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    Fr. Joseph Jenkins

  • 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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Thursday of Easter Week: Readings & Message

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April 16, 2020

First Reading:  Acts 3:11-26
Responsorial:  Psalm 8:2 & 5,6-7,8-9
Second Reading:  Luke 24:35-48

After hearing the testimony of how the risen Jesus made himself known in the breaking of the bread to the two men on the road to Emmaus, he appears to his apostles. When his friends doubt it is him, or fear that it might be a ghost, he tells them to look, to see, and to touch. He shows them his wounds and says, “. . . a ghost does not have flesh and bones as I do.” Then he accepts and eats a piece of fish with them. St. Luke is adamant in having us understand that Jesus is really in this scene and not a mere ghostly apparition or simply an internal feeling that he is present, as we sometimes sense at prayer. He is much more.

It is this stress upon his risen bodily presence which, I believe, offers us much consolation. The human person is not a disembodied spirit; nor is it angelic. We are created with both bodies and souls and together they constitute who and what we are. That is why the Church is so insistent that on the final Judgment Day, we will be restored body and soul. Although this mystery goes beyond the comprehension of our feeble minds, we see hints as to how it might be in Christ. Notice that he is both the same and different; at first they do not recognize him. This is no wonder. Could any of us recognize a human countenance where all the wrinkles of age, the scars of disease, the marks of pain, and where all tears have been wiped away? Think what such a person might look like. However, after a while, especially in the breaking of the bread and here with the eating of a piece of baked fish, they come to see him for who he really is. Indeed, he still carries the marks of the crucifixion which are his badges of honor in his victorious fight against sin and death.

Looking at today’s epistle from Acts, the curing of the lame man signifies how the power of Jesus realized in his paschal mystery can touch each and every one of us who believe in him. As a sign of this belief, we need to respect our bodies as his temples and extensions in the world. Our bodies are who we are and therefore we need to take care of them. We are our bodies! This message emerges in our celebration of both Christmas and Easter where our humanity is elevated and then restored. This message touches all the doctrines and feasts of the Church. Yes, it embraces moral theology, too. After all, in the various arguments about abortion, euthanasia, artificial contraception, etc. we are speaking not so much about the body as a shell or robot which we can manipulate as we wish; but rather, we are talking about our very selves and our personhood. People who see the issues of the Church disjointed do not realize that to allow selfishness to rewrite our moral principles would ultimately destroy the meaning of the coming of Christ into our world and his resurrection.

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.

USCCB Mass Readings