Saturday of the Final Week of Easter

Saturday of the Final Week of Easter
Acts 28:16-20,30-31  +  John 21:20-25
June 8, 2019

   I do not think the whole world would contain the books that would be written.   

This morning’s Gospel passage consists of the final six verses of the Gospel according to John.  The Easter Season draws to a close, then, with an almost parenthetical reminder that the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ earthly life are by no means exhaustive.  Nor are they meant to be. Continue reading

Friday of the Final Week of Easter

Friday of the Final Week of Easter
Acts 25:13-21  +  John 21:15-19
June 7, 2019

   Peter was distressed that He had said to him a third time, “Do you love me?”   

On these last two weekdays of Easter, our Gospel passage comes from the epilogue of John’s Gospel account.  In these final days, we hear John’s account of Jesus’ “final word”, which echoes what John records time and time again throughout his Scriptural writings (the Book of Revelation, his three epistles, and his Gospel account). Continue reading

Thursday of the Final Week of Easter

Thursday of the Final Week of Easter
Acts 22:30;23:6-11  +  John 17:20-26
June 6, 2019

   “…so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in Me and I in You.”   

There are many types of unity.  For example, if two persons agree about a political issue, and join a common party, these two persons have political unity.  If two persons agree about a moral teaching, or agree to act in common on behalf of a moral goal, these two persons have moral unity.  If two students study for doctorates in physics, specializing in the same topic, and become the two foremost experts in the world about that topic, these two persons bear a certain intellectual unity. Continue reading

Wednesday of the Final Week of Easter

Wednesday of the Final Week of Easter
Acts 20:28-38  +  John 17:11-19
June 5, 2019

   “…that they may be one just as We are one.”   

Of the four Gospel accounts, John’s is the loftiest and thus is symbolized by an eagle.  In the vocabulary of theology, John has the highest Christology.  One can make the case that the Last Supper discourses—found in John 13-17—make up the loftiest part of John (with the possible exception of the prologue in John 1:1-18).  Within the Last Supper discourses, the seventeenth chapter of John is commonly titled the “High Priestly Prayer” of Jesus, and is the loftiest part of these discourses.  All of this is stated to point out that in this last week of Easter, we are certainly breathing rarified air. Continue reading

Tuesday of the Final Week of Easter

Tuesday of the Final Week of Easter
Acts 20:17-27  +  John 17:1-11
June 4, 2019

   “Now this is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ.”   

We are approaching the end of the Easter season.  For seven weeks we have heard of the events surrounding the Resurrection, and how these events have touched the lives of those who encountered Jesus, such as Mary Magdalen, Peter, and Thomas.  We have heard how the lives of these followers of Jesus were changed because they believed in the events they witnessed.  The Church today is also made up of followers of Jesus, those whose lives have been changed by their encounter with the Body of Christ. Continue reading

Monday of the Final Week of Easter

Monday of the Final Week of Easter
Acts 19:1-8  +  John 16:29-33
June 3, 2019

   “In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world.”   

This coming Sunday’s celebration of Pentecost is the backdrop for all our weekday readings this week.  Wherever we Christians are, we are united in the Mystical Body of Christ, and together we are praying this week for a greater openness to the Gift who is God the Holy Spirit. Continue reading

The Seventh Sunday of Easter [C]

PLEASE NOTE:  In most dioceses of the U.S., each year the Seventh Sunday of Easter is replaced by the Solemnity of the Lord’s Ascension.  For the Ascension reflection, click HERE.

The Seventh Sunday of Easter [C]
Acts 7:55-60  +  Rev 22:12-14,16-17,20  +  Jn 17:20-26
June 2, 2019

In the year 398, Saint Augustine of Hippo, the greatest bishop and scholar of the first millennium of the Church, was walking one day along the shore of a sea.  He was meditating in frustration on the mystery of the God’s nature in the Holy Trinity, trying hard to get a grasp on how it could be that there is one God in three persons.  As he continued alongside the breaking waves, he came across a boy with a bucket and shovel, working away.  The bishop asked the boy what he was doing, and the boy replied that he was digging a hole in the sand into which he was going to put the sea.  Without wanting to embarrass the boy, Augustine tried simply to tell him that what he was trying was impossible.  The boy responded, “What I’m doing is no less possible than trying to fit Almighty God into your mind.” Continue reading

The Ascension of the Lord [C]

PLEASE NOTE:  In most dioceses of the U.S., every year the Ascension of the Lord replaces the celebration of the Seventh Sunday of Easter.  For the reflection for the Seventh Sunday of Easter, click HERE.

The Ascension of the Lord [C]
Acts 1:1-11  +  Ephesians 1:17-23  +  Luke 24:46-53
June 2, 2019

   “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses….”   

The Church reflects upon the Glorious Mystery of the Ascension through her Sacred Liturgy.  She does this first through the Scriptures, prayers and antiphons of today’s Mass.  These include the Preface that the priest chants or recites right before the Sanctus.  There are two prefaces for the Ascension.  In the first, the priest professes our belief—that is to say, the belief of the entire Communion of Saints—that “the Lord Jesus, the King of glory, / conqueror of sin and death, / ascended today to the highest heavens” “not to distance Himself from our lowly state / but that we, His members, might be confident of following / where He, our Head and Founder, has gone before.” Continue reading

Saturday of the 6th Week of Easter

Saturday of the 6th Week of Easter
Acts 18:23-28  +  John 16:23-28
June 1, 2019

   “The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures but I will tell you clearly about the Father.”   

The spiritual momentum of the Sacred Triduum and the Easter Season moves us through the Passion and Death, the Resurrection, and the Ascension of the Lord Jesus to the Solemnity of Pentecost.  In the Church’s celebration of Pentecost, we meditate not only on the divine origin and the divine mission of the Church. Continue reading