May 12, 2016

May 12

May 12, 2016:  Thursday, 7th week, Easter

  • 'Angel' pin:  "Suppose an angel has spoken to him..." (1st reading)
  • 'Cups' tie:  "Lord, my portion and cup" (psalm)
  • 'Hand' tie pin:  "With the Lord at my right hand I shall not be disturbed." (psalm)
  • 'Girl with heart' pin:  "My heart is glad" (psalm)
  • 'Eyeball' tie pin:  Jesus lifted his eyes toward heaven... (gospel)
  • 'Children holding hands' pin, OneLife LA button:  "May they all be one" (gospel)
  • White in shirt and socks:  Easter season
  • Red in shirt, 'clocks' suspenders, 'Holy Spirit' chain:  Pentecost novena; Spirit produces/is harmony (homily)
Looking forward to tomorrow's St. Bede choir concert
Pope Francis
Homily:  The unity of the Christian family is a witness to the Father's sending of the Son.  Arriving at unity can be so difficult.  Our history makes us ashamed; we've waged war against fellow Christians!  We have to ask the Lord's forgiveness for this history!  And there are still divisions!  The world says, “If Jesus is alive, why aren't his disciples in accord with one another?”  We don't even celebrate Easter together!
Death entered the world by the envy of the devil.  Among Christians, selfishness, jealousy, envy, and divisions are almost habitual; people speak about each other behind their backs.  In Argentina they're called ‘weed-sowers’; they divide.  Divisions begin with the tongue:  through envy, jealousy, and being closed!   The tongue can destroy families, communities, societies; it can sow hatred.  It's easier to talk behind people's backs and destroy reputations than to seek clarification.  Recall how to one who confessed gossip St. Philip Neri gave the penance of plucking a chicken, spreading the feathers all around, then trying to gather them up. “But that’s impossible!” / “It’s the same with gossip…”
Speaking about others behind their back dirties them, destroys reputations, destroys lives, often contrary to the truth.  Jesus has prayed for us and our communities, that we be one.  Pray that the Lord give us the grace of the Holy Spirit who produces harmony because he is harmony, and that he give us peace with unity.  Pray for the unity of all Christians, and the grace that we bite our tongues!
To heads of female religious orders/congregations:  Understanding the role of female deacons in the early Church remains unclear; it would be useful to set up a commission to study the question.  The diaconate flourished in the western Church but after the 5th century experienced a slow decline, surviving only as a stage on the path of priestly ordination.  After Vatican II, the Church restored the permanent diaconate, open to single and married men.  Many believe women should also be able to serve in this role; there's ample evidence of female deacons, including Phoebe.
I want to see more women in decision-making positions in the Church; your perspectives are very important.  Integration of women into Church life has been very weak; we must go forward.  Your care for the poor and marginalized is a vocation of service to the Church, not to be confused with servitude, which is sometimes still asked of you.  Don't fear being labelled as ‘activists,’ but also find time for rest and for listening to older or sick members of your communities, a precious source of wisdom and memory.
  • Acts 22:30; 23:6-11  Paul before the Sanhedrin:  “I'm a Pharisee on trial for hope in the resurrection.”  The ensuing Pharisees/Sadducees dispute was so serious that the commander had Paul rescued and taken to the compound.  Lord:  “As you've borne witness in Jerusalem, so must you in Rome.”
  • Ps 16:1-2a, 5, 7-11  "Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope."  I'm glad you won't abandon me but will show me the path to life and joy.
  • Jn 17:20-26  Jesus prayed:  “May they all be one as you, Father, and I are.  I've given them the glory you gave me, so they may be brought to perfection as one, and all may know you sent me and loved them.  I made and will make you known to the world so that your love, and I, may be in them.”
      St. Pancras
    • Creighton:  Jesus gave us basically only two prayers of petition:  the Our Father, and his own prayer to his Father, excerpted in today's gospel.   He wants us to be one, as he and the Father are one.   Such unity is a principal sign of God’s presence, and is so attractive  to outsiders that it will draw them in.  Unity isn't uniformity, but we should respect each other’s understanding, views, and priorities.  The division of the Christian churches is a scandal; since we tolerate it, we're responsible for its continued presence.  We need to get out of the “us-and-them”, “we’re right, they’re wrong” mindset.  We have to seek ways to work and worship together.  All Christians all brothers and sisters, of Jesus and one another.  Jesus' two prayers blend into one:  when we become one, God’s kingdom, will have been established.
    • One Bread, One Body:  "From bad times come the best times":  During Paul's horrible week, Jesus appeared to Paul, encouraged him, and commissioned him to testify to him in Rome; he used these disasters to orchestrate Paul's mission.  When the sky is falling around you, "keep up your courage!" God can transform present disasters into triumphs.
    • Passionist:  The Chief Priests and Sanhedrin were ready to get Roman authorities to condemn Paul, but Paul divided the Pharisees and Sadducees because of their disagreement about resurrection of the dead, and the commander rescued Paul from the mayhem.  We have our disagreements within the Church and sometimes condemn or mistreat those who don’t agree with us.  Deeply religious Saul acknowledged his beliefs were wrong when he encountered Christ on the road to Damascus, and he continued to grow in understanding, changing his views on the law, inclusion of Gentiles, and recognizing in the death of Jesus the path to life for believers; he listened to God's voice coming to him through people.  May we not get caught up in internal squabbles and condemnations of others, but give visible witness to God’s love.
      St. George with Martyrs Maurus,
      Papianus, Domitilla, Nerus and Achilleus
    •  “May they become perfectly one”:   Jesus' prayers were personal, direct, and focused on others' good.  Jesus' "high priestly" prayer, excerpted today, reveals his love for his Father and believers; it focuses on love and unity; he prays for unity among all, present and future, who profess Jesus as Lord.  The unity of Jesus with the Father is one of mutual love, service, and honor, and a oneness of mind, heart, and spirit.  Jesus calls each of his followers into this same unity.  Jesus knew his disciples would soon abandon him, but he entrusted to them the task of spreading his name.  He entrusts us with the same mission.  Jesus, who included each of us in his high priestly prayer, continues his high priestly office as our intercessor at the Father's right hand.  "Christ Jesus, who died and was raised, is at God's right hand interceding for us" (see also Heb 7:25).

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