“Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall declare your praise.”

Grant, we pray, almighty God,
that, putting off our old self with all its ways,
we may live as Christ did,
for through the healing paschal remedies
you have conformed us to his nature.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. 

Today's Reading

 

Daily Meditation: 

Do not work for food that perishes
but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you.

Stephen, who became the first martyr/witness to his faith in the risen Jesus
is testifying about Jesus and is facing the harrassment of those who do not want to hear it.

Jesus has just worked the sign of feeding a large crowd, 
but some of them misunderstand the gift.
They/we too often want a miracle worker.
Jesus will open for us in the days ahead the full meaning of his gift.

Today, we can reflect on asking for the grace 
to work less for food (in so many forms) which doesn't last,
but rather to seek the bread he offers us for eternal life.

One does not live on bread alone
but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.

 

Intercessions: 

The Father glorified Jesus and appointed him heir to all nations. Let us praise him, saying:

Save us, Lord, through your victory.

Lord Christ, by your victory you broke the power of evil and destroyed sin and death,
- make us victorious over sin today.

You laid death low, and brought us new life,
- grant that we may walk today in this new life,

You gave life to the dead, and led mankind from death to life,
- give eternal life to all those we shall meet today.

You brought confusion on the guards at your tomb, but joy to your disciples,
- grant the fullness of joy to all who serve you.
   

 

Closing Prayer: 

Loving God, with each passing week, 
we enter more deeply into the Easter season.
You offer us healing in so many ways
as we long for the grace that helps us 
to see Jesus as our risen savior.

Help us to be aware of when we long
for the food that does not really last.
Give us the vision to do the work of God:
to believe in Jesus, the one he sent.

May the Lord bless us, 
protect us from all evil 
and bring us to everlasting life. 
Amen.

 
Daily Reflection
Of Creighton University's Online Ministries

Today is the memorial of Saint Stanislaus , bishop and Martyr.  Reading the story of St. Stanislaus who died in the 11th century reminds us that being a Christian and standing up for what you believe in has never been easy.  Known as a great preacher and spiritual director, he incurred the wrath of the King when he spoke out about his injustices.  While one may hope that such identification may result in a change of behavior, that does not happen many times and this was no exception.  St. Stanislaus was courageous enough to even excommunicate the king and paid for it with his life.  King Boleslaus the Bold lived up to his name when killed St. Stanislaus himself while the bishop was saying mass.  Bold, indeed!!

Our first reading is also about a courageous an articulate martyr, St. Stephen, who is recognized as our first martyr of those following Christ.  While he did not directly confront behaviors of a particular person, his speaking with wisdom and empowered by the Holy Spirit threatened many.  So much so that it was necessary to bear false witness against him.  Sometimes as I try to process the politics of our time, locally, nationally, and internationally, I wonder who is speaking with wisdom and the Holy Spirit and who are those threatened bearing false witness?  I must confess that most times, I conclude that the wisdom and inspiration seem in short supply.  Both St. Stanislaus and St. Stephen followed their hearts guided by the Holy Spirit.  Both made enemies by preaching and acting upon their beliefs.  Current day martyrs are doing the same as they stand up and are recognized as Christians in a less than welcoming world at times. They are Easter people, proud to be called Christians and bold enough to die for it.

It fits that our responsorial psalm blesses those that follow the law of the Lord.  As I read of statutes and precepts, law and ordinances, I thought of the temptations we have to constantly pull us away from those directives.  We are consistently bombarded with ways, things, and, sometimes, even people pulling us in all directions except toward the Lord. My husband and I were talking just this past weekend of how easy it is to have “false gods” – the attraction of things and activities that fill our lives yet leave us empty.  Not empty like the tomb that was filled hope but rather empty like a vacuum ready to collapse upon itself.  An emptiness that can be filled if we let it with the light and hope of Christ. Yet, so often, these things occupy our time as we declare we don’t have time to pray enough or to do works of mercy.

The gospel has Jesus telling us that we are not to work for food that perishes.  Rather, Jesus urges us to work for food that endures for eternal life. We find this food in our belief in Christ.  Further it is critical that we live what we believe and do that through our actions.  How we spend our time is very telling – we may say whatever about our priorities but the truth is reflected in our activities and goals.  I know I must do some honest reflection upon how I spend my time and if they match what I espouse as most important. 

by Nancy Shirley
Creighton University's School of Nursing
click here for photo and information about the writer

Daily Meditation by(c) 2013 Don Schwager
Bible Story illustrations by publishing.com 

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