READINGS for 2007-04-30

Didache | Companion | Sabbath



“...and the sheep hear his voice, as he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.” – John 10:3

“Morning has broken, like the first morning...”
      The morning sun slowly enters the prayer room. The cool breeze from the Sea of Galilee in front of us softly touches my cheeks. “Breathe in, breathe out,” our prayer leader intones. Except for the song, everything is quiet, until the song is no more.
      I am not prepared for the experience that lies ahead.
      Breathe in, breathe out. Then a vision: I see myself on one end of a long bridge. At the other end is Jesus, arms outstretched, as if bidding me, “Come.”
      I open my eyes, unsure if it is just a figment of my imagination. All my co-pilgrims still have their eyes closed. So I close my eyes again, and continue to breathe in, breathe out. The warm and peaceful feeling from the previous experience does not leave me. “Lord, are you calling me to the religious life?”
      The search in my heart began that particular morning of May in 1997. The search has yielded answers, sometimes not exactly a yes or a no, but in shades of grey that made me listen more to His voice in order to answer best His call. The answer, in truth, lies within. TessVA.

Recall the time or times when you heard God’s call. How did you respond?

Lord, may my heart be open to hear Your voice, and courageous enough to respond to it.



Acts 11:1-18

There must have been a big debate in the Early Church about the validity of the Gospel mandate – namely whether it was for the Jews alone or if it could extend to the Gentiles. The Scriptures make it clear in many places that while God elects to work with the Jews regarding bringing the Messiah into the world, ultimately the work of the Messiah will encompass all peoples of the world. The mandate given at the end of the Gospel is one example of this where Jesus sends out His disciples to the ends of the earth, telling them to Baptize the converts in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

1 The apostles and the brothers who were in Judea heard that the Gentiles too had accepted the Word of God. 2 So when Peter went up to Jerusalem the circumcised believers confronted him, 3 saying, “You entered the house of uncircumcised people and ate with them!” 4 Peter began and explained it to them step by step, saying, 5 “I was at prayer in the city of Joppa when in a trance I had a vision, something resembling a large sheet coming down, lowered from the sky by its four corners, and it came to me. 6 Looking intently into it, I observed and saw the four-legged animals of the earth, the wild beasts, the reptiles, and the birds of the sky. 7 I also heard a voice say to me, ‘Get up, Peter. Slaughter and eat.’ 8 But I said, ‘Certainly not, sir, because nothing profane or unclean has ever entered my mouth.’ 9 But a second time a voice from heaven answered, ‘What God has made clean, you are not to call profane.’ 10 This happened three times, and then everything was drawn up again into the sky. 11 Just then three men appeared at the house where we were, who had been sent to me from Caesarea. 12 The Spirit told me to accompany them without discriminating. These six brothers also went with me, and we entered the man’s house. 13 He related to us how he had seen [the] angel standing in his house, saying, ‘Send someone to Joppa and summon Simon, who is called Peter, 14 who will speak words to you by which you and all your household will be saved.’ 15 As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them as it had upon us at the beginning, 16 and I remembered the Word of the LORD, how he had said, ‘John baptized with water but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ 17 If then God gave them the same gift he gave to us when we came to believe in the LORD Jesus Christ, who was I to be able to hinder God?” 18 When they heard this, they stopped objecting and glorified God, saying, “God has then granted life-giving repentance to the Gentiles too.”


Psalms 42:2-3; 43:3, 4

R: Athirst is my soul for the living God.

1 [2] As the hind longs for the running waters, so my soul longs for you, O God. 2 [3] Athirst is my soul for God, the living God. When shall I go and behold the face of God? (R) 43: 3 Send forth your light and your fidelity; they shall lead me on and bring me to your Holy Mountain, to your dwelling-place. (R) 4 Then will I go in to the altar of God, the God of my gladness and joy; then will I give you thanks upon the harp, O God, my God! (R)


John 10:1-10

There is one thing for sure – no one will be saved except through the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus. He is the only ‘gateway’ to the Father; it is through Him that all must pass to be saved. How this Grace is applied to those who have never heard the Gospel I do not know. This is something that I am happy to leave to the mercy of God, who, in His Wisdom, I am sure will be capable of thinking of something. What I know is that I should attend to the more immediate concern of making sure that I walk through the right gate and help others through it as well.

