To start a new day, the first thing we must do is to open our heart to the newness brought by him. If it’s a new day, everything is done again, so we can’t be tied to past facts. The Holy Spirit makes all things new from our heart.
We have a beautiful opportunity, today, to be a cause of joy and motivation to those who are discouraged and can no longer rejoice in the light of the new day. Let us motivate people with whom we live; say to them a word of encouragement, of courage, a compliment, a quality she has. Let’s do everything so that nobody else gets sad our presence.
Along the walk, we go through such difficult situations that, many times, we close our heart and thus we become bitter and people do not see the beauty of life.
Let us ask today as did the blind man of the Gospel: Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me! (Lk 18.39)
Lord, give us the grace to see again the beauty of dawn. The answer is this: “Yes, See, again” (Lk 18.42)
Jesus, I trust in you!
Luzia Santiago Co-founder of the community Canção Nova
By valyag (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons
In His Prayer during the Last Supper and before suffering His Passion, Jesus asked His Father: “Holy Father, keep them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one just as we are” (John 17, 11)… “so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us” (John 17, 21)… “And I have given them the glory you gave me, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may be brought to perfection as one…”(John 17, 22-23).
Nothing can be worse to Christ’s Body than the breaking of that Unity; it is and shall always be the worst scandal in the Church.
It is easy to imagine the misery someone would live in if the members of his or her body fought one another and did not obey the command of the brains. Just imagine what would happen if hands denied feeding the mouth and putting clothes on the body; just imagine what would happen if legs felt jealous or envious of the other members and denied carrying them: how miserable would the body feel…? Just imagine if the heart fought the brains and decided not to beat anymore…
We could give wings to imagination and multiply these examples, though this unfortunate person would in the end suffer a terrible death as a final consequence of this war. The same can happen to the Church if there is no unit and harmony among Her members. Unfortunately there are so many divisions inside the Church, caused by the sins of Her children, that the fact that the Church still exists and survived all kinds of crises is in itself the greatest evidence that She is divine and supported by the Lord Himself.
“So I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16, 18).
Inside this most beautiful Body of the Christ, united and vivified by the Holy Spirit, all the members are like cells: each one performs essential tasks to keep the Body alive.
“As a body is one though it has many parts, and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body, so also Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free persons, and we were all given to drink of the Spirit” (The First Letter to the Corinthians 12, 12-13).
The Apostle is really inspired when he compares the Church to a body:
“Now the body is not a single part, but many. If a foot should say: ‘Because I am not a hand I do not belong to the body,’ it does not for this reason belong any less to the body. Or if an ear should say, ‘because I am not an eye I do not belong to the body,’ it does not for this reason belong any less to the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? But as it is, God placed the parts, each one of them, in the body as he intended. If they were all one part, where would the body be? But as it is, there are many parts, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I do not need you’, nor again the head to the feet, ‘I do not need you’”(The First Letter to the Corinthians 12, 14-21).
At the end of his reasoning, the Apostle concludes: “Indeed, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are all the more necessary” (The First Letter to the Corinthians 12, 22).
Prof Felipe Aquino
Professor Felipe Aquino is a widower, father of five children. On TV Canção Nova he presents the program “Escola da Fé” [School of faith] and “Pergunte e Responderemos” [Ask and respond], on Radio he presents the program “in the heart of the Church”. On weekends he preaches deepening meetings throughout Brazil and abroad. He wrote 73 books of Catholic background by publishers, Loyola and Cleopas and Canção Nova. His teacher’s page:www.cleofas.com.br Twitter: @pfelipeaquino
“I love the LORD, who listened
to my voice in supplication,
Who turned an ear to me
on the day I called.
I was caught by the cords of death;
the snares of Sheol had seized me;
I felt agony and dread.
Then I called on the name of the LORD,
“O LORD, save my life!”
Gracious is the LORD and righteous;
yes, our God is merciful.
The LORD protects the simple;
I was helpless, but he saved me.
Return, my soul, to your rest;
the LORD has been very good to you.
For my soul has been freed from death,
my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling.
I shall walk before the LORD
in the land of the living.
I kept faith, even when I said,
“I am greatly afflicted!”
I said in my alarm,
“All men are liars!”
How can I repay the LORD
for all the great good done for me?
I will raise the cup of salvation
and call on the name of the LORD.
