April 28, 2015

April 28

April 28, 2015:  Tuesday, Fourth Week of Easter

  • 'Holy Spirit' chain:  Disciples were docile to the Holy Spirit; Barnabas was Spirit-filled. (1st reading)
  • 'Abacus' tie pin (forgot, so see at right):  A large number was added to the Lord  (1st reading)
  • 'Hand' tie pin:  The hand of the Lord was with them (1st reading); No one can take my sheep out of my hand (gospel)
  • 'Good Shepherd' tie, 'sheep' tie bar:  "My sheep hear my voice... and follow me" (gospel)
  • Green, blue, and white shirt; white socks:  Verdant pastures and restful waters (Ps 23:2, Good Shepherd gospel-inspired), Easter season

Pope Francis homily
Don't be afraid of the God of surprises:  Is 60 prophesied the preaching of salvation to all, though many did not understand that God is the God of all things new.  This makes some people afraid.  On our own we can't see the truth, but with the Holy Spirit we can, as for Barnabas and Peter; we can study but not know Jesus' voice.  “My sheep hear my voice.  I know them and they follow me.”
We move forward with the newness of the Spirit:  The progress of the Church is the work of the Spirit, who makes us listen to the Lord's voice.  To make sure the voice you hear is God's, pray; ask God to send the Spirit so we may discern what to do.  Barnabas was full of the Spirit and knew what to do.  Peter saw and said, "Who am I to deny Baptism here?"
Christian life is not a museum of memories:  Doing things just because it's how we’ve always done them is a deadly attitude.  Risk, with prayer and with the humility to accept how the Spirit asks us to change.  Lord, You who are here with us in the Eucharist, who shall be within us, give us the grace of the Spirit, the grace not to be afraid when the Spirit tells me to take a step forward, the apostolic courage to bring life and not make our life a museum.
  • Acts 11:19-26  The disciples scattered by the persecution were preaching only to Jews, some among them started proclaiming Jesus to Greeks too.  Many turned to the Lord.  When Barnabas arrived at Antioch, he rejoiced and encouraged them to remain faithful; then he brought Saul from Tarsus to Antioch, where they taught for a year.
  • Ps 87:1b-7  "All you nations, praise the Lord."  Glorious things are said of you, O city of God!
  • Jn 10:22-30  Jews gathered around Jesus and said, “If you're the Christ, tell us.”  Jesus answered them, “I told you and my works testify, but you don't believe because you're not my sheep.  They hear my voice and follow me; I give them life, and they'll never perish.  The Father and I are one.”
    • Creighton:  In the gospel the skeptics are neither listening carefully to Jesus’ words nor are attentive to his works. We need to listen carefully to God, others, and ourselves....
    • One Bread One Body:  "Eternal life":  Jesus promised us eternal life, the kind of life lived in heaven; we received it when we were baptized and live it when we give our lives to Jesus and love completely.  Eternal life is primarily a life of total love for Life Himself.  Am I living eternal life right now?
    • Passionist:  Today's church, like the early church, is diverse, challenging, spirited, faith-filled and growing.  As ministers we are called, commissioned, scattered, and sent to preach the good news, and we have the same frustrations, joys, sorrows, hopes, and dreams of the early church leaders.   We're like Barnabas, joyful and encouraged as he witnessed God's grace at work.  God's hand is upon us also during times of persecution, failure, and dejection.  May we have the courage and faith of the early church leaders to pick ourselves up and keep singing Alleluia.
    • DailyScripture.net:  Sheep without a shepherd are defenseless against prey and often get lost and bewildered.  So shepherds live with their sheep in the field and mountainsides, guarding their sheep from danger and leading them to the best places for feeding, drinking, rest, and safety.  The sheep recognize their shepherd's voice and heed his call.  We're like sheep who stray, becoming easy prey to forces that can destroy us.  Jesus came not only to free us from sin but also to lead us to places where we can feed on his word and drink from the "living waters" of his Spirit.  The sheep who heed the Shepherd's voice have no fear; he leads them to places of peace, joy, and fellowship with God and his people.  We can face our trials alone or we can follow the true Shepherd, who will bring us to peace and security with God.
      • Peter Chanel, priest, martyr; see Wikipedia.

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