Monday of the 7th Week of Easter

Acts 19:1-8; John 16:29-33

Jesus’ Departure


There are three things about Jesus which this passage makes clear:

There is the loneliness of Jesus. He was to be left alone by His disciples. And yet He was never alone because he still had God. No person ever stands alone for the right; he always stands with God. No good man is ever completely forsaken, for he is never forsaken by God.

There is the forgiveness of Jesus. He knew that His friends would abandon Him, yet at the moment He did not hold it against them. He loved men and women in all their weakness; He loved them as they were. Love must be clear-sighted. If we idolize a person as he really is.

There is the gift of Jesus, courage and conquest. Very soon something was going to be unanswerably proven to the disciples. They were going to see that the world can do its worst to Jesus and still not defeat Him. And He says, “”The victory which I will win can be your victory too. The world did its worst to me and I emerged victorious. Life can do its worst to you and you too can emerge victorious. You too can possess the courage and the conquest of the cross.” He added, “In the world you will have tribulation. But courage! I have conquered the world.” Jesus knew His disciples at their worst and still trusted and loved them. (Fr. Louie Punzalan, SVD Bible Diary 2007)


The disciples believe because they experience Jesus speaking with authority, Jesus, however, challenges this professed faith. he warns them that when they will see Him in His passion and death, they will be scandalized and will scatter. They will abandon Him.

It is quite common to hear expressions like: “Ang bait talaga ng Dios!” or “Lord, talagang naniniwala ako sa iyo!” when good things come our way. We pass our final exams. We win in a game of chance. We land a job. We recover from sickness. Mabait ang Dios!” how about when things go wrong?

Jesus invites us to be wholly united with Him. To make His faith our own. A faith that goes the way of the cross; A faith that knows the loneliness of total abandonment. It is the faith that “believes in the sun even when it is not shining,” one that shines in the darkest of night because it knows that there is no darkness that the love of God cannot penetrate. It is the very same faith that leads Paul to exclaim: “Nothing, absolutely nothing, can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus!”

One of my favorite poetry pieces from High school whose I cannot recall goes this way:

Though nothing can bring back the hour

of splendor in the grass, of glory in flow’r

we will grieve not, rather find

strength in what remains behind.

In the primal sympathy which having

 been must ever be,

in the soothing thoughts that spring

out of human suffering,

In the faith that looks through death.

In years that bring the philosophic mind.”

Yes, Lord help us grow in the faith that look through death and see…an Easter morn. (Sr. Lou-Anne, SSpS Bible Diary 2004)


In ordinary conversation we do not understand what we hear. We let it pass. Our Lord wanted that, in his talks, He would be properly understood. That is why He used simple language and parable. He spoke “in metaphors,” “in veiled languages;” even then His disciples could not always follow Him.  This time, they admitted, “he was talking plainly and not in any figure of speech.” They believe that truly Jesus came from God.

It is in the nature of belief that we do not need to know all in order to believe. In today’s gospel, it is the Lord who knew and they believed in Him. The disciples understood the veiled language, though not fully. With this knowledge they had basis enough to believe without going against reason.

Our Lord understands human psychology and respects human freedom. Our assent to His word is in no way forced against our will. It is free, reasonable and total.

That doesn’t mean that the disciples or we for that matter are in complete control of ourselves. How often we say yes and yes again to the Lord. How often we have disappointed Him. He warns, the time will come when “you will leave me alone.” But the Father will be with Him. Neither will ourselves be alone. You will have peace He assures us, “I have conquered the world.” God never abandons us, saints or sinners we might be. He takes us as we are with all our concerns and weaknesses. When it comes to loving and forgiving He does not used veiled language.  God has loved us with an everlasting love, a love that initiates from Him, a love that does not discriminate. (Fr. Antolin Uy, SVD Bible Diary 2007)


Once upon a time there was a politician who proclaimed himself pro-poor (“para sa mahirap”) as he went campaigning around the country. The impoverished citizens, enthralled and captivated by his catching battle cry, believed in him. They gave their intellectual assent to what that politician said and voted him into the highest public office of the land, sure enough, he got elected. But did he deliver the goods? The rest is history.

