Saturday, April 28, 2012
On the fourth Sunday of Easter we celebrate the good shepherd. Jesus is the good shepherd we need to accept in our lives. He who laid and still lays His life down for us so that we may live in Him and He in us.
“No longer servants, but friends” What is friendship? Idem velle, idem nolle – wanting the same things, rejecting the same things: this was how it was expressed in antiquity. Friendship is a communion of thinking and willing. The Lord says the same thing to us most insistently: “I know my own and my own know me” (Jn 10:14). The Shepherd calls his own by name (cf. Jn 10:3). He knows me by name. I am not just some nameless being in the infinity of the universe. He knows me personally. Do I know him? The friendship that he bestows upon me can only mean that I too try to know him better; that in the Scriptures, in the Sacraments, in prayer, in the communion of saints, in the people who come to me, sent by him, I try to come to know the Lord himself more and more. Friendship is not just about knowing someone, it is above all a communion of the will. It means that my will grows into ever greater conformity with his will. For his will is not something external and foreign to me, something to which I more or less willingly submit or else refuse to submit. No, in friendship, my will grows together with his will, and his will becomes mine: this is how I become truly myself. Over and above communion of thinking and willing, the Lord mentions a third, new element: he gives his life for us (cf. Jn 15:13; 10:15). Lord, help me to come to know you more and more. Help me to be ever more at one with your will. Help me to live my life not for myself, but in union with you to live it for others. Help me to become ever more your friend. (Pope Benedict XVI - Homily 29th June 2011, Solemnity of St. Peter & St. Paul) For full text: http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/homilies/2011/documents/hf_ben-xvi_hom_20110629_pallio_en.html
Pope Paul VI instituted this Sunday as a World Day of Prayer for Vocations by saying: “O Jesus, divine Shepherd of the spirit, you have called the Apostles in order to make them fishermen of men, you still attract to you burning spirits and generous young people, in order to render them your followers and ministers to us” (Pope Paul VI launching the 1st Word Day of Prayer for Vocations)
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations ...” (cf. Mt 28:19f.) The Lord challenges us to move beyond the boundaries of our own world and to bring the Gospel to the world of others, so that it pervades everything and hence the world is opened up for God’s kingdom. We are reminded that even God stepped outside himself, he set his glory aside in order to seek us, in order to bring us his light and his love. We want to follow the God who sets out in this way, we want to move beyond the inertia of self-centredness, so that he himself can enter our world. (Pope Benedict XVI - Homily 29th June 2011, Solemnity of St. Peter & St. Paul) For full text: http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/homilies/2011/documents/hf_ben-xvi_hom_20110629_pallio_en.html
Lord, You laid your life down for us and You continue to humble Yourself in the Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist so that we may receive You and experience You, as You continue to invite us to live in communion with You. Give us the grace to open our hearts to listen to Your voice as You speak to us and to be ready to seek Your Divine Will knowing that it is the best road for us. Mary, Mother of God pray for us that like you and with you and St. Joseph we may follow the Good Shepherd. Amen.
Friday, April 27, 2012
"I praise you Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned, and revealed them to the little children." Luke 10, 21
But what does "being little" and simple mean? What is the "littleness" that open man to filial intimacy with God so as to receive His will? What must the fundamental attitude of our prayer be? Let us look at the "sermon on the mount", in which Jesus says: "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God" (Mt 5, 8). It is purity of heart that permits us to recognize the face of God in Jesus Christ; it is having a simple heart like the heart of a child, free from the presumption of those who withdraw into themselves, thinking they have no need of anyone, not even God.
In Matthew's Gospel, following the Cry of Exultation, we find one of Jesus' most heartfelt appeals: "Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Mt 11, 28). Jesus asks us to go to Him, for He is true Wisdom, to Him who is "gentle and lowly in heart". He offers us "His yoke", the way of the wisdom of the Gospel which is neither a doctrine to be learned nor an ethical system but rather a Person to follow: He himself, the Only Begotten Son in perfect communion with the Father.
Pope Benedict XVI - General Audience, Wednesday, 07 December 2011
For full text visit: http://www.vatican.va
Lord, we ask you to give us the grace to open our hearts to You and to our neighbour that we may experience the beauty of Your love like little children. Fill our hearts with your Holy Spirit that with Jesus we too may call you "Abba". We ask this with the intercession of our Mother Mary and St. Joseph, whose pure hearts were always open to receive You and accept Your Divine Will. Amen
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
"In the present era, the risen Lord gives us a place of refuge, a place of light, hope and confidence, a place of rest and security. When drought and death loom over the branches, then in Christ we find future, life and joy. In him we always find forgiveness and the opportunity to begin again, to be transformed as we are drawn into his love". (Pope Benedict XVI, Homily at Olympic Stadium Berlin, 22 September 2011)
Lord, give us the grace to open our hearts to accept your love and forgiveness through the sacrament of reconcilation, that we may experience new life through your mercy. Amen