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SUNDAY READINGS JULY 21, 2019 WITH HOMILY BY FR. JUSTIN (VIDEO)

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Reading 1 GN 18:1-10

The LORD appeared to Abraham by the terebinth of Mamre,
as he sat in the entrance of his tent,
while the day was growing hot.
Looking up, Abraham saw three men standing nearby.
When he saw them, he ran from the entrance of the tent to greet them;
and bowing to the ground, he said:
“Sir, if I may ask you this favor,
please do not go on past your servant.
Let some water be brought, that you may bathe your feet,
and then rest yourselves under the tree.
Now that you have come this close to your servant,
let me bring you a little food, that you may refresh yourselves;
and afterward you may go on your way.”
The men replied, “Very well, do as you have said.”Abraham hastened into the tent and told Sarah,
“Quick, three measures of fine flour! Knead it and make rolls.”
He ran to the herd, picked out a tender, choice steer,
and gave it to a servant, who quickly prepared it.
Then Abraham got some curds and milk,
as well as the steer that had been prepared,
and set these before the three men;
and he waited on them under the tree while they ate.They asked Abraham, “Where is your wife Sarah?”
He replied, “There in the tent.”
One of them said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year,
and Sarah will then have a son.”

Responsorial Psalm 15: 2-5

R.(1a) He who does justice will live in the presence of the Lord.
One who walks blamelessly and does justice;
who thinks the truth in his heart
and slanders not with his tongue.
R. He who does justice will live in the presence of the Lord.
Who harms not his fellow man,
nor takes up a reproach against his neighbor;
by whom the reprobate is despised,
while he honors those who fear the LORD.
R. He who does justice will live in the presence of the Lord.
Who lends not his money at usury
and accepts no bribe against the innocent.
One who does these things
shall never be disturbed.
R. He who does justice will live in the presence of the Lord.

Reading 2 COL 1:24-28

Brothers and sisters:
Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake,
and in my flesh I am filling up
what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ
on behalf of his body, which is the church,
of which I am a minister
in accordance with God’s stewardship given to me
to bring to completion for you the word of God,
the mystery hidden from ages and from generations past.
But now it has been manifested to his holy ones,
to whom God chose to make known the riches of the glory
of this mystery among the Gentiles;
it is Christ in you, the hope for glory.
It is he whom we proclaim,
admonishing everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom,
that we may present everyone perfect in Christ.

Alleluia LK 8:15

  1. Alleluia, alleluia.
    Blessed are they who have kept the word with a generous heart
    and yield a harvest through perseverance.
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel LK 10:38-42

Jesus entered a village
where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him.
She had a sister named Mary
who sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak.
Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said,
“Lord, do you not care
that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving?
Tell her to help me.”
The Lord said to her in reply,
“Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things.
There is need of only one thing.
Mary has chosen the better part
and it will not be taken from her.”

 

SUNDAY READINGS JULY 7, 2019

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Reading 1 IS 66:10-14

Thus says the LORD:
Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad because of her,
all you who love her;
exult, exult with her,
all you who were mourning over her!
Oh, that you may suck fully
of the milk of her comfort,
that you may nurse with delight
at her abundant breasts!
For thus says the LORD:
Lo, I will spread prosperity over Jerusalem like a river,
and the wealth of the nations like an overflowing torrent.
As nurslings, you shall be carried in her arms,
and fondled in her lap;
as a mother comforts her child,
so will I comfort you;
in Jerusalem you shall find your comfort.When you see this, your heart shall rejoice
and your bodies flourish like the grass;
the LORD’s power shall be known to his servants.

Responsorial Psalm 66:1-7, 16,20

R. (1) Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
Shout joyfully to God, all the earth,
sing praise to the glory of his name;
proclaim his glorious praise.
Say to God, “How tremendous are your deeds!”
R. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
“Let all on earth worship and sing praise to you,
sing praise to your name!”
Come and see the works of God,
his tremendous deeds among the children of Adam.
R. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
He has changed the sea into dry land;
through the river they passed on foot;
therefore let us rejoice in him.
He rules by his might forever.
R. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
Hear now, all you who fear God, while I declare
what he has done for me.
Blessed be God who refused me not
my prayer or his kindness!
R. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.

Reading 2 GAL 6:14-18

Brothers and sisters:
May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ,
through which the world has been crucified to me,
and I to the world.
For neither does circumcision mean anything, nor does uncircumcision,
but only a new creation.
Peace and mercy be to all who follow this rule
and to the Israel of God.From now on, let no one make troubles for me;
for I bear the marks of Jesus on my body.The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit,
brothers and sisters. Amen.

Alleluia COL 3:15-16

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Let the peace of Christ control your hearts;
let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel LK 10:1-12, 17-20

At that time the Lord appointed seventy-two others
whom he sent ahead of him in pairs
to every town and place he intended to visit.
He said to them,
“The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few;
so ask the master of the harvest
to send out laborers for his harvest.
Go on your way;
behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves.
Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals;
and greet no one along the way.
Into whatever house you enter, first say,
‘Peace to this household.’
If a peaceful person lives there,
your peace will rest on him;
but if not, it will return to you.
Stay in the same house and eat and drink what is offered to you,
for the laborer deserves his payment.
Do not move about from one house to another.
Whatever town you enter and they welcome you,
eat what is set before you,
cure the sick in it and say to them,
‘The kingdom of God is at hand for you.’
Whatever town you enter and they do not receive you,
go out into the streets and say,
‘The dust of your town that clings to our feet,
even that we shake off against you.’
Yet know this: the kingdom of God is at hand.
I tell you, it will be more tolerable for Sodom on that day than for that town.”The seventy-two returned rejoicing, and said,
“Lord, even the demons are subject to us because of your name.”
Jesus said, “I have observed Satan fall like lightning from the sky.
Behold, I have given you the power to ‘tread upon serpents’ and scorpions
and upon the full force of the enemy and nothing will harm you.  Nevertheless, do not rejoice because the spirits are subject to you,
but rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”
(painting: Georges Rouault Christ and the Fishermen, 1939)

SUNDAY READINGS JUNE 23, 2019; The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (with Fr. Andrew Greeley homily)

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The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

Reading 1 gn 14:18-20

In those days, Melchizedek, king of Salem, brought out bread and wine,
and being a priest of God Most High,
he blessed Abram with these words:
“Blessed be Abram by God Most High,
the creator of heaven and earth;
and blessed be God Most High,
who delivered your foes into your hand.”
Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.