I will pay my vows to the LORD
in the presence of all his people.
Dear in the eyes of the LORD
is the death of his devoted.h
LORD, I am your servant,
your servant, the child of your maidservant;
you have loosed my bonds.
I will offer a sacrifice of praise
and call on the name of the LORD.
I will pay my vows to the LORD
in the presence of all his people,
In the courts of the house of the LORD,
in your midst, O Jerusalem.
Hallelujah! ” (Psalm 116 NABRE)
I don’t know if you met the heart the psalmist while praying this Psalm, but we can see that he went through disappointment with the people, through fall and tribulation. However, he overcame obstacles and is now returning to what God gave him. This was a man of life with the Lord, of intimacy with the Father.
We live in a time of much confusion, of the faith of a people that understands the meaning of their identity, people who were created by God for His praise and joy, but full of trends that original sin left them. So the hedonism has been so successful! People think being happy is to live freely all that pleasure offers them.
Is in the ‘ yes ‘ to God that the human will become free
Mother Teresa teaches us not to love the beauty, for it ends one day. We must know that time cannot end with a love without explanation, the Love of God cannot end. The world, however, proposes the reverse; it gives us the joy of having. However, the real joy is in our life with the Lord.
It in the ‘ yes ‘ to God that the human will becomes free and finds its completion. Saint Maximus says ‘ yes ‘ to God becomes opposition to the world, because Satan said to Adam and Eve in paradise, that if they ate of the fruit of the forbidden tree, they would be free. So the men bring upon themselves this worldly belief. However, we need to understand that the joy will be constant and persistent if we do the will of the Father.
What poverty to live only for the weekend! We need to be happy on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, because Jesus saved us. God is shaking us! Where, who’s our happiness? Jesus is our achievement. The temptation of the devil is to abandon the truth to live a false life. The devil, when he tempted Jesus, said that if the Son of God would prostrate Himself before him, Satan would give him all the kingdoms. Jesus told his disciples that if they wanted to follow him, they would have to resign themselves and embrace the cross.
Pope Francis explains that Peter confessed Christ as the Messiah, but when he talked about dying and by the cross, the disciple refused. Peter said: “I will follow you, but without the cross.” The Pontiff said that he who announces the Christ without cross is not following.
If we join the Lord, our lives will surely move forward. As Saint Paul said: “in my flesh I complete the sacrifice of Christ”. We are the Church of the cross. When the Islamic State threatened Rome, it said that would invade the Church of the cross.
We are the Church of the cross
“For the word of the cross, to them indeed that perish, is foolishness; but to them that are saved, that is, to us, it is the power of God. For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the prudence of the prudent I will reject. Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this world? Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?” [Isaiah 29:14]
For seeing that in the wisdom of God the world, by wisdom, knew not God, it pleased God, by the foolishness of our preaching, to save them that believe. For both the Jews require signs, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews indeed a stumblingblock, and unto the Gentiles foolishness: But unto them that are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. For the foolishnessof God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.” (1 Corinthians 1:18-25 d-r)
Know that there is the strength God in the cross. When you are persecuted and humiliated, when you’re sick, know that there is strength of God in you. Proclaim the cross, because it is his strength.
When all goes well, it is easy to praise, but when unemployment, sadness and disappointment are knocking at our door, is it still easy to praise? No! The sacrifice of praise is to have willingness to praise when things are tough.
In the Bible, there is a very strong example of praise. Satan asks to test Job, because this was a sick life, wife, children, health and everything. Job was losing his property, starting with the herd;then the children. But, in this reality, he said: “blessed be the name of the Lord!”.
After all this, Job lost health, he had to sit in the trash and clean his body with a tile. Job’s wife kept murmuring, but he said they always received from good from God, should receive from him the evil?
We want to offer a sacrifice of praise to the Lord! Living like this, we will be much happier. No matter what happens, God will always be alongside us. If we’re on the cross with the Lord, we will be happy, because there’s salvation.
As I offered to God a sacrifice of praise
In my teens, I went away from God and went to a life of doom. Once, I was in a funk and, that night, for that night there were no drugs.
When I drank my first SWIG , I heard a voice: “you only see me when you need me”. I thought I was already were “drunk”, but that voice insisted three times; the third time, touched me on the wall and realized it wasn’t my place. I Got out of there and didn’t want to do any more drugs. Some time later, I left my drinking and I started attending a prayer group. There, God was working my heart. A year later, I went to church every day.
