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Catholic Caucus: Sunday Mass Readings,05-18-14, Fifth Sunday of Easter
USCCB.org/RNAB ^ | 05-18-14 | Revised New American Bible

Posted on 05/17/2014 9:20:09 PM PDT by Salvation

May 18, 2014

Fifth Sunday of Easter

 

 

Reading 1 Acts 6:1-7

As the number of disciples continued to grow,
the Hellenists complained against the Hebrews
because their widows
were being neglected in the daily distribution.
So the Twelve called together the community of the disciples and said,
“It is not right for us to neglect the word of God to serve at table.
Brothers, select from among you seven reputable men,
filled with the Spirit and wisdom,
whom we shall appoint to this task,
whereas we shall devote ourselves to prayer
and to the ministry of the word.”
The proposal was acceptable to the whole community,
so they chose Stephen, a man filled with faith and the Holy Spirit,
also Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas,
and Nicholas of Antioch, a convert to Judaism.
They presented these men to the apostles
who prayed and laid hands on them.
The word of God continued to spread,
and the number of the disciples in Jerusalem increased greatly;
even a large group of priests were becoming obedient to the faith.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 33:1-2, 4-5, 18-19

R/ (22) Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
or:
R/ Alleluia.
Exult, you just, in the LORD;
praise from the upright is fitting.
Give thanks to the LORD on the harp;
with the ten-stringed lyre chant his praises.
R/ Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
or:
R/ Alleluia.
Upright is the word of the LORD,
and all his works are trustworthy.
He loves justice and right;
of the kindness of the LORD the earth is full.
R/ Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
or:
R/ Alleluia.
See, the eyes of the LORD are upon those who fear him,
upon those who hope for his kindness,
To deliver them from death
and preserve them in spite of famine.
R/ Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
or:
R/ Alleluia.

reading 2 1 Pt 2:4-9

Beloved:
Come to him, a living stone, rejected by human beings
but chosen and precious in the sight of God,
and, like living stones,
let yourselves be built into a spiritual house
to be a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices
acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
For it says in Scripture:
Behold, I am laying a stone in Zion,
a cornerstone, chosen and precious,
and whoever believes in it shall not be put to shame
.
Therefore, its value is for you who have faith, but for those without faith:
The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone
, and
A stone that will make people stumble,
and a rock that will make them fall
.
They stumble by disobeying the word, as is their destiny.

You are “a chosen race, a royal priesthood,
a holy nation, a people of his own,
so that you may announce the praises” of him
who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

Gospel Jn 14:1-12

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Do not let your hearts be troubled.
You have faith in God; have faith also in me.
In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places.
If there were not,
would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?
And if I go and prepare a place for you,
I will come back again and take you to myself,
so that where I am you also may be.
Where I am going you know the way.”
Thomas said to him,
“Master, we do not know where you are going;
how can we know the way?”
Jesus said to him, "I am the way and the truth and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through me.
If you know me, then you will also know my Father.
From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
Philip said to him,
“Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us.”
Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you for so long a time
and you still do not know me, Philip?
Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.
How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?
Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?
The words that I speak to you I do not speak on my own.
The Father who dwells in me is doing his works.
Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me,
or else, believe because of the works themselves.
Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever believes in me will do the works that I do,
and will do greater ones than these,
because I am going to the Father.”



TOPICS: Catholic; General Discusssion; Prayer; Worship
KEYWORDS: catholic; easter; prayer
For your reading, reflection, faith-sharing, comments, questions, discussion.

1 posted on 05/17/2014 9:20:09 PM PDT by Salvation
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2 posted on 05/17/2014 9:21:06 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Acts 6:1-7

The Appointment of the Seven Deacons


[1] Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in numbers, the Helle-
nists murmured against the Hebrews because their widows were neglected in the
daily distribution. [2] And the Twelve summoned the body of the disciples and
said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the Word of God to serve ta-
bles. [3] Therefore, brethren, pick out from among you seven men of good repute,
full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may appoint to this duty. [4] But we will
devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the Word.” [5] And what they
said pleased the whole multitude, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith of
the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parme-
nas, and Nicholas, a proselyte of Antioch. [6] These they set before the Apostles,
and they prayed and laid their hands upon them.

[7] And the Word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied
greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith.

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

1-6. A new section of the book begins at this point. It is introduced by reference
to two groups in the early community, identified by their background prior to their
conversion — the Hellenists and the Hebrews. From this chapter onwards, Chris-
tians are referred to as “disciples”; in other words this term is no longer applied
only to the Apostles and to those who were adherents of Jesus during His life
on earth; all the baptized are “disciples”. Jesus is the Lord of His Church and
the Teacher of all: after His ascension into Heaven He teaches, sanctifies and
governs Christians through the ministry of the Apostles, initially, and after the
Apostles’ death, through the ministry of their successors, the Pope and the bi-
shops, who are aided by priests.

Hellenists were Jews who had been born and lived for a time outside Palestine.
They spoke Greek and had synagogues of their own where the Greek transla-
tion of Scripture was used. They had a certain amount of Greek culture; the He-
brews would have also had some, but not as much. The Hebrews were Jews
born in Palestine; they spoke Aramaic and used the Hebrew Bible in their syna-
gogues. This difference of backgrounds naturally carried over into the Christian
community during its early years, but it would be wrong to see it as divisive or
to imagine that there were two opposed factions in early Christianity. Before the
Church was founded there existed in Jerusalem a well-established Hellenist-
Jewish community — an influential and sizeable grouping.

This chapter relates the establishment by the Apostles of “the seven”: this is the
second, identifiable group of disciples entrusted with a ministry in the Church,
the first being “the Twelve”.

Although St. Luke does not clearly present this group as constituting a holy “or-
der”, it is quite clear that the seven have been given a public role in the commu-
nity, a role which extends beyond distribution of relief. We shall now see Philip
and Stephen preaching and baptizing—sharing in some ways in the ministry of
the Apostles, involved in “care of souls”.

St. Luke uses the term “diakonia” (service), but he does not call the seven “dea-
cons”. Nor do later ancient writers imply that these seven were deacons (in the
later technical sense of the word)—constituting with priests and Bishops the hier-
archy of the Church. Therefore, we do not know for certain whether the diaconate
as we know it derives directly from “the seven”. St. John Chrysostom, for exam-
ple, has doubts about this (cf. “Hom. on Acts”, 14). However, it is at least pos-
sible that the ministry described here played a part in the instituting of the dia-
conate proper.

In any event, the diaconate is a form of sacred office of apostolic origin. At ordi-
nation deacons take on an obligation to perform—under the direction of the dio-
cesan bishop—certain duties to do with evangelization, catechesis, organization
of liturgical ceremonies, Christian initiation of catechumens and neophytes, and
Church charitable and social welfare work.

The Second Vatican Council teaches that “at a lower level of the hierarchy are
to be found deacons, who receive the imposition of hands `not unto the priest-
hood, but unto the ministry’. For, strengthened by sacramental grace they are
dedicated to the people of God, in conjunction with the bishop and his body of
priests, in the service of the liturgy, of the Gospel and of works of charity. It
pertains to the office of a deacon, in so far as it may be assigned to him by
the competent authority, to administer Baptism solemnly, to be custodian and
distributor of the Eucharist, in the name of the Church to assist at and to bless
marriages, to bring Viaticum to the dying, to read Sacred Scripture to the faith-
ful, to instruct and exhort the people, to preside over the worship and the prayer
of the faithful, to administer sacramentals, and to officiate at funeral and burial
services” (”Lumen Gentium”, 29).

2-4. The Twelve establish a principle which they consider basic: their apostolic
ministry is so absorbing that they have no time to do other things. In this parti-
cular case an honorable and useful function — distribution of food — cannot be
allowed to get in the way of another even more important task essential to the
life of the Church and of each of its members. “They speak of it ‘not being right’
in order to show that the two duties cannot in this case be made compatible”
(Chrysostom, “Hom. on Acts”, 14).

The main responsibility of the pastors of the Church is the preaching of the Word
of God, the administration of the Sacraments and the government of the people
of God. Any other commitment they take on should be compatible with their pas-
toral work and supportive of it, in keeping with the example given by Christ: He
cured people’s physical ailments in order to reach their souls, and He preached
justice and peace as signs of the Kingdom of God.

“A mark of our identity which no doubt ought to encroach upon and no objection
eclipse is this: as pastors, we have been chosen by the mercy of the Supreme
Pastor (cf. 1 Peter 5:4), in spite of our inadequacy, to proclaim with authority the
Word of God, to assemble the scattered people of God, to nourish this people on
the road to salvation, to maintain it in that unity of which we are, at different levels,
active and living instruments, and increasingly to keep this community gathered
around Christ faithful to its deepest vocation” (Paul VI, “Evangelii Nuntiandi”, 68).

A priest should be avid for the Word of God, B John Paul II emphasizes; he
should embrace it in its entirety, meditate on it, study it assiduously and spread
it through his example and preaching (cf. e.g., “Addresses” in Ireland and the
United States, 1 October and 3 October 1979 respectively). His whole life should
be a generous proclamation of Christ. Therefore, he should avoid the temptation
to “temporal leadership: that can easily be a source of division whereas he
should be a sign and promoter of unity and fraternity” (”To the Priests of Mexico”,
27 January 1979).

This passage allows us to see the difference between election and appointment
to a ministry in the Church. A person can be elected or designated by the faith-
ful; but power to carry out that ministry (which implies a calling from God) is
something he must receive through ordination, which the Apostles confer. “The
Apostles leave it to the body of the disciples to select the [seven], in order that
it should not seem that they favor some in preference to others” (Chrysostom,
“Hom. on Acts”, 14). However, those designated for ordination are not represen-
tatives or delegates of the Christian community; they are ministers of God. They
have received a calling and, by the imposition of hands, God — not men — gives
them a spiritual power which equips them to govern the Christian community,
make and administer the Sacraments and preach the Word.

Christian pastoral office, that is, the priesthood of the New Testament in its va-
rious degrees, does not derive from family relationship, as was the case of the
Levitical priesthood in the Old Testament; nor is it a type of commissioning by
the community. The initiative lies with the grace of God, who calls whom He
chooses.

5. All the people chosen have Greek names. One of them is a “proselyte”, that
is, a pagan who became a Jew through circumcision and observance of the Law
of Moses.

6. The Apostles establish the seven in their office or ministry through prayer and
the laying on of hands. This latter gesture is found sometimes in the Old Testa-
ment, principally as a rite of ordination of Levites (cf. Numbers 8:10) and as a
way of conferring power and wisdom on Joshua, Moses’ successor as leader of
Israel (Numbers 27:20; Deuteronomy 13:9).

Christians have retained this rite, as can be seen quite often in Acts. Sometimes
it symbolizes curing (9:12, 17; 28:8), in line with the example given by our Lord
in Luke 4:40. It is also a rite of blessing, as when Paul and Barnabas are sent
out on their first apostolic journey (13:3); and it is used as a post-baptismal rite
for bringing down the Holy Spirit (8:17; 19:5).

In this case it is a rite for the ordination of ministers of the Church—the first ins-
tance of sacred ordination reported by Acts (cf. 1 Timothy 4:14; 5:22; 2 Timothy
5:22). “St. Luke is brief. He does not say how they were ordained, but simply
that it was done with prayer, because it was an ordination. The hand of a man
is laid [upon a person], but the whole work is of God and it is His hand which
touches the head of the one ordained” (Chrysostom, “Hom. on Acts”, 14).

The essential part of the rite of ordination of deacons is the laying on of hands;
this is done in silence, on the candidate’s head, and then a prayer is said to
God asking Him to send the Holy Spirit to the person being ordained.

7. As in earlier chapters, St. Luke here refers to the spread of the Church—this
time reporting the conversion of “a great many of the priests”. Many scholars
think that these would have come from the lower ranks of the priesthood (like
Zechariah: cf. Luke 1:5) and not from the greatly priestly families, which were
Sadducees and enemies of the new-born church (cf. 4:1; 5:17). Some have
suggested that these priests may have included members of the Qumran sect.
However, the only evidence we have to go on is what St. Luke says here.

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


3 posted on 05/17/2014 9:23:11 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: 1 Peter 2:4-9

The Priesthood Common to All Believers


[4] Come to Him, to that living stone, rejected by men but to God’s sight chosen
and precious; [5] and like living stones be yourselves built into a spiritual house,
to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Je-
sus Christ. [6] For it stands in Scripture:
“Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious,
and he who believes in Him will not be put to shame.”
[7] To you therefore who believe, He is precious, but for those who do not
believe,
“The very stone which the builders rejected
has become the head of the corner,”
[8] and
“A stone that will make men stumble, a rock that will make them fall”;
for they stumble because they disobey the Word, as they were destined to do.

[9] But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own peo-
ple, that you may declare the wonderful deeds of Him who called you out of dark-
ness into His marvelous light.

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

4-10. Baptism makes us members of the Church. The sacred writer uses the
idea of constructing a building (verses 4-8) to explain that Christians together go
to make up the one, true people of God (verses 9-19). The whole passage is built
on quotations from the Old Testament, possibly ones used in early apostolic ca-
techesis.

The Church is like a spiritual building of which Christ is the cornerstone, that is,
the stone which supports the entire structure (cf. “Lumen Gentium”, 6). Chris-
tians have to be living stones united to Christ by faith and grace, thereby forming
a solid temple in which “spiritual sacrifices” are offered which are “acceptable to
God” (verse 5). The closer their union with Christ, the stronger the building: “All
of us who believe in Christ Jesus”, Origen explains, “are called ‘living stones’ [...].
For if you, who are listening to me, want to prepare yourself better for the cons-
truction of this building, and be one of the stones closest to the foundation, you
need to realize that Christ Himself is the foundation of the building we are des-
cribing. As the Apostle Paul tells us, ‘no other foundation can any one lay than
that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ’ (1 Corinthians 3:11)” (”In Iesu Nave”,
9, 1).

8. Applying to Christ what the prophet Isaiah says of Yahweh (cf. Isaiah 8:14;
note on 1 Peter 2:13), St. Peter shows how, for those who do not believe in Christ,
the cornerstone becomes “a stone that will make men stumble, a rock that will
make them fall”; Simon prophesied as much to the Blessed Virgin in the temple
(cf. Luke 2:34).

“As they were destined to do”: this does not mean that God predestined some
to damnation. God wants all men to be saved (cf. 1 Timothy 2:4), and that was
why Jesus Christ became man; but for someone to be saved, his free response
is necessary, and man can oppose God’s salvific plan and reject grace. It should
be remembered that in the language of the Bible, particularly the Old Testament,
sometimes no distinction is made between what God orders or wills and what He
simply allows to happen (cf. Romans 9:14-33 and notes on the same).

9-10. In contrast with those who reject faith (verses 7-8), believers form the true Is-
rael, the true people of God. In this people the titles applied to Israel in the Old
Testament find their full meaning: they are “a chosen race” (cf. Exodus 19:5-6), a
people convoked by God to sing His praises (cf. Isaiah 43:20-21). Their election
is something Christians should glory in; it makes demands on them: Christians
are set apart for God, they belong to Him (cf. 1 Corinthians 6:19), for the blood of
Christ has been paid as their ransom (cf. 1 Peter 1:18-21). So, they must not re-
main passive; they have to preach the greatness of God and bring many other
souls to Him: “the Good News of the Kingdom which is coming and which has be-
gun is meant”, says Pope Paul VI, “for all people of all times. Those who have re-
ceived the Good News and who have been gathered by it into the community of
salvation can and must communicate and spread it” (”Evangelii Nuntiandi”, 13).

In this people there is only one priest, Jesus Christ, and one sacrifice, that which
He offered on the cross and which is renewed in the Mass. But all Christians,
through the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation, obtain a share in the priest-
hood of Christ and are thereby equipped to mediate in a priestly way between God
and man and to take an active part in divine worship; by so doing they can turn all
their actions into “spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God” (1 Peter 2:5). Theirs is a
true priesthood, although it is essentially different from the ministerial priesthood
for those who receive the sacrament of Order: “Though they differ essentially and
not only in degree, the common priesthood of the faithful and the ministerial or hie-
rarchical priesthood are nonetheless ordered one to another; each in its own pro-
per way shares in the one priesthood of Christ. The ministerial priest, by the sa-
cred power that he has, forms and rules the priestly people; in the person of Christ
he effects the eucharistic sacrifice and offers it to God in the name of all the peo-
ple. The faithful indeed, by virtue of their royal priesthood, participate in the offe-
ring of the Eucharist. They exercise that priesthood, too, by the reception of the
Sacraments, prayer and thanksgiving, the witness of a holy life, abnegation and
active charity” (Vatican II, “Lumen Gentium”, 10: cf. “Prebyterorum Ordinis”, 2).

And the same Council says, apropos of those “spiritual sacrifices” (verse 5) by
which Christians sanctify the world from within, that “all their works, prayers and
apostolic undertakings, family and married life, daily work, relaxation of mind and
body, if they are accomplished in the Spirit—indeed even the hardships of life if
patiently borne—all these become spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through
Jesus Christ. In the celebration of the Eucharist these may most frequently be
offered to the Father along with the body of our Lord. And so, worshipping every-
where by their holy actions, the laity consecrate the world itself to God” (”Lumen
Gentium”, 34).

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


4 posted on 05/17/2014 9:24:14 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: John 14:1-12

Jesus Reveals the Father


(Jesus said to His disciples,) [1] “Let not your hearts be troubled; believe in God,
believe also in Me. [2] In My Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so,
would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? [3] And when I go and
prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to Myself, that where
I am you may be also. [4] And you know the way where I am going.” [5] Thomas
said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going; how can we know the
way?” [6] Jesus said to him, “I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life; no one
comes to the Father, but by Me.” [7] “If you had known Me, you would have
known My Father also; henceforth you know Him and have seen Him.

[8] Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and we shall be satisfied.” [9]
Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you do not know Me,
Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us
the Father?’ [10] Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father in
Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the
Father who dwells in Me does His works. [11] Believe Me that I am in the Father
and the Father in Me; or else believe Me for the sake of the words themselves.

[12] “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me will also do the works that
I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I go to the Father.

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

1-3. Apparently this prediction of Peter’s denial has saddened the disciples. Je-
sus cheers them up by telling them that He is going away to prepare a place for
them in Heaven, for Heaven they will eventually attain, despite their shortcomings
and dragging their feet. The return which Jesus refers to includes His Second Co-
ming (Parousia) at the end of the world (cf. 1 Corinthians 4:5; 11:26; 1 Thessalo-
nians 4:16-17; 1 John 2:28) and His meeting with each soul after death: Christ
has prepared a Heavenly dwelling-place through His work of redemption. There-
fore, His words can be regarded as being addressed not only to the Twelve but
also to everyone who believes in Him over the course of the centuries. The Lord
will bring with Him into glory all those who have believed in Him and have stayed
faithful to Him.

4-7. The Apostles did not really understand what Jesus was telling them: hence
Thomas’ question. The Lord explains that He is the way to the Father. “It was
necessary for Him to say ‘I am the Way’ to show them that they really knew
what they thought they were ignorant of, because they knew Him” (St. Augus-
tine, “In. Ioann. Evang.”, 66, 2).

Jesus is the way to the Father—through what He teaches, for by keeping to His
teaching we will reach Heaven; through faith, which He inspires, because He
came to this world so “that whoever believes in Him may have eternal life” (John
3:15); through His example, since no one can go to the Father without imitating
the Son; through His merits, which make it possible for us to enter our Heavenly
home; and above all He is the way because He reveals the Father, with whom
He is one because of His divine nature.

“Just as children by listening to their mothers, and prattling with them, learn to
speak their language, so we, by keeping close to the Savior in meditation, and
observing His words, His actions, and His affections, shall learn, with the help
of His grace, to speak, to act, and to will like Him.

