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Mass readings for 4th Sun A. Easter prepared a la Bible Study by Fr. Cielo R. Almazan, OFM.

Mass readings for 4th Sun A. Easter prepared a la Bible Study by Fr. Cielo R. Almazan, OFM.

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4th  Easter  A 4th Easter A Presentation Transcript

  • Welcome to our Bible Study May 15, 2011 4 th Easter Sunday A 48 th World Day of Prayer for Vocations In preparation for this Sunday’s Liturgy In aid of focusing our homilies and sharing Prepared by Fr. Cielo R. Almazan, OFM
  • 1 st reading: Acts 2,14.36-41
    • Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice, and proclaimed to them, "You who are Jews, indeed all of you staying in Jerusalem. Let this be known to you, and listen to my words. 36 Therefore let the whole house of Israel know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Messiah, this Jesus whom you crucified."
    • 37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and they asked Peter and the other apostles, "What are we to do, my brothers?" 38 Peter (said) to them, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is made to you and to your children and to all those far off, whomever the Lord our God will call." 40 He testified with many other arguments, and was exhorting them, "Save yourselves from this corrupt generation." 41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand persons were added that day.
    The focus is on the kerygma .
  • 1 st reading: Acts 2,14.36-41
    • Proclamation
    • 14 Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice, and proclaimed to them, "You who are Jews, indeed all of you staying in Jerusalem. Let this be known to you, and listen to my words. 36 Therefore let the whole house of Israel know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Messiah, this Jesus whom you crucified."
    • Question
    • 37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and they asked Peter and the other apostles, "What are we to do, my brothers?" 38
    • Answer
    • Peter (said) to them, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is made to you and to your children and to all those far off, whomever the Lord our God will call."
    • Author’s notes
    • 40 He testified with many other arguments, and was exhorting them, "Save yourselves from this corrupt generation." 41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand persons were added that day.
    A simple outline!
  • 1 st reading: Acts 2,14.36-41
    • Proclamation
    • 14 Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice, and proclaimed to them, "You who are Jews, indeed all of you staying in Jerusalem. Let this be known to you, and listen to my words. 36 Therefore let the whole house of Israel know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Messiah, this Jesus whom you crucified."
    • Commentary
    • The liturgist puts together vv.14 and 36.
    • In v.14, Peter addresses himself to the Jews, who are staying in Jerusalem.
    • There are other Jews, but they are staying in other places like Syria, Egypt, Rome, etc.
    • Peter, in parallel form, appeals to his audience to listen to him.
    • In v.36, the whole house of Israel is referred to as the Jewish people.
    • Peter tells them that Jesus, whom they crucified, is made both Lord and Messiah.
    • It is God’s own act.
    • Question
    • 37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and they asked Peter and the other apostles, "What are we to do, my brothers?"
    • V.37 indicates the spontaneous reaction of the Jews.
    • “ Cut to the heart” means to be pierced, to be stabbed to the heart, to be touched.
    • The message of Peter sinks deep into the hearts of the Jews.
    • The Jews are guilty of crucifying God’s Son. They have committed a very grave sin.
    • So they consult / ask what they can do (to repair the damage or, better still, to escape from God’s wrath).
    • Answer
    • 38 Peter (said) to them, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is made to you and to your children and to all those far off, whomever the Lord our God will call."
    • In v.38, Peter knows his script.
    • Right away he asks them to repent and be baptized in order to be forgiven (free from sin and punishment).
    • Repentance is a change of heart and mind towards God.
    • It opens the way for the Holy Spirit.
    • It is a gift for those whose sins are forgiven.
    • In v.39, the promise refers to the Holy Spirit. God promises the Holy Spirit to whom he calls.
    • Author’s notes
    • 40 He testified with many other arguments, and was exhorting them, "Save yourselves from this corrupt generation." 41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand persons were added that day .
    • V.40 indicates that Peter is working hard as a preacher.
    • Not only does he issues statements of his own belief and conviction, but he also gives arguments and reasons.
    • Peter, the fisherman, has developed into a full-grown preacher, who knows what he is talking about.
    • As a mature preacher and leader, he also exhorts the Jews.
      • To exhort is to encourage, to urge… to avoid “this corrupt generation.” (other translations: perverse or crooked generation).
    • V.41 gives an encouraging note to Peter’s preaching.
      • Those who embrace his message are baptized.
      • Their number is about 3,000. Peter is speaking to a large crowd.
