Friday, April 28, 2006


Saturday 2nd week of Easter

April 29, 2006
Memorial, St. Catherine of Siena, virgin & doctor
Saturday 2nd week of Easter - Yr II

ACTS 6:1-7
As the number of disciples continued to grow, the Hellenists complained
against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the
daily distribution. So the Twelve called together the community of the
disciples and said, "It is not right for us to neglect the word of God
to serve at table. Brothers, select from among you seven reputable men,
filled with the Spirit and wisdom, whom we shall appoint to this task,
whereas we shall devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the
word." The proposal was acceptable to the whole community, so they
chose Stephen, a man filled with faith and the Holy Spirit, also
Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicholas of Antioch, a
convert to Judaism. They presented these men to the Apostles who prayed
and laid hands on them. The word of God continued to spread, and the
number of the disciples in Jerusalem increased greatly; even a large
group of priests were becoming obedient to the faith.

JOHN 6:16-21
When it was evening, the disciples of Jesus went down to the sea,
embarked in a boat, and went across the sea to Capernaum. It had
already grown dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. The sea was
stirred up because a strong wind was blowing. When they had rowed about
three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near
the boat, and they began to be afraid. But he said to them, "It is I.
Do not be afraid." They wanted to take him into the boat, but the boat
immediately arrived at the shore to which they were heading.

The original Jerusalem community lived an idyllic life-style: united in
mind and heart, they shared their possessions so that no one in the
community had too much and no one was in need. In today's first
reading, we see the first indications that all was not well within this
idyllic community.

The community was growing. The apostles were overloaded with work. They
did their tasks, such as looking after the widows, as best they could,
with difficulty and not always satisfactorily. The problem, however,
was due not merely to an excessive workload. It was also a problem of

With the growth of the community two classes of people emerged: the
Jews who were from overseas and spoke Greek and the Jews who were from
Palestine and spoke Aramaic. It was the widows of the overseas Jewish
families who were not being given the proper care and were being
discriminated against. The Book of Acts does not say whether this
discrimination was intentional or unintentional.

Nonetheless it's a clear example of how bias and prejudice can infect
even idyllic organizations which are born of love and in which charity
is the dominant motivation.

Whether the discrimination was intended or not, the young Jerusalem
community must be admired, for when its members recognized what was
happening, they immediately took steps to correct the inequity. They
appointed seven deacons to serve the widows, and most, if not all, of
these deacons were, as their names inform us, Greek-speaking Jews from
overseas rather than Palestinians.

If only our modern organizations would solve problems of discrimination
as did the early Church! They created a new office and appointed to it
Greek speaking men to make sure the overseas widows were cared for.
Presumably the entire community, both Greek speaking and Aramaic
speaking, took part in the formation of this decision.

We pray ...
- for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn.
- for the speedy recovery of Ester.
- for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Wedding Anniversary: Mr. & Mrs. Mayo Ongsingco
- for world peace and reconciliation.

Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our
prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.

Have a good day!

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� 2006 Daily-Homily

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