Sunday, May 07, 2006
Monday 4th Week of Easter
May 8, 2006
Monday 4th Week of Easter - Yr II
The apostles and the brothers throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles
also had received the word of God. So when Peter went up to Jerusalem,
the circumcised believers criticized him and said, "You went into the
house of uncircumcised men and ate with them." Peter began and
explained everything to them precisely as it had happened: "I was in
the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision. I saw
something like a large sheet being let down from heaven by its four
corners, and it came down to where I was. I looked into it and saw
four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, reptiles, and birds of
the air. Then I heard a voice telling me, `Get up, Peter. Kill and
eat.' "I replied, `Surely not, Lord! Nothing impure or unclean has ever
entered my mouth.' "The voice spoke from heaven a second time, `Do not
call anything impure that God has made clean.' This happened three
times, and then it was all pulled up to heaven again. "Right then three
men who had been sent to me from Caesarea stopped at the house where I
was staying. The Spirit told me to have no hesitation about going with
them. These six brothers also went with me, and we entered the man's
house. He told us how he had seen an angel appear in his house and say,
`Send to Joppa for Simon who is called Peter. He will bring you a
message through which you and all your household will be saved.' "As I
began to speak, the Holy Spirit came on them as he had come on us at
the beginning. Then I remembered what the Lord had said: `John baptized
with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.' So if God
gave them the same gift as he gave us, who believed in the Lord Jesus
Christ, who was I to think that I could oppose God?" When they heard
this, they had no further objections and praised God, saying, "So then,
God has granted even the Gentiles repentance unto life."
"I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the
gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. The man
who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep. The watchman opens
the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own
sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own,
he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know
his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will
run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger's voice."
Jesus used this figure of speech, but they did not understand what he
was telling them. Therefore Jesus said again, "I tell you the truth, I
am the gate for the sheep. All who ever came before me were thieves and
robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate; whoever
enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find
pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have
come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
The final words of today's Gospel are a clear expression of Jesus'
purpose in coming amongst us. Jesus had been speaking of his followers
as his sheep and of himself as the Good Shepherd. Then he puts aside
all images and very clearly enunciates the purpose of his life on this
earth: "I came that they may have life and have it to the full."
You'll notice that Jesus doesn't say "spiritual life" or "life of the
spirit." He says simply "life." The Jews, and Jesus himself did not
tend to make the neat distinctions we make so blithely today among the
different aspects of life: physical life, emotional life, psychological
life, moral life, etc.
This approach to the life of men and women, unfortunately, fragments
the human person and has clearly made health in the holistic sense, far
more difficult to attain. Just watch Jesus, however, as he goes about
his task of improving life. He cures the sick, brings peace to the
troubled soul, drives evil spirits out of those possessed. To all he
preaches the law of love, which is the only basis on which to build a
happy community. For Jesus life is one, a single reality, and whenever
life is diminished-it doesn't matter what aspect of life we're talking
about-Jesus is there to restore it. He wants all men and women to enjoy
life to the full.
We Christians are Christ-bearers, and therefore we must be
life-bearers. We are to increase the life of all those we touch that
they might grow toward the fullness of life which Christ has come to
give us. All aspects of human life are precious. We are called by
Christ to increase humankind's life in all its aspects until the
kingdom of heaven on earth approaches perfection and blossoms into the
kingdom of God in heaven. This is our obligation, to increase life, no
matter what aspect of life we are addressing.
We pray ...
- for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn.
- for the speedy recovery of Ester.
- for the speedy recovery of Aida.
- for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Birthday: Dr. Alice Sy Tan
- In Memoriam (+): Ng Tiong (Maria Benning)
- Ordination Anniversary: Fr. Rick De La Pena
- Wedding Anniversary: Johnson & Lucy Uy
- Wedding Anniversary: Keng Huan Jerry & Emma Yeung
- 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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