1 “Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever does not enter a sheepfold through the gate but climbs over elsewhere is a thief and a robber. 2 But whoever enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 The gatekeeper opens it for him, and the sheep hear his voice, as he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has driven out all his own, he walks ahead of them, and the sheep follow him, because they recognize his voice. 5 But they will not follow a stranger; they will run away from him, because they do not recognize the voice of strangers.” 6 Although Jesus used this figure of speech, they did not realize what he was trying to tell them. 7 So Jesus said again, “Amen, amen, I say to you, I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All who came [before me] are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. 9 I am the Gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. 10 A thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy; I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.”

my reflections
There is one thing for sure – no one will be saved except through the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus.



God’s special verse/thought for me today________________



Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________




Saint Stanislaus

  Saint Stanislaus was born on July 26, 1030 near Krakow. He was educated in the
  cathedral schools of Gniezno in

  Poland and later in Paris. He was ordained priest then appointed preacher and
  archdeacon to the bishop of Krakow. He too became a bishop in 1072.

  The bishop was an outspoken and eloquent speaker. He was responsible for the
  conversion of both clergy and laity.

  He even got involved in the political situation in Poland. He attacked the evils
  of the peasantry and the king, especially

  the unjust wars and the immoral acts of King Boleslaus II. The king initially
  showed penance but relapsed into his old

  ways. Thus, Stanislaus continued in his opposition, resulting in the king s
  excommunication. King Boleslaus was enraged.

  He ordered his soldiers to kill the bishop but they refused. As a result, the
  king himself killed Saint Stanislaus in 1073.>

Saint Julius I

Julius I was successor of Pope Mark in the pontificate. He was elected pope on February 6, 337 A.D.

The new pope was known for his firm intervention in the Arian controversies. Eusebius of Nicomedia opposed the return of Saint Athanasius to the see of Alexandria. After investigations, Julius decided that the accusations of Eusebius were not true. Thus, he assembled a synod in Rome where Athanasius and other orthodox bishops participated, but which the Arians and semi-Arians did not attend. In response to this, Eusebius and his followers created the council of Antioch, making George patriarch of Alexandria. The Arians, on the other hand, elected Pistus for the same see. Thus, there were three bishops of Alexandria. Pope Julius, however, remained firm in his decision. He declared and reinstated Athanasius as the rightful bishop of the see. This reflected the firm authority of the Church.The pope also served as a model of charity and wisdom. He built several basilicas and churches in Rome before his death on April 12, 352.



There are many images used to describe the role of Jesus in our lives. Today we read about Jesus being the gate of the sheepfold. The sheepfold is like a fenced in area where all of the sheep are brought at night in order that the shepherds of the area can take turns in watching them during the night to ward off the attacks of wild animals and so on. This image, therefore, gives us insight into one of the ways in which we relate to Jesus. He is not just the Good Shepherd who looks after the sheep, but He is also the means by which they are looked after, that is, the gateway to protection and sanctuary.
      We all need protection from sin and the temptation to sin. This we will find in Jesus! We all need a place of sanctuary to rest and be safe for a while. This too is found in Jesus. Here we confront one of the paradoxes of the person of Jesus in that He seems to be so many different things to us that some of them, while not excluding others absolutely, do not seem to really fit in with each other. Another example of this occurs when we look at the Eucharist: here Jesus is both the one who offers the sacrifice and the one sacrificed. Furthermore He is also the congregation gathered (the Body of Christ) and the Word proclaimed! Perhaps this is just an experience of how Jesus is all things to all people!
      Whatever the meaning of all the many images of Jesus to us, it is important for us not to neglect some in favor of others. At particular moments of our lives, perhaps one image will dominate but rarely will this be for a long time. In order to live a balanced life of faith, we need to draw from all the images of Jesus that He offers us and so draw from the fullest experience of grace that we can. Fr. Steve T.

REFLECTION QUESTION: What images do I tend to have of Jesus and how do I relate to Him through them? Should I be trying to develop other images in my relationship with Him?

Lord Jesus, You are all things to all people. Thank You for the gift of Your love and life. Help me to follow you as closely as I can, drawing from all the graces You offer to me.

St. Ajutre, confessor, pray for us.

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