May 29, 2017

May 29

May 29, 2017:  Monday, 7th week, Easter / Memorial Day

Wait—catch my Ascension post if you haven't yet!

  • 'Hands' pin:  "When Paul laid his hands on them, the Spirit came" (1st reading)
  • '?' tie pin:  "Did you receive the Spirit?" (1st reading); "You don't need to have anyone question you" (gospel)
  • 'Peace sign' tie bar:  "I've told you this so you have peace in me" (gospel)
  • 'Dove' pin:  "Did you receive the Spirit?" (1st reading); "you'll receive power when the Spirit comes" (Sunday 1st reading)
  • Red, white, and blue shirt:  Red for Holy Spirit novena, white for Easter season, blue for baptisms of John and Spirit (1st reading)

Listen to music for today and Holy Spirit novena
For Psalm 68
Pope Francis homily
Today's 1st reading could be called the Ephesus Pentecost:  the community had received the faith but didn’t know about the Holy Spirit.  They were good people of faith but not aware of this gift of the Father:  When Paul laid his hands on them the Holy Spirit came upon them and they began to speak in tongues.
The Spirit moves hearts as we read of people moved to approach Jesus, like Nicodemus, like the woman subject to bleeding for twelve years, like the Samaritan, like the sinner.  Ask yourself, what place does the Spirit have in my life?  Can I hear it?  Can I ask for inspiration before making a decision or doing something?  Or is my heart quiet, lacking in emotion and turmoil?  If an EKG were performed on some hearts, the result would be a flat line, totally lacking in emotion.  Even in the gospels there are “still” hearts:  the doctors of the law believed in God and knew the commandments, but their hearts were closed; they were not disturbed.
Let yourself be “disturbed”; ask the Spirit to help you discern and not have an “ideological faith.”  "I felt this…"  But isn’t that being sentimental?  Not if you're on the right track, if you to feel the urge to go visit that sick person or change your life….  The Spirit is the master of discernment.  If you don't have this kind of turmoil in your heart to discern what's happening, you have a cold, ideological faith.  The “drama” of the doctors of the law angry with Jesus derived from their hearts closed to the Spirit.  Ask the Spirit to guide you on the path of everyday life, to give you grace to distinguish good from less good, because it's easy to distinguish good from evil.
Open your heart to the Spirit.  In RevelationJohn invites the "Seven Churches," the dioceses of that time, to listen to the Spirit.  Ask for the grace to hear what the Spirit is saying to our Church, our community, our parish, our family, and for the grace to learn the language to understand.
    • Acts 19:1-8  Paul / disciples at Ephesus:  “Did you receive the Holy Spirit?” / “We never heard of a Holy Spirit.” / “How were you baptized?” / “John's baptism.” / “John told people to repent and believe in Jesus.”  He baptized them in Jesus' name and laid hands on them, and the Spirit came upon them.  For three months they debated boldly about the Kingdom.
    • Ps 68:2-3ab, 4-5acd, 6-7ab  "Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth."  God arises; his enemies are scattered like smoke is driven away and wax melts, but the just rejoice.  God is father of orphans and defender of widows...
    • Jn 16:29-33  Disciples / Jesus:  “Now we realize you know everything and believe you came from God.” / “The hour has arrived when you'll be scattered and leave me alone, but the Father is with me.  I tell you so you might have peace in me.  You'll have trouble in the world, but take courage; I've conquered the world.”
        The Ascension/ Dossi
      • Creighton:  Running a race is a success for all runners with benefits outweighing their struggles.  The race we run for Christ has benefits that outweigh the struggles we endure:  eternal life.  We'll have trouble but are encouraged that Jesus has "conquered the world."
      • One Bread, One Body:  "12 weak men":  The Ephesian believers talked and acted in such a way that Paul questioned whether they had the Holy Spirit.  When he found out they'd only received John's baptism, he told them about Jesus and baptized them, and the Spirit came down on them.  Though they didn't know Jesus, they soon received him and the Spirit.  They admitted their weakness, that they never heard of the Spirit.  The Spirit's power isn't for those who pretend they're powerful but for children.  Are you weak enough to receive the Spirit?
      • Passionist:  Paul baptized and laid hands on new disciples so they'd receive the Holy Spirit and receive gifts of speaking in tongues and prophecy.  We too receive the Spirit's gifts and the ability to strengthen the gifts that God gave us from our birth.  What we do with these gifts is up to us.  In the gospel, Jesus is giving his last instructions before his crucifixion.  He challenges the apostles' belief and tells them they'll leave him.  They won't understand his teachings till Pentecost when the Spirit makes things clear.  He didn't say believing in him would be easy, but our faith and prayer are the key to weathering today's storms, tapping into the gifts the Spirit has given us, and bringing hope and courage to others.
      •  "Peace in overcoming the world":  Jesus often taught in parables:  stories and images intended to spur reflection; now he speaks plainly about his mission to redeem the world through love.  The disciples believed Jesus came from God and taught as one who knew God.  Jesus, who knew their hearts, strengths, and weaknesses, warned them they'd be tested and would fail; he met their betrayal and abandonment with love and prayer.  Jesus reassures us of his peace, love, faithfulness, and victory as he did to them.  We may fail him, but he won't forget or fail us.  He assures us he's overcome the world and all that would seek to keep us from his help and healing.  He promises to guide us through trials or hardships.  He gives us his Holy Spirit who strengthens us and fills us with hope and trust.  The Spirit gives us the strength and courage we need to overcome adversity and to persevere.

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