Responsorial Psalm 110:1-4

R.(4b) You are a priest forever, in the line of Melchizedek.
The LORD said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand
till I make your enemies your footstool.”
R. You are a priest forever, in the line of Melchizedek.
The scepter of your power the LORD will stretch forth from Zion:
“Rule in the midst of your enemies.”
R. You are a priest forever, in the line of Melchizedek.
“Yours is princely power in the day of your birth, in holy splendor;
before the daystar, like the dew, I have begotten you.”
R. You are a priest forever, in the line of Melchizedek.
The LORD has sworn, and he will not repent:
“You are a priest forever, according to the order of  Melchizedek.”
R. You are a priest forever, in the line of Melchizedek.

Reading 2 1 cor 11:23-26 

Brothers and sisters:
I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you,
that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over,
took bread, and, after he had given thanks,
broke it and said, “This is my body that is for you.
Do this in remembrance of me.”
In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying,
“This cup is the new covenant in my blood.
Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”
For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup,
you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.

Sequence Lauda Sion

Laud, O Zion, your salvation,
Laud with hymns of exultation,
Christ, your king and shepherd true:

Bring him all the praise you know,
He is more than you bestow.
Never can you reach his due.

Special theme for glad thanksgiving
Is the quick’ning and the living
Bread today before you set:

From his hands of old partaken,
As we know, by faith unshaken,
Where the Twelve at supper met.

Full and clear ring out your chanting,
Joy nor sweetest grace be wanting,
From your heart let praises burst:

For today the feast is holden,
When the institution olden
Of that supper was rehearsed.

Here the new law’s new oblation,
By the new king’s revelation,
Ends the form of ancient rite:

Now the new the old effaces,
Truth away the shadow chases,
Light dispels the gloom of night.

What he did at supper seated,
Christ ordained to be repeated,
His memorial ne’er to cease:

And his rule for guidance taking,
Bread and wine we hallow, making
Thus our sacrifice of peace.

This the truth each Christian learns,
Bread into his flesh he turns,
To his precious blood the wine:

Sight has fail’d, nor thought conceives,
But a dauntless faith believes,
Resting on a pow’r divine.

Here beneath these signs are hidden
Priceless things to sense forbidden;
Signs, not things are all we see:

Blood is poured and flesh is broken,
Yet in either wondrous token
Christ entire we know to be.

Whoso of this food partakes,
Does not rend the Lord nor breaks;
Christ is whole to all that taste:

Thousands are, as one, receivers,
One, as thousands of believers,
Eats of him who cannot waste.

Bad and good the feast are sharing,
Of what divers dooms preparing,
Endless death, or endless life.

Life to these, to those damnation,
See how like participation
Is with unlike issues rife.

When the sacrament is broken,
Doubt not, but believe ’tis spoken,
That each sever’d outward token
doth the very whole contain.

Nought the precious gift divides,
Breaking but the sign betides
Jesus still the same abides,
still unbroken does remain.

The shorter form of the sequence begins here.

Lo! the angel’s food is given
To the pilgrim who has striven;
see the children’s bread from heaven,
which on dogs may not be spent.

Truth the ancient types fulfilling,
Isaac bound, a victim willing,
Paschal lamb, its lifeblood spilling,
manna to the fathers sent.

Very bread, good shepherd, tend us,
Jesu, of your love befriend us,
You refresh us, you defend us,
Your eternal goodness send us
In the land of life to see.

You who all things can and know,
Who on earth such food bestow,
Grant us with your saints, though lowest,
Where the heav’nly feast you show,
Fellow heirs and guests to be. Amen. Alleluia.

Alleluia jn 6:51

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the living bread that came down from heaven, says the Lord;
whoever eats this bread will live forever.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel lk 9:11-17

Jesus spoke to the crowds about the kingdom of God,
and he healed those who needed to be cured.
As the day was drawing to a close,
the Twelve approached him and said,
“Dismiss the crowd
so that they can go to the surrounding villages and farms
and find lodging and provisions;
for we are in a deserted place here.”
He said to them, “Give them some food yourselves.”
They replied, “Five loaves and two fish are all we have,
unless we ourselves go and buy food for all these people.”
Now the men there numbered about five thousand.
Then he said to his disciples,
“Have them sit down in groups of about fifty.”
They did so and made them all sit down.
Then taking the five loaves and the two fish,
and looking up to heaven,
he said the blessing over them, broke them,
and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd.
They all ate and were satisfied.
And when the leftover fragments were picked up,
they filled twelve wicker baskets.

