- Lengthening the Life of your Fuel Pump (Helpful Hints for Life-Jesus icon)
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- A Three-Time Olympian Shares Her Conversion Story (Diocesan News and Beyond)
Catholic Good News
Receiving the Gospel, Serving God and Neighbor
Age of Reason to Receive Holy Communion
"Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door,
I will enter his house and dine with him, and he with me." Revelation 3:20
Canon 914. It is the responsibility, in the first place, of parents and those who take the place of parents as well as of the pastor to see that children who have reached the use of reason are correctly prepared and are nourished by the divine food as early as possible, preceded by sacramental confession; it is also for the pastor to be vigilant lest any children come to the Holy Banquet who have not reached the use of reason or whom he judges are not sufficiently disposed. (Canon law-Church law) http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG1104/__P39.HTM
It is the desire of Jesus and His beloved bride, the Church, to give every good gift to human persons as soon as they are able to receive them, for their benefit here on earth and that they may one day come to heaven. That is why infants are to Baptized as soon as possible, and as soon as children can tell the difference between ordinary bread and the Holy Eucharist, they are generally prepared to receive the Bread of Life, Jesus, the Holy Eucharist. This time in a child's life is called the age of reason (term below) by the Church and described this way:
Can. 97 §1. A person who has completed the eighteenth year of age has reached majority; below this age, a person is a minor.
§2. A minor before the completion of the seventh year is called an infant and is considered not responsible for oneself (non sui compos). With the completion of the seventh year, however, a minor is presumed to have the use of reason. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG1104/__PC.HTM
The use of reason is not the end all be all as you can see. But it is the minimum necessity the Church believes for one to begin to most benefit from receiving the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of the Lord. But before this happens, the Sacrament of cleansing of sins committed after Baptism, Penance/Confession/Reconciliation, must be received. The Church clarifies:
1457 According to the Church's command, "after having attained the age of discretion, each of the faithful is bound by an obligation faithfully to confess serious sins at least once a year." Anyone who is aware of having committed a mortal sin must not receive Holy Communion, even if he experiences deep contrition, without having first received sacramental absolution, unless he has a grave reason for receiving Communion and there is no possibility of going to confession. Children must go to the sacrament of Penance before receiving Holy Communion for the first time.
(Catechism of the Catholic Church) http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/__P4D.HTM (see also Canon 914)
Church law is not meant to complicate our lives or make them difficult. Like our parents that keep us from doing some things that may be harmful to us or they help us to do things that are difficult, when we get older we begin to understand and we are grateful. Study and pray about the laws of the Church that you may currently have trouble with.
Peace and prayers in Jesus through Mary, loved by Saint Joseph,
P.S. This past Sunday is the Third Sunday of Easter. The readings can be found at: Third Sunday of Easter | USCCB
Divine Mercy Sunday
Friday of the Second Week of Easter
- authentic collection of the laws of the Catholic Church
[Canon Law provides the norms for good order in the visible society of the Church. Those canon laws that apply universally are contained in the Codes of Canon Law. Two major compilations have been made in the Church's history, Gratian's Decree, assembled about A.D. 1140 by the Italian Camaldolese monk, Gratian, and the Code of Canon Law, promulgated by Pope Benedict XV in 1917, and effective on Pentecost, May 19, 1918. The most recent Code of Canon Law was promulgated in 1983 for the Latin Western Church and in 1991 for the Eastern Church.]
age of reason
- time of life at which a person is assumed to be morally responsible and able to distinguish between right and wrong
[It is generally held to be by the end of the seventh year (age 7), although it may be earlier. With the mentally challenged it may be later.]
Lengthening the Life of your Fuel Pump
Never run your car on less than a quarter a tank of gas. If you do, the fuel pump must work extra hard to get gas to the engine, and it wears out quicker because it is not fully submerged in the gas of your gas tank. If you do this regularly, you can significantly reduce the life of your fuel pump which can cost up to $500 to replace. Keep the fuel tank above 1/4 tank.
