May 23, 2014

May 23

May 23, 2014:  Friday, 5th week  of Easter

    Wordle: Readings 5-23-14
  • Acts 5:22-31  The Apostles and presbyters sent representatives to Antioch with this letter:  "Since some went out without a mandate from us and upset you, we chose and sent you representatives with Barnabas and Paul.  The Holy Spirit and we decided not to place on you any burden beyond the necessities:  abstain from unlawful marriage, meat sacrificed to idols, meats of strangled animals, and blood.  If you do, you'll be doing right."  When they arrived, they called the assembly together and delivered the letter, and the people were delighted.
  • Ps 57:8-10, 12  "I will give you thanks among the peoples, O Lord."  I'll sing praise for your mercy and faithfulness.  Be exalted, O God!
  • Jn 15:12-17  “This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.  No one has greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.  You're my friends if you do what I command.  I chose you and appointed you to bear lasting fruit.”
    • Creighton:  When I lose awareness of Jesus' love for me, I don't love others well.  Let's allow Jesus to renew us in his love.  We crave God's love and know when we lose touch with it; we become edgy, crave other things, and feed our emptiness with unsatisfying substitutes.  I start letting Jesus love me by not measuring his love by whether he does what I want, not thinking God doesn't love me because he didn't change the world to make me happy.  Letting Jesus make his home in me takes time, but I can take it moment by moment.  He loves me because I need love, not because I have my act together.  Saying "thank you for loving me" builds communion, a home in his love.  Then, "What return can I make to the Lord for his goodness to me?" (Ps 116:12)  Who needs love like Jesus' today?  Who, whether undeserving, thoughtless, or sinful?  I ask for the grace to forgive, change my feelings, see as God sees....
        •  Jesus says friendship as willingness to give oneself, even laying down one's life.  God made us in love for love; it's our purpose in life.  Friendship with God entails love transcending duty and obedience.  Jesus, who personally loved his disciples unconditionally to the end, commands love to the death, total self-giving for others.
          • Passionist:  Having a deeper relationship with Christ affects how we relate to each other.  Are we, unlike Paul and Barnabas, placing unnecessary burdens on people?  The more we follow Jesus' new commandment, the deeper and richer our relationships with God, one another, and creation.
            From the Vatican
            • Pope's lunch with poor families:  He'll meet local Christian families after celebrating Sunday Mass in Bethlehem, to listen and show his closeness to them.  The chosen represent painful realities many in the Holy Land face such as families that can't come together, political exile, life imprisonment, and homelessness.  FAQ from Latin Patriarchate (why, who, and how chosen)

                • 'L' tie bar:  Apostles and presbyters chose reps to go with Paul and Barnabas and to send them to Antioch to deliver a 'letter.' (1st reading)
                • "Hearts" suspenders:  "My heart is steadfast" (psalm); "Love one another as I love you" (gospel)
                • "Fruit" pin:  "I chose you and appointed you to go bear fruit."  (gospel)
                • Tie with flag:  Memorial Day weekend (shhh; it's not always about the readings :-)
                • White in shirt:  Easter season
                  Dress your life!

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