Chủ Nhật, 16 tháng 4, 2017

APRIL 17, 2017 : MONDAY IN THE OCTAVE OF EASTER

Monday in the Octave of Easter
Lectionary: 261

On the day of Pentecost, Peter stood up with the Eleven,
raised his voice, and proclaimed:
"You who are Jews, indeed all of you staying in Jerusalem.
Let this be known to you, and listen to my words.

"You who are children of Israel, hear these words.
Jesus the Nazorean was a man commended to you by God
with mighty deeds, wonders, and signs,
which God worked through him in your midst, as you yourselves know.
This man, delivered up by the set plan and foreknowledge of God,
you killed, using lawless men to crucify him.
But God raised him up, releasing him from the throes of death,
because it was impossible for him to be held by it.
For David says of him:

I saw the Lord ever before me,
with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed.
Therefore my heart has been glad and my tongue has exulted;
my flesh, too, will dwell in hope, 
because you will not abandon my soul to the nether world,
nor will you suffer your holy one to see corruption.
You have made known to me the paths of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence.

My brothers, one can confidently say to you
about the patriarch David that he died and was buried,
and his tomb is in our midst to this day.
But since he was a prophet and knew that God had sworn an oath to him
that he would set one of his descendants upon his throne,
he foresaw and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ,
that neither was he abandoned to the netherworld
nor did his flesh see corruption.
God raised this Jesus;
of this we are all witnesses.
Exalted at the right hand of God,
he poured forth the promise of the Holy Spirit 
that he received from the Father, as you both see and hear."

R. (1) Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Keep me, O God, for in you I take refuge;
I say to the LORD, "My Lord are you."
O LORD, my allotted portion and my cup,
you it is who hold fast my lot.
R. Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope.
or:
R. Alleluia.
I bless the LORD who counsels me;
even in the night my heart exhorts me.
I set the LORD ever before me;
with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed.
R. Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Therefore my heart is glad and my soul rejoices,
my body, too, abides in confidence;
Because you will not abandon my soul to the nether world,
nor will you suffer your faithful one to undergo corruption.
R. Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope.
or:
R. Alleluia.
You will show me the path to life,
fullness of joys in your presence,
the delights at your right hand forever.
R. Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope.
or:
R. Alleluia.

AlleluiaPS 118:24
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
This is the day the LORD has made;
let us be glad and rejoice in it.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 28:8-15
Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went away quickly from the tomb,
fearful yet overjoyed,
and ran to announce the news to his disciples.
And behold, Jesus met them on their way and greeted them.
They approached, embraced his feet, and did him homage.
Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid.
Go tell my brothers to go to Galilee, 
and there they will see me."

While they were going, some of the guard went into the city
and told the chief priests all that had happened.
The chief priests assembled with the elders and took counsel;
then they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers,
telling them, "You are to say,
'His disciples came by night and stole him while we were asleep.'
And if this gets to the ears of the governor,
we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble."
The soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed.
And this story has circulated among the Jews to the present day.


Meditation: News of the resurrection
Are you prepared to meet the Risen Lord? The disciples of Jesus were as unprepared for his resurrection as they were for his death. The empty tomb made them fearful and joyful at the same time. "Where did they put the body or did he really rise just as he predicted?"  Even though Jesus had spoken to them before of his death and rising, they could not believe until they saw the empty tomb and met the risen Lord. Aren't we the same? We want to see with our own eyes before we believe! The guards brought their testimony to the chief priests and elders who met the news with denial. They were resolved to not believe that Jesus had risen and they bribed the guards in the hope of keeping others from believing.
We live in the joy and hope of the resurrection to new life with Chrisrt
What is the basis of our faith in the resurrection? The Scriptures tell us that "faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen"(Hebrews 11:1). Faith is an entirely free gift that God makes to us. Our faith is a free assent to the whole truth which God reveals to us through his word. Faith is certain because it is based on the very word of God who cannot lie. Faith also seeks understanding. That is why God enlightens the "eyes of our hearts" that we may know what is the hope to which he has called us (Ephesians 1:18). Peter the Apostle says we have been born anew to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead (1 Peter 1:3). 
Through the gift of faith, the Lord reveals himself to those who believe in his word and he fills them with "new life in his Holy Spirit". Do you live in the joy and hope of the resurrection? And do you recognize the presence of the Risen Lord in his word, in the "breaking of the bread", and in his church, the body of Christ?
"Lord Jesus, may we always live in the joy and hope of the resurrection and never lose sight of its truth for our lives."
A Daily Quote for Easter seasonThe Easter Alleluia, by Augustine of Hippo, 354-430 A.D.
"Our thoughts in this present life should turn on the praise of God, because it is in praising God that we shall rejoice for ever in the life to come; and no one can be ready for the next life unless he trains himself for it now. So we praise God during our earthly life, and at the same time we make our petitions to him. Our praise is expressed with joy, our petitions with yearning. We have been promised something we do not yet possess, and because the promise was made by one who keeps his word, we trust him and are glad; but insofar as possession is delayed, we can only long and yearn for it. It is good for us to persevere in longing until we receive what was promised, and yearning is over; then praise alone will remain." (excerpt from commentary on Psalm 148, 1-2) 


