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May 9, 2010
Sixth Sunday of Easter

 

The Holy Spirit Is Our Guide!

 

Reading 1
Acts 15:1-2, 22-29

Some who had come down from Judea were instructing the brothers,
“Unless you are circumcised according to the Mosaic practice,
you cannot be saved.”
Because there arose no little dissension and debate
by Paul and Barnabas with them,
it was decided that Paul, Barnabas, and some of the others
should go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and elders
about this question.
The apostles and elders, in agreement with the whole church,
decided to choose representatives
and to send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas.
The ones chosen were Judas, who was called Barsabbas,
and Silas, leaders among the brothers.
This is the letter delivered by them:
“The apostles and the elders, your brothers,
to the brothers in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia
of Gentile origin: greetings.
Since we have heard that some of our number
who went out without any mandate from us
have upset you with their teachings
and disturbed your peace of mind,
we have with one accord decided to choose representatives
and to send them to you along with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,

who have dedicated their lives to the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
So we are sending Judas and Silas
who will also convey this same message by word of mouth:
‘It is the decision of the Holy Spirit and of us
not to place on you any burden beyond these necessities,
namely, to abstain from meat sacrificed to idols,
from blood, from meats of strangled animals,
and from unlawful marriage.
If you keep free of these,
you will be doing what is right. Farewell.’”

Ps 67:2-3, 5, 6, 8
Responsorial Psalm

R. (4) O God, let all the nations praise you!
May God have pity on us and bless us;
may he let his face shine upon us.
So may your way be known upon earth;
among all nations, your salvation.
R. O God, let all the nations praise you!
May the nations be glad and exult
because you rule the peoples in equity;
the nations on the earth you guide.
R. O God, let all the nations praise you!
May the peoples praise you, O God;
may all the peoples praise you!
May God bless us,
and may all the ends of the earth fear him!
R. O God, let all the nations praise you!

Rev 21:10-14, 22-23
Reading 2

The angel took me in spirit to a great, high mountain
and showed me the holy city Jerusalem
coming down out of heaven from God.
It gleamed with the splendor of God.
Its radiance was like that of a precious stone,
like jasper, clear as crystal.
It had a massive, high wall,
with twelve gates where twelve angels were stationed
and on which names were inscribed,
the names of the twelve tribes of the Israelites.
There were three gates facing east,
three north, three south, and three west.
The wall of the city had twelve courses of stones as its foundation,
on which were inscribed the twelve names
of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
I saw no temple in the city
for its temple is the Lord God almighty and the Lamb.
The city had no need of sun or moon to shine on it,
for the glory of God gave it light,
and its lamp was the Lamb.

Jn 14:23-29

Gospel

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Whoever loves me will keep my word,
and my Father will love him,
and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.
Whoever does not love me does not keep my words;
yet the word you hear is not mine
but that of the Father who sent me.

“I have told you this while I am with you.
The Advocate, the Holy Spirit,
whom the Father will send in my name,
will teach you everything
and remind you of all that I told you.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.
Not as the world gives do I give it to you.
Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.
You heard me tell you,
‘I am going away and I will come back to you.’
If you loved me,
you would rejoice that I am going to the Father;
for the Father is greater than I.
And now I have told you this before it happens,
so that when it happens you may believe.”


Homily/Sermon


“I have told you this while I am with you. The Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you . . .”

One would think that the life and suffering and death of Jesus would be enough for the Church he had founded. After all, he re-opened the gates of heaven for us, re-established a connection between us and the Father, through that gift of eternal life. Indeed, Jesus did his part in our plan of eternal salvation. But there is a part that we have to do, and that is where a whole lot of problems arise. And perhaps Jesus knew that very well and decided to ask his Father, once he had finished his part, to send the Holy Spirit to continue the work of our salvation. Well, more so to continue to remind us what WE needed to do to achieve our salvation. He could have said, “Well, I did my part, the rest is up to you apostles and disciples and those whom you bring into the fold. You continue my Church and make it thrive and bring people in. You certainly have the knowledge that I gave you. My love remains forever. Now go out and baptize and preach and teach what I have taught you.”

