Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from May, 2017

Pentecost Sunday

The Sacred Triduum of Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Easter Vigil are considered to be the highest holy days of the Western Church.  For many in the Eastern Churches, however, Pentecost is considered the highest ranking feast, even above Pascha (the Eastern celebration of Easter).  But be it the first or second most important holiday on the Christian calendar, no one can argue it’s significance.  This is the day the Holy Spirit came upon the Apostles, the birthday of the Church.


The Word for Pentecost Sunday (day) Acts 2-1-11
Psalm 104:1, 24, 29-30, 31, 34
1 Corinthians 12:3b-7, 12-13
John 20:19-23

Our Sunday readings open fittingly with the Pentecost story from Acts of the Apostles.  It is after the Ascension and we are back with the Apostles in the upper room.  Most of us are familiar with the story… The Holy Spirit come upon the like “tongues of fire” giving them the power to go down into the streets and preach the Gospel so that this international multitude can hear th…

Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord

This Thursday is traditionally celebrated as the Ascension of the Lord, marking 40 days since the Resurrection of the Lord with his Ascension to Heaven.  Tradition then tells us that 10 days after this the Holy Spirit came to the Apostles which we celebrate at Pentecost Sunday next week.  In the United States, however, and in other parts of the world, the bishops councils have moved this celebration of the Ascension to this coming Sunday, traditionally the 7th Sunday of Easter.  Why was this Solemnity moved to Sunday?  Because the reason for the celebration far outweighs the timing of the celebration.  The Ascension of the Lord is a pivotal moment for the Apostles.  Jesus, resurrected, is now leaving them, but he instructs them to wait for the coming of the Holy Spirit.


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 …

6th Sunday of Easter

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 g…

5th Sunday of Easter

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 becom…

4th Sunday of Easter - Good Shepherd Sunday

Shepherd imagery and references  are found throughout scripture.  Moses was following a lost sheep when he first encountered God in the burning bush, David was out tending the sheep when Samuel came looking for a new king for Israel.  Even Jesus made references to shepherds and sheep in his teachings and parables because it allowed him to connect with his audience.  This imagery is so rooted in our societal DNA that it still resonates through our modern urban cultural experience.  This coming 4th Sunday of Easter is better as “Good Shepherd Sunday” because we hear the very popular and beloved story of the Good Shepherd from John’s Gospel.


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 crowd in Jerusalem about Jesus and the events that are still fresh on their minds with hi…