Deuteronomy 4:32-34, 39-40; Romans 8:14-17; Matthew 28:16-20
Today’s Gospel presents Jesus in the last verses of Matthew’s account of the life, death and resurrection of the Lord. Like Moses, Jesus gave His first instruction on a mountain of Beatitudes and here at the end Jesus is giving an instruction about their futures. Jesus announces that all power has been entrusted to Him and He is sharing that with His disciples. They are to use this power to make new disciples and including them into the circle of power through baptism. Jesus commits Himself to His being with them all and for ever. They are to announce that all they do will be in the name of the Father and Son and Holy Spirit.
Jesus' message is about how we accept the Kingdom of God. He is urging us to shed our cynical, guarded, clever, arrogant, judgmental ways. Jesus is contrasting those who regard themselves as very religious, but can keep Jesus at arm's length, with the children who just run up and embrace him and rest in his embrace. Jesus is inviting us to be more child-like in our trust of him.
Originally, in Deuteronomy, Moses permitted a man to divorce his wife based on some “uncleanness”, in order to protect the woman’s rights. In Jesus’ day, the stricter and more popular view of divorce taught that a man could do so for any reason, even if he found another woman to be more beautiful. Was the climate then, very much different from that of ours now?
In today's gospel, rather than debate the issue of indecency, Jesus addresses the hardness of people’s hearts. He explains that unless we invite God into our marriage, we marry for all the wrong reasons. God emptied Himself and His Spirit to us so utterly; we find it hard to comprehend. Should Love in any personal relationship call for anything less? The capacity to do so, results from a call to a close relationship with Jesus in the Spirit.
“Behold, the wages you withheld from the workers who harvested your fields are crying aloud.” James 5:4
The words of James are harsh. The gold coveted by the rich will consume them. Their zeal for luxury murders the poor. Hearts grown fat with comfort will face the day of slaughter. The wages robbed from workers weep. The psalmist warns that those who trust in folly will never see the light.
The program included several celebrations:
▪ On May 15, 2018, in the Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome, there was a solemn celebration, at the same church, where two hundred years ago our Founder had received his priestly ordination. The pallottine Family gathered in great number at 3 p.m. in the Basilica, to thank the Lord in Eucharistic adoration for His multifold graces. Subsequently, at 5 pm, the Vicar of the Holy Father for the Diocese of Rome, Mons. Angelo De Donatis, presided over the Holy Mass.
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.
▪ 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.
Will he go with us?
Today I would like to reflect on another term by which the Second Vatican Council defined the Church: “People of God”... What does “People of God” mean? First of all it means that God does not belong in a special way to any one people; for it is He who calls us, convokes us, invites us to be part of his people, and this invitation is addressed to all, without distinction, for the mercy of God “desires all men to be saved” (1 Tim 2,4).
In today’s gospel reading we see Jesus as teacher and our attention is drawn to teaching. Just as the job of a teacher is often a very difficult one today, so our Lord’s teaching job was a difficult one. His pupils, the disciples, were mostly mature men and women long past their childhood. Most of them had not had much formal schooling. They were not ideal pupils and teaching them was not always easy. There was no classroom and there was none of our modern teaching equipment and technology. The teaching of Jesus was done in the open air and subject to many distractions for the pupils. The teaching was often done, as here, while the group traveled on foot. Such obstacles were frustrating for Jesus. He sometimes expressed his frustration with his pupils, especially with their slow progress in acquiring the virtue of faith.
By Devin Watkins
Pope Francis has decreed that the ancient devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, under the title of Mother of the Church, be inserted into the Roman Calendar.
The liturgical celebration, B. Mariæ Virginis, Ecclesiæ Matris, will be celebrated annually as a Memorial on the day after Pentecost.
In a decree released on Saturday by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Cardinal Robert Sarah, its Prefect, said the Pope’s decision took account of the tradition surrounding the devotion to Mary as Mother of the Church.
He said the Holy Father wishes to promote this devotion in order to “encourage the growth of the maternal sense of the Church in the pastors, religious and faithful, as well as a growth of genuine Marian piety”.