May 18, 2017

May 18

May 18, 2017:  Thursday, 5th week, Easter

See about 10 connections with today?
Legend below
For the gospel
"As the Father loves me, so I love you":  the Lord’s love is infinite.  The Lord asks us to stay close to Him and to observe his Commandments:  the Ten Commandments and all that Jesus has taught us, the commandments of daily life that represent a Christian lifestyle.
Jesus’s commandments cover a wide spectrum, but the core is one:  the Father's love for him and his for us.  There are other loves:  love of money, vanity, boastfulness, pride, love of power....  They distance us from Jesus' and the Father's love.  The Lord’s love, unlike worldly loves, is neither lukewarm nor tainted by interest.  If we follow the commandments Jesus gave us, we'll remain in his and the Father's infinite love.
Jesus teaches us the way of love without measure, of an open heart, putting other kinds of love aside.  Ask the Lord for the gifts of love and joy.  Give joy to people; on the path to infinite love our mission is to give people joy.

  • Acts 15:7-21  Peter:  “From early days God chose that through me the Gentiles would hear the Gospel and believe.  God made no distinction between us and them, purifying them and granting them the Spirit, so why are you placing on them a yoke neither we nor our ancestors could bear?  We're all saved through God's grace.”  The assembly fell silent while Paul and Barnabas described the wonders God had worked among the Gentiles.
James:  “Symeon has described how God first concerned himself with acquiring from among the Gentiles a people for his name, and the prophets agree.  We ought to stop troubling the Gentiles who turn to God but tell them to avoid idols, unlawful marriage, meat of strangled animals, and blood.
  • Ps 96:1-3, 10  "Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations."  Sing to the Lord a new song; tell his glory and wondrous deeds to all...
  • Jn 15:9-11  “As the Father loves me, so I also love you.  If you keep my commandments, you'll remain in my love, my joy will be in you, and your joy will be complete.”
  • Creighton:  In today’s 1st reading we join the Jerusalem Council “after much debate” when Peter addresses the Apostles and presbyters, the assembly falls silent, Paul and Barnabas make their points, they fall silent again, James responds citing Symeon, the prophets, and Moses.  It was likely long and contentious, but they listened to each other, were guided by God's love for all, and came to a just conclusion. May we listen with discerning hearts, take time for silence, and put God's love at the center of all our decisions.
  • One Bread, One Body:  "How to make great decisions":  In a divisive and volatile situation, early Church leaders rightly discerned the Spirit's will; they could because they submitted to Church leaders' authority, listened even to those who disagreed with them, based their discernment on Scripture, and were living in Christian community.  
Today many lack discernment, are confused, and make bad decisions. We can be contentious and misunderstand the views of those who disagree with us.  Some are biblically illiterate.  Community life has broken down.  May we rededicate ourselves "to the apostles' instruction, communal life, the breaking of bread, and prayers."
    Pope St. John I
  • Passionist:  Why should Jesus want to love us as much as God loves him?  The experience of this love motivated the apostles to welcome Gentiles into the Church, hard as it was.  The Council of Jerusalem decided to open the doors:  Peter affirmed that the Spirit was working among the Gentiles; he'd experienced it with Cornelius and his family.  James supported Peter, quoting Scripture.  The rest fell silent but eventually agreed to write a letter to welcome the Gentiles.  The early Church leaders understood God’s love as inclusive.  Opinions would have to change, laws would have to be reinterpreted, and ways would change forever.  God's love is like electric [I'm sure 'eclectic' in the original is a typo] current:  it enters when it passes through you.  It has to be recognized, responded to and passed on.
  •  "Abide in my love":  God's love is creative, life-giving, and joy-producing for all who accept it.  Jesus gave his disciples a new commandment, a new way of love going beyond what's required or "deserved":  self-giving love to the death for the sake of others, overcoming selfishness, fear, and pride.  Jesus proved his love by giving his life for us; we prove our love for God and one another when we embrace the way of the cross.  What is the cross in my life?
    Dress legend
    • 'Dove' pin:  God granted the Gentiles the Holy Spirit (1st reading)
    • 'Signs' tie, 'Kentucky' sign:  Paul and Barnabas described the 'signs' God worked... (1st reading)
    • 'Blood drop' pin:  "Let's stop troubling Gentiles who turn to God, just telling them to avoid pollution from...  blood" (1st reading)
    • 'Crown' tie bar:  "Say among the nations, The Lord is King" (psalm)
    • 'Hearts' suspenders:  God, who knows the heart, purified the Gentiles' hearts. (1st reading); "As the Father loves me, so I also love you.  Remain in my love."  (gospel)
    • 'Jubilee year' pin:  "So that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete" (gospel)
    • 'Olympics' tie pin:  "He has made the world firm, not to be moved." (psalm)
    • Red and white shirt:  red for Holy Spirit (1st reading), white for Easter

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