Multiplication of the Loaves John 6:1-15 The theme of the sixth chapter of John’s Gospel is centered on Jesus as the bread of life. It begins with the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves, the only miracle recounted in all four of the Gospels. As we see in the Eucharist, those gathered along the Sea of Galilee recognized one sent by God through the sign of the breaking of the bread. Prayer: I do not ever have to feel hungry if I only trust myself to your word and your presence. I am called to remember and to serve those who are hungry, physically and spiritually.
Posted: April 28, 2017, 4:00 am
The One from Heaven John 3:31-36 The final passages of in John Chapter Three reflect on the two previous scenes: Jesus’ encounter with Nicodemus and John the Baptist’s final witness. To believe in Jesus, as the one sent from the Father above, is to believe in the Father. It is only through that belief that one gains eternal life. Prayer: To really believe is not always easy. Help me with my unbelief, Lord. It is sometimes even more difficult to profess belief. Please give me the courage I need to proclaim your glory.
Posted: April 27, 2017, 4:00 am
Nicodemus John 3:16-21 Jesus instructs Nicodemus with the heart of his message about the Father. God is love, and that love is the dynamic that will bring about salvation. The absolute truth is that God loves creation so much that he sent his son, Jesus, to save humankind from itself. Prayer: I pray to be a visible sign of God’s love, especially for those whose hearts are hardened.
Posted: April 26, 2017, 4:00 am
The Commissioning of the Eleven Mark 16:15-20 On this feast of Saint Mark, we hear the Great Commission in the longer ending of Mark’s Gospel. Jesus’ mission is now the disciples’ mission. They are to go out and proclaim the Good News to everyone. Though Jesus returned to the Father, his Spirit remained with them and worked through them. Prayer: Lord, thank you for choosing me to serve you and for sending me out to serve my sisters and brothers.
Posted: April 25, 2017, 4:00 am
Nicodemus John 3:1-8 Nicodemus is drawn to Jesus but has not yet come fully to faith. The signs seem to point to Jesus’ divine origin, but what Jesus says about being “born again” confuses him. Nicodemus hears what Jesus is saying in a literal sense. To be born again means to live less in flesh and more in spirit, to turn from vice to virtue, to live in the spirit of charity, joy, peace, and mercy. Prayer: Holy Spirit, I need you to help me to avoid temptation, to turn away from sin. Show me the way and sustain me in living a virtuous life.
Posted: April 24, 2017, 4:00 am
Appearance to the Disciples/Thomas John 20:19-31 The appearance of Jesus to the disciples in John parallels the other Gospels with two significant differences: (1) In verses twenty-one and twenty-two, Jesus breathes the Spirit on the community and sends them out in the same way he is sent out by the Father. His mission is now their mission with all that it entails. (2) Thomas is stubborn in his need for substantial proof to overcome his doubt in the resurrection. When Jesus provides him that proof, Thomas professes his faith with his whole heart. Prayer: It is not always easy to believe what cannot be seen. It is harder still to profess belief in the unseen. Though I cannot see you with my eyes, I see you with my heart and soul, and that gives me the courage to say, like Thomas, “My Lord and My God!”
Posted: April 23, 2017, 4:00 am
The Commissioning of the Eleven Mark 16:9-15 The risen Lord rebukes the disciples for their reactions of unbelief at the testimonies of witnesses who had seen him. Nonetheless, Jesus sends them out to bring the Gospel to the whole world, propelling the early church to live out the story of salvation. Prayer: Lord, I see the disciples’ very human response to profound mystery, doubt, and silence. Perhaps I see my initial response too. Yet, I believe you. Your Spirit brings me up and out of myself to courageously speak the truth to my corner of the earth.
Posted: April 22, 2017, 4:00 am
The Appearance to the Seven Disciples John 21:1-14 Seven disciples are present for Jesus’ third appearance. They fish without him, and it is futile. Once Jesus appears on the shore, they cast their nets again to bring in a plentiful catch. Again, John, the beloved disciple, is the first to recognize Jesus, who serves them a meal. Jesus’ actions teach them to trust and to serve. Prayer: Jesus, this day and all days I will be mindful of your presence before, beside, and within me.
Posted: April 21, 2017, 4:00 am
The Appearance to the Disciples in Jerusalem Luke 24:35-48 Cleopas and his companion are telling the disciples what they had seen and heard on their journey to Emmaus. Suddenly Jesus is in their midst and, rather than chastising them for their doubts, offers them peace. He recounts God’s salvific plan through Scripture just as he had done with the disciples on the road to Emmaus. Now it is time for the disciples to go out and spread the news to all the nations. Prayer: How wonderful it must have been to see you. Despair turned to hope. Hope is the driving force behind going out and spreading the Good News; it was then, and it is now.
Posted: April 20, 2017, 4:00 am
The Appearance on the Road to Emmaus Luke 24:13-35 This Gospel is the story of an encounter with the risen Lord. Two disciples, traveling home from Jerusalem, are distressed by Jesus’ death. A “stranger” whom they do not recognize joins them. They are struck by what he says and invite him to eat with them. It is in the “breaking of the bread” that their eyes are opened to him. Prayer: How blessed we are to have the freedom to encounter you in the Word and the Eucharist. I pray for those around the world who are kept from you because of ignorance or oppression.
