April 30, 2019

April 30

April 30, 2019:  Tuesday, 2nd week, Easter

See a dozen connections with today?
Legend below
For Psalm 93

We can be reborn from our sinful existence only with the help of the power that raised the Lord:  God's power. The Lord sent us the Holy Spirit because we can't do it alone.  In Jesus' first apparition to the apostles, the Lord breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”  This is our strength!  We cannot do anything without the Spirit.  We can write our lives in flourishing penmanship, but we're reborn only from the Spirit, so we must make room for it.  The Spirit allows us to rise from our many limitations and deaths.

Those who call themselves Christian but leave no room for the Spirit and don't let the Spirit carry them forward are pagans disguised as Christians.  The Spirit is the protagonist of Christian life.  The Spirit accompanies us, transforms us, and overcomes sin with us.  The Risen Christ said, "Receive the Holy Spirit," the companion of Christian life.  One can't live a Christian life without the Spirit, our daily companion, gift from the Father, gift from Jesus.  Ask the Lord for the awareness that we can't be Christians without walking and acting with the Spirit, letting the Spirit be the protagonist of our lives.  What place does the Spirit have in my life?

Brazen Serpent/ Rubens
  • Acts 4:32-37  The community was of one heart and mind and held their possessions in common.  The Apostles bore witness to Jesus' resurrection.  Nobody was needy; they distributed property according to need.
  • Ps 93:1-2, 5  "The Lord is king; he is robed in majesty."  He made the world firm; his decrees are trustworthy.
  • Jn 3:7b-15  Jesus to Nicodemus:  You must be born from above.  You people don't accept our testimony; how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?  No one has gone to heaven except the one who has come down, the Son.  Just as Moses lifted up the serpent, so must the Son be lifted up, so all believers may have life.
  • Fr. Chidi Ekpendu homily videoSocialism, communism, or capitalism? None live up to the 1st reading.  Pray that people help themselves and others....
  • Creighton:  John was written about 60 years after Jesus' resurrection.  “With God” speaks to the preexisting relationship between God and Jesus.  Signs, light and darkness, life and death,  spirit and wind, seeing and rebirth testify to Jesus’ divinity and relationship with God.  The synoptics speak of Jesus’ journeys, parables, and healings; they testify to his humanity and call us to discipleship.  John invites us to be in relationship, in communion with his Father, with God, just as Jesus is in relationship with his Father.  We first meet Nicodemus, a Pharisee, a ruler of Jews, as he approaches Jesus at night; he not only has little light to see but is also "in the dark" about who Jesus is.  Jesus responds, "Only one born from above can see God's kingdom.”  What light is needed to be born again?  The “Spirit.”  Later we hear of the Samaritan woman who approaches Jesus at the well.  We don't know what happened to Nicodemus, but we know the Samaritan saw, understood, and told her friends and neighbors. The next time we meet Nicodemus is at Jesus’ crucifixion when he helps in prepare Jesus’ body for burial, possibly with fear, but also with courage and compassion.  The Spirit led him to the light so he could see the kingdom.  John concludes:  “Jesus did many other things, but if they were to be described individually, I don't think the world could contain the books.”  How did the Spirit blow through me so I could see more clearly?  Through a listening friend, a worn-down addict, a child...?  May we always notice...
  • One Bread, One Body:  "Credibility and consistency":  We'll have credibility and power in proclaiming Jesus' Resurrection if we devote ourselves "to the apostles' instruction, communal life, the breaking of bread, and prayer," our community is "of one heart and mind," those with property donate the proceeds to the apostles to distribute them to everyone according to their need," and we "rejoice in the Lord always."  Power in communication comes from credibility, and credibility is based on consistency.  To live consistent with the Easter message is to live in holiness, unity, sacrifice, and joy, practicing what we preach.  The Lord doesn't send us to proclaim his message without giving us the grace to live it.  Unbelievers are looking at our lives before deciding to believe.  May we live a risen life....
  • Passionist:  Everyone suffers; sometimes it seems a waste.  Jesus' suffering was crucial to the world's salvation.  In baptism we became one with Christ, so when we suffer, so does he.  And he doesn’t suffer in vain; we share in his saving work.  Our service also has meaning because of our union with the Lord.  “If we've grown in union with him through a death like his, we'll also be united with him in the resurrection.”  “I come not to be served but to serve.” The risen, ascended Lord serves through us.  “Christ has no body now, no hands, no feet on earth, but yours.  Yours are the eyes through which he looks with compassion on this world, the feet with which he walks to do good, the hands through which he blesses the world” (Teresa of Avila).  By baptism we receive new of life and are baptized into Christ's sufferings, service, and love, into a life with eternal meaning....
  • DailyScripture.net:  "You must be born anew":  Jesus spoke to Nicodemus of a "new birth in the Spirit" (to come through the cross and resurrection).  The Hebrew for 'spirit' means 'wind' and 'breath.'  "As you can hear, feel, and see the wind's effects though you don't know where the wind comes from, so too you can see the Spirit's effects.  Jesus points to the prophetic sign of the bronze serpent.  God showed mercy and instructed Moses to make a serpent; all who are bitten and look at it shall live.  This sign foreshadowed Jesus' saving work:
"The serpent signifies sin devouring the human race, biting us and infusing us with evil; only heaven could save us.  God's Word was made flesh, 'that he might condemn sin in the flesh'; he became Giver of salvation to those who gaze on him with faith.  But the serpent signifies that Christ was manifested by his passion, so none could fail to see him." (Cyril of Alexandria, Commentary on John 2.1, paraphrased)
The bronze serpent points to the cross that defeats sin and death and obtains life for believers.  The result of Jesus' "being lifted up on the cross," rising, exaltation, and ascension is our "new birth in the Spirit" and adoption as God's children.  God frees us from sin and fills us with his own life through the Spirit who gives us power and gifts so we may live in his strength as God's children.
Dress legend
  • "Resurrection cross" (sans Jesus):  Apostles bore witness to Jesus' resurrection (1st reading)
  • 'Money bag' tie pin, 'feet' pin:  Those who owned property sold it and put the proceeds at the apostles' feet for distribution according to need (1st reading)
  • '1' button, thanks to OneLife LA:  The community of believers was of one heart and mind,... with everything in common (1st reading); only the one who came down from heaven has gone up to heaven (gospel)
    • 'Heart' pin:  The community was of one heart (1st reading); Divine Mercy (Sunday)
    • Tie with crowns:  The Lord is king, robed in majesty (psalm)
    • "World's fair" suspenders with globe:  The Lord made the world firm (psalm)
    • 'Dove' pin:  "Be born of the Spirit" (gospel)
    • '?' tie pin:  "How can I?" / "How will you believe?" (gospel)
    • 'Serpent' pin:  The Son must be lifted up as Moses lifted up the serpent (gospel)
    • 'Eyeball' pin:  "We testify to what we have seen" (gospel)
    • White shirt and socks:  Easter season

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