    • We imagine that he must be shouting aloud in order to be heard. Really he stood up as indicated in v.14.
  • Reflections on the 1 st reading
    • To be a preacher like Peter, one must know his material (Jesus).
    • He must have the courage to face those who once opposed Jesus, or, himself.
    • The preacher must know how to guide his listeners into conversion (avoidance of sin and centering one’s life on Jesus).
  • 2 nd reading: 1 Peter 2,20-25
    • 20 If you are patient when you suffer for doing what is good, this is a grace before God. 21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example that you should follow in his footsteps. 22 "He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth." 23 When he was insulted, he returned no insult; when he suffered, he did not threaten; instead, he handed himself over to the one who judges justly. 24 He himself bore our sins in his body upon the cross, so that, free from sin, we might live for righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. 25 For you had gone astray like sheep, but you have now returned to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.
  • 2 nd reading: 1 Peter 2,20-25
    • 20 If you are patient when you suffer for doing what is good, this is a grace before God. 21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example that you should follow in his footsteps. 22 "He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth." 23 When he was insulted, he returned no insult; when he suffered, he did not threaten; instead, he handed himself over to the one who judges justly. 24 He himself bore our sins in his body upon the cross, so that, free from sin, we might live for righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. 25 For you had gone astray like sheep, but you have now returned to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.
    The focus is living in grace .
  • 2 nd reading: 1 Peter 2,20-25
    • Suffering
    • 20 If you are patient when you suffer for doing what is good, this is a grace before God. 21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example that you should follow in his footsteps.
    • Not vindictive
    • 22 "He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth." 23 When he was insulted, he returned no insult; when he suffered, he did not threaten; instead, he handed himself over to the one who judges justly.
    • Crucified
    • 24 He himself bore our sins in his body upon the cross, so that, free from sin, we might live for righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.
    • The shepherd
    • 25 For you had gone astray like sheep, but you have now returned to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.
    A simple outline!
  • 2 nd reading: 1 Peter 2,20-25
    • Suffering
    • 20 If you are patient when you suffer for doing what is good, this is a grace before God. 21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example that you should follow in his footsteps.
    • Not vindictive
    • 22 "He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth." 23 When he was insulted, he returned no insult; when he suffered, he did not threaten; instead, he handed himself over to the one who judges justly.
    • Commentary
    • V.20 is centered on grace.
    • Grace is manifested in patience, when one suffers for doing good.
    • In v.21, Christians are called to this life of grace.
    • Christians are called to live like Christ, to follow in his footsteps.
    • We follow his example of suffering for others.
    • V.22 affirms Jesus’ innocence (no sin, no deceit)
    • V.23 states that Jesus is not vindictive and he willingly subjects himself even to the difficult plan of God.
  • 2 nd reading: 1 Peter 2,20-25
    • Crucified
    • 24 He himself bore our sins in his body upon the cross, so that, free from sin, we might live for righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.
    • The shepherd
    • 25 For you had gone astray like sheep, but you have now returned to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.
    • In v.24, our sins are crucified in the body of Christ.
    • This is the way Jesus frees us from sin, a very difficult way.
    • His purpose: that we may live for righteousness (straight living).
    • Christ’s wounds heal us.
    • V.25 indicates how we have sinned (to go astray like a sheep), thus wounded.
    • Our return to the shepherd spells our healing.
    • The theme of the shepherd is better developed in the gospel reading.
  • Reflections on the 2 nd reading
    • Suffering is a part of life.
    • We don’t have to be a Christian in order to suffer.
    • We, Christians, prove to be living in grace when we are patient in suffering as we do good.
    • Suffering in doing good is a vocation.
    • Suffering is absorbing patiently and quietly the pain inflicted upon us without vengeance.
    • To answer our vocation, we must become like Christ who suffers to shepherd his flock.
  • Gospel reading: John 10,1-10
    • 1 Jesus said, "Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever does not enter a sheepfold through the gate but climbs over elsewhere is a thief and a robber. 2 But whoever enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep . 3 The gatekeeper opens it for him, and the sheep hear his voice, as he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has driven out all his own, he walks ahead of them, and the sheep follow him, because they recognize his voice. 5 But they will not follow a stranger; they will run away from him, because they do not recognize the voice of strangers." 6 Although Jesus used this figure of speech, they did not realize what he was trying to tell them. 7 So Jesus said again, "Amen, amen, I say to you, I am the gate for the sheep . 8 All who came (before me) are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. 9 I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture . 10 A thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy; I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.
