Thứ Sáu, 12 tháng 5, 2017

MAY 13, 2017 : SATURDAY OF THE FOURTH WEEK OF EASTER

Saturday of the Fourth Week of Easter
Lectionary: 284

Reading 1ACTS 13:44-52
On the following sabbath
almost the whole city
gathered to hear the word of the Lord. 
When the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy
and with violent abuse contradicted what Paul said. 
Both Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly and said,
"It was necessary that the word of God be spoken to you first,
but since you reject it
and condemn yourselves as unworthy of eternal life,
we now turn to the Gentiles. 
For so the Lord has commanded us,
I have made you a light to the Gentiles,
that you may be an instrument of salvation
to the ends of the earth."

The Gentiles were delighted when they heard this
and glorified the word of the Lord. 
All who were destined for eternal life came to believe,
and the word of the Lord continued to spread
through the whole region. 
The Jews, however, incited the women of prominence who were worshipers
and the leading men of the city,
stirred up a persecution against Paul and Barnabas,
and expelled them from their territory. 
So they shook the dust from their feet in protest against them
and went to Iconium. 
The disciples were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit.

Responsorial PsalmPS 98:1, 2-3AB, 3CD-4
R. (3cd) All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done wondrous deeds;
His right hand has won victory for him,
his holy arm.
R. All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.
or:
R. Alleluia.
The LORD has made his salvation known:
in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice.
He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness
toward the house of Israel.
R. All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.
or:
R. Alleluia.
All the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation by our God.
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
break into song; sing praise.
R. All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.
or:
R. Alleluia.

AlleluiaJN 8:31B-32
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples,
and you will know the truth, says the Lord.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelJN 14:7-14
Jesus said to his disciples: 
"If you know me, then you will also know my Father. 
From now on you do know him and have seen him." 
Philip said to Jesus, 
"Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us." 
Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you for so long a time
and you still do not know me, Philip? 
Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. 
How can you say, 'Show us the Father'? 
Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? 
The words that I speak to you I do not speak on my own. 
The Father who dwells in me is doing his works. 
Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me,
or else, believe because of the works themselves. 
Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever believes in me will do the works that I do,
and will do greater ones than these,
because I am going to the Father. 
And whatever you ask in my name, I will do,
so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 
If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it."


Meditation: "Lord, show us the Father"
What’s the greatest thing we can aim for in this life? - Is it not to know God personally as your Father and Redeemer? What is the best thing we can possess in this life, bringing more joy, contentment, life and happiness, than anything else? - Is it not true knowledge and understanding of who God is and what kind of relationship he wants to have with you? Scripture tells us the greatest thing we can know and possess is true knowledge of God: Thus says the Lord: "Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, let not the mighty glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches; but let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows me" (Jeremiah 9:23-24).
We can know God the Father personally and be united with him
One of the greatest truths of the Christian faith is that we can know the living God. Our knowledge of God is not simply limited to knowing something about God, but we can know God personally. The essence of Christianity, and what makes it distinct from Judaism and other religions, is the personal knowledge of God as our Father.
Jesus makes it possible for each of us to personally know God as our heavenly Father. To see Jesus is to see what God is like. In Jesus we see the perfect love of God - a God who cares intensely and who yearns over men and women, loving them to the point of laying down his life for them upon the Cross. Jesus is the revelation of God - a God who loves us unconditionally, unselfishly and perfectly - without neglecting or forgetting us even for a brief moment. If we put our trust in Jesus and believe in him, Jesus promises that God the Father will hear our prayers when we pray in his name. That is why Jesus taught his followers to pray with confidence, Our Father who art in heaven ..give us this day our daily bread (Matthew 6:9,11; Luke 11:2-3) Do you pray to your Father in heaven with joy and confidence in his personal love and care for you?
"Lord Jesus, you fill us with the joy of your saving presence and you give us the hope of everlasting life with God our Father in Heaven. Show me the Father that I may know and glorify him always."
Daily Quote from the early church fathersThe Father's portrait in the Son, by Ambrose of Milan, 339-397 A.D.
"By means of this image the Lord showed Philip the Father. Yes, he who looks on the Son sees, in portrait, the Father. Notice what kind of portrait is spoken of. It is truth, righteousness, the power of God. It is not silent, for it is the Word. It is not insensible, for it is Wisdom. It is not vain and foolish, for it is power. It is not soulless, for it is the life. It is not dead, for it is the resurrection." (excerpt from ON THE CHRISTIAN FAITH 1.7.50) 

