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Friday, May 17, 2013, 6:31 AM
May 17: Acts 25:13B-21
King Agrippa and Bernice arrived in Caesarea
on a visit to Festus.
Since they spent several days there,
Festus referred Paul’s case to the king, saying,
“There is a man here left in custody by Felix.
When I was in Jerusalem the chief priests and the elders of the Jews
brought charges against him and demanded his condemnation.
I answered them that it was not Roman practice
to hand over an accused person before he has faced his accusers
and had the opportunity to defend himself against their charge.
So when they came together here, I made no delay;
the next day I took my seat on the tribunal
and ordered the man to be brought in.
His accusers stood around him,
but did not charge him with any of the crimes I suspected.
Instead they had some issues with him about their own religion
and about a certain Jesus who had died
but who Paul claimed was alive.
Since I was at a loss how to investigate this controversy,
I asked if he were willing to go to Jerusalem
and there stand trial on these charges.
And when Paul appealed that he be held in custody
for the Emperor’s decision,
I ordered him held until I could send him to Caesar
Thursday, May 16, 2013, 6:39 AM
Father, people can be addicted to almost anything. Help those who struggle with compulsive habits. May they find healthy alternatives as they struggle to fill the void in their lives. Be by their side during weak moments and give them strength. Amen.
Thursday, May 16, 2013, 5:59 AM
A reflection on the meaning of the Feast of Pentecost and the person, gifts and charisms of the Holy Spirit. The Feast of Pentecost, originally the Jewish Feast of weeks commemorating the gift of the Law to Moses on Mt. Sinai 50 days after the Exodus, was the day when the Holy Spirit was poured out in the Upper Room upon the apostles and other disciples in the form of tongues of fire and a strong wind, fifty days after Easter Sunday, the day marking the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. Pentecost is seen as the birthday of the Church.
As a teen, I thought the clergy were supposed to do everything. We laity were just called to pray, pay, and obey. Oh yes, and keep the commandments, of course. The original 10 seemed overwhelming enough. Then I discovered the Sermon on the Mount and nearly passed out.
Perhaps this is why many inactive Catholics are so resentful of their upbringing in the Church. For them, religion means frustration, failure, and guilt.
Somehow they, and I, missed the good news about Pentecost. OK, we Catholics celebrate the feast every year and mention it in Confirmation class, but lots of us evidently didn’t “get it.”
Because if we “got it,” we’d be different. Bold instead of timid, energetic instead of anemic, fascinated instead of bored. Compare the apostles before and after Pentecost and you’ll see the difference the Spirit makes.
The gospel is Good News not just because we’re going to heaven, but because we’ve been empowered to become new people, here and now. Vatican II insisted that each of us is called to the heights of holiness (Lumen Gentium, chapter V). Not by will-power, mind you. But by Holy Spirit power. Holiness consists in faith, hope, and especially divine love. These are “virtues,” literally “powers,” given by the Spirit. To top it off, the Spirit gives us seven further gifts which perfect faith, hope, and love, making it possible for us to live a supernatural, charismatic life. Some think this is only for the chosen few, “the mystics.” Thomas Aquinas taught to the contrary that the gifts of Is 11:1-3 (wisdom, knowledge, understanding, counsel, piety, fortitude, and fear of the Lord) are standard equipment given in baptism, that all are called to be “mystics.”
Vatican II also taught that every Christian has a vocation to serve. We need power for this too. And so the Spirit distributes other gifts, called “charisms.” These, teaches St. Thomas, are not so much for our own sanctification as for service to others. There is no exhaustive list of charisms, though St. Paul mentions a few (I Corinthians 12:7-10, Ro 12:6-8) ranging from tongues to Christian marriage (1 Cor 7: 7). Charisms are not doled out by the pastors; but are given directly by the Spirit through baptism and confirmation, even sometimes outside of the sacraments (Acts 10:44-48).
Do I sound Pentecostal? That’s because I belong to the largest Pentecostal Church in the world. Correcting the mistaken notion that the charisms were just for the apostolic church, Vatican II had this to say: "Allotting His gifts “to everyone according as he will” (1 Cor. 12:11), He [the Holy Spirit] distributes special graces among the faithful of every rank. . . . These charismatic gifts, whether they be the most outstanding or the more simple and widely diffused, are to be received with thanksgiving and consolation, for they are exceedingly suitable and useful for the needs of the Church" (LG12).
Powerful gifts, freely given to all. Sounds like a recipe for chaos. But the Lord also imparted to the apostles and their successors a unifying charism of headship. The role of the ordained is not to do everything themselves. Rather, they are to discern, shepherd, and coordinate the charims of the laity so that they mature and work together for the greater glory of God (LG 30).
So what if you, like me, did not quite “get it” when you were confirmed? I’ve got good news for you. You actually did get the Spirit and his gifts. Have you ever received a new credit card with a sticker saying “Must call to activate before using?” The Spirit and his gifts are the same way. You have to call in and activate them. Do it today and every day, and especially every time you attend Mass. Because every sacramental celebration is a New Pentecost where the Spirit and his gifts are poured out anew (CCC 739, 1106).
