May 21-27, 2017
1 Peter 3: 15-18 is so heartening, it bears repeating here:
Beloved: Sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts.
Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you
a reason for your hope, but do it with gentleness and reverence, keeping your conscience clear,
so that, when you are maligned, those who defame your good conduct in Christ
may themselves be put to shame.
For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that be the will of God, than for doing evil.
For Christ also suffered for sins once,
the righteous for the sake of the unrighteous, that he might lead you to God.
Put to death in the flesh, he was brought to life in the Spirit.
It is hard to believe our rash and quick to anger Peter, could write such calm and gentle words. However, his own experience of the denial of Jesus, certainly had a profound effect on him. He was brought to his kneels so that he could stand humbly in his leadership of Christ’s Church. We, too, can find this “gentleness and reverence” in our daily lives, because we can bow our heads with Peter and ask for mercy and forgiveness for our various sins.
Sometimes you may hear a priest say, “Jesus, the Christ,” in his preaching and wonder, if he made a mistake. In the Jewish belief “the Christ,” was the savior, the Messiah, so, as we see in Acts 8: 5-8; 14-17, Philip used the expression, “…proclaimed the Christ to them.” As time went on the name of Jesus was shortened to “Jesus Christ,” like saying “Jesus Savior” or “Jesus Messiah.”
The great Feast of the Ascension is celebrated this week Thursday or Sunday to come. I often wonder what it was like to spend some forty days of instruction given by the Risen Savior. The disciples probably had awe written on their faces, as they soaked in the words of this Jesus alive. What a letdown it must have been to see him leave. However, Jesus made a promise, as we see in John 14: 15-21, when we hear him say, I will ask the Father and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always, the Spirit of Truth. We also have the gift, Whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him. It may seem a little scary to believe that Jesus will reveal himself to us. Isn’t that for saints? Well, what are we anyhow, if we live in the grace of God and are forgiven?
St. Rita of Cascia is the Patron of impossible causes and hopeless circumstances. She was forced to marry at twelve years of age and suffered a violent and abusive marriage. After the death of her husband and two sons, she entered the Augustinian nuns. She received the stigmata by way of a thorn in her forehead. Her body is incorruptible. CatholicCompany.com
St. Philip Neri was called the Third Apostle of Rome in the 16th century after Peter and Paul. He was a priest who was full of joy and brought that spirit to all whom he served. Many said that they only needed to stand near his room after his death to feel peace and joy. Catholicsaints.com
St. Augustine of Canterbury was a Benedictine monk of Italian heritage in the 6th century. He was appointed the first archbishop of Canterbury. He is the Patron of the English and considered the founder of the English Church. CatholicEncyclopedia.com
Live in the blessings of the Ascended Lord Jesus,
Sister Rosemarie Goins, CSSF, Director