1 Peter 5:5b-14; Mark 16:15-20
Watching With One Another
Today’s feast of Mark the Evangelist interrupts the ongoing cycle of Easter readings. But our visiting of the First Letter of Peter offers a perspective on the Easter mystery as lived—then and now.
“Be sober and vigilant.” These warning words acquaint us with the truth that Christian life provides no guarantee of a life lived without struggle. They are a warning that the good news of Jesus’ resurrection, the heart of the “gospel,” strikes some hearts as “bad news” and those hearts react to the news not with joy but with the persecution of believers. Yet, the message of this First Letter of Peter drives home the point: such persecution is to be expected. If Jesus himself was rejected, so those who believe in him will suffer rejection.
The Good Shepherd by Michael Dudash
Acts 11:19-26; John 10:22-30
Our readings today focus our attention on being open to the word of God, being confident in our faith, and then rejoicing in the comfort of God’s message. In the first reading from the Acts of the Apostles, Luke tells of the disbursement of the disciples following the death of Stephen through martyrdom. I cannot imagine the fear that the disciples felt as they scattered throughout the lands of Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch to proclaim Jesus as Lord. Would others listen?
Acts 11:1-18; John 10:1-10
We are all impacted by the giving or receiving of a Gift. A gift is defined as something given voluntarily without payment in return, as to show favor toward someone, honor an occasion, or make a gesture of assistance; present. It brings a good feeling to know that someone is thinking of your well-being. No matter how big or small, expensive or inexpensive the gift may be, none compares to the greatest gift given by God, and that is Salvation.
MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS
FOR THE 2018 WORLD DAY OF VOCATIONS
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
next October, the Fifteenth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops will meet to discuss the theme of young people and in particular the relationship between young people, faith and vocation. There we will have a chance to consider more deeply how, at the centre of our life, is the call to joy that God addresses to us and how this is “God’s plan for men and women in every age” (SYNOD OF BISHOPS, XV ORDINARY GENERAL ASSEMBLY, Young People, The Faith and Vocational Discernment, Introduction).
Acts 4:8-12; 1 John 3:1-2; John 10:11-18
Sheep by their very nature require leadership. Without a shepherd, sheep wander, become disgruntled and disagreeable with each other. Under the care of a shepherd, sheep are content and docile. Such is the meaning of the Twenty-third Psalm: "Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me."
What sheep need, and cannot survive without, is a shepherd. A good shepherd knows his sheep by name, and will lead them to good pasture and water. When he calls, the sheep recognize his voice, for in his voice is the assurance of the next meal and of safety in the time of trouble. Most importantly, a good shepherd will never forsake his sheep. If a wolf approaches, it is the shepherd who guides his flock to safety; guarding them with his own life. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for thou art with me.
Acts 9:31-42; Psalm 116:12-13, 14-15, 16-17; John 6:60-69
“YOU HAVE THE WORDS OF ETERNAL LIFE”
What words does/is God speaking to you Today? Are they words of mercy, of healing, of God’s goodness, of your goodness. What are they? The psalmist speaks of “all the good he (God) has done for me.” Some of us just wake up in the morning and are able to say, “thanks, Lord, I am awake and alive and it’s a new day.”
Acts 9:1-20; John 6:52-59
How often has someone said to you, “You’re as blind as a bat,” and no reference to your eyes was intended? The reference is not to outside sight but to inside sight or insight. When we say “I see” in response to an explanation, we never mean we see something with our eyes; we mean we understand the explanation. Visual seeing is frequently a metaphor for understanding, not only in our culture but also in the Hebrew culture in which the Bible was written.
Acts 8:26-40; John 6:44-51
I often ask myself how I came to believe in the God of the Bible and am grateful for many who shared their faith with me: individuals in my family, my home parish, and elsewhere. Their example helped me to understand what faith is about and to commit myself to this faith. Every one of us has a unique journey to faith but today’s reading from the Acts of the Apostles highlights four foundational aspects of coming to believe: (1) God’s calling, (2) listening, (3) desire to understand, and (4) concern for others.
Acts 8:1b-8; John 6:35-40
After just a few minutes of reflection on today's readings, I realized that each of them put emphasis on ideas that could be expressed with words beginning with the letter P -- words like "persecution" and "perseverance." Quite quickly a flood of other "P" words came to mind: patience, and prayer and praise, proclamation and possession and petition. Even in the phrase from Acts, "crippled people," the letter stands out.
And all of these words are as relevant today as they were 2000 years ago. Around the world there are those who are persecuted as the early Christians were persecuted, because of their race, their religion, their ethnicity, their ideas or poverty. Our patience is tested by intractable wars, and by violence in our cities and towns, by sickness and natural disaster. On a positive note, the glorious colors, smells and sounds of spring are prompting our praise of the Creator of all the natural wonders. Whether we suffer or celebrate, we have reasons for prayer.