That’s why the Christian Life is an adventure. There will always be new surprises of the Spirit!
Wednesday, May 15, 2013, 7:23 AM
We often wonder how death will occur for us. Through illness, accident, war, or
a natural disaster? Will our deaths happen suddenly or gradually? There are no
answers for these questions, so we really should not spend time worrying about them.
We don't know how our lives will end, and this is a blessed ignorance! But there
is an important question that we should consider: When our time to die comes, will
we die in such a way that those we leave behind are not devastated by grief or left
with feelings of shame or guilt?
How we leave others depends largely on how we prepare ourselves for death. When
we can die with grateful hearts, grateful to God and our families and friends,
our deaths can become sources of life for others
Wednesday, May 15, 2013, 7:08 AM
Lets put it this way . He Flit, is very sick . I've seen him as a sick man for a long time . In my thinking ha has needed emotional help for a time . I do not like what he represents . I do pray for him . According to some I have been too kind towards him . He's in a clinic and quite probable he has cancer of the abdomen .
His companion of many years is very sick . Why people do this I do not know . She gave me a story of gloom yesterday . I could have said the nurse told me different but I did not . I'm praying overtime these days. I think I will take her out for lunch . Financially she is not that well off . There is a good fish place here so that is what I will suggest . She loves fish .
Fish reminds me of my dad . He used to fish on his way to school . If he caught something it was his lunch . Dad was so poor all his life . He was most prayerful . According to some he was no saint . I have noticed that certain families lack in truth . Others are lustful . Why that is so many say goes back to ancestrial bondage. That can be lifted in the Blood of Jesus .
This weekend is big party time . Relatives from Montreal and area will be with us . Lets see how I will be feeling . Crowds tend to shy me away .Looking out my kitchen window I admire the hard work my husband put in our vegetable and flower garden . Predominent is the garlic hubby planted last Fall. We have lots of early garlic , seeds that grew abundantly and now I put in my salads or in a sandwich .
I will not go see Flit .There is nothing I want to say to him . I do wish he would have had a better life . He did chose his life . And yet did he really ? It is said that we all have a conscience . I do believe that . Jesus is the light of the world
Wednesday, May 15, 2013, 6:14 AM
Our Lady of Fatima, we come to you on bended knee to ask for Your holy intercession for peace and unity. Show us the right and shining way. Each time you appeared in Fatima you promised to help us to banish war and fear if we pray to you. Dear Lady, we ask your guiding hand for grace and guidance here on earth and protection for our land. Amen.
Tuesday, May 14, 2013, 8:09 PM
So much suffering comes from disappointment. We wait for something which we believe will bring us happiness, and it does not arrive. We see only the negative things that have come our way - illness, a child with a handicap - and we close up in anger and rebellion. Human wisdom means coming back down to earth; not closing ourselves up in a beautiful ideal which we must attain, but welcoming reality just as it is; discovering God present in reality; not struggling against reality, but working with it; discovering the seed of life, the possibilities hidden in it. Of course we must have a vision for the future and focus on it, we must have a plan, and be aware of and responsible for the future, but our hope and vision must be rooted in the present. This is Buddhist wisdom, but also Christian - to discover God in the present moment, to be a friend of time and of reality.
Thursday, May 9, 2013, 7:54 PM
Often we think that we do not know enough to be able to teach others. We might
even become hesitant to tell others what we know, out of fear that we won't have
anything left to say when we are asked for more.
This mind-set makes us anxious, secretive, possessive, and self-conscious. But
when we have the courage to share generously with others all that we know, whenever
they ask for it, we soon discover that we know a lot more than we thought. It is
only by giving generously from the well of our knowledge that we discover how deep
that well is.
Thursday, May 9, 2013, 6:32 AM
Lord Jesus, when You passed beyond our sight and into Your heavenly Kingdom You left us with hope. We know that You are our Leader – and where You go, we hope to follow. Fill us with hope each and every day so that we will continue to follow in Your footsteps. Amen.
Thursday, May 9, 2013, 6:25 AM
May 9: Acts 1:1-11
In the first book, Theophilus,
I dealt with all that Jesus did and taught
until the day He was taken up,
after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit
to the apostles whom he had chosen.
He presented Himself alive to them
by many proofs after He had suffered,
appearing to them during forty days
and speaking about the kingdom of God.
While meeting with them,
He enjoined them not to depart from Jerusalem,
but to wait for “the promise of the Father
about which you have heard me speak;
for John baptized with water,
but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
When they had gathered together they asked Him,
“Lord, are You at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”
He answered them, “It is not for you to know the times or seasons
that the Father has established by His own authority.
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you,
and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem,
throughout Judea and Samaria,
and to the ends of the earth.”
When He had said this, as they were looking on,
He was lifted up, and a cloud took Him from their sight.
While they were looking intently at the sky as He was going,
suddenly two men dressed in white garments stood beside them.
They said, “Men of Galilee,
why are you standing there looking at the sky?
This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven
will return in the same way as you have seen Him going into heaven