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April 2021

Fifth Sunday of Easter Cycle B

May 2, 2021

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Fifth Sunday of Easter Cycle B

 

Photo Apr 23, 12 40 10 PM
Acts 8:26-31
This reading deals with Saul, later to take the name of Paul, and his trip to Jerusalem several years after the death of Jesus Christ.

 

 

We have all heard the story about the conversion of Saul on the road to Damascus.  

The-conversion-of-st-paul-1528

 

It is important to remember that, as a youth, Saul (Paul) studied Mosaic law and he did become a rabbi.

 

We know, too, that he persecuted the early Christians, and thought that Christianity needed to be overcome.

Stpaul

 

He began preaching Christianity after his conversion, and finally went to Jerusalem to join up with the disciples.
Needless to say, the disciples of Christ were all afraid of him because of his persecution of Christians in the beginning, before his conversion.


This certainly is a story of conversion, and also a story of how God can work in each of our lives today.  At times we may think it is impossible for us to change, and that's exactly what they thought of St. Paul.

Conversion

All of us can have sins and failures in our lives, and we may even get to the point of thinking that we will never change, never convert.


But the story of Saint Paul is also a story for each of us to give us courage.  We all know that nothing is impossible with God.

 

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This letter, written to the early Christian communities gives us, today, the same message... that our Christian faith is not just not just in our words, but is must be also in our actions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Are we able to love the one who is difficult or seems impossible to deal with, in other words, the enemy?

 

 

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The gospel reading is an excerpt from the farewell address that Jesus delivered at the Last Supper on the eve before his death.
His words were to encourage and help them to persevere after his Passion and Death.

He encouraged them to stay close to his teachings, and in effect to stay close to him.

 

 

VINE

That same message is for each of us, especially in those moments that we are taking in with the ways of the world, which say that the most important thing is to think of ourselves first.

Me

However, we all know that the message of Jesus Christ is to love the others as ourselves, which is not the message of the today's world.

Jesus gave his disciples the image of the need to stay connected to Him and to his teachings.  He is the vine and we the branches.

John-15-5-vine-and-branches2

 


Jesus was willing to give his life for the other, and that same call comes for each of us every day, even when we are dealing with difficult or even impossible people.


We are called to love the other with our patience, our understanding, our compassion, our forgiveness, even to the enemy.

 

 

Love enemy

This is a good time for each of us to look and see in the events that happen today; are we staying connected to the vine with our love for the other or have we separated ourselves and are only thinking of ourselves first?

For sure, there will be moments we fail at this, but that is not the time to give up.  It is a time to pray for our own conversion, our own wake up call.

 

Fifth Sunday of Easter Cycle B

 

 

 

Video Clip on the Gospel...Fr. Greg Friedman...Franciscan

 

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Fourth Sunday of Easter-Cycle B


April 25,2021

 

 

4th-Sunday-of-Easter
Good Shepherd Sunday

 

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Sometimes when we see our own stubbornness, our own selfishness, our own sin,

it is difficult to believe that God will not get us or punish us.  

Yet that is so far from the truth.  

He often allows things that will bring us back to His Love.  

We can look at how much he loves us and, that means everyday and in all situations and difficulties.  

Unbelievable?  But true.

 

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  Photo Apr 19, 5 12 17 AM

In the second reading we are hear  what the early Christian community was told, as we are today, that we are always loved by God and our Baptism made us His children.  

 

We may at times, need to pray for the grace to believe this, especially  when we are faced with having to carry the cross, facing a difficulty in our life.

 

 

I remember well when my spiritual director told me that the crosses in my life were God kissing me, and I remember asking him to tell God not to kiss me so much.  But as I look back on what were difficulties, what were the things I rejected, the crosses, at the time, now they seem to make sense and I can see that God was calling me to see who I really was and that He does deeply love me .

 

Photo Apr 19, 5 10 23 AMIn the first reading from the Acts of the Apostles, Peter is addressing the crowd after they had seen the crippled man from birth cured.  Peter tells them that it was through Jesus, the promised messiah,  that the crippled was cured, yet few of them can believe.  They wanted a messiah who was a political figure, one who would make life easy for them.  

Aren't we the same at times?

We want a messiah who will take away all our problems and struggles.


Rejected stone

 

The crosses that we reject may well be  the corner stone of our lives.

That should help us to look at what we reject.  

Perhaps that rejection is trying to show us something about ourselves.  

Do I really believe that God is looking out for me;  that he is the Good Shepherd coming finding  me? 

Maybe the answer at this moment is no.  

I don't trust and I am not sure that at times  I believe.  

 


Photo Apr 15, 5 48 26 AM
 

 

The gospel was written for a people who knew about sheep.  They knew how stubborn they could be.

