May 15, 2015

May 15

May 15, 2015:  Friday, Sixth Week of Easter

  • 'Bald people' tie pin:  Paul shaved his head (1st reading)
  • 'Eyeball' tie pin:  God spoke to Paul in a vision (psalm)
  • 'Crown' tie bar:  "God is king of all the earth" (psalm)
  • 'Angel with trumpet' pin:  The Lord mounts his throne amid trumpet blasts (psalm)
  • 'Hand' and 'precious feet' tie pins:  "Clap your hands"; "he brings nations under our feet" (psalm)
  • 'Doctor's office' tie, 'jubilee year' button:  A community with fear or without joy is sick (homily); when a woman is in labor, she's in anguish, but when she's given birth, she's joyful (gospel)
  • 'Caged lion' pin:  Fear is the attitude of a caged lion (homily)
  • 'Hearts' suspenders:  I'll see you again, and your hearts will rejoice (gospel)
  • White shirt and socks:  Easter season

Pope Francis homily
Today's readings speak of fear and joy:
  • Fear harms, weakens, diminishes, and paralyzes us; fearful people are focused on themselves so nothing bad will happen, and they wind up doing nothing.   Fearful Christians haven't understood Jesus' message.  This is why Jesus told Paul:  "Don't be afraid; continue to speak."  Fear isn't for Christians; it's an attitude of a caged animal who doesn't have freedom to look ahead, create, or do good.  Ask for the grace of the courage of the Holy Spirit.  Fearful communities play it safe, as if they've written "Forbidden" on the gate; when you enter, the air is stale, because lack of courage makes a community sick.  On the other hand, fear of the Lord, awe before God, is a virtue; it doesn't diminish, weaken, or paralyze but rather carries us forward to the mission the Lord gives us.
  • Joy:  Jesus says, “No one can take away your joy.”  In the saddest moments, joy brings peace.”  A Christian without joy, one who lives in sadness, isn't Christian.  When Christians suffering trials lose peace, they're missing something.  Christian joy isn't just enjoyment or fleeting cheerfulness:  it's a gift of the Spirit; it's having a joyful heart because the Lord has triumphed, reigns at the Father's right hand, calls us, gives us his grace, and made us the Father's children.  Christians live in joy; a community without joy is sick.
Lord, lift us up to Christ seated at the Father's right hand.  Raise our spirit., take away our fears, and grant us joy and peace.
  • Acts 18:9-18  Lord to Paul via vision at Corinth:  “Fear not.  Speak up; I'm with you.  You'll be safe.”  He settled and taught the word of God, but then the Jews rose up against him:  “He's inducing people to worship contrary to the law.”  Proconsul Gallio drove them from the tribunal:  “If it were a crime, I'd hear your complaint, but since I don't want to judge matters of doctrine and your law, handle it yourselves.”  Paul remained, then sailed out.  At Cenchreae he shaved his head because of a vow he'd taken.
  • Ps 47:2-7  "God is king of all the earth."  God brings nations under our feet.  The Lord mounts his throne amid shouts of joy and trumpet blasts.
  • Jn 16:20-23  “You'll grieve, but your grief will become joy.  A woman in labor is in anguish, but once she gives birth, she forgets her pain because of her joy.  You're in anguish now, but you'll rejoice when I see you again.  Then you won't ask me about anything, and the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.” 

  • Creighton:  Sometimes pain renders us capable of experiencing joy....
  • One Bread One Body:  "Who's got your tongue?":  At the first Christian Pentecost, the Holy Spirit appeared in the form of "tongues as of fire," the apostles spoke God's word, and the hearers repented and asked how to be saved.  Once the Spirit has your tongue, Satan accuses you of being foolish, and the world tries to silence you; the apostles experienced that but still followed the Spirit.  When we yield our tongues to the Spirit, the pressure to hold our tongues is fierce, but the Lord says, "Don't be afraid or be silenced; I'm with you."  Lord, teach me what to say and how to speak.  Spirit, control my speech....
    No more questions
  • Passionist:  Corinth was the capital of Achaia, a commercial hub of the Roman Empire; it sat on a narrow strip of land connecting northern Greece to southern Greece.  Paul settled there for 1½ years.  In the 1st reading he's protected by Roman law and justice Governor Gallio dismisses the Jews' charges against him.  Paul finished his second missionary trip and set sail for Antioch; what energy, courage, and persistence he had!   Our baptism gives us the same Spirit that inspired him....
  •  The way to joy in the kingdom is through the cross; sin must be brought to the cross and evil can only be mastered through God's love.  Jesus told his disciples mourning for sin yields peace, joy, and righteousness.  For Jesus the cross was victory over sin, the forces of evil, and the devil. Through the cross Jesus won us life and freedom; his victory teaches us courage in the face of suffering and death.  His resurrection is total triumph, and for us peace and joy; we'll have troubles but have victory in Christ.
    • Carthage/Mochuda, bishop, monk; see Wikipedia.

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