"First Holy Communion. Having become a child of God clothed with the wedding garment, the neophyte is admitted "to the marriage supper of the Lamb" and receives the food of the new life, the body and blood of Christ. The Eastern Churches maintain a lively awareness of the unity of Christian initiation by giving Holy Communion to all the newly baptized and confirmed, even little children, recalling the Lord's words: "Let the children come to me, do not hinder them." The Latin Church, which reserves admission to Holy Communion to those who have attained the age of reason, expresses the orientation of Baptism to the Eucharist by having the newly baptized child brought to the altar for the praying of the Our Father." -Catechism of the Catholic Church #1244
You want to get news on the Pope and the Vatican in a short simple e-mail. The Vatican Information Service is a news service of the Holy See Press Office. It provides information on the Magisterium and pastoral activities of the Holy Father and the Roman Curia. Each service consists primarily of pontifical acts and nominations, a summary of the Holy Father's homilies and speeches. They also contain presentations and communications concerning pontifical documents and dicasteries of the Holy See, activities of the Congregations, Pontifical Councils, Synods, etc, and official statements issued by the Holy See Press Office. This daily news service is available by fax or email, and the previous week's services can be read directly from the webpage.
Denver Newsroom, Apr 17, 2021 / 02:00 am America/Denver (CNA).
Today, Dominique Dawes is a three-time Olympian and Olympic gold medalist. But back in 1996, she was a teenage girl feeling the weight of the world on her shoulders.
“Before the 1996 Olympic games, all of us, we were known as the Magnificent Seven being the first women's team to win gold. And I felt, and I'm sure my other six teammates felt that as well, a great deal of pressure,” Dawes said in an April 8 interview with CNA.
“It was in the Georgia dome, (with) 50,000 people watching. 3.4 billion people, I’ve been told, watching worldwide,” she said. “Prior to marching out...I broke down emotionally. It was just like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is too much for me. What if I make a mistake now? I'm not ready.’ And this is something I had prepared for for my whole childhood.”
Her team captain, Amanda Borden, knelt down beside her. And together, they prayed. Dawes said that moment of prayer grounded her. It reminded her that God was on her side, even in that moment of fear.
“It was good to have that reminder that I'm not alone... because he is the one that is going to strengthen me, and he is the one that's going to strengthen us,” Dawes said. “I remember when I stood up after that prayer with Amanda, I felt free. I felt light...And we went out, marched out together and we all made history.”
God has been a big part of Dawes’ life for as long as she can remember. She was raised in the Baptist faith. Her mother was a Sunday school teacher.
When Dawes was about nine or ten years old, she left home to live with her coach and pursue gymnastics full time. Her coach wasn’t religious, but Dawes said she clung to her faith.
“The seed that my mom planted in me really took. She sowed a seed that has been one that has kept me grounded, (and) has given me this level of discernment, as I think the spirit has protected me quite a bit in my life and has steered me away from some people and situations that maybe weren't the healthiest for me,” she said.
Once she was old enough to drive, Dawes took ownership of her faith. She began attending an interdenominational church, and was involved in Bible studies and faith conferences.
“(I was) just really seeking peace, joy and happiness,” she said.
Her career in gymnastics had taken off. She was sweeping National Championships and winning her first Olympic medals. But she said she felt something was still missing.
“I never felt as if that completed me,” Dawes said. “I always was on this quest to find that wholeness.”
Her life revolved around gymnastics, which was an incredibly lonely sport for Dawes.
“Especially if you're training for an Olympic game, you sacrifice your whole childhood,” she said. “You are, in my case, training thirty six plus hours a week. It's a full-time job for a child and there is the physical, the emotional, the social, and the psychological mental grind that you go through, day in and day out.”
Dawes would train with teammates, but none of them were training at the same level she was. She told CNA that she found comfort in Christ.
“I spoke a great deal to Christ, and just asking for support or crying out,” Dawes said. “I would wake up in the middle of the night, and just go down on my knees because ...while I loved the sport of gymnastics, and I had a passion for it and my identity was so wrapped up in it, I did feel what I know now about the sport; that it's full of a very unhealthy culture.”
