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The Road To Emmaus

On today’s show, we discussed the encounter on the Road to Emmaus:

Now that very day two of them were going to a village seven miles from Jerusalem called Emmaus, and they were conversing about all the things that had occurred.  And it happened that while they were conversing and debating, Jesus himself drew near and walked with them, but their eyes were prevented from recognizing him.  He asked them, “What are you discussing as you walk along?” They stopped, looking downcast.  One of them, named Cleopas, said to him in reply, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know of the things that have taken place there in these days?”  And he replied to them, “What sort of things?” They said to him, “The things that happened to Jesus the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, how our chief priests and rulers both handed him over to a sentence of death and crucified him.  But we were hoping that he would be the one to redeem Israel; and besides all this, it is now the third day since this took place.  Some women from our group, however, have astounded us: they were at the tomb early in the morning and did not find his body; they came back and reported that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who announced that he was alive.  Then some of those with us went to the tomb and found things just as the women had described, but him they did not see.”  And he said to them, “Oh, how foolish you are! How slow of heart to believe all that the prophets spoke!  Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and enter into his glory?”  Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them what referred to him in all the scriptures.  As they approached the village to which they were going, he gave the impression that he was going on farther.  But they urged him, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them.  And it happened that, while he was with them at table, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them.  With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him, but he vanished from their sight.  Then they said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning (within us) while he spoke to us on the way and opened the scriptures to us?”   So they set out at once and returned to Jerusalem where they found gathered together the eleven and those with them who were saying, “The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon!”  Then the two recounted what had taken place on the way and how he was made known to them in the breaking of the bread.  (Lk 24:13-35)

I also mentioned the parallel to the Last Supper where, just as on the road to Emmaus, Jesus took bread, blessed it, broke it and gave it to His disciples!

While they were eating, Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and giving it to his disciples said, “Take and eat; this is my body.” (Mt 26:26)

When we hear the Scriptures proclaimed at Mass and receive the Body of Christ, do we recognize the presence of the risen Lord?

Lord, help us to become more aware of Your presence, especially when we participate in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass!

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The Cleansing Of The Leper

Today on Following The Truth, I discussed Jesus’ Cleansing of the Leper:

When Jesus came down from the mountain, great crowds followed him.  And then a leper approached, did him homage, and said, “Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean.”  He stretched out his hand, touched him, and said, “I will do it. Be made clean.” His leprosy was cleansed immediately.  Then Jesus said to him, “See that you tell no one, but go show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses prescribed; that will be proof for them.” (Mt 8:1-4)

A leper came to him (and kneeling down) begged him and said, “If you wish, you can make me clean.”  Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand, touched him, and said to him, “I do will it. Be made clean.”  The leprosy left him immediately, and he was made clean.  Then, warning him sternly, he dismissed him at once.  Then he said to him, “See that you tell no one anything, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses prescribed; that will be proof for them.”  The man went away and began to publicize the whole matter. He spread the report abroad so that it was impossible for Jesus to enter a town openly. He remained outside in deserted places, and people kept coming to him from everywhere. (Mk 1:40-45)

Now there was a man full of leprosy in one of the towns where he was; and when he saw Jesus, he fell prostrate, pleaded with him, and said, “Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean.”  Jesus stretched out his hand, touched him, and said, “I do will it. Be made clean.” And the leprosy left him immediately.  Then he ordered him not to tell anyone, but “Go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses prescribed; that will be proof for them.”  The report about him spread all the more, and great crowds assembled to listen to him and to be cured of their ailments, but he would withdraw to deserted places to pray. (Lk 5:12-15)

I also mentioned The Ignatius Study Bible New Testament.  Details and purchasing information for this excellent Catholic Study Bible can be found here.