Faith is not in a statement but in a person. Faith is not just the intellectual assent to what another said. It is rather our commitment to the one who said it. The Jews were compelled by sheer reason to accept that there was nothing illogical in what Jesus said and taught….but that is not yet faith. so when they said that they now believed in  Him, the Lord told them that the time will come “when you will be scattered…and you will leave me alone.”

Let us ask ourselves if we really believe in God. If we give a positive answer to that question, we go a step further and ask who God is in our life. Is He the Creator and Father whom we remember and think of once a week during the 40-minute Eucharistic sacrifice? Or is God the Father to whom we commit ourselves, the God in whom we live and move and have our being? Is He the God to whom we offer our love because He loves us even before we could love Him? (Fr. Ernie Lagura, SVD Bible Diary 2008)


There is this story about an alcoholic, playboy and gambler (alak-babae-sugal in Tagalog parlance) who figured in a serious vehicular accident one night on his way home. With severe head and body injuries and almost unconscious behind the wheel, he saw these big, boldvehicular accident one night on his way home. With severe head and body injuries and almost unconscious behind the wheel, he saw these big, bold and well-lighted letters – HELL. He knew he was by the gate of Hell. Crying profusely he shouted in prayer to God saying, “Lord, I am not ready to enter the place. Give me another chance and I will change my kind of life!” shortly afterwards, he passed out. The rescuers came, pulled him out of his almost totally wrecked car and he was brought to the hospital. He survived the ordeal, remembered what he prayed to God and once out of the hospital, he turned a new page in his life. What he didn’t know was that the place where the accident happened was by a gasoline station. From his vantage point inside the car before he was rescued, the letter “S” was fully blocked by a vacant billboard. It was “SHELL.”

In today’s gospel, the disciples were at past happy that Jesus was not anymore talking to them in veiled manner such as in his parables before. This time they found no need to question Him.

Yet even when he talked to them using figures of speech, Jesus had His own special purpose. When His disciples asked Him before, “Why do you use parables to talk to the people?” Jesus answered, “The reason I use parables in talking to them is that they look, but do not see, and they listen but do not hear or understand. So the prophecy of Isaiah applies to them “… they will look and look, but not see, because their minds are dull and they have stopped us their ears and have closed their eyes. Otherwise, their eyes would see, their ears would hear, their minds would understand and they would turn to me and I would heal him,” (Matt 13:13-15).

Today there are times when the Lord still talks to us in a “veiled manner” as was the case of the alak-babae-sugal man. But he does it surely for a good and special purpose.

Reflect: Do you notice that many different ways God comes to your life? Do you recognize Him in people, places and events? Do you understand His special message for you? (Fr. Ed Foguso, SVD Bible Diary 2009)


May 9, 2016 Monday

“I have told you this, so that you might have peace in me.”  Life can be so stressful and troublesome, as many of us surely have realized. We see many of our brothers and sisters going around with faces lined with worry, and shoulders stooped as if laden with heavy burdens. And then we may have seen others going around smiling and cheerful, as if they had no cares in the world. But if we get to know them better, we nd out that they have also their share of problems, frustrations, and burdens. For such people, the admonition of Jesus is realized:  “In the world you will have trouble, but take courage…I have conquered the world.”

It is a display of complete trust in God when we lift up to Him everything that is bothering us.  We trust that if he will not remove our burdens, he will give us the strength to carry them. It is the conviction that God knows what we are going through and that in the end everything will be all right. It is an act of complete surrender to God’s will when we accept all that is happening in our life. When we do this, we can begin to experience peace. It is the peace that removes all anxieties, removes all fear. Peace is also when we believe that everything is according to God’s will, and that it will all end up well. (Fr. Gil Alejandria, SVD | CT, Manila Bible Diary 2016)


Trust in Christ’s Victory

May 18, 2015 (readings)

Monday of the Seventh Week of Easter

Father Paul Campbell, LC

John 16:29-33

The disciples said to Jesus: “Now you are talking plainly, and not in any figure of speech. Now we realize that you know everything and that you do not need to have anyone question you. Because of this we believe that you came from God.” Jesus answered them, “Do you believe now? Behold, the hour is coming and has arrived when each of you will be scattered to his own home and you will leave me alone. But I am not alone, because the Father is with me. I have told you this so that you might have peace in me. In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world.”

