READINGS for 2009-04-30
BREAD OF LIFE
“This is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat and not die.” – John 6:50
I try to attend Mass as often as I can — even daily if my schedule permits. I do it because I feel its benefits. After I go to Mass, I am a happier person — even breaking out in song on my way out of the church. To me, the world becomes a brighter, lighter place after receiving the Eucharist.
Padre Pio once said, “It would be easier for the world to exist without the sun than without the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.”
For many of us, that’s difficult to understand since there are those who look at the Mass as an obligation that our upbringing won’t let us get out of. But if perhaps we try to really put our whole selves while we’re at Mass, we might find some truth in what Padre Pio says. Next time I attend Mass, I’ll try to concentrate too, and not let myself be distracted. I will surely gain more life from it. Joy Sosoban
How often have I taken the Lord for granted during Mass?
Dear Jesus, Bread of Life, change my heart. May I love You through the Eucharist.
Philip wastes no time in baptizing the eunuch. Maybe there are a few more formalities that precede Baptism in the Church today, but the zeal to get on with the work of evangelization should be no different. I wonder when was the last time that you or I led a person to a deeper relationship with Jesus, or even evangelized him from a point of no faith to belief in the Gospel? Let us pray that we will have this opportunity in the near future.
26 The angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, “Get up and head south on the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza, the desert route.” 27 So he got up and set out. Now there was an Ethiopian eunuch, a court official of the Candace, that is, the queen of the Ethiopians, in charge of her entire treasury, who had come to Jerusalem to worship, 28 and was returning home. Seated in his chariot, he was reading the prophet Isaiah. 29 The Spirit said to Philip, “Go and join up with that chariot.” 30 Philip ran up and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and said, “Do you understand what you are reading?” 31 He replied, “How can I, unless someone instructs me?” So he invited Philip to get in and sit with him. 32 This was the scripture passage he was reading: “Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter, and as a lamb before its shearer is silent, so he opened not his mouth. 33 In [his] humiliation justice was denied him. Who will tell of his posterity? For his life is taken from the earth.” 34 Then the eunuch said to Philip in reply, “I beg you, about whom is the prophet saying this? About himself, or about someone else?” 35 Then Philip opened his mouth and, beginning with this scripture passage, he proclaimed Jesus to him. 36 As they traveled along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “Look, there is water. What is to prevent my being baptized?”  37 38 Then he ordered the chariot to stop, and Philip and the eunuch both went down into the water, and he baptized him. 39 When they came out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away, and the eunuch saw him no more, but continued on his way rejoicing. 40 Philip came to Azotus, and went about proclaiming the good news to all the towns until he reached Caesarea.
P S A L M
Psalm 66:8-9. 16-17. 20
R: Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
8 Bless our God, you peoples, loudly sound his praise; 9 He has given life to our souls, and has not let our feet slip. (R) 16 Hear now, all you who fear God, while I declare what he has done for me. 17 When I appealed to him in words, praise was on the tip of my tongue. (R) 20 Blessed be God who refused me not my prayer or his kindness! (R)
G O S P E L
Jesus is not afraid to put the truth before the people even though He must know that it will be very difficult for them to accept. Sometimes it is the challenge that a person is looking for and that will attract him to something new. I know that this has been at least a part of the reasons why I chose to become a priest — the challenge of living and proclaiming the Gospel held a big attraction to me. I hope it is the same for you and that I never lose the joy of the challenge.
44 Jesus said to the crowds: “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draw him, and I will raise him on the last day. 45 It is written in the prophets: ‘They shall all be taught by God.’ Everyone who listens to my Father and learns from him comes to me. 46 Not that anyone has seen the Father except the one who is from God; he has seen the Father. 47 Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died; 50 this is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat it and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.”
think: I wonder when was the last time that you or I led a person to a deeper relationship with Jesus.
God’s special verse/thought for me today________________
T O D A Y ’ S BLESSING LIST
Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR Leviticus 11-13
the thirD perioD oF sAlvAtion history
Somebody has called the Acts of the Apostles the “Gospel of the Holy Spirit” because no other book in the Bible speaks so much about the power and work of the Holy Spirit as this book does.
Even in today’s reading the Spirit is mentioned. After baptizing the eunuch, He brings Philip, one of the seven helpers, to other places to proclaim the Good News, not just to one person but to many who are open and ready to embrace the faith in the Risen Lord. Throughout the Acts of the Apostles, Luke makes it clear that not Peter, James or Paul are the leaders of the Church but Christ leads the Church through the Holy Spirit. When the apostles came together in Jerusalem to discuss whether the Gentiles should first become Jews before they can be baptized, they wrote after the meeting a letter which has the striking sentence, “The Holy Spirit and we have decided…”
I wonder how many decisions in parishes and dioceses are made and how many such decisions are published as works of the Holy Spirit and only then of the writer.
Even strong-willed Paul is nothing but an instrument of the Spirit. At one point St. Luke tells us that Paul planned to preach in a certain region “but the Spirit did not allow him” (Acts 16:6). And Paul obeyed, gave up his plans and went where the Spirit wanted him to go.
The immense result of the first missionaries we meet in this book can only be explained by their willingness to submit themselves totally to the guidance of the Spirit. Rightly is it said that the Old Testament was the period of the Father, when Jesus was on earth it was the period of the Son, and then began the third period, the period of the Holy Spirit. We are living in this period. The question is: Do we allow ourselves to be guided by the Spirit? Are we ready to give up our plans because we feel that the Spirit wants us to do something else? Do we make decisions guided by the Holy Spirit because we have prayed first and expressed our readiness to submit to the Spirits’ guidance? Fr. Rudy Horst, SVD
What can I do to be more submissive to the guidance of the Spirit?
Lord, You gave me the gift of Your Holy Spirit as early as when I was baptized. And yet, how often have I neglected the Spirit? How often did I go my own way because I was not ready to follow the inspiration of your Spirit? Forgive me and change my heart!
St. Pius V, Pope, pray for us.
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