Search      Language 
     

Just what is “communion” in the Movement? (Article)
Make a Holy Week Retreat (Article)
Winning Souls for Christ (Article)
Spring Events (Article)
Texas Conquest Weekend Campout: LIONHEART- Frenstat, February 2015 (Article)

Weekly meditation

 March 29, 2015. Palm Sunday of the Lord´s Passion
Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
Scroll down to view the entire week's meditations



The Messiah Finally Reveals Himself


By Father James Swanson, LC


Mark 11:1 – 10


When they drew near to Jerusalem, to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples and said to them, "Go into the village opposite you, and immediately on entering it, you will find a colt tethered on which no one has ever sat. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone should say to you, ´Why are you doing this?´ reply, ´The Master has need of it and will send it back here at once.´" So they went off and found a colt tethered at a gate outside on the street, and they untied it. Some of the bystanders said to them, "What are you doing, untying the colt?" They answered them just as Jesus had told them to, and they permitted them to do it. So they brought the colt to Jesus and put their cloaks over it. And he sat on it. Many people spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut from the fields. Those preceding him as well as those following kept crying out:

"Hosanna!

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!

Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that is to come!

Hosanna in the highest!"


Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus, I wish to accompany you closely on the road to Calvary. If I were to contemplate you more often as you hang scourged and bloody upon the cross, I’m certain I would be able to rest in your love and base my actions on that one truth. I know that you have loved me with an eternal love: you have proven it there on the wood of the cross. So I long to respond with gratitude, peace and the firm determination to spread your love to everyone.


Petition: Lord, Jesus, grant me the grace to proclaim you as Messiah and Savior.


1. A Different Kind of Messiah: Up until now, Jesus has never publicly accepted the title of Messiah. He had confirmed privately to his apostles that he is the Messiah, but he had commanded them to tell no one. When people had called him the Messiah, he had never accepted the title and most often tried to get away from them as quickly as possible. He had reasoned that the Jews don’t understand what the Messiah is really about. Knowing the Messiah is to be a great descendent of King David, they expect the Messiah to appear, raise an army and lead an uprising against the Romans that will drive them from the country and re-establish David’s kingdom. Several times we read of Jesus having to slip away because the people intend to make him king. He is not going to be what they expect and he cannot let their expectations get in the way of his mission.


2. A Suffering, Not a Political, Messiah: His entry into Jerusalem is exactly what the prophet predicted for the Messiah. He enters riding a donkey, for the Hebrews the traditional mount of royalty. Another thing that was supposed to happen when the Messiah entered Jerusalem, was that boys were supposed to be the first to begin to shout, “Hosanna, son of David.” This is exactly what happens. People were supposed to throw down branches and cloaks to pave his way into Jerusalem and this happens too. The Pharisees see all this and complain to him because they see that it is a fulfillment of the prophecy. They want him to tell people he is not the Messiah. Jesus refuses to do so. He will be the Messiah that was prophesied – the Suffering Servant of Yahweh. God can fulfill our deepest desires and needs in a way we least expect. Can I read the events in my life as his answer to my prayers?


3. The Messiah Rejected by the Experts: The chief priests, scribes and Pharisees are angry. They have already decided they don’t want to accept Jesus as the Messiah. Why do they wish to reject him? Is it because he doesn’t show the signs that the Messiah should show? No, he has fulfilled all the prophecies. Instead, they see that Jesus as Messiah will threaten their social and political positions. Jesus will be more important than they. They don’t want that to happen. They don’t want to lose power. In the end they allow themselves to be convinced that he cannot be the Messiah. Rather than consider all the evidence in his favor, they reject him because they don’t want a Messiah like that. Is there any way in which I, in my own life, reject something that God wishes of me or permits me to suffer because I don’t want God acting in that way in my life?


Conversation with Christ: Jesus, fill my heart with a love that knows no limits, the love that drew you from heaven to die on the cross for me. Fill also the hearts of all those who feel threatened by the modern Pharisees who reject you and want to erase your name from the world, so that they will witness bravely to you and to your sacrifice for us.


Resolution: Today, with the courage of my conviction that Jesus is the savior of the world, I will proclaim in some way that he is my Lord and God, especially through charity towards everyone I meet.

