Mon, 27 April 2015
Psalm 22:26-28, 30-321
In today’s Gospel, Jesus tells us that He is the true vine that God intended Israel to be—the source of divine life and wisdom for the nations (see Sirach 24:17-24).
In baptism, each of us was joined to Him by the Holy Spirit. As a branch grows from a tree, our souls are to draw life from Him, nourished by His word and the Eucharist.
Paul in today’s First Reading seeks to be grafted onto the visible expression of Christ the true vine—His Church. Once the chief persecutor of the Church, he encounters initial resistance and suspicion. But he is known by his fruits, by his powerful witness to the Lord working in his life (see Matthew 7:16-20).
We too are commanded today to bear good fruits as His disciples, so that our lives give glory to God. Like Paul’s life, our lives must bear witness to His goodness.
Jesus cautions us, however, that if we’re bearing fruit, we can expect that God will ‘prune’ us—as a gardener trims and cuts back a plant so that it will grow stronger and bear even more fruit. He is teaching us today how to look at our sufferings and trials with the eyes of faith. We need to see our struggles as pruning, by which we are being disciplined and trained so that we can grow in holiness and bear fruits of righteousness (see Hebrews 12:4-11).
We need to always remain rooted in Him, as today’s Epistle tells us. We remain in Him by keeping His commandment of love, by pondering His words, letting them dwell richly in us (see Colossians 3:16), and by always seeking to do what pleases Him. In everything we must be guided by humility, remembering that apart from Him we can do nothing.
As we sing in today’s Psalm, we must fulfill our vows, turning to the Lord in worship, proclaiming his praises, until all families come to know His justice in their lives.
Mon, 20 April 2015
Psalm 118:1, 8-9, 21-23, 26, 29
1 John 3:1-2
Jesus, in today’s Gospel, says that He is the good shepherd the prophets had promised to Israel.
He is the shepherd-prince, the new David--who frees people from bondage to sin and gathers them into one flock, the Church, under a new covenant, made in His blood (see Ezekiel 34:10-13, 23-31).
In today’s First Reading, we see the beginnings of that mission in the testimony of Peter, whom the Lord appointed shepherd of His Church (see John 21:15-17).
Peter tells Israel’s leaders that the Psalm we sing today is a prophecy of their rejection and crucifixion of Christ. He tells the “builders” of Israel’s temple, that God has made the stone they rejected the cornerstone of a new spiritual temple, the Church (see Mark 12:10-13; 1 Peter 2:4-7).
Through the ministry of the Church, the shepherd still speaks (see Luke 10:16),and forgives sins (see John 20:23), and makes His body and blood present, that all may know Him in the breaking of the bread (see Luke 24:35). It is a mission that will continue until all the world is one flock under the one shepherd.
In laying down His life and taking it up again, Jesus made it possible for us to know God as He did--as sons and daughters of the Father who loves us. As we hear in today’s Epistle, He calls us His children, as He called Israel His son when He led them out of Egypt and made His covenant with them (see Exodus 4:22-23; Revelation 21:7).
Today, let us listen for His voice as He speaks to us in the Scriptures, and vow again to be more faithful followers. And let us give thanks for the blessings He bestows from His altar.
Mon, 13 April 2015
Mon, 13 April 2015
Acts 3:13-15, 17-19
Mon, 6 April 2015
Wed, 1 April 2015