SATURDAY, MAY 13, JOHN 14:7-14
Easter Weekday

(Acts 13:44-52; Psalm 98)

KEY VERSE: "Whoever has seen me has seen the Father" (v.9).
TO KNOW: Jesus came to reveal God the Father. His words and works testified to the life and truth that he shared with the Father. Philip asked for some manifestation of God (theophany) such as Moses experienced on Mount Sinai (Ex 33:18). Jesus said that if they really understood who he was, they would "see" the Father in him. Although God is Spirit, Jesus is the living revelation of God the Father who acts in and through him. If his disciples could not believe Jesus' words, at least they could believe in the works he had done. Jesus assured his followers that if they had faith in him, they would accomplish even greater works. He promised to empower the Church to act in his name through the coming of the Holy Spirit.
TO LOVE: In what ways do I see Jesus working through me? Am I able to see him working in others?
TO SERVE: Risen Lord, help me to understand the Divine mystery you came to reveal.




Optional Memorial of Our Lady of Fatima - Centenary of the Apparitions

The Blessed Virgin Mary appeared six times in the small village of Fatima in Portugal to three shepherd children: Lucia, 9, and her cousins Francisco, 8, and his sister Jacinta, 6, between May 13, 1917 and October 13, 1917. She told them that she had been sent by God who would grant peace to all the world if her requests for prayer, reparation and consecration were heard and obeyed. Our Lady repeatedly emphasized the necessity of praying the rosary daily, of wearing the brown scapular of Mount Carmel and of performing acts of reparation and sacrifice on the Five First Saturdays of five consecutive months. Our Lady requested the solemn public consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart. In the last apparition she revealed her name: “I am the Lady of the Rosary.” That same day, 70,000 people had turned out to witness the apparition. They saw the sun make three circles and move around the sky in an incredible zigzag movement in a manner which left no doubt about the veracity of the apparitions. By 1930 the Church approved the apparitions as authentic. The heart of Our Lady's Message has come to be called the "Secrets" which she confided to the three children. The third “secret” was not revealed until the year 2000, and referred to the persecutions that humanity would undergo in the last century: “The good will be martyred; the Holy Father will have much to suffer; various nations will be annihilated.'” The assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II in 1981 took place on May 13, the 64th anniversary of the apparitions. The Holy Father attributed his escape from certain death to the intervention of Our Lady. Two of the children, Jacinta and Francisco Martos, died shortly after the apparitions. Pope Francis will preside over their canonization while in Fatima May 12-13 for the centenary of the apparitions. Sr. Lucy Dos Santos, the eldest of the three, died after a long illness at the age of 97 on February 13, 2004 at her Carmelite convent in Coimbra, Portugal. 


Saturday 13 May 2017

Our Lady of Fatima.
Acts 13:44-52. Psalms 97(98):1-4. John 14:7-14.
All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God — Psalms 97(98):1-4.
Jesus promises that, if we believe in him, we will do even greater works than he did.
These are challenging words. How could we possibly even dare to pray for the healing of the blind, the raising of the dead or the calming of a storm?
Jesus went on to promise the disciples: ‘You will know that I am in the Father, and you in me and I in you’ (John 14:20). Experiencing God’s presence in us will convince us that there is no hurt so great that he cannot heal it. There is no heart too hard not to be melted by God’s love. No miracle is impossible if God wills it.
Jesus, thank you for taking up your dwelling in my heart. I am amazed that you would choose to live in me! May I be pleasing to you today and always, in all I say and do. And may the works you do through me glorify you.