 
PUBLICATION DATE: 2015-03-29

Blind Guides
March 30, 2015. Monday of Holy Week



By Father James Swanson, LC


John 12:1-11

Six days before Passover Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. They gave a dinner for him there, and Martha served, while Lazarus was one of those reclining at table with him. Mary took a liter of costly perfumed oil made from genuine aromatic nard and anointed the feet of Jesus and dried them with her hair; the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil. Then Judas the Iscariot, one of his disciples, and the one who would betray him, said, "Why was this oil not sold for three hundred days´ wages and given to the poor?" He said this not because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief and held the money bag and used to steal the contributions. So Jesus said, "Leave her alone. Let her keep this for the day of my burial. You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me." The large crowd of the Jews found out that he was there and came, not only because of Jesus, but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. And the chief priests plotted to kill Lazarus too, because many of the Jews were turning away and believing in Jesus because of him.

Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus, I wish to accompany you closely on the road to Calvary.  If I were to contemplate you more often as you hang scourged and bloody upon the cross, I’m certain I would be able to rest in your love and base my actions on that one truth. I know that you have loved me with an eternal love: you have proven it there on the wood of the cross. So I long to respond with gratitude, peace and the firm determination to spread your love to everyone.

Petition: Lord,  grant me faith in your promise to raise everyone from the dead.

1. A Willful Blindness: Jesus produces one of his most convincing miracles – a sure sign that God sent him: He raises someone from the dead. The chief priests cannot deny this. The deed was not done far away in Galilee. Jesus is right there, in Bethany, just outside Jerusalem. Lazarus is there too. Anyone who wants to see can travel the short distance from Jerusalem, over the Mount of Olives, and visit with Jesus and Lazarus. The chief priests, rather than give in and accept Jesus as the Messiah, reject him. Their rejection is complete. They should be able to see that Jesus’ miracle is obviously an act of God’s divine power, but they refuse to accept it. They can think of no way to convince people that he is not the Messiah except to kill both Jesus and Lazarus. Sometimes mere association with Jesus can bring about costly consequences. How ironic it would have been to be killed for the “crime” of being raised from the dead…

2. Harden Not Your Hearts: Logically, if anyone is to accept Jesus as Messiah, it should be the chief priests, scribes and Pharisees. They are the ones who know Scripture the best. They are the ones who are supposed to be on the lookout for the Messiah. By now they should realize that Jesus is doing everything that the Messiah is supposed to do. Yet with only a few exceptions (Nicodemus, Joseph of Arimathea), they fail to acknowledge him as Messiah. God’s ways are not our ways. God’s plans and actions remain impenetrable to the rationalistic mind that demands scientific-like proofs even in the spiritual realm. Hardness of heart makes us see the good works of others as evil. Do I seek to attune my mind and my heart to God’s ways or do I demand reasons from him? Often times the cross in our lives does not make sense. However, we will one day understand it by first accepting and carrying it.

3. Pride and Envy Can be Our Downfall: The Pharisees’ problem is pride. They think they’ve got everything figured out. They think (because they don’t want it to be true) that Jesus cannot be the Messiah. He doesn’t fulfill their expectations and they are not prepared to change – to examine themselves to see if they might be wrong. They are so sure they have it all figured out that they overlook all that Jesus does to fulfill Scripture. They go even so far as to overlook his having raised Lazarus from the dead! They clutch at any feeble excuse to discredit him: “If this man were a prophet, he would know what kind of woman is touching him” (Luke 7:39); “Search and you will see that no prophet is to arise from Galilee” (John 7:52). God doesn’t conform himself to our plans and ideas. He expects us to conform to his.

Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus, faith comes so hard to me.  I should be aware of all the good you have worked in my life. Help me to look  with the eyes of faith that will bring me to an unshakeable belief in you, a faith like that of those who witnessed your raising of Lazarus.

Resolution: Today, I will look back briefly on my life and try to notice all the things Christ has done for me, so that by reflecting on these things my faith and trust in him will deepen.

