MAY 7, 2016 – SIXTH WEEK OF EASTER – SATURDAY – SPEAKING PLAINLY

(John 16:23-28)

Prayer: Come, Holy Spirit. Explain to me the mysteries of Jesus.

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

Context: Jesus admits that he is using figures of speech which the disciples do not understand. You, the reader, understand them clearly because you know that Jesus rose from the dead. Not having experienced the Resurrection as yet, the disciples find these images difficult to grasp. So, Jesus speaks more plainly.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

These things I have spoken to you in figures of speech, but the hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in this way but I will speak to you plainly about the Father. On that day, you shall ask in my name. I do not say that I will ask the Father for you. The Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. I came from the Father and have come into the world. Now, I am leaving the world and returning to the Father.

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

  1. Jesus has spoken clearly to the apostles. All the mysteries have been revealed.
  2. However, the disciples do not understand because Jesus has not yet risen.
  3. After the resurrection, they understand everything.
  4. Therefore, the Father loves them and will grant all their requests.
  5. They see the whole mystery – Jesus coming from the Father and returning to the Father.

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

  1. O Jesus, I thank you that I was born after you came into the world.
  2. Now, I understand all the mysteries.
  3. I am a child of the Father, an heir of the Kingdom, a member of Christ’s Body.
  4. O Father, I speak to you as your child and I ask you to give me eternal life.
  5. O Jesus, I love you and believe that you came from the Father.
  6. Now, you have gone ahead. You await me, Jesus. I am coming. Only death separates us.

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

  1. I will meditate on the great privilege of being born after Jesus Christ lived on this earth.
  2. I will never endanger my inheritance by sinful choices.

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

The Father himself loves you because you have loved me.

MAY 6, 2016 – SIXTH WEEK OF EASTER – FRIDAY – IN A LITTLE WHILE

(John 16:16-22)

Prayer: O Jesus, turn my sorrows into joys.

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

Context: Jesus has spoken of “a little while.” Because the disciples are confused, Jesus explains what this means. He speaks of a joyful woman who has given birth. This “birth” is his rising from the dead.

Gospel text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

Jesus said, “In a little while, you shall not see me. Again, a little while and you shall see me, because I go to the Father.”

The disciples did not understand and Jesus knew they wanted to ask him, so he said, “Why do you inquire among yourselves about this little while? Amen, amen, I say to you. You shall weep and lament while the world shall rejoice. You will be sorrowful but your sorrow will be turned into joy.

A woman, when she is in labor, has sorrow. However, when she brings forth the child, she does not remember her suffering because of her joy that a child has been born into the world. So, you now have sorrow, but I will see you again. Your hearts will rejoice and no one will take your joy from you.”

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

  1. The “little while” is the darkness of those three days between Jesus’ death and resurrection.
  2. Naturally, the disciples did not understand. They could not grasp the mystery that Jesus would rise.
  3. During those three days, the world rejoiced and the disciples grew sad.
  4. Their sadness was like a woman about to give birth.
  5. Their sorrow became joy when Jesus rose from the grave.
  6. After they saw Jesus, the world could never take away the apostles’ joy.

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

  1. O Jesus, how often I experience moments of sadness, when you seem far away.
  2. In this “Little while” You hide yourself and make me wait for you.
  3. Your absence multiplies my joy at your return.
  4. Return quickly Jesus. Rise again within me.
  5. When you come to me, no one takes away my joy.
  6. At my death, you will be there. I will await you.

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

  1. I will ask Jesus to come to me, today.
  2. I will never allow anything to steal my joy.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

No one will take your joy from you.

MAY 5, 2016 – ASCENSION THURSDAY (C) – THE ASCENSION VISION

(Luke 24:47, Acts 1:8-11)

Prayer: O Jesus, take my heart to heaven with you.

Imagination: (Picture the disciples watching Jesus ascend into heaven.)