“We must pause here...; we can reach God the Father by no other route ... ;
the Divinity could not be well contemplated by us in this world below if it were
not united to the sacred humanity of the Savior, whose life and death are the
most appropriate, sweet, delicious and profitable subjects which we can choose
for our ordinary meditations” (St. Francis de Sales, “Introduction to the Devout
Life”, Part II, Chapter 1, 2).

“I am the way”: He is the only path linking Heaven and Earth. “He is speaking to
all men, but in a special way He is thinking of people who, like you and me, are
determined to take our Christian vocation seriously: He wants God to be forever
in our thoughts, on our lips and in everything we do, including our most ordinary
and routine actions.

“Jesus is the way. Behind Him on this Earth of ours He has left the clear out-
lines of His footprints. They are indelible signs which neither the erosion of time
nor the treachery of the Evil One have been able to erase” (St. J. Escriva,
“Friends of God”, 127).

Jesus’ words do much more than provide an answer to Thomas’ question; He
tells us: “I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life”. Being the Truth and the
Life is something proper to the Son of God become man, who St. John says in
the prologue of his Gospel is “full of grace and truth” (1:14). He is the Truth be-
cause by coming to this world He shows that God is faithful to His promises,
and because He teaches the truth about who God is and tells us that true wor-
ship must be “in spirit and truth” (John 4:23). He is Life because from all eterni-
ty He has divine life with His Father (cf. John 1:4), and because He makes us,
through grace, sharers in that divine life. This is why the Gospel says: “This is
eternal life, that they know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom
Thou has sent” (John 17:3).

By His reply Jesus is, “as it were, saying, By which route do you want to go? I
am the Way. To where do you want to go? I am the Truth. Where do you want to
remain? I am the Life. Every man can attain an understanding of the Truth and the
Life; but not all find the Way. The wise of this world realize that God is eternal life
and knowable truth; but the Word of God, who is Truth and Life joined to the Fa-
ther, has become the Way by taking a human nature. Make your way contempla-
ting His humility and you will reach God” (St. Augustine, “De Verbis Domini Ser-
mones”, 54).

8-11. The Apostles still find our Lord’s words very mysterious, because they can-
not understand the oneness of the Father and the Son. Hence Philip’s persistence.
Then Jesus “upbraids the Apostle for not yet knowing Him, even though His works
are proper to God—walking on the water, controlling the wind, forgiving sins, raising
the dead. This is why He reproves him: for not recognizing His divine condition
through His human nature” (St. Augustine, “De Trinitate”, Book 7).

Obviously the sight of the Father which Jesus refers to in this passage is a vision
through faith, for no one has ever seen God as He is (cf. John 1:18; 6:46). All ma-
nifestations of God, or “theophanies”, have been through some medium; they are
only a reflection of God’s greatness. The highest expression which we have of
God our Father is in Christ Jesus, the Son of God sent among men. “He did this
by the total fact of His presence and self-manifestation—by words and works,
signs and miracles, but above all by His death and glorious resurrection from the
dead, and finally by sending the Spirit of truth. He revealed that God was with us,
to deliver us from the darkness of sin and death, and to raise us up to eternal life”
(Vatican II, “Dei Verbum”, 4).

12-14. Before leaving this world, the Lord promises His Apostles to make them
sharers in His power so that God’s salvation may be manifested through them.
These “works” are the miracles they will work in the name of Jesus Christ (cf.
Acts 3:1-10; 5:15-16; etc.), and especially the conversion of people to the Chris-
tian faith and their sanctification by preaching and the ministry of the sacraments.
They can be considered greater works than Jesus’ own insofar as, by the Apos-
tles’ ministry, the Gospel was not only preached in Palestine but was spread to
the ends of the earth; but this extraordinary power of apostolic preaching pro-
ceeds from Christ, who has ascended to the Father: after undergoing the humi-
liation of the cross Jesus has been glorified and from Heaven He manifests His
power by acting through His Apostles.

The Apostles’ power, therefore, derives from Christ glorified. Christ our Lord
says as much: “Whatever you ask in My name, I will do it”. “It is not that he who
believes in Me will be greater than Me, but that only that I shall then do greater
works than now; greater, by him who believes in Me, than I now do by myself
without Him” (St. Augustine, “In Ioann. Evang.”, 72, 1).

Jesus Christ is our intercessor in Heaven; therefore, He promises us that every-
thing we ask for in His name, He will do. Asking in His name (cf. 15:7, 16; 16:
23-24) means appealing to the power of the risen Christ, believing that He is all-
powerful and merciful because He is true God; and it also means asking for what
is conducive to our salvation, for Jesus is our Savior. Thus, by “whatever you ask”
we must understand what is for the good of the asker. When our Lord does not
give what we ask for, the reason is that it would not make for our salvation. In
this way we can see that He is our Savior both when He refuses us what we ask
and when He grants it.

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


5 posted on 05/17/2014 9:27:06 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Scripture readings taken from the Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd

Readings at Mass


First reading

Acts 13:44-52 ©

The next sabbath almost the whole town assembled to hear the word of God. When they saw the crowds, the Jews, prompted by jealousy, used blasphemies and contradicted everything Paul said. Then Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly. ‘We had to proclaim the word of God to you first, but since you have rejected it, since you do not think yourselves worthy of eternal life, we must turn to the pagans. For this is what the Lord commanded us to do when he said:

I have made you a light for the nations,

so that my salvation may reach the ends of the earth.’

It made the pagans very happy to hear this and they thanked the Lord for his message; all who were destined for eternal life became believers. Thus the word of the Lord spread through the whole countryside.

  But the Jews worked upon some of the devout women of the upper classes and the leading men of the city and persuaded them to turn against Paul and Barnabas and expel them from their territory. So they shook the dust from their feet in defiance and went off to Iconium; but the disciples were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit.


Psalm

Psalm 97:1-4 ©

All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.

or

Alleluia!

Sing a new song to the Lord

  for he has worked wonders.

His right hand and his holy arm

  have brought salvation.

All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.

or

Alleluia!

The Lord has made known his salvation;

  has shown his justice to the nations.

He has remembered his truth and love

  for the house of Israel.

All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.

or

Alleluia!

All the ends of the earth have seen

  the salvation of our God.

Shout to the Lord, all the earth,

  ring out your joy.

All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.

or

Alleluia!


Gospel Acclamation

Rm6:9

Alleluia, alleluia!

Christ, having been raised from the dead, will never die again.

Death has no power over him any more.

Alleluia!

Or

Jn8:31-32

Alleluia, alleluia!

If you make my word your home

you will indeed be my disciples,

and you will learn the truth, says the Lord.

Alleluia!


Gospel

John 14:7-14 ©

Jesus said to his disciples:

‘If you know me, you know my Father too.

From this moment you know him and have seen him.’

Philip said, ‘Lord, let us see the Father and then we shall be satisfied.’

  ‘Have I been with you all this time, Philip,’ said Jesus to him, ‘and you still do not know me?

‘To have seen me is to have seen the Father,

so how can you say, “Let us see the Father”?

Do you not believe

that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?

The words I say to you I do not speak as from myself:

it is the Father, living in me, who is doing this work.

You must believe me when I say

that I am in the Father and the Father is in me;

believe it on the evidence of this work, if for no other reason.

I tell you most solemnly,

whoever believes in me

will perform the same works as I do myself,

he will perform even greater works,

because I am going to the Father.

Whatever you ask for in my name I will do,

so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

If you ask for anything in my name,

I will do it.’


6 posted on 05/17/2014 9:32:00 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

 

He is Risen! Truly Risen!

A blessed Eastertide to all!

 

7 posted on 05/17/2014 9:34:26 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Are You Smarter than a Sheep? A Homily for the 4th Sunday of Easter
Emmaus: From Despair to Joy
Why Was the Resurrection Such a Hidden Event?
Mary Magdalene’s Journey out of Fear to Easter Faith
He is Risen!
Jesus is Real to Me – A Meditation on the Easter Gospel
The Earth’s Most Serious Wound
Regina Caeli: Ask Jesus what he wants from you (Catholic Caucus)
If Christ Has Not Been Raised (you don't want to miss this one!)
The Few Witnesses to the Resurrection
Iraq: Christians celebrate Easter behind high blast walls and tight security cordons
8 things you need to know about Easter
Pope: Urbi et Orbi Message, Easter, 2013 [Full text]
Pope Francis Leads First Easter Celebrations
Resurrection of the Body (Ecumenical)
April 11 Audience: On Easter's Spiritual Joy
When did the Resurrection become truly the Faith, and the official teaching of the Church?
What are they thinking? (The Easter and Christmas only Church-goers, that is!)

The Resurrection Appearances Chronologically Arranged
Are There Discrepancies in the Resurrection Accounts? If so, Can They be Resolved?
URBI ET ORBI MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE BENEDICT XVI - EASTER 2012
Saint Gregory the Great’s Sermon on the Mystery of the Resurrection
Pope Benedict XVI warns of moral 'darkness' as he celebrates Easter Mass
Easter Changes Everything
New Catholics a sign of Easter blessing for church (in Oregon)
On Easter Joy -- General Audience, Pope Benedict XVI
The Christ of the Folded Napkin
Reflection on Hope and New Life After the Easter Feasts (Thomas Rosica, CSB)
Easter Time [Eastertide or Easter Season]
Risen Christ opens for a us a completely new future says the Pope at Easter Mass
Man Who "Died" 5 Times Is Becoming Catholic (Thousands to Enter Church at Easter)
On the Resurrection-Pope Benedict XVI
Octave of Easter, Pope Benedict XVI
The Double Alleluia
Easter Sunday
Eastertide Overview
Our 'Great Sunday' (Season of Easter) [Editorial Column]
Happy Easter: The Tomb is Empty! The Warrior of Love has conquered!

Homily Of His Holiness Benedict XVI (Holy Saturday Easter Vigil, Saint Peter's Basilica)
Pope to Baptize Prominent Muslim
Holy Saturday (Easter Vigil)
The Exultet
The Dark before Dawn
Easter and the Holy Eucharist(Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
Holy Saturday and the Easter Vigil
Easter Day and Easter Season
THE EASTER LITURGY [Easter Vigil] (Anglican and Catholic Rites)
Holy Saturday and the Easter Vigil
Poles visit symbolic Christ's Graves on Holy Saturday
Easter Vigil tonight
HOMILIES PREACHED BY FATHER ALTIER FOR EASTER VIGIL FROM 2002-2005
2 Paschal Candles; Lights On at Vigil And More on Washing of the Feet
RCIA and Holy Saturday
The Time Of Easter or Eastertide -- Easter Seasosn
Easter Day and Easter Season
Easter Reflections -- 50 Days of the Easter Season
The Blessed Season of Easter - Fifty Days of Reflections

8 posted on 05/17/2014 9:35:12 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Perpetual Novena for the Nation (Ecumenical)
9 posted on 05/17/2014 9:45:55 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Prayers for The Religion Forum (Ecumenical)
10 posted on 05/17/2014 9:46:50 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

 
Jesus, High Priest
 

We thank you, God our Father, for those who have responded to your call to priestly ministry.

Accept this prayer we offer on their behalf: Fill your priests with the sure knowledge of your love.

Open their hearts to the power and consolation of the Holy Spirit.

Lead them to new depths of union with your Son.

Increase in them profound faith in the Sacraments they celebrate as they nourish, strengthen and heal us.

Lord Jesus Christ, grant that these, your priests, may inspire us to strive for holiness by the power of their example, as men of prayer who ponder your word and follow your will.

O Mary, Mother of Christ and our mother, guard with your maternal care these chosen ones, so dear to the Heart of your Son.

Intercede for our priests, that offering the Sacrifice of your Son, they may be conformed more each day to the image of your Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Saint John Vianney, universal patron of priests, pray for us and our priests

This icon shows Jesus Christ, our eternal high priest.

The gold pelican over His heart represents self-sacrifice.

The border contains an altar and grapevines, representing the Mass, and icons of Melchizedek and St. Jean-Baptiste Vianney.

Melchizedek: king of righteousness (left icon) was priest and king of Jerusalem.  He blessed Abraham and has been considered an ideal priest-king.

St. Jean-Baptiste Vianney is the patron saint of parish priests.

11 posted on 05/17/2014 9:47:34 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Pray a Rosary each day for our nation.

Pray the Rosary

1.  Sign of the Cross:  In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

2.  The Apostles Creed:  I BELIEVE in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell; on the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from there He shall come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

3.  The Lord's Prayer:  OUR Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

4. (3) Hail Mary:  HAIL Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and in the hour of our death. Amen. (Three times)

5. Glory Be:  GLORY be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Fatima Prayer: Oh, my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of your mercy.

Announce each mystery, then say 1 Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, 1 Glory Be and 1 Fatima prayer.  Repeat the process with each mystery.

End with the Hail Holy Queen:

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope! To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve! To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears! Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us; and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus!

O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary! Pray for us, O holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Final step -- The Sign of the Cross

 

The Mysteries of the Rosary

By tradition, Catholics meditate on these Mysteries during prayers of the Rosary.
The biblical references follow each of the Mysteries below.


The Glorious Mysteries
(Wednesdays and Sundays)
1.The Resurrection (Matthew 28:1-8, Mark 16:1-18, Luke 24:1-12, John 20:1-29) [Spiritual fruit - Faith]
2. The Ascension (Mark 16:19-20, Luke 24:50-53, Acts 1:6-11) [Spiritual fruit - Christian Hope]
3. The Descent of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1-13) [Spiritual fruit - Gifts of the Holy Spirit]
4. The Assumption [Spiritual fruit - To Jesus through Mary]
5. The Coronation [Spiritual fruit - Grace of Final Perseverance]


12 posted on 05/17/2014 9:48:03 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation



~ PRAYER ~

St. Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle
 Be our protection against the wickedness
and snares of the devil;
May God rebuke him, we  humbly pray,
 and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
 by the power of God,
 Cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits
who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls.
 Amen
+

13 posted on 05/17/2014 9:49:27 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

A Prayer for our Free Nation Under God
God Save Our Country web site (prayer warriors)
Prayer Chain Request for the United States of America
Pray for Nancy Pelosi
Prayer and fasting will help defeat health care reform (Freeper Prayer Thread)
Prayer Campaign Started to Convert Pro-Abortion Catholic Politicians to Pro-Life
[Catholic Caucus] One Million Rosaries
Non-stop Rosary vigil to defeat ObamaCare

From an Obama bumper sticker on a car:

"Pray for Obama.  Psalm 109:8"

   

PLEASE JOIN US -

Evening Prayer
Someone has said that if people really understood the full extent of the power we have available through prayer, we might be speechless.
Did you know that during WWII there was an advisor to Churchill who organized a group of people who dropped what they were doing every day at a prescribed hour for one minute to collectively pray for the safety of England, its people and peace?  


There is now a group of people organizing the same thing here in America. If you would like to participate: Every evening at 9:00 PM Eastern Time (8:00 PM Central) (7:00 PM Mountain) (6:00 PM Pacific), stop whatever you are doing and spend one minute praying for the safety of the United States, our troops, our citizens, and for a return to a Godly nation. If you know anyone else who would like to participate, please pass this along. Our prayers are the most powerful asset we have.    Please forward this to your praying friends.


14 posted on 05/17/2014 9:50:03 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
May Devotion: Blessed Virgin Mary
The Virgin Mary as Our Lady of Grace

Since the 16th century Catholic piety has assigned entire months to special devotions. Toward the end of the eighteenth century a zealous Jesuit priest, Father Lalomia, started among the students of the Roman college of his Society the practice of dedicating May to Our Lady. The devotion, which others had promoted in a small way, soon spread to other Jesuit Colleges and to the entire Latin church and since that time it has been a regular feature of Catholic life.

INVOCATIONS

Thou who wast a virgin before thy delivery, pray for us. Hail Mary, etc.
Thou who wast a virgin in thy delivery, pray for us. Hail Mary, etc.
Thou who wast a virgin after thy delivery, pray for us. Hail Mary, etc.

My Mother, deliver me from mortal sin.
Hail Mary (three times).

Mother of love, of sorrow and of mercy, pray for us.

Remember, O Virgin Mother of God, when thou shalt stand before the face of the Lord, that thou speak favorable things in our behalf and that He may turn away His indignation from us.
Roman Missal

Thou art my Mother, O Virgin Mary: keep me safe lest I ever offend thy dear Son, and obtain for me the grace to please Him always and in all things.

FOR THE HELP OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

May we be assisted, we beseech Thee, 0 Lord, by the worshipful intercession of Thy glorious Mother, the ever-Virgin Mary; that we, who have been enriched by her perpetual blessings, may be delivered from all dangers, and through her loving kindness made to be of one heart and mind: who livest and reignest world without end. Amen.
Roman Missal

THE SALVE REGINA

Hail, holy Queen, Mother of mercy, hail, our life, our sweetness, and our hope! To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve! To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears! Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us; and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus! O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary!
Roman Breviary

PRAYER TO THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

O blessed Virgin Mary, who can worthily repay thee thy just dues of praise and thanksgiving, thou who by the wondrous assent of thy will didst rescue a fallen world? What songs of praise can our weak human nature recite in thy honor, since it is by thy intervention alone that it has found
the way to restoration? Accept, then, such poor thanks as we have here to offer, though they be unequal to thy merits; and, receiving our vows, obtain by thy prayers the remission of our offenses. Carry thou our prayers within the sanctuary of the heavenly audience, and bring forth from it the antidote of our reconciliation. May the sins we bring before Almighty God through thee, become pardonable through thee; may what we ask for with sure confidence, through thee be granted. Take our offering, grant us our requests, obtain pardon for what we fear, for thou art the sole hope of sinners. Through thee we hope for the remission of our sins, and in thee, 0 blessed Lady, is our hope of reward. Holy Mary, succour the miserable, help the fainthearted, comfort the sorrowful, pray for thy people, plead for the clergy, intercede for all women consecrated to God; may all who keep thy holy commemoration feel now thy help and protection. Be thou ever ready to assist us when we pray, and bring back to us the answers to our prayers. Make it thy continual care to pray for the people of God, thou who, blessed by God, didst merit to bear the Redeemer of the world, who liveth and reigneth, world without end. Amen.
Saint Augustine

PETITION TO MARY

Most holy Virgin Immaculate, my Mother Mary, to thee who art the Mother of my Lord, the queen of the universe, the advocate, the hope, the refuge of sinners, I who am the most miserable of all sinners, have recourse this day. I venerate thee, great queen, and I thank thee for the many graces thou hast bestowed upon me even unto this day; in particular for having delivered me from the hell which I have so often deserved by my sins. I love thee, most dear Lady; and for the love I bear thee, I promise to serve thee willingly for ever and to do what I can to make thee loved by others also. I place in thee all my hopes for salvation; accept me as thy servant and shelter me under thy mantle, thou who art the Mother of mercy. And since thou art so powerful with God, deliver me from all temptations, or at least obtain for me the strength to overcome them until death. From thee I implore a true love for Jesus Christ. Through thee I hope to die a holy death. My dear Mother, by the love thou bearest to Almighty God, I pray thee to assist me always, but most of all at the last moment of my life. Forsake me not then, until thou shalt see me safe in heaven, there to bless thee and sing of thy mercies through all eternity. Such is my hope. Amen.
Saint Alphonsus Liguori

Magnificat Prayer
My being proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit finds joy in God my savior,
For he has looked upon his servant in her lowliness; all ages to come shall call me blessed.
God who is mighty has done great things for me,
holy is his name; His mercy is from age to age on those who fear him. He has shown might with his arm; he has confused the proud in their inmost thoughts. He has deposed the mighty from their thrones and raised the lowly to high places. The hungry he has given every good thing, while the rich he has sent empty away. He has upheld Israel his servant, ever mindful of his mercy; Even as he promised our fathers, promised Abraham and his descendants forever.
(Lk 1:46-55) 

TO MARY, REFUGE OF SINNERS
Hail, most gracious Mother of mercy, hail, Mary, for whom we fondly yearn, through whom we obtain forgiveness! Who would not love thee? Thou art our light in uncertainty, our comfort in sorrow, our solace in the time of trial, our refuge from every peril and temptation. Thou art our sure hope of salvation, second only to thy only-begotten Son; blessed are they who love thee, our Lady! Incline, I beseech thee, thy ears of pity to the entreaties of this thy servant, a miserable sinner; dissipate the darkness of my sins by the bright beams of thy holiness, in order that I may be acceptable in thy sight.