OUR LADY OF FATIMA

May 13 is the anniversary of the apparition of Our Lady to three shepherd children in the small village of Fatima in Portugal in 1917.  She appeared six times to Lucia, 9, and her cousins Francisco, 8, and his sister Jacinta, 6, between May 13, 1917 and October 13, 1917.
The story of Fatima begins in 1916, when, against the backdrop of the First World War which had introduced Europe to the most horrific and powerful forms of warfare yet seen, and a year before the Communist revolution would plunge Russia and later Eastern Europe into six decades of oppression under militant atheistic governments, a resplendent figure appeared to the three children who were in the field tending the family sheep. “I am the Angel of Peace,” said the figure, who appeared to them two more times that year exhorting them to accept the sufferings that the Lord allowed them to undergo as an act of reparation for the sins which offend Him, and to pray constantly for the conversion of sinners.
Then, on the 13th day of the month of Our Lady, May 1917, an apparition of ‘a woman all in white, more brilliant than the sun’ presented itself to the three children saying “Please don’t be afraid of me, I’m not going to harm you.” Lucia asked her where she came from and she responded,  “I come from Heaven.”  The woman wore a white mantle edged with gold and held a rosary in her hand. The woman asked them to pray and devote themselves to the Holy Trinity and to “say the Rosary every day, to bring peace to the world and an end to the war.”
She also revealed that the children would suffer, especially from the unbelief of their friends and families, and that the two younger children, Francisco and Jacinta would be taken to Heaven very soon but Lucia would live longer in order to spread her message and devotion to the Immaculate Heart.
In the last apparition the woman revealed her name in response to Lucia’s question:   “I am the Lady of the Rosary.”
That same day, 70,000 people had turned out to witness the apparition, following a promise by the woman that she would show the people that the apparitions were true. They saw the sun make three circles and move around the sky in an incredible zigzag movement in a manner which left no doubt in their minds about the veracity of the apparitions.  By 1930 the Bishop had approved of the apparitions and they have been approved by the Church as authentic.
The messages Our Lady imparted during the apparitions to the children concerned the violent trials that would afflict the world by means of war, starvation, and the persecution of the Church and the Holy Father in the twentieth century if the world did not make reparation for sins. She exhorted the Church to pray and offer sacrifices to God in order that peace may come upon the world, and that the trials may be averted.
Our Lady of Fatima revealed three prophetic “secrets,” the first two of which were revealed earlier and refer to the vision of hell and the souls languishing there, the request for an ardent devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the prediction of the Second World War, and finally the prediction of the immense damage that Russia would do to humanity by abandoning the Christian faith and embracing Communist totalitarianism.  The third “secret” was not revealed until the year 2000, and referred to the persecutions that humanity would undergo in the last century: “The good will be martyred; the Holy Father will have much to suffer; various nations will be annihilated'”.  The suffering of the popes of the 20th century has been interpreted to include the assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II in 1981, which took place on May 13, the 64th anniversary of the apparitions. The Holy Father attributed his escape from certain death to the intervention of Our Lady: “... it was a mother's hand that guided the bullet's path and in his throes the Pope halted at the threshold of death.”
What is the central meaning of the message of Fatima? Nothing different from what the Church has always taught: it is, as Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict the XVI,  has put it, “the exhortation to prayer as the path of “salvation for souls” and, likewise, the summons to penance and conversion.”
Perhaps the most well known utterance of the apparition of Our Lady at Fatima was her confident decalaration that  “My Immaculate Heart will triumph”. Cardinal Ratzinger has interpreted this utterance as follows: “The Heart open to God, purified by contemplation of God, is stronger than guns and weapons of every kind. The fiat of Mary, the word of her heart, has changed the history of the world, because it brought the Saviour into the world—because, thanks to her Yes, God could become man in our world and remains so for all time. The Evil One has power in this world, as we see and experience continually; he has power because our freedom continually lets itself be led away from God. But since God himself took a human heart and has thus steered human freedom towards what is good, the freedom to choose evil no longer has the last word. From that time forth, the word that prevails is this: “In the world you will have tribulation, but take heart; I have overcome the world” (Jn 16:33). The message of Fatima invites us to trust in this promise.