FR, ANDREW GREELEY HOMILY ON TODAY’S Gospel READING (2013)

Background:
The gospel today is of course Eucharistic in its intent. While the story happened before the last supper, it became part of the Gospel after the last supper and for the early Christians it was an allusion to the last supper. It connected the ordinary food that God serves us at our regular meals, the extraordinary food Jesus served at the multiplication of the loaves, and the supernatural food of the Eucharist. The point is that there is a continuity between a family supper and the Eucharist. Both refer to one another. Both tell us something about each other. The Eucharist invades our home and sanctifies our regular meals. And our regular meals illumine the Eucharist as a family and community feast.
Story:
Remember the two little kids who (as they would later tell the story) “almost drowned” in the storm on the lake? After their father had brought them ashore, what did he do? Well, of course, he gave them something to eat. Now their father was not much of a cook and their mother had gone shopping with their big sister. So he didn’t know quite what to give them to eat. What would you like to eat, he asked them. Ice cream, said the little boy. Chocolate ice cream said the little girl. With chocolate sauce, the little boy insisted. And whipped cream the little girl added. And raspberries, the little boy finished their litany of wants. Well, the father wasn’t even very good at making chocolate ice cream sundaes with raspberries and chocolate sauce and whipped cream. But his little kids wanted it and they had just recovered from at terrible scare so he did his best. And do you know what else he did? WELL, he cut a banana down the middle for each of them and emptied the whipped cream can and called it all a banana split. And the kids love every bite of it. And you know why the daddy made the banana splits for them (and they didn’t even know what a banana split was!)?
Sure you know why! He was their daddy and he loved them.
(Painting : Feeding of the 5000 ©Alfred Eaker 2018)

PENTECOST SUNDAY READINGS, JUNE 9, 2019 WITH POPE FRANCIS HOMILY

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PENTECOST SUNDAY

Reading 1 ACTS 2:1-11

When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled,
they were all in one place together.
And suddenly there came from the sky
a noise like a strong driving wind,
and it filled the entire house in which they were.
Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire,
which parted and came to rest on each one of them.
And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit
and began to speak in different tongues,
as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim.

Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven
staying in Jerusalem.
At this sound, they gathered in a large crowd,
but they were confused
because each one heard them speaking in his own language.
They were astounded, and in amazement they asked,
“Are not all these people who are speaking Galileans?
Then how does each of us hear them in his native language?
We are Parthians, Medes, and Elamites,
inhabitants of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia,
Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia,
Egypt and the districts of Libya near Cyrene,
as well as travelers from Rome,
both Jews and converts to Judaism, Cretans and Arabs,
yet we hear them speaking in our own tongues
of the mighty acts of God.”

Responsorial Psalm 104:1, 24, 29-31, 34

R. (cf. 30) Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Bless the LORD, O my soul!
O LORD, my God, you are great indeed!
How manifold are your works, O LORD!
the earth is full of your creatures;
R. Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.
May the glory of the LORD endure forever;
may the LORD be glad in his works!
Pleasing to him be my theme;
I will be glad in the LORD.
R. Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.
If you take away their breath, they perish
and return to their dust.
When you send forth your spirit, they are created,
and you renew the face of the earth.
R. Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Reading 2 1 COR 12:3-7, 12-13

Brothers and sisters:
No one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.

There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit;
there are different forms of service but the same Lord;
there are different workings but the same God
who produces all of them in everyone.
To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit
is given for some benefit.

As a body is one though it has many parts,
and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body,
so also Christ.
For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body,
whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free persons,
and we were all given to drink of one Spirit.

Sequence Veni, Sancte Spiritus

Come, Holy Spirit, come!
And from your celestial home
Shed a ray of light divine!
Come, Father of the poor!
Come, source of all our store!
Come, within our bosoms shine.
You, of comforters the best;
You, the soul’s most welcome guest;
Sweet refreshment here below;
In our labor, rest most sweet;
Grateful coolness in the heat;
Solace in the midst of woe.
O most blessed Light divine,
Shine within these hearts of yours,
And our inmost being fill!
Where you are not, we have naught,
Nothing good in deed or thought,
Nothing free from taint of ill.
Heal our wounds, our strength renew;
On our dryness pour your dew;
Wash the stains of guilt away:
Bend the stubborn heart and will;
Melt the frozen, warm the chill;
Guide the steps that go astray.
On the faithful, who adore
And confess you, evermore
In your sevenfold gift descend;
Give them virtue’s sure reward;
Give them your salvation, Lord;
Give them joys that never end. Amen.
Alleluia.

Alleluia

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful
and kindle in them the fire of your love.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel JN 20:19-23

On the evening of that first day of the week,
when the doors were locked, where the disciples were,
for fear of the Jews,
Jesus came and stood in their midst
and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side.
The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you.
As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”

And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them,
“Receive the Holy Spirit.
Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them,
and whose sins you retain are retained.”

pOPE FRANCIS PENTECOST HOMILY

“Without the gifts of the Holy Spirit, Christians lack that which animates them and gives them internal life and harmony. Without the Spirit, our Christian life unravels, lacking the love that brings everything together.

Without the Spirit, Jesus remains a personage from the past; with the Spirit, he is a person alive in our own time. Without the Spirit, Scripture is a dead letter; with the Spirit it is a word of life. A Christianity without the Spirit is joyless moralism; with the Spirit, it is life.

The Holy Spiritis is far from being an abstract reality, but is the most concrete and close, the one who changes our lives. How does the Holy Spirit change people’s lives? Let us look at the Apostles. The Holy Spirit did not make things easier for them, he didn’t work spectacular miracles, he didn’t take away their difficulties and their opponents. What the Holy Spirit brought was harmony: something deeply needed also in today’s frenzied pace of life. – Pulled in a thousand directions, we run the risk of nervous exhaustion, so we look for quick fixes like pills and thrill-seeking to feel alive.

But more than anything else, we need the Spirit: he brings order to our frenzy. The Spirit is peace in the midst of restlessness, confidence in the midst of discouragement, joy in sadness, youth in aging, courage in the hour of trial. Amid the stormy currents of life, he lowers the anchor of hope.