Do we think anyone on drugs will buy that line when thinking about his or her next fix? Do we think those who are alcoholic, young and old, will buy that line, while reaching for the next bottle? Do we think that those who are involved in the sin of fornication, those who are living together, young or older, are worried about their membership being cancelled? I believe that Jesus knew that the road ahead for Christians was not going to be easy. And so he promised another Advocate, The Holy Spirit. He wasn’t about to leave those apostles and disciples orphaned. You see folks, God loves us so much that there is not one second that He isn’t with us, with every single human being on the face of this earth. “And whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him.”

There is indeed a challenge that lies before us, to understand the breath and the depth, and the scope of God’s love for humanity. Even more challenging is the task, that WE realize that all people who seek that love, Protestant, Baptist, Catholic, Mormon, Pentecostal, Jew, Muslim, unbelievers, terrorists, prisoners, the poor, the sick, the back, while, red, green, whatever – desiring to be embraced by God’s love, are then, embraced in that love of His, for we are all children of his human race. Oh, some might have to change a few behavior patterns, but with the Holy Spirit watching over all, anything is possible.

This gift of the Holy Spirit, who is God, has been graced to us from the beginning, and yet it seems that we know so little about him/her; we understand so little the remarkable miracles and wonders that have happened because of the gifts of the Spirit. If nothing else, we should know that the Spirit works through us revealing the word of Jesus and the face of the Father. And are we ever in a need for that Spirit in this time and age, given so many uncertainties in this world and this country, that seems like it is all falling apart.

One thing remains certain dear friends. God’s love remains certain. It is unconditional and it is forever. It has to be, because God is forever and God is love, and no matter what our circumstances on life’s road or journey, that love is constantly reaching out to us to serve us, to heal us, and to bring us peace. That’s the good news, and folks we had better be clinging to that love so tight that nothing can separate us from it. The sad news is that so many fail to allow God’s touch to reach them. So many will turn away, walk away, and look away. With so much at stake in these troubled times in our country and this world, let us embrace the Father’s love, through Jesus his Son, whose presence in our lives reveals the Father, and under the guidance and care of the Holy Spirit, for those gifts of the Holy Spirit enables us to know more fully, this great love.!


It is my hope that this message has been meaningful to you. May God bless you this coming week with good health and also in all of your needs. Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.



Deacon Steve
© May 8, 2010
 

 

“Thank YOU my Marvelous Daddy” by Celtic Thunder – by Janine

 

 

 

~ A Mother's Love ~

 

        I didn't know that my day was going to be any different than any other day back then, many years ago.  I awoke that morning and got ready for work just like any day before it.  But for some strange reason I felt a very heavy burden as I was fixing my lunch and drinking my coffee.  I was not feeling physically bad, had been married to a very wonderful wife for a little over ten years, and had three very wonderful children.  I wasn't depressed, or so I thought I wasn't.  Just this very strange feeling like I was caring the world on my shoulders.

       

        I got into the car and started for work like any other day, but this feeling started to swell up inside of me even stronger.  I said my morning prayers as usual, and just tried to put it aside.  After approaching the main highway that led to my work place, I just stopped for a moment.  To turn right would take me to work.  To turn left, I really didn't know, because going left would take me to many places; homes of many relatives, including my mom and dad's place.  I really had no desire to go see anyone, but I did turn left, and just went on driving, still not quite sure what was going on, still having this feeling of being heavily burdened.