Posted: April 19, 2017, 4:00 am
The Appearance to Mary of Magdala John 20:11-18 Jesus appears to Mary of Magdala. She does not recognize him until he says her name. Like the sheep, she knows the voice of her Master. In telling her not to hold on to him, Jesus is saying to let go of his humanity and look to the divine. Prayer: When I am truly attuned to you, I hear your voice — not with my ears, but in my heart. There is no mistaking your voice. It fills me with joy!
Posted: April 18, 2017, 4:00 am
The Resurrection of Jesus, cont’d Matthew 28:8-15 The women in Matthew’s resurrection narrative respond to the empty tomb and the angel’s explanation with mixed emotions. They encounter Jesus on the way to tell the disciples, and their joy far surpasses their fear. Aware of the resurrection stories, Jesus’ adversaries post guards at the tomb. Despite what they might have seen or heard, the chief priests bribe the guards to say the disciples stole Jesus’ body. Prayer: You are my hope, O Lord. I hope to feel your presence throughout the day. I hope to encounter you in everyone I meet. I hope to be with you in heaven one day.
Posted: April 17, 2017, 4:00 am
The Empty Tomb John 20:1-9 Mary Magdalene arrives at the tomb only to find it empty. She goes to tell Peter and John, who follow her back to the tomb. Though John arrives first, Peter enters the tomb before him. Both Mary and Peter seem to think someone has taken Jesus’ body. It is John, the beloved disciple, who sees and believes. All these centuries later, there is such a feeling of peace on this Easter day. I am thankful for having a glimpse of your glory and look forward to that and more with you in eternity.
Posted: April 16, 2017, 4:00 am
The Resurrection of Jesus Matthew 28:1-10 Seven readings lead the assembly through salvation history on this night of nights when heaven and earth intersect. In the Gospel, the women who witnessed Jesus’ death arrive at the empty tomb. They encounter an angel who explains and sends them to tell the others. On the way, they meet their risen Lord. Prayer: Alleluia. Alleluia. We follow you, risen Lord, inspired by both fear and joy, from the darkness to the light. Alleluia. Alleluia.
Posted: April 15, 2017, 4:00 am
The Passion John 18:1-19:42 John’s Gospel details the Passion and death of Jesus Christ. It begins with Judas’ betrayal and concludes with Jesus’ death and burial. The veneration of the cross rightly follows this annual Good Friday proclamation. Prayer: The words of a beautiful hymn often sung during the veneration play in my head, “Were you there…?” I am there with you through faith, and I weep.
Posted: April 14, 2017, 4:00 am
Washing of the Disciples’ Feet John 13:1-15 The Sacred Paschal Triduum begins tonight. As we commemorate the institution of the Eucharist, John’s Gospel points to the very heart of discipleship. Jesus, the master and teacher, washes the disciples’ feet in humble service and instructs them to do the same for one another. Prayer: Lord, I am thankful for receiving what you have handed on to me through your disciples. I pray this day to be ever mindful of living in humble service.
Posted: April 13, 2017, 4:00 am
The Betrayer Matthew 26:14-25 Greed gets the best of Judas. The plan is in place as Judas watches and waits for the right moment. Perhaps he thinks he feigns innocence well, but Jesus, very much in charge of the situation, knows exactly who his betrayer is. Prayer: Often betrayal seems easy, yet, in the end, it leads to despair. I pray for all tempted to choose that path, including me. May your healing love and mercy transform hearts to act with faithfulness.
Posted: April 12, 2017, 4:00 am
Prediction of Betrayal John 13:21-33, 36-38 When Judas leaves the Passover meal the events of the Passion are set into motion. The predictions of betrayal and Peter’s denial bracket Jesus telling his disciples that he will soon be with his Father in glory. Prayer: Holy Spirit, I do feel your strength within, though I sometimes let fear get the better of me. Help me to trust no matter what is ahead.
Posted: April 11, 2017, 4:00 am
The Anointing at Bethany John 12:1-11 At this meal, a reunion of sorts, Martha and Mary are true to themselves, each serving in her own way. Judas is also true to himself in his protest to Mary’s extravagance. Jesus defends Mary’s gesture as a sign of what is to come. Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for being the light that leads me on the path toward union with you for all eternity.
Posted: April 10, 2017, 4:00 am
The Passion Gospel –Matthew 26:14-27:66 We enter into Jesus’ Passion in Matthew’s Gospel, from his triumphant procession into Jerusalem through the familiar stories of meal sharing and sacrament, betrayal and denial, mockery and abandonment, to Jesus’ death and burial. Holy Week has begun. Prayer: Son of God and Son of Man, the centurion recognized your divinity; we recognize your humanity revealed through your suffering. We kneel before you, thankful for your obedience.
Posted: April 9, 2017, 4:00 am
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