April 13, 2018

April 13

April 13, 2018:  Friday, 2nd week, Easter

See about a dozen connections with today?
Legend below

For Psalm 27
Pope Francis

Homily:  True freedom is making room for God and following him.  Jesus gave us the freedom of God's children through his redemptive act on the Cross.  Examples:

Gamaliel, Pharisee and doctor of the law, persuaded the Sanhedrin to free Peter and John.  A free man who reasoned with a clear mind, he convinced his colleagues that time would take its toll on the Christian movement.
Free people are patient; they let God work.  Gamaliel hadn't recognized Jesus as Savior but was a free man; he thought things out and offered his ideas to others.  Pilate also reasoned well with a clear mind, realizing Jesus was innocent, but, not being free, he didn't overcome his desire for promotion.  A slave to career, ambition, and success, he lacked the courage of freedom.

Apostles Peter and John healed the paralytic, were hauled before the Sanhedrin, and were released after being whipped despite their innocence.  They went away happy for having been judged worthy to suffer for Jesus' name.  This is the joy of imitating Jesus, freedom that's greater and wider, freedom of someone who loves Jesus and is sealed with the Spirit through faith in him.  Even today, many imprisoned and tortured Christians have the freedom to profess Christ.

When Jesus multiplied the loaves, the people had come to make him king, but he escaped, avoiding triumphalism, not fooled by it.  He had freedom to do his Father's will, though it landed him on the Cross.

Do I possess Christian freedom, or am I a slave to passion, ambition, riches, fashion, or passing fancies?  Reflect on our freedom in this ‘schizophrenic’ world that shouts "Freedom" but is really enslaved.

Gaudete et exsultate nugget:  For you too:  We're all called to be holy by living with love and bearing witness in all we do. If you're called to the consecrated life, live your commitment with joy.  If you're married, love and care for your spouse.  If you work, labor with integrity and skill in the service of others.  If you're a parent or grandparent, patiently teach the little ones to follow Jesus.  If you're in authority, work for the common good, renouncing personal gain.

Let the grace of your baptism bear fruit in holiness.  Be open to God; turn to him in every situation. The Spirit enables you to, and holiness is the fruit of the Spirit in your life.  When you're tempted to dwell on your weakness, say, “Lord, I'm a sinner, but you can make me a little better.”  In the Church we find everything we need to grow toward holiness:  scripture, sacraments, holy places, living communities, saints, and beauty proceeding from God’s love.

This holiness the Lord calls you to grows through small gestures:  refusing to gossip, listening patiently, making small sacrifices, praying, being kind to the poor....

In life's challenges, God calls us to a conversion that can make his grace more evident, so we may share his holiness.  Other times we just need to find a better way:  to do ordinary things extraordinarily well, to live the present moment with love.

Led by God’s grace, we can shape holiness by small gestures, as good stewards of God's grace.  We can love with God's unconditional love, because the Lord shares his life with ours: “His love set no limits and was never taken back.  To love like that is not easy because we're often weak, but just to try to love as he loved shows that he shares his risen life with us.  In this way, our lives demonstrate his power at work, even amid human weakness” (NZ Bishops, Healing love). [14-18]

    I doubt it was like this
  • Acts 5:34-42  Gamaliel to Sanhedrin:  “Be careful.  If their endeavor is of human origin, it'll destroy itself, but if divine, you won't be able to destroy them.”  He persuaded them.  They flogged the Apostles, ordered them to stop speaking in Jesus' name, and dismissed them.  The Apostles left, rejoicing that they suffered for the Name's sake; they kept teaching and proclaiming Jesus.
  • Ps 27:1, 4, 13-14  "One thing I seek: to dwell in the house of the Lord."  The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom should I fear?
  • Jn 6:1-15  Jesus, seeing a crowd coming to him, asked, “Where can we buy food for them?” / “A boy has five loaves and two fish, but what good are those?”  Jesus distributed the loaves.  They had their fill, filled twelve baskets of leftovers, and said, “This is the Prophet.”  Jesus knew they were going to make him king, so he withdrew.

