Now in order to begin our reflection on today's Gospel lesson, it's important to remind ourselves once more where we are in this Gospel of Matthew that we read every Sunday this year. At the beginning of his public life in the Gospel, Jesus had proclaimed the good news: "The reign of God is at hand. Change your lives." The reign of God is at hand; that's what the good news is.
The Peace Pulpit
The Peace Pulpit: When we begin to discover that the reign of God is at hand, isn't it worth changing our lives, radically following the way of Jesus?
The Peace Pulpit: A question each one of us must face: "Who do you say I am?" Who is Jesus? Why should we listen to him?
The Peace Pulpit: God's word is powerful. It's a word that enlightens us, but also can change us, transform us. Listen to Bishop Gumbleton's homily.
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.
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.