 
PUBLICATION DATE: 2015-03-30

Peter’s Collision Course


By Father James Swanson, LC


John 13:21-33, 36-38


Reclining at table with his disciples, Jesus was deeply troubled and testified, "Amen, amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me." The disciples looked at one another, at a loss as to whom he meant. One of his disciples, the one whom Jesus loved, was reclining at Jesus´ side. So Simon Peter nodded to him to find out whom he meant. He leaned back against Jesus´ chest and said to him, "Master, who is it?" Jesus answered, "It is the one to whom I hand the morsel after I have dipped it." So he dipped the morsel and took it and handed it to Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot. After he took the morsel, Satan entered him. So Jesus said to him, "What you are going to do, do quickly." Now none of those reclining at table realized why he said this to him. Some thought that since Judas kept the money bag, Jesus had told him, "Buy what we need for the feast," or to give something to the poor. So he took the morsel and left at once. And it was night. When he had left, Jesus said, "Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him. If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and he will glorify him at once. My children, I will be with you only a little while longer. You will look for me, and as I told the Jews, ´Where I go you cannot come,´ so now I say it to you.” Simon Peter said to him, "Master, where are you going?" Jesus answered him, "Where I am going, you cannot follow me now, though you will follow later." Peter said to him, "Master, why can´t I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you." Jesus answered, "Will you lay down your life for me? Amen, amen, I say to you, the cock will not crow before you deny me three times."


Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus, I wish to accompany you closely on the road to Calvary.  If I were to contemplate you more often as you hang scourged and bloody upon the cross, I’m certain I would be able to rest in your love and base my actions on that one truth. I know that you have loved me with an eternal love: you have proven it there on the wood of the cross. So I long to respond with gratitude, peace and the firm determination to spread your love to everyone.


Petition: Lord, help me to see and avoid the pitfalls of pride.


1. Trusts in Christ’s Love: Peter loves Jesus. Jesus is his best friend. Peter would do anything for him. Like us, it distresses Peter to think he might be separated from Jesus. He feels the strength of his love and doesn’t hesitate to proclaim that he is willing to die for Jesus. He means it. That same night in the Garden of Gethsemane, he will draw a rusty old sword and face a cohort of professional soldiers all by himself. With a mighty stroke (not much of a swordsman, but brave…), he will nick the ear of the High Priest’s servant. There really is love there and a serious intention to make sacrifices for Jesus’ sake. But like us, there is something he still lacks. At times I may feel so ready to take on anything for love of Christ. But as soon as the “anything” comes, I experience my weakness. There’s even the risk of giving into discouragement at my failures.


2. Making Poor Choices: We know that Peter can make a bad decision because he has done it often enough in the past. Five minutes after being named head of the apostles, he is advising Jesus to abandon the Father’s plan, a plan that involves going to Jerusalem to suffer and die. Jesus reacts strongly, totally rejecting this insinuation: No one comes between him and the Father’s will. Peter has made a big mistake, and Jesus makes that clear: “Stumbling block,” “Satan,” “You think not as God thinks but as man” (Cf. Matthew 16:23). And this was only one in a series of mistakes; the Gospels list more. Part of Peter’s appeal is that he is so much like us. We make lots of mistakes every day. Like Peter, we think not as God, but as men. Yet as we know, Peter will succeed in the end to become humble and to serve his Lord steadfastly.


3. Misjudgment of Situations: Peter is complacent. He thinks he understands the situation. Everything is going well. The people have finally acclaimed Jesus as Messiah. The chief priests, scribes and Pharisees are upset but powerless. They attempt to debate Jesus and show him up every day, but always end up bested by Jesus. It seems like it won’t be long now before Jesus has everyone convinced that he is the Messiah and from that point on, it should be clear sailing. Peter is about to be blindsided, but he doesn’t realize it. The only solution for him is to do what Jesus is urging him to do, but he doesn’t realize that. In spite of his respect for Jesus, he is still sure that he knows what it best for himself. I am convinced that my life must be rooted in prayer and union with God?


Conversation with Christ: Dear Lord, like Peter I have fallen many times. Every time it was because I put my trust in myself rather than in you. Help me to listen to your inspirations and your inner promptings to prayer. Only with humility will I be able to avoid falls in the future. Please help me obtain it, Lord.


Resolution: I will start everything I do today with a prayer, offering its fruits up to God. When I finish each activity, I will give thanks to Christ, my friend, for all the help he has given me. I will offer him my successes and ask him to forgive my failings.

