Celebrate Sunday Mass - Seventh Sunday of Easter - 5.16.21

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5/10/2021 (1 month ago)

By Deacon Keith Fournier

MAY 16, 2021 -- SEVENTH SUNDAY OF EASTER

Dear Catholic Online Community and Catholic Online School students...

I AM HAPPY TO OFFER EACH OF YOU AN INVITATION TO HOLY MASS ON THE SEVENTH SUNDAY OF EASTER in the Catholic Diocese of Tyler. The response to offering these liturgies online has been overwhelming. 

The readings, as always, offer so much for us to reflect on. It is helpful to pray through them and reflect upon them before we assist at Holy Mass. 
In some places in the Catholic World, the Feast of the Ascension is transferred from Thursday to Sunday. We heard the readings for the Seventh Sunday of Easter because we offered the readings from Ascension on the traditional Ascension Thursday. 

So. today I will share some thoughts on the seventh Sunday of Easter readings.  

In our first reading, we heard that after Jesus had ascended to the Father, the apostles, disciples, along with the women who traveled with them and Mary, the Mother of Jesus, followed His instructions to travel to Jerusalem, to the upper room, where they were to receive POWER from on high, the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.

First, they had to deal with a problem.  Judas, one of the twelve had betrayed Jesus. Then, he had taken his own life. 

So, with their number down to eleven, they had to replace him with someone who had been a witness to the Resurrection. Both the loss of Judas, and the manner of choosing his replacement, were both foretold and assisted by their finding some spirit led direction in the Psalms and in the Hebrew Scriptures. 

To choose the replacement for Judas, they drew lots. They replaced him with Matthias, and he was enrolled with the other apostles. 

The Apostles then continued the redemptive mission of Jesus. He had chosen them - and now that He had been raised from the dead - He worked through them. He still does work through Apostles. The Bishops are the successors of the Apostles. The Church is still apostolic. 

In our second reading, which was taken from the First Letter of St John, we heard the beloved disciple Johns' words that when we love one another, God, who is Love, remains or lives in us. And His love is brought to "perfection" in us. Perfection, in biblical language, means completion. 

When we acknowledge that Jesus is the Son of God, and that He is our Savior, God comes to dwell, to live, within us and remains in us. When we remain in love, we remain in God - and God lives in and through us for others. He continues to demonstrate His love through us.  

This is the heart of the Gospel message. Do we believe this! If so, let us choose to live it, every day. To invite the Lord, by the power of His Holy Spirit to live His life in and through us. 

 In the Gospel text appointed for this Seventh Sunday of Easter, we heard a portion of the High Priestly Prayer of Jesus Christ to the Father. He prayed that we may be one as He and the Father are one, so that the world may believe that He was sent by the Father as Savior. 

Division is not God's plan. It is the result of sin. When we turn to the Lord and away from sin, when we confess our sins and receive his forgiveness, we begin to see the divisions within us - and around us - healed. True unity is a fruit of living in and for the Lord and letting Him live in and through us. True unity is the work of the Holy Spirit.

We do not belong to "this world" but we belong to the Lord. The Apostle Paul, in a letter to the Philippians, would remind those early Christians that their citizenship is in heaven. (Phil. 3:20) In a sense, we bring heaven to earth when we live faith filled and spirit led lives. Remember, He lives His life now, in and through us. We are His contemporary disciples. 

May you and your family have a wonderful Lord's Day. Jesus Christ has been raised. Alleluia! Alleluia! Come, Holy Spirit and set us on fire!

Deacon Keith Fournier
Dean of Catholic Online School
Chaplain of Your Catholic Voice Foundation

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