There was a time, I started to see me in the place of the priest; via-playing in his place, but denied that it would be true. I was fighting with God, saying he didn’t want it, I didn’t want it either.
I started dating. We were happy. I went to a Carnaval without her and there God spoke to my heart deeply through a phrase of Catherine of Sienna “If the will of the Lord is also mine,for only through the will of the Lord will Il be happy.” I went before the crucified and prayed saying to God that I didn’t want to be a priest, but I was going to do his will, because in it I would be happy.
Pope Benedict XVI says Gethsemane is the place of the olive press. There, Jesus asked that the chalice was away from him, but He still said ‘ yes ‘ to the will of the father. The Pope Emeritus says that when God’s will happens, heaven touches the Earth.
The contempt is incense for the devil, but praise is offering to God. So we need to give the Lord a sacrifice of praise, because this is freedom! Just look at Paul and Silas in jail.
The cross is the key to enter the Kingdom of heaven
The miracle is useless without transformation of life , therefore, the cross is the key to enter the Kingdom of heaven
We understand the directions that God gives our lives looking to what He says to our hearts in the celebrations of the Holy Eucharist. The liturgy sets the tone for our encounters.
The last word will be from God who is just and not unjust. He will be the one who will judge the world with justice.
What you want to tell us?
A direction from God Came to my heart asking that we take a step, to a mature faith crafted by God. This faith is the discovery of the will of God. The will of God for our lives is our salvation. Our faith needs to walk in that certainty.
The great fear that I bring to the heart is to promote among the people a reality materialized.
Jesus never preached a materialist faith, he always acted in power. I worry about the faith that is material, until God gives us. If we live a material faith we do not remain in our Church, because if it doesn’t work we go to where there are wizards, sorcerers and others that offer amenities. We are at the mercy of the enemy of God that wants to throw us off our faith. We believe in a God that gave us healings and deliverance, but the best he ever did that was to save you. This need to enthuse our hearts, this is the faith of the Church.
In his first letter to the Corinthians 1, -24 18; St Paul will say: ”
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the learning of the learned I will set aside.”
Where is the wise one? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made the wisdom of the world foolish? For since in the wisdom of God the world did not come to know God through wisdom, it was the will of God through the foolishness of the proclamation to save those who have faith.
For Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those who are called, Jews and Greeks alike, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. “.
The grace that we must approach the Savior, the cross of Christ preach the cross of Christ, experience the power of the cross of Christ gives us the power to walk day after day on the face of the Earth. The victory of God over our Christian life, our House, over evil and sin is the cross of Jesus
Have you thought about your judgment?
We must have the faith that does not allow us to feel afraid to look at our life and meditate on the mind. The Mystics of the Church teach us to meditate on death is a constant spiritual exercise of conversion.
The Prophet brings the reality of camp clamoring for Miracles, there’s no point to be cured if my life, my story is not be transformed. What’s the point of God resolving my financial life, if on the day of my death I do not to meet him?
A miracle is useless without transformation of life.How wonderful the person who has been cured of cancer, but the cancer of sin? Raised in the wheelchair, but with the paralysis of life away from God?
I’m asking God for a sincere heart, miracles to happen in conversion. The calling of Joel the Prophet spoken is for conversion: prescribe the sacred fasting, call the people to cry unto the Lord God.
The day of the Lord is at the gates, coming up with the devastating force of the storm, the day of the Lord is coming for each of us. Joel’s word are not massaging our egos, nor letting us in our comfort zone, but puts us in a State of solidarity.
Joel brings us the grace of God: “
Blow the horn in Zion,
sound the alarm on my holy mountain!
Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble,
for the day of the LORD is coming!
Yes, it approaches,
a day of darkness and gloom,
a day of thick clouds!
Like dawn* spreading over the mountains,
a vast and mighty army!
Nothing like it has ever happened in ages past,
nor will the future hold anything like it,
even to the most distant generations
“. We are all called to this clamour.
Called by God to the Church
This is the call of the Church of Christ: penance, brokenness, outcry in Parliament and in response to the experience of God.
