Text of Daily Mass Readings:
Sunday April 26th (Fourth Sunday of Easter)
Monday April 27th
Tuesday April 28th
Wednesday April 29th (Memorial of Saint Catherine of Siena, Virgin and Doctor of the Church)
Thursday April 30th
Friday May 1st
Saturday May 2nd (Memorial of Saint Athanasius, Bishop and Doctor of the Church)
Sunday May 3rd (Fifth Sunday of Easter)
To listen to a podcast of the readings for daily Mass, click the link below and then select the date of the reading you wish to hear. Podcast
I read an old story about a New Englander and his son who were fishing in the Atlantic, off the coast of Maine. They had been at it all day, and the sun was sinking low in the west. A storm was moving in, and the waves were building higher. The boy, partly afraid of the storm and partly tired and hungry, was ready to go home. He said to his dad: “Papa, right now, mother is probably praying for our safe return.” The father, understood and said with a smile: “You’re right; I’ll hold the rudder, while you run up the main sail, and we will get that prayer answered.”
That New England fisherman was probably not a theologian. But he expressed a valid theological insight. There are times when we should heave to and help answer a prayer, rather than stand by and wait for God to do it. Often Jesus is counting on us to be the answer to a prayer.
On the night before Jesus died, He offered a very beautiful and majestic prayer. In some ways, it seems more like an idealistic dream than a realistic prayer.
Part of His prayer said that the followers of Jesus – you and I – might be in the world but not of the world. This may be a rather difficult request for us to understand. At times in an attempt to achieve holiness, we have tried to isolate ourselves from the world. But this is not what Jesus taught or wanted. In His prayer He specifically said, “I do not ask that you take them out of the world.” At other times we become so adjusted to our secular society that it becomes hard to distinguish between us and the world. This is not what our Lord wanted either. His prayer said, “They are not of the world any more than I am of the world.”
It requires a considerable amount of wisdom and courage to find a middle ground between these two extremes. St. Paul’s challenge to the church in Rome, as it is for us today, was: “Do not conform yourself to this present age, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind so that you may judge what is God’s will.” I’m not sure who first coined the phrase, “march to the beat of a different drummer”, but it’s an apt description of the Christian’s relationship with the world. We are all a part of this earthly parade; but we don’t have to stay in step with those around us who are of the world. Our cadence comes from a distant, heavenly drum. We are under orders, as it were, from the King of Kings.
This, of course, does not imply that we think ourselves better than anyone else. It simply means that we hold ourselves more accountable for our actions. We ought to care a little more, love a little deeper, and try a little harder than those who never knew Jesus. That is what Jesus taught and prayed – that we might live in the world and yet be different from it. How can that ever happen without your cooperation and help? In a true sense, we must heave to and get that prayer answered. This week – today and tomorrow - each of us must do his or her part. It is this truth that will transform the world into the Kingdom of God.
Father Robert F. Grippo
O God, throughout the ages you have called women and men to pursue lives of perfect charity through the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity, and obedience. During this Year of Consecrated Life, we give you thanks for these courageous witnesses of Faith and models of inspiration. Their pursuit of holy lives teaches us to make a more perfect offering of ourselves to you. Continue to enrich your Church by calling forth sons and daughters who, having found the pearl of great price, treasure the Kingdom of Heaven above all things. 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.