Feb 062005

Your Daily Tripod

"Your Daily Tripod" reflects the personal Fourth Day journeys of its authors and editors. We are happy to have companions like you share in this project. Our prayer is that these reflections will invite and inspire your Fourth Day journey of Piety, Study and Action as much as writing or editing them inspires our journey and brings us all close moments with Jesus and our neighbors.

“Pax”, Pater Karl Sadler, OSB
“Peace Be with You” by Beth DeCristofaro

Repent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be wiped away, and that the Lord may grant you times of refreshment and send you the Christ already appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the times of universal restoration of which God spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets from of old. (Acts 3:19-21)

He said to them, "These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the law of Moses and in the prophets and psalms must be fulfilled." Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. And he said to them, "Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things." (Luke 24:44-48)


"Peace be with you," You said to your Friends, Lord.  May I hear you speak them to me.  May you fill me with your peace, overflowing upon my small world.  May I be fierce in faith while peacefully living as witness to your life of love.


Peter knew of what he spoke to the crowds in Jerusalem.  Jesus accepted his repentance from betrayal and from Jesus’ mouth his sins were wiped away.  His words to the audience were fierce in the challenge yet tender as Peter named their sin and offered restoration to them.  He spoke out of a faith which was forged in hardship and misunderstanding until his mind was open and his friend, his Lord, bestowed peace upon him.

Christ says “Peace” to me today but at times I find it difficult to hear him or to feel his peace in my heart.  There are days when I do not have peace when my faith is stressed beneath the weight of fear, opinions, bias, anger or the distraction of idols.  If I do not live in my faith and listen for the silence of Christ’s peace, I cannot share it.  My heart and mind is not open but is rather closed in the walls of my upper room for fear of losing what I think that I have.  Repent and be converted, Peter offers today, now.  And Jesus breathes his Peace upon me when I say Yes.


We have so many opportunities to hear the silence of Christ’s abiding peace.  In your prayer time, during the Eucharist, as you confess in Reconciliation still your own voice of fear, opinions, bias, anger or the distraction of idols.  Hear Jesus’ peace and joyfully repent, gladly accept.

Illustration:  “Pax”, Pater Karl Sadler, OSB http://www.paterkarlstadler.com/kunst/?linolschnitt

“The Risen Christ Meets Us Wherever We Are” by Colleen O’Sullivan

And a man crippled from birth was carried and placed at the gate of the temple called “the Beautiful Gate” every day to beg for alms from the people who entered the temple.  When he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked for alms.  But Peter looked intently at him, as did John, and said, “Look at us.”  He paid attention to them, expecting to receive something from them.  Peter said, “I have neither silver nor gold, but what I do have I give you:  in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean, rise and walk.”  (Acts 3:2-6)

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.
 (Luke 24:13-16) 


Give thanks to the LORD, invoke his name;
make known among the nations his deeds.
Sing to him, sing his praise,
proclaim all his wondrous deeds.  (Psalm 105:1-2)


It may as well have been Saturday all over again for the two disciples heading away from Jerusalem to their village, Emmaus.  Holy Saturday always has a disconcerting feeling of emptiness to it, which these companions were still carrying with them as they put one foot in front of the other.  They were so disappointed and disillusioned. 

For a fleeting moment earlier that morning their hearts had been filled with joy at their women friends’ report that Jesus was alive.  But when they rushed to the tomb, they found only burial cloths, not their friend and teacher.  Disconsolate, they decided to leave the city and return home.  Sharing their feelings with one another along the way, they were suddenly joined by a stranger.  This fellow traveler asked what they had been discussing and they told him.  The stranger called them foolish and went back over the Scriptures from Moses forward, showing them that the Christ had always been destined to suffer.  Still, the two disciples had no clue to this wayfarer’s identity.  It was only later that day in the breaking of bread at their evening meal that they recognized the Risen Lord! 

Jesus comes to us wherever we are.  Jesus rushed after them when he realized they had turned their backs on Jerusalem out of despair.  Jesus completely turned their lives around by pursuing them in their hour of doubt.  And Jesus often does this for us as well.  He doesn’t wait for us to come in search of him.  He meets us right in the midst of our troubles.