“You rebuked the nations, and the wicked you destroyed, you blotted out their name forever. The evil fell in the hole you dug. But God sat down forever on his throne, prepared the Court of trial; He will judge the world with righteousness, and judge the nations fairly. ” (Psalm 9)
If we go through the Valley of death we will know that the Lord is with us and He will honor us. Often, we seem to be in the Church and just conjecture that it seems pointless to serve God, this is a crisis that comes when we do not root ourselves in our faith. But the word says: “you have the name of the righteous, but the wicked you do not.
The word of God is tough, demanding, but puts us in reality. The Lord lets us find Him and he touches us. You wish to touch the Lord with faith, we are beaten with difficulties, but we know that God is with us. It is by the finger of God that the deliverance happens.
The greatest miracle that we seek is for our heart to be transformed. Healed of cancer, but with the heart transformed, we have the assurance of heaven.
It is necessary for God to realize within the depths of our hearts a desire for the baptism in the Holy Spirit.
The word we focus on is Ezekiel 37:1
Ezekiel is being led by the Holy Spirit in prayer.These bones quoting the Word, were not “dog” bones, but human.
My beloved, we see that God comes to the aid of a people who were down, discouraged and hopeless.Dead in their faith and without God.They had no more perspective on life, this chosen people loved by God.A people who were exiled and hopeless, because they had forsaken the Lord.They were far from the land God had promised;They were away from the temple and felt hopeless.It is the people who were feeling humiliated, and God tells Ezekiel to announce a new time.To give some perspective on life, and to bring them together again.
The first thing the revelation that I want to highlight is what God asks Ezekiel do: “parched bones, hear the word of God.”
Jesus looking on the edge of that lake, along with his own, the to realize that God does not give up of their own. (John 21.15 to 19) .Look for this meeting is to realize the loving God who does not want to lose anyone.
“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to sift you as wheat:But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not:and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren “(Luke 22.31 to 32).
My brothers, look alert: Jesus draws the attention of Peter, saying that Satan wanted to sift through him.Jesus said, “I prayed for you Peter, so you do not give up.”Peter assumes that he was weak and loophole in his life.He pretends not to have trouble. Do not hide your weaknesses from God.Do not dress as someone you’re not.Recognize who you are! What most pleases God is to be what we truly are.Peter said: “I’ll go with you even to death.”Peter did not recognize Jesus warns him.Peter had time to recognize that he was afraid, but he did not.
Peter was feeling defeated there on that beach, he was not able to do what he said he would do.How often do we talk about following the Lord and not fulfill it?So many promises we make and failed.Do you know why?We have no courage to accept our weaknesses.
See the figures of Adam and Eve, they were strolling in the garden and ate the forbidden fruit, they hid from God and yet, Adam said, ‘it was Eve that gave him to eat the fruit’.We have difficulty to accept our weaknesses.We need to say to God: “Lord, if it were not for you waking with me, I could not continue .”We do not need to impress God, He knows us.But we need to assume our weaknesses before him.
Or we assume that we are weak and dependent on the grace of God, or we condemn ourselves. “The Spirit is coming to the aid of our weakness, because we do not know how to pray as we ought.”Peter was feeling defeated.I do not know what you’re feeling.Perhaps you are a servant of God, and have been channel of grace for many people, but behind the scenes, you live falling and being carried away by weaknesses. Your are a person who does not have the courage to recognize his/her weaknesses.
When Jesus meets Peter, the apostle had given up hope, and already no longer believed in the miracles he had ever seen.And still bore the feeling of revolt.We can not be blaming the devil because of our weaknesses.“Oh Father, I went to the motel with my girlfriend and it is the Devil’s fault.”Lie! Recognize that you are weak.You gave him the loophole to act.
Jesus says to Peter, “Peter, do you love me?I saw that you fell, but see I have compassion on you Peter have not seen so much compassion I had with the Samaritan woman, and with Zacchaeus? “.God does not give up on you!No matter what you lived, God believes in you.Jesus is working with this passage, to heal Peter’s heart and ours.
God despite your weaknesses, believes in you. Just as Jesus healed Peter’s whole sense of guilt, and healed his character, God wants to do as well as you!
I wonder what was the first prophecy that Jesus said to Peter.If you also denied, and even made a scandal, Jesus is saying to him, “Turn, leaving the old life.”The revival came over the life of Peter, James, John and the Virgin Mary at Pentecost.This revival is the experience of the gifts, the first love.If you have been baptized in the Holy Spirit and no longer prayed in tongues, resume.Praying in tongues is prayer that sanctifies. Monsignor Jonas Abib, says’ he prays at least four times in tongues every day for him to be the man God wants him to be.And you, how much has been your praying in tongues?
