May 3, 2016

Philip and James

May 3, 2016:  SS. Philip and James, Apostles

  • Crucifix:  Christ died for our sins (1st reading)
  • 'Hand' tie pin:  "I 'handed' on what I received..." (1st reading)
  • 'Phone' tie bar and 'Olympics' tie pin:  "Their message goes out to all the earth" (psalm)
  • 'Cars on highway' tie:  "I am the Way" (gospel)
  • 'Eyeball' pin:  "Whoever has seen me has seen the Father" (gospel)
  • Red and white shirt, white socks:  red for martyrdom of Apostle James, white for Easter season

For the psalm

Pope Francis
Homily:  Christians need to follow Jesus consistently, not get waylaid or blocked.  Many Christians follow Jesus in a confused manner like mummified, vagabond, stubborn, or half way Christians. 
    • Mummified Christians don't move forward; they don’t make the Beatitudes bloom or do works of mercy.  They don’t do evil but don’t do good deeds.
    • Stubborn Christians realize they're taking the wrong direction but insist it’s right and don’t heed the Lord's voice telling them to turn back and take the correct path.
    • Vagabond Christians, wanderers, travel but don’t know where they're going.  They lose the beauty of drawing close to Jesus.  Constantly turning, they lose their way and often reach a dead end.  The road becomes a labyrinth they can't get out of.  They've lost Jesus' call.  With no compass, they keep turning and searching.
    • Halfway Christians get seduced by the beauty of an object and, fascinated, stop.  Christian life is truth, is Jesus, not fascination.
Have you stopped or lost your way?  Are you standing in front of the things you like such as worldliness or vanity, or journeying forward and practicing the beatitudes and works of mercy?  Jesus’ way is full of consolations, glory, and also the Cross, but with peace in our souls.  Ask:  How am I doing on this Christian journey?  Am I standing still, making mistakes, turning, stopping in front of what I like, or following the Way?  Implore the Spirit to teach you to journey along the right road.  When you get tired, ask for this grace.
Prayer intention for May:  That in every country, women may be honored and respected and that their contribution to society may be highly esteemed.  We've done little for women in difficult situations.  We must condemn violence against women and remove the barriers that prevent their integration into social, political, and economic life....  Video
  • 1 Cor 15:1-8  I am reminding you of the Gospel I preached and you received; you're being saved as you hold fast.  I handed on what I received:  Christ died for our sins, was buried and raised, and appeared to Cephas, the Twelve, more than 500, James, all the Apostles, and me.
  • Ps 19:2-5  "Their message goes out through all the earth."  The heavens declare the glory of God...
  • Jn 14:6-14  “I am the way and the truth and the life....  If you know me, you'll know my Father.  Whoever has seen me has seen him.  I am in the Father and he in me.  Whoever believes in me will do the works I do.  And whatever you ask in my name, I'll do.”
    • Creighton:  “Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us.”  Probably not; trusting in God is a lifelong process.  But “If you know me, then you'll know my Father.  From now on you know him and have seen him.”  Though Philip then asked  to see the Father, the other disciples didn't believe or understand either.  Jesus says whoever believes in him “will do the works that I do, and greater ones.”  If my works are limited, it’s because I don’t believe I can do more, maybe because my life is not grounded deeply enough in Jesus that I draw strength from him.  Are my works out of my love for Jesus or out of my self-absorption, doubt, or fear?  My relationship with Jesus can be renewed if out of love I want to integrate him into my life.  Jesus, help me be more aware of your presence with me, and to talk with and listen to you.  May I do your works of mercy and healing in my family and our world.
    • One Bread, One Body:  "I wish to know Christ":  Philip lived, ate, drank, and traveled with Jesus, but Jesus said he still didn't know Him.  Three years later, Peter said, "I don't even know the Man!"  We read it as a coward's denial, but he really didn't know Jesus; he knew the Teacher, Master, and Miracle-Worker but not the Suffering Servant.  If they didn't know him, how can we?  By keeping his commandments, or else we're deceiving ourselves, and Jesus will say, "I never knew You."
      SS. Philip and James/ Duccio
    • Passionist:  We can't earn our salvation; we rely on Jesus' sacrifice.  How can we not live our faith and share the Good News of God's personal love and offer of salvation?
    •  "Lord, show us the Father":  Knowing God is the greatest thing we can aim for, and it brings joy, contentment, and happiness.  "Let not the wise glory in their wisdom, or the mighty in their might, or the rich glory in their riches; but glory in this, that you understand and know me."  We can know the living God personally by knowing Jesus, the revelation of God.  In Jesus we see God's perfect love; when we pray in his name, he promises the Father will hear our prayer....
    • Universalis:  SS. Philip and James, apostles:  Philip started as a disciple of John the Baptist.  James, a cousin of the Lord, led the Church at Jerusalem, wrote an epistle, lived austerely, converted many Jews, and was martyred.

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