Chủ Nhật, 28 tháng 5, 2017

MAY 29, 2017 : MONDAY OF THE SEVENTH WEEK OF EASTER

Monday of the Seventh Week of Easter
Lectionary: 297

Reading 1ACTS 19:1-8
While Apollos was in Corinth,
Paul traveled through the interior of the country
and down to Ephesus where he found some disciples. 
He said to them,
"Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?"
They answered him,
"We have never even heard that there is a Holy Spirit."
He said, "How were you baptized?"
They replied, "With the baptism of John."
Paul then said, "John baptized with a baptism of repentance,
telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him,
that is, in Jesus."
When they heard this,
they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
And when Paul laid his hands on them,
the Holy Spirit came upon them,
and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.
Altogether there were about twelve men.

He entered the synagogue, and for three months debated boldly
with persuasive arguments about the Kingdom of God. 

Responsorial PsalmPS 68:2-3AB, 4-5ACD, 6-7AB
R. (33a) Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.
God arises; his enemies are scattered,
and those who hate him flee before him.
As smoke is driven away, so are they driven;
as wax melts before the fire. 
R. Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.
But the just rejoice and exult before God;
they are glad and rejoice.
Sing to God, chant praise to his name;
whose name is the LORD. 
R. Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.
The father of orphans and the defender of widows
is God in his holy dwelling.
God gives a home to the forsaken;
he leads forth prisoners to prosperity.
R. Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.

AlleluiaCOL 3:1
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
If then you were raised with Christ,
seek what is above,
where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

The disciples said to Jesus,
"Now you are talking plainly, and not in any figure of speech.
Now we realize that you know everything
and that you do not need to have anyone question you.
Because of this we believe that you came from God."
Jesus answered them, "Do you believe now?
Behold, the hour is coming and has arrived
when each of you will be scattered to his own home
and you will leave me alone.
But I am not alone, because the Father is with me.
I have told you this so that you might have peace in me.
In the world you will have trouble,
but take courage, I have conquered the world." 


Meditation: Peace in overcoming the world"

How did the disciples come to believe that Jesus is truly the Son of God sent from the eternal Father in heaven? When Jesus taught his disciples he often spoke in parables - using short stories and vivid images which expressed in picture language what God's kingdom is like and how God's power can change and transform our lives to be like him. These stories were intended to make his disciples reflect and think through the inner spiritual truths he wanted them to understand and accept.
The Lord Jesus gives hope and strength to those who believe in him and trust in his word
Now Jesus begins to speak more plainly to the disciples about the mission and purpose for which he was sent into the world - not to condemn the world but through love to redeem it (John 3:16). The disciples professed their belief in Jesus that he truly came from God and taught as one who possessed full knowledge of God. Jesus' response showed that he fully knew and understood them very well. Jesus could read their hearts like an open book. He knew their weaknesses as well as their strengths.
Where do you place your trust and confidence?
In spite of their confident faith, Jesus warned his disciples that they would be put to the test and would fail. He knew they would desert him in his hour of trial when he would be arrested and condemned to death on the cross. Such knowledge of their faltering loyalty could have easily led to bitterness and rejection on his part. Jesus met the injury of betrayal and abandonment with supreme love and earnest prayer for his disciples (Luke 22:32; John 17:15). "He loved them to the very end" (John 13:1) - even when they had left him to die alone on the cross.
God's peace dwells with those who trust in him alone
Jesus reassures them of his peace, unfailing love, and victory over the world which is in opposition to God's reign. Jesus speaks the same reassuring words of enduring love, faithfulness, and victory to his followers today. "I will never fail you nor forsake you." While we may forget the Lord and fail him, he will never forget us nor fail to come to our aid. When you are put to the test do you seek the Lord Jesus and place your trust in his help and mercy?
The Holy Spirit fills us with expectant faith, persevering hope, and unfailing love
While we cannot avoid all pain and suffering which may come our way in this life, the Lord Jesus assures us that he has overcome the world and all that would seek to keep us from his saving help and healing presence. He promises to guide us safely through any trial or hardship we may have to undergo for his sake. The Lord Jesus gives us the gift of his Holy Spirit who strengthens us with faith, courage, and perseverance to stay the course which he has set for us. The Holy Spirit fills us with a living hope in the power of Christ's resurrection (1 Peter 1:3) and reassures our heart with a confident trust in God's abiding presence.
Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ and the victory he has won for us (Romans 8:35-39). The Holy Spirit gives us the strength and courage we need to overcome every adversity and to persevere with faith and hope in God. Do you believe in the power of Christ's love for you and in the victory he has won for you through his death and resurrection?
 "Lord Jesus, help me to trust in your unwavering love and saving help, especially when I meet adversities, trials, and temptations. Give me your peace when I am troubled and let me know the joy of your victory over sin and death."
Daily Quote from the early church fathersIn Christ we have peace, by Augustine of Hippo, 354-430 A.D.
"When [Jesus] says, 'These things have I spoken to you, that in me you might have peace,' he refers not only to what he has just said but also to what he had said all along, either from the time that he first had disciples, or since the supper, when he began this long and wonderful discourse... He declares this to be the object of his whole discourse, that is, that in him they might have peace. And this peace will have no end but is itself the end of every godly action and intention." (excerpt from TRACTATES ON THE GOSPEL OF JOHN 104.1.15)

