With the precious blood of Christ as of a spotless unblemished lamb

April 30, 2017 6:00 am

“If you invoke as Father him who judges impartially according to each one’s works, conduct yourselves with reverence during the time of your sojourning, realizing that you were ransomed from your futile conduct, handed on by your ancestors, not with perishable things like silver or gold but with the precious blood of Christ as of a spotless unblemished lamb.” (1 P 1: 17-19) 

Our Lord didn’t come to condemn us, His children, but He came to redeem us and to restore our dignity. We were ransomed “not with perishable things like silver or gold but with the precious blood of Christ as of a spotless unblemished lamb.” We celebrate this moment with every Eucharist, and we can receive this gift with deeper devotion and love again and again because He loves us forever.

“Lord Jesus, open the Scriptures to us; make our hearts burn while you speak to us.” (Gospel Acclamation) 

devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word

April 29, 2017 6:00 am

“It is not right for us to neglect the word of God to serve at table. Brothers, select from among you seven reputable men, filled with the Spirit and wisdom, whom we shall appoint to this task, whereas we shall devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” (ACTS 6: 2-4) 

As community members we have different roles, different responsibilities and different talents. We serve the same community, and we use all our talents to make it better and stronger. We can’t do everything. We need to share. And we need to follow God’s will: “it is not right for us to neglect the word of God to serve at table.” We have different tasks for priests and consecrated people and different tasks for lay people, but with the same love and dedication to serve. 

“Christ is risen, who made all things; he has shown mercy on all people.” (Gospel Acclamation) 

There is a boy here

April 28, 2017 6:00 am

“Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, said to him, “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what good are these for so many?”” (JN 6: 8-9) 

There is a small difference between the answers given to Our Lord by Philip and Andrew: both of them saw the problem—”Two hundred days’ wages worth of food would not be enough for each of them to have a little,” and “what good are these for so many?”, but Andrew started with what is possible—”There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish.” When we give, even almost nothing from our perspective, to Our Lord, He can feed thousands. Our small actions, based on our trust in Him, can bring amazing fruits to the Church. 

“One does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.” (Gospel Acclamation) 

to grant Israel repentance and forgiveness of sins

April 27, 2017 6:00 am

“God exalted him at his right hand as leader and savior to grant Israel repentance and forgiveness of sins. We are witnesses of these things, as is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him.” (ACTS 5: 31-32)

God loves us totally and unconditionally, even though we are sinners, and wants us to be with Him for eternity in Heaven, but without “repentance” we can’t receive “forgiveness of sins.” Preaching repentance is the fundamental mission for the apostles and for all who follow them. “To those who obey him,” the Holy Spirit will help them. He is the One who invisibly supports us and helps “those who have not seen, but still believe.” 

“You believe in me, Thomas, because you have seen me, says the Lord; blessed are those who have not seen, but still believe?” (Gospel Acclamaiton) 

Tell the people everything about this life

April 26, 2017 6:00 am

“Go and take your place in the temple area, and tell the people everything about this life.” (ACTS 5: 20)

The way we live, the pace of life, the lack of reflection and no clear priorities based on our vocation and identity cause a lot of problems in our lives. Our Lord sends the Apostles to “take [their] place in the temple area, and tell the people everything about this life.”  We are invited not to temporary life only but to “eternal life,” and His mission was “that everyone who believes in Him might have eternal life.” We, with our vocations, also should “go and take our place” in this mission: “tell the people everything about this life.” 

“God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, so that everyone who believes in him might have eternal life.” (Gospel Acclamation) 

He cares for you

April 25, 2017 6:00 am

“So humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time. Cast all your worries upon him because he cares for you.” (1 PT 5: 6-7)

Every day Our Lord comes with the same messages addressed to us: you are important, I will “exalt you in due time,” and “cast all your worries upon Me.” Because “He cares for us,” He said: “all your worries”–not the most difficult, extremely important, or spiritual only, etc. When worries are given to Him, He can take care of them. 

“We proclaim Christ crucified: he is the power of God and the wisdom of God.” (Gospel Acclamation) 

enable your servants to speak your word with all boldness

April 24, 2017 6:00 am

“And now, Lord, take note of their threats, and enable your servants to speak your word with all boldness, as you stretch forth your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are done through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” (ACTS 4: 29-30)

We depend totally on Our Lord. He is the One Who chooses us, supports us, and enables us “to speak [His] words with all boldness.” He also gives us “hand[s] to heal, and signs and wonders,” because everything comes “through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” Whatever we are able to do is possible because of His presence in our lives and His love for us. 

“If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.)

As the Father has sent me, so I send you

April 23, 2017 6:00 am

“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.” (JN 20: 21-23) 

We are sent because it is God’s will, not ours. It is not about being worthy, about our dignity, or about the merits we have collected in our lives. It is not about our strong faith—look at the example of unbelieving St. Thomas.  It is Our Lord’s decision: “As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” With the assistance of the Holy Spirit, we are sent to proclaim the forgiveness of sins and peace. 

“You believe in me, Thomas, because you have seen me, says the Lord; blessed are they who have not seen me, but still believe!” (Gospel Acclamation) 

He rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart

April 22, 2017 6:00 am

“But later, as the Eleven were at table, he appeared to them and rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart because they had not believed those who saw him after he had been raised. He said to them, “Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.”” (MK 16: 14-15) 

Our Lord, on one hand, “rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart because they had not believed those who saw him after he had been raised,” but on the other hand, He “said to them, ‘Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.’” Our Lord didn’t depend on their preaching to be super correct. The Apostle’s mission is based on God’s grace not on their perfection. We were chosen for our missions with our limits, sins and imperfections to put trust in God’s grace, not in our perfection.  

“This is the day the LORD has made; let us be glad and rejoice in it.” (Gospel Acclamation) 

One hundred fifty-three large fish

April 21, 2017 6:00 am

“Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you just caught.” So Simon Peter went over and dragged the net ashore full of one hundred fifty-three large fish. Even though there were so many, the net was not torn.” (JN 21: 10-11)

Many numbers used in the Bible are symbolic. St. Jerome claims that Greek zoologists had identified 153 different kinds of fish.  Simon Peter caught all of them, which shows the universality of the Church—sent to every corner of the world, to every nation, every tribe and family; no one is excluded. God’s grace is universal and is able to help all of us. We may be different; sometimes it is hard for us to understand each other; too often we are focused on our differences, not on our similarities, but because we are in the Church: “even though there were so many, the net was not torn.” In the Church we are secure, understood, unconditionally loved and always “caught” by Our Lord’s love. 

“This is the day the LORD has made; let us be glad and rejoice in it.” (Gospel Acclamation) 

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 73 other subscribers