Sixth Sunday of Easter

Reading I Acts 15:1-2, 22-29

Some who had come down from Judea were instructing the brothers,
“Unless you are circumcised according to the Mosaic practice,
you cannot be saved.”
Because there arose no little dissension and debate
by Paul and Barnabas with them,
it was decided that Paul, Barnabas, and some of the others
should go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and elders
about this question.

The apostles and elders, in agreement with the whole church,
decided to choose representatives
and to send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas.
The ones chosen were Judas, who was called Barsabbas,
and Silas, leaders among the brothers.
This is the letter delivered by them:

“The apostles and the elders, your brothers,
to the brothers in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia
of Gentile origin: greetings.
Since we have heard that some of our number
who went out without any mandate from us
have upset you with their teachings
and disturbed your peace of mind,
we have with one accord decided to choose representatives
and to send them to you along with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,
who have dedicated their lives to the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
So we are sending Judas and Silas
who will also convey this same message by word of mouth:
‘It is the decision of the Holy Spirit and of us
not to place on you any burden beyond these necessities,
namely, to abstain from meat sacrificed to idols,
from blood, from meats of strangled animals,
and from unlawful marriage.
If you keep free of these,
you will be doing what is right.  Farewell.’”

Responsorial Psalm Ps 67:2-3, 5, 6, 8

R (4) O God, let all the nations praise you!
or:
R Alleluia.
May God have pity on us and bless us;
            may he let his face shine upon us.
So may your way be known upon earth;
            among all nations, your salvation.
R O God, let all the nations praise you!
or:
R Alleluia.
May the nations be glad and exult
            because you rule the peoples in equity;
            the nations on the earth you guide.
R O God, let all the nations praise you!
or:
R Alleluia.
May the peoples praise you, O God;
            may all the peoples praise you!
May God bless us,
            and may all the ends of the earth fear him!
R O God, let all the nations praise you!
or:
R Alleluia.

Reading II Rev 21:10-14, 22-23

The angel took me in spirit to a great, high mountain
and showed me the holy city Jerusalem
coming down out of heaven from God.
It gleamed with the splendor of God.
Its radiance was like that of a precious stone,
like jasper, clear as crystal.
It had a massive, high wall,
with twelve gates where twelve angels were stationed
and on which names were inscribed,
the names of the twelve tribes of the Israelites.
There were three gates facing east,
three north, three south, and three west.
The wall of the city had twelve courses of stones as its foundation,
on which were inscribed the twelve names
of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

I saw no temple in the city
for its temple is the Lord God almighty and the Lamb.
The city had no need of sun or moon to shine on it,
for the glory of God gave it light,
and its lamp was the Lamb.

Alleluia Jn 14:23

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Whoever loves me will keep my word, says the Lord,
and my Father will love him and we will come to him.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Jn 14:23-29

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Whoever loves me will keep my word,
and my Father will love him,
and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.
Whoever does not love me does not keep my words;
yet the word you hear is not mine
but that of the Father who sent me.

“I have told you this while I am with you.
The Advocate, the Holy Spirit,
whom the Father will send in my name,
will teach you everything
and remind you of all that I told you.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.
Not as the world gives do I give it to you.
Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.
You heard me tell you,
‘I am going away and I will come back to you.’
If you loved me,
you would rejoice that I am going to the Father;
for the Father is greater than I.
And now I have told you this before it happens,
so that when it happens you may believe.”

– – –

Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it may be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium, including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Saturday of the Fifth Week of Easter

Reading I Acts 16:1-10

Paul reached also Derbe and Lystra
where there was a disciple named Timothy,
the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer,
but his father was a Greek.
The brothers in Lystra and Iconium spoke highly of him,
and Paul wanted him to come along with him.
On account of the Jews of that region, Paul had him circumcised,
for they all knew that his father was a Greek.
As they traveled from city to city,
they handed on to the people for observance the decisions
reached by the Apostles and presbyters in Jerusalem.
Day after day the churches grew stronger in faith
and increased in number.

