Saturday, April 10, 2021

Divine Mercy Sunday. Celebrate Mercy.

"Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”  And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them,“Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.”  (John 20: 21 - 23).

Today is the 2nd Sunday of Easter, DIVINE MERCY SUNDAY.

The universal Church celebrates today the Solemnity of Divine Mercy. (Always 2nd Sunday of Easter).  Jesus is the Face of Mercy of Abba Father.  Mercy is the name and essence of God the Father revealed to us through His Only Son, Jesus the Christ. The open Heart of Jesus is the symbol and seat of Mercy.  Mercy is promised to all.

To prepare ourselves to receive and retain Mercy, fmthe ABC OF MERCY is very useful.  It is called  ABC because, it is an acronym that can be remembered easily and secondly it is as simple as ABC.

A:  Ask for Mercy.
B:  Be Merciful.
C:  Completely Trust Jesus for Mercy.

God is rich in mercy and is waiting for us to turn to Him to blot out all our sins and receive us in His merciful love.

Mercy, mercy. Nothing but mercy!
"Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy! I look to you for protection.
I will hide beneath the shadow of your wings until the danger passes by."  (Psalm 57: 1)

Eternal God, in whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase Your mercy in us, that in difficult moments we might not despair nor become despondent, but with great confidence submit ourselves to Your holy will, which is Love and Mercy itself. (The Diary 950).
To learn how to recite the Divine Mercy Rosary, click the link below:

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Friday, April 09, 2021

Everyone in the world has not heard the Good News. It is urgent they do.

"Jesus said to them, “Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature." (Mark 16: 15).

Easter Saturday 10th April in the Octave of Easter.

I like the way the AMPC translation renders the Great Commission, our key Scripture for today.

"And He said to them, Go into all the world and preach and publish openly the good news (the Gospel) to every creature [of the whole human race]." (AMPC).

Preaching and publishing become synonymous in the verse. A lot of evangelization today is done through all types of publishing media: blogs, podcasts, videos and zoom apps, newspapers and magazines, radio and television. All are necessary to bring the Good News that has become urgent to everyone, everywhere in the world. Our task is not done until the whole human race has heard the amazing grace of Jesus Christ, the Good News.

Abba Father wills that everyone must come to the knowledge of truth and repentance. He equipped the Church for this mission by sending down the Awesome Holy Spirit to drive this mission. We see the power of the Holy Spirit in the powerful testimony of Peter and John before the entire Supreme Court of Israel in the first Reading:
"Peter and John, however, said to them in reply, “Whether it is right in the sight of God for us to obey you rather than God, you be the judges. It is impossible for us not to speak about what we have seen and heard.” (Acts 4: 19 - 20).

With the Holy Spirit, we have all we need to fulfill the Great Commission. May the Lord grant us success. Amen.

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Thursday, April 08, 2021

Come and have breakfast.

"Jesus said to them, “Children, have you caught anything to eat?” They answered him, “No.”  So he said to them, “Cast the net over the right side of the boat and you will find something.” So they cast it, and were not able to pull it in because of the number of fish." (John 21: 5 - 6).

Easter Friday 9th April in the Octave of the Solemnity of Easter.

Our Gospel of today (John 21: 1 - 14) is one of my favorite passages in the Gospel. It is one of the post Resurrection appearances of Jesus to His brothers. He seeks them out everywhere to be with them and encourage them. Why do I find this passage comforting?

#1. As an independent contractor salesman, I know what it means to toil the whole week and catch nothing. Isn't it comforting to know that Jesus knows the hideouts of all the fish? The fishermen obeyed the advice of the stranger on the shore and their disappointment was turned into joy and faith.

#2. “Come, have breakfast.” Jesus invited the Apostles and there was an unforgettable party there and then.

Can thunder strike twice in the same place? Jesus reveals Himself to His disciples through familiar words and actions. John was the first to make the connection of this miraculous catch of fish to the earlier incident.

How do you recognize the presence of God in situations in your daily life? God is constantly invading our spaces trying to catch our attention. Learn how to receive these impressions.

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Wednesday, April 07, 2021

Shalom and Witnesses.

"You are witnesses of these things." (Luke 24: 48).

Easter Thursday 8th April in the Octave of Easter.

Jesus said two weighty and important things to His disciples gathered in the Upper Room the very Sunday of the Resurrection:

#1. “Peace be with you.” (Luke 24: 36).
#2. "You are witnesses of these things." (Luke 24: 48).

