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 19:1-8; John 16:29-33
The readings speak to me of many things – the humanity, vulnerability and devotion of Paul and the disciples to Jesus and to each other. They truly want to get it right. They want to understand. They want to know. They want to be faithful and to believe. However, what they experience is their own humanity. It is not in their power to understand this Jesus. They can not go it alone, although there will be many times when each one will be very much alone.
Psalm 27: 1,4, 7-8
1 Peter 4:13-16
John 17: 1-11A
Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey away. When they entered the city they went to the upper room where they were staying, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. All these devoted themselves with one accord to prayer, together with some women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers (Acts 1:12-14).
This Sunday’s first reading, printed above, is the perfect choice to help us get into the spirit of this moment of the liturgical year, between the Assumption and Pentecost. Here Luke describes the core of Jesus’ disciples gathered together shortly after the Lord’s departure. They will soon become the heart of the first church, the Christian community of Jerusalem.
Acts 18:23-28; John 16:23b-28
All this week we have been reflecting on the Lord’s words from the final discourse in John’s gospel. Again and again Jesus is alerting his disciples that he will soon leave them but that they will be taken care of when he is gone. The lines before today’s reading (Jn 16 ff) repeat the theme. “In a short time you will no longer see me, and then a short time later you will see me again.” Jesus used the dramatic example of a women in childbirth: “A women in childbirth suffers, because her time has come; but when she has given birth to the child she forgets the suffering.”
Acts 18:9-18; John 16:20-23a
Trust in God and share Good News
In the first reading from Acts, Paul is told “do not be afraid and do not be silent.” The Lord assures Paul, “I am with you.” This message is meant for us, for we are not called to live in fear or fearful silence. We are called to speak Good News with our words and our actions. We are called to testify that our Redeemer lives and is with us. One challenge for me to accept is that Jesus, our Redeemer, lives in me, and in us! I can always find ways in which our world fails in the categories of justice, mercy, hope, love, and care for all. Of course, when I find those ways of the world that do not measure up to a life in Christ, I am forced to confront my own sins and failings. I am not always just, merciful, loving, hopeful, and caring to all. So I need to admit my sins and change my life, which is often a long process for me.
Acts 1:1-11; Psalm 47:2-3, 6-7, 8-9; Eph 1:17-23; Mark 16:15-20
Today’s feast, Ascension Thursday is celebrated on Sunday in many dioceses of the world.
Acts 1:9 is the only canonical text that describes Jesus’ ascent into heaven. “.... as they were looking on, He was lifted up, and a cloud took Him from their sight.”
Forty days after the Resurrection He left them in the flesh. I wonder if they felt what we feel when a loved one moves away or dies. Alone? Abandoned? Desolate? Or did they recall His promise, one that would be fulfilled in ten days? On Pentecost He would return to them pouring out His spirit. What a moment in time, between Ascension and Pentecost, between loss and promise. He does promise that we will see Him again, as we will one day see our loved ones. But what should we do in the meantime?
Acts 17:15, 22–18:1; John 16:12-15
One of man’s great quests is the pursuit of truth. All of us seek the truth. We seek the assurance that what we know is really true. We are opposed to falsehood and deceit. We have no confidence in those who would deceive us by hiding or withholding the truth. We seek the truth in many ways. Students seek the truth in their studies. They want to learn and they seek the truth by the questions that they ask. Lawyers seek the truth in questions pertaining to the law. They want to know the true facts so that they can apply the law properly to the case. Theologians seek the truth about God and his relationship to his creation. They want to learn more about God so that all of us can know God better and follow him more closely.
Acts 16:22-34; John 16:5-11
I tell you the sober truth: It is much better for you that I go. If I fail to go, the Paraclete will never come to you, whereas if I go, I will send him to you.
Lots of ink has been used to try to translate the Greek word, "Paraclete," which Jesus used to refer to the Spirit whom he would send to us. I like to reflect on his promise, by going to the root meaning of the word: para- + kalein. The verb kaleo is "to call." The prefix para adds the sense of "around, near, close by." The most basic meaning of the action described by putting para together with the verb "to call" is something like this: call together. And, so, the simplest sense of the translation of the word, as a proper name, might be, "the Gatherer."
The Birth Centenary of Pope St. John Paul II
Song For Karol - A moving tribute to Pope John Paul II by Mark Mallett with Raylene Scarrott.