 
PUBLICATION DATE: 2015-03-31

Unmasking the Betrayer
April 1, 2015. Wednesday of Holy Week



By Father James Swanson, LC

Matthew 26:14-25

One of the Twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, "What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?" They paid him thirty pieces of silver, and from that time on he looked for an opportunity to hand him over. On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the disciples approached Jesus and said, "Where do you want us to prepare for you to eat the Passover?" He said, "Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, ´The teacher says, "My appointed time draws near; in your house I shall celebrate the Passover with my disciples."´" The disciples then did as Jesus had ordered, and prepared the Passover. When it was evening, he reclined at table with the Twelve. And while they were eating, he said, "Amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me." Deeply distressed at this, they began to say to him one after another, "Surely it is not I, Lord?" He said in reply, "He who has dipped his hand into the dish with me is the one who will betray me. The Son of Man indeed goes, as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed. It would be better for that man if he had never been born." Then Judas, his betrayer, said in reply, "Surely it is not I, Rabbi?" He answered, "You have said so."

Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus, I wish to accompany you closely on the road to Calvary.  If I were to contemplate you more often as you hang scourged and bloody upon the cross, I’m certain I would be able to rest in your love and base my actions on that one truth. I know that you have loved me with an eternal love: you have proven it there on the wood of the cross. So I long to respond with gratitude, peace and the firm determination to spread your love to everyone.

Petition: Lord Jesus, help me to stay strong in my faith.

1. One of the Twelve a Traitor? We often think that Judas must have been different, obviously worse than the other disciples. If that were true, everyone would have suspected him when Jesus said, “One of you will betray me.” They would have thought: “It must be Judas. He’s always been bad. He’s capable of betraying Jesus. I don’t know why Jesus picked him.” Instead, Judas did not stand out as any worse than they were. If he did, they would have immediately suspected him. Each one of us, as well, could become a Judas little by little, first by giving up our principles on smaller matters and then later on more important matters. In the Christian life there always needs to be a healthy tension of straining forward and of watchfulness. The one who is trustworthy in small matters is trustworthy in greater matters.

2. Is It I? The apostles are all asking, “Is it I?” Why? Was there some widespread desire to betray him of which they were barely keeping control? No, but they were in a very dangerous situation. The Pharisees had decided to kill Jesus. The apostles know it. That’s why the whole group had gone to stay in Jericho for a while. Jerusalem was too dangerous. They can imagine themselves following Jesus to the Temple the next day, being singled out in the crush of the crowd and then having their life threatened to provide information about where Jesus can be found at night. They wonder what they would say. With my life on the line would I betray Jesus? This is why they ask, “Is it I?” When push comes to shove, what comes first in my life? Would I ever consider selling out on Jesus for something or someone else?

3. Vigilance of the Heart: Judas had everything he needed to be a great apostle. He had a magnanimous heart, which is why Jesus picked him. God never destines anyone for failure. So what happened to him? At some point he stopped working on his friendship with Jesus. Some would point to the moment of the discourse on the Bread of Life recorded in John 6. Judas couldn’t accept that he needed to eat Jesus’ body and drink his blood. Jesus must be wrong, and therefore he is a false Messiah. John 6:64 tells us that Jesus knew who his betrayer would be. Jesus gives Judas a chance to leave the group and remain an honest man in John 6:67. Instead, he stays, becoming a hypocrite – a “devil” in Jesus’ words – and begins the path that will lead to betrayal. Knowing that my faith is the most precious gift I have received from God, do I watch over and nourish my faith so that it grows and is strong?

Conversation with Christ: Lord, I have betrayed you so many times, even when I do such a simple thing as not saying grace in a restaurant out of fear that others will realize I am a Catholic. May the experience of your Passion and death help me to have the courage to live by my convictions at all times.

Resolution: Today I will live all the demands of my faith, especially in the moments when they point me out as a follower of Christ. Today I will not betray him, even in the smallest way.

