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5th Easter C

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Dear sisters and brothers,

If you want to engage in community building, make sure you have love.

Fr. Cielo

Published in: Spiritual
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5th Easter C

  1. 1. Welcome to our Bible Study 5th Sunday of Easter C 24 April 2016 In preparation for this Sunday’s liturgy As aid in focusing our homilies and sharing Prepared by Fr. Cielo R. Almazan, OFM
  2. 2. 1st reading: Acts 14,21-27  21 After Paul and Barnabas had proclaimed the good news to that city and made a considerable number of disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch. 22 They strengthened the spirits of the disciples and exhorted them to persevere in the faith, saying, "It is necessary for us to undergo many hardships to enter the kingdom of God." 23 They appointed presbyters for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, commended them to the Lord in whom they had put their faith. 24 Then they traveled through Pisidia and reached Pamphylia. 25 After proclaiming the word at Perga they went down to Attalia. 26 From there they sailed to Antioch, where they had been commended to the grace of God for the work they had now accomplished. 27 And when they arrived, they called the church together and reported what God had done with them and how he had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles. The focus is on the missionary activities of the apostles.
  3. 3. 1st reading: Acts 14,21-27 Gospel proclamation coupled with exhortations  21 After Paul and Barnabas had proclaimed the good news to that city and made a considerable number of disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch. 22 They strengthened the spirits of the disciples and exhorted them to persevere in the faith, saying, "It is necessary for us to undergo many hardships to enter the kingdom of God." 23 They appointed presbyters for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, commended them to the Lord in whom they had put their faith. 24 Then they traveled through Pisidia and reached Pamphylia. Gospel proclamation coupled with accountability  25 After proclaiming the word at Perga they went down to Attalia. 26 From there they sailed to Antioch, where they had been commended to the grace of God for the work they had now accomplished. 27 And when they arrived, they called the church together and reported what God had done with them and how he had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles. A simple outline!
  4. 4. Textual Context of Acts 14,21-27 A. The First Missionary Journey (13, 14) 1. The Holy Spirit Set Paul and Barnabas Apart (13:1-3) 2. Cyprus and the Proconsul (13:4-12) 3. Pisidian Antioch: Paul's Sermon & the Reaction (13:13-52) 4. From Iconium to Lycaonia, Lystra and Derbe (14:1-7) 5. Lystra: A Lame Man Healed & the Reaction (14:8-20a) 6. The Return to and Stay at Antioch (14:20b-28)
  5. 5. 1st reading: Acts 14,21-27 Gospel proclamation coupled with exhortations  21 After they had proclaimed the good news to that city (Derbe) and made a considerable number of disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch. 22 They strengthened the spirits of the disciples and exhorted them to persevere in the faith, saying, "It is necessary for us to undergo many hardships to enter the kingdom of God." 23 They appointed presbyters for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, commended them to the Lord in whom they had put their faith. 24 Then they traveled through Pisidia and reached Pamphylia. Gospel proclamation coupled with accountability  25 After proclaiming the word at Perga they went down to Attalia. 26 From there they sailed to Antioch, where they had been commended to the grace of God for the work they had now accomplished. 27 And when they arrived, they called the church together and reported what God had done with them and how he had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles. Commentary The text describes the missionary efforts of Paul and Barnabas. Their missionary work consists in proclaiming the good news (v.21), in making disciples (v.21), in following up their converts, exhorting them to persevere (v.22), in appointing presbyters (overseers, supervisors), etc. (v.23) The apostles do not only commend the converts, they themselves are also commended (encouraged, acknowledged) v.26. They also gather the church together and report God’s acts. (v.27)
  6. 6. Reflections on the 1st reading  The text describes the apostles doing missionary work full blast.  Their task is to preach the word of the Lord.  They also follow up their converts and encourage them to persevere in their faith.  Here the spiritual leader has an important role in strengthening the faith of his/her community.  The success of missionary work is God’s great act.  In this Year of Faith, we must recapture the vigor of the first missionaries of the Church.  God will work wonders with us.
  7. 7. Responsorial Ps 145:8-9, 10-11, 12-13Responsorial Ps 145:8-9, 10-11, 12-13  R. (cf. 1) I will praise your name for ever, my king and my God.  8 The LORD is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and of great kindness.  9 The LORD is good to all and compassionate toward all his works.  10 Let all your works give you thanks, O LORD, and let your faithful ones bless you.  11 Let them discourse of the glory of your kingdom and speak of your might.  12 Let them make known your might to the children of Adam, and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.  13 Your kingdom is a kingdom for all ages, and your dominion endures through all generations.
  8. 8. Responsorial Ps 145:8-9, 10-11, 12-13  R. (cf. 1) I will praise your name for ever, my king and my God.  8 The LORD is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and of great kindness.  9 The LORD is good to all and compassionate toward all his works.  10 Let all your works give you thanks, O LORD, and let your faithful ones bless you.  11 Let them discourse of the glory of your kingdom and speak of your might.  12 Let them make known your might to the children of Adam, and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.  13 Your kingdom is a kingdom for all ages, and your dominion endures through all generations. Commentary  Vv.8-9 affirms God’s graciousness, mercy, kindness and goodness to all his creatures.  In vv.10-11, the psalmist prays to God that all his creatures thank, bless, praise and glorify him. (recognize his power)  Vv.12-13 continue the exhortation to recognize God’s greatness, kingdom and dominion which endure forever.
  9. 9. Reflections on the Psalm  We, Christians, are here to extol God, not ourselves.  It is our obligation to render him praise and thanksgiving.  In our liturgies, we recognize and celebrate God’s glory and power.  Celebrations are always meant to be communal.  Communal celebrations build up the Church.  Liturgical celebrations for just a small group are discouraged.
  10. 10. 2nd reading: Revelation 21,1-5a  1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth. The former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2 I also saw the holy city, a new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Behold, God's dwelling is with the human race. He will dwell with them and they will be his people and God himself will always be with them (as their God). 4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain, (for) the old order has passed away." 5 The one who sat on the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new." The focus is on the new heaven and new earth.
  11. 11. 2nd reading: Revelation 21,1-5a New  1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth. The former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2 I also saw the holy city, a new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. Passing of old order  3 I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Behold, God's dwelling is with the human race. He will dwell with them and they will be his people and God himself will always be with them (as their God). 4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain, (for) the old order has passed away." New  5 The one who sat on the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new." A simple outline!
  12. 12. Textual Context of Rev 21,1-5a  I. Prologue, Address, and Inaugural Vision (Ch. 1) Prologue (1:1-3) The Address (1:4-8) Vision of One Like a Son of Man (1:9- 20)  II. The Messages to the Seven Churches (Chs. 2-3)  III. The Scroll Vision (Chs. 4-5) The Heavenly Temple (Ch. 4) The Lamb and the Scroll (Ch. 5)  IV. The Seven Seals (6:1 -- 8:5) The First Four Seals (6:1-8) The Fifth Seal (6:9-11) The Sixth Seal (6:12-17) The Sealing of the Faithful (7:1-8) Song of Victory (7:9-17) The Seventh Seal (8:1-5)  V. The Seven Trumpets (8:6-11:19) The First Four Trumpets (8:6-13) The Fifth Trumpet (First Woe) (9:1-12) The Sixth Trumpet (Second Woe) (9:13-21) The Open Scroll (Ch. 10) The Temple Measured (11:1-2) The Two Witnesses (11:3-14) The Seventh Trumpet (11:15-19)  VI. The Woman and the Dragon (Ch. 12) The Woman and the Dragon (12:1-6) Victory in Heaven (12:7-12) Dragon and Woman (12:13-18)  VII. The Two Beasts (Ch. 13) The First Beast (13:1-10) The Second Beast (13:11-18)  VIII. Salvation and Judgment (Ch. 14) The Companions of the Lamb (14:1-5) Proclamation of Judgment (14:6-13) Harvest and Vintage (14:14-20) Harvest (14:14-16) Vintage (14:17-20)  IX. The Last Plagues (Chs. 15-16) Song of Moses and the Lamb (15:1-4) The Angels of the Bowls (15:5—16:1) The First Four Bowls (16:2-9) The Fifth Bowl (16:10-11) The Sixth Bowl (16:12-16) The Seventh Bowl (16:17-21)  X. The Harlot and the Beast (Ch. 17)  XI. The End of Babylon (18:1 - 19:10) The Fall of Babylon (18:1-8) Dirges Over Babylon (18:9-19) The Judgment of Babylon (18:20-24) Vindication of God’s People (19:1-10)  XII. The End of Evil (19:11-20:15) The End of the Beasts (19:11-21) The End of Satan (20:1-10) Satan Bound (20:1-3) Reign with Christ (20:4-6) End of the Dragon (20:7-10)  XIII. The New Jerusalem (21:1-22:5) The New Heaven and Earth (21:1-8) The New Jerusalem (21:9--22:5)  XIV. Epilogue (22:6-21)  Outline by Wilfred Harrington, 1993
  13. 13. 2nd reading: Revelation 21,1-5a New  1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth. The former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2 I also saw the holy city, a new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. Passing of old order  3 I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Behold, God's dwelling is with the human race. He will dwell with them and they will be his people and God himself will always be with them (as their God). 4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain, (for) the old order has passed away." New  5 The one who sat on the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new." Commentary  The text is about the vision of the author of the new heaven and the new earth.(v.1)  Included in the vision is the new Jerusalem, with imagery of a bride adorned for her husband (v.2)  V.3 tells of God’s dwelling with his people (all human race, not just in Jerusalem). This is new.  V.4 talks about sadness being wiped out. Finally, death will be conquered. This is new.  V.5 summarizes everything “I make all things new.
  14. 14. Reflections on the second reading  We, Christians, should be keen on what is new.  When God acts upon us, something new comes to us.  God is not the God of the old and the recycled.  If we are attentive to him and open to his inspiration, we will always experience something new and exciting.  We may be handling the same people and things, but we will see them differently every time we encounter them.  There is something wrong with us if after a long time, we still haven’t experienced something new, and we consider life boring.  We have a big problem.
  15. 15. Gospel: John 13,31-33a.34-35  31 When Judas had left them, Jesus said, "Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him. 32 (If God is glorified in him,) God will also glorify him in himself, and he will glorify him at once. 33 My children, I will be with you only a little while longer. You will look for me,  34 I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another. 35 This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."
  16. 16. Gospel: John 13,31-33a.34-35 Glorification of Jesus  31 When Judas had left them, Jesus said, "Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him. 32 (If God is glorified in him,) God will also glorify him in himself, and he will glorify him at once. 33 My children, I will be with you only a little while longer. You will look for me, Commandment of Love  34 I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another. 35 This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." A simple outline! There are two foci of the gospel text: glorification and love.
  17. 17. Gospel: John 13,31-33a.34-35Gospel: John 13,31-33a.34-35 Glorification of Jesus  31 When Judas had left, Jesus said, "Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him. 32 (If God is glorified in him,) God will also glorify him in himself, and he will glorify him at once. 33 My children, I will be with you only a little while longer. You will look for me, Commandment of Love  34 I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another. 35 This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." CommentaryCommentary The gospel reading is about glorification and the commandment of love. Vv.31-32 speak of the glorification not only of Jesus but of God himself, in relation to Judas’ betrayal. In v.33, Jesus bids good bye to his apostles. His good bye is the beginning of his glorification (going back to heaven). Vv.34-35 speak of the new commandment: loving one another. Christian discipleship is loving one another.
  18. 18. Textual Context of John 13,31-33a.34-35John 13,31-33a.34-35 Chapter-by-Chapter List of the Contents of John (by F. Just, S.J. - emphasizes geography and characters)  1 - Prologue; The Witness of John (the Baptist); The First Disciples of Jesus  2 - The Wedding Feast at Cana; Jesus’ First Passover in Jerusalem: The Cleansing of the Temple 3 - Jesus’ Conversation with Nicodemus; John (Baptist)’s testimony 4 - The Samaritan Woman at the Well; Healing of a Royal Official’s Son 5 - The Sabbath Healing of a Sick Man at the Bethzatha Pool in Jerusalem; Ensuing Controversy 6 - The Second Passover in Galilee: Feeding of 5000; Walking on Water; Bread of Life Discourse 7 - The Feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem; Jesus Teaches in the Temple; Diverse Reactions to Jesus 8 - [Adulterous Woman 7:53-8:11]; Jesus as "Light of the World"; Truth; Origin & Identity of Jesus 9 - The Sabbath Healing of a Man Born Blind near the Pool of Siloam; Ensuing Controversy 10 - The Good Shepherd Discourse; Feast of Dedication; Jesus Retreats across the Jordan 11 - The Raising of Lazarus at Bethany; Final Plot against Jesus; Jesus Retreats to Ephraim 12 - The Third Passover in Judea; Anointing at Bethany; Final Entry into Jerusalem; "the Hour"  13 - The Last Supper: Washing of Disciples’ Feet; Foretelling of Judas’ Betrayal & Peter’s Denial 14 - The Farewell Discourse (Part I), incl. Fear Not, Paraclete, Peace 15 - The Farewell Discourse (Part II), incl. Vine & Branches, Love & Hate, Paraclete 16 - The Farewell Discourse (Part II - cont.), incl. Persecutions, Paraclete, Joy, Prayer, etc. 17 - The Great Prayer of Jesus 18 - The Passion Narrative: incl. Arrest in Garden, Meeting in Annas’ House, Peter’s Denial, Jesus’ Trial before Pilate 19 - The Passion Narrative (cont.): Trial continues, Crucifixion, Death, Burial 20 - The Empty Tomb; the Risen Lord appears to Mary Magdalene, to the Disciples, to Thomas; First Conclusion (20:30-31)  21 - Epilogue: Breakfast Appearance by Sea of Tiberias; Peter’s Love & the Beloved Disciple; Second Conclusion (21:24-25)
  19. 19. Reflections on the gospel reading  We must be reminded that everything has an end.  The time comes when we have to bid good bye, like Jesus.  When we say good bye, do we leave good memories?  Will our associates keep our commandments?  Will they remember our love for them?  Are we going to a better place or state of life?  If we have kept the commandment of love and have proven to be disciples of Christ, we will share in the glory of God.
  20. 20. Tying the 3 readings and the Psalm  The first reading talks about the love of the apostles for Jesus as shown in their missionary activities.  The psalm calls us to celebrate God’s love for us.  The second reading is about the reward of those who love God. They will see the new things.  The gospel reading is about the glorification of Jesus and the Father and the commandment of loving one another. The preacher must develop love (agape) in his homily through the readings.
  21. 21. How to develop your homily and sharing  Begin by telling a story about your experience of love. (love from parents, love from your crush, love from your relatives and friends).  Love gives flavor to our lives.  We cannot live normally without it.  The readings teach what love is all about and how it should be practiced.
  22. 22.  First of all, in the the gospel reading, Jesus enjoins us to love one another.  It is God’s imperative.  It has nothing to do with romanticism or eroticism.  As Jesus’ disciples, we must show fraternal love for one another in the community.  Through this mutual and reciprocal love, we build up the Church.  We must love even if somebody out there is betraying us.
  23. 23.  The first reading demonstrates how the apostles, Paul and Barnabas, show love in their mission. (They strengthen, exhort, appoint leaders, etc.)  They show it by their teamwork and by caring for their communities (converts, recruits, new believers).  Love is relentless. It does not stop.  Love is giving oneself to God, in spite of persecutions and fatigue.  For God does not stop loving. His love is indefatigable.
  24. 24.  The second reading shows what is in store for us when we love.  Like the author, we will see the new heaven and new earth.  God does not fail to console us, who love.  He makes us see heavenly visions and hear heavenly sounds.  We can experience it here and now, if we respond to God’s love.
  25. 25.  This vision of the new heaven and new earth defines what love should be. (It is different from utopia.)  Love should be transformative.  Love should enable us to accomplish great things.
  26. 26.  What happens if we do not love one another (which also means each one living in isolation and independence)?  We are reneging our discipleship.  Like Judas Iscariot, we betray our commitment to Jesus.  We cannot contribute anything to the building up of the church, Christ’s body.  We are reverting back to the material world, where we manipulate, use, and abuse people for our selfish motives.
  27. 27.  In our parishes, there must be mutual love and respect among all the members and the parish priest, during meetings, planning and implementations.  When we pit ourselves against another, we compete, and never agree on anything, we fail to do God’s imperative.  It is time to reorganize again, to begin again.  The parish priest must be brave enough to remove those who create chaos in the church. He is bound by law to protect the church.  Love is supporting and encouraging the weak members, instead of criticizing them, giving unnecessary and uncharitable side remarks.
  28. 28. For the Philippines  In the coming elections (May 13), how can we practice reciprocal love?  Certainly, vote buying / intimidation / cheating has nothing to do with mutual love; it is mutual destruction.  Love has nothing to do with empty promises and dirty politics and dynastism.  Christians must take effort to frustrate the evil minds of politicians who want to gain or maintain power at all cost.  They love themselves at your expense.  Vote for those who love life.
  29. 29.  The eucharist is the sacrament of the love of Jesus Christ for all of us.  This eucharist strengthens those who have difficulty loving, because they feel betrayed, rejected and unforgiven.  In this eucharist, we start anew, to love anew and to anticipate the new heaven and the new earth.
  30. 30. Our Context of Sin and Grace  Jurassic love  Inability to relate, no friendship  Fearful of friendships  “Platonic” love  Perverted “love”  Betrayal  Utopia  Hard working servantsHard working servants  Unafraid to loveUnafraid to love  Easy to make friendsEasy to make friends  Practical lovePractical love  Filial loveFilial love  Love for the familyLove for the family  Love for one’s countryLove for one’s country (patriotism)(patriotism)  LoyaltyLoyalty  Love for the ChurchLove for the Church  Love for the priests and sistersLove for the priests and sisters  Love for workLove for work
  31. 31. Suggested Songs  Ubi Caritas  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2o27qpvfUc  Ang Mabuhay sa Pag-ibig by Hontiveros  Go Tell Everyone  Ikaw Ngayon Bukas  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLXGRycu6ko
  32. 32.  Dear sisters and brothers,  If you want to engage in community building, make sure you have love.  Fr. Cielo

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