Context:

Luke describes the Ascension in two places – at the end of his gospel and at the beginning of the Acts of the Apostles. Here we use the account in the Acts which gives more details.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

Jesus led the disciples out to the Mount of Olives, telling them not to depart from Jerusalem but to await the promise of the Father, “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the whole world.”

As they looked on, he was lifted up. They watched until a cloud took him from their sight. While they were still gazing upward, two men in white garments said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand here looking up to heaven. Jesus, who is taken from you, will come just as you saw him going to heaven.”

So, they returned to Jerusalem. They devoted themselves to prayer, together with some women and Mary, the mother of Jesus.

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

  1. Seeing Jesus ascend into heaven is the final piece of evidence that Jesus is God.
  2. Soon, the final age of the Spirit will begin.
  3. The apostles know what to do. They must return to Jerusalem and wait for the Spirit.
  4. However, they want to remain on this hillside because their hearts are empty.
  5. The angel has to promise them, “He will return just as you saw him.”
  6. Obediently, they return to Jerusalem, where the Spirit will fill them with his fire, plunge them into his presence and anoint them with his powers.
  7. What a journey for the apostles! Three years ago, they met a man named Jesus. Now, they know that He is God and will soon send them the Holy Spirit.
  8. All these gifts happen in the presence of Mary, the mother of Jesus.

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

  1. Jesus, you are my Lord and my God.
  2. You have gone ahead and prepared a place for me.
  3. Jesus, take my heart to heaven.
  4. I will obey you so your plans come true.
  5. Anoint me with your Spirit, and I will be your witness.
  6. O Lord, you will “return just as you ascended.” I await your coming.
  7. Mary, draw me close to yourself. The Spirit comes wherever you are present.

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

  1. Today, I will often say the words, “Come, Holy Spirit.”
  2. I will take some quiet moments to receive the Spirit.

Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation)

They gathered with Mary, the mother of Jesus.

MAY 4, 2016 – SIXTH WEEK OF EASTER – WEDNESDAY – THE SPIRIT TEACHES

(John 16:12-15)

Prayer: O Jesus, thank you for the Holy Spirit who teaches me all truth.

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

Context:

Jesus describes the two goals which the Spirit will accomplish among the disciples (the Church). First, He will extend Jesus’ revelation, going beyond what Jesus was able to teach in his short lifetime. Second, the Spirit will explain those teachings which Jesus did say but were not comprehended by the disciples.

Gospel Text (Read slowly, possibly aloud).

Jesus said, “I have yet many things to say, but you cannot bear them now. When he, the Spirit of truth comes, he will teach you all truth. He will not speak on His own. He will speak what he hears and will show you the things that are to come.

He shall glorify me because he will receive what is mine and reveal it to you. Everything that the Father has is mine. That is why I say, He will receive what is mine and reveal it to you.”

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

  1. In this final hour, Jesus reveals some special truths. After his Resurrection, He will reveal even more.
  2. However, the full revelation will come only from the Holy Spirit who will explain the mystery of Jesus.
  3. The source of these mysteries is the eternal Father, who sends both the Son and the Spirit.
  4. The Spirit gathers up all these truths about the Father and Jesus, and reveals them.
  5. He reveals them to multiply Jesus’ glory within us.

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

  1. O Spirit, reveal these mysteries to me. Then, Jesus will capture my heart.
  2. You reveal “what is coming”, so I can know what to do with my life.
  3. Teach me “all truth”. Let me be a quick learner.
  4. Reveal Jesus to me. Reveal all of his glory, all of his power, all of his love.
  5. O Spirit, taught by you, I will glorify Jesus.
  6. O Trinity, Father, Son and Spirit, You are always at work on my behalf.

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

  1. I will have a special devotion to the Spirit of Jesus.
  2. Today, I will seek the Spirit’s help for all my decisions.

Thought for the Day 🙁To recall your meditation)

When the Spirit comes, he will teach you all truth.