“That was why, even as a young person, I would pray or I would talk to talk to Christ or I would write in my journal, because I did need that level of support that I know I lacked a great deal of,” she said.
Dawes retired from gymnastics in 2000. Around the same time, she began to feel drawn to visit a Catholic church in the Rockville area of Washington.
“I would go and I would just sit in this church knowing very little about the Catholic faith, but I felt called to be there. I loved the sense of peace and silence,” she said.
A few years later, Dawes enrolled in RCIA, and she fell deeper in love with the Catholic faith. She told CNA she felt a special connection with the Virgin Mary.
“I always felt as a young person, while my mom did the best that she could, and my coach who many times was labeled as a mother figure, neither of them were truly happy people,” Dawes said. “I felt as if I wanted to find... a mother who maybe was happy. Those loving arms that you can run into and just feel that sense of comfort and love, which I never felt as a child.”
Dawes became a Catholic in 2013. She married a Catholic school teacher, and today they have four children together.
She discovered that her grandmother was Catholic. Dawes believes her grandmother was guiding her to the Catholic faith.
“My grandmother...was named after Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, when she was a blessed woman, the first Native American saint,” Dawes said. “My grandmother was full Piscataway Conoy Native American, and she was Catholic. I knew very little about this until I became an adult. And I was like, ‘Oh, and that's my grandmother I felt calling me into this Church.’”
Even though Dawes has retired, gymnastics continues to be a big part of her life. Today, she owns and operates a gymnastics academy for young people in the D.C. area. She said she strives to foster a healthy culture at her gym, a culture markedly different than the one she was trained in.
“It is not the sport of gymnastics that is an unhealthy and corrupt sport. It is the culture, and the culture is determined by the people,” she said.
She’s particular about the trainers she hires to work with young gymnasts at her gym, and she said she can notice the difference.
“The people that I have on board, they really are so positive. I love it,” Dawes said. “It amazes me, because of the environment that I came from that was so critical. Like, nothing you could do in the sport of gymnastics was right. Nothing was ever good enough.”
“I told my husband, when I opened these doors, I said, ‘I really want this big sign that says ‘You are Enough’.’”
“I want every young girl and young boy that walks through our doors, either for Ninja or gymnastics or preschool gymnastics, to realize that they have everything inside of them to help them succeed in life. And that they are more than enough because the sport teaches you that you're not enough,” she said.
Dawes also finds encouragement from her favorite Bible verse: Philippians 4:13.
“Can't get simpler than that. “I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.” I have to remind myself of that constantly, because I need to remind myself that I'm not alone. I didn't do gymnastics alone. I didn't get formed in my mother's room alone. I wasn't given this gift alone,” Dawes said.
“Whenever I get fearful, or I feel a sense of anxiety, which I still go through, I remind myself that, ‘Hey, he's by my side.’ Sometimes I need to sit back, stay in the passenger seat because he knows what's best for me.”
This interview originally aired on Catholic News Agency’s podcast, CNA Newsroom. It has been adapted for print.
Hannah Brockhaus/CNAVATICAN — New Vatican norms for the Church’s handling of sex abuse, issued Thursday, place seminarians and religious coerced into sexual activity through the misuse of authority in the same criminal category as abuse of minors and vulnerable adults.
The norms also establish obligatory reporting for clerics and religious, require that every diocese has a mechanism for reporting abuse, and put the metropolitan archbishop in charge of investigations of accusations against suffragan bishops.
Pope Francis promulgated the law May 9 via a motu proprio, titled Vos Estis Lux Mundi (You Are the Light of the World). He approved its promulgation on an experimental basis for a period of three years. It will enter in effect June 1, 2019.
“The crimes of sexual abuse offend Our Lord, cause physical, psychological and spiritual damage to the victims and harm the community of the faithful,” the Pope wrote, stating that the primary responsibility for improving the handling of these issues falls to the bishop, though it concerns all who have ministries in the Church or “serve the Christian People.”
“Therefore, it is good that procedures be universally adopted to prevent and combat these crimes that betray the trust of the faithful,” he said.
