April 14, 2016

April 14

April 14, 2016:  Thursday, 3rd week, Easter

  • 'Horse' and 'chariot' tie pins:  Ethiopian eunuch was seated in his chariot (1st reading)
  • 'Angel' pin, 'Holy Spirit' chain:  Angel of the Lord and Holy Spirit spoke to Philip (1st reading)
  • Tie with book and reader:   Eunuch reading Is 53:7-8... (1st reading)
    • 'Sheep' and 'lamb' tie bars:  ...about the Servant "like a sheep [led] to slaughter" and "lamb who didn't open his mouth," that Philip interprets for him (1st reading)
    • Blue shirt:  waters of baptism (1st reading)
    • 'Feet' pin:  "He has not let our feet slip" (psalm)
    • 'Wheat' pin:  Bread of Life discourse (gospel)
    • White in suspenders (and socks):  Easter season
    Listen

    Pope Francis homily
    The protagonist of the meeting between Philip and the Ethiopian is actually the Spirit, who gives birth to and grows the Church.  We can resist the Spirit with a closed, hard, foolish heart, seeing healings and hearing of great works but still being closed to the signs, justifying our resistance with so-called fidelity to the law, the letter of the law.  But the Church proposes the opposite:  docility to the Spirit, the yes that the Spirit may move to build up the Church.  Busy apostle Philip surely had a plan, but the Spirit told him to go to the Ethiopian, and he did.  The Spirit was working in the Ethiopian's heart to offer him the gift of faith, and he felt something new and, himself docile, asked to be baptized.
    The Spirit sowed a healthy curiosity, and the eunuch went away with joy, the joy of the Spirit, in the docility of the Spirit.  I may want to do something but feel the Lord asking me to do something else.  When I follow the Spirit's call, I find joy.  Pray as Eli suggested to Samuel who heard a voice call to him: "Speak, Lord; your servant is listening," a prayer for docility and with it to carry the Church forward, to be the Spirit's instruments.  Pray it many times a day:  when we doubt, when we don't know what to do, or just when we want to pray.
    Read
    • Acts 8:26-40  The Lord spoke to Philip:  “Head south,” so he did.  An Ethiopian eunuch was returning home, reading Isaiah.  The Spirit told Philip, “Join with that chariot.”  Philip:  “Do you understand?” / “How can I?”  He got in.  “About whom is the prophet saying Like a sheep he was led to slaughter...?”  Starting there, Philip proclaimed Jesus to him.  When they came to water, the eunuch said, “What's to prevent my being baptized?”  Philip baptized him, then the Spirit snatched Philip.  The eunuch continued, rejoicing.  Philip continued proclaiming the good news.
    • Ps 66:8-9, 16-17, 20  "Let all the earth cry out to God with joy."  Bless God; He has given us life.  I appealed to him, and he didn't refuse his kindness!
    • Jn 6:44-51  Jesus:  “No one come to me unless the Father draw him, and I will raise him.  Everyone who learns from my Father comes to me.  I am the bread of life.  Your ancestors ate manna and died, but this bread comes from heaven so one may eat it and not die.  I am that living bread; whoever eats it will live forever.  The bread I will give is my Flesh for the life of the world.”
      Reflect
        • One Bread, One Body:  "Heavenly food":  God gave Adam and Eve good food, but they craved to eat beyond what he provided.  God provided manna to the stranded Israelites, but they wearied of it.  God provided his children with Bread from heaven, Jesus placed in a manger (feeding trough).  Will we gratefully accept the Food God provides?
          The Baptism of the Eunuch
          (Rembrandt)
        • Passionist:  We're called to evangelize like the apostles.  Phillip evangelized by interpreting the scriptures until the Ethiopian asks to be baptized.  Jesus tells the Apostles and us, “I am the Bread of Life.”   This is the basis of all we do and are.  If we believe and understand Jesus is the Bread of Life, how can we not share the message?  Evangelization is believing so firmly in Jesus that our hearts are on fire, knowing the Spirit is with us, being Jesus for others, and proclaiming the Gospel message through loving God and others.
        • DailyScripture.net:  "If you eat of this bread, you'll live for ever":  God offers his people abundant life, divine life, but we can miss it.  The Rabbis believed that the father who missed the promised land also missed the life to come. God sustained the Israelites in the wilderness with manna from heaven. This bread foreshadowed the true heavenly bread which Jesus would offer his followers.  Jesus claims as only God can that he's the true bread of heaven that can satisfy our deepest hunger.  The manna prefigured the abundance of the bread of the Lord's Supper Jesus gave to his disciples.  Manna sustained the Israelites on the way to the Promised Land but didn't give eternal life, but the bread Jesus offers sustains us not on our journey and gives abundant life to sustain us forever.  Jesus offers us the abundant life of heaven, but we can miss or even refuse it....