I come to offer you peace. Considering the reality we live in, it really takes a great faith to imagine that it is possible to build a world where peace reigns. It’s easier to believe that God exists than to keep hope in universal peace. Yet this is the mission entrusted to the disciples.
News in Homilies
Jesus' question "Who do the crowds say I am?" had as much relevancy down the centuries as it did when it was first asked in the northeast corner of Palestine. Many have attempted to answer that question. In fact, each Christian of every age must give an answer.
Today's Gospel reading speaks about the presence and importance of women in the Church. The woman who anointed Jesus's feet had been a sinner but became a close follower of the Lord.
Jesus did not leave us a statue, a photograph, a relic. He wanted to continue to be present among his disciples as nourishment. The food is not placed on the table to be contemplated, but to be consumed. Christians who go to Mass, but not receive Holy Communion, should be aware that they are not participating fully in the Eucharistic celebration.
The mystery of the Trinity is more than an esoteric doctrine of faith. It is a model for the Christian lifestyle. We are called to be in the world, intimate, yet not of the world, transcendent. We are called to bring Mystery amid the mayhem.
People from all over the known world heard the disciples in their own language. The apostles were really just talking, but the Spirit they had received was speaking. According to the Acts of the Apostles, three thousand people became Christian that day. They were united by their determination to spread the Gospel. They were united by the Holy Spirit.
Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord into heaven. Perhaps the Ascension gets overlooked a bit, sandwiched as it is between the great solemnities of Easter and Pentecost. St. Luke obviously recognized the importance of the Ascension. He presents it in each of the books of the Bible he wrote, the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles.
"Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come and make our dwelling in him." This instruction from today's Gospel builds on the statement of faith found in the Prologue of that same Gospel, the Gospel of John.
I see this Christian optimism in the care givers and servants of the sick and poor. I see this Christian optimism whenever I am confronted with a seemingly impossible situation. Somehow or other, God will work it out. He is in control. The trials and pains of our lives have meaning and purpose because they are part of the witness of the Christians of the ages that Jesus wins. Don't be negative.
The love and peace of the Good Shepherd is present to us in the many moments of compassion that bless our lives. In kind words, in the listening ear, in the generous actions of others for us, there is Jesus, doing this to me. He is also present in the blessings we extend to others. The Good Shepherd of today's gospel, God's Word of love made flesh, guides us every day in our journey.
Today's Gospel reading contains a wonderful resurrection scene at the conclusion of the Gospel of John. "It is the Lord,” John said to Peter. The wonderful dialogue between Jesus and Peter demanding the triple affirmation from Peter as a negation of his triple denial on Good Friday. "Do you love me, Simon Peter?” "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” "Then feed my sheep.”
In the year 2000, the Second Sunday of Easter occurred on April 30th. On that day, the Holy Father, St. John Paul II, canonized Sr. Mary Faustina Kowalska. St. Faustina was only 33 years old when she died in 1938. She spent most of her life in convents in Poland. Yet her life has made an impact upon the world.
It's light illuminates the church. In the same three places where the cross was unveiled, the priest sings out, "Light of Christ," and the people respond, "Thanks be to God" The One who hung upon the cross has brought light to a world suffering in its own darkness. And Jesus Christ, the Eternal Word of the Father, killed in his humanity, has risen from the dead. And we have risen with Him.
Holy Thursday: Divine Intimacy. The first reading for this evening is from the Book of Exodus. It presents God’s directives to Moses for the celebration of the Passover. The Second reading is from St. Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians. It presents the Lord’s directives for the celebration of the New Passover. In both readings we encounter the determination of God to care for His people.
Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion: A Call to Faith. Where had they gone, all those people who greeted the Lord with such exuberance during his triumphal entrance into Jerusalem? Where had they gone, now that He has left the city in a completely different type of triumph, the Triumph of the Cross?
Next weekend we celebrate Palm Sunday - the beginning of the year's most important week. We will see the depth of God's love. We imitate Jesus' love by putting mercy in action - by connecting with a fellow parishioner. A friend once told me, "Treat each person as if he has a broken heart - and you will not be wrong." Mercy begins with the one's own family - and your parish family. Remember God's words, "See I am doing something new." Amen.
The Forgiving Father runs out to meet his son. He doesn’t wait for the Prodigal to finish his little speech. The Father is overwhelmed with joy. The son also felt the joy of being forgiven and restored to a loving relationship with the Father.
The Time to Produce is Now. "OK, I'll give the fig tree another year of care, but if it doesn't produce, it's out of here." Today's scripture contains a warning for us to make the best use of the time that we have on earth. We have all witnessed how some lives end far sooner than anyone expected.
Peter, James and John did not want it to end. What did they not want to end? They didn't want this special touch of heaven, this transformation or transfiguration of the Lord, this visit by Moses and Elijah, none of this, they didn't want any of it to end. "Let's put up tents,” they said. "Let's hold on to this moment,” they meant. But it had to end.
The temptation: An opportunity more than a threat. From the analysis of biblical texts a curious fact emerges: the wicked are never tempted by God; temptation is a privilege reserved for the righteous. Ben Sirach recommends to the disciple: “My son, prepare yourself for trials.