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Catholic Daily Reflections
5 minutes | May 22, 2022
Monday of the Sixth Week of Easter - Jesus Prepares Us
“They will expel you from the synagogues; in fact, the hour is coming when everyone who kills you will think he is offering worship to God. They will do this because they have not known either the Father or me. I have told you this so that when their hour comes you may remember that I told you.” John 16:2–4 Most likely, as the disciples listened to Jesus tell them they would be expelled from the synagogues and even killed, it went in one ear and out the other. Sure, it may have disturbed them a bit, but they most likely moved on rather quickly not worrying too much about it. But this is why Jesus said, “I have told you this so that when their hour comes you may remember that I told you.” And you can be certain that when the disciples were persecuted by the scribes and Pharisees, they did remember these words of Jesus. It must have been a heavy cross for them to receive such persecution from their religious leaders. Here, the people who were supposed to point them to God, were wreaking havoc in their lives. They would have been tempted to despair and lose their faith. But Jesus anticipated this heavy trial and, for that reason, warned them that it would come. But what’s interesting is what Jesus did not say. He did not tell them they should fight back, start a riot, form a revolution, etc. Rather, if you read the context to this statement, we see Jesus telling them that the Holy Spirit will take care of all things, will lead them and will enable them to testify to Jesus. To testify to Jesus is to be His witness. And to be a witness to Jesus is to be a martyr. Thus, Jesus prepared His disciples for their heavy cross of persecution by the religious leaders by letting them know that they would be strengthened by the Holy Spirit to give witness and testimony to Him. And once this began to take place, the disciples began to recall all that Jesus had told them. You, too, must realize that being a Christian means persecution. We see this persecution in our world today through various terrorist attacks upon Christians. Some see it also, at times, within the “Domestic Church,” the family, when they experience ridicule and harsh treatment for trying to live out their faith. And, sadly, it’s even found within the Church itself when we see fighting, anger, disagreement and judgment. The key is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit plays a significant role right now in our world. That role is to strengthen us in our witness to Christ and to ignore any way the evil one would attack. So if you feel the pressure of persecution in any way, realize that Jesus spoke these words not only for His first disciples, but also for you. Reflect, today, upon any way that you experience persecution in your life. Allow it to become an opportunity for hope and trust in the Lord through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. He will never leave your side if you trust in Him. Lord, when I feel the weight of the world or persecution, give me peace of mind and heart. Help strengthen me by the Holy Spirit that I may give joyful witness to You. Jesus, I trust in You. Source of content: catholic-daily-reflections.com Copyright © 2022 My Catholic Life! Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission via RSS feed.
4 minutes | May 21, 2022
Sixth Sunday of Easter (Year C) - The Love of God
Jesus said to his disciples: “Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.” John 14:23 Do you want our Lord to come to you and dwell within the depths of your soul? Presumably the answer is an easy “Yes.” The way to make this happen is to love God and keep His word. When you do that, the Blessed Trinity will come and dwell within you. It’s interesting that the love of God appears to be contingent upon our love of Him. In other words, does God only love us when we love Him first? Strictly speaking, God loves us with a perfect love regardless of whether we love Him or not. But with that said, love takes on a whole new form when it is received and reciprocated. Therefore, when we choose to love God we suddenly realize that our love of Him opens the door for Him to come and dwell within us, transforming us and making our heart His holy sanctuary. What a glorious gift! It’s also interesting to note that love of God means, in part, that we are obedient to Him. But that’s the nature of God. He is Love itself and, therefore, loving Him necessarily involves a complete submission of your will to His. Perfect obedience to Him in all things is a powerful way of loving Him. It’s a way of allowing Him to dwell within you and, in that act, to take over your will. Only then can you love Him even more fully with your whole being. Reflect, today, especially upon your desire to have the Most Holy Trinity come and dwell within your soul. This should be the primary goal of our lives. If God lives within us then all else in life will fall into place. All things will work for the good and God will be glorified in and through us. Make the choice to love Him through your obedience, this day, and your relationship of love will grow by leaps and bounds. Most Holy Trinity, I do love You and desire to love You in a more perfect way this day. Help me to submit to Your perfect will in all things. Help me to embrace perfect obedience to You always. In that act of love and submission, come and make Your dwelling within me. Jesus, I trust in You. Source of content: catholic-daily-reflections.com Copyright © 2022 My Catholic Life! Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission via RSS feed.