A lack of harmony is what has caused the many stark divisions seen in today’s world: People with too much and people with nothing, people striving after longevity and those who cannot even be born.

More social media use has made people less social. We need the Spirit of unity to regenerate us as Church, as God’s People and as a human family.

Let us daily implore the gift of the Spirit. It is easy to stay at surface levels; that rather than seeking the Spirit, we try to keep afloat, thinking that everything will improve once this or that problem is over, once I no longer see that person, once things get better.

This is superficial because there will always be more problems, and resolving momentary problems will not bring peace. What makes a difference is the peace of Jesus, the harmony of the Spirit.

Peace is about receiving the Holy Spirit. The peace bestowed on the apostles, the peace that does not bring freedom from problems but in problems, is offered to each of us: Filled with his peace, our hearts are like a deep sea, which remains peaceful, even when its surface is swept by waves.

We have a tendency to hurl adjectives and insults at others, stating that it is harmful not only to those insulted but also to those who insult.Those who live by the Spirit, by contrast, bring peace where there is discord, concord where there is conflict. Those who are spiritual repay evil with good. They respond to arrogance with meekness, to malice with goodness, to shouting with silence, to gossip with prayer, to defeatism with encouragement.

It is important to recognize, that just like for the Apostles, seeing the Risen Lord is not enough, unless we welcome him into our hearts.. The Holy Spirit comes where he is loved, where he is invited, where he is expected.

Holy Spirit, harmony of God, you who turn fear into trust and self-centeredness into self-gift, come to us. “Grant us the joy of the resurrection and perennially young hearts.

Holy Spirit, our harmony, you who make of us one body, pour forth your peace upon the Church and our world. Make us artisans of concord, sowers of goodness, apostles of hope.”

SEVENTH SUNDAY OF EASTER READINGS, JUNE 2, 2019 WITH FR. ANDREW GREELEY HOMILY

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SEVENTH SUNDAY OF EASTER

Reading 1 ACTS 7:55-60

Stephen, filled with the Holy Spirit,
looked up intently to heaven and saw the glory of God
and Jesus standing at the right hand of God,
and Stephen said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened
and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”
But they cried out in a loud voice,
covered their ears, and rushed upon him together.
They threw him out of the city, and began to stone him.
The witnesses laid down their cloaks
at the feet of a young man named Saul.
As they were stoning Stephen, he called out,
“Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”
Then he fell to his knees and cried out in a loud voice,
“Lord, do not hold this sin against them;”
and when he said this, he fell asleep.

Responsorial Psalm 97:1-2, 6-7, 9

R. (1a and 9a) The Lord is king, the most high over all the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.
The LORD is king; let the earth rejoice;
let the many islands be glad.
Justice and judgment are the foundation of his throne.
R. The Lord is king, the most high over all the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.
The heavens proclaim his justice,
and all peoples see his glory.
All gods are prostrate before him.
R. The Lord is king, the most high over all the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.
You, O LORD, are the Most High over all the earth,
exalted far above all gods.
R. The Lord is king, the most high over all the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Reading 2 REV 22:12-114, 16-17, 20

I, John, heard a voice saying to me:
“Behold, I am coming soon.
I bring with me the recompense I will give to each
according to his deeds.
I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last,
the beginning and the end.”

Blessed are they who wash their robes
so as to have the right to the tree of life
and enter the city through its gates.

“I, Jesus, sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches.
I am the root and offspring of David,
the bright morning star.”

The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.”
Let the hearer say, “Come.”
Let the one who thirsts come forward,
and the one who wants it receive the gift of life-giving water.

The one who gives this testimony says, “Yes, I am coming soon.”
Amen!  Come, Lord Jesus!

Alleluia JN 14:18

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I will not leave you orphans, says the Lord.
I will come back to you, and your hearts will rejoice.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel JN 17:20-26

Lifting up his eyes to heaven, Jesus prayed saying:
“Holy Father, I pray not only for them,
but also for those who will believe in me through their word,
so that they may all be one,
as you, Father, are in me and I in you,
that they also may be in us,
that the world may believe that you sent me.
And I have given them the glory you gave me,
so that they may be one, as we are one,
I in them and you in me,
that they may be brought to perfection as one,
that the world may know that you sent me,
and that you loved them even as you loved me.
Father, they are your gift to me.
I wish that where I am they also may be with me,
that they may see my glory that you gave me,
because you loved me before the foundation of the world.
Righteous Father, the world also does not know you,
but I know you, and they know that you sent me.
I made known to them your name and I will make it known,
that the love with which you loved me
may be in them and I in them.”

FR. ANDREW GREELY HOMILY ON TODAY’S Gospel READING (2013)

Background:

Today’s passage is part of what is often called Jesus’s “priestly prayer” because he is picture as praying for his apostles, the first priests. While it is legitimate to see the prayer in this fashion, it is a narrow interpretation, much too narrow for John’s intent which was to reassure all those in the community for which he was writing and not only its leaders. The apostles in this story represent the whole community, everyone who is embraced by the love of Jesus and therefore by the love of God. Jesus prays to the Father to take care of each one of his followers, to protect them from evil, to perfect them in goodness, to promote their growth in grace. The Irish blessing summarizes exactly the meaning of this prayer: “Until we meet again, may God hold you all in the palm of his hand.
Story:
Once upon a time a great coach was retiring. He and his teams had won many championships. He was very proud of them and they very proud of him. He knew that it was time for him to pull back from the daily grind of practices and the frequent strain and tension of the games. He was fraying around the edges and he knew it. So did the smarter players but they loved him so much that they would not admit this even to themselves. He did not want to leave the school or give up the sport, not yet anyway. So it was agreed that he would become athletic director and his best assistant would become the coach. He promised that he would never interfere in the daily running of the team. Since he was a man of his word, everyone knew that he was telling the truth. Yet there was terrible ambivalence in the team. On the one hand they were glad the coach was doing what was good for him. On the other hand they didn’t want to lose him, not even the man who was going to take over as head coach. The old coach would still be around, but in the background. It would never be like it used to be, like it had been for such a long time. At his farewell dinner, the players, the coaches, the teachers, the parents were all deeply moved. They did not want to say goodbye, yet they knew the change would be good and that it was wise to say goodbye. In his farewell speech the coach commended his players to the new coach. Take good care of them, he said. I know you will and I promise not to interfere, but take good care of them because I love them all. This is now Jesus felt about us when he said goodbye to return to the father in heaven. More important, that is the way he still feels about us and he has a lot more power than an athletic director.
(Painting: William Blake The Ascension)

