Today’s Gospel continues Jesus’ long prayer in chapter 17 of John’s account. When read completely through, the reader gets a sense of how much Jesus cares for his people. He truly longs for the day when all will know him and be united to the Father. As you think about this Easter season, how have you grown in relationship with Christ? Like Paul, we must take courage as we bear witness within our families and communities. Today’s Readings: Acts 22:30; 23:6–11; Psalm 16:1–2a and 5, 7–8, 9–10, 11; John 17:20–26.
Friday, May 18 – Feed My Lambs
In the Gospel, Jesus questions Peter three times about how much he loves him. Peter responds affirmatively and assures Jesus of his love. Like Peter, we are called to nourish God’s flock. Each of us has been given gifts and talents that will help with this mission. What gifts do you bring to assist in “feeding the lambs”? Imagine yourself in Peter’s place. How would you engage Jesus? Today’s Readings: Acts 25:13b–21; Psalm 103:1–2, 11–12, 19–20ab; John 21:15–19.
Saturday, May 19 – So Much
“There are also many other things that Jesus did.” This line from the end of today’s Gospel is telling. It relates that there is much about Jesus’ life and ministry that we do not know. It also notes that the story of salvation is still unfolding. Let us rejoice in God’s awesome gifts. Write about or draw a story of your encounter with Christ. Today’s Readings: Acts 28:16–20, 30–31; Psalm 11:4, 5 and 7; John 21:20–25.
O God, giver of good gifts,
you sent your Holy Spirit to renew your people
and to enliven their fervor for the Gospel.
Shine upon us the light of your face
and lead us to seek your truth and grace.
Fill us with your sevenfold gift;
warm the chill of our hearts;
grant us peace and heal our wounds;
revive our spirits and stir up a desire to confess your name,
so that, renewed by your grace during this Easter season,
we may avoid sin and grow in the fruits of your Spirit.
Shower us with your enduring love
and make us faithful witnesses of your wondrous works.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Sunday, May 20, 2018
Excitement and Chaos
Today’s Readings: Acts 2:1–11; Psalm 104:1–2, 24, 29–30, 31, 34; 1 Corinthians 12:3b–7, 12–13 or Galatians 5:16–25; John 20:19–23 or 15:26–27; 16:12–15. The scene we hear about in Acts 2 is filled with excitement and a bit of chaos. Imagine yourself gathered with the faithful disciples and suddenly you hear “a sound like the rush of a violent wind” and see tongues of fire appearing. What comes to your mind? The disciples were still processing the death and Resurrection of Christ and discerning their next move. Jesus promised them an Advocate that would send them to the ends of the earth. Jesus trained them to go out to tell of God’s mercy and love, but fear and uncertainty locked them away.
During Lent, the Church invited us to turn away from sin, and during these fifty days of Easter, we celebrated the gift of God’s redemption. Today, as we close our formal celebration of Easter, we reflect on the power of the Holy Spirit filling the hearts of disciples throughout the ages. At Baptism, we received the Holy Spirit, who sends us forth to share the Gospel. How have you been roused by the Holy Spirit to work within your community and to share the Good News? At dinner, discuss how you might use your gifts to help build up God’s kingdom.
This Week and Beyond
After Pentecost, the Church enters the second period of Ordinary Time. During the summer and fall months, as the readings bring us to reflect on mission and discipleship, we celebrate solemnities, feasts, and memorials of women and men who dedicated their lives to the Gospel. Reading about some of these saints and contemplating their story and the Scriptures on their feast day may encourage you to live more genuinely in hard times and celebrate joyfully in good times. As you reflect on the lives of the saints over the next few months, consider concrete ways you and your family might serve your community. Think of the saints as your traveling companions and make time for a discussion of them.