Scripture of the Week
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter two, verses forty-two thru forty-seven;
Psalm One Hundred Eighteen, verses two, three, & four; thirteen, fourteen, & fifteen; & twenty-two, twenty-three, & twenty-four;
The First Letter of Peter, chapter one, verses three thru nine;
The Gospel according to John, chapter twenty, verses nineteen thru thirty-one.
Commentary: Video Easter Gospel reflection by Jeff Cavins: Encountering the Word.
Easter Gospel reflection by Bishop Robert Barron:
Friends, our magnificent Gospel declares that there is no greater manifestation of the divine mercy than the forgiveness of sins. We are in the upper room with the disciples, those who had denied, betrayed, and abandoned their master. Jesus came and stood in their midst. When they saw him, their fear must have intensified: undoubtedly he was back for revenge.Otherwise, 23 April would be the festival of Saint George, Martyr (circa 280-303), martyred in the reign of the emperior Diocletian, one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers: Martyr-link ūnus, Martyr-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; & Wikipedia-link XIV.
Instead, he spoke the simple word “Shalom”, peace. He showed them his hands and his side, lest they forget what the world (and they) did to him, but he does not follow up with blame or retribution—only a word of mercy. And then the extraordinary commission: “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.” Jesus’ mercy is communicated to his disciples who in turn are sent to communicate it to the world.
This is the foundation for the sacrament of penance, which has existed in the Church from that moment to the present day as the privileged vehicle of the divine mercy.
Commentary: Wayback Machine. A Golden Legend: Wikipedia-link Day & Wikipedia-link Dragon.
Quoth the Holy Family bulletin:
Legend states that St. George was born at Cappadocia & instructed in the Christian religion by his mother. He became a soldier in the Roman army & confronted Diocletian, the cruel persecutor of Christians. As a result, George was handed over to the torturers, who tried every means to put him to death; but he came through all the tortures unscathed. Pretending ot offer sacrifice to the pagan idols, with all the people assembled, George prayed & fire came down from heaven, killing all the pagan priests & people. In the end, George was beheaded. The crusaders considered St. George to be their patron. He was also named the patron of England in 1222. Until 1778, the feast of St. George was a holy day of obligation for English Catholics. In iconography, St. George is portrayed as the conqueror of a dragon.'Twould also be the festival of Saint Adalbert of Prague, Bishop & Martyr, O.S.B. (circa 956-997), martyred by pagan priests of the Old Prussians: Martyr-link ūnus, Martyr-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.
'Twould also be the festival of Blessed Giles of Assisi, Religious, O.F.M. (circa 1190-1262): Blessed-link & Wikipedia-link.
'Twould also be the festival of Blessed Teresa Maria of the Cross, Religious, O.C.D. (1846-1910, A.K.A. Teresa Maria Manetti): Blessed-link & Wikipedia-link.
Mass Journal: Week 17
Reflection by Matthew Kelly, founder of the Dynamic Catholic Institute:
Catholicism is not merely a religion, or a sect, or a set of rules. When small minds & smaller spirits try to capture the essence of Catholicism, this is often what they tend to conclude. But Catholicism is more than a religion. It is more than just another movement. The essence of Catholicism is not sin, punishment, duty, or obligation, & it is more than a set of lifeless rules & regulations. Catholicism is more. It is more than most people think & more than most Catholics ever experience. The essence of Catholicism is dynamic transformation. You cannot become more like Jesus Christ & at the same time stay as you are. To be Catholic means to be striving to live the Gospel, to be striving to become more like Jesus Christ. It is this dynamic approach to transformation that animates the human person—physically, emotionally, intellectually, & spiritually—& allows us to experience like "to the fullest" (John, 10:10). When are you most fully alive? When you are changing & growing & exploring all you are capable of becoming.