  • Creighton:  Through the Easter Acts readings we've witnessed the apostles' healing and preaching in Jesus' name, and their fearless joy.  Having received the Spirit, they remain open to the Spirit’s gifts and can't keep life in the Spirit to themselves.  May we trust in the life the risen Christ wants to give through the Spirit, not fighting back but being open and generous.  Today's gospel is a wonderful story of generosity and trust; we're invited to collaborate and share, offering all we have so all may be fed.  May we remain open to the Spirit who wants to bring new life to each of us and our community through our sharing and collaboration so all may have what they need.
    Miracle of the Bread and Fish/ Lanfranco
  • One Bread, One Body:  "Multiplication tests":  When Jesus saw thousands coming toward him, he asked Philip, "Where shall we buy bread for them?"  Today Jesus sees billions who don't know him personally and asks, "Where will we obtain workers for this harvest?"  How do you respond?  He sees millions aborted yearly in the US and asks, "What are we going to do about it?"  He also sees countless broken families, abused people, refugees, oppressed or sick people, and so on. What are we doing about it?  Instead of making excuses, give him all your loaves and fish, and all your life.
  • Passionist:  Each gospel has a different version of Jesus' multiplication of the loaves and fishes.  In John, Jesus takes the initiative, not the disciples, and he himself distributes the bread.  It takes place around Passover, evoking the manna sent to the complaining Israelites in the desert, and paralleling Elisha's satisfying 100 from 20 loaves.  The next mention of Passover will be around Jesus' death and resurrection.  Soon Jesus will speak of himself as the Bread of Life, broken and offered for all.  John portrays Jesus as knowing what he'd do before he tested Philip.  Jesus feeds and satisfies us; he's the new manna, also sent from heaven.  When faced with the impossible, we too can ask "what good are these for so many?"  We can't do anything on our own; we need to bring it to Jesus' attention and not anticipate the outcome.  When we release our "impossibles" to Jesus, he surprises us.
In the 1st reading, the Apostles, who denied and abandoned Jesus then hid in fear, were warned by the Sanhedrin to stop preaching, but they kept going all day.  Post-resurrection, they conquered their fear; the impossible became possible.  May we take courage, give our situations to Jesus, and know we're found worthy in our limitations, and our weakness is made perfect in Christ.

  • DailyScripture.net:  "The miraculous sign of Jesus":  Jesus' disciples complained it would cost at least six months' wages to feed the crowd, but Jesus used the little they had to satisfy everyone.  Jesus' signs, including this one, signified that God had sent him as the Messiah.  The miracle pointed to God's provision of manna and foreshadowed the true heavenly bread Jesus would offer.  Jesus claims, as only God can, that he is the true bread of heaven that can satisfy our deepest hunger.  When we receive the Eucharist, we unite ourselves to Christ and share his body and blood.  It "provides the medicine of immortality, the antidote for death, and the food that makes us live for ever in Christ" (Ignatius of Antioch, Ad Eph. 20:2); it heals body and soul and strengthens us for our journey.  What do I expect to receive in the Eucharist?  The Lord has more for us than we can ask or imagine:  intimate union with Christ, charity, strength to break with disordered attachments and to be more firmly rooted in Christ....  Today's miracle shows God's great generosity and kindness.  He gives more than we need for ourselves so we may share with those in need.  God takes what we have and multiplies it for others' good.
Dress legend
  • 'Gun' pin:  Theudas was killed, and his loyalists disbanded; similarly for Judas the Galilean (1st reading)
  • 'Street light' tie bar:  The Lord is my light (psalm)
  • 'Castle' button:  I seek to dwell in the Lord's house (psalm)
  • 'Clocks' suspenders:  Wait for the Lord with courage (psalm)
  • 'Heart' pin:  Be stouthearted (psalm)
  • 'Eyeball' pin:  I seek to gaze on the Lord's loveliness; I'll see his bounty (psalm); Jesus raised his eyes... (gospel)
  • 'Alps' pin:  Jesus went up the mountain, returned there... (gospel)
  • 'Wheat' pin (lacking a 'barley' pin):  5 loaves (gospel)
  • 'Fishes' tie (gospel)
  • 'Abacus' tie pin:  5 loaves, 2 fish, 5,000 men, 12 baskets:  do the math (gospel)
  • 'Crown' tie bar:  They were going to carry Jesus off and make him king, but he withdrew (gospel)
  • Red and white shirt:  Red for apostles/others who suffer/die for Christ, white for Easter season

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