Today, April 7
Feast of the Day
No feast of the day
Saint of the Day
John Baptist de la Salle is the founder of the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools and a patron of teachers. His great achievements for the sake of education began quite unexpectedly.
Born in 1651 in France, he was the eldest son of a noble family and inherited the position and riches of his family. Destined for a successful career in the Church, he was ordained in 1678 and shortly after was asked to help establish some charity schools. He soon realized that the teachers had to be trained and he provided housing for them. His desire to be in the same position as his teachers inspired him to resign his canonry and to give up his private fortune.In 1684 the group became a religious community, and this was the beginning of the order that eventually spread throughout the world. It was a teaching order, and the rule was laid down that no brother could become a priest and no priest could join the order, and that rule has been preserved. Despite much opposition and hardship, by the time of his death in 1719, John Baptist had established the first teacher training college, schools for both the poor and the privileged, and written several education manuals which became classics in the field of education. He is a patron of teachers.©2011 Living with Christ, Novalis - Bayard Press Canada Inc., http://www.livingwithchrist.ca/. Reprinted with permission.
Readings of the Day
Book of Isaiah 49:1-6.
Hear me, O islands, listen, O distant peoples. The Lord called me from birth, from my mother's womb he gave me my name. He made of me a sharp-edged sword and concealed me in the shadow of his arm. He made me a polished arrow, in his quiver he hid me. You are my servant, he said to me, Israel, through whom I show my glory. Though I thought I had toiled in vain, and for nothing, uselessly, spent my strength, Yet my reward is with the LORD, my recompense is with my God. For now the LORD has spoken who formed me as his servant from the womb, That Jacob may be brought back to him and Israel gathered to him; And I am made glorious in the sight of the LORD, and my God is now my strength! It is too little, he says, for you to be my servant, to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and restore the survivors of Israel; I will make you a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.
In you, LORD, I take refuge; let me never be put to shame. In your justice rescue and deliver me; incline your ear to me, and save me. Be my rock of refuge, a stronghold to give me safety, for you are my rock and my fortress. O my God, rescue me from the hand of the wicked. For you are my hope, O Lord; my trust, O God, from my youth. On you I depend from birth; from my mother's womb you are my strength. My mouth shall declare your justice, day by day your salvation. O God, you have taught me from my youth, and till the present I proclaim your wondrous deeds.
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John 13:21-33.36-38.
Reclining at table with his disciples, Jesus was deeply troubled and testified, «Amen, amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me.» The disciples looked at one another, at a loss as to whom he meant. One of his disciples, the one whom Jesus loved, was reclining at Jesus' side. So Simon Peter nodded to him to find out whom he meant. He leaned back against Jesus' chest and said to him, "Master, who is it?" Jesus answered, "It is the one to whom I hand the morsel after I have dipped it." So he dipped the morsel and (took it and) handed it to Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot. After he took the morsel, Satan entered him. So Jesus said to him, "What you are going to do, do quickly." (Now) none of those reclining at table realized why he said this to him. Some thought that since Judas kept the money bag, Jesus had told him, "Buy what we need for the feast," or to give something to the poor. So he took the morsel and left at once. And it was night. When Judas had left them, Jesus said, "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. My children, I will be with you only a little while longer. You will look for me, and as I told the Jews, 'Where I go you cannot come,' so now I say it to you. Simon Peter said to him, "Master, where are you going?" Jesus answered (him), "Where I am going, you cannot follow me now, though you will follow later." Peter said to him, "Master, why can't I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you." Jesus answered, "Will you lay down your life for me? Amen, amen, I say to you, the cock will not crow before you deny me three times."
When someone is defeated after offering stiff resistance, he should not give up in despair; let him take heart, encouraged by the words of Isaiah: "In spite of all your strength, you will be defeated, wicked demons. And if you should again gather your strength together, again you will be defeated. Whatever plans you devise, the Lord will bring them to nothing: for God is with us" (cf. Is 8:10). God "raises up all who are bowed down" (cf. Ps 144:14 LXX) and produces grief and consternation among our enemies as soon as we repent. (…) Peter was first given the keys but then he was allowed to fall into the sin of denying Christ (cf. Mt 26:70) and so his pride was humbled by his fall. Do not be surprised, then, if after receiving the keys of spiritual knowledge you fall into various evil thoughts. Glorify our Lord, for he alone is wise. Through setbacks of this kind he restrains the presumption that we tend to feel because of our advance in the knowledge of God. Trials and temptations are the means by which God, in his providence, restrains our human arrogance. (…) It is more serious to lose hope than to sin. The traitor, Judas, was a defeatist, inexperienced in spiritual warfare. As a result he was reduced to despair by the enemy's onslaught and he went and hanged himself (cf. Mt 27:5). Peter, on the other hand, was a firm rock. Although brought down by a terrible fall, yet because of his experience in spiritual warfare he was not broken by despair, but leaping up he shed bitter tears from a contrite heart and humiliated heart (cf. Mt 26:75). And as soon as our enemy saw them, he recoiled as though his eyes had been burned by searing flames, and he took to flight, howling and lamenting.