SIXTH SUNDAY OF EASTER MAY 26, 2019 READINGS WITH HOMILY BY FR. ANDREW GREELEY

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SIXTH SUNDAY OF EASTER

Reading 1 ACTS 15:1-2, 22-29

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 elders
about this question.

The apostles and elders, in agreement with the whole church,
decided to choose representatives
and to send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas.
The ones chosen were Judas, who was called Barsabbas,
and Silas, leaders among the brothers.
This is the letter delivered by them:

“The apostles and the elders, your brothers,
to the brothers in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia
of Gentile origin: greetings.
Since 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,
we have with one accord decided to choose representatives
and to send them to you along with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,
who have dedicated their lives to the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
So we are sending Judas and Silas
who will also convey this same message by word of mouth:
‘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 67:2-3, 5-6, 8

R. (4) O God, let all the nations praise you!
or:
R. Alleluia.
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.
R. O God, let all the nations praise you!
or:
R. Alleluia.
May the nations be glad and exult
because you rule the peoples in equity;
the nations on the earth you guide.
R. O God, let all the nations praise you!
or:
R. Alleluia.
May the peoples praise you, O God;
may all the peoples praise you!
May God bless us,
and may all the ends of the earth fear him!
R. O God, let all the nations praise you!
or:
R. Alleluia.

Reading 2 REV 21:10-14, 22-23

The angel took me in spirit to a great, high mountain
and showed me the holy city Jerusalem
coming down out of heaven from God.
It gleamed with the splendor of God.
Its radiance was like that of a precious stone,
like jasper, clear as crystal.
It had a massive, high wall,

with twelve gates where twelve angels were stationed
and on which names were inscribed,
the names of the twelve tribes of the Israelites.
There were three gates facing east,
three north, three south, and three west.
The wall of the city had twelve courses of stones as its foundation,
on which were inscribed the twelve names
of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

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.

Alleluia JN 14:23

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

Gospel JN 14:23-29

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Whoever loves me will keep my word,
and my Father will love him,
and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.
Whoever does not love me does not keep my words;
yet the word you hear is not mine
but that of the Father who sent me.

“I have told you this while I am with you.
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.

You heard me tell you,
‘I am going away and I will come back to you.’
If you loved me,
you would rejoice that I am going to the Father;
for the Father is greater than I.
And now I have told you this before it happens,
so that when it happens you may believe.”

FR. ANDREW GREELEY’S HOMILY ON TODAY’S Gospel READING (2008)

Background:

John’s Gospel obviously displays a much more developed theology then the three synoptic gospels. However, it was still written early in the so-called sub-apostolic time. The remarkable fact is not that there is a strong theological slant to it. Rather it is surprising how relatively early in the history of the early Church a strong Trinitarian perspective has emerged. The trajectory towards Nicea and the other early councils has already been set, thought he elaborate explanations have yet to appear. Associated with God even by the time of St. John are Jesus, and the Father, and the Paraclete, the advocate, the teacher, the protector, the guarantor of the peace that Jesus has given. Already we have hints that God is a community of relationships, that there is so much knowledge and love in God that the knowledge and love explode into distinct personages. This truth is revealed to test our faith, not to provide theologians with raw material for their speculations (though there is nothing wrong with that), but to dazzle us with the brightness of God’s glory, the power of God’s knowledge and the passion of God’s love. The use of the word “spirit,” a translation of the Hebrew word Shekenah hints at a maternal protection in God because the word is feminine in Hebrew – and was used in Hebrew folk religion as the name of Yahweh’s consort. St. John had no thought of such matters, yet the gender of the noun might well be part of the meaning “in front of the text.”

Story:

Once upon a time back in the last century there was a young woman from Ireland who had lost her parents and all her family. Some kind people wrote to their relatives in America and said we have this fourteen year old orphan here who is very bright and very pretty and very hard working, We don’t want her to go to the orphanage because she won’t have any opportunities there to develop her talents. Would you eve consider hiring her as a servant girl. You’d have to pay her way over on the boat, but she’ll work for nothing until she earns her fare. You won’t go wrong with her. So the Americans who could afford a serving girl, but never had one and weren’t altogether sure what they would do with such a person talked about it and said, well, what have to lose. So they sent the fare for the boat and the train. And waited for the young woman to come. She sailed from Kinsale. The last she saw of Ireland were the twin spires of the church as they faded into the background. Weeks later, sick and thin and exhausted, she arrived in the city where her master and mistress lived. They took one look at the poor child and said, Dear, we don’t need a servant, but we have room for another daughter. When they brough her home the other children hugged her and said, hooray! We have another sister. With their help she grew up to go to college and university and become very successful and was a great credit to those who took her into their family. The Trinity is a family into which God has invited us.

