In the Gospel for Monday of the Fourth Week of Easter, Jesus identifies himself as the Sheep Gate. The sheep pass through the gate to protection from predators. Jesus saves his followers. He offers abundant life. He tells us, “I came so that [you] might have life and have it more abundantly” (John 10: 10). Jesus teaches that the abundant life is lived only in loving relationships with him, with ourselves, and with others. How can you make your relationships more loving?
In the Reading for the Feast of Saint Mark the Evangelist, Peter ends his first letter with “Peace to all of you who are in Christ” (1 Peter 5: 14). His words echo those of the Risen Lord when he appeared to his disciples, “Peace be with You” (Luke 24: 36). How I long for the peace of Christ for me and for you. What peace can Christ give you?
In the Gospel for Tuesday of the Third Week of Easter, Jesus tell his disciples, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger,
and whoever believes in me will never thirst” (John 6: 35). Have you ever felt a hunger nothing could satisfy? Jesus satisfies our heart’s deepest desires. Loving Jesus and loving others for Jesus offer life’s true satisfaction. What satisfies your heart?
In the Gospel for Monday of the Third Week of Easter, the crowd ask Jesus, “What can we do to accomplish the works of God?” (John 6: 28). Jesus answers, “This is the work of God, that you believe in the one he sent” (John 6: 29). The crowd asks a faith seeker’s question, “What can I do for God?” Jesus answers with a surprise. It’s not about doing. It’s about believing. Believing in Jesus leads to doing God’s work. We get it backwards. We want to be in charge. We want to accomplish something. Instead Jesus invites us into a relationship with God who will make known his will for us. It’s not about our work but God’s work. To what work is God calling you?
In the Reading for Thursday of the Second Week of Easter, Peter and the Apostles testify before the Sanhedrin. They are on trial for defying the court. The officials prohibited them from teaching about Jesus. Peter and the Apostles refuse. They continue to witness to the Risen Lord. The Holy Spirit inspires all Christians to share the Good News of Jesus. How do you give witness?
John the Evangelist reflects on the saving mission of Jesus in the Gospel for Wednesday of the Second Week of Easter. “God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son” (John 3: 16). I am awestruck by the generous love of our God who so much want our hearts that he dwells with us in Jesus. In Jesus we meet God face to face. I marvel at the generous love of my wife who chose to share her life with me over 30 years ago. How much more spectacular is the love of our God who lives with us! How do you experience the love of God?
The First Reading for Monday of the Second Week of Easter tells the story of Pentecost story. Threatened by the authorities, the disciples prayed for courage to continue preaching about Jesus. “The place where they were gathered shook, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness” (Acts 4: 31). Through Baptism, Christians are filled with the Holy Spirit. We witness to Christ by what we say and do. What is the Holy Spirit inspiring you to do?
In the Gospel for Friday Within the Octave of Easter, the risen Lord prepares breakfast for his disciples. Sitting around the fire no one asks about his identity for “they realized it was the Lord” (John 21: 12). I have been surprised by God. I have had unexpected encounters with Jesus. In times of trouble, joy, friendship, family, healing, almsgiving, prayer, sacraments, and more, I have powerfully felt the presence of God’s grace. When have you realized it was the Lord?
In the Gospel for Thursday Within the Octave of Easter, the Risen Lord greets his disciples. “Peace be with you!” (Luke 24: 36). They are huddled together in the Upper Room afraid for their lives. Jesus wishes peace to his beloved friends who denied, betrayed, and abandoned him during his passion and death. Jesus still offers us the fullness of God’s life. Irregardless of our betrayals, Jesus wishes us peace. For what do you seek the peace of Christ?
In the Gospel for Wednesday Within the Octave of Easter, two discisples meet a stranger on the road from Jerusalem to Emmaus. Upon arrival home, they invite the stranger to dinner. When the stranger disappears during the breaking of the bread, they recognize him as the risen Lord. They exclaim, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he spoke to us on the way and opened the Scriptures to us” (Luke 24: 32). Christ fulfills our hearts’ desires. Living for Christ satisifies the deepest longings of the human heart. What is your heart’s desire?