Monthly Archives: May 2016

The Ascension of the Lord by Fr. Joel

Forty days after the resurrection of Jesus he ascended to heaven. Forty days is significantthe-ascension number in the scripture. Moses went up to the mountain to seek the face of God for forty days in prayer and fasting. The people of Israel were in the wilderness for forty years in preparation for their entry into the promise land. Elijah fasted for forty days as he journeyed in the wilderness to the mountain of the Lord. And for forty days after the resurrection Jesus appeared several times to his disciples to prove to them that he was truly raised from the dead and to prepare them for the mission of bearing witness to the world.

The departure of Jesus was like an end and a beginning at the same for the disciples. It was the end because that was the last time they will see him physically. It was the beginning because they will begin to experience him in a different way going forth. Jesus promised to be there for his disciples always to the end of time. As he ascended into heaven, he promised to send them the Holy Spirit who would empower them and teach them more on how to preach and be his witnesses to the world. Therefore, his departure did not leave them in sorrow but in joy because they were filled with the expectation of the coming of the Holy Spirit that will give them strength.

Through the Holy Spirit, the Lord empowers us to bear witness to the world. The risen Lord is in heaven on his throne reigning over the earth and heaven as king. There, he intercedes for us and empowers us with the help of the Holy Spirit to bear witness to him in the world. This is so that the world will hear from us the message of his gospel and be saved from condemnation.

How can we become effective witnesses of Christ Jesus? When we receive the Holy Spirit it will empower us to be his witnesses to the world. The gospel is the power of God that releases people from the burden of the devil and brings healing and restoration to us all. We are his ambassadors in the world, to represent him and bear his witness. That is the great commissioning given to us as his disciples. And all who believe in him share in this responsibility of spreading the good news. We are to wait on and receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit that will empower us to be able to be his witnesses to in the world. We are to bring joy, love, and peace to the world as his disciples. When we receive power from the Holy Spirit we shall bear his witness to the world. We have to dispose and open ourselves for the Holy Spirit to come into our lives and strengthen us to do his will. Have faith in him and allow him to come into your life and take possession of you and use you for his work in his kingdom.

We are depressed, sick, unhappy, confuse, and in difficulty because we have not allow the Holy Spirit to take control of our lives. We rely on human wisdom so much today in our world that is why we cannot be happy and peaceful. Seek the will of God and allow him access into your life to take charge and your life will be wonderful. Discard your pride, selfishness and evil desires and allow God a space in your life and see how happy you will be.

Our world is full of all kinds of distractions: noise, pleasure, power, freedom, additions and so on. That is making us confused and leads us to destruction. We need to have faith in God and allow him to use us for his mission and glory in the world. His ascension is to allow the Holy Spirit to come take control of us and empower us to do his will here on earth. We must be willing and ready for the spirit to manifest in our lives and enable us do his will. Therefore, prepare yourself for the coming of the Holy Spirit to empower you for his mission. At baptism we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit and it was strengthen during confirmation. Now, you must open up to the Holy Spirit to empower you do his will on earth.

 

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Pray for Peace by Fr. Joel

                    PEACE I GIVE TO YOU, NOT LIKE THE WORLD GIVES

The readings of today are centered on the theme of peace that comes from God. In the pray_for_peace_by_rusrick-d59ugd1gospel Jesus said to his disciples: ‘’Peace I leave you with you; my peace I give to you. Not like the world gives do I give it to you.’’ Do not let your hearts be trouble or afraid because I am going away. I will come back to you. If you love me, you will rejoice with me that I am going to the father. He promised them the Holy Spirit will come to teach and remind them of all his teachings. However, Jesus gave them a condition for getting this peace from him; to love and keep his words. It is by so doing that God will love us and give us his peace which is much more profound than that of this world.

In the first reading we saw how some people gave wrong teaching that disturbed the people, a teaching that took away their peace. Therefore, they sent for the apostle who sent representative to address the issue. Their message was simple; not to burden the people beyond the necessities of Christianity, to abstain from idol worship and unlawful marriages. And if they keep to what is right they will enjoy the peace that comes from God.

The second reading is the revelation of heaven to John where he saw the radiance and splendor of God looking like precious stones and clear crystals. He saw a city where the names of the twelve tribes of Israel, twelve apostles, and all the saints written on it. In there the glory of God shines and gives light to the city so much so that there is no need of the sun or moon. Heaven is a peaceful place to be where we shall experience the love and peace of God forever.

As Christ gives us his peace, he expects us to do the same to others. That is what we try to do during the time for us to show peace to one another at mass. That part of the liturgy comes from the gospel of today. The sharing of our peace should not end here in the church but be extended to others outside the church. By virtue of our baptism and calling as Christian, we have been given the mandate to bring peace to our world. The demand for peace is much more today in our world. There is so much violence, destruction, and killing around the world today. Our world today is indeed in need of peace. And it is our responsibility to bring that peace to the world. We need to pray for peace and take peaceful steps every day in our lives to reach out for peace with our neighbors. We must learn how to love and keep the words of God which are words of peace and love. We must learn how to appreciate one another and live in peace. We must learn how to ask for and grand forgiveness to one another. We must learn how to use kind words that promote peace in our lives. We must learn how to let go of behaviors that hurts us and others as well. We must accept the fact that we are all created by God and have the same dignity before him. To make peace reign in our world, we must be humble, loving, appreciative, be just, and respectful to another. Do unto others what you want done to you.

Faith in God brings about peace in our lives. We need to stop worshiping idols such as money, positions, material things, but worship the living God. We need to give God his rightful position in our lives so that peace can reign in our lives. When we worship the living God we will avoid unlawful acts and behaviors that rob us of true peace that comes from God. We must begin from our individual selves, family, neighborhood, and community to live in peace with one another so that others in the world can emulate us. As Christians we must allow ourselves to be used by God as instruments of peace to the world. And the time is now, not later. We must do something to end all the violence, destructions, and killing in our world today. Please pray and reach out to make peace with one another.

SIXTH SUNDAY AFTER EASTER 5/1/16