This is the carpenters son, surely? St Paul puts it very eloquently in his letter to the Romans, God who did not withhold his own Son, but gave him up for all of us, will he not with him also give us everything else?, (iv) Monday, Fourth Week of Easter (Year A). Josephs faithfulness to his task created the space for Jesus to be faithful to his calling. We are to take Jesus as our gate, going freely in and out through him, as the gospel reading puts it. Up until that moment, all the disciples of Jesus were Jews. so that they may have life and have it to the full.. In reality, it was only beginning. I am often struck by a line in Saint Pauls letter to the churches in Galatia, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me. The second stage is meditatio (reflection) where we think about the text we have chosen and ruminate upon it so that we take from it what God wants to give us. Do not be surprised when I say: While listed as an optional Memorial, today's liturgy honors the Blessed Mother in her role as patroness of the Carmelite tradition. A rule of life was given to the early Carmelites by St Albert Avogadro, Patriach of Jerusalem between the years 1206 - 1214. The Hellenists, Greek speaking believers, were complaining about the Hebrews, Aramaic speaking believers, because the Hellenists felt that their widows were not being as well provided for as the widows of the Hebrews. The first disciples constantly needed fresh outpourings of the Holy Spirit, if they were to fulfil the mission the risen Lord was giving them. We take a tentative step in his direction and the Lord calls on us to take a more generous step. All about Jesus of Nazareth they answered who proved he was a great prophet by the things he said and did in the sight of God and of the whole people; and how our chief priests and our leaders handed him over to be sentenced to death, and had him crucified. Today is vocation Sunday. We all have a role to play in calling forth the gifts of others by recognizing situations that would be ideally suited to them and by creating space for them in which to work. We often tell stories to one another. DAILY MASS READINGS AND REFLECTIONS @ ACATHOLIC.ORG, MONDAY OF THE FOURTH WEEK OF EASTER, YEAR A, MAY 1, 2023- SAINT JOSEPH THE WORKER- FEAST, Cycle A 4th Sunday Easter Grace at the Gate. All Documents Quizes The greater our capacity to receive from the Lords fullness, the greater will be our ability to give as we have received. In so far as we are in communion with the Lord in this life we already experience something of the eternal life that awaits us. After Jesus had fed the five thousand, his disciples saw him walking on the water. Tag cloud Some of those who fled Jerusalem brought the gospel to places where it had not been preached, including the city of Antioch, where the gospel was preached for the first time to pagans. Gates have become more of a feature of our urban landscape than they used to be. But Jesus said to them, A prophet is only despised in his own country and in his own house, and he did not work many miracles there because of their lack of faith. Like the wind, the Spirit blows where it pleases; it blows where the Lord pleases. They may have been [], KNOW THE SHEPHERDS VOICE Several times in life we are called to explain the reason before our believe or the reason behind what we do [], One chore that belongs to elementary school children on a farm is opening gates. It seems that in the course of Jesus public ministry he gradually grew in his relationship with Jesus; he allowed himself to be drawn to Jesus more fully. These stages of Lectio Divina are not fixed rules of procedure but simply guidelines as to how the prayer normally develops. Leading and driving are two very different activities. God wants our response, but God cannot force it. The way the Lord relates to Nicodemus in this passage is perhaps not all that different to how he relates to all of us. The gospel teaches us that if we give generously from our resources to others, the Lord will work powerfully through those resources, small as they may seem to us. The Lord spoke of himself as the good shepherd. Jesus had risen from the dead. The next day, the crowd that remained across the sea saw that there had been only one boat there, and that Jesus had not gone along with his disciples in the boat, but only his disciples had left. Only with the help of the Spirit will our relationship with the Lord grow and deepen until that moment in eternity when we attain the glorious freedom of the children of God. Can he go back into his mothers womb and be born again? Jesus replied: I tell you most solemnly, Please see our cookies page for further details or agree by clicking the 'Accept all cookies' button. and I lay down my life for my sheep. Like the early church in that first reading, we need to keep praying so as to open ourselves to the daily coming of the Spirit into our lives. I have come As St Paul