Today gathering in the Cenacle together with Mary, Queen of the Apostles, our Mother and Patron, we pray for the blessing of the Lord and the gifts of the Holy Spirit for each Pallottine Sister and all members of the Union, that we may be faithful to the Lord with love and become zealous apostles in today's world.
Acts 2:1-11; Gal 5:16-25; Jn 15:26-27.16:12-15
Acts of the Apostles 2:1-11.
When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled, they were all in one place together. And suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind, and it filled the entire house in which they were. Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them. And they were all filled with the holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim. Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven staying in Jerusalem. At this sound, they gathered in a large crowd, but they were confused because each one heard them speaking in his own language. They were astounded, and in amazement they asked, "Are not all these people who are speaking Galileans? Then how does each of us hear them in his own native language? We are Parthians, Medes, and Elamites, inhabitants of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya near Cyrene, as well as travelers from Rome, both Jews and converts to Judaism, Cretans and Arabs, yet we hear them speaking in our own tongues of the mighty acts of God."
“Lord, send out your Spirit and renew the face of the earth.”
Pentecost is often referred to as the birthday of the Church. We the Church then are “sent” to “renew the face of the earth” and ask in the words of the Gospel Acclamation “Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful; and kindle in them the fire of your love.” Anything less than this is a distortion of what it is to be Church.
We cannot renew the face of the earth by locking ourselves in church buildings and shutting ourselves off from the world chasing our own selfish needs and wants and what makes us FEEL good about ourselves. To be Church demands of us to ask the hard questions – not run away from them. It demands that we stop, we look at Jesus and we love with Jesus’ heart present in us, and from there we go out and we attempt to make a difference.
▪ On April 9th, Pope Francis´ new Apostolic Exhortation, “Gaudete et Exsultate” – On the Call to holiness in today´s world - was presented at the Vatican News conference by Archbishop Angelo De Donatis, the Papal Vicar for the Diocese of Rome.
MARY, QUEEN OF APOSTLES
She is the Maid of Bethlehem,
Mother of Jesus, and Queen of Apostles:
That ragtag group of men
Chosen by Jesus
To change the world.
Acts 25:13b-21; John 21:15-19
I find today’s Gospel both enigmatic – and, somewhat understandable. The enigma – what did Jesus mean with his three questions which were each stated a little differently – “Feed my lambs,” “Tend my sheep,” and, “Feed my sheep.” In that culture at that time with Jesus talking to a male apostle, was there specific language meaning to the choice of words? I don’t know. However, from this Gospel story I take this message for my life – how many times daily do I respond to Christ’s call to me to “tend to others”? How many times daily do I think I’m responding to “tending to others” when perhaps I am not? Am I a 21st century version of Simon Peter and have to be reminded three times every day?
Acts 22:30; 23:6-11; John 17:20-26
An Intimate Conversation
Today’s readings speak about God’s protection. In the first reading Paul is being assured by the Lord that he must keep up his courage for further trials. The Psalmist speaks to the safe refuge found in God’s love. And in the Gospel, Jesus prays that his disciples and all believers may stay close to God. The theme that jumps off the page is an intimate conversation about God’s protection. In all three examples God’s protection was made known through an intimate conversation.
It was a great joy to Peter and Mary Pallotti (but no great surprise) when Vincent told them of his desire to become a priest. At the age of sixteen he wanted to join the Capuchins. He told his confessor of his wish, but was dissuaded by him from his choice. The priest considered that Vincent was not strong enough to stand up to the austerity of that order. The boy immediately acquiesced in his confessor's decision, but still retained his ardent desire for the priesthood. With his father's permission, he made a retreat in the Mission House of Monte Citorio. Then he entered the Roman College, beginning the long course of study in preparation for the priesthood.
That We May Be One
“Holy Father, keep in your name those you have given me, so that they may be one just as we are one. . . . I pray not only for these [the Apostles], but also for those who will believe in me through their word, so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me. . . that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me. . . .I will make it known, that the love with which you loved me may be in them and I in them." (Verses from John 17:11-26)
Today’s Gospel is from Jesus's farewell address at His last supper with His apostles. The address concludes with what is often referred to as Our Lord's "Priestly Prayer," quoted above.
Note that the Lord is not addressing the apostles here: He is praying to the Father. Thanks to John the Evangelist, we, along with the Apostles, overhear Him pray that we may be one just as He and the Father are one: that each of us and the entire Church may be enfolded into the divine mutuality, intimacy and reciprocity of Trinitarian love.
Acts 20:17-27; John 17:1-11a
St. Paul gave me chills today as he informed his friends that he would never see them again because he was leaving for Jerusalem. He had no clue what would happen except that he expected “imprisonment and hardships.” He warned the disciples that they might also pay for their beliefs in blood he wasn’t responsible because “I did not shrink from proclaiming to you the entire plan of God.”
Talk about laying it on the line!!!!
Acts 1:15-17, 20-26; John 15:9-17
“One of these men, then […] must become a witness with us to his resurrection” (Acts 1:20-22). These were the words of Peter… My brothers and sisters, you need to become witnesses… to the resurrection of Jesus. In effect, if you do not become his witnesses in your daily lives, who will do so in your place? Christians are, in the Church and with the Church, missionaries of Christ sent into the world. This is the indispensable mission of every ecclesial community: to receive from God the Father and to offer to the world the Risen Christ, so that every situation of weakness and of death may be transformed, through the Holy Spirit, into an opportunity for growth and life.