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Archive for March, 2015

Readings for the Week – April 26, 2015

Monday: Acts 11:1-18; Ps 42:2-3; 43:3, 4; Jn 10:1-10
Tuesday: Acts 11:19-26; Ps 87:1b-7; Jn 10:22-30
Wednesday: Acts 12:24 — 13:5a; Ps 67:2-3, 5, 6, 8; Jn 12:44-50
Thursday: Acts 13:13-25: Ps 89:2-3, 21-22, 25, 27; Jn 13:16-20
Friday: Acts 13:26-33; Ps 2:6-11ab; Jn 14:1-6 or (for the memorial) Gn 1:26 — 2:3 or Col 3:14-15, 17, 23-24; Ps 90:2-4, 12-14, 16; Mt 13:54-58
Saturday: Acts 13:44-52; Ps 98:1-4; Jn 14:7-14
Sunday: Acts 9:26-31; Ps 22:26-28, 30-32; 1 Jn 3:18-24; Jn 15:1-8

April 26, 2015 – Fourth Sunday of Easter

Reflection by Rev. Leonard N. Peterson

In the decade and a half of my tenure as pastor of a parish some twenty-five miles north of Philadelphia, I was able to observe a semi-rural area in the late nineties steadily become suburban as the next decade unfolded. Long-standing farmhouses were demolished to make way for a bank or a boutique. Empty fields became shopping venues with expansive parking lots. Saddest of all was the construction of a giant pharmaceutical plant, and the consequent transformation of two nearby country lanes into busy streets. All in the name, I suppose, of “progress!”

Yet not far from the parish campus, along an ever busier road, stood a small farm that at this writing is still holding its ground through all this change. And on that farmland was a small herd of sheep. Sometimes I would pause in my own quick passages to pull over to the side and just watch these innocent creatures of biblical fame as they neared the farm fence. They would contentedly graze unfazed by the intrusions into their world. If I were in a meditative mood, I would think of today’s gospel passage and Our Lord’s well-known self description.

Readings for the Week – April 19, 2015

Monday: Acts 6:8-15; Ps 119:23-24, 26-27, 29-30; Jn 6:22-29
Tuesday: Acts 7:51 — 8:1a; Ps 31:3cd-4, 6, 7b, 8a, 17, 21ab; Jn 6:30-35
Wednesday: Acts 8:1b-8; Ps 66:1-3a, 4-7a; Jn 6:35-40
Thursday: Acts 8:26-40; Ps 66:8-9, 16-17, 20; Jn 6:44-51
Friday: Acts 9:1-20; Ps 117:1bc, 2; Jn 6:52-59
Saturday: 1 Pt 5:5b-14; Ps 89:2-3, 6-7, 16-17; Mk 16:15-20
Sunday: Acts 4:8-12; Ps 118:1, 8-9, 21-23, 26, 28, 29;1 Jn 3:1-2; Jn 10:11-18

April 19, 2015 – Third Sunday of Easter

Reflection by Rev. Leonard N. Peterson

When they come, their rarity makes us reach out to grab them. But gently but with a firm grip, like we would nabbing a firefly on a summer evening. I refer to compliments. It’s ironic that the toughest for many of us is accepting a compliment. But they do make us smile through our shyness.

But here’s a question: What do you do if God gives you a compliment? How do we break through our shock and awe to acknowledge the honor? What do we do further? We have to answer those questions if for no other reason than our natural respect for our Creator and Lord.

Perhaps you missed the compliment given to us in today’s Gospel passage, but it’s there. It comes when Jesus tells His disciples (and us) that we are to be His witnesses. His “go to” people when He wants authentic witnesses to Him and His message to satisfy inquirers.

Readings for the Week – April 12, 2015

Monday: Acts 4:23-31; Ps 2:1-3, 4-9; Jn 3:1-8
Tuesday: Acts 4:32-37; Ps 93:1-2, 5; Jn 3:7b-15
Wednesday: Acts 5:17-26; Ps 34:2-9; Jn 3:16-21
Thursday: Acts 5:27-33; Ps 34:2, 9, 17-20; Jn 3:31-36
Friday: Acts 5:34-42; Ps 27:1, 4, 13-14; Jn 6:1-15
Saturday: Acts 6:1-7; Ps 33:1-2, 4-5, 18-19; Jn 6:16-21
Sunday: Acts 3:13-15, 17-19; Ps 4:2, 4, 7-9; 1 Jn 2:1-5a; Lk 24:35-48

April 12, 2015 – Second Sunday of Easter / Divine Mercy

Reflection by Rev. Leonard N. Peterson

Are you “well-grounded?” I certainly hope so, because that means that you have good reasons for what you think, say, or do. Or you are thoroughly instructed in the basic principles of a given subject. That leads others to say of you things like “His opposition to this or that scheme is well-grounded.” Or, “She is well-grounded in mathematics.” And so on.

As part of this annual reading of the well-known “Doubting Thomas” story, we hear that wonderful line from Jesus addressed not just to him but to us: “Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.” I don’t know about you, but that reassurance always makes me feel so good because, a lot of time I have doubts. I have “not seen.”

Spiritual writers have concluded that Jesus’ blessing implies that all those Christians who have believed without seeing have a faith which is in no way different from that of the first disciples. How so? Because in both cases that faith is well-grounded in the presence of the World through the Holy Spirit.

Readings for the Week – April 5, 2015

Monday: Acts 2:14, 22-33; Ps 16:1-2a, 5, 7-11; Mt 28:8-15
Tuesday: Acts 2:36-41; Ps 33:4-5, 18-20, 22; Jn 20:11-18
Wednesday: Acts 3:1-10; Ps 105:1-4, 6-9; Lk 24:13-35
Thursday: Acts 3:11-26; Ps 8:2ab, 5-9; Lk 24:35-48
Friday: Acts 4:1-12; Ps 118:1-2, 4, 22-27a; Jn 21:1-14
Saturday: Acts 4:13-21; Ps 118:1, 14-15ab, 16-21; Mk 16:9-15
Sunday: Acts 4:32-35; Ps 118:2-4, 13-15, 22-24; 1 Jn 5:1-6; Jn 20:19-31

April 5, 2015 – Easter Sunday

Reflection by Rev. Leonard N. Peterson

Whether we’re talking about a home or a high rise office, no building will stand for long without a foundation. So as the hole is dug and forms set up to configure the concrete, we can imagine the new structure as a solid one. After the concrete sets and hardens, it is fit to support the weight of all that follows, especially if it turns out to be a building that “scrapes” the sky.

In the light of today’s glorious feast, there is no better way to gauge its importance than to say “Easter is foundational.” All that we cherish in Christian faith, and all that we do to celebrate it, and live it out rests on what happened on that famous “first day of the week.”

All of us have reason to rejoice. Sin and darkness have been shown the door, and stripped of the power to prevail, even if at times they may come back to taunt and haunt us in times of testing. But they have lost. The father of lies is left only with those children who refuse to believe, and today they have a tough time proving their case. Jesus has triumphed. We have no tomb for pilgrimage for His is empty.