April 20, 2018

April 20

April 20, 2018:  Friday, 3rd week, Easter

Find 15 connections with today?
Legend below

For Psalm 117
Pope Francis
Homily:  Bread is essential for living.  Jesus offers himself to us as Bread of Life.  The Eucharist is a communion of love that calls each of us to be nourished by the Lord and give ourselves to others. 
As Don Tonino Bello recalled, works of charity aren't enough.  If charity of the works is lacking, every pastoral commitment is only a merry-go-round.  Don Tonino lived for others as a Bishop-Servant who learned to be eaten by the people.  He dreamed of a Church hungry for Jesus and intolerant of worldliness, one that sees Christ in misery, suffering, and loneliness.  Do you like to be served by the Lord, or do you get up and serve like the Lord?  Do you give back in life what you receive at Mass?

The Bread of Life is the Bread of Peace and conviviality; conflict and war are rooted in not knowing the other.  Love every face; build peace.  The Word of Jesus is to live, not sit and talk.  Don Tonino urged people to move from words to deeds, encouraging those without courage to change.  Go forth with courage to leave your comfort zone and take risks.  Be invested for Jesus, spent for others.  Be couriers of hope, joyful distributors of the Easter alleluia.  Be humble: not resigned, docile to God, empty of self.  Then God's Word frees you to advance as a witness of Jesus.
In Alessano:  Fr. Tonino knew that understanding the poor was true wealth.  He drew near to them, dispossessing himself.  He promoted world peace by acting locally, taking care of those in need and promoting justice.  For him, peace begins at home and work, upholding workers' dignity over profit.  Allergic to honors, he like Jesus stripped himself of signs of power to make way for the power of the sign.  He said the apron is the only priestly garb in the gospel; find strength to put it on.  Be swayed by his ardor and hear his invitation to live the Gospel without diminishing any of it.
To Benedictines:  Your motto, ‘Prayer and work and study,’ encapsulates your spirituality.  Prayer and meditation on God's Word generate zeal and lead us to share God’s wisdom with others through our daily work.  St. Benedict discerned the essentials of spiritual life, placing the Lord at the center.  Practice the same discernment to recognize what's from the Spirit and what's from the devil.  Your convents and monasteries are oases where people can discover the beauty of silence and the harmony of God’s creation.  Continue your ecumenical and interreligious dialogue and your hospitality.
Gaudete et exsultate nugget:  Contemporary Pelagianism:  Gnosticism gave way to another heresy, likewise present in our day.  Many came to realize it's not knowledge that betters us but how we live.  But this subtly led back to the old error of the gnostics, which was simply transformed rather than eliminated.

The power gnostics attributed to the intellect, pelagians and semi-pelagians began to attribute to the will, personal effort.  Now our will, not intelligence, took the place of mystery and grace, forgetting everything “depends not on human will or exertion, but on God who shows mercy” and “he first loved us.” [47-48]
  • Acts 9:1-20  Saul asked for authority to haul believers to Jerusalem.  On his journey, he was blinded and heard Jesus ask why he's persecuting him and tell him to go to Damascus.  God told Ananias where to find him; he went and laid hands on him, and Saul regained his sight and strength, was baptized, and began to proclaim Jesus as Son of God.
  • Ps 117:1bc, 2  "Go out to all the world and tell the Good News."  Praise the Lord; he's kind and faithful.
  • Jn 6:52-59  Jesus:  “Unless you eat the Flesh of the Son of Man and drink his Blood, you have no life in you.  Whoever eats my Flesh and drinks my Blood remains in me and I in him.  The one who feeds on me will live forever.”

  • Creighton:  We can eat Jesus' flesh and drink his blood because he sacrificed himself for us.  The Greek for 'feed' in this gospel can be translated 'graze.'  May we graze on Jesus, make him center of our lives, focus our life on him; we need to keep returning to him to feed us.  If we turn to the source of our life, he promises us a real relationship with him; we'll remain in him and he in us, preparing us to give our lives as food and drink for others.
  • One Bread, One Body:  "I believe in the great Mystery":  We can't understand how Jesus can "give us his flesh to eat," but we believe Jesus' revelation of the Eucharist because the Lord has given us faith, Jesus meant "This is My Body; this is My Blood" literally, Jesus is Truth, Jesus is the all-powerful God, as his Resurrection testifies, early Church Fathers taught that we receive Jesus' Body and Blood in Holy Communion, and the Church teaches that in Holy Communion we receive Jesus, "body and blood, soul and divinity."  May we center our life on our eucharistic Lord, living and dying for him.
    The Conversion of Saul/ Michelangelo
  • Passionist:  Both readings speak about blindness.  Saul was blind about Jesus, then becomes physically blind.  When Ananias lays hands on him, he can see again and begins to proclaim the Good News.  In the Bread of Life discourse, many don't understand Jesus, blind to who and what he is.  How are we blind?  Does stress blind us to God’s love and presence?  Does busyness blind us to his call? At times it was hard even for the mystics to see God at work.  Openness to Jesus can restore our sight.  We can receive the Eucharist, study God's Word, and open ourselves to each other.  Even Ananias had to trust Jesus and reach out to Saul.  As we trust in the Lord's love, we see more and more, till we're with Jesus and see him “face to face.”
  • DailyScripture.net:  "All who eat this bread will live forever":  The Jews were scandalized and the disciples divided when Jesus said "unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood, you have no life."  The miracle of the loaves prefigured the abundance of the bread of the Eucharist.  Bread and wine were offered in a thanksgiving sacrifice as a sign of grateful acknowledgment of the Creator, giver and sustainer of life. The sacrifice of Melchizedek, priest and king, prefigured the offering of Jesus, our high priest and king.  The remembrance of the manna recalled that we live not by bread alone but by the bread of the Word of God.  When Jesus blessed and gave his disciples the wine, he was pointing to the sacrifice he was about to make on the cross....  Paul tells us "Christ, our paschal lamb, has been sacrificed."  Jesus made himself an offering and sacrifice, a gift pleasing to the Father, and "offered himself without blemish to God" and "gave himself as a sacrifice to God."  When Jesus commands his disciples to eat his flesh and drink his blood, he invites us to take his life into the center of our being.
Dress legend
  • 'Letters' tie:  Saul asked the high priest for letters authorizing him to seize believers (1st reading)
  • 'Street light' tie bar:  A light knocked Saul to the ground (1st reading)
  • 'Jesus (WWJD)' pin: "I'm Jesus, whom you're persecuting"; Saul began to proclaim Jesus (1st reading)
  • 'Piano' pin:  Saul is the Lord's chosen 'instrument' (1st reading)
  • 'Eyeball' tie pin:  Ananias' vision; Saul regained sight when he laid hands on him (1st reading)
  • 'Hands' pin:  They led Saul by the hand; Ananias laid hands on Saul (1st reading)
  • 'Dove' pin:  "The Lord sent me... that you may be filled with the Holy Spirit" (1st reading)
  • 'Olympics' tie pin: "Go out to all the world" (psalm)
  • 'Wheat' tie bar:  Bread of Life discourse (gospel)
  • Flesh-colored suspenders:  "How can this man give us his Flesh to eat?" / "My Flesh is true food" (gospel)
  • 'Blood drop' pin:  If you drink my Blood, you have eternal life, and I'll raise you up... (gospel)
  • Red, white, and blue shirt:  Red for Jesus' blood (Is blood really red?) (gospel), white for Easter, blue for baptismal waters (1st reading)
  • 'Scales' pin:  "Things like scales fell from Saul's eyes" (1st reading)

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