“The Lord takes delight in his people.” 

 
Grant, O merciful God,
that we may experience at all times
the fruit produced by the paschal observances.

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: 

The Lord takes delight in his people.

In our prayer, we ask for the "fruit produced by the paschal observance,"
the fruit which comes from our reflection on this Easter season.

Paul arrives at Philippi and his message is received by Lydia and her husband.
We ask for the grace to remain open to hearing God's Word to us
and that we might respond generously.

Jesus continues to tell his disciples and us that he will send us an Advocate,
the Holy Spirit, the Gatherer, who will testify - give witness - to Jesus for us,
so that we can give witness to Jesus for others.
He tells us this so that we won't become deterred in our mission 
by the ultimate rejection we will encounter in our world 
for witnessing to him.

We can ask for the courage, strength and trust we need.

The Spirit of truth will testify to me, says the Lord,
and you also will testify. John 15

 

Intercessions: 

God the Father was glorified in the death and resurrection of his Son. 
Let us pray to him with confidence, saying:

Lord, enlighten our minds.

Father of lights, you bathed the world in splendor when Christ rose again in glory,
- fill our minds today with the light of faith.

Through the resurrection of your Son you opened for us the way to eternal life,
- as we work today sustain us with the hope of glory.

Through your risen son you sent the Holy Spirit into the world,
- set our hearts on fire with spiritual love.

May Jesus Christ, who was crucified to set us free,
- be today our salvation and redemption. 

 

Closing Prayer: 

Loving Jesus,
Lydia opened her heart to pay attention and her response
was to invite you to "stay at my home." 
Today, open my heart so I can pay closer attention
to your constant and loving presence in my life.
I long to invite you to come and stay in my home,
as you invite me to live in you.

My heart is filled with Easter hope
and I exult in your glory and sing for joy.
Let me open my eyes to look for the Spirit
you send to us from the Father
who will set our hearts on fire with your love.

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

“I have told you this so that when their hour comes you may remember that I told you.”

Today’s Gospel (Jn 15:28 – 16:4) occurs in Our Lord’s address to the Apostles at the Last Supper:

“When the Advocate comes whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father,he will testify to me.And you also testify, because you have been with me from the beginning I have told you this so that you may not fall away.  They will expel you from the synagogues; in fact, the hour is coming when everyone who kills you will think he is offering worship to God. They will do this because they have not known either the Father or me. I have told you this so that when their hour comes you may remember that I told you.”  

Preparing this reflection on the above passage, I realized how striking it is that what Our Lord says to the Apostles has as much to do with today’s world as it does to the Apostles and to the many persecuted in the earliest Christian communities. Pope Francis reinforced my thought when he referenced today’s Gospel in a homily I recently read, addressing the killing of 21 Coptic Christians at the hands of ISIS militants in Libya that took place earlier this year. "I called to mind these faithful, who were slaughtered on the beach because they are Christians. Because of the strength given them by the Holy Spirit . . . they died with the name of Jesus on their lips. This is the power of the Spirit.  Witness.  Martyrdom is the supreme witness."

After reading the Pope’s remarks, I “googled” these words:  terrorism & Christianity.  Here are just three of the items appearing on my screen:

  • A suicide blast in eastern Pakistan city of Lahore killed at least 65 people and injured over 300 as they were celebrating Easter on Sunday in a local park. A splinter group of the Taliban claimed responsibility, saying they’d intentionally targeted Christians.
  • An Italian study determined that 105,000 Christians are martyred for their faith annually— in essence, a Christian dies every 5 minutes, primarily in the Middle East.
  • Last summer thousands of Christians in Mosul and the Ninevah Plain in Iraq, including nearly 40,000 Syriac Catholics, were driven out by ISIS militants. The militants have posted multiple videos of beheadings.

It is incumbent upon us to heed Christ’s words in today’s Gospel.  How is this so?  For at least these two reasons: (1) By reason of the Mystical Body of Christ, we are in solidarity with Him – He lives, moves, and has His being in us, and (2) For the same reason, we are in solidarity with all those Martyrs of our own times who are persecuted for their Christian Faith.  These two facts, revealed to us by the Holy Spirit in scripture and in the traditions of our earliest Christian communities, call us to a practical kind of compassion for our persecuted Church.  Here are a few things which occur to me that one might do to awaken such compassion.

  • Take seriously the cry from the persecuted Church:  “Pray for us!”  Pray personally and together with others. It may seem far fetched to think we can assuage the pain and suffering of those persecuted or to effect a change of heart in those perpetrating the persecution, but for God, nothing is impossible. 
  • Through trusted non-profit organizations like Catholic Charities, the Jesuit Refugee Service, and Christian Freedom International, provide tangible assistance (monetary and material donations) to the hundreds of thousands of Christians and other religious minorities who have been forced to leave their homelands to flee terrorist organizations.
  • Take part in rallies and speak in Parishes to bring greater awareness and attention to the plight of Christians being persecuted in their homelands. 
  • Search out Christian refugee families and supply them with mattresses, hygiene kits, and food after their flight from countries where terrorists are in power. 
  • Host gatherings and retreats for persecuted Christians affected by terrorism. 
  • Subsidize and otherwise encourage businesses who can provide living expenses, homes, and jobs for persecuted Christian refugees.

Christ crucified, Christ the Healer, Christ Crucified:  Help us find effective ways to help our brothers and sisters in our persecuted Church and ways to deal with those who perpetrate the persecution.  Come, Lord Jesus, come.  Send us your Holy Spirit.

by Kevin Kersten, S.J.
Creighton University's Law School Chaplain and Communication Studies
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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