April 14, 2015

April 14

April 14, 2015:  Tuesday, Second Week of Easter

  • 'Hearts' suspenders:  The community was of one heart (1st reading); Divine Mercy (Sunday)
  • 'Feet' tie pin:  Those who owned property sold it and put the proceeds at the apostles' feet, as Joseph did. (1st reading)
  • Tie with crowns:  The Lord is king (psalm)
  • 'Holy Spirit' chain:  "...So it is with everyone born of the Spirit" (gospel)
  • 'Serpent' pin:  The Son must be lifted up as Moses lifted up the serpent (gospel)
  • White in shirt:  Easter season
Listen to music for today's Staff Appreciation Day Mass
Characteristics of the first Christian community of Jerusalem as a place of unity and love:
  • Harmony:  Only the Spirit can give us harmony; he's the harmony between Father and Son.
  • The common good:  "They had everything in common; there was no needy person among them."  Riches were offered in service of the community.
Ananias and Sapphira tried to cheat the community.  Jesus told his disciples he'd cause their persecution and to pray for their persecutors.  In the first Christian community reborn in the Spirit there were poverty and common good but also problems like profiteers and persecutions.  Peter told them they're more precious than gold tested by fire; a community reborn in the Holy Spirit is purified through difficulties and amidst persecutions.
  • Patience to put up with problems, to endure difficulties and pain, to stand up to gossip, to suffer illness and loss.
A Christian community shows it's renewed in the Spirit when it seeks harmony and poverty, puts riches in service of the needy, and when it's patient.  Think of our families and other communities, and ask for the graces of harmony, poverty, and patience.  Mot only have each one of us received new birth, but so have our communities.
'Bronze serpent' word cloud
  • Acts 4:32-37  The community was of one heart and mind and held their possessions  in common.  The Apostles bore witness to Jesus' resurrection.  Nobody was needy; they distributed property according to need.
  • Ps 93:1-2, 5  "The Lord is king; he is robed in majesty."  He made the world firm; his decrees are trustworthy.
  • Jn 3:7b-15  Jesus to Nicodemus:  You must be born from above.  You people don't accept our testimony; how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?  No one has gone to heaven except the one who has come down, the Son.  Just as Moses lifted up the serpent, so must the Son be lifted up, so all believers may have life.
    • Creighton:  May we become more like the early Christian community.  "The sacraments unite the faithful with one another and bind them to Christ.  The communion of saints must be understood as the communion of the sacraments.  The name 'communion' applies to them all, for they unite us to God.about." (Catechism 950, paraphrased)
    • One Bread One Body:  "Risen life is new":  If we live the risen life, we're not preoccupied with money but rather more concerned with the welfare of the needy than with possessions.  Risen life has nothing to do with your feelings, everything to do with the Spirit's action.
    • Passionist:  St. Paul of the Cross prayed his Passionist community would love each other like real brothers, be faithful to our way of life, and never be powerful in the Church; he prayed they'd live as the early Church.  Today many live lives of selfless service, kindness, charity, and Easter joy, serve the poor, care for the sick and elderly, visit the imprisoned, and keep the faith alive.  Remember in the face of discouraging current events how we belong to a community of believers of one heart and mind who live lives of charity and walk humbly in the Master's footsteps.
    • DailyScripture.net:  As you can hear, feel, and see the wind's effects without knowing their origin, so you can see the Spirit's effects on Spirit-touched lives.  Hebrew ruach means 'spirit,' 'wind,' and 'breath.'  'Son of Man' came from Daniel's vision of the Messiah-King.  A king who began to reign was "lifted up" above the people.  Jesus tells Nicodemus he'll be recognized as Messiah-King when he's "lifted up" on the cross.  He points to the sign of Moses and the serpent:  after Israelites died because of their rebellion, Moses interceded and God showed mercy, instructing him to lift up a bronze serpent so all could look on it and recover.  This foreshadowed Jesus' saving work; see St. Cyril's explanation.  The result of his being lifted on the cross and rising is our new birth in the Spirit.

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