May 21, 2017

Reading 1 Acts 8:5-8, 14-17

Philip went down to the city of Samaria
and proclaimed the Christ to them.
With one accord, the crowds paid attention to what was said by Philip
when they heard it and saw the signs he was doing.
For unclean spirits, crying out in a loud voice,
came out of many possessed people,
and many paralyzed or crippled people were cured.
There was great joy in that city.

Now when the apostles in Jerusalem
heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God,
they sent them Peter and John,
who went down and prayed for them,
that they might receive the Holy Spirit,
for It had not yet fallen upon any of them;
they had only been baptized in the nNme of the Lord Jesus.
Then they laid hands on them
and they received the Holy Spirit.

I want to be like Philip.  I want to proclaim Christ to all people.  Samarians and Jewish people did not get along in those days so it was brave for Philip to teach about Jesus there.  There are places and times when it is easy and comfortable to speak about Jesus and religion.  Those times may rejuvenate and re-energize our faith, but what about the situations that are awkward or uncomfortable to talk about faith?  Do we push on or hide behind the fear?  We must go out and save souls despite the possible rejection, insults, or hate.  After Philip spoke and people accepted the Word, other disciples followed. We should all be the trail blazer that paves the way for people to bring the Spirit to those that do not know Jesus.  Once that first person moves out in faith, people will surely follow.

Reading 2 1 Pt 3:15-18

Sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts.
Always be ready to give an explanation
to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope,
but do it with gentleness and reverence,
keeping your conscience clear,
so that, when you are maligned,
those who defame your good conduct in Christ
may themselves be put to shame.
For it is better to suffer for doing good,
if that be the will of God, than for doing evil.

For Christ also suffered for sins once,
the Righteous for the sake of the unrighteous,
that He might lead you to God.
Put to death in the flesh,
He was brought to life in the Spirit.

What is the lord of your heart? Is it Christ or is it that boy you like, work, booze, friends, being popular, getting good grades?  What reigns in you and dictates your life’s choices? Let go of everything else if the answer is not Christ.  Only when He is at the top of the priority list will anything else make sense.  If He is at the middle or bottom, you will feel like you constantly are just going through the motions to reach happiness or just miss the mark every time even though you seemed so close.  That is because if Christ is missing, truth and happiness can never fully be found.

Christianity should be attractive to those that don’t believe.  We should be ambassadors of Christ and should be a joyful people.  We should stand out, and the reason for that is our hope.  Christian hope is different because it is anchored in Christ, Who never fails and always keeps His promises.  We need to desire to tell people about Him and should be willing and ready to speak of this hope when people ask.  If we live our lives how we are supposed to, people will ask why and how we are so happy in all situations.

As Christians we should also be aware of the suffering we my go through.  It could be because we are Christians or it may just be part of our lives.  God is always with us and never leaves us so if we remember that, nothing I mean nothing can destroy us.  He is always talking and saving,  We just have to listen and trust.

Gospel Jn 14:15-21

Jesus said to His disciples:
“If you love Me, you will keep my commandments.
And I will ask the Father,
and He will give you another Advocate to be with you always,
the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot accept,
because it neither sees nor knows Him.
But you know Him, because He remains with you,
and will be in you.
I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.
In a little while the world will no longer see Me,
but you will see Me, because I live and you will live.
On that day you will realize that I am in My Father
and you are in Me and I in you.
Whoever has My commandments and observes them
is the one who loves Me.
And whoever loves Me will be loved by My Father,
and I will love him and reveal Myself to him.”

We must obey Jesus’ Commandments.  How many times a day I sin is sad to think about.  We become so accustomed to it that our conscience lessens the effects.  We train ourselves to think our sins aren’t so bad.  When put in these terms, it all becomes more serious and makes sense again.  We must follow these commands to show our love for Jesus.  When we don’t, we are literally saying we don’t love You.  I never want Jesus to think that.  How simple it is to follow these commands for Someone that gave His Life for me.  Why do we make it so complex ?  It should be simple common sense that there should never be another option than to follow Him.  Jesus will reveal Himself to us if we follow what He says, and that is what we all long for.

Because Jesus lives, we will live.  Life is dead without Christ.  There is so much more spark, joy, and vibrancy with Him in life than without Him.  We are nothing without Him and are only here because of Him.  But because He lives, we are alive and need to be grateful we have this life.  We must show it, too.  We should not carry ourselves in a mopey, sad, or angry way rather in a way that is super alive and upbeat, recognizing that without Christ, we would not even be here.



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