April 7, 2018

Easter S

April 7, 2018:  Easter Saturday

  • "Boundless mercy" sign pin:  "A remarkable sign was done through Peter and John" (1st reading); preview of tomorrow's Divine Mercy Sunday
  • 'Flags' tie:  Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel (gospel) [I would have worn the 'flags with radio code shirt I wore last year but had to be dressier to play at Mass this afternoon.  BTW radio code has words for digits too.]
  • '?' tie pin:  "What are we to do with these men?"  (1st reading)
  • 'Hand' tie pin:  The Lord's exalted right hand has struck with power.  (psalm)
  • 'Silverware' tie bar:  While they were at table, Jesus appeared to the Eleven (gospel)
  • 'Heart' pin:  Jesus rebuked them for their hardness of heart (gospel)
  • White shirt and socks:  Easter day and season

Pope Francis
To Prado priests:  Follow in the steps of your founder, Bl. Antoine Chevrier, struck by the poverty of the most deprived of his time, close to them so they could come to know and love Christ.  You're imbued with his love for Jesus and zeal for evangelization.  Our age also knows poverty, material and spiritual; many experience all kinds of suffering, injury, misery, and anxiety.  The poor are often distant from the Church and the consolations of the Gospel.  The Church relies on you to reach them.
Your pastoral action is a charism that touches me and is at the heart of the missionary renewal the Church is called to.  “Speak of Jesus Christ with the same intensity of faith as Father Chevrier....  The poor have the right to hear about Christ; they have the right to the totality of the Gospel” (John Paul II).  Most poor people are open to faith; they need God.  Not giving them spiritual attention is the worst type of discrimination.
Return to your founder's inspiration; meditate on his life, and ask his intercession.  His intense spiritual experience of compassion for the poor, understanding and sharing their sufferings, and contemplating of the humility of Christ who became one of them, was the source of his apostolic zeal.  This will give you a missionary dynamism.
To Brescia youthTrue listening includes openness to change, walking together, and sharing dreams.  Listen to Jesus, change something within you, and adopt his dream, God's Kingdom, loving God and one another and forming a family of brothers and sisters with God as Father, who loves his children and is full of joy at the return of the lost.
When Jesus says you need to deny yourself to follow him, he doesn't mean hate life, desires, the body and relationships; they're all good.  Abandon the ‘old man’ in you, the ego that goes after your own interest, often masked behind a pleasant façade.  Many are slaves of egoism, attached to riches and vices.
Jesus died to free us from the slavery of sin that kills us from within.  But to free us, he needs our collaboration, repentance, humility, and love.  Those who trust him are rewarded with surprising experiences, such the joy of feeling the beauty of his Word, being attracted to the Mass, being with God in silence before the Eucharist, experiencing him in the suffering, sick, and abandoned.  The Lord also gives courage to go against the current without judging others.  These help you empty yourself and be filled with him.
Young St. Francis of Assisi was full of worldly dreams, but after Jesus spoke to him from the crucifix, he embraced the Jesus' dream, stripped himself of the ‘old man,’ denied his egoistic self, welcomed Jesus humble, poor, simple, merciful, and joyful, and admired the beauty of creatures.
  • Acts 4:13-21  The leaders, amazed at Peter and John's boldness and the cured man, ordered Peter and John not to teach in Jesus' name.  Peter and John:  “We can't not speak about what we've seen and heard.”  They released them; they couldn't punish them because of everyone praising God for what happened.
  • Ps 118:1, 14-15ab, 16-21  "I will give thanks to you, for you have answered me."  God's mercy endures forever.  The Lord is powerful; I'll declare his works.
  • Mk 16:9-15  Jesus appeared first to Mary Magdalene.  She told his companions, but they didn't believe.  Then he appeared to two more; they told the others, but they didn't believe either.  Then he appeared to them all at table and rebuked them because they hadn't believed.  “Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to everyone.”
    The Risen Christ appearing to Mary Magdalen

    (more appearances of the Risen Christ)
  • One Bread, One Body:  "Raising faith or raising hell?"  The apostles didn't have faith in the risen Christ even after Mary Magdalene and the two disciples who met Jesus on the road.  Then the risen Jesus himself rebuked the apostles for their lack of faith.  Faith is so high a priority for God that he himself deals with our lack of it.  Many blame evil on things but not on lack of faith.  At Mass we pray that the Lord look "on our sins but on the faith of the Church."  Like Jesus, focus on faith.  God is sending you the Holy Spirit to increase, deepen, and strengthen your faith; he gives you the gift of faith and the fruit of the Spirit called faith.  May you receive the Easter gift of greater faith.
  • Passionist:  We celebrate the life and legacy of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., recalling his life and its tragic ending 50 years ago.  He proclaimed non-violence despite the violence and injustice surrounding him and his followers.  May we believe better in Easter, the Resurrection, eternal life, and new life today.
    John Baptist de la Salle/ Leger
  • DailyScripture.net:  "Go preach the Gospel...":  The first to the tomb to pay her respects, and the first to see the risen Lord, was a woman known for her demonized living!  Unfortunately, the disciples didn't believe her.  Jesus scolded his apostles because of their stubborn hearts.  The Lord makes his presence known to us through the work of the Holy Spirit, giving us faith to know him personally and understand his death and resurrection.  Jesus commissioned his apostles to go preach the gospel to all creation; Christ gives this "great commission" to the whole church.  All believers are to be heralds of the good news and ambassadors for Christ.  The Lord works in and through us by the power of his Spirit.

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