Thứ Năm, 4 tháng 5, 2017

MAY 05, 2017 : FRIDAY OF THE THIRD WEEK OF EASTER

Friday of the Third Week of Easter
Lectionary: 277

Reading 1ACTS 9:1-20
Saul, still breathing murderous threats against the disciples of the Lord,
went to the high priest and asked him
for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, that,
if he should find any men or women who belonged to the Way,
he might bring them back to Jerusalem in chains. 
On his journey, as he was nearing Damascus,
a light from the sky suddenly flashed around him. 
He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him,
"Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?"
He said, "Who are you, sir?" 
The reply came, "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. 
Now get up and go into the city and you will be told what you must do." 
The men who were traveling with him stood speechless,
for they heard the voice but could see no one.
Saul got up from the ground,
but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing;
so they led him by the hand and brought him to Damascus.
For three days he was unable to see, and he neither ate nor drank.

There was a disciple in Damascus named Ananias,
and the Lord said to him in a vision, "Ananias." 
He answered, "Here I am, Lord." 
The Lord said to him, "Get up and go to the street called Straight
and ask at the house of Judas for a man from Tarsus named Saul.
He is there praying,
and in a vision he has seen a man named Ananias
come in and lay his hands on him,
that he may regain his sight."
But Ananias replied,
"Lord, I have heard from many sources about this man,
what evil things he has done to your holy ones in Jerusalem.
And here he has authority from the chief priests
to imprison all who call upon your name." 
But the Lord said to him,
"Go, for this man is a chosen instrument of mine
to carry my name before Gentiles, kings, and children of Israel,
and I will show him what he will have to suffer for my name." 
So Ananias went and entered the house;
laying his hands on him, he said,
"Saul, my brother, the Lord has sent me,
Jesus who appeared to you on the way by which you came,
that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit." 
Immediately things like scales fell from his eyes
and he regained his sight. 
He got up and was baptized,
and when he had eaten, he recovered his strength.

He stayed some days with the disciples in Damascus,
and he began at once to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues,
that he is the Son of God.

Responsorial PsalmPS 117:1BC, 2
R. (Mark 16:15) Go out to all the world and tell the Good News.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Praise the LORD, all you nations;
glorify him, all you peoples!
R. Go out to all the world and tell the Good News.
or:
R. Alleluia.
For steadfast is his kindness toward us,
and the fidelity of the LORD endures forever.
R. Go out to all the world and tell the Good News.
or:
R. Alleluia.

AlleluiaJN 6:56
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Whoever eats my Flesh and drinks my Blood,
remains in me and I in him, says the Lord.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelJN 6:52-59
The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying,
"How can this man give us his Flesh to eat?" 
Jesus said to them,
"Amen, amen, I say to you,
unless you eat the Flesh of the Son of Man and drink his Blood,
you do not have life within you. 
Whoever eats my Flesh and drinks my Blood
has eternal life,
and I will raise him on the last day.
For my Flesh is true food,
and my Blood is true drink. 
Whoever eats my Flesh and drinks my Blood
remains in me and I in him.
Just as the living Father sent me
and I have life because of the Father,
so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me. 
This is the bread that came down from heaven. 
Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died,
whoever eats this bread will live forever." 
These things he said while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.


Meditation: "He who eats this bread will live forever"
Why did Jesus offer himself as "food and drink"? The Jews were scandalized and the disciples were divided when Jesus said "unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood, you have no life in you." What a hard saying, unless you understand who Jesus is and why he calls himself the bread of life. The miracle of the multiplication of the loaves (John 6:3-13), when Jesus said the blessing, broke and distributed the loaves through his disciples to feed the multitude, is a sign that prefigured the superabundance of the unique bread of the Eucharist, or Lord's Supper. The Gospel of John has no account of the Last Supper meal (just the foot washing ceremony and Jesus' farewell discourse). Instead, John quotes extensively from Jesus' teaching on the bread of life.
In the Old Covenant bread and wine were offered in a thanksgiving sacrifice as a sign of grateful acknowledgment to the Creator as the giver and sustainer of life. Melchizedek, who was both a priest and king (Genesis 14:18; Hebrews 7:1-4), offered a sacrifice of bread and wine. His offering prefigured the offering made by Jesus, our high priest and king (Hebrews 7:26; 9:11; 10:12). The remembrance of the manna in the wilderness recalled to the people of Israel that they live - not by earthly bread alone - but by the bread of the Word of God (Deuteronomy 8:3).
Jesus made himself a perfect offering and sacrifice to God on our behalf
At the last supper when Jesus blessed the cup of wine, he gave it to his disciples saying, "Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins" (Matthew 26:28). Jesus was pointing to the sacrifice he was about to make on the cross, when he would shed his blood for us - thus pouring himself out and giving himself to us - as an atoning sacrifice for our sins and the sins of the world. His death on the cross fulfilled the sacrifice of the paschal (passover) lamb whose blood spared the Israelites from death in Egypt.
Paul the Apostle tells us that "Christ, our paschal lamb, has been sacrificed" (1 Corinthians5:7). Paul echoes the words of John the Baptist who called Jesus the "Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world" (John 1:29). Jesus made himself an offering and sacrifice, a gift that was truly pleasing to the Father. He "offered himself without blemish to God" (Hebrews 9:14) and "gave himself as a sacrifice to God" (Ephesians 5:2).
The Lord Jesus sustains us with the life-giving bread of heaven
Jesus chose the time of the Jewish Feast of Passover to fulfill what he had announced at Capernaum - giving his disciples his body and his blood as the true bread of heaven. Jesus' passing over to his Father by his death and resurrection - the new passover - is anticipated in the Last Supper and celebrated in the Eucharist or Lord's Supper, which fulfills the Jewish Passover and anticipates the final Passover of the church in the glory of God's kingdom. When the Lord Jesus commands his disciples to eat his flesh and drink his blood, he invites us to take his life into the very center of our being. That life which he offers is the very life of God himself. Do you hunger for the bread of life?
"Lord Jesus, you nourish and sustain us with your very own presence and life-giving word. You are the bread of life - the heavenly food that sustains us now and that produces everlasting life within us. May I always hunger for you and be satisfied in you alone."
Daily Quote from the early church fathersAbiding in Christ, by Augustine of Hippo, 354-430 A.D.
" Jesus recommended to us His Body and Blood in bread and wine, elements that are reduced into one out of many constituents. What is meant by eating that food and taking that drink is this: to remain in Christ and have Him remaining in us." (excerpt from Sermon on John 26,112)