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The Parable Of The Growing Seed

On today’s Following The Truth radio program, I discussed the Parable of the Growing Seed:

He said,”This is how it is with the kingdom of God; it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land and would sleep and rise night and day and the seed would sprout and grow, he knows not how.  Of its own accord the land yields fruit, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear.  And when the grain is ripe, he wields the sickle at once, for the harvest has come.”  (Mk 4:26-29)

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What Catholics Really Believe – Original Sin

On today’s episode of Following The Truth, we continued our walk through the Catechism of the Catholic Church and discussed original sin.  We covered paragraphs 396 – 421.  Click here to view the contents online.

Here is the latest update on Tim’s mother…Please continue to keep her in your prayers:

My Mom went up for the cardiac cath, the docs found some blockages so rolled her right up to surgery and performed a triple bypass on her this afternoon. Talked to the doc and he seemed very optimistic for her condition and outcome, but she has a lengthy bit of rehab coming up in front of her. Would appreciate your continued prayers.

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Easter Sunday

I would like to wish each of you a Blessed and Holy Easter.  May the peace of the risen Christ descend upon you and your families!

On today’s episode of Following The Truth, we discussed the readings for Easter Sunday:

First Reading (Acts 10:34a, 37-43)
Peter proceeded to speak and said: “You know what has happened all over Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached, how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power.  He went about doing good and healing all those oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.  We are witnesses of all that he did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem.  They put him to death by hanging him on a tree. This man God raised on the third day and granted that he be visible, not to all the people, but to us, the witnesses chosen by God in advance, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.  He commissioned us to preach to the people and testify that he is the one appointed by God as judge of the living and the dead.  To him all the prophets bear witness, that everyone who believes in him will receive forgiveness of sins through his name.”

Responsorial Psalm ( Ps 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23)
R. This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad. 

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his mercy endures forever.  Let the house of Israel say, “His mercy endures forever.”

R. This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad. 

“The right hand of the LORD has struck with power; the right hand of the LORD is exalted.  I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the LORD.” 

R. This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad.

The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.  By the LORD has this been done; it is wonderful in our eyes.

R. This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad.

Second Reading (Col 3:1-4)
Brothers and sisters: If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.  Think of what is above, not of what is on earth.  For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.  When Christ your life appears, then you too will appear with him in glory.

Gospel (Jn 20: 1-9)
On the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and saw the stone removed from the tomb.  So she ran and went to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they put him.”  So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb.  They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and arrived at the tomb first; he bent down and saw the burial cloths there, but did not go in.  When Simon Peter arrived after him, he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there, and the cloth that had covered his head, not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place.  Then the other disciple also went in, the one who had arrived at the tomb first, and he saw and believed.  For they did not yet understand the Scripture that he had to rise from the dead.

I also recommended the practice of making frequent spiritual communions when it was not possible to make a sacramental communion.  While you can use your own wording, my favorite spiritual communion prayer was composed by St. Alphonsus Ligouri:

My Jesus,
I believe that You
are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love You above all things,
and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment
receive You sacramentally,
come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You.

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Thoughts For Holy Saturday

We don’t know where the Apostles were that evening while the Body of Christ was being buried.  Perhaps they were hovering around, disoriented and confused: aimless, distraught, filled with sadness. (Francis Fernandez, In Conversation With God – Volume 2)

One of the advantages we have over the Apostles is that, on this Holy Saturday, we KNOW that the Lord rose from the dead on the 3rd day.  Two thousand years ago, the Apostles didn’t know for sure what would happen.  As followers of Christ, the past three years of the lives could have been wasted, their lives would be in danger, the minds were confused – Didn’t we see Jesus perform miracles?  Didn’t He tell us that He was the Son of God?  What went wrong?

Tomorrow, we will celebrate the Resurrection of the Lord.  It was the final step in allowing us to be able to live eternally in Heaven.  Today, we wait – secure in the knowledge that Jesus DID rise from the dead.  Spend some time meditating on what the Apostles were thinking on this day…and then offer a prayer of thanksgiving for the event that we’ll celebrate tomorrow!