4 minutes | May 20, 2022
Saturday of the Fifth Week of Easter - Persecution
“Remember the word I spoke to you, ‘No slave is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you.” John 15:20 Do you want to be like Jesus? If so, beware of what that means. It’s easy to think that the closer we grow to Christ the more we will be loved and understood by the world. We can think that everyone will see our holiness and admire it and all will be good and easy in life. But all we have to do is look at the life of Christ to know this is not the case. He was obviously perfect in every way. As a result, He was treated with great malice and persecution. It’s hard to fathom the dark truth that they actually killed Him. In the dark of the night, He was arrested, given a mock trial, found guilty and sentenced to death. His punishment was then carried out immediately. Why did they do this to the Son of God? Why would someone so perfect and merciful in every way be so cruelly treated? If we were there, as His first followers, we would have most likely been shocked, frightened, scandalized and confused. We may have thought that Jesus messed up and lost hope in Him. But His plan was perfect in every way and His plan did centrally involve Him enduring false accusations and malicious persecution. And by freely accepting this abuse, He redeemed the world. So back to the original question, “Do you want to be like Jesus?” This is a tough question when we look at it in the light of what happened to Him. “No slave is greater than his master.” “If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you.” These are tough sayings to accept and agree to. Persecution is something from which we should not run. We should not despair if it happens and we should not hold our head low. Why? Because persecution is a clear sign that we are following in the footsteps of our Master. We are more deeply united to Christ as a result of persecution than we could ever realize. The key is to know that God intends to use all maltreatment for good if we let Him. And we let Him use it for good when we surrender it to Him and receive it freely, not begrudgingly. Our response must be to “rejoice and be glad” that we have been found worthy to follow in the steps of our Divine Lord. Ponder today any form of persecution or injustice you suffer for the sake of your faith and embrace of the Gospel. The Lord wants to use that if you let Him. My persecuted Lord, I do surrender to You all that weighs me down. I give any suffering I receive for being Your follower. May I not only imitate You in Your suffering, but also in Your willing embrace of it. Jesus, I trust in You. Source of content: catholic-daily-reflections.com Copyright © 2022 My Catholic Life! Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission via RSS feed.
4 minutes | May 19, 2022
Friday of the Fifth Week of Easter - You Are Chosen
“It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain.” John 15:16 Children love to play games. When a game is organized between two teams, kids will often line up and wait to be chosen. Each child hopes to be chosen first. It is affirming to be wanted for the team. When a child is chosen last this can be difficult and hurtful. This reveals the desire within each of us to belong and to be wanted. The good news is that God does choose each one of us. He wants us as a member of His family and He wants us to belong to Him. This is essential to understand and, when it is understood, it is very affirming. It is a good spiritual practice to regularly reflect upon the fact that God chose us even before we were born. He knew us from all eternity and set His eyes upon us, longing to bring us into His fold. We need to understand this, accept it and believe it. We do belong. God not only chooses us to belong to Him, He also chooses us for His mission. He wants to use us to go and bear fruit for His Kingdom. He wants to use us for a sacred purpose and a divine calling. Being a member of His “team” means that our lives have purpose and meaning. No matter how “unqualified” we may feel at times to make a difference, we must remember that God does not see us that way. Rather, He sees the infinite potential within each of us and chooses to use that potential for the building up of His Kingdom. Reflect, this day, on two short phrases: “I have chosen you” and “Go and bear fruit.” Accepting your call from God will change your life and will also change the lives of those whom you are called to serve. My welcoming Lord, I know You have chosen me. I accept Your call in my life. I accept the fact that You have appointed me to fulfill Your mission in a unique and glorious way. Help me to continually say “Yes” to Your call. Jesus, I trust in You. Source of content: catholic-daily-reflections.com Copyright © 2022 My Catholic Life! Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission via RSS feed.
4 minutes | May 18, 2022
Thursday of the Fifth Week of Easter - Unlimited and Unconditional Love
“As the Father loves me, so I also love you.” John 15:9 There are three beautiful insights we should take from this passage. First, the love of the Father for the Son is perfect in every way. It is unconditional and all-consuming. It’s total and selfless. In receiving the Father’s love, Jesus receives all He needs. Second, the love Jesus receives from the Father cannot be contained. It cannot be kept to Himself. The love of the Father is such that it overflows from Jesus’ heart. It is this overflowing love that pours forth from Jesus to us. Third, a key thing to ponder in this is that this overflowing love, now given to us, cannot be contained within us either. It must overflow from our hearts to others. Therefore, if we are to be true recipients of the love of the Father and the Son, we must in turn let that love pour forth onto others in an “unlimited” and “unconditional” way. Think about it. “Unlimited.” “Unconditional.” Is this truly possible? Is it possible to be so radical and total in our love of others? Yes, it’s possible only if the love we speak of originates in the heart of the Father, given to the Son, and then poured out upon us to distribute freely. Reflect, today, upon the fact that the love you are called to share with others originates in the Heart of the Father in Heaven. The first and most important step in learning to love with the Father’s Heart is to let God love you. This can be very hard to do. It can be hard to let God love you, to receive that love, and to let it affect you deeply. But if you can continually let God love you with His perfect love, you will start to see that this love automatically flows forth from you as if it were an overflowing river of grace and mercy. Loving Father and Son, I do love You and know that I am loved by You. Help me to be open to Your love. Help me to let that love sink in so that it may also overflow from my heart to others. Jesus, I trust in You. Source of content: catholic-daily-reflections.com Copyright © 2022 My Catholic Life! Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission via RSS feed.
