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These reflections are a result of more than 40 years of ministry as a Roman Catholic priest. Most of these years I spent in the Diocese of Charlotte which covers Western North Carolina. Now I am retired, and live in Medellín, Colombia where I continue to serve as a priest in the Archdiocese of Medellín.

Friday, 19 April 2024 00:00

Friday, Week III, Easter

But the Lord said to Ananias, "Go, for this man is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before Gentiles, kings, and children of Israel, and I will show him what he will have to suffer for my name." (Acts 9:1-9)
https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/041924.cfm
Today we have the first of three accounts in the Acts of the Apostles of what happened to Saul (Paul): See Acts 22:3-16 and Acts 26:2-18. But the Apostle Paul himself never mentions any of this. Paul only says, “I have seen the Lord” (1 Corinthians 9:1 and Galatians 1:11-23). The imaginative accounts in Acts were written 30 years after Paul’s death.

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Thursday, 18 April 2024 05:41

Thursday, Week III, Easter

As they traveled along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “Look, there is water. What is to prevent my being baptized?” Then he ordered the chariot to stop, and Philip and the eunuch both went down into the water, and he baptized him. When they came out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away, and the eunuch saw him no more, but continued on his way rejoicing. (Acts 8:26-40)
https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/041824.cfm
The eunuch’s question: “What is to prevent my being baptized?” Is central to the passage. Of course, the law of God says that a person like him can never be admitted to the people of God (Deuteronomy 23:1). Nevertheless, Phillip baptizes him, and the eunuch goes his way rejoicing.

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Wednesday, 17 April 2024 00:00

Wednesday, Week III, Easter

Jesus said to the crowds,"I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst." (Jn 6:35-40)
https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/041724.cfm
Meals are an essential part of the ministry of Jesus. In the context of a meal, Jesus gives us the Sacrament of his Body and Blood. In the gospels, he welcomes all sorts of unsavory people to the table. As the church has always proclaimed, Jesus satisfies the deepest hungers of the human family. Lord, only say the word and our souls shall be healed.

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Tuesday, 16 April 2024 00:00

Tuesday, Week III, Easter

As they were stoning Stephen, he called out, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." Then he fell to his knees and cried out in a loud voice, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them";
and when he said this, he fell asleep. Now Saul was consenting to his execution. (Acts 7:51-8:1a)
https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/041624.cfm
The martyrdom of Stephen is the first after the Death and Resurrection of Jesus. Stephen is called the Proto-Martyr. The death of Stephen recalls the death of Jesus in the Lucan gospel and of course sets up the conversion of Saul (later Paul).

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Monday, 15 April 2024 06:32

Monday, Week III, Easter

Jesus answered them and said, “Amen, amen, I say to you, you are looking for me not because you saw signs but because you ate the loaves and were filled. Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. (Jn 6:22-29)
https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/041524.cfm
The food that endures for eternal life—in the Eucharist, the Sacrament of his Body and Blood, Jesus gives us his very self.

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Sunday, 14 April 2024 00:00

Sunday, Week III, Easter

Peter said to the people: "The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus . . . God has thus brought to fulfillment what he had announced beforehand through the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would suffer. Repent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be wiped away." (Acts 3:13-15, 17-19)
https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/041424.cfm
In the Acts of the Apostles we get an echo of the preaching of the early church. Jesus is portrayed as the Suffering Servant of the Lord (Isaiah 52:13–53:12) in fulfillment of the prophets.

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As the number of disciples continued to grow, the Hellenists complained against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution. So the Twelve called together the community of the disciples and said, “It is not right for us to neglect the word of God to serve at table. Brothers, select from among you seven reputable men, filled with the Spirit and wisdom, whom we shall appoint to this task, whereas we shall devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” (Acts 6:1-7)
https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/041324.cfm
Problems of language have been with the church from the very beginning. To resolve the problem we have the institution of the Seven (all with Greek names!), who would later be identified with deacons. Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and his family would gather in prayer with the early community (Acts 1:14).

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