Intercom Magazine Points to Ponder
April 2024

Second Sunday of Easter
7 April 2024 • Divine Mercy Sunday

Fear results from various causes. The perception of some immediate threat causes sudden fear as a sort of defense mechanism. This could save your life if, for example, the immediate threat is a car swerving into your lane. Sudden fear compels you to take action and avoid a collision. However, fear can also result from other more remote factors that we experience as threats to our well-being. For example, one may struggle with fear over an economic downturn or loss of profit in a business. The fear may be, ‘How will I support my family?’ Or one may have health issues and this causes increasing fear about the future. And the list could go on. Though some forms of fear are healthy most others are not. Specifically, when fear causes anxiety and worry, leading one to lose trust in God and His providence, this is a problem. But if God is alive in your heart, living and reigning there, His presence produces a supernatural confidence and trust in the midst of any and every struggle we face .

Reflect upon the specific fear you struggle with right now. What is it that causes excessive worry and anxiety? Whatever it may be, the Lord wants you to trust Him. Yes, a certain ‘holy’ fear can help us evaluate all situations properly and act diligently and responsibly, but too often what we actually struggle with is a lack of trust in God. Reflect upon your fear and your trust and invite Christ more deeply into your heart so that His presence will cast out all useless fear, enabling you to fully trust in His care, providence and Mercy.

www.divinemercy.life
365 Days with Saint Faustina


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Third Sunday of Easter
14 April 2024

  1. What Questions Arise in Your Heart?: What robs us of interior peace? Jesus knows the many questions we have in our hearts. Let’s make an act of entrusting ourselves to Jesus’ love and thank him for his presence through the gift of peace. We need to renew this act as often as worries assail us. 
  2. It Is I Myself!: What is it that makes us believe? When we contemplate the wounds of Christ in his risen body, his body the Church, his power and grace can prevail over the damage, scars, pains, and sufferings we endure. Let’s open our hearts to share with the Lord any hesitation to forgive those who have hurt us. Let’s believe in Jesus’ healing power through the Church. 
  3. Scripture Revealed: The Scriptures already hinted at a Messiah – a suffering servant who would rise from the dead, forgive sin, and be preached to all nations. Jesus, risen from the dead, fulfills this prophecy. By his resurrection, we know that our whole person, body, and soul will one day be resurrected. Praise Jesus for the beautiful eventuality of our own resurrection! 
  4. Conversing with Christ: Lord, I place my worries and preoccupations in your hands. To your providence, I entrust the causes of my concerns. May I always live with a belief in the power of the Resurrection to be working for good in all circumstances. I know you are with me. Grant me the courage to speak of you and your love with the prudence to know what to do and what to say, drawing from your word in the Scriptures.

Lucy Honner
epriest.com

 

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Fourth Sunday of Easter
21 April 2024 • Day of Prayer for Vocations

Superhero movies are still popular, and probably always will be. Because our world needs heroes. Our world needs leaders. Our world needs good and faithful shepherds, to take care of us, and to lead us. 

We have all probably heard that sheep are not very smart animals, but that turns out not to be true. Sheep supporters claim that it is a rumor started by cattle ranchers, because sheep don’t behave like cows. Cows are herded from the rear by cowboys. They yell and prod the cows to get them going in the right direction. But when you stand behind sheep and make noises, they just try to get behind you again. So some cattle ranchers assumed that they were stupid animals. When, in fact, sheep simply prefer to be led. 

Cows can be pushed. Sheep must be led. And, when you think about it, that’s really not that stupid. Sheep trust their shepherd and go where the shepherd goes. And they let the shepherd go first, to make sure the way is safe, and then to invite them to follow him. 

And isn’t that what Jesus is asking of us? To be his followers? He’s not going to push us. He’s not going to force us. Instead, Jesus just keeps calling us, in many and various ways, and inviting us over and over to follow him. He promises to lead us, to protect us, and even to lay down his life for us. And he invites us to trust him. Trust him and follow him.

James Laurence
mypastoralponderings.com

 

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Fifth Sunday of Easter
28 April 2024

I have two plants that live in my office. One of them is better than twenty years old. The other is only a few years old. If I do not pay attention to them, they do something that makes them look sad. They droop! They almost look as if they are going to cry.

I think it is fair to say that like our plants we wither from time to time. I am speaking of course about our walk with the Lord. Most people who identify themselves as Christians have very pronounced highs and lows in their journey of faith.

Generally speaking it is because we allow our relationship with Jesus to grow old, or like our plants, we forget to get the kind of nutrition that we need to stay fresh and vital. There are so many people who go to church, sign up for boards or committees, get excited for a week or two, and then everything gets old. For others it takes longer; maybe a couple of months, maybe a year, two years, or maybe even five years.

Like drooping plants our relationship with Christ that was once so vibrant, fresh, and exciting becomes slow, stale, and boring… dry!

The fruit that God desired from Israel was for the people to be more loving, to show obedience to God, and to practice righteousness and justice in how they conducted their lives. When we take that idea and transport it through Jesus, through the disciples, and finally into all of us we begin to see how important it is for us to stay connected to Jesus who is the source of our Christian life.

John W. Clarke
www.sermonsuite.com

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