To see your face!

 

Third Sunday of Easter

Acts 14:22-23

Peter 1:17-21

Luke 24: 13-35  

There is the story of the man who had a very important business meeting in Denver as he boarded the train from Grand Rapids to Los Angeles. He told the porter that he had to make a meeting in Denver and that he was a heavy sleeper and to do whatever it took to get him off the train in Denver at 5:00 in the morning. The next morning he woke at nine o’clock, having slept all night and missing his stop in Denver. He located the porter and screamed at him for having missed his stop. After he had left, someone said to the porter, “How could you stand there and take that kind of talk from that man?” The Porter said, “That ain’t nothing! You should’ve heard that guy I put off in Denver!”  

Are we missing Jesus Christ because we have overslept, or we are relying on someone else, or we just do not care? Think of this past week, how have you recognized Jesus and acted accordingly? Did you see him in your spouse who was trying to ask for forgiveness? Did you see Him in the cashier at the store when you bought your groceries? Did you see Him in the person behind you at the stop light who was talking on the phone and was defiantly upset about something? How many times does Jesus come to us and we don’t recognize him?  

Our Gospel today is often referred to as the “Journey to Emmaus.” As I have been reflecting on this journey, this is not where we want to be spiritually. The two disciples on their journey “to Emmaus” have given up, they are returning home, they are going back to their old way of life. Their heads are down, and they are walking so slow that Jesus was able to catch up to them and walk with them on the road. We are often in this situation ourselves as we just give up and hang our heads and think, “God where are you?”  

Where we want to be spiritually is, “Journey from Emmaus.” The disciples walking from Emmaus recognized the Lord, in the breaking of the bread, and they are filled with great joy. They say, “We have seen the Lord!’ The others respond, “He has appeared to us also!” The disciples now know that Jesus has always been with them and he was trying to reveal himself to them all the time.  

We need to recognize Jesus in all of our lives, especially when things are not going our way. How often when we are struggling in faith, and we only see the back of Jesus we say, “See, even Jesus has turned his back on me!” NO! We need to recognize he is leading us out of this miserable place! Faith is not about arriving at a destination, it is about the journey and seeing Christ all along that journey.  

So we gather in this Eucharist to know Jesus is revealing himself to us in a very special way, in his word, and in his body and blood. Now we too need to come to believe, that when hard times come, he is still with us, walking right alongside us.

Advertisements

The smallest of gifts can make a difference!

 

Easter Weekday Friday

Acts 5:34-42

John 6:1-15

 

What is in your lunch today that is good to eat?

 

What is in your lunch today that you would be willing to share with someone?

 

Our readings today are about sharing what we have, even if we think it is too small, to share it and God can work with it.

 

In our gospel, Jesus has been teaching and preaching all day to 5000 people, and he knows they are hungry and tired. They have no food, but a young boy is walking by with his lunch which is five loaves and two fish. He gives this to Jesus, and he blesses it and is able to feed the 5000 and have 12 baskets of food left over.

 

In our first reading, Gamaliel stands up before all the Jewish leaders and shares a little bit of wisdom. They want the apostles to stop talking about Jesus Christ. Gamaliel says, “Never doubt God because God can use anything to bring about his will. If you try and stop these men from talking about God, we could be fighting against God.”

 

We all have something to share and do matter if we have lots of gifts or just a few gifts, God can bless those gifts and use them to build up the kingdom of God. The Eucharist we share gives us the strength to share our gifts.

Obedience to God brings freedom and peace!

 

Thursday Second Week of Easter

Acts 5:27-33

John 3:31-36  

Obedience! It is a word that most of us shudder at, but we really shouldn’t if we understand what this word means and how we are to live it. To be obedient is to listen deeply, to trust the person and to have perfect confidence in the person speaking, that they have our best interest in mind. We often do not think of it this way as we hear obedience as the changing of our will to something we do not want to do. Ex. Put down that game, or turn off that television, and go and clean your room, or go and do your homework. Our readings bring us to the understanding that we are to be obedient to God, because obedience to God is freedom to avoid whatever leads us away from his voice.  

In Our Gospel, we hear the very end of a teaching that John the Baptist is giving on answering a question on purification. John the Baptist’s says, “Whoever believes in the Son of has eternal life, whoever disobeys the Son will not see life.” John is making the point that faith is a gift, which we personally ascend to give our lives in obedience to living for Christ.  

In our first reading, we continue to follow the story from yesterday when the disciples we set free from prison and told not to preach the Word of God. The disciples go right back to the temple upon their release and begin preaching the Word of God. Today they are arrested and brought before the Sanhedrin. We see how the apostles now and understand what “obedience” means to live freely in God’s love, as they are obedient to God. They are compelled to preach the Word of God they do not have a choice. They are so obedient they know that no punishment can stop them and God will take care of them.  

How can we be obedient to God today in our lives? How can we listen deeply, trust and have more confidence in God this day? We will be more at peace when we are obedient to God.

 

God is love!

