April 20, 2016

April 20

April 20, 2016:  Wednesday, 4th week Easter

  • 'Hand' tie pin:  They laid hands on Barnabas and Saul (1st reading)
  • 'Holy Spirit' chain:  They, sent forth by the Spirit, went to Seleucia and Cyprus (1st reading)
  • 'Olympics' tie pin:  God, let all the nations praise you (psalm)
  • 'Eyeball' pin:  "Whoever sees me sees the one who sent me" (gospel)
  • 'Lights' tie:  "I came into the world as light" (gospel)
  • White shirt and socks:  Easter season

Pope Francis audience
We're all sinners, so many times we fall into the temptation of hypocrisy, believing we're better than others, but look at your sin and look to the Lord, because the relationship between sinner and Lord is the lifeline.  Recall the story where a woman known as a sinner comes up to Jesus and bathes his feet in her tears and anoints them with perfume.  The Pharisee judges her by appearances, but Jesus distinguishes between the sin and the sinner.
The Lord teaches Simon that the woman’s act, an expression of faith and trust in God’s mercy, has merited the forgiveness of her sins.  God’s mercy reaches to everyone; it overcomes prejudice and surmounts all barriers.  Through faith in Christ, we too have received the forgiveness of our sins and the new life of grace.
  • Acts 12:24-13:5a  Barnabas and Saul returned to Jerusalem, with John/Mark.  The Holy Spirit told the Antioch prophets and teachers, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul.”  They laid hands on them and sent them off to sail to Cyprus to proclaim God's word.
  • Ps 67:2-3, 5, 6, 8  "O God, let all the nations praise you!"  May God have pity on us and bless us.  May all nations know your way and salvation.  You rule in equity, guiding the nations.
  • Jn 12:44-50  Jesus:  “Whoever believes in me also believes in the one who sent me, and whoever sees me sees him.  I came as light.  If anyone hears my words and doesn't observe them, I do not condemn him, for I came to save the world, but the word I spoke will condemn him.
    • Creighton:  God asks nothing more from us but to leave the results of our actions up to him.
    • One Bread, One Body:  "Home run":  Maybe your mission is at home, though evangelizing strangers might seem easier.
    • Passionist:  “I have come as Light into the world, so everyone who believes in me will not remain in darkness.  Jesus shouted (Gk. krazo) he's the light of the world!  Jesus proclaimed the truth boldly, as did Peter and John.  Am I too timid to speak boldly about Christ?  Is it false tolerance?  Fear of rejection?  True tolerance comes deep respect of others and of the truth, not anxiety of being disparaged for telling the truth.  “Tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions” (Chesterton).    Truth separates us from the crowd.  “Many... believed in him but didn't confess him, for fear that they'd be put out of the synagogue; they loved people's approval rather than God's.” 
    • DailyScripture.net:  "Believe.. that you may not remain in darkness":  Jesus warns us to avoid the darkness of unbelief and rejection of God.  Light is associated with God's truth and life. "The Lord is my light and my salvation."  God's word enables those with eyes of faith to see the truths of his kingdom.  God's light and truth enables us to grow in the life only he can offer us; his words produce his life in those who receive it with faith.  To see Jesus is to see God in visible form; to hear Jesus' words is to hear God's voice. God's light and truth brings healing, pardon, and transformation.  If we don't listen to his word, or ignore it or take it lightly, we remain in spiritual darkness.  Jesus came to bring abundant life and freedom from sin's oppression.  
    "Father, we find it difficult to come to you, because our knowledge of you is imperfect.  In our ignorance we have imagined you to be our enemy; we wrongly thought you take pleasure in punishing our sins; and we have foolishly conceived you to be a tyrant.  But Jesus among us showed you're loving and that our resentment against you is groundless" (Augustine).
    God is always ready to give his light, wisdom, and truth to all who seek him; he doesn't want to leave us in ignorance and unbelief.  Through the Spirit he helps us to grow in faith, knowledge, and understanding of his word.  In his truth we find joy, freedom, and wholeness of body, mind, heart, and soul.
      •  Marcellinus (bishop), Vincent and Domninus, all missionaries from Africa to Gaul/France

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