Sunday, April 18, 2021

Third Sunday of Easter

Year of Saint Joseph

Year of the Family "Amoris Laetitia The Joy of Love"

In other years: Saint Laserian or Molaise (-639); Blessed Marie-Anne Blondin (1809-1890); Blessed Mary of the Incarnation (1566-1618)

Readings of the Day

RB: Ch 63:1-9 Community Rank

Mass: Acts 3:13-15, 17-19; Resp Ps 4; 1 Jn 2:1-5a; Lk 24:35-48

Lord, let your face shine on us.

JESUS, GOD OF PEACE,
HAVE MERCY ON US.

As yesterday, the disciples find themselves startled and terrified in the presence of the Risen Lord. No, Jesus is not a ghost (Lk 24:37). He is the living and true God in our midst. With your worries, anxieties, troubles, and joy, Jesus says to you, Peace be with you (Lk 4:36). On this Third Sunday of Eastertide, take time to sit quietly with Jesus. Talk to Him. Listen to Him. Here is something Jesus said to Sister Mary of the Holy Trinity (1901-1942): "Think only of me, of pleasing me: I will transform you. Let go of all that does not lead you directly to me, so as to be altogether mine. Thoughts, memories, plans, desires, anxieties-whatever they may be. Confide all to me. It is my joy to respond as God to humble confidence." And it never hurts to remind ourselves of Pope Francis's invitation: "I invite all Christians, everywhere, at this very moment, to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ, or at least an openness to letting Him encounter them; I ask all of you to do this unfailingly each day. No one should think that this invitation is not meant for him or her, since 'no one is excluded from the joy brought by the Lord'" (The Joy of the Gospel, 3). Alleluia!

Being Christian is not first of all a doctrine or moral idea; it is a living relationship with Him, with the Risen Lord: we look at Him, we touch Him, we are nourished by Him and, transformed by His love, we look at, nourish and touch others as brothers and sisters. 
(Pope Francis, Regina Coeli Address, April 18, 2021)

SAINT LASERIAN,
BLESSED MARIE-ANNE BLONDIN,
BLESSED MARY OF THE INCARNATION,
SAINT JOSEPH,
PRAY FOR US.

Today's photo: Catherine in Corvallis with phlox and two tulips. 💗

© Gertrude Feick 2021

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Saturday of the Second Week of Easter

Year of Saint Joseph

Year of the Family "Amoris Laetitia The Joy of Love" 

Other saints: Saint Donan, Martyr, Patron Saint of Eigg (7th century); Bl Baptist Spagnoli of Mantua (1447-1516); Bl Clara Gambacorta OP, Dominican nun and widow (1362-1419); Bl Maria Mancini OP, Dominican nun and widow (-1431)

Readings of the Day

RB: Ch 62 The Priests of the Monastery

Mass: Acts 6:1-17; Resp Ps 33; Jn 6:16-21

Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.

MARY, LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS,
PRAY FOR US.

It is true that in today's Gospel passage, the disciples were not so much afraid of the turbulent sea and strong wind as they were when they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near their boat (Jn 6:18-19). Oh no, let us not be afraid of Jesus as He says: It is I. Do not be afraid (Jn 6:20). Like the disciples. we may want to take Jesus into our boat (Jn 6:21). Then we realize that He is already there. I keep the Lord always before me; because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad and my soul rejoices; my body also dwells secure (Ps 16:8-10). 

About one of the saints of the day, Saint Donan, the patron saint of Eigg, you might investigate the Isle of Eigg. I found a segment on 60 Minutes Overtime from September 26, 2017. What a fascinating place. 

SAINT DONAN,
BLESSED BAPTIST SPANOLI OF MANTUA,
BLESSED CLARA GAMBACORTA,
BLESSED MARIA MANCINI,
SAINT JOSEPH,
PRAY FOR US.

Today's photo: Another discovery in Eureka. 

© Gertrude Feick 2021

Friday, April 16, 2021

Friday of the Second Week of Easter

Year of Saint Joseph

Year of the Family "Amoris Laetitia The Joy of Love"

Other saints: Saint Bernadette Soubirous (1844-1879)

Readings of the Day

RB: Ch 61:6-14

Mass: Acts 5:34-42; Resp Ps 27; Jn 6:1-15

I believe that I shall see the bounty of the Lord in the land of the living.

