May 22, 2014

May 22

May 22, 2014:  Thursday, 5th week  of Easter

Readings
  • Acts 15:7-21  Peter:  “From early days God chose that through me the Gentiles would hear the Gospel and believe.  God made no distinction between us and them, purifying them and granting them the Spirit, so why are you placing on them a yoke neither we nor our ancestors could bear?  We're all saved through God's grace.”  The assembly fell silent while Paul and Barnabas described the wonders God had worked among the Gentiles.
Wordle: Readings 5-22-14James:  “Symeon has described how God first concerned himself with acquiring from among the Gentiles a people for his name, and the prophets agree.  We ought to stop troubling the Gentiles who turn to God but tell them to avoid idols, unlawful marriage, meat of strangled animals, and blood.
  • Ps 96:1-3, 10  "Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations."  Sing to the Lord a new song; tell his glory and wondrous deeds to all...

  • Jn 15:9-11  “As the Father loves me, so I also love you.  If you keep my commandments, you'll remain in my love, my joy will be in you, and your joy will be complete.”
Pope Francis
  • Homily:  Jesus dwelled on peace, love, and joy:
Peace:  Jesus gives peace forever, not like the world gives it.

Love:  The commandment was to love God and neighbor, but in Matthew 25 Jesus made a “protocol" on which we'll be judged.  Today he doesn't just say love, but "remain in my love."  Breathe, live from, the oxygen of God's love.  What's his love like?  "As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you."  It comes from the Father, not from the world.  The loving relationship between Jesus and the Father is also a relationship of love between Jesus and us.  The sign that we remain in his love is keeping, not just following, the commandments.  The root of love blossoms in the Commandments:  when we remain in love, the Commandments naturally follow.

Joy:  a healthy Christian is joyful.  Christians with sour faces aren't Christians.  Joy is the sign and seal of a Christian, even in pain, tribulation, and persecution.  The early martyrs went to their death as if going to a wedding feast; it's the joy of Christians who safeguard peace and love.
Who gives us this peace, love, and joy?  The Holy Spirit!  He's the great forgotten—do you pray to the Spirit?  He's the gift that gives us peace, teaches us to love. and fills us with joy.  May the Lord give us the grace to guard the Spirit in us.
      Music
      Reflections
        • One Bread One Body:  The early Church had been working for 20 years proclaiming the Gospel and building God's kingdom.  The dissension over Gentiles' admission threatened Church unity and could have undone the earlier work, but love and unity were maintained through the leadership of Peter, James, and the Jerusalem community, and the submission by other Christian communities.
            • Passionist:  The experience of God's love motivates the apostles to welcome the Gentiles into the early Church.  Church leaders understood God's love to be inclusive.  The love of God is like electric current:  if it doesn't pour through you to others, it's not really in you.  The love of God has to be recognized, responded to, and passed on.
            • Universalis:  St. Rita of Cascia, widow, religious, patron of impossible or lost causes.
              Apparel
              • "Dove" pin:  God granted the Gentiles the Holy Spirit (1st reading)
              • "Hearts" suspenders:  God, who knows the heart, purified the Gentiles' hearts. (1st reading)' "As the Father loves me, so I also love you.  Remain in my love."  (gospel)
              • "Children around the world" tie:  "He has made the world firm, not to be moved." (psalm)
              • Red and white shirt:  red for Holy Spirit (1st reading/homily), white for Easter season
              Dress your life!