4 minutes | May 17, 2022
Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Easter - Being Pruned
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower. He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit, and everyone that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit.” John 15:1–2 Are you willing to let yourself be pruned? Pruning is necessary if a plant is to produce an abundance of good fruit or beautiful flowers. If, for example, a grapevine is left to grow without pruning, it will produce many small grapes that are good for nothing. But if care is taken to prune the vine, the maximum number of good grapes will be produced. Jesus uses this image of pruning to teach us a similar lesson in bearing good fruit for His Kingdom. He wants our lives to be fruitful and He wants to use us as powerful instruments of His grace in the world. But unless we are willing to go through the purification of spiritual pruning from time to time, we will not be the instruments that God can use. Spiritual pruning takes the form of letting God eliminate the vices in our lives so that the virtues can be properly nourished. This is especially done by letting Him humble us and strip away our pride. This can hurt, but the pain associated with being humbled by God is a key to spiritual growth. By growing in humility, we grow ever more reliant upon the source of our nourishment rather than relying upon ourselves, our own ideas and our own plans. God is infinitely wiser than us and if we can continually turn to Him as our source, we will be far stronger and better prepared to let Him do great things through us. But, again, this requires that we let Him prune us. Being spiritually pruned means we actively let go of our own will and our own ideas. It means we give up control over our lives and let the master grower take over. It means we trust Him far more than we trust ourselves. This requires a true death to ourselves and a true humility by which we acknowledge we are completely reliant upon God in the same way a branch is reliant upon the vine. Without the vine, we shrivel and die. Being firmly attached to the vine is the only way to life. Pray this day that you will let the Lord prune away all that is not of Him in your life. Trust in Him and His divine plan and know that this is the only path to bearing the good fruit God wants to bear through you. Lord, I pray that You prune away all my pride and selfishness. Purify me of my many sins so that I can turn to You in all things. And as I learn to rely upon You, may You begin to bear an abundance of good fruit in my life. Jesus, I trust in You. Source of content: catholic-daily-reflections.com Copyright © 2022 My Catholic Life! Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission via RSS feed.
4 minutes | May 16, 2022
Tuesday of the Fifth Week of Easter - A Troubled Heart
“Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.” John 14:27 What a wonderful reminder that we all need to hear on a regular basis. “Do not let your heart be troubled.” And “Do not let your heart be afraid.” How often do you follow that advice? Interestingly, it’s actually more than advice. It’s a command of love from our Lord. He wants to be clear and wants us to know that a fearful and troubled heart is not of Him. To be troubled and fearful is a great burden and weighs us down. Jesus desperately wants us to be free of these burdens. He wants us to be free so that we can experience the joy of life. So what is it that burdens you in life the most? Is there something in your life that you obsess about, are angry about, can’t let go of or that tends to dominate your life? Or perhaps your burden is more subtle. Perhaps there is nothing that overwhelms you but, instead, is a constant burden in a small way, always there in the background. These burdens can be quite difficult when they last from year to year. The first step to freedom is to see the burden for what it is. Identify it and seek to identify the underlying cause. If the cause of your burden is your own sin, repent of it and seek Confession. This is the best way to experience immediate freedom. If, however, your burden is the result of another’s actions or some situation in life that is out of your control, then you are in a unique position to surrender to our Lord, giving Him complete control of this situation. Freedom is found in total surrender, trust and abandonment to His will. Spend some time today reflecting upon that which burdens you the most in life. What is it that weighs heavily upon you? It is this, more than anything else, that Jesus wants to enter into and lift for you. He wants you free so that you can experience the joy that He has to offer you in life. Lord of true joy, I want to be free. I want to experience the joy You have in store for me. When the burdens of life weigh me down, help me to turn to You in my need. Jesus, I trust in You. Source of content: catholic-daily-reflections.com Copyright © 2022 My Catholic Life! Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission via RSS feed.
4 minutes | May 15, 2022
Monday of the Fifth Week of Easter - Indwelling of the Trinity
“Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.” John 14:23 Children seem to get it. They seem to understand that God dwells in their hearts. Of course if you asked them how they know this they may look at you with a confused look and not know how to respond. But, nonetheless, somehow they do understand that God dwells within them. So what would you say if someone asked you, “How do you know that God comes and makes His dwelling within you?” Perhaps you also may be at a loss for words to describe this incredible mystery of our faith. Do you believe this to be true? That God wants to make your heart and soul His dwelling place? If so, how does this happen? By the gift of faith we, like little children, just know that God wants to dwell within us. We know that He wants to possess our souls, speak to us, strengthen us, lead us and guide us. We know, by the gift of faith, that God is real and desires the deepest and most intimate relationship with us. We just know. The good news is that faith leads to understanding. This means that the more we are attentive to the voice of God speaking within us, leading and guiding us, the more we begin to understand His indwelling presence. As St. Augustine said, “Faith is to believe what you do not see. The reward of faith is to see what you believe.” Faith in God’s indwelling presence leads us to the answer of the question above. The answer is one that God and God alone can give to us. We can share our faith with others, give witness to His presence in our lives, and give those around us the answer to that question through faith. How do I know God dwells within me? The answer: Because I see Him there, I speak to Him there, and He speaks to me. Reflect, today, upon the Lord living within you. Let Him speak to you and, in that ever deepening conversation, allow His Indwelling Presence to grow and to become manifest to others. God wants to not only dwell within you, He also wants to shine through you. Most Blessed Trinity, come live in my heart. Make my heart Your dwelling place. Help me to see You there, to meet You there, to converse with You and to love You in my soul. Jesus, I trust in You. Source of content: catholic-daily-reflections.com Copyright © 2022 My Catholic Life! Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission via RSS feed.
