April 21, 2018

April 21

April 21, 2018:  Saturday, 3rd week, Easter

See about a dozen connections with today?
Legend below

For the gospel
Pope Francis

To Cuban youth:  Never fear to heed God’s call.  Fall in love with Jesus, and keep working for to advance the Cuban Church.  God’s call presents itself in everyday situations.  Be generous and open your hearts to the Lord!
You are not alone.  We build only out of our concrete community, where we carry out our vocation.  Love your country.  Look ahead.  Love Jesus.  Have courage; look to Mary.  May she watch over you.
At Rome's English Seminary:  A deep relationship with the Lord must be your first priority, but it's harder for you than it was for me because of today’s "culture of the temporary."  Nurture your interior life; learn to close your door from within, to strengthen your service to God and the Church.  We serve not out of mere sentiment but obedience, and in cooperation with others.  Since loving our neighbor isn't always easy, we need to be grounded in God who loves and sustains us.  This inner strength characterized the 44 16th-century English College martyrs.
Fear, including of ourselves, is one of our major obstacles but can be overcome with love, prayer, and humor.  When we overcome fear, we can help others to.  Nurture good, wholesome relationships that will sustain you in your ministry.  Friends help us on the journey to what's true, noble and good.
Gaudete et exsultate nugget:  A will lacking humility:  [Semi-]pelagians may speak of God’s grace but ultimately trust in their own powers and feel superior because they observe certain rules or adhere to a particular Catholic style [EG 94].  They think all things are possible by the will, as if it were something all-powerful to which grace is then added.  But not everyone can do everything [Bonaventure, De sex alis Seraphim] and in this life grace doesn't completely heal human weakness [ST I-II q109 a9 ad1].  God commands us to do what we can, ask for the rest [Augustine, De natura et gratia], and humbly pray, “Grant what you command; command what you will” [Augustine, Confessions X].
If we don't acknowledge our limitations, we prevent grace from working more effectively in us and don't leave room for the potential good that's part of genuine growth [EG 44].  Grace builds on nature; it doesn't make us superhuman at once.  Such thinking would show too much confidence in our own abilities, too little in grace.  Unless we acknowledge our limitations, we won't see what the Lord demands of us once his gift attracts and empowers us.  Grace acts in history, taking hold and transforming progressively [Trent re justification].  If we reject this, we can block grace, even if our words extol it.
God told Abraham, “Walk before me, and be blameless.”  To be blameless, we must live humbly in his presence, in union with him, cloaked in glory, recognizing his love.  Once we do, loneliness will disappear, and we'll know the Lord's will and let him mold us.  We dwell in God, who enables us to dwell in his light and love.  We ask to dwell in his house all our days. “One day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere.”  In him is our holiness. [49-51]
  • Acts 9:31-42  The Church was at peace, being built up, walking in the fear of the Lord, consoled by the Spirit, and growing in numbers.  Peter, finding paralytic Aeneas in Lydda:  “Jesus Christ heals you.”  All who saw turned to the Lord.  When disciple Tabitha died, the disciples sent for Peter who prayed, and she rose.  Many came to believe in the Lord.
  • Ps 116:12-17  "How shall I make a return to the Lord for all the good he has done for me?"  I'll call on the Lord's name.  Precious in the Lord's eyes is the death of his faithful.  You have loosed my bonds; I'll offer you sacrifice of thanksgiving.
  • Jn 6:60-69  Disciples / Jesus:  “Who can accept this hard saying?” / “The Spirit, not the flesh, gives life.  No one comes to me unless my Father grants it.”  Many returned and no longer walked with him.  Jesus asked the Twelve, “Do you also want to leave?”  Peter:  “To whom shall we go?  You have the words of eternal life.  We're convinced you're God's Holy One.”
  • Creighton:  "The hard saying":  Jesus says challenging things, such as his teachings on divorce and forgiveness, but today's gospel refers to "Unless you eat the Flesh of the Son of Man and drink his Blood, you have no life,” so shocking to his 1st-century Jewish audience that many abandoned him.  But the words say Jesus will remain with and in his followers.  The words reinforce the sanctity of our life and our belief in our resurrection.  The Eucharist is “medicine of immortality,” the seed of our eternal life.  Do I allow myself to be drawn into the realism and promise of these words?  Is Communion a moment of intimate communion with the One who remains with me?  Do I hope in the resurrection of my body along with Jesus'?
Pray for faith.  Learn and live God's Word, for "faith comes through hearing, and hearing by God's word."  Be willing to suffer for your faith; your faith will deepen.  The world needs people of faith!
  • DailyScripture.net:  "You have the words of everlasting life":  Many were attracted to Jesus because he offered them a sign of God's mercy and favor through his healings, deliverances, and miracles.  But many stumbled when he made claims only God can make, such as being the bread of heaven.  God helps us grow in faith and trust in his word, even his hard sayings.  Faith is a response to God's revelation of himself, based on the truth and reliability of God's word.  The Spirit enlightens us to understand the truth and wisdom from God.  Faith is the key to understanding and experiencing God's action and work in our lives. We can know God personally and grow in recognizing him as we listen to and obey him....
Dress legend
    St. Anselm
  • 'Peace sign' tie bar:  The Church was at peace,... (1st reading)
  • 'Walker' tie pin:  ...'walking' in the fear of the Lord (1st reading)
  • 'Phone' tie pin:  I will 'call' on the Lord's name (psalm)
  • 'Eyeball' pin:  Tabitha opened her eyes (1st reading); "precious in the Lord's eyes..." (psalm)
  • Red and white shirt:  Red for "...is the death of his faithful" (psalm), white for Easter
  • 'Hand' tie pin:  Peter gave Tabitha his hand (1st reading)
  • 'Wheat' pin:  Bread of Life discourse (gospel)
  • Tie with bread and other food:  feeding of the 5,000 (Jn 6:1-15, pre-gospel), Jesus as Bread of Life (gospel)
  • 'Dove' pin:  The Holy Spirit consoled the early Church (1st reading); the Spirit gives life (gospel)

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