May 11, 2016

May 11

May 11, 2016:  Wednesday, 7th week, Easter

See 14 connections with today?
Legend below

For papal audience
For Pentecost Sunday (added temp rough demo tracks by popular request; feedback welcome)
Pope Francis audience:  God longs to embrace us
In the parable of the merciful father who welcomes his prodigal son with love and forgiveness, Jesus teaches us we're God's children not because of our merit but because of our Father's love.  We need to be reminded of God’s love and forgiveness lest we lose heart when we or our dear ones go astray!  The parable speaks about both the prodigal son and his older brother, who needs to learn to accept the father’s mercy.  Both the younger son, expecting to be punished, and his brother, expecting a reward, aren't acting according to God’s love, which transcends reward and punishment.  
By calling for a feast, the father asks each son to share his joy by recognizing the other as a brother.  The parable ends without our knowing how the older brother responds.  Jesus challenges us to think about how we respond to God’s invitation, to open our hearts to his reconciling love, and to become “merciful like the Father.”
  • Acts 20:28-38  Paul to Ephesus presbyters:  “Keep watch over yourselves and the flock you oversee.  Wolves will come, and men from your own group will draw disciples away, so be vigilant.  I commend you to God and his word that can build you up.  Help the weak, remembering ‘It's more blessed to give than to receive.’”  Then he knelt down and prayed with them.  They wept and kissed him, distressed they'd never see him again, and escorted him to the ship.
  • Ps 68:29-30, 33-35-36ab  "Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth."  You took our part and give power and strength to your people.
  • Jn 17:11b-19  Jesus prayed:  “Father, keep them in your name, so that they may be one as we are one.  I protected them, and none were lost except the son of destruction.  I gave them your word, and the world hated them, because they don't belong to the world any more than I do.  Keep them from the Evil One.  I sent them into the world and consecrate myself for them, so they may be consecrated in truth.”
    • Creighton:  Paul warns the Ephesians that Christians can pervert truth as well as outsiders.  The gospel reminds me I belong to Christ, and the world will challenge me for it.  Our faith is counter-cultural, and living it can be hard at home, work, and elsewhere.  May we persevere in the truth and act in love, kindness, and mercy.
    • One Bread, One Body:  "Truth and consequences":  We follow the Spirit of Truth; "let us follow the Spirit's lead."  The Spirit will guide us to all truth, if we allow him; we'll be prompted to speak the truth in love.  People have always perverted the truth; we're compelled to proclaim and defend truth through our words and actions, though we'll be opposed.  Jesus won't take us out of the world but places us in it, like wheat among the weeds, to love and convert enemies of the truth.
      El martirio de tres cartujos en la cartuja de Londres/ Carducho
      (Martyrdom of 3 Carthusians at the London monastery)
    • Passionist:  Today’s readings are good-byes:  Paul to his Ephesus followers, Jesus to his disciples.  Paul urged vigilance, knowing hard times were ahead; he told them to work for the poor and weak.  Jesus prayed for his disciples, knowing they'd feel abandoned and frightened and be tested.  He prayed they'd be one and joyful, assured of the Father's protection.  May we, called to live the Gospel in world often hostile to gospel values, stand in the company of the Ephesians and the fearful disciples and take comfort in Paul’s exhortation and Jesus’s prayer as we witness with joy to the Good News.
    •  "Consecrated in God's truth":  Jesus' mission was to glorify his Father; he prayed for our unity with God and one another, "Father, keep them in your name that they may be one as we are one."  Love motivated Jesus to lay down his life for us.  We must follow the Lord wherever he may call us; he'll give us the strength and power of the Spirit.  "God created me to do him some definite service; he committed work to me he has not committed to another.  I have my mission.  I may never know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next.  I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons.... Therefore, I will trust him." (John Henry Newman)  Jesus prayed his disciples would be sanctified and consecrated in God's truth and holiness.  'Consecration' comes from the word for holy, set apart for God; it also means equipped with the qualities and character for such service.  Just as the Father called Jesus to serve in holiness and truth, so are we called and equipped to serve God.  God's truth frees us from ignorance and deception, reveals God's goodness, love, and wisdom to us, and gives us a thirst for holiness. The Spirit is the source and giver of all holiness.  As we allow the Spirit to work in us, he transforms us....
    Dress legend
    • 'Clock' suspenders, 'sheep' tie bar:  "Keep 'watch' over yourselves and the flock" (1st reading)
    • 'Blood drop' pin:  Jesus acquired the Church with his own Blood (1st reading)
    • 'Holy Spirit' chain, red in shirt:  The Spirit appointed you overseers of the flock (1st reading); Pentecost novena
    • Silver- and gold-colored accessories, all clothing:  "I've never wanted anyone’s silver or gold or clothing." (1st reading)
    • 'Sailboat' tie bar:  "They escorted him to the ship" (1st reading)
    • 'Hand' tie pin:  "These hands have served my needs and my companions." (1st reading)
    • 'Eyeball' tie pin:  Jesus lifted his eyes to heaven (gospel)
    • 'OneLife LA' button, 'Children holding hands around the world' tie:  "May they be one as we are one"; "Don't take them from the world" (gospel)
    • White in shirt, socks:  Easter season

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