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"Imitation of Christ"

Today's Mass Readings

Today’s first reading gives us the account of the first martyrdom in the early Christian Church. Stephen challenged the religious authorities to separate themselves from the line of those ancestors who persecuted the righteous prophets of their times. Jeremiah, for example, was one such presecuted prophet. But Stephen’s fiery speech only infuriated them further.

"Work for Food that Endures for Eternal Life"

Today's Mass Readings

In today’s reading from the Gospel of John, Jesus tells the crowd to work for food that endures for eternal life. Jesus is speaking about the Eucharist. The rest of this passage, entitled the Bread of Life Discourse, from John’s Gospel, deals with the Eucharist, where Jesus explains to the crowd and to His disciples that His flesh is real food, that His blood is real drink, and that both must be eaten and drunk. He is the bread of life.

"The Transforming Power of Love"

Today's Mass Readings

“Follow me.” These are the last words of Jesus to Peter in today’s gospel passage. But this was not the first time Peter was hearing these words. The last time Jesus told Peter, “Follow me” was by the shores of the lake of Galilee. A full three years have passed since then. And many things have happened in the span of these three years. When Jesus first came calling his disciples, Peter was among the first to be called. He had left his net and followed Jesus without hesitation. Peter got pretty close to Jesus and even became the spokesmen for others. He was the one to make the confession that Jesus was indeed the Son of God, the Messiah. He was the one to whom Jesus said “Peter you are rock and on this rock I will build my church,” and to him was entrusted the keys of the kingdom. Peter rebuked Jesus when he told the disciples about his impending death. But when Jesus explained the necessity of the Messiah to suffer and die Peter vowed he would die with Jesus. And yet Peter denied him not once but three times.

"The Church Continues to Grow"

Today's Mass Readings

Today’s first reading gives us a glimpse of the life of the earliest of Christian church – its problems and prospects. As the number of disciples began to grow, so did potential problems. Today’s first reading refers to complaints from the Hellenist widows that their needs were being ignored. The important dimension, however, is the manner in which this problem was resolved. The disciples called the community of disciples together and come up with a solution. This precedent will soon become a regular practice in the Church. The Council of Jerusalem in 51 AD would settle the Jewish-Gentile controversy, just as much the II Vatican Council, in 1965, would bring the Church in dialogue with the modern world. So far twenty-one councils have been held.

"Bread of Life; Bread for the World"

Today's Mass Readings

Today’s reading from the Gospel of John is a great example of how God provides for us. The crowd following Jesus is hungry, so He multiplies bread and fish. Everyone is satisfied, and what’s more, there’s a surplus of food.

"Living the Easter Joy"

Today's Mass Readings

Today’s gospel reading from John emphasizes Jesus’ divinity. We get a mystical sense of Jesus have coming from above and the Father giving everything over to the Son. And yet, despite this emphasis on divinity, we know that in this season of Easter we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus which only came after his gruesome crucifixion. Jesus, the Son of God, actually died, and he died because of God’s great love for humankind. Jesus, who walked among us, is a very concrete way in which we understand what God was like. And in Jesus’ death we see that God is loving and self-sacrificing. He empties himself for us and it is in this emptying, this humbling, that the Son is exalted.

"Whoever Lives the Truth Comes to the Light"

Today's Mass Readings

Salvation is God’s gift in Jesus; but whether to accept or reject God’s offer of salvation remains a choice that every human person must consciously make. This could easily be the theme of today’s readings. Let us reflect on this theme reading by reading.

"Resurrection, Justice and Love"

Today's Mass Readings

The first reading for today from the Acts of the Apostles is a powerful reading that challenges our sense of justice. The earliest Christians, as depicted in Acts, sought to live justly and mercifully with one another, so that no one went hungry, so that no one wanted for anything.

"Born Again"

Today's Mass Readings

In today’s gospel reading Jesus is speaking to the Pharisee Nicodemus about baptism. Although Nicodemus a Pharisees, he became a follower of Jesus. He recognized, as this passage makes clear, that Jesus came from God and that God was with Him. Jesus speaks to Nicodemus about being born from above, or, as some translations read, born again. Nicodemus is confused. How can someone be born who is already old and was already born so long ago?

"Just as the Father Sent Me, So I Send You"

Sunday Mass Readings

At his death the disciples and followers of Jesus were scattered. But we can also guess what must have been going on in their minds. Here is a man whom they followed for three years, and suddenly, he is gone? Existential questions must have plagued their minds. What now? What will they do now? In their confrontation with the Jews, even when they could not defend themselves Jesus defended them. But now they were won their own. How will they defend themselves now? Each of them must have been wreathing in guilt because none of them stood by the Lord. What does the future hold for them. In fact we have a few glimpses of what may have gone on, in the Gospels. Peter says to the others, “I am going fishing.” Some have interpreted this to say, he was going back to his old life. The others replied, we are going with you. In other words perhaps the disciples had become hopeless and despairing.

