Sundays in Easter – Pentecost

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​​​Readings

Acts 2:1-11
Ps 104
1 Cor 12:3b-7, 12-13
John 20:19-23

Reflection

“To each individual the manifestation of the spirit is given for some benefit.”

Just as Jesus showed himself to the apostles and sent them on their mission work as his Father sent him, we also have the holy spirit within us as a guiding hand, showing us which path is the one that is best for each of us.

Journal Prompt
Write about when you’ve felt the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Prayer

Today is the day, Holy Spirit.
You come upon us and leave a breath on each of us.
Your give your spirit to be a part of us,
as a third to join with the Father and the Son.
A guiding hand
To support,
To encourage,
To console,
There when needed,
Received with gratitude.
Amen.

Sundays in Easter – 7th Sunday

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​​Readings

Acts 1:15-17, 20a, 20c-26
Ps 103
1 John 4:11-16
John 17:11b-19

Reflection

“He [G-d] has given us of his spirit…”
He is always with us even if we are unaware of it. As I write this, I am also planning an RCIA lesson for teaching the holy spirit, and in my heart it’s all there, but I can’t get the words onto the paper. I imagine that’s probably because the holy spirit isn’t an intellectual thing; it’s a faith thing. It’s ephemeral and other worldly. It’s in the heart, not the head. When we come to a crossroads, how do we choose? Is it the well-worn path or the not yet trodden, leaf-covered path? Left or right? Towards where the sun came from? Or where it’s going to set? We always choose, and what guides us is unmistakable and remarkable, and whether we’re aware or not, G-d remains in us, and we in Him.

Journal Prompt

What time do you remember making a decision that had the confidence of G-d guiding you or the holy spirit poking you in one direction or the other?

Prayer

Come, Holy Spirit
Take my hand,
Lead me in the way I’m to go.

Come, Holy Spirit
Show me the way,
Lead me to the lighted path.

Come, Holy Spirit
Guide me with your love,
Lead me to the truth.

Come, Holy Spirit
I trust in you.
Amen.

Sundays in Easter – 5th Sunday

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Readings

Acts 9:26-31
Ps 22
1 John 3:18-24
John 15:1-8

Reflection

It reminds me of James 3:26: Faith without works is dead. It’s not the faith that’s important; it’s what having faith leads you to do. From giving money to giving time, our works and their reception increases our faith which increases our good works. Similarly, when we love both truthfully and through our deeds, we, and they, come alive.

Journal Prompt

“Let us love in deed and truth.”

Prayer

Remind me, O Lord that faith and love are paramount, equally deed and works will lead us to fulfillment and a deeper faith and abiding love. Amen.

Sundays in Easter – 4th Sunday

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Readings

Acts 4:8-12
Ps 118
1 John 3:1-2
John 10:11-18

Reflection

The cornerstone is the foundation, but it’s more than that. It’s the beginning, the first step, the mark of remembrance; the placeholder for all that is to follow.

When seeing the cornerstone, we see where that space all began. Sometimes there’s an engraving, a year of commencement or sometimes completion. A symbol highlighting the buildign’s significance – a cross, an open book. Letters: an engraver’s initials, an artist’s signature, a person’s legacy.

We trace the marks with our fingertips; we photograph all sides with a camera or even our mind’s eye. We do a pencil rubbing on vellum, but there are still realizations hidden deep away.

We begin with the cornerstone and find our own way from there.

Journal Prompt

The cornerstone

Prayer

Jesus,
Show us the full meaning of the cornerstone,
Bring us there for the beginning,
And walk with us as we end there
At the end of our circle.
We pray to you, and thank you for being by our side.
Amen.

Sundays in Lent – Easter – The Resurrection of the Lord

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Today’s Readings:

Acts 10:34a, 37-43

Psalms 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23

Col 3:1-4

Gospel: Mark 16:1-7

Since I’ve joined the church, even before my baptism, I have only attended one Easter Day mass. It was the year before I took my sacraments, and I remember it was crowded and there was bright sunlight streaming in through the skylight, and the women were wearing the brightest, most springy colors I could ever imagine. I feel like I wore my own bright pink shirt. Since then, last night included, I have attended the Easter Vigil. It is a bit more solemn and dark. It is literally dark. It doesn’t begin until 8pm with the blessing of the Easter fire from Saturday morning, and the lighting of the Paschal candle. From that, the entire church is lit up with candlelight and the Paschal candle lights all of the individual candles. It is really quite beautiful and moving as we move from utter darkness (Good Friday) to the brightest light (that of the Resurrection). 

On Saturday evening, after darkness has fallen, the Paschal candle is brought inside with the chant of The Light of Christ followed by the Easter proclamation. Then seven readings and responsorial psalms, an epistle, gospel and homily and we’re ready for the renewal of baptismal vows, bringing our candidates into full communion with the church and finishing with the hymn Jesus Christ is Risen Today. Alleluia!

I come home and it’s Easter.

We do an egg hunt. Our children are twelve, thirteen, and twenty-one, and they still enjoy gathering the eggs and finding the baskets the Bunny left them. We baste a turkey, mash potatoes, and casserole green beans. For all of its significance, it is a much quieter affair, a smaller, more internal celebration. We’ll read and eat some candy. We’ll clear the table for dinner. This year, I have a small, lovely vase of flowers to add as our centerpiece.

More than anything, on this, a most sacred day is spending the day with our family, as a family.

How do you celebrate as a family? Do you continue any of the traditions you did as a child in your parents’ house?

[Beginning next Sunday, I will continue this devotional, Sundays in Lent as a Sundays in Easter with a devotional posting each Sunday through Pentecost. I hope you’ll continue to follow along, and are enjoying reading and participating with it as much as I’m enjoying writing it.]

Sundays in Lent – Holy Saturday

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​I never really think of Mary as a mother. It’s right there in the Hail Mary prayer, and many if not all of the Mary prayers. And more than the Mother of G-d, she is mother to a child. She fed Jesus and taught him his letters. She told him not to run through the kitchen and to take a bath. When she asked him to assist the bridal party at Cana and his response was, ‘Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come,’ I can see the side-eye she gave hm until he relented and did as he was told. I can’t imagine how she felt watching him die on the Cross – a public renunciation of her own flesh, his pain her pain, his torture hers, never once challenging the path set out for him, but bearing it.

Last week, mys on had a medical emergency and was in hospital for three days. It felt like a lifetime. He’s an adult, but my child will always be my baby. Mismatched words became prayer and as always, G-d hears all, even what isn’t said. Not the fancy, not the prayers that come with a collection basket, not the extravagant song, but the simple. The humble. The genuine plea to set aside the pain, the heal the hurt, to comfort the parent, to help the child.

Comfort me, O Lord in my distress,
But care for my loves.
Heal the sickness;
Subside the pain.
Give rest to the weary.
As your name is on my breath,
Keep their breaths free of obstruction.
Make them whole.
Care for them as I would:
With whole being and gentle blessing.
Praise for your health restored.
Praise for your answer,
Their care and well-being.
In all this I ask
with a grateful heart,
In your name, Amen.