May 22, 2017

May 22

May 22, 2017:  Monday, 6th week, Easter

See 7 connections with today?
Legend below
Guest dresser Dn. John Barry
(more dressers)

For Psalm 149
Pope Francis
Homily:  “Be calm, I won't leave you orphans; I'll send you an advocate, the Holy Spirit.”  The Spirit accompanies us and assures us we're saved.  Only the Spirit teaches us to say Jesus is Lord, perceive it, and live it.  Jesus said the Spirit will lead us, accompany us, into all truth, recall to us all Jesus said, teach us.  The Spirit, Jesus' great gift, is the travelling companion of each Christian and of the Church, never leading us astray.
But where does the Spirit dwell?  We hear how the Lord opened Lydia's heart, so that the Spirit could enter, and she became a disciple.  We carry the Spirit in our hearts.  The Spirit is "the heart's sweet guest" but can't enter a closed heart.  Our hearts must be open so the Spirit may enter and we hear him; opening our heart is also a gift of God.  Lord, open my heart so the Spirit may enter, and I may understand Jesus is Lord.  Open my heart that I may understand what you've taught, remember and follow your words, and come to the fullness of the truth.
Do I ask the Lord for the grace that my heart might be opened?  Do I seek to hear the Spirit, his inspirations, what he tells my heart that I might advance in the Christian life and bear witness that Jesus is Lord?
To Sister Disciples of the Divine Master:   Be open to the Spirit, Master of diversity, Master of unity within differences.  Respect each other's differences; weave them into unity.  Allow each other to express themselves freely; accept their special gifts.  Respect the weakest members.  Grow in the spirit of living together; banish divisions, envy, and gossip; speak frankly and with charity.  Cultivate dialogue and communion; you don't build the future by isolating yourself or by your own strength.  Listen to and share with people; discern to recognize what belongs to the Spirit. 
Our culture presents all possibilities as good; discern and ask the Lord what he wants lest you fall victim to the culture of death.  Be docile to the Spirit that animates prophecy.  You live the prophecy of the joy that comes from your encounter with Christ through prayer, community life, and ministry to the poor.  This joy will lead you to go out and evangelize, convinced Jesus is the Good News for all; this distances you from the cancer of resignation that withers the soul.  Be prophets of hope, looking ahead, guided by the Spirit, and keep doing great things.  Wake up the world and light the future!
  • Acts 16:11-15  We sailed from Troas to Samothrace, Neapolis, and Philippi.  We spoke with women gathered outside the city gate, and the Lord opened Lydia's heart to pay attention to Paul.  After we baptized her and her household, she invited us to stay, and we did.
  • Ps 149:1b-6a, 9b  "The Lord takes delight in his people."  Praise the Lord with song and dance, for the Lord loves and gives victory his people, Alleluia.
  • Jn 15:26-16:4a  “The Advocate, the Spirit of truth I'll send from the Father, will testify to me.  So will you, because you've been with me from the start.  I've told you this so you won't fall away when, because people don't know the Father or me, they expel you and think killing you is worshipping God.  Remember that when their time comes.
  • Creighton:  Good listening is stopping everything and giving our attention, like a gift.  That's what Lydia did:  when Paul and Barnabas arrived, they looked for a place of prayer.  Lydia was presumably a wealthy and busy merchant.  But on that day, she was at the place Paul sought. “listened, and the Lord opened her heart.”  She heard Paul clearly, it changed her life, and she opened her home to them.  Following Jesus changes our lives and has its challenges.  In today's gospel Jesus warns us about the trials but says he'll send the Advocate, the Spirit, to be with us.  Like Lydia, we can take time to pray, quiet ourselves, and ask Jesus to open our hearts.  We can speak with him of our challenges and thank him for our joys.  And we can listen.  What is Jesus telling us?  Where is the Spirit guiding us?  What kind of hospitality are we are called to?  Who needs my attention?   Whom do I need to forgive?  Jesus promises the Advocate will be with us in all we do today, if only we listen.
  • One Bread, One Body:  Lydia was a woman of means:  she owned a house, dealt with the wealthy, and knew how to operate in the circles of the elite.  She was also persuasive; she "prevailed upon" Paul, who normally stood firm against entreaties, by saying, "If you believe my conversion is sincere, stay at my home."  Lydia embraced Jesus as her Lord. Her heart was open, and when she heard the gospel message, God opened it further as she cooperated with his grace.  Apparently the church at Philippi continued to meet at her home after Paul left town.  Only the Philippi church supported Paul financially; maybe Lydia's encouragement and persuasion helped foster that.  May we be like her and open our heart and home to the Lord.
  • Passionist:  I don't know of an artist who's tried to show God singing, but Zephaniah gives us the image:  “The Lord will rejoice over you with gladness, renew you in his love, exult over you with loud singing.”  In today's psalm, “The Lord takes delight in his people.”  And the people take delight in the Lord:  “Let them sing for joy.”  The psalm depicts a festival of love, with lots of singing!  With all our faults, God loves us, delights in us, and sings because of us.  God rejoices in his creation.  In Zephaniah’s time, God saw a faithful remnant restored.  After the resurrection, God sees in his people the likeness of his Son.  Jesus tells us we're here to bear witness, so the Lord can live in us, manifest himself through us, heal, teach, and love through us.  If we live in him, we'll produce abundantly.”  He says it won't be easy, but the Spirit will give us all we need.  And the Father will “exult over us... as on a day of festival.”
  •  "When the Counselor comes, the Spirit of truth":  Jesus offers his disciples the best, truest friend:  the Holy Spirit, Counselor, Advocate, Paraclete, Helper.  Counselor is a legal term for one who defends someone against an adversary and guides them during the trial.  The Spirit guides and strengthens us and brings us safely through life's challenges and adversities.  Jesus tells us the Spirit is one with the Father and the Son, gives life, enkindles faith in people receptive to God's word, makes it possible for us to know God personally, gives us experiential knowledge of God, and witnesses that the Father has sent his Son to redeem us, raised him from the dead, and seated him at his right hand.  The Spirit reveals God's wisdom and plan and enables us to see the Father's and Son's work with eyes of faith.  Through the Spirit we become witnesses to the work of God in Christ.  Jesus told his disciples they'd be persecuted as Jesus was, but the Spirit would give courage and perseverance.  O God, fill our hearts, with the graces of your Spirit:  love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, humility, and self-control.  Teach us to love those who hate us, to pray for those who use us; that we may be the children of Your love....  In adversity grant us patience; in prosperity, humility.  May we guard the door of our lips, lightly esteem this world's pleasures, and thirst after heavenly things  (Anselm).
  • Universalis:  Rita of Cascia, married at 12, endured husband's insults and infidelities, helped convert him, reconciled family with his murderers, entered convent, and remained all her life.  Honored as patroness of impossible or lost causes.
Dress legend
  • 'Sailboats' tie:  We set sail...  (1st reading)
  • Purple in shirt, tie, suspenders:  Lydia, dealer in purple cloth (1st reading)
  • 'Heart' pin:  The Lord opened Lydia's heart...  (1st reading)
  • 'Musical note' tie pin:  "Sing to the Lord a new song" (psalm)
  • 'Crown' tie bar:  Rejoice in your king (psalm)
  • 'Dove' pin:  "The Spirit will testify to me" (gospel)
      • White in suspenders and socks:  Easter season

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