FOR THE GRACE OF LOVE
O Mary, my dear Mother, how much I love thee! And yet in reality how little! Thou dost teach me what I ought to know, for thou teachest me what Jesus is to me and what I ought to be for Jesus. Dearly beloved Mother, how close to God thou art, and how utterly filled with Him! In the measure that we know God, we remind ourselves of thee. Mother of God, obtain for me the grace of loving my Jesus; obtain for me the grace of loving thee!
Cardinal Merry del Val

TO THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY FOR MAY

O most august and blessed Virgin Mary! Holy Mother of God! glorious Queen of heaven and earth! powerful protectress of those who love thee, and unfailing advocate of all who invoke thee! look down, I beseech thee, from thy throne of glory on thy devoted child; accept the solemn offering I present thee of this month, specially dedicated to thee, and receive my ardent, humble desire, that by my love and fervor I could worthily honor thee, who, next to God, art deserving of all honor. Receive me, 0 Mother of Mercy, among thy best beloved children; extend to me thy maternal tenderness and solicitude; obtain for me a place in the Heart of Jesus, and a special share in the gifts of His grace. 0 deign, I beseech thee, to recognize my claims on thy protection, to watch over my spiritual and temporal interests, as well as those of all who are dear to me; to infuse into my soul the spirit of Christ, and to teach me thyself to become meek, humble, charitable, patient, and submissive to the will of God.

May my heart bum with the love of thy Divine Son, and of thee, His blessed Mother, not for a month alone, but for time and eternity; may I thirst for the promotion of His honor and thine, and contribute, as far as I can, to its extension. Receive me, 0 Mary, the refuge of sinners! Grant me a Mother's blessing and a Mother's care, now, and at the hour of my death. Amen.

TO OUR LADY

Saint John Vianney, better known as the Cure of Ars, when asked how long he had loved Mary, said: "I loved her almost before I could know her." In this prayer he expresses that love.
O thou most holy virgin Mary, who dost evermore stand before the most holy Trinity, and to whom it is granted at all times to pray for us to thy most beloved Son; pray for me in all my necessities; help me, combat for me, and obtain for me the pardon of all my sins. Help me especially at my last hour; and when I can no longer give any sign of the use of reason, then do thou encourage me, make the sign of the cross for me, and fight for me against the enemy. Make in my name a profession of faith; favor me with a testimony of my salvation, and never let me despair of the mercy of God. Help me to overthrow the wicked enemy. When I can no longer say: "Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, I place my soul in your hands," do thou say it for me; when I can no longer hear human words of consolation, do thou comfort me. Leave me not before I have been judged; and if I have to expiate my sins in purgatory, oh! pray for me earnestly; and admonish my friends to procure for me a speedy enjoyment of the blessed sight of God. Lessen my sufferings, deliver me speedily, and lead my soul into heaven with thee: that, united with all the elect, I may there bless and praise my God and thee for all eternity. Amen.
Saint John Vianney

ACT OF REPARATION

O blessed Virgin, Mother of God, look down in mercy from heaven, where thou art enthroned as Queen, upon me, a miserable sinner, thine unworthy servant. Although I know full well my own unworthiness, yet in order to atone for the offenses that are done to thee by impious and blasphemous
tongues, from the depths of my heart I praise and extol thee as the purest, the fairest, the holiest creature of all God's handiwork. I bless thy holy name, I praise thine exalted privilege of being truly Mother of God, ever virgin, conceived without stain of sin, co-redemptrix of the human race. I bless the Eternal Father who chose thee in an especial way for His daughter; I bless the Word Incarnate who took upon Himself our nature in thy bosom and so made thee His Mother; I bless the Holy Spirit who took thee as His bride. All honor, praise and thanksgiving to the ever-blessed Trinity, who predestined thee and loved thee so exceedingly from all eternity as to exalt thee above all creatures to the most sublime heights. 0 Virgin, holy and merciful, obtain for all who offend thee the grace of repentance, and graciously accept this poor act of homage from me thy servant, obtaining likewise for me from thy divine Son the pardon and remission of all my sins. Amen.

Prayer Source: Prayer Book, The by Reverend John P. O'Connell, M.A., S.T.D. and Jex Martin, M.A., The Catholic Press, Inc., Chicago, Illinois, 1954

Memorare of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Sassoferrato - Jungfrun i bön.jpg

Remember O Most Gracious Virgin Mary!
That never was it known
That anyone who fled to thy protection,
Implored thy help or sought thy intercession
Was left unaided. 

Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto Thee!
O Virgin of virgins, My Mother!

To Thee I come before Thee I stand,
Sinful and Sorrowful,
Oh Mother of the Word Incarnate,
Despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy,
Hear and answer me.


Amen

Who Is Our Lady of Laus? “My name is Mary” (CATHOLIC CAUCUS)
What Happened to the Virgin Mary After Pentecost? [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
Saint Thomas Aquinas on the Hail Mary (Catholic Caucus)
Yes, Mary DOES Know
How Can Mary Hear Thousands Simultaneously?
Fr Paul Schenck: Immaculate Conception Tells us Who Mary Is and Who We Are (Catholic Caucus)
Mary,Our Lady of Quatlasupe,She who crushes the head of the serpent, is leading...(Catholic Caucus)
MARY, MOTHER OF EVANGELIZATION [Cath-Orth caucus]
On Mary, Model of Faith, Charity and Union with Christ [Weekly Audience]
Why Don’t You honor Mary?
Columbus and the Virgin Mary [Catholic Caucus]

Pope Francis: Mary’s faith unties the knot of sin
Pope consecrates world to immaculate heart of Mary
Mary, Mother of God
Mary 'can only bring us to God,' expert says as entrustment nears
Pope Francis: "Mary, look upon us" (Mass in Cagliari)
Devotion to the Most Holy Name of Mary [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Pope Francis: contemplate the “suffering humanity” of Jesus and the sweetness of Mary
Mary's Nativity Draws Tens of Thousands to Indian Basilica
Veneration of Mary in Luke 11:27-28
Pope at Mass: Learning from Mary to keep the Word of God

Pope: Mary is always in a hurry to help us (first pastoral visit to a diocese in Rome)
Catholic Word of the Day: MARY'S SINLESSNESS, 04-01-13
Letter #47: To Mary (Pope Francis prays at (tomb of Pope St. Pius V) [Catholic Caucus]
Catholic Word of the Day: MARY'S VIRGINITY, 02-26-13
Mariaphobic Response Syndrome: Part Two
Mariaphobic Response Syndrome: Part One
A Mother’s Love, The Blessed Virgin Mary Saying YES To God
Chesterton on devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary [Ecumenical]
The Perpetual Virginity of Blessed Mary
A Comparison is Instituted Between the Disobedient and Sinning Eve and the Virgin Mary..

Magnificat: The Hymn of the Blessed Virgin Mary [Catholic Caucus]
The Blessed Virgin Mary's Role in the Celibate Priest's Spousal... (Pt 2) (CATHOLIC CAUCUS)
The Blessed Virgin Mary's Role in the Celibate Priest's Spousal and Paternal Love (CATHOLIC CAUCUS)
Discovering Mary [Excellent New Book For Converts]
Beginning Our Lady's Month [Catholic Caucus]
Give it all to Mary [Catholic Caucus]
JESUS LIVING IN MARY: HANDBOOK, SPIRITUALITY OF ST. LOUIS DE MONTFORT, ROSARY [Ecumenical]
Mary, Tabernacle of the Lord By Archbishop Fulton Sheen(Catholic Caucus)
A Protestant Discovers Mary
Mary is our Mother and Queen of the New Davidic Kingdom (Scriptures Agree With Catholic Church)

Hail Mary
Holy Water Silhouette (Virgin Mary -video))
How could Mary be the Mother of God?
Mary, the Mother of God (a defense)
Calling Mary “Mother of God” Tells Us Who Jesus Is
The Holy Spirit And Mary (Catholic Caucus)
Mary, Our Cause of Rejoicing
Mary in Byzantine Doctrine and Devotion (Catholic / Orthodox Caucus)
Radio Replies First Volume - Devotion to Mary
The Blessed Virgin Mary and the Catholic Discovery of America(Catholic Caucus)

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The Efficacy and Power of One Hail Mary [Ecumenical]
When Did Belief in the Virgin Birth Begin?
Mary, Motherhood, and the Home BY Archbishop Fulton Sheen
On Mary, Mother of Priests
Benedict reflects on Mary and the priesthood [Catholic Caucus]
Radio Replies First Volume - Mary
Scholar says Baptists neglect lessons from Virgin Mary
Mary and the Sword Continued Part #2 by Bishop Fulton J. Sheen
Mary and the Sword by Bishop Fulton J. Sheen(Catholic Caucus)

Why Did Mary Offer a Sin Offering? [Ecumenical]
Mary and Intercessory Prayer
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Mary not just for Catholics anymore
Pope concludes Month of Mary in the Vatican Gardens
Consecration to Mary(Catholic Caucus)
Mary’s Marching Orders
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Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament [Catholic Caucus]
Catholic Caucus: The Catechism of St. Thomas Aquinas - THE HAIL MARY

Our Jewish Roots: The Immaculate Conception [Ecumenical]
The Blessed Virgin in the History of Christianity [Ecumenical]
Archbishop Sheen Today! -- Mary and the Moslems
Mary Immaculate: Patroness of the United States [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
"The Woman He Loved": Fulton Sheen and the Blessed Mother(Catholic Caucus)
September 12: The Most Holy Name of Mary and Militant Islam
Catholic Devotional: Feast of the Holy Name of Mary
A Homily on the Feast of the Most Holy Name of Mary
May Devotion: Blessed Virgin Mary
Catholic Caucus: Mary, The Power of Her Name [The Most Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary]

15 posted on 05/17/2014 9:50:44 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
May 2014 Year

Pope's Intentions

Universal: That the media may be instruments in the service of truth and peace.

For Evangelization: That Mary, Star of Evangelization, may guide the Church in proclaiming Christ to all nations.


16 posted on 05/17/2014 9:51:32 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Daily Gospel Commentary

Fifth Sunday of Easter - Year A

Commentary of the day
Saint John-Paul II, Pope from 1978 to 2005
Encyclical « Dives in Misericordia » § 12-13 (trans. © copyright Libreria Editrice Vaticana)

"Master, show us the Father"

The Church... shares the uneasiness of so many of the people of our time. Moreover, one cannot fail to be worried by the decline of many fundamental values, which constitute an unquestionable good not only for Christian morality but simply for human morality, for moral culture... In connection with this picture of our generation, a picture which cannot fail to cause profound anxiety, there come to mind once more those words which, by reason of the Incarnation of the Son of God, resounded in Mary's Magnificat, and which sing of "mercy from generation to generation" (Lk 1,50)... The Church must bear witness to the mercy of God revealed in Christ, in the whole of His mission as Messiah...

Some theologians affirm that mercy is the greatest of the attributes and perfections of God, and the Bible, Tradition and the whole faith life of the People of God provide particular proofs of this. It is not a question here of the perfection of the inscrutable essence of God in the mystery of the divinity itself, but of the perfection and attribute whereby man, in the intimate truth of his existence, encounters the living God particularly closely and particularly often. In harmony with Christ's words to Philip, the "vision of the Father"-a vision of God through faith finds precisely in the encounter with His mercy a unique moment of interior simplicity and truth, similar to that which we discover in the parable of the prodigal son (Lk 15,11).

"He who has seen me has seen the Father." The Church professes the mercy of God, the Church lives by it in her wide experience of faith and also in her teaching, constantly contemplating Christ, concentrating on Him, on His life and on His Gospel, on His cross and resurrection, on His whole mystery. Everything that forms the "vision" of Christ in the Church's living faith and teaching brings us nearer to the "vision of the Father" in the holiness of His mercy.


17 posted on 05/17/2014 9:55:03 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Zenit.org

Sunday Homily: You Are A Royal Priesthood

Fifth Sunday of Easter: Cycle A

Rome, May 16, 2014 (Zenit.org) Fr. Jason Mitchell LC |

Acts 6:1-7
Psalm 33:1-2, 4-5, 18-19
1 Peter 2:4-9
John 14:1-12

At the Last Supper Jesus reveals to his Apostles that he departs to prepare a place for them to dwell in. This dwelling-place, this temple, this house of God, is the Church. Jesus' disciples will live and abide within the Church, the Body of Christ.

In his Letter, Saint Peter speaks about this spiritual house that God has built. Jesus Christ is the "living stone" and cornerstone that God has established in Zion. Jesus was rejected by men, but has been raised up by God as the cornerstone of a new creation. We are called to believe in him and in so doing, we will not endure the shame of death, but be built into this spiritual house of God.

From the beginning, all creation was supposed to be a temple where God was worshiped and glorified and where men and women entered into communion with God. By their sin, however, Adam and Eve disobeyed God and lost the grace of holiness and justice. Creation needed a redeemer so that man could once again worship and glorify his creator and enter into communion with him. God later established a covenant with the people of Israel and provided a model for the tabernacle, where he would dwell with his people. Like the Adam and Eve, the people of Israel broke God's covenant and sinned. They worshiped the golden calf instead of the God of their fathers.

Centuries later, God established a covenant with David and promised that one of his descendants will build him a house: "I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come forth from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever. I will be his father and he shall be my son" (2 Samuel 7:12-13). This promise to David is partially fulfilled through Solomon, David's son, who build the temple in Jerusalem, but is ultimately fulfilled through Jesus Christ, the Son of David. Jesus is the one who truly builds a house for God's name. Through Jesus, we can respond to God's original call to be a royal priesthood and a holy nation. This is what God wanted from the beginning.

Jesus, then, is the Way that leads to this communion with God. He is the Truth that reveals the Father. He is the Life, given to us on earth through faith and in the Eucharist. Through the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation we are consecrated to be a holy priesthood: "The whole community of believers, as such, is priestly. The faithful exercise their baptismal priesthood through their participation, each according to his own vocation, in Christ's mission as priest, prophet, and king" (CCC 1546). The common priesthood of the faithful is exercised by the unfolding of baptismal grace - a life of faith, hope, and charity - a life according to the Spirit.

Priests and bishops also share in the ministerial priesthood, which is at the service of the common priesthood of the faithful. The ministerial priesthood has the task not only of representing Christ - the Head of the Church - before the assembly of the faithful, but also of acting in the name of the whole Church when presenting to God the prayer of the Church and when offering the Eucharistic sacrifice. Deacons, mentioned in today's first reading, do not receive the ministerial priesthood (CCC, 1596), but do receive the first degree of the Sacrament of Holy Orders. They are configured to Christ who made himself the deacon or servant of all. They assist the bishop and priest in the celebration of divine mysteries (the liturgy), in the proclamation of the Gospel, and in dedicating themselves to ministries of charity.

As we contemplate the great mystery of our call to be a royal priesthood, we realize that each one of us is called in different ways to build up the Body of Christ and extend the Kingdom of God. The seven deacons offer to us an example as they responded generously to God's call. They welcomed the Holy Spirit into their lives and worked tirelessly at the service of the community and of the Gospel.


18 posted on 05/18/2014 7:09:39 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Arlington Catholic Herald

GOSPEL COMMENTARY JN 14:1-12

The way

Fr. Robert Wagner

Picture a family driving to the beach for vacation. The younger children cannot contain their excitement and so thus persistently ask, “Are we there yet?” Their focus is the destination, and it fills them with joy and anticipation. They care little for the preparation for the trip; they just want to get there and start having fun. The parents, on the other hand, concern themselves with the many tasks necessary for a smooth trip, such as packing suitcases and lunch boxes, filling the gas tank, planning the route and checking the traffic. For them, the joy of the destination often gets lost in the details. Yes, they want their children to laugh and play and have fun, but it takes a lot to make that happen, and such preparation often takes away from the joyful anticipation.

When we think of our journey through this earth to eternal life, we recognize something similar. We can get so caught up in our overwhelming schedules and responsibilities that we are distracted from our final destination. Jesus tells us that He will prepare a place for us with His Father in heaven, a promise that undergirds the courage of the martyrs and helps the saints remain joyful amid the difficulties and drudgery this life can offer. It should — and can — do the same for us. Like little children, we as Christ's disciples can revel in the destination that Jesus has promised us, even while we share the joys and sorrows of this life. However, like diligent parents, we also know there is a necessary preparation to reach heaven. We cannot simply expect to arrive there without knowing the way and being equipped for the journey.

When Jesus tells His apostles they are to follow Him to His Father’s house in heaven, the apostle Thomas asks, “We do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?” Jesus responds, “I am the way and the truth and the life,” words which may have confused the apostles at first, but through the help of the Holy Spirit would provide strength, peace and joy for them in their trials to come. Two thousand years later, Jesus as the way, the truth and the life offers clarity on our journey, because He provides both the route and the preparation we need for our heavenly journey.

It is important to recognize that Jesus says He is “the way” and not “a way.” We hear St. Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, proclaiming: “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” (Acts 4:12). Jesus Christ is the way to salvation and eternal life. In Him alone we are saved.

Reflection on Jesus as “the way” bears much fruit, for it reveals the love He has for each of us and for His bride, the church. Jesus is the way to eternal life because He has redeemed us in our flesh and opened the gates of heaven for each of us. He is the way because our salvation comes through our encountering Him and His saving grace in the sacraments. Through His teaching, upheld by the church, Jesus provides the way of life that leads to the life He promises. Similarly, Jesus tells us He is “the truth,” so we know we can trust His teaching and His promises. He is the source of all truth, both revealed and scientific.

As Christians, we praise God for offering us not only the unimaginable gift of eternal life in heaven, but also the means of reaching that glorious destination in the only begotten Son of God — the way, the truth and the life. Let us ask Jesus for the enlightenment to always place our faith in the truth with which He guides us, especially in these times when so many of His teachings are attacked or diminished. Through His grace, we will follow His way with faithful perseverance, peace and joy.

Fr. Wagner is Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde’s secretary.


19 posted on 05/18/2014 7:30:45 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
The Work of God

Year A  -  Fifth Sunday of Easter

I am the way, the truth and the life

John 14:1-12

1 "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me.
2 In my Father's house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?
3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also.
4 And you know the way to the place where I am going."
5 Thomas said to him, "Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?"
6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
7 If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him."
8 Philip said to him, "Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied."
9 Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works.
11 Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves.
12 Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. (NRSV)

Inspiration of the Holy Spirit - From the Sacred Heart of Jesus

I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.

I am the Way to your everlasting rest. Walk in my ways of humility, obedience, detachment, simplicity and Love.

I am the Truth, discover me in the light of my Word, search me in the Holy Scriptures, meet me in the Gospels, know me, the Truth, and I will set you free.

I am the Life. I am the Bread and Drink of Life. I am Emmanuel, God with you. Understand who it is that you are receiving in the Holy Eucharist, discern me and recognize your nothingness and my greatness.

I have come to give you life to the full. I love you all.