 

 

 

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Yet, in spite of the stubbornness of the sheep, the Good Shepherd will always seek the lost one, the stubborn one, the one wanting to be on his own, and at times that is each of us.   

 

 

 




 

 

 

In every event, He is seeking us out.  

That is easy to accept when all is well, but how difficult it is when the problems appear and are rejected by us.

Wasn't that true for those who could not believe the messiah had to carry the cross, suffer and die? 

 

Photo May 02, 1 30 33 PM
Amazing that God will never give up on us.

He is constantly seeking us out.  

How stubborn are we today?

No matter, He is seeking us out

 

Alleluia, Christ is Risen

Alleluia, truly Christ is Risen 

 

 

 

Clip

Video Clip Fr. Greg Friedman Franciscan

 

 

 

 


Third Sunday of Easter cyclle B

April 18, 2021

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Video clip on the Gospel Fr. Greg Friedman Franciscan

 

 

 

3rd sun

 

We are still celebrating the great feast of the Resurrection...

Easter-Appearance-50-days-of-Easter

For 50 days we are  in the liturgical season of Easter.  

Everyday we are to go to the Galilee of our lives to experience the Resurrected Lord.  

We are like the disciples who often do not recognize the Risen Lord when He appears to us each day.

 

  He-is-risen

 

 


Acts

In the early history of the church in Jerusalem, it was hard for the people around the Christians to believe that Christ had really risen.  In this reading we have an account of  how Peter and John, passing by a man who was crippled, healed him and now Peter addressed the crowd.

Healing cripple

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Each of us are called to also make the fact of the Resurrection of Christ clear to everyone that...

Christ is risen and is changing our lives.

We might ask how can we do this since we are not really like John and Peter.

 

Actions-speak-louder-than-words

 

We should think about the fact that actions speak louder than words.

 

Body of Christ


We are called in our Christianity to give a good example of being able to love the other as ourselves.


That means to love the neighbor, and yes, even the enemy.

 

Love-enemies


It is only through the gift of Christ in each of us that we are able to do this.

 

Christ can change you

The times that we can love the other as ourselves is a great witness to the resurrection of Christ.

 

 

1john

The words that we hear in this reading gives us courage when we fail, when we sin. Christ has died for us as sinners.  

 

 

We all know the story in the Gospel 

 

Luke

 

 

Emaus
The two disciples recounted what had taken place on the way, and how Jesus was made known to them in the breaking of bread.

 

 

As this story of the encounter is being retold to the disciples, the Resurrected Christ appears and tells them they are to be witnesses to all people.  


L24-jesus-in-room

 

We were given that same mission at our Baptism.  

We are to make the Resurrection message of compassion, forgiveness and love present to all we meet everyday.  We will need to pray to be able to do this  in our daily situations and difficulties.

 

Be_Ready

Make the Resurrection Message

present in the world through your action

in the world today 

 

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Second Sunday of Easter cycle B also Devine Mercy Sunday

 

April 11, 2021

 

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Fr. Greg Friedman...Background on this Sunday

 

 

Photo Apr 08, 4 35 52 AM

Remarks of Fr. Doug

The eight days after Easter  are liturgically all treated as if they were Easter, so we have the Octave of Easter.  The celebration is so important that for eight days were are reminded of the importance of the Resurrection of Christ.  In fact, for 50 days we will be in the liturgical season of Easter.  Everyday we are to go to the Galilee of our lives to experience the Resurrected Lord.  We are like the disciples who often do not recognize the Risen Lord when He appears to us each day.  

Have you experience the resurrected Lord today?  

Keep your eyes opened.  

Often it is in retrospect that we know He was appearing to us.

 

 

Easter Second Sun
Click here for more on History of Devine Mercy

 

Photo Apr 09, 10 12 32 AM The first reading is taken from a book that gives us an early history of the primitive Church between the years of the Ascension of Christ until 63 A.D. or about some 30 years.  

 

 

 

 

Photo Apr 09, 10 14 32 AM

 

This first Christian Community was in Jerusalem and they share everything in common.  We can look at that lifestyle and say that it is impossible for us.  We can even doubt such can happen today.    The point is to take a look at our lives.  

 

Do we  share?

Are we willing to go out of our way for the other person?  

Are we willing to give up and share some of our time, or our idea of how things should be, or our idea of how others others should act?

 

We, ourselves, can have lots of opportunities to share.  We may even discover that we are more selfish than we thought.  

 

Photo Apr 09, 10 27 12 AM

Watch and see this week at how many opportunities we will have to reach out to the other and share.

Are we willing to listen to a person who is difficult or at times is even boring?

 

Sharing things is important, but we will also have a lot more opportunities to share ourselves by being present or attentive to the other.  

 

The early Christian community discovered that sharing is a way of experiencing the Risen Christ.

