That very day

Painting of The Road to Emmaus courtesy of Methodist News Service

Greetings on this the Wednesday in the Octave of Easter
Our readings today are as follows.

  • The Book of Acts with Peter and John in the temple area.
  • Psalm One Oh Five.
  • The Gospel of Luke story of the Road to Emmaus.

This text is presented as a feed to a podcast tool.

On that very day, the first day of the week.

So many wonderful things to reflect on today about the story of the Road to Emmaus especially when paired with the reading from the Book of the Acts of the Apostles.

Perhaps in a bulleted list form?

  • Jesus journeys with us in our uncertainty.
  • The Apostles and the apostolic succession is given to do the same.
  • Jesus taught all that the prophets spoke.
  • The Church teaches the fulfillment of the Old Testament in Jesus.
  • Jesus invokes compassion in the disciples.
  • The Apostles show compassion for the beggar.
  • Jesus is revealed in the Breaking of the Bread – Eucharist.
  • Jesus is revealed in the healing of the beggar by the Apostles.

The Apostles ask Jesus to stay.
He gives them himself in Eucharistic bread until the End of Time.

Today, too, is that very day.

We come to him, Jesus, in the church. We seek to journey together, learn together, be compassionate together and be together in the breaking of the bread that he may never leave us.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

Repent and be baptized

Christ the King

Greetings on this the Tuesday in the Octave of Easter
Readings: Acts 2:36-41; PS 33:4-5, 18-19, 20 and 22; Jn 20:11-18

Note: My reflections are Catholic by nature and I hope also universally inviting with a broad spectrum of acceptance of your person. When you read, remember I am being careful to state certainty without judgment. To quote Pope Francis, our focus must be

‘to enter into a living relationship with the members of God’s people and to look at life from their perspective in order to understand the real difficulties they encounter and to help heal their wounds.

Repent and be Baptized

It’s pretty clear but not entirely so for many. In this age baptism is often seen as an optional, visually pleasing rite without any particular divine action associated with it.

The confusion comes in when we say, correctly, that God is not limited by the Sacramental system but rather offers himself through the Sacramental system as (1) what Jesus prescribed and (2) with the assurance of its potency.

The normative is for our benefit not our harm. The exception is for all cases that the normative is not possible. Dominus Supple (Lord, the supplier).

Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is made to you and to your children and to all those far off,
whomever the Lord our God will call.”

It might be helpful to add reading chapter 8:4-40 of the Book of Acts.

Here ae two examples one poorly discerning and one well discerning:

  • The story of Simon the Magician.
  • The story of Philip and the Ethiopian.

I often get calls in the time leading up to Easter for an immediate baptism! RIGHT NOW! Inspired, fearful or power hungry any of which could be true. From a normative perspective not something we can do unless there is danger of death. Repentance and formation is a year long process.

Again review the two stories in Acts chapter 8 above.

Usually there is an impatience to even talk about their spiritual life and formation to-date. I don’t know where they go but often do not come back at the beginning of the formation season.

So how to we keep in balance the need for immediate help and proper formation without being accused of establishing norms beyond those set by Jesus and the Apostles. Well, that battle has been going on for centuries.

For a cleric it is ALWAYS painful to have this crisis of orderliness and to encounter a heart so conflicted.

Our psalmist today helps us center our expectations.

See, the eyes of the LORD are upon those who fear him,
upon those who hope for his kindness,
To deliver them from death
and preserve them in spite of famine.

Trust this promise most of all!!

Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?

Old story: An evangelical friend of mine finally became a father. So happy! But came a sudden crisis of faith. He came to me and asked I immediately baptize his baby. I said no, not yet.

My Reply: You trust in God and continue to trust him. He knows your realization of sin and the necessity of baptism. Excellent. Your tradition waits until the age of reason. So wait to the Age of Reason. If the situation changes (fear of death), yes, of course. But not fear. Fear is not your God and we will not be mastered by it.

Now let us plan a blessing and prayer of protection for your beautiful baby.

That was an interfaith approach, ecumenism, specifically for the Believer.