    The focus is on being shepherd .
  • Gospel reading: John 10,1-10
    • The true shepherd
    • 1 Jesus said, "Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever does not enter a sheepfold through the gate but climbs over elsewhere is a thief and a robber. 2 But whoever enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep . 3 The gatekeeper opens it for him, and the sheep hear his voice, as he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has driven out all his own, he walks ahead of them, and the sheep follow him, because they recognize his voice.
    • The stranger
    • 5 But they will not follow a stranger; they will run away from him, because they do not recognize the voice of strangers."
    • Jesus is the gate
    • 6 Although Jesus used this figure of speech, they did not realize what he was trying to tell them. 7 So Jesus said again, "Amen, amen, I say to you, I am the gate for the sheep . 8 All who came (before me) are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. 9 I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture . 10 A thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy; I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.
    A simple outline!
  • Gospel reading: John 10,1-10
    • The true shepherd
    • 1 Jesus said, "Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever does not enter a sheepfold through the gate but climbs over elsewhere is a thief and a robber. 2 But whoever enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep . 3 The gatekeeper opens it for him, and the sheep hear his voice, as he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has driven out all his own, he walks ahead of them, and the sheep follow him, because they recognize his voice.
    • The stranger
    • 5 But they will not follow a stranger; they will run away from him, because they do not recognize the voice of strangers."
    • Jesus is the gate
    • 6 Although Jesus used this figure of speech, they did not realize what he was trying to tell them. 7 So Jesus said again, "Amen, amen, I say to you, I am the gate for the sheep . 8 All who came (before me) are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. 9 I am the gate . Whoever enters through me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture . 10 A thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy; I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.
    We take the gate as the focus.
  • Gospel reading: John 10,1-10
    • The true shepherd
    • 1 Jesus said, "Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever does not enter a sheepfold through the gate but climbs over elsewhere is a thief and a robber. 2 But whoever enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep . 3 The gatekeeper opens it for him, and the sheep hear his voice, as he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has driven out all his own, he walks ahead of them, and the sheep follow him, because they recognize his voice.
    • Commentary
    • At first sight, the focus is on Jesus as a shepherd . Jesus teaches his disciples as to who is the true shepherd. At second sight, we are led to focus on Jesus as the gate .
    • In vv.1-2, Jesus teaches about a true shepherd, who enters the sheepfold through the gate .
    • In contrast, the false shepherd (=thief and robber) enters somewhere else.
    • In v.3, Jesus teaches that the gatekeeper opens for him the gate when he goes out. His sheep follow his voice.
    • In v.4, when all the sheep are out of the gate , the sheep follow him because they recognize his voice.
  • Gospel reading: John 10,1-10
    • The stranger
    • 5 But they will not follow a stranger; they will run away from him, because they do not recognize the voice of strangers."
    • Jesus is the gate
    • 6 Although Jesus used this figure of speech, they did not realize what he was trying to tell them. 7 So Jesus said again, "Amen, amen, I say to you, I am the gate for the sheep . 8 All who came (before me) are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. 9 I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture . 10 A thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy; I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.
    • In contrast, the sheep do not follow a stranger (with a strange / unfamiliar voice). Instead, they will run away. V.5
    • V.6 indicates that Jesus’ listeners do not understand what he is trying to drive at.
    • V.7 explicitates what Jesus wants to put across.
    • He is the gate for the sheep.
    • V.8 identifies as thieves and robbers those who came before Jesus.
    • V.9 repeats v.7 (I am the gate !)
    • When we enter through him, we obtain salvation / pasture.
    • In contrast to a thief, Jesus comes that we may have life / abundant life.
  • Reflections on the gospel reading
    • We are more familiar with Jesus as the good Shepherd .
      • He enters by the gate . His sheep recognize his voice.
    • In the gospel, we also encounter Jesus as the gate .
    • The image of Jesus as a gate is not so popular and well-reflected. There are no pictures depicting Jesus as gate .
    • The gospel reading has a strong message for us.
    • It warns sinister people (false shepherds), who prey on the innocent Christians (sheep of Jesus).
    • It is useless for them to intrude, because they cannot recognize their voice.
    • If you want to lead the Christians (as committee head, PPC president, pastor) , you enter through Christ.
    • Without passing through Christ, you cannot be a leader of the community.
    • You will be like a thief, robber, intruder, and marauder.
  • Tying the 3 readings
    • The first reading focuses on the kerygma and introduces the Holy Spirit (who is coming soon).
    • The second reading is about the ability to suffer persecution as a result of doing what is good. This is living in grace.
    • The gospel reading is about Jesus as the shepherd and gate (to salvation and fullness of life).
    Since this Sunday is a day of prayer for vocations, we focus on the theme of shepherding (vocations, spiritual leaders, those who represent Christ).
  • How to develop your homily / sharing
    • Do you like your priests, your parish priests, rectors, and their assistants?
    • How do they shepherd you? Are they real shepherds or thieves?
    • According to the first reading:
    • Your priests are real and true shepherds, when they are like the apostles boldly preaching the mystery of Jesus and the gift of the Holy Spirit.
    • They give hope and satisfaction to the total human person.
    • Do they have the power to change you, to lead you to conversion? What change have you made in response to their preaching and good examples?
    • According to the second reading:
    • Your priests must be living in grace, meaning, they are willing to suffer criticisms, for doing what is good.
    • Are your priests promoting peace and unity, or, are they causing division?
    • Are your priests fickle minded, always evading discomfort?
    • Do they run away when they meet resistance and drop you like a hot potato?
    • Can they not make people of different ideas and personalities work together professionally?
    • Don’t they take their sufferings as sharing in the sufferings of Christ? (no spirituality)
    • You, Christians, can you bear with them when they work very hard, or, you abandon them if they give you work.
    • You, faithful, can be a “pain in the ass” when you volunteer as minister but you find it hard to work.
    • You tire your priests with excuses and alibis for not doing anything, like not giving an accounting, not reporting for duty or attending meetings, not paying your contributions (goats, you will go to hell).
    • According to the gospel reading:
    • The good priests enter through the gate, not through the backdoor.
    • You recognize their voice because they are always there preaching, speaking, encouraging and leading and in solidarity with you, not always absent and taking vacation.
    • You know their thoughts and they represent their bishop and the church for they attend priests’ assembly and obey their superiors.
    • When they serve, they enter through the door of Christ (they pray, they recognize his plan). They pass through Jesus, they have his blessing to lead.
    • When they are there, they don’t mislead you (create trouble). Instead, they make peace.
    • Do you listen to them? They always have a message to carry.
    • In the church, there are also thieves, not only shepherds.
    • These thieves can be the priests themselves, who did not have a good formation, or, who were allowed to continue without adequate formation.
    • They use the ministries to enrich themselves, to satisfy their vanities.
    • They are easily drawn to engage in tsismis (gossiping) by people who are deeply wounded, or, in business with business-minded people.
    • They are not trained to make sacrifices, to give their selves to the people.
    • They don’t care about accountability and proper decorum and proper speech.
    • They speak foul language as if they were canto boys. (uncouth)
    • Today, we pray for good vocations.
    • Good vocations start with good family background and upbringing.
    • Experience tells that those who come from dysfunctional or irreligious families are hard to form.
    • You spend more time counseling them and healing their woundedness than giving them solid foundation.
    • Good formation produces good priests, who use their minds (brains) and hearts.
    • They must be assisted in their human development. They must be sexually integrated at a certain point. (c/o Erickson)
    • Good people (congregations) who treat young vocations with delicadeza help produce good priests.
    • The celebration of the eucharist is the most sacred activity of the priest.
    • In the mass , the priest leads the congregation in praising God, and teaches them the proper Christian behavior (homily).
    • The eucharist is a source of strength for a priest, who is in trouble.
    • In the eucharist , we pray for the sanctification of priests and vocations.
  • Our Context of Sin and Grace
    • Many priests lack pastoral skills .
    • They find it hard to obey their bishops and superiors.
    • Many priests are torn apart by their relatives and by their divided congregations.
    • They become money makers for the need of their loved ones.
    • Some are drawn to worldly values ( gambling , drinking, smoking, etc.).
    • Lay people insulting their priests
    • Lay people spreading lies and tsismis against their priests, who don’t conform to their demands
    • Priests at the beck and call of the benefactors
    • Fostering good vocations
    • Supporting seminarians and seminaries
    • Vocation promotion
    • Treating young vocations with delicadeza
    • Parents teaching their children to love their priests, showing respect and reverence to them
    • Lay people praying for priests
    • Respect for priests
    • Priests with self respect
    The End!
  • Suggested Songs
    • Ikaw Ngayon Bukas
      • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLXGRycu6ko