May 2, 2015


May 2, 2015:  St. Athanasius, Bishop and Doctor

  • 'Keyboard' suspenders, 'children around the world' tie:  "I've made you an 'instrument' of salvation to the ends of the earth." (1st reading); "All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God." (psalm)
  • 'Eyeball' tie pin:  "Whoever has seen me has seen the Father." (gospel)
  • 'Holy Spirit' chain:  "The disciples were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit." (1st reading); Confirmation at St. Bede is today
  • Red and white shirt, white socks:  red for Holy Spirit, white for Easter season

Pope Francis
Junipero Serra homily:  Bring salvation to the ends of the earth.”  Jesus sent the Church to go proclaim the Gospel.  Look at the disciples leaving Jerusalem after persecution broke out, and at the missionaries who brought the Gospel to the New World and defended people against colonizers' abuses.  Among the latter was Friar Junípero Serra who ushered in a new evangelization from Florida to California.  Key aspects of his life and example:
  • Missionary zeal:  Desire to proclaim the Gospel made him leave his family, university chair, and community to go to the ends of the earth to share the gift of encountering Christ.  He was filled with joy and the Holy Spirit in spreading the Lord's word; such zeal excites and challenges us!  Missionary disciples who encountered Jesus and came to know him through his merciful Father went out to the peripheries to bear witness to charity.  They challenge us!  Though we examine their weaknesses and shortcomings, I wonder whether we can answer with the same generosity and courage the call of God who invites us to leave everything to worship him, follow him, rediscover him in the poor, and proclaim him to those who have not known Christ and so haven't experienced his mercy.  Friar Junípero’s witness challenges us to get involved in the mission to the whole continent.
  • Marian devotion:  He entrusted his missionary activity to the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Before leaving for California, he consecrated his life to Our Lady of Guadalupe and asked her for the grace to open colonizers' and indigenous people's hearts.  Our Lady of Guadalupe's image is present in all 21 missions he founded along the California coast, and she's become Patroness of the whole continent.  She's the first, holy missionary disciple, a constant presence and companion, source of comfort and hope, always hearing and protecting her children.
  • Witness of holiness:  He was a saintly example of the Church’s universality and a patron of the country's Hispanic people.  May all Americans rediscover their dignity and unite themselves more closely to Christ and his Church.
May we be rooted more deeply in the Gospel we've received; that Christ may be more present in the lives of individuals, families, peoples, and nations.  May this glory be manifested in the culture of life, solidarity, peace, and justice, with a preferential, concrete love for the poor, through the witness of Christians, other believers, and others people of good will.  Lord, we're merely your missionary disciples and humble co-workers...
Audience:  Every parish is called to be a privileged place of listening and of proclaiming the Gospel;  a house of prayer gathered around the Eucharist; a school of communion, where charity prevails over superficial and dry religiosity.  Return to the Gospel, reconcile with your neighbor, and bring love to the marginalized and the suffering.
Mobilize against social problems such as youth unemployment and lack of social services for the sick, the disabled, the elderly, and families, taking concrete steps.  Christian hope, founded on the Resurrection and accompanied by a charitable effort towards the most needy, is called for.  Solidarity overcomes problems; be witnesses of solidarity in your cities, families, and workplaces.
  • Acts 13:44-52  Paul and Barnabas:  “We had to speak God's word to the Jews first, but since you reject it, and condemn yourselves as unworthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles.  The Lord commanded us, I have made you a light to the Gentiles, an instrument of salvation to the ends of the earth.”  The Gentiles were delighted, and the word spread, but the Jews stirred up a persecution....
  • Ps 98:1-4  "All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God."  Sing joyfully to God who's done wonders.
  • Jn 14:7-14  “If you know me, you'll know my Father.  Whoever has seen me has seen him.  I am in the Father and he's in me.  Whoever believes will do the works I do and greater ones.   Whatever you ask in my name, I'll do.
    • Creighton:  “I have made you a light to the Gentiles, that you may be an instrument of salvation to the ends of the earth.”  How am I called to carry the Light of Christ to the ends of the earth?
    • One Bread One Body:  "Praying in his name":  "Whatever you ask in my name I'll do, to glorify the Father."  If we pray according to his will, what we pray will happen....
    St. Athanasius
    • Passionist:  In scripture, “name” is more than a word; it's a person's identity.  God was the first to name the realities of creation.  God gave new identity and purpose to people by renewing their names (Abram Abraham, Jacob Israel; Simon Peter; Saul Paul).  God’s nature is revealed in the divine name revealed to Moses. Key moments of Luke's Infancy Narrative are about the name of the child, Jesus.  Jesus used the expression “in my name.” The apostles were concerned about some who appropriated Jesus’ name.
    To do something “in Jesus' name,” our actions must be Jesus':  saving, healing, loving, forgiving, truthful, self-sacrificing.  Is my prayer worthy to be called the prayer of Jesus?  Is my effort to be reconciled with another worthy of the reconciliation Jesus won for us on the cross?  Let us honor the person of Jesus by the honor we give his Name.  The Name gives us access to the Person, and our use of his Name gives Him access to us.
    •  Knowledge of God is the greatest thing we can aim for and possess.  Our knowledge of God is not just knowing about God; we can know God personally.  To see Jesus is to see what God is like.  In Jesus we see God's perfect, limitless, unconditional love....

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