Jesus the Bread of Life 4     by:   Sr. Leizle, SSS

May 6, Friday, 3rd week of Easter – [‘’those who eat my flesh and drink my blood, live in me, and I in them.’’ John 6:52-59] Thank you Lord for the gift of the Eucharist. As I receive You in the Holy Communion, may your Body and Blood transform me into your likeness, Amen.

Jesus the Bread of Life 3     by:   Sr. Leizle, SSS

May 5, Thursday, 3rd week of Easter – [‘’I am the living bread from heaven; whoever eats of this bread will live forever.’’ John 6:44-51] In the Gospel of John, Jesus keeps repeating that He is the Bread of Life... Receiving Jesus in the Holy Communion is what I am always proud of as a Baptized Catholic. And as a Blessed Sacrament Religious, I am blessed to adore Jesus (the Bread of Life) before the Blessed Sacrament exposed.

Turn to Jesus     by:   Sr. Leizle, SSS

May 4, Wednesday, 3rd week of Easter – [‘’All those whom the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me, I shall never turn away.’’ John 6:35-40] This is an assurance that Jesus never abandons us. From my experience of petition prayer, whenever I turn to Jesus for help, there will always be an answer. Sometimes it comes immediately, others takes its time, and sometimes it comes unexpectedly. Whatever it is, whenever it is, the bottom line is that God answers the prayers in different forms and in His time. Keep the faith and persevere in prayer. God hears the cry of his people!

Sts. Philip and James, the Apostles     by:   St. Peter Julian Eymard, SSS

May 3, Sts. Philip and James. If faith makes us into a disciple of Jesus, love makes us his Apostle. (CO – Correspondence 1273)

Jesus the Bread of Life     by:   Sr. Leizle, SSS

May 2, Monday, 3rd week of Easter – [‘’Truly I say to you, you look for me, not because of the signs which you have seen, but because you ate the bread and were satisfied. Work then, not for perishable food, but for lasting food which gives eternal life.’’] Jesus is the Bread of Life! Believing in Jesus, listening to His words, imitating His actions and receiving Him in the Holy Communion will bring me to eternal life. Easier said than done. This made me reflect in a deeper way, how deep is my faith in God (especially in times of adversaries), Am I faithful in reading and meditating on the Word of God? Do I give my unconditional love and service to other people? Do I have the proper disposition whenever I partake in the Holy Communion during the Eucharistic Celebration? Lord, grant me the grace to strive for the life of holiness. Amen.

St. Joseph the Worker     by:   St. Peter Julian Eymard, SSS

May 1, St. Joseph the Worker. Joseph was poor in the things of this world; he possessed nothing in the land of his royal ancestors in Bethlehem. He lived in Nazareth, the poorest town and most despised by the people of God. And there, he only had a poor home. His condition as carpenter was that of a poor craftsman. (PR - Predication aux Religieux du Saint-Sacrement 15,4)

Don't Be Afraid     by:   Sr. Leizle, SSS

April 30, Saturday, 2nd week of Easter – [‘’It is I, Don’t be afraid.’’ John 6:16-21] When I entered religious life, I realized that I am a fearful person. I have fears of-- criticism, rejection, uncertainty, evaluation, failures, committing mistakes and many more in the list. All my fears make me very cautious to the point that my movements become measured and reserved. But thank God to the formation process, I became aware of my fears and slowly, I am able to work on them. What made me courageously face my fears is the thought that God is with me as I try to overcome and be friends with my fears. Jesus keeps telling me ‘It is I, don’t be afraid.’

A Thought for the Day     by:   Sr. Leizle SSS

April 29, Friday, 2nd week of Easter – [Jesus went to the other side of the sea of Galilee, near Tiberias when a large crowds followed Him because of the miraculous signs they saw when he healed the sick… John 6:1-15] What are my motivations (lower and higher) in following the Lord? Prestige, status, comfort, peace, service, love, etc. As I move forward in my journey of following Christ, may my motivations be continuously purified. Amen.

Father's Love     by:   Sr. Leizle SSS

April 28, Thursday, 2nd week of Easter – [‘’The Father loves the Son and has entrusted everything into his hands. Whoever believes in the Son lives with eternal life.’’ John 3:31-36] One of my professors said that ‘The compassionate face of the Father Almighty is Jesus Christ…’ I was struck upon hearing this statement. It made me wonder, how deep is my faith in Jesus? How can I gauge if I am growing in my faith or remaining stagnant? --------------- What is love? A fundamental question that everyone has its own definition. As for me, love is a driving force that makes someone do his/her best for others. It is about giving oneself to others beyond measure. God’s love is more than this, not just about giving some of yourself away, but it is about giving ‘everything’ away for ‘everybody’. God the Father gave his everything, his only Son out of love for humanity and the Son gave his all, his life out of his love for the people! I pray You O Lord to increase my faith and love in you so that I can also imitate your love for everyone. Amen.

