Everything else is less

This world will see me no longer but you shall see me.

Greetings on this the Sixth Sunday of Easter
Readings: Acts 15:1-2, 22-29; Ps 67:2-3, 5, 6, 8; Rev 21:10-14, 22-23; Jn 14:23-29
Notes: It is the Holy Spirit who helps us keep to a right path.

Far too frequently we are tempted to over-manage and over-correct every and any error of thought or practice. We are not to place on you any burden beyond necessities.

Nicodemus, one of their members who had come to him earlier, said to them, “Does our law condemn a person before it first hears him and finds out what he is doing?” They answered and said to him, “You are not from Galilee also, are you? Look and see that no prophet arises from Galilee.” (Jn 7:50-52).

Ever hear this one? A guy describes his philosophy of driving this way:

  • Anyone who drives faster than me is a jerk.
  • Anyone who drives slower than me is an idiot.

First reading
It is the decision of the Holy Spirit and of us
not to place on you any burden beyond these necessities.

Responsorial Psalm
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.

Second reading
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.

Much if not all of what we hold onto tightly liturgically in this age will become moot in the life to come. But no doubt there will be some who complain.

Alleluia Verse
Whoever loves me will keep my word, says the Lord,
and my Father will love him and we will come to him.

Gospel Portion
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.

  • Teach (the Gospel values of Jesus).
  • Remind (of the Gospel life of Jesus).
  • Peace (Living in the Gospel of Jesus).

Everything else is less.

Jesus ascends to the Father and we should rejoice!

Since in a very real way Jesus never left the Father so it’s not like he misses him.
Since in a very real way Jesus is leaving us, why rejoice?

Why should we rejoice?

  • Because Jesus brings the incarnation to the Father. Jesus brings our flesh and blood with him. He makes it possible for us to be presence of the Father.
  • Because Jesus never leaves us either. In his Eucharistic gift he makes it possible for us to be in his presence unto the end of time.

The manner of our indwelling in him through the sacrament of his body and blood is evident from the Lord’s own words: This world will see me no longer but you shall see me (Hilary: Treatise on the Trinity).

He is in the Father by reason of his divine nature, we are in him by reason of his human birth, and he is in us through the mystery of the sacraments (Hilary: Treatise on the Trinity).

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

Help us

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Greetings on this the Saturday of the Fifth Week of Easter
Readings: Acts 16:1-10; PS 100:1b-2, 3, 5; Jn 15:18-21
Notes: There was a disagreement, to put it mildly. Paul and Barnabas could not come to agreement about how to treat John-Mark, who had deserted them at Pamphylia. They had to agree to disagree and divide their efforts. This thread of how to treat people who have failed in some way and now seeks return to the fold has been replayed over and over again in the history of the Church.

  1. As we know John-Mark went on to write the Gospel of Mark.
  2. The Apostle Paul went on his second amazing journey.

The story of Paul in Philippi, Thessalonica, Beroea, Athens, Corinth and back to Syria is amazing and as riveting in a way like the life of Jesus.

Who, though, do you suppose was the Macedonian pleading for help in the dream?

The spiritual appeal of many silent souls seeking God but not finding Him in the current ways. They needed someone to introduce them to The Name.

People don’t need our moralism.
People need Jesus.
Even when there is danger we are to bring The Name of the One who Saves.

First reading
During the night Paul had a vision.
A Macedonian stood before him and implored him with these words,
“Come over to Macedonia and help us.”
When he had seen the vision,
we sought passage to Macedonia at once,
concluding that God had called us to proclaim the Good News to them.

Responsorial Psalm
Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.

Alleluia Verse
If then you were raised with Christ,
seek what is above,
where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.

Gospel Portion
Remember the word I spoke to you,
‘No slave is greater than his master.’
If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you.
If they kept my word, they will also keep yours.
And they will do all these things to you on account of my name,
because they do not know the one who sent me.”

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

Conversion not coercion

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Greetings on this the Friday of the Fifth Week of Easter
Readings: Acts 15:22-31; PS 57:8-9, 10 and 12; Jn 15:12-17
Notes: Conversion not coercion. It is the decision of the Holy Spirit and of us (the Church).
(Coercion is the practice of persuading someone to do something by using force or threats).

Faith should be free from:

  1. unnecessarily upsetting people with excessive application of our teachings.
  2. disturbance of peace of mind as a requirement or as a tactic.

The Apostles speak clearly when they said:
It is the decision of the Holy Spirit and of us
not to place on you any burden beyond these necessities.

The Church rightly offers her guidance on so many aspects of modern life.
But She must resist, and at the current time is embroiled in, coercion.

It is clearly not the will of the Holy Spirit to coerce people.

First reading
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.

‘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.