 
PUBLICATION DATE: 2015-04-01

Come to Serve and not to Be Served
April 2, 2015. Holy Thursday



By Father Alex Yeung, LC


John 13:1-15


Before the feast of Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to pass from this world to the Father. He loved his own in the world and he loved them to the end. The devil had already induced Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot, to hand him over. So, during supper, fully aware that the Father had put everything into his power and that he had come from God and was returning to God, he rose from supper and took off his outer garments. He took a towel and tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples´ feet and dry them with the towel around his waist. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, "Master, are you going to wash my feet?" Jesus answered and said to him, "What I am doing, you do not understand now, but you will understand later." Peter said to him, "You will never wash my feet." Jesus answered him, "Unless I wash you, you will have no inheritance with me." Simon Peter said to him, "Master, then not only my feet, but my hands and head as well." Jesus said to him, "Whoever has bathed has no need except to have his feet washed, for he is clean all over; so you are clean, but not all." For he knew who would betray him; for this reason, he said, "Not all of you are clean." So when he had washed their feet and put his garments back on and reclined at table again, he said to them, "Do you realize what I have done for you? You call me ´teacher´ and ´master,´ and rightly so, for indeed I am. If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another´s feet. I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do."


Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus, I wish to accompany you closely on the road to Calvary.  If I were to contemplate you more often as you hang scourged and bloody upon the cross, I’m certain I would be able to rest in your love and base my actions on that one truth. I know that you have loved me with an eternal love: you have proven it there on the wood of the cross. So I long to respond with gratitude, peace and the firm determination to spread your love to everyone.


Petition: Lord, grant me the grace of final perseverance in the faith.


1. The Proof of His Unwavering Love: “Jesus knew that his hour had come to pass from this world to the Father.” Jesus did not suffer crisis of identity. Throughout his entire public ministry he showed an awareness of who he was (the Fathers Anointed One) and what he had come to do (his mission). He knew the trials that were soon to crush his mortal body. They would be a means to prove his worth: his love. “He loved his own in the world and he loved them to the end.” Love endures anything. Love can draw forth good even from the worst of situations. Love redeems. The very betrayal of his friendship will let him demonstrate the authenticity of his own friendship: “There is no greater love than to lay one’s life down for one’s friends.”


2. Acceptance of Christ’s Love: Jesus has not asked ‘permission’ to be humble and of service. Peter’s question, “Master, are you going to wash my feet?” does not come as a request, rather as a resistant acknowledgement of what Jesus is about to do. Do humility and love need our ‘permission’? The question is: who is humble enough to receive someone else’s love? Am I humble enough to receive Jesus’ love for me? Jesus’ humility and charity are purifying in their effect. In fact, precisely the attitude, “You will never wash my feet,” needs to be washed away. Only the poor in spirit, the pure of heart, the childlike enter the Kingdom of heaven: “Unless I wash you, you will have no inheritance with me.” Let Christ bathe me, then, by his graceful example. Anything less, I will lose my part with him. Yet if he has bathed me by his word, then I must only keep my feet clean.


3. The Precious Lesson: If I am a disciple, I must be careful to learn the lesson. Jesus asks, “Do you realize what I have done for you?” If anything, the master could demand that his servant wash his feet, not the other way around. Jesus is Lord and master, he is the Good Teacher. I am his disciple. Nonetheless, he has demonstrated his authority not by exacting obedience through exertion of force, rather by revealing the power of virtue: humility and charity – and their capacity to teach and persuade. “If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another´s feet.” He has given me a model to follow, so that I go and do likewise. Whose feet am I meant to wash?


Conversation with Christ: Lord, continue to bathe me with your word so that I may be found clean. Grant me the humility and charity to imitate your virtues. I wish to learn to wash the feet of others, so give me the grace to let down my defenses and simply reach out to do good, without worrying how others may react to me.


Resolution: Today I will humble myself to serve someone in need, especially anyone toward whom I have negative sentiments.