They traveled through the Phrygian and Galatian territory
because they had been prevented by the Holy Spirit
from preaching the message in the province of Asia.
When they came to Mysia, they tried to go on into Bithynia,
but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them,
so they crossed through Mysia and came down to Troas.
During the night Paul had a vision.
A Macedonian stood before him and implored him with these words,
“Come over to Macedonia and help us.”
When he had seen the vision,
we sought passage to Macedonia at once,
concluding that God had called us to proclaim the Good News to them.
 

Responsorial Psalm 100:1b-2, 3, 5

R.        (2a)  Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
            serve the LORD with gladness;
            come before him with joyful song.
R.        Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
Know that the LORD is God;
            he made us, his we are;
            his people, the flock he tends.
R.        Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
The LORD is good:
            his kindness endures forever,
            and his faithfulness, to all generations.
R.        Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
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 15:18-21

Jesus said to his disciples:
“If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first.
If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own;
but because you do not belong to the world,
and I have chosen you out of the world,
the world hates you.
Remember the word I spoke to you,
‘No slave is greater than his master.’
If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you.
If they kept my word, they will also keep yours.
And they will do all these things to you on account of my name,
because they do not know the one who sent me.”

– – –

Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it may be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium, including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Simple Ways to Share the Good News

St. Paul had a vision, “A Macedonian stood before him and implored him with these words, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” When he had seen the vision, we sought passage to Macedonia at once, concluding that God had called us to proclaim the Good News to them” (Acts 16:9). Perhaps you’ve not had a dream, but have you ever felt a nudge from the Holy Spirit for you too to share the Good News? Did you respond to the prompt, or did fear or uncertainty keep you from witnessing to your faith?  

There are many ways to share the good news without a heroic trip across an ocean or to far-off lands. We can evangelize in our homes, families, or communities with genuine, often uncomplicated gestures. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Invite someone to Sunday Mass (if you can, include breakfast to continue building your relationship with this person, which will make discussions about faith easier. It may also create a comfortable atmosphere where you can discuss something you heard in the readings or homily). 
  • Not sure who to invite? Simply share your parish’s Mass schedule on your social media. You never know how the Holy Spirit might use that post to reach people seeking to find a church. We can share many things on social media to inspire and encourage people to grow in faith — Scripture verses, saint quotes, or prayers.
  • Consider starting a Christian book club or Bible study in your home or parish. Pick a book you are interested in, then ask a friend or two, “for where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:20).
  • Offer to pray for people. Whether in person as someone is sharing a current difficulty or challenging situation, or you read it on social media. If you make a weekly Eucharistic Adoration hour, consider posting a request for prayers. I’ve done this for years and typically receive over a hundred prayer requests each time I do. While the idea of praying for so many might seem daunting but it is actually quite humbling and beautiful. I bring my phone into Adoration and scroll through the list offering each intention to the Lord. This activity has also provided the avenue to numerous incredible faith conversations.
  • Pray for the Lord to make a way to share the Good News and in the expectation that one day He will “be prepared to make a defense [testimony] to any one who calls you to account for the hope that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and reverence” (1 Peter 3:15). Don’t be afraid of what to say; just like the Lord prepared the prophet, Jeremiah, He too will put the words in your mouth.
  • Forward videos, articles, or blogs that touched your heart to someone you think might also be blessed to read and receive that particular message.

If you are not comfortable or not quite ready to evangelize in these public ways, there is still something significant you can do—pray. Keep friends, family, and even strangers in prayer, without being asked or with anyone even knowing. Prayer, invoking the Holy Spirit, is a powerful gift the Apostles modeled for us. Seek the intercession of the Blessed Mother and as many Saints as you need. Just as the Spirit guided the early disciples to know where to go and when and with whom to speak, trust He is still at work and will guide you in the same way.

In the end, the best witness of faith is always how you live, especially when you allow the joy of the Lord to shine through your words and actions. There is a time to speak and a time to stay silent; you need not wonder or worry about which the Spirit is calling you. If you remain prayerfully open to where He moves you, the answer and the action will always be apparent.

