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April 26, 2007 Edition

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Uneasy times: God will calm fears, grief, pain

Word to Life 

Dan Luby 

Hunger? Thirst? The oppressive power of these dogged and ruthless scourges of humankind is unknown to most of us living in the post-industrial world of the United States or other prosperous countries.

Sure, we might occasionally miss a meal or two; even, in extraordinary circumstances, go to bed hungry. We may once in a while get really thirsty, stuck in a hot place with no ready supply of safe water.

But the gnawing, life-threatening hunger that is the daily bread of millions the world over? The tongue-thickening, mind-numbing thirst that haunts the days and nights of huge populations in underdeveloped regions? Most of us have no concept.

Fourth Sunday
of Easter
(Sunday, April 29, 2007)
Acts 13:14, 43-52
Psalm 100:1-2, 3, 5
Revelation 7:9, 14b-17
John 10:27-30

So, in Sunday's reading from Revelation, when we hear feeding the hungry and giving drink to the thirsty as images of salvation, we cannot perhaps understand them as profoundly as those who live less sheltered lives.

But there is another image here which speaks to all of us, even if we've never ached with deep hunger or never been driven to despair by lasting thirst.

Because everyone understands tears. Everyone, even if only as a child, has cried - from frustration and abandonment, from anger and grief, from pain and loneliness, and fear.

No one lives very long in this world without suffering defeats, small and great. We all know disappointment, betrayal, isolation, loss. Friendships can fail, marriages can fracture, families and nations and communities of faith can tear themselves apart.

Reflection questions

• Who has helped wipe away the tears from your eyes?

• How can you express your gratitude?

• Who do you know who is suffering? What's one specific way you can offer consolation?

Dreams and relationships and loved ones die. And whether our tears flow easily and often, or stay pooled within our broken hearts, we all weep.

That's why, when the Scriptures tell us that in the great cosmic victory of Christ, of which his resurrection is the first taste and the absolute guarantee, "God will wipe away every tear from our eyes," it is good news in which we can all rejoice.

This column is offered in cooperation with the North Texas Catholic of Fort Worth, Texas.

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This week's readings

Week of April 29 - May 5, 2007

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Fourth Sunday of Easter
Reading I: Acts 13:14, 43-52
Reading II: Rev 7:9, 14b-17
Gospel: Jn 10:27-30

Monday, April 30, 2007
Reading I: Acts 11:1-18
Gospel: Jn 10:1-10

Tuesday, May 1, 2007
Reading I: Acts 11:19-26
Gospel: Jn 10:22-30

Wednesday, May 2, 2007
Reading I: Acts 12:24--13:5a
Gospel: Jn 12:44-50

Thursday, May 3, 2007
Feast of Saints Philip and James, Apostles
Reading I: 1 Cor 15:1-8
Gospel: Jn 14:6-14

Friday, May 4, 2007
Reading I: Acts 13:26-33
Gospel: Jn 14:1-6

Saturday, May 5, 2007
Reading I: Acts 13:44-52
Gospel: Jn 14:7-14

Pope's Prayer Intentions

April General Intention

Call to Holiness. That guided by the Holy Spirit, each Christian may respond enthusiastically and faithfully to the universal call to holiness.

April Mission Intention

Vocations. That the number of priestly and religious vocations may grow to meet the needs in North America and countries of the Pacific Ocean.

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Prayer for St. Raphael Cathedral

O God,
Whose word is like fire,
who spoke to Your servant Moses in the burning bush;
who led Your people Israel out of bondage
      with a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night:
hear Your people as we call upon You
in both need and gratitude.

May the Cathedral fire purify Your Church
in the Diocese of Madison
so that our hearts may burn with the knowledge
      that Your Church is built upon the bedrock
of Your Son, Jesus Christ.

Through the intercession of Saint Raphael,
      Your messenger of healing,
in union with our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI,
and with our Bishop, Robert C. Morlino,
may we find comfort in our affliction
and the courage to proclaim
      the Good News of Jesus Christ,
who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
one God forever and ever.


For more prayer resources visit the Office of Worship's Web page at www.straphael.org/~office_of_worship/
(Click on the link on the main page.)

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Diocese of Madison, The Catholic Herald
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