 

Photo Apr 09, 10 30 53 AM


  It is thought that John wrote this letter to the Churches of Asia Minor between the years of 90 and 100 A.D.  It called them to realized that their faith received at Baptism had the power to overcome the ideas of the world.  That is certainly true today.  The world idea is not so much in sharing, but in getting all we can get for ourselves.  

 

All of the readings help us to realized that we can really be caught up in the ideas of today's world.  Going out of our way for others can be a way of experiencing the Risen Lord. 

 

Photo Apr 07, 8 34 18 AMThe Gospel we hear is that of the doubting Thomas.  We live in a world where we are surrounded by doubters. They can have such an influence on each of us. Thomas had left the group and it was only when he returned that in spite of his doubts, he experienced the Risen Lord.

 

 

Photo Apr 07, 8 19 27 AM

Perhaps we need to listen to that inner voice that calls us to return to what we have run from.  

Perhaps, like Tomas, that may where we will  experience the Lord.

 

 

 

 

Thomas

 

 


My lord

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alleluia, Christ is Risen

 

Alleluia, Indeed,Christ is  Risen

 

 

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Divine Mercy Sunday 2nd Sunday of Easter


 


Divine Mercy Sunday

(2nd Sunday of Easter)

Divine Mercy Sunday  2nd Sunday of Easter

 

 

Since 2000, the second Sunday of Easter has also been known as Divine Mercy Sunday.


Here are some extracts from a sermon given by Pope John Paul II on the occasion of the canonization of Sister Faustina Kowalska on 30 April 2000:


Today my joy is truly great in presenting the life and witness of Sr Faustina Kowalska to the whole Church as a gift of God for our time. By divine Providence, the life of this humble daughter of Poland was completely linked with the history of the 20th century, the century we have just left behind. In fact, it was between the First and Second World Wars that Christ entrusted his message of mercy to her. Those who remember, who were witnesses and participants in the events of those years and the horrible sufferings they caused for millions of people, know well how necessary was the message of mercy.
Jesus told Sr Faustina: “Humanity will not find peace until it turns trustfully to divine mercy.” Through the work of the Polish religious, this message has become linked for ever to the 20th century, the last of the second millennium and the bridge to the third. It is not a new message but can be considered a gift of special enlightenment that helps us to relive the Gospel of Easter more intensely, to offer it as a ray of light to the men and women of our time.


What will the years ahead bring us? What will man’s future on earth be like? We are not given to know. However, it is certain that in addition to new progress there will unfortunately be no lack of painful experiences. But the light of divine mercy, which the Lord in a way wished to return to the world through Sr Faustina’s charism, will illumine the way for the men and women of the third millennium.


It is important then that we accept the whole message that comes to us from the word of God on this Second Sunday of Easter, which from now on throughout the Church will be called “Divine Mercy Sunday.” In the various readings, the liturgy seems to indicate the path of mercy which, while re-establishing the relationship of each person with God, also creates new relations of fraternal solidarity among human beings. Christ has taught us that man not only receives and experiences the mercy of God, but is also called to practice mercy towards others: “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.” He also showed us the many paths of mercy, which not only forgives sins but reaches out to all human needs. Jesus bent over every kind of human poverty, material and spiritual.


It is not easy to love with a deep love, which lies in the authentic gift of self. This love can only be learned by penetrating the mystery of God’s love. Looking at him, being one with his fatherly heart, we are able to look with new eyes at our brothers and sisters, with an attitude of unselfishness and solidarity, of generosity and forgiveness. All this is mercy!


Sr Faustina Kowalska wrote in her Diary: “I feel tremendous pain when I see the sufferings of my neighbors. All my neighbors’ sufferings reverberate in my own heart; I carry their anguish in my heart in such a way that it even physically destroys me. I would like all their sorrows to fall upon me, in order to relieve my neighbor.” This is the degree of compassion to which love leads, when it takes the love of God as its measure!
It is this love which must inspire humanity today, if it is to face the crisis of the meaning of life, the challenges of the most diverse needs and, especially, the duty to defend the dignity of every human person. Thus the message of divine mercy is also implicitly a message about the value of every human being. Each person is precious in God’s eyes; Christ gave his life for each one; to everyone the Father gives his Spirit and offers intimacy.
This consoling message is addressed above all to those who, afflicted by a particularly harsh trial or crushed by the weight of the sins they committed, have lost all confidence in life and are tempted to give in to despair. To them the gentle face of Christ is offered; those rays from his heart touch them and shine upon them, warm them, show them the way and fill them with hope. How many souls have been consoled by the prayer “Jesus, I trust in you,” which Providence intimated through Sr Faustina!
And you, Faustina, a gift of God to our time, a gift from the land of Poland to the whole Church, obtain for us an awareness of the depth of divine mercy; help us to have a living experience of it and to bear witness to it among our brothers and sisters. May your message of light and hope spread throughout the world, spurring sinners to conversion, calming rivalries and hatred and opening individuals and nations to the practice of brotherhood. Today, fixing our gaze with you on the face of the risen Christ, let us make our own your prayer of trusting abandonment and say with firm hope: Christ Jesus, I trust in you!

