- Lengthening the Life of your Fuel Pump (Helpful Hints for Life-Jesus icon)
-Keep up on the actions of the Pope and Vatican via simply daily e-mail (Website section-laptop icon)
-A Friar's Life in Brooklyn During Coronavirus (Diocesan News and Beyond)
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: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/042620.cfm
Homilies (second one contains the Gospel) from Divine Mercy Sunday and Friday of the Second Week of Easter is found below (11 and 7 minutes respectively):
Divine Mercy Sunday
Friday of the Second Week of Easter
"They've got something [streaming] every day of the week," he said. This includes fitness programming for children, meetings of the parish’s young adult group, First Communion classes, all in addition to live-streams of Masses.
The vast majority of Buckley’s parishioners are immigrants from the Dominican Republic, Mexico, and other Central American countries, he told CNA on Friday, April 24. Many of them “don’t have jobs that necessarily have unemployment insurance attached,” he said, or medical benefits. They have been especially hard-hit by the economic effects of the virus, and are his chief concern when trying to deliver practical help.
“People like that are what our main concern is here, because they don't have anything to back them up,” he said.
On April 24, his parish staged a pop-up food distribution with Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens. Opened in addition to the existing 34 food pantries operated by Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens, the parish event saw a total of 9,360 meals distributed to 1,040 families in need, with an additional $2,500 in grocery vouchers given to 100 families.
Buckley told CNA that as a Capuchin Franciscan friar, his work ministering in Brooklyn during the COVID-19 pandemic is following in the tradition of his religious order. The boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens contain about 60% of the COVID-19 cases in New York City, which has more cases than anywhere else in the country.
Several priests of the Diocese of Brooklyn have fallen ill, and died, from the coronavirus.
"From my perspective as a Capuchin Franciscan, this is exactly what we want to be doing: directly helping people in need," he said. "Throughout the difficult times in Europe, the Capuchins were right there on the front lines. When leadership in different cities fled to the hills during plagues, the Capuchins stayed, and ministered, and died.”
Buckley heaped praise on the work of Catholic Charities, which he said have been meeting ever tougher challenges during this crisis, enabling him to more fully live out his vocation as a Capuchin.
“Catholic Charities has been such a help in allowing us to have the resources to be able to do this kind of outreach," he said.
Buckley explained to CNA that he had two main areas of concern when it came to his parish: providing food to his parishioners, and ensuring their psychological health. Hence the pop-up event at the parish on Friday.
"Catholic Charities has been just amazing in terms of their outreach. They have provided over 1,000 families with food today," he said. The pop-up pantry was organized with other Catholic organizations, including the Knights of Columbus and Ancient Order of Hibernians.
"They have been exceptional in their care for those in need," he said. "I'm just so proud of them."
Buckley has not neglected the spiritual needs of his flock, even while he is still not able to celebrate Mass publicly. He is hard-of-hearing--and without one of his hearing aids that he sent for repairs pre-pandemic--he had to work with the diocese to figure out a way for him to continue safely, and literally, hearing confessions.
While the diocese recommended a space of at least six feet between penitent and confessor, that would not work for Buckley’s situation. He is now hearing confessions twice a week, for two hours at a time, in his office with the door closed. A penitent must make an appointment for confession in order to ensure that the church would not become crowded.
Buckley said he’s “very excited” to resume hearing confessions.
"The need for the Sacraments is so important,” he said. "Especially confession and the reception of the Eucharist."
Once Buckley is permitted to have public Masses again, he will have a backlog of at least 15 memorial Masses he promised to celebrate for parishioners who have died from COVID-19.
“We’ve had one after another of parishioners, or family members of parishioners[...] that have died. It’s been a lot,” he said. He has regularly posted prayer requests on social media, to the point where “I worried that people are going to get sick of me asking for prayers for somebody else.”
In dealing with the pandemic, Buckley said that the most challenging spiritual aspect for his parish is the inability to mourn in the standard manner.
“They can't go to wakes and funerals. So, it's very hard on them. They can't say goodbye," he said. He told CNA that he has been dealing with much of the grieving process on the phone with parishioners.
Despite everything, Buckley insists that his parish has been blessed; blessed with a small, yet smart and capable staff who moved programming online, and blessed with the outpouring of assistance from others.