MAY 3, 2016 – SIXTH WEEK OF EASTER – TUESDAY – THE SPIRIT’S TASKS

(John 16:8-11)

Prayer: O Jesus, send your Paraclete to overcome the world.

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

Context: Jesus again shifts the focus. The Holy Spirit will not just be an advocate for the disciples. He will be a prosecuting attorney against the world. He will work within the believers, assuring them that they have correctly chosen to stand with Jesus.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

When the Paraclete comes, he will convict the world of sin, and of justice, and of judgment. Of sin, because they have not believed in me. Of justice, because I go to the Father and you will see me no more. Of judgment, because the prince of this world is already judged.

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

  1. When experiencing the world’s persecutions, the disciples might ask, “Did we make the right choice?”
  2. In these moments, the Holy Spirit will be a powerful inner voice, comforting the disciples.
  3. As their advocate, he will put the whole world on trial.
  4. First, He will reveal the great sin of the world which refused to accept Jesus, in spite of his many miracles.
  5. Second, He will judge the world which persecutes the disciples even though they testify truly. Jesus has gone to the Father and will return in glory.
  6. Third, He will judge the world by casting out the world’s leader, Satan.
  7. Persecuting the disciples is just Satan’s final words before he has to leave.

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

  1. O Jesus, the world has made a great mistake. They refuse to accept you.
  2. I accept you. I choose you as my Lord.
  3. Your Spirit speaks within. His mighty voice says, “Blessed are you.”
  4. O Jesus, You have ascended to heaven and await my joining you.
  5. O Jesus, you have cast out Satan, the world’s prince.
  6. You are the victor. I will stand with you, my king.
  7. Thank you, Lord, for saving me from the world’s confusion.

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

  1. I will listen to the Spirit’s voice within.
  2. I will not allow the world to confuse me.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your mediation)

The prince of this world is already cast out.

MAY 2, 2016 – SIXTH WEEK OF EASTER – MONDAY – PART TWO – JESUS’ NEED TO DEPART

(John 16:4-7)

Prayer: O Jesus, give me faith in your word.

Imagination: (Picture Jesus at the Last Supper.)

Context: The discourse shifts. Jesus turns the disciples’ attention to his future departure. Realizing that Jesus will leave, the disciples grow sorrowful. So Jesus speaks of the great gift that will follow – the coming of the Holy Spirit.

Gospel Text (Read slowly, possibly aloud)

Jesus said, “These things I have told you so that when the hour comes, you may remember that I told you. I did not tell you these things from the beginning, because I was with you. Now I go to the one who sent me and none of you ask me, “Where are you going?”

Because I have said these things, sorrow fills your heart. However, I tell you the truth. It is expedient for you that I go, because if I do not go, the Paraclete will not come to you. If I go, I will send him to you.”

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

  1. Again, Jesus commands the apostles to remember his words. They will need them in difficult moments.
  2. Being a loving friend, Jesus did not reveal everything. He shielded his disciples like parents hide some sorrows from their children.
  3. However, he can delay no longer. They must be told. He is leaving them.
  4. He helps them to see the advantages of his leaving. The Paraclete will come.
  5. They cannot experience both the mortal Jesus and the Paraclete. One stage of God’s plan (Jesus’ mortal life) must give way to a greater moment (the Paraclete’s abiding presence).

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

  1. O Jesus, I will always treasure your words.
  2. Your words are my defense and my shield, my light and my consolation.
  3. Thank you, Jesus for keeping me from needless suffering.
  4. Jesus, I know where you have gone – to prepare a place for me.
  5. Until you return, the Paraclete will provide for me.
  6. Jesus, you have not left. You are always with me. I experience your presence by your Spirit’s touches.

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

  1. I will commit Jesus’ words to memory, especially those that touch my heart.
  2. I will invoke the Spirit of Jesus, the Guest who abides in my soul.

Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)

It is better for you that I go. If I do not go, the Paraclete will not come.

