Read and listen to the Word of April 18, 2023
Tuesday of the second week of Easter
One heart and one soul.
From the Acts of the Apostles
The multitude of those who had become believers had one heart and one soul and no one considered what belonged to him as his property, but among them everything was common.
With great strength the apostles gave testimony of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus and all enjoyed great favor.
In fact, none of them was in need, because those who owned fields or houses sold them, brought the proceeds of what had been sold and laid it at the feet of the apostles; then it was distributed to each according to his need.
Thus Joseph, nicknamed by the apostles Bàrnaba, which means "son of the exhortation”, a Levite originally from Cyprus, owner of a field, sold it and handed over the proceeds, placing it at the feet of the apostles.
Word of God.
From Psalm 92 (93)
R. The Lord reigns, he clothes himself in majesty.
R. The Lord reigns, glorious among us.
R. Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah.
The Lord reigns, he clothes himself in majesty:
the Lord puts on, he girds himself with strength. R.
The world is stable, it will not be able to falter.
Your throne has always been stable,
from eternity you are. R.
Your teachings are really trustworthy!
Holiness befits your home
for the duration of days, Lord. R.
It needs to be raised Son of man,
that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. (Cf. Jn 3:15)
No one has ever ascended into heaven, except he who descended from heaven, the Son of man.
From the Gospel according to John
During that time, Jesus he said to Nicodèmo: «Do not be surprised if I told you: you must be born from above. The wind blows where it wants and you hear its voice, but you don't know where it comes from or where it goes: so is anyone who is born of the Spirit".
Nicodèmo replied to him: «How can this happen?». He answered him Jesus: «You are a teacher of Israel and do not know these things? Truly, truly, I say to you: we speak of what we know and bear witness to what we have seen; but you do not accept our testimony.
If I have told you about earthly things and you don't believe, how will you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? No one has ever ascended into heaven, except he who descended from heaven, the Son of man.
And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life."
Word of the Lord.
St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross [Edith Stein] (1891-1942)
Carmelite, martyr, co-patron saint of Europe
Poem “Heilige Nacht”
“That whoever believes in him may have eternal life”
My Lord and mine God, you have guided me on a long, stony, dark and tiring path. It often seemed that my strength wanted to leave me, I hardly hoped to see the light one day. My heart was petrifying in deep pain when the light of a sweet star arose in my eyes. Faithful, she guided me and I followed her with steps at first shy, then more confident.
Finally I reached the door of the Church. It opened. I asked to enter. Your blessing welcomes me through the words of your priest.
Inside, the stars follow one another, stars of red flowers that show me the way to you… And your kindness allows them to illuminate the way to you. The mystery that I had to keep hidden in the depths of my heart, I can now proclaim aloud: I believe, I confess my faith! The priest leads me to the steps of the altar, I bow my forehead, holy water flows over my head.
Lord, how can one be reborn when one has reached the halfway point of one's life (Jn 3:4)? You said it, and it became reality for me. The weight of guilt and pain of my long life has left me. Standing up, I received the white dress placed on my shoulders, a luminous symbol of purity! I brought in hand the candle whose flame announces that your holy life burns in me.
My heart is now the crib that awaits your presence. For a short time! Maria, your mother who is also mine, gave me her name. At midnight she places her newborn child in my heart. Oh! No human heart can conceive what you prepare for those who love you (1 Cor 2:9). You are now mine and I will never leave you again.
Wherever the road of my life goes, you are beside me. Nothing can ever separate me from yours love (Rom 8:39).
WORDS OF THE HOLY FATHER
It is the Spirit who makes us resurrect from our limitations, from our deaths, because we have many, many necroses in our lives, in our souls.
The message of the resurrection is this of Jesus to Nicodemus: we must be reborn. But why does it leave room for the Spirit? A Christian life, which calls itself Christian, which leaves no room for the Spirit and does not allow itself to be carried forward by the Spirit, is a pagan life, disguised as a Christian.
The Spirit is the protagonist of the Christian life, the Spirit - the Holy Spirit - who is with us, accompanies us, transforms us, wins with us. No one has ever ascended into heaven, except He who descended from heaven, that is Jesus. He came down from heaven.
And he, at the moment of the resurrection, tells us: "Receive the Holy Spirit", he will be the companion of life, of Christian life. (Homily from Santa Martha, April 30, 2019)