April 28, 2017

April 28

April 28, 2017:  Friday, 2nd week, Easter

See about a dozen connections with today?
Legend below
Listen

For Psalm 27
Pope Francis:  Thursday homily
After the angel freed Peter and the apostles from prison, the Sanhedrin forbade them from teaching in Jesus' name; Peter told the Sanhedrin, “We must obey God rather than men" yet the high priest said, “You've filled Jerusalem with your teaching and want to bring his blood upon us.”  Acts describes the early months of the Church as a growing Christian community with many miracles.  There were people with faith, but other "wily" ones tried to take advantage of the situation and make a career for themselves like Hananiah and Sapphira.   The same happens today, and there are those who despise God’s faithful people.
Peter, who out of fear had denied Jesus, now courageously answered  the high priest.  His answer makes it clear that a Christian is a witness of obedience as Jesus was in Gethsemane when he prayed, “not my will but yours be done.”  If we're not witnesses of obedience and growing in our witness, we're not Christians.  Jesus isn't the testimonial of an idea, philosophy, company, bank, or power but of obedience.  But to become a witness of obedience we need the grace of the Holy Spirit.  We can't just listen to spiritual guides or read books; only the Spirit can change our heart.  Ask the Father and the Lord Jesus, send me your Spirit so that I may become a witness of obedience, a Christian.
Being witnesses of obedience has consequences:  after Peter's response, the high priests wanted to kill him.  Jesus' Beatitudes end with, "Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you."  There's no Christian life without the cross, insults, and persecutions.  Being a Christian isn't about social status or a feel-good lifestyle; you need to be a witness of obedience.  We need to pray, recognize we're sinners with worldliness in our hearts, and ask God for the grace of becoming witnesses of obedience unafraid when we're insulted and persecuted.  The Spirit will tell us how to answer.
 Read
      I don't think it was like this
    • Acts 5:34-42  Gamaliel to Sanhedrin:  “Be careful.  If their endeavor is of human origin, it'll destroy itself, but if divine, you won't be able to destroy them.”  He persuaded them.  They flogged the Apostles, ordered them to stop speaking in Jesus' name, and dismissed them.  The Apostles left, rejoicing that they suffered for the Name's sake; they kept teaching and proclaiming Jesus.
    • Ps 27:1, 4, 13-14  "One thing I seek: to dwell in the house of the Lord."  The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom should I fear?
    • Jn 6:1-15  Jesus, seeing a crowd coming to him, asked, “Where can we buy food for them?” / “A boy has five loaves and two fish, but what good are those?”  Jesus distributed the loaves.  They had their fill, filled twelve baskets of leftovers, and said, “This is the Prophet.”  Jesus knew they were going to make him king, so he withdrew.
        Reflect

        • Creighton:  The Sanhedrin wants to shut down the apostles proclaiming the good news, but a Pharisee tells a story about other prophets thought important whose movement died when they did.  If there’s nothing to this new movement, he said, it'll die like that one, but if there's something to it, nothing will stop it, so just wait and see.  Thousands of people followed Jesus because they saw him performing signs.  The gospel shows the miracle of the loaves and fishes, a real, recognized, miracle of feeding the hungry.  No one has heard of Theudas today; everyone, Jesus, whose "movement" is still going strong.  We still tell his story and live his words.

          Miracle of the Bread and Fish/ Lanfranco

          • One Bread, One Body:  "Will you pass?"  Jesus will present us with "impossible" situations, maybe even persecutions, to see whether we'll walk by faith, whether we'll judge by God's or human standards.  Will we hate and be intimidated by our persecutors, or forgive and love our enemies, considering it our privilege to be "judged worthy of ill-treatment for the sake of [Jesus'] Name"?  God's grace given to us long before the tests, as well as at the last moment, helps us.  Strength is usually gained gradually over a long period; now is the time to prepare.  How we fare later may stem from graces we accept now.  "Grow strong in your faith through prayer in the Spirit."
          • Passionist:  The apostles were with Jesus, but then he was gone.  How challenging to try and spread the good news while mourn their friend's loss.  I bet they had regrets and wished they'd used their time with him better, but look how joyous they are in Acts to suffer, serve, teach, and heal!  Today we can rejoice that we've been found worthy to suffer dishonor for Jesus' sake.  We must continue to teach and proclaim Jesus the Christ.  When God's people are cranky, stubborn, overwhelming, and bring us down, we can question our call, but when our leaders seem unjust, hurtful, or inconsiderate, we must persist in leading them to higher ground.  Jesus died so we may have new, abundant life.  Glory in the new life and spread the good news that Christ is risen!

          • DailyScripture.net:  "The miraculous sign of Jesus":  Jesus' disciples complained it would cost at least six months' wages to feed the crowd, but Jesus used the little they had to satisfy everyone.  Jesus' signs, including this one, signified that God had sent him as the Messiah.  The miracle pointed to God's provision of manna and foreshadowed the true heavenly bread Jesus would offer.  Jesus claims, as only God can, that he is the true bread of heaven that can satisfy our deepest hunger.  When we receive the Eucharist, we unite ourselves to Christ and share his body and blood.  It "provides the medicine of immortality, the antidote for death, and the food that makes us live for ever in Christ" (Ignatius of Antioch, Ad Eph. 20:2); it heals body and soul and strengthens us for our journey.  What do I expect to receive in the Eucharist?  The Lord has more for us than we can ask or imagine:  intimate union with Christ, charity, strength to break with disordered attachments and to be more firmly rooted in Christ....  Today's miracle shows God's great generosity and kindness.  He gives more than we need for ourselves so we may share with those in need.  God takes what we have and multiplies it for others' good.
          Special greetings to and prayers for the communities at

          and

          Dress legend
          • 'Street light' tie bar:  The Lord is my light (psalm)
          • 'Castle' button:  I seek to dwell in the Lord's house (psalm)
          • 'Wheat' pin:  5 loaves (gospel) [I don't have a 'barley' pin.]
          • 'Fishes' tie (gospel)
            • 'Abacus' tie pin:  5 loaves, 2 fish, 5,000 men, 12 baskets:  do the math (gospel)
            • 'Eyeball' pin:  I seek to gaze on the Lord's loveliness; I'll see his bounty (psalm)
            • 'Clock' tie bar:  Wait for the Lord with courage (psalm)
            • 'Alps' pin:  Jesus went up on the mountain (gospel)
            • 'Crown' tie bar:  They were going to carry Jesus off and make him king, but he withdrew (gospel)
            • Red and white shirt:  Red for apostles/others who suffer/die for Christ, white for Easter season