4 minutes | May 14, 2022
Fifth Sunday of Easter (Year C) - Glorification Through Suffering
When Judas had left them, Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him.” John 13:31 It is essential to know the end of the story. Jesus knew the end when He spoke these words to the Apostles at the Last Supper right after Judas left to go and betray Him. It’s important to put this situation within the context that Jesus understood it. From a purely human point of view, one of Jesus’ closest friends was about to betray Him for money. For most of us this would have been devastating and the cause for anger and hurt. But because Jesus knew the end of the story, He was able to see Judas’ betrayal as the means to His glorification, not His defeat. He turned His eyes toward Heaven and all that He would accomplish through His suffering rather than look at the immediate pain He would soon endure. This is a powerful lesson for us all. First, it’s essential that we look at Jesus’ glorification through His betrayal, suffering and death. But we must also strive to see the potential that our own sufferings have when united to the Savior of the World. How do you react when another sins against you? How would you have reacted to Judas betraying your love? This is a very difficult question to face in honesty and it is even harder to live the response that Jesus lived. The truth is that every time we are mistreated by another, we are given an opportunity to glorify God and further the Kingdom of Heaven by forgiving, uniting our suffering with Christ’s, and offering mercy. This is much easier to speak about than to live. Reflect, today, upon this scene of the Gospel. Gaze upon Judas leaving the Last Supper and going out into the night to betray our Lord. But look at it in the way Jesus saw it. Look at it with the understanding that this was the means chosen by the Father to bring salvation to the world. Reflect, also, upon every opportunity that you are given to do as Jesus did. Try to be concrete and specific and see any and every suffering you endure as a glorious opportunity to dispense the mercy of God. Though this may be difficult at first, it is this act of love that will give great glory to the Father in Heaven! My dear Lord, You were betrayed by the kiss of one of Your closest friends. But in Your perfect wisdom, You saw this betrayal as the perfect opportunity to glorify the Father through Your mercy and forgiveness. Lord, I also have betrayed You countless times. For that reason I am sorry. But I thank You for loving me and forgiving me with Your Heart of perfect mercy. Help me to receive that mercy and to offer it to others who have sinned against me. Jesus, I trust in You. Source of content: catholic-daily-reflections.com Copyright © 2022 My Catholic Life! Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission via RSS feed.
5 minutes | May 13, 2022
Feast of Saint Matthias, Apostle, May 14 - The Apostolic Ministry
Peter said... “Therefore, it is necessary that one of the men who accompanied us the whole time the Lord Jesus came and went among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day on which he was taken up from us, become with us a witness to his resurrection.” So they proposed two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also known as Justus, and Matthias. Then they prayed, “You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen to take the place in this apostolic ministry from which Judas turned away to go to his own place.” Then they gave lots to them, and the lot fell upon Matthias, and he was counted with the Eleven Apostles. Acts 1:21–26 And with that we have the first new bishop! The Feast of St. Matthias is a celebration of the continuation of the apostolic ministry. By honoring St. Matthias we honor the fact that Jesus enabled His first Apostles to pass on the sacred power of their ordination to others as their successors. St. Matthias took the place of Judas. And as the Church continued to grow, there were others picked and given the grace of ordination as bishops. Today, every one of our bishops has a direct line of succession to one or more of the Apostles. This unbroken succession is our direct connection to the priestly ministry of Jesus as it is passed on to the Church. What a gift this is! It’s true that not every bishop or priest is a saint. We are all quite aware of that. But it is also true that every bishop and priest shares in the wonderful gift of Christ’s priestly ministry. And this ministry is not for them, it’s for you. Jesus desired that He continue His ministry in a concrete, personal and human way. He desired that He would be present at every Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Communion. He desired to personally be there administering these graces to His people. And He is there, through the ministry of the bishop or priest. The key is to see Christ in that ministry. Every priest or bishop is a unique representation of Christ in his own way. They each reflect Christ in their human personality and holiness. But, more importantly, they represent Christ by acting in His very person. Jesus speaks His words of absolution and consecration through them. So we need to see beyond the surface and see Christ Jesus. This is entirely possible if we approach God’s ministers in faith. Reflect, today, upon the way you approach God’s priests and bishops. How do you speak about them? Do you seek Christ in them? Are you open to Christ ministering through them? The apostolic ministry in which they share is a true gift from Christ and must be loved and accepted as if we were accepting Christ Himself...because that’s exactly what we are doing. Lord, thank You for the gift of your ordained ministers. Thank you for the bishop and for all the priests who have ministered Your Word and Sacraments to me. I pray for them today that they may continue to be holy instruments of Your love. Jesus, I trust in You. Source of content: catholic-daily-reflections.com Copyright © 2022 My Catholic Life! Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission via RSS feed.