The Greatest Love     by:   Sr. Leizle, SSS

April 27, Wednesday, 2nd week of Easter – [‘’God so love the world that he gave his Only Son, whoever believes in him may not perish but have eternal life.’’ John 3:16-21] This is the very first bible verse that I memorized by heart since time immemorial. When I was young, say grade school years, this bible verse didn’t have any impact on me personally. But when I started to search what is the meaning of my life, this verse came to life and it speaks a lot to me. God’s love is the greatest love of all that I have ever received that will last forever! Lord Jesus, You came to us as the greatest Gift from the Father in Heaven. You were sent out of love, for the purpose of loving us to the end, saving us, drawing us back to the Father and giving us eternal life. Thank you Lord for coming down for us. Amen.

To Believe in Jesus     by:   Sr. Leizle, SSS

April 26, Tuesday, 2nd week of Easter – [‘’Whoever believes in Him may have eternal life.’’ John 3:7-15] To believe in Jesus Christ, one must have a personal experience of God’s love… When I look back to my personal story and experiences in life, I came to know and realize how God lavished His love on me (thanks to the formation process) and I cannot help but fall in love with this great Man and God – Jesus Christ. As I try to follow the Lord in this way of life, may God bless me with the graces I need as he leads me to eternal life. Amen.

Feast of St. Mark, the Evangelist     by:   St. Peter Julian Eymard

April 25, Monday, (Feast of St. Mark, the Evangelist) Who speaks better than the evangelist? And this is not a title of glory, it was their work. (PR - Predication aux Religieux du Saint-Sacrement 107,3)

The Doubting Thomas     by:   Sr. Leizle, SSS

April 24, Sunday of Easter Octave – [‘’Do you believe now because you have seen me, Blessed are those who believe but didn’t see me.’’ Jesus said. Jn. 20:19-31] One thing that I have learned from Thomas is that… Faith and believing in God cannot be based on hearsays or just acceptance of what other’s faith or belief is being pass-on to us. Faith is a gift, and it must be grounded in a deep and personal encounter and relationship to God. In my journey of faith, I learned that it is OK to have a critical and skeptical mind. Thomas showed me the authentic seeing and believing that leads to a deeper and genuine confession of faith. Looking back to the story of my faith in God and in Jesus Christ is like the story of Thomas. My parents’ faith, they pass it on me. I was baptized and raised in Catholic faith (thanks to my parents) but as I grew up, faith became a ritual and a routine for me. Later on I started to have a critical and skeptical mind; I questioned my faith, I questioned the existence of God, is He truly present? I knew and I heard stories about God, about Jesus from my parents, from the catechist, from my teachers, from the priests, from other people but how come I did not feel a connection or a personal touch to God… I had a long journey of faith (and it continues until now), I started to question, then seek Him… and God works in numerous ways, in marvellous ways; meeting me in many forms, showing Himself to me in the many situations of my life and gradually, establishing our personal relationship in a very personal way. Skepticism led me to a deeper faith in Jesus Christ… and furthermore, also led me to discover the gift of religious vocation that God has called me… and at the end of the day, like Thomas, I also say, ‘my Lord and my God!’ Amen.

A Thought for the Day     by:   Sr. Leizle SSS

April 23, Saturday of Easter Octave – [But later, as the Eleven were at table, he appeared to them and rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart because they had not believed those who saw him after he had been raised. Mark 16:14] Many times I also caught myself struggling with my lack of faith and the hardness of my heart... But God in his goodness, He never gets tired of sending me his inspirations through people I meet and events or situations that I am caught with... And so I pray for the grace of openness that I may be always open to see the movement of God in daily life. Amen.

The Appearance     by:   Sr. Leizle, SSS

April 22, Friday of Easter octave – [Jesus said to them, “Come, have breakfast.” And none of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?” because they realized it was the Lord. Jesus came over and took the bread and gave it to them, and in like manner the fish. This was now the third time Jesus was revealed to his disciples after being raised from the dead. Jn 21:1-14] Jesus once again appeared to His disciples as they tried to return to their usual daily routine, to go on fishing… Jesus wanted to reassure His disciples that He will never abandon them and that He is still with them in every step of the way. As if saying to His disciples, I am always with you wherever you go, ever ready to guide and help you. Humans as I am, many times also experience weariness, tiredness and frustrations brought about by life challenges. But all these trials are just passing-by to life. What is constant and forever is God’s loving presence among his people. The Risen Christ is always with me, ever ready to guide and help me as I face the realities of life.

The Encounter      by:   Sr. Leizle, SSS

April 21, Thursday of Easter Octave - [‘’Jesus himself stood in their midst… He said to them ‘’Peace to you’’. In their panic and fright they thought they were seeing a ghost… He said to them, ‘’Why are you in panic and fright… it is really I.’’Lk. 24:35-48] the encounter between the Risen Christ and His disciples is an assurance that God is present, He stood in our midst amidst the pandemic we are facing right now. He is with me, He is with us all the time, even when I do not recognize Him. This realization and conviction consoles me, and gives me the peace of mind and heart that He is present. O God, by Your grace, may we always be open and be aware of Your Presence, standing among us, giving us Your gift of peace and consolation especially in this time of crisis. This we asked through Christ our Lord, Amen.