Introductory Prayer: Lord, I believe in you and all that you have revealed for our salvation. I hope in you because of your overflowing mercy. Every single act of yours on this earth demonstrated your love for us. Your ascent into heaven before the eyes of the Apostles inspires my hope of one day joining you there. I love you and wish you to be the center of my life.

Petition: Lord, give me an unwavering confidence in your victory over sin and evil in my life and in the world.

  1. Jesus Knows Our Weaknesses:Jesus warns his disciples that they will all flee from him in the Garden of Gethsemane when the guards come to arrest him. He is preparing them not for their fall, but for their recovery. He never expected them to be perfect, without flaws, mistakes or shortcomings. He doesn’t expect it of us either. There have been times when we have all abandoned him to follow the selfishness of sin. We sought our own pleasure, as he sought the nails of the cross and the scourging of the lash. Where am I struggling right now? Am I wavering over a compromise with sin in my life? Ask him for the strength and light to live as his faithful friend.
  2. Trust in the Father’s Presence:Even as the disciples left him, Jesus was not alone. His Father was with him. This essential union of love in his life with his Father was the strength that carried him forward to embrace the cross. He could be calm in the midst of the storm and endure unimaginable sufferings during his passion and death. Jesus lights the way for us in the midst of our own struggles and trials in life. It is natural for us to feel isolated from everyone when we are suffering and struggling, alone in the pain and the emptiness of our life. But God is with us; he is within us. We are never alone.
  3. His Victory is My Victory:Jesus never promised his disciples an easy life. He was very clear with them that in the world they would have trouble. It is the same for us. If the world has rejected Christ, it will reject us. We can’t be surprised when opposition and difficulties come our way. It is part and parcel of following Christ and shows that we are heading in the right direction. It is hard to keep fighting, fighting the enemies within and without, but Jesus is with us. We need faith to see that he has won the victory. He has overcome sin and death and he is there at the right hand of the Father.

Conversation with Christ: Jesus, it is hard to keep fighting. Sometimes it seems I make little progress. I have the same struggles and difficulties every day. I’m overwhelmed by the evil I see in the world, and it can be hard to see your victory in many places, in many families and homes. Give me the hope that I need to keep seeking your will in all things.

Resolution: I will pray for those who are struggling in their faith.


One Bread, One Body – Reflection for May 18, 2015


“As Paul laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came down on them and they began to speak in tongues and to utter prophecies. There were in the company about twelve men in all.” –Acts 19:6-7

The twelve Ephesian men so readily gave their lives to Jesus and received the Holy Spirit because they had received John’s baptism of repentance (see Acts 19:3-4). At the first Christian Pentecost, Peter told the people to repent in order to receive the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38). On the evening of the day on which Jesus rose from the dead, Jesus commanded His apostles to receive the Holy Spirit (Jn 20:22). Then he delegated them to forgive sins in His name (Jn 20:23). The risen Jesus made it clear that the baptism of repentance accompanies the baptism in the Spirit (see Mk 1:4, 8).

On this fourth day of the Pentecost Novena, plan to go to Confession as soon as possible. One of the first works of the Spirit is to convict us of sin (Jn 16:8). If we respond to this grace by repenting, we open the door to an amazing series of movements of the Holy Spirit. It is both a necessity and a privilege for us to repent as deeply as possible. When even one person repents, all in heaven, including the Holy Spirit, rejoice (Lk 15:7). Repent. Give God joy. Receive the Holy Spirit.

PRAYER: Father, may sin lose its hold on me (see Heb 12:1).

PROMISE: “You will suffer in the world. But take courage! I have overcome the world.” –Jn 16:33

PRAISE: Pope St. John I preached love even for heretical Arians and died of starvation from his imprisonment for “treason.” “Blest are you who hunger; you shall be filled” (Lk 6:20-21).


COURAGEOUS – “In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world.” – John 16:33

In February 2015, news of the kidnapping and beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians by ISIS terrorists in Libya broke out. This was preceded by other news reports of terrible acts of violence by ISIS, an extremist group of Muslims.

The 21 Christians have since been recognized as martyrs by the Coptic Church, with Pope Francis himself saying in an address to members of the Church of Scotland, “The blood of our Christian brothers and sisters is a testimony which cries out to be heard. It makes no difference whether they be Catholics, Orthodox, Copts or Protestants. They are Christians!”

