May 20, 2015

May 20

May 20, 2015:  Wednesday, Seventh Week of Easter

Find thirteen connections in the picture
between today's Bible readings and season?
Legend at bottom 

Listen

Pope Francis
General audience (now on YouTube):  Parents educating their children in human values is an essential characteristic of the family.  Many difficulties face parents, but children should never be taken hostage.  Critics' silencing of parents to defend younger generations from real or imagined harm has opened a fracture between families and societies.  'Experts' have taken parents' place, depriving them of their role in the education of their children.  Parents often are afraid to correct their children.  St. Paul describes parent-child relations as rooted in love, God's gift.  We're called to support families' educational mission by fidelity to God’s world and by cultivating faith, love, and patience.
Good family education is the backbone of healthy society.  When Jesus tells us that all who hear and obey God's word are his brothers and sisters, he reminds us that families can count on his inspiration and grace in the difficult but rewarding vocation of educating their children.  May the Lord grant Christian families the faith, liberty, and courage necessary for their mission!

Think about your final farewell (Tuesday homily):  Our lives are marked by how and why we say goodbye.  Our lives are made up of many farewells, some with tears and suffering; some are big (leaving home to flee from persecution), some small (goodbye hugs), some final (at death).  Today's readings use the word for farewell in a final sense:  Paul entrusts everything to God, and Jesus entrusts his disciples to the Father.
Think of your final passing and examine your conscience, as  Jesus and Paul did.  “What will I leave behind?"  Imagine yourself at that moment.  Am I prepared to entrust to God all that I have?  To entrust myself?  May the Holy Spirit teach us how to say farewell and truly entrust ourselves to God.
Read
  • Acts 20:28-38  Paul to Ephesus presbyters:  “Keep watch over yourselves and the flock you oversee.  Wolves will come, and men from your own group will draw disciples away, so be vigilant.  I commend you to God and his word that can build you up.  Help the weak, remembering ‘It's more blessed to give than to receive.’”  Then he knelt down and prayed with them.  They wept and kissed him, distressed they'd never see him again, and escorted him to the ship.
  • Ps 68:29-30, 33-35-36ab  "Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth."  You took our part and give power and strength to your people.
  • Jn 17:11b-19  Jesus prayed:  “Father, keep them in your name, so that they may be one as we are one.  I protected them, and none were lost except the son of destruction.  I gave them your word, and the world hated them, because they don't belong to the world any more than I do.  Keep them from the Evil One.  I sent them into the world and consecrate myself for them, so they may be consecrated in truth.”
Reflect
    • Creighton:  The disciples and we overhear Jesus praying to the Father that we may be one as he and the Father are one, that we participate in the mutual indwelling between Father and Son, that God’s be poured into us, carrying the fruits and gifts of the Spirit, moving us to the heart of God’s identity.  The Spirit breathes life-giving love into us and the whole Church....  We're united in Christ's love.  Our Lord sends us to live out this love, to guide people into God’s Kingdom, tangibly, palpably, visibly, at home, in our neighborhood, wherever we move:  that the world be one....
    • Passionist:  Jesus asked the Father to hold the disciples close and keep them united with him, themselves, and the Father; then he witnessed his love by giving his life for them.  Paul bade goodbye to the Ephesus Church leaders he'd never see again and told them to be faithful to the good news and to serve those under their care generously.  Jesus and Paul were saddened to be leaving their friends and ministries, but both spoke of how fulfilled and grateful they were; they gave their lives in love and service and urged their disciples (and us) to do the same.
    • DailyScripture.net:  Jesus' mission was to glorify his Father. Jesus prayed for the unity of his disciples and for all who would believe.  We must take up our cross and follow Jesus; he'll give us the Spirit's strength and power.
    John Henry Newman:  "God created me to do him some definite service; he committed some work to me he has not committed to another.  I have my mission; I may never know it in this life, but I'll be told it in the next.  I'm a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons. He hasn't created me for nothing.  Therefore, I will trust him.  Whatever, wherever I am.  I can't be thrown away."  (Meditations on Christian Doctrine, 299)
    Jesus prayed his disciples would be consecrated in God's truth.  'Consecration' comes from the same Hebrew word for 'holy,'  set apart for God, equipped with the mind, heart, and character for such service.  As the Father called Jesus to serve, so we're called and equipped for the task of serving as his ambassadors.  God's truth frees us from ignorance and sin, reveals God's goodness, love, and wisdom to us, and gives us a thirst for holiness.  The Holy Spirit is the giver of all holiness.  As we allow the Spirit to work, he transforms us into the likeness of Christ....
    Dress legend
    • 'Sheep' tie bar:  "Keep watch over the whole flock" (1st reading)
    • 'Holy Spirit' chain, red in shirt:  The Spirit appointed you overseers of the flock (1st reading); Pentecost novena
    • Silver- and gold-colored accessories, all clothing:  "I've never wanted anyone’s silver or gold or clothing." (1st reading)
    • 'Sailboat' tie bar:  "They escorted him to the ship" (1st reading)
    • 'Hand' tie pin:  "These hands have served my needs and my companions." (1st reading)
    • 'Kneeling person' tie bar:  "he knelt down and prayed with them" (1st reading); Jesus prayed (gospel)
    • 'Eyeball' tie pin:  Jesus lifted his eyes to heaven (gospel)
    • 'OneLife LA' button, 'Children holding hands around the world' tie:  "may they be one as we are one"; "Don't take them from the world" (gospel)
    • White in shirt, socks:  Easter season