I am the Lord your God, your Master, the Way, the Truth and the Life. I have said that true worshippers will worship God in Spirit and in Truth because God is Spirit.

My child, I am the Way to the Father because my teachings are correct and continue to be correct in the Catholic Church.

I am the Truth, the only light that must shine in your life because I am your Salvation.
I am the Life of Creation. I am truly the life of the soul in my Sacramental Presence of the Holy Eucharist.

Worship me in Spirit, because my spirit dwells in you and prompts you to worship me. I am Love and I call you to love because this is how you adore me in truth: by loving me and by loving your neighbour.

Worship me in truth as you acknowledge and adore my Presence in you, because you have received me: body, blood, soul and divinity in the Holy Sacrament of my Covenant.

Be aware my child, there are many false voices spreading false doctrines and undermining the true faith that I left in my Church.

Beware of the many cults that could take you away from the true spiritual life that I have taught you.

Worship me in Spirit and in Truth, call on my Holy Name because I am your Salvation.

Jesus.

Author: Joseph of Jesus and Mary


20 posted on 05/18/2014 7:37:55 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Archdiocese of Washington

From Tombstone to Living Stone – A Homily for the 5th Sunday of Easter

By: Msgr. Charles Pope

By his resurrection, Jesus has brought us from death to life. He has snatched us from this present evil age (Gal 1:4), and from the death-directed desires of our body (Rom 6:12), and made us into a new and living creation (2 Cor 5:17). As such, we have exchanged the tombstones that once indicated we were dead in our sins, and have become living stones in the spiritual edifice that is the Body of Christ, and also the Church.

In the Epistle for today’s Mass (1 Peter 2:4-9), we are summoned to this new life and told what some of its characteristics are. Let’s take a look at how we go from being tombstones to living stones by considering this epistle in three sections.

1. The Call of Salvation - The text says, Come to him, a living stone, rejected by human beings but chosen and precious in the sight of God, and, like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house .

Notice first the invitation that is made - Come to Him! Let yourself be built! The entire Christian life is based on our response to an invitation to accept Jesus Christ and to let him transform our life. We are to say, “yes” not only to Jesus, but also to what he can do for us. He will take our broken, crumbling lives and rebuild them. And in what sense will he do this?

We’ll look next at the images that are offered:

Living Stones - A stone is an odd image for life. Generally we can think of nothing less living than a stone. So the text says, “living stones.” What does it mean to be a living stone? First, it means to be alive, to be full of life! Second, it means that some of the better qualities of stone are to be ours. A stone is firm, weighty, not easily moved, and able to withstand a heavy load. And thus we too are to be strong and firm in our faith, not easily moved about by the currents of the world or tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes (Eph 4:14). Stable and firm, we are also able to carry the weight and difficulties that this world imposes. And we are able to support and carry others in their time of need, sharing their burdens. Yes, living stones—strong, firm, not easily moved, and alive—quite alive!

A Spiritual House - The image implies that we as living stones make up, in a spiritual sense, the walls of the Church. Together we are fitted like stones into a wall that is strong and sure. So too we are not saved merely unto ourselves, but we are saved also for the sake of others. Together, and by God’s grace, we depend on one another, each carrying his share of the burden. All the stones in a wall do their parts. Remove one stone and the whole wall is weakened and threatened. Only together, with all doing their parts, is the wall solid and sure.

2. The Choice for Salvation – The text says, whoever believes in it shall not be put to shame. Therefore, its value is for you who have faith, but for those without faith: The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone, and a stone that will make people stumble, and a rock that will make them fall. They stumble by disobeying the word, as is their destiny.

Simply put, we have a choice to make, and that choice will determine if Jesus is the cornerstone who supports us, or a stumbling block over whom we trip and fall. It is an interesting phenomenon that when a person is being rescued at sea, some victims reach out and grab the life ring that is tossed to them, while others resist and fight attempts to save them, seeing it as something that will cause them further danger.

What is meant here by cornerstone? We usually think today of a ceremonial stone with an inscription and possibly some historical things inside. But “cornerstone” here refers more to the stone at the bottom of an arch or the row of bricks that supports the whole arch. It had to be a very carefully crafted stone since all the other stones depended on its integrity and perfect shape to support them. And this is Jesus Christ for us. We are all leaning on Jesus and he is the perfect stone who carries our weight.

But for those who reject Christ, he is a stone over whom they trip and fall—a stumbling block. Surely Jesus wants to save us all, but some reject him and thus for them He becomes a stumbling block. What this means is that we cannot remain neutral about Jesus; we have to decide one way or the other about him: yes = salvation, no = condemnation. Thus He will either be a cornerstone or a stumbling block; there is no third way. To those who knowingly reject Him, He is a stumbling block. And this image also explains some of the venomous attacks on Christ and Christianity from the world. For when one trips over something and falls, one tends to curse what caused the fall.

So the choice is ours. And may it be Christ, and may He be our cornerstone—the only One on whom we lean and rely. Only this will bring us from being tombstones to living stones.

3. The Characteristics of Salvation - The text says, You are “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may announce the praises” of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

Note four characteristics of those who are no longer tombstones, but are living stones:

Our Pedigree - The text calls us a “chosen race.” We reflected earlier on making Christ our choice. But here the text reminds us that before we chose Him, He chose us. If we got an invitation to dinner at the White House, many of us would feel that we had “made it” and would proudly tell our friends of the great dignity we had received. Yet too easily we take little notice that we are chosen by God and invited to the great Wedding Feast of the Lamb. The fact is, we are chosen; we have a pedigree. We are of the household of God. And this is a very great dignity, greater than any worldly dignity, and it is able to overcome any indignity that the world heaps upon us. We are a chosen race.

Our Priesthood - All of us who are baptized into Christ Jesus are made priest, prophet, and king. And this “royal” priesthood, while differing from the ministerial priesthood of the men who minister the Sacraments, has this similarity: every priest is enabled to offer a sacrifice pleasing to God. In the Old Testament, priests offered up something distinct from them, usually an animal, such as a lamb. But in the priesthood of Jesus Christ, the priest and the victim are one and the same—Jesus offered himself. Hence all the baptized are equipped by God to offer the pleasing sacrifice of their very selves to God. Here is a very great dignity given us by Jesus: to have a perfect right to stand in His Father’s presence, praise Him, and offer a fitting sacrifice. The ministerial priests of the Church bring us the Sacraments, and only they can do this. But all baptized believers share in the royal priesthood wherein they freely offer themselves to God.

Our Place - The text calls us a holy nation. To be ”holy” means to be “set apart.” Hence we are called out from the many to be a people that is set apart for God. And while all are invited to Christ, only those who accept the invitation receive the grace to be called a holy nation. As such, we should understand that our role is not to “fit in” with this sin-soaked world, but rather to stand apart from it, to be recognizably distinct from it. Our behavior, our priorities, our love, our joy, and our charity should be obvious to all. To be a holy nation is a great honor, but also a great responsibility. May the curse of Scripture never be said about us: As it is written: “God’s name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you (Rom 2:24).

Our Proclamation - The text says that the Lord has acted in our life so that you may announce the praises of him, who called you out of darkness into his own, wonderful light. Yes the Lord has been good to us and is changing our lives! If you are faithful, then you know what he has done for you and you have a testimony to give! Scripture says elsewhere that we were made for the praise of his glory (Eph 1:6). Do people hear you praise the Lord? Have you glorified his name among the Gentiles (Rom 15:9)? Do people know of your gratitude and have they heard of your witness to the Lord? Can you articulate how God has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light? You ought to be a witness for the Lord! This is a central and necessary characteristic of those who are no longer tombstones, but living stones.


21 posted on 05/18/2014 7:42:54 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

22 posted on 05/18/2014 7:44:45 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Sunday Gospel Reflections

5th Sunday of Easter
Reading I: Acts 6:1-7 II: 1Peter 2:4-9


Gospel
John 14:1-12

1 "Let not your hearts be troubled; believe in God, believe also in me.
2 In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?
3 And when I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.
4 And you know the way where I am going."
5 Thomas said to him, "Lord, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?"
6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me.
7 If you had known me, you would have known my Father also; henceforth you know him and have seen him."
8 Philip said to him, "Lord, show us the Father, and we shall be satisfied."
9 Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and yet you do not know me, Philip? He who has seen me has seen the Father; how can you say, 'Show us the Father'?
10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority; but the Father who dwells in me does his works.
11 Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father in me; or else believe me for the sake of the works themselves.
12 "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I go to the Father.


Interesting Details
One Main Point

Jesus announced his departure from the world and reassured his disciples that he is going to prepare a place for them at the Father's house.
Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life; and only through him can we establish a relationship with the Father.


Reflections
  1. Imagine yourself at the Last Supper with Jesus. What would be your thoughts and attitude? What questions would you ask him about where and why he is going?
  2. Thomas expressed his confusion: "Master, we do not know where you're going so how can we know the way?" Does this question reflect my confusion about the direction and the goal in my spiritual life?
  3. Jesus said he will go to the Father's house to prepare a place for me. How have I prepared myself to be received by him?
  4. Between God the Father and Jesus exists a very intimate, loyal and loving relationship. How close is my relationship with God?
  5. Jesus said "If you know me then you will know my Father..." How much do I know my God?

23 posted on 05/18/2014 8:05:06 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

When we attend to the needs of those in want, we give them what is theirs, not ours. More than performing works of mercy, we are paying a debt of justice. — Pope Saint Gregory the Great


24 posted on 05/18/2014 8:50:11 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

Infant Jesus of Prague
3rd Sunday in May

Prayer of Father Cyrillus a Matre Dei

JESUS, unto Thee I flee,
Through Thy Mother praying Thee
In my need to succor me.
Truly, I believe of Thee
God Thou art with strength to shield me;
Full of trust, I hope of Thee
Thou Thy grace wilt give to me.
All my heart I give to Thee,
Therefore, do my sins repent me;
From them breaking, I beseech Thee,
Jesus, from their bonds to free me.
Firm my purpose is to mend me;
Never more will I offend Thee.
Wholly unto Thee I give me,
Patiently to suffer for Thee,
Thee to serve eternally.
And my neighbor like to me
I will love for love of Thee.
Little Jesus, I beseech Thee,
In my need to succor me,
That with Joseph and Mary
And the angels, I may Thee
Once enjoy eternally. Amen.

-Father Cyrillus a Matre Dei


25 posted on 05/18/2014 8:59:24 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Saint Pope John I, Pope & Martyr

Saint Pope John I, Pope & Martyr
Optional Memorial
May 18th

St. John I was elected Pope in 523. The Arian King Theodoric sent him as his ambassor to Emperor Justin in Constantinople. On his return, he was captured by the king, who was displeased at the outcome of the embassy. He was cast into prison at Ravenna, where he died of ill treatment a few days later.

Source: Daily Roman Missal, Edited by Rev. James Socías, Midwest Theological Forum, Chicago, Illinois ©2003

 

Collect:
O God, who reward faithful souls
and who have consecrated this day
by the martyrdom of Pope Saint John the First,
graciously hear the prayers of your people
and grant that we, who venerate his merits,
may imitate his constancy in the faith.
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. +Amen

First Reading: Revelation 3:14b, 20-22
The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God's creation.

Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with Me. He who conquers, I will grant him to sit with Me on My throne, as I Myself conquered and sat down with My Father on His throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.'"

Gospel Reading: Luke 22:24-30
A dispute also arose among the twelve, which of them was to be regarded as the greatest. And He said to them, "The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and those in authority over them are called benefactors. But not so with you; rather let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves. For which is the greater, one who sits at table, or one who serves? Is it not the one who sits at table? But I am among you as one who serves.

"You are those who have continued with Me in My trials; and I assign to you, as My Father assigned to Me, a kingdom, that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.


26 posted on 05/18/2014 9:04:15 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
The Pope and the Child Jesus in Prague [Infant of Prague]
Holy Infant of Prague

27 posted on 05/18/2014 9:05:52 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
ST. JOHN I 523 - 526 AD
28 posted on 05/18/2014 9:07:45 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Information: St. John I

Feast Day: May 18

Born: Populonia, Tuscany, Italy

Died: 18 May 526 in Ravenna, Italy

29 posted on 05/18/2014 9:14:02 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Interactive Saints for Kids

St. John I

Feast Day: May 18
Died: 526

John I was a priest of Rome who became the fifty-third pope. At that time, Italy's ruler, Theodoric the Goth, was an Arian. (The Arians did not believe that Jesus is God.)

When Theodoric became Emperor, he let the Catholics live in peace at the start of his reign. But later, he changed and became rude and suspicious of everyone. He imagined that everyone was plotting against him.

After a while, he believed the whole world was out to get his throne and his power. The one person who most certainly did not want either was Pope John I.

Theodoric then got Pope John involved in his political problems. The Emperor Theodoric was having trouble with Emperor Justin I of Constantinople. He heard that Justin was being too hard on the Arians in the east. Theodoric sent a group of people to make peace with Justin.

The party was headed by Pope John I. Emperor Justin was very happy to meet the pope and received him and his companions with rejoicing. Justin willingly agreed to change his harsh policy. Pope John's mission was successful.

But Emperor Theodoric was not pleased. He now imagined that Pope John and Justin I were against him. When the pope was returning to Rome, he got as far as Ravenna, Theodoric's capital. There Pope John was kidnapped and thrown into prison by Theodoric's soldiers. He was left to die of thirst and starvation in 526.

Reflection: Let us ask always the Holy Spirit for light and guidance so that we may see the goodness in people.


30 posted on 05/18/2014 9:21:18 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
CATHOLIC ALMANAC

Sunday, May 18

Liturgical Color: White

St. Felix of Cantalice died on this day in
1587. Although uneducated, theologians
consulted him on matters of spirituality
because of his holiness. His simple manner
made him a favorite with children to whom he
taught the faith.

31 posted on 05/18/2014 12:00:38 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

Day 154 - May the Eucharist be administered to non-Catholic Christians?

May the Eucharist be administered to non-Catholic Christians also?

Holy Communion is the expression of the unity of the Body of Christ. To belong to the Catholic Church, one must be baptized in her, share her faith, and live in union with her. It would be a contradiction if the Church were to invite to Communion people who do not (yet) share the faith and life of the Church. It would damage the credibility of the sign of the Eucharist.

Individual Orthodox Christians may ask to receive Holy Communion at a Catholic liturgy, because they share the Eucharistic faith of the Catholic Church, although their Church is not yet in full communion with the Catholic Church. In the case of members of other Christian "ecclesial communities" or denominations, Holy Communion may be administered to an individual if there is a grave necessity and evidence of faith in the Real Presence in the Eucharist. Joint celebrations of the Eucharist / Lord's Supper by Catholics and ___________ are the goal and the wish of all ecumenical efforts; to anticipate them, however, without having established the reality of the Body of Christ in one faith and in the one Church is dishonest and therefore not allowed. Other ecumenical liturgies, in which Christians of various denominations pray together, are good and are also desired by the Catholic Church. (YOUCAT question 222)


Dig Deeper: CCC section (1398-1401) and other references here.

 


32 posted on 05/18/2014 12:16:35 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

Part 2: The Celebration of the Christian Mystery (1066 - 1690)

Section 2: The Seven Sacraments of the Church (1210 - 1690)

Chapter 1: The Sacraments of Christian Initiation (1212 - 1419)

Article 3: The Sacrament of the Eucharist (1322 - 1419)

VI. THE PASCHAL BANQUET

The fruits of Holy Communion

817
(all)

1398

The Eucharist and the unity of Christians. Before the greatness of this mystery St. Augustine exclaims, "O sacrament of devotion! O sign of unity! O bond of charity!"237 The more painful the experience of the divisions in the Church which break the common participation in the table of the Lord, the more urgent are our prayers to the Lord that the time of complete unity among all who believe in him may return.

237.

St. Augustine, In Jo. ev. 26,13:PL 35,1613; cf. SC 47.

838
(all)

1399

The Eastern churches that are not in full communion with the Catholic Church celebrate the Eucharist with great love. "These Churches, although separated from us, yet possess true sacraments, above all — by apostolic succession — the priesthood and the Eucharist, whereby they are still joined to us in closest intimacy." A certain communion in sacris, and so in the Eucharist, "given suitable circumstances and the approval of Church authority, is not merely possible but is encouraged."238

238.

UR 15 § 2; cf. CIC, can. 844 § 3.

1536
(all)

1400

Ecclesial communities derived from the ___________ and separated from the Catholic Church, "have not preserved the proper reality of the Eucharistic mystery in its fullness, especially because of the absence of the sacrament of Holy Orders."239 It is for this reason that, for the Catholic Church, Eucharistic intercommunion with these communities is not possible. However these ecclesial communities, "when they commemorate the Lord's death and resurrection in the Holy Supper ... profess that it signifies life in communion with Christ and await his coming in glory."240

239.

UR 22 § 3.

240.

UR 22 § 3.

1385
1483
(all)

1401

When, in the Ordinary's judgment, a grave necessity arises, Catholic ministers may give the sacraments of Eucharist, Penance, and Anointing of the Sick to other Christians not in full communion with the Catholic Church, who ask for them of their own will, provided they give evidence of holding the Catholic faith regarding these sacraments and possess the required dispositions.241

241.

Cf. CIC, can. 844 § 4.


33 posted on 05/18/2014 12:22:35 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
John
  English: Douay-Rheims Latin: Vulgata Clementina Greek NT: Byzantine/Majority Text (2000)
  John 14
1 LET not your heart be troubled. You believe in God, believe also in me. Non turbetur cor vestrum. Creditis in Deum, et in me credite. μη ταρασσεσθω υμων η καρδια πιστευετε εις τον θεον και εις εμε πιστευετε
2 In my Father's house there are many mansions. If not, I would have told you: because I go to prepare a place for you. In domo Patris mei mansiones multæ sunt ; si quominus dixissem vobis : quia vado parare vobis locum. εν τη οικια του πατρος μου μοναι πολλαι εισιν ει δε μη ειπον αν υμιν πορευομαι ετοιμασαι τοπον υμιν
3 And if I shall go, and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and will take you to myself; that where I am, you also may be. Et si abiero, et præparavero vobis locum, iterum venio, et accipiam vos ad meipsum : ut ubi sum ego, et vos sitis. και εαν πορευθω [και] ετοιμασω υμιν τοπον παλιν ερχομαι και παραληψομαι υμας προς εμαυτον ινα οπου ειμι εγω και υμεις ητε
4 And whither I go you know, and the way you know. Et quo ego vado scitis, et viam scitis. και οπου εγω υπαγω οιδατε και την οδον οιδατε
5 Thomas saith to him: Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Dicit ei Thomas : Domine, nescimus quo vadis : et quomodo possumus viam scire ? λεγει αυτω θωμας κυριε ουκ οιδαμεν που υπαγεις και πως δυναμεθα την οδον ειδεναι
6 Jesus saith to him: I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No man cometh to the Father, but by me. Dicit ei Jesus : Ego sum via, et veritas, et vita. Nemo venit ad Patrem, nisi per me. λεγει αυτω ο ιησους εγω ειμι η οδος και η αληθεια και η ζωη ουδεις ερχεται προς τον πατερα ει μη δι εμου
7 If you had known me, you would without doubt have known my Father also: and from henceforth you shall know him, and you have seen him. Si cognovissetis me, et Patrem meum utique cognovissetis : et amodo cognoscetis eum, et vidistis eum. ει εγνωκειτε με και τον πατερα μου εγνωκειτε αν και απ αρτι γινωσκετε αυτον και εωρακατε αυτον
8 Philip saith to him: Lord, shew us the Father, and it is enough for us. Dicit ei Philippus : Domine, ostende nobis Patrem, et sufficit nobis. λεγει αυτω φιλιππος κυριε δειξον ημιν τον πατερα και αρκει ημιν
9 Jesus saith to him: Have I been so long a time with you; and have you not known me? Philip, he that seeth me seeth the Father also. How sayest thou, Shew us the Father? Dicit ei Jesus : Tanto tempore vobiscum sum, et non cognovistis me ? Philippe, qui videt me, videt et Patrem. Quomodo tu dicis : Ostende nobis Patrem ? λεγει αυτω ο ιησους τοσουτον χρονον μεθ υμων ειμι και ουκ εγνωκας με φιλιππε ο εωρακως εμε εωρακεν τον πατερα και πως συ λεγεις δειξον ημιν τον πατερα
10 Do you not believe, that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? The words that I speak to you, I speak not of myself. But the Father who abideth in me, he doth the works. Non creditis quia ego in Patre, et Pater in me est ? Verba quæ ego loquor vobis, a meipso non loquor. Pater autem in me manens, ipse fecit opera. ου πιστευεις οτι εγω εν τω πατρι και ο πατηρ εν εμοι εστιν τα ρηματα α εγω λαλω υμιν απ εμαυτου ου λαλω ο δε πατηρ ο εν εμοι μενων αυτος ποιει τα εργα
11 Believe you not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? Non creditis quia ego in Patre, et Pater in me est ? πιστευετε μοι οτι εγω εν τω πατρι και ο πατηρ εν εμοι ει δε μη δια τα εργα αυτα πιστευετε μοι
12 Otherwise believe for the very works' sake. Amen, amen I say to you, he that believeth in me, the works that I do, he also shall do; and greater than these shall he do. alioquin propter opera ipsa credite. Amen, amen dico vobis, qui credit in me, opera quæ ego facio, et ipse faciet, et majora horum faciet : quia ego ad Patrem vado. αμην αμην λεγω υμιν ο πιστευων εις εμε τα εργα α εγω ποιω κακεινος ποιησει και μειζονα τουτων ποιησει οτι εγω προς τον πατερα μου πορευομαι

34 posted on 05/18/2014 12:32:37 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex
1. Let not your heart be troubled: you believe in God, believe also in me.
2. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
3. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to myself; that where I am, there you may be also.
4. And where I go you know, and the way you know.