says, While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. The Ethiopian was full of questions as he listened to Gods word. It is a consolation to know that the Lord is so devoted to us and so committed to our well-being, and, in particular, our ultimate well-being, our eternal well-being. Jesus told them this parable but they failed to understand what he meant by telling it to them. There they found the Eleven assembled together with their companions, who said to them, Yes, it is true. He respected where they were on their journey. The city of Jerusalem had been a centre of pilgrimage for Jews for hundreds of years before the coming of Jesus. and they are dead; The Lords particular call to each of us will always be in harmony with that fundamental purpose of the Lords coming among us. She insisted that she was betrothed to Christ. From that moment he knew that Jesus was calling to announce this message to all, especially to the pagans. Even though the Lord drew near to the Ethiopian through Philip, the Ethiopian himself was drawing near to the Lord, through his reading of the Scriptures, his questioning spirit, and his request for baptism. Catherine, like Jesus, was a mystic in action. If we do that we can be sure that we will never lose the firm hold of the good Shepherd. We watched as his health prevented him from being directly involved in the Holy Week ceremonies for the first time in his long pontificate. Not that anybody has seen the Father, We are all called to know the Son as the Father does; in that sense, we are all called to be mystics to some degree. In this mornings gospel reading, Nicodemus takes his first tentative steps towards the Lord. The Lord recognizes in that relationship between sheep and shepherd something of his own relationship to us. Then, in response to the Lords greeting, the sceptical Thomas made one of the greatest confessions of faith in all four gospels, My Lord and my God. As Paul says in one of his letters, now we see as in a mirror, dimly. Whenever we strive to be faithful to the Lords ways, whenever we seek to witness to him, we can always be assured of the Lords confirming presence. To see ourselves in the light of Jesus is to recognize how far we fall short of the person God has created us to be. Jesus often used images drawn from the life of the people to talk about himself and his message. Daily Reflections for the Ordinary Time, beginning in 1998. The Lords invitation, Come to me, all who labour and are overburdened, is addressed to us all. He now knew that Jesus was the long-awaited Messiah; he was the Son of God. In the gospel reading Jesus declares that no one will steal his disciples from him. One of the features of Marks gospel is its very negative portrayal of Jesus first disciples, including Peter, those who were closest to him. That Spirit is available to us all. The clarity with which the apostles could identify their priorities amid competing claims on their time is admirable. We are very dependent on each other on this communal journey. He is clearly speaking about himself. Paul went on to become a leading member of the church in Antioch. The Easter proclamation cannot be imprisoned, just as the guards at the tomb of Easter could not prevent Jesus bursting forth into new life. Faith will always include doubts or it is not faith. In this fourth gospel, the words I am on the lips of Jesus suggest the name of God revealed to Moses at the burning bush. Irish Province of Carmelites | All Rights Reserved | Site by Marketing Inputs. Yet, the gospel reading also states that people need to be open to this light, to come out into the light, to love the light of Gods enduring love. We can all draw strength in these times from that very personal relationship with the Lord he invites us to have with him. In todays gospel reading we find two disciples heading away from Jerusalem having shared a very significant experience. We are all called to be mystics to some degree. Reflections - Carmelite Spirit Reflections "But only now, with inward jubilee, I come upon earth's most amazing knowledge: someone is hidden in this dark with me." - Jessica Powers - Glorious Failure Embracing failure, imperfection, and incompleteness can be a spiritual practice that brings us closer to the heart of God in Jesus Christ. One of the great verses of Johns gospel is to be found at the beginning of our gospel reading this morning, God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. and has entrusted everything to him. The Jewish feast of Passover was near. Now Jesus was challenging him to live by the Spirit. His sisters, too, are they not all here with us? We lock everything we can. As Jesus says, it blows where it pleases. These cookies may track your personal data. As the good shepherd, for example, Jesus lays down his life for us. Life has triumphed over death!, and our own present experience. That is why he could say in his letter to the Philippians, a little written from prison, from a very unpromising situation, I can do all things through him who strengthens me. We have deeper, spiritual hungers and thirsts as well that we need to attend to if we are to live a truly balanced life and be at peace within ourselves. Those who come to him will find a welcome from him. 