The norms regard what are called, in canon law, “delicts against the Sixth Commandment of the Decalogue,” consisting of sexual acts with a minor or vulnerable person; forcing someone to perform or submit to sexual acts through violence, threat, or abuse of authority; and the production or possession of child pornography.
The new law also concerns any actions intended to cover up a civil or canonical investigation into accusations of child pornography use, sexual abuse of minors or sexual coercion through abuse of power.
It establishes the so-called “metropolitan model” for the investigation of accusations against bishops and their equivalents, as proposed by Cardinal Blase Cupich at the November meeting of the U.S. bishops' conference and the Vatican February summit on the protection of minors.
According to the new law, the metropolitan archbishop will conduct the investigation into a suffragan bishop with a mandate from the Holy See. The metropolitan is required to send reports to the Holy See on the progress of the investigation every 30 days and to complete the investigation within 90 days unless granted an extension.The metropolitan archbishop may use the assistance of qualified laypeople in carrying out the investigation, though it is primarily his responsibility, the norms state. Bishops’ conferences may establish funds to support these investigations.
The document emphasizes that “the person under investigation enjoys the presumption of innocence.”
At the conclusion of the investigation, the results are sent to the competent Vatican dicastery, which will then apply the applicable penalty according to existing canon law.
In the event a report concerns a major archbishop, it will be forwarded to the Holy See.
One article states that Church authorities shall be committed to ensuring “that those who state that they have been harmed, together with their families, are to be treated with dignity and respect,” be welcomed, listened to and supported and offered spiritual assistance and medical and psychological assistance.
The norms also introduce obligatory reporting, requiring that every cleric or religious man or woman who has become aware of an accusation of abuse or cover-up report it “promptly” to the proper Church authority.
The motu proprio also states that it will be required that every diocese create a stable mechanism or system through which people may submit reports of abuse or its cover-up. The exact form of the system, which could also be an entire office, will be left to the discretion of the individual diocese, but must be established by June 2020.
“Even if so much has already been accomplished, we must continue to learn from the bitter lessons of the past, looking with hope towards the future,” Pope Francis wrote.
“In order that these phenomena, in all their forms, never happen again, a continuous and profound conversion of hearts is needed,” he said, “attested by concrete and effective actions that involve everyone in the Church.”
“This becomes possible only with the grace of the Holy Spirit poured into our hearts, as we must always keep in mind the words of Jesus: ‘Apart from me you can do nothing.’”
Pope Francis with Michigan Wolverine's football coach Jim Harbaugh in Vatican City, April 26, 2017. Credit: L'Osservatore Romano.
Vatican City, Apr 26 (EWTN News/CNA)-Former NFL quarterback Jim Harbaugh, now head coach for the University of Michigan football team, is also a Roman Catholic – and he said Wednesday that faith plays a major role in his life.
“The role that (faith) plays in my life is in the priorities that I have,” he said April 26, “faith, then family, then football.”
Coach Harbaugh spoke to EWTN News following a general audience with Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Square April 26. He and his wife, Sarah, greeted Francis following the audience and presented him with a gift from the team – a University of Michigan helmet and pair of cleats.
The helmet included both the Italian and American flags and a little cross by the chinstrap. The Pope gave Harbaugh “some marching orders,” the coach said, “he told me to pray for him.”
Following the encounter, Harbaugh and his family and the University of Michigan football team were hosted for lunch on the terrace of the EWTN Rome bureau offices. After lunch they held a brief press conference.
Harbaugh, 53, has been head football coach for the University of Michigan since 2015. He played college football at Michigan from 1983-1986 and played in the National Football League (NFL) for 14 seasons from 1987-2000. He has seven children.
Speaking to EWTN News about his experience meeting Pope Francis, Harbaugh quoted his father-in-law, Merrill Feuerborn, who told him, “To live in a state of grace, put your trust in the Lord, and be not afraid.”
“When I met Pope Francis today, I was riding on a state of grace,” he said, “that feeling was beyond description. And I know that there's something that I'm supposed to do with that opportunity, with that encounter, of meeting the Holy Father. I'm going to pray about it.”