Responsorial Psalm
I will give you thanks among the peoples, O Lord.

Alleluia Verse
I call you my friends, says the Lord,
for I have made known to you all that the Father has told me.

Gospel Portion
Jesus said to his disciples:
“This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.
No one has greater love than this,
to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
You are my friends if you do what I command you.

Conversion not coercion.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

Complete Joy

John Paul II Mexico City – the shadow is retreating (in my heart’s view)

Greetings on this the Thursday of the Fifth Week of Easter
Readings: Acts 15:7-21; PS 96:1-2a, 2b-3, 10; Jn 15:9-11
Notes: The continuous readings we begin to encounter since yesterday are concerned with:

  1. Dogma.
  2. Pastoral Care.
  3. Governance.
  4. Magisterium.

Jesus reassures us the Father loves us. Jesus also reassures that the magisterium is guided by the Holy Spirit. We may make human error from time to time but the Holy Spirit will right the ship always and often. Have Joy in his love!

Summary of the governance of the Roman Catholic Church

Magisterium – the teaching authority of the Roman Catholic Church, especially as exercised by bishops or the Pope.

The Roman Curia the central body through which the affairs of the Catholic Church are conducted. It acts in the pope’s name and with his authority for the good and for the service of the particular churches and provides the central organization for the church to advance its objectives.

Congregations:

  1. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is the oldest among the nine congregations of the Roman Curia. Its seat is the Palace of the Holy Office in Rome. It was founded to defend the church from heresy; today, it is the body responsible for promulgating and defending Catholic doctrine.
  2. Congregation for the Oriental Churches
  3. Congregation for the Causes of Saints
  4. Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples
  5. Congregation for the Clergy
  6. Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic life
  7. Congregation for Catholic Education (Institutes of Study)

Apostolic Constitutions:

  1. Dogmatic constitution – what we believe and govern.
    Lumen gentium, the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, November, 1964.
    Dei verbum, the Second Vatican Council’s Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation, November, 1965.
  2. Pastoral constitution – how we act (often a subcomponent of the dogmatic constitution).

First reading
After much debate had taken place,
Peter got up and said to the Apostles and the presbyters, ‘…’

it is my judgment, therefore,
that we ought to stop troubling the Gentiles who turn to God,
but tell them by letter to avoid pollution from idols,
unlawful marriage, the meat of strangled animals, and blood.
For Moses, for generations now,
has had those who proclaim him in every town,
as he has been read in the synagogues every sabbath.”

  1. Dogma.
  2. Pastoral Care.
  3. Governance.
  4. Magisterium.

Responsorial Psalm
Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations.

Alleluia Verse
My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord;
I know them, and they follow me.

Gospel Portion
Jesus said to his disciples:…

“I have told you this so that
my joy might be in you and
your joy might be complete.”

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

Stinkin Thinkin

Greetings on this the Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Easter
Readings: Acts 15:1-6; PS 122:1-2, 3-4ab, 4cd-5; Jn 15:1-8
Notes: Break out moments come but they often come after a pitch battle, pruning, from Stinkin Thinkin.

The Cambridge Dictionary defines “Stinking Thinking” as a bad way of thinking that makes you believe you will fail; that bad things will happen to you; or that you are not a very good person.

https://www.madd.org/maryland/stinkin-thinkin-thoughts/

https://psychcentral.com/lib/cognitive-distortions-negative-thinking

First reading
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 presbyters about this question.

It is good to meet.
It is better to meet with an open mind.

This reflection in no way disparages the ancient practice of circumcision. Rather the augured in habit in the set of new circumstances. We need to learn from this example. It took a long time to settle the questions of circumcision and keeping Kosher for People of The Way. A lot of fighting about it too. What things today do Christians hold to that really have lost vitality or, more specifically, have been made mute by the revelation of truth?

Here is my message: Conversion not coercion. Coercion is perversion in light of truth as we have come to understand our faith more and more being built in love.

Responsorial Psalm
Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.

Alleluia Verse
Remain in me, as I remain in you, says the Lord;
whoever remains in me will bear much fruit.

Gospel Portion
Jesus said to his disciples: “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower. He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit, and everyone that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit. You are already pruned because of the word that I spoke to you.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

No one has greater love than this

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Greetings on this the Tuesday of Fifth Week of Easter
Readings: Acts 14:19-28; PS 145:10-11, 12-13ab, 21; Jn 14:27-31a
Notes:

It is a mystery to be encountered this supreme act of love.

Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of the one who sent me and to finish his work (Jn 4:34). No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends (Jn 15:13).

First reading
They stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city,
supposing that he was dead.

Responsorial Psalm
Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your kingdom.

Alleluia Verse
Christ had to suffer and to rise from the dead,
and so enter into his glory.