 
PUBLICATION DATE: 2015-04-02

Invitation to Intimacy
April 3, 2015. Good Friday of the Lord’s Passion



By Father David Daly, LC


John 18:1-19


When he had said this, Jesus went out with his disciples across the Kidron valley to where there was a garden, into which he and his disciples entered. Judas his betrayer also knew the place, because Jesus had often met there with his disciples. So Judas got a band of soldiers and guards from the chief priests and the Pharisees and went there with lanterns, torches, and weapons. Jesus, knowing everything that was going to happen to him, went out and said to them, "Whom are you looking for?" They answered him, "Jesus the Nazorean." He said to them, "I AM." Judas his betrayer was also with them. When he said to them, "I AM," they turned away and fell to the ground. So he again asked them, "Whom are you looking for?" They said, "Jesus the Nazorean." Jesus answered, "I told you that I AM. So if you are looking for me, let these men go.” This was to fulfill what he had said, "I have not lost any of those you gave me." Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it, struck the high priest´s slave, and cut off his right ear. The slave´s name was Malchus. Jesus said to Peter, "Put your sword into its scabbard. Shall I not drink the cup that the Father gave me?" So the band of soldiers, the tribune, and the Jewish guards seized Jesus, bound him, and brought him to Annas first. He was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year. It was Caiaphas who had counseled the Jews that it was better that one man should die rather than the people. Simon Peter and another disciple followed Jesus. Now the other disciple was known to the high priest, and he entered the courtyard of the high priest with Jesus. But Peter stood at the gate outside. So the other disciple, the acquaintance of the high priest, went out and spoke to the gatekeeper and brought Peter in. Then the maid who was the gatekeeper said to Peter, "You are not one of this man´s disciples, are you?" He said, "I am not." Now the slaves and the guards were standing around a charcoal fire that they had made, because it was cold, and were warming themselves. Peter was also standing there keeping warm. The high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and about his doctrine. Jesus answered, "I have spoken openly to the world; I have always taught in synagogues and in the Temple, where all the Jews come together. I have said nothing in secret. Why do you ask me? Ask those who heard what I said to them; they know what I said." When he had said this, one of the police standing nearby struck Jesus on the face, saying, "Is that how you answer the high priest?" Jesus answered, "If I have spoken wrongly, testify to the wrong. But if I have spoken rightly, why do you strike me?" Then Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest. Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. They asked him, "You are not also one of his disciples, are you?" He denied it and said, "I am not." One of the slaves of the high priest, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, "Did I not see you in the garden with him?" Again Peter denied it, and at that moment the cock crowed.


Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus, Good Friday is the day when you conquered sin by your death on the cross. You showed your mercy to be indestructible. The more the offenses thrown against you, the greater the forgiveness that came from your Sacred Heart. Thank you, Lord, for your humble, generous gift of yourself amidst such terrible suffering. I wish to accompany you closely today in your Passion. I wish to know you and to follow you more closely all the days of my life.


Petition: Lord, convince my heart that you truly died out of personal love for me.


1. The Affirmation: “I AM”. These are the courageous words of Christ before the cohort of soldiers sent to apprehend him in the garden of Gethsemane. They are the same words that God used to describe himself to Moses on Mt. Sinai. They are the words that have been used in Christian thought to refer to the Creator of all existing things. They are words in which Christ recognizes and proclaims his divinity before the soldiers. For this reason, they turned around and fell to the ground. As we meditate on Christ’s Passion, let us remember his divinity. He is my God and he is my Savior.


2. The Denial: “I am not.” These words of Peter stand in stark contrast to the words proclaiming Christ’s divinity. We could say that they represent all that is weak and fragile in man, expressed through the mouth of St. Peter. Unlike Christ in the garden, Peter stands by a warm fire and responds to a young servant girl. He denies being a follower of Christ and, in doing so, confirms his own weakness and his need for God’s grace and mercy. We should identify with Peter and recognize our need for Christ’s sacrifice. When “I Am Not”? When do I let my human fragility get the better of me and pull me down? What do I need to do to avoid the pitfalls in my life and be a more faithful follower of Christ?


3. Out of Love for Me: This Gospel scene juxtaposes Peter’s denial and Christ’s sentence to death. Even though Christ’s death would have happened without Peter’s denial, what was its effect on Our Lord? Jesus was dying for Peter and all people in order to save us from our sins. Peter’s lack of faith and love did not change that. But when he turned again and believed, he recognized that Jesus had done it all for him, and from then on he proclaimed it far and wide. May the Lord help us to realize that Christ sees all of our actions and they either console him or add to the pain of so many infidelities. We need to work steadily to build a second nature within ourselves so that in moments of temptation our heart turns first to Jesus, considers the offense we might cause him and then our will kicks in to reject doing wrong and thus please Our Lord and Savior.


Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus, as I contemplate your loving self-giving on Good Friday, I ask you to fill my heart with a deeper knowledge and love of you. All of my infidelities and weaknesses contribute to what you have suffered. You did it out of love for me and for each one of my brothers and sisters. Thank you.


Resolution: I resolve to ask for the personal experience of Christ’s love today, especially when considering his passion and death.