Harbaugh is in Rome April 22-30. He brought along his family as well as almost his entire team and staff – some 150 people. He said he wanted to give his players an experience they might not otherwise have.
Thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor, he brought the team and staff to Rome for a week of team-building, cultural and historical experiences, and of course, spring practices.
The aim of this trip was to “have an educational experience like none other,” he told EWTN News.
“Not all learning is done in a classroom or on a football field, you know? It's out connecting to people, and having a chance for our players and staff to see things they've never seen before, eat things they’ve never tasted, to hear a language they've never heard.”
One goal for the trip was to connect his team with people they otherwise might not have met, he said. Their first day in Rome, the group met and picnicked with a group of refugees, including several from Syria.
Later on Wednesday, Harbaugh and some members of the team and his family visited the SOS Children’s Village, a community made up of homes for children who are in positions of family or social hardship.
Harbaugh said that attending the general audience and meeting Pope Francis was an emotional experience, not just for him but for his team as well. Asked what he hopes his team will take away from the experience, he said just that “the relationship with God is a personal one.”
He said his suggestion for each of his players would be to spend time in silence and think and pray “about what it means, and what they should take away from it.”
“Because we don't always know what to do with it,” he continued. “I don't know what to do with the encounter I had meeting Pope Francis today. What exactly did it mean? What opportunity was given and what am I supposed to do with that?”
Immediately afterward, Harbaugh said he was able to speak with a priest from Detroit, Msgr. Robert McClory, about the experience: “And that was the advice that he gave me: to be silent, to pray, to be with God and listen, and you'll get it, you'll figure it out.”
Two players had the opportunity to get a little bit closer to the Pope during the audience, which Harbaugh chose through an essay competition. The winners, offensive lineman Grant Newsome and defensive tackle Salim Makki, both said they are inspired by Francis.
Attending the audience “was just an incredible experience,” Newsome said.
“Not only as a Christian, but as a person in general, just to listen to someone who is so internationally renowned as Pope Francis and to hear him and have him bless us was just an incredible experience for me and I know for a lot of the other guys on the team.”
Makki, a Muslim, said he looks up to Pope Francis as a hero. “He's always shown that Muslims and Christians and Catholics can combine – we're all brothers and sisters, we can co-exist together.”
Jack Wangler, a senior wide receiver told EWTN News, “I can speak for everybody, I think: this has been a once-in-a-lifetime trip.”
“It's been great to come here with the team and use it as a bonding experience and a cultural experience, to expand what we've learned in the classroom,” said Catholic fullback Joe Beneducci.
He told EWTN News that he remembers reading about the Church and the Vatican at school and watching St. John Paul II’s funeral on TV. “Coming here to see it in person, it put it all in perspective and made me appreciate it just that much more.”
“I think it's brought me closer to my faith as well, which is very nice.”
About the qualities of a good sportsman, Harbaugh said, “It talks about it in the Bible: strive hard to win the prize. To have that motivation, to have that quality of perseverance and discipline and drive is what really makes a good athlete.”
Sunday, before they leave to return to Michigan, Harbaugh’s infant son, John Paul, will be baptized at St. Peter’s Basilica. His daughter, Addison, will also make her first Holy Communion.
In the press conference, Harbaugh told journalists that if he accomplished nothing else in his life, to have met the Pope, and see his son be baptized and his daughter receive First Communion at the Vatican, would make him feel like “a blessed man.”
“This has been the experience of a lifetime.”
"The Lord shows us, through the Gospel, his wounds. They are wounds of mercy. It is true: the wounds of Jesus are wounds of mercy," the Pope told attendees of his April 12 Mass on Divine Mercy Sunday.
Jesus, he said, "invites us to behold these wounds, to touch them as Thomas did, to heal our lack of belief. Above all, he invites us to enter into the mystery of these wounds, which is the mystery of his merciful love."
Pope Francis celebrated his Divine Mercy liturgy - which is a feast instituted by St. John Paul II and is celebrated on the Second Sunday of the Church's liturgical Easter season - for faithful of the Armenian rite in honor of the centenary of the Armenian genocide.