MONDAY, MAY 29, JOHN 16:29-33
Easter Weekday

(Acts 19:1-8, Psalm 68)

KEY VERSE: "In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world" (v.33).
TO KNOW: Before Jesus ascended to his Father, he prepared his followers to face his final "hour" in which he would suffer and die. His disciples naively assumed that they had complete faith in Jesus; however, he forewarned them that when the time came for his passion, they would all fail him. They would scatter like frightened sheep who had lost their shepherd (Zec 13:7). In his agony, Jesus would feel as though even his Father had abandoned him (Mk 15:34). Yet Jesus and his Father could never be separated; He and the Father are one. Jesus told his disciples that they should not despair but have confidence in his presence. Although they would suffer greatly in the world, they must take heart. In Jesus' resurrection, he would be victorious over all evil.
TO LOVE: Do I need to console someone who feels they have failed the Lord?
TO SERVE: Risen Lord, help the Church to have faith in times of adversity.

MEMORIAL DAY

"The memory of the righteous will be a blessing." Proverbs 10: 7 
Memorial Day, originally known as Decoration Day, was established in 1868 to commemorate those who had died in the Civil War. The first official observance included a program at the National Cemetery at Arlington and memorial services in various communities. General John A. Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic designated May 30, 1868, "as a day for strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, hamlet or churchyard in the land." Memorial Day was expanded after World War I to include American casualties of any war or military action. It is celebrated in most states on the last Monday in May. 

Monday 29 May 2017

Acts 19:1-8. Psalms 67(68):2-7. John 16:29-33.
Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth — Psalms 67(68):2-7.
Let God arise!
‘Do you believe at last?’ is the question Jesus put to his disciples. We can hear the weariness in his voice. This passage is asking us to look at our faith, and it reminds me of a conversation when my faith was challenged.
One day I was in the company of some men who had fled their country in fear of their lives through persecution and conflict. Many of these men had been traumatised by their experiences. Our government offered them counselling, in the hope that they would become whole again. One very wise young man, whom I had known for some months, compared his people with what he knew of ours. This was his statement: ‘In your country you have counselling. In my country, we have God.’
‘Be brave’, Jesus says. ‘I have defeated the world.’

ST. MAXIMINUS

St. Maximinus was the Bishop of Trier, and was born at Silly near Poitiers. He died there either on May 29, 352 or Sept. 12, 349. He was educated and ordained a priest by St. Agritius, whom he succeeded as Bishop of Trier in 332 or 335. At that time Trier was the government seat of the Western Emperor and, by force of his office, Maximinus stood in close relation with the Emperors Constantine II and Constans.
He was a strenuous defender of the orthodox faith against Arianism and an intimate friend of St. Athanasius, whom he harboured as an honoured guest during his exile of two years and four months (336-8) at Trier. He likewise received with honours the banished patriarch Paul of Constantinople in 341 and effected his recall to Constantinople. When four Arian bishops came from Antioch to Trier in 342 with the purpose of winning Emperor Constans to their side, Maximinus refused to receive them and induced the emperor to reject their proposals. In conjunction with Pope Julius I and Bishop Hosius of Cordova, he persuaded the Emperor Constans to convene the Synod of Sardica in 343 and probably took part in it. That the Arians considered him as one of their chief opponents is evident from the fact that they condemned him by name, along with Pope Julius I and Hosius of Cordova at their heretical synod of Philippopolis in 343 (Mans, "Sacrorum Conc. nova et ampl. Coll.", III, 136 sq.).
In 345 he took part in the Synod of Milan and is said to have presided over a synod held at Cologne in 346, where Bishop Euphratas of Cologne was deposed on account of his leanings toward Arianism. [Concerning the authenticity of the Acts of this synod see the new French translation of Hefele's "Conciliengeschichte", I, ii (Paris, 1907), pp. 830-34.] He also sent Sts. Castor and Lubentius as missionaries to the valleys of the Mosel and the Lahn. It is doubtful whether the Maximinus whom the usurper Magnentius sent as legate to Constantinople in the interests of peace is identical with the Bishop of Trier (Athanasius, "Apol. ad Const. Imp.", 9).
His cult began right after his death. His feast is celebrated on May 29, on which day his name stands in the martyrologies of St. Jerome, St. Bede, St. Ado, and others. Trier honours him as its patron. In the autumn of 353 his body was buried in the church of St. John near Trier, where in the seventh century was founded the famous Benedictine abbey of St. Maximinus, which flourished till 1802.

