READING OF THE DAY: 04 MAY, 2014

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“That very day, the first day of the week, two of Jesus’ disciples were going to a village seven miles from Jerusalem called Emmaus,
and they were conversing about all the things that had occurred.

And it happened that while they were conversing and debating, Jesus himself drew near and walked with them, but their eyes were prevented from recognizing him.

He asked them, “What are you discussing as you walk along?”

They stopped, looking downcast.

One of them, named Cleopas, said to him in reply, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know of the things that have taken place there in these days?”

And he replied to them, “What sort of things?”

They said to him, “The things that happened to Jesus the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, how our chief priests and rulers both handed him over to a sentence of death and crucified him.

But we were hoping that he would be the one to redeem Israel; and besides all this, it is now the third day since this took place.

Some women from our group, however, have astounded us: they were at the tomb early in the morning and did not find his body; they came back and reported that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who announced that he was alive.

Then some of those with us went to the tomb and found things just as the women had described, but him they did not see.”

And he said to them, “Oh, how foolish you are! How slow of heart to believe all that the prophets spoke!

Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and enter into his glory?”

Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them what referred to him in all the scriptures.

As they approached the village to which they were going, he gave the impression that he was going on farther.

But they urged him, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them.

And it happened that, while he was with them at table, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them.

With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him, but he vanished from their sight.

Then they said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning (within us) while he spoke to us on the way and opened the scriptures to us?”

So they set out at once and returned to Jerusalem where they found gathered together the eleven and those with them who were saying, “The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon!”

Then the two recounted what had taken place on the way and how he was made known to them in the breaking of the bread.” -Luke 24:13-35.

SAINT OF THE DAY: 04 MAY, 2014

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Saint Monica
Widow
(332-388)

Saint Monica, the mother of Saint Augustine, was born in 332 of a Christian family of the ancient city of Tagasta in northern Africa. After a girlhood of singular innocence and piety, she was given in marriage to Patricius, a pagan.

She at once devoted herself to his conversion, praying for him always and winning his reverence and love by the holiness of her life and her affectionate forbearance. She was rewarded by seeing him baptized a year before his death.

When her son Augustine went astray in faith and habits, her prayers and tears were incessant.

She once begged a learned bishop that he would talk to her son, in order to bring him to a better disposition, but he declined, despairing of success with a young man at once so gifted and so headstrong.

At the sight of her prayers and tears, he nonetheless bade her be of good courage, for it could not happen that the child of those tears should perish.

Augustine, by going to Italy, was able for a time to free himself from his mother’s importunities, but he could not escape from her prayers, which encompassed him like the providence of God.

She followed him to Italy; and there, by his marvelous conversion, her sorrow was turned into joy.

At Ostia, shortly before they were to re-embark for Africa, Augustine and his mother sat at a window conversing on the life of the blessed.

She turned to him and said, My son, there is nothing now I care for in this life. What I shall now do, or why I remain on this earth, I know not. The one reason I had for wishing to linger in this life a little longer was that I might see you a Catholic Christian before I died. This grace God has granted me superabundantly, seeing you reject earthly happiness to become His servant.

A few days afterwards she had an attack of fever and died at the age of fifty-six, in the year 388.

(SOURCE: Les Petits Bollandistes: Vies des Saints, by Msgr. Paul GuĂ©rin (Bloud et Barral: Paris, 1882), Vol. 5; Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, a compilation based on Butler’s Lives of the Saints and other sources by John Gilmary Shea (Benziger Brothers: New York, 1894))