Also referred to as the Armenian Holocaust, the mass killings took place in 1915 when the Ottoman Empire systematically exterminated its historic minority Armenian population who called Turkey their homeland, most of whom were Christians. Roughly 1.5 million Armenians lost their lives.
Many faithful and bishops of the Armenian rite were present for Sunday's Mass, including Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of all Armenians Karekin II.
During the Mass, Francis also proclaimed Armenian-rite Saint Gregory of Narek a Doctor of the Church, making the 10th century priest, monk, mystic, and poet the first Armenian to receive the title.
In his homily, during which he referred to the 1915 systematic killing of Armenians as "the first genocide of the 20th century," Francis said that it is through Jesus' wounds that we can see the entire mystery of Christ's incarnation, life and death.
From the first prophecies of Lord to the liberation from Egypt, from the first Passover and the blood of the slaughtered lambs to Abraham and Abel, "all of this we can see in the wounds of Jesus, crucified and risen," he said.
In the face of human history's tragic events, "we can feel crushed at times, asking ourselves, 'Why?'" the Pope noted.
"Humanity's evil can appear in the world like an abyss, a great void: empty of love, empty of goodness, empty of life," he continued, explaining that only God is capable of filling the emptiness that evil brings to both human history, and our own personal hearts.
Francis encouraged attendees to follow the path that leads from slavery and death to a land full of life and peace, saying that "Jesus, crucified and risen, is the way and his wounds are especially full of mercy."
He pointed to the saints as examples that teach us how the world can be changed beginning with the conversion of one's own heart. This conversion, he said, only happens through the mercy of God.
"What sin is there so deadly that it cannot be pardoned by the death of Christ?" he asked.
After his Mass, Pope Francis greeted pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square to recite the Regia Coeli - a traditional Marian prayer given special emphasis during the liturgical Easter season.
In his address, the Pope noted how Jesus' encounter with Thomas in the upper room marked the first time the Lord showed the disciples the wounds on his body.
Thomas, who was not there the first time Jesus appeared to the disciples, was not satisfied with the testimony of the others and wanted to see for himself, Francis said, noting that Jesus waited patiently and offered himself to Thomas' disbelief.
"Upon the salvific contact with the wounds of the Risen Lord, Thomas manifests his own wounds, lacerations, humiliations," the Pope said, explaining that in the mark of the nails, the apostle found "sweetness, mercy and decisive proof that he was loved, awaited and understood."
"He finds himself in front of the Messiah full of sweetness, mercy and tenderness," the Pope observed, saying that it was this personal contact with the "kindness and patient mercy" of Jesus that made Thomas realize the true meaning of the Resurrection.
Just like Thomas was transformed by the love of God who is rich in mercy, we are also called to contemplate the Divine Mercy of Jesus that is found in his wounds.
Mercy "overcomes every human limit and shines on the darkness of evil and sin," Francis said, and pointed to the upcoming Extraordinary Jubilee for Mercy as an intense time to welcome and deepen in the love of God.
He referred to the papal Bull of Indiction he released at last night's Vespers for Divine Mercy Sunday, which also served as the official announcement of the upcoming Jubilee for Mercy, and pointed to the bull's title "Misericordiae Vultus," or "The face of Mercy."
"The face of mercy is Jesus Christ. Let us keep our gaze upon him," he prayed, and led pilgrims in the Regina Coeli prayer.
"Holy Communion, because by this sacrament we unite ourselves to Christ, who makes us sharers in his Body and Blood to form a single body. We also call it: the holy things (ta hagia; sancta) - the first meaning of the phrase "communion of saints" in the Apostles' Creed - the bread of angels, bread from heaven, medicine of immortality, viaticum. . . .." -Catechism of the Catholic Church #1331
- I can totally keep secrets. It's the people I tell them to that can't.
- When I call a family meeting I turn off the house wifi and wait for them all to come running.
- Time may be a great healer but it's also a lousy beautician.