LECTIO DIVINA: JOHN 16,29-33
Lectio Divina: 
 Monday, May 29, 2017

1) OPENING PRAYER
Lord our God,
when your Son Jesus had to pass through trials,
he knew that you were with him
and he committed himself into your hands.
In this way he brought peace to people.
As people baptized into his name,
let your Spirit help us to be brave
when suffering and difficulties come our way,
that, like your Son and with him,
we may overcome evil in ourselves
and in the world.
May our pains give birth
to love and peace and hope for others.
We ask you this through Christ our Lord.
2) GOSPEL READING - JOHN 16,29-33
The disciples of Jesus said, 'Now you are speaking plainly and not using veiled language. Now we see that you know everything and need not wait for questions to be put into words; because of this we believe that you came from God.' Jesus answered them: Do you believe at last? Listen; the time will come -- indeed it has come already -- when you are going to be scattered, each going his own way and leaving me alone. And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me. I have told you all this so that you may find peace in me. In the world you will have hardship, but be courageous: I have conquered the world.
3) REFLECTION
• The context of today’s Gospel continues to be the environment of the Last Supper, an environment of fraternity and of farewell, of sadness and of expectation, in which is mirrored the situation of the communities of Asia Minor at the end of the first century. In order to be able to understand the Gospels well, we can never forget that they give the words of Jesus not as if they had been registered in a CD to transmit them literally. The Gospels are pastoral writings which seek to embody and update the words of Jesus in the new situations in which the communities find themselves in the second half of the first century in Galilee (Matthew), in Greece (Luke), in Italy (Mark) and in Asia Minor (John). In the Gospel of John, the words and the questions of the disciples are not only those of the disciples, in fact, they reveal the questions and problems of the communities. They are the mirror in which the communities of that time as well as those of today are recognized with their sadness and their anguishes, with their joys and their hopes. And they find light and strength in the answers of Jesus.
• John 16, 29-30: Now, you are speaking plainly. Jesus had told his disciples: The Father himself loves you, because you have loved me, and you have believed that I come from God. I came from the Father and have come into the world and now I am leaving the world to go to the Father (Jn 16, 29-30). Listening to this affirmation of Jesus, the disciples answered: “Now you are speaking plainly and not using veiled language. Now we see that you know everything and need not wait for questions to be put into words. Because of this we believe that you came from God”. The disciples think that they have understood everything. Yes, truly they got a true light to clarify their problems. But it was still a very dim light. They got the seed, but at that moment, not knowing the tree. The light or the seed was the fundamental intuition of faith according to which Jesus is for us the revelation of God, who is Father: “Now we believe that you came from God.“ But this was only the beginning, the seed. Jesus himself was and continues to be the great parable or the revelation of God for us. God reaches us and reveals himself to us. But God does not enter into any schema. He exceeds all, goes beyond our schema and gives us the unexpected surprise which, sometimes, is very painful.
• John 16, 31-32: You are leaving me alone and yet I am not alone because the Father is with me. Jesus asks: Do you believe at last? He knows his disciples. He knows that there is still much lacking for the understanding of the mystery of God and of the Good News of God. He knows that in spite of the good will and in spite of the light that they have just received in that moment, they still have to face the unexpected and painful surprise of the Passion and Death of Jesus. The small light that they got is not sufficient to overcome the darkness of the crisis: Behold, the time will come, indeed it has come already, when you are going to be scattered , each one going his own way and leaving me alone; and yet I am not alone because the Father is with me. This is the source of certitude of Jesus and through Jesus, this is and will be the source of certitude for all of us: The Father is with me! When Moses was sent to liberate the people from the oppression of the Egyptians, this being his mission, he received this certainty: “”Go! I am with you” /Ex 3, 12). The certainty of the liberating presence of God is expressed in the name that God assumes at the moment of the beginning of the Exodus and of the liberation of his people: JHWH, God with us: This is the name for all time (Ex 3, 15). A Name which is present more than six thousand times only in the New Testament.
• John 16, 33: Courage, I have conquered the world! And now we have the last phrase pronounced by Jesus who anticipates the victory and which will be a source of peace and of strength for the disciples of that time, as well as for all of us, up until now: I have told you all this so that you may find peace in me. In the world you will have hardship, but be courageous, I have conquered the world”. With his sacrifice out of love, Jesus conquers the world and Satan. His disciples are called to participate in the struggle and the victory. To feel the courage which he gives is already to overcome the battle”. (L.A. Schokel)
4) FOR PERSONAL CONFRONTATION
• A small light helped the disciples to take a step farther, but it did not light the whole journey. Have you had a similar experience in your life?
• Courage, I have conquered the world! Has this phrase of Jesus helped you some times in your life?
5) CONCLUDING PRAYER
Protect me, O God, in you is my refuge.
To Yahweh I say, 'You are my Lord, my happiness is in none
My birthright, my cup is Yahweh;
you, you alone, hold my lot secure. (Ps 16,1-2,5)