In the past couple of weeks, we also heard at weekday Mass readings how the apostles dealt with the tension emerging between Hebrews and Greeks. They addressed the situation immediately before it festered and took root. The conversations were not easy and maybe even brutal but because they engaged it with the desire to stay united in love, they were able to bring peace.
This past year had been a challenging time for many of us, not just because of the great losses and emotional stress that this pandemic had brought us but also for the physical day-to-day conditions and limitations that we have to deal with while waiting to get the spread of infection under control.
May is one of those months when we have religious processions almost every weekend to celebrate May Crowning or another Marian Devotion.
Hans Urs von Balthasar, a 20th-century Swiss theologian, wrote, “But the issue is not only life and death but our existence before God and our being judged by him. All of us were sinners before him and worthy of condemnation.” But God’s love changes that and gives us the opportunity to become so much more.
Through our reading and hearing the Scriptures, our reception of the Eucharist and our participation in the life of the Church, we witness the same miracle as the apostles in the upper room: We encounter Jesus alive among us. And so we become the witnesses of today.
In 2016, Martin Scorsese directed the thought-provoking film, “Silence.” It was the story of two Portuguese missionaries who hear that their mentor had rejected his faith in Japan. Convinced that the reports are wrong, they embark on a mission to find him although they are aware that they will be putting themselves in great danger.
In celebration of Easter, today’s Gospel gives us a simple, easily overlooked detail that is the clue to a wonderful message of hope.
Every day in the life of a Christian is Palm Sunday because every day is filled with the joy of the Lord. Every day in the life of a Christian is Passion Sunday because as the music group REM sang many years ago, “everybody hurts.”
For the last two Sundays, we were reading from John’s Gospel, from chapters that were relatively early on in his Gospel. Many scripture scholars divide John’s Gospel into two sections, with chapters 1-11 being the Book of Signs and chapters 12-24 being the Book of Glory.
What is prayer? According to one of the Fathers of the Church, St. John Damascene, “Prayer is the raising of one’s mind and heart to God or the requesting of good things from God.”