"Of Divine Transformations"

Today's Mass Readings

Mark’s gospel, the shortest and the first to be written, describes all the resurrection appearances of Jesus in all but seven verses. Today's reading gives us these accounts. It is surprising that even after the resurrection, the disciples have to be rebuked by Jesus. In fact, througout Mark’s narration of the Jesus story, the disciples do come across as uncomprehending. Neither the words nor the miracles of Jesus do much for the disciples as God’s salvific work unfolds in their midst.

"His Resurrection is Our Hope"

Today's Mass Readings

In today’s reading from the Gospel of John, Jesus again reveals Himself to His disciples. He has been raised from the dead, and He continually appears to His disciples in His resurrected body. Jesus’ resurrection is the message Peter preaches to religious leaders of his day, in today’s first reading from the Acts of the Apostles. Jesus’ resurrection is the message of Easter. Christ has been raised from the dead, alleluia, alleluia.

"O Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth!"

Today's Mass Readings

Alleluia! Christ is risen! Easter continues! In today’s adventure story from the Acts of the Apostles, we see attention focused on Peter and John because of a healing they have just done. Yet Peter and John take none of the glory for themselves, but instead redirect the attention. This healing is an attention-getter that allows them to communicate their important message: they are able to do what they do because of Jesus Christ. They use the opportunity to proclaim the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. But even more importantly, they use the opportunity to connect with their own Jewish roots. This Jesus is the long-awaited Messiah, the Son of God, the sign of God’s love to the world. Jesus, coming from this long line of people, is now for all, to be proclaimed to all who can hear

"The Stranger in Our Midst"

Today's Mass Readings
Jesus’ appearance to the disciples on the road to Emmaus is a very telling story. From the mood of the disciples we can conclude that there is much despair. Well, that is exactly what life is without God. And then, along comes a “Stranger.” The disciples do not recognize him, yet their hearts burn. They do not know the stranger and yet invite him to eat with them. He is the guest yet he is invited to break the bread. And suddenly, there is a deep, deep realization that God is “in their midst” more really than ever before.

What is it that defies reason and yet leads to conviction? The answer is faith.

"Baptism and Mission"

Today's Mass Readings

Alleluia! Easter is a time for rejoicing and celebrating Christ’s resurrection. In the reading from today’s Gospel, Mary Magdalene sees the risen Lord. Jesus appears to her, risen from the dead. The joy of the resurrection impels Mary to share this joy with the apostles. This sharing of Christ’s resurrection is an important Easter theme.

“He is Risen. Alleluia!”

Easter Sunday Readings

“He is Risen. Alleluia!”

The gospel reading recounting the resurrection appearance of Jesus to Mary Magdalene is a very moving episode. However, Mary’s resurrection experience was only the climax of her discipleship, preceded by other experiences. In fact, Mary had made a long journey of faith as far as her relationship with Jesus was concerned. There was a time when Mary did not know Jesus. Her life was her own affair. In fact, her life was not even her own; she was possessed by a legion. It was Jesus who had set her free. But once she was set free by Jesus she began to follow him. That is the first stage in her faith - ‘from not knowing to following Jesus’.

"Hopeful Expectation"

Reading: John 19:31-42

Once the Good Friday liturgy is completed, the next liturgical celebration is the Easter vigil celebration on Holy Saturday after sunset. The scraments are not celebrated on Good Friday and Holy Saturday. The altar in churches throughout the world is left competely bare, without cloths, candles, or cross. The Church keeps all day Holy Saturday aside to reflect upon the mystery of Christ’s death. The Church, and indeed the whole earth maintain a deep silence. The Son of God sleeps within the earth. He enters the nether world to bring salvation to those of God’s righteous who stand in need of God’s once and for all redemption. The power of the redeeming death of Jesus must reache every corner of God’s creation.

"By His Stripes we are Healed"

Good Friday Readings

We call today Good Friday. At first glance it may be difficult to see why this Friday is good; it is a memorial of Jesus’ death by torture and crucifixion. The God who became a human because of His love for us, was tortured to death on a cross. And yet, it is especially in Jesus’ willingness to suffer and die for us that we can best see God’s love. God loved us so much that He sent His only Son, Jesus, to die for us. This is not the tragic death of a friend, so much as the heroic self-sacrifice of the loving God who desires to be united with us so much so that Jesus sacrificed His life for us.

"Our Blessing-Cup is a Communion with the Blood of Christ"

Today's Mass Readings

On Holy Thursday we recall the last supper that Jesus celebrated the Passover with his apostles. This is day that Jesus instituted the Eucharist. The context is something familiar to the men gathered around him: a Passover seder, which they would have been celebrating all their lives. The first reading from Exodus describes how such a seder meal should happen. With Jesus at the Last Supper, this Passover meal takes on a new meaning. Jesus is the bread, Jesus is the wine, Jesus is the sacrifice, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.