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April 30, 2016

Acts 16: 1-10

Paul went on also to Derbe and to Lystra, where there was a disciple named Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer; but his father was a Greek. He was well spoken of by the believers in Lystra and Iconium. Paul wanted Timothy to accompany him; and he took him and had him circumcised because of the Jews who were in those places, for they all knew that his father was a Greek. As they went from town to town, they delivered to them for observance the decisions that had been reached by the apostles and elders who were in Jerusalem. So the churches were strengthened in the faith and increased in numbers daily.

They went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia. When they had come opposite Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them; so, passing by Mysia, they went down to Troas. During the night Paul had a vision: there stood a man of Macedonia pleading with him and saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” When he had seen the vision, we immediately tried to cross over to Macedonia, being convinced that God had called us to proclaim the good news to them.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Growing in Faith

Today’s lines from the Acts of the Apostles describe Paul’s missionary journeys through Asia Minor as he made his way towards ancient Macedonia. The author of Acts reports great enthusiasm for Paul’s preaching: “Through all this, the congregations grew stronger in faith and daily increased in number.”

This April Saturday marks the end of the fifth week of Easter. Throughout this Easter season our own faith communities have increased in number and grown stronger in faith. As this year’s Easter celebration moves us towards Jesus’ Ascension on May 8 and then the celebration of Pentecost on May 15, each of us can profitably examine just how we have grown in faith. The following reflection questions may help:

What particular grace has come to my heart this year?
What Easter gifts to I notice within our family?
How have I shared a bit of Easter joy and hope and faith at work? Around our neighborhood?
What particular gift of the Holy Spirit do I particularly beg God to send this Pentecost?
How will that gift make a difference in my life and attitude?
How am I letting the Risen Jesus stretch my heart and horizons this Easter 2016?

—The Jesuit prayer team

Prayer

Come Holy Spirit, fill our hearts and homes with your grace and new life.
May we go forward these Easter days “steadfast in faith, joyful in hope, untiring in love.`”

—The Jesuit prayer team

Please share the Good Word with your friends!


Prayer

Come Holy Spirit, fill our hearts and homes with your grace and new life.
May we go forward these Easter days “steadfast in faith, joyful in hope, untiring in love.`”

—The Jesuit prayer team

Please share the Good Word with your friends!


Growing in Faith

Today’s lines from the Acts of the Apostles describe Paul’s missionary journeys through Asia Minor as he made his way towards ancient Macedonia. The author of Acts reports great enthusiasm for Paul’s preaching: “Through all this, the congregations grew stronger in faith and daily increased in number.”

This April Saturday marks the end of the fifth week of Easter. Throughout this Easter season our own faith communities have increased in number and grown stronger in faith. As this year’s Easter celebration moves us towards Jesus’ Ascension on May 8 and then the celebration of Pentecost on May 15, each of us can profitably examine just how we have grown in faith. The following reflection questions may help:

What particular grace has come to my heart this year?
What Easter gifts to I notice within our family?
How have I shared a bit of Easter joy and hope and faith at work? Around our neighborhood?
What particular gift of the Holy Spirit do I particularly beg God to send this Pentecost?
How will that gift make a difference in my life and attitude?
How am I letting the Risen Jesus stretch my heart and horizons this Easter 2016?

—The Jesuit prayer team

Please share the Good Word with your friends!


Acts 16: 1-10

Paul went on also to Derbe and to Lystra, where there was a disciple named Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer; but his father was a Greek. He was well spoken of by the believers in Lystra and Iconium. Paul wanted Timothy to accompany him; and he took him and had him circumcised because of the Jews who were in those places, for they all knew that his father was a Greek. As they went from town to town, they delivered to them for observance the decisions that had been reached by the apostles and elders who were in Jerusalem. So the churches were strengthened in the faith and increased in numbers daily.

They went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia. When they had come opposite Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them; so, passing by Mysia, they went down to Troas. During the night Paul had a vision: there stood a man of Macedonia pleading with him and saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” When he had seen the vision, we immediately tried to cross over to Macedonia, being convinced that God had called us to proclaim the good news to them.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

 

Please share the Good Word with your friends!


