April 18, 2016

April 18

April 18, 2016:  Monday, 4th week, Easter


  • 'Eyeball' tie pin:  Peter's vision:... (1st reading)
  • Tie with animals:  "I saw the animals of the earth, the wild beasts, the reptiles, and the birds of the sky." (1st reading) 
  • Green in suspenders:  Spirit gave the green light (1st reading)
  • 'Holy Spirit' chain:  The Spirit directed Peter; Spirit fell on the Gentiles (1st reading)
  • 'Deer' tie pin (fell off, so here you can only see the back, to the left of the eyeball; "Holy Tony, look around; it's lost and gotta be found."):  "I long for God as the deer longs for water" (psalm)
  • 'Sheep' tie bar:  Good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep (gospel)
  • 'Phone' tie bar:  He 'calls' his sheep by name (gospel)
  • Red and white shirt:  Red for "slaughter and eat" (1st reading), white for Easter season
Listen

  • As the deer longs/ Hurd (Note v3 ends with "Where, O where, are you?", not "Where the h*** are you?", though both likely express the Psalmist's sentiment)
Pope Francis
Homily:  “He who does not enter the sheepfold by the door” but tries another way “is a thief and a robber.”   Only Christ is the door.  Jesus teaches with simple language and imagery:  the people knew a shepherd’s life because they saw it.  They understood “you enter only through the gate of the pen,” and that anyone trying to get in another way was up to no good.  The Lord clearly says:  you can't enter eternal life except through the door, Jesus.  He is the door of our life:  daily life as well as eternal.  Any decision I take, I take either in the name of Jesus, passing through the door of Jesus, or through the "smuggler’s hatch."
The shepherd walks in front of them, and the sheep follow.  The journey is following Jesus on the path of everyday life; we need not fear being misled, when we follow him.  Jesus' followers don't err!  If you follow a seer, you're not following Jesus.  Only Jesus shows the way forward.  He warned, "Others will say the Messiah's way is this or that, but don't listen.  I am the way."  Jesus is the door and the path; if we follow him, we won't stray.”
How can we know his voice and defend ourselves from other voices?  Simple:  you'll find it in the Beatitudes. Anyone who teaches a way contrary to the Beatitudes has entered through the window!  You also know his voice when it speaks of the works of mercy.  You also know Jesus' voice when it teaches you to say, "Father," to pray the Our Father.  Christian life is easy:  Jesus is the door; he guides us along the Way, and we know his voice in the Beatitudes, in the works of mercy, and when it teaches us to say "Father":  door, path, and voice.  May the Lord make us understand Jesus is the pastor who leads, shows the way, and teaches us to listen to him.  More
Regina Cœli:  Jesus, the Good Shepherd, says, "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.  I give them eternal life, and they'll never perish."  You can't call yourself a follower of Jesus if you don't listen to his voice.  The “listening” must be of the heart, engaged, making mutual comprehension possible, leading to generous following.
The image of shepherd and sheep indicates the close relationship that Jesus wants to establish with each of us.  He is our guide, teacher, friend, model, and Savior.  Only Jesus can say, "I give them eternal life...."  His words give us a sense of security and tenderness.  Our life is secure in the hands of Jesus and the Father:  unique love and mercy, revealed in the Cross.  To save us, the lost sheep, the Shepherd is made a lamb and immolated to take upon himself and to take away the sin of the world and give us abundant life!  This mystery is renewed on the Eucharistic table, where the sheep are gathered to nourish themselves and become one among themselves and with the Good Shepherd.
Because of this we're saved and no longer afraid.  Nothing and no one can take us from Jesus, because his love is invincible.  The evil one attempts to take life from us but can do nothing if we don't open our hearts to him by following his enticements.  May Mary, who listened to and followed the Shepherd, help us welcome Jesus' invitation to become his disciples and live in the certainty of being in the Father's hands.
Read
  • Acts 11:1-18  Jews / Peter:  ‘You ate with the uncircumcised.” / “Three times I had a vision of a sheet from the sky with animals on it, heard ‘Slaughter and eat,’ said, ‘No; nothing unclean has entered my mouth,’ and heard ‘Don't call profane what God has made clean’; then everything returned to the sky.  Three men appeared; the Spirit told me to accompany them.  One said an angel directed, ‘Summon Peter; he'll speak saving words to you.’  As I spoke, the Spirit fell on them.  If God gave them the gift he gave uswho was I to get in the way?” / “God has granted life to the Gentiles too.”