"I'm very grateful that there's so many incredible people out there that are willing to help, volunteer, sacrifice themselves to help others,” he said.
"We’re so blessed and so touched. God is good."
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."
Exercise Route 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.'
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 – April 26th, 2020
The First Reading - Acts 2:14, 22-33
Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice, and proclaimed: “You who are Jews, indeed all of you staying in Jerusalem. Let this be known to you, and listen to my words. You who are Israelites, hear these words. Jesus the Nazarene was a man commended to you by God with mighty deeds, wonders, and signs, which God worked through him in your midst, as you yourselves know. This man, delivered up by the set plan and foreknowledge of God, you killed, using lawless men to crucify him. But God raised him up, releasing him from the throes of death, because it was impossible for him to be held by it. For David says of him: I saw the Lord ever before me, with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed. Therefore my heart has been glad and my tongue has exulted; my flesh, too, will dwell in hope, because you will not abandon my soul to the netherworld, nor will you suffer your holy one to see corruption. You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence. “My brothers, one can confidently say to you about the patriarch David that he died and was buried, and his tomb is in our midst to this day. But since he was a prophet and knew that God had sworn an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants upon his throne, he foresaw and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that neither was he abandoned to the netherworld nor did his flesh see corruption. God raised this Jesus; of this we are all witnesses. Exalted at the right hand of God, he received the promise of the Holy Spirit from the Father and poured him forth, as you see and hear.”
St. Peter is speaking to Jews who believed together with him that the Psalms were largely penned by David. Psalm 16 presents a bit of a conundrum to the ancient Jewish interpreter, however, because David claims, “For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, nor let your Holy One see corruption.” Yet David did indeed die, his body decayed, and the traditional site of his tomb was venerated by Jews in St. Peter’s day. So there was no fully satisfying explanation of this verse for pious Jews in antiquity. St. Peter appeals to a widely held Jewish interpretative principle for the Psalms, namely, that many of them are prophetic, being spoken about or in the voice of the Messiah. If Jesus is the Messiah, Psalm 16 suddenly becomes explicable. Psalm 16 is sacred Scripture and therefore must be true. However, its literal sense is obviously false if applied to David himself. Therefore, the voice of the Psalm must be someone else. If David wrote it in the prophetic voice of the Messiah (as Isaiah wrote Isaiah 61:1-3, for example), the literal sense now becomes true. The Messiah is Jesus, who was not abandoned to the netherworld (Hades) and whose body did not see decay, but was raised up by God.
Adults – What was St. Peter’s preaching trying to do for the crowd?
Teens -Does St. Peter’s words show that he is concerned for all in the crowd or not?
Kids – Did St. Peter love those who he spoke to?
Responsorial- Psalm 16: 1-2, 5, 7-8, 9-10, 11
R. Lord, you will show us the path of life.
Keep me, O God, for in you I take refuge;
I say to the LORD, “My Lord are you.”
O LORD, my allotted portion and my cup,
you it is who hold fast my lot.
R. Lord, you will show us the path of life.
I bless the LORD who counsels me;
even in the night my heart exhorts me.
I set the LORD ever before me;
with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed.
R. Lord, you will show us the path of life.
Therefore my heart is glad and my soul rejoices,
my body, too, abides in confidence;
because you will not abandon my soul to the netherworld,
nor will you suffer your faithful one to undergo corruption.
R. Lord, you will show us the path of life.
You will show me the path to life,
abounding joy in your presence,
the delights at your right hand forever.
R. Lord, you will show us the path of life.
Appropriately, the Psalm is the one cited by St. Peter in the First Reading. Psalm 16 is a quiet prayer of trust in the Lord. The key verse is 10, literally from the Hebrew: “For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol; you will not permit your faithful one to see [the] Pit.” The phrase “faithful one” is hesîdeka, “the one who practices hesed toward you.” Hesed is, of course, a key covenant concept that we have discussed before, denoting “covenant love” or “covenant fidelity.” It is the root for the term Hasidic, which describes “ultra-orthodox” Jews. The point for us is that the Psalm describes one who is in covenant relationship with the Lord. We have been placed in such a relationship by the covenant ritual of Baptism, and continually renew that relationship by the covenant ritual of the Eucharist. Such a person may trust in the Lord for eternal life.