The same thing happens in today’s first reading.  Peter and John encounter the crippled man at the Beautiful Gate.  This disabled man has no expectation that this day will be different from any other.  All he hopes for is alms sufficient for the day’s needs, and that’s what he asks for when Peter and John stumble upon him.  He has no idea that he’s about to meet the power of the Risen Christ until Peter tells him he has no money and commands him to get up and walk in the name of Jesus the Nazorean.   And that’s exactly what takes place; the man gets up and, for the first time in years, is able to walk around!   He wasn’t seeking Jesus, but Jesus, through Peter and John, found him and healed him!


Our Scripture readings today are taken from real life.  Sometimes we’re like the disciples on the road to Emmaus, scurrying away from the very place the Risen Jesus is to be found.  When have you run away from disappointment, discouragement or despair?  Take time in prayer today to share whatever it was that sent you fleeing.

Often our ideas about where we might encounter the Risen Christ are somewhat limited.  Who would have expected to meet him at the same Temple gate where every day previous to this had yielded nothing but the same old, same old, maybe because that’s all you asked for?   Share your deepest desires with the Risen Christ in prayer today. 
Mary at the Tomb, Rembrandt [Public domain].

“I Have Seen the Lord” by Melanie Rigney (@melanierigney)

“Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38)

The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord. (Psalm 33:5b)

She thought it was the gardener and said to him, “Sir, if you carried him away, tell me where you laid him, and I will take him.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni,” which means Teacher. Jesus said to her, “Stop holding on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” Mary went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” and then reported what he had told her. (John 20:15-18)


Jesus, I beg You to open my eyes to Your presence.


She thought it was the gardener.

Sometimes, we think it’s that person at work who frustrates us, that women who stands on the left instead of the right on a Metro escalator, that man who sits in front of us at Mass and smells a little and sings off-key.

Sometimes we think it’s the person whom we love more than anyone else on earth, that mentor who lovingly challenges us to think the best rather than the worst of others, that customer service representative who’s so patient in helping us regain access to an online account.

And sometimes, we are right.

Other times, we realize later that there was some Jesus in that moment, whether His appearance presented an opportunity for a small act of mercy or provided us with needed grace and love.

She thought it was the gardener. But when He called her name, she knew. Listen… is He calling yours?


Look for the Lord in unexpected places today, using your eyes and ears.

Fearful Yet Overjoyed

“My brothers, one can confidently say to you about the patriarch David that he died and was buried, and his tomb is in our midst to this day. But since he was a prophet and knew that God had sworn an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants upon his throne, he foresaw and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that neither was he abandoned to the netherworld nor did his flesh see corruption.  Acts 2:29-31

Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went away quickly from the tomb, fearful yet overjoyed, and ran to announce the news to his disciples. And behold, Jesus met them on their way and greeted them. They approached, embraced his feet, and did him homage. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.”  Matthew 28:8-10


May God arise; may his enemies be scattered; may those who hate him flee before him. As the smoke is dispersed, disperse them; as wax is melted by fire, so may the wicked perish before God. Then the just will be glad; they will rejoice before God; they will celebrate with great joy. (Psalm 68:1-3)


For a few hours, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were the only members of the church to have witnessed the Resurrection.  According to this account in Matthew’s Gospel, they also were the first to get the New Commission.  They saw, believed, and then obeyed the two new commandments:

I.            Do Not Be Afraid.

II.          Go Tell My Brothers to Go to Galilee.


The Easter message and the Christmas message overlap. After the preparation of Advent, Christ is born and we are told to “Go Tell it on the Mountain.”  Our Christmas job is to spread the Good News. After the preparation of Lent, Christ is born again and Scriptures instruct us (again) to “Go tell it.”

When we have an encounter with Jesus, we are not to keep it a secret. Yet, if we were to have an encounter with Jesus after witnessing his execution, we would probably be just like Mary Magdalene and the other Mary: fearful yet overjoyed before we head out to spread the Good News.