5 minutes | May 12, 2022
Friday of the Fourth Week of Easter - Our Father’s House
“In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be.” John 14:2–3 From time to time it’s important that we focus in on the glorious reality of Heaven! Heaven is real and, God willing, one day we will all be united there with our Triune God. If we properly understood Heaven, we’d long for it with a deep and burning love and we’d look forward to it with a powerful desire, being filled with peace and joy every time we think of it. Unfortunately, however, the thought of leaving this Earth and meeting our Maker is a frightening thought for some. Perhaps it’s the fear of the unknown, the realization that we will leave our loved ones behind, or possibly even a fear that Heaven will not be our final resting place. As Christians, it’s essential that we work at fostering a great love of Heaven by gaining a proper understanding of not only Heaven itself, but also the purpose of our lives on Earth. Heaven helps order our lives and helps us stay on the path that leads to this eternal beatitude. In the passage above, we are given a very consoling image of Heaven. It’s the image of the “Father’s house.” This image is a good one to reflect upon because it reveals that Heaven is our home. Home is a safe place. It’s a place where we can be ourselves, relax, be with loved ones, and feel as if we belong. We are God’s sons and daughters and He has decided that we belong there with Him. Reflecting on this image of Heaven should also console those who have lost a loved one. The experience of saying goodbye, for now, is very difficult. And it should be difficult. The difficulty of losing a loved one reveals that there is true love in that relationship. And that is good. But God does want the feelings of loss to also be mingled with joy as we ponder the reality of our loved one being with the Father in His home for eternity. They are happier there than we will ever be able to imagine, and we will one day be called to share in that joy. Reflect, today, upon this image of Heaven: our Father’s House. Sit with that image and let God speak to you. As you do, let your heart be drawn to Heaven so that this desire will help to direct your actions here and now. Lord of Heaven and Earth, I do long to be with You eternally in Heaven. I long to be comforted, consoled and filled with joy in Your home. Help me to always keep this as my goal in life and to grow, daily in a desire for this final resting place. Jesus, I trust in You. Source of content: catholic-daily-reflections.com Copyright © 2022 My Catholic Life! Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission via RSS feed.
5 minutes | May 11, 2022
Thursday of the Fourth Week of Easter - Slaves of Christ
When Jesus had washed the disciples’ feet, he said to them: “Amen, amen, I say to you, no slave is greater than his master nor any messenger greater than the one who sent him.” John 13:16 If we read between the lines we can hear Jesus telling us two things. First, that it’s good to see ourselves as slaves and messengers of God, and second, that we are to always give the glory to God. These are important points to live in the spiritual life. Let’s look at both. Normally, the idea of being a “slave” is not all that desirable. We are not as familiar with slavery in our day and age, but it is real and has caused extreme damage throughout the history of our world in many cultures and at many times. The worst part about slavery is the cruelty with which the slaves are treated. They are treated as objects and property which is completely contrary to their human dignity. But imagine the scenario where a person is a slave to one who loves him perfectly and has as his primary mission to help that “slave” realize his true potential and fulfillment in life. In this case, the master would “command” the slave to embrace love and happiness and would never violate his human dignity. This is the way it is with God. We should never fear the idea of being a slave of God. Though this language may carry baggage from abuses of human dignity of the past, slavery to God should be our goal. Why? Because God is the one we should want as our master. In fact, we should desire God as our master even more than we desire to be our own master. God will treat us better than we treat ourselves! He will dictate to us a perfect life of holiness and happiness and we will be humbly submissive to His divine will. And what’s more, He will give us the necessary means to achieve all that He dictates to us if we let Him. Being a “slave of God” is a good thing and should be our goal in life. As we grow in our ability to let God take control of our life, we must also regularly enter into an attitude of thanks and praise of God for all that He does in us. We must point all the glory to Him for letting us share in His mission and for being sent by Him to fulfill His will. He is greater in every way, but He also wants us to share in that greatness and glory. So, the good news is that when we glorify and thank God for all He does in us and for all the dictates of His law and His commands, we will be elevated by God to participate in and share in His glory! This is one fruit of the Christian life that blesses us beyond what we could ever come up with ourselves. Reflect, today, upon letting yourself become a complete slave of God and His will today. That commitment will start you down a path of tremendous delight. My Lord and Master, I submit myself to Your every command. May Your will be done in me and only Your will. I choose You as my Master in all things and trust in Your perfect love for me. Jesus, I trust in You. Source of content: catholic-daily-reflections.com Copyright © 2022 My Catholic Life! Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission via RSS feed.
5 minutes | May 10, 2022
Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Easter - Evangelizing Through Unity
Jesus cried out and said, “Whoever believes in me believes not only in me but also in the one who sent me, and whoever sees me sees the one who sent me.” John 12:44–45 Now on a literal level, this is hard to comprehend. How is it that those who looked at Jesus were looking also at the Father? How is it that seeing Jesus was seeing the Father in Heaven? The answer is quite simple. The unity that the Father and the Son share is a perfect unity. They remain distinct Persons but they are also united as one. They are united in their perfect love and in the perfect communion of their wills. For that reason, knowing Jesus is also knowing the Father. But the truth is that the Father’s presence is veiled just as the divinity of the Son is veiled. Though we do not have the experience of seeing Jesus walk the Earth as the first disciples did, we find the same reality every time we come before the Holy Eucharist. When we enter a church and genuflect before the tabernacle, it’s important to always be exceptionally cognizant of the fact that we are in the full divine presence of God the Son. And for that reason, we are also in the full and divine presence of the Father! Their presence is real and absolute. It’s just that they are hidden from our five senses. But one key thing to ponder here is the unity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Prayerfully reflecting upon their unity is a very healthy meditation for our prayer life. Why? Because we are called to share in Their unity, and we are called to share in unity with one another. Unity is hard. It takes a tremendous amount of love. It means being fully present to the other, seeking to fully understand, accept and know them. And the Trinity is our model for this. Be it parents and children, spouses, friends or others, we are called to a deep and abiding unity. Think about someone you know well. And think about someone that person knows well and loves. To a certain degree, you may feel you know that other person just by knowing the one who knows them. For example, say you have a very close friend who has a child and your friend shares much with you about their child. What you’re experiencing is the unity of that parent and child in your relationship with your friend. So it is with God. As we come to know God the Son, we automatically come to know God the Father. And the good news is that if we know God, and then let another get to know us, the effect is that we will be letting them come to know God through us. This is one of the wonderful ways to evangelize and bring God to those whom we know and love. Reflect, today, upon your relationship with God and how that relationship shines through in all other relationships you have. Commit yourself more fully to knowing and loving God so that others around you may also benefit from your love of Him. Lord of perfect unity, help me to come to know and love You and, in that relationship, to come to know and love the Father and the Holy Spirit. And as I grow in love for You Most Holy Trinity, help me to bring that love into every relationship I have so that I may be an instrument of Your love to others. Most Holy Trinity, I trust in You. Source of content: catholic-daily-reflections.com Copyright © 2022 My Catholic Life! Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission via RSS feed.