---Police officer: “Your car is too heavily overloaded. I simply cannot let you continue like that. I’m going to have to take away your driver’s license.”
Driver: “You’re kidding me, right? The license can only weigh one ounce tops!”
When I look at chocolate, I hear two voices in my head.
The first one says: “You need to eat that chocolate.”
The other voice goes: “You heard. Eat the chocolate.”
Never Going Away
Back at my high school for the tenth reunion, I met my old coach. Walking through the gym, we came upon a plaque on which I was still listed as the record holder for the longest softball throw.
Noticing my surprise, the coach said, "That record will stand forever."
I was about to make some modest disclaimer that records exist to be broken, when he added, "We stopped holding that event years ago."
My husband bought an exercise machine to help him shed a few pounds. He set it up in the basement but didn't use it much, so he moved it to the bedroom. It gathered dust there, too, so he put it in the living room.
Weeks later I asked how it was going. "I was right," he said. "I do get more exercise now. Every time I close the drapes, I have to walk around the machine."
Sunday after church, a Mom asked her very young daughter what the lesson was about.
The daughter answered, "Don't be scared, you'll get your quilt."
Needless to say, the Mom was perplexed. Later in the day, the pastor stopped by for tea and the Mom asked him what that morning's Sunday school lesson was about.
He said "Be not afraid, thy comforter is coming."
An elderly woman walked into the local country church. The friendly usher greeted her at the door and helped her up the flight of steps.
"Where would you like to sit?" he asked politely.
"The front row, please," she answered.
"You really don't want to do that," the usher said. "The pastor is really boring."
"Do you happen to know who I am?" the woman inquired.
"No," he said.
"I'm the pastor's mother," she replied indignantly.
"Do you know who I am?" he asked.
"No," she said.
"Good," he answered.
What About My Hair
One day a little girl was sitting and watching her mother do the dishes at the kitchen sink. She suddenly noticed that her mother had several strands of white hair sticking out in contrast on her brunette head. She looked at her mother and inquisitively asked, 'Why are some of your hairs white, Mom? 'Her mother replied, 'Well, every time that you do something wrong and make me cry or unhappy, one of my hairs turns white.' The little girl thought about this revelation for a while and then said, 'Momma, how come ALL of grandma's hairs are white?'
What Do You Do When
A police recruit was asked during the exam, 'What would you do if You had to arrest your own mother?'
He answered, 'Call for backup.'
I love you Jesus. Amen.
On the feasts of the Lord, when the faithful receive the Body of the Son, they proclaim to one another the Good News that the first fruits of life have been given, as when the angel said to Mary Magdalene, "Christ is risen!" Now too are life and resurrection conferred on whoever receives Christ." -Catechism of the Catholic Church #1391
And whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me." -Luke 10:16
For as often as we eat this bread and drink the cup, we proclaim the death of the Lord. If we proclaim the Lord's death, we proclaim the forgiveness of sins. If, as often as his blood is poured out, it is poured for the forgiveness of sins, I should always receive it, so that it may always forgive my sins. Because I always sin, I should always have a remedy."
-Catechism of the Catholic Church #1393
SUNDAY MASS READINGS AND QUESTIONS
for Self-Reflection, Couples or Family Discussion
Third Sunday of Easter – Sunday, April 18th, 2021
The First Reading- Acts 3:13-15; 17-19
Peter said to the people: "The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus, whom you handed over and denied in Pilate's presence when he had decided to release him. You denied the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you. The author of life you put to death, but God raised him from the dead; of this we are witnesses. Now I know, brothers, that you acted out of ignorance, just as your leaders did; but God has thus brought to fulfillment what he had announced beforehand through the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would suffer. Repent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be wiped away."
In the First Reading, Peter continues to tell his fellow Jews about Jesus. Now he can preach with understanding and authority because he now understands what the Resurrection means. He can break open their understanding of God’s promises to the Jewish people because he’s come out the other side—he’s a witness to the Resurrection and has had the Scriptures broken open for him by Jesus.
Adults - How do you seek to have the Scriptures ‘broken open’ for you? The homily at Mass; Bible Study? Try to add a new way this week.
