Wednesday of the Second Week of Easter
Acts, Chapter 5, verse 26
Then the captain and the court officers went and brought them in, but without force, because they were afraid of being stoned by the people.
The apostles were brought before the Sanhedrin for trial. These temple priests which were instrumental in causing the crucifixion of Christ were now enflamed with jealousy over the apostles, who by the resurrection of Christ no longer feared death or taxes. The people began to believe, and the world was never the same.
The apostles after their release immediately resumed public teaching, they rendered unto God what was God’s.
The apostles filled with the Holy Spirit were not afraid anymore. They practiced obedience, commitment, healthy relationships and faith. They had generous hearts.
Building Generosity into your life
Effective leaders gather for others then give it away. This is God’s economy which is radically different. By releasing our grasp and not clinging to our possessions we become more like Him who had nothing; the one who gave the only resource He had--Himself.
1. Be grateful for whatever you have.
2. Put people first.
3. Don’t allow greed to control you.
4. Regard money as a resource.
5. Develop the habit of giving.
Amoris Lætitia The Experiences and Challenges of Families-The Current Reality of the Family
The welfare of the family is decisive for the future of the world and that of the Church. Families are faced with the growing danger represented by an extreme individualism (which the world professes) which weakens family bonds and ends up considering each member of the family as an isolated unit, leading in some cases to the idea that one’s personality is shaped by his or her desires, which are considered absolute”. The tensions created by an overly individualistic culture, caught up with possessions and pleasures, leads to intolerance and hostility in families. Freedom of choice makes it possible to plan our lives and to make the most of ourselves. Yet if this freedom lacks noble goals or personal discipline, it degenerates into an inability to give oneself generously to others. It is easy nowadays to confuse genuine freedom with the idea that each individual can act arbitrarily, as if there were no truths, values and principles to provide guidance, and everything were possible and permissible. The ideal of marriage, marked by a commitment to exclusivity and stability, is swept aside whenever it proves inconvenient or tiresome. The fear of loneliness and the desire for stability and fidelity exist side by side with a growing fear of entrapment in a relationship that could hamper the achievement of one’s personal goals.
Note our generosity must be focused on others and on being good stewards of the earth.
Earth Day seeks to highlight and promote efforts dedicated to the protection of the environment. We face many environmental crises, including global warming, deforestation, endangered wildlife, shortages of potable water and widespread pollution, all which negatively affect our planet’s resources and can have adverse effects on our long-term lifestyle and health. In 1970, a US Senator named Gaylord Nelson was inspired to bring about mass public awareness of environment problems. He heavily promoted the day across the nation in an effort to gather the largest amount of public support possible and ultimately, in the hopes of elevating environmental protection onto the national political agenda. This day in 1970 marked the creation of United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts. Today, Earth Day is celebrated by billions of people around the world and is observed in over 190 countries. Worldwide, Earth Day celebrations utilize educational programs to inform people of ways that can help protect the environment and its natural resources. It is observed annually on April 22nd and is celebrated as International Earth Day.
Earth Day Facts & Quotes
· Energy Star rated LED light bulbs use at least 75% less energy, and last 25 times longer, than incandescent lighting. Switching entirely to LED lights over the next two decades could save the U.S. $250 billion in energy costs, reduce electricity consumption for lighting by nearly 50 percent and avoid 1,800 million metric tons of carbon emissions.
· In the past 50 years, humans have consumed more resources than in all previous history. - U.S. EPA, 2009. Sustainable Materials Management: The Road Ahead.
· We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children. - Native American Proverb
Earth Day Top Events and Things to Do
· Organize a group of volunteers to help clean up and restore a green space. Some suggestions include planting trees and adding waste receptacles.
· Try to go the whole day without creating any garbage, • Try not to use your car for the entire day. Instead, use public transit, walk or ride your bicycle.
· Change your traditional incandescent light bulbs to energy saving LED or CFL light bulbs.
· Watch a documentary or movie that touches on an ecological issue. Our favorites are: An Inconvenient Truth (2006), the Burning Season (1993, 2008), Elemental (2012) and The Day after Tomorrow (2004).
· Read one of many books that relate to environmental issues such as, The World Without Us (Alan Weisman), Hell and High Water (Joseph Romm) and Natural Capitalism (Hawken, Lovins and Lovins)
Encyclical Letter Laudato Si’of The Holy Father Francis on Care for Our Common Home
· “Laudato Si’, mi’ Signore” –“Praise be to you, my Lord”. In the words of this beautiful canticle, Saint Francis of Assisi reminds us that our common home is like a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us. “Praise be to you, my Lord, through our Sister, Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us, and who produces various fruit with colored flowers and herbs”.