-Thank God for all of your Easter blessings, even if they look different than normal.
The Second Reading- 1 Peter 1:17-21
Beloved: If you invoke as Father him who judges impartially according to each one’s works, conduct yourselves with reverence during the time of your sojourning, realizing that you were ransomed from your futile conduct, handed on by your ancestors, not with perishable things like silver or gold but with the precious blood of Christ as of a spotless unblemished lamb. He was known before the foundation of the world but revealed in the final time for you, who through him believe in God who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.
Reflection - This passage of 1 Peter summarizes the message of the Gospel. We could comment on a number of features, but let’s focus on the idea of this life as temporary exile for the Christian: “conduct yourselves with reverence during the time of your sojourning.” In 1 Peter, the Church is often viewed as recapitulating the experience of Israel at various times in her history: the patriarchs sojourning in Canaan without ever possessing it; the Israelites sojourning in the wilderness waiting to enter the promised land; the Jews sojourning in Babylonian exile. For the Christian, this life is a temporary sojourn until we enter everlasting life in Christ.
-How much is a person’s soul work in the sight of God, how much worth does a soul have in your eyes?
The Holy Gospel according to Luke 24:13-35
That very day, the first day of the week, two of Jesus’ disciples were going to a village seven miles from Jerusalem called Emmaus, and they were conversing about all the things that had occurred. And it happened that while they were conversing and debating, Jesus himself drew near and walked with them, but their eyes were prevented from recognizing him. He asked them, “What are you discussing as you walk along?” They stopped, looking downcast. One of them, named Cleopas, said to him in reply, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know of the things that have taken place there in these days?” And he replied to them, “What sort of things?” They said to him, “The things that happened to Jesus the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, how our chief priests and rulers both handed him over to a sentence of death and crucified him. But we were hoping that he would be the one to redeem Israel; and besides all this, it is now the third day since this took place. Some women from our group, however, have astounded us: they were at the tomb early in the morning and did not find his body; they came back and reported that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who announced that he was alive. Then some of those with us went to the tomb and found things just as the women had described, but him they did not see.” And he said to them, “Oh, how foolish you are! How slow of heart to believe all that the prophets spoke! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them what referred to him in all the Scriptures. As they approached the village to which they were going, he gave the impression that he was going on farther. But they urged him, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them. And it happened that, while he was with them at table, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them. With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him, but he vanished from their sight. Then they said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he spoke to us on the way and opened the Scriptures to us?” So they set out at once and returned to Jerusalem where they found gathered together the eleven and those with them who were saying, “The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon!” Then the two recounted what had taken place on the way and how he was made known to them in the breaking of bread.
The disciples press Jesus to stay with them for the night, and at the evening meal, he “takes, blesses, breaks, and gives” the bread to those present. Luke employs this same sequence of four verbs in his account of the feeding of the 5,000 and at the institution of the Eucharist; it became almost a technical phrase for Eucharistic celebration in the early Church. This helps us to understand the significance of their “recognition” of him and his sudden vanishing from their sight. This is meant as Eucharistic instruction for us: we should “recognize” Jesus in the broken bread, and no longer seek for an apparition of him, because he is truly present with us in the Eucharistic host. Many, in fact, have pointed out that the entire Emmaus Road experience may be likened to the celebration of Mass. First, there is the exposition of the Scriptures (Liturgy of the Word) as they walk along, then there is the celebration of the sacrament proper (Liturgy of the Eucharist) at the evening meal.
Adults – Why was the ‘Breaking of the Bread’ the moment when they recognized Jesus?
Teens – What do you think kept the disciples from recognizing Jesus when he walked among them?
Kids – What do you see as the most important part or moment of your family life?
LIVING THE WORD OF GOD THIS WEEK! - So, ‘they set out that instant’ (Lk 24:33). They started to understand that death is not the last word on the life of each one of us as we can not be ‘held in its power’ (Acts 2:24). This is a sign of great hope that gives us irreprehensible joy! In so much as we journey to Jerusalem — each on his own road, it must often seem long and tiring. However, now with our eyes fully opened it appears that we have the privilege to say to all the world, ‘the Lord has indeed risen’ (Lk 24:34). -Congregation for the Clergy