According to news reports, the Coptic Christian martyrs’ last words were,“Ya Rabbi Yasou,” or “My Lord Jesus.” Even at the moment of death, they bravely declared their faith in Christ, drawing their courage from Him who has “conquered the world.”

May we, who are not as persecuted and terrorized for our faith as others are, be inspired by our Coptic brethren’s example. Let us live courageously for Jesus and do our part to spread the Gospel. Tina Santiago Rodriguez (

Reflection: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing” (Edmund Burke). Do something good for others today.

Lord, fill me with the courage to proclaim Your righteousness and faithfulness every day.


GOD IS FOR YOU – Once, a woman who was having troubles with her husband shared to me that there are nights when she lies in bed, her husband just beside her, yet she felt all alone.

It’s true. You may be with a group of people yet feel like you’re all by your lonesome. Why is this so? It is not enough that  someone is with you. That someone should also be for you. When someone is for you, then you will feel loved, secure and wanted. Even when that someone is not physically present, his presence is just as palpable.

In the Old Testament, it has been prophesied that a virgin will be with child and bear a son. And he will be called Emmanuel, a name which means God is with us (see Isaiah 7:14). The New Testament saw the fulfillment of that prophecy. The virgin was Mary and the child to be called Emmanuel was Jesus. Jesus is with us. But Jesus is not only with us. He is unstintingly for us.

In the Eucharist, Jesus’ eternal sacrament, He promised, “This is My body, given up for you.” Readiness to be with someone is only accompaniment. Willingness to be for someone is atonement, a readiness to die in place of someone for his salvation.

Today in the Gospel, Jesus spoke of the oneness between Him and the Father: “I am never alone for my Father is with me” (v. 32). Jesus wants to share with us that utter security and confidence. God is not only with us. He is for us. And that is why, like Jesus, we can say we are never alone, because God is not only with us — He is for us! Fr. Joel Jason

REFLECTION QUESTIONS: What is the quality of your presence to your family, Church or community? Are you for them as well?

Lord Jesus, You are nearer to us than we are to ourselves. Free my encounters from shallow accompaniment. Amen.



Monday, May 9

Acts 19:1-8; Jn 16:29-33

“You May Have Peace”

“You know all things, even before we question you. Because of this we believe that you came from God” (Jn v. 30). A traveler in Scotland described two preachers. Of one he said, “He showed me the glory of God”. Of the other he said, “He showed me my whole heart”.  Jesus’ knowledge of God and the knowledge of human heart made the disciples  believe that He is Son of God.

To understand the other and to know the heart of the other person is something godly. It’s a way to holiness. When this world grows to consumerism, where everything is counted on benefits, the thought of Jesus may sound foolishness . This foolishness is the outcome of Jesus’ love for humanity when he is ready to die for the people who betrayed him.

Jesus well in advance gives courage and strength to his disciples showing them their human weakness  and advises them not to be desperate. But the benevolence of Jesus is that he is ready to trust them even when they are weak. Jesus teaches us to forgive and trust the man who is guilty of failures. Our Failure does not make any difference in the love of God towards us. Jesus was not thinking how the failure of his disciples would hurt him but how it would hurt themselves. So Jesus is instilling courage and strength in his disciples saying, “I have told you all this, so that in me you may have peace.” Jn v 33. The one who trusts in the Lord will never be left alone even if the world forsakes him. Let’s trust in him who is even ready to give himself for us, who loves us as his own. Fr. Nithin Francis CMI


May 09, 2016


In today’s gospel reading we see the disciples stating over-confidently: “Now we see… we believe.” As usual, they tend to take credit for what is a pure grace of God. And Jesus is very careful to dispel their illusions and take them down a peg or two. They think they are pillars of faith? Well, every single one of them (yes, even John, the favorite disciple!) will abandon him at the moment of his arrest and flee like scared rabbits. The least that can be said is that Jesus never nourished any illusion on his disciples’ personal strength of character.

“Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me,” says Jesus in this gospel scene. And elsewhere Jesus specifies why this is so, “because I always do what is pleasing to him” (Jn 8:29). In other words, the union of wills is the source of the Father and the Son’s unbreakable unity. And this means for us that, whenever we unite our will to God’s will and sincerely want to obey him, he is always with us—even if we might interpret his will wrongly. In the eyes of God, sincerely trying to please him is what counts the most decisively.


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See Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

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