4 minutes | May 9, 2022
Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Easter - The Language of Jesus
Jesus walked about in the temple area on the Portico of Solomon. So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long are you going to keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” Jesus answered them, “I told you and you do not believe.” John 10:24–25 This statement of Jesus may have left His followers confused. They wanted to believe that Jesus was the Messiah, and so they asked Him to tell them plainly if He was the Messiah. And how did He respond? He tells them that He already told them and they failed to believe. This is an interesting situation. The first thing to say about this is that Jesus was not being critical. He was helping them to understand His language. He was helping them to understand that the answer to their question was not a matter of Jesus simply telling them, “I am the Messiah!” Rather, the answer to their question had to come to them from the Father in Heaven, spoken to their hearts as they listened to Jesus and witnessed His miracles. The answer was to be given to them by the gift of faith that had to be received from within. This gift of faith would give them the certainty they so desired. The same is true with us. Perhaps you’ve wanted God to come down from Heaven at times and tell you “plainly” the answer to this or that question. But He does not do that. He does it in His perfect way with His perfect language. It’s the language of faith and it requires a complete submission of our minds and wills to God to hear and understand. This is the only way to become converted in the way God wants us to be. Reflect, today, on how well you listen to God speak. You most likely can learn to listen to Him more clearly, discerning His voice of Truth. As you hear Him, let yourself become completely convinced of all that He says. And let that deep conviction rule your life. Lord of all Truth, I so often do not let myself hear You plainly through the gift of faith. I so often want the easy answer to the difficult questions. Help me to grow in patience so that I may know You and allow You to become my true Shepherd. Jesus, I trust in You. Source of content: catholic-daily-reflections.com Copyright © 2022 My Catholic Life! Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission via RSS feed.
4 minutes | May 8, 2022
Monday of the Fourth Week of Easter - The Voice of the Shepherd
“...the sheep hear his voice, as he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has driven out all his own, he walks ahead of them, and the sheep follow him, because they recognize his voice. But they will not follow a stranger; they will run away from him, because they do not recognize the voice of strangers.” John 10:3–5 What are you most familiar with in life? What voice or voices echo in your mind most of the time? There are many influences we receive on a regular basis. Some are good and some are not so good. Oftentimes we can talk ourselves into believing that the many “voices” or influences that we encounter on a daily basis do not affect us. We are pressured by the voice of the media, pop culture, love of money, a desire for recognition and so much more. These are powerful influences and, whether we want to believe it or not, they do affect us. The Gospel above gives us insight into this internal struggle in that it contrasts the voice of the Shepherd with the voice of a stranger. The sheep are easily taught and conditioned. They learn the voice of their shepherd because it was common practice for shepherds to regularly speak to their sheep. Once the sheep became used to the shepherd’s voice, they would turn and follow him when he called. So it is with us. We will follow the voice of that which we are most familiar with. Whatever it is that we immerse ourselves in each and every day will grow on us and draw us, even unknowingly, to follow. This begs the question, “What are you most familiar with?” Ideally, we spend sufficient time in God’s Word, learning His language, tone and voice. Ideally, we dedicate some portion of our day, every day, to silent contemplation of God. As we do this, we build a habit of hearing Him speak and we become comfortable with and comforted by His voice. Once this habit is established in us, it will be much easier to go about our busy day hearing God whenever He chooses to speak. We will immediately recognize it is Him and we will follow. Reflect, today, upon that which calls to you the loudest. Don’t let the many other voices in our world drown out God’s voice. Instead, prepare yourself for the moments He chooses to speak. And when He does speak, let that voice grab your attention so that you can follow. My speaking Lord, help me to know and love Your gentle voice throughout my daily life. May that voice overwhelm all others that compete for my attention. I choose You, dear Lord, as my one Shepherd and guide. Jesus, I trust in You. Source of content: catholic-daily-reflections.com Copyright © 2022 My Catholic Life! Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission via RSS feed.
