May 8, 2015

May 8

May 8, 2015:  Friday, Fifth Week of Easter

  • 'Letters' tie:  Apostles and presbyters chose reps to go with Paul and Barnabas and to send them to Antioch to deliver a 'letter.' (1st reading)
  • 'Hearts' suspenders:  "My heart is steadfast" (psalm); "Love one another as I love you" (gospel)
  • 'Apple' pin:  "I chose you and appointed you to go bear fruit."  (gospel)
  • 'Holy Spirit' chain:  Holy Spirit and we decided not to put extra burdens on you (1st reading)
  • 'Blood drop' pin:  Abstain from... blood... (1st reading)
  • 'Prize ribbon' pin:  "Run to win" (Pope Francis)
  • White shirt, socks:  Easter season

Pope Francis
No forming of lobbies:  The early Christian community resolved their differences about whether to impose Jewish laws on Christians by seeking the path of prayer and dialogue; this is the work of the Spirit.
The Spirit creates harmonious unity:  They could agree because the Spirit moved them towards harmony.  A Church without problems like this makes me think the Spirit isn't in it, and one where people argue, lobby, and betray each other is one with no Holy Spirit!  The Spirit creates change, momentum, new spaces, and wisdom.
Church faithful to movements of Spirit:  May the Lord always send the Spirit to each of us, and may we always be faithful to the movement the Spirit creates.
To Tennis Federation:  3 pillars for children and the young to develop full life:  education, sport, work.  Sport affects our formation, including relationships and spirituality.  Be good role models; give good witness.  Run to win not only in tennis but life.  Get into the game of life, the pursuit of the good, with courage and enthusiasm.  Get into the game with others and God:  give the best of yourself; give your life for what's of true value and endures forever.  Put your talents in the service of encounter, friendship, and inclusion.
  • Acts 5:22-31  The Apostles and presbyters sent representatives to Antioch with this letter:  "Since some went out without a mandate from us and upset you, we chose and sent you representatives with Barnabas and Paul.  The Holy Spirit and we decided not to place on you any burden beyond the necessities:  abstain from unlawful marriage, meat sacrificed to idols, meats of strangled animals, and blood.  If you do, you'll be doing right."  When they arrived, they called the assembly together and delivered the letter, and the people were delighted.
  • Ps 57:8-10, 12  "I will give you thanks among the peoples, O Lord."  I'll sing praise for your mercy and faithfulness.  Be exalted, O God!
  • Jn 15:12-17  “This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.  No one has greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.  You're my friends if you do what I command.  I chose you and appointed you to bear lasting fruit.”
    • One Bread One Body:  "Come, Spirit of Crucified Love":  Jesus commands us not only to love but to love as he has loved us, laying down our lives for our friends and enemies.  Then we'll be recognized as Jesus' disciples.  We can only love that way through the Spirit....
    • Passionist:  “Love ... as I love you” is the supreme challenge; he dined with sinners, embraced beggars, cared about the possessed, kept no possessions, forgave, and died on the cross.  Forgiving is especially hard....
      Bl. Catherine of St. Augustine
    •  Jesus defines friendship as willingness to give totally, even to laying down one's life.   God created us in love for love, and his Son paid the ultimate price to redeem us.   God's enduring love can transform us to be merciful, gracious, kind, forgiving, and loving friends and enemies.  God is the source of life, peace, and joy for all who are open to him.  Jesus gave us a new commandment,  a new way to love and serve.  Our love for God and willingness to give ourselves for others is a response to the love God gave us in Christ....   Abraham is called God's friend, God spoke with Moses as one speaks with a friend, and Jesus calls the disciples friends (vs. servants/slaves).  Friendship with God involves love that goes beyond duty, overcoming selfishness, fear, and pride.   Jesus' love was unconditional, sacrificial, and directed to others' good.  He wants us to love one another wholeheartedly, unreservedly.  If we do, we'll bear lasting fruit.
    • Universalis:  Bl. Catherine of St. Augustine (Catherine de Longpré), religious, served the poor and sick till she died at 36; see Wikipedia.

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