April 13, 2016

April 13

April 13, 2016:  Wednesday, 3rd week, Easter

  • 'International stamps' tie:  "Let all the earth cry out to God with joy." (psalm)
    • 'Precious feet' tie pin:  "They passed through the river on foot" (psalm)
      • 'Wheat' pin:  Bread of Life discourse (gospel)
        • 'Eyeball' pin:  God wills that everyone who sees and believes in the Son may have eternal life (gospel)
          • White tie pin and socks:  Easter season


          For the psalm
          Pope Francis audience
          By eating with tax collectors and sinners, Jesus shows how even they can become disciples.  Each of us, a sinner, relies on the Lord’s grace. The Church is a community of disciples on their way, who follow the Lord because they recognize they're sinners and need forgiveness.  The arrogant and proud can't recognize their need for salvation, impeding their ability to see God's merciful face and to act with mercy.  But Jesus can cure any sickness.
          God’s Word is like a scalpel that penetrates us to free us from the evil in our lives.  At times it's painful because it cuts into hypocrisy, unmasks excuses, and exposes the truth, but it also illuminates, purifies, gives strength and hope, and restores us on our journey of faith.  The Eucharist is a powerful remedy that renews the grace of our baptism.  We nourish ourselves with the Body and Blood of Jesus, and Jesus unites us with his Body.  The Pharisees didn't understand God; trusting in the law over mercy, they didn't recognize the possibility of reformation and healing....
          • Acts 8:1b-8  A severe persecution of the Church broke out, and all were scattered, except the Apostles.  Saul tried to destroy the Church, imprisoning believers.  The scattered preached the word and worked wonders, crowds paid attention, and there was great joy.
          • Ps 66:1-3a, 4-5, 6-7a  "Let all the earth cry out to God with joy."  Say to God, “How tremendous your deeds!”  Come see God's works.  He rules by his might forever.
          • Jn 6:35-40  Jesus:  “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me won't hunger, and whoever believes in me won't thirst.  I won't reject anyone who comes to me, because I came to do the Father's will, and the Father wants everyone who sees and believes in the Son to have eternal life and be raised up.”
            • Creighton:  Early Christians responded to death and persecution by continuing God's work.  They likely had families, homes and jobs, but their lives were never the same once the Word touched them and Saul turned them over to the authorities.  Have I ever disrupted my life to spread the Word?  Would I proclaim my beliefs in the face of hostility?  Easter is a season not only of joy but also challenge. Has it transformed us?  What can I do today to live the Word?
            • One Bread, One Body:  "Changing lemons into lemonade":  When early Christians were chased out of Jerusalem, they went elsewhere and chased out unclean spirits.  When the Church was being crippled from being persecuted, the wounded Church healed cripples.  While the Christians mourned martyrs' deaths, people heard and accepted the gospel.  The Lord works everything together for the Church's good.  God's wounded become healers. "The blood of the martyrs is the seed of Christians" (Tertullian)...
              Pope St. Martin I
            • Passionist:  Jesus responds to the crowd's request to “give us this bread always.”  Jesuit theologian Karl Rahner suggests that our longing for more is “the primal cry for God.”  Do I misread my hunger for God as some other hunger?  It's easy to be distracted from discovering our deepest hungers.  Once we step inside of ourselves, we slowly uncover our deep desires.  We may assume we believe while remaining blind to patterns that can take us away from God and mask our true thirst.  But Jesus clearly says our lack of belief won't separate us from him.  God's compassionate mercy is extended to anyone wanting to come to Jesus.  When I receive the bread of life, I'm both satisfied and thirst for more of God.  May God help us recognize our longing as our authentic self struggling to be born....
            • DailyScripture.net:  "I will raise you up at the last day":  Bread sustains us. The life Jesus refers to is connected with God, author of life.  Jesus makes real life possible, a relationship of trust, love, obedience, peace, and joy with God.  Jesus claims to be spiritual food producing divine life in us, he promises friendship and freedom from fear of being cut off from God, and he offers the hope of sharing in his resurrection.

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