May 11, 2017

May 11

May 11, 2017:  Thursday, 4th week, Easter

  • 'Heart' pin:  "I've found David a man after my own heart" (1st reading)
  • Sandals (not shown):  "I'm not worthy to unfasten the sandals...” (1st reading)
  • 'Feet' pin:  "...of his feet" (1st reading); post-Jesus' washing of disciples’ feet (gospel)
  • 'Sailboats' tie:  Paul and his companions set sail for Perga and beyond (1st reading)
  • 'Crown' tie bar:  They asked for a king, and God gave them Saul (1st reading)
  • 'Rock' tie pin:  "You are my father, my God, the Rock, my savior."  (psalm)
  • 'Hand' tie pin:  Paul motioned with his hand (1st reading); "I've anointed David that my hand will always be with him" (psalm)
  • White shirt and socks:  Easter season

For Psalm 89
Pope Francis
Homily:  God has made himself known throughout history; his salvation goes back a long time, as Paul preached in the 1st reading about the Israelites' journey from the Exodus through Jesus' coming.  Through history the Lord guided his people in good and in bad moments, in times of freedom and of slavery, in a journey populated by saints and sinners towards encounter with him.  And it doesn't end with Jesus.  Jesus gave us the Spirit who allows us to remember and understand Jesus’ message and begin another journey to deepen our understanding of Jesus, deepen our faith, and understand moral teaching.  Some things, such as slavery, that were once accepted are now seen as gravely sinful.  
We had to move on to better understand the faith and morality.  Sad to say, today there are even more slaves, but we know it's gravely sinful.  Similarly, once the death penalty was considered normal, but now we know it's inadmissible.  The same applies to “wars of religion”:  as we deepen our faith and clarify the dictates of morality, there are saints:  saints we know and hidden ones.  Hidden saints' holiness will lead us to the “second fullness” when the Lord will become all in all.  God's people are always on their way.  When we stop, we become like prisoners and can't understand, go forward, or deepen our faith.
Each of us is on the go, on the way to the end of this life and to meeting the Lord.  Jesus has sent the Spirit to guide us on our way.  The Church is also on the go.  Ask yourself whether during confession there's not only shame for sin but also the understanding that you're taking a step towards the fullness of time.  Asking God for forgiveness isn't automatic; I need to understand I'm on a journey, part of a people on a journey, and I'll eventually be face to face with God, who always accompanies us.  This is the great work of God's mercy.

To Portugal, pre-Fatima pilgrimage:  I'm in a state of joyful expectation for our upcoming encounter at the house of the Mother.  Thank you for inviting me into your homes, communities, and towns; though I must limit my visit to the Fatima Sanctuary, where I hope to meet you at Mary's feet.  As I present myself to her in my role as universal pastor, I need to feel you close so we're one in heart and mind.
I entrust all Portuguese faithful to Our Lady and ask her to whisper into your ears that her Immaculate Heart is a refuge and a path to God.  With her I come as pilgrim in hope and peace.  Open your heart to receive God’s gifts!  I come with the joy of sharing the Gospel of hope and peace.  May the Lord bless you and Our Lady protect you.
  • Acts 13:13-25  Paul and his companions arrived at Perga, but John returned to Jerusalem.  They continued to Antioch.  One sabbath when they were invited to speak in the synagogue, Paul said, “The God of Israel chose our ancestors, led them out of Egypt, put up with them, gave them their land, provided judges, gave them Saul as king, then raised up David.  From his descendents God brought us a savior, Jesus, whom John heralded.
  • Ps 89:2-3, 21-22, 25, 27  "For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord."  I anointed David, my servant; my faithfulness and mercy shall be with him.  He'll say, ‘You are my father, my God, the Rock, my savior.’”
  • Jn 13:16-20  Jesus told the disciples after washing their feet, “No slave is greater than his master, no messenger greater than the one who sent him....  Whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.”
    • Creighton:  Jesus washed his disciples' feet in a time when roads were dusty and people wore sandals; it was a slave's job.  If we wash others' feet by serving others, we'll be blessed.  Lord, help us to see how....
    • Jesus washing Peter’s feet/ Brown
    • One Bread, One Body:  "Doing the mission impossible":   Mark accompanied Barnabas and Saul on a relief mission, then on the Church's first evangelistic mission, but he dropped out.  Many have been on relief missions but not evangelistic missions:  the former are important, often life-and-death matters; the latter supremely important, eternal life-and-death matters.  Evangelistic missions need strong love and can involve severe spiritual battle.  Can we criticize Mark for dropping out if I didn't even start?
    • Passionist:  "John [Mark] left them and returned to Jerusalem":  There's never been a golden age in the life of the Church.  We don't know why Mark ran:  whether to take care of family, or out of fear....  Paul resented his departure, and it began contention between him and Barnabas, Mark’s uncle.  Before the next journey, the division erupted:  Barnabas wanted to take along Mark, but Paul was opposed.  Knowing Paul wouldn't take him must have stung Mark, as knowing Barnabas was willing encouraged him.  Mark must have listened to them both and reflected on his mission.  The Church still has divisions and debates, but “John left and returned to Jerusalem” should encourage us:  the Spirit can guide us through our very human, contentious ways.  We need to return home to service, encouragement, reflection, and understanding of the needs of the world and our mission.
    •  "The one who receives me":  At the Last Supper Jesus addressed the issue of fidelity and disloyalty in relationships.  Jesus knew one of his disciples would betray him, but rather than distancing himself from him and protecting himself from harm, he expressed his love, affection, and loyalty to his own, even his betrayer.  He used a quotation about treachery by one's closest friend.  To eat bread with someone was a gesture of friendship and trust; at the moment Judas is conspiring to betray Jesus, Jesus extends friendship to him.  Jesus loved his disciples to the end and proved his faithfulness even to death.  Jesus tells his disciples that if they accept him they also accept the Father.  May we stand in the world for Jesus Christ, speaking and acting on his behalf....

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