Yes, the Lord liberates us from every fear and from all that enslaves us, so that we can be truly free. Today’s liturgical celebration expresses this truth well in the refrain of the Responsorial Psalm: “The Lord has freed me from all my fears”.
News in Homilies
Peace in the Turmoil . The readings for this Sunday speak about turmoil. The first is from the Book of Job. Job questions God. Job had lost his livelihood. He had lost his children. He was in terrible physical pain.
When we receive communion we reaffirm our acceptance of the New Covenant with God. This is more than just saying, "I agree.” Communion is an intimate sharing of the presence of Christ conquering evil on the Cross.
The Dogma prof said, "Professor Thomas Aquinas, late of the University of Paris and the Albert Einstein of his day, didn't understand the Trinity. So, it is most unlikely that you blockheads will either. Just remember St Paul mentions the Trinity 30 times in his letters. Take it on faith and you'll muddle through somehow."
In the Acts of the Apostles, the apostles received the Holy Spirit in the symbols of fire and wind, and immediately left the safety of the Upper Room to proclaim the Good News. The apostles were doing exactly what Jesus did before He was put to death. They were risking their lives, losing their lives, for the Kingdom of God. They gave up their safe place, for the safety of the Kingdom.
Today we celebrate the Ascension. As we say in the Profession of Faith, Jesus "ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father." Before explaining what this means I will try to summarize what we have learned in the homilies since Easter.
The disciple who, during dinner, rested his head on the breast of the Lord revealed to us that God is love, only love and everyone who loves is begotten of him.
To internalize the message, we repeat: “When I will understand Love, I will learn to love.”
The same Christ who in today's Gospel says, "...every branch that does bear fruit He prunes to make it bear even more." Our limited vision, says Christ, needs constant updating. But He does not tell us to grow fruit. In five verses, He tells us eight times to abide in Him.
The light of Easter dissolved forever the darkness and the shadow of death: this world is not a tomb, but the womb in which to grow and prepare for life without limits, without boundaries. Creation will result in a new heaven and a new earth (2 P 3:13).
The Gospel for the Second Sunday of Easter is always from John 20: 19-31, the Gospel of Doubting Thomas. Perhaps, the reason for this is that the second part of this Gospel takes place the Sunday after the Resurrection. But there is more than this.
Jesus, a Man, not a Superman. The cross was the most cruel and horrible instrument of punishments. It was the capital punishment reserved for bandits, rebellious slaves, the marginalized of society, those guilty of heinous crimes. To profess oneself as a follower of the crucified? A madness! A shame, a choice contrary to common sense.
The days are coming when I will write my law deep within their hearts. All of them, from the least to the greatest will know that I am their God. In the first reading, the Prophet Jeremiah spoke about a time when God's people would be so united to God that they would know within themselves how to serve Him. That time is now.
We call upon God during Lent to restore beauty to his world. We call upon God to teach us once more what true love is. And God answers with the simple sentence that Jesus gave Nicodemus: "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life."
This Sunday’s gospel put Jesus' knowledge of our human nature so clearly: He really knew what was going on in men's hearts. He knew what they thought. He saw what they did to the Temple. The Temple was a place of worship. It was a place of celebrating the spiritual presence of God in the world. And they transformed it.
Today's readings present us with several figures from the Jewish tradition. In the first reading we come upon Abraham, the Father of Faith and his son Isaac. In the Gospel we encounter Moses, the law-giver, and Elijah, the greatest of the prophets. On the Mountain of the Transfiguration, Moses and Elijah discuss God's plan for his people with Jesus.
The Gospel for today is very simple. Instead of elaborating on the temptations of the Lord, Mark just briefly says that Jesus went into the desert for forty days, fought off temptation, was administered to by angels and then returned and went to battle. He proclaimed the Kingdom of God.
The initiative is God’s, it always has been. He created us, He sustains us, He reveals himself to us and He redeems us. And in this season of Lent, as we embark on our 40 day journey, God’s words bring us back to this basic point: “Now, now – it is the Lord who speaks.”
The first reading begins with a horrible quotation from the Book of Job. "My months are full of misery. I can't wait to get to bed, then I can't wait to get up. I shall not see happiness again? What a wonderful way to begin our Sunday. Then the Gospel reading relates the cure of Simon Peter's mother-in-law, who promptly gets out of bed and starts waiting on Jesus and the disciples.