Teens - What is your main source of learning more about the Scriptures? How can you dig deeper?
Kids - How can you follow Peter’s example and share your faith?
Responsorial- Psalm 4: 2, 4, 7-8, 9
When I call, answer me, O my just God,
you who relieve me when I am in distress;
have pity on me, and hear my prayer!
Know that the LORD does wonders for his faithful one;
the LORD will hear me when I call upon him.
O LORD, let the light of your countenance shine upon us!
You put gladness into my heart.
As soon as I lie down, I fall peacefully asleep,
for you alone, O LORD,
bring security to my dwelling.
-Ask God to help you be at peace this week.
The Second Reading- 1 John 2: 1-5A
My children, I am writing this to you so that you may not commit sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous one. He is expiation for our sins, and not for our sins only but for those of the whole world. The way we may be sure that we know him is to keep his commandments. Those who say, "I know him," but do not keep his commandments are liars, and the truth is not in them. But whoever keeps his word, the love of God is truly perfected in him.
John gives us a quick little reminder that if we claim to know Jesus, we will follow his commandments. It’s up to us to try and not sin. But, John reminds us, if we do, all is not lost. We have Jesus to wipe those sins out and let us start over. God is a God of second chances…and third chances…and fourth chances…And God is willing to show us his wounds, eat fish in front of us, and continue to offer us proofs of his love in the moments that we need them.
-Think of one commandment you struggle with, and try to improve on that this week. Take it to Confession if you need to.
The Holy Gospel according to Luke 24: 35-48
The two disciples recounted what had taken place on the way, and how Jesus was made known to them in the breaking of bread. While they were still speaking about this, he stood in their midst and said to them, "Peace be with you." But they were startled and terrified and thought that they were seeing a ghost. Then he said to them, "Why are you troubled? And why do questions arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you can see I have." And as he said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. While they were still incredulous for joy and were amazed, he asked them, "Have you anything here to eat?" They gave him a piece of baked fish; he took it and ate it in front of them. He said to them, "These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the law of Moses and in the prophets and psalms must be fulfilled." Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. And he said to them, "Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things."
Today’s account of Jesus’ appearance to the Apostles is a little different than last week’s version from John. This time, instead of just Thomas needing to see Jesus’ wounds, everyone is offered to look at them for proof that it is, in fact, Jesus. Jesus offers further proof that he’s not a ghost by eating some fish—ghosts can’t eat. This event takes place after the women have seen Jesus, Peter has seen Jesus, and the two disciples on the way to Emmaus have seen him. Now, Jesus is able to talk to them about the fulfillment of the Scriptures—just as he had been all along—but this time they can understand it. Like so many of our own situations in life, we can’t truly understand them until we emerge from the other side of it.
Adults - What does being a “witness” to the risen Jesus mean to you? How do you live that out in your daily life? Pope Francis talks about our witnessing necessarily being associated with joy. Does your witness include expressing your joy to others?
Teens - Do you find that you’re more able to explain things when you have first-hand experience of them? What first-hand experience of Jesus do you have? How do you share it with others?
Kids - What do you think you would do if Jesus showed up in your room to chat with you like he did with the Apostles? They were scared. Do you think you would be? The Apostles gave him fish. What would you give him to eat?
LIVING THE WORD OF GOD THIS WEEK! – “With St. Paul then, we may well sing out today: "O death where is thy victory, O death where is thy sting?...thanks be to God who has given us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Cor. 15 : 55-57). Yes, Easter time is a time of rejoicing for every true Christian. It is a time for Alleluias, for praising and thanking God. Our happy future is within our reach. Our eternal happiness has been won for us by Christ and is within our grasp, if only we hold fast to the true faith of Christ, taking the rough with the smooth, going through our lesser Gethsemanes and Calvaries as Christ went through his great ones. If we do this we can hopefully await the angel who will roll back the stone from our grave one day, and allow us to enter into the glory of the eternal Easter in heaven. -Excerpted from The Sunday Readings by Fr. Kevin O'Sullivan, O.F.M.