MONDAY, APRIL 17, MATTHEW 28:8-15
Monday within the Octave of Easter

(Acts 2:14, 22-33; Psalm 16)

KEY VERSE: "Do not be afraid. Go tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me" (v 10).
TO KNOW: By the time Matthew wrote his gospel there was a dispute between the Jewish leaders and the followers of Jesus regarding the meaning of the empty tomb. The religious leaders believed Jesus' followers had stolen his body. Matthew maintained that women were the only eye-witnesses of the empty tomb. The men had fled Jerusalem after Jesus' arrest (Matt 26:56); therefore they could not be guilty of stealing his body. When the women came to the tomb to anoint Jesus' body, they were commanded by an angelic messenger to inform the disciples that Jesus had been raised from the dead. They were afraid because a woman's testimony was not considered valid, yet they hastened to announce the joyful news that Jesus had risen. As they went on their way, the Risen Christ appeared to them and told them to have no fear. He would meet his disciples in Galilee.
TO LOVE: Have I shared the good news of the Resurrection with someone who needs to hear it?
TO SERVE: Risen Lord, help me to overcome my fears as I proclaim your gospel.​

Monday 17 April 2017

Easter Monday.
Acts 2:14, 22-33. Psalms 15(16):1-2, 5, 7-11. Matthew 28:8-15.
‘Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went away quickly from the tomb, fearful yet overjoyed, and ran to announce the news to his disciples.’ — Matthew 28:8-15.
‘We are not drunk!’ said Peter.
This is the introduction to one of the first great messages of the church. What kind of celebration is proper to hold for one who has defeated death? It must have been strange and alarming to be those around the disciples. How come these people seem so mad? Let them speak, even if they are mad or drunk, why should they not? Aren’t they happy?
And why should we not be happy today? It is a good day, a bright day, a new day. Angels, rocks and trees hum with insights previously unfound. This day, it is God becoming greater than great, more alive than alive, more true than true. Alleluia.

ST. STEPHEN HARDING

St. Stephen Harding is regarded as the founder of the Cistercian monasteries. He was born in Dorset, England, and educated at Sherborne Abbey.
After studying in Paris and Rome, he visited the monastery of Molesme. Impressed by its holy abbot, Robert of Molesme, and the prior, Alberic (both of which were later canonized), Stephen joined the community.
After a few years, the three men, along with 20 other monks, established a more austere monastery in Citeaux. Eventually Robert was called back to his position of abbot at Molesme(1099), and Alberic, who became the new abbot of Citeaux, died in 1110. Following Alberic's death, Stephen was elected as abbot.
Stephen drew up the famous "Charter of Charity," which became the basis for Cistercian monasticism. However, very few men were joining the community and the monastery was suffering from hunger and sickness. It seemed for awhile as if thier new order was destined to die out. However, in1112 the man who was to be known as St. Bernard of Clairvaux, joined the community along with 30 other companions, including almost his entire family. The very next year Stephen founded his first colony at La Ferté.
Before his death in 1134, Stephen had established 13 monasteries. By the end of the 12th century there were 500 in Europe.

LECTIO DIVINA: MATTHEW 28,8-15
Lectio Divina: 
 Monday, April 17, 2017
Easter Time


1) Opening prayer
Our living God,
our heart is glad and rejoices
and we feel secure in our faith
that we have a living person to believe in,Jesus Christ, who is risen from the dead.
Let him show us the path of life,
let us live in the joy of his presence
and give us the grace to make us witnesses,
so that we can proclaim with our whole life
that Jesus is our risen, living Lord
now and for ever.

