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  • The blog header depicts an important and yet mis-understood New Testament scene, Jesus flogging the money-changers out of the temple. I selected it because the faith that gives us consolation can also make us very uncomfortable. Both Divine Mercy and Divine Justice meet in Jesus. Priests are ministers of reconciliation, but never at the cost of truth. In or out of season, we must be courageous in preaching and living out the Gospel of Life. The title of my blog is a play on words, not Flogger Priest but Blogger Priest.

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Monday of Easter Week: Readings & Message

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April 13, 2020

First Reading:  Acts 2:14,22-33
Responsorial:  Psalm 16:1-2 & 5,7-8,9-10,11
Second Reading:  Matthew 28:8-15

Two of the verses in today’s Gospel are the same as read at the Easter Vigil. The women have been directed by an angel to tell the disciples that Jesus has risen as he said. On their way they encounter Christ who tells them not to be afraid and then echoes the angel is sending them off to the disciples, whom he calls his brothers. The guards were terrified at the earthquake and the appearance of an angel. However, they run, not to the disciples but to the chief priests— the very ones who had plotted against the life of Christ. Just as with Judas and the crowd, their answer is again to offer a large sum of money to pay people off. Just as they denied the goodness and presence of God in Christ’s good works and miracles, here too they show their opposition to the truth. Their rejection of Christ and the accompanying guilt is ratified. The guards are bribed to lie. They are told to say, “His disciples came by night and stole him while we were asleep.”

We as believers are to share the great truth that Jesus rose from the dead and redeemed for himself a people. How do we testify to this truth? Do we seek to proclaim the Gospel by our words and charity? Have we been faithful to the religious formation of children, called to carry the banner of truth with us and after we leave this world? Often we think of evangelization and catechesis when pondering how to pass on the truth of Christ. I would suggest that just as important is the healing that comes through charity. It is this that makes any proclamation sound authentic or real. Sometimes it seems that we might be drowning in a sea of empty words. Too many say what they do not mean. Instead of healing and empowering— words and strategies are devised for manipulation. “How can we force more money out of people? How can we pacify them or make them follow blindly? How might we use them?” These questions expose not the light of truth but the darkness that deceives. This must not be the way with us. When we say “we are family” or that “we care” or that “we will be praying for you” or that “we love you,” it must be a conviction from the heart— it must be real— or it is from the evil one.

Our imitation of Jesus, if it is to be authentic, must be a ministry of love and healing. Believe in the power of prayer, not because we are especially holy, but because Christ is powerful. One who can raise himself from the dead can do anything!

Supplication Prayer

Lord, we beseech you to guide medical researchers to find a cure and treatments for the coronavirus. Give strength and compassion to those who are placing their own lives on the line to care for the sick and to save lives. Give acceptance and grace to your ministers and faithful that we will witness to you during this crisis. Console the grieving and give a share in eternal life to those called from this world. Amen.

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