May 23, 2017

May 23

May 23, 2017:  Tuesday, 6th week, Easter

    For Psalm 138 
Pope Francis homily
In today's 1st reading, a slave girl followed Paul and Silas; she was shouting “They're slaves of the Most High God.”  It seemed like praise, but Paul cast out the spirit, understanding that that wasn't the path to conversion of that city.  There have been similar situations when the people of God were quiet servants of 'worldliness,' not taking risks; then the Lord sent prophets who made people uncomfortable and were persecuted.  When someone cries out against the ways of worldliness, they're given the crooked eye as if something were wrong with them, and they're distanced.  In my homeland many good consecrated people spoke out, “No, the Church of Jesus is like this"; they were branded as communists and persecuted.  Think of the Blessed Romero and many others in church history.  The evil spirit prefers a tranquil, risk-free, businesslike, comfortable, lukewarm Church.
In the 1st reading, the slave's slaves were angry, having lost their hope of income because she could no longer divine.  The evil one starts from the pocket.  They dragged Paul and Silas to the magistrates who ordered them beaten and jailed.  Paul and Silas broke into song, and an earthquake flung the prison gates open.  The jailer was about to kill himself, but Paul urged him not to because they were still there.  Then the jailer asked for explanations, converted, washed their sores, and was filled with joy. The Spirit performed this miracle. 
This is the path of our daily conversion:  moving from a worldly, tranquil, safe, lukewarm Catholic to proclaiming Jesus Christ with joy, from a religion that looks too much to earnings to faith and proclamation of Jesus as Lord.  The Lord with his martyrs makes the Church move forward.  A Church without martyrs, that doesn't take risks, that's afraid to proclaim Jesus Christ and chasing our demons and idols, breeds distrust and isn't Christ’s Church.  Lord, renew our vigor in faith and conversion from a lukewarm living so we may proclaim you with joy!

  • Acts 16:22-34  Paul and Silas beaten, imprisoned, earthquake-freed.   Jailer:  What must I do to be saved?  Believe....
  • Ps 138:1-3, 7c-8  "Your right hand saves me, O Lord."  In the presence of the angels I'll sing your praise; you answered me and will complete your work.
  • Jn 16:5-11  “I'm going to the one who sent me.  It's better for you that I go so I can send you the Advocate to convict the world regarding sin, righteousness, and condemnation.”
    • Creighton:  The jailer must have been confused.  How could the gates have opened?  But he still asks how he can be saved.  He can't keep this job, and his family must now be in danger. Our witness of God’s presence and power is subtler yet just as majestic.  If I see with Christian eyes instead of focusing on hate in the world, I'll see earthquakes every day:  miracles of new life, found love, and sacrifice.
    Paul and Silas praying in prison/ Murphy
    In the gospel, Jesus is starting to say good-by and the apostles, not seeing what's next, are grieving.  Maybe they're confused and/or afraid.  They want to believe and do right but have doubts.  Jesus understood their humanness and sent the Advocate; the Spirit would soon come strengthen them, give them gifts so they could change the world.  We have the Spirit like they did and can also be strong....
    • One Bread, One Body:  "The big picture":  In the Holy Spirit, open your eyes and see the big picture:  the universal Church, the whole world, heaven and hell.  Don't be imprisoned in the present but look to eternity.
    • Passionist:  The Spirit must have prompted Paul and Silas to stay after the gates opened. It kept the jailer from killing himself, and brought him and his family to Christ.  Not doing the obvious, not seeking their immediate self-interest, helped others.  The Spirit often prompts us and helps us go beyond ourselves to love.  We need the Spirit to be disciples. If we listen to the Spirit, we can share the love Christ has given to us....
      Bl. Oscar Romero, beatified 5-23-15
      (Beatification homily)
    •  "I will send you the Counselor":  Separation often leads to grief. The apostles were sorrowful when Jesus spoke about his imminent departure, though he said it was for their sake. He promised he'd send the Holy Spirit.  He told them the Spirit would convince (convict)  the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment.  The Spirit makes us holy by convicting us of our sin, bringing us to the foot of the Cross, and convincing us of God's love and forgiveness and our dependence on God.  The Jews thought they were serving God when they crucified Jesus, but on Pentecost Sunday, the Spirit opened many to recognize Jesus as the Messiah.  The Spirit convicts us of our unbelief and wrongdoing and convinces us of God's truth....
    Dress legend
    • 'Feet' pin:  The feet of Paul and Silas were secured to a stake (1st reading)
    • 'Clef' pin:  They were singing hymns to God (1st reading)
    • 'Chain with JC' tie bar:  The chains were pulled loose; "Believe in the Lord Jesus" (1st reading); Jesus spoke to his disciples (gospel)
    • 'Sword' pin:  Jailer drew his sword and was about to kill himself (1st reading)
    • 'Street light' tie bar:  Paul asked for a light (1st reading)
    • 'Silverware' tie bar:  Jailer provided a meal for Paul and Silas (1st reading)
    • 'Abacus' tie pin looks like prison bars (1st reading)
    • 'Hands' pin:  Your right hand saves me; don't forsake the work of your hands (psalm)
    • 'Heart':  I'll thank You with all my heart (psalm); grief has filled your hearts (gospel)
    • 'Angel' pin:  In the angels' presence I'll praise you (psalm)
    • 'Phone' tie bar:  When I 'called,' you answered me (psalm)
    • 'Dove' pin:  If I go, I'll send you the Advocate... (gospel)
    • 'Olympics' tie pin:  ...who will convict the world regarding sin, justice, and condemnation (gospel)
    • 'Ruler' tie bar:  The 'ruler' of this world has been condemned (gospel)
    • Blue in shirt:  Jailer and his family were baptized (1st reading)
      • White in shirt and socks:  Easter season

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