FRIDAY, MAY 5, JOHN 6:52-59
Easter Weekday

(Acts 9:1-20; Psalm 117)

KEY VERSE: "Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day" (v.54).
TO KNOW: In the sixth chapter of John's Gospel, there are two important elements in Jesus' pronouncement that he was the "bread of life" (v.35). He is both word and sacrament. In John 6:35-50, the "bread of life" is a figure of God's revelation in Jesus: the "word made flesh" (1:14). Beginning in verse 51, the sacramental theme comes to the fore. Jesus plainly says that his flesh is "true food" and his blood is "true drink" (v.55). The Greek word that John used was not merely symbolic (phago means to "eat" or "devour"). He speaks of the reality of Jesus' flesh and blood in his Eucharistic presence. Through word and sacrament, Jesus continues to feed us spiritually, transforming and uniting us to him so that we can worthily enter God's eternal reign.
TO LOVE: Am I aware of Christ's true presence when I participate in the Eucharist?
TO SERVE: Risen Lord, feed me at your table of eternal life.

CINCO DE MAYO, MAY 5

The holiday of Cinco De Mayo, the 5th Of May, commemorates the victory of the Mexicans over the French army at The Battle of Puebla in 1862. It is primarily a regional holiday celebrated in the Mexican state capital city of Puebla and throughout the state of Puebla, with some recognition in other parts of Mexico. It is not, as some think, Mexico's Independence Day, which is actually September 16. Celebrating Cinco de Mayo has become increasingly popular along the U.S.-Mexico border and in parts of the U.S. that have a high population of people with a Mexican heritage. In these areas the holiday is a celebration of Mexican culture, of food, music, beverage and customs unique to Mexico.



Friday 5 May 2017


Day of Penance.
Acts 9:1-20. Psalms 116(117). John 6:52-59.
Go out to all the world, and tell the Good News — Psalms 116(117).
‘This man is my chosen instrument.’
Lord, your intervention is Saul’s life was quite unusual. It reveals something of the way in which you enter into my life. Rarely do you intervene and so alter the course of events. Instead you seem content to work through the lives of men and women. You live in each one of us and are dependent upon us to achieve your will.
In your appeal to Saul you identify yourself with those being persecuted. Through Ananias and Saul your will was realised. Jesus, help me to deepen my appreciation of these truly marvelous but mysterious truths. With your grace, may they profoundly enrich my life.

BLESSED EDMUND RICE

May 5 is the feast of Blessed Edmund Rice, an Irish businessman who was so moved by the plight of children in the port city where he worked that he founded schools and eventually a religious order to serve them.
Edmund was born in 1762 in Callan, Ireland. As a young man, he moved to Waterford and began to work for his uncle in the shipping business. He became quite wealthy, and when his uncle died, he took over as head of the company.
When his wife passed away and his daughter grew up, Edmund began to contemplate the next direction he should take in life. He thought about leaving everything behind and joining a monastery. However, one day, as he was talking about his vocation and his future with a friend, a ragged group of poor boys walked by on the street. Inspired by the sight, his friend exclaimed: "What! Would you bury yourself in a cell on the continent rather than devote your wealth and your life to the spiritual and material interest of these poor youths?"
Edmund took the conversation as a sign from God. He took on the mission of improving the lives of poor children through education. He founded his first school in Waterford, Ireland in 1802 with the intention of helping poor boys to “become good Catholics and good citizens.”
Selling his business, he immersed himself fully in this mission, and in 1808, he founded the Presentations Brothers, an order of men dedicated to education, and the first order of men to be founded in Ireland. The rule of the community was approved in 1821 by the Pope, and the name was changed to the Christian Brothers. By 1825, Edmund and his 30 Christian Brothers were providing free education, clothing, and food to about 5,500 boys in 12 different towns.
Edmund served as the superior general of the community from its inception until 1838, when he retired at the age of 76. He died in 1844, and was beatified in 1996 by Pope John Paul II, who called him “an outstanding model of a true lay apostle.”