AUG. Our Lord consoles His disciples, who, as men, would be naturally alarmed and troubled at the idea of His death, by assuring them of His divinity: Let not your heart be troubled: you believe in God, believe also in Me; as if they must believe in Him, if they believed in God; which would not follow, unless Christ were God. you are in fear for this form of a servant; let not your heart be troubled; the form of God shall raise it up.

CHRYS. Faith, too, in Me, and in the Father that begat Me, is more powerful than anything that shall come upon you; and will prevail in spite of all difficulties. He shows His divinity at the same time by discerning their inward feelings: Let not your heart be troubled.

AUG. And as the disciples were afraid for themselves, when Peter, the boldest and most zealous of them, had been told, The cock shall not crow, till you have denied Me thrice, He adds, In My Father's house are many mansions, by way of an assurance to them in their trouble, that they might with confidence and certainty look forward, after all their trials, to dwelling together with Christ in the presence of God. For though one man is bolder, wiser, juster, holier than another, yet no one shall be removed from that house of God, but each receive a mansion suited to his deserts. The penny indeed which the householder paid to the laborers who worked in his vineyard, was the same to all; for life eternal, which this penny signifies, is of the same duration to all. But there may be many mansions, many degrees of dignity, in that life, corresponding to people's deserts.

GREG. The many mansions agree w with the one penny, because, though one may rejoice more than another, yet all rejoice with one and the same joy, arising from the vision of their Maker.

AUG. And thus God will be all in all; that is, since God is love, love will bring it to pass, that what each has, will be common to all. That which one loves in another is one's own, though one have it not one's self. And then there will be no envy et superior grace, for in all hearts will reign the unity of love.

GREG Nor is there any sense of deficiency in consequence of such inequality; for each will feel as much as suffices for himself.

AUG. But they are rejected by the Christians, who infer from there being many mansions that there is a place outside the kingdom of heaven, where innocent souls, that have departed this life without baptism, and could not there enter into the kingdom of heaven, remain happy. But God forbid, that when every house of every heir of the kingdom is in the kingdom, there should be a part of the regal house itself not in the kingdom. Our Lord does not say, In eternal bliss are many mansions, but they are in My Father's house.

CHRYS. Or thus: Our Lord having said above to Peter, Where I go, you can not follow Me now, but you shall follow Me afterwards, that they might not think that this promise was made to Peter only, He says, In My Father's house are many mansions; i.e. You shall be admitted into that place, as well as Peter, for it contains abundance of mansions, which are ever ready to receive you: If it were not so, I would have told you: I go to prepare a place for you.

AUG. He means evidently that there are already many mansions, and that there is no need of His preparing one.

CHRYS. Having said, you can not follow Me now, that they might not think that they were cut off for ever, He adds: And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again area receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also: a recommendation to them to place the strongest trust in Him.

THEOPHYL. And if not, I would have told you: I go to prepare, &c. As if He said; Either way you should not be troubled, whether places are prepared for you, or not. For, if they are not prepared, I will very quickly prepare them.

AUG. But why does He go and prepare a place, if there are many mansions already? Because these are not as yet so prepared as they will be. The same mansions that He has prepared by predestination, He prepares by operation. They are prepared already in respect of predestination; if they were not, He would have said, I will go and prepare, i.e. predestine, a place for you; but inasmuch as they are not yet prepared in respect of operation, He says, And if I go and prepare a place for you.

And now He is preparing mansions, by preparing occupants for them. Indeed, when He says, In My Father's house are many mansions, what think we the house of God to be but the temple of God, of which the Apostle said, The temple of God is holy, which temple you are (1 Cor 3:17). This house of God then is now being built, now being prepared.

But why has He gone away to prepare it, if it is ourselves that He prepares: if He leaves us, how can He prepare us? The meaning is, that, in order that those mansions may be prepared, the just must live by faith and if you see, there is no faith. Let Him go away then, that He be not seen; let Him be hid, that He be believed. Then a place is prepared, if you live by faith: let faith desire, that desire may enjoy. If you rightly understands Him, He never leaves either the place He came from, or that He goes from. He goes, when He withdraws from sight, He comes, when He appears. But except He remain in power, that we may grow in goodness, no place of happiness will be prepared for us.

ALCUIN. He says then, I go, by the absence of the flesh, I shall come again, by the presence of the Godhead; or, I shall come again to judge the quick and dead. And as He knew that they would ask where He went, or by what way He wells, He adds, And whither I go you know, i.e. to the Father, and the way you know, i.e. Myself.

CHRYS. He show them that He is aware of their curiosity to know His meaning, and thus excites them to pelt questions to Him.

5. Thomas said to him, Lord, we know not where you go; and how can we know the way?
6. Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by me.

CHRYS. If the Jews, who wished to be separated from Christ, asked where He was going, much more would the disciples, who wished never to be separated from Him, be anxious to know it. So with much love, and, at the same time, fear, they proceed to ask: Thomas said to Him, Lord, we know not where you go; and how can we know the way?

AUG. Our Lord had said that they knew both, Thomas says that they knew neither. Our Lord cannot lie; they knew not that they did know. Our Lord proves that they did: Jesus said to Him, I am the way, the truth, and the life.

AUG. As it He said, I am the way, whereby you would go; I am the truth, whereto you would go; I am the life, in which you would abide. The truth and the life every one understands; but not everyone has found the way. Even the philosophers of the world have seen that God is the life eternal, the truth which is the end of all knowledge.

And the Word of God, which is truth and life with the Father, by taking upon Him human nature, is made the way. Walk by the Man, and you will arrive at God. For it is better to limp on the right way, than to walk ever so stoutly by the wrong.

HILARY. For He who is the way does not lead us into devious courses out of the way; nor does He who is the truth deceive us by falsehoods; not does He who is the life leave us in the darkness of death.

THEOPHYL. When you art engaged in the practical, He is made your way; when in the contemplative, He is made your truth. And to the active and the contemplative is joined life: for we should both act and contemplate with reference to the world to come.

AUG. They knew then the way, because they knew He was the way. But what need to add, the truth, and the life? Because they were yet to be told whither He went. He went to the truth; He went to the life. He went then to Himself, by Himself. But did you leave Yourself, O Lord, to come to us? I know that you took upon you the form of a servant; by the flesh you came, remaining where you were; by that you returned, remaining where you had come to. It by this then you came, and returned, by this you were the way, not only to us, to come to you, but also to Yourself to come, and to return again. And when you went to life, which is Yourself you raised that same flesh of Your from death to life.

Christ therefore went to life, when His flesh arose from death to life. And since the Word is life, Christ went to Himself; Christ being both, in one person, i.e. Word-flesh. Again, by the flesh God came to men, the truth to liars; for God is true, but every man a liar. When then He withdrew Himself from men, and lifted up His flesh to that place in which no liar is, the same Christ, by the way, by which He being the Word became flesh, by Himself, i.e. by His flesh, by the same returned to Truth, which is Himself, which truth, even amongst the liars He maintained to death.

Behold I myself, if I make you understand what I say, do in a certain sense go to you, though I do not leave myself. And when I cease speaking, I return to myself, but remain with you, if you remember what you have heard. If the image which God has made can do this, how much more the Image which God has begotten? Thus He goes by Himself, to Himself and to the Father, and we by Him, to Him and to the Father.

CHRYS. For if, He says, you have Me for your guide to the Father, you shall certainly come to Him. Nor call you come by any other way. Whereas He had said above, No man can come to Me, except the Father draw him, now He says, No man comes to the Father but by Me, thus equaling Himself to the Father. The next words explain, Where I go you know, and the way you know.

If you had known Me, He says, you should have known My Father also; i.e. If you had known My substance and dignity, you would have known the Father's. They did know Him, but not as they ought to do. Nor was it till afterwards, when the Spirit came, that they were fully enlightened.

On this account He adds, And from henceforth you know Him, know Him, that is, spiritually. And have seen Him, i.e. by Me; meaning that he who had seen Him, had seen the Father. They saw Him, however, not in His pure substance, but clothed in flesh.

7. If you had known me, you should have known My Father also; and from henceforth you know him, and have seen him.

CHRYS. For if, He says, you have Me for your guide to the Father, you shall certainly come to Him. Nor call you come by any other way. Whereas He had said above, No man can come to Me, except the Father draw him, now He says, No man comes to the Father but by Me, thus equaling Himself to the Father. The next words explain, Where I go you know, and the way you know.

If you had known Me, He says, you should have known My Father also; i.e. If you had known My substance and dignity, you would have known the Father's. They did know Him, but not as they ought to do. Nor was it till afterwards, when the Spirit came, that they were fully enlightened.

On this account He adds, And from henceforth you know Him, know Him, that is, spiritually. And have seen Him, i.e. by Me; meaning that he who had seen Him, had seen the Father. They saw Him, however, not in His pure substance, but clothed in flesh.

BEDE. How can our Lord say, If you had known Me, you should have known My Father also; when He has just said, Where I go you know, and the way you know? We must suppose that some of them knew, and others not: among the latter, Thomas.

HILARY. Or thus: When it is said that the Son is the way to the Father, is it meant that He is so by His teaching, or by His nature? We shall be able to see from what follows: If you had known Me, you should have known My Father also.

In His incarnation asserting His Divinity, He maintained a certain order of sight and knowledge: separating the time of seeing from that of knowing. For Him, who He said must be known, He speaks of as already seen: that henceforward they might from this revelation have knowledge of the Divine Nature which they had all along seen in Him.

8. Philip said to him, Lord, show us the Father, and it suffices us.
9. Jesus said to him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet have you not known me, Philip? he that has seen me has seen the Father; and how say you then, Show us the Father?
10. Believe you not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak to you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwells in me, he does the works.
11. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake.

HILARY. A declaration so new startled Philip. Our Lord is seen to be man. He confesses Himself to be the Son of God, declares that, if He were known, the Father would be known, that, if He is seen, the Father is seen. The familiarity of the Apostle therefore breaks forth into questioning our Lord, Philip said to Him, Lord, show us the Father, and it suffices us. He did not deny He could be seen, but wished to be shown him; nor did he wish to see with his bodily eyes, but that He whom he had seen might be made manifest to his understanding. He had seen the Son in the form of man, but how through that form He saw the Father, he did not know. This he wants to be strewn him, strewn to his understanding, not set before his eyes; and then he will be satisfied: And it suffices us.

AUG. For to that joy of beholding His face, nothing can be added. Philip understood this, and said, Lord, show us the Father, and it suffices us. But he did not yet understand that he could in the same way have said, Lord, show us Yourself, and it suffices us. But our Lord's answer enlightens him, Jesus said to him,

Have I been so long with you, and yet have you not known Me, Philip?

AUG. But how is this, when our Lord said that they knew where He was going, and the way, because they knew Him? The question is easily settled by supposing that some of them knew, and others not; among the latter, Philip.

HILARY. He reproves the ignorance of Philip in this respect. For whereas his actions had been strictly divine, such as walking on the water, commanding the winds, remitting sins, raising the dead, He complained that in His assumed humanity, the Divine nature was not discerned. Accordingly to Philip's request, to be strewn the Father, Our Lord answers, He that has seen Me, has seen the Father.

AUG. When two persons are very like each, we say, If you have seen the one, you have seen. n the other. So here, He that has seen Me, has seen the Father; not that He is troth the Father, and the Son, but that the Son is an absolute likeness of the Father.

HILARY. He does not mean the sight of the bodily eye: for His fleshly part, born of the Virgin, does not avail towards contemplating the form and image of God in Him; but the Son of God being known with the understanding, it follows that the Father is known also, forasmuch as He is the image of God, not differing from but expressing His Author. For our Lord's expressions do not spear; of one person solitary and without relationship, but teach us His birth. The Father also excludes the supposition of a single solitary person, and leaves us no other doctrine but that the Father is seen in the Son, by the incommunicable likeness of birth.

AUG. But is he to be reproved, who, when he has seen the likeness, wishes to see the man of whom he is the likeness? No, our Lord rebuked the question, only with reference to the mind of the asker.

Philip asked, as if the Father were better than the Son; and so showed that He did not know the Son. Which opinion our Lord corrects: Believe you not that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? as if He said, If it is a great wish with you to see the Father, at any rate believe what you do not see.

HILARY. For what excuse was there for ignorance of the Father, or what necessity to show Him, when the Father was seen in the Son by His essential nature, while by the identity of unity, the Begotten and the Begetter are one: Believe you not that I am in the Father and the Father in Me?

AUG. He wished him to live by faith, before he had sight, and therefore says, Believe you not? Spiritual vision is the reward of faith, vouchsafed to minds purified by faith.

HILARY. But the Father is in the Son, and the Son in the Father, not by a conjunction of two harmonizing essences, nor by a nature grafted into a more capacious substance as in material bodies, in which it is impossible that what is within can be made external to that which contains it; but by the birth of a nature which is life from life; forasmuch as from God nothing but God can be born.

HILARY. The unchangeable God follows, so to speak, His own nature, by begetting unchangeable God. Nor does the perfect birth of unchangeable God from unchangeable God forsake His own nature. We understand then here the nature of God subsisting in Him, since God is in God, nor besides Him who is God, can any other be God.

CHRYS. Or thus: Philip, because [he thought] he had seen c the Son with his bodily eye, wished to see the Father in the same way; perhaps too remembering what the Prophet said, I saw the Lord (Isaiah 6:1), and therefore he says, Show us the Father. The Jews had asked, who was His Father; and Peter and Thomas, whither He went; and neither were told plainly. Philip therefore, that he might not seem burdensome, after saying, Show us the Father, adds, And it suffices us: i.e. we seek for no more. Our Lord in reply does not say, that he asked an impossible thing, but that he had not seen the Son to begin with, for that if he had seen Him, he would have seen the Father: Have I been so long time with you, and yet have you not known Me? He does not say, not seen Me, but, not known Me; not known that the Son, being what the Father is, does in Himself fitly show the Father. Then dividing the Persons, He says, He that has seen Me has seen the Father; that none might maintain that He was both the Father and the Son. The words show too that even the Son was not seen in a bodily sense. So if anyone takes seeing here, for knowing, I will not contradict him, but will take the sentence as if it was, He that has known Me, has known the Father. He shows here His consubstantiality with the Father: He that has seen My substance, has seen the Father. Whence it is evident He is not a creature: for all know and see the creature, but not all God; Philip, for instance, who wished to see the substance of the Father. If Christ then had been of another substance from the Father, He would never have said, He that has seen Me, has seen the Father. A man cannot see the substance of gold in silver: one nature cannot be made apparent by another.

AUG. He then addresses all of them, not Philip only: The word that I speak to you, I speak not of Myself. What is, I speak not of Myself, I but, I that speak am not of Myself? He attributes what He does to Him, from whom He Himself, the doer, is.

HILARY. Wherein He neither desires Himself to be the Son, nor hides the existence of His Father's power in Him. In that He speaks, it is Himself that speaks in His own person; in that He speaks not of Himself, He witnesses His nativity, that He is God from God.

CHRYS. Mark the abundant proof of the unity of substance. For He continues; But the Father that dwells in Me, He does the works. As if He said, My Father and I act together, not differently from each other; agreeing with what He said below: If I do not the works of My Father, believe Me not. But why does He pass from words to works? Why does He not say as we might have expected, He speaks the words? Because He means to apply what He says both to His doctrine, and to His miracles; or because His words are themselves works.

AUG. For he that edifies his neighbor by speaking, does a good work. These two sentences are brought against us by different sects of heretics; the Arians saying that the Son is unequal to the Father, because He does not speak of Himself; the Sabellians, that the same who is the Father is the Son. For what is meant, they ask, by, The Father that dwells in Me, He does the works, but, I that dwell in Myself, do these works.

HILARY. That the Father dwells in the Son, show that He is not single, or solitary; that the Father works by the Son, shows that He is not different or alien. As He is not solitary who does not speak from Himself, so neither is He alien and separable who speaks by Him.

Having shown then that the Father spoke and worked in Him, He formally states this union: Believe Me that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me: that they might not think that the Father works and speaks in the Son as by a mere agent or instrument, not by the unity of nature implied in His Divine birth.

AUG. Philip alone was reproved before.

CHRYS. But if this does not suffice to show my consubstantiality, at least learn it from My works: Or else believe Me for the very works' sake. You have seen My miracles, and all the proper signs of My divinity; works which the Father alone works, sins remitted, life restored, and the like.

AUG. Believe then for My works' sake, that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me; for, were we separated, we could not be working together.

12. Verily, verily, I say to you, He that believes in me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go to my Father.

CHRYS. Having said, Believe for the works' sake, our Lord goes on to declare that He can do much greater than these, and what is more wonderful, give others the power of working them. Verily, verily, I say to you, He that believes in Me, the works that I do, shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do.

AUG. But what are these greater works? Is it that the shadow of the Apostles, as they passed by, healed the sick; It is indeed a greater thing that a shadow should heal, than that the border of a garment should. Nevertheless, by works here our Lord refers to His words. For when He says, My Father that dwells in Me, He does the works, what are these works but the words which He spoke? And the fruit of those words was their faith.

But these were but few converts in comparison with what those disciples made afterwards by their preaching: they converted the Gentiles to the faith. Did not the rich man go away sorrowful from His words? And yet that which one did not do at His own exhortation, many did afterwards when He preached through the disciples. He did greater works when preached by the believing, than when speaking to men's ears.

Still these greater works He did by His Apostles, whereas He includes others besides them, when He says, He that believes in Me. Are we not to compute any one among the believers in Christ, who does not do greater works than Christ? This sounds harsh if not explained. The Apostle says, To him that believes in Him that justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness (Rom 4:5).