 

Easter Weekday Wednesday

Acts 5:17-26

John 3: 16-21 

What if every thought, every decision, and every action we took this day were based on love? How would that change our day? What if everything we did was based on love? Our readings remind us of God’s great love for us today. 

In our Gospel, we hear that “God so loved the world that he gave his only son that all who would believe would have eternal life.”  God loved the world so much he allowed his Son to be tortured and die on a cross. Why did God do this so that we can be lifted up and win salvation in the name of Jesus Christ? We as parents do not act this way, we run in and protect and try to help our children avoid any hardship. God said, “Let is happen so that others will know great love.” 

In our first reading, the disciples are taken to prison for the second time for preaching the Gospel of love. During the night an angel appears and tells them to back out to where they were arrested and begin preaching all over again. What was it that enabled the apostles to go back out to the place they were arrested and begin again? God’s great love! 

What if every thought, every decision, and every action we took this day were based on love? How would that change our day? What if everything we did was based on love?

 

   

 

We are all called to be an apostle of Christ!

 

Feast Day of St. Mark

The Evangelist

I Peter 5:5-14

Mark 16:15-20

 

Whenever we celebrate the Feast day of an apostle, we should ask ourselves, “What are we doing to be an apostle of Jesus Christ this day? We are all called to be an apostle, and it means living our lives in a certain way that we show Jesus to the world through us. We need to give witness to the Good News of Jesus by what we think, say, and do. 

In our reading from I Peter we hear instructions given to the young new leaders that they be eager to serve each other, that they are humble and filled with humility.  They are warned to be watchful of the evil one who ‘is prowling around like a roaring lion,’ they are to resist him and be strong in their faith. 

In our Gospel Jesus says, “Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.”  The mandate ‘to go’ is given to us by Jesus himself to all of us, and it demands our attention. We must face the way of Jesus in everything. It means following our way to the cross, which will mean that we are on our way to be people of mercy, people of peace, and people of justice. 

As we celebrate today’s High Holy Day, may St. Mark the Evangelist Intercede to the Lord for us as well. That we too will be the best of an apostle of Jesus Christ this day.

 

Be humble before God and others!

 

Wednesday of Holy Week

Isaiah 50:4-9

Matthew 26:14-25  

Our readings today are very similar to the readings from yesterday. The gospel is the same story as yesterday but told today by Matthew. Our first reading is again from Isaiah and it is very similar to yesterday’s reading. I sat and pondered what would be the reason to do this as we end Lent and begin the Triduum tomorrow. I think the Church in her great wisdom wants us to know a deep sense of humility, a deep sense of being humble before God as we enter the Triduum.  

In our first reading from the prophet Isaiah, we hear the prophet speak of extreme humility as he is being spat, beaten and made to suffer public shame. But there is also strength and vindication as he is being tortured knowing that God is with him. These words are a courageous stand against the forces of evil as evil seeks to stop the heart of the one who belongs to God.  

We need to hear this Gospel story again and allow it to sink deep into our hearts. As Jesus says, “One of you will betray me,” and the disciples begin to ask one at a time, “Surely it is not I, Lord?” We must now stop and answer the question in light of how we have lived in this community. We need to hear Jesus say, “Woe to that person who has betrayed the Son of Man. It would be better if they were never to have been born.” We must look at ourselves, and look at Jesus, as we claim to love God, love this community, and admit, “I have sinned, and I am greatly troubled by what I have done.”  

Today we are being called to be reconciled to one another so that the body of Christ can celebrate the Triduum together as the Body of Christ. Let all evil and hatred disappear as we walk with Jesus to Calvary. May this mystery begin in our lives right now.

 

Take away my sinfulness!

 

Tuesday of Holy Week

Isaiah 49: 1-6

John 13: 21-33, 36-38

Our readings today are very disturbing because they deal with being a prophet and being betrayed by one’s friends. 

In our first reading, the prophet Isaiah speaks words that Jesus himself could say this day. Isaiah is lamenting how he being betrayed by friends is very hurtful. Isaiah will cling to the hope that God will prevail. Isaiah remains strong because he knows that he belongs to God, and God’s word is like a mighty arrow that once it is released nothing can stop it until it hits its intended target. Even if the prophet should be destroyed there is nothing that can destroy the word of God. 

Our Gospel story today is preparing us for what is to come in the following days as Judas betrays Jesus at the Last Supper. As Jesus dips his a small portion of his food in oil and gives this to Judas, this was a custom that was done when a guest came to the house to show them how much they mean to you. It was a sign of becoming close and of being bound together. Jesus knows what needs to be done and he is bound to Judas.    

As we go through these days, we are called to repent of our sinfulness and ask ourselves, “How have we betrayed God by refusing to forgive? How have we betrayed God by being like Peter, trusting in our ignorance? How have we betrayed God by being like Judas trusting in what we think is right above the interests of others? How have we betrayed God by being like the rest of the disciples, sitting at the table with Jesus, but not wanting to get involved because of fear and doubt?” 

May our prayer be, “Jesus, Lamb of God, take away my sinfulness, and have mercy on me a sinner.”