To Recognize the Lord     by:   Sr. Leizle, SSS

April 20, Wednesday of Easter Octave – [The Road to Emmaus… and their eyes were opened, and they recognized him… -Luke 24:13-34] Many times in my life’s journey, I feel disappointed, frustrated, sad and lonely. These negative thoughts and feelings are blinding my eyes from recognizing the message and the presence of God but the story on the Road to Emmaus reminds me and assures me that Jesus walks beside me in my lowest time. When doubts and desolation overwhelms me, I beg you Lord for the grace to recognize You at my side, walking at my own pace and giving me consolation. Enlighten me O Lord and set my heart burning as You did to the two disciples. Amen.

The Encounter     by:   Sr. Leizle, SSS

April 19, Tuesday of Easter Octave – [The encounter of Mary and Resurrected Jesus… Mary weeps… Jesus said to her ‘Mary!’ she turned and said to him, ‘Rabboni! -John 20:11-18] This resurrection encounter is one of my favourites among the appearance of Jesus. I can resonate with Mary who loves Jesus so much that she weeps when she can't find the body of Jesus. I feel like I am also like Mary in some ways, easy to weep when I couldn't see Jesus in my life, when I could hardly understand what is happening around me and within me. But Jesus is faithful, calling my name so I can hear and focus my sight on Him. This is my resurrection experience, when I am able to see Jesus amidst my sorrow and pains.

Alleluia! The Lord is Risen     by:   Sr. Leizle, SSS

April 18, Monday of Easter Octave – [Jesus met them on the way and said, ‘Peace!’. Mt 28:8-15] Resurrection is… an experience of peace over anxiety, having a deeper faith when doubt creeps in, finding consolation in times of despair, and having the experience of God’s merciful love in my sinfulness.

The Lord is Risen     by:   Sr. Leizle, SSS

April 17, Easter Sunday of the Lord’s Resurrection – [Mary Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning while it was still dark and she saw that the stone blocking the tomb has been moved away.’’ John 20:1-9] The Lord is Risen, Alleluia! There is immense joy in my heart that is brought by the resurrection of the Lord Jesus.

The Tomb     by:   Sr. Leizle SSS

April 16, Holy Saturday [Jesus laid in the tomb] I was in the tomb, feeling lonely, alone and in pain... But God came into my tomb, the darkest place in my life, keeping me company in silence and assuring me of His loving presence…

The Cross     by:   Sr. Leizle SSS

April 15, Good Friday [The crucifixion and death of our Lord Jesus Christ] Whenever I look at the Crucifix, I can see how great God’s love is for me… and all I can do is to kneel down and pray… God loves me so much no matter how sinful I am, He’s always ready to take me back to his love. Only God can love me perfectly. --------------- Jesus dies on the cross out of his love for humanity! In my vocation story, the image of Jesus of the Cross played a vital role in the awakening of my interest in religious life. I was quietly praying before the crucifix, gazing at the body of Jesus, when it suddenly dawned on me on how much God loves me… the crucifix at that time was speaking to my heart, as if I was hearing his words, ‘This is how much I love you, arms outstretched open, welcoming all who you are…’ This prayer experience made a great impact that I started to search for my vocation in life. Lord Jesus, thank you for dying for us, thank you for your resurrection and bringing us back to the Father. Amen.

Washing of the Feet     by:   Sr. Leizle SSS

April 14, Holy Thursday [Then He poured water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel he was wearing… John 13:1-15] Washing of the Feet. Lord in humility, you stoop down, get on your knees and wash your disciples’ feet, showing them the meaning of loving service. Grant me the grace of courage to go beyond my weakness and limitations so that I may be able to give my loving service to others without counting its cost. Jesus, I place my trust in you. Amen.

The Betrayal     by:   Sr. Leizle SSS

April 13, Holy Wednesday [‘While they were eating, he said, "Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me." And they became greatly distressed and began to say to him one after another, "Surely not I, Lord?" Matthew 26:14–25] Jesus must have been feeling sorrow, bitter and full of pain while saying those words to his apostles. But nevertheless, He still treated them as his close friends knowing their weaknesses. Jesus’ great love for them prevails over their weaknesses and sinfulness. O Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on me, for I have betrayed your love repeatedly. Grant me the grace to shed all earthly desires in life so that I will not fall into the temptations that lead me to be away from you. This I pray, amen.

God's Glory     by:   Sr. Leizle SSS

April 12, Holy Tuesday [“Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him. If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and he will glorify him at once.” John 13:31–32] All I do in, with and through my life has the potential to give glory to God’s name. Even in my sinfulness, God’s glory comes when He gives me His mercy and forgiveness, provided that I should be sorrowful with the sins I committed and humbly ask for pardon. Where sin abounds, grace abounds all the more. It will never be my sin that glorifies God but His mercy and compassion that he poured out from the Cross just to bring me back to the Father that gives Him glory. The Gospel reading for today, Holy Tuesday is the betrayal of a friend (Judas) to Jesus. I can imagine how Jesus must have felt hurt back then, but that betrayal has turned out to be the beginning of Jesus saving humanity - sinners and saints. God’s glory is the Cross!

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