April 19, 2018

April 19

April 19, 2018:  Thursday, 3rd week, Easter

See 17 connections with today?
Legend below
Listen
For the gospel
For Psalm 66
Pope Francis
Homily:   Every Christian has an obligation and mission:  evangelization.  “Get up”, draw near”, and “start with an actual situation” are keys to it.
The “wind of persecution” experienced by the early Church drove the disciples out to other parts of Judea and to Samaria.  Just as wind transports seeds and sows them elsewhere, so too the disciples went elsewhere and sowed God's Word.  This is how the Lord wants us to evangelize.
Get up and go:  Evangelization is not proselytism; the Spirit guides it, indicating where we're to go and to whom to proclaim Jesus' name.  The Spirit told Philip to “Get up and go.”  There's no such thing as “armchair evangelization.”  Be on the move; go to where you must declare the Word.  Many missionaries left everything to bring the Word of God to far-off lands.
Draw near; use actual situations:  Instead of beginning with a theory, draw near to what's occurring and start there.  Evangelization is not theoretical; it takes place person to person, starting from a situation.  Philip announces Jesus Christ, and the Spirit moves him to baptize the eunuch.  Go till you feel your work has been accomplished.
Gaudete et exsultate nugget:  The limits of reason:  The truth the Lord has given us is hard to grasp and even harder to express, so we can't claim authority to supervise others.  Different ways to interpret aspects of doctrine and Christian life can help express the riches of God’s word, though it might seem undesirable and confusing to those longing for monolithic doctrine with no room for nuance [EG 40].  Some currents of gnosticism attempted to replace the trinitarian, incarnate God with a Unity....

Our understanding and expression of doctrine is not a closed system precluding questions and doubts.  People's questions, suffering, struggles, dreams, trials and worries have an interpretational value we can't ignore if we take incarnation seriously.  Their wondering helps us wonder; their questions question us” [9-1-15].

We can think that because we know or can explain something, we're better than the masses.  The better educated may be tempted to feel superior [Vita Consecrata 38], but what we think we know should motivate us to respond more fully to God’s love.  “You learn so as to live: theology and holiness are inseparable” [3-3-15].

