April 9, 2016

April 9

April 9, 2016:  Saturday, 2nd week, Easter

  • 'Ukuleles' shirt:  Give thanks to the Lord on harp and lyre (stringed instruments :-) (psalm)

  • 'Eyeball' pin:  The Lord's eyes are on those who fear and hope in him (psalm)

  • 'Boat' tie bar:  The disciples embarked in a boat... (gospel)

  • 'Walker' pin:  They saw Jesus walking on the sea (gospel)

Pope Francis
Jubilee audience:  The word 'alms' comes from a Greek word [ἐλεημοσύνη] for 'mercy.'  Giving alms is more than giving money; it's heartfelt concern for those in need.  Throughout the Bible, God calls us to care for the poor, the destitute, strangers, orphans, and widows, giving generously.  Charity requires an attitude of interior joy; offering mercy can't be a weight or nuisance.
When you give alms, look into the faces of those you help, to see their true needs.  And discern, so that your charity truly helps.  Almsgiving is an act of love of those we meet, of care for those near to us and seeking our help.  Don't give alms to win others' praise.
Almsgiving should involve sacrifice; it's a way to unite ourselves with the poor.  I deprive myself of something of mine, to give it to you.  Parents, teach your children to give generously.  “It's more blessed to give than to receive.”
Apostolic Exhortation:  Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love), summary continued from yesterday
3.  Looking to Jesus: The vocation of the family
Marriage is indissoluble, sacramental, and oriented to transmission of life and education of children.  Discernment of ‘seeds of the Word’ in other cultures can also apply to marriage and family. In addition to natural marriage, positive elements exist in forms of marriage of other religious traditions, even if sometimes obscurely.  Regarding wounded families, pastors must exercise careful discernment of situations, attentive to how people experience and endure distress because of their condition, avoiding judgments that don't account for situations' complexity.
4.  Love in marriage
There's no need to lay upon two limited persons the burden of perfectly reproducing the union between Christ and his Church, for marriage entails a dynamic process, one that advances gradually with progressive integration of God's gifts.  Conjugal love defines the partners in a richly encompassing and lasting union, within that mix of enjoyment and struggles, tensions and repose, pain and relief, satisfactions and longings, annoyances and pleasures that make up a marriage.
Longer life spans mean that close and exclusive relationships must last well over 40 years, so the initial decision has to be frequently renewed.  As physical appearance changes, attraction does not lessen but changes as sexual desire can be transformed into desire for togetherness and mutuality:  we may not feel the same way all through life, but if a couple has a shared and lasting life project, they can love one another and live as one forever, enjoying an enriching intimacy.  (Summary to be continued; complete text here)
  • Acts 6:1-7  “Brothers, select 7 filled with the Spirit and wisdom for us to appoint to distribute food.”  They chose them; the Apostles prayed and laid hands on them.  The word of God spread and the community kept growing.
  • Ps 33:1-2, 4-5, 18-19  "Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you."  Exult in the Lord; his word is upright and works trustworthy.  The Lord sees, delivers, and preserves those who fear and hope in him.
  • Jn 6:16-21  The disciples embarked in a boat and went across the sea stirred up by a strong wind.  After a few miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea coming near:  “Don't be afraid.”  The boat immediately arrived at their destination.
  • One Bread, One Body:  "More fast food?"  We can want more, and want it fast.  So does the Lord, but he wants conversion and evangelization.  The less selfish and rushed we are, the more open we'll be to the Lord and his kingdom....
    Christ at the Sea of Galilee/ Tintorello
  • Passionist:  "Peace; don't be afraid":  Now that we've read about the appearances of the risen Christ, we read in John about Jesus' quiet presence.  Jesus teaches us, prays for us, and gives us hope and the promise of the Spirit.  Early in John people grapple with faith.  They use such terms like ‘Messiah’ and ‘Son of God’ but don't understand them right.  Jews reject Jesus, but Nicodemus, the Samaritan woman, her village, and a royal official believe.  And Mary's openness to God, at the Annunciation and beyond, enables his plan to unfold.  Today's gospel follows the loaves-and-fishes miracle and introduces the Bread of Life discourse, after which, sad to say, many leave Jesus.  Fear is a barrier to love, and trusting love makes it easier to believe.  In the storm the disciples fear the water.  John's account doesn't mention calming of the storm but does include "Fear not; it is I."  Is it a conflation of two Passovers, the first when the Jews set out on their Exodus, and Jesus' from death to life, where he meets us in darkness, destroys fear, and brings us home?  May we not fear even when in darkness but rather look and listen to the Risen One.
  • DailyScripture.net:  "It is I; don't be afraid":  John described the situation of the apostles alone at sea in a storm as "dark."  These experienced fishermen feared for their lives, and the Lord's appearance and water-walking likely heightened their fear.  We can be like them in our moments of darkness, fear, and trial.  The Lord is present even if he seems distant; he'll "bring us to our desired haven" and place of rest.  The Lord keeps watch over us, especially in our moments of difficulty.  Do you rely on him for strength and help?   Do I respond to trials with faith and hope?

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