 



A New Easter Story....

 Easter Sunday

April 4, 2012

 

The Mass of Easter Day

 

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Egg
 
Jeremy was born with a twisted body and a slow mind. At the age of 12 he was still in second grade, seemingly unable to learn. His teacher, Doris Miller, often became exasperated with him. He would squirm in his seat, drool, and make grunting noises. At other times, he spoke clearly and distinctly, as if a spot of light had penetrated the darkness of his brain. Most of the time, however, Jeremy just irritated his teacher.

One day she called his parents and asked them to come in for a consultation.  As the Forresters entered the empty classroom, Doris said to them, "Jeremy really belongs in a special school. It isn't fair to him to be with younger children who don't have learning problems. Why, there is a five year gap between his age and that of the other students."

Mrs. Forrester cried softly into a tissue, while her husband spoke. "Miss Miller," he said, "there is no school of that kind nearby. It would be a terrible shock for Jeremy if we had to take him out of this school. We know he really likes it here." Doris sat for a long time after they had left, staring at the snow outside the window. Its coldness seemed to seep into her soul. She wanted to sympathize with the Forresters. After all, their only child had a terminal illness.

But it wasn't fair to keep him in her class. She had 18 other youngsters to teach, and Jeremy was a distraction. Furthermore, he would never learn to read and write. Why waste any more time trying?

As she pondered the situation, guilt washed over her. Here I am complaining when my problems are nothing compared to that poor family, she thought.  Lord, please help me to be more patient with Jeremy.

From that day on, she tried hard to ignore Jeremy's noises and his blank stares. Then one day, he limped to her desk, dragging his bad leg behind him.

"I love you, Miss Miller," he exclaimed, loud enough for the whole class to hear. The other students snickered, and Doris' face turned red. She stammered, "Wh-why that's very nice, Jeremy. N-now please take your seat."

Spring came, and the children talked excitedly about the coming of Easter.  Doris told them the story of Jesus, and then to emphasize the idea of new life springing forth, she gave each of the children a large plastic egg.  "Now," she said to them, "I want you to take this home and bring it back tomorrow with something inside that shows new life. Do you understand?"

"Yes, Miss Miller," the children responded enthusiastically - all except for Jeremy. He listened intently; his eyes never left her face. He did not even make his usual noises. Had he understood what she had said about Jesus' death and resurrection? Did he understand the assignment? Perhaps she should call his parents and explain the project to them.

That evening, Doris' kitchen sink stopped up. She called the landlord and waited an hour for him to come by and unclog it. After that, she still had to shop for groceries, iron a blouse, and prepare a vocabulary test for the next day. She completely forgot about phoning Jeremy's parents.

The next morning, 19 children came to school, laughing and talking as they placed their eggs in the large wicker basket on Miss Miller's desk. After they completed their math lesson, it was time to open the eggs. In the first egg, Doris found a flower. "Oh yes, a flower is certainly a sign of new life," she said. "When plants peek through the ground, we know that spring is here." A small girl in the first row waved her arm. "That's my egg, Miss Miller," she called out.

The next egg contained a plastic butterfly, which looked very real. Doris held it up. "We all know that a caterpillar changes and grows into a beautiful butterfly. Yes, that's new life, too." Little Judy smiled proudly and said, "Miss Miller, that one is mine."

Next, Doris found a rock with moss on it. She explained that moss, too, showed life. Billy spoke up from the back of the classroom, "My daddy helped me," he beamed.

Then Doris opened the fourth egg. She gasped. The egg was empty. Surely it must be Jeremy's, she thought, and of course, he did not understand her instructions. If only she had not forgotten to phone his parents. Because she did not want to embarrass him, she quietly set the egg aside and reached for another. Suddenly, Jeremy spoke up. "Miss Miller, aren't you going to talk about my egg?"

Flustered, Doris replied, "But Jeremy, your egg is empty." He looked into her eyes and said softly, "Yes, but Jesus' tomb was empty, too."

Time stopped. When she could speak again, Doris asked him, "Do you know why the tomb was empty?" "Oh, yes," Jeremy said, "Jesus was killed and put in there. Then His Father raised Him up."

The recess bell rang. While the children excitedly ran out to the schoolyard, Doris cried. The cold inside her melted completely away.

Three months later, Jeremy died. Those who paid there respects at the funeral home were surprised to see 19 eggs on top of his casket, all of them empty.