Friday in the Octave of Easter, April 26
The Name of Jesus Should Always Be at the Heart of Our Daily Prayers, for It Is Only in His Most Holy Name by Which We Shall Truly Realize Our Eternal Joy and Salvation.
“There is no salvation through anyone else, nor is there any other name under heaven given to the human race by which we are to be saved” – words which we read from today’s Acts of the Apostles, words which Peter delivered to the Sanhedrin in defense of his faith in Jesus Christ.
And we hear in today’s First Reading again that the number of Christians had grown to five thousand men, not counting women and children.
Even our psalmist is singing a hymn of thanksgiving, and what better thanksgiving is there than saying that Jesus Christ is the “cornerstone”, the foundation of the New Covenant through which we have been saved – the Cornerstone upon which you and I profess our faith daily!
“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his mercy endures forever.” And, in just two days, we will be celebrating the Feast of His Divine Mercy and the Love which God has for all of His children. And it is His Love which has given us our salvation, a Love which feeds and nourishes us as we journey through life!
And we see signs of this Fatherly Love in John’s Gospel today. We are shown Jesus as a loving Father when he calls out to His disciples in the boat, “Children.” And since Peter and the others had fished throughout the night and caught nothing, Jesus then advises them to cast their net “over the right side of the boat”, and they catch such a large quantity of fish, that Scripture says they “were not able to pull it in because of the number of fish.”
Then, John tells us that Jesus was cooking fish on a charcoal fire together with some bread. For me, it speaks to the fact that Jesus, acting as a loving Father to His disciples, and after calling them “Children,” was preparing to feed them not only physical food, but also spiritual. And the symbolism of the large number of fish could speak to all of us, for we are all children of God caught up in His Love, whose desire it is to feed and nourish us so that we may have life in His Most Holy Name.
What a marvelous faith we Christians have, knowing that we have a God who always cares for us as a loving and devoted Parent, One who truly understands our human weaknesses and does not chastise us – but rather encourages us to become all that we can be, even in spite of our human frailties, and especially due to whatever misfortunes in life we may experience!
God encourages each one of us to embrace in our daily lives the virtues of kindness and compassion, charity and selfless love – examples which our Lord gave when He walked amongst us, an example of the Love which God continuously gives to all His children throughout the world – regardless of race, color, creed, religious or political persuasion.
Sometimes, when we seem to become completely immersed in our own daily activities and routines, it is easy to lose sight of the singular Truth with which many of us have been taught and raised – that our God is a God of Love, and that the greatest attribute of His Infinite Love is His limitless Mercy!
It is at times like these when we need to be reminded of Peter’s words today, “There is no salvation through anyone else, nor is there any other name under heaven given to the human race by which we are to be saved.” For, it is only in Jesus’ Most Holy Name wherein we truly realize our eternal joy and salvation.
Even Jesus, in speaking to Martha just before raising Lazarus from the dead, teaches us, “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live.” And Saint Paul reminds us in his letter to the Philippians, “…at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
For each of us, no matter what our role in life may be – teacher or student, parent or child, clergy or layperson, our ultimate end in life is our personal salvation – a theme about which there has been much reflection over these past several days, regarding the salvific role of Christ’s redemptive death upon His Cross.
Just prior to our Lord entering into His Passion, John’s Gospel tells us that He prayed to His Heavenly Father with the words, “Now this is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ” – and this is the only place in Sacred Scripture where we read that our Lord was referring to Himself as “Jesus Christ.”
The Name of Jesus is at the heart of our daily prayers, and an untold number of Christians have died with the name of Jesus on their lips. Even a great many of our liturgical prayers conclude with the words “through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
The prayer to our Blessed Mother, the “Hail Mary”, reaches its high point in the words “blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.” And how many of us, when we were children, were taught by our parents or grandparents to bow our head every time the Holy Name of Jesus is invoked?
Our Blessed Mother at Fatima, Lourdes, and all the other approved apparitions which our Church has labeled as worthy of veneration, has always pointed to her Divine Son, Jesus, as the True Source of our personal salvation, for it is to her Son whom she is always directing our attention. Even the teaching authority of our Church, the Magisterium, is exercised only in the Holy Name of Jesus Christ.
Now, if each of us would, for but a moment, mentally place ourselves in a quiet place – to quiet down the busyness within our own minds and allow ourselves to be alone – with only Jesus as our companion.
Let us listen to Him now as He speaks to us today, with the same words, filled with Divine Love and Compassion, which He spoke to His disciples some two thousand years ago, for His words are timeless:
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me…I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me…And whatever you ask in my name, I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it.”
May you and I always be thankful for this most wondrous gift of life, and the time He is giving us to know, love and serve Him in our everyday activities. Let us eternally be thankful for the gift of our immortal soul and His invitation to spend our eternity with Him in His Heavenly Kingdom – where we may enjoy the gift of eternal life, and the eternal peace and joy which only His Love can give us.
Jesus says to each one of us today from the very depths of His Most Merciful Heart, as we approach the Feast of Divine Mercy, “Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him”
– a promise which is beyond anything the human mind and heart could ever possibly conceive! †
Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.
Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.
Scripture for the Day
- “He is ‘the stone rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone.’ There is no salvation through anyone else, nor is there any other name under heaven given to the human race by which we are to be saved.” (Acts 4:11-12)
- “Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his mercy endures forever…Let those who fear the LORD say, ‘his mercy endures forever.’” (Psalm 118:1, 4)
- “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live.” (John 11:25bc)
- “…God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:9-11)
- “Now this is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ.” (John 17:3)
- “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)
- “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me…I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me…And whatever you ask in my name, I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it.” (John 14:1, 6bc, 13-14)
- “Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.” (John 14:23bcd)
Prayer for the Day
“Eternal and Most Loving God,
I recognize that I have not truly lived
my life for You up until now.
I have been living for myself and I now realize that is wrong.
I need You in my life; I desire You in my life.
“I acknowledge the completed work
of Your Son Jesus Christ in giving His life
for me on the Cross at Calvary,
and I long to receive the forgiveness You have made
freely available to me through this sacrifice.
“Come into my life now, Lord.
Take up residence in my heart
and be my King, my Lord and my Savior.
“From this day forward, I will no longer be controlled by sin,
or the desire to please myself,
but I will follow You all the days of my life.
Those days I now place in Your hands.
I ask this in Jesus’ Most Precious and Holy Name. Amen.”Salvation Prayer