MAY 2, 2016 – SIXTH WEEK OF EASTER – MONDAY – PART ONE – WHEN THE PARACLETE COMES

(John 15:26-16:3)

Prayer: O Jesus, I will testify to the whole world about you.

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

Context: Two powers will confront the world’s hatred – the Spirit’s powerful testimony and the Church’s doctrines, based on Jesus’ own teachings. In spite of this clear light, the world will still kill the disciples.

Gospel Text (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

Jesus said, “When the Paraclete comes whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, he shall testify to me. And you also will testify, because you were with me from the beginning.

These things I have spoken to you, so you will not be scandalized. They will put you out of the synagogues. In fact, the hour is coming, when whoever kills you, will think he has done a service for God. These things they will do to you, because they have known neither the Father nor me.”

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

  1. Jesus has already spoken the Father’s word. Now, the Paraclete, the Spirit of Truth, will also speak the Father’s word.
  2. The Spirit will speak within the hearts of the disciples.
  3. With the Spirit’s help, the disciples will speak to the whole world about Jesus.
  4. The result will be exactly the same. Like Jesus, the disciples will be hated, rejected and even killed.
  5. As always, the problem is the same. The world has not known the Father.
  6. Because of this blindness, they did not accept Jesus and they will not accept Jesus’ disciples.

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

  1. O Holy Spirit, Jesus has sent you to me.
  2. O, Holy Spirit, tell me about Jesus.
  3. Dwell in my heart. I will be quiet and listen to your testimony.
  4. O Jesus, I will not be silent. I will speak about you to everyone.
  5. Thank you, Jesus, for warning me about how others will treat me.
  6. O Jesus, I will tell the whole world. Some will listen and be saved.

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

  1. I will set aside time for prayer, so the Spirit can teach me.
  2. I will be a faithful witness to Jesus.

Thought for the Day. (To recall your meditation)

When the Paraclete comes, he will testify about me and you, also, will testify.

MAY 1, 2016 – SIXTH SUNDAY OF EASTER (C) – THE IMPORTANCE OF JESUS’ WORD

(John 14:23-29)

Prayer: O Jesus, I will abide in your word.

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

Context: This text focuses on Jesus’ teaching – which enjoys a surprising power. A disciple who lives this teaching will enjoy the presence of the Father and Jesus. Then, the Paraclete will amplify the teaching.

In the second part, Jesus, concerned about the effect of his going to the Father, promises his peace.

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)

Jesus said, “If anyone loves me and keeps my Word, my Father will love him and we will come to him and make our dwelling in him. Whoever does not love me, does not keep my word.

The word which you have heard is not mine but the Father’s who sent me.

I have spoken these things while I abide with you. The Paraclete, the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and bring all things to your mind, whatever I have told you.

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 that I go away and I will come back to you. If you loved me, you would be glad because I go to the Father and the Father is greater than I. I have told you this before it happens, so that when it happens, you might believe.

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

  1. The door to friendship with God is loving Jesus and being true to his word.
  2. If this happens, the Father and Jesus actually come to live within the disciple.
  3. Jesus’ time of teaching is ending. From now until the end of the world, the Holy Spirit is the teacher.
  4. The situation is changing. Jesus is returning to the Father. The disciples should rejoice.
  5. Instead, they grow fearful and need Jesus’ peace.
  6. Later, they will remember these words and will believe as they see them come true.

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

  1. O Jesus, you offer me life with your Father.
  2. Thank you for dwelling in my soul.
  3. O Holy Spirit, teach me the great mysteries of the Father.
  4. O Jesus, you have gone to the Father to prepare a place for me.
  5. I am so fearful. How I need your peace.
  6. Your words are the light for my path.
  7. O Jesus, you have provided everything for my salvation.

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

  1. I will treasure God’s presence in my soul.
  2. I will ask Jesus for his peace.

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)

My Father will love him and we will come to him.