 Contact the author

Allison Gingras is a Deacon’s wife and seasoned mom of three. Allison works for Family Rosary as a social media and digital specialist, as well as a new media consultant for Catholic Mom and the Diocese of Fall River. She is the author of Encountering Signs of Faith: My Unexpected Journey with Sacramentals, the Saints, and the Abundant Grace of God (Fall 2022, Ave Maria Press). Allison developed the Stay Connected Journals for Women series including her two volumes – The Gift of Invitation and Seeking Peace (OSV). She’s hosted A Seeking Heart with Allison Gingras podcast since 2015.

Feature Image Credit: Priscilla Du Preez, https://unsplash.com/photos/K8XYGbw4Ahg?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditShareLink

The views and opinions expressed in the Inspiration Daily blog are solely those of the original authors and contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of Diocesan, the Diocesan staff, or other contributors to this blog.

Friday of the Fifth Week of Easter

Reading I Acts 15:22-31

The Apostles and presbyters, in agreement with the whole Church,
decided to choose representatives
and to send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas.
The ones chosen were Judas, who was called Barsabbas,
and Silas, leaders among the brothers.
This is the letter delivered by them:
“The Apostles and the presbyters, your brothers,
to the brothers in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia
of Gentile origin: greetings.
Since we have heard that some of our number
who went out without any mandate from us
have upset you with their teachings
and disturbed your peace of mind,
we have with one accord decided to choose representatives
and to send them to you along with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,
who have dedicated their lives to the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
So we are sending Judas and Silas
who will also convey this same message by word of mouth:
‘It is the decision of the Holy Spirit and of us
not to place on you any burden beyond these necessities,
namely, to abstain from meat sacrificed to idols,
from blood, from meats of strangled animals,
and from unlawful marriage.
If you keep free of these,
you will be doing what is right. Farewell.’“

And so they were sent on their journey.
Upon their arrival in Antioch
they called the assembly together and delivered the letter.
When the people read it, they were delighted with the exhortation.
 

Responsorial Psalm 57:8-9, 10 and 12

R.        (10a)  I will give you thanks among the peoples, O Lord.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
My heart is steadfast, O God; my heart is steadfast;
            I will sing and chant praise.
Awake, O my soul; awake, lyre and harp!
            I will wake the dawn.
R.        I will give you thanks among the peoples, O Lord.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
I will give thanks to you among the peoples, O LORD,
            I will chant your praise among the nations.
For your mercy towers to the heavens,
            and your faithfulness to the skies.
Be exalted above the heavens, O God;
            above all the earth be your glory!
R.        I will give you thanks among the peoples, O Lord.
or:
R.        Alleluia.

Alleluia Jn 15:15b

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I call you my friends, says the Lord,
for I have made known to you all that the Father has told me.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Jn 15:12-17

Jesus said to his disciples:
“This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.
No one has greater love than this,
to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
You are my friends if you do what I command you.
I no longer call you slaves,
because a slave does not know what his master is doing.
I have called you friends,
because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father.
It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you
and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain,
so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you.
This I command you: love one another.”

– – –

Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it may be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium, including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Love One Another

The last line of today’s Gospel is a command: love one another. Due to that love, my heart is again breaking because of a weekend filled with shooting sprees in the USA. I am weeping because of the war in Ukraine and the twenty seven areas around the world with violence and conflict. Billions of people around the world continue to feel the effects of a global pandemic and I am filled with compassion and empathy.

In the Gospel, Jesus tells his disciples, “You are my friends if you do what I command: to love one another as I love you…to lay down one’s life for one’s friends…I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain…”

Jesus calls us friends not acquaintances. Acquaintances are plentiful when life is good and abundant. Acquaintances will distance themselves when controversy or stressful challenges arise. Jesus is the epitome of a friend. He is there in good times and bad, knowing every strength and weakness about you while loving and encouraging you through it all. Jesus Our Savior knows each of us born on this earth intimately because we have been created in God, His Father’s image. Jesus has an all encompassing love for every member of humanity, no exceptions.

As His friend, I am compelled to praise Jesus and lift Him up in glory because He is the Son of God. Jesus is with us in all things; in the midst of suffering, conflict, illness, and war. He rejoices and celebrates each birth, graduation, wedding, big and small success. He is with us in all instances and situations of life.

We are all part of the body of Christ Jesus. We are united in His everlasting, unconditional love.

That being said, before you open the next tweet, text, link, IM, image or your mouth in conversation, take a moment, a second or a deep breath and try to remember the connectedness and friendship Jesus has for the other. Breathe in the love, patience and understanding He has for you. Be open to listening to or seeing through another loved one’s perspective for just a moment. Keep in mind that love bears all things. It isn’t always easy. Strive to be a friend united in love. You can do it. Jesus is with you, now and forever. Amen.

Contact the author

Beth Price is part of the customer care team at Diocesan. She is a Secular Franciscan (OFS) and a practicing spiritual director. Beth shares smiles, prayers, laughter, a listening ear and her heart with all of creation. Reach her here bprice@diocesan.com.

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Thursday of the Fifth Week of Easter

Reading I Acts 15:7-21

After much debate had taken place,
Peter got up and said to the Apostles and the presbyters,
“My brothers, you are well aware that from early days
God made his choice among you that through my mouth
the Gentiles would hear the word of the Gospel and believe.
And God, who knows the heart,
bore witness by granting them the Holy Spirit
just as he did us.
He made no distinction between us and them,
for by faith he purified their hearts.
Why, then, are you now putting God to the test
by placing on the shoulders of the disciples
a yoke that neither our ancestors nor we have been able to bear?
On the contrary, we believe that we are saved
through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they.”
The whole assembly fell silent,
and they listened
while Paul and Barnabas described the signs and wonders
God had worked among the Gentiles through them.

After they had fallen silent, James responded,
“My brothers, listen to me.
Symeon has described how God first concerned himself
with acquiring from among the Gentiles a people for his name.
The words of the prophets agree with this, as is written:

            After this I shall return
                        and rebuild the fallen hut of David;
            from its ruins I shall rebuild it
                        and raise it up again,
            so that the rest of humanity may seek out the Lord,
                        even all the Gentiles on whom my name is invoked.
            Thus says the Lord who accomplishes these things,
                        known from of old.

It is my judgment, therefore,
that we ought to stop troubling the Gentiles who turn to God,
but tell them by letter to avoid pollution from idols,
unlawful marriage, the meat of strangled animals, and blood.
For Moses, for generations now,
has had those who proclaim him in every town,
as he has been read in the synagogues every sabbath.”

Responsorial Psalm 96:1-2a, 2b-3, 10

R.        (3)  Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
Sing to the LORD a new song;
            sing to the LORD, all you lands.
Sing to the LORD; bless his name.
R.        Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
Announce his salvation, day after day.
Tell his glory among the nations;
            among all peoples, his wondrous deeds.
R.        Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
Say among the nations: The LORD is king.
He has made the world firm, not to be moved;
            he governs the peoples with equity.
R.        Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations.
or:
R.        Alleluia.

Alleluia Jn 10:27

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord;
I know them, and they follow me.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Jn 15:9-11

Jesus said to his disciples:
“As the Father loves me, so I also love you.
Remain in my love.
If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love,
just as I have kept my Father’s commandments
and remain in his love.

“I have told you this so that
my joy might be in you and
your joy might be complete.”

– – –

Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it may be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium, including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Got Joy?

“Are you happy?”, asks Henry, repeatedly, until he receives an affirmative answer from whoever he sees near him. Henry is four. Who knows where Henry first heard this question or how it became so important to him; I will say though, that it has stayed with him for quite some time. It’s his little check-in I suppose. 

In today’s Gospel, Jesus is telling us something important, bigger than a little check-in, He is giving us the truth about how to find something we all want in our lives. Joy!

And while joy and happiness are listed as synonyms, they are not exactly the same. One difference between the two feelings is that happiness is short-lived while joy is deeper. So a swim in the pool brings happiness on a hot day but there is lasting joy over the pool day when it’s a day filled with family. 

Joy can help us through difficult trials, not by living in the past, but by remembering that there is goodness in our lives.

Jesus reminds us that joy is what He offers us if we keep the commandments and remain in His love. I love going to Adoration. It brings me great joy to be in Jesus’ presence in that particular way. When I leave the chapel, the joy stays with me as I go about my life. And when life goes awry, I can draw on the joy to conquer the difficulty or at least, not become overwhelmed with despair. And, that, right there, is what I want, I think what we all want; not to be overwhelmed, not to despair. 

The commandments are not meant to curtail our freedom. They are there to keep us safe and close to the Father. And when we are close to the Father, we are near Jesus. And we receive His joy. It is not linear; it is a circle. It is a great exchange of truth, love, and joy. Stay in the circle and you will have joy. Deep, lasting joy in the depth of your being that is not taken from you no matter what happens in your life.

Contact the author

Deanna G. Bartalini, M.Ed.; M.P.A., is a certified spiritual director, writer, speaker and content creator. The LiveNotLukewarm.com online community is a place to inform, engage and inspire your Catholic faith. Her weekly Not Lukewarm Podcast gives you tips and tools to live out your faith in your daily life.

Feature Image Credit: Luca Upper, https://unsplash.com/photos/Z-4kOr93RCI

Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Easter

Reading I Acts 15:1-6

Some who had come down from Judea were instructing the brothers,
“Unless you are circumcised according to the Mosaic practice,
you cannot be saved.”
Because there arose no little dissension and debate
by Paul and Barnabas with them,
it was decided that Paul, Barnabas, and some of the others
should go up to Jerusalem to the Apostles and presbyters
about this question.
They were sent on their journey by the Church,
and passed through Phoenicia and Samaria
telling of the conversion of the Gentiles,
and brought great joy to all the brethren.
When they arrived in Jerusalem,
they were welcomed by the Church,
as well as by the Apostles and the presbyters,
and they reported what God had done with them.
But some from the party of the Pharisees who had become believers
stood up and said, “It is necessary to circumcise them
and direct them to observe the Mosaic law.”

The Apostles and the presbyters met together to see about this matter.

Responsorial Psalm 122:1-2, 3-4ab, 4cd-5

R.        (see 1)  Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
I rejoiced because they said to me,
            “We will go up to the house of the LORD.”
And now we have set foot
            within your gates, O Jerusalem.
R.        Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
Jerusalem, built as a city
            with compact unity.
To it the tribes go up,
            the tribes of the LORD.
R.        Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
According to the decree for Israel,
            to give thanks to the name of the LORD.
In it are set up judgment seats,
            seats for the house of David.
R.        Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
or:
R.        Alleluia.

Alleluia Jn 15:4a, 5b

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Remain in me, as I remain in you, says the Lord;
whoever remains in me will bear much fruit.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Jn 15:1-8

Jesus said to his disciples:
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower.
He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit,
and everyone that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit.
You are already pruned because of the word that I spoke to you.
Remain in me, as I remain in you.
Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own
unless it remains on the vine,
so neither can you unless you remain in me.
I am the vine, you are the branches.
Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit,
because without me you can do nothing.
Anyone who does not remain in me
will be thrown out like a branch and wither;
people will gather them and throw them into a fire
and they will be burned.
If you remain in me and my words remain in you,
ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you.
By this is my Father glorified,
that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.”

– – –

Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it may be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium, including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Remaining in Him

Do you ever feel like there is a general state of discontent in your household? One kid is  complaining about every little thing, the other doesn’t want to do his school work, the other has decided that copying every word that comes out of our mouths is funny, and they are all begging for new toys and video games that are not in our budget. 

I have tried getting them outside to get some Vitamin D and a change of attitude and they complain about that too. “I used to spend all day outside when I was kid!” I tell them, to no avail. I wonder why I was so excited to move to a house with a big fenced-in backyard when they don’t even want to step foot outside the door. 

At moments like these I recall something my brother mentioned telling his kids when they got whiny: “You don’t suffer enough.” And perhaps it’s true. Perhaps they can do without the individualized meals, the 50 stuffed animals, the weekly ice cream cone and the abundant hours of screen time. They are used to getting what they want and could use yet another lesson about sacrifice. 

In today’s Gospel Jesus states: “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower. He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit, and everyone that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit.” Our Father prunes and refines us, just as we seek to prune and refine our children by teaching and directing them. Because in the end, we all could use a little pruning and we all could stand to sacrifice just a tad more. 

There is so much beauty in this process. When we allow ourselves to be pruned and adhere to the true vine, we will bear much fruit. “Remain in me, as I remain in you… If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you.” 

What an incredible promise! That is enough to turn any frown upside down! Remaining in Christ is not easy. It requires a continual focus and a periodic pruning, but when we do, Christ promises to be with us and respond to our every request!

Maybe I am not so different from my kids after all. Maybe I want certain things just as much as they do and get grumpy when I don’t get them. Maybe I don’t suffer enough either. Join me in remaining in Christ today so that we may bear much fruit and watch His many blessings unfold. 

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Tami Urcia grew up in Western Michigan, a middle child in a large Catholic family. She spent early young adulthood as a missionary in Mexico, studying theology and philosophy, then worked and traveled extensively before finishing her Bachelor’s Degree in Western Kentucky. She loves tackling projects, finding fun ways to keep her little ones occupied, quiet conversation with the hubby and finding unique ways to love. She works at for Christian Healthcare Centers, is a guest blogger on CatholicMom.com and BlessedIsShe.net, runs her own blog at https://togetherandalways.wordpress.com and has been doing Spanish translations on the side for over 20 years.

Feature Image Credit: Sven Wilhelm, https://unsplash.com/photos/2cRXSWyMHA8

Tuesday of Fifth Week of Easter

Reading I Acts 14:19-28

In those days, some Jews from Antioch and Iconium
arrived and won over the crowds.
They stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city,
supposing that he was dead.
But when the disciples gathered around him,
he got up and entered the city.
On the following day he left with Barnabas for Derbe.

After they had proclaimed the good news to that city
and made a considerable number of disciples,
they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch.
They strengthened the spirits of the disciples
and exhorted them to persevere in the faith, saying,
“It is necessary for us to undergo many hardships
to enter the Kingdom of God.”
They appointed presbyters for them in each Church and,
with prayer and fasting, commended them to the Lord
in whom they had put their faith.
Then they traveled through Pisidia and reached Pamphylia.
After proclaiming the word at Perga they went down to Attalia.
From there they sailed to Antioch,
where they had been commended to the grace of God
for the work they had now accomplished.
And when they arrived, they called the Church together
and reported what God had done with them
and how he had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles.
Then they spent no little time with the disciples.

Responsorial Psalm 145:10-11, 12-13ab, 21

R.        (see 12)  Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
Let all your works give you thanks, O LORD,
            and let your faithful ones bless you.
Let them discourse of the glory of your kingdom
            and speak of your might.
R.        Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
Making known to men your might
            and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
Your kingdom is a kingdom for all ages,
            and your dominion endures through all generations.
R.        Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
May my mouth speak the praise of the LORD,
            and may all flesh bless his holy name forever and ever.
R.        Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
or:
R.        Alleluia.

Alleluia See Lk 24:46, 26

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Christ had to suffer and to rise from the dead,
and so enter into his glory.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Jn 14:27-31a

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.
Not as the world gives do I give it to you.
Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.
You heard me tell you,
‘I am going away and I will come back to you.’
If you loved me,
you would rejoice that I am going to the Father;
for the Father is greater than I.
And now I have told you this before it happens,
so that when it happens you may believe.
I will no longer speak much with you,
for the ruler of the world is coming.
He has no power over me,
but the world must know that I love the Father
and that I do just as the Father has commanded me.”

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Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it may be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium, including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.