Monday, April 19, 2010

Happy 19th friend(s) . .. ... . .

from The Word Among Us

Friday April 16th, 2010

John 6 : 1-15
Where can we buy enough food for them to eat ?
( John 6:5 )

One popular explanation for the multiplication of loaves and fishes is that the people were moved by Jesus' preaching and began to share the little bit of food they had brought along but were keeping to themselves. But what if this account in John's Gospel happened exactly as written ? (1) rdf What if John included it as prefiguring the miraculous meal of the Eucharist, where everyone is nourished ? If it is real, then, this story of the miraculous feeding is a living parable that illustrates how mercy, compassion, and abundance take the place of self-interest and lack in the kingdom of God. And that is good news indeed !

Is it so hard to believe that Jesus really did multiply the bread and fish as a way of revealing the kingdom of God ? Think about all the different ways he tried to make his followers understand that this kingdom had finally come. Why would he not use something as tangible as food for a hungry, needy crowd ? Why would he not use this opportunity to show how our needs can be satisfied in this kingdom -- or how this kingdom sets us free from selfishness so that, like the apostles, we are set free to share with others what Jesus has freely given us ?

This story is foundational to the gospel message precisely because it reveals the kingdom Jesus came to establish . This kingdom is not just a theory or fairy-tale ideal . It is a concrete reality, as concrete as the bread and fish that the people ate on that day . We may not see the kingdom in fullness yet, but we do see glimpses and glimmers: in the Eucharist, in families where Jesus is honoured, in vibrant parishes, and in ministries that reach out to the lonely and marginalized .

First and foremost, the kingdom of God is within you ! It's in your heart that the superabundant love of God can heal wounds and fill emptiness . It's in your heart that sinful habits can be overcome and godly virtues can be strengthened . And it's from within your heart that God's goodness can be multiplied and start to spill out to everyone around you.

"Father, I believe your kingdom has come . Help me to see it -- in my heart, in my life, and in the lives of everyone around me ! "

(1)rdf ---- What difference does it make how the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fish came about ? Even if the people did share what they had meant to keep for themselves does it make the event any less miraculous ? Unless you think the entire story was just made up, the establishment of the kingdom of God is real whether the miracle was magic or not .

from the
Sunday Bulletin of St. Michael Parish
for the 3rd Sunday of Easter : April 18th, 2010

Deep in Our Hearts
We need to seek out experiences with the risen Christ, in our prayer and in our community of faith, because being with Christ is what transforms our past and our future: the encounter with Christ forgives our sins of the past, and gives us courage and hope to face the reality of our future. (R. Viladesau) The apostles were not perfect people; they deserted their Lord, were frightened and jealous . So the concrete symbol for us, and for the forgiveness we seek, is Peter . The man who three times denied Jesus, today transforms himself three times, "Lord, you know that I love you . " Jesus is saying to Peter and to us " Don't just talk about my love in endless committees -- don't just be the 'frozen chosen' - "Show me." Notice that each time Jesus asks, " Do you love me ? " he connects the answer to the words " Then tend my lambs, feed my sheep . " Today as we see Jesus giving them the grilled fish and bread, we feel an echo of the Last Supper, their most intimate dinner recently shared with Jesus just before his Crucifixion . Well, this is the same mission - to feed my sheep - that Jesus gives us at each Mass, too . In this Easter season, can we take this to heart ? Today's story shows us that the risen Christ has not gone "up there" somewhere . . . . Jesus is just as present to us while cooking our fish around the campfire as he was to the apostles that day . We might not always feel him there during those times of human intimacy, pain, or suffering . But on reflection and in prayer, we can often look back and see that there was "something more" to our gathering or meeting than we could see at the time . This is why we need to remember - tell the stories - and re-live those important human moments .

Go rejoicing to love and serve our God !


from the blog of R David Foster :
Vid93 bein' To wordie . . .
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