       

        Since my mom and dad's place was the first one I could choose to go to, I decided to stop there to see how they were doing, not knowing for sure if they would even be awake, as it was quite early in the morning yet.  I got out of the car, walked to the front door, and looking through the glass pane on the door, could see my mom sitting on a couch.  I tapped the door a bit, and just walked in.  And then, I felt very overwhelmed, and went over to mom, sat down beside her, and started crying.  She looked at me and said, "I've been waiting for you."  I started telling her how heavy burdened I felt, about life, about all the responsibilities that was on my shoulders, and that I didn't know if I go handle it anymore.  She put my head on her lap and stated praying for me, while I was still letting go of the tears.  She stroked my hair as she prayed, and assured me that everything was going to be ok, that I was under God's care, and just continued to pray.  I asked her if she would mind me staying at their place that day.  Of course she didn't mind, and even called my work place to tell them that I wouldn't be in that day.  I began to feel much better, and fell asleep on her lap, feeling very healed of all the down feelings I came there with.  My mom was not one to show her affection, and I can never remember as a child being hugged, kissed, or receiving any kind of affection from her, though I still loved her very much.  That is just the way she was, but on that day, she already knew that I was hurting before I even went to see her. I was so touched by her love, as much as I was by her compassion and deep faith in God.  I knew that what happened that day would remain in her heart as well as mine.  Not all folks are so fortunate to have had a mother such as mine, and so many like her.  Some have had mothers that were perhaps cold, indifferent, or abusive. 

 

        On my way home later that day, I began to think of another mother, one that my mom reminded me so much off; the mother of Jesus, our Savior and Lord.  I remembered reading in the bible (Luke 41-51) that Mary and Joseph would got to Jerusalem each year for the feast of Passover.  Not much is mentioned about Jesus in his youth, but in that particular passage, it mentions that Jesus went with them when he was twelve years of age.  On the return trip, Mary and Joseph both thought that Jesus was with the other in the caravan, but he wasn’t.  They went back to the temple when he last was, and found him there listening to the teachers and asking them questions.  After a brief scolding (I suppose you can call it that), Jesus told Mary, “Did you not know that I had to be in my Father’s house?”  Not quite understanding what he meant by that, Mary however, keep it in her heart, and they returned home.

 

        I would imagine that Mary, like my mother, knew her son very well, and I think that it might have been very likely that at times, Jesus went to his mother when he was feeling kind of down and out or perhaps confused about growing up, and that she gave him her lap on which to lay, and gave comfort to him and assured him during his down times.  That is what a mother’s love is all about, and who better than the mother of Jesus, to be such a model of such love?

 

         It is revealed in John's gospel 19:26-28: Seeing his mother there with the disciple whom he loved, Jesus said to his mother, "Woman, there is your son."  In turn he said to the disciple, "There is your mother."  From that hour onward, the disciple took her into his care.

 

        There is much that is not revealed as being said in the scriptures, but somehow, it doesn't seem to be too difficult to read between the lines, especially when Jesus speaks.  Could it be possible that Jesus was speaking to all of humankind when he said to his mother, " . . . there is your son/daughter?"  "There is your mother."  Could it be that Jesus gave us his mother to be there for each of us when we so desperately need a mother to go to?  I know that many faith denominations do not hold to some beliefs about Mary as some others do, but I would not hesitate for one minute to go to her, as I have often times in my life.  That's just me.  I hold Mary in very high esteem, but I will keep those thoughts in my heart.  I do know that if I were to speak about a mother's love, aside from my own birth mother, I would certainly go to the mother of Jesus, for she definitely is my model of a mother's love.

 

 

Steve A. Politte

Written May 14th, 2002

 

 

            

 

~ Love One Another ~

 

Love one another with my forgiving love,
As I have loved you, your Father above.


Help one another in times of need,
As I have helped you, please do this for me.


Give so that others will know what its like,
To have someone who cares
about their sorrows and strife.


Touch someone’s life even if its in a small way,
Never forgetting how much I touch your life everyday.


Laugh and share joy with everyone that you see,
Showing them that true happiness comes from me.


Don’t be afraid to speak my name, no matter where you are.
For I am with you, and I love you I will never be far.


Let go of the things in life that holds you down,
I’m your Father, and through me, is where your help is found.


All these things that I ask, you can do for free,
For the price was paid in full, on an old rugged tree.


Yes look around and reach out, to someone everyday,
Do this for me so everyone sees,
how much I love them in everyway.

 

Written By Eva Dimel
Inspired By God
May 4th 2010

 

 

 

 

 

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