(Painting: Resurrection of Christ © 2019, Alfred Eaker)

Mass for the repose of the soul of Eddie Russell, Fr. Peter Whitely, Fr. Joe, and the Archbishop

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Passing on a note from Fr. Justin.
 
 
We are offering Mass at St. Claire’s Basilica tomorrow morning for the repose of the soul of Eddie Russell. I feel he lived with such a burden – his need to, personally protect the Church from heresy. I am sure he is understanding and experiencing Unconditional Love and Divine Peace.
 
 
Fr. Peter Whitely was the Vicar of the Archdiocese who supported Eddie Russell from inside the structure of the Church. He did whatever he could to stop our ministry in the Archdiocese and he accepted a false accusation about a wonderful young priest, Fr. Joe (from Viet Nam). Details of Fr. Joe’s death are not fully known but the rule is that if you are accused, you are out. We don’t know if Fr. Joe took his own life or not (he was found dead in his bed the day after the accusation was made public. I believe that he could not imagine living outside his commitment as a priest – and if you are accused, you’re out!
 
Thousands attended Fr. Joe’s funeral (as did the Archbishop).
 
 
I will be offering Mass for Fr. Joe, Eddie Russell, Peter Whitely, the Archbishop and all of the people who suffered from this terrible turn of events. Justin

FIFTH SUNDAY OF EASTER, MAY 19, 2019 READINGS WITH FR. ANDREW GREELEY HOMILY

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Reading 1 ACTS 14:21-27

After Paul and Barnabas had proclaimed the good news
to that city
and made a considerable number of disciples,
they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch.
They strengthened the spirits of the disciples
and exhorted them to persevere in the faith, saying,
“It is necessary for us to undergo many hardships
to enter the kingdom of God.”
They appointed elders for them in each church and,
with prayer and fasting, commended them to the Lord
in whom they had put their faith.
Then they traveled through Pisidia and reached Pamphylia.
After proclaiming the word at Perga they went down to Attalia.
From there they sailed to Antioch,
where they had been commended to the grace of God
for the work they had now accomplished.
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 145:8-13

R. (cf. 1) I will praise your name for ever, my king and my God.
or:
R. Alleluia.
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.
R. I will praise your name for ever, my king and my God.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Let all your works give you thanks, O LORD,
and let your faithful ones bless you.
Let them discourse of the glory of your kingdom
and speak of your might.
R. I will praise your name for ever, my king and my God.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Let them make known your might to the children of Adam,
and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
Your kingdom is a kingdom for all ages,
and your dominion endures through all generations.
R. I will praise your name for ever, my king and my God.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Reading 2 REV 21:1-5

Then I, John, saw a new heaven and a new earth.
The former heaven and the former earth had passed away,
and the sea was no more.
I also saw the holy city, a new Jerusalem,
coming down out of heaven from God,
prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
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.”The One who sat on the throne said,
“Behold, I make all things new.”

Alleluia JN 13:34

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

Gospel JN 13:31-35

When Judas had left them, Jesus said,
“Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him.
If God is glorified in him,
God will also glorify him in himself,
and God will glorify him at once.
My children, I will be with you only a little while longer.
I give you a new commandment: love one another.
As I have loved you, so you also should love one another.
This is how all will know that you are my disciples,
if you have love for one another.”

FR. ANDREW GREELEY HOMILY ON TODAY’S Gospel READING

Background:

John’s Gospel has a heavy overlay of mystical imagery. Yet today’s brief gospel seems clear and simple enough. However, it’s revelation of the great tenderness of Jesus – undoubtedly based on clear historical memories in the tradition – is richly mystical. All will know that we are followers of Jesus by the love we have for one another. This is not a prediction which has yet been fulfilled.

Story:

Once upon a time there was a sergeant in the marines who was the senior enlisted man in his platoon. One day his outfit was ambushed and pinned down by enemy fire. The lieutenant in command was badly wounded as were many of the men. The sergeant took over and extricated the men from the trap, though he himself was wounded twice. He went back by himself to carry out the wounded commanding officer. Miraculously every man in the platoon survived, even the wounded lieutenant. Later the men said that if it were not for the incredible bravery of the sergeant they all would have been killed. He was always like a mother and a father to us, they said. He was recommended for the Medal of Honor, but did not receive it. However, he did receive the DFC. He never wore the medal because he said the lives of his men were more important than any medal. Later when he had children of his own, he loved them like a mother as well as a father. His wife said that during the war he had learned how to be tender. Of course people spit on him when he came home and told him that it served him right that he had to limp all his life.

(FR. JUSTIN painting by Alfred Eaker)

FOURTH SUNDAY OF EASTER READINGS MAY 12, 2019 WITH MOTHER’S DAY MESSAGE BY POPE FRANCIS

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fourth sunday of easter

Reading 1 acts 13:14, 43-52

Paul and Barnabas continued on from Perga
and reached Antioch in Pisidia.
On the sabbath they entered the synagogue and took their seats.
Many Jews and worshipers who were converts to Judaism
followed Paul and Barnabas, who spoke to them
and urged them to remain faithful to the grace of God.On the following sabbath almost the whole city gathered
to hear the word of the Lord.
When the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy
and with violent abuse contradicted what Paul said.
Both Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly and said,
“It was necessary that the word of God be spoken to you first,
but since you reject it
and condemn yourselves as unworthy of eternal life,
we now turn to the Gentiles.
For so the Lord has commanded us,
I have made you a light to the Gentiles,
that you may be an instrument of salvation
to the ends of the earth.”

The Gentiles were delighted when they heard this
and glorified the word of the Lord.
All who were destined for eternal life came to believe,
and the word of the Lord continued to spread
through the whole region.
The Jews, however, incited the women of prominence who were worshipers
and the leading men of the city,
stirred up a persecution against Paul and Barnabas,
and expelled them from their territory.
So they shook the dust from their feet in protest against them,
and went to Iconium.
The disciples were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit.

