May 16, 2017

May 16

May 16, 2017:  Tuesday, 5th week, Easter

  • 'Stone' tie pin:  "They stoned Paul and dragged him out" (1st reading)
  • 'Sailboats' tie:  travel from Antioch/Iconium to Derbe, Lystra, Iconium, Antioch, Pisidia, Pamphylia, Attalia, and back to Antioch (1st reading)
  • 'Crown' tie bar:  Your friends make known your kingdom's splendor  (psalm)
  • 'Peace sign' tie bar: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you." (gospel)
  • 'Hearts' suspenders: "Don't let your hearts be troubled or afraid." (gospel)
  • 'Ruler' pin:  "I won't speak much with you for the world's 'ruler' is coming" (gospel)
  • White shirt and socks:  Easter season

For gospel
For Psalm 145
Pope Francis homily
Today's 1st reading speaks of Paul and Barnabas's tribulations in their journeys to proclaim the Gospel.  Is this the peace Jesus gives us?  The peace Jesus gives isn't the one the world gives.  The world offers peace without tribulations, an artificial peace reduced to "tranquility,"  a peace only concerned about one’s affairs and one’s security, like the rich man in the parable of Lazarus, a tranquility that shuts oneself  without seeing beyond.  The world teaches us the way to anesthetized peace:  it anesthetizes us from seeing the Cross.  This is why Paul says that one must enter the Kingdom on the road with tribulations.  But is peace possible in tribulation?   Not on our own, but the peace Jesus gives is a gift, a gift of the Spirit, and it lasts through tribulations and beyond.
God's peace is a gift that keeps us going.  After granting peace to his disciples, Jesus suffers in the Garden, offers everything to the will of the Father, and suffers, but not without God’s consolation.   In fact, an angel consoled him.  God's peace is real peace, that enters real life, that doesn't deny life, that is life.  There's suffering, sickness, war, other bad stuff, but the gift of peace goes ahead, bearing the Cross.  Peace without the Cross isn't the peace of Jesus; it won't last.  When I get angry, I lose peace.  When my heart is troubled, it's because I'm not open to the peace of Jesus, unable to bear life as it comes, with its crosses and sorrows.  Ask the Lord for his peace.  "The life of the Christian is a journey between the persecutions of the world and the consolations of God" (Augustine).  May the Lord make us understand this peace he gives us with the Holy Spirit.
    Peace I bequeath to you
  • Acts 14:19-28  Some Jews stoned Paul and assumed him dead, but when disciples gathered around him, he got up and left to proclaim the good news elsewhere.  They returned and exhorted the disciples to persevere in the faith:  “It is necessary to undergo hardships to enter the Kingdom.”  They appointed presbyters, commended them to God, proclaimed the word on the road, then called the Church together to spend time with the disciples and report on what God had done and how he opened faith's door to the Gentiles.
  • Ps 145:10-13ab, 21  "Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your kingdom."  Let your works give you thanks and your faithful ones bless you.
  • Jn 14:27-31a  “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you, not as the world gives.  Don't let your hearts be troubled or afraid.  Rejoice that I'm going to the Father.  The ruler of the world is coming, but he has no power over me.  The world must know I love the Father and do as he has commanded.”
    • Creighton:  Jesus who earlier said "I came to bring the sword, not peace" now says "Peace, my peace, I give you." He clarifies the promise with, "not as the world gives."  We can think of peace as absence of tension, but perhaps it's like the "balanced tension" of a well-tuned engine, balancing the pull toward God and the pull toward self.  Intentional spiritual living and prayer keep the pulls in balance and allow us to live in dynamic peace.
    • One Bread, One Body:  "Fighting over the will":   In Jesus' "will," he left his disciples shalom-peace, godly order and harmony.  The Church is the executor.  If we accept our inheritance, we'll have peace, joy, and freedom forever.  But Satan tries to convince us the inheritance isn't so good or that the Lord or Church isn't trustworthy, so we contest the will and go against God's order, i.e. sin, but we must humbly follow the Lord's directions....
    • Passionist:   Paul tells us humility is a source of peace.  “It's not living in Jerusalem, but living well in Jerusalem” that gives us peace and joy (Jerome).  There's also a peace of singleness of mind that commits us to a higher purpose.  “The object of our attention determines our character.”  The object of our character is a crucified God; and we see the world through the eyes of a Crucified God.  Because our just and loving God calls us to peace, he gives us the gifts of forgiveness, magnanimity, and contentment.  The rabbis in Jesus' time said, "Spend your life developing character and practicing kindness."  When tragedy is overwhelming, we experience numbness, but our faith helps us encounter tragedy and allows us to move from numbing to shock to feeling, overcoming crushing suffering.  Our faith allows us to pray and receive power, receiving the Spirit who leads us to Truth and allows us to change our hearts and lives.
    •  "My peace I give to you":  The peace of Christ is more than the absence of trouble; it includes everything that makes for our highest good.  The world wants to avoid conflict and unpleasant things, but Jesus offers peace that conquers fear and anxiety.  We can receive the peace the Lord offers through, inspired by the Spirit, yielding our anger, fear, and pride to God.  The Spirit helps us in our weakness and strengthens us so we can live as Christ's disciples.  "Peace is serenity of mind, tranquility of soul, simplicity of heart, the bond of love, the fellowship of charity. It removes hatred, settles wars, restrains wrath, tramples on pride, loves the humble, pacifies the discordant, and makes enemies agree....  It doesn't seek what belongs to another or consider anything as its own.  It teaches people to love because it doesn't know how to get angry, extol itself, or become inflated with pride.  It's meek and humble to everyone, possessing rest and tranquility.  When a Christian exercises Christ's peace, Christ brings it to perfection.  All who love it will be God's heirs, while anyone who despises it rebels against Christ.  When our Lord was returning to the Father, he left his followers peace as their inherited good....  If you've received this peace, keep it; if you've destroyed it, look for it; if you've lost it, seek it...." (Caesarius of Arles)
      • John Stone, martyr: “I close my apostolate in my blood. In my death I'll find life, for I die for the defense of God's Church, infallible and immaculate.”

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