May 5, 2016

May 5

May 5, 2016:  Thursday, 6th week, Easter

(we don't celebrate Ascension till Sunday)

  • Red shirt, 'blood drop' pin:  Paul to opponents:  “Your blood be on your heads!” (1st reading)
  • 'Sailboat' tie bar:  Paul sails from Athens to Corinth (1st reading)
  • 'Hand' tie pin:  "His right hand has won victory" (psalm)
  • 'Children around the world' tie:  "All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation by our God." (psalm)
  • 'Clock' tie bar:  “A little while and you'll no longer see me, and a little while later you will see me.” / “What's this ‘little while’?  We don't know what he means.” (gospel)
  • White in tie and suspenders:  Easter season


In honor of those outside the Archdiocese of Los Angeles celebrating Ascension today instead of Sunday, here's re:Worship's list of praise and worship songs for Ascension, with these gospel-inspired songs:
Pope Francis Amoris Laetitia capsule
The tenderness of an embrace
Christ gave the law of love and gift of self.  Parents embody “No one has greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”  Love bears fruit in mercy and forgiveness; the woman caught in adultery experiences this.  Against this backdrop is the often overlooked virtue of tenderness.  The union between the Lord and his faithful is expressed as parental love:  Ps 131 shows tender intimacy between mother and child:  “I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a child quieted at its mother’s breast.”  As gamûl, the infant is now fed and clings to his mother; the closeness is more than biological.  Remember God's words through Hosea:  “When Israel was a child, I loved him…  I took them up in my arms…  I led them with compassion and love, eased the yoke on their jaws, and bent down and fed them.”
We've contemplated the relationship between families and the Trinity:  The family is entrusted to a man, a woman, and their children, so that they may become a communion of persons in the image of the union of the Trinity.  Begetting and raising children mirrors God’s creative work.  The family is called to join in prayer, to read God's word, and to share in Eucharistic communion, and so to grow in love and become ever more fully a temple of the Spirit.
Every family should look to the Holy Family; they had their burdens and nightmares, as when they met with Herod’s violence, an experience that continues to afflict refugee families.  Our families are invited to contemplate the Child and his Mother, to bow down and worship him.  Like Mary, they're asked to face challenges with courage and serenity, in good times and bad, and to treasure what God has done.  Mary cherishes every family and carries their experience in her heart, so she can help us understand the meaning of the experiences and hear the message God wants to communicate through the life of our families. (I, 27-30)
  • Acts 18:1-8  Paul left Athens for Corinth, where he visited, stayed, and worked with Aquila, who had recently arrived with his wife Priscilla.  Every sabbath, he tried to convince both Jews and Greeks in the synagogue.  Once Silas and Timothy came, Paul was consumed with preaching that the Christ was Jesus.  When they opposed him, he told them, “I'll go to the Gentiles.”  He went to the house of Titus Justus, next to a synagogue.  Crispus, his household, and many other Corinthians came to believe and were baptized.
  • Ps 98:1-4  "The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power."  Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done wondrous deeds...
  • Jn 16:16-20  “Soon you'll no longer see me, and a little while later and you will.”  Some disciples asked, “What's this ‘little while’?”  Jesus:  “You'll weep and mourn while the world rejoices; you'll grieve, but your grief will become joy.”
        • Creighton:  Two conflicting ideas catch the minds and hearts of Jesus' listeners.  “A little while” and “A little while after”  forces them to murmur. then they hear they'll lament, then rejoice.  Like us, they have good questions and want to know.  How long is this "little while"?  How will we regain our joy?   Faithful disciples can doubt and question. 
        • One Bread, One Body:  "Do you want to be filled with the Spirit?"  Tomorrow begins the Pentecost Novena. As a baby dwells within the mother during her 9-month pregnancy, the Spirit dwells in us during the 9-day novena.  As a baby grows in the womb mother's womb, the mother's life changes:  clothes, sleep, diet, emotions, awareness of the baby...; her life is wrapped up in the baby's welfare.  During the novena, may we become more attuned to and immersed in the Spirit and change appropriately...
          Aquila and Priscilla
        • Passionist:  The early Church was filled with opposition and discord, including internal. Luke recounted success stories and struggles in Acts.  Today’s 1st reading includes frustration and reward:  Paul is coming from Athens, where things didn’t go as he'd planned; they scoffed at him, though tentmakers Priscilla and Aquila become his friends.  Silas and Timothy give him support and encouragement.  He sees it as his responsibility to bring Jesus' message.  Luke mentions Titus, Crispus, and others came to believe, but many didn't, or didn't care, as is the case today.  Though daily opposition is wearying, Paul’s kept things in perspective, likely finding regular encouragement, and proclaimed Christ with passion....
        •  "Your sorrow will turn into joy":  Jesus contrasts present sorrows with future glory  for those who hope in God.  For the Israelites time was divided into the present age and the age to come; prophets foretold the Messiah's coming as the dawn of a new age.  Jesus tells his disciples he must leave, return to his Father, and come again to usher in the new age of God's kingdom.  His orientation for the time between his first coming and his return in glory at the end of the world is a reversal of the world's:  the world says take your joy now however you can; he points to "other-worldly" joy transcending all this world can offer.  Jesus contrasts present sorrows with future joy.  As a woman in labor can't avoid birth pangs but then rejoices at the baby's birth, we can't avoid pain and sorrow if we follow Jesus to the cross, but we'll find freedom, victory, and joy.  "No one can live without joy; that's why someone deprived of spiritual joy will turn to carnal pleasures" (Thomas Aquinas)
        To You I turn.  You are the river of life who alone can satisfy me.  Without you all else is barren.  You alone are enough.  You are the Redeemer of the lost, the Consoler of the sorrowful, the victors' crown of glory, the recompense of the blessed.  I hope to receive of your fullness and sing praise in my true home.  Give me only on earth a few drops of consolation, and I'll patiently await your coming that I may enter into the joy of my Lord (Bonaventure).

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