May 21, 2015

May 21

May 21, 2015:  Thursday, Seventh Week of Easter

  • 'Angel' pin:  "Suppose an angel has spoken to him..." (1st reading)
  • 'Cups' tie:  "Lord, my portion and cup" (psalm)
  • 'Hand' tie pin:  "With the Lord at my right hand I shall not be disturbed." (psalm)
  • 'Girl with heart' pin:  "my heart is glad" (psalm)
  • 'Eyeball' tie pin:  Jesus lifted his eyes toward heaven... (gospel)
  • 'Kneeling person' tie bar:  ...and prayed (gospel)
  • 'Children holding hands' pin:  "May they all be one" (gospel)
  • White and red shirt:  white for Easter season, red for Pentecost novena

The price of unity:  Jesus didn't pray just for his disciples but also for those who would believe in Him "through their word."  Jesus prayed, and prays, to the Father for me!  And the Father sees his wounds, the price he paid for us.
The faces of division:  Jesus prays "for the unity of his people, the Church."  He knows the spirit of the world is one of division, war, envy, jealousy, even in families, communities, dioceses, and the whole Church; it's the great temptation, and it leads to gossiping, labelling, and pigeonholing people.  We must be one, as Jesus and the Father are one.  Our challenge is to not let the spirit of division, the father of lies, come between us.  Everyone is different, but we must live in unity.  Jesus prays that we be one, one being; we really need that prayer.
Grace, not "glue":  The unity Jesus calls us to is a grace and a struggle to be won; we have to make room for the Spirit, so we're transformed into one being.  Jesus advises:  "Abide in me" and asks for the grace that we remain in him.  Here's why:  "I want those you gave me to be with me where I am":  that they remain with me.
  • Acts 22:30; 23:6-11  Paul before the Sanhedrin:  “I'm a Pharisee on trial for hope in the resurrection.”  The ensuing Pharisees/Sadducees dispute was so serious that the commander had Paul rescued and taken to the compound.  Lord:  “As you've borne witness in Jerusalem, so must you in Rome.”
  • Ps 16:1-2a, 5, 7-11  "Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope."  I'm glad you won't abandon me but will show me the path to life and joy.
  • Jn 17:20-26  Jesus prayed:  “May they all be one as you, Father, and I are.  I've given them the glory you gave me, so they may be brought to perfection as one, and all may know you sent me and loved them.  I made and will make you known to the world so that your love, and I, may be in them.”
  • Creighton:  We need to acknowledge God's great love for us.  Jesus prays he can help people see how much they are loved and how to see God in all things.  May I connect with God in me and in those I see and not waste energy on today's frustrations.  Paul had to be rescued because it was feared he would be injured for proclaiming what he believed. The Lord told Paul to take courage and keep bearing witness.  My battles within myself are essential if I am to find God in all things.  "Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope" that I may feel connected to others and to myself and that I feel and live God's love of God.
  • Passionist:  Jesus left behind a motley group of followers, but they offered a cohesive pattern of faith in the person of Jesus, like how a quilt formed from distinct cloths can be a masterpiece.  Jesus prayed for their harmony and unity and had confidence in their success.  Later, the apostles spread out, exhibiting harmony of purpose, but Paul used disharmony to advance Jesus' message by instigating an argument between Pharisees and Sadducees over the resurrection.  The same factors play out in our time; consider SS. Christopher Magallanes and his companions' support of a Mexican Christian movement against an anti-Catholic government, or Blessed (5/23) Oscar Romero, assassinated for opposing persecution of the church that supported the poor and disenfranchised.
  •  Jesus' life was full of prayer, blessing, and gratitude. He prayed for his disciples, especially when they were in need or danger.  Jesus' priestly prayer, prayed at the Last Supper, reveals his heart; it focused on the love and unity he desired for all believers.  The unity of Jesus with the Father is one of mutual love, service, and honor, and oneness of mind, heart, and spirit.  Jesus calls us to unity with one another.  Jesus’ prayer shows his love and trust for his disciples; he gave them the task of spreading his name even though he knew they'd abandon him.  Jesus continues as high priest and intercessor for us at the Father's right hand.  May we make him known and loved by all.  May all who profess Jesus as Lord grow in love and unity.

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