By this work then we shall do the works of Christ, the very believing in Christ being the work of Christ, for He works this in us, though not without us. Attend then; He that believes on Me, the works that I do, shall he do also. First I do them, then he will do them: I do them, that he may do them. Do what works but this, viz. that a man, from being a sinner, become just? which thing Christ works in us, though not without us. This in truth I call a greater work to do, than to create the heaven and the earth; for heaven and earth shall pass away, but the salvation and justification of the predestined shall remain.

However, the Angels in heaven are the work of Christ; shall he who works with Christ for his own justification, do greater even than these? Judge any one which be the greater work, to create the just, or to justify the ungodly? At least, if both be of equal power, the latter has more of mercy. But it is not necessary to understand all the works of Christ, when He says, greater works than these shall he do.

These perhaps refers to the works He had done that hour. He had then been instructing them in the faith. And surely it is a less work to preach righteousness, which He did without us, than to justify the ungodly, which He so does in us, as that we do it ourselves. Great things truly did our Lord promise His people, when He went to His Father: Because I go to My Father.

CHRYS. i.e. I shall not perish, but shall remain in My proper dignity, in heaven. Or He means: It is your part henceforth to work miracles, since I am going.

Catena Aurea John 14
35 posted on 05/18/2014 12:33:07 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex


A Bishop Saint

Fra Angelico

c. 1425
Tempera and gold on panel, diameter 15 cm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

36 posted on 05/18/2014 12:34:34 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex
Catholic Culture

 

Daily Readings for:May 18, 2014
(Readings on USCCB website)

Collect: Almighty ever-living God, constantly accomplish the Paschal Mystery within us, that those you were pleased to make new in Holy Baptism may, under your protective care, bear much fruit and come to the joys of life eternal. 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.

RECIPES

o    Chocolate Pecan Pie

ACTIVITIES

o    Family May Crowning

o    Marian Hymn: Bring Flowers of the Fairest

PRAYERS

o    Book of Blessings: Blessing Before and After Meals: Easter Season (2nd Plan)

o    Prayers for the Easter Season

o    Book of Blessings: Blessing Before and After Meals: Easter (1st Plan)

·         Easter: May 18th

·         Fifth Sunday of Easter

Old Calendar: Fourth Sunday after Easter

Jesus said to his disciples: "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God still, and trust in me. There are many rooms in my Father's house; if there were not, I should have told you. I am going now to prepare a place for you, and after I have gone and prepared you a place, I shall return to take you with me; so that where I am you may be too."

The Optional Memorial of St. John I, pope and martyr is superseded by the Sunday Liturgy.

Click here for commentary on the readings in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.


Sunday Readings
The first reading is taken from the Acts of the Apostles 6:1-7 and continues the description of the missionary preaching and missionary activity of Paul and Barnabas. For those who follow the reign of God as inaugurated in Christ, these apostles can promise nothing for sure but trials and hardships. And yet, the paradox of suffering and yet being joyful in the Holy Spirit is here expressed as it was in the ending of the readings from Acts last week. — A Celebrants Guide to the New Sacramentary - A Cycle by Kevin W. Irwin

The second reading is from the first Letter of St. Peter 2:4-9 in which he reminds the new converts to Christianity, that they must be holy, for they are the living stones out of which the new spiritual temple of God is formed. The cornerstone, the base and binding force of this temple, is the risen Christ. . Because of Him, and through Him, they are able to offer sacrifices which are acceptable to God.

The Gospel is from St. John 14:1-12. We may well wonder at the slowness of the Apostles in seeing in Christ nothing more than a man—a great man, a man with power from God, yes, but still a mere man. That He was the Messiah, they were convinced, but their idea of the Messiah was wrong. They thought He would free Israel from foreign domination (Lk. 24 21), and set up a new kingdom of God—a prosperous, earthly kingdom with God guaranteeing peace and plenty for all. If, therefore, He allowed His enemies to put Him to death, all their hopes would be dashed to the ground. Hence, the mention of His impending death at the Last Supper filled them with dismay and despair.

But we must not judge them too harshly. Christ had indeed often claimed to be God, but His words fell on deaf ears. It was only after His resurrection that they began to understand that He had spoken literally—it was only then they believed He was indeed the Son of God, in human nature.

For us today, the Incarnation is still a mystery, but it is not the "how" that should trouble us, we know that with God all things are possible. It is rather the "why" that should cause us amazement. Why should God go to that length for our sake-mere creatures, and sinful, ungrateful creatures at that? The infinite goodness and the infinite love of God are the answer, but still an answer which is mysterious to us. For we, with our limited capacity for love, can form no idea of infinite love.

God created us "in His own image and likeness" (a very limited likeness, granted) and intended, because of the spiritual faculties He gave us, which enable us to see and enjoy truth and beauty, to give us a share in His eternal life and glory. To do this, the Incarnation of the second Person of the Holy Trinity was God's plan. There must have been other ways of doing this, but God, we can be sure, chose the best way. Even with our limited intelligence, we ourselves can see what a perfect way this was for proving to us the infinite love, goodness and compassion of our Creator.

Sin entered the world of man, as God had foreseen, but notwithstanding this ingratitude on our part, God's Son came in our lowly, human nature and suffered, even though sinless, all the effects of men's sins. He suffered in our name, and because He was God, His sufferings in His human nature made infinite atonement for the sins of all mankind.

His Incarnation had made us His brothers and' co-heirs to heaven. His death on the cross wiped out, and gave us the means of wiping out, our sins, so that we would be capable of possessing our inheritance.

Knowing the story of the Incarnation therefore, we know of the love and kindness of God toward us. We need not ask, with Philip, "show us the Father," we have seen Him in His riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! "How unsearchable are His judgments and how inscrutable are His ways!" (Rom. 11 :33).

"What return can I make to the Lord?" All the mortifications and good works of all the holy men and women that ever lived, or will live, would not be adequate a return to God for the miracle of love He has shown toward us. But He accepts the widow's mite, the little acts of love, the little proofs of gratitude, the willing acceptance of the crosses He sends us, to purify us. In one word, all He asks in return is that we try to live our Christian life day after day, ever thanking Him for the gift of Christ and the Christian faith.

Excerpted from The Sunday Readings by Fr. Kevin O'Sullivan, O.F.M.


37 posted on 05/18/2014 12:41:24 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
The Word Among Us

Meditation: 1 Peter 2:4-9

5th Sunday of Easter

Come to him … and like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house. (1 Peter 2:4, 5)

Beloved, come to me. I am the cornerstone, Jesus. My arms are wide open to receive you. I have chosen you and called you by name. You are precious in my sight—far more valuable than diamonds or gold. I know what you’re going through. I know so well what it means to be worn down around the edges, chipped, cracked, and even broken. I was rejected by the very stones I created. But now I am the chief stone in the master plan of my Father the architect. And I invite you to come to me and rest beside me, the cornerstone.

I have fashioned you as a strong, living stone; let me fill you with my strength. Let me join you to your brothers and sisters so that together you can become a spiritual house. You are meant to be the place where my glory dwells. So I am refining you, polishing you, and shaping you. Let me complete this work so that you fit snugly next to the other stones in my house. I want to give you a gleaming finish so that you will be a brilliant reflection of my glory. I want to turn you into a monument of my loving kindness for all to see.

I have laid you, my living stone, in the place where you are. You have a special job in the plans of the Master Builder. As you rely on me, the cornerstone, you’ll find the strength to tell the world how I have called you out of darkness and into my light. Tell everyone how I have restored you and have given you a purpose. And show them that they are also precious to me. Remember that someone else came and told you about me. You rest on their shoulders. Now those whom you touch will be laid upon your shoulders as I continue to build my house.

So come to me, and proclaim my greatness.

“Lord, thank you for fashioning me as a precious stone in your house!”

Acts 6:1-7; Psalm 33:1-2, 4-5, 18-19; John 14:1-12

Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion

(Acts 6:1-7; Psalm 33:1-2,4-5,18-19; 1 Peter 2:4-9; John 14:1-12)

1. In the first reading, we see that the Holy Spirit provided the Apostles with a creative solution to their time management problems, especially how to provide a time for their spiritual life in the midst of their busyness. In what ways do you struggle to find a daily time for prayer and Scripture reading in the midst of your busyness? How often do you ask the Lord to assist you? In order to get in a daily prayer time and Scripture reading, what creative solutions can you and the Holy Spirit come up with in order that you not neglect your spiritual life and the Word of God?

2. The responsorial psalm says that our praise and worship of God is “fitting.” What are some of the reasons the psalmist gives for this praise and worship? To what extent is your times of prayer devoted to “exult,” “praise,” and “give thanks” to God versus just addressing your needs? How can you change this?

3. In the second reading, St. Peter says we are to “announce the praises” of God who “called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” How have you experienced this in your life? How might your life announce the praises of God? In what ways are you still holding onto parts that are in the darkness?

4. In the Gospel reading, we hear these words of Jesus: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me.” Jesus is the answer to all of our concerns. He is “the way and the truth and the life.” How would you describe your relationship with Christ? What steps can you take to deepen your faith in God the Father and Jesus?

5. In the meditation, Jesus invites us to come to him, the “cornerstone,” so that we can become “like living stones … built into a spiritual house” (1 Peter 2:5). How would you describe how you have personally accepted Jesus’ invitation to come to him?

6. The meditation goes on to say that “You have a special job in the plans of the Master Builder.” What “job” do you think Jesus has called you to do in his spiritual house?

7. Take some time now to pray and thank the Lord for his call to you to be a “living stone.” Use the prayer at the end of the meditation as the starting point.


38 posted on 05/18/2014 12:57:23 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
A Christian Pilgrim

JESUS CHRIST: THE WAY TO THE FATHER

(A biblical reflection on THE FIFTH SUNDAY OF EASTER (Year A], 18 May 2014)

Gospel Reading: John 14:1-12

First Reading: Acts 6:1-7; Psalms: Psalm 33:1-2,4-5,18-19; Second Reading: 1 Peter 2:4-9

LAST SUPPER - INILAH TUBUHKU

The Scripture Text
“Let not your hearts be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to Myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way where I am going. Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by Me. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; henceforth you know Him and have seen Him.”
Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and we shall be satisfied.” Jesus said to Him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you do not know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does His works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me; or else believe Me for the sake of the works of themselves.
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will He do, because I go to the Father.” (John 14:1-12 RSV)

KHOTBAH DI BUKIT - 500

At the beginning of His public ministry, Jesus had delivered His “Sermon on the Mount” as the program of His Kingdom. At the end of His life He completed and perfected this instruction. There the scene was the horizon, the green hills of Galilee and the shores of its wonderful Sea. Here the sermon saw the closed room of the Last Supper. There the audience was filled with the masses from all different parts of the country, here the apostles were the only witnesses, who He loved with all His heart. He loved them till the end (see John 13:1), till the end of all possibilities, giving them His own flesh and blood, making them priests forever. And still He was not pleased.

When people bid farewell, they often reveal their affections more openly and more forcefully than they do during the years they live together. Love, the deepest power of the soul reveals man’s inmost nature. And there was certainly no moment when the apostles were more willing to accept than after the first Eucharist Celebration on earth. Already, humanly speaking, the time was opportune, since it was the custom among the Jews to join in conversation when the paschal meal was over. And in this sublime and fruitful discourse Jesus opened to His apostles (and to us) the very secrets of His heart.

Jesus had to leave, He had to die. That made the apostles sad. But He told them: “Do not be sad. I have to leave you, I have to die in order to establish the everlasting union between you and God. Thus be consoled by this union of life between you and the Father and Me completed by the Holy Spirit which I am going to accomplish by My death.” And then Jesus went on unfolding the essence of this divine union, the relation to Father and Holy Spirit, the glorious future for Himself and for His own. He spoke about the Holy Spirit, the Church and its members who must be one as Father and Son are one. He talked about future persecutions, the nature of the interior life of the faithful ones, the power of prayer. And above all: This sermon was steeped in the mournful tenderness with which Jesus spoke His departing words.

KEBANGKITAN - YESUS BANGKIT

In today’s Gospel Jesus tells His apostles openly that He will leave them, that He will die. But they must not be sad. They shall rather be consoled because through His death Jesus is going to establish the communion of life between God and the apostles, between God and us. There is no heaven for us without Christ’s death. On the other hand, Christ died for all. “In My Father’s house there are many dwelling places” (John 14:2 NAB). This implies: a dwelling place for many. In typical Jewish fashion Jesus also says that His blood was shed for many (Mark 14:24), which means it was shed for all.

Christ will take us for Himself so that we shall be where He is. Ever since He died for us, there is no separation any more between Him and us. Heaven is guaranteed for us. “Christ is the way to heaven, the way to the Father.” Jesus told Thomas. He is the only way to the Father, He is the only mediator. Nobody can reach the Father but through Jesus. Christ is the WAY because He is the TRUTH, revealing the Father to us in His word. The world would be dark without the Gospel. And as always, His TRUTH is not just theoretical knowledge, but life-giving knowledge. Christ is LIFE because He is the TRUTH.

Philip was not satisfied with Jesus’ remark. “Show us the Father and that will be enough for us,” he insisted (John 14:8 NAB). He wanted a theophany as it was granted to Moses (Exodus 33:18) or to Isaiah (Isaiah 6:1ff). But such a theophany is always the exception, not the rule! The normal way is that we see the Father in Christ’s teaching, or for the contemporaries of Christ: in Christ’s works and miracles. They should prove to everybody that Jesus and the Father are one (John 10:30). But of course, all the signs Christ performed were signs, not proofs for Christ’s divinity, for His oneness with the Father. There must be readiness to accept Christ in faith. Jesus told His disciples: “Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me” (John 14:11).

If somebody does not have this faith no miracles will help. In the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, the rich man in hell asks Abraham to send Lazarus back to earth to his brothers and warn them to live a better life. Otherwise death would also take them by surprise as it happened to the rich man. Abraham answers: “They have Moses and the prophets” (Luke 16:29). The rich man gives back: “No, Father Abraham, if someone would only go to them from the dead, they would repent” (Luke 16:30). But Abraham insists: “If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, they will not be convinced even if one should rise from the dead” (Luke 16:31). These brothers would have all kinds of excuses for not changing their lives. They would take the vision of the risen Lazarus as a fake, as an imagination. For a man of good will the Gospel is enough, Christ’s word in the Gospel is enough to see the Father. It is true: “The words I speak are not spoken of Myself, it is the Father who lives in Me accomplishing His works” (John 14:10 NAB). Christ is the way to the Father through His word of the Gospel. Do we take it seriously?

YESUS KRISTUS - 13 I AM THE WAY THE TRUTH AND LIFE

Since Christ is the way to the Father all roads lead to Christ, even there are people who do not know Him yet or do not know Him perfectly and exactly. Christ has a strong power of radiating and attracting people. Since Christ reveals the Father, He is not the completely different, the alien, the God high above us and remote from us. Rather, He is also close to us, since we can get to know Him: We can have trust and confidence in Him.

The union between God and us, however, will not only start in heaven, but will begin already here on earth. This future here on earth will bring a wonderful activities of the apostles, greater than the activities of Jesus. “The man who has faith in Me will do the works I do, and greater far than these” (John 14:12 NAB). What the apostles and what we after the apostles do here on earth is greater than the works of Jesus because they have greater external splendor. The activities of the apostles and those who follow them will be more visible.

The activities of the apostles will be greater because their activities will not be limited to Palestine any longer as was the work of Jesus according to the will of the Father. The activities of the apostles will be greater also because so far Jesus could help them only as pilgrims. Because of His death (“because I go to the Father” [John 14:12] will be the reason for greater activities of the apostles) and resurrection all the restrictions of the humanity of Christ are gone and He can foster the works of His disciples. Also in this sense He is the way to the Father for His disciples.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, I believe that You are the Way and the Truth and the Life, and no one comes to the Father, but by You. Lord, I want to see Your glory at the Holy Mass today – Your majesty, your beauty, and Your goodness. I know that I do not see it as I ought, so I ask You to open my eyes. Jesus, my Lord and my Savior, let me see You! Amen.

39 posted on 05/18/2014 1:26:30 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

Marriage=One Man and One Woman 'Til Death Do Us Part

Daily Marriage Tip for May 18, 2014:

“Do not let your hearts be troubled,” says Jesus. (Jn 14:1) What causes your heart to be troubled? What causes your spouse’s heart to be troubled? Share your troubles with each other. Then give them to Jesus and pray for peace in your marriage and in your home.

40 posted on 05/18/2014 1:30:16 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Sunday Scripture Study

 

Fifth Sunday of Easter - Cycle A

May 18, 2014

Click here for USCCB readings

Opening Prayer  

First Reading: Acts 6:1-7

Psalm: 33:1-2,4-5,18-19

Second Reading: 1 Peter 2:4-9 

Gospel Reading: John 14::1—12

  • This Sunday’s reading takes place at the Last Supper (see John, chapters 13—17). Judas has just left the room; Jesus has predicted his upcoming death, and has revealed that Peter, the leader of their group, will deny him in his hour of need (John 13ff). The hearts of the apostles must have indeed been troubled.
  • Even though he himself is troubled (John 13:21) he speaks words of comfort to his friends. He tells them that, even though he will be leaving, it will be for their greater good (verses 1-4, 7, 12). The disciples, in their grief not being able to grasp his words, question him on how this can be. Jesus reveals that he himself is “the Way, the Truth and the Life.”
  • Jesus is the Way (John 6:68, 10:9; Romans 5:1-2; Ephesians 2:17-22; Hebrews 10:19-22; CCC 459-460), the Truth (John 1:14, 17; CCC 2466), and the Life (John 1:1-5, 5:26, 29, 6:51, 68).
  • In the Book of Acts, which relates the early growth of the Church, the Christian life is also often called “the Way” (Acts 9:3, 19:9, 23, 22:4, 24:14, 22).

 

QUESTIONS:

  • In the 1st Reading, we see that the Church had to adapt to changing circumstances without compromising the essence of the Faith. What does it tell us about Jesus’ promise to be with the Church always?
  • In the 2nd Reading, what distinction does St. Peter draw between those who have faith, and those who do not (verse 7)?
  • In the Gospel Reading, what comfort does Jesus offer his disciples?
  • Look at John 13:36; 14:6, 8, 22. What problems are the disciples struggling with?
  • How does John 1:18 relate to what Jesus says in 14:9? With what tone of voice do you imagine Jesus speaking in verses 9-14? What evidence does Jesus give for his claims?
  • Do you think the promises Jesus makes in verses 12-14 are “blank check” promises about prayer? In verse 12, does he mean the Church will do works greater in power? In scope? How could this be?
  • How does John 1:18 relate to what Jesus says in 14:9? With what tone of voice do you imagine Jesus speaking in verses 9-14? What evidence does Jesus give for his claims?
  • If Jesus is the Way, do you feel you’re on a bumpy dead-end street, or a four-lane highway? Why?
  • In light of verse 6, how would you respond to someone who says “there are many ways to God”?

 

Closing Prayer

Catechism of the Catholic Church:  §§ 74, 151, 459, 470, 516, 661, 1698, 2466

 

Humanity is loved by God! …Each Christian’s words and life must make this proclamation resound: God loves you, Christ came for you, Christ is for you “the Way, the Truth and the Life!” 
                                                                                                
-- St. Pope John Paul II


41 posted on 05/18/2014 1:39:15 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Reflections from Scott Hahn

Building His House: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Fifth Sunday of Easter

Posted by Dr. Scott Hahn on 05.16.14 |

Readings:
Acts 6:1-7
Psalm 33:1-2, 4-5, 18-19
1 Peter 2:4-9
John 14:1-12

By His death, Resurrection and Ascension, Jesus has gone ahead to prepare a place for us in His Father’s house.

