The Catholic Defender: Friday in the Octave of Easter
Our Father, who art in heaven, sacred is Your Word. Your kingdom come, Your Words be heard on earth as they are in heaven. Give us today Your Sacred Word. Forgive our neglect of it in the past as we forgive those who neglect us. Lead us toward an encounter with You each time we delve into the Scriptures. For Your presence, Your power, and Your glory are ever present among us now and forever. Amen.
Father, we beg Your blessing for the Right to Life, the Unborn, the weak, the sick and the old; all who are finding themselves being targets of the vicious culture of death; that our Lord Jesus bless and protect all who stand up for the Christian dignity of persons. That God enlighten those who are traveling down death's highway by their involvement, in any way, with either the contemporary death culture, selfism, relativeism, or any of the new age errors of our times, that God envelop our culture with His Divine protection and help us both individually and as a nation to true enlightenment, conversion and repentance of our selves and our culture. Help us to turn from our national sin of abortion, and return to, and once again become a Christian nation, on the narrow road, that is, the path to becoming a nation and culture, under God. Amen.
I believe that your divine Son became man and died for our sins, and that he will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe these and all the truths which the holy Catholic Church teaches, because you have revealed them, who can neither deceive nor be deceived.
Let us begin, In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You.
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thine intercession was left unaided.
Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me.
Reading 1 Acts 4:1-12 After the crippled man had been cured, while Peter and John were still speaking to the people, the priests, the captain of the temple guard, and the Sadducees confronted them, disturbed that they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead. They laid hands on Peter and John and put them in custody until the next day, since it was already evening. But many of those who heard the word came to believe and the number of men grew to about five thousand. On the next day, their leaders, elders, and scribes were assembled in Jerusalem, with Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly class. They brought them into their presence and questioned them, "By what power or by what name have you done this?" Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, answered them, "Leaders of the people and elders: If we are being examined today about a good deed done to a cripple, namely, by what means he was saved, then all of you and all the people of Israel should know that it was in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead; in his name this man stands before you healed. 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."
Responsorial Psalm Ps 118:1-2 and 4, 22-24, 25-27a R.(22) The stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone. or: R. Alleluia. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his mercy endures forever. Let the house of Israel say, "His mercy endures forever." Let those who fear the LORD say, "His mercy endures forever." R. The stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone. or: R. Alleluia. The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. By the LORD has this been done; it is wonderful in our eyes. This is the day the LORD has made; let us be glad and rejoice in it. R. The stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone. or: R. Alleluia. O LORD, grant salvation! O LORD, grant prosperity! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD; we bless you from the house of the LORD. The LORD is God, and he has given us light. R. The stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone. or: R. Alleluia.
Alleluia Ps 118:24 R. Alleluia, alleluia. This is the day the LORD has made; let us be glad and rejoice in it. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Jn 21:1-14 Jesus revealed himself again to his disciples at the Sea of Tiberias. He revealed himself in this way. Together were Simon Peter, Thomas called Didymus, Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, Zebedee's sons, and two others of his disciples. Simon Peter said to them, "I am going fishing." They said to him, "We also will come with you." So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. When it was already dawn, Jesus was standing on the shore; but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. Jesus said to them, "Children, have you caught anything to eat?" They answered him, "No." So he said to them, "Cast the net over the right side of the boat and you will find something." So they cast it, and were not able to pull it in because of the number of fish. So the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, "It is the Lord." When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he tucked in his garment, for he was lightly clad, and jumped into the sea. The other disciples came in the boat, for they were not far from shore, only about a hundred yards, dragging the net with the fish. When they climbed out on shore, they saw a charcoal fire with fish on it and bread. Jesus said to them, "Bring some of the fish you just caught." So Simon Peter went over and dragged the net ashore full of one hundred fifty-three large fish. Even though there were so many, the net was not torn. 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.
Saint of the Day Blessed Peter Gonzalez
Peter was born into a noble family in Castile, Spain, in 1190, and he became a priest as a step to high office. One Christmas Day, during a grand entrance into the city before all the townspeople, the young priest was thrown off of his horse and onto a dung-heap.
when he was very young. On one occasion, he was riding triumphantly into the city, his horse stumbled, dumping him into the mud to the amusement of onlookers. Humbled, the canon reevaluated his vocation and later resigned his position to enter the Dominican Order
Embarrassed and knowing that his parishioners thought he was a fake, Peter withdrew from the world for a period of prayer and meditation. During this time, he had a conversion and spent the rest of his life making up for his lost youth. He joined the Dominicans and shunned those who tried to convince him to return to his old ways, saying: "If you love me, follow me! If you cannot follow me, forget me!"
González became a renowned preacher; crowds gathered to hear him and numberless conversions were the result of his efforts.
Saint Paul had a conversion experience on the road to Damascus. Many years later, the same proved true for Peter Gonzalez, who triumphantly rode his horse into the Spanish city of Astorga in the 13th century to take up an important post at the cathedral. The animal stumbled and fell, leaving Peter in the mud and onlookers amused.
Humbled, Peter reevaluated his motivations—his bishop-uncle had secured the cathedral post for him—and started down a new path. He became a Dominican priest and proved to be a most effective preacher. He spent much of his time as court chaplain, and attempted to exert positive influence on the behavior of members of the court. After King Ferdinand III and his troops defeated the Moors at Cordoba, Peter was successful in restraining the soldiers from pillaging, and persuaded the king to treat the defeated Moors with compassion.
Later he entered the Dominican Order and became a renowned preacher; crowds gathered to hear him and numberless conversions were the result of his efforts. He accompanied Ferdinand III of Leon on his expeditions against the Moors, but his ambition was to preach to the poor. He devoted the remainder of his life to the instruction and conversion of the ignorant and of the mariners in Galicia and along the coast of Spain.
He served as the confessor and court chaplain to King Saint Ferdinand III of Castile, and reformed court life. He also worked for the crusade against the Moors, went into the battlefields, and worked for humane treatment of Moorish prisoners.
After retiring from the court, Peter devoted the remainder of his life to preaching in northwest Spain. Having developed a special mission to Spanish and Portuguese seamen, he is considered their patron.
Peter Gonzalez died in 1246 and was beatified in 1741.
How often we have heard stories about some misfortune or disaster only to hear later on that it was now seen as a good thing. Not every “disaster” is truly bad in its consequences for the Lord can bring good out of what appears to be a misfortune. Such was the case for Blessed Peter. His being dumped in the mud by a falling horse turned out to be a good thing in his life.
Fearing that the honors and easy life offered by the king’s court would lead him to return to his previous ways, he left the court and evangelized to shepherds and sailors.
He died in 1246 and was canonized in 1741.
Almighty God, you bestowed the singular help of Saint Peter Gonzales on those in peril from the sea. By the help of his prayers may the light of your grace shine forth in all the storms of this life and enable us to find the harbor of everlasting salvation. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
He lies buried in the cathedral of Tuy and was beatified in 1254 by Innocent IV.
St. Pedro Gonzales, pray for us!