus looks to the future. He sees the billions of people who will believe through the disciples’ preaching.
  2. Jesus wants all believers to enjoy the oneness that he enjoys with the Father.
  3. This unity of believers will be Jesus’ instrument to bring the whole world to faith in him.
  4. This oneness comes from Jesus giving all believers a share in his glory.
  5. By seeing his disciples united, the world (his persecutor) will see that the Father loves the world.
  6. This is Jesus’ only plan for the world’s salvation.
  7. His Church must be clothed in his glory and one with each other.

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

  1. Jesus, you prayed for me, knowing that I would believe your word.
  2. Now, you want me to join with other believers.
  3. You share your glory with all of us.
  4. You make us one in this glory.
  5. By our oneness, others will believe in you.
  6. When the whole world believes, you will come again.

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

  1. I will thank God for my faith.
  2. I will seek other believers to share my devout life.

Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)

“I pray that they may be one so the world believes.”

MAY 11, 2016 – SEVENTH WEEK OF EASTER – WEDNESDAY – JESUS’ PRAYER FOR THE APOSTLES

(John 17:11-19)

Prayer: O Jesus, consecrate me to the Father.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus with the apostles at the Last Supper)

Context: In this part of his prayer, Jesus sharpens the distinction between his disciples and the world. In spite of difficulties, Jesus refuses to segregate the disciples from the world. They must stay in the world to preach. Therefore, Jesus prays that they be protected “from the evil one” and sanctified in truth.

Gospel text (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for the ones you have given to me, because they are yours and everything of mine is yours and everything of yours is mine. Now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of world, any more than I am of the world.

Sanctify them in truth. Your word is truth. As you have sent me into the world, so I send them into the world. For them do I sanctify myself, so they may be sanctified in truth.

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

  1. Jesus cannot pray for a world that refuses to believe and become his disciples.
  2. He can pray for these disciples because they belong to the Father.
  3. They must stay in the world even though they are the world’s enemies and cannot avoid the world’s hatred.
  4. The problem is the Evil One. He owns the world.
  5. Even in this hostile environment, the Father can still sanctify them.
  6. Having sanctified himself, Jesus now sanctifies them.

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

  1. Jesus, the Father has given me to you. I am yours forever.
  2. Right now, you pray for me at the right hand of the Father.
  3. Protect me, Jesus. For now, I must remain in the world.
  4. Even in the world, you can sanctify me, but I must be careful.
  5. Keep me from the world. Make me a stranger to the world just as you were.
  6. Release your Spirit and I will be like you – sanctified in truth.

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

  1. I will see clearly the world’s opposition to my devout life.
  2. I will strengthen my resolve to be sanctified for the Father.

Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)

I sanctify myself so they might be sanctified in truth.

MAY 10, 2016 – SEVENTH WEEK OF EASTER – TUESDAY – THE HOUR HAS COME

(John 17:1-5)

Prayer: O Jesus, lead me to eternal life.

Imagination: Picture Jesus with his apostles at the Last Supper.

Context: After teaching the apostles, Jesus prays to his Father and has them listen in. This prayer has three parts. In this section, Jesus declares that he has glorified God by giving everyone eternal life. He reveals that knowing him and knowing the Father are the same, and bring God’s glory.

Gospel text (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

Jesus, lifting up his eyes to heaven, said, “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son that your Son may glorify you. You have given him power over all people, so he may give eternal life to all whom you gave to him. Now this is eternal life. That they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.

I have glorified you on earth. I have finished the work you have given me to do. Now, glorify me, O Father, with yourself, with the glory that I had with you before the world began.”

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

  1. Although Jesus speaks directly to the Father, he wants the apostles to overhear his prayer.
  2. The Father and the Son reveal each other’s glory so the disciples can see.
  3. Having revealed the glory of the Father, Jesus’ work is finished.
  4. Now, the Father will reveal Jesus’ glory by raising him from the dead.
  5. After the Resurrection, the disciples will see the glory which Jesus had “from the beginning.”
  6. By knowing the Father and Jesus, all can gain eternal life.