Peace is the dominant post Resurrection greeting of Jesus. Peace here means Shalom, the sum total of all graces and mercies flowing from the heart of God to men of good will who are now fully redeemed by the death and Resurrection of Jesus. No more recriminations or remembrance of denials and cowardly flight from the scene of the crime. All sins are washed away. Enjoy My Shalom!

At the end of His brief speech, the Risen Lord said: "You are witnesses of these things." "You" means we Christians singing the Easter Alleluia are His witnesses. We are to bear testimonies with our life and work to Jesus, to His Good News. As we bear testimony to the power of the name of Jesus with faith, miracles will happen as we hear in the first Reading Acts 3: 11 - 26.

"O chosen people, proclaim the mighty works of him,
who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light, alleluia." (1 Peter 2: 9).

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Tuesday, April 06, 2021

Why did Jesus have to suffer before His Glorification?

"And Jesus said to them, “Oh, how foolish you are! How slow of heart to believe all that the prophets spoke!  Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” (Luke 24: 25 - 26).

Easter Wednesday 7th April 2021, in the Octave of Easter.

Our Lord and Teacher, Jesus Christ called the two disciples He met on road to Emmaus foolish and slow of heart. Why? Cleopas and his companion were foolish because they did not believe faithful and credible witnesses in Jerusalem that Jesus has risen from the dead. Although they were ignorant men as far as knowledge of Scripture, they trusted more in their judgment than their leaders. Are you one of those who believe you know more than your pastors and Bishops?

Jesus also called the two men "slow of heart" which means sluggish in mind and dull of perception. It is possible that their minds envisioned a worldly Messiah that will make them rich but were closed to any other possibilities.

The truth of the matter is that there is a divine necessity that Jesus must suffer before He enters into His glory. What is a divine necessity for Jesus is a divine necessity for Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, David, John the Baptist, You and me.
No cross, no crown. No trial, no triumph! It is a very hard lesson for many of us to learn. The sooner one embraces this great and inevitable truth of our faith, the more he enjoys the promises of the Kingdom of God here on earth.

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Monday, April 05, 2021

How Mary Magdalene became the "Apostle to the Apostles".

"Mary of Magdala went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” and what he told her." (John 20: 18).

Tuesday 6th April, Easter Tuesday in the Octave of the Solemnity of Easter.

Jesus said to her [Mary Magdalene], “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” The Lord said to Mary again:
“Stop holding on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God."

Who is this woman, Mary Magdalene?

#1. Certainly not the wife of Jesus as alleged by the silly Da Vinci Code.
#2. Probably the woman of Mark 16: 9 who had 7 demons expelled from her. Once released from demonic oppression, Mary clung tightly to Jesus.
#3. Jesus and His disciples received no salary, stipends or gifts for their ministry. How did they survive? Mary of Magdala headed a group of women who supplied the needs of Jesus and the disciples from their resources.
#4. Mary Magdalene stood with the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Apostle John under the Cross and witnessed the agony of the Crucified from the very beginning to the end.
#5. Jesus rewarded Mary to be the first eyewitness to see Jesus after His Resurrection. He commissioned Mary to take the great news to His brothers. Any wonder Mary is called the "apostle to the apostles."

What are the lessons from the profile of Mary Magdalene?
Mary has a heart that returns love for love. She never forgets a favor done to her. Mary Magdalene is one of my patron saints. I pray through her intercession for the grace to know the Heart of Jesus intimately, to love Him passionately and to follow Him everywhere.

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Sunday, April 04, 2021

My brothers and sisters will be My witnesses.

"Then Jesus said to them [Mary Magdalene and the other Mary], “Do not be afraid. Go tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.” (Matthew 28: 10).

Monday 5th April 2021, Easter Monday in the Octave of Easter.

What does it mean for Jesus to call us brother /sister? Do you realize that Jesus entrusted the very life of Christianity to the testimony of men and women He called brothers and sisters? They are His brothers and sisters because He knows them very well. They are His witnesses because He considered them faithful, true and credible.

The brothers and sisters of Jesus are to testify to the world the knowledge and work of Jesus. As they witness to these truths, miracles happen because "The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." (Revelation 19: 10).

2000 years after the Resurrection, brothers and sisters continue to be added to the community of the saints. On Holy Saturday Easter Vigil Service, hundreds of thousands were baptized all over the world and millions renewed their Baptismal Vows. Don't forget these events. Keep them in mind through commitment to daily prayer and word of God and Eucharist and the Sacrament of Reconciliation as often as you can.

"The Lord has risen from the dead, as he said; let us all exult and rejoice, for he reigns for all eternity, alleluia." (Entrance Antiphon).

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