May 6, 2016

May 6

May 6, 2016:  Friday, 6th week, Easter

  • 'Bald people' tie pin:  Paul shaved his head (1st reading)
  • 'Eyeball' tie pin:  God spoke to Paul in a vision (psalm)
  • 'Crown' tie bar:  "God is king of all the earth" (psalm)
  • 'Angel with trumpet' pin:  The Lord mounts his throne amid trumpet blasts (psalm)
  • 'Hand' and 'precious feet' tie pins:  "Clap your hands"; "he brings nations under our feet" (psalm)
  • 'Doctor's office' tie, 'jubilee year' button:  When a woman is in labor, she's in anguish, but when she's given birth, she's joyful (gospel)
  • 'Hearts' suspenders:  I'll see you again, and your hearts will rejoice (gospel)
  • 'Accordion' pin:  World Accordion Day, not from readings, but slipped in because I play, enduring jabs like "A gentleman is someone who can play accordion but chooses not to" and "Use an accordion, go to jail; it's the law."
  • White shirt and socks:  Easter season

Pope Francis homily
Always maintain your joy and hope, even in the midst of pain.  A woman in labor is in pain because her time has come, but when she gives birth she no longer remembers the suffering; she carries on hoping through the pain, then rejoices.
This is what joy and hope together can do in our lives, when we face tribulations, have problems, or suffer.  It's not anesthesia.  Pain is pain, but if endured with joy and hope, it'll open the door to joy.  This image should give us hope in our difficulties, even awful ones that can even make us doubt our faith…  But with joy and hope we journey forward because after this tempest a new person arrives, like when a woman gives birth.  And Jesus tells us it's a lasting joy and hope that won't go away.
The joy and hope of a Christian are always tied together and they should not be confused with simple happiness or optimism.
Joy without hope is just enjoyment, temporary happiness; hope without joy is just healthy optimism.  Joy and hope journey together and create an explosion that the Church in her liturgy cries out without shame:  "Rejoice for your Church!"  When there's strong joy, there’s no formality, just joy.
Joy and hope depend on each other to flourish.  Open out towards others with these two virtues.  Joy strengthens hope and hope blooms amidst joy.  Go forward like this.  Both these Christian virtues, with the attitude that the Church seeks to give them, show us how to open out.  Joyful people don't stay closed in on themselves.  Hope makes you open outwards; it's like an anchor on heaven's shore that pulls us up and out.  Open out from yourself, with joy and hope.
Human joy can be taken away, but Jesus gives us lasting joy nobody can take away, even during our darkest moments, as with the Apostles who were full of joy after angels reassured them following Jesus’ Ascension:  they had the joy of knowing our humanity entered heaven for the first time; they had the hope of life and of rejoining our Lord....
  • Acts 18:9-18  Lord to Paul via vision at Corinth:  “Fear not.  Speak up; I'm with you.  You'll be safe.”  He settled and taught the word of God, but then the Jews rose up against him:  “He's inducing people to worship contrary to the law.”  Proconsul Gallio drove them from the tribunal:  “If it were a crime, I'd hear your complaint, but since I don't want to judge matters of doctrine and your law, handle it yourselves.”  Paul remained, then sailed out.  At Cenchreae he shaved his head because of a vow he'd taken.
  • Ps 47:2-7  "God is king of all the earth."  God brings nations under our feet.  The Lord mounts his throne amid shouts of joy and trumpet blasts.
  • Jn 16:20-23  “You'll grieve, but your grief will become joy.  A woman in labor is in anguish, but once she gives birth, she forgets her pain because of her joy.  You're in anguish now, but you'll rejoice when I see you again.  Then you won't ask me about anything, and the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.” 
      • Creighton:  “Be Not Afraid” fits so well with today's readings.  Paul is encouraged to speak out despite the potential danger:  “Don't be afraid.  Speak; I am with you,” and he does.  He's brought to the tribunal, but the proconsul won't hear the complaint; “you shall speak your words in foreign lands and all will understand.”  The Lord told Paul there would be friends in Corinth; “I go before you always.”  The Lord went before Paul and protected him as he spoke.  In the gospel Jesus tells his disciples, "You'll weep and mourn... but your grief will become joy"; we sing, “Blessed are you that weep and mourn, for one day you shall laugh.”   There may be reason to fear, but in the end there's joy.  Like the mother who forgets her birth pangs at childbirth, the disciples will forget their pain at the loss of Jesus when they're reunited with him. He goes before us to prepare the way.  Separations can make us weep and mourn, and things can frighten us, but our faith will protect us.  When we see God, our pain will be forgotten and we'll rejoice.
        No more questions
      • One Bread, One Body:  "Ask for the Holy Spirit":  Today begins the Pentecost Novena to ask God to prepare us to receive the Spirit.  God pours out the Spirit beyond measure and without ration, but we need docility to receive it.  Our Father will give good things, especially the Spirit, to all who ask.  At the first Pentecost Novena, the apostles and Mary gathered to pray.  Let us pray together, as the apostles and Mary did at the first Pentecost Novena, to receive the Spirit whom God is already lavishing on us.  God wants to send us the Spirit to open our minds to understand Scripture; let's read Scripture during this novena to give God opportunities to bestow the Spirit....
      • Passionist:  Like the first disciples', our faith can bring us into uncomfortable or touchy situations. Living the beatitudes isn’t celebrated today; today's up-and-comers are famous and rich, and our culture holds them high.  But we must live in the world but not be of it in order to be truly happy.  Our happiness is rooted in Jesus Christ for whom our hearts long; it comes from a relationship with him and a life of service, being an example, living the beatitudes, and proclaiming Christ through our lives.  “Only the One who made us can make us happy” (Augustine).
      •  "Your sorrow will turn into joy":  The way to happiness and joy in the kingdom is the cross.  Sin must be brought to the cross; only God's redeeming love can master evil.  The cross for Jesus was victory over sin, evil, and the devil.  Jesus won for us new life and freedom over the power of sin, despair, and death; his victory teaches us courage in the face of suffering and death, laying our fears to rest and giving us peace and joy.  We'll have troubles, but we know the final outcome is victory in Christ....
      • Universalis:  Bl. François de Laval, bishop, founded seminary, built schools and churches...

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