Tuesday in the Octave of Easter
Psalm 33, verse 18-19
18 Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon those who FEAR him, upon those who count on his mercy, 19To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive through famine.
You cannot receive if you do not ask. Let us ask for God’s mercy and count on it, to deliver our soul from death and keep us alive through this earthly famine for ourselves and others.
Today if you have time would be a good day to read Saint John Paul II’s encyclical letter-Rich in Mercy.
To praise and thank God for the mystery of redemption, the Church sings at the Introit of the Mass: He hath given them the water of wisdom to drink, alleluia. He shall be made strong in them, and shall not be moved, alleluia. And He shall exalt them forever, alleluia, alleluia (Ecclus. xv. 3). Give glory to the Lord, and call upon His name, declare His deeds among the Gentiles (Ps. civ. 1).
Prayer. O God, Who dost ever multiply thy Church by a new progeny, grant to Thy servants that they may retain in their lives the mystery which they have received by faith.
EPISTLE. Acts xiii. 26-33.
In those days, Paul rising up, and with his hand bespeaking silence, said: Men, brethren, children of the stock of Abraham, and whosoever among you fear God, to you the word of this salvation is sent. For they that inhabited Jerusalem, and the rulers thereof, not knowing Jesus, nor the voices of the prophets, which are read every Sabbath, judging Him have fulfilled them. And finding no cause of death in Him, they desired of Pilate that they might kill Him. And when they had fulfilled all things that were written of Him, taking Him down from the tree they laid Him in a sepulcher. But God raised Him up from the dead the third day: Who was seen for many days by them, who came up with Him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who to this present are His witnesses to the people. And we declare unto you that the promise, which was made to our fathers, this same God hath fulfilled to our children, raising up Jesus Christ our Lord.
Explanation. Like St. Peter, so St. Paul founds the truth of his doctrine upon the resurrection of Jesus, because Christ had given this as the special proof of the truth of His doctrine. Had He not risen from the dead He would not have been the Son of God and could not have redeemed mankind. The resurrection is, therefore, the foundation of our belief. On that account He allowed His disciples for a while to doubt, and only to believe after He had given them proofs of His resurrection by repeatedly appearing to them; that by their doubts and cautious unbelief the wounds of unbelief in our hearts might be healed, and we might know how true is the resurrection, and how firmly founded our faith.
GOSPEL. Luke xxiv. 36-47.
At that time: Jesus stood in the midst of His disciples, and saith to them: Peace be to you: it is I, fear not. But they being troubled and frighted, supposed that they saw a spirit. And He said to them: Why are you troubled, and why do thoughts arise in your hearts?
See My hands and feet, that it is I Myself; handle, and see for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as you see Me to have. And when He had said this, He showed them His hands and feet. But while they yet believed not, and wondered for joy, He said: Have you here anything to eat?
And they offered Him a piece of a broiled fish and a honeycomb. And when He had eaten before them, taking the remains He gave to them. And He said to them: These are the words which I spoke to you while I was yet with you, that all things must needs be fulfilled, which are written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning Me. Then He opened their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures. And He said to them: Thus, it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer and to rise again from the dead the third day: and that penance and remission of sins should be preached in His name unto all nations.
Why does Jesus greet His disciples with the words, “Peace be to you?”
1. Because He came to restore to men that peace with God, with themselves, with their neighbor, which sin had destroyed.
2. Because peace is a mark of the children of God, as discord is of sinners.
3. Because peace is the greatest of all goods. Therefore, it is that He will have His apostles, after His example, give the greeting of peace on entering a house.
4. Finally, Because He desired to encourage His disciples to confidence by His friendliness.
Why did Our Savior retain the marks of His wounds after His resurrection?
· To show that it was the same body which had been wounded during His passion, and to show that He was really risen from the dead.
· To teach us that we too shall, in like manner, rise with our bodies.
· To make known to us the greatness of His love, through which He has graven us, as it were, on His hands and feet, and in His heart.
· To impart to us confidence in His endless mercy, and to encourage us to combat against the world, the flesh, and the devil.
· To prepare a place of refuge, and an inexhaustible fountain of consolation for all the miserable, afflicted, and tempted.
· To terrify the impenitent, whom, on the Day of Judgment, He will show how much He has suffered for them, and that they have been the cause of their own destruction. Oh, let us endeavor to think often on the wounds of Jesus, that we may thereby be encouraged to lead pious lives acceptable to God.
O Jesus, grant that the precious blood which flowed from Thy wounds for me and all sinners may not be lost.
Instruction on what we ought to believe concerning the Holy Scriptures.
“He opened their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures.” Luke xxiv. 45.
Is it free to everyone to read and explain Holy Scripture according to his own opinion? No; that must be done with submission and conformity to the teaching of the Church. Questions of faith cannot be settled by appealing to the Holy Scriptures alone, since they themselves are liable to be misunderstood. For this reason, the Church has done wisely in making the printing, reading, and explaining of Holy Scripture depend upon the permission of lawful spiritual superiors.
What, therefore, must one do who desires to read the Holy Scriptures?
§ He must read them, only with the permission of the ecclesiastical superiors.
§ With the subjection of his own opinion to the decisions of the Church, and the interpretation of the holy fathers.
§ With suitable preparation, by prayer and fasting, as St. Thomas of Aquinas did, and with devotion and care.
Divine Mercy Novena
Fifth Day - Today Bring to Me the Souls of Heretics and Schismatics.
Most Merciful Jesus, Goodness Itself, You do not refuse light to those who seek it of You. Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of heretics and schismatics. Draw them by Your light into the unity of the Church, and do not let them escape from the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart; but bring it about that they, too, come to glorify the generosity of Your mercy.
Eternal Father turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls of heretics, and schismatics, who have squandered Your blessings and misused Your graces obstinately persisting in their errors. Do not look upon their errors, but upon the love of Your Own Son and upon His bitter Passion, which He underwent for their sake, since they, too, are enclosed in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. Bring it about that they also may glorify Your great mercy for endless ages. Amen.
 Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896.