Prayng the gift of tongues is what we need to be built up.
Monsignor Jonas also says: “For a vessel to be filled with the Holy Spirit, it need not be a crystal vase.It may be a clay pot, since it is filled with the Holy Spirit.Second feature: for those who want to be filled with the Holy Spirit do not cultivate hurt.The third: do not get carried away by laziness.From at what point do we receive the charisms and want to sit at home, not wanting to help and serve in the Church? “.
I feel the Lord wants to put in us a longing, a desire to meet with him on the final day. This day in which we will look into His eyes, embrace Him and we will meet Him face to face. It is this certainty that gives us the Easter Vigil.
I have good news for you: Jesus is risen! Hallelujah! He proclaimed the eternity and the glory of the world without end.Christ the Lord protect us and save us.
To start the celebration of the Easter Vigil it was was dark. The Paschal Candle was lit and the light of Christ was coming among us. That little light was coming in and gradually we were lighting our candles and passing to each other the flame of resurrection. However small the flame may seem, it is enough, because it spreads the announcement that we proclaim with all our strength.
Amid all death there is a seed of resurrection. The light is Christ among His people.
We hear the proclamation of Easter, readings, psalms and were involved in every proclamation, all of which prepared us to the corner of the “Glory.” The altar consisted of candles, cross, towels and flowers. Everything was well rehearsed, well trained so that you realize that the silence was broken by the sound of the resurrection.
Our God is risen. He lives among us. Everything changed. Perhaps, today, in many places you still find a tomb closed by a stone, where there is still death, violence, corruption and defeat. What is the stone which is still in your life and prevents you from experiencing the miracle? What prevents you from resurrecting?
Those women got up early to perfume the Lord’s body. On the way, they probably questioned who would roll the stone for them. And we also ask ourselves, “Who will roll the stone?”. We need to take a step further through our faith.
Jesus was still in the tomb, but they wanted to see Him. If we do not have the courage to take a step, nothing will happen. We still need to continue to be in darkness and dawn, as did those women; otherwise, we will not see God’s surprises. When they got there, the stone had been removed. The obstacle that prevented had been removed.
We also found the stones of despair, the culture of death, depression and despondency in our way, but we need to step towards the Lord. Even without knowing how to roll away the stone, we can not stop. Do not think of the size or the weight of the stone, do not say it’s impossible, because the one rolls the stone is God Himself. He wants to get you out of the condition of death of anguish and sorrow, He wants you to rise again with Him.
The first surprise was that those women found the stone rolled away from the place. The second surprise was to see that Jesus was no longer there, he had risen. Like these women, go after the Lord and be surprised by Him!
Only those who put themselves on the path experience the wonders of the Lord. Where is the place of your encounter with God? Return your heart to this place.
We heard in the readings that these people who would be freed from Egypt began to complain. They were slaves, so why complain if they were being delivered? Because, unfortunately, we tend to become accustom to our situation. It is easier not to believe and stand still because we are afraid of what the Lord will ask us. We prefer the realism of the least to the promise of the greatest. God is not only for us the first experience you lived with him, there is much more to experience. Let us revive our faith.
Preferring the least to the promise of more produces in us a process of corruption. When the resurrection does not get us out of our complacency two terrible things are produced: mediocrity and lukewarmness. So God makes a move in today’s liturgy, He does not want us standing but rather moving forward. He wants to surprise us.
Consider yourself dead to sin and alive to God from tonight. Imagine when the disciples went to Galilee and encountered the risen Jesus, with His glorious body. Here the disciples receive the certainty that there was no more death, it was conquered and and we are sure that there is a place that awaits us, where there is no pain or crying, where God will be all in us. Where there will be full joy, no more emptiness. It will be a time of praise in the full. I look forward to it!
We can not lose the first fervor, the first love. God wants to reveal to us heaven, eternal life. I know you want to know the embrace of the Risen Christ in a very concrete way, the same embrace that the disciples received. And the Lord himself wants to give you that hug. Do you want to live for God?just offer more to your soul, for God has more miracles for you.
OriginalTranscription and adaptation: Rogéria Nair