 
PUBLICATION DATE: 2015-04-03

A Christian Only Rents a Tomb
April 4, 2015. Holy Saturday



By Father James Swanson, LC


Liturgical note: There is no liturgy for Holy Saturday. Christian tradition has the Church waiting at the Lord’s tomb, meditating on his suffering and death. Today’s meditation is taken from the Gospel reading for Easter Sunday at the Easter Vigil.


Mark 16:1-7


When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary, the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go and anoint him. Very early when the sun had risen, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb. They were saying to one another, "Who will roll back the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?" When they looked up, they saw that the stone had been rolled back; it was very large. On entering the tomb they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a white robe, and they were utterly amazed. He said to them, "Do not be amazed! You seek Jesus of Nazareth, the crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Behold the place where they laid him. But go and tell his disciples and Peter, ´He is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him, as he told you.´"


Introductory Prayer: Jesus, you are my faithful friend in life and in death. I discover in your rising my guarantee and hope of everlasting life. After such a show of love you deserve all my faith, all my hope and all my love. I offer these to you humbly and gratefully. You alone are the Lord of my life. You are the true purpose of my life. I long to see your loving face, Lord, but I must wait in hope to see you in eternity.


Petition: Lord, Jesus, increase my hope in you.


1. In the Middle of Darkness: Mary and the other women were without hope. Jesus was dead. The only thing left was to give him a proper burial. They had been in a rush on Friday evening because of the impending Sabbath. Now they could do things properly. It would be hard to see him again, to look at that expressionless face they had known so well, to anoint the cold stiff flesh of the one who had meant everything to them. Once the anointing was done what would they do? What would be the future of this group Jesus had gathered around him? They had even heard that some members of the group were leaving today, to return to their homes because now that Jesus was dead, everything was over. It was now meaningless to be his follower. It was hard to believe that it was really all over, but that seemed to be the truth they had to face. The darkness of discouragement does not belong to a Christian.


2. An Unexpected Light Dawns: In the middle of their doubt, in the middle of their sorrow, in the middle of their hopelessness, a ray of light enters that grows to blinding proportions. The stone is gone, rolled back. They hurry into the tomb, fearing the worst, but the tomb is filled with light instead of darkness. How? A man...? No, an angel! He is smiling at them. He gives a message of unbelievable good news. Jesus is risen! He will see you in Galilee! “This is really unbelievable,” they think to themselves. “People don’t rise from the dead.” But somehow the angel’s impossible words bring them comfort, peace and even belief. In their hearts they know that the impossible has really come true. We need to nourish hope. We need to center our hearts on what is good and true and beautiful, namely Jesus Christ and his plan of salvation. Herein lie my strength and joy.


3. A New Perspective on Everything: The angel has given them a mission. They are to announce the Resurrection to the others. They have a message and they know it is of the greatest importance. Jesus, their hope, is alive. As they head toward the Upper Room, their minds start to work on the startling news they have received and they begin to understand many other things about Jesus. They remember how he spoke about having to suffer and die, but that he would rise. How strange they didn’t listen before. It seems so obvious now. The truth of the Resurrection makes everything new. Does the wonder of the Resurrection penetrate my entire life filling me with peace and joy? If not, why not? Am I convinced that the best way I can witness to Christ is by a life that is “full” and truly happy, whatever the vicissitudes I may suffer?


Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus, if I really believed that this life was a preparation for the next, I would put a lot more effort into pleasing you more every day. Help me to believe that a Christian only rents his tomb and that his treasures are not stored up in this life, but the next.


Resolution: Today, as I prepare for the celebration of the Resurrection, I will take stock of my life. I will ask myself, “Does the Resurrection really make a difference to me?” Do I really live differently from those who don’t accept Christ because I believe in the Resurrection? Or is my belief merely a veneer that allows me to think of myself as a Christian when really nothing in the way I live distinguishes me from those who are not Christians? Having made this evaluation, I will correct something that needs changing so as to show I believe in the Resurrection with all my heart.

 
PUBLICATION DATE: 2015-04-04

If you would like to receive the daily meditation and/or other e-mail services, please register here.

If you would like to send a gift subscription to someone else, please fill out this form.


 
 


Follow us on:   
Sponsored by the congregation of the Legionaries of Christ and the Regnum Christi Movement, Copyright 2011, Legion of Christ. All rights reserved.


Do you wish to add to your favorites?
Yes   -    No