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Archive for March, 2016

Readings for the Week – April 17, 2016

Monday: Acts 11:1-18; Ps 42:2-3; 43:3, 4; Jn 10:11-18
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
Saturday: Acts 13:44-52; Ps 98:1-4; Jn 14:7-14
Sunday: Acts 14:21-27; Ps 145:8-13; Rv 21:1-5a; Jn 13:31-33a, 34-35

April 17, 2016 – Fourth Sunday of Easter

Reflection by Rev. Leonard N. Peterson

“Identity theft”.  It’s a pair of words that were never put together as a crime until there were credit cards and computers.  But it’s an element of modern life with lots of victims.  If you’ve never been one of those, you would not know how scary and upsetting such theft can be. It brings on a very intrusive correction process in its wake, and a residual fear that stays with you for a while. Something akin to that happens when Satan leads us into losing our spiritual identity as members of Christ’s flock.

When Our Lord identified Himself as the Good Shepherd, He took on a title with rich meaning for the people of His time.  It takes some effort on our part to appreciate that today.  We might think instead of titles like “Good father and family man”, or a “CEO with a heart.”  What we must appreciate is the fact that by baptism we became as connected to Christ as a herd of sheep was to their shepherd in those bygone days.  That is the heart of our Christian identity.

Readings for the Week – April 10, 2016

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: Acts 9:31-42; Ps 116:12-17; Jn 6:60-69
Sunday: Acts 13:14, 43-52; Ps 100:1-3, 5; Rv 7:9, 14b-17; Jn 10:27-30

April 10, 2016 – Third Sunday of Easter

Reflection by Rev. Leonard N. Peterson

Between seasons they change.  I am not referring to wheat or willow trees, but to the characters and plots of episodic TV shows.  Pick your favorite. Note how the last episode of the TV season leaves you hanging for a long time wondering how this or that situation will resolve itself.  That is, unless it was the final episode.  So we said goodbye to popular shows like “The Sopranos”, “The Wire” and more recently to “Downton Abbey.” All hits with audiences.

Today’s gospel is really an extra series of “small episodes” added on to all that went before in the life of Jesus and that of the early Church. But unlike a TV series, we are not left hanging.  Written last, John’s gospel itself is a spiritual reflection on the story told by the three earlier gospels.  We have an incident here that strongly proves Jesus is truly alive: He cooks a seaside breakfast for His apostles!

Readings for the Week – April 3, 2016

Monday: Is 7:10-14, 8:10; Ps 40:7-11; Heb 10:4-10; Lk 1:26-38
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 5:27-32, 40b-41; Ps 30:2, 4-6, 11-13; Rv 5:11-14; Jn 21:1-19 [1-14]

April 3, 2016 – Second Sunday of Easter, or Sunday of Divine Mercy

Reflection by Rev. Leonard N. Peterson

The arrival of e-books that enable us to read everything from Shakespeare to Salinger on a handheld screen brings into question the future of tangible books.  Not to omit similar speculation about the fate of brick and mortar libraries.

But no matter the format used to present it, Sacred Scripture will always impact our lives because that is what it is intended to do.  God, the hidden Author of Scripture, has clearly told us that His Word never goes forth empty.

Today, the Easter message continues to open up like the petals of flowers do in time-lapse films.  We read today of the effects of Jesus’ resurrection on people who may have doubted but then believed.

Readings for the Week – March 27, 2016

Monday: Acts 2:14, 22-33; Ps 16:1-2, 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 8:2, 5-9; Lk 24:35-48
Friday: Acts 4:1-12; Ps 118:1-2, 4, 22-27; Jn 21:1-14
Saturday: Acts 4:13-21; Ps 118:1, 14-21; Mk 16:9-15
Sunday: Acts 5:12-16; Ps 118:2-4, 13-15, 22-24; Rv 1:9-11a, 12-13, 17-19; Jn 20:19-31

March 27, 2016 – Easter Sunday

Reflection by Rev. Leonard N. Peterson

One of the great derivatives of this “Day of Days” is its endorsement of hope.  So much struggle stalks our lives that hope loses out to its opposite for many people. Often enough our call to seek “what is above” is abandoned.  At the worst, we cry out “Where is God?” in any serious intrusion on our plans.  The rush of changes in technology doesn’t help.

A respected spiritual writer offers this analysis: “All the givens have changed and all the rules with them.  Built-in obsolescence is the new given.  Things are made to be discarded or upgraded or replaced.  Everything in life is simply another step, not the final step, in the process of becoming something else.  Life itself has become a series of life-changing interruptions we are meant to expect and to broach with very little help.”

I resonate with that observation.  I feel the pressure in small matters, like updating my smart phone, all the way to important items like reminding Catholics about the Church’s definition of marriage when the world all around us challenges it.  Add to these things the whole problem of the “throwaway culture,” as Pope Francis describes it.