May 21, 2017

6th Sun. of Easter

May 21, 2017:  Sixth Sunday of Easter

See more than a dozen connections with today?
Legend at bottom

For future Sundays
Pope Francis
Sunday homily:  Preserve the Holy Spirit within you.  The Spirit speaks to us with a special language, a language of sweetness and respect, that should inform our attitude as Christians.
Watch out for devil-inspired anger and bitterness, manifested in ambition, envy, and jealousy.  Divisiveness is the most common sin of our Christian communities; it wounds my heart; it's as if we're throwing stones at each other.  Pray for the grace to preserve the Spirit and not to “grieve the Spirit.”  Maintain an attitude of sweetness and respect for all.
      • Acts 8:5-8, 14-17  Philip went to Samaria and proclaimed the Christ.  The crowds paid attention to what he said and saw the signs he did.  Unclean spirits came out of many, and paralytics and cripples were cured.  There was great joy in that city.  When the apostles heard Samaria had accepted God's word, they sent Peter and John to pray that the Spirit fall on them.  They laid hands on them, and they received the Spirit.
        Wordle: Readings 5-25-14
        Today's readings
      • Ps 66:1-7, 16, 20  "Let all the earth cry out to God with joy."  Say to God, “How tremendous your deeds!”  See God's works:  he changed the sea into dry land, he rules by his might, he heard my prayer, and he showed his kindness!
      • 1 Pt 3:15-18  Sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts.   Explain the reason for your hope with gentleness and reverence.  Keep your conscience clear; it's better to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.  Christ suffered for your sins, to lead you to God.  Put to death in the flesh, he was brought to life in the Spirit.
      • Jn 14:15-21  “If you love me, you'll keep my commandments, and I'll ask the Father to send you another Advocate to be with you always, the Spirit of truth.  I won't leave you orphans; I'll come to you and you'll live.  You'll realize I'm am in my Father, you in me, and I in you.  Whoever keeps my commandments loves me; my Father and I will love them, and I'll reveal myself to him.”
          Bonus:  Friday's St. Bede/ELAC choir concert

          Thanks especially to maestro St. Bede music director Dr. Anthony Lupica, soloists Lisa Thelen, Bianca Galicia, Andres Gamino, Francisco Lopez, and Samuel Aguirre, and Ken Buckowski for both singing and capturing the video.

            • Creighton:  "The fruit of the Spirit":  The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  Does that describe you with God, those you love, those you don't know, and those you'd rather not know?  If you have love that seeks the best for others and is willing to give without seeking anything in return, the other attributes are likely to fall into place.  How is the Spirit is present in your thoughts, words, and deeds?  How will I give love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control to others? 
            • One Bread, One Body:  "Arsonist":  When Samaritans didn't allow Jesus and his disciples to pass through, John, indignant, wanted to call down fire from heaven to destroy them, but Jesus rebuked him.  Jesus did eventually allow John to call down fire onto them:  Philip took the gospel to them, and they received the Word of God.  When the apostles heard Samaria had accepted it, they sent Peter and John, who prayed that they receive the Spirit."  John laid his hands on those whom he had wished to burn, and God's fire, the Spirit, fell on them, consuming them with God's love.  Jesus gave John his wish, but not how John had expected; John needed a bigger conversion than the Samaritans.  Are there people you'd like God to remove?  Can you imagine Jesus using you to bring them new life in the Spirit?  To love our enemies, we need the conversion John did.  May we forgive and love your enemies. "Receive the Holy Spirit."
              It's 'paraclete' (παράκλητος, 'Advocate'), not 'parakeet'
            • Passionist:  Deacon Philip was successful preaching in Samaria, persuading the Jerusalem church to send Peter and John to follow up.  Peter warns his correspondents to get ready for opposition and defamation and encourages them:  “it's better to suffer for doing good… than for doing evil.”  Christ suffered for the benefit to us of leading us back to God.  The Jerusalem church may have been suffering because the Risen Jesus was no longer personally present to guide and strengthen it, but Jesus assures them and us that if we love and keep the commandments, we'll receive Someone Else to accompany us....
            •  "The Counselor will be with you forever":  We love because it's our nature to love, and it is because the Holy Spirit has made it so (John Henry Newman).  How do we know that God loves us?  The cross.  Jesus' best gift for us is the Holy Spirit, Advocate, Counselor, Paraclete, Helper.  As a counselor defends and guides during a trial, the Spirit guides and strengthens us and brings us through our challenges and adversities.  The Spirit gives life and guides us to love, truth, goodness, and peace.  Trust in God and obedience to his word lead us to peace and security, so Christians need not fear anything.  Christ's love brings joy and consolation even in trials and suffering. 
            Dress legend
            • 'Kentucky sign' pin:  the crowds saw the signs Philip was doing (1st reading)
            • 'Doctor's office' tie:  Paralytics and cripples were cured (1st reading)
            • 'Hands' pin:  Peter and John laid hands on the people of Samaria; they received the Spirit (1st reading)
            • 'Hearts' suspenders:  "Sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts" (2nd reading)
            • 'Dove' pin:  The Father will give you an Advocate, the Spirit of Truth (gospel); they received the Spirit (1st reading)
            • 'Olympics' pin:  "Let all the earth cry out to God with joy" (psalm); "the world will no longer see me..." (gospel)
            • 'Eyeball' pin:  "...but you will see me" (gospel)
            • 'Feet' pin:  "Through the river they passed on foot" (psalm)
            • 'Clef with cross' pin:  Sing of God's glorious name (psalm)
            • White and red shirt:  White for Easter season, red for Holy Spirit (1st reading, gospel)

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