May 9, 2016

May 9

May 9, 2016:  Monday, 7th week, Easter

  • 'Hand' tie pin:  "when Paul laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came..." (1st reading)
  • '?' tie pin:  "You don't need to have anyone question you." (gospel)
  • 'Peace sign' tie bar:  "I've told you this so you have peace in me" (gospel)
  • 'Hot air balloons' tie:  "Jesus has been taken up to heaven and will return." (Sunday 1st reading)
  • 'Holy Spirit' chain:  "Did you receive the Spirit?" (1st reading) "You'll receive power when the Spirit comes" (Sunday 1st reading)
  • Blue and white shirt:  Blue for baptisms of John and Spirit (1st reading), white for Easter season

Listen to music for today and Pentecost novena

Pope Francis homily
Let yourself be propelled by the Holy Spirit who shows the way to freedom.  As the first Ephesus disciples hadn't heard of a Holy Spirit, many believers still don't know the Spirit.  The Spirit moves the Church, works in the Church, and works in our hearts, making each of unique yet one with other Christians.  He opens the doors and invites us to bear witness to Jesus.  The Spirit moves us to praise God, to pray to the Lord, teaches us to see the Father and to call him "Father," and frees us from the "orphan-like" condition the spirit of the world wants to put us in.  The Spirit is the protagonist of the living Church.  Live up to the Spirit's mission; don't reduce faith to morals.  Just respecting the commandments isn't enough.
Christian life is an encounter with Jesus Christ that takes place thanks to the Spirit.  But we keep the Spirit as a "luxury prisoner" in our hearts:  we don't allow him to push us forward.  The Spirit does everything, knows everything, reminds us what Jesus said, can explain all about Jesus.  The Spirit makes us real Christians, not "virtual Christians" who aren't virtuous.  The Spirit takes life as it is, prophetically reads the signs of the times, and pushes us forward.
Reflect on the Spirit's action in your life and ask whether you have the courage to bear witness to Jesus.  Think of the Spirit in your heart and ask for the grace of obedience and docility.  Think of and talk with the Spirit.
    • Acts 19:1-8  Paul / disciples at Ephesus:  “Did you receive the Holy Spirit?” / “We never heard of a Holy Spirit.” / “How were you baptized?” / “John's baptism.” / “John told people to repent and believe in Jesus.”  He baptized them in Jesus' name and laid hands on them, and the Spirit came upon them.  For three months they debated boldly about the Kingdom.
    • Ps 68:2-3ab, 4-5acd, 6-7ab  "Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth."  God arises; his enemies are scattered like smoke is driven away and wax melts, but the just rejoice.  God is father of orphans and defender of widows...
    • Jn 16:29-33  Disciples / Jesus:  “Now we realize you know everything and believe you came from God.” / “The hour has arrived when you'll be scattered and leave me alone, but the Father is with me.  I tell you so you might have peace in me.  You'll have trouble in the world, but take courage; I've conquered the world.”
      • Creighton:  Compassion has enormous impact; the world needs more of it.  Through compassionate outreach to others and openness to the compassion others extend to us, we will often find God.  In today’s gospel Jesus is compassionately preparing his disciples for his departure, assuring them they'll find peace because of their relationship with him.  His compassionate words give them hope. Compassion is an incredible heartfelt action God has given to us; it's not sympathy, pity, or feeling sorry for someone.  When compassion touches us, we often see God.  'Compassion' means deep, internal movement or response similar to giving birth; it's a powerful force and movement from within toward another's pain.  If we feel compassion for them, we move toward them to alleviate their pain.  Fr. James Keenan, S.J. describes compassion and mercy as acts "of God saving us, and we are called to imitate God in God’s own act of rescue.  By rescuing others we participate in God’s life." (Commandments of Compassion)   When we rescue or are rescued by others, we encounter God.
      • One Bread, One Body:  "Receive the Holy Spirit":  I might never have been renewed in the Holy Spirit if people who cared enough hadn't shared the Spirit with me, taught me, and prayed with me, as in the 1st reading.  God passes on the Spirit through human beings.  Many might never come to know and receive the Spirit if they don't come to know you.  Offer your heart and hands to the Lord as instruments for the Spirit; sow in the seed-ground of the Spirit.
        The Ascension/ Dossi
      • Passionist:  "The Spirit will bring us peace":  When Paul baptizes in the name of Jesus the disciples baptized with John’s baptism. they're filled with the Spirit.  John tells us that as we live after Jesus' departure, the Spirit will enable us to live with faith, love, joy, and peace, bringing Jesus' lifegiving presence into our community.  Sunday we heard Jesus' words to the disciples as he left them:  as you see me leave, you'll see me return.  One like us, familiar to us, will come back; till then the absent one welcomes us as we come to him.  Hopkins describes such a welcome in The Wreck of the Deutschland, our Lord coming to take a drowning nun to himself, coming as gently as a shower to reclaim his own.  We must ask the Father for what we need.  The Spirit will be with us to help and guide us.
      •  "Peace in overcoming the world":  Jesus often taught in parables:  stories and images intended to spur reflection; now he speaks plainly about his mission to redeem the world through love.  The disciples believed Jesus came from God and taught as one who knew God.  Jesus, who knew their hearts, strengths, and weaknesses, warned them they'd be tested and would fail; he met their betrayal and abandonment with love and prayer.  Jesus reassures us of his peace, love, faithfulness, and victory as he did to them.  We may fail him, but he won't forget or fail us.  He assures us he's overcome the world and all that would seek to keep us from his help and healing.  He promises to guide us through trials or hardships.  He gives us his Holy Spirit who strengthens us and fills us with hope and trust.  The Spirit gives us the strength and courage we need to overcome adversity and to persevere.

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