April 24, 2016

5th Sunday of Easter

April 24, 2016:  Fifth Sunday of Easter

  • 'Crown' tie bar:  I'll praise your name, my king and my God (psalm)

  • 'Eyeball' pin:  "He will wipe every tear from their eyes." (2nd reading)

  • 'Hearts' tie:  "New commandment: love one another." (gospel)

  • White shirt and socks:  Easter season
For the gospel

For 2nd reading
For the psalm
For next week
Pope Francis
Homily at Teen Jubilee Mass:  “Everyone will know you're are my disciples if you love one another.”  Love is the Christian’s identity card.  If it expires and isn't renewed, we stop being witnesses of the Master.  Do you want to say yes to Jesus’ invitation?  His true friends stand out by the love in their lives.
Love is beautiful, the path to happiness, but demanding.  To love means to give something of yourself: time, friendship, abilities.  Thank the Lord every day for all he's given you.  Even if we forget, he never forgets to give us daily and lifelong gifts, his faithful friendship.  Even if you disappoint him and walk away, he still wants the best for you and to stay close; he believes in you more than you do.  He's always with you and happy to be with you.  He looks you in the eye and calls you to follow him, trusting in his words and using your talents without fear.  Jesus waits patiently for your “yes.”
You want to demonstrate and receive affection.  If you let him, the Lord will show you how to make tenderness more beautiful by guiding you to love without being possessive.  There's always a temptation to let our desire to 'have' taint our affections, but when we hold on too tightly to something, it dies and we feel empty.  The Lord will reveal the secret of love:  caring for, respecting, protecting, and waiting for others.
People will tell you freedom is doing what you want, but that makes you self-centered and aloof and keeps you from being an open and sincere friend.  No; freedom is being able to choose the good.  The free person chooses what pleases God, even if it takes effort.  Only by courageous decisions do we realize great dreams.  Don’t be content with mediocrity.  Don’t believe those who distract you from the real treasure, which you are, by telling you life is beautiful only if you have many possessions, act tough, or wear the latest fashions.  Your happiness isn't an app you can download.  Love is a gift that calls for an open heart; it's a lifelong responsibility and daily task, nurtured by trust, respect, and forgiveness.  It only happens when we live it:  it's a life choice to put into practice!  The secret to grow in love:  Jesus gives us himself in the Mass and offers us forgiveness and peace in Confession.  There we learn to receive his love and give it to the world.  When loving seems hard, look to Jesus on the cross, embrace the cross, and don’t let go of his hand.
Prepare now to do amazing things; live to the fullest and without fear of hard work.  Be like champions who reach high goals by daily effort and practice.  Let your daily program be the works of mercy; do them to be champions in life!  You'll be recognized as Jesus' disciples, and  your joy will be complete.
Regina Cœli:  Go forward with courage!  Yesterday saw the beatification of priest Valentín Palencia Marquina and four of his fellow martyrs, killed during the Spanish Civil War.  We praise the Lord for these courageous witnesses and beg their intercession to free the world from violence....
  • Acts 14:21-27  Paul and Barnabas made many disciples, then returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch to strengthen the disciples and exhort them to persevere through hardships.  They appointed elders and commended them to the Lord, proclaimed the word at Perga, then went to Attalia and Antioch.  They reported to the Church what God had done and how he opened the door of faith to the Gentiles.
  • Ps 145:8-13  "I will praise your name for ever, my king and my God."  The Lord is gracious, kind, merciful, slow to anger, good, and compassionate.  May your faithful ones praise you and speak of your might.  Your kingdom endures forever.
  • Rev 21:1-5a  I saw a new heaven, a new earth, and a new Jerusalem coming down from God, prepared as a bride for her husband.  A voice from the throne said, “God’s dwelling is with the human race.  They will be his people and God will be with them.  I make all things new.”
  • Jn 13:31-33a, 34-35  When Judas had left them, Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him.  If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and God will glorify him at once.  My children, I will be with you only a little while longer.  I give you a new commandment: love one another.  As I have loved you, so you also should love one another.  This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
    • Creighton:  Jesus gives us one commandment:  love one another.  He goes on to say that he'll know his disciples for their love for one another. We need to be reminded of the Lord’s commandment:  love one another as I have loved you.  We thrive because we're loved, and because of that love we can love ourselves and others.  May I appreciate God’s love for me and in that appreciation love others in meaningful ways.  How can I really hear what someone is trying to say?  How can I show patience for someone who is getting in the way of my goal?  How can I help someone feel God's love?
    • One Bread, One Body:  "Know new or no new":  The Lord makes all things new; we'll see new heavens, new earth, and a new Jerusalem. He makes all things new through us, especially as we obey the new commandment of love.  "If you're in Christ, you're a new creation.  The old order has passed away; all is new!"  The Holy Spirit is renewing "the face of the earth."  We often prefer the old, but we must change our mind, repent, and deny ourselves.  May we choose the new!
    • Passionist:  "Speaking the Word":  We prize Scripture because God's word is powerful and is the door to God’s heart!  The closest we can get to another is by communication.  The word goes into the other's ear, mind, and heart.  When I welcome God's word I get close to God.  At Mass we say, “Only say the word and my soul shall be healed!”  "If you love me, you'll keep my word, my Father will love you, and we'll come to you and make our home with you."  “Know God's Heart through God's Word” (Gregory the Great).
    • DailyScripture.net:  "Love one another as I have loved you":  The cross of Jesus reveals God's love and mercy for us.  I can offer no greater honor than sacrificing my life for another.  Love is total self-giving and offering one's life for another.  The Father showed his love by offering his Son as atoning sacrifice for the sin of the world.  "To ransom a slave You gave away Your Son" (Exsusltet).  That's why Jesus gave us the new commandment of love, not to replace the Old Testament commandment to love my neighbor as myself. The new commandment transforms the old with the love Jesus poured out for us on the Cross, where death was defeated, sin was forgiven, and Satan's power was crushed.  Jesus proved love is stronger than death. 
    God loves each of us as if there were only one of us to love (Augustine).  God's love is direct, personal, and oriented to our good.  Nothing can separate us from it but our pride and self-deception; we sin because we love ourselves more than God and others.  "God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us."  If we yield to Jesus and submit to his will, the Spirit will purify all that is unloving in us.  The Lord wants to transform us so we can understand his word of truth and life that can set us free.  The power of the triumphant cross overcomes the world; I share it by embracing the cross the Lord sets before me.  What is the cross I must take up to follow the Lord?  When my will crosses God's, I must do his.  The cross sets me free to live for Christ and his kingdom.  I'm called and privileged to love and serve as Christ did and so to share in the Father's glory.  The mark of every follower of Christ is a love ready to forgive, forget, heal, and restore.  The cross is the only way to pardon, peace, forgiveness, and reconciliation.  If we embrace his love and truth and allow his Spirit to transform us, we'll find the freedom, joy, and strength to love, forgive, and serve.
      • Erkenwald, convert, abbot, bishop

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