JESUS, MOST POWERFUL,
HAVE MERCY ON US.

Today's first reading brings a smile to my face. After the Sanhedrin had the Apostles flogged, ordered them to stop speaking in the name of Jesus, then released them (Acts 5:40), I imagine the Apostles to have left quietly and said among themselves, "Yeah, right." Then the Apostles went about "rejoicing that they had been found worthy to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name" (Acts 5:41). And with boldness and courage, "all day long, both at the temple and in their homes, they did not stop teaching and proclaiming the Christ, Jesus" (Acts 5:42). May we go forth with the same joy, boldness, and courage and proclaim the Christ, Jesus, wherever we find ourselves, at work, home, or play. At the Name of Jesus, every knee should bow, every tongue confess Him, King of Glory now, Jesus is Lord, King of Glory now! (cf. Ph 2:10-11). 

JESUS, OUR WAY AND OUR LIFE,
HAVE MERCY ON US.

SAINT BERNADETTE SOUBIROUS,
SAINT JOSEPH,
PRAY FOR US.

Today's photo: Kathleen in Olympia, WA, with a flower of the day, the Crown Imperial. God is praised! Thank you dear KH.

© Gertrude Feick 2021

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Thursday of the Second Week of Easter

Year of Saint Joseph

Year of the Family "Amoris Laetitia The Joy of Love"

Readings of the Day

RB: Ch 61:1-5 The Reception of Visiting Monks

Mass: Acts 5:27-33; Resp Ps 34; Jn 3:31-36

I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall be ever in my mouth.

BEHOLD, I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS, EVEN TO THE END OF THE AGE.
ALLELUIA.
(Communion Antiphon, Mass)

There was something Pope Francis said yesterday at the General Audience, where he continued his catechesis on Christian prayer, that I like very much: "Praying and working in community keeps the world going. It is a motor." Keep the motor going today and pray with your favorite psalm, or Responsorial Psalm 34 will do. Surely the Apostles, who had more than a few people infuriated with them and who wanted to put them to death (Acts 5:33), prayed with it. Remember too what Saint Benedict wrote in his chapter on the daily manual labor: "Idleness is the enemy of the soul. Therefore, the brothers should have specified periods for manual labor as well as for prayerful reading" (RB 48:1). Rev the motor today! 😊

THE LORD HEARS THE CRY OF THE POOR.
I will bless the Lord at all times;
His praise shall be ever in my mouth.
Taste and see how good the Lord is;
blessed the man who takes refuge in Him.

The Lord confronts the evildoers;
to destroy remembrance of them from the earth.
When the just cry out, the Lord hears them, 
and from all their distress He rescues them.

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted;
and those who are crushed in spirit He saves.
Many are the troubles of the just man,
but out of them all the Lord delivers them.
(Responsorial Psalm 34)

SAINT JOSEPH,
PRAY FOR US.

Today's photo: On another exploration of  Eureka's medical office parking lots, I discovered this beauty. 

© Gertrude Feick 2021

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Wednesday of the Second Week of Easter

Year of Saint Joseph

Year of the Family "Amoris Laetitia The Joy of Love"

Other saints: Blessed Lucien Botovasoa (1908-1947); Bl. Peter Gonzalez OP (-1246)

Readings of the Day

RB: Ch 60 The Admission of Priests to the Monastery

Mass: Acts 5:17-26; Resp Ps 34; Jn 3:16-21

Look to Him that you may be radiant with joy, and your faces may not blush with shame.

HEART OF JESUS, FOUNTAIN OF LIFE AND HOLINESS,
HAVE MERCY ON US.

I marvel at today's reading from the Acts of the Apostles. It is the account of the Apostles' imprisonment and subsequent release from jail by an angel of the Lord. It is no wonder that those who were jealous of them "were at a loss about them, as to what this would come to" (Acts 5:24). Indeed, anything is possible with God.

You will save us!
From the prison of the narrow mind and the shuttered heart,
-deliver us, O Lord.
(Magnificat, Intercessions, Prayer for the Morning, April 14, 2021)

BLESSED LUCIEN BOTOVASOA,
BLESSED PETER GONZALEZ,
SAINT JOSEPH,
PRAY FOR US.

Today's photo: Another look at a fawn lily.

