Saturday, May 14, 2011

FOURTH SUNDAY AFTER EASTER

Acts 2:14a.36-41; Ps 22, 1 Pt 2:20b-25. John 10:1-10
GOOD SHEPHERD SUNDAY
PSALM 22 -HAPPINESS

The lord is my shepherd; how can I lack anything? /he gives me a resting-placer…/ leads me out to the cool water’s brink, refreshed and content.
Lord Jesus, your full-embracing love awaits me everywhere. If anything is written in your Divine book, this surely is. Why am I bored by life’s burden, but that I have not found their true meaning? Why do I ever worry or fear, but that I forget you guide my life with a fatherly hand? Why do I become despondent and dejected, but that I fail to respect your great wisdom and my littleness? Why do I complain and criticize, but that I am depending on things outside myself for happiness? Why do I become selfish and demanding, but that I expect happiness to come to me, when in truth I know that I myself must make it?
In all these troubles, I should have come to You. I should have known that joy must be within me, and I must be in you. If I have lived true enough to my human nature to know that I want perfect love, perfect knowledge, the fullness of beauty and generosity, then, Lord, I should already have learned the great reality of life.
If I seek all goodness in friends and associates, they will fail to fill half the measure. If I seek all good in honours and fame, I will see them die as quickly as they sprang up; I will see they are not ever without dishonor and rejection. If I seek the good in mere pleasure, it will betray me soonest of all my foolish hopes; I will hate the very chipos, kukus, nyama chomas that I consumed so greedily. For pleasure is the first human hope to explode. If I seek joy in my own abilities, in my own pride and self-admiration, I will soon find there a dried wasteland. For he who is left with himself alone is soon emptied.
In the end, I will hate myself, who sought to find happiness in things so fleeting and meaningless. And my hands will be empty. You will then turn to me, Lord, and bring me life and refreshment? You have promised no less. You have promised that I shall find meaning and the enjoyment of knowledge, love, understanding, beauty, and contentment – all in you, who have placed them in me. You, who have made all joy, are yourself all joy and wealth, the reason and fulfillment of all goodness.
“A bishop who himself holy will most certainly have a following of holy priests, whose holiness will in turn redound to the religious perfection of the whole diocese” – Pope John XXIII
Last Sunday we did recall the powerful speech/homily of St. Peter. In this Fourth Sunday after Easter we are given the response of the listeners. We need to underline the tone of his words to the crowd. We can’t overlook this.
Peter speaks in a very assertive way, confident, declarative way. There are no subjective(s) no “might’s” or “maybes”. He declares with a loud voice: “The Jesus you crucified”, this made them very uneasy, uncomfortable. Peter did not get up to say “I guess that, in the way, you people might have, perhaps, treated Jesus, with, maybe, a little greater kindness”. No! Way! Peter says: this Jesus whom you crucified…
Why does peter speak like this? What was the point in expressing the truth of things in the stark and absolute way? Why? Couldn’t he say “this Jesus, who was crucified or this Jesus whom they crucified” or ‘this Jesus whom evil men crucified? Surely there were lots of ways of saying it so his listeners would not be put off. ’
Today we “contracept” our own preaching, soften the word of God for the sake of the few rich people in the congregation, community, politicians. That is shameful and unchristian. The truth has to be said, but do we have the courage to say it, that is the challenge that was cutting the heart with a sharp razor.
What must we do, brothers? They ask – you must repent…and every one of you must be baptized, Peter replies. Peter is simply giving in the clearest way possible what everyone who wishes to reach salvation must do.
Perverse generation what a strong language but accurate. We should case blindly resisting the thought that all is well in our lives and that all is well in the world. All the problems that we have if they are not coming from the heart then we need to seriously face the truth of our own need to repent.
May we be like those who listened to Peter? They accepted what he said… And that very day about three thousand were added to their number.
“It is very significant that in every recorded instance, the apostles were busy at their daily work when the master called them.
- Peter and Andrew were fishing;
- James and john were mending their nets;
- Matthew was sitting at the receipt of custom”. – David Smith
God never visits an idle or unserviceable life.

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