· This sister now cries out to us because of the harm we have inflicted on her by our irresponsible use and abuse of the goods with which God has endowed her. We have come to see ourselves as her lords and masters, entitled to plunder her at will. The violence present in our hearts, wounded by sin, is also reflected in the symptoms of sickness evident in the soil, in the water, in the air and in all forms of life. This is why the earth herself, burdened and laid waste, is among the most abandoned and maltreated of our poor; she “groans in travail” (Rom 8:22). We have forgotten that we ourselves are dust of the earth (cf. Gen 2:7); our very bodies are made up of her elements, we breathe her air and we receive life and refreshment from her waters.
These are strong words in a world that from the beginning has been a place of conflict, disputes and enmity on all sides, where we constantly pigeonhole others on the basis of their ideas, their customs and even their way of speaking or dressing. Ultimately, it is the reign of pride and vanity, where each person thinks he or she has the right to dominate others. Nonetheless, impossible as it may seem, Jesus proposes a different way of doing things: the way of meekness. This is what we see him doing with his disciples. It is what we contemplate on his entrance to Jerusalem: “Behold, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey”. Christ says: “Learn from me; for I am gentle and humble of heart, and you will find rest for your souls”. If we are constantly upset and impatient with others, we will end up drained and weary. But if we regard the faults and limitations of others with tenderness and meekness, without an air of superiority, we can actually help them and stop wasting our energy on useless complaining. Saint Thérèse of Lisieux tells us that “perfect charity consists in putting up with others’ mistakes, and not being scandalized by their faults”. Paul speaks of meekness as one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit. He suggests that, if a wrongful action of one of our brothers or sisters troubles us, we should try to correct them, but “with a spirit of meekness”, since “you too could be tempted”. Even when we defend our faith and convictions, we are to do so “with meekness”. Our enemies too are to be treated “with meekness”. In the Church we have often erred by not embracing this demand of God’s word. Meekness is yet another expression of the interior poverty of those who put their trust in God alone. Indeed, in the Bible the same word – anawim – usually refers both to the poor and to the meek. Someone might object: “If I am that meek, they will think that I am an idiot, a fool or a weakling”. At times they may, but so be it. It is always better to be meek, for then our deepest desires will be fulfilled. The meek “shall inherit the earth”, for they will see God’s promises accomplished in their lives. In every situation, the meek put their hope in the Lord, and those who hope for him shall possess the land… and enjoy the fullness of peace. For his part, the Lord trusts in them: “This is the one to whom I will look, to the humble and contrite in spirit, who trembles at my word”.
· Reacting with meekness and humility: that is holiness.
Novena for the Poor Souls
O Mother most merciful, pray for the souls in Purgatory!
PRAYER OF ST. GERTRUDE THE GREAT O Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Most Precious Blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the holy souls in Purgatory and for sinners everywhere— for sinners in the Universal Church, for those in my own home and for those within my family. Amen.
PRAYER FOR THE DYING O Most Merciful Jesus, lover of souls, I pray Thee, by the agony of Thy most Sacred Heart, and by the sorrows of Thine Immaculate Mother, to wash in Thy Most Precious Blood the sinners of the whole world who are now in their agony and who will die today. Heart of Jesus, once in agony, have mercy on the dying! Amen.
ON EVERY DAY OF THE NOVENA V. O Lord, hear my prayer; R. And let my cry come unto Thee. O God, the Creator and Redeemer of all the faithful, grant unto the souls of Thy servants and handmaids the remission of all their sins, that through our devout supplications they may obtain the pardon they have always desired, Who livest and reignest world without end. Amen.
WEDNESDAY O Lord God Almighty, I beseech Thee by the Precious Blood of Thy divine Son Jesus that was shed in the streets of Jerusalem, whilst He carried on His sacred shoulders the heavy burden of the Cross, deliver the souls in Purgatory, and especially that one which is richest in merits in Thy sight, so that, having soon attained the high place in glory to which it is destined, it may praise Thee triumphantly and bless Thee forever. Amen. Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory Be.
 John Maxwell, The Maxwell Leadership Bible.
 Pope Francis, Encyclical on Love.
Schouppe S.J., Rev. Fr. F. X.. Purgatory Explained