© Gertrude Feick 2021

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Tuesday of the Second Week of Easter

Year of Saint Joseph

Year of the Family "Amoris Laetitia The Joy of Love"

Other saints: Pope Saint Martin I, Martyr (598-655); Bl. Margaret of Castello or Metola (c. 1287-1320)

Readings of the Day

RB: Ch 59 The Offering of Sons by Nobles or the Poor

Mass: Acts 4:32-37; Resp Ps 93; Jn3:7b-15

The Lord is king; He is robed in majesty.

HEART OF JESUS, KING AND CENTER OF ALL HEARTS,
HAVE MERCY ON US.
 
Some verses from today's first reading at Mass, taken from the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 4:32-37), are included in the Holy Rule of Saint Benedict. It is no wonder, as the community of believers described in the Acts of the Apostles is life in Christian community, that is, a community of believers "of one heart and mind" (Acts 4:32). Although life as set forth in the passage from the Acts of the Apostles is a foundation of life in Christian community, our holy father Benedict refers to two verses, verse 32 once, and verse 35 twice, in his chapters on private ownership (RB 33), distribution of goods according to need (RB 34), and clothing and footwear (RB 55). 

For your reflection, I include for you here how St. Benedict uses the verses. First, regarding monks and private ownership, we read: "For [the monks'] needs, they are to look to the father of the monastery, and are are not allowed anything which the abbot has not given or permitted. All things should be the common possession of all, as it is written, so that no one presumes to call anything his own (Acts 4:32/RB 33:5-6). Second, regarding distribution of goods according to need, we read: "It is written: Distribution was made to each one as he had need (Acts 4:35). By this we do not imply that there should be favoritism-God forbid-but rather consideration for weaknesses. Whoever needs less should thank God and not be distressed, but whoever needs more should feel humble because of his weakness, not self-important because of the kindness shown to him. In this way all the members will be at peace. First and foremost, there must be no word or sign of the evil of grumbling, no manifestation of it for any reason at all" (RB 34:1-6). And third, regarding clothing and footwear: "The abbot, however must always bear in mind what is said in the Acts of the Apostle: Distribution was made to each one as he had need (Acts 4:35). In this way the abbot will take into account the weaknesses of the needy, not the evil will of the envious" (RB 55:20-21).

Dear Jesus, may we be so blessed to live in a community of believers, and give us the strength and courage to live fully such a life. And if we do not find ourselves in a community of believers, may each one of us be true to the faith and give full witness according to your Divine Will. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

POPE SAINT MARTIN I,
BLESSED MARGARET OF COSTELLO,
SAINT JOSEPH,
PRAY FOR US.

Today's photo: This red-headed woodpecker is busy.

© Gertrude Feick 2021

Monday, April 12, 2021

Monday of the Second Week of Easter

Year of Saint Joseph

Year of the Family "Amoris Laetitia The Joy of Love"

Other saints: Saint Zeno of Verona, Bishop (c. 371); Pope Saint Julius I (352)

Readings of the Day

RB: Ch 58:17-29

Mass: Acts 4:23-31; Resp Ps 2; Jn 3:1-8

Blessed are all who take refuge in the Lord.

JESUS STOOD IN THE MIDST OF THE DISCIPLES AND SAID TO THEM:
PEACE BE WITH YOU, ALLELUIA.
(Communion Antiphon, Mass)

The first thing I marked in my missal was this prayer: 

Strengthen us in faith, O Lord!
That we may praise your love among those who do not know you-
and be Christ's ambassadors to those who seek with sincere hearts.
(Magnificat, Prayer for the Evening, Intercessions, April 11, 2021)

It seems fitting and right then that we join Peter and John and raise our voices to God with one accord and pray: 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 4:24, 29-30)

As they prayed, the place where they were gathered shook, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.
(Acts 4:31)

Jesus is the Risen One, the Lord who passed through death in order to lead us to safety. Even before we begin to seek Him, He is present beside us. He lifts us back up after our falls. He helps us grow in faith.
(Pope Francis, Twitter, April 12, 2021)

SAINT ZENO OF VERONA,
POPE SAINT JULIUS I,
SAINT JOSEPH,
PRAY FOR US.

Today's photo: Catherine found "fawn lilies in abundance" on a Sunday walk in the woods.

© Gertrude Feick 2021