May 21, 2014

May 21

May 21, 2014:  Wednesday, 5th week  of Easter


  • Acts 15:1-6  Because much dissension followed the instruction of some that you needed to be circumcised to be saved, they decided to go to the Apostles and presbyters about the matter.  When they arrived, they were welcomed, they reported what God had done, and the Apostles and presbyters met to see about the matter.
    Wordle: Readings 5-21-14
  • Ps 122:1-5  "Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord."  We've set foot within Jerusalem.
  • Jn 15:1-8  "I am the vine; my Father, the vine grower who prunes branches so they bear more fruit; you, the branches.  Remain in me, as I in you, and bear fruit."
Today's Pope Francis audience
  • The Holy Spirit's gift of knowledge goes beyond human capacity to learn about reality to allow us to grasp God's greatness, love, and relationship with Creation.  When the Spirit enlightens us, we see how Creation speaks of God and his love, and we become astonished and more grateful; it's what we feel when admiring art, genius, or creativity; the Spirit leads us to recognize God's gift and love and give praise.  The gift of knowledge helps us see Creation as good and beautiful, and that human beings are the greatest, the most beautiful things about it, the fulfillment of a plan of love that makes us recognize each other as brothers and sisters.  This gives us peace and renders us joyful witnesses of God.
    The gift of knowledge also helps us avoid excessive or incorrect attitudes:
      • Considering ourselves Creation's masters:  When we exploit Creation, we destroy the sign of God’s love for us and tell God we like ourselves more than him.  Creation isn't property we can rule but rather a gift we should nurture and use well, with respect and gratitude, for everyone's benefit.  Safeguard Creation; if we destroy it, it'll destroy us!  We're its custodians, not masters.  God always forgives, and people sometimes do, but Creation never does!  If you don’t custody Creation, it won't forgive you.
      • Limiting our vision to persons and things, as if they can fulfill us:  The gift of knowledge reminds us that the world points to God as source and goal.

    Ask the Spirit for the gift of knowledge to see God's loving guidance in the gift of Creation and to respond with gratitude and praise.
          • Creighton:  What does “remain in me” mean?  Being one with Jesus (more than being connected), finding God in all things and experiencing them in Christ.  See poemI happened to be standing by Mary Oliver.  How am I being called to remain in Jesus and to allow him to remain in me?
          •  The vine is a rich image:  Israel was covered with vineyards, Isaiah spoke of Israel as "the vineyard of the Lord," and Jeremiah said God planted Israel "as his choice vine."  It was a symbol of Israel but also a sign of degeneration, e.g. Israel as a vineyard which "yielded wild grapes" (Is 5:1-7) or a "degenerate and wild vine" (Jer 2:21).  Only through Jesus Christ is one grafted into the true "vineyard of the Lord."  Vines become fruitful through pruning the non-fruit-bearing branches.  What kind of branch am I?
            • Passionist:  As we nurture our gardens, so should we our souls.  If left unattended, they'll wither.  In the Vine we find strength to shed the non-productive and diseased.  If cared for and fed with God's love, we'll be enriched with joy and hope, and we and those around us will show fruit.  Steward your relationship with the Vine.
            • Universalis:  St. Christopher Magallanes +24 companions, martyrs.  St. Eugène de Mazenod, itinerant priest, bishop, Oblates of Mary Immaculate founder.

              • "Vine" pin:  "I am the true vine" (gospel)
              • Red and white shirt:  Red for fire ("Anyone who does not remain in me will be thrown out like a branch, wither, and be thrown into a fire and burned.") (gospel), white for Easter season
              • "Sailboat" tie bar:  disciples go to Jerusalem about the question about circumcision and salvation (1st reading)
                Dress your life!

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