“He Is Not Here, But He Has Been Raised”.by Jim Bayne

(Jesus) commissioned us to preach to the people and testify that he is the one appointed by God as judge of the living and the dead. To him, all the prophets bear witness, that everyone who believes in him will receive forgiveness of sins through his name.”  (Acts 10:42-43)

This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad.  (Ps 118:24)

Brothers and sisters: If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.  (Col 3:1)

At daybreak on the first day of the week, the women who had come from Galilee with Jesus took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb; but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were puzzling over this, behold, two men in dazzling garments appeared to them. They were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground. They said to them, “Why do you seek the living one among the dead? He is not here, but he has been raised.  (Luke 24:1-6)



O God, who on this day,

through your Only Begotten Son,

have conquered death

and unlocked for us the path to eternity,

grant, we pray, that we who keep

the solemnity of the Lord’s Resurrection

may, through the renewal brought by your Spirit,

rise up in the light of life.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,

who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, for ever and ever.


Last week, I came across a piece in which a young college student tried to explain the existence of God to his atheist professor.  He began by asking the professor a series of questions about the existence of cold.  He pointed out that cold does not exist.  Otherwise, we would be able to go colder than absolute zero,  –459.67°F.  Absolute zero (-459.67̊ F) is the total absence of heat.

Next, he did the same thing with darkness. Darkness is not something; it is the absence of something.  Darkness is the absence of light.

He concluded by stating that like, cold and darkness, evil does not exist either.  It is simply the absence of God.

We have come through the darkness of Lent and Good Friday into the Light of Christ.  God, in the form of Jesus of Nazareth is no longer absent.  Today is the feast of the Light of Christ Jesus risen from the dead; risen from the darkness of the tomb. 

At the Easter vigil last night, the service was started in total darkness.  The darkness was first dissipated by the lighting of the new fire.  It was further dissipated by the lighting of the Easter candle.  Then each person present added their little light as their individual candles were lit.  Pretty soon the entire church was bathed in light.  The darkness no longer existed.

This, symbolically, is how the light of Christ is brought to the world each and every day. Each of us, by contributing our little light brings the light of Christ to the world.  Without our little light, the world is a little bit darker.


As members of the Cursillo community, we have the privilege of bringing our little light to the world by living our lives of Piety, Study, and Action.  We can brighten our light by devoting more time to our Piety, Study, and Action.

Rather than just reporting a moment close to the Lord at your weekly group reunion, report all of the ways in which you encountered Christ in your life this week: in the sacraments, Liturgy of the Hours, Eucharistic adoration, Lectio Divina, Centering Prayer, nature, in the life of the people you met this week, or through your own desert experiences (think of Mother Teresa's 50 years without consolation).

How did you brighten your light through the study of more than just a single magazine article?  Perhaps you met with a small group to work your way through the study guide that goes with Richard Rohr's new New York Times bestseller The Universal Christ.

Another possibility is David Brooks' new book, The Second Mountain.  This book tells the life stories of people who are actually living Richard Rohr's "second half of life," that is, using all of the resources gained in the first half of life to serve the needs of others.  What a way to bring the light of Christ to the world!

How did you trim the wick of your candle through Apostolic Action within your own family? Did you take time away from your electronic device to talk to your children about the light of Christ?  Did you take time to tell them how much you love them and how valuable they are to the life of your family? Did you take time to listen to your work colleagues personal dilemma and thereby bring some light into his/her life?  Did you give a few bucks to the homeless person you encountered at the stop light?

These are just a few ways in which each of us can enhance our own Easter experience and that of the little lights in our environment. 

“And They Remembered His Words” by Rev. Paul Berghout (@FatherPB)

Evening came, and morning followed—the fourth day.Genesis 1:19

Like a deer that longs for running streams, my soul longs for you, my God. Athirst is my soul for God, the living God.  When shall I go and behold the face of God?  Psalm 42:2-3

They said to them, "Why do you seek the living one among the dead? He is not here, but he has been raised. Remember what he said to you while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners and be crucified, and rise on the third day." And they remembered his words. Luke 24:5-8


“This is the night, when Jesus broke the chains of death and rose triumphant from the grave.”  The Exsultet: Easter Vigil Proclamation


Here's the line from the Exsultet, the powerful hymn of praise and thanksgiving that we hear (at the Easter Vigil):  “This is the night when Jesus broke the chains of death and rose triumphant from the grave.” 

At a church in Bangladesh, the congregation was seeing a film about the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus to an audience filled with people who had never heard of the gospel before. Children sat in front. The adults stood in the back. As the story of Jesus’ crucifixion unfolded, and his body laid in the tomb, there were tears and audible gasps. As the affected audience watched, one young boy suddenly spoke up.  "Don’t be afraid,” he said. “He gets up again! I saw it before!" 