His Father’s house is no longer a temple made by human hands. It is the spiritual house of the Church, built on the living stone of Christ’s body.

As Peter interprets the Scriptures in today’s Epistle, Jesus is the “stone” destined to be rejected by men but made the precious cornerstone of God’s dwelling on earth (see Psalm 118:22; Isaiah 8:14; 28:16).

Each of us is called to be a living stone in God’s building (see 1 Corinthians 3:9,16). In this edifice of the Spirit, we are to be “holy priests” offering up “spiritual sacrifices” - all our prayer, work and intentions - to God.

This is our lofty calling as Christians. This is why Christ led us out of the darkness of sin and death as Moses led the Israelites from bondage in Egypt.

God’s covenant with Israel made them a royal and priestly people who were to announce His praises (see Exodus 19:6). By our faith in Christ’s new covenant, we have been made heirs of this chosen race, called to glorify the Father in the temple of our bodies (see 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; Romans 12:1).

In today’s First Reading, we see the spiritual house of the Church being built up, as the Apostles consecrate seven deacons so they can devote themselves more fully to the “ministry of the Word.”

The Lord’s Word is upright and all His works trustworthy, we sing in today’s Psalm. So we can trust Jesus when He tells us never to be troubled, but to believe that His Word and works come from the Father.

His Word continues its work in the world through the Church. We see its beginnings today in Jerusalem. It is destined to spread with influence and power (see Acts 19:20), and to become the imperishable seed by which every heart is born anew (see 1 Peter 1:23).


42 posted on 05/18/2014 3:06:29 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
The Sacred Page

Building the Temple of God: Fifth Sunday of Easter

Since the beginning of time, human beings have sought to construct buildings that would bridge the gap between the temporal and eternal, earthly and heavenly planes of existence.  These temples have taken widely differing forms in many cultures.  One of the greatest was the Jerusalem temple begun by Herod the Great (73–4 BC), an architectural marvel of the ancient world while it stood. 

The authors of the New Testament texts in this Sunday’s Readings were well familiar with Herod’s great temple, yet they were convinced that God had begun the construction new and greater dwelling place for himself in their own time, consisting not of gathered stones, but of a gathering (ekklesia) of human beings, first of whom was Jesus the Christ.  Thus, our Readings are filled with images of the building of the Church, the new sanctuary that would replace the old and continue to serve as God’s habitation on earth till the end of time.

 

 

1.  Our First Reading is Acts 6:1-7:

 

 

 

As the number of disciples continued to grow,
the Hellenists complained against the Hebrews
because their widows
were being neglected in the daily distribution.
So the Twelve called together the community of the disciples and said,
“It is not right for us to neglect the word of God to serve at table.
Brothers, select from among you seven reputable men,
filled with the Spirit and wisdom,
whom we shall appoint to this task,
whereas we shall devote ourselves to prayer
and to the ministry of the word.”
The proposal was acceptable to the whole community,
so they chose Stephen, a man filled with faith and the Holy Spirit,
also Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas,
and Nicholas of Antioch, a convert to Judaism.
They presented these men to the apostles
who prayed and laid hands on them.
The word of God continued to spread,
and the number of the disciples in Jerusalem increased greatly;
even a large group of priests were becoming obedient to the faith.

 

 

 

We tend to idealize the early Church, as if everything were perfect and “smooth sailing” for the first generation of Christians.  “Oh, if only the apostles were still around, performing miracles and preaching the Gospel, we wouldn’t be having all the problems were faced with today!”  Yet the Book of Acts is quite honest about the crises the early Church faced, even though she enjoyed the charismatic leadership of the Twelve.  This First Reading is a good example of such a crisis: dissent breaks out in the Church along ethnic lines.  The “Hellenists” complain against the “Hebrews” because their widows were not being fed in the daily distribution.  These categories refer to the spoken language of the two Jewish groups.  “Hellenists” spoke Greek; “Hebrews” spoke Aramaic, a language closely related to Hebrew (thus sometimes called “Hebrew”) and the common tongue of Israel in the first century.[1]

 

 

 

The Apostles’ reaction to this crisis is noteworthy for its indication of the priorities of the Church: “It is not right for us to neglect the Word of God to serve at table.”  In other words, the Apostles knew it was contrary to their vocation to neglect the preaching of the Gospel in order to manage the material affairs of the community.  The proclamation of the “Bread of Life” (Jn 6:51) takes precedence over the distribution of “bread which perishes” (Jn 6:27), because “man does not live by bread alone, but by every word the proceeds from the mouth of God” (Mt 4:4).

 

 

 

The priorities of the Apostles should be the priorities of the Church as a whole.  Yet how often the Church in various times and places has given in to the temptation to neglect the Word of God in order to distribute food and medicine, thus becoming, as Pope Francis has described it, a massive “NGO” (Non-Governmental Organization).  The reasons for this are easy to understand.  No one objects to the distribution of food and medicine.  Everyone appreciates it, and it wins praise from society.  The preaching of conversion and faith in Jesus Christ, however, frequently meets with opposition, controversy, and persecution.  If the Church mutes her message and busies herself with distributing material aid, she can purchase for herself a safe role in society, but at the expense of her primary mission. 

 

 

 

Works of mercy and the attendance to physical needs are of great importance; indeed, they are integral to the Gospel message.  At the same time, they are not the unique contribution of the Church in the world.  Other organizations exist to distribute food.  No other organization, however, has the saving Word of God that can lead men to eternal life.  The Church alone has this treasure.  Furthermore, we underestimate the degree to which the preaching of the Gospel and conversion lead to societal change on the material level.  For example, rampant poverty in certain areas of the world are the result, not primarily of a lack of physical resources, but from warfare, greed, political and financial corruption, sexual promiscuity, and a failure to practice Christian marriage.  In these situations, the distribution of food and aid is only a temporary solution; for long-term change, there has to be a conversion of heart among the populace, a turning to God that can only come about from the preaching of the Word.

 

 

 

Returning to our Reading, we continue to observe the Apostles’ reaction to the crisis: they tell the Church, “select from among you seven reputable men … whom we shall appoint for this task.”  Traditionally, these seven men are identified as the first deacons of the Church.  This event is tremendous significance for the life of the Church, because it demonstrates how the Apostles responded to the need for leadership in the Church beyond what their sphere of personal influence, and establishes basic principles of Church government.

 

 

 

I myself used to cite this passage (when I was a Protestant pastor) as evidence that God intended the Church to be governed by Church officials elected by the laity.  “See how the lay people here get to choose their own leaders,” I would say.  But the truth is more complicated than that.  True, the Apostles consult with the “laity” of the Church to identify the first deacons.  Yet, the initiative for this whole procedure, as well as the final authorization, all stays in the hands of the Apostles.  Ultimately, the “deacons” are not elected, they are appointed.  “Select from among you men … whom we shall appoint.” The authority flows from the top down, from Apostles to deacons.  Authority is not conferred by the local assembly.  These men do not become leaders until the Apostles “pray and lay hands on them,” i.e. ordination.  So we see that this passage does not model a form of “democratic” Church government, but illustrates a hierarchical authority structure and a basic principle of Holy Orders, namely, that Jesus entrusted the authority to govern to the Apostles, and this authority was in turn entrusted by them to others, when the growth of the Church exceeded their capabilities for personal oversight.  That same authority has been passed down from man to man, by the laying on of hands, to our present day.

 

 

 

As many have noted, all seven of the men chosen as “deacons” have Greek names.  Therefore, it appears that the early Church chose Hellenized (Greek-speaking) Jews to take over the distribution of food, so that the widows who spoke Greek would not be overlooked.  As these deacons take over the custody of the material affairs of the Church, the Apostles again devote themselves to “prayer and the ministry of the Word,” and the result is rapid growth of the Church.  We note particularly that “a large number of priests were becoming obedient to the faith.”  This conversion of a large number of the descendants of Levi is one form of fulfillment of God’s covenant promises to this priestly tribe: “the Levitical priests shall never lack a man in my presence … to make sacrifices for ever” (Jer 33:18).  These converted Levites did not lose their priesthood when they entered the Church; they found their priesthood fulfilled, as they became part of the “holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices,” as the Second Reading will say.

 

 

 

To sum up, this event from Acts shows us a key step in the growth of the Church: the first time in which the Apostles bestow a measure of their leadership authority on others.  This is the beginning of the Sacrament of Holy Orders, and those in Holy Orders (the clergy) form the “frame” or fundamental structure for the Temple we call the Church.  Like the skeleton which holds together the body, those in Holy Orders provide support and a place of attachment and gathering for the rest of the Body of Christ.

 

 

 

2. Responsorial Psalm Ps 33:1-2, 4-5, 18-19:

 

 

 

R/ (22) Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
Exult, you just, in the LORD;
praise from the upright is fitting.
Give thanks to the LORD on the harp;
with the ten-stringed lyre chant his praises.
R/ Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
Upright is the word of the LORD,
and all his works are trustworthy.
He loves justice and right;
of the kindness of the LORD the earth is full.
R/ Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
See, the eyes of the LORD are upon those who fear him,
upon those who hope for his kindness,
To deliver them from death
and preserve them in spite of famine.
R/ Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.

 

Like so many others, Psalm 33 is a song of praise to God that presumes the existence of a covenant relationship marked by hesed, “covenant fidelity,” translated “mercy” in the refrain and “kindness” in the second line of the third stanza.  God has shown his faithfulness to his covenant promises by establishing the Church upon the earth.  God had promised to Abraham that he would become a great nation, possess a great name (royalty), and bring blessing to the whole earth (Gen 12:1-3).  The Church, growing in Acts, is that “great nation” of Abraham’s descendants, a nation of royalty (see the Second Reading) that has a priestly role to bless the whole earth.  This fulfillment was unexpected and unforeseen; indeed, even today it goes unrecognized, like treasure hidden in a field or a valuable pearl mixed with fakes.  But when we recognize God’s plan in human history, and see that he has indeed been fulfilling his promises in unexpected and subtle ways, we are moved to awe and worship.  “Upright is the word of the LORD, and all his works are trustworthy!”

 

 

 

3.  The Second Reading is 1 Pt 2:4-9:

 

 

 

Beloved:
Come to him, a living stone, rejected by human beings
but chosen and precious in the sight of God,
and, like living stones,
let yourselves be built into a spiritual house
to be a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices
acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
For it says in Scripture:
Behold, I am laying a stone in Zion,
a cornerstone, chosen and precious,
and whoever believes in it shall not be put to shame.
Therefore, its value is for you who have faith, but for those without faith:
The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone, and
A stone that will make people stumble,
and a rock that will make them fall.
They stumble by disobeying the word, as is their destiny.

You are “a chosen race, a royal priesthood,
a holy nation, a people of his own,
so that you may announce the praises” of him
who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

 

 

 

We are taking a tour of St. Peter’s First Epistle in the Second Reading this Easter Season.  This selection is full of Easter themes.  For most of this passage, St. Peter develops the theme of the rejected stone that becomes the cornerstone, spoken of in Psalm 118:22-23.  We know how important Psalm 118 is to the Triduum and the Easter Season in general.  Psalm 118 is a todah (thanksgiving) psalm, the last of the set of todah psalms (113-118) sung during the Passover Seder as the Hallel hymn.  We recall that it would have been the last psalm sung by Jesus before he left the upper room to begin his Passion.  This is the Psalm that we sung on Easter Sunday and on Divine Mercy Sunday.  Now, St. Peter exegetes these key verses of the Psalm: vv. 22-23.  What is the building for which the “stone rejected” has become “the head of the corner”?  It is a Temple, built of “living stones,” that is, human beings.  This idea of a Temple of humanity rather than stone has a long history in Scripture and Israelite tradition.  The Jewish Esssene community, who left us the Dead Sea Scrolls, also believed that their religious congregation constituted a Temple for God:

 

 

 

1QS 8:5-9: Then shall the party of the Community truly be established, an eternal planting, a temple for Israel, and—mystery!—a Holy of Holies for Aaron; true witnesses to justice, chosen by God’s will to atone for the land and to recompense the wicked their due. They will be “the tested wall, the precious cornerstone” (Isaiah 28:16) whose foundations shall neither be shaken nor swayed, a fortress, a Holy of Holies for Aaron, all of them knowing the Covenant of Justice and thereby offering a sweet savor.

 

 

 

So we see how the Essenes thought of themselves as a “human Temple” whose membership had a priestly role to “offer sweet savor” of sacrifice.  They even appeal to the “cornerstone” text in Isaiah 28. These ideas were available and current in Judaism in St. Peter’s day.  But St. Peter asserts it is the community established by Jesus, around the “new covenant” he established in his body and blood (Luke 22:20) that is actually the New Temple built on the “cornerstone” of Psalm 118:22 and Isaiah 28:16: the Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth.

 

 

 

Those who join themselves to Jesus the cornerstone become “a chosen race, a royal priesthood.”  These are words taken from God’s promise to the people of Israel in Exodus 19:5-6.  Just before God bestowed on Israel the covenant at Sinai, he promised them: “if you will obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my own possession among all peoples … and you shall be to me a royal priesthood (LXX; alternately “kingdom of priests”) and a holy nation.”  That generation of Israel ultimately rejected the covenant by worshipping the Golden Calf, and subsequent generations were often scarcely any better.  Jesus is the True Israel; on behalf of the whole nation he embraces the covenant and becomes the True Royal Priest (that is, Priest and King).  Those who join themselves to him become part of Israel and share his royal priesthood. 

 

 

 

What does that mean for us practically?  Jesus throne in this life was his cross.  One of the paradoxes of the Gospels is that Jesus is proclaimed king publically while hanging on the cross.  The cross is also the instrument of atoning sacrifice: on it, Jesus performs his last priestly act, the sacrifice of his own body.  So we participate in the “royal priesthood” by reigning from our own crosses, that is, by accepting the suffering of each day and offering it to God for the salvation of the world. 

 

 

 

4.  The Gospel is John 14:1-12:

 

 

 

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Do not let your hearts be troubled.
You have faith in God; have faith also in me.
In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places.
If there were not,
would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?
And if I go and prepare a place for you,
I will come back again and take you to myself,
so that where I am you also may be.
Where I am going you know the way.”
Thomas said to him,
“Master, we do not know where you are going;
how can we know the way?”
Jesus said to him, “I am the way and the truth and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through me.
If you know me, then you will also know my Father.
From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
Philip said to him,
“Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us.”
Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you for so long a time
and you still do not know me, Philip?
Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.
How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?
Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?
The words that I speak to you I do not speak on my own.
The Father who dwells in me is doing his works.
Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me,
or else, believe because of the works themselves.
Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever believes in me will do the works that I do,
and will do greater ones than these,
because I am going to the Father.”

 

 

We want to comment on three aspects of this Gospel: (1) Temple imagery, (2) Jesus “arrogance” in proposing himself as “the Way,” and (3) the “greater works” to be done by the disciples.

 

 

 

Jesus says:

 

 

 

In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places.
If there were not,
would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?
And if I go and prepare a place for you,
I will come back again and take you to myself,
so that where I am you also may be.

 

 

 

Several temple terms are used here. “My father’s house” is used as a designation for the temple in other parts of the Gospels (Luke 2:49; John 2:16).  The Temple was the largest building in Israel, and was full of storerooms, antechambers, and other spaces roundabout, thus: in it there are “many dwelling places” (NAB) or “many rooms” (RSV).  Finally, in Judaism the word “place” (Gk topos, Heb maqom) had a special connotation.  It often meant “the holy place,” that is, the “sanctuary” (see John 12:48 Gk; cf. Gen 28:17).  All this means that Jesus is departing to prepare a Temple for the Apostles to live in.

 

 

 

What is this Temple that Jesus prepares?  In one sense it is the Church, elsewhere identified as the Temple of God.  The disciples will live and abide within the Church, the Body of Christ, and there they will experience communion with the Father, the Son, and each other.  Jesus’ words also have an application to heaven, which is nothing other than the Church triumphant. 

 

 

 

The disciples want to know the “way” to make a pilgrimage to this Temple, and Jesus tells them: ““I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”  Isn’t that rather arrogant of Jesus, to claim that he alone of all the great religious teachers in human history is “the way to the Father”? 

 

 

 

Actually not.  No other major religious figure in human history has taught that God is a Father.  --snip

 

 

 

Only Jesus proposes that God is a Father.  He and his teaching are “the only way to the Father,” the only viable path to knowing God in this way. 

 

 

 

After emphasizing his own unity with the Father (“He who has seen me has seen the father”), Jesus promises “whoever believes in me will do the works that I do,
and will do greater ones than these.
”  What?  Is everyone who believes in Jesus going to raise the dead and perform even greater miracles than Jesus himself?  How can this be?

 

 

 

I’m convinced that the Sacraments are at least a partial solution to what Jesus means by the “greater works” to be done by the disciples.  The miraculous “signs” of the Gospel of John have been told in such a way that we can see their resemblance to the Church’s sacraments: this is especially the case for the Water to Wine (Jn 2) and the Feeding of the 5,000 (Jn 6) with respect to the Eucharist; and the Healing of the Man Born Blind (Jn 9) with respect to Baptism.  But all the signs Jesus performs have some connection with the Sacraments. (See my talk on this.)

 

 

 

Throughout John, Jesus warns people not to be overly impressed with the physical miracles, but to look to deeper spiritual realities.  Seen from a spiritual perspective, the interior effects of the sacraments—like forgiveness of sins—are much greater miracles than the physical transformations affected by Jesus’ signs.  The .resurrection of Lazarus pales in comparison to the power of the confessional:

 

 

 

“But even the raising of the dead to life, the miracle by which a corpse is reanimated with its natural life, is almost nothing in comparison with the resurrection of a soul, which has been lying spiritually dead in sin and has now been raised to the essentially supernatural life of grace.”  Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, OP, The Three Conversions in the Spiritual life (Rockford, Ill.: TAN, 2002), 15

 

 

 

Likewise St. Augustine teaches:

 

 

 

“The justification of the ungodly is something greater than the creation of heaven and earth, greater even than the creation of the angels.” St. Augustine, The City of God, Book IV, chapter 9.

 

 

 

The “greater things” the Apostles will do after Jesus is gone include the administration of the Sacraments, which have the power to forgive sin (John 20:22-23).

 

 

 

To sum up: all the Readings point to the Eucharist.  The Eucharist is the Body of Christ, which is the true Dwelling Place and Temple of God.  By extension, we who participate in the Eucharist are also incorporated into God’s Temple.  Those in Holy Orders, who bring us the Eucharist and the other Sacraments, are key to the structure of this human Temple.  These Sacraments are the “greater works” we will do in Jesus name, that brings us to the “Father” so that we can dwell with Him and with the Son.  

*** 
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43 posted on 05/18/2014 3:16:34 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

 

5th Sunday of Easter: The Way to the Father

 

 

"I am the way, the truth and the life"

 

The Word for Sunday: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/051814.cfm


Setting out on a road trip or finding directions from one point to another has certainly changed over the years.  Many of us remember road maps or something called a “trip check” that we would inevitably need to find our destination.  

If it was a summer trip to a National Park or some new destination you had never been to, out came the map spread wide on the dining room table.  You would find the road, maybe pull out a colored marker and plot the route needed.  You would measure the distance in miles and approximate how long it might take you to arrive for the night. In the end it was somewhat of a guess and if you made a wrong turn or missed the road you had marked on the map you either encountered an unexpected delay or it became an adventure in exploration.  

 

However, today we use a GPS which not only tells you how far the destination is but how long it will take you to arrive.  The more sophisticated ones actually speak to you.  How often have many of us heard “recalculating” when we take a wrong turn or change our course.  All in a matter of seconds.  No more expansive unfolded road maps or need to stop for directions.  Now you just punch in your destination and voila – just follow the voice.