April 29, 2016

St. Catherine of Siena

Jn 15: 12-17

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved 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 do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Love’s Commands

I never appreciated the Ten Commandments as a teenager because of their negative “do not” wording. “Do not steal. Do not covet your neighbor’s property.” God seemed authoritarian. I cringed at Psalm 119 which says, “Truly I love your commandments more than gold.” How is this possible? It only makes sense when Jesus reminds us that God’s motive is love. We’re commanded to love. And it’s not coming from an authoritarian God but from a friend, the same one who commanded us to wash one another’s feet and not to exclude the widow or the oppressed. Even Ignatius said God is like a friend.

Can we, like Jesus, become friends with the poor? The sinner? The unwanted? Our own annoying families? Are we willing to lay down our lives for them?

The Christian life commands us to risk loving others. And what a beautiful command that is.

Andy Otto, originally from Boston, is currently a high school theology teacher for the Diocese of Sacramento. He also runs the Ignatian blog God In All Things.

Prayer

Lord, you teach me that there is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for a friend. You command me to love people who are hard to love. This is difficult! Only by your love and your grace can I not only love your commands but live them joyfully. Amen.

Andy Otto

 

Please share the Good Word with your friends!


Love’s Commands

I never appreciated the Ten Commandments as a teenager because of their negative “do not” wording. “Do not steal. Do not covet your neighbor’s property.” God seemed authoritarian. I cringed at Psalm 119 which says, “Truly I love your commandments more than gold.” How is this possible? It only makes sense when Jesus reminds us that God’s motive is love. We’re commanded to love. And it’s not coming from an authoritarian God but from a friend, the same one who commanded us to wash one another’s feet and not to exclude the widow or the oppressed. Even Ignatius said God is like a friend.

Can we, like Jesus, become friends with the poor? The sinner? The unwanted? Our own annoying families? Are we willing to lay down our lives for them?

The Christian life commands us to risk loving others. And what a beautiful command that is.

Andy Otto, originally from Boston, is currently a high school theology teacher for the Diocese of Sacramento. He also runs the Ignatian blog God In All Things.

Please share the Good Word with your friends!


St. Catherine of Siena

Jn 15: 12-17

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved 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 do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Please share the Good Word with your friends!


Prayer

Lord, you teach me that there is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for a friend. You command me to love people who are hard to love. This is difficult! Only by your love and your grace can I not only love your commands but live them joyfully. Amen.

Andy Otto

Please share the Good Word with your friends!


April 28, 2016

St. Peter Chanel / St. Louis Mary de Montfort

Jn 15: 9-11

As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Love Becomes Me

My loving wife’s mother kept a prayer displayed prominently on her refrigerator: “Lord, help me remember that nothing can happen today that You and I cannot get through together.” I love that thought. Today’s readings contrast well with each other and make me think of that prayer. The Acts reading boils with controversy among the Apostles about how to make Gentiles into new Christians. Argument and discord seem the order of the day. But in the Gospel reading Jesus makes the equation simple: “The Father loves me, I love you, and I invite you to immerse yourself in Us.”

If we really value this momentous gift of love, keeping his commandments is then not a test but a welcome way of life.  Loving God and loving neighbor become not what we do but who we are. Jesus truly wants this for us. Do we strive in the details of our day to accept this?    

—Jim O’Donnell is a long-serving deacon at Gesu Church, University Heights, OH. He is also a University Hospitals physician specializing and leading a research team in nuclear medicine.

Prayer

Our love is shown more in deeds than in words.

—St. Ignatius Loyola

 

Please share the Good Word with your friends!


Love Becomes Me

My loving wife’s mother kept a prayer displayed prominently on her refrigerator: “Lord, help me remember that nothing can happen today that You and I cannot get through together.” I love that thought. Today’s readings contrast well with each other and make me think of that prayer. The Acts reading boils with controversy among the Apostles about how to make Gentiles into new Christians. Argument and discord seem the order of the day. But in the Gospel reading Jesus makes the equation simple: “The Father loves me, I love you, and I invite you to immerse yourself in Us.”

If we really value this momentous gift of love, keeping his commandments is then not a test but a welcome way of life.  Loving God and loving neighbor become not what we do but who we are. Jesus truly wants this for us. Do we strive in the details of our day to accept this?    

—Jim O’Donnell is a long-serving deacon at Gesu Church, University Heights, OH. He is also a University Hospitals physician specializing and leading a research team in nuclear medicine.

Please share the Good Word with your friends!


St. Ignatius’s First Principle and Foundation says “The goal of our life is to live with God forever. God, who loves us, gave us life. Our own response of love allows God's life to flow into us without limit.” One of the ways in which we respond to the love God has given us is through prayer, not only personal prayer but community prayer as well. The Pastoral Ministry Center invites members of our Strake Jesuit Community to share their prayers with us: their concerns, joys, thanksgivings, so that we may walk with them in all these times of their lives.





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April 30, 2016

Acts 16: 1-10

Paul went on also to Derbe and to Lystra, where there was a disciple named Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer; but his father was a Greek. He was well spoken of by the believers in Lystra and Iconium. Paul wanted Timothy to accompany him; and he took him and had him circumcised because of the Jews who were in those places, for they all knew that his father was a Greek. As they went from town to town, they delivered to them for observance the decisions that had been reached by the apostles and elders who were in Jerusalem. So the churches were strengthened in the faith and increased in numbers daily.

They went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia. When they had come opposite Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them; so, passing by Mysia, they went down to Troas. During the night Paul had a vision: there stood a man of Macedonia pleading with him and saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” When he had seen the vision, we immediately tried to cross over to Macedonia, being convinced that God had called us to proclaim the good news to them.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Growing in Faith

Today’s lines from the Acts of the Apostles describe Paul’s missionary journeys through Asia Minor as he made his way towards ancient Macedonia. The author of Acts reports great enthusiasm for Paul’s preaching: “Through all this, the congregations grew stronger in faith and daily increased in number.”

This April Saturday marks the end of the fifth week of Easter. Throughout this Easter season our own faith communities have increased in number and grown stronger in faith. As this year’s Easter celebration moves us towards Jesus’ Ascension on May 8 and then the celebration of Pentecost on May 15, each of us can profitably examine just how we have grown in faith. The following reflection questions may help:

What particular grace has come to my heart this year?
What Easter gifts to I notice within our family?
How have I shared a bit of Easter joy and hope and faith at work? Around our neighborhood?
What particular gift of the Holy Spirit do I particularly beg God to send this Pentecost?
How will that gift make a difference in my life and attitude?
How am I letting the Risen Jesus stretch my heart and horizons this Easter 2016?

—The Jesuit prayer team

Prayer

Come Holy Spirit, fill our hearts and homes with your grace and new life.
May we go forward these Easter days “steadfast in faith, joyful in hope, untiring in love.`”

—The Jesuit prayer team

Please share the Good Word with your friends!


Prayer

Come Holy Spirit, fill our hearts and homes with your grace and new life.
May we go forward these Easter days “steadfast in faith, joyful in hope, untiring in love.`”

—The Jesuit prayer team

Please share the Good Word with your friends!


Growing in Faith

Today’s lines from the Acts of the Apostles describe Paul’s missionary journeys through Asia Minor as he made his way towards ancient Macedonia. The author of Acts reports great enthusiasm for Paul’s preaching: “Through all this, the congregations grew stronger in faith and daily increased in number.”

This April Saturday marks the end of the fifth week of Easter. Throughout this Easter season our own faith communities have increased in number and grown stronger in faith. As this year’s Easter celebration moves us towards Jesus’ Ascension on May 8 and then the celebration of Pentecost on May 15, each of us can profitably examine just how we have grown in faith. The following reflection questions may help:

What particular grace has come to my heart this year?
What Easter gifts to I notice within our family?
How have I shared a bit of Easter joy and hope and faith at work? Around our neighborhood?
What particular gift of the Holy Spirit do I particularly beg God to send this Pentecost?
How will that gift make a difference in my life and attitude?
How am I letting the Risen Jesus stretch my heart and horizons this Easter 2016?

—The Jesuit prayer team

Please share the Good Word with your friends!


Acts 16: 1-10

Paul went on also to Derbe and to Lystra, where there was a disciple named Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer; but his father was a Greek. He was well spoken of by the believers in Lystra and Iconium. Paul wanted Timothy to accompany him; and he took him and had him circumcised because of the Jews who were in those places, for they all knew that his father was a Greek. As they went from town to town, they delivered to them for observance the decisions that had been reached by the apostles and elders who were in Jerusalem. So the churches were strengthened in the faith and increased in numbers daily.

They went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia. When they had come opposite Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them; so, passing by Mysia, they went down to Troas. During the night Paul had a vision: there stood a man of Macedonia pleading with him and saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” When he had seen the vision, we immediately tried to cross over to Macedonia, being convinced that God had called us to proclaim the good news to them.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

 

Please share the Good Word with your friends!


April 29, 2016

St. Catherine of Siena

Jn 15: 12-17

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved 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 do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Love’s Commands

I never appreciated the Ten Commandments as a teenager because of their negative “do not” wording. “Do not steal. Do not covet your neighbor’s property.” God seemed authoritarian. I cringed at Psalm 119 which says, “Truly I love your commandments more than gold.” How is this possible? It only makes sense when Jesus reminds us that God’s motive is love. We’re commanded to love. And it’s not coming from an authoritarian God but from a friend, the same one who commanded us to wash one another’s feet and not to exclude the widow or the oppressed. Even Ignatius said God is like a friend.

Can we, like Jesus, become friends with the poor? The sinner? The unwanted? Our own annoying families? Are we willing to lay down our lives for them?

The Christian life commands us to risk loving others. And what a beautiful command that is.

Andy Otto, originally from Boston, is currently a high school theology teacher for the Diocese of Sacramento. He also runs the Ignatian blog God In All Things.

Prayer

Lord, you teach me that there is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for a friend. You command me to love people who are hard to love. This is difficult! Only by your love and your grace can I not only love your commands but live them joyfully. Amen.

Andy Otto

 

Please share the Good Word with your friends!


Love’s Commands

I never appreciated the Ten Commandments as a teenager because of their negative “do not” wording. “Do not steal. Do not covet your neighbor’s property.” God seemed authoritarian. I cringed at Psalm 119 which says, “Truly I love your commandments more than gold.” How is this possible? It only makes sense when Jesus reminds us that God’s motive is love. We’re commanded to love. And it’s not coming from an authoritarian God but from a friend, the same one who commanded us to wash one another’s feet and not to exclude the widow or the oppressed. Even Ignatius said God is like a friend.

Can we, like Jesus, become friends with the poor? The sinner? The unwanted? Our own annoying families? Are we willing to lay down our lives for them?

The Christian life commands us to risk loving others. And what a beautiful command that is.

Andy Otto, originally from Boston, is currently a high school theology teacher for the Diocese of Sacramento. He also runs the Ignatian blog God In All Things.

Please share the Good Word with your friends!


St. Catherine of Siena

Jn 15: 12-17

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved 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 do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Please share the Good Word with your friends!


Prayer

Lord, you teach me that there is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for a friend. You command me to love people who are hard to love. This is difficult! Only by your love and your grace can I not only love your commands but live them joyfully. Amen.

Andy Otto

Please share the Good Word with your friends!


April 28, 2016

St. Peter Chanel / St. Louis Mary de Montfort

Jn 15: 9-11

As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Love Becomes Me

My loving wife’s mother kept a prayer displayed prominently on her refrigerator: “Lord, help me remember that nothing can happen today that You and I cannot get through together.” I love that thought. Today’s readings contrast well with each other and make me think of that prayer. The Acts reading boils with controversy among the Apostles about how to make Gentiles into new Christians. Argument and discord seem the order of the day. But in the Gospel reading Jesus makes the equation simple: “The Father loves me, I love you, and I invite you to immerse yourself in Us.”

If we really value this momentous gift of love, keeping his commandments is then not a test but a welcome way of life.  Loving God and loving neighbor become not what we do but who we are. Jesus truly wants this for us. Do we strive in the details of our day to accept this?    

—Jim O’Donnell is a long-serving deacon at Gesu Church, University Heights, OH. He is also a University Hospitals physician specializing and leading a research team in nuclear medicine.

Prayer

Our love is shown more in deeds than in words.

—St. Ignatius Loyola

 

Please share the Good Word with your friends!


Love Becomes Me

My loving wife’s mother kept a prayer displayed prominently on her refrigerator: “Lord, help me remember that nothing can happen today that You and I cannot get through together.” I love that thought. Today’s readings contrast well with each other and make me think of that prayer. The Acts reading boils with controversy among the Apostles about how to make Gentiles into new Christians. Argument and discord seem the order of the day. But in the Gospel reading Jesus makes the equation simple: “The Father loves me, I love you, and I invite you to immerse yourself in Us.”

If we really value this momentous gift of love, keeping his commandments is then not a test but a welcome way of life.  Loving God and loving neighbor become not what we do but who we are. Jesus truly wants this for us. Do we strive in the details of our day to accept this?    

—Jim O’Donnell is a long-serving deacon at Gesu Church, University Heights, OH. He is also a University Hospitals physician specializing and leading a research team in nuclear medicine.

Please share the Good Word with your friends!