Responsorial Psalm 100:1-2,3,5

R.(3c) We are his people, the sheep of his flock.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
serve the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful song.
R. We are his people, the sheep of his flock.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Know that the LORD is God;
he made us, his we are;
his people, the flock he tends.
R.We are his people, the sheep of his flock.
or:
R. Alleluia.
The LORD is good:
his kindness endures forever,
and his faithfulness, to all generations.
R.We are his people, the sheep of his flock.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Reading 2 REV 7:9, 14-17

I, John, had a vision of a great multitude,
which no one could count,
from every nation, race, people, and tongue.
They stood before the throne and before the Lamb,
wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands.Then one of the elders said to me,
“These are the ones who have survived the time of great distress;
they have washed their robes
and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

“For this reason they stand before God’s throne
and worship him day and night in his temple.
The one who sits on the throne will shelter them.
They will not hunger or thirst anymore,
nor will the sun or any heat strike them.
For the Lamb who is in the center of the throne
will shepherd them
and lead them to springs of life-giving water,
and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

Alleluia JN 10:14

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the good shepherd, says the Lord;
I know my sheep, and mine know me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel JN 10:27-30

Jesus said:
“My sheep hear my voice;
I know them, and they follow me.
I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish.
No one can take them out of my hand.
My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all,
and no one can take them out of the Father’s hand.
The Father and I are one.”

PABLO PICASSO MOTHER AND CHILD 1902

Pope Francis: A world without mothers would be inhumane, lacking tenderness 2015

Mothers are indispensable to society and the church, showing the world what it means to generously give oneself for others, to respect life and to display tenderness and moral strength even in times of trouble, Pope Francis said.

Speaking to some 4,000 people gathered indoors for his general audience Wednesday, the pope continued his series of talks about the family, but also gave a second talk about beauty and harmony when he thanked a group of circus performers at the end of the audience.

Tying the theme of the family to the church’s celebration of the feast of Mary, Mother of God, on Jan. 1, and the Epiphany on Jan. 6, the pope looked specifically at Mary’s role in the Gospel accounts of Christmas.

“She gives us Jesus, she shows us Jesus, she lets us see Jesus,” the pope said.

Even though mothers are often “exalted” with praise and poetry, he said, they often get very little concrete help and appreciation. In fact, he said, “the willingness of mothers to sacrifice themselves for their children is often taken advantage of in order to ‘save’ on social spending.”

“One should better understand their daily struggle to be efficient at work and attentive and loving in their family; it is necessary to better understand what they are striving for in order to express the best and most authentic fruits of their liberation,” he said.

Pope Francis recalled his own upbringing as one of five children, and spoke of how much work and how many problems, but also how much happiness, come with motherhood.

“Mothers are the strongest antidote to the spread of selfish individualism,” he said.

A world without mothers would be “inhumane,” he said, “because mothers always know how to give witness — even in the worst of times — to tenderness, dedication and moral strength.”

“Being a mother does not mean just bringing a child into the world, but it is also a life choice. What does a mother choose?” he asked. “It is the choice to give life and this is great, this is beautiful.”

If societies do not do justice to the contributions and sacrifices of mothers, the church is not always better, he said. “Perhaps mothers, who are ready to make many sacrifices for their children and often also for others” should find greater reception and attention in the church, he said.

It is often the mother who passes on “the deepest sense of religious practice” as she plants and cultivates the seed of faith in a child by sharing prayers and devotional practices, he said. “Without mothers, not only would there be no new people of faith, but the faith would lose a good portion of its simple and profound warmth.”

Mothers are the biggest enemies of war, “which kills their children,” he said, admitting he has thought many times of those women who receive the dreaded letter notifying them of the loss of their children in their defense of the nation. “Poor women. How much a mother suffers,” he said solemnly.

Mothers are martyrs, the pope said quoting a homily by Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero, who was shot and killed in 1980 as he celebrated Mass.

Presiding over the funeral Mass of a priest who had been assassinated by the country’s death squads, the late archbishop had said that giving one’s life does not just mean being killed for the faith, it is also offering oneself “in that silence of daily life,” bit by bit, “like a mother, who, without fear and with the simplicity of maternal martyrdom, conceives a child in her womb, brings it into the world, nurses it, raises it and lovingly cares” for the child.

At the end of his audience talk, the pope was treated to a short circus show as acrobats and jugglers performed in front of him on stage while a jazz band played “All of Me.”

The pope thanked the men, women and children taking part in an international festival in Rome for circus performers and praised them for being “creators of harmony, creators of beauty, who teach the high road of beauty,” which is “good for the soul.”

But while people today are well-practiced in “the language of the mind, thinking” and “the language of the hands, doing,” they need to remember to use “the language of the heart, loving,” he said.

“These three languages come together to make up the harmony of the person; and there is the beauty,” he said.

God is not only truth, goodness and the master of creation, he is also beauty and “so many times we forget about beauty,” the pope said. “Humanity thinks, hears, does, but today it is in such need of beauty.”

In a brief address to German and Polish-speaking groups attending the audience, the pope also greeted a delegation of people who survived the Auschwitz concentration camp and were freed 70 years ago in January.

THIRD SUNDAY OF EASTER, MAY 5, 2019 READINGS WITH HOMILY BY FR. ANDREW GREELEY

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Third Sunday of Easter

Reading 1 ACTS 5:27-32, 40-41

When the captain and the court officers had brought the apostles in
and made them stand before the Sanhedrin,
the high priest questioned them,
“We gave you strict orders, did we not,
to stop teaching in that name?
Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching
and want to bring this man’s blood upon us.”
But Peter and the apostles said in reply,
“We must obey God rather than men.
The God of our ancestors raised Jesus,
though you had him killed by hanging him on a tree.
God exalted him at his right hand as leader and savior
to grant Israel repentance and forgiveness of sins.
We are witnesses of these things,
as is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him.”

