Saturday, April 03, 2021

Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of the Lord.

"Then the other disciple also went in, the one who had arrived at the tomb first, and he saw and believed. For they did not yet understand the scripture that he had to rise from the dead." (John 20: 8 - 9).

Easter Sunday 2021, Sunday of the glorious Resurrection of the Lord.

When Peter and John entered the empty tomb, they saw what gave them a pause and serious matter for reflection. Jesus was not in the tomb. But the burial clothes were neatly arranged as if the person simply slipped through the clothes without disturbing them in any way. John observed this and concluded that there could be only one explanation: Jesus has risen from the dead.

This incident explains why Jesus forecast His passion and death and none of the disciples remembered this when the events were unfolding. "They did not yet understand the scripture that he had to rise from the dead." (John 20: 9).

Have you observed anything that make you believe that Jesus is risen and alive?  For me, there are two incontrovertible reasons to believe in the Resurrection of Jesus:

#1. The existence of the Church.
#2. The self-sacrificing work of missionaries all over the world for 2000 years.

How about you?

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Friday, April 02, 2021

Easter Vigil in the Holy Night of Easter.

“Do not be amazed! You seek Jesus of Nazareth, the crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Behold, the place where they laid him." (Mark 16: 6).

Sunday 4th April 2021, Easter Sunday Vigil.

Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of James became the first witnesses of the Resurrection and were commissioned to "go and tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him, as he told you."

Jesus Christ our Passover has been sacrificed and has risen from the dead. He is Jesus, Emmanuel God with us. Come let us adore Him. Come let us receive Him in the Eucharist.

"The Lord is truly risen, alleluia.
To him be glory and power
for all the ages of eternity, alleluia, alleluia." (Luke 24: 34; Cf Revelation 1: 6).

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Thursday, April 01, 2021

Good Friday 2021

“We do not have the right to execute anyone.” (John 18: 31).

Friday 2nd April 2021, Good Friday.

The Jewish leaders sees the death of Jesus on the Cross as the execution of a criminal.  “If he were not a criminal, we would not have handed him over to you.”
How do you see the death of Jesus on the Cross?

"It is love "to the end" that confers on Christ's sacrifice its value as redemption and reparation, as atonement and satisfaction. He knew and loved us all when he offered his life. Now "the love of Christ controls us, because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore all have died." (CCC 616).

We adore You O Christ and worship You because of Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world.

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Good Friday 2021 is Also First Friday in April 2021. Honor too the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

April 2nd, 2021 First Friday in April.
Friday April 2nd 2021 is also the Good Friday of the Lord's Crucifixion and Death.

Jesus promised 12 special favors to all those who will honor His Sacred Heart especially on the First Friday of every month.  In the 4th month of the year 2021, we look at Promise #4.

#4.  "They shall find in My Heart an assured refuge during life and especially at the hour of death."

The key word in this promise to me is DEATH.  Do you find the subject of death troubling?

I consider Promise #4 a great Promise.  St Augustine says:  "If you pray well, you live well. If you live well, you die well. If you die well, all is well."  To die well therefore is what every human being must desire.  Most of the post Ascension apparitions of Jesus and the Blessed Virgin Mary to mystics promise succor at the time of the last struggle of death to those who honor them in the manner they specified.  The Church declared St Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin, patron saint of a Happy Death.  I believe in the Resurrection of the dead and life everlasting. The thought of dying no longer scares me.

Honor the Sacred Heart of Jesus this Friday by attending Holy Mass.

For the 12 Promises of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, click the link below:

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Wednesday, March 31, 2021

This is the Example I give you: Serve one another.

"If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another’s feet.  I have given you a model [example] to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do." (John 13: 14 - 15).

Thursday 1st April 2021, Holy Thursday, Evening Mass of the Lord's Supper.

Jesus gives us a new commandment this evening:  "Love one another as I have loved you." (John 13: 34). This new commandment is now enfleshed in an unforgettable Example. Consider for a moment the power of example, testimony and biography. The three which are synonymous are unparalleled way of teaching. It works for kids. It works for their parents.

