April 23, 2016

April 23

April 23, 2016:  Saturday, 4th week, Easter

  • 'Accordion' pin, 'world flags' shirt:  "I've made you an 'instrument' of salvation to the ends of the earth." (1st reading); "All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God." (psalm)
  • 'Hand' pin:  "His right hand has won victory for us" (psalm)
  • 'Eyeball' pin:  "Whoever has seen me has seen the Father." (gospel)
  • 'Holy Spirit' chain:  "The disciples were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit." (1st reading)
  • Red and white in shirt, white socks:  red for Holy Spirit and George's martyrdom, white for Easter season

Pope Francis Amoris Laetitia summary:  Chap. 1, 8-13 
In the light of the Word
The Bible is full of families, births, love stories, and family crises, from Adam and Eve to the Bride and the Lamb's wedding feast. The houses built on rock and sand symbolize family situations shaped by members’ freedom.  “Blessed are you who fear the Lord, who walk in his ways!  You'll eat the fruit of your labor; you'll be happy.  Your wife will be like a fruitful vine, your children like olive shoots.  The Lord bless you!  May you see prosperity!  May you see your children’s children!  Peace!”
You and your wife:  At the center of this tranquil home are father and mother embodying the divine plan: “He made them male and female.”  “A man shall leave his parents and cleave to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”  Genesis presents the couple in its deep reality, making clear statements:  “God created us in his own image, male and female.”  The “image of God” refers to “male and female,” though we know sex isn't a property of God or that God has a divine female companion.  God is transcendent, but inasmuch as he is Creator, the couple's fruitfulness is a living and effective “image,” a sign of his creative act.
The couple that loves and begets life is a living icon capable of revealing God the Creator and Savior; fruitful love becomes a symbol of God’s life. This is why the Genesis account is interwoven with genealogical accounts.  Salvation history progresses along the path of human couples begetting life.  The couple’s fruitful relationship becomes an image for understanding and describing the mystery of God:  Father, Son and Spirit of love.  God is a communion of love, and the family is its living reflection.  “Our God is not solitude but a family, for he has fatherhood, sonship and the essence of the family, love:  the Holy Spirit” (John Paul II).  The family is related to God’s being.  Paul's theology expresses this dimension:  he relates the couple to the mystery of the union of Christ and the Church.
Jesus refers us to a portrait of the couple in Genesis:  the man seeks “a helper fit for him,” to alleviate his solitude. The Hebrew suggests a direct encounter, face to face, a kind of silent dialogue, an encounter with one who reflects God’s love and is man’s “best possessiona helper fit for him and pillar of support.”  “My beloved is mine and I am his… I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.”  The encounter gives rise to new birth and family, as Adam and Eve started a family:  “The man shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one.”  The word 'be joined' / 'cleave' bespeaks a physical and interior closeness; it's used to describe our union with God.  The marital union is evoked not only in its sexual and corporal dimension, but also as self-giving in love, resulting in the two “becoming one flesh” physically, in the union of hearts and lives, and in a child, who will share genetically and spiritually in both parents.
  • Acts 13:44-52  Paul and Barnabas:  “We had to speak God's word to the Jews first, but since you reject it, and condemn yourselves as unworthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles.  The Lord commanded us, I have made you a light to the Gentiles, an instrument of salvation to the ends of the earth.”  The Gentiles were delighted, and the word spread, but the Jews stirred up a persecution....
  • Ps 98:1-4  "All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God."  Sing joyfully to God who's done wonders.
  • Jn 14:7-14  “If you know me, you'll know my Father.  Whoever has seen me has seen him.  I am in the Father and he's in me.  Whoever believes will do the works I do and greater ones.   Whatever you ask in my name, I'll do.
    • Creighton:  Paul and Barnabas encountered setbacks and resistance but were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit.  Christians experience the joys, challenges, and struggles of following Christ.  Paul and Barnabas remind us that suffering isn't easy but it's not the end of the story; through it we come to new life. / God is accessible and invites us to an intimate relationship, through his son.  Someone who knows God and Jesus intimately exudes a depth, peace, and compassion that one who lacks the intimacy doesn’t.  Knowing someone includes personal experience of their presence.  God and Jesus want us to know them well and deeply, e.g. through prayer and the sacraments.  If we accept their invitation, our resolve to be joyful and filled with the Spirit will grow stronger.
    • One Bread, One Body:  "The cost of Pentecost":  Cry, "Come, Holy Spirit!" and take up the cross....
    • Passionist:  Jesus responds to Philip’s request by asking, “Have I been with you so long and you still don't know me?”  No matter how close I may be to Jesus, the relationship can go deeper.  Having a relationship with Jesus can help us understand some of Jesus' promises: “I am in the Father and he is in me....  Whoever believes in me will do the works I do greater ones....   Whatever you ask in my name, I will do....”  How can we do greater works than Jesus?  He didn't go outside of Judea or Samaria, but his followers have.  He reached thousands, but we've reached millions.  Saints have worked miracles, in his name.  Our relationship with Jesus will affect what we ask.  Can I ask for my enemies' destruction in the name of the One who told us to love them?  Can I ask for material wealth in the name of the One who told us, “Blessed the poor in spirit?”  Can I ask to have things my way in the name of the One who said, “Not my will, but yours?”  But we can ask for guidance about how to deal with someone, or how to persevere.  We can ask for grace even in seemingly impossible situations.  The more we get to know Jesus, the more we understand what's important and what's possible.
    • DailyScripture.net:  "Lord, show us the Father":  One of the great truths of Christian faith is that we can know God, personally.  Personal knowledge of God as our Father distinguishes Christianity from other religions.  To see Jesus is to see what God is like.  In Jesus we see God's perfect love, unconditional, unselfish, constant, for our sake.  God will hear our prayers when we pray in his name....
    Today's saints, from Universalis

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