The Sanhedrin ordered the apostles
to stop speaking in the name of Jesus, and dismissed them.
So they left the presence of the Sanhedrin,
rejoicing that they had been found worthy
to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name.

Responsorial Psalm 30: 2,4-6. 11-13

R. (2a) I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.
or:
R. Alleluia.
I will extol you, O LORD, for you drew me clear
and did not let my enemies rejoice over me.
O LORD, you brought me up from the netherworld;
you preserved me from among those going down into the pit.
R. I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Sing praise to the LORD, you his faithful ones,
and give thanks to his holy name.
For his anger lasts but a moment;
a lifetime, his good will.
At nightfall, weeping enters in,
but with the dawn, rejoicing.
R. I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Hear, O LORD, and have pity on me;
O LORD, be my helper.
You changed my mourning into dancing;
O LORD, my God, forever will I give you thanks.
R. I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Reading 2 REV 5:11-14

I, John, looked and heard the voices of many angels
who surrounded the throne
and the living creatures and the elders.
They were countless in number, and they cried out in a loud voice:
“Worthy is the Lamb that was slain
to receive power and riches, wisdom and strength,
honor and glory and blessing.”
Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth
and under the earth and in the sea,
everything in the universe, cry out:
“To the one who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be blessing and honor, glory and might,
forever and ever.”
The four living creatures answered, “Amen, ”
and the elders fell down and worshiped.

Alleluia

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Christ is risen, creator of all;
he has shown pity on all people.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel JN 21:1-19

At that time, Jesus revealed himself again to his disciples at the Sea of Tiberias.
He revealed himself in this way.
Together were Simon Peter, Thomas called Didymus,
Nathanael from Cana in Galilee,
Zebedee’s sons, and two others of his disciples.
Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.”
They said to him, “We also will come with you.”
So they went out and got into the boat,
but that night they caught nothing.
When it was already dawn, Jesus was standing on the shore;
but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.
Jesus said to them, “Children, have you caught anything to eat?”
They answered him, “No.”
So he said to them, “Cast the net over the right side of the boat
and you will find something.”
So they cast it, and were not able to pull it in
because of the number of fish.
So the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord.”
When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord,
he tucked in his garment, for he was lightly clad,
and jumped into the sea.
The other disciples came in the boat,
for they were not far from shore, only about a hundred yards,
dragging the net with the fish.
When they climbed out on shore,
they saw a charcoal fire with fish on it and bread.
Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you just caught.”
So Simon Peter went over and dragged the net ashore
full of one hundred fifty-three large fish.
Even though there were so many, the net was not torn.
Jesus said to them, “Come, have breakfast.”
And none of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?”
because they realized it was the Lord.
Jesus came over and took the bread and gave it to them,
and in like manner the fish.
This was now the third time Jesus was revealed to his disciples
after being raised from the dead.
When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter,
“Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?”
Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.”
He then said to Simon Peter a second time,
“Simon, son of John, do you love me?”
Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said to him, “Tend my sheep.”
Jesus said to him the third time,
“Simon, son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was distressed that Jesus had said to him a third time,
“Do you love me?” and he said to him,
“Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.”
Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.
Amen, amen, I say to you, when you were younger,
you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted;
but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands,
and someone else will dress you
and lead you where you do not want to go.”
He said this signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God.
And when he had said this, he said to him, “Follow me.”

FR, ANDREW GREELEY HOMILY ON TODAY’S Gospel (2013)

Background:
The problem for those who tried to harmonize all the resurrection stories in the Gospel is that there are too many of them. How could one story be right and another wrong? Such anguish comes from a failure to understand how the gospels were composed. There was no single tradition written down a few weeks after Pentecost and then preserved carefully until the Gospel authors settled down to write. Rather different bits and pieces of Jesus stories were save by various of his followers and then handed down orally for decades. The point of the stories was never lost, but the form changed as they were told and retold. Then the Gospel writers, each with his own purpose and style, gathered together the stories that fit their narrative. Today’s Gospel may be the most charming — the risen Jesus appears out of the morning mists on the shores of Galilee which he walked once before. It is not surprising that it is a well told story because the author of John’s Gospel was a master story teller (and also, perhaps surprisingly, a powerful mystic). Thus is the story of the Feast at Cana and the woman at the well are enchanting tales if we permit them to be so. Did Jesus actually meet his followers on the beaches of the Lake after he rose from the dead? Who would dare deny it? Yet did the author of John remember the dialogue many decades later? Finally did he understand something about the risen Jesus that no one had made quite so clear before? Who would deny that?
Story:
Once upon a time a great woman’s softball coach had to retire because her family was moving away. The young women on the team were terribly disappointed because she was such a good coach and so sympathetic to all their problems. However, they thought that maybe she agreed to the family move because she was so fed up the adolescent personalities on her team. When she said good by to them, she told them that they had great potential if they’d only chill out and play their very best. Well, they made it very difficult for the next quote who quit before the year was over. The next year they stumbled and bumbled through the season but made it to the play offs. No one gave them a chance to get beyond the first round. They were a bunch of spoiled cry babies. Then when the opening game of the playoffs began, they saw their old coach in the stands. She waved at them and smiled. They knew they were being forgiven for all their miscues and idiocies. She loved them even when they were nerds. So they played like their lives depended on it and won the championship.
(art: Georges Rouault Christ and the fishers of men)