  • Ps 42:2-3; 43:3-4  "Athirst is my soul for the living God."  Send your light and fidelity to lead me, and I'll go to God's altar and thank you!
  • Jn 10:11-18  “When a hired man sees a wolf, he leaves the sheep and the wolf scatters them, but I am the good shepherd; I know mine and mine know me.  I'll lay down my life for the sheep; I have power to lay it down and to take it up again.  There will be one flock, one shepherd....”
      Reflect
        • Creighton:  Does the noise of our daily life drown out the Shepherd's voice?  Jesus condemned the false prophets as thieves and robbers. We're also exposed to voices, false gods and goals that draw us away from God's path.  Christ, if we can hear him, leads us to abundant life.  May we hear the movements of the Holy Spirit within us; with the Spirit's grace we can filter out the world's noise and hear Jesus' call.
        • One Bread, One Body:  "Excluded no longer":  The controversy in the 1st reading was handled in a way that we have the opportunity to be saved!  Thank God they were listening to the Spirit and opened Christianity up to non-Jews.  If you knew the decisions you make today would affect people 2,000 years from now, would you listen to the Spirit more attentively?  May I live for Jesus so that others will in the future.
        • Passionist:  Buber spoke of the human person in terms of dialogue, encounter and relationship; we know ourselves only through encounter with, dialogue with, and our relationship with others.  It's the same with knowing Christ.  In today's gospel our encounter, dialogue, and relationship with Jesus are explored through the image of shepherd, sheepfold (gated area with gatekeeper), and sheep.  It speaks not only of his relationship with each person but also of how to find our home in him.  Jesus welcomes us into relationship and facilitates this by ‘shepherding’ us.  He ensures our safety, calls us by name, and invites us to follow him; in his presence we feel no temptation to run.  Jesus will never kill hope or steal freedom.  The sign and fruit of our relationship with Jesus is that we feel ourselves coming more and more into full life.
        • DailyScripture.net:  "I came that they may have life abundantly":  The Old Testament speaks of God as shepherd of his people, Israel:  The Lord is my shepherd; give ear, O Shepherd of Israel; we are the sheep of his pasture.  The Messiah is also pictured as shepherd of God's people:  He will feed his flock like a shepherd.  Jesus says he's the Good Shepherd who will risk his life to seek out and save the stray; he's the Shepherd and Guardian of our souls.  At day's end the shepherd brought his sheep to shelter; they knew his voice and came at his beckoning.  He called each by name.  They were brought to a locked shelter or fold; he was literally the door they had to pass through.  The Scriptures describe God as a shepherd who brings security and peace:  the Lord will guard your coming and going.  Even the leaders of God's people were called shepherds:  they shall lead them out and bring them in; that the congregation may not be as sheep that have no shepherd....
        • The Good Shepherd

          (St. Anthony's Monastery)
        "He has accomplished what he taught us:  he showed us what he commanded us to do. He laid down his life for his sheep, that within our mystery he might change his body and blood into food, and nourish his sheep with the his own flesh. He showed us the way to follow.  He laid down the pattern we must conform to.  Our first duty is to use our worldly goods in mercy for the needs of his sheep, and then, if necessary, give our lives for them. If you won't give of your substance for your sheep, how you lay down your life for them?" (Augustine, Tractates on John 46, paraphrased).
        Today's saints, from Universalis
        • Bl. ("Mother") Marie-Anne Blondin, religious, Congregation of the Sisters of Saint Anne foundress, victim of injustices, example of self-denial and forgiveness.  “The deeper a tree sinks its roots into the soil, the greater are its chances of growing and producing fruit.”  “May the Holy Eucharist and perfect abandonment to God’s Will be your heaven on earth.”  “God will know well how to discern the false from the true and to reward each one according to his deeds.”  “There is more happiness in forgiving than in revenge.”
        • St. Laserian (Molaise), abbot, priest
        Don't miss the Good Shepherd Sunday post