2) Gospel Reading - Matthew 28, 8-15
Filled with awe and great joy the women came quickly away from the tomb and ran to tell his disciples. And suddenly, coming to meet them, was Jesus. 'Greetings,' he said. And the women came up to him and, clasping his feet, they did him homage. Then Jesus said to them, 'Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers that they must leave for Galilee; there they will see me.' Now while they were on their way, some of the guards went off into the city to tell the chief priests all that had happened. These held a meeting with the elders and, after some discussion, handed a considerable sum of money to the soldiers with these instructions, 'This is what you must say, "His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep." And should the governor come to hear of this, we undertake to put things right with him ourselves and to see that you do not get into trouble.' So they took the money and carried out their instructions, and to this day that is the story among the Jews.

3) Reflection
• Easter! Today’s Gospel describes the experience of the Resurrection which the disciples of Jesus had. At the beginning of his Gospel, in presenting Jesus, Matthew had said that Jesus is the Emmanuel, God with us (Mt 1, 23). Now, at the end, he communicates and increases this certainty of faith, because he proclaims that Jesus is risen (Mt 28, 6) and that he will be with us always, up to the end of time! (Mt 28, 20). In the contradictions of life, this truth is questioned, contested very much. Opposition is not lacking. The enemies, the chief priests of the Jews, defended themselves against the Good News of the Resurrection and sent word to say that the body had been stolen by the disciples (Mt 28, 11-13). This also happens today. On the one side, the effort of many persons to live and to witness to the resurrection. On the other side, so many evil people who fight against the resurrection and against life.
• In the Gospel of Matthew, the truth of the Resurrection of Jesus is told through a symbolical language, which reveals the hidden sense of the events. Matthew speaks about the earthquake, of lightening and of the angels who announce the victory of Jesus over death (Mt 2-4). It is an apocalyptic language, very common at that time, to announce that finally the world had been transformed by the power of God! The hope of the poor, who reaffirmed their faith, was fulfilled: “He is alive in our midst!”
• Matthew 28, 8: The joy of the Resurrection overcomes fear. On Sunday morning, the first day of the week, two women went to the tomb, Mary of Magdala and Mary of James, also called the other Mary. All of a sudden the earth trembled and an angel appeared as lightening. The guards who were guarding the tomb were so shaken up with fear that they were like dead men. The women were frightened but the angel encouraged them, announcing the victory of Jesus over death and sending them to go join the disciples of Jesus in Galilee. And in Galilee they would be able to see him again. Everything began there; they received the great revelation of the Risen Lord. The joy of the Resurrection began to overcome fear. Thus the announcement of life and resurrection begins in this way.
• Matthew 28, 9-10: Jesus appears to the women. The women left quickly. In them there is a mixture of fear and of joy. These are sentiments typical of those who have a profound experience of the Mystery of God. Suddenly, Jesus himself went to meet them and said to them: “”Rejoice!” And they fell on their knees and adored him. It is the attitude of the one who believes and accepts the presence of God, even if it surprises and goes beyond the human capacity of understanding. Now, Jesus himself orders them to go and join the brothers in Galilee: “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee and there they will see me”.
• Matthew 28, 11-15: The astuteness or guile of the enemies of the Good News. The opposition itself which Jesus had to face during his life, springs up again now after his Resurrection. The chief priests meet and give money to the guards. They should spread the news that the disciples have robbed the body of Jesus, and this in order to avoid everything which is said about the resurrection. The chief priests do not accept the Good News of the Resurrection. They prefer to believe that it is an invention on the part of the disciples – men and women – of Jesus.
• The significance of the testimony of the women. The presence of the women at the death, at the burial and at the resurrection of Jesus is significant. They are witnesses of the death of Jesus (Mt 27, 54-56). At the moment of the burial, they remain sitting before the tomb and, therefore, they can render witness of the place where Jesus was buried (Mt 27, 61). Now, on Sunday morning, they are there once again. They know that the empty tomb is truly the tomb of Jesus! The profound experience of death and resurrection which they had, transformed their lives. They themselves become qualified witnesses of the Resurrection in the Christian Communities. This is why they receive the order to announce: “Jesus is alive! He has risen from the dead!”

4) Personal questions
• Which is the experience of resurrection that I have in my life? Is there in me some force which tries to oppose the experience of the resurrection? How do I react?
• Today, which is the mission of our community, of us, disciples of Jesus? From where can we draw force and strength and courage to fulfil our mission?

5) Concluding Prayer
I bless Yahweh who is my counsellor,
even at night my heart instructs me.
I keep Yahweh before me always,
for with him at my right hand,
nothing can shake me. (Ps 16,7-8)