Sunday, December 15, 2019

Monday of the Seventh Week of Easter – Mass Readings Today

Monday of the Seventh Week of Easter – Mass Readings Today

Today’s Audio Mass Readings – Lectionary: 297

1st Reading – ACTS 19:1-8

While Apollos was in Corinth,
Paul traveled through the interior of the country
and down to Ephesus where he found some disciples.
He said to them,
“Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?”
They answered him,
“We have never even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.”
He said, “How were you baptized?”
They replied, “With the baptism of John.”
Paul then said, “John baptized with a baptism of repentance,
telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him,
that is, in Jesus.”
When they heard this,
they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
And when Paul laid his hands on them,
the Holy Spirit came upon them,
and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.
Altogether there were about twelve men.

He entered the synagogue, and for three months debated boldly
with persuasive arguments about the Kingdom of God.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 68:2-3AB, 4-5ACD, 6-7AB

R. (33a) Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.
God arises; his enemies are scattered,
and those who hate him flee before him.
As smoke is driven away, so are they driven;
as wax melts before the fire.
R. Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.
But the just rejoice and exult before God;
they are glad and rejoice.
Sing to God, chant praise to his name;
whose name is the LORD.
R. Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.
The father of orphans and the defender of widows
is God in his holy dwelling.
God gives a home to the forsaken;
he leads forth prisoners to prosperity.
R. Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia – COL 3:1

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
If then you were raised with Christ,
seek what is above,
where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – JN 16:29-33

The disciples said to Jesus,
“Now you are talking plainly, and not in any figure of speech.
Now we realize that you know everything
and that you do not need to have anyone question you.
Because of this we believe that you came from God.”
Jesus answered them, “Do you believe now?
Behold, the hour is coming and has arrived
when each of you will be scattered to his own home
and you will leave me alone.
But I am not alone, because the Father is with me.
I have told you this so that you might have peace in me.
In the world you will have trouble,
but take courage, I have conquered the world.”

Catholic Daily Reflections

Being Resolved

Now we realize that you know everything and that you do not need to have anyone question you. Because of this we believe that you came from God.” Jesus answered them, “Do you believe now? Behold, the hour is coming and has arrived when each of you will be scattered to his own home and you will leave me alone.” John 16:30-32

Have you come to believe in Jesus? How deep is that faith? And why do you believe? Are you ready and willing to hold on to that faith no matter what comes your way? Are you ready to follow Him even if it’s difficult and unpopular? Are you ready to suffer as a result of your faith? These are important questions. They are questions that we must answer both when it’s easy to be a Christian as well as when it’s hard.

It’s easy to be a Christian and to follow Jesus when everyone else is doing it. For example, at a baptism or wedding it’s normal to want to belong and to let others know of our support and belief in what they are doing. But what about those moments when your faith is ridiculed or put down? Or when you have to make the difficult choice to turn from cultural pressures and stand out for your faith? These are more challenging times to be a follower of Christ.

In today’s Gospel there were many who had been analyzing Jesus’ teaching, listening to Him and talking about Him. It seems clear that the consensus was that Jesus was a man of holiness and a great prophet. Many were even coming to believe He was the Messiah. So there was a sort of positive momentum present that made it easier for many people to say that they believed in Him and they believed that He came from God.

Jesus quickly points out to them that, though they believe now, there will be a time that comes soon when most everyone will abandon Him, when they are scattered, and they will leave Him alone. This is obviously a prophesy of His coming persecution and Crucifixion.

One of the greatest tests of our faith is to look at how faithful we are when following Christ is not all that popular. It is in these moments, more than the easy moments, that we have an opportunity to manifest our faith and deepen our resolve to be a Christian.

Reflect, today, on how deep your commitment to Christ goes. Are you ready to follow Him to the Cross? Are you willing to give up everything to Follow Him? Hopefully the answer is a definitive yes. It must be a “Yes” that directs our lives no matter the situation of life we find ourselves in.

Lord, I do believe. Help me to let that faith in You stay strong at all times. Help me to say yes to You and to live that yes always. Jesus, I trust in You.

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