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April 2020

Fourth Sunday of Easter Cycle A

May 3, 2020

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This, the Fourth Sunday of Easter, is also known as Good Shepherd Sunday.  

One of the most ancient depiction of Jesus was found in the catacombs.  

Below is an icon of the one found on the wall of the catacomb.

G shephard primitive

 

 

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In the First Reading, we hear of how fearless the apostles were after the Resurrection and Pentecost experience; where before they were afraid and fearful.  Now after Pentecost they plainly spoke out, without fear of arrest, suffering, rejection, or even death. Wow!  

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What about us?  

Are we willing to make Christ's message of love, mercy, and compassion to the other, even to the enemy present in the world? 

We live in a world that often indicates that to go out of our way for the other is foolish!  

We can be so influenced by the world around us, that we fail to understand the message of the Good Shepherd.

 

 

We are to go out of our way for the other . 

Why are we afraid to be merciful,

even to those who do not deserve it.

Why are we unable to have compassion on the undeserving?

Why do we try to escape from those who give us difficulty?

 

 

Now is the time to pray  for ourselves, so that we are able to see, that at times, we do not make Christ present for others.  

The problems and struggles are always a gift from God.

 

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It is through them we see that we often fail; that we need to keep praying for a Resurrection and Pentecost experience, and become like the Good Shepherd, going out of our way for the other,  even for the dumb sheep that we encounter in our daily lives.

That may very well be the person who is difficult or the person we don't care for.

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In the second reading Peter is speaking to newly baptized Christians who were struggling slaves.  They were told to not to be afraid of struggles and difficulties.

Peter is also speaking to each of us today . In case we did not know it we are all, at times, slaves to the ideas of this world.  

 

 

 

Gate keeper

The Gospel helps us to see that Christ calls us to go through the gates that we will all meet in this world

We are often fearful to go through the gate in this world (the struggles of this world).

 

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But Jesus is always watching for us as the Shepherd who is the gatekeeper.

He is always encouraging us to go through the gate, through the struggles and disappointments.

He is leading us on, no matter how many times we have failed in the past.

This time go through the gate...

Courage!!!

 

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We are the lost sheep that Christ comes for, encouraging us to go through the gates that separates us from the wall of this world and that of eternal life.  

 

 

 

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Come, follow me!

 

Dont give up

 

Courage.

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Third Sunday of Easter Cycle A

April 26, 2020

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 Everyday we are to make that journey on the road to the Emmaus in our own lives,

in all the events that will happen to us.

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 Will we recognize that Lord walking with us?

or

Will we be like the two men in the Gospel, unable to recognize Jesus,

until the breaking of the bread-     the Celebration of the Eucharist?

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In the first reading we hear that Peter and the Apostles were speaking of the Resurrection of Jesus and what it means to each of us today.

For the primitive Christian community, in the midst of rejection, persecution, and threat of death, they were still willing to speak out about Jesus, who gives eternal life.

Perhaps it was not so much what they said, but their willingness to witness with their lives.

What about us?

Are we willing to witness to the meaning of the Resurrection with our lives? 

Action not words

By our baptism we were called to make Christ present to others, not so much by our words, but by our actions.

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Are we willing to gives our lives for others?  Today we do that not so much physically, but psychologically.

Are we willing to listen to a person we would rather not listen to because we are too busy.

Are we willing to go out of our way for someone else, especially for the person who is difficult?

 

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In the second reading, Peter  gave the message that we have been ransomed from death (from sin) by the Blood of Christ and that this is given  as a free gift for each of us.

 

Are we willing to accept this and follow Christ, or do we get caught up in finding happiness, not in Christ and his gift, but in the materialism and the ways of the world, finding it difficult to go out of our way for others?

Materialism

 

 

Photo Apr 25, 5 33 10 PMWe all know the story of Emmaus, and the real challenge is to apply it to our own lives. 

 

 

 

Do we realized that we are on our journey every day and do we realize  that the Lord is always walking with us?

 

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 Click here to listen to my audio notes on the Gospel

 

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2nd Sunday of Easter Cycle A

April 19, 2020

Easter2

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We-5

In the second reading from Peter's first letter, written no later than 67AD when he was martyred, tries to help the newly converted to realized what the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus had done for them. 

He encourages them not to turn away from what God has called them to, Eternal Life. 

They, at times are tempted to turn to other wordly things. 

Peter tells them there will be difficulties, but not to be disillusioned. 

When the struggles come, isn't that the time we want wordly pleasure, whatever that is. 

There is such a strong temptation to turn to sin as a way to find relief from the difficulties, the struggles, the pain, the suffering.  It is the moment we can doubt what God is allowing to happen in our lives. 

Peter gives us courage.

.

It is so easy to forget what God has has freely given us, eternal life.

We can think it only to enjoy the things God has created for us in this world.

 

TheGospelOfJohn (1)

In the Gospel, the disciples are suffering, are filled with doubt about Jesus.  He appears to them and they believe.  Thomas is not with them and when he returns and is told that Jesus appeared he does not believe.  He is suffering, in pain, and filled with disillusion about Jesus.  How could this happen to Jesus, to the messiah.

Jesus appears again and this time Thomas is with them and Thomas believes.

I know that for me, when times are difficult or don't go my way, it is such a temptation to doubt that God knows what He is doing in my life. 

 

 

Thomas doubting

 

 

I become a Thomas.  I can turn to sin, to wordly pleasures to move out of my pain, my suffering, my doubts. 

Jesus did not give up on Thomas when he too was in this mind set of doubt and Jesus will not give up on any of us. 

 

Alleluia Risen

 

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Folded Burial Cloth over the Face of Jesus

 

 

Folded-cloth-54

 

In order to understand the significance of the folded burial cloth over the face of Jesus found in the empty tomb, we need to understand a little bit about Hebrew tradition of that day.

The folded napkin had to do with the master and servant, and every Jewish boy knew this tradition.

When the servant set the dinner table for the master, he made sure that it was exactly the way the master wanted it.

The table was furnished perfectly, and then the servant would wait, just out of sight, until the master had finished eating.

The servant would not dare touch the table until the master was finished.

Now if the master was finished eating, he would rise from the table, wipe his fingers and mouth, clean his beard, and wad up the napkin and toss it onto the table.

The servant would then know to clear the table.

For in those days, the wadded napkin meant, “I’m finished.”

 

But if the master got up from the table, folded his napkin and laid it beside his plate, the servant would not dare touch the table, because the folded napkin meant, “I'm coming back!”