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

  1. Jesus, this mystery overwhelms me. Both you and the Father want to reveal yourselves to me.
  2. Complete your work in me, O Jesus. Fully reveal your Father.
  3. Jesus, the “hour has come.” Let me no longer put off my task of coming to know you.
  4. Jesus, give me eternal life. The Father gave you this task.
  5. This is eternal life, to know you, Father, and Jesus whom you have sent.

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

  1. “The hour has come”. I must accept Jesus fully.
  2. I will value Jesus’ eternal glory above all earthly gifts.

Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)

Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son.

MAY 9, 2016 – SEVENTH WEEK OF EASTER – MONDAY – THINKING THEY UNDERSTAND

(John 16:29-33)

Prayer: O Jesus, strengthen me in the time of trial.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus with the apostles at the Last Supper)

Context: Jesus speaks plainly and the disciples think they understand. However, not having experienced the death and resurrection of Jesus, their faith is far too weak. Jesus shatters their self-confidence by predicting that they will desert him. However, Jesus concludes with a promise of victory.

Gospel text (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

The disciples said, “Now you are speaking plainly and not with parables. Now we know that you know all things and do not need anyone to ask you. Because of this, we believe that you came from God.”

Jesus said, “Do you believe? The hour is coming and is already here, when you will be scattered, each to his own home and you will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone. The Father is with me.

I have spoken these things so you may have peace. In the world, you will have distress. Have confidence. I have overcome the world.”

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

  1. The apostles think that they believe firmly.
  2. Their solid faith will come only after Jesus rises.
  3. Jesus sees that their faith is frail and incomplete, totally unable to withstand his death.
  4. When the Roman soldiers test their resolve, the disciples will scatter, leaving Jesus alone.
  5. Their desertion hurts Jesus but His faith lies in the Father, not in the disciples.
  6. The disciples will remember Jesus’ words and regain their peace.
  7. Even more important, Jesus will rise and they will share in his victory over the world.

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

  1. Jesus, speak plainly to me and I will understand.
  2. Strengthen my faith, so I do not desert you in the crisis.
  3. When my resolve is tested, I will stand with you, Jesus.
  4. How often Your words console me in my failures!
  5. Jesus, You chose me, even knowing that I would abandon you and leave you alone.
  6. O Jesus, I rejoice in your victory, the ultimate victory, the only victory that matters, and my eternal salvation.
  7. I will live with you forever.

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

  1. I will seek religious experiences so my faith will be strong.
  2. In my trials, I will ask Jesus to stay with me.

Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)

The hour is coming when you will be scattered.

MAY 8, 2016 – SEVENTH SUNDAY OF EASTER (C) – JESUS’ PRAYER FOR FUTURE BELIEVERS

(John 17:20-23)

Prayer: O Jesus, restore our oneness in your glory.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus with the apostles at the Last Supper)

Context: Jesus’ prayer is for us, the future believers. Two thousand years later, as the word reaches us, we receive the same glory given by the Father to Jesus, and from Jesus to his Church.

If Jesus’ word forges a unity, the world also, will believe in Jesus.

Gospel text (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

Jesus said, “I pray not only for them, but for all who will believe in me through their word. That they all may be one, as you Father are in me and I in you. That they, also, may be one in us, so that the world will believe that you have sent me.

I have given them the glory that you gave me, so they might be one as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they might be brought to perfection as one, and that the world may know that you sent me, and that you loved them as you loved me.”

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

  1. Jesus looks to the future. He sees the billions of people who will believe through the disciples’ preaching.
  2. Jesus wants all believers to enjoy the oneness that he enjoys with the Father.
  3. This unity of believers will be Jesus’ instrument to bring the whole world to faith in him.
  4. This oneness comes from Jesus giving all believers a share in his glory.
  5. By seeing his disciples united, the world (his persecutor) will see that the Father loves the world.
  6. This is Jesus’ only plan for the world’s salvation.
  7. His Church must be clothed in his glory and one with each other.

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

  1. O Jesus, you prayed for me, knowing that I would believe your word.
  2. Now, you want me to join with other believers.
  3. You share your glory with all of us.
  4. You make us one in this glory.
  5. By our oneness, others will believe in you.
  6. When the whole world believes, you will come again.

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

  1. I will thank God for my faith.
  2. I will seek other believers to share my devout life.

Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)

“I pray that they may be one so the world believes.”