Monday, April 9, 2018

You Are Witnesses - April 15, 2018

The Third Sunday of Easter  - Year B


Reading I:  Acts 3: 13-15, 17-19

Psalm:  4

Reading II:  1 John 2: 1-5a

Gospel:  Luke 24: 35-48

In this Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus appears in the midst of the disciples and wishes them peace!  At first, they do not recognize Him and are frightened, thinking they are seeing a ghost. After reassuring the disciples that it is really himself by showing them his wounds, He asks them for food. Then they gather around and share some baked fish. Jesus thus makes a connection with them in the very human act of eating together.

While they are eating, Jesus reminds them that he had shared with them that everything written about Him in the law of Moses, the prophets and psalms, had to be fulfilled. He helps them to understand that His suffering, death, and resurrection were predicted in the Scriptures. Jesus also tells them that because of His sacrifice, forgiveness of sin will be offered to those who repent. Finally, He challenges them to be His witnesses to all nations.

Today, Jesus still uses the human activity of eating together to signify His presence among and within us. At each Eucharistic Liturgy or Mass, we gather together, hear the Word of God in the Scripture readings and witness the renewed gift of Himself to the Father on our behalf. Then, we share in the banquet of his body and blood. Finally, we are challenged to bring Christ to our world. We are to be His hands and feet and heart.

This lesson was firmly imprinted on my mind and heart when I ministered at a small Mission Church on the Gila River Indian Reservation in Arizona. The large crucifix behind the altar in Our Lady of Victory Church had no hands. Each time we entered the church we were reminded that we are called to be Christ in our world today. He has no hands but ours.

 Reflection Question:   How can we bring Christ to our world this week?

Spanish Translation of Reflection Above...
Ustedes son Testigos

¡En el Evangelio de este domingo, Jesús aparece en medio de los discípulos y les desea paz! Al principio, no lo reconocen y están asustados, pensando que están viendo un fantasma. Después de tranquilizar a los discípulos diciéndoles que es realmente él mismo al mostrarles sus heridas, les pide comida. Luego se reúnen y comparten un pescado horneado. Así, Jesús hace una conexión con ellos en el acto muy humano de comer juntos.

Mientras comen, Jesús les recuerda que había compartido con ellos que todo lo que se escribía sobre él en la ley de Moisés, los profetas y los salmos, tenía que cumplirse. Él los ayuda a comprender que Su sufrimiento, muerte y resurrección fueron predichas en las Escrituras. Jesús también les dice que debido a Su sacrificio, el perdón de pecados se ofrecerá a aquellos que se arrepientan. Finalmente, los reta a ser sus testigos ante todas las naciones.

Hoy, Jesús aún usa la actividad humana de comer juntos para significar su presencia entre nosotros y dentro de nosotros. En cada Liturgia Eucarística o Misa, nos reunimos, escuchamos la Palabra de Dios en las lecturas de las Escrituras y somos testigos del regalo renovado de Sí mismo al Padre en nuestro nombre. Entonces, compartimos en el banquete de su cuerpo y sangre. Finalmente, tenemos el desafío de traer a Cristo a nuestro mundo. Debemos ser Sus manos, pies y corazón.

Esta lección quedó impresa en mi mente y mi corazón cuando ministraba en una pequeña iglesia misionera en la reserva india de Gila River en Arizona. El gran crucifijo detrás del altar en la iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Victoria no tenía manos. Cada vez que ingresamos a la iglesia, se nos recordó que estamos llamados a ser Cristo en nuestro mundo de hoy. Él no tiene más manos que nosotros.

 Pregunta de reflexión:   ¿Cómo podemos traer a Cristo a nuestro mundo esta semana?


  1. Dear fellow blog readers, did you know that there are 10,080 minutes in a week? Thus, we have lots of opportunities to bring Christ to our world this week.
    St. Katharine Drexel has three quotes that I would like to use to structure my response to Sr. Annette’s question of the week.
    First and foremost, “What was I made for but to love God and to serve Him alone?” If we remember this quote every morning, we will be setting the foundation for a day based on “other” mindedness. A smile, a kind word, a compliment, a gesture of friendship, physically helping someone, praying for or with someone, a token of appreciation or perhaps a telephone call, all go a long way of showing that we care and that the person we are acknowledging matters. Choosing to not harbor negative thoughts about another, apologizing, initiating reconciliation with someone (even if they were the provoker), volunteering or mentoring – there are no shortages of needs on our daily paths that we can’t help alleviate burdens and extend Christ’s love. Author, Maryanne Williamson writes, “We were born to manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.”
    Next, “Peacefully do at each moment what at that moment ought to be done.” As followers of Jesus, we should be looking for opportunities to express His love to others in word and deed. When we notice a need just follow our inner lead. You never know what is going on in the heart of the one being helped. Once when I was greeting at the handicap door at church, a man with very visible physical limitations was approaching. I opened the door and welcomed him. That small gesture meant so much to him. Over the months that followed I learned that people laughed at him on a regular basis because of the way he walked and dressed. He carried pain and humiliation in his heart and all it took was opening a door to make his day! As it turns out I received so much from this gentleman. He had advanced rheumatoid arthritis that left him very disfigured. The disease had an early onset and it cost him many dreams – playing sports, marrying and being a father. Through it all he never complained. He knew where he was going – heaven. He achieved his goal of going Home about two years ago.
    So many of us see ourselves through eyes that compare, judge, and dismiss leaving us wounded and hurting. Open a door for someone this week, you never know where it will lead.
    Lastly, “Out of our common todays and yesterdays we are building for eternity. No thought, no work of ours ever dies. We shall meet them all again, and in the world to come shall find our gathered harvest.”
    Rev. Greg Laurie writes, “There is a reward waiting for every believer. Even those small things are duly noted. Jesus said, ‘And if you give even a cup of cold water to one of the least of my followers, you will surely be rewarded’ (Matthew 10:42). The reward for followers of Jesus is that we will have our works follow us.”
    What kind of works will follow you?
    Pat C., ASBS

  2. Sr. Therese M. Warner, SBSApril 10, 2018 at 12:02 PM

    References to your missions, activities, etc. are certainly appreciated, Sister. Thank you for sharing. What a moving reflection about Our Lord's hands!

    The following excerpts are from a homily by Most Rev. Stephen E. Blake, Diocese of Stockton:

    "After the Resurrection, when Jesus appeared to the disciples, He said: "Touch Me and see... and He ate a piece of baked fish in front of them. The Gospels want to stress the reality of the presence of Christ. He is truly risen. After several appearances, Jesus returned to the glory of the Father... However, by the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus is present in the Church in a mystical, spiritual, and very real way; and in the Eucharist it is a sacramental and real presence."

    "The reality of the presence of Jesus requires a very real response on our part. (The words of Peter in acts: 'Repent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be wiped away.' - The words in the letter of St. John: 'The way we may be sure that we know Him is to keep his commandments'."

    "What we are talking about here is the reality of conversion and love...' To be a genuine Catholic is to be profoundly converted to Jesus Christ and to live that conversion in the way of love. ..." My commandment is this: that you love one another as I have loved you.'"

    "In the Mission Statement it says: "As Catholic professional men and women, we are called to live our Christian ethics, not only on Sunday, but throughout our daily lives at home and at work. The Christian comes into the professional world as one converted in mind and heart to G9d. The Christian has accepted the dominion of God over his or her life and follows Jesus Christ as a disciple in the Church. In other words. the Christian is a believer, one who has faith in God ... The vision of faith affects every aspect of what one does, and what the Christian does is faithful to the commandment of love."