Catholic Mass Readings and Reflection April 11, 2024


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R/. The lowly one called, and the Lord heard him

V/. Alleluia

R/. Alleluia

V/. Have you believed, Thomas, because you have seen me? Says the Lord; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.

R/. Alleluia.

He who comes from above is above all. He who is of the earth belongs to the earth and speaks in an earthly way. He who comes from heaven is above all. He bears witness to what he has seen and heard, yet no one receives his testimony. Whoever receives his testimony sets his seal to this, that God is true. For he whom God has sent utters the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure. The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.

 1.      Often we find a lot of differences in how people live their lives. Some live qualitatively while others live worthlessly. Some live with a higher purpose while others live with low ambitions. It is not because of different capacities or standards of living. It is all a difference in the height of perspectives.

 2.      In the words of Jesus in the gospel, it is all a difference between “the above” and “the below”, between the “heavenly” and the “earthly”. Those who look up to heaven, and raise themselves to the above realm, will assess things and persons from a higher perspective. They are not earth-bound but heaven-directed.

 3.      It is this higher motive and perspective that transforms the apostles into witnesses of the Lord. They are emboldened and empowered. They are not bothered about the punishment by the authorities for the sake of their faith. That is why they boldly defy and disobey the explicit order not to preach about Jesus Christ.

 4.      They had the guts to challenge the authorities. They stood firm and continued their mission in spite of opposition and persecution. It is because they were filled by the Spirit of the risen Lord. They affirm with conviction that they will never stop their witness because it is the Lord’s own mission mandate. They make it very clear, declaring, “We must obey God rather than men”.

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