5 minutes | May 7, 2022
Fourth Sunday of Easter (Year C) - Contrasting Voices
“My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” John 10:27 Jesus offers a clear contrast among shepherds. This would apply to priests, parents and all of us in our own unique way. The contrast He offers is between the ones who care deeply for those entrusted to their care, and those who are just going through the motions and are more motivated by selfishness than sacrificial love. Jesus perfectly manifested sacrificial love as the Divine Shepherd. He was willing to go all the way for us, His sheep. He was willing to sacrifice everything. He did not let suffering, persecution, rejection and the like deter Him from His responsibility of caring for us in a total and complete way. It should inspire us, console us and encourage us to know how deep His love for us really is. This love is seen, also, in the unwavering love of a parent, sibling, or dear friend. When the love one offers us is unwavering, especially in difficult times, this is a great support. And love offered to another like this forges a deep spiritual bond that is stronger than any hardship we may face. No matter what “wolf” comes our way, we must know of the unwavering support of the Divine Shepherd. And when we can see that love made manifest in the unwavering support of others, we are doubly blessed. But the contrast should not be ignored either. Jesus gives the example of “a hired man who is not a shepherd” who sees the wolf coming and runs. It’s important to point out how damaging this man is to the people of God. When he runs from his responsibility and gives into selfish motivation, he leaves the flock untended and vulnerable to attack. We should see in this hired man the temptation we all inevitably face in life. It’s hard to stick with it through the hard times. It’s hard to be there for those who need us when they need us. It’s hard to be faithful in all things and to never shy away in the face of the temptation of fear. Jesus offers His unwavering love and support to us as our Shepherd, but He also wants us to return this gift to Him by offering this same unwavering commitment to one another. Reflect, today, how well you imitate the Good Shepherd. Where you are lacking, let Him shepherd you so that you may shepherd others. Run to the Good Shepherd and trust in His perfect love for you. Jesus, our Good Shepherd, I thank You for Your unwavering support of me as my Shepherd. And I thank You for those who act as Your instruments of this deep love and commitment. Help me to fulfill my role of shepherding Your people, the people You have placed in my life. May I never run from the glorious responsibility You have called me to. Jesus, I trust in You. Source of content: catholic-daily-reflections.com Copyright © 2022 My Catholic Life! Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission via RSS feed.
5 minutes | May 6, 2022
Saturday of the Third Week of Easter - The Profound Teaching of the Holy Eucharist
As a result of this, many of his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer walked with him. Jesus then said to the Twelve, “Do you also want to leave?” Simon Peter answered him, “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” John 6:66–68 What a perfect response from Peter. The context of this story is quite fascinating and revealing. Jesus had just completed His beautiful and profound discourse on the Holy Eucharist stating clearly that His flesh is real food and His blood is real drink and that unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood you have no life in you. As a result of His teaching on the Eucharist, there were many who “returned to their former way of life and no longer walked with Him.” In other words, Jesus’ teaching on the Eucharist was difficult for many to accept and believe. Interestingly, after Jesus speaks this profound teaching on the Eucharist, and after many leave Him as a result, He does not backpedal or change what He said. Instead, He asks His Apostles if they wish to leave also. This question by Jesus to the Apostles is important to understand. By asking it of them in a very direct way, Jesus is giving them complete freedom to choose. He does not pressure them to believe what He just taught. This is significant because the level of detachment that Jesus offers is a way of inviting a completely free acceptance, on the part of the Apostles, of His glorious teaching on the Eucharist. They are truly free to accept or reject it. It is this freedom that allows them to radically deepen their faith in Jesus. Peter speaks up and gives a wonderful response. “Master, to whom shall we go?” These words of Peter reveal clearly two things. First, this was a difficult situation in that people were walking away from Jesus. But secondly, Peter and the other Apostles were aware that they must believe despite the difficulty. Just because many left Jesus and refused to accept His words was no reason for the Apostles to leave Him, also. In fact, we can hear in Peter’s words a manifestation of faith that they have come to believe in Jesus so completely that leaving Him would be utter foolishness. Where would they go? Why would they leave? Peter reaffirms his faith in Jesus even though following Him at that moment was not the “popular” thing to do. Reflect, today, upon your own level of commitment to Jesus. Know that you are completely free to follow Him or to leave Him. But if you choose to follow Him, do not do it half way. Know that Jesus’ words are powerful, challenging and demanding. He wants you to believe in Him and follow Him with your whole heart and with profound commitment. Jesus alone has the words of eternal life and we must accept and believe those words with all our might. Lord, to whom else shall I go if I do not follow You? You and You alone are the One whom I choose to believe in and follow. Help me to embrace all that You have taught and help me to freely choose You each and every day of my life. Jesus, I trust in You. Source of content: catholic-daily-reflections.com Copyright © 2022 My Catholic Life! Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission via RSS feed.