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. Here was a Pharisee who, on his own admission, was a zealous persecutor of the church. The Lord is there with us at those moments in all his risen power, calling on us not to be afraid but to trust in his presence. He had been through the darkness of Good Friday, with all its pain, confusion and disillusionment. They saw the Lord; they now knew that the crucified one had been raised from the dead, as he promised. In this mornings gospel reading, Jesus tells the Jews that the works he does in his Fathers name are his witness; what he does bears witness to his identity as the one sent from God. It takes a certain amount of humility to make way for the gifts of others. "Lectio Divina", a Latin term, means "divine reading" and describes a way of reading the Scriptures whereby we gradually let go of our own agenda and open ourselves to what God wants to say to us.In the 12th century, a Carthusian monk called Guigo, described the stages which he saw as essential to the . View the embedded image gallery online at: National Shrine of Our Lady of Mount Carmel,, 25th Anniversary of Santa Cruz Massacre . As our faith seeks understanding, we are assured of the guidance of the Spirit, without whom true understanding is not possible. -----------------------------------------. When the Lord calls us to himself it is not to take us out of the world but to send us into the world afire with the flame of his love. The church now had two Popes, one in Rome and one in Avignon, a situation that was to last for several decades. He who comes from above is above all others; The Lord points to that relationship to express something of his own relationship to his disciples. Daily Gospel & Reflections Home / Daily Gospel & Reflections Easter 3rd Week : Wednesday 26th April, 2023 Daily Word Of GodJohn 6:35-40 Jesus said to the crowd: 'I am the bread of life. Once the disciples show a willingness to take Jesus into the boat with them, they reach the shore. Thomas doubts speak to our own doubts. because I have come from heaven, not to do my own will, On one occasion he stood up to his fellow Pharisees and challenged them to give Jesus a proper hearing, declaring that this would be in keeping with the spirit of the Jewish Law. The parable that Jesus tells in the gospel reading makes reference to a shepherd as well as to a gate. In this mornings gospel, in speaking about the wind he is, in reality, speaking about the Holy Spirit, This is how it is with all who are born of the Spirit, he says. In receiving Jesus in the Eucharist, we are inviting him to live out in us his life towards God and towards others. In the evening of that same day, the first day of the week, the doors were closed in the room where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews. This was a story about a great prophet who said and did wonderful things, who had been unjustly put to death, and whose body had gone missing from the tomb. When something new was happening in the city of Antioch, when pagans were coming to believe in Jesus as well as Jews, Barnabas was sent down from Jerusalem to look at what was happening. In this mornings gospel reading, Jesus declares, I have come so that they may have life, and have it to the full. The leaders of the Jerusalem church, the Twelve, realized that this problem would not be resolved unless they drew other members of the church into this ministry of providing for all the widows and the other vulnerable people in the church. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. In response to their prayer, they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they began to proclaim the word of God boldly. We generally think of the phenomenon of stealing in relation to things, to objects of various kinds. There are many voices competing for our attention today, but in the midst of them all we need to be attentive to the voice of the Lord so that we can follow him each day. Born in 1347, Catherine entered the Dominican Third Order at the age of eighteen and spent the next three years in seclusion, prayer, and austerity. A rule of life was given to the early Carmelites by St Albert Avogadro, Patriach of Jerusalem between the years 1206 - 1214. The general call of baptism to be the Lords disciple, which is addressed to us all, is then lived out in particular ways in response to the Lords very personal, daily call to each one of us. When we are faced with a challenge or a problem the way we speak about it can be very important. In todays first reading, Peter asks a very important question, Who was I to stand in Gods way? God had worked in a way that Peter had not expected. Very often when Jesus uses an image, like that of the gate, he takes it from his observation of life all around him. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. Our website uses functional cookies. That beatitude embraces all of us gathered here this morning. Someone from the nationalist community would tell the story in one way; someone from the unionist community would tell the story in a very different way. The bread that we break, is it not a communion with the body of Christ? It was the Lords wish that in the Eucharist we would enter into communion with his body and his blood. After a profoundly mystical experience she had a sense of Christ calling her to take a further step, to serve the wider world and universal church. According to the reading, it was in Antioch that the followers of Jesus were first called Christians. All of these statements claim that Jesus has a unique relationship with God. In todays gospel reading Jesus declares, Whoever comes to me, I shall not turn away. When the other disciples approached him with the good news of Easter, We have seen the Lord, their message did not resonate with him in any way. The Lord comes to us all in our moments of struggle, when we sense our vulnerability, our frailty, when a darkness of spirit threatens to engulf us. We all need something of the vision of Barnabas to see how the Lord is working in such unexpected and unplanned developments. The stranger who joined the two disciples on their sad journey was the very person whose death they were grieving. There is no longer a strong current flowing in the direction of Jesus and his gospel that will carry us along, whether we really want that or not. Accept cookies within the '%CC%' category to view this content. This is a light to be warmly welcomed, not to be extinguished or imprisoned. In todays gospel reading, Jesus speaks of the wind as having a mysterious quality. If you did not receive an email please check your spam and other folders. We listen at the deepest level of our being to God who speaks within us with a still small voice. The language of Jesus in todays gospel reading must have sounded very offensive to many people. Yet, it is the language of Johns gospel. Yet, the Lord insisted and eventually Ananias did as he was asked. The story of the Ethiopian shows that if we seek the Lord we will find him, because the Lord is always seeking us. The word nourishes our faith, and it is out of that nourished faith that we come to the Eucharist. I like the Popes reference to a communal journey. As the gospel reading says, their faces were downcast. This can happen all too easily as we know. and this is the command I have been given by my Father.. He is described as a Pharisee and a leading Jew. He stands ready to pour afresh the Spirit of his love into our hearts, so that we can be recreated, empowered to share in his mission in the world. Was it not ordained that the Christ should suffer and so enter into his glory? Then, starting with Moses and going through all the prophets, he explained to them the passages throughout the scriptures that were about himself. The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his Flesh to eat? Jesus said to them, Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the Flesh of the Son of Man and drink his Blood, you do not have life within you. I am sure many of you who have lost loved ones will have been supported in your loss by the supportive presence of family and friends. The second stage is meditatio (reflection) where we think about the text we have chosen and ruminate upon it so that we take from it what God wants to give us. Everyones journey towards faith is unique to them. He calls us to be an Easter people, messengers of his merciful love in our world. We traditionally use the term holy communion to refer to the Eucharist. Nicodemus journeyed closer to Jesus in the course of the gospel of John. Yet, the Lords part in our relationship with him is always so much greater than ours. Jesus is not calculating about his giving of the Spirit. A locked gate keeps people in and keeps others out. Rather, the more Jesus increases in us, the more we become our true selves, our Christ selves, the person God is calling us to be. Listening to the stranger opening up the Scriptures for them led them to the Eucharist. Shortly after his return, Pope Gregory died. He will breathe new life into us; he will give us strength in our weakness. He would not join the community of those who had experienced the risen Lord for themselves. In raising his Son from the dead, God gave his Son back to the world that had rejected him. Yet, he is also a seeker after truth. In that sense, he was a pioneer; he broke new ground. The author, Peter, is probably referring to Mark as his spiritual son, his follower in the faith. The gospel reading is very suited to her feast. Mark has the great distinction of being the first to write a gospel, the story of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Catherine remained faithful to Urban, in spite of his faults, because he had been duly elected. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned. The Acts of the Apostles suggests that as soon as the gospel began to be preached after Pentecost efforts were made by people in authority to suppress it. He was drawn to Jesus but he could not quite grasp what Jesus was asking of him, not initially at least. According to the verse before our gospel reading (Jn 6:15), Jesus had withdrawn to the mountain by himself, in response to the crowd wanting to make his king. because you are no sheep of mine. that though the light has come into the world There is a sense in which we are always trying to get to the other side, like the disciples in the boat who were trying to reach the other side of the Sea of Galilee. and to hear the teaching of the Father, Those who have been through an experience of loss know how therapeutic it can be to tell the story of the last days of a loved one. In the words of todays second reading, we can find ourselves being plagued by all sorts of trials in the season of Easter as much as in any other season. So slow to believe the full message of the prophets! It was finally approved by Pope Innocent in 1247 and later underwent mitigations which were not in the original text. We come as beggars to the Eucharist, recognizing that we need to draw from the Lords risen life so that we can be fully alive in the way God wants us to be. The general call of baptism to be the Lords disciple, which is addressed to us all, is then lived out in particular ways in response to the Lords very personal, daily call. Social mediaOur website places social media cookies to show you 3rd party content like YouTube and FaceBook. Believing in him as the one sent by God will open them up to receive all that he wants to give them. In the gospel reading, Jesus, speaking as the good shepherd, says the sheep that belong to me listen to my voice. Yet, is spite of this resistance, the Lord insisted all the more on the need, not only to eat his flesh, but to drink his blood also. The Lord calls each of us in accordance with our own particular nature. Like Thomas, they may find it difficult to identify fully with those believers who acclaim with conviction, We have seen the Lord, and whose faith seems so much more assured than theirs. The risen Lords face to face meeting with Thomas dispelled all Thomass doubts. In the language in which the gospels were written, and the language Jesus spoke, the same word could refer to both the physical wind and the Spirit of God. These cookies may track your personal data. As he says in his letter to the Galatians, it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. When a parent dies in a family, for example, the siblings can be a great support to one another in the weeks and the months that follow. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever disobeys the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God remains upon him. There is always going to be some tension between the Easter cry, Christ is risen! As the gate, all who enter through him will be safe; as the gate, all who exit through him will find pasture. He who believes and is baptised will be saved; he who does not believe will be condemned. Yet, there is always something we can do, no matter how small. The door of the church here is open from about 9.00 in the morning to 6.00 or 7.00 in the evening every day of the week. In one of his encyclicals, Faith and Reason, the late Pope John Paul II stated that the church remains profoundly convinced that faith and reason mutually support each other they offer each other a purifying critique and a stimulus to pursue the search for a deeper understanding. The sad stories we often tell each other need to be exposed to the light of the Lords story. It is difficult to know exactly what happened that day in the wilderness when Jesus and his disciples found themselves before a large hungry crowd. He showed them his wounds on his hands and his side, signs of that greater love which led him to lay down his life for them. When Jesus raised his eyes and saw that a large crowd was coming to him, he said to Philip, Where can we buy enough food for them to eat? He said this to test him, because he himself knew what he was going to do. The Lord will always take the initiative towards us but he will never force himself upon us. That is because, in the words of todays gospel reading, God so loved the world. The more we see of Jesus, the more we recognize what is yet to be seen. They had locked themselves in to lock others out, especially those who had been responsible for the crucifixion of Jesus. We can always slip back into the mood of Good Friday, tentative about our relationship with the Lord, fearful of making it known. The Lord calls us to a fullness of life now, and hereafter. Nicodemus was a Pharisee; he lived by the Jewish Law. All of a sudden it is bright beyond 7.00 pm. I am the living bread which has come down from heaven. Happy are those who have not seen and yet believe.. However, she felt strongly called to live as the bride of Christ. Amen. Yet, the risen Lord always stands among us empowering us to be an Easter people. John 6:35-40 To this end, the website features regularly updated elements such as talks on Carmelite themes, reflections on the spiritual life from a Carmelite perspective, and words of wisdom from contemporary and classic Carmelite figures. Yet, Jesus also declares in that gospel reading that the Father reveals these things to mere children. It is the Spirit in us who does the praying. 