Daily Gospel Reflection

IN THE SPIRIT OF BOLDNESS
“Do not be afraid.” —Acts 18:9
It’s likely God wouldn’t have told St. Paul to not be afraid unless Paul was actually afraid of something. The city of Corinth must have been a rough place, for by this time in Paul’s life, he had already been stoned, apparently to death, at Lystra (Acts 14:19ff), and then stood back up and returned to town. He’d been jailed and beaten at Philippi, but miraculously freed by an earthquake. You’d think Paul would not fear anything at this point. But fear is a strong temptation, even to veteran disciples.

The Pentecost Novena begins today. We beg the Lord for nine days to send us the Holy Spirit in a new way at Pentecost. One of the primary effects of the Holy Spirit biblically is bold speech and bold actions. The fear of the apostles locked in the upper room was driven out by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. The perfect love of the Spirit casts out all fear (see 1 Jn 4:18). The Spirit-filled apostles burst out of the locked room and into the public squares. They boldly proclaimed Jesus and brought three thousand people to the Lord in one day.

Jesus tells St. Paul and us: “Do not be afraid” (Acts 18:9). The Outreach Leader for Presentation Ministries is fond of saying: “Fear is merely False Evidence Appearing Real.” Receive the Holy Spirit. Be delivered of fear.

PRAYER: Father, send the Holy Spirit to turn any cowardice we may have into boldness (2 Tm 1:7-8).
PROMISE: “Your grief will be turned to joy.” –16:20
PRAISE: St. Rita was a wife and mother. After she became a widow and her two sons died, Rita joined the Augustinian nuns in Cascia. Together with Saint Jude, she is a patron saint of impossible cases.

St Rita

Daily Gospel Reflection

“PERFECT STORM”

“They opposed him and insulted him.” —Acts 18:6

As I write this, a storm has just blown in. There’s a strong, driving wind outside (cf Acts 2:2). Lightning is darting throughout the sky and powerful blasts of thunder shake the windows. I hear sirens from fire trucks, police cars, and a tornado warning. It seems like this storm is turning the town upside down.

Tomorrow we begin praying the Pentecost Novena, nine days of fervent prayer to prepare for receiving a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. What storm will result if you receive the Holy Spirit during or after this Novena? It may mean that:

you must leave your job, as did St. Joseph (Mt 2:14),

you start a new job, which becomes the launching pad for a new ministry (Acts 18:3, 5),

you pack up and move where the Spirit leads (Acts 18:1),

you lose your spiritual mentor (Jn 16:17) and have to step out and take leadership, as did the apostles,

you will weep, mourn, and grieve (Jn 16:20),

you step out in bold obedience to the Holy Spirit, and because of that, your church is instantly divided (Acts 18:4ff),

talented leaders are converted and raised up (Acts 18:8),

many hear the Word of God and come to believe in Jesus (Acts 18:8), or

you “shake” off the spiritual and physical debris left by the storm (Acts 18:6), and, undaunted, continue bearing fruit in the power of the Spirit (see Mt 7:24-25).

“Receive the Holy Spirit” (Jn 20:22), and let Him “stir” up your world (2 Tm 1:6).

 

PRAYER:               Father, may I be more concerned with being separated from the Holy Spirit than I am with having to endure upheaval.

PROMISE:            “Your grief will be turned into joy.” –Jn 16:20

PRAISE:                 St. Christopher continued to spread the Good News despite government persecution. In the end, it cost him his life.

Masses for the Feast of the Ascension and Mass for the sick

On Line Masses and Times.

Ascension Day Mass for Children: Fr. Anton from the Oratory is celebrating a Mass for children on Thursday 21 May 9:00 https://t.co/NToPC7gr41?amp=1

St Peter’s and St Paul’s Wolverhampton 12.pm
https://www.rcwlvwest.com/

St Chad’s Cathedral, Birmingham.12.15pm

Discover St Chad’s Cathedral, Birmingham

You may also think about starting the Novena tomorrow as we lead up to the celebration of Pentecost the Novena to the Holy Spirit: the birthday of the Church. https://www.bdes.org.uk/resources-for-prayer-and-learning.html

This week’s Mass for the Sick and their families, NHS Front Line Workers and those working in Social Care will be celebrated by Bishop Mark Davies at Shrewsbury Cathedral at 7:00 on Thursday 21 May. https://t.co/7GVCZU1Pmf?amp=1

Daily Gospel Reflection

LOVE IN SPIRIT AND IN TRUTH
“When He comes, however, being the Spirit of truth He will guide you to all truth.” —John 16:13
Life in Christ is a life of love, for Jesus is Love (see 1 Jn 4:8, 16). Love requires freedom. We cannot force people to love us. Freedom requires knowledge. Without some knowledge, we cannot freely decide to love. Therefore, knowledge of the truth is very important because truth is an absolute prerequisite for love. The Lord “wants all men to be saved and come to know the truth” (1 Tm 2:4).

The fruit of the Holy Spirit is love (Gal 5:22) because the Spirit gives us freedom, which requires the Spirit to guide us to all truth (Jn 16:13). The Holy Spirit will open us to all the truth we need for the freedom to love the Lord with all our hearts, to love our neighbors as ourselves, to love even our enemies, and to actually live in love (see Jn 15:9). The Holy Spirit, by being the Spirit of truth (Jn 16:13), produces the fruit of love in our lives.

The Lord says: “My people perish for want of knowledge!” (Hos 4:6) It is not that we are saved by knowledge but that knowledge of the truth makes it possible to have faith in and love for the Lord. This is what saves us. Consequently, we need the Holy Spirit of truth and love to be as active as possible in our lives. Come, Holy Spirit!

PRAYER: Father, show me the relationship between truth, freedom, and love.
PROMISE: “He has set the day on which He is going to ‘judge the world with justice’ through a Man He has appointed — One Whom He has endorsed in the sight of all by raising Him from the dead.” –Acts 17:31
PRAISE: An orphan, St. Bernardine was raised by a godly aunt. He became a Franciscan and was ordained a priest. He preached the loving mercy of God. Bernardine devised a symbol, IHS, the first three letters of Jesus name in Greek, in Gothic letters, on a blazing sun, to promote devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus.

Daily Gospel Reflection

GOD IN THE WORKPLACE

“The jailer was given instructions to guard them well. Upon receipt of these instructions, he put them in maximum security, going so far as to chain their feet to a stake.” —Acts 16:23-24

The jailer of Paul and Silas did his job to the best of his ability. He may have even gone above and beyond in his job performance, “going so far as to chain [the feet of Paul and Silas] to a stake.” That was probably unnecessary when they were already in maximum security. However, the jailer planned to do his job well.

 

An earthquake shook the jailer’s prison compound, and “all the doors flew open and everyone’s chains were pulled loose” (Acts 16:26). This was the absolute worst disaster the jailer could have ever imagined. A Roman jailer paid for escaped prisoners with his own life. The jailer knew he was going to die at the hands of his bosses, so “he drew his sword to kill himself” (Acts 16:27).

 

That’s when the jailer met God in the workplace. His most notorious prisoners pleaded with him to spare his life. They also prevented all the other prisoners from escaping. He knew this was impossible! Only God could have transformed his worst nightmare into his greatest day on the job. The jailer was convicted at the depth of his heart and humbly begged for salvation (Acts 16:30ff).

 

The jailer was an expert at his job. Yet God showed him His omnipotence and mercy in the midst of his area of expertise, and the jailer recognized in an instant the God of the impossible. May we likewise recognize God moving in our workplace, receive His mercy, and spread His saving love to our coworkers.

 

PRAYER:               “In my work, Lord, be glorified…”

PROMISE:            “The Lord will complete what He has done for me.” –Ps 138:8

PRAISE:                 Open your bible today, what is the Lord telling you…

Daily Gospel Reflection

HOME IMPROVEMENT
‘ ” —Acts 16:15
After her conversion, the first words of Lydia, the first convert of the Western world, involved making her home a base for evangelisation. Jesus stayed at home for about thirty years before His three years of public ministry. The Church met primarily in homes for its first three hundred years. The Church fathers taught that the Christian home is a “domestic church” (see Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1656, 1666). The Lord has clearly and repeatedly made the statement that the home is foundational and central to Christianity.

Consequently, Satan tries to destroy our homes through abortion, contraception, promiscuity, unfaithfulness, and divorce. He attacks the home through TV, the Internet, and other forms of media. Satan makes it seem economically necessary to work away from home for most of our waking hours. He has been largely successful in getting meals, education, recreation, medical care, and business taken out of the home. The home is then relegated to a boarding house where residents merely sleep and entertain themselves.

By the power of the risen Christ and with wisdom from the Holy Spirit, let us restore our homes to their crucial place in God’s plan of salvation. Risen Lord Jesus, in these last days of Easter, raise our homes from the ruins of our culture of death.

PRAYER: Father, protect me from being brainwashed.
PROMISE: “When the Paraclete comes, the Spirit of truth Who comes from the Father — and Whom I Myself will send from the Father — He will bear witness on My behalf. You must bear witness as well.” –Jn 15:26-27
PRAISE: Pope St. John I made peace between the emperors of the East and West.

Daily Gospel Reflection

THE GOD OF LIFESTYLE
“It is the decision of the Holy Spirit, and ours too, not to lay on you any burden beyond that which is strictly necessary.” —Acts 15:28
The elders of the church of Jerusalem and the Holy Spirit decided Gentile Christians did not need to be circumcised, but rather had to change their lifestyle, “namely, to abstain from meat sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals” (Acts 15:29). Meat sacrificed to idols was a major item in the marketplace. Therefore, to abstain from this was, in part, an economic decision. The Gentiles were also told to change their eating habits. In other words, the Gentiles were required to make lifestyle changes in the areas of money, food. This is comparable to telling a modern person, even a Christian, to stop buying certain foods, to quit eating meat or drinking caffeine.

When the letter containing these rules was read, “there was great delight at the encouragement it gave” (Acts 15:31). If a similar letter requiring lifestyle changes was read at your church, would the people be delighted or defiant? Lifestyle is the false god of the modern church. Our comforts, pleasure, and entertainment mean more to us than loving God. That’s where our time and money goes, and God gets the leftovers, if there are any. Repent!

PRAYER: Risen Jesus, may I repent of living for selfish pleasure.
PROMISE: “This is My commandment: love one another as I have loved you.” –Jn 15:12
PRAISE: St. Isidore was canonised in 1622. He’s in good company: St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Francis Xavier, St. Teresa of Avila, and St. Philip Neri were declared saints at the same time.

Worldwide Day of Prayer & Fasting for an end to the Pandemic

Pope Francis has asked us to come together today, to pray together, for the end of the Pandemic.
Here are a few links you may want to join in with today, from Masses to meditation or just sit for a moment, maybe light a candle and say your own prayer. God Bless.

11 o’clock Prayer and Holy Rosary from St Peter’s Basilica
https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2020-05/pope-francis-invitation-to-14-may-prayer.html
Mass 12.15 St Chad’s Cathedral, Birmingham
https://www.stchadscathedral.org.uk/Thursday (14 May) 12.15pm
Mass 6.30 St Peters and St Paul Wolverhampton
https://www.rcwlvwest.com/
Rosary with Kenelm Trust-Alton Castle and Soli House

Lectio Divina

Visio Divina-Visual Prayer-Lords Prayer with Allora Borealis
https://www.up.edu/garaventa/archives/visio-divina/the-lords-prayer.html
12.00 Angelus

Coronavirus prayer


Our Father

Daily Gospel Reflection

BROKEN DOWN VEHICLES ON THE ROAD
“Then they prayed, ‘O Lord, You read the hearts of men. Make known to us which of these two You choose for this apostolic ministry, replacing Judas, who deserted the cause and went the way he was destined to go.’ ” —Acts 1:24-25
Things break. People break and cry, and they break down and die. So many things and people break that we may give up fixing all the broken things, even the broken people. While we may take our time to fix broken things, we need to take broken people, broken hearts, broken relationships, and broken lives to the Lord immediately. He has fixed every person’s brokenness through His death and Resurrection, and He wants to show His love for the broken right away (see Ps 34:19).

After Jesus’ death, the apostles were broken. Judas had sold and betrayed Christ. Then he committed suicide. Peter denied Christ three times. All the apostles abandoned Christ. They all had sinned grievously. They were so broken that they refused to face their brokenness. But they began to turn to the Lord and pick up the pieces of their ruined lives when they sought the Lord’s will in replacing Judas. Matthias, Judas’ replacement, was the focal point of the apostles’ repenting of their lethargy and bringing their brokenness to the Lord.

Do you have a breakdown of communication, discipline, freedom, love, or hope in your life? How long have you let your brokenness sit there untouched? Deal with your Judases by calling on the Lord. The Lord will send you Matthiases of healing and hope. Then with all the brokenness of your life in the healing hands of the Lord, you can receive the Holy Spirit in a new Pentecost.

PRAYER: Father, may we make straight the way of the Holy Spirit.
PROMISE: “I no longer speak of you as slaves, for a slave does not know what his master is about. Instead, I call you friends, since I have made known to you all that I heard from My Father.” –Jn 15:15
PRAISE: Pray today with Pope Francis for the end to Coronavirus-prayer is a powerful