In the Gospel for Wednesday of the Second Week of Easter, Jesus teaches about light and darkness. “For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come toward the light, so that his works might not be exposed. But whoever lives the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God” (John 3: 21). Jesus lives in the light. He does good things for God. Darkness deters us from doing God’s will. Fear, resentment, anger, illness, grief, and more can keep us in spiritual darkness. Where do you need the light of Christ in your life?.
In the Gospel for the Memorial of St. Catherine of Siena, the early Church cares for the needy. “There was no needy person among them, for those who owned property or houses would sell them, bring the proceeds of the sale, and put them at the feet of the Apostles, and they were distributed to each according to need” (Acts 4: 34). They share everything in common. They pool their resources to satisfy everyone’s basic needs. Christian families model this kind of generous love. God wants the human family to do the same. In Gods’ reign there is no more famine, human trafficking, homelessness and other human ills. How do you care for the needy in your family and beyond?
In the Gospel for Monday of the Second Week of Easter, Nicodemus asks Jesus about being physically born again. “Jesus answered, ‘Amen, amen, I say to you, unless one is born of water and Spirit he [she] cannot enter the Kingdom of God’ ” (John 3: 5). Nicodemus must be reborn a child of God to recognize Jesus as the source of God’s Spirit and life-giving. Baptism makes us children of God. Jesus is our source of God’s life and love. He is risen from the dead! How do you share God’s life giving love?
In the Gospel for Friday in the Octave of Easter, the Risen Lord has breakfast with his disciples. “Jesus said to them, ‘Come, have breakfast.’ And none of the disciples dared to ask him, ‘Who are you?’ because they realized it was the Lord. Jesus came over and took the bread and gave it to them, and in like manner the fish” (John 21: 12-13). The disciples recognize Jesus who blesses, breaks and distributes the food. How do you recognize Jesus at your daily meals and at the Eucharistic meal?
In the Gospel for Thursday in the Octave of Easter, the disciples encounter the Risen Lord. Jesus explains his death and resurrection. “Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things” (Luke 24: 46-48). Jesus commissions his disciples then and now to testify to the good news of forgiveness of sin. How do you witness to God’s loving forgiveness?
In the Gospel for Wednesday in the Octave of Easter, two disciples meet the Risen Lord on the road to Emmaus. They did not recognize him until they got home. There they broke bread with him. “Were not our hearts burning within us while he spoke to us on the way and opened the Scriptures to us?” (Luke 24: 32) By virtue of our Baptism, the fire of Jesus’ love burns in our hearts. The fire burns brightly when it is easy to love others. It is smoking embers when difficult. Jesus has the power to keep the fire of our love alive. He is risen from the dead. How does God help you keep the fire of your love burning?
In the Gospel for Tuesday in the Octave of Easter, Mary Magdalene meets the Risen Lord. “Jesus said to her, ‘Stop holding on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and tell them, I am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God ‘ ” (John 20: 17). The disciples were grief stricken at the death of Jesus. They had trouble letting go of him. Mary Magdalene lets go of her sorrow and opens her heart to Jesus newly alive. God’s grace works like that for those who grieve. God heals the grief stricken to live a new life. Jesus risen from the dead gives them hope to carry on. What do you need to let go in order to hope?
In the Reading for Wednesday of Holy Week, the prophet servant confesses confidence in God’s protection. Ignored and mistreated, the servant relies on God. “The Lord God is my help, therefore I am not disgraced; I have set my face like flint, knowing that I shall not be put to shame” (Isaiah 50: 7). God is at the ready to help us when mistreated, especially for a just cause. How can God help you?
In the Gospel for Tuesday of Holy Week, Jesus announces his betrayal. John, the beloved disciples asks, “ ‘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 Iscariot” (John 13: 25-26). At dinner with his disciples the night before he died, Jesus offers food to his betrayer. Disciples today follow Jesus’ example of selfless loving service to others, even enemies. How has God helped you care for someone who has hurt you?
Mary anoints the feet of Jesus in the Gospel for Monday of Holy Week. “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” (John 12: 3). Mary is a true friend of Jesus. She spares no expense to comfort Jesus at his time of suffering and death. Jesus’ disciples are good friends too. For love of Christ, they share generously of themselves for the sake of others. How can you give of yourself today to comfort someone in pain?