When Francis of Assisi saw his disciples were teaching, he wanted to avoid gnosticism.  He wrote to Anthony, “I'm pleased you teach theology, but don't extinguish prayer and devotion during such study” [Letter], recognizing the temptation to turn Christian experience into intellectual exercises distancing us from the Gospel's freshness.  Bonaventure pointed out that true Christian wisdom is linked to mercy:  “The greatest wisdom is to share what we have....  As mercy is wisdom's companion, avarice is its enemy” [De septem donis 9, 15].  “Works of mercy and devotionare united with and facilitate contemplation [In IV Sent.].
Read
  • Acts 8:26-40  The Lord spoke to Philip:  “Head south,” so he did.  An Ethiopian eunuch was returning home, reading Isaiah.  The Spirit told Philip, “Join with that chariot.”  Philip:  “Do you understand?” / “How can I?”  He got in.  “About whom is the prophet saying Like a sheep he was led to slaughter...?”  Starting there, Philip proclaimed Jesus to him.  When they came to water, the eunuch said, “What's to prevent my being baptized?”  Philip baptized him, then the Spirit snatched Philip.  The eunuch continued, rejoicing.  Philip continued proclaiming the good news.
  • Ps 66:8-9, 16-17, 20  "Let all the earth cry out to God with joy."  Bless God; He has given us life.  I appealed to him, and he didn't refuse his kindness!
  • Jn 6:44-51  Jesus:  “No one come to me unless the Father draw him, and I will raise him.  Everyone who learns from my Father comes to me.  I am the bread of life.  Your ancestors ate manna and died, but this bread comes from heaven so one may eat it and not die.  I am that living bread; whoever eats it will live forever.  The bread I will give is my Flesh for the life of the world.”
Reflect
  • Creighton"Jesus and carbs":  Jesus tells his followers that the path to the Father is through him.  He calls himself “the bread of life.”  Why does he make this connection, and what does it mean now?  Bread making dates back 30,000 years.  By Jesus' time, bread was a staple in most people’s diet:  inexpensive, easy to make, and portable.  Both Jesus and bread provide nourishment; we need both to live to the full.  Some tell us to eat “low carb,” but others say carbs are an important part of a healthy diet.  I think of Jesus as a high-carb eating plan.  Nutritional guidelines say most of our calories should be from carbs, from the right sources (including bread).  A no-carb diet is detrimental to the health of most, but creative marketing influences many to avoid even “good carbs.”  Society also influences us to avoid Jesus:  creative messaging can sway to think that buying a certain product or acting a certain way will bring happiness, but we can't be spiritually healthy without the Bread of Life.  Consume Jesus; be nourished, happy, and healthy.
    The Baptism of the Eunuch
    (Rembrandt)
  • One Bread, One Body:  "Full-Phil-ment":  Before we recognize the risen Christ, our hearts need to burn as the Scriptures are interpreted for us.  One of the ways Jesus interprets the Scriptures for us is sending us Philips.  We can't fully understand the Scriptures, for the Lord hides things from the learned and clever.  The Lord has set up the Church, so even the most learned will need the less learned in order to understand Scripture.  We need community, humility, and docility.  "What you've heard from me through many witnesses you must hand on to trustworthy people able to teach others."  We need each other, and others need us, to understand Scripture and meet Christ.  Listen to the Philips and be one.
  • Passionist:  Who sends a missionary and for what?  Jesus calls himself a missionary, “sent” by God to identify those drawn to God so they may receive eternal life; he knows who he is, who sent him and for what.  “Christians are missionaries to the extent they've encountered God's love in Christ:  we no longer say we're ‘disciples’ and ‘missionaries,’ but ‘missionary disciples’” (EG 120).  This understanding helps us to reread Scriptures with the "missionary disciple" lens.  What Philip, Peter, James and the other disciples did after the Resurrection was remarkable.  The experience of the Risen Christ transformed them into missionary disciples fearlessly standing before leaders and proclaiming his gospel of truth, justice, forgiveness, and love.  Missionary disciples are empowered to do what the Risen Christ did for his frightened followers:  open them to Scripture and give them the Bread of Life.  Once they begin their missionary journey, there's no turning back.  Let us be inspired by the missionary Jesus and his once-timid missionary disciples and be courageous missionary disciples today.
  • DailyScripture.net:  "If you eat this bread, you'll live for ever":  God offers his people abundant life, divine life, but we can miss it.  The Rabbis believed that the father who missed the promised land also missed the life to come. God sustained the Israelites in the wilderness with manna from heaven. This bread foreshadowed the true heavenly bread which Jesus would offer his followers.  Jesus claims as only God can that he's the true bread of heaven that can satisfy our deepest hunger.  The manna prefigured the abundance of the bread of the Lord's Supper Jesus gave to his disciples.  Manna sustained the Israelites on the way to the Promised Land but didn't give eternal life, but the bread Jesus offers sustains us not on our journey and gives abundant life to sustain us forever.  Jesus offers us the abundant life of heaven, but we can miss or even refuse it....
Dress legend
  • 'Angel' and 'dove' tie pins:  Angel and Holy Spirit spoke to Philip (1st reading)
  • 'Money bag' tie pin:  Ethiopian eunuch, in charge of the treasury... (1st reading)
  • 'Horse' and 'chariot' tie pins:  ...was seated in his chariot (1st reading)
  • 'Runner' tie pin:  Philip ran up and heard him... (1st reading)
  • Tie with book and reader:   ...reading Is 53:7-8... (1st reading)
  • 'Sheep' and 'lamb' tie bars:  ...about the Servant "like a sheep [led] to slaughter" and "lamb who didn't open his mouth," that Philip interprets for him (1st reading)
  • 'Jesus' (WWJD) pin:  Philip proclaimed Jesus to him (1st reading)
  • 'Olympics' tie pin:  "I'll give my Flesh for the life of the world" (gospel); let all the earth... (psalm)
  • 'Musical notes with "joy"' tie pin:  ...cry out to God with joy (psalm)
  • 'Feet' pin:  "God didn't let our feet slip" (psalm)
  • Flesh-colored suspenders:  "The bread I'll give is my Flesh..." (gospel)
  • 'Wheat' pin:  Bread of Life discourse (gospel)
  • Blue and white shirt, white socks:  Blue for waters of baptism (1st reading), white for Easter season