 

In our Gospel this Sunday, Jesus offers us a clear direction.  His voice speaks: “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”  He encourages his Apostles, and through them, all who would come to embrace the Christian Gospel and the person of Jesus to, “not let your hearts be troubled.”  That we are called to put our faith in Jesus and know that it is his desire, and that of his Father, that we be united with him in his “Father’s house” for eternity.  

 

Further, when Jesus implies that though he is going away: “I am going to prepare a place for you,” then “I will come back again and take you to myself” we may scratch our heads a bit and wonder what exactly is he getting at? It’s clear the Apostles themselves were slow to comprehend the full extent of Jesus’ words and mission before the resurrection event.

 

So, this Gospel may appear on the surface as more confusing than clear.  This is not Jesus walking with his disciples on the road, or appearing in the upper room after the resurrection, or speaking to Mary Magdalene in the garden as she discovered the empty tomb of Jesus. Jesus here appears almost as professor attempting to explain to his students, the Apostles, the mysteries of a post-resurrection Christ.  

 

But, we stand on the other side of the resurrection and five weeks into the Easter Season we may feel the same way. While the resurrection of Jesus changed forever everything and we see the transformation of the Apostles in their bold preaching and martyrdom still we are lost at times. We need direction we need a God who is not always hidden and mysterious.

 

Here we can glean from Jesus’ words in the Gospel this weekend the invitation to enter into relationship with him and each other. No one need be fearful or lost for at the essence of what it means to be a Christian is not a disembodied doctrine or a moral code, one among others, but a direct relationship with a person, who is Jesus Christ the risen Savior, and membership in a family formed by him.

 

Pope Francis recently stated:  “You cannot understand a Christian outside of the people of God. The Christian belongs to a people: the Church.” In other words our Holy Father is reminding us that actual membership in a family and participation in that faith community where we come to know and encounter the risen Christ is the only sensible way to live our Christian life. We are not called to separation or individualism.

 

In our shared faith, in the living encounter of the risen Christ in word and sacrament, and in the love and service we offer to one another, we are Christian.  Outside of these crucial relationships we are separated and distant from our very source; like walking away from our own families and abandoning all contact with them

 

The Lord Jesus, then, gives us more than a road map in the life of our faith community. Through him we find our way to the Father, he walks with us as he did with the disciples to Emmaus, he calls after us like a shepherd calls to his sheep.  In the life of the Church we learn these truths.

 

In a deeper sense the truth of Jesus is verified by the resurrection.  Why should we not follow some other voice? Why can’t we just apply truth according to the situation we find ourselves in, which is the favored way of our culture today?  

 

If what Jesus taught was nothing more than a moral code of behavior then we may accept many other truths as legitimate. But Jesus said, “I am the truth.”  His claim to be truth itself changes the picture for us in our oft confused culture which claims that truth is relative and nothing is for sure or lasts forever. If Jesus is truth itself, then we can trust that all he said and did offers humanity a code for life.

 

His call to be life reassures us that if we follow faithfully in his way, we will know what is true, have confidence in his voice and not be troubled by what life may throw at us. This is the fullness of life which St. Peter speaks of in the second reading:

 

“You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may announce the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”

 

What a claim!  What a promise!  What a truth!  

 


44 posted on 05/18/2014 3:40:40 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

Serving the Poor, Serving the Lord

 

May 18, 2014
Fifth Sunday of Easter
First Reading: Acts 6:1-7
http://usccb.org/bible/readings/051814.cfm

Should we serve the Lord or serve the poor? Sometimes we face this question because we simply lack time. What’s more important: daily prayer or volunteering at the local homeless shelter? Is giving to the parish or giving to charity higher on the list? Early on in the life of the Church, the apostles confronted a similar conundrum (Acts 6:1-7). Part of their ministry included distributing food to the poor, but as the community became larger and larger, it was hard to ensure an equitable distribution of goods.

Social Context

To understand what’s going on here, we have to dig into the social context of the problem. First, the Jerusalem community is divided into “Hellenists” and “Hebrews.” Since no Gentiles had become Christians at this point, the simplest explanation is that the Hellenists are Greek-speaking Jews and the “Hebrews” are Aramaic-speaking Jews. The Greek-speaking widows are “being neglected in the daily distribution” (6:1). But what is that? Why widows? In the ancient world, there was no life insurance and women generally did not have employment outside the home. In many cases, widows could not even legally inherit whatever their husbands had left behind for it would be designated for a male heir. What this means is that when a woman’s husband died, she would have to rely on other relatives, extended family and the wider community for financial support. In the tight-knit early Christian community (Acts 2:42; 4:32-37), the widows would have relied on the group for their daily sustenance—a kind of early Christian welfare system. Sadly, natural biases could sneak into the group and those appointed by the apostles to distribute food could easily be swayed by considerations such as whether someone speaks the same language. While understandable, such prejudice is not Christian.

Notably, the idea of taking care of poor widows was a constant social concern in the Old Testament (Exod 22:22; Jer 7:6; Zech 7:10). In fact, the poor in the Old Testament are often regarded as those to be cared for (Deut 15:11) and giving to them is seen as a good deed (Ps 41:1). These Jewish roots of care for the poor were contrary to Roman values that looked down on the poor, neglected them or even manipulated them by buying their “friendship” with money. The Christian ideal of caring for the poor, which the apostles exhibit in this passage, has deep Jewish roots that oppose the wider cultural values.

Division of Labor

The apostles recognize the inequitable distribution as a serious problem that needs a concrete solution. However, they also want to respect the primacy of the Word of God. In order to fulfill justice, they appoint deacons to assist them. The deacons are originally created to “serve (diakoneo) at table” so the apostles can devote themselves to preaching. The apostles list several qualifications for deacons: wisdom, good reputation and being filled with the Spirit. (Later in the New Testament, 1 Tim 3 lists further qualifications.) The apostles propose that by dividing the labor, the deacons can devote themselves to “serving at table” while the apostles can devote themselves to prayer and the “service (diakonia) of the word.” The apostles consult with the whole community and by doing this, allow the community to work out a solution to the problem as a group. Luke tells us the apostles’ proposal was “pleasing” to the group, meaning that they approved it (similar to Acts 15:22). In fact, the community chooses the candidates to “set before” the apostles (6:6). The seven men chosen as deacons all appear to be “Hellenists,” that is, Greek-speaking Jews. Luke only tells us more about the deacons Stephen and Philip, who will star in the narrative of Acts 7–8. Finally, the apostles lay their hands on the seven men, ordaining them for ministry to God’s people.

Result: Evangelistic success

Acts 6:7 summarizes the state of the community after the appointment of deacons: “The word of God continued to spread, and the number of the disciples in Jerusalem increased greatly; even a large group of priests were becoming obedient to the faith” (NAB). While Luke is giving us a mere snapshot, I think it indicates that the problem was solved. The apostles and the community worked together to solve a serious problem. They were able to enhance their service to the poor by appointing trustworthy men to oversee it and they were able to enhance their evangelistic preaching because they could devote more of their time to it. On the human level, this story shows us that people can accomplish great things when they work together. On the divine level, it shows us that God can help us order our relations with one another so we can be a more effective community.

The Lesson of Balance

A few lessons stand out from this passage. First, oftentimes a practical problem needs a practical solution. The apostles did not sit back and theorize about inequities; they acted. Their decisiveness is inspiring and demonstrates good leadership. Second, while the apostles are Jesus’ appointed few, they consult with the whole community to develop an agreeable response to the problem. They don’t rule the community with an iron fist, but listen to others carefully before deciding what to do. Finally, the apostles want to both serve the poor and serve the Word. They realize that their role is primarily focused on the tasks of prayer and preaching, so they delegate some of their authority to the deacons. The community as a whole maintains a balance of ministries between preaching and caring for the poor. Perhaps our own communities, our own giving of time and money, can reflect such a balance so we too can serve both the poor and the Word.


45 posted on 05/18/2014 4:32:29 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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Scripture Speaks: Fifth Sunday of Easter

In today’s Gospel, we see the apostles as dense as they can possibly be, yet Jesus promises: “You will do the works that I do…and greater ones.” Really?

Gospel (Read Jn 14:1-14)

Today’s reading comes in the context of the Last Supper Discourse (Jn 13-17), when Jesus speaks to the Twelve more directly than we have yet seen. His hour has almost arrived; the time for parables is over. The apostles understand that one of them will betray Jesus. They are deeply disturbed. Twice in the preceding chapter Jesus unsettles them with these words: “Where I am going, you cannot come” (Jn 13:33, 36). Now, Jesus seeks to comfort them.

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in Me” (Jn 14:1). Jesus does not want His experience of betrayal, denial, and departure to rob His friends of their peace. He is going to leave them, but He tells them He is going to prepare a place for them so that He can return to take them with Him. So far, so good. Surely these words brought the Twelve some kind of comfort. Then came the twist: “Where I am going you know the way” (Jn 14:4).

What? The apostles were completely lost. Thomas speaks up for them: “Master, we do not know where You are going; how can we know the way?” (Jn 14:5). Imagine how frustrating this must have been for men who were increasingly aware that trouble was approaching. They were looking for details, a named destination, and a plan to get there. Jesus confounds them with this strange statement. Perhaps they found His answer even more mysterious: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (Jn 14:6). How can a Person be both a destination and the path to reach it? Jesus gives the confused apostles the answer to this question, but, alas, they are too dense to grasp it. “If you know Me, then you will also know My Father. From now on, you do know Him and have seen Him” (Jn 14:7). The home Jesus would prepare for His followers was a dwelling place with God, and the “way” to that dwelling place was being revealed in Jesus: all His words, signs, wonders, and, definitively, His death and Resurrection would make it clear that God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself. To live and to die in Christ is the way home.

Philip makes clear that all this fell on deaf ears: “Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us” (Jn 14:8). Even Jesus was surprised by this density: “Have I been with you so long a time and you still do not know Me, Philip?” (Jn 14:9). The apostles had not yet fully grasped Jesus’ relationship with the Father. It was going to take the Resurrection, Ascension, and descent of the Holy Spirit before they could understand these weighty words. Nevertheless, while they were still embarrassingly dim, Jesus makes an astonishing promise to them: “I say, whoever believes in Me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these because I go to the Father” (Jn 14:12). Remarkable! We can feel the human weakness of the apostles—always thinking about the wrong thing, missing the point entirely. Yet, because Jesus is the Way (showing us how to live as men in the image and likeness of God), the Truth (teaching us what is true about God and man), and the Life (pouring His own glorified life into ours through the sacraments), it is He Who guarantees the future of His Church. Can it really be that, through His followers, He will do even greater works than He did while He was on earth? To get there from today’s Gospel, we will need to see a breathtaking transformation of some sort in the other readings. Will we?

Possible response: Lord, I think sometimes You could say to me: “Have I been with you so long and you still do not know Me?” Please help me know You as You are.

First Reading (Read Acts 6:1-7)

This passage in Acts describes an event that could have caused a damaging split in the apostolic Church. The “Hellenists” (Greek-speaking Jewish widows who had previously lived in various parts of the Roman empire) felt slighted in food distribution (widows were utterly dependent on care by others) in favor of the “Hebrews” (Aramaic-speaking Jews native to Palestine).  See how the Twelve react to this problem with wisdom, compassion, and clarity of mission. Are these not also the traits we first saw in Jesus? In just these few verses, we can see men very different from the ones we left confused and uncertain in the Gospel reading. We know what happened in between, of course. Jesus accomplished His work of Redemption, and these men are showing its fruit. Their first concern is “prayer and the ministry of the word” (Acts 6:4), the same priorities of their Master when He lived among them. However, they recognized their responsibility, as leaders of the Church, to prevent a break in the fellowship of believers. They confidently directed the election of the first deacons (all Greek-speaking men, apparently, insuring justice for the Hellenist widows), and, with this rift laid to rest, “the word of God continued to spread” (Acts 6:7), greatly increasing the number of disciples. “Even a large number of priests were becoming obedient to the faith” (Acts 6:7). Did we see Jewish priests following Jesus in His day? When we recognize this kind expansion of the Church in Jerusalem, we start to understand what Jesus meant by His promise of “greater works” to the apostles. His own ministry was limited in time and space. The global spread of the Gospel was going to happen through His followers. This is the wonder of the Mystical Body of Christ, the Church.

Possible response: Jesus, I am thankful to be part of the Church that has continued Your work for 2000 years. Let me never grow tired of doing it!

Psalm (Read Ps 33: 1-2, 4-5, 18-19)

Recall that in the Gospel, Jesus comforted His apostles, who were about to undergo a terrible trial, with a simple exhortation: “…you have faith in God; have faith also in Me…Believe Me” (Jn 14:1, 11). It was a call to trust. They persevered, with some bumps, and became the men we read about in the first reading. The psalmist gives voice to all who have the experience of trusting in Jesus’ words, even when they seem to promise the impossible (as they did to the Twelve in the Gospel): “Upright is the word of the LORD, and all His works are trustworthy” (Ps 33:4). This psalm is a song of praise from people who have learned that trusting the LORD is their best hope for happiness and peace: “See, the eyes of the LORD are upon those who fear Him, upon those who hope for His kindness” (Ps 33:18). The apostles were the first to trust in this way, and they have fearlessly taught us to do the same: “LORD, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.”

Possible response: The psalm is, itself, a response to our other readings. Read it again prayerfully to make it your own.

Second Reading (Read 1 Pet 2:4-9)

In the epistle, Peter helps us understand more clearly how it can be that Jesus’ followers will do greater works than Jesus did in His earthly life. He describes Jesus as “a living stone” (1 Pet 2:4), making use of several Old Testament references to explain that Jesus is God’s New Temple (a Person, not a building). Temple worship in the Old Covenant was meant to foreshadow the true worship of heaven, in spirit and in truth. It was this claim by Jesus that was rejected by many Jews, thus becoming a stumbling stone to them. The dramatic surprise in God’s plan, however, is that we, too, are “living stones” in this New Temple: “…let yourselves be built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ” (1 Pet 2:5). By virtue of our baptism, all believers can participate with Christ in the salvation of the world. Friends, human language falls short to explain the implications of this incredible truth. However, the Catechism cannot be outdone in its formulation, and it is worth a lengthy quote:

Hence the laity, dedicated as they are to Christ and anointed by the Holy Spirit, are marvelously called and prepared so that even richer fruits of the Spirit maybe produced in them. For all their works, prayers, and apostolic undertakings, family and married life, daily work, relaxation of mind and body, if they are accomplished in the Spirit – indeed even the hardships of life if patiently born – all these become spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. In the celebration of the Eucharist these may most fittingly be offered to the Father along with the body of the Lord. And so, worshiping everywhere by their holy actions, the laity consecrate the world itself to God, everywhere offering worship by the holiness of their lives. (CCC 901)

When the meaning of this paragraph sinks in, our lives are forever changed. The saving works of Jesus are not confined to thirty-three years in Palestine.  Even in our very ordinary lives, He continues that work.

Let St. Augustine have the last word on this dazzling truth, in his commentary on John’s Gospel: “It is not that he who believes in Me will be greater than Me, but only that I shall then do greater works than now; greater, by him who believes in Me, than I now do by Myself without him” (In Ioann, Evang., 721).

Possible response: Lord Jesus, I know that all parts of my life can become spiritual sacrifices to save the part of the world that only I experience. Help me never to forget this.


46 posted on 05/18/2014 4:36:19 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
One Bread, One Body

One Bread, One Body

Language: English | Español

All Issues > Volume 30, Issue 3

<< Sunday, May 18, 2014 >> Fifth Sunday of Easter
 
Acts 6:1-7
1 Peter 2:4-9

View Readings
Psalm 33:1-2, 4-5, 18-19
John 14:1-12

Similar Reflections
 

JESUS, THE G.P.S.

 
"How can we know the way?" —John 14:5
 

In recent years, the G.P.S., that is, the Global Positioning System, has become extremely popular. The GPS device knows your exact location on earth. You type into the GPS where you want to go. Then the GPS talks to you in a voice that tells you each street to turn on, and exactly where to drive. People trust the voice on the GPS.

Each of us has problems in this life, and we want to know "the way" out of these problems. We'd like a GPS to show us "the way" to get from debt to financial freedom, from addiction to freedom, from discord to unity, etc. We want directions for the way out. We ask: "How can we know the way" out of our situation? (Jn 14:5)

We want a roadmap, but God has a better plan; He gives us directions in the form of a Person: Jesus, the Way (Jn 14:6). Jesus always knows our exact physical location on earth. Moreover, He knows exactly where we are spiritually, emotionally, and mentally. Finally, His plan for us is the perfect will of God!

Our ultimate destination in this life is to spend eternity with God in heaven, and Jesus says: "No one comes to the Father except through Me" (Jn 14:6). Jesus is the Way. Follow Him (Jn 21:19).

 
Prayer: Lord Jesus, Your voice tells me whether to turn to the right or to the left (Is 30:20-21). I will do whatever You tell me and follow You the rest of My life (see Jn 2:5).
Promise: "The eyes of the Lord are upon those who fear Him." —Ps 33:18
Praise: Praise our risen Lord, "a Stone Which the builders rejected that became a Cornerstone"! (1 Pt 2:7)

47 posted on 05/18/2014 5:25:18 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

"Love one another as I have loved you."

48 posted on 05/18/2014 5:26:30 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

Jesus is Building a Home for Us

Pastor’s Column

5th Sunday of Easter

May 18, 2014

 

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me. In my father’s house there are many dwelling places.… I am going to prepare a place for you.” John 14:1-3

 

A number of years ago I signed up to be a chaplain on a cruise ship. I have only done this once, because I get deathly seasick on boats, and no amount of patches, Dramamine or wrist bands seems to be enough. Nevertheless, I received some tremendous insights on this voyage about the nature of life on earth.

Life is like a voyage on an ocean liner. There are all kinds of rooms onboard. Some are fine staterooms with beautiful views and balconies over the water while others are below the waterline – the staterooms that are less expensive. Still other dwellings are inside cabins – rooms without a view, rooms that are small or rooms that can make one seasick (guess which one they gave me!). In other words, on the voyage of life we all have different staterooms – different classes, abilities, talents and opportunities.

But one thing each of us shares is that we’re all in the same boat! Each of us has a day that we embarked on our journey of life and there will come a day that we will each disembark. But, unlike a cruise, each of us will get on and off at different times.

The problem is that none of us remembers our birth—we become aware while on board the ship and must discover the true nature of things as life progresses. How foolish it is to forget that we are, as it were, on a boat in the water. Each of us has a destination and in that place we will live forever. How foolish to spend an inordinate amount of time fussing over and decorating the stateroom on a voyage of limited time or to spend one’s whole time trying to climb up to first class and pay no attention to the home we are going to live in on the far shore. Yet so many live as if the boat were our only home, as if this world were all there is.

In this Sunday’s gospel, Jesus gives us a most comforting image. He is building a house for us. It’s not like any earthly house because this builder knows exactly what is perfect for us. We will have neighbors that we love, yet as much privacy as we need. Each room will be decorated with significant scenes, three-dimensional and real, from moments in our previous life, moments that glorified God. It will be the home of our dreams. As the nuns used to tell us, this building will be only as good as the materials we send up. Perhaps you have heard the story of a man who had a vision of heaven and he was taken to a street with many fine mansions, including the one Mother Teresa was in. Of course, he didn’t expect to be staying near her! And they walked and walked and walked until they found a small cabin with missing windows and doors. “Here’s your home,” said the angel. The man was surprised at this until the angel said, “yes, it’s modest, but this was all we could do with the materials you sent up!”

Jesus has indeed gone to prepare a permanent home for us, so let us take care to send him good materials to work with.

                        Father Gary


49 posted on 05/19/2014 9:59:19 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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