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Going Deeper – Gospel Reflections

Readings for Tuesday Mass 5/19/2020

Reading 1 ACTS 16:22-34

The crowd in Philippi joined in the attack on Paul and Silas,
and the magistrates had them stripped
and ordered them to be beaten with rods.
After inflicting many blows on them,
they threw them into prison
and instructed the jailer to guard them securely.
When he received these instructions, he put them in the innermost cell
and secured their feet to a stake.

About midnight, while Paul and Silas were praying
and singing hymns to God as the prisoners listened,
there was suddenly such a severe earthquake
that the foundations of the jail shook;
all the doors flew open, and the chains of all were pulled loose.
When the jailer woke up and saw the prison doors wide open,
he drew his sword and was about to kill himself,
thinking that the prisoners had escaped.
But Paul shouted out in a loud voice,
“Do no harm to yourself; we are all here.”
He asked for a light and rushed in and,
trembling with fear, he fell down before Paul and Silas.
Then he brought them out and said,
“Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus
and you and your household will be saved.”
So they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to everyone in his house.
He took them in at that hour of the night and bathed their wounds;
then he and all his family were baptized at once.
He brought them up into his house and provided a meal
and with his household rejoiced at having come to faith in God.

Responsorial Psalm 138:1-2AB, 2CDE-3, 7C-8

R.    (7c)  Your right hand saves me, O Lord.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
I will give thanks to you, O LORD, with all my heart,
for you have heard the words of my mouth;
in the presence of the angels I will sing your praise;
I will worship at your holy temple,
and give thanks to your name.
R.    Your right hand saves me, O Lord.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
Because of your kindness and your truth,
you have made great above all things
your name and your promise.
When I called, you answered me;
you built up strength within me.
R.    Your right hand saves me, O Lord.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
Your right hand saves me.
The LORD will complete what he has done for me;
your kindness, O LORD, endures forever;
forsake not the work of your hands.
R.    Your right hand saves me, O Lord.
or:
R.    Alleluia.

Alleluia JN 16:7, 13

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I will send to you the Spirit of truth, says the Lord;
he will guide you to all truth.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel JN 16:5-11

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.”

O Mary,

you always shine on our path
as a sign of salvation and of hope.
We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick,
who at the cross took part in Jesus’ pain,
keeping your faith firm.
You, Help of Christians and Mother of Perpetual Help,
know what we need,
and we are sure you will provide
so that, as in Cana of Galilee,
we may return to joy and to feasting
after this time of trial.
Help us, Mother of Divine Love,
to conform to the will of the Father
and to do as we are told by Jesus,
who has taken upon himself our sufferings
and carried our sorrows
to lead us, through the cross,
to the joy of the resurrection. Amen.
Under your protection, we seek refuge,
Holy Mother of God.
Do not disdain the entreaties of we who are in trial,
but deliver us from every danger,
O glorious and blessed Virgin.
Amen.

Come Holy Spirit!

“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.”    John 16:7

The hearts of the Apostles were conflicted.  They were filled with grief, but they were also trying to trust what Jesus said to them.  Jesus told them He was ascending to His Father and that it was better for them that He go.  Why?  Because if He goes, He will send the Holy Spirit to them.

On a human level, it would have been quite hard for the Apostles to let go of their daily interactions with Jesus.  They certainly missed seeing Him with their eyes, touching Him and hearing Him.  But Jesus made it clear that even though He was leaving He would be with them always.  And He would also send the Holy Spirit upon them to lead them, give them courage, and teach them all truth.  They would now be His presence in the world by the power of the Holy Spirit.

We never had the privilege of seeing Jesus in the way the Apostles did.  But we do have the same privilege of Him being with us always.  And we have the same privilege of receiving the fullness of the Holy Spirit.  This is good.  It is very good.  But it is a good that we often miss.  We may have been confirmed, but we may also still fail to let the Holy Spirit in and transform our lives.

In less than two weeks, we will celebrate the Solemnity of Pentecost.  This is the annual celebration of the fulfillment of this promise of Jesus.  On that day we commemorate the fact that the Holy Spirit has come and that we are now in the time of the Holy Spirit.

Reflect, today, and over the next couple of weeks about the Holy Spirit.  Humbly admit to yourself if you need to let the Holy Spirit become more alive in your life.  Trust that Jesus wants you to receive Him in His fullness.  And be not afraid to let this union take place.

Holy Spirit, please come to me.  Help me to fan into flame Your presence in my life.  May I receive You who was promised by Jesus in Your fullness.  Holy Spirit, Divine Jesus, Merciful Father, I trust in You.

Source of content: mycatholic.life

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