4/21/20 2nd week of Easter
Daily Readings Acts 4:32-37 Psalms 93:1AB, 1CD-2, 5 John 3:14-15 John 3:7B-15 Acts 4:32-37 The community of believers was of one heart and mind, and no one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they had everything in common. With great power the Apostles bore witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great favor was accorded them all. There was no needy person among them, for those who owned property or houses would sell them, bring the proceeds of the sale, and put them at the feet of the Apostles, and they were distributed to each according to need. Thus Joseph, also named by the Apostles Barnabas (which is translated "son of encouragement”), a Levite, a Cypriot by birth, sold a piece of property that he owned, then brought the money and put it at the feet of the Apostles. Psalms 93:1AB, 1CD-2, 5 R. (1a) The Lord is king; he is robed in majesty. or: R. Alleluia. The LORD is king, in splendor robed; robed is the LORD and girt about with strength. R. The Lord is king; he is robed in majesty. or: R. Alleluia. And he has made the world firm, not to be moved. Your throne stands firm from of old; from everlasting you are, O LORD. R. The Lord is king; he is robed in majesty. or: R. Alleluia. Your decrees are worthy of trust indeed: holiness befits your house, O LORD, for length of days. R. The Lord is king; he is robed in majesty. or: R. Alleluia.Bottom of Form John 3:14-15 R. Alleluia, alleluia. The Son of Man must be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. R. Alleluia, alleluia. John 3:7B-15 Jesus said to Nicodemus: “‘You must be born from above.’ The wind blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes; so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” Nicodemus answered and said to him, ‘How can this happen?” Jesus answered and said to him, “You are the teacher of Israel and you do not understand this? Amen, amen, I say to you, we speak of what we know and we testify to what we have seen, but you people do not accept our testimony. If I tell you about earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? No one has gone up to heaven except the one who has come down from heaven, the Son of Man. And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.”
Yesterday's Gospel is the Road to Emmaus, where Cleophas and another are walking out of Jerusalem crestfallen. They just experienced Jesus dying on the Cross and three days have passed and while others say that He is the Risen Lord they are not feeling the same. As they travel this road, they come across Jesus but they do not know that it is Him. Jesus asks them what has been going on and they explain. Jesus knows. This is His sneaky way of wanting to know what is going. He wants to know what is going on from us.
As they speak and talk about how they are upset at what happened and what they do not understand. Jesus then after somewhat chastising them explains the Scriptures to them. I'll say that again, Jesus tells them the Scriptures! He explains and helps them to understand. They begin to slowly understand as they invite Jesus to stay with them and then it fully dawns on them when Jesus sits down and breaks bread; providing them with the Eucharist. So they are now no longer crestfallen and the do believe. They turn around and head back to Jerusalem, where they hear that the other 11 already believe. They know that Jesus is the Risen Lord. This is revealed to us the reader before Cleophas says anything. Jesus did not appear to Cleophas and his friend for the sake of the others coming to the Lord right now He did it for them. Jesus goes after us when we are despairing and do not understand what He is doing in our lives. To quote another famous passage, He will leave the 99 for the 1. Think about that today. Take comfort in it. Know that when you are despairing and unsure Jesus is there going, "tell me about, read my Word, be at Mass (or live stream it) and I will help you to understand".
Saint of the Day |
ST. CONRAD OF PARZHAM, CAPUCHIN
For more than 40 years — from his profession of solemn vows in 1852 to his death in 1894 — Conrad of Parzham was doorkeeper at the convent of St Anne, in Altötting, Bavaria. Many people turned to the “holy porter” for a word of comfort or advice, or for a piece of bread.
Catholicism Around the World |
In an opinionated article written by “Every day for Life in Canada,” the topic of when the Catholic church should open has been discussed frequently amongst the parishioners of the Archdiocese of Toronto. The argument includes the idea that if there are quick runs to fast food places or buying beer at the market, why would the government and the church delay people the ability to gather in a safe fashion for Mass or for other sacramental reasons? The article speaks on the Archdiocese of Toronto still delaying a lot of services. The knowledge of the COVID-19 virus has grown substantially to the point any church, anywhere, can take proper protocol in slowly becoming more active. The article gives to specific reasons to why it is most important to open. First, many churches are not meeting the financial quota even in an online giving format. Second, many abortion clinics are still open, and the Catholic church plays a major role in being a presence at the clinics. Statistically, Canada has had 27,593 cases of COVID-19 with 954 deaths as of April 14th. Canada averages nearly 2,000 abortions a week so it is crucial the church considers these numbers according to this article. However, the article concludes that it realizes one death from the virus is too many, and that being smart is most important with both our own and other’s health. However, it concludes with the statement that is seems time to allow reopening of churches and the economy because if it delayed too long, people would hurt worse.
Educational Fact |
The Catholic Church has always condemned abortion as a grave evil. Christian writers from the first-century author of the Didache to Pope John Paul II in his encyclical Evangelium Vitae (“The Gospel of Life”) have maintained that the Bible forbids abortion just as it forbids murder. This tract will provide some examples of this consistent witness from the writings of the Fathers of the Church.
As the early Christian writer Tertullian pointed out, the law of Moses ordered strict penalties for causing an abortion. We read, “If men who are fighting hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely [Hebrew: “so that her child comes out”], but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman’s husband demands and the court allows. But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot” (Ex. 21:22–24).
This applies the lex talionis or “law of retribution” to abortion. The lex talionis establishes the just punishment for an injury (eye for eye, tooth for tooth, life for life, compared to the much greater retributions that had been common before, such as life for eye, life for tooth, lives of the offender’s family for one life).
Fun Fact |
The Pope is protected by a force called the Swiss Papal Guard. Wearing uniforms designed by Michelangelo and commonly armed with halberds, they can use heavier weapons if needed. Each member is Catholic, male, and Swiss, and must complete military training in Switzerland. They must demonstrate good conduct and be at least five-foot-eight in height. Those who are chosen are granted a private audience with the pope along with their families. In extreme circumstances, they are expected to guard the Holy Father with their lives. The Swiss Papal Guard is the oldest active military unit in continual existence since 1506.
Prayer for Healing – O God who are the only source of health and healing, the spirit of calm and the central peace of this universe, grant to me such a consciousness of your indwelling and surrounding presence that I may permit you to give me health and strength and peace, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. Have a blessed day!