May 30, 2015
Matthew 28: 16-20
I Am With You Always
At the beginning of the Gospel of Matthew, as Jesus came into the world, the angel told Joseph that Jesus was the fulfillment of the ancient prophecy. "They shall name him Emmanuel, which means 'God with us.'" (Matthew 1: 22-23)
Today, as recorded by Matthew, we listen to the very last words Jesus spoke before he ascended to heaven, "Behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age."
The prophecy was and continues to be fulfilled in Jesus, God with us.
In Jesus, the Son, we humans come in touch with the divine reality. And the One God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, is now with us always.
May 23, 2015
John 20: 19-23
Peace Comes with Forgiveness
To the disciples who are afraid, Jesus gives his gift of peace.
To the disciples who know they have denied and abandoned him, Jesus gives his gift of peace.
And the disciples are now empowered by the Holy Spirit to give that gift of God's peace through the gift of forgiveness. “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.”
May 16, 2015
Jesus' Two Prayers
Jesus addresses God as “Holy Father”  as he prays for his followers.
And Jesus asks the Holy Father two things:
“You keep them from the evil one.”
“Consecrate them in the truth” The verb “consecrate” can also be translated as “make [them] holy.”
The first prayer demands trust on our part – that God keeps us from evil. In fact, we pray this every time we make the Lord's prayer our own, “deliver us from evil.”
Two attitudes are required on our part with the second prayer: humility and openness. Humility to acknowledge that holiness and truth come from God and God alone.  Openness to allow God's holiness and truth to consecrate us.
, , &  Frank Moloney, This is the Gospel of the Lord: Reflections of the Gospel Readings, Year B. Homebush, NSW, Australia: St. Paul Publications, 1993; p. 126 – 127.
Two are from what Jesus said to his disciples then
1. “Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.”
2. “In my name.”
3. “They went forth and preached everywhere.”
Today, Jesus continues to send us, his disciples
1. to go and carry out the same mission – to proclaim the Gospel to every creature.
2. In His name.
May 10, 2015
“Love one another as I love you”
We continue today’s Gospel where Jesus left off last week in John Chapter 15.
And the theme of last week is to remain in Jesus.
One can be with another person against one’s will.
Not with Jesus.
Today, Jesus explains that to remain in him is to remain in his love. And this divine love, the truest form of love, is never forced. Even when he lays down his life for us, we are still free to accept or reject that love.
This is the kind of love Jesus has for us.
And to this kind of love, Jesus calls us, “Love one another as I love you.”
May 9, 2015
May 2, 2015
Jesus spoke these words in John 15 after Judas had left (13:30). In addition, Jesus had predicted Peter denying him (13:38).
That background makes it more poignant that in these eight verses, the word "remain" (sometimes also translated as "abide") is used eight times.
And the branch that remains with Jesus is pruned by the Father "so that it bears more fruit."
Jesus also speaks of the tool of the Father's pruning: his words, "You are already pruned because of the word that I spoke to you."
These images helped me to relate to the words of Jesus in this passage. Hopefully, it can do the same for you.
Images courtesy of http://www.grapesfromcalifornia.com