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. It is the life of God and his Son and it is received here and now by those who believe in Gods Son. They were in the throes of deep grief. In the morning, the shepherd would come back, the gate keeper would let him into the sheepfold, and the shepherd would call his own sheep by name and lead them out of the sheepfold to a place of pasture, where they could feed for the day. In the gospel reading Jesus speaks of things of this world and heavenly things. That may have been the experience of many during these Covid times. Indeed, both can often reside in the same person. She was convinced that the wound in the body of Christ could only be healed by great sacrifice. He is not a stranger to his flock nor are they strangers to him. Philip, who helped to open up Gods word for him, goes on to baptize him. In Lukes gospel we find the following saying of Jesus: Give and it will be given to you. It is strange that we often use the image of battling against the wind, as if the wind were something of an enemy. We can open our hearts and souls to his presence wherever we are. Babylon is often a code for Rome in the New Testament. The Carmelite Rule states that is basic for a Carmelite to "live a life of allegiance to Jesus Christ - how, pure in heart and stout in conscience, he must be unswerving in the service of his Master" [no.2]. As the shepherd calls his sheep one by one, so the Lord calls his followers one by one; he calls them by name; he calls them in a way that respects their individuality and uniqueness. In this mornings first reading people ask, Is this not the carpenters son? The term translated carpenter might better be translated craftsman or artisan. The gospel reading puts before us some very striking statements about Jesus. and yet you people reject our evidence. Read More FunctionalOur website uses functional cookies. ACVB Today's Readings My wife, Elise, is a throw back. New upmarket housing blocks tend to be gated affairs. Jesus reveals himself to Nicodemus as the giver of the Spirit - the Spirit who propels us towards the kingdom of God. His standing there spoke powerfully of his faithfulness to them. When we dont come to him, he comes after us, not in anger but in love. Their inclination was to do nothing because the situation seemed hopeless. Our website places 3rd party cookies from other 3rd party services which aren't Analytical, Social media or Advertising. In the gospel reading this morning we hear of the shepherd who calls his own sheep. He never ceases to come to us, and in coming he says to us what he said to his disciples on that first Easter morning, Peace be with you. In the coming year of vocations, we pray that we would be attentive to that fundamental call of the Lord to each of us. In todays gospel reading, Gamaliel a leading member of the Jewish Sanhedrin shows a similar openness. His call sets us out on a communal journey, a journey with others who are trying to respond to his call. The word of the Lord nurtures our faith in preparation for our encounter with him in the Sacraments. We are being reminded that serious doubt and great faith can reside in one and the same person. Please check your email now and click the confirmation link to confirm your request. The probing question he asks Philip about the text gives Philip an opening to speak to him about Jesus. Coming as he was from Jerusalem, he was clearly drawn to the Jewish faith. As a result of the success of this mission, Barnabas came from Jerusalem to Antioch to give encouragement to this new development, and, in his wisdom, he went to Tarsus and brought Saul to Antioch, recognizing that this was a church where someone like Saul or Paul could flourish. Elsewhere in the gospels, Jesus says, Give and it will be given to you. What they went on to say to the stranger showed that they had lost all hope. The Lord calls out to all of us to come to him, to know and love him as he knows and loves us. A little can go a long way when it is placed in the hands of the Lord. Perhaps one of the reasons why the image appealed to Christians from earliest times is because it conveyed something of the personal nature of the relationship between Jesus and his followers.