Saturday, May 19, 2018

Acts 28:16-20, 30-31, Psalm 11: 4-5, 7, John 21:20-25


I will send to you the Spirit of truth, says the Lord;
he will guide you to all truth. Jn 16:7, 13

Acts 28:16-20, 30-31, Psalm 11: 4-5, 7, John 21:20-25

Acts 28:16-20, 30-31

Dear Love, Beloved of my soul,

In preaching the Gospel that saves we see how Paul's life mirrors Your own in many ways. This is because You are our Model par excellence. When we follow the Way we follow You; when we speak the Truth, we speak You; when we receive Life through the Sacraments, we receive You. Always and everywhere it is always You.

Paul enters Rome and was permitted to live by himself guarded by a soldier. Three days after his arrival he called the Jewish leaders to introduce himself to them and tell them about himself. Rumors must have been rife about him and he wanted them to know the facts so they could reveal the truth about him to the Jewish diaspora in Rome.

Too often lies and innuendoes circulate about people and it is right that these be addressed head-on so one can go about the real task of evangelizing. 

We find many parallels in the life of Paul as he addresses the leaders. Calling them his brothers, he says that he had done nothing against his people or their Jewish customs yet he was handed over to the Romans. 

You had done nothing yet it was Your own people who handed You over to Pilate who wanted to release You for he found no wrong in You. The same was true of Paul. The Romans found nothing against him deserving of the death penalty and yet the Jews insisted that he should die, just as they demanded that You be put to death. 

Paul wore the chains of a prisoner on account of the hope that he had in You for You, my Beloved, are the hope of all nations. We are told that for two years he proclaimed the Kingdom of God and taught about You. You boldly proclaimed the Kingdom of God and taught and preached with authority accompanied by many signs and miracles which testified that You came from above. 

We have many evangelists beginning with the Apostles, who have modeled their lives on You and brought many into the Kingdom of God, even to the laying down of their lives for the sake of the Gospel. There are no half measures Beloved, those who commit their lives to You must do so all the way to the Gate of Heaven.

Psalm 11: 4-5, 7

The LORD is in his holy temple;
the LORD's throne is in heaven.
His eyes behold,
his searching glance is on mankind.

The just will gaze on your face, O Lord.

The LORD searches the just and the wicked;
the lover of violence he hates.
For the LORD is just, he loves just deeds;

the upright shall see his face.

John 21:20-25

Dear Love, Beloved of my soul,

We see how You rebuked Peter lightly for being curious. Wanting to know something for our edification or that would be helpful is good but merely wanting to know something to satisfy our curiosity is shallow. The most important thing that should concern all those who are Your disciples is to follow You no matter where it takes us. The whole focus of our lives must be to image You in our lives only then can we be authentic witnesses of the Truth, even to the laying down of our lives for the sake of the Gospel.

We thank You for Holy Mother Church who guards the rich deposit of faith within her for as St. John himself has said, 

"There are also many other things that Jesus did,
but if these were to be described individually,
I do not think the whole world would contain the books

that would be written."

Friday, May 18, 2018

Acts 25: 13B-21, Psalm 103:1-2, 11-12, 19-20AB, John 21:15-19


The Holy Spirit will teach you everything
and remind you of all I told you. Jn 14:26

Acts 25: 13B-21, Psalm 103:1-2, 11-12, 19-20AB, 
John 21:15-19

Acts 25: 13B-21

Dear Love, Beloved of my soul,

There never was so great a missionary as Paul. To him, You entrusted the work of bringing the Good News to the Gentiles and this he did with the help and by being in conformity with the will of the Holy Spirit.  He gives us a shining example of how we too who are called to preach the Gospel in season and out of season must be perfectly docile to the Spirit of God.

God uses all the circumstances of our life to bring about good no matter how unlikely it may seem. Paul's years as a prisoner in Rome were most fruitful. All his letters to the different churches he established to encourage the believers are treasures the Church uses even to this day. They help and guide the Church to this day to understand all that You said and did and to teach the faithful how to conform to the Holy Spirit who is active not only in the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church but in each believer.

Paul is a great witness and a great example of how we too are called to spread the Gospel wherever we may be.

Psalm 103:1-2, 11-12, 19-20AB

Dear Love, Beloved of my soul,

The Psalmist teaches us how to pray always. Grant O my most precious Lord that my soul will constantly bless, praise, glorify, and adore You. May I always be aware of the stream of blessings that are granted to me and may my heart overflow with thanksgiving. I know I do not deserve any of Your gifts but this has not stopped You from pouring them generously on me and on those I love and pray for. 

I am aware that I am a sinner. I am aware that often I have sinned gravely and willfully. I have deliberately shut my ears to the warnings of the Holy Spirit, yet You have never abandoned me but have wooed me tenderly, and patiently back to repentance and contrition, and You have forgiven all my sins every time I came to You in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

Thank You for reminding me that as high as the heavens are above the earth, so is Your surpassing kindness to me and mine. Thank You that although You are seated in glory in the highest heavens You stoop low over me and watch over me as tenderly as a mother over her infant.

Thank You for inviting me to join my feeble voice to that of the heavens, the angels and saints to sing Your praises from the rising of the sun to its setting and for the place, You have prepared for me in eternity.

John 21:15-19

Dear Love, Beloved of my soul,

The invitation to Peter is the one that I and every baptized Christian has received and we are called to take it very seriously indeed. You have entrusted the great work of evangelization to us and to each of us God has already determined who we will bring to the knowledge of the Truth that leads to eternal Life. 

However, we are called to make our own profession of love to You and renew our commitment to love those we encounter every day of our lives. If I love You then I must be prepared to lay down my life for those to whom I bring the Good News. St. Paul was tireless in his efforts and so were the rest of the Apostles and the great saints and missionaries through the course of the ages.

Your call is short, clear, and easy to understand, "Follow Me." That's it, You will do the rest.