April 27, 2018

April 27

April 27, 2018:  Friday, 4th week, Easter

See about a dozen connections with today?
Legend below
Pope Francis
Homily:  Paul tells the Jews the inhabitants of Jerusalem and their religious leaders didn't recognize Jesus, condemning him to death.  But he was raised.  Paul calls Jesus’ resurrection the fulfillment of God’s promise.  The people of God walked with this promise in their heart, knowing their status as elect.  Even when they were unfaithful, they trusted in the promise, knowing God is faithful.
We too are on the path to heaven, but we don’t know how best to explain heaven.  Some wonder whether it'll be boring there, but no!  Heaven is the encounter with Jesus.  Recall, “I'm travelling toward Jesus,” a meeting that will make us happy forever.
In the meantime, Jesus is working for us and praying for us.  Each of us must say, "Jesus is praying for me, working to prepare me a place."  He's faithful; he does so because he promised it.  Heaven will be this encounter, this meeting with the Lord who went ahead to prepare a place for us.  This increases our faith.  Jesus is the priestly intercessor, right up to the end of the world.  May the Lord make us aware of walking along a path with this promise and give us the grace to look to heaven and think:  ‘The Lord is praying for me.’”
Gaudete et exsultate nugget:  Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”  Peer into the depths of your heart:  where do you find your security?  Usually the rich feel secure in their wealth and think the meaning of their life can collapse without it.  Jesus spoke of a man sure of himself yet foolish, for it didn't dawn on him that he might die that day.

Wealth ensures nothing.  Once we think we're rich, we can become so self-satisfied that we leave no room for God, loving others, or enjoying the important things.  Jesus calls the poor in spirit, those with a poor heart, blessed, because he can enter with his perennial newness.

Spiritual poverty is closely linked to what Ignatius of Loyola calls “holy indifference,” which brings us to interior freedom:  “We need to train ourselves to be indifferent in our attitude to all created things... [so] we don't set our hearts on good health rather than bad, riches rather than poverty, honour rather than dishonour, a long life rather than a short one...” [SpEx 23d].

Luke doesn't speak of poverty “of spirit” but simply of the “poor,” inviting us to live a plain and austere life, share in the life of those most in need, and configure ourselves to Jesus who “made himself poor.” [67-70]
  • Acts 13:26-33  Paul in synagogue:  "To us this word of salvation has been sent.  Jerusalem and their leaders failed to recognize Jesus; they found no grounds for a death sentence but still asked Pilate to have him killed, but God raised him, and many are now his witnesses.  God fulfilled in the resurrection what he promised our ancestors."
  • Ps 2:6-11ab  "You are my Son; this day I have begotten you."  “I'll give you the ends of the earth to rule.”  Serve the Lord, and rejoice before him.
  • Jn 14:1-6  “Don't let your hearts be troubled.  Have faith in me.  In my Father’s house are many dwelling places.  I'll take you to myself, so that where I am you may be too.  I am the way and the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father except through me.”
  • Creighton:  Jesus' words of encouragement aren't a vague hope for an unknown future; he reminds his disciples who they are, to whom they belong, and what they know and have (faith).  Thomas, then Philip, are understandably confused; Jesus says, “I am the way,” and, “You know my Father and me....”  When we're confused, troubled, or afraid (maybe from a conflict or decision), we want clarity and control.  Jesus tells us our clarity, security, and safety is only in and through him. We need to listen for his voice of Jesus, in prayer or through a faithful companion, encouraging us to trust.  Lord, help us recognize the faith you've given to us....
  • One Bread, One Body:  "No limits":  Why was Jesus exasperated with Philip but serious with Thomas?  Maybe because Thomas asked with the intent of knowing the way and following Jesus, while Philip ended his question saying that if he got what he wanted, it would be "enough."  Do I put limits on what Jesus can do in my life?
  • Passionist:  Jesus is speaking to his disciples the night before he is to die.  Everyone, including Jesus, is anxious.  The disciples are reflecting on separation from Jesus.  Anxiety is a signs of our times.  We hear bad news and read people's worries on social media.  Uncertainty gives birth to hostility, and anger crushes kindness.  May we heed Jesus' “Do not let your hearts be troubled” and be quiet in God's presence.
  • DailyScripture.net:  "Don't let your hearts be troubled!"  Jesus knew we'd face trials and persecution.   Adversity can discourage us or press us closer to God and his promises.  Just as God went ahead of Moses and the Israelites to lead them to the promised land, Jesus says he's going ahead through his ascension to prepare a place for them in his Father's house:  a place of peace, friendship, and happiness with God.  God's house is never closed nor overcrowded; there's room for all believers.  Jesus' promise of eternal life puts our greatest fears to rest.
Traveling alone in unfamiliar places can be unnerving and bewildering, and some places are impossible to pass through without the right person.  The Lord Jesus promised his followers that he'd be their guide and friend and lead them to the source of peace, friendship, and life.  Jesus alone knows the way to the Father because he has been with him from the beginning.  He gives us more than a map or GPS; he personally is the way to the Father's kingdom, and we won't miss it if we follow him.  He accompanies us and watches over us.
Only Jesus can say, "I am the Truth."  One with the Father, he possesses the fullness of truth.  Jesus promised his disciples that if they continued in his word, they'd learn the truth, and it would set them free.
"I am the Life":  Jesus shows us the path of life and gives us everlasting life.
Dress legend
  • 'Heart' pin:  "Don't let your hearts be troubled" (gospel)
  • 'Castle' button:  "In my Father's house there are many dwelling places (sometimes translated 'mansions'); I'm preparing a place for you" (gospel)
  • 'Cars on roads' tie:  "I am the way" (gospel)
  • 'Crown' tie bar:  "I have set up my king on Zion..." (psalm)
  • 'Ruler' tie bar:  "Take warning, you 'rulers' of the earth." (psalm)
  • Crucifix tie pin, 'tree' pin:  Jerusalem inhabitants and leaders had Jesus put to death and took him down from the tree... (1st reading)
  • 'Alps' tie pin:  "I have set up my king on my holy mountain" (psalm)
  • 'Olympics' tie pin:  "I'll give you the nations, the ends of the earth" (psalm)
  • '?' tie pin:  "How can we know the way?" (gospel)
  • White shirt and socks:  Easter season

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