The Peace Pulpit: Jesus' most radical teaching, to give up violence, is a difficult one to follow. It's not what we hear from the world around us.
The Peace Pulpit
I'm sure all of us, from our earliest understanding of The Feast of Corpus Christi, the Body of Christ, have a strong recollection of being impressed with the truth that is proclaimed so strongly in today's Gospel that Jesus really is present in that bread and wine that is transformed into his body and blood during our celebration of the Eucharist. The real presence of Jesus, in a very mysterious way, is there in the bread we eat, the cup we drink.
The Peace Pulpit: Yes, there's only one God, one God, but that one God is three persons: father, son and spirit. How can that be? Listen to Bishop Gumbleton's homily.
As I mentioned in introducing the Gospel and as you noticed when you listened, St. Luke tells us Pentecost Sunday happened 50 days after Easter. St. John tells us it was Easter Sunday night. You might wonder, "Well, how come such a clear discrepancy?" But it's a reminder to us -- and it's a very important reminder -- of how the Scripture writers were not writing history as we think of it, were not writing the biography of Jesus.
To be a witness to Jesus means taking some real steps that be unpopular. Yet, doesn’t Francis show us how to do it? He shows us the way — the way of Jesus.
We open ourselves and God pours forth the spirit into our hearts. We can love with the courage and the joy and the goodness that Jesus shows us that’s the way, the truth, and the light.
Now we spend a few moments listening together to God's word so that it can form and shape our thinking and our ways of acting. And in the first lesson, I think there's a question that all of us need to ask: What am I to do? What am I to do? You know those first disciples there on that first Pentecost Sunday, which is when Peter proclaimed the words that we heard in the first lesson, became aware of what had happened just 50 days before, when Jesus, someone whom they had come to know, and many of them ... had been his followers and failed him.
The only way to overcome violence and hatred and killing and war is through the transforming power of love. That’s the message that these Scriptures teach us and that we must try to follow.
We gather together today with great joy because we have something very, very special to celebrate: the 50 years of married life that Richard and Michelle celebrate today, and all of us together with them. Perhaps we should ask ourselves what is the very special reason why their 50 years of married life is a cause for such great celebration, as it is. Something that happened to me a short time ago perhaps sets the stage for why we celebrate with such great joy.
The Peace Pulpit: We share in the joy and excitement Easter can bring, but we don't have that deep awareness of how extraordinary this is.