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Showing posts from May, 2014

Ascension of the Lord 2014

This Sunday the Church in the United States celebrates the feast of the Ascension in place of the 7th Sunday of Easter. Traditionally a Holy Day of Obligation, we celebrate the moment when Jesus, after the Resurrection, is taken up to Heaven. Our readings for this special day are the same for all three Lectionary Cycles.

The Word for the Ascension of the Lord
Acts 1-1-11
Psalm 47:2-3, 6-7, 8-9
Ephesians 1:17-23
Matthew 28:16-20

Our first reading comes from the beginning of the Acts of the Apostles, where the opening act is the Ascension of Jesus. This is a far more dramatic (and detailed) version than where Luke leaves us at the end his Gospel (Chapter 24), but like many great sequels, the opening moments recap the story thus far (as a reminder of where we left off) in order to set the stage for the narrative moving forward.  It is interesting to note that the event of the Ascension is noted only briefly at the end of Luke and Mark, while Matthew and John don’t even mention it.  It is also …

6th Sunday of Easter 2014

If you want to have some fun, ask a Catholic (or any Christian) about the Holy Spirit.  The answers you get will likely be as varied as the people you ask.  Our faith is based on a “Trinitarian” view of God:  God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit.  As a Church we do quite well teaching about God the Father, and we do an excellent job teaching about Jesus, but when it comes to the Holy Spirit we tend to treat the subject like a “third wheel” or “odd man out.”  We spend so much time learning about God the Father and God the Son that we end up with little time to spend on the Holy Spirit.  Perhaps our readings for this week can help us to better understand the Spirit…

The Word for the 6th Sunday of Easter
Acts 8:5-8, 14-17
Psalm 66:1-3, 4-5, 6-7, 16, 20
1 Peter 3:15-18
John 14:15-21

For this 6th Sunday of Easter we open with a story from Acts of the Apostles where we hear how Philip has had great success in bringing the Gospel to the people of Samaria.  Even amid this great joy, Pet…

5th Sunday of Easter 2014

What happens when you have too much of a good thing?  When a business wins that lucrative new contract or expands into a new location?  Or taking that same idea a bit closer to home, what happens when two families merge through marriage, or when a family welcomes a new child?  We consider this kind of growth to be a good thing, but as with all things, these successes also come with their own baggage.  Our readings for this 5th Sunday of Easter have our Apostles facing similar challenges in the face of their growing successes.

The Word for the 5th Sunday of Easter
Acts 6:1-7
Psalm 33:1-2, 4-5, 18-19
1 Peter 2:4-9
John 14:1-12

Our reading from Acts of the Apostles learning the hard way about the challenges that grow out of their continued success when their number of followers continues to grow.  Up to this point the Apostles have been doing their best to address the needs of the community, both spiritual and physical, but the community has grown so large now that they are becoming overwhelme…

4th Sunday of Easter 2014 (Good Shepard Sunday)

This coming Sunday is knows as Good Shepherd Sunday because our Gospel is the well known “Good Shepherd” story, where in John 10:11 Jesus is quoted as saying “I am the good shepherd. A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”  In an interesting twist, however, our Gospel reading stops just sort of this verse, ending with verse 10.  Regardless of the fact that we don’t actually hear the phrase “The Good Shepherd” used in the Liturgy, the understanding of Jesus in the roll of “Shepherd” is well understood, and perhaps in avoiding the often used quote, we have an opportunity to better understand the context of the story, because it’s not so much about Jesus’ roll as shepherd but how we as “sheep” responding to our shepherd’s call.

The Word for the 4th Sunday of Easter
Acts 2:14a, 36-41
Psalm 23:1-3a, 3b-4, 5, 6
1 Peter 2:20b-25
John 10-1-10

Our first reading from the Acts of the Apostles picks up shortly after where we left off last week.  As we remember, Peter was speaking to the crow…