Saturday of the Second Week of Easter
John, Chapter 6, verse 19-20:
19 When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus’ walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they began to be AFRAID 20 but he said to them, “It is I. Do not be afraid.”
After rowing three or four miles they must have been exhausted and there must have been no wind, for surely any sailor would have used the wind if it was blowing. The conditions on the sea that night had to have been unnerving but there must have been some light from the moon as they had seen our Lord nevertheless, they were afraid. Then He said, “It is I” or literally “I AM” which was the name of God which no pious Jew was allowed to even say!
I wonder if they were thinking of the words of the Torah,
“The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.” (Genesis 4:2)
When they had seen and heard Christ. They must have known at that point that here was the messiah because they believed. Immediately they arrived on shore and Christ spoke on the “Bread of Life” discourse stating.”
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day.” (John 6:54).
At this saying all but these 12 walked away because they believed!
We too are like the Apostles in that boat, the boat which we call the Holy Catholic Church. Let us resolve like the Apostles to believe, follow the precepts of our church and row three or four miles if we must.
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)
We show our respect for the Creator by our stewardship of creation. Care for the earth is not just an Earth Day slogan, it is a requirement of our faith. We are called to protect people and the planet, living our faith in relationship with all of God’s creation. This environmental challenge has fundamental moral and ethical dimensions that cannot be ignored.
God made the heavens and the earth and it was good.
Humans are commanded to care for God’s creation.
The land itself must be given a rest and not abused.
All of heaven and earth belong to the Lord.
All the earth is the Lord’s.
Creation proclaims the glory of God.
God loves and cares for all of creation.
Creation reveals the nature of God.
Creation and all created things are inherently good because they are of the Lord.
The environment is God's gift to everyone, and in our use of it we have a responsibility towards the poor, towards future generations and towards humanity as a whole. . . Our duties towards the environment are linked to our duties towards the human person, considered in himself and in relation to others. It would be wrong to uphold one set of duties while trampling on the other. (Pope Benedict XVI, Charity in Truth [Caritas in Veritate], nos. 48, 51)
Changes in lifestyle based on
traditional moral virtues can ease the way to a sustainable and equitable world
economy in which sacrifice will no longer be an unpopular concept. For many of
us, a life less focused on material gain may remind us that we are more than
what we have. Rejecting the false promises of excessive or conspicuous
consumption can even allow more time for family, friends, and civic
responsibilities. A renewed sense of sacrifice and restraint could make an
essential contribution to addressing global climate change. (United States
Conference of Catholic Bishops, Global
Climate Change: A Plea for Dialogue, Prudence and the Common Good)
Equally worrying is the ecological question which accompanies the problem of consumerism and which is closely connected to it. In his desire to have and to enjoy rather than to be and to grow, man consumes the resources of the earth and his own life in an excessive and disordered way. . .. Man, who discovers his capacity to transform and in a certain sense create the world through his own work, forgets that this is always based on God's prior and original gift of the things that are. Man thinks that he can make arbitrary use of the earth, subjecting it without restraint to his will, as though it did not have its own requisites and a prior God-given purpose, which man can indeed develop but must not betray. Instead of carrying out his role as a co-operator with God in the work of creation, man sets himself up in place of God and thus ends up provoking a rebellion on the part of nature, which is more tyrannized than governed by him. (St. John Paul II, On the Hundredth Year [Centesimus Annus], no. 37)
The dominion granted to man by the Creator is not an absolute power, nor can one speak of a freedom to "use and misuse," or to dispose of things as one pleases. The limitation imposed from the beginning by the Creator himself and expressed symbolically by the prohibition not to "eat of the fruit of the tree" (cf. Gen 2:16-17) shows clearly enough that, when it comes to the natural world, we are subject not only to biological laws but also to moral ones, which cannot be violated with impunity. A true concept of development cannot ignore the use of the elements of nature, the renewability of resources and the consequences of haphazard industrialization - three considerations which alert our consciences to the moral dimension of development.(St. John Paul II, On Social Concerns [Sollicitudo rei Socialis], no. 34)
Catechism of the Catholic Church
PART FOUR: CHRISTIAN PRAYER
SECTION ONE-PRAYER IN THE CHRISTIAN LIFE
CHAPTER THREE-THE LIFE OF PRAYER
SECTION TWO-THE LORD'S PRAYER
Article 1 "THE SUMMARY OF THE WHOLE GOSPEL"
I. At the Center of the Scriptures
2762 After showing how the psalms are the principal food of Christian prayer and flow together in the petitions of the Our Father, St. Augustine concludes:
Run through all the words of the holy prayers [in Scripture], and I do not think that you will find anything in them that is not contained and included in the Lord's Prayer.
2763 All the Scriptures - the Law, the Prophets, and the Psalms - are fulfilled in Christ. The Gospel is this "Good News." Its first proclamation is summarized by St. Matthew in the Sermon on the Mount; The prayer to our Father is at the center of this proclamation. It is in this context that each petition bequeathed to us by the Lord is illuminated:
The Lord's Prayer is the most perfect of prayers.... In it we ask, not only for all the things we can rightly desire, but also in the sequence that they should be desired. This prayer not only teaches us to ask for things, but also in what order we should desire them.
2764 The Sermon on the Mount is teaching for life, the Our Father is a prayer; but in both the one and the other the Spirit of the Lord gives new form to our desires, those inner movements that animate our lives. Jesus teaches us this new life by his words; he teaches us to ask for it by our prayer. the rightness of our life in him will depend on the rightness of our prayer.
PRAYERS AND TEACHINGS OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
Prayer before Meals
Bless us Oh Lord, and these thy gifts,
which we are about to receive,
from thy bounty, through Christ, Our Lord. Amen.
· Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus