Friday, May 29, 2009

May 31, 2009 Pentecost Sunday

Readings: ACTS 2: 1-11 PSALM 104: 1, 24, 29-30, 31, 34
1CORINTHIANS 12: 3B-7, 12-13 JOHN 20: 19-23

In John's Gospel, just before Christ's Ascension into Heaven, He appears, in a locked room, where His Apostles were gathered for fear of their lives. He quieted their fears when He showed them His hands and side, ate a bit of food, to show He had truly overcome death. HE WAS ALIVE!!

Then He said encouraging words. " As the Father has sent me", with His full authority over everything, " I also send you". Then He breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit; whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; whose sins you shall retain, they are retained." The belief of the Jews in Jesus time was all ills and misfortunes, which befall mankind, are the result of their personal transgressions against the Law.

Now, Jesus, the true Son of God, God incarnate, was granting them the power to forgive sins.

To them, it was awesome!! Had they been devious humans, they could have been zillionaires. Instead, they not only freely gave of the Grace of forgiveness, they, with the power and authority of God Himself, passed the authority on to this day, whereby, our Priests have the same authority and power to forgive as they did.

Moreover, the clergy are not exclusive! We also have the awesome power to forgive!!

The Apostles forgave sin and people were healed of many infirmities. We can forgive and heal a rift between family members or acquaintances, otherwise, the rift festers and becomes an open, running sore, incapable of healing.

St. Paul showed how far we must go in forgiving. Christ told the Apostles to forgive 7 X 70 or symbolically infinitely.

Paul takes on all the barriers against love and dissolves them in love. "

There is neither male nor female, slave or free, Jew or gentile, we are all brothers and sisters in Christ, our Lord.

We become one body with Christ as the Head. We are His brothers and sisters, true heirs with Him of the throne and life of Christ, through the Holy Spirit, in Union with the Father, God.

On Pentecost, the Disciples of Christ, all 120 of them were in the house hiding, when they heard the rumblings of the wind. (Ruah)The Holy Spirit(Ruah) entered each of their lives in the form of fire, the ancient symbol of God with them.

They were so filled with the burning of love, they burst into the streets and began to declare God's message. " Repent and be Baptized". Though they spoke in fractured Greek or Aramaic, being hicks from Galilee, all the pilgrims in Jerusalem for the Jewish feast of Pentecost, the Feast of Weeks, heard the message in their own native tongue.

In chapter 11 of Genesis, the people of the time tried to make a name for themselves, a euphemism for becoming gods, by building a tower into the heavens so they could intercept divine power.

God confused their speech, so, they couldn't communicate with each other. We call their speech, Babel after the tower they intended to build.

Here, the reverse is true. God wanted His message to spread among all the nations of the world. So, He unconfused their mouths and ears so they could all understand each other.

We need to recognize, in God's Holy Word, the simple message He brings. We are all from one species, humankind. As Paul so eloquently wrote, " There is neither male nor female. slave or free, Jew or gentile. We are all one in Christ Jesus, the Lord .




Saturday May 30, 2009 of the 7th week of Easter

Saturday May 30, 2009 of the 7th week of Easter
Readings: ACTS 28: 16-20, 30-31 Psalm 11: 4-7John 16: 7-13
Response: “The just will gaze on Your face, O Lord”

After a hazardous journey, Paul arrived in Rome and was placed under what we would call, house arrest. He was allowed visitors both from the Christian and the Jewish community and his message was the same to both.
“Christ has died, Christ had risen, Christ will rise again!”
How these familiar words ring our in our hearts as we celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Christ had left this legacy with His disciples as an everlasting memorial. Not in the sense of a remembrance but rather as a conscious participation in His sacrifice, in an unbloody manner, as He directed.
Paul remained in chains until he was executed, by beheading, by Nero, as a possible threat to his rule.
Are we willing to forego this veiled life for the sake of the eternal life Christ promised?
Examine your conscience! If there is any bar to your eternal existence, confess your guilt and ask for the forgiveness promised by God through His envoys our Priests.

As our Psalm states, “the just will gaze on His face”. His Holy Temple resides in heaven where He will judge the sheep and the goats and according to their deeds, He will assign them to their everlasting reward or punishment!

In closing his Gospel, John reveals the disciple whom Jesus loved to be the author. Peter’s question was to evoke Jesus’ response to what would happen to John. When Jesus sort-of rebuked Peter by telling him it wasn’t truly his concern Peter assumed John would not die. Tradition tells us John lived a long life but he had to face the final judgment, just as Peter and all those who followed Jesus would.
To confirm the teachings of the Church would not be completely in the New Testament writings, John closes out his Gospel by noting, if everything said and done by Jesus were to be written the whole world couldn’t contain it .
Catholics depend on their Church as instituted by God and sustained in truth by the Holy Spirit to guard their deposit of Faith as essential to their salvation and all people of the world!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Friday May 29, 2009 of the 7th week of Easter

Friday May 29, 2009 of the 7th week of Easter

Readings: ACTS 25: 13b- 21 Psalm 103: 1-2, 11-12, 19-20 John 21: 15-19
Psalm Response: The Lord has established His throne in Heaven”

Of the four sons of Herod the Great, Agrippa seemed to have an affinity with the Jews. The Herods weren’t Jews and usually derided them except Agrippa, and his sister, Bernice, at least sympathized with the divergent views and listened with an intense ear.
Festus had been left with Paul as his prisoner by his predecessor, Felix, who phumphed in his duty to tend to the affairs under his jurisdiction.
Festus didn’t know or care about these disputes over interpretations of the Jewish Law.
So, when Agrippa showed up, like Felix, he tried to shunt the responsibility on to him as the tetrarch of the area. Agrippa was rather a weak administrator and wasn’t much help in Festus’ dilemma.
When Paul insisted on his right as a Roman citizen, Festus took the easy path and relegated him to be sent to Rome for Imperial decision.
This periscope is an example of passing the buck.
Well, in our case, as Harry Truman said, ‘The buck stops here.”
When we are challenged about our beliefs, unless we’re knowledgeable of our faith and its Traditions, we will also pass the buck. St. Peter, in his 1st letter 3: 15b-17 describes what our conduct should be when confronted with opposition. We cannot abide by the first Pope’s edict, if we are weak in our own understanding of our Faith.
How do we do this?
Don’t allow your religious education end when you leave Catholic School or CCD. Read the Catechism of the Catholic Church, even if you’re bored to tears. You could learn something! Search the Scriptures for God’s answers to your questions. He wrote the Book! Listen to the Liturgy of the Word during Mass and especially the Homily!

Old Peter must have been chagrined when Jesus asked him, three times, if he loved Him!
Jesus wasn’t getting even! He was trying to show us His selection to lead His flock ( Us) when He would no longer be personally here.
We humans have an innate tendency to want to feel, touch and personally see what we’re supposed to believe. However, if we believe the Bible in the Word of God, read John Chapter 20: 29a,b. again and again!
We are the heritage of the Saints who preceded us!

Thursday May 28, 2009 of the 7th week of Easter

Readings: ACTS 22: 30; 23: 6-11 Psalm 16: 1-2a, 5, 7-11 John 17: 20-26
Psalm Response: " Keep me safe O God, You are my hope"

The daily readings from ACTS, skip two(2) chapters of Paul's journey to Jerusalem.
In the custody of the Roman protector who couldn't understanmd what all the hullaballu was all about, decided to ascertain the truth by having Paul, accused by the Sanhedrin, appear before the body to defend himself.
Sadducees were the Temple religious leaders and were intent on having Paul respond to their accusations they thought were in line with theri belief. The Sadducees didn't believe in the resurrection of the dead nor in angels or spirits.
The Pharisees, on the other hand, were lay religious leaders and they professed belief in both the resurrection and angels and spirits.
Paul, a Pharisee from birth, had preached the resurrection. So, he proclaimed he was on trial because of his belief in the resurrection of the dead.
The opposite views on the matter exploded into a melee, where the Captain of the Guard feared Paul would have been torn to shreads. So, he extricated Paul from their grasp into a Guarded compound for his own safety.
That night, in a dream, Jesus appeared to Paul and encouraged him to remain faithful, as Jesus wanted to have Paul in Rome, as His envoy, along with Peter to help establish His name among the pagan world.
Have you ever proposed Catholic truth to nay-sayers? Their reaction, at times may also be violent.
Nevertheless, we are enjoined by God through our Church to remain faithful to their teachings in throes of possible injury or even death. To Catholics and some Orthodox Christians, the Church is the voice of God especially when all the world has turned away from Him.

The Psalm and response is solace for a troubled world. We may not encounter Christ in a dream or reality. However, He has established His Church with Divine authority to be our help in times of misunderstanding and outright error. Listen to Her as She issues warnings against heresy and misinformation; the Church is our safeguard!

In this passage from John's Gospel, Jesus prays for Unity. Not just among ourselves, which may be nice, but with Him, an action unifying Him and us with the Father as He said.
Jesus is the Word through Whom creation occured. We must listen only to Him through His Church and do as He did. He proclaimed His unity with the Father and through His Word, puts us on a par with Himself.
His words are spirit and life.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Wednesday May 27,2009 of the 7t Week of Easter

Readings: ACTS 20: 28-38 Psalm 68: 29-30, 33-36ab John 17: 11b-19
Respaonse: " Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth"

The presbyters and overseers, relate to our present day Priests and Bishops. these words from ACTS are aonfirmation of the Tradition of the Church to appoint Bishops, who, in turn consecrate Priests to serve the people as he had served the Asiatic countries.
It must have been a heartwrenching scene as paul gave his final blessing and advise. They were truly distressed at the prospect of never seeing his dace again. Oral tradition claimed Paul was short, balding, with a long nose; not the picture of the current vogue.
However, his last words to themwas to be vigilent to the teachings he had related to hem and not stray from the truth when other gospels are presented as the truths they must engage.
Pointing out his mission was to serve,without recompense,by the work of his hands, he was a tentmaker and plied his trade along with Priscilla and Aquila who were his partners. Therefore, their preaching the Gospel should not bring them wealth and stature but rather guidence of the Lord.

The Gospel passage relates Jesus' insistence on the unity with which they were to sustain each other. His prayer was for them to be one in word and deed so no one could accuse them of controversy or stirring up emotions. the necessary ingredients of their faithwhich they were to hand on weren't negotiable.
Thanks t our Churches vigilence, the unchanging message has been kept as in a vault.
Pray it will always be so and you will not be tempted by the allures of fashion.

Tuesday May 26, 2009 of the 7th Week in Easter

Readings: ACTS 20: 17-27 Psalm 68: 10-11, 20-21 John 17: 1-11a
Response: " Sing to God all Kingdoms of the earth"

Paul winds up his missionary journeys with a fairwell address to his faithful presbyters and their Churches. He has known prevation and persecution as no other servant of Christ could boast. However, he wasn't boastful when he speaks, lovingly, to the Church.
In tears he predicts he'll not have a pleasant time in Jerusalem because he has turned from an avid Jew into a most holy Christain, both as a participant in the Eucharist and as a teacher par excellance.
As he bids adieu, he reminds them of their heritage and urges them to continue on the path he showed them.

Our heritage came to us, mostly, from our loving parents. In this memorial season, if they are no longer with us, let us recall the many lessons they taught us and rededicate ourselves to the values they lived.

In the Gospel story, lest we assume we've had it made by our lives, Jesus is telling His disciples, they were orphans and the Father assigned them to Him. Not everyone who cries, "Lord, Lord" will be received into eternal bliss but those whom the Father gave to His son. They have been selected and gleaned like fruit to last until they are called home. Grant us the grace necessary for our salvation will come to all as they Sing to God and proclaim His name throughout the earth!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Monday May 25, 2009 of the 7th week of Easter

Readings: ACTS 19: 1-8 Psalm 68: John 16: 29-33
Response: " Sing to God, O Kingdoms of the Earth"

As Paul continued his missionary journey, he often encountered converts who had not received the entire message of salvation. Never a shrinking violet. Paul asked the present group if they had received the Holy Spirit. They responded they hadn't even heard of the Holy Spirit but had only received the Baptism of John the Baptist.
Much like the candidates from other Christian traditions who ask to be admitted to the Faith, Paul immediately Baptized them into the fulness of Faith and they also receive the Holy Spirit evidenced by the sacred gifts poured out upon them.
We don't see or hear too much about these recognizable signs of completion but we czn be assured we have received them by the confirmtion of our Church who was commissioned to so confer them.
You can recognize some of them in your call to know more about your Faith and as you practice it you'll become even more aware.

In the Gospel passage, either because they were enlightened, or, thought they were enlightened, the Apostles claimed to now know what Jesus was talking about. He had to remind them how shallow was their faith. Even though they profess enlightenment, Jesus, "knowing everything" as they said, had to tell them of their abandonment when push came to shove.
We like to think our faith is immovable. Mostly bcause we haven't been challenged.
If one of our chidren suffers a dibilitating accident or illness, does our faith strengthen? Or do we lose some semblence and call out to God, Why? Why?
It is our human nature to think we're always in control! When misfortune occurs our faith becomes more sure when we call out to God as the King of the earth for His will to prevail! Only at our demise will we know the reasons for God's will which we may have denied.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Saturday of the 6th Week of Easter

May 23, 2009
Readings ACTS 18: 23-28 Psalm 47: 2-3, 8-9, 10 John 16: 23b- 28
Response: "God is King over all the Earth!"
Retracing his steps, Paul makes it a point to visit all the Churches he had established in Greece and turkey. His purpose was two-fold. One, to reconfirm their faith and two to answer any questions they might have.
The Bishops of our time do much the same. They are assigned, in succession to the original Bishops, to a territory including many parishes. He visits them on occasion to preach in his own way and to answer any perplexing questions we might have.
While in Ephesis, Paul ran into a Jewish Scripture scholar named Apollos, who was a
convert to Christianity and spoke eloquently about his understanding of the Scriprues. Priscilla and Aquila heard him and although his message was great it had some portions which didn't agree with the message they were taught and which Paul proclamed. Since there can be only one truth, they took him under their wing, so to speak,and he was able on his journey to other areas to expound what he had been taught in a clearer manner.

The psalm response reminds us Who's in charge, He is omniscent so His word can not be denied. No ruler, king or savant can oppose Him in what they teach for ultimately He is the source of truth, through His Holy Spirit.

Christ in His discertations from time to time may have spoken in terms the Apostles didn't completely understand. In the message from today's reading He will speak in language no one can misunderstand.
People in our day try to twist the teachings of our Church to suit their own agenda. In the case of the Church's absolute prohibition of direct abortion,for any reason, the "choice" people offer "sensible' reasons for permitting the tremination of a baby. " It's justa blob" they'll say; or
"it'll ruin my dasughter's, sister's, cousin's carrer". and the line goes on interminable to " she, we can't afford another mouth to feed and educate.
What do they not understand when God's says"I knew you from your mother's womb"?
(Jerimiah 1: 5)

Ascention Sunday May 24, 2009

Date: May 24, 2009, Ascension / 7th Sunday of Easter
Readings: Acts 1: 1-11 Psalm 47:2-3,6-9 Ephesians 1: 17-23 John 24:46-53
Acts 7: 55-60 Psalm 97:1-2,6-7,9 Rev. 22:12-14,16-17,20 John 17-:20-26

This year, our Diocese moved the feast of the Ascension to Sunday after years of celebrating the feast of the Thursday 40 days after the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
So we have several readings to choose from and ponder their meaning in our lives.
Acts1 is the beginning of the second volume of Luke's reflections on the life of Jesus and His disciples. The disciples were still in shock at this juncture. They were still filled with the notion Jesus would establish an earthly kingdom and they would be the rulers. His answer was as emphatic as He could be without being rude. "Sorry, boys, the power you'll receive from the Holy Spirit, will not be Earthly but Heavenly". He was then taken from them in a cloud, signifying His Divinity. The message of the Angels was He would return to them in much the same way one day.
Acts 7 is essentially about Steven, one of the seven Hellenistic Deacons selected to help the apostle spread the word. He was so forceful in his zeal for souls, he also stepped over the bounds of propriety when he claimed seeing Christ at the Father's right hand in heaven. Steven also used similar words as he fell, dying, from the blows of the stoning he bore for Christ's sake.
The message is, "Don't expect a ring of protection to be put around you if you take on the world and proclaim what they refuse to see. You may suffer, even die, here on Earth. But, your heavenly abode cannot be taken away.
Both Psalm 47 and 97 proclaim God as King and ruler over all the gods of the earth. He is symbolized in the cloud cover and He sits upon His throne to judge the people with equity.
The readings from Ephesians point out our destiny. We are His Body, the Church. Therefore, we cannot have factions taking their lead from unrevealed experience. He has appointed us to various roles in our society. Consequently, we must develop the gifts to better serve our fellow Christians and, thereby, tie the binds securely.
The ending of the Book of Revelation enjoins us to call upon the Lord, to have confidence in His Word. He wants all to be saved. Call to Him, "Come Lord Jesus, Come!"
The call for unity in John should be the hallmark of all our ecumenical efforts. Not because we are right and they are wrong but to lovingly invite them to share the wondrous gift of the Eucharist by which all may be one in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Friday May 22, 2009 of the Sixth Week of Easter

Readings: ACTS 18: 9-18 Psalm 47: 2-7 John 16: 20-23
Psalm Response: " God is King over all the earth!"

This is the story of Paul's second vision, the first being his conversion on the way to Damascus. In this vision, Paul is encouraged to remain steadfast. God was with him!
Wouldn't it be neat to have personal guarantees from the Lord you would not be harmed? However, God's promise was Paul's eternal salvation and his entrance into eternal life would not be harmed.
God, them appoints an official of the Romans Gallio, to rebuff the Jews by refusing to recognize a violation of Roman Law. As a result, in their frustration, they took their anger out on a synagogue official.

The Psalm follows the first reading by proclaiming His Kingship over all the nations and that is the case!

Jesus uses the example of a woman's labor pains being forgottenonce the child is borne.
One of our sons' wives claimed, "Christ must have been a man!' She remembered every contractio, nausea attack, uncomfortablness, constipation and hemmeroids.

The example still provides the exteraordinary gift God gives to al believers and even to the irreverant.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Thursday May 20, 2009 of the Sixth Week of Easter

Thursday May 21, 2009 of the Sixth Week of Easter
Readings: ACTS 18: 1-8 Psalm 98: 1-4 John 16: 16-20
Psalm Response: “The Lord has revealed to the nations His saving power”

His limited success in Athens, didn’t stem Paul’s enthusiasm for the Word. He attempted, in his convincing speeches to have the Jews recognize Christ as the Messiah but they would have none of it from Paul or anyone else.
In concert with what Christ told His missionaries, “When they do not listen to you, shake the dust from your clothes as evidence of their refusal to listen to My Word!”, Paul literally went out and shook the dust from his clothes. Declaring them to be on their own, he told them from now on he would go to the gentiles who would at least listen.
His message wasn’t entirely disdained, as some of the listeners, even a synagogue official believed and had his entire household Baptized!

The psalm is evidence the Word would continue to be spread throughout the land by songs, sermons and acts of charity all repeating the same message, “Love one another!”

Jesus makes a confusing statement to the disciples. How can He say, “You will not see me” and then say, “You will see me” and not confuse them? They were simple men, farmers and fishermen, not schooled in Scripture and Tradition.
However, He promises their sorrow would be turned into Joy as an indication of His resurrection without saying it outright.
Perhaps the writer of John recalls the words of Jesus in the other Gospels. “Those who are for you cannot be against you”; meaning there will be contradictions from other sources but they are to rely only on His word, and the reminders of the Advocate whom He will send.

Our assurances will come, not from hidden voices but from the voice of the Church. The Church doesn’t make hollow decisions. After many hours, weeks and months the decisions of the various councils have been discussed to a fair thee well before being certified by the Pope and circulated throughout the world and binding on us all!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Wednesday May 20, 2009

Wednesday May 20, 2009 of the Sixth Week of Easter
Readings: ACTS 17: 15, 22- 18: 1 Psalm 148: John 16: 12-15
Psalm Response: “Heaven and Earth are full of Your glory”

The people of the Areopagus were educated Greeks and followers of the many philosophers who loved controversy and discussion of issues about whih they could engage in banter.
They often welcomed strangers to speak to them so they could argue pro and con, not really caring which side they were on.
Paul was such a speaker! He tried some of their own philosophical means to draw their attention and perhaps convince them of his premise.
He praised their sanctity by pointing out the many gods they depicted with statues and idols. One in particular to the “unknown god”, struck his fancy .Using it as a starting point, Paul segued into a dissertation about the ONE GOD whom he proposed who had been crucified, buried and after three days in the tomb was resurrected. The Greek word for “ resurrection “ is “Anastasia”. With that, they scoffed at his introduction of yet another god and advised him in a derogatory manner, they would hear more about that another time; as much to say,” Tell me another!”
He was, however, able to convince a small cadre of adherents to join him in his mission to the gentiles.
The psalmist generates praise from any source. God doesn’t discriminate and often uses unlikely sources to bring about the understanding of His teachings. He could even use YOU!
Jesus’ final words to His disciples, encourages them to remain steadfast. He confirms His divinity and also that of the Holy Spirit by affirming the Holt Spirit’s will is also His and the Father’s.
In our limited capacity, it sometimes is difficult to be able to fathom the intent of the passages we read day in and day out. That is why Christ established Hs Church to be sure the message is straight-foward and requires an authority to He, Himself established.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Tuesday May 19, 2009

Tuesday May 19, 2009 of the Sixth Week of Easter
Readings: ACTS 16: 22-34 Psalm 138: 1-3, 7-8 John 16: 5-11
Psalm Response: “Your right hand saves me, O Lord.”

Paul and Silas continue their errand of mercy, bringing salvation to the pagan world. They weren’t greeted as messengers of God but rather as opponents of the realm.
Therefore, the magistrates had them flogged and tossed into prison, shackled with chains to the wall in the depths of the dungeon.
As missionaries for Christ, they were familiar with the suffering and flogging He had received at the hands of the pagan rulers and His warning they would also have to undergo privation, beatings and even death for the Faith.
So strong was their faith, even in their suffering, they praised God by the singing of Psalms. The other prisoners noted their faith and when the earth shook at God’s hand, they themselves shook with fear.
The jailer, charged with guarding them under the penalty, if they escaped, he would take their place, when the doors flew open and he assumed they had escaped decided to kill himself instead of replacing them with himself. Paul and Silas stopped him. When he realized God had intervened for them, he pleaded for help in attaining salvation.
Paul and Silas instructed him and his whole household in the faith and believing; they were all Baptized..
When all seems lost and we are prisoners of our sinful nature, it is then we should be on our knees begging God to intervene and give us the Faith to believe He saved us and will bring us to the Glory of Heaven, if we persevere.

What is the assurance we need when the time is ripe for our recognition of His care for us. Christ, before he ascended to the Father, assured His disciples He would send another Advocate to remind them and His Church of everything He had taught tham. The new Advocate would remain with them’til the end of the world!
We are heirs of the promise made to His disciples. The Holy Spirit was granted us at our Baptism and will remain, at time silent, in our hearts, ready to recall everything we’ve been taught by our Church.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Monday of the Sixth Week of Easter

Readings: ACTS 16: 11-15 Psalm 149: 1-6, 9 John 15: 26- 16: 4
Pslm Response: " The Lord takes delight in His peopel"

" Lydia, a dealer in purple!"
What significance can this small detail in this narrative of Luke's 2nd volume have?
We need to have an inkling of the social structure of the times in order for the descriptive account to make sense.
In the Greek and Roman societies, it was not usual for a woman to take an active part in the commerce of the cities and towns..
Purple cloth was the most expensive because the dye, necessary to give cloth a purple shade, usually reserved for the upper classes or Royalty, was extracted, a drop at a time, from a conch-like sea animal.
Lydia may have been the widow. At her husband's death, she would have inherited the Purple Cloth busness from him. Even in our modern cultures, purple denotes upperclasses. We've dubbed it "Royal Purple". Also, as "head of a household", she was responsible for a considerable contingent of folks; included were her immediate family, brothers, sisters and children; but also, those who lived in the typical compound with responsibility for the behavior of all the constituents of the compound.
At this time in History, there is speculation, it is probable, Lydia may have conducted Eucharistic services.
Ordination and formation for priests came much later in the History of Catholicism.
Although there is no empirical evidence to attest to the probabllity, it was usally the head of the household who was designated by the Bishops to follow the primitive liturgy as it was known.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Sixth Sunday of Easter May 17, 2009

Date: Sunday May 17, 2009
Readings: ACTS 10: 25-26,34-35, 44-48
Response: Psalm 98:1-4 Response: The Lord has revealed to the Nations His saving power.
1 John 4: 7-10 John 15: 9-17
The first formal Bible Study, in which I was a participant, was the Book of ACTS. All the seventy-three books of the Bible were revealed as inspired by the Council of Hippo in about 395 AD. The Book of ACTS was a revelation to me. I had read or listened to most of the books by celebrating daily Mass as a boy and even until today. However, I had never "studied" the Book.
Since 1983, I have never stopped studying the Books of the Bible and I pray I will be able to continue until God takes me home.
The reading from ACTS for today outlines the first venture by the Apostles into Gentile Territory. After all they were all Jews and thought Jesus' message was to go only to the Jews. They were to profess a New Way of Judaism.
What a surprise for Peter, the head of the Church and his other Jewish companions! These gentiles had received the Holy Spirit just as they had! Somehow, the disciples of Jesus, the risen Christ, were to go to "all the nations". Their mission was not to exclude anyone! As a result, the message was proclaimed, eventually, through all the earth. Because God does not discriminate, we all have the privilege of having Baptism, as our entrance into the one true Faith.
Psalm 98 is recited, daily, by every Pope, Bishop, Priest, Deacon and Religious as part of the divine office. God's justice and mercy goes out to all the earth.
John's first letter says again, the necessity of love in our lives. To remain part of Jesus, encompassed by His Divinity, we are enjoined to Love one another. The measure of our faith comes from the love we exhibit to all God's children.

The Gospel message reiterates the common theme. Love one another! We hear others praying to receive God's gifts in Jesus Name. Does that mean all we have to do is pray and end each prayer." In Jesus' Name!"
The phrase means we are to pray as Jesus would! Always meaning according to God's will, not ours. If we have the confidence of Christ, we will receive what is in the interest of all, the true measure of our oneness with God.
Multiplying words will not achieve God's Will.

Saturday of the Fifth Week of Easter

Readings: ACTS 16: 1-10 Psalm 100: 1-3,5 John 15: 18-21

At first glance, Paul seems to recant on his opinion, new converts need not abide by the works of the law, especially circumcision. However, faith of the mother in the tradition of the Jews determined the faith of the children. Since Timothy'd father was a Greek, a non-believer, inorder for Tim to be acceptable in Jewish assemblies, Paul thought it best he be circumcised. Timothy was special ambassador for Paul and Paul considered him his spiritual son.
One wonders; " Did the Jews strip search unknown males to check whether they were properly dressed to enter into the Temple?

Christ's message to His disciples and us is to expect controversy! We believe Christ's resurrection from the dead. No one before, nor since, has been raised from the dead by the Father. Therefore, our associates, friends and even family could ridicule and demean us with theri barbed comments. The Greeks in Athens had the same reaction! When he spoke of the Athanasia, teh resurrection in Greek, he turned them off to argue, " Talk to us some i=other time." as they thought he was referring to another of the plentitude of gods in their midst.
We can expect the same treatment! Be steadfast! The Holy Spirit will give you the words to use at the proper moment.
Learn your faith! When people deride your religion or beliefs be ready to respond with love to anyone who may wonder about your shouts of joy!

Friday, May 15, 2009

May 15, 2009 Friday of the Fifth Week of Easter

Readings: ACTS 15: 22-31 Psalm 57: 8-10, 12 John 15: 12-17
Psalm Response: " I will give You thanks among the peoples, O Lord"

As the Mother Church sent word to the other communities around the area, today, the Church Universal, the Catholic Church, from time to time will call its leaders together to mull over current problems and understandings to discuss, analyze and decide, in the present situation, what measures must be taken. They then vote to accept and promulgate the decision to the world.
Just as in the days of the Apostles the decision wasn't unannimous today's councils depend on a 2/3 majortity to the write to the outlying Churches their decisions.
In our readings for today, the Apostles, led by the first Pope, Peter, considered the propsals of Paul and Barnabus and others in their company, and, after deciding, wrote to the other communities expressing their decision and some of the prohibitions and permissions.
Delegates were selected to take the letter back to the communities to assure them of the decisions binding resolutions to their problems.
In our day, some of the decisions of the VaticanII council didn't sey too well with what we thought were traditions set in stone. Although the council didn't start any new dogma, it clarified the old and confirmed some of the earlier councils decisions by making clarifications no one could misunderstand.
They formulated their decisions in dogmatic terms and promulgated them to the Church in disaspora; that's us.

We are obliged to give obedience to the decisions with full faith the Holy Spirit doesn't make mistakes!

Our Lord, in some of HIs final words to His disciples didn't write His plan for making us into a unit of like seeing peopel. However, He told them His father's will was for them to love one another as they were loved! He didn't force the plan on them as slaves but as friends who would understand and agree with the sense He intended.
We are also friends, if we abide in His love and spread the love to every living soul!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Thursday May 14, 2009 of the Fifth Week of Easter

Readings: ACTS 15: 7-21 Psalm 96: 1-3, 10 John 15: 9-11
Psalm Response: " Proclaim God's marvelous deeds to all the nations"

One of the most denied concepts of the Traditions of our Church is the idea of Councils and Apostolic succession. It is as though Jesus, God, eft His Church to lurch about on its own with no guidelines or direction.
Although the idea of Councils is not explicitly chronicled,the latter is, at least, implied in todays reading from ACTS. Peter alludes to his own selection by Jesus to spread the Good News to all the nations. James, a relative of Jesus and an overseer, (Bishop) of the Jerusalem Church, is implied to have authority in his diocese, just as the Bishops of the dioceses all over the world were selected by the Church to direct its path of righteousness.
Jesus imposed His own authority on them, ( John 20: 21-22) when He said, "As the Father sent Me,( with the full authority) I also send you.(Apostles, those sent). He breathed on them animating in them the Holy Spirt with the attendent power to forgive sin or bind the sinner.
Christ's admonition to His disciples in His order to them was the formula for their accomplisment, the obedience of Faith. (Paul Rms 1: 5, 16: 26)
We can all learn from the words of today's readings. We are not our own. Jesus has given us the Faith and the ability to recall His precepts He established for the Church. We cannot disregard the Churches teaching and say we are Catholic!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Wednesday May 13, 209 of the Fifth Week of Easter

Readings: ACTS 15: 1-6 Psalm 122: 1-5 J0hn 15: 1-8
Psalm Response: "Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord"

The opposite side. of the perserverence coin. expresses an early Christian dilemna.
They were all converts from paganism! Were they to undergo circumcisn and abide by the Laws of Dueteronomy and Leviticus? From Paul's and Barnabus' pragmatism, we can see they were opposed. They therefore, turned to the Mother Church in Jerusalem, for clarification and direction. They knew what they wanted for the New Communities bur bowed to the authority of the Church, the founding Apostles for the ultimate decisions.
We are like Paul and Barnabus. We think we know what the Church teaches and sometimes we get it right. However, when there is a conflict betweenour concept of the Natural law and that of the Church, if we wish to be true Apostolic Christians, we consult the Church through our pastors before we become "experts".

Christ as the Vine, makes a practical statement. We are unable to bear fruit, as branches, apart from the Vine. Even if the branch has been grafted to the vine, it depends on the vine for its life and vitaity.
Like Paul and Barnabus,we are to depend on the teaching office of the Church for the truth. Branches broken from the source eventual;y will wither and die!

Tuesday May 12, 209 of the Fifth Week of Easter

Readings" ACTS 14: 19-28 Psalm 145: 10-13, 21 John 14: 27- 31a
Psalm Response: " Your friends maje known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of Your Kingdom"

Paul and barnabus were getting a reputation as preachers. The Jews from Antioch, jealous of their success conspired with their cohorts in Iconium to contend with them. However, they were no match for the wisdom of God emanating from the lips of God's servants.
Unable to match Paul and Barnabus' arguements, they decided to stone paul as the leader . Stoning in=sn't just tossing pebbles at a criminal, it often inflicted fatal injuries. Paul was left for dead! he was then thrown outside the city walls to rot as was the custom.
Some of paul's recent converts, probably full of the Holy Spirit, prayed over his inert body only to have him resuscitate and immediately go back into the city to veerbally confront the evil- doers.
The next day, Paul and Barnabus, after confirming the converts, sailed for Antioch in Syria to report to the Saints all thay had axccomplished with the Holy Spirit's help. Before going back to report on the progres among the Gentiles, they appointed presbytrs to attend to the spiritual neeeds of the community and to answer their many questions.
How do we spread the Good News of God's Love for His people?
We usually don't have the words to articulate our belief. However, if our actions on their behalf are as they should be, volumes of words to the confirm our faith will fall on receptive ears.

According to the psalm, we, His friends, will make known the glory of His Kingdom. We may profess our faith but showing, by works of charity and love, will make the message of His Kingdom clear!

Before Christ went off to be betrayed and handed over to the rioters, He revealed to His small contingent what would happen to Him. Howver, He advised them not to be troubled or afraid. He wouldn't leave them orphans but would insure His father's love for them by making the "evil one" subject to them, if they remain steadfast!
We have the same assurances. Nothing on Earth can withstand the power of God's love. Our Faith is the benchmark of the glory He has reserved for us. We need only ask and remain faithful to the end!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Monday of the Fifth Week of Easter

ACTS 14:5-18 Psalm 115: 1-4, 15-16 John 14:21-26
" Not to us, O Lord, but to Your name give glory!

We find ourselves in the same mood as the Lyconians. Some "unknown" celebrity becomes famous or "infamous" through the medium of a melody or poem catching our ears or eyes. Adulation beyond any normal expectation focuses on the celebrity believing their talent or uniqueness is self-generated .
Our Lord insures us we'll know His Commandnets and the Spirit will remind us when we stray. The Church suggests an examination of conscience before every confession, reviewing our conduct in the light of Scripture and Tradition. Clearing our conscience permits us to worthily approach the table of the lord and receive Him; body and soul, humanity and divinity to grant us the courage to remain in His love!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

5TH Sunday of Easter May 10, 2009

Date: Sunday May 10, 2009
Readings: ACTS 9: 26-31 1John 3:18-24 John 15: 1-8 Psalm 22: 26-28, 30-32
Response: "I will praise you, Lord, in the assembly of your people"

Paul had been the prime persecutor of the early Church. He had stood by when Stephen was stoned to death. Perhaps, because he was part of the ruling party, he couldn't actively participate in the stoning but he approved. Shortly after he watched Stephen die for his faith in Jesus, Paul started out for Damascus to arrest and extradite any who professed belief in this Jesus as the Messiah. They were called "The New Way". Not a separate sect of Judaism but a splinter group. On his way, Paul experienced the risen Lord. Jesus talked to him, personally taught him and had him brought to Straight Street , blind, where Ananias placed his hands on him and he received his sight. How would you react to Paul? Stories about his determination to stamp out the New Way , spread throughout the small Christian community. They didn't trust him! Neither did his backers, the Sanhedrin. Paul was like a fish out of water. Until Barnabus, described as a good man, full of the Holy Spirit took him in hand and introduced him to the Apostles as trustworthy. Many of you are going to be released and will be back on the Street. Do you have someone, full of the Holy Spirit, to help you fit back into society? Take on the humility of Paul; ask God for help! He will see to it, someone will cross your path able to help.

Just before Easter, Psalm 22 was heard in the Passion Narratives of Matthew and Mark. " My God, My God, why have you abandoned me." Many people in Jesus' time thought He was complaining about His Sacrifice. Not at all!!! Everyone who really knew this lament, could mentally skip through to these verses of praise and thanksgiving. To them, stopping after the 1st verses was like reading only the first chapter of a book and putting it down. Jesus knew His Father would make the road straight.

As an introduction to the Gospel Reading for Sunday, the 1st letter of John Gives us the formula for salvation. LOVE! Without love we could not believe in God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We could not truly know our neighbor. Keeping the commandments lets us love our neighbor. In that way, we truly become branches of God's vineyard. We normally do not like discipline, pain or suffering. We say, "Give me lots of grace, forgiveness and compassion, but, spare me the pain".

The way we build up resistance to the temptations all around us is to accept the trials sent our way and use them as a buffer between sin and righteousness. We will all be tempted, however, God's Grace will be sufficient for us to shunt sin aside to become God's ambassadors here on Earth until we are called from our journey to our heavenly abode with Jesus.

Saturday, May 9, 2009


Saturday May 9, 2009 of the Fourth Week of Easter

Readings: ACTS 13: 44-52 Psalm 98: 1-4 John 14: 7-14
Psalm Response: “All the ends of the earth have seen the power of God.”

When we consider Jews were the only race proclaiming One God and along comes some upstart proclaiming Jesus as equal to their concept of One God, they were hacked! How dare someone claim their exclusive right! They were really riled. So much they were about to do harm to Paul and his companions.
So, Paul straightened them out right quick!
"We were enjoined by Jesus to preach His salvation first to you. Since you have refused to believe the word of God’s son, we will be forceD to bring others into the fold, the dreaded Gentiles!"
As a sign of the disloyalty to God, Paul and his companions left the precincts of the Jews and brushed their dust from their clothes as a sign of disengagement!
They were indeed a “light to the Gentiles”. From this time on all were preached the loving salvation of God through His Son Jesus Christ!

The psalm response tells us of the reaction of the people of the time and down through the centuries. “All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God” becAme the byword for everyone given the faith of the fathers.

After spending three (3) years with Jesus, listening to His words and watching as He healed the sick, cured the lame, blind and crippled, you’d think, “How could they misconstrue He was other than the image of the Father”?
Philip was one of the first to recognize Him as the One Moses had proclaimed, and invited Nathaniel to join Him(John 2:45). Yet when the Faith was on the line, he hesitated to proclaim Him as his Lord and Savior.
How would you respond to His invitation?
If rationality was the criteria needed to believe, one would think the eyewitnesses to His vast array of Divine deeds would have convinced them. However, even after His resurrection from the dead some of His closest cohorts doubted.
Were it not for the Grace we receive at our Bapism, perhaps the belief we have would be as weak as was theirs. However, the Holy Spirit imbues in us a lively faith. We haven’t seen His works in person, but we’ve been privy to the Sacrament of the Eucharist full of grace and peace to all who believe.
Praise God from Whom all Blessings flow!!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Friday of the Fourth Week of Easter

Friday May 8, 2009 of the Fourth Week of Easter

Readings: ACTS 13: 26-33 Psalm 2: 6-11b John 14: 1-6
Psalm Response: “You are my son, this day I have begotten You!”

Paul continues his sermon to the Antiochians of Pisisia.
This Jesus whom we proclaim, has been the subject of the prophecies down through the centuries from Moses to John the Baptist as the One Who would save us from the scourge of eternal death.
He had to be accused, condemned and crucified, in order for the Father to raise Him from the tomb three days after they took Him down from the tree. He the one Who by scripture became sin for us is the reason for our joy. Now the gates of heaven, shut because of the first Adam’s sin have been eternally opened by the second Adam, Jesus. Therefore, we can be assured, if we abide in His love by our imitation of Him, we, at our mortal end, will put on the immortality of the saved and be with Him forever.

The psalmist reminds all supposed leaders; they are appointed for a time! When their life has been spent, if they had abided in Christ they will join with their righteous subjects in the eternal life. Otherwise expect the worst!

Jesus, after telling His disciples He was going to leave them to prepare a place for them,they were distraught at the prospect. However, they could be assured of His love if they believe. As He said on many occasions, do not doubt, I do not tell lies! I tell you openly so you may believe, when the Son of man has been lifted up, implying both His death and His resurrection, you will be in the realm of my Father, if you believe My words. So do not be afraid. Like My father I know you will be among the first fruits of My redemption.

Thursday May 7, 2009

Thursday of the Fourth Week of Easter

Readimgs: ACTS 13: 13-25 Psalm89: 2-3, 21-22, 25-27 John 13: 16-20
Psalm Response: " Forever I will sing the goodness of the Lord"

Paul sets out on his second missionary journey to the mideast countries of Greece and Turkey. John Mark who is reported to have been Peter's scribe in the writing of the Gospel of Mark left for some unknown reason to return to Jerusalem. There is speculation, since he was a youngster, the rigors of the intinerant living was too much for him so he went home to be with his parents. Sounds like kids at camp on their first night away from the home fires.
When paul and his companions entered the local synagogue as was the custom they were invited to address the congregation. Paul, no shrinking violet, filled with the Holy Spirit, stood and address the crowd.
What he proclaimed wasn't what they expected to hear! He outlined a bit of Jewish history and then revealed what had been proclaimed to him by Christ Himself that He was the expected messiah and all people would be saved through His death and resurrection as foretold by all the prophets.
They were aghast and enthralled at the same time wanting to believe but reticent when considering who was doing the preaching, a turncoat Jew!
When he closed with the story of John the Baptist's recognition of Jesus as the One who was to come and they consideredJohn a prophet, they were stunned and some of them came to believe.

We don't often bring the Psalms to memory as do other traditions. However, we hear the words of the responses and they remind us of our obligation to revere the words of both the old and the new testaments. The words of God should always be on our minds and lips.

Jesus, after taking the role of a slave and washing the Apostles feet as a sign of fealty, reveals the traitor among His chosen. It was to remind them and us of the inroads the Devil has at his disposal to sway even those of the insider caste.
Be on your guard! The allures of peasure and worldly treasure can sway even te staunchist of us. So beware!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Wednesday May 6, 2009

Wednesday May 6, 2009 of the Fourth Week of Easter

Readings ACTS 12: 24- 13: 5a Psalm 67: 2-6, 8 John 12: 44-50
Psalm response: “ O God, let all the Nations praise You”!

We may ponder how a little group of dedicated men and women could have been so influential, in their lifetime, they could see the miracle of faith spread among the Gentile nations. After all, only among the Jews was there any honor extended to the One God.. The balance of the world, may have been dedicated to a particular god but they wouldn’t have claimed the honor due only to their god, but to all gods.
Along comes these itinerant preachers claiming One, Jesus, having been killed and three days later rising whole and entire and appearing to many of His associates and dining, talking and teaching them before they watched as He ascended to His Father.
However, they were filled with the Spirit of God and their words and actions were so convincing few denied their premises.
The same Spirit, in order to spread the Gospel beyond the territory they were familiar with designated Saul and Barnabus to be Christ’s herald to the rest of the known world.
So, these two Apostles ventured where no one dared, to bring the joyous message of salvation and forgiveness to those who hadn’t yet experienced it.
We have the same opportunity facing us every day. We may not have the eternal words to convince many but by our actions, the words will pour forth perhaps to, one day, bring a lost soul into God’s light and Grace.

As a prelude to their mission, the words of the Psalm Response urge the Nations to praise Him. When the words of the psalm are repeated in the Liturgy of the Hours, we can almost feel the Spirit’s action to bring everyone to the knowledge of their Savior.

Jesus answers the skeptics who wouldn’t believe the signs and wonders He performed before their very eyes.
They wanted Him to state unequivocally, He was the One God sent. Although His words and signs should have been proof positive of His Divinity, their intent on hearing Him proclaim Himself to be God in no uncertain terms was to entrap Him into their interpretation of Blasphemy and subject to the death penalty.
We are many generations removed from those murderers but we want “Proof Positive” also. Those who do not believe His words of Consecration, deny His presence in the Sacrament of His Body and Blood.
We must only abide in the edicts of our Church to know without equivocation His words to the Church are eternal and true. “ Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven”!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Tuesday May 5,2009

Tuesday May 5, 2009 of the 4th Week of Easter

Readings: ACTS 11: 19-26 Psalm 87: 1-7 John 10: 22-30
Psalm response: “ All you nations, praise the Lord!”

Josephus Barnabus was nicknamed “The son of Encouragement”.
He was the same confidant Apostle who sold all his property and placed at the feet of the Apostles to distribute to the poor as needed.
On hearing of God’s work in converting the Gentiles in Antioch, the Apostles sent Barnabus to check. He marveled at the understanding of the new Christians. He encouraged them to remain steadfast.
Then he ventured to Tarsus to enlist Paul in the task to tell the whole world.
Some of the members of the New Way were a bit edgy at admitting the former persecutor into their ranks. However, Barnabus paved the way by being Paul’s advocate.
It was at Antioch the converts were first called Christians.

In the Gospel story, the antagonists wanted Jesus to tell them, plainly, He was the Messiah. If a person heals the sick, sets broken bones and prescribes medication, is he NOT a doctor? The Jews had plenty of evidence of Jesus’ divinity! If they didn’t believe His divine works, surely, His telling them He was, wouldn’t!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Monday May 4, 2009

May 4, 2009 Monday of the 4th Week in Easter
Readimgs ACTS 11: 1-18 Psalm 42: 2-3; 43: 3-4 John 10: 1-10
Psalm Response: “ Athirst is my sould for the living God”

Peter was a staunch Jew. He abided by the Law as well as any of the Jews in Jerusalem and was quite scrupulous in his religious practices. Jews did not associate with non-Jews as it was a potential for becoming unclean and to have to go through the ritual of cleansing before on could be re-admitted into the community.
When he had been ministering to gentiles who wished to be Baptized, he had entered their homes and, in the eyes of most Jewish Christians, he was unclean.
They remonstrated Peter when he came into their company and were about to ostracize him from their company, when he showed them the reason for his breaking the custom. His vision of the various “unclean” animals being offered to him from a heavenly entreaty, changed his prospective regarding discrimination, not only from foods forbidden but from associating with non-Jews, they were convinced and discontinued their objection.
Thereby, he and the other Christians were free to proselytize among all people as Christ had enjoined them. The fact the converts, upon their baptism, also received the Holy Spirit increased their conviction all were welcome into the new Way!

The psalm and response indicated the longing placed upon the souls of all people for the living God. We all are open to the reception of the grace needed for conversion so we are able to ascend the altar of God, the joy of our youth!

Continuing the metaphor of the sheepfold and the Shepherd, Christ compares the gate of the sheepfold with the adit into heaven. We are to consider Christ the gate-keeper, ready to admit anyone who has remained steadfast to the principles of Christianity and the moral standard of the Church placed before us by our Pope and Bishops.
Keeping our eye on Jesus and listening to His voice will be the password into the eternal Kingdom, promised to those who keep His commands.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Mother's Day

Date: Sunday May 03, 2009 Mother's Day 4th Sunday of Easter
Readings: Acts 4: 8-12 Psalm 118: 1, 8-9, 21-23, 26, 29 1 John 3:1-2 John 10:11-18
Peter, who was the one who denied Him three times, now puts his own head on the line in defiantly proclaiming Christ's resurrection before the very people who conspired to see Jesus dead. He then accuses them of causing the death of life by their insistence on Jesus' sacrifice.
The Psalm is repeated many times during the Easter Season. God's mercy is unfathomable. We do not forgive as we ought, however, we have been given the Grace to be like Jesus in our forgiveness. As the reading from 1John states, we are children of God. Therefore, if we really look inward, with faith, we can be just like Jesus full of love and mercy.
The GOOD Shepherd, is sort of, an anomaly. Shepherds, in Jesus time were the scum of the earth. It was by having the shepherds be the first witnesses to Jesus' birth, the writer of Luke shows how the Messiah was to come to the lowliest of the low, not in glory.
God's love is so profound, it can only be epitomized by the love of a mother for her children. A Mother dignifies her misshapened body even when she carries "low" as she is co-creating with her husband and God. She will go through writhing pain, like Jesus, knowing the redemption will be in her child, as Christ knew His Glorification would be in His Resurrection. She would lay down her life for her child, were it to become necessary. For the salvation of mankind, Jesus laid down His life. Her choice is always secondary to her child. Jesus' human choice might have been life, however, His Godly choice was death for us.
We are number 1 with our Mothers and with God. Who could have better seconds than these?

Friday, May 1, 2009

Saturday of the third week of Easter

Biblical Readings ACTS 9: 31-42 Psalm 116: 12-17 John 6: 60-69
Psalm Response:"How can I make a return to the Lord for all the good He has done for me"

God had told His disciples they would perform signs like and more woderful than they witnessed Him doing while He was with them. They had hoped for the ability but were skeptical, as sinners, they would be able to accomplish anything.
Peter, having been the one who denied Him three times before His crucifixion thouh he was the least of the Apostles. However, he knew from his experience with Johnn at
the temple precincts the wonders he performed in Jesus' name perhaps the dream of being the vessel of God could bring about the many miracles he and the other disciples executed while they were living.
Aeneas, a cripple confined to his bed for 8 years as a paraplegic had no idea he would be an example of the wonders they would peform in Jesus' name. So, when Peter told him to getout of his bed and make it, he must have had some reservations. However, at Peter's command he raised himself from his bed and did what Peter had told him to do.
Subsequently, Tabitha, having been a servant for God and truly loved for her works of mercy, was raised fromthe dead Peter may have been shocked at the power imposed on him by Our Lord but the evidence wouldn't allow him to deny it.
Thus through the actions and signs throughout Joppa and Lydda, their fame spread. Many who had witnmessed the power of God in them came to believe and were baptized. he faith spread like wildfire and soon encompassed the known world.

The disciples who heard Jesus tell them they had to "eat His flesh and drink His blood" were turned off as they recalled the prohibition againgt the drinking of blood and eating human flesh.
We also find it impractical to follow their edicts. However, we know we subject ourselves to the final judgement oif we decide Our Church is wrong in its counseling us to receive His Body and Blood frequently.
We must remember Goid has NO time. Unlike us who measure days and years when Jesus consecrated the brad and wine at the Last Supper, He emulaed the recollection of the Jews at passover time. They believe they are present at the Exodus just as their ancesters were physically. The Greek expression connoting "rememberence" has the nuance of actual presence not just symbolically as some people suppose.
When we eat His flesh and Drink His blood we procalim the death of Jesus fr our sins and the sins of the whole world.