From the earliest days the apostles encountered hostility from the Jewish leaders just as Jesus Himself had. Even so, the First Reading shows “Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 4:8) fearlessly proclaiming to them the risen Christ; that he had cured a man, crippled from birth, through the power of One whom the Sanhedrin had thought was silenced forever when they forced Pilate to crucify Him. By rejecting Christ as the true Messiah, they had fulfilled the Messianic prophecy: “The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.” (Ps 118:22)
“Philip ran up and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and said, ‘Do you understand what you are reading?’ He replied, ‘How can I, unless someone instructs me?’ So he invited Philip to get in and sit with him.” (Acts 8:30-31)
The Ethiopian, whom Philip met on the road from Jerusalem to Gaza, must have been a great and knowledgeable man, since he served as the Nubian queen’s treasurer. Though he was a man of position, he was also humble. He readily admitted that he did not understand what he was reading in the Book of Isaiah and needed someone to help him discern its meaning. Philip explained the scripture to the Ethiopian and helped him to understand how it applied to Jesus. Ultimately, Philip baptized the Ethiopian and continued on his way home rejoicing.
“But during the night, the angel of the Lord opened the doors of the prison, led them out, and said, ‘Go and take your place in the temple area, and tell the people everything about this life.’” (Acts 5:19-20)
This passage is taken from St. Luke’s account of the disciples’ trial before the Sanhedrin.
The Sadducees, filled with envy, imprisoned them. But the Lord rescued the apostles and sent His angels to bring them out of the darkness and solitude of their prison cells. They were led by the angels, and with this they were instructed to “Go …, and tell the people everything about this life.” (Acts 5:20)
Whenever we open our spirits and hearts to Jesus, we allow Him to touch us inwardly and we respond to His invitation: “Touch me and see”. During this personal encounter with Jesus, our hearts burn within us, burn with love for one another, as our Risen King, the Living Word, through the power of the Holy Spirit, opens up the meaning of the Sacred Scripture to us and brings us to the fullness of truth.
Divine Mercy Sunday, at the auditorium of Divine Mercy Parish, started with a loud chorus of Alleluias from the lambs, their shepherds and all who took part in LSS #44 this past weekend. The previous day, insightful teachings from Fr. Paul and sharings from both young and older community members touched many hearts, bringing tears to more than a few eyes. Then, during the Seminar’s Healing and Reconciliation, there were more tears which later turned into joyful tears as healing and reconciliation began for the lambs and their loved ones, even those who were only there in spirit. As for the Baptism itself, the Holy Spirit once again brought His awesome Power, making it seem like an early arrival of Pentecost.
"You will show me the path to life, bounding joy in your presence, the delights at your right hand forever." (Ps 16:11)
Some of us have a vision of our future, perhaps consisting of choosing the right college, where to spend summer vacation, which school to send our children, the type of job we will work in, or when we plan to retire. These are our short-term and long-term goals, which may include goals within a span of 1 year, 5 years, or 10 years. However, may I turn the question around and ask, “Where does God see us in 5 years?”
What is a promise? Webster’s Dictionary defines it as “a pledge that one will or will not do something; a basis or cause for high hopes or expectation.” We often use that word in statements we make to our children or to other people to shore up or support what we say. And when we fail to keep our word or promise it reveals something about our character.
On the first Easter, Jesus Christ rose from the dead to a life that never ends, bringing God’s pure light to a world of darkness. This Sunday’s Gospel narrates how the Risen Lord broke into the darkness that enshrouded the Apostles’ faith, enlightening them to the truth of God in Christ.
To nurture and promote the love of the Gospel of Christ.