Gospel Portion
for the ruler of the world is coming.
He has no power over me,
but the world must know that I love the Father
and that I do just as the Father has commanded me.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

Behold, God’s dwelling is with the human race

Greetings on this the Fifth Sunday of Easter
Readings: Acts 14:21-27; Ps 145:8-9, 10-11, 12-13; Rev 21:1-5a; Jn 13:31-33a, 34-35
Notes:

Love dwells. Love remains.
I wish for you a life of love.

First reading
And when they arrived, they called the church together
and reported what God had done with them
and how he had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles.

Responsorial Psalm
I will praise your name for ever, my king and my God.

The LORD is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger and of great kindness.
The LORD is good to all
and compassionate toward all his works.

Second reading
I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,
“Behold, God’s dwelling is with the human race.
He will dwell with them and they will be his people
and God himself will always be with them as their God.
He will wipe every tear from their eyes,
and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain,
for the old order has passed away.”

Alleluia Verse
I give you a new commandment, says the Lord:
love one another as I have loved you.

Gospel Portion
I give you a new commandment: love one another.
As I have loved you, so you also should love one another.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

Friends

Greetings on this the Feast of Saint Matthias, Apostle
Readings: Acts 1:15-17, 20-26; PS 113:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8; Jn 15:9-17
Notes: I can think of no greater compliment than to be described as a Friend of God.

Both because He sees you that way and you see yourself that way.
Really nice.

We are human/imperfect. Our perfection is our intention to be good friends to the Lord.
Be a good friend to the Lord and to others.

Last year reflection on this scripture: https://deacongerrypalermo.blog/2021/05/07/god-says-lets-be-friends/

Franciscans:
https://www.franciscanmedia.org/saint-of-the-day/saint-matthias

Reflection Franciscans

What was the holiness of Matthias? Obviously, he was suited for apostleship by the experience of being with Jesus from his baptism to his ascension. He must also have been suited personally, or he would not have been nominated for so great a responsibility. Must we not remind ourselves that the fundamental holiness of Matthias was his receiving gladly the relationship with the Father offered him by Jesus and completed by the Holy Spirit? If the apostles are the foundations of our faith by their witness, they must also be reminders, if only implicitly, that holiness is entirely a matter of God’s giving, and it is offered to all, in the everyday circumstances of life. We receive, and even for this God supplies the power of freedom.

First reading
Peter stood up in the midst of the brothers and sisters

Then they prayed,
“You, Lord, who know the hearts of all,
show which one of these two you have chosen
to take the place in this apostolic ministry
from which Judas turned away to go to his own place.”
Then they gave lots to them, and the lot fell upon Matthias,
and he was counted with the Eleven Apostles.

Responsorial Psalm
The Lord will give him a seat with the leaders of his people.

Alleluia Verse
I chose you from the world,
to go and bear fruit that will last, says the Lord.

Gospel Portion
Jesus said to his disciples:
“As the Father loves me, so I also love you.
Remain in my love.
If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love,
just as I have kept my Father’s commandments
and remain in his love.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

Do not let your hearts be troubled

Greetings on this the Friday of the Fourth Week of Easter
Readings: Acts 13:26-33; PS 2:6-7, 8-9, 10-11ab; Jn 14:1-6
Notes: As difficult as life can become, it is not the final story.

Our final end is in the loving hands of God. Loved and received.

First reading
We ourselves are proclaiming this good news to you
that what God promised our fathers
he has brought to fulfillment for us, their children, by raising up Jesus,
as it is written in the second psalm,
You are my Son; this day I have begotten you.”

Responsorial Psalm (the Second Psalm)
You are my Son; this day I have begotten you.

Ask of me and I will give you
the nations for an inheritance
and the ends of the earth for your possession.

Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice before him;
with trembling rejoice

Alleluia Verse
I am the way and the truth and the life, says the Lord;
no one comes to the Father except through me.

Gospel Portion
Often used in the Funeral Liturgy is todays gospel portion. We use it because the summit of our faith is to believe in the Resurrection unto the Righteous.

  • Faith the Lord will raise us.
  • Faith the Lord prepares a place for us.
  • Faith he will come back for us, each by name, and bring us hand-in-hand to our new home.
  • Faith for “dwelling places” – a place for you.
  • Faith for “Houses” – a place for all families, tribes, and nations (alt translation).

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Do not let your hearts be troubled.
You have faith in God; have faith also in me.
In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places.
If there were not,
would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?
And if I go and prepare a place for you,
I will come back again and take you to myself,
so that where I am you also may be.
Where I am going you know the way.”
Thomas said to him,
“Master, we do not know where you are going;
how can we know the way?”
Jesus said to him, “I am the way and the truth and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry