June 3 - Solemnity of Corpus Christi: Bread that liberates

May 31st, 2018

CorpusChristy.png

 

First Reading  Exodus 24:3-8 

The covenant is established between God and the people.

 

Responsorial Psalm  Psalm 116:12-13,15-16,17-18

God brings salvation.

 

Second Reading  Hebrews 9:11-15

Christ is the mediator of the new covenant.

 

Gospel Reading Mark 14:12-16,22-26

 

God’s nourishment at times does not seem as tasty as some foods that the world offers, and so the faithful at times dream of other meals, like the Israelites in their exodus from Egypt. They remembered the meals they had in Egypt, but had a “selective memory” at the times of their temptation and forgot that they ate at the table of slavery. A similar temptation is present today. If we look around, we realize that there are so many offers for food that don't come from the Lord and that apparently satisfy more. Some are fed with money, others with success and vanity, others with power and pride. But the food that truly nourishes and that satisfies is only that which the Lord gives! Man has both a physical hunger and another hunger, a hunger that cannot be satisfied with ordinary food. This is a hunger for life, a hunger for love, a hunger for eternity. Manna, the miraculous bread that fed the Israelites, is a sign of the food that satisfies this profound hunger that there is in man. Jesus gives us this food, by becoming himself the living bread that gives life to the world. His body is the true food under the species of bread; his blood is the true drink under the species of wine. Let us celebrate and adore.

May 27 - Feast of the Holy Trinity: Father, Son and the Holy Spirit

May 24th, 2018

feast-of-the-holy-trinity-39-728.jpg

First Reading  Deuteronomy 4:32-34,39-40

Moses teaches the people that Yahweh is the only God

.

Responsorial Psalm   Psalm 33:4-5,6,9,18-19,20,22

A prayer for the Lord's mercy

 

Second Reading  Romans 8:14-17

Through the Spirit, we have been adopted as children of God.

 

Gospel Reading Matthew 28:16-20

 

 

Jesus called God his Father, but did so in a special way. Jesus called his Father “Abba”, an Aramaic word, which means something like our “Daddy.” (Aramaic was the language in Palestine at the time of Jesus). So now we do not look on God as distant from us. Our heavenly Father is our Abba, he is our Daddy, the most perfect Daddy we could have. He is someone we can turn to in good times as well in bad, someone who will listen to us, someone who wants our good. The baby Jesus is described with the name “Emmanuel” in the Gospel of Matthew. Emmanuel means GOD IS WITH US. In Jesus, God is really With Us. Jesus is our brother. Paul sums it up very well, “If God is on our side, who can be against us.” (Rom 8:31). Jesus himself called the Spirit “the Comforter.” Like the Father and Jesus, the Spirit is also on our side to help us when we need. Paul says, “The Spirit helps us in our weakness.” (Rom 8:26). On this Sunday every year we remember that God is our Father, our Daddy or Abba, and our brother Jesus who is Immanuel, God with us, and that nothing can separate us from his love except sin, and that God is also the Spirit who helps us in our weakness. Since God is a Daddy, and a Son who is Immanuel, God with us, and a Spirit who helps us in our weakness, let us continue to turn to God in our times of need. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

 

May 20 - The Feast of Pentecost: Holy Spirit teaches us, reminds us and lets us speak

May 17th, 2018

pente250x250.jpg

 

First Reading  Acts of the Apostles 2:1-11

The Holy Spirit descends upon the apostles gathered in Jerusalem.

 

Responsorial Psalm  Psalm 104:1,24,29-31,34

God's Spirit renews the earth.

 

Second Reading  1 Corinthians 12:3b-7,12-13

We are all one in Christ Jesus.

 

Gospel Reading John 20:19-23

 

Speaking to the Apostles at the Last Supper, Jesus said that after he left this world he would send them the gift of the Father, that is, the Holy Spirit (cf. Jn 15:26). This promise was powerfully fulfilled on the day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit descended upon the disciples, who were gathered in the Upper Room. This extraordinary outpouring was not limited solely to that moment, but was an event that was renewed and still continues to be renewed. Christ glorified at the right hand of the Father continues to fulfill his promise, sending upon the Church the life-giving Spirit, who teaches us, reminds us, and lets us speak. The Holy Spirit teaches us to follow Jesus and to walk in his footprints. He reminds us of all that Jesus said. He is the living memory of the Church, and when he reminds us, he helps us to understand the words of the Lord. He lets us speak with God in prayer and lets us speak to men through prophecy, making us humble and docile “channels” of God’s Word. Prophecy is made with candour, to openly demonstrate the contradictions and injustices, but always with compassion and constructive intent. 

 

 

May 13 - The Feast of Ascension: We are Pilgrims

May 10th, 2018

Obereschach_Pfarrkirche_Fresko_Fugel_Christi_Himmelfahrt_crop.jpg

 

First Reading Acts of the Apostles 1:15-17,20a,20c-26

Matthias is chosen to take Judas' place among the apostles.

 

Responsorial Psalm Psalm 103:1-2,11-12,19-20

Bless the Lord who rules heaven and earth.

 

Second Reading 1 John 4:11-16

God is seen in our love for one another.

 

Gospel Reading John 17:11b-19

 

Today we celebrate the feast of Ascension. The Ascension of Jesus reminds us that during our lives we are “only passing through” on this earth, as we say. We are pilgrims on a journey. Just as Jesus’ earthly life was temporary, and he ascended to sit at the right hand of the Father, so also our lives here are temporary, will come to an end, and we will meet God in the next life. The Ascension of Jesus reminds us in all of our busyness not to forget what life is all about. The Ascension of Jesus reminds us that God has great plans for us that are out of this world. The Ascension also reminds us what Jesus said before the ascension: “Go, therefore, make disciples of all nations...”. It calls us to bear witness to Jesus through our words and deeds. Be proud of you Catholic faith. Don’t be ashamed to practice it in public. 

 

May 6 - Sixth Sunday of Easter: Sacrificial Love

May 3rd, 2018

6thsun21.jpg

 

First Reading  Acts of the Apostles 10:25-26,34-35,44-48

The gift of the Holy Spirit comes to Cornelius and his household, and they are baptized.

 

Responsorial Psalm  Psalm 98:1,2-3,3-4

A song of praise for God's salvation

 

Second Reading  1 John 4:7-10 God is love.

 

Gospel Reading John 15:9-17

 

 

Jesus is talking of a very special kind of love, love that does not think of oneself but sacrifices for the sake of the other. This is unselfish love, loving the other for the other’s sake without anything in it for oneself. As we read in Ephesians, “Christ loved us and gave himself up for us” (Eph 5:2); “Christ loved the Church and gave himself up for her.” (Eph 5:25). To make sure we would not confuse this very special type of love with other types of love, which often are more lust than love, the writers of the New Testament used a very special word to describe the love of Jesus for us and the love of God for us. They said Jesus loved us with agape love ἀγάπη (agape). That is love that does not think of oneself but sacrifices for the sake of the other. Jesus is our model for loving with this sacrificial love, agape love, loving the other for their benefit without putting ourselves first. When does Jesus show us that agape love most of all? When he died on the cross for us. That is why in the Gospel today Jesus also says, “A man can have no greater love than to lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13). May Jesus help us to live that agape love. 

-