Chủ Nhật, 14 tháng 5, 2017

MONDAY OF THE FIFTH WEEK OF EASTER

Monday of the Fifth Week of Easter
Lectionary: 285

Reading 1ACTS 14:5-18
There was an attempt in Iconium
by both the Gentiles and the Jews,
together with their leaders,
to attack and stone Paul and Barnabas.
They realized it,
and fled to the Lycaonian cities of Lystra and Derbe
and to the surrounding countryside,
where they continued to proclaim the Good News.

At Lystra there was a crippled man, lame from birth,
who had never walked. 
He listened to Paul speaking, who looked intently at him,
saw that he had the faith to be healed,
and called out in a loud voice, "Stand up straight on your feet."
He jumped up and began to walk about.
When the crowds saw what Paul had done,
they cried out in Lycaonian,
"The gods have come down to us in human form." 
They called Barnabas "Zeus" and Paul "Hermes,"
because he was the chief speaker.
And the priest of Zeus, whose temple was at the entrance to the city,
brought oxen and garlands to the gates,
for he together with the people intended to offer sacrifice.

The Apostles Barnabas and Paul tore their garments
when they heard this and rushed out into the crowd, shouting,
"Men, why are you doing this? 
We are of the same nature as you, human beings. 
We proclaim to you good news
that you should turn from these idols to the living God,
who made heaven and earth and sea and all that is in them.
In past generations he allowed all Gentiles to go their own ways;
yet, in bestowing his goodness,
he did not leave himself without witness,
for he gave you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons,
and filled you with nourishment and gladness for your hearts."
Even with these words, they scarcely restrained the crowds
from offering sacrifice to them.

Responsorial PsalmPS 115:1-2, 3-4, 15-16
R. (1ab) Not to us, O Lord, but to your name give the glory.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Not to us, O LORD, not to us
but to your name give glory
because of your mercy, because of your truth.
Why should the pagans say,
"Where is their God?"
R. Not to us, O Lord, but to your name give the glory.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Our God is in heaven;
whatever he wills, he does.
Their idols are silver and gold,
the handiwork of men.
R. Not to us, O Lord, but to your name give the glory.
or:
R. Alleluia.
May you be blessed by the LORD,
who made heaven and earth.
Heaven is the heaven of the LORD,
but the earth he has given to the children of men.
R. Not to us, O Lord, but to your name give the glory.
or:
R. Alleluia.

AlleluiaJN 14:26
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The Holy Spirit will teach you everything
and remind you of all I told you.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Whoever has my commandments and observes them
is the one who loves me.
Whoever loves me will be loved by my Father,
and I will love him and reveal myself to him."
Judas, not the Iscariot, said to him,
"Master, then what happened that you will reveal yourself to us
and not to the world?"
Jesus answered and said to him,
"Whoever loves me will keep my word,
and my Father will love him,
and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.
Whoever does not love me does not keep my words;
yet the word you hear is not mine
but that of the Father who sent me.

"I have told you this while I am with you.
The Advocate, the Holy Spirit 
whom the Father will send in my name— 
he will teach you everything
and remind you of all that I told you."


Meditation: "If you love me, keep my word"
Do you know the love that surpasses all, that is stronger than death itself (Song of Songs 8:6)? In Jesus' last supper discourse he speaks of the love he has for his disciples and of his Father's love. He prepares his disciples for his imminent departure to return to his Father by exhorting them to prove their love for him through their loyalty and obedience to his word. He promises them the abiding instruction and consolation of the Holy Spirit.
Saint Augustine says the Lord loves each of us as if there were only one of us to love. God’s love for each of us is as real and tangible as the love of a mother for her child and the love of a lover who gives all for his beloved. God made us in love for love - to know him personally and to grow in the knowledge of his great love for us and to love him in return.
God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit
How can we know and be assured of the love of God? The Holy Spirit helps us to grow in the knowledge of God and his great love. The Spirit enables us to experience the love of God and to be assured of the Lord’s abiding presence with us
 (see Romans 5:5 and 8:35-39). The Holy Spirit also opens our ears to hear and understand the word of God. Do you listen attentively to God's word and believe it? Ask the Holy Spirit to inflame your heart with the love of God and his word.
"Lord Jesus, in love you created me and you drew me to yourself. May I never lose sight of you nor forget your steadfast love and faithfulness. And may I daily dwell upon your word and give you praise in the sanctuary of my heart, You who are my All."
Daily Quote from the early church fathersGod is pleased to dwell in us, by Augustine of Hippo, 354-430 A.D.
"God is not too grand to come, he is not too fussy or shy, he is not too proud - on the contrary he is pleased to come if you do not displease him. Listen to the promise he makes. Listen to him indeed promising with pleasure, not threatening in displeasure, "We shall come to him," he says, "I and the Father." To the one he had earlier called his friend, the one who obeys his precepts, the keeper of his commandment, the lover of God, the lover of his neighbor, he says, "We shall come to him and make our abode with him." (excerpt from Sermon 23,6)

