Tuesday of the Third Week of Easter

Ephrem the Syrian:

He captivated us with these things, which bring pleasure to the palate, in order to draw us to that which brings life to [our] souls. For this reason, he hid the sweetness in the wine he made, so that they might know what treasure is hidden in his life-giving blood.”

Tertullian:

And so, in petitioning for “daily bread,” we ask for perpetuity in Christ and indivisibility from his body. But, because “bread” is admissible in a carnal sense too, it cannot be so used without the religious remembrance of spiritual discipline. For the Lord commands that bread be prayed for which is the only food necessary for believers. read more

Monday of the Third Week of Easter

Quotes:

“The Greek word Stephen means “crowned” in Latin. In a very beautiful way he anticipated by the portent in his name what he was about to experience in reality—“abjectly stoned but crowned on high.” In Hebrew, however, his name means “your norm.” Whose norm, if not that of the subsequent martyrs, for whom, by being the first to suffer, he became the model of dying for Christ?”

“Before Stephen begins his defense, the Sanhedrin members all looked intently at him, as those in the synagogue had looked at Jesus before his inaugural address in Luke 4:20. Paul uses the same term to refer to the Israelites’ looking at the radiant face of Moses (2 Cor 3:7, 13). Here God’s intervention on Stephen’s behalf is revealed in that his face was like the face of an angel. That is, his face was shining, as angelic “faces” were perceived to be. Stephen’s radiant face recalls Moses after he came down from Mount Sinai (Exod 34:29–30) and Jesus as he spoke with Moses and Elijah at the transfiguration (Luke 9:29–31). As Moses’ face shone after seeing God, Stephen’s face shone on seeing the glorified Son of Man (see Acts 7:55–56).” read more

Saint Stanislaus, bishop, martyr

Today we celebrate one of the most famous martyr saints of Poland.  One may think that being made a Bishop or something else important makes our life valuable.  St. Stanislaus could have considered that his life was more important than making a point to an evil king.  He could have considered that the good he would cause by shepherding the flock, teaching, preaching, etc, was more important than making an example of a bad king.  It isn’t as though anyone liked the king or thought he was making good decisions!  This is where the faith of a martyr, like the faith of St. John the Baptist, draws its strength directly from the rock of truth.  When the Holy Spirit moves us to stand for the truth, let us make our minds firm in faith and cling to Jesus Christ. read more