LECTIO DIVINA: JOHN 6,52-59
Lectio Divina: 
 Friday, May 5, 2017
Easter Time

1) OPENING PRAYER
Our living and loving God,
how could we know the depth of your love 
if your Son had not become flesh of our flesh
and blood of our blood?
How could we ever have the courage
to live for one another and if necessary to die
if he had not given up his body
and shed his blood for us?
Thank you for letting him stay in the eucharist with us
and making himself our daily bread.
Let this bread be the food that empowers us 
to live and die as he did, 
for one another and for you,
our living God, for ever and ever.
2) GOSPEL READING - JOHN 6,52-59
Then the Jews started arguing among themselves, 'How can this man give us his flesh to eat?'
Jesus replied to them: In all truth I tell you, if you do not eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Anyone who does eat my flesh and drink my blood has eternal life, and I shall raise that person up on the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me and I live in that person. As the living Father sent me and I draw life from the Father, so whoever eats me will also draw life from me. This is the bread which has come down from heaven; it is not like the bread our ancestors ate: they are dead, but anyone who eats this bread will live for ever.
This is what he taught at Capernaum in the synagogue.
3) REFLECTION
• We are almost at the end of the Discourse of the Bread of Life. Here begins the part of the greatest polemic. The Jews close themselves and begin to discuss on the affirmations of Jesus.
• John 6, 52-55: Flesh and Blood: the expression of life and of the total gift. The Jews react: “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” The feast of the Passover was close at hand. After a few days everybody would have eaten the meat of the paschal lamb in the celebration of the night of the Passover. They did not understand the words of Jesus, because they took them literally. But Jesus does not diminish the exigencies, he does not withdraw or take away anything of what he has said and he insists: “In all truth I tell you, if you do not eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Anyone who does eat my flesh and drink my blood has eternal life, and I shall raise that person up on the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me and I live in that person”. (a) To eat the flesh of Jesus means to accept Jesus as the new Paschal Lamb, whose blood liberates us from slavery. The Law of the Old Testament, out of respect for life, prohibited to eat the blood (Dt 12, 16.23; Acts 15.29). The blood was the sign of life. (b) To drink the Blood of Jesus means to assimilate the same way of life which marked the life of Jesus. What gives life is not to celebrate the manna of the past, but rather to eat this new bread which is Jesus, his flesh and his blood. Participating in the Eucharistic Supper, we assimilate his life, his surrender, his gift of self. “If you do not eat the flesh of the Son of Man and you do not drink his Blood you will not have life in you”. They should accept Jesus as the Crucified Messiah, whose blood will be poured out.
• John 6, 56-58: Whoever eats my flesh, will live in me. The last phrases of the discourse of the Bread of Life are of the greatest depth and try to summarize everything which has been said. They recall the mystical dimension which surrounds the participation in the Eucharist. They express what Paul says in the letter to the Galatians: “It is no longer I, but Christ living in me (Ga 2, 20). And what the Apocalypse of John says: “If one of you hears me calling and opens the door, I will come in to share a meal at that person’s side” (Rev 3, 20). And John himself in the Gospel: “Anyone who loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him and we shall come to him and make a home in him” (Jn 14, 23). And it ends with the promise of life which marks the difference with the ancient Exodus: “This is the bread which has come down from heaven. It is not like the bread our ancestors ate, they are dead, but anyone who eats this bread will live for ever.”
• John 6, 59: The discourse in the Synagogue ends. The conversation between Jesus and the people and the Jews in the Synagogue of Capernaum ends here. As it has been said before, the Discourse of the Bread of Life offers us an image of how the catechesis of that time was, at the end of the first century, in the Christian communities of Asia Minor. The questions of the people and of the Jews show the difficulties of the members of the communities. And the answer of Jesus represents the clarifications to help them to overcome the difficulties, to deepen their faith and to live more intensely the Eucharist which was celebrated above all in the night between Saturday and Sunday, the Day of the Lord.
4) PERSONAL QUESTIONS
• Beginning with the Discourse on the Bread of Life, the celebration of the Eucharist receives a very strong light and an enormous deepening. Which is the light that I see and which helps me to advance?
• To eat the flesh and blood of Jesus is the commandment that he leaves. How do I live the Eucharist in my life? Even if I cannot go to Mass every day or every Sunday, my life should be Eucharistic. How do I try to attain this objective?
5) CONCLUDING PRAYER
Praise Yahweh, all nations,
extol him, all peoples,
for his faithful love is strong
and his constancy never-ending. (Ps 117,1-2)