MONDAY, MAY 15, JOHN 14:21-26
Easter Weekday

(Acts 14:5-18; Psalm 115)

KEY VERSE: "Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me" (v.21).
TO KNOW: As Jesus prepared to return to the Father, he comforted his fearful and bewildered disciples about his impending departure. The disciples were afraid that Jesus was abandoning them, but he assured them that he would not leave them orphans. He and the Father would send another "Advocate" (Greek, parakletos, an intercessor, one who defends someone as in a court of law) who would give them help in time of need. Judas (not the Iscariot) asked, “Master, why is it that you will reveal yourself to us and not to the world?” Jesus said that the unbelieving world could not accept this truth because they did not love him, nor did they keep his commands. Jesus' disciples would prove their love by obedience to his word and by loving one another (13:34). Jesus promised that he and the Father would make their dwelling within the hearts of believers. The Holy Spirit, or the "Advocate," would be sent by the Father in Jesus' name to remind his followers of everything that he taught them.
TO LOVE: Have I kept Jesus' command to love those who may be hard to love?
TO SERVE: Holy Spirit, be my advocate when I face a difficult situation.

Optional Memorial of Saint Isidore the Farmer

Isidore was a pious farmer, married to Mary de la Cabeza. When their young son died, they were convinced it was the will of God that they not have children, and they lived together celibately, doing good works the rest of their lives. Accused by fellow workers of shirking his duties by attending Mass each day and taking time out for prayers, Isidore claimed he had no choice but to follow the highest Master, the Lord. It is said that when his master came to chastise him for skipping work for church, he found angels plowing the fields in place of Isidore. Miracles and cures were reported at his grave, in which his body remains incorrupt.



Monday 15 May 2017

Acts 14:5-18. Psalms 113B(115):1-4, 15-16. John 14:21-26.
Not to us, O Lord, but to your name give the glory — Psalms 113B(115):1-4, 15-16.
‘The Holy Spirit will remind you of all that I have taught you.’
Next time we make the Sign of the Cross, let us take a moment to reflect on those persons of God. Each one is creating me, drawing me to a place of wholeness.
I am created by God, I am shown the way by Jesus, and the Holy Spirit provides a sense of adventure in my becoming. The gifts of the Holy Spirit offer the chance of creativity in an otherwise dull, unexamined existence.
I ask this question in my prayer: ‘Do I make a difference in my small world?’ Each of us can bring a little order, a sense of life and beauty, to those around us, by working with the Holy Spirit.
Let us give thanks for those in our world who show courage amidst chaos and darkness. And let us lean on the Holy Spirit for our next day.


ST. ISIDORE

Isidore was born in 1070 in Madrid, Spain. His family was poor, and he labored as a farmer on the land owned by a rich man named John de Vergas. He was very pious and such a good worker that de Vergas allowed him to worship daily in the chapel on his property, and because of thes he was often accused by his fellow workers of neglecting his duties because he made prayer a higher priority.
Isidore eventually married a woman named Mary, and together they had a son. However their son died while still very young, and through this they realized that it was the will of God for them not have children, so they lived together chastely the rest of their lives, doing good works.
Although he remained poor, he gave whatever he could spare to the poor. One tale says that as he walked to the mill one day, he stopped and gave half of the corn in his sack to the hungry birds. By the time he got to the mill, his sack had miraculously filled up again. He died in 1130 of natural causes.
Many miracles and cures have been reported at his grave, in which his body remains incorruptible. His wife, too, was canonized—Saint Mary de la Cabeza.
He is the patron saint of agricultural workers and the United States National Rural Life Conference.