LECTIO DIVINA: JOHN 14,7-14
Lectio Divina: 
 Saturday, May 13, 2017
Easter Time

1) OPENING PRAYER
Lord our God,
you are distant and unknown, and yet so near
that you know and love and save us
through your Son Jesus Christ.
May he be present in us and in our actions
that we may do the same works
of justice, truth and loving service
and thus become the sign to the world
that your Son is alive
and that you are a saving God
now and for ever.
2) GOSPEL READING - JOHN 14,7-14
Jesus said to his disciples: "If you know me, you will know my Father too. From this moment you know him and have seen him.
Philip said, 'Lord, show us the Father and then we shall be satisfied.' Jesus said to him,
'Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? 'Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father, so how can you say, "Show us the Father"? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? What I say to you I do not speak of my own accord: it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his works. You must believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe it on the evidence of these works.
In all truth I tell you, whoever believes in me will perform the same works as I do myself, and will perform even greater works, because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.
3) REFLECTION
• John 14, 7: To know Jesus is to know the Father. The text of today’s Gospel is the continuation of that of yesterday. Thomas had asked: “Lord we do not know where you are going, how can we know the way?” Jesus answers: “I am the Way, I am Truth and Life! No one can come to the Father except through me.” And he adds: “If you know me, you will know the Father too. From this moment you know him and have seen him”. This is the first phrase of today’s Gospel. Jesus always speaks of the Father, because it was the life of the Father which appeared in all that he said and did. This constant reference to the Father provokes Philip’s question.
• John 14, 8-11: Philip asks: “Lord, show us the Father and then we will be satisfied!” This was the desire of the disciples, the desire of many persons of the communities of the Beloved Disciple and it is the desire of many people today: What do people do to see the Father of whom Jesus speaks so much? The response of Jesus is very beautiful and is valid even now: “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me! Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father!” People should not think that God is far away from us, distant and unknown. Anyone who wants to know how and who God the Father is, it suffices that he looks at Jesus. He has revealed him in his words and gestures of his life! “I am in the Father and the Father is in me!” Through his obedience, Jesus identified himself totally with the Father. At every moment he did what the Father asked him to do (Jn 5, 30; 8, 28-29.38). This is why, in Jesus everything is revelation of the Father! And the signs and the works are the works of the Father! As people say: “The son is the face of the father!” This is why in Jesus and for Jesus, God is in our midst.
• John 14, 12-14: The Promise of Jesus. Jesus makes a promise to say that his intimacy with the Father is not his privilege only, but that it is possible for all those who believe in him. We also, through Jesus, can succeed in doing beautiful things for others as Jesus did for the people of his time. He intercedes for us. Everything that people ask him for; he asks the Father and always obtains it. as long as it is to render service. Jesus is our advocate, he defends us. He leaves but he does not leave us defenceless. He promises that he will ask the Father and the Father will send another advocate or consoler, the Holy Spirit. Jesus even says that it is necessary for him to leave, because otherwise the Holy Spirit will not be able to come (Jn 16, 7). And the Holy Spirit will fulfil the things of Jesus in us, if we act in the name of Jesus and we observe the great commandment of the practice of love.
4) PERSONAL QUESTIONS
• To know Jesus is to know the Father. In the Bible the word “to know a person” is not only an intellectual understanding, but it also presupposes a profound experience of the presence of the person in one’s life. Do I know Jesus?
• Do I know the Father?
5) CONCLUDING PRAYER
The whole wide world has seen
the saving power of our God.
Acclaim Yahweh, all the earth,
burst into shouts of joy! (Ps 98,3-4)