May 13, 2015

May 13

May 13, 2015:  Wednesday, Sixth Week of Easter

    • 'Question mark" tie pin:  altar inscribed ‘To an Unknown God’ (1st reading)
    • 'Stone' tie pin, silver and gold accessories:  God isn't like an image fashioned from gold, silver, or stone (1st reading)
    • 'Hand' tie pin:  God doesn't dwell in sanctuaries made by human hands... (1st reading)
    • 'Holy Spirit' chain:  The Spirit of truth (gospel)
    • Tie with horns:  God has lifted up the 'horn' of his people (psalm)
    • 'Angel' pin:  Praise God, you his angels (psalm)
    • 'Blessed Mother blue' inside horns, on suspenders:  Our Lady of Fatima
    • White shirt, socks:  Easter season

    Pope Francis

    Audience:  "May I?", "Thank you," and "Pardon me" open the path to happy family life; they're easy to say but not to put into practice. When based on love and respect, they have great power to strengthen family life:
      • Thank you is an integral part of Christian life.  Today some see kindness as a sign of weakness, or view it with suspicion, but gratitude is at the heart of faith:  a Christian who can't give thanks has forgotten God's language.  Gratitude within the family is at the foundation of respect for the dignity of the human person and of social justice.
      • Pardon me/forgive me is hard to say, but otherwise hurt can develop in our relationships and weaken our family life.  When we ask forgiveness, we show our desire to restore lost respect, honesty, and love, and we make healing possible.  Never finish a day without making peace.
    These words are simple and might make us smile, but when we forget them, there’s nothing to laugh about.  May the Lord help us to put them in our hearts, homes, and society.
    Learn and cultivate devotion to the Mother of God, including reciting the Rosary; feel Mary's presence in the hour of the Cross; and pray your homes will always have love and mutual respect.
    Homily at Caritas Internationalis assembly opening Mass:  In the Paul and Silas story, the guard took the necessary steps towards faith and salvation:  listening to the Word of the Lord, washing Silas and Paul's wounds, being baptized, welcoming Paul and Silas into his home, and offering something to eat.
    The Gospel urges us to wash the feet and wounds of the suffering and to prepare the table for them.  The gestures—acceptance of the Word, Baptism, welcoming others—are as one:  welcoming God and others, welcoming others with God's grace, welcoming God and expressing it in service to others.  Word, Sacraments, and service refer to and nourish each other.  When you live the Caritas mission, you're a true witness of Christ, one who seeks him and allows him to seek you; you love with his spirit, a spirit of gratuitousness and gift.  Our plans are empty unless we carry his love in us:  our love, purified and strengthened by his.
    Don't forget Christians unjustly deprived of food for body and soul, driven from their homes and churches....
    To organizers of concert for the poor:  Music can unite souls and unite us to the Lord; it's horizontal and vertical, soaring high, and it liberates us from anxiety.  Even sad music helps us in difficult moments.
    A little spirit will do much good to all in today's materiality that brings us down and destroys our joy.  We have the joy of a Father who loves us and the joy to be able to be brothers to all.  You'll re-seed this joy with this concert; it'll seed joy, not passing happiness, and the seed will remain in the souls of all and do much good for all....
    • Acts 17:15, 22-18:1  Paul:  “I saw your altar, ‘To an Unknown God.’  What you unknowingly worship, I proclaim.  God gave life so we may find him.  As your poets say, ‘We're his offspring.’  God isn't an image we fashioned; he raised Jesus from the dead, established a day of judgment, and demands we repent.”  When they heard about resurrection, some scoffed, but others said, “Some other time....”  Paul left for Corinth. but some joined him and became believers.
    • Ps 148:1-2, 11-14  "Heaven and earth are full of your glory."  Praise the Lord who has lifted up his people!
    • Jn 16:12-15  “I have more to tell you, but you can't bear it now.  When the Spirit comes, he'll lead you to truth, taking what's mine and declaring it to you.”
      • Creighton:  Some scholars call Paul's speech to the Athenians a failure and suggest Luke included it as an example of how not to preach, but others say Paul took the people where they were, told them their “unknown god” was the one God who revealed himself in Jesus, and made some believers then and there.  Vatican II helps us see it as good interreligious dialogue; the start of Nostra aetate alludes to the speech:  “All form one community because they stem from the one stock God created to people the earth and because they share a common destiny, God....  People look to their religions for answers....” It then stresses the importance of approaching others as fellow creatures of the one God, and to begin our dialogue with what we have in common.  We reject nothing of what's true and holy in other religions....
      • Passionist:  In today's 1st reading Paul gives the only fully developed speech to Gentiles we have; the skipped part identifies his audience as Stoic and Epicurean philosophers.  He loses many when he moves too far beyond their world view.  Before he preached, he walked around, looking carefully at their shrines for a starting point, their “altar to an Unknown God.”  He then shares about the God he knows, even quoting their poet Aratus and a sixth-century BC author Epimenides.  Like Jesus, Paul found common ground with his audience, met them there, and communicated his message.  We're challenged to stretch our understanding of how God works, look for common ground, and share the Good News to a world not always receptive to the message, and trust the Spirit.
        Our Lady of Fatima
      •  We don't create or discover truth; it's the gift of God, possessor of all truth. The Holy Spirit reveals what's true, right, and good.  Truth liberates us from the false, misleading, doubtful, or deceptive.  The closer we draw to the Spirit, the more we grow in knowledge of God and his love, wisdom, and provision for us.  Jesus knew his disciples couldn't understand everything he taught them and so would need the Spirit's ongoing guidance and help.
      St. Augustine on the Spirit's work:  "When he says, 'He'll teach you all truth,' I don't think fulfillment is possible in this present life.  For who living in this soul-oppressing body can know all truth?  But the Spirit effects the promise we'll attain the knowledge Paul references when he says, 'But then face to face' and 'Now I know in part, but then shall I know even as also I am known.'  He's not talking about something he knows fully in this life but about the future when he'd attain that perfection.  This is what the Lord promised us through the love of the Spirit."  (Tractates on the Gospel of John 96.4, paraphrased)
      After the apostles received the Spirit, they began to carry out the mission Jesus entrusted to them to proclaim Gospel truth and make and teach disciples.  Today, through the Spirit's guidance, we too proclaim the same faith.  The Lord gives us the Spirit as Teacher and Helper that we may grow in God's wisdom and strength....
        • Our Lady of Fátima:  3 shepherd children saw Mary Mother of Jesus near Fátima (Portugal) 6 times in 1917; see Wikipedia.
        • St. Erconwald, convert, monastery and convent founder, abbot, bishop

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