Trust, repent and be baptized.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

Jesus met them

Greetings on this the Monday in the Octave of Easter
Readings: Acts 2:14, 22-33; PS 16:1-2a and 5, 7-8, 9-10, 11; Mt 28:8-15

Note: Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg a teacher and theologian committed to educating Christians and removing anti-Semitism from the Christian faith. I recommend his book The Jewish Gospel of John.

www.IsraelBibleCenter.com

For his Easter Sunday homily Fr Nobert John-Pierre told an interesting and funny story. While in Guatemala on mission he was there for the Easter Vigil one time. At the stroke of midnight the entire town went into a frenzy of activity. Everyone was out scouting about searching for Jesus who was no longer in the tomb.

This tradition, echoing the earliest revelations that Jesus was risen, brings a heart-smile to everyone who heard Father tell the story.

Both fearful and overjoyed Mary Magdalene and the other Marys ready to do something but uncertain what that something is!

And behold, Jesus met them on their way and greeted them.
They approached, embraced his feet, and did him homage.
Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid.
Go tell my brothers to go to Galilee,
and there they will see me.”

The first reading from the Book of Acts appeals to the theologian in us as to the scriptural reference to David and his offspring Jesus.

The Gospel reading appeals to those who want the rumors to be addressed that Jesus was stolen from the grave not resurrected.

The women. The women were filled with energy and ready to ‘be’.

So whether you have confusion of the mind, mistrust of the news or searching how to ‘be’ this Easter Octave is for you.

Don’t be afraid, tell your story and share the Good News of Jesus!

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

The Abyss

Viaticum courtesy Deacondance.com site

Greetings on this Holy Saturday
Readings: None

There are no reading today. No funerals, no weddings, no Masses.

Holy Communion can only be given as Viaticum, Bread for the Journey, for those in immediate risk of death.

The season of Lent can be thought of as a period of Anticipatory Grief.
Holy Saturday can be thought of as a period of profound Bereavement.

The Marys sit shiva in disbelief at the outcome.

Today is not a day of preaching, convincing, nor persuasion.

For now let us allow the abyss to have its full meaning. It is the ‘alternate future’ for the quantum mystics among us.

A probability but for Grace.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

Model to follow

Washing of the Feet America Magazine

Greetings on this the Holy Thursday Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper
Readings: Ex 12:1-8, 11-14; PS 116:12-13, 15-16bc, 17-18; 1 Cor 11:23-26; Jn 13:1-15

Note: COVID precautions preclude the washing of the feet tonight. We are so close to the end of the crisis we’d prefer not to make things regress.

So when he had washed their feet
and put his garments back on and reclined at table again,
he said to them, “Do you realize what I have done for you?
You call me ‘teacher’ and ‘master,’ and rightly so, for indeed I am.
If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet,
you ought to wash one another’s feet.
I have given you a model to follow,
so that as I have done for you, you should also do.”

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

What are you willing to give me?

Greetings on this the Wednesday of Holy Week
Readings: Is 50:4-9a; PS 69:8-10, 21-22, 31 and 33-34; Mt 26:14-25

Note: In Christ, I love you. Yesterday’s reflection contained the Judas betrayal so I will not go there today.

Servant Salvation

Today’s old testament reading is from the section of Isaiah known as the Salvation Through the Lord’s Servant.

The chapter begins with the direct challenge to the charge that God has abandoned them. This section precedes the reading today.

  • Did I write a bill of divorce?
  • Did I sell you into slavery?
  • Did you not hear me calling out to you?
  • Do you think I cannot ransom you from your slavery to sin?

Moreover… today’s Isaiah portion (1st reading)…

  • I know and answer the weary. This is my Messianic mission.
  • I allow you to beat me and to tear out my beard.
  • I am not disgraced but these disgraceful actions.

Servant Anguish and Distress
Lord, in your great love, answer me.

Here the Lord joins the lament.
He personifies the lament.
The Lord…

  • bears insults, shame, being outcast, no compassion.
  • tolerates gall and vinegar for food and drink.

Never the less…
Zeal for your house consumes me (see John 2:17).
For the LORD hears the poor,
and his own who are in bonds he spurns not.

Gospel

What are you willing to give me?

He was offered 30 pieces of silver. The price of a slave.

God offers himself. A slave to love.

Choose well.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry