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Contents: Volume 2 - 6th Sunday of Easter - C
May 22, 2022







1. -- Lanie LeBlanc OP

2. -- Carol & Dennis Keller

3. -- Brian Gleeson CP

4. --

5. --(Your reflection can be here!)





6th Sunday of Easter

Today's Gospel passage has two parts. The first part of the reading was a bit troubling to me at first. Jesus says "Whoever loves me will keep my word. " I know I love Jesus, but I do not always keep his word when I sin. Jesus knew the Plan! The second part is where the Holy Spirit comes in.

In the second part, Jesus tells his disciples that he would be leaving them. Jesus gave them comforting assurances because he understood humanity and the impact his leaving would have! It certainly reminds me of the farewells in the past that I have found difficult even if I knew that they were temporary ones.

Jesus's gift of the Holy Spirit answered the disciples' most important question: "Now what do I do without you around?" Confusion and uncertainty must have felt overwhelming! This assurance of future instruction and reminders of Jesus must have resulted in some deep breaths even though they did not understand who the Holy Spirit was or what the Holy Spirit would really do. I think the same is true today when we feel overwhelmed by sin or life. We are reminded of the gift of the Holy Spirit. We can breathe a bit easier, too.

Jesus's words about peace and not being troubled must have hit home and dispelled the feelings of hopelessness. They often do for me, now in 2022, when things seem to be heading way out of control. For me, repeating Jesus's words from Scripture is calming and does refresh my soul, for sure! In this troubling day and age, what helps you to remain peaceful and hopeful?


Dr. Lanie LeBlanc OP

Southern Dominican Laity





Sixth Sunday of Easter May 22 2022

Acts of Apostles 15:1-2 & 22-29; Responsorial Psalm 67; Revelation 21:10-14 & 22-23; Gospel Acclamation John 14:23; John 14:23-29

As a young seminarian I was scandalized by the first reading this Sunday. What: Jesus is hardly out of sight when there is fighting among the communities about what is true and what is not true. This time it is about circumcision. Some of the Jews believed that since Jesus was a Jew then all followers of Jesus should be Jews before they could be baptized to follow after Jesus. There is more to this than the law of Moses. It had to do with the time of the Maccabees. During that time, the Greeks worked very hard at ridding Palestine of customs and rituals of the Jews – it was an effort to make them all Greek in custom, culture, ritual, and worship. A fight ensued and the Maccabees eventually won the day. Those Jews who has tried to become Greek were punished, some severely. Circumcision was a lot more than a religious obligation. It had to do with national pride, culture, custom and ritual. Both nationalism and Worship were involved. This had become more than a tradition handed down from Abraham. It was about national identity and culture.

When Paul and Barnabas preached to the Gentiles, the Gentiles were not expected to be circumcised before they could be baptized. This, of course, caused an uproar from Jews who sought to follow the prescripts derived from Mosaic Law. There was more than precept, more than history, there was a lot of emotional commitment to circumcision. Who was there to go for in those days before the Pope or an ecumenical council? They went to the apostles and the elders in Jerusalem. With lots of prayer and discussion and clearly the inspiration of the Spirit, it was decided that circumcision was not necessary for baptism. Emissaries from the elders and apostles were chosen to carry the message to Antioch.

Perhaps there are two lessons here. One, and the one we most often think of, is that there must be an authority that can resolve conflicting practices/thoughts in the community of believers. The reading does not depend only on a human authority. We should keep in mind that it is credited to the Spirit, this decision of the apostles and the elders. The question we should ask ourselves then, is how do we know what the Spirit speaks? That is the magisterium that includes not only the pope, bishops/hierarch in collegiality but also the sense that comes from the faithful in their practice of the gift of faith.

The second lesson is a call for us each to think about what we are passionate. It is easy to get caught up in a way of thinking that lacks truth or connection with reality. Evidence of that is clearly around us in social media as well as in the work of demagogues who mislead us with their rhetoric and even in the daily bombardment that is advertising. These Jews truly believed that all males who wish to follow in the way of The Christ should be circumcised. Their history, their culture, their rituals, their following of what was thought to be the Law of Moses all pointed to that decision. Besides that, why should they have borne the pain of circumcision when the Gentiles got a pass? Surgery in those long ago days did not include anesthesia or sterilization of equipment.

These two thoughts are really enough to think about this coming week. But in truth there is a whole lot more the second reading leads us to. The reading from the Book of Revelation is really a two-edged sword. John of Patmos was in exile because of his faith. His assembly of Christ followers back home were also being persecuted – undoubtedly some lost their possessions, others lost their civic status, and still others lost their lives in these persecutions. Such conflict is a threat to one’s faith, to the following in the values and convictions learned and practiced in the faith in the Lord. John writes this Book of Revelation in an effort to uncover the meaning of this terror and persecution. It made no sense. Christians were noted for loving one another. Community was the foundation of the huge change in behavior. It was about loving not others as one loves self, but loving others of your community and those outside the community as Jesus loved the apostles, disciples, and anyone who followed him. That love was expressed by his conviction that his mission was so important that it was worth dying for. He revealed – that is he uncovered the hidden truth about God and God’s intention and will. That is the meaning of the word apocalypse. This is an uncovering of the truth of what is happening and how God fits in with it. This God was not a wrathful God, an evil spirit intent on punishing, persecuting, murdering. This was the God who tended to his people. The way of the world is to conquer, to overcome, to use any method to achieve. Lying, creating baseless conspiracy stories (look at what the Sanhedrin made up) to improve the accumulation and power of those with no values except those of the world.

John uncovers the truth about Christian life. God remains with the people to sustain them even in persecution and tragedy. The persecution will end and another will begin. Yet through it all God is present, God provides energy, strength, courage, and discernment to the faithful. There is besides the unveiling of evil and its purposes and its henchmen and henchwomen, there is the purpose of Hope that God will prevail. There will be a new heaven and a new earth. There will come a time when there is no mourning, no more weeping. There will come a time when even death is no more. There will be a new heaven and a new earth.

Have to take a breath here. Most of us who work at living the way of Jesus in our communities are likely thinking, "how long, oh Lord, how long?" As we see the terrors that are unleashed in our grocery stores, in our places of entertainment, in our workplaces, in our churches, and in our schools – when will all this come to an end? When will the ego of political leaders be contained so that nations retain their sovereignty without warfare? When will truth and the common good become the goal of every family, every community? When will leaders, political, religious, civic, educational; come to realize that effective change is possible only hearts and spirits of humanity are filled with kindness and care for all others? We think that law will end terror with weapons. Laws are often only a first step. In many cases law is a mere painting over rotten wood. The need is to change the human heart. Many think that overturning Roe will eliminate abortion. That turning over will not eliminate the reasons for abortion. And so it will continue. Until the hearts of humanity come to truth and common good, efforts to paint over with law and force the foibles and sins of humanity will continue to fail. The Word of God, the Word that is Jesus, until that Word is heard and applied to the times and places of today, we will fail in efforts to come to peace within ourselves. In the gospel today, Jesus insists, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you." To achieve that peace, we must come to know truth. In knowing we must begin to practice the truth, applying the Word to our living – all of our living. Following Jesus is not merely a Sunday thing. We have to work on what is in our hearts. For what our heart loves, that is what we will do. For what we love attracts us, retains us, encourages us, and opens us to the Spirit of God.

Dennis Keller






Acts 15:1-2, 22-29; Revelation 21:10-14, 22-23; John 14:23-29

I wonder in how many different places and in how many different houses you’ve lived over the years of your life. I’ve just about lost count. It’s not easy leaving a place, especially when we’ve formed close ties. Unless it’s leaving a destructive relationship or some other difficult situation, most of us, I think, hate goodbyes. Just the prospect fills us with sadness and dread, even if we’re leaving to get married or take up a better job or go to some dream home. There’s still the pain of packing up and leaving for an unknown future. There’s still the pain of saying goodbye to family members and friends. Saying such things as ‘I’ll visit when I can,’ ‘I’ll ring you often,’ ‘I’ll text you,’ ‘I’ll e-mail you,’ ‘I’ll WhatsApp you,’ ‘I’ll catch up the first chance we get,’ might ease the pain of separation to a certain extent, but it doesn’t take it away completely.

The gospel today takes us to the Last Supper, to Jesus’ last meal, his farewell meal, with close friends. He tells them that he is going away and they will no longer have him with them in the old familiar ways. But he softens the sting, the pain, which they are feeling about this, with three very comforting and connected promises. He says that he is going away to prepare a place for them (Jn 14:3). So, they can look forward to a great reunion with him one day. He goes on to promise: ‘I shall not leave you orphans; I shall come to you’ (14:18),

In his third promise, Jesus spells out just how he will come to them and how he will still be with them when they can no longer see him, touch him, hear his voice, and walk with him. He will come to them in his farewell gift of his Spirit. He will give them the very same Spirit who animated him, as he went about Palestine doing good, preaching and teaching, healing and helping in every way. He will give them his Spirit to continue his presence to them. The Spirit, then, will be a kind of second self, Jesus’ alter ego. The Spirit, just like Jesus himself has been for them all along, will be their great Comforter and Defender, in all the conflicts, trials, challenges, and problems, they will have to face in the future.

When the Spirit comes to them, Jesus assures them that the Spirit will remind them of everything that Jesus has said, and everything that Jesus has meant to them. So, they will still sense his living and loving presence among them. The Spirit will be the permanent bond that will keep them all connected.

When the Spirit comes to them, they will also receive Jesus’ special gift of peace. So, he says to them: ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid’ (14:27).

In the Bible, the word ‘peace’ means perfect and complete well-being. It’s about right relations with God and with others. Peace is God’s gift to us. It can also be our gift to one another. We all know the kind of peace we need in our hearts and our lives right now. It’s a peace that only the Spirit of Jesus can give. We need wise leaders to bring the terrible wars in the world, and especially the Russian invasion and destruction of Ukraine, to a complete stop. We need his Spirit to bring divided Christians together into one united worldwide community. We need his Spirit to assure people who are feeling alienated and isolated in their churches that they are important to the community, and that they are still loved, no matter what. We need peace in our workplaces, to bring an end to gossiping, bitterness, and backbiting. We need peace in our homes to replace tension, misunderstandings, and emotional abuse. We need peace among the players of our sporting teams so that those who strive to be the best on the ground will also be the fairest.

Indeed, we don’t have the physical presence of Jesus with us the way his first disciples did, when he talked with them around his table, washed their feet, and gave them his reassuring promises. His farewell to them was a real farewell. He would no longer be with them as he had been. But he assured them and us after them, that he is present in a different but equally powerful way, in his gift of the Holy Spirit. If only we keep on trusting in the presence of the Spirit to us, we will have peace in the midst of any personal, family, or community turmoil that comes our way!

But this peace is not something we can manufacture, and then spray on. It’s a gift that comes from Jesus, who doesn’t want to lose touch with us. Can we be more open, then, to receiving that gift from him, that gift that will keep our ties with him and others strong and constant? Surely that’s something to pray for during this Eucharist and throughout these final days of Easter leading up to Pentecost, the Feast of the Holy Spirit!

"Brian Gleeson CP" <>









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