May the word of the Lord fill you with love and bring you peace.

Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/052317.cfm

Jesus said to his disciples: “Now I am going to the one who sent me, and not one of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ But because I told you this, grief has filled your hearts. But I tell you the truth, it is better for you that I go. For if I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes he will convict the world in regard to sin and righteousness and condemnation: sin, because they do not believe in me; righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will no longer see me; condemnation, because the ruler of this world has been condemned.”

The Holy Spirit could be our conscience, convicting us when we do wrong. We all have an innate sense of right and wrong, we are born with it. But as we grow up we either lose it or ignore it. The Holy Spirit helps us to stay on the right path. He is that little voice that reminds us when we are doing something that is not right. You know the feeling. What do you do about? Listen or ignore?

 Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for the gift of the Holy Spirit, for the conscience that I seem to lose from time to time. You do not force me to do the right thing, but you are there to remind me which path I should take. In Jesus’ holy name, I give you praise, honor and glory! Amen and Alleluia!

Your right hand saves me, O Lord, Alleluia!

Link to today’s readings:  http://usccb.org/bible/readings/052217.cfm

Jesus said to his disciples: “When the Advocate comes whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, he will testify to me. And you also testify, because you have been with me from the beginning.

“I have told you this so that you may not fall away. They will expel you from the synagogues; in fact, the hour is coming when everyone who kills you will think he is offering worship to God. They will do this because they have not known either the Father or me. I have told you this so that when their hour comes you may remember that I told you.”

The Apostles were called upon to testify to what Jesus taught them. And He sent the Holy Spirit to help them. Just as the Holy Spirit is here today to help us. If you are afraid to testify to the power of God or what He has done for you, ask the Holy Spirit. He is there to help you, give you the courage to speak the truth. Jesus did not just give us the word of God and then abandon us. Just call on the Holy Spirit and you will have the strength and the words you need to speak the truth.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, without the power of the Holy Spirit I would not be where I am today. Your love, strength and power give me courage to speak your truth and courage to speak to those who need your truth. You supply the words that I do not have. In Jesus’ holy name, thank you!! Amen and Alleluia!

The Lord takes delight in his people, Alleluia!

 

Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/052117.cfm

Philip went down to the city of Samaria and proclaimed the Christ to them. With one accord, the crowds paid attention to what was said by Philip when they heard it and saw the signs he was doing. For unclean spirits, crying out in a loud voice, came out of many possessed people, and many paralyzed or crippled people were cured. There was great joy in that city.

Now when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent them Peter and John, who went down and prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Spirit, for it had not yet fallen upon any of them; they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit.

“…they received the Holy Spirit.” We can still receive the Holy Spirit. We receive Him when we receive the sacraments of the Church. We receive Him when we open our hearts, minds and soul to Him. We receive Him just as the Apostles did when we listen to the word of the Lord and hands are laid upon up. Do you believe that the Holy Spirit is still alive and active in our lives? Is He active in your life?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, your gift of the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete, is with me always and I give you praise and thanks for all you have done in my life. Your gifts have changed my life and brought me closer to you. In Jesus’ holy name, I give you honor, glory and praise! Amen and Alleluia!

Let all the earth cry out to God with joy, Alleluia!

Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/052017.cfm

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.”

Being a follower of Jesus is not easy. Especially in today’s world. People know the truth but do not want to believe it or follow it. Being a Christian is too hard for many people. They do not want to listen to the “rules of behavior” because it means they cannot do what they want to do, even if it means hurting others. If you know Jesus you want to follow His Father and live your life accordingly. Who do you follow?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I am freer now than I have ever been in my life. Your truth and “laws” guide me so I do the things I should do out of love for you. I pray the world will wake up and see your truth as it is. Freedom. In Jesus’ holy name, Amen and Alleluia!

Let all the earth cry out to God with joy, Alleluia!

 

Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/051917.cfm

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.”

“This I command you: love one another” And how are we doing on that? Even those who claim to be believers cannot love one another. Our times are very acrimonious, if I do not believe what you believe – I am a (fill in the blank). That is not what Christ calls us to or what He wants for us. What do you believe about those who disagree with you? Are you into name calling and criticisms? Have you tried love? Are you willing to try love? If not, do you really believe in Jesus?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, when I am confronted with those who do not agree with, help me to hold my tongue and remember that you love them as you love me. Help me to love them too. In Jesus’ holy name, Amen and Alleluia!

I will give you thanks among the peoples, O Lord, Alleluia!

 

Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/051817.cfm

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.”

The first Church Council! There was much discussion about requiring Gentiles to follow the same laws that the Jews did and they were rightfully upset. The leaders of the Church came together to discuss the question. They did not have a consensus of opinion or a vote. Peter listened, and following the guidance he received from God made the decision. This is still how the Church runs, it is not a democracy, it does not “keep up with the times”. We still follow the laws that God established. What law do you follow? Who do you follow?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for providing us with a leader to follow here on earth. Someone who knows your laws and adheres to your truth. Always be with him, guiding him and revealing your truth. In Jesus’ name, I give you honor, glory and praise, Amen and Alleluia!

Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations, Alleluia!

Link to today’s readings:  http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/051717.cfm

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.”

We are to bear much fruit for the Lord. What does this mean for you? Do you do His works, spread His Word, follow His commandments? By these things He will know you are His Disciple. We must bear fruit if we are to be His disciples. What do you do for the Lord? 

Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me to bear fruit in your name. May they know you by seeing me and the things I do for you. In Jesus’ holy name, I give you honor, praise and glory. Amen and Alleluia!  

Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord. Alleluia!

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