Jesus the Lord and Teacher of the Apostles just washed the dirty feet of the astounded Apostles and then called it an example. After dodging this experience in Maundy Thursday services, I finally got the import when a Deacon washed my feet during a Holy Thursday service. Here is the impact it had on me: I now wash dirty dishes for others easily. I clean the bathroom. And a few other small things.
The washing of the feet of the Apostles was a profound act of humility on the part of Jesus. While I am still battling my pride and animosities, the example of washing my feet in full view of the packed Church on Holy Thursday is not an event I can forget easily.

Many Catholics say No firmly when they are asked to come forward to have their feet washed on Holy Thursday Liturgy. Can you imagine the grace you may be missing?

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Tuesday, March 30, 2021

My appointed time has come.

“My appointed time draws near." (Matthew 26 :18).

Wednesday 31st March 2021, in Holy Week.

Towards the end of His life, Jesus reveals more and more the testimony of Sacred Scripture about the gathering storm of His passion and death. About Judas, he said, "The Son of Man indeed goes, as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed." (Matthew 26: 24). Jesus ministry is framed around "appointed time," "fullness of time." There may be a number of reasons why Jesus at this time wants to anchor His disciples on the testimony of Scripture about Him and His mission.

#1. His death would shatter whatever faith the disciples had in Him. It therefore became necessary that they learn that He is the Lord of history and knew everything that would happen in His passion.

#2. The disciples would see too that He entered His passion and death freely of His own accord. He was not trapped in Gethsemane and arrested as a helpless fugitive from justice.

Paul wrote that Christ died and rose from the dead according to the Scriptures, that is, according to the plan of God. As we approach the Easter Triduum, our faith in Jesus as both God who knows the past and as Man who manifested fear in Gethsemane of His suffering should grow.

"The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." (Revelation 19: 10). Jesus testifies that Scripture is the word of God and worthy of our veneration and faith. What Scripture prophesies must come true. Scripture prophesies what Jesus did in His public ministry. When you share the testimonies of the miraculous in the work of Jesus, you create a condition for a new miracle. What Jesus has done once, He can replicate.

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Monday, March 29, 2021

You are Peter. I am Peter. We are all Peter.

"Jesus answered, “Will you lay down your life for me? Amen, amen, I say to you, the cock will not crow before you deny me three times.”  (John 13: 38).

Tuesday 30th March 2021, in Holy Week.

Peter is to say three times before the cock crows that he does not even know Jesus.  

What is the lesson for us? Come to Jesus in your utter weakness. He knows you deeply. Forget your foolish pride and come to him broken, needy and miserable. This kind of state is what touches profoundly the merciful heart of Jesus.  Without Jesus what can we offer faced with the crushing challenges of life? Fear, worry, doubt, cowardice and weakness.

You are Peter. I am Peter. We are all Peter. Let us not be ashamed to follow Jesus in our weakness. He knows us intimately and He is happy with us that way.

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Sunday, March 28, 2021

A Woman and a very expensive perfume.

"Mary took a liter of costly perfumed oil made from genuine aromatic nard and anointed the feet of Jesus and dried them with her hair; the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil." (John 12: 3).

Monday 29th March 2021, in Holy Week.

The Gospel for today shows Mary's extravagant devotion and love for Jesus. A very expensive perfume was broken and poured on the feet of Jesus. Then Mary squatting in front of Jesus started to wipe the feet of Jesus with her untied long hair. All this happened in full view of the guests who gazed in amazement.

There was a time I felt embarrassed to show public homage to Jesus. For example, genuflecting before the Blessed Sacrament or making the sign of the Cross in a restaurant before meal. Do you ever feel this way? Or are you as strong as Mary in your devotion and commitment to Jesus?

Mary teaches us in today's Gospel that nothing is too costly for Jesus. Jesus accepted this homage.

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