5 minutes | May 5, 2022
Friday of the Third Week of Easter - The Conviction of Jesus
The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his Flesh to eat?” Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the Flesh of the Son of Man and drink his Blood, you do not have life within you.” John 6:52–53 Certainly this passage reveals much about the Most Holy Eucharist, but it also reveals the strength of Jesus to speak the truth with clarity and conviction. Jesus was facing opposition and criticism. Some were upset and challenging His words. Most of us, when we find ourselves under the scrutiny and wrath of others, will back down. We will be tempted to be overly concerned about what others say about us and about the truth we may be criticized for. But Jesus did exactly the opposite. He did not give in to the criticism of others. It’s inspiring to see that, when Jesus was faced with the harsh words of others, He responded with even greater clarity and confidence. He took His statement about the Eucharist being His Body and Blood to the next level by saying, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the Flesh of the Son of Man and drink His Blood, you do not have life within you.” This reveals a man of the utmost confidence, conviction and strength. Of course, Jesus is God, so we should expect this from Him. But nonetheless, it is inspiring and reveals the strength we are all called to have in this world. The world we live in is filled with opposition to the truth. It’s opposed to many moral truths, but it is also opposed to many of the deeper spiritual truths. These deeper truths are things such as the beautiful truths of the Eucharist, the importance of daily prayer, humility, abandonment to God, putting God’s will above all things, etc. We should be aware of the fact that the closer we grow to our Lord, the more we surrender to Him, and the more we proclaim His truth, the more we will feel the pressure of the world trying to steal us away. So what do we do? We learn from the strength and example of Jesus. Whenever we find ourselves put in a challenging position, or whenever we feel as though our faith is being attacked, we must deepen our resolve to be all the more faithful. This will make us stronger and turns those temptations we face into opportunities for grace! Reflect, today, upon the way that you react when your faith is challenged. Do you back down, give into fear and allow the challenges from others to affect you? Or do you strengthen your resolve when challenged and allow persecution to purify your faith? Choose to imitate the strength and conviction of our Lord and you will become a greater visible instrument of His grace and mercy. My confident Lord, give me the strength of Your conviction. Give me clarity in my mission and help me to serve You unwaveringly in all things. May I never cower when faced with the challenges of life but always deepen my resolve to serve You with all my heart. Jesus, I trust in You. Source of content: catholic-daily-reflections.com Copyright © 2022 My Catholic Life! Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission via RSS feed.
5 minutes | May 4, 2022
Thursday of the Third Week of Easter - Drawn to Jesus
Jesus said to the crowds: “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draw him, and I will raise him on the last day.” John 6:44 This Scripture passage reveals to us a wonderful spiritual principle we need to understand and live if we are to grow close to God. It’s the principle of being drawn to Jesus by the Father. First of all, it’s important to understand the first part of what Jesus says: “No one can come to me unless...” This tells us that coming to Jesus in faith, growing in that faith, and growing in our love of God is not something we can do on our own. Coming to faith is a response to God’s action in our life. This is important to understand if we wish to establish an authentic relationship with Christ because it reveals to us the fact that we have to let God take the first step in that relationship. When we let Him do this, it’s our responsibility to then respond. Of course this does not mean we just sit back in a passive way waiting for God to reach out. God is constantly reaching out, constantly speaking and constantly drawing us to Himself. So our first responsibility is to tune into His gentle “wooing.” This comes in the form of gentle promptings of grace inviting us to turn more completely to Him and to surrender more fully each and every day. In our busy world, it’s so very easy to let ourselves become distracted by the many competing voices. It’s easy to hear the pulling, and even pushing, of the world and all its enticements. The world has become quite good at penetrating our short attention spans and offering quick satisfactions that ultimately leave us empty. But God’s voice and His invitation are quite different. They are found in interior silence. However, we need not be in a monastery in order to achieve this interior silence. Rather, it’s achieved by faithful periods of prayer each day, and a formed habit of turning to God in all things. It’s achieved when we respond to God’s calling, and then do it again, and again, and so forth. This builds a habit of being drawn, hearing, responding and being drawn in even closer so as to respond again. Reflect, today, upon how well you listen to God. Try to find at least a few minutes (or more) of silence today. Close your eyes and listen. Listen to God speaking to you. When He draws you, respond to Him with much generosity. This is the best choice you can make each day! Lord of sustaining silence, please draw me in, draw me close and help me to recognize Your voice. As I hear You calling, help me to respond to You with much generosity. My life is Yours, dear Lord. Help me to desire You all the more. Jesus, I trust in You. Source of content: catholic-daily-reflections.com Copyright © 2022 My Catholic Life! Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission via RSS feed.
3 minutes | May 3, 2022
Wednesday of the Third Week of Easter - Never Rejected, Always Loved!
“I will not reject anyone who comes to me.” John 6:37 This little line says much about our Lord’s Divine Mercy. It is a line repeated often in St. Faustina’s Diary of Divine Mercy and it’s a statement that many people need to hear. Why is this important to hear? Because, very often, we can carry the burden of rejection. Without even realizing it, there are many who have experienced rejection in their life and, as a result, are afraid to be vulnerable in a relationship out of fear of being hurt. Once you have been hurt in a relationship, you proceed with caution. This hurt can come from a family member, spouse, friend or anyone we’ve tried to reach out to in love only to receive hurt and rejection. And that hurts. Jesus’ words are especially important because they help to reassure us that Jesus is trustworthy. It is true that we can come to Him, open our hearts to Him, become completely vulnerable to Him, and He will treat us with the utmost tenderness, respect, kindness and care. Jesus will treat us with more care than we even treat ourselves! Reflect upon these words of Jesus today. Say them over and over. “I will not reject anyone who comes to me.” Know that He wants you to come to Him and to open your heart to Him completely. Doing so will allow Him to manifest His love for you and enable you to trust Him beyond what you ever imagined possible. My welcoming Lord, I want to come to You in my sufferings and rejection. I know You are the Divine Healer and will bring comfort to my soul. Help me to trust You and to let You love me. Jesus, I trust in You. Source of content: catholic-daily-reflections.com Copyright © 2022 My Catholic Life! Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission via RSS feed.
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