Good Friday – The Way Of The Cross

Mary, my Mother, you were the first to live the Way of the Cross.  You felt every pain and every humiliation. You were unafraid of the ridicule heaped upon you by the crowds. Your eyes were ever on Jesus and His Pain. Is that the secret of your miraculous strength? How did your loving heart bear such a burden and such a weight? As you watched Him stumble and fall, were you tortured by the memory of all the yesterdays- His birth, His hidden life and His ministry?

 You were so desirous of everyone loving Him. What a heartache it was to see so many hate Him – hate with a diabolical fury. Take my hand as I make this Way of the Cross. Inspire me with those thoughts that will make me realize how much He loves me. Give me light to apply each station to my daily life and to remember my neighbor’s needs in this Way of the Pain.

Obtain for me the grace to understand the mystery, the wisdom and the Divine love as I go from scene to scene. Grant that my heart, like yours, may be pierced through by the sight of His sorrow and the misery and that I may determine never to offend Him again. What a price He paid to cover my sins, to open the gates of heaven for me and to fill my soul with His own Spirit . Sweet Mother, let us travel this way together and grant that the love in my poor heart may give you some slight consolation. (Mother Angelica)

On today’s episode we prayed The Way Of The Cross, as composed by St. Alphonsus Ligouri.  The entire text is contained in this book.

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Holy Thursday And The Triduum

On today’s program, I spoke about the importance of Holy Thursday and how it marks the beginning of the 3 day period known as the Paschal Triduum.  For more information about the Paschal Triduum, consult the following link provided by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB):

Eighteen Questions On The Paschal Triduum

I also quoted from In Conversation With God (Volume 2) by Francis Fernandez.  This book can be ordered from the publisher here.

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The Miraculous Catch Of The Fish

On today’s episode of Following The Truth, we discussed “The Miraculous Catch of the Fish”:

While the crowd was pressing in on Jesus and listening to the word of God, he was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret.  He saw two boats there alongside the lake; the fishermen had disembarked and were washing their nets.  Getting into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, he asked him to put out a short distance from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat.  After he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.”  Simon said in reply, “Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing, but at your command I will lower the nets.”  When they had done this, they caught a great number of fish and their nets were tearing.  They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come to help them. They came and filled both boats so that they were in danger of sinking.  When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at the knees of Jesus and said, “Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.”  For astonishment at the catch of fish they had made seized him and all those with him, and likewise James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners of Simon. Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.”  When they brought their boats to the shore, they left everything and followed him. (Luke 5:1-11)

The Navarre Bible Series can be purchased  here.

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The Parable Of The Lamp

On today’s episode of Following The Truth, we discussed The Parable of the Lamp.

You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden.  Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father. (Mt 5:14-16)

He said to them, “Is a lamp brought in to be placed under a bushel basket or under a bed, and not to be placed on a lampstand? For there is nothing hidden except to be made visible; nothing is secret except to come to light. Anyone who has ears to hear ought to hear.” He also told them, “Take care what you hear. The measure with which you measure will be measured out to you, and still more will be given to you. To the one who has, more will be given; from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.” (Mk 4:21-25)

“No one who lights a lamp conceals it with a vessel or sets it under a bed; rather, he places it on a lampstand so that those who enter may see the light. For there is nothing hidden that will not become visible, and nothing secret that will not be known and come to light. Take care, then, how you hear. To anyone who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he seems to have will be taken away.” (Lk 8:16-18)

“No one who lights a lamp hides it away or places it (under a bushel basket), but on a lampstand so that those who enter might see the light. The lamp of the body is your eye. When your eye is sound, then your whole body is filled with light, but when it is bad, then your body is in darkness. Take care, then, that the light in you not become darkness.  If your whole body is full of light, and no part of it is in darkness, then it will be as full of light as a lamp illuminating you with its brightness.” (Lk 11:33-36)

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