LECTIO DIVINA: JOHN 14,21-26
Lectio Divina: 
 Monday, May 15, 2017
Easter Time

1) OPENING PRAYER
Lord God, loving Father,
we look for your presence
in the temple of nature
and in churches built by our hands,
and you are there with your people.
But above all, you have made your temple
right in our hearts.
God, give us eyes of faith and love
to recognize that you live in us
with your Son and the Holy Spirit
if we keep the word of Jesus Christ,
your Son and our Lord for ever.
2) GOSPEL READING - JOHN 14,21-26
Jesus said to his disciples: "Whoever holds to my commandments and keeps them is the one who loves me; and whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I shall love him and reveal myself to him.' Judas -- not Judas Iscariot -- said to him, 'Lord, what has happened, that you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?' Jesus replied: 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. Anyone who does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not my own: it is the word of the Father who sent me. I have said these things to you while still with you; but the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and remind you of all I have said to you.
3) REFLECTION
• As we said at the beginning, chapter 14 of the Gospel of John is a beautiful example of how the catechesis was done in the communities of Asia Minor, at the end of the first century. Through the questions of the disciples and the responses of Jesus, the Christians formed their conscience and found an orientation for their problems. In chapter 14, we find the question of Thomas and the answer of Jesus (Jn 14, 5-7), the question of Philip and the response of Jesus (Jn 14, 8-21), and the question of Judas and the answer of Jesus (Jn 12, 22-26). The last phrase of the answer of Jesus to Philip (Jn 14, 21) forms the first verse of today’s Gospel.
• John 14, 21: I shall love him and reveal myself to him. This verse presents the summary of the response of Jesus to Philip. Philip had said: “Show us the Father and then we shall be satisfied!” (Jn 14, 8). Moses had asked God: “Show me your glory!” (Ex 33, 18). God answered: “My face you cannot see, for no human being can see me and survive” (Ex 33, 20). The Father cannot be shown. God lives in inaccessible light (1 Tim 6, 16). “Nobody has ever seen God” (I Jn 4, 12). But the presence of the Father can be experienced through the experience of love. The First Letter of Saint John says: “He who does not love does not know God because God is Love”. Jesus tells Philip: “Whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I shall love him and reveal myself to him”. By observing the commandment of Jesus, which is the commandment to love our neighbour (Jn 15, 17), the person shows his love for Jesus. And whoever loves Jesus, will be loved by the Father and can be certain that the Father will manifest himself to him. In the response to Judas, Jesus will say how this manifestation of the Father will take place in our life.
• John 14, 22: The question of Judas is the question of all. The question of Judas: “Lord, what has happened that you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?” This question of Judas mirrors a problem which is real even today. Sometimes, among us, Christians, there arises the idea of being better than the others and of being loved by God more than others. Do we attribute to God the distinction among persons?
• John 14, 23-24: The answer of Jesus. The answer of Jesus is simple and profound. He repeats what he had just said to Philip. The problem is not if we, Christians, are loved more by God than others, or that the others are despised by God. This is not the criterion for the preference of the Father. The criterion for the preference of the Father is always the same: love. “If anyone loves me, he will observe my word, and my Father will love him and we shall come to him and make a home in him. Anyone who does not love me does not keep my words”. Independently of whether the person is Christian or not, the Father manifests himself to all those who observe the commandment of Jesus which is love for neighbour (Jn 15, 17). In what does the manifestation of the Father consist? The response to this question is engraved in the heart of humanity, in the universal human experience. Observe the life of the persons who practice love and make of their life a gift for others. Examine their experience, independently of religion, of social class, of race or colour, the practice of love gives us a profound peace and it is a great joy that they succeed to live and bear together pain and suffering. This experience is the reflection of the manifestation of the Father in the life of the person. It is the realization of the promise: “I and the Father will come to him and make our home in him.
• John 14, 25-26: The promise of the Holy Spirit. Jesus ends his response to Judas saying: I have said these things to you while still with you. Jesus communicates everything which he has heard from the Father (Jn 15, 15). His words are a source of life and they should be meditated, deepened and updated constantly in the light of the always new reality which surrounds us. For this constant meditation of his words, Jesus promises us the help of the Holy Spirit: “The Consoler, the Holy Spirit that the Father will send in my name will teach you everything and remind you of all I have said to you.
4) PERSONAL QUESTIONS
• Jesus says: We will come to him and make our home in him. How do I experience this promise?
• We have the promise of the gift of the Spirit to help us understand the word of Jesus. Do I invoke the light of the Spirit when I prepare myself to read and meditate the Scripture?
5) CONCLUDING PRAYER
Day after day I shall bless you,
I shall praise your name for ever and ever.
Great is Yahweh and worthy of all praise,
his greatness beyond all reckoning. (Ps 145,2-3)