Regarding another line from the Exsultet, I heard a lady say that it’s her personal favorite: "To ransom a slave, you gave away your Son." The lady added, “I always bring tissues [to the Easter Vigil]. It's impossible to sit through this Mass and be untouched by Him.”

The complete sentence goes: “Father, how wonderful your care for us! How boundless your merciful love!  To ransom a slave, you gave away your Son.”

The resurrection of Jesus marks the moment when we have to make a decision that we will choose to rise to eternal life with him and the blessed, and not choose by default or choice to experience the second death of eternal separation from God by unrepented mortal sin. O blessed are those, by repentance, can sing along with the Exsultet, “O happy fault, O necessary sin of Adam, which gained for us so great a Redeemer!

The reality is that Christ’s Resurrection affects the history of the world, backward and forwards. Everything has changed, from creation and the garden of Eden to the Last Things and the new Jerusalem. 
Another line from the Exsultet: “Accept this Easter candle, … Let it mingle with the lights of heaven and continue bravely burning to dispel the darkness of this night!

We learn from the Easter Gospel that the three steps to Easter faith are starting with unbelief: Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark. Darkness is a symbol of unbelief in the Gospel of John. Then, Peter and John run to the empty tomb. Peter is wondering to himself what had happened which show us that seeking is the second step. However, John sees and believes that Jesus is alive and rose physically from the grave. That is Easter Faith! It’s communicated from the testimonies of the New Testament, transmitted through the community, which becomes a living word when re-presented to us.

Lastly, a line of the Exsultet says: “The power of this holy night….brings mourners joy...”

Phil Callaway tells of driving his five-year-old son past a local cemetery. Of course, five-year old’s sometimes have an interesting perspective on things. Noticing a large pile of dirt beside a newly excavated grave, the boy pointed and said, “Look, Dad, one got out!”


The resurrection marks the moment in history when hope overcame grief.

We are not in the land of the living going to the land of the dying.

We are in the land of the dying going to the land of the living.

That is what Easter is all about, which is the source of all hope. Rejoice! It’s Easter! He is risen – and we will rise too!

May, as the Exsultet says “the Morning Star which never sets find this flame still burning.” As our Second Reading from Colossians says on Easter Sunday: “For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”

“Hidden” evokes God’s mystery and wisdom manifested to baptized believers, but now believers are themselves a part of the mystery. This must be the focus of our thoughts as we struggle to lift our minds above the concerns of this world. The key is to remember that we have been buried with Christ in Baptism so that we may walk with him in newness of life.”

Jesus is so great a Redeemer!

“In the Garden, A New Tomb” by Rev. Paul Berghout


With myrrh, aloes, and cassia your robes are fragrant. From ivory-paneled palaces, stringed instruments bring you joy. Psalm 45:9

After this, Joseph of Arimathea, secretly a disciple of Jesus for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate if he could remove the body of Jesus. And Pilate permitted it. So he came and took his body. Nicodemus, the one who had first come to him at night, also came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes weighing about one hundred pounds. They took the body of Jesus and bound it with burial cloths along with the spices, according to the Jewish burial custom. Now in the place where he had been crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had yet been buried. So, they laid Jesus there because of the Jewish preparation day; for the tomb was close by.  John 19:38-42


In the Kofa Mountains of Arizona, jutting majestically from the granite side of a deep canyon, are the only native palms in the entire state. It has been a mystery how those tropical plants can flourish and remain so strong and luxuriant on the dark, almost perpendicular sides of this narrow gorge. The fact that the sun reaches them only 2 hours a day makes their hearty growth even more of a puzzle. Botanists finally concluded that the stone walls reflect enough light and warmth throughout the day to enable these trees to thrive in the cold shadows of the canyon.

In the oppressive darkness of Good Friday, the Cross provides us with an infinite amount of the warmth of heavenly love and comfort we need. In the restricted crevices of pain, we discover the loveliest “trees of righteousness” (Is. 61:3), which is the wood of the Cross.


Veneration of the Cross manifests the individual believers appropriating  their salvation subjectively; keeping the Cross of Salvation at the forefront of their bodies, minds, and spirits.
 Posted by at 8:28 am

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