Monday in the Sixth Week of Easter

First European Christians

Paul’s relationship with the Philippians is one of exceptional peace and harmony. He fell in love with his newly founded Philippian church and his epistle to them is among the most emotional of his writings. He wrote: “I give thanks to my God every time I think of you, which is constantly, in every prayer I utter, rejoicing, as I plead on your behalf, at the way you have all continually helped promote the gospel from the very first day … I hold all of you dear … God himself can testify how much I long for each of you with the affection of Christ Jesus! (Phil 1:3-8).

Sixth Sunday of Easter

Theme: Spirit Of Joyful Hope

Philip’s spirit of joyful hope in today’s scene from the early church suggests one possible line for today’s homily. He was bursting with a message that he wants to share with the African traveller he met on the road. Many in our world have largely lost their sense of the sacred, in conventional church terms, but they may be open to a hopeful message, if it is well presented. If we ignore the reality of God, all our other relationships suffer as a result. We should reverence God’s guiding providence, and show courteous respect to all.

Saturday in the Fifth Week of Easter

Tackling the Task

Adversity continues to exert its important role in the apostolate. Persecuted in one place, the disciples moved on to another town; and so the gospel moved onward and continued to spread across the Roman Empire. When local conditions threw roadblocks in Paul’s way and kept him from preaching in the name of Jesus, St Luke explains that “They were prevented by the Holy Spirit from preaching the message.”

Friday in the Fifth Week of Easter

Fruitful Compromise

All will agree that martyrdom must be inspired by the Spirit of God, but we often think of compromise as slightly immoral and almost always as a decline in personal ideals. Yet the letter of the Jerusalem Council begins: “It is the decision of the Holy Spirit and ours too, not to lay any burden beyond that which is strictly necessary. …” The word strictly indicates some kind of minimalist interpretation.

Thursday in the Fifth Week of Easter

The power of enthusiasm

A spontaneous interchange of life, love and joy flows between God the Father and God the Son. This force which bonds and unites them is so personal and real as to be God the Holy Spirit. Jesus desires that this same bond exist between ourselves and his own person. “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Live on in my love. Let my joy be yours that your joy may be complete.”

Wednesday in the Fifth Week of Easter

Discovering our Roots

Many biblical readings reach into the roots and sources of our life and calls upon us to locate our origins in Jesus. For the Jewish people circumcision was the seal of the covenant, not only upon the flesh but also upon the transmission of life. Through this mark, the Jews not only reached back to their ancestral patriarch Abraham (Gen 15), but also manifested their willingness to be known as a follower of Moses, and if need be, to die out of loyalty to the covenant of Mount Sinai.

Tuesday in the Fifth Week of Easter

Gone On Ahead

One of the ways by which we follow Jesus into his mysterious life with the Father and the Spirit, is to allow our own spirit come to rest in the deepest part of ourselves. Here is where the temple of God is constructed; here is the Holy of Holies of that temple, here resides the Ark of the Covenant, containing the tablets of the law (Deut 31:26). Here is where we hear God’s word,

Monday in the Fifth Week of Easter

Guided by the Spirit

As we energetically begin a day or a new project, do we really want to be instructed by the Holy Spirit in everything? Then, we would be such instruments of the Spirit, that people would sense the power of miracles within us, as once they did within Paul. And as we look at others, even if they are crippled in body or in mind, we too like Paul would see a faith strong enough to heal them of their infirmity. Today’s Scriptures instruct us on ways to arrive at this change and expression of the Holy Spirit.

Fifth Sunday of Easter

Theme: New Horizons

Life is a pilgrimage, where new horizons constantly appear, and new challenges must be met. As on any journey, it is important to keep our eyes fixed on our destination which is eternal life. With Christ as our guide our church will not go astray, even if we have to make changes and relax some of our cherished traditions in order to meet the new needs of our people, here and now – just as the apostles did, when they set up new ministries to deal with new needs. We may be God’s temple and yet not be “set in stone”, for as St Peter puts it, we are “living stones” and the house we are built into is the living body of Christ.

Friday in the Fourth Week of Easter

In My Father’s House

So long as we live on planet earth, we have not arrived at our final destiny, since “here we have no lasting city” (Heb 13:14). Our Scriptures declare that earth and even our entire solar system will one day disintegrate, but emphasize far more the ephemeral, short-lived, ever changing circumstances of our individual lives and of our society. We are always wayfarers on a journey,..

Thursday in the Fourth Week of Easter

History: God at Work

Putting today’s readings together, a line of continuity stretches from eternity to earth and right through Israel’s history upon planet earth, into the life of the church. Jesus is sent by the heavenly Father, with a message not just in words but in his very person. Jesus is that message drawn from the heart and intense life of the Godhead; Jesus, therefore, is the great I AM. This title, I AM..

Wednesday in the Fourth Week of Easter

The Roots of Mission

In today’s Scripture we catch a glimpse of the intimate community of life between Jesus and his heavenly Father, between the members of the church in Antioch among themselves and with God.  Jesus’ entire existence  is formed by his total desire to please the Father, this receptivity to the Father’s will and wisdom, this total community of life with the Father.

Monday in the Fourth Week of Easter

Gathering the Flock

The gift of the Holy Spirit is personal, reaching into the depths of our heart and mind; it is also powerful, summoning us to heroic acts and new ways of life. Important moments of our personal, individual life can happen with startling abruptness, as they can for the entire Church. Peter finds himself baptizing gentiles, not so that they may receive the Holy Spirit but because already they have been graced by the Spirit in wonderful ways.

Fourth Sunday of Easter

Theme: new ways of ministry

The saving message of Jesus needs to be announced vigorously, in the language of today. For this many volunteers are needed, with various outlooks and personalities, to share the Good Shepherd’s work. In the current crisis in vocations to administer Word and Sacrament and promote Christ’s message in our world, we pray God to provide wise and caring pastors for his church. But we pray that our church leaders, too, will be open to promoting new ways of priestly ministry, including a wider range of prospective candidates, many of them married, and, who knows

Saturday Feast of St Matthias, Apostle.

Apostolic Qualifications

The qualifications of an Apostle as explained by Peter, head of the original apostolic group, are important to remember. For him it was essential for a member of the apostolic circle to have been with the Christian movement “from the beginning” and to have been “a witness to all Jesus said and did.” Matthias meets both criteria and could bear personal witness to the life and mind of Jesus of Nazareth.