The Jesus Triplet

.

He was in the world,
and the world came to be through him,
but the world did not know him.
He came to what was his own,
but his own people did not accept him.

But to those who did accept him
he gave power to become children of God,
to those who believe in his name,
who were born not by natural generation
nor by human choice, nor by a man’s decision
but of God.

And the Word became flesh
and made his dwelling among us,
and we saw his glory,
the glory as of the Father’s only Son,
full of grace and truth. 
Jn 1:10-14

From his fullness we have all received
grace in place of grace,
because while the law was given through Moses,
grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
   Jn 1:16-17

__________________________________________________________

Jesus, Window A

Jesus’ Mission

As defined in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC): Grace is favor, the free and undeserved help that God gives us to respond to his call to become children of God, adoptive sons, partakers of the divine nature and of eternal life.” CCC 1996.  Through this Grace, or undeserved favor of God, we are “sanctified,” meaning – we are made holy.

The entire Mission of Jesus was to SAVE us!

Jesus means in Hebrew: “God saves.” At the annunciation, the angel Gabriel gave him the name Jesus as his proper name, which expresses both his identity and his mission. Since God alone can forgive sins, it is God who, in Jesus his eternal Son made man, “will save his people from their sins”.  CCC 430

This first window of the Jesus Triplet illustrates Jesus’ earthly ministries and the Sacramental graces He provides for His Church.

The Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist), the Sacraments of Healing (Reconciliation and Anointing of the Sick), and the Sacraments of Service (Holy Orders and Holy Matrimony) are depicted in the Shell and Water, the Caduceus (snakes wrapped around pole), and the Scroll, respectively.  The Chalice and Cakes of Bread hold a special place in the Sacraments as they unite us with Christ as His Body in the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist.

Thus Jesus’ ministries were also Cleansing (initiation), Healing and Teaching (service).

.

Initiation

After Jesus was baptized, he came up from the water and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming upon him.  And a voice came from the heavens, saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”  Mt 3:16-17

In this first symbol, we see the Shell and Water of Baptism.  We see the Violet of the Holy Spirit and the Red of the Blood of Jesus poured out for our sake – by the Grace of God!

John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, while Jesus’ baptism was a baptism of new birth in the Spirit.  But what does this mean for us?

When Jesus was questioned about his origins, He answered Nicodemus, a Jewish Pharisee, Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit.  What is born of flesh is flesh and what is born of spirit is spirit.  Jn 3:5-6   So our sins can be forgiven and forgiven and forgiven, but we can never enter God’s Kingdom without this “rebirth,” without the Holy Spirit received through Baptism!

This first Sacrament of Initiation, Baptism, does three very important things for us:
1. It cleanses us of ALL sin, and we are reborn in the Spirit, and therefore,
2. it opens the doorway to Heaven for us (it is necessary for salvation) and it also,
3. imprints our souls with an “indelible character” (a permanent mark on our souls that says – we are “owned” by Christ and we are incorporated into His Body – the Church).

Then, through the other two Sacraments of Initiation – Confirmation and Holy Eucharist, we are strengthened in the Holy Spirit and we are continually nourished in the Life of Christ.

.

Healing

It’s interesting to see a similar (though different) symbol used here, compared to the one we just saw in the Moses Triplet.  This Caduceus sign has been redefined in modern American culture to symbolize the medical field of healing (see picture’s link).

In His conversation with Nicodemus, Jesus mentions the snake wrapped around a pole, or rod of Asclepius, used by Moses to bring about God’s healing as an analogy  to His crucifixion for the salvation of the world:  And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the son of Man be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. Jn 3:14-15

Without this pole – the crucifix of Jesus, we who have all been bitten by the serpent of sin, will die in that sin.  But just as the Israelites were reminded to believe in  God by looking at a snake-wrapped pole in order to be saved, we too will be “saved,” we will have “eternal life” through our belief in Jesus.  And this crucifix is our reminder of God’s great love for us.

We can look at the two Sacraments of Healing from a Spiritual and Physical standpoint.  The Sacrament of Reconciliation primarily directed toward a spiritual healing through Jesus’ merciful forgiveness of our sins, while the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick is primarily directed toward a physical healing of serious illnesses, though it does also heal in a spiritual sense.

Throughout His earthly ministry, Jesus healed many people of physical maladies as well as spiritual.  The lame walked, the blind were able to see and the “demon possessed” were freed.  We too can bring both the physical and spiritual healing of Jesus to our hurting brothers and sisters, through counseling, medical technology and just every day compassion – with the help of the Holy Spirit, whom we’ve received in Baptism and Confirmation!  We can actually BE instruments of God’s Grace for others!

.

Service

Yet our service to others is not limited to healing.
In Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus speaks of those (of us) who will “inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” Mt 25:34

These were the ones who gave food to the hungry, gave drink to the thirsty, welcomed the stranger, clothed the naked, cared for the ill and visited the imprisoned.  In our faith, we call these acts of charity, justice and compassion “Works of Mercy” CCC 2447.

Jesus, not only in His words, but in EVERYTHING He did, modeled for us actions of LOVE and COMPASSION for one another – especially those in need.  You might say this is what the entire Bible is all about (represented in our windows by the Scrolls of the Hebrew Torah).  There we see God’s LOVE – shown through forgiveness, Jesus’ LOVE – shown through sacrifice, and the Holy Spirit’s LOVE – shown through wisdom, strength and love itself.  Just give us a bad hurricane or tornado, a flood or fire, a lunatic blowing up a building  and you’ll see the ENORMOUS compassion of God’s children for one another in our outpouring of time, money and prayers.  We really do care, we really do LOVE!

So how was all this LOVE shown Sacramentally?

There are two Sacraments of Service:  Holy Matrimony and Holy Orders.

Holy Matrimony is a covenant between husband and wife, binding them in service to one another and their offspring, and bound in union with God – all encompassed within a field (we might call it a “force field”) of LOVE – provided through the Holy Spirit.  All WE need DO is insure the union is endorsed by God before our vows (the Church does this pretty well now) and then STAY in that union, in that force field, by the GRACE of God (pray together often).  The outcome of this awesome Sacrament is mutual support, complementarity and growth of beautiful new “Children” of God.

Holy Orders then, is the covenant between God and His special servants through the Church.  Bishops, Priests and Deacons are bound in service to God’s people through their LOVE and compassion, just as Jesus was.  They are obligated to pray, provide the Sacraments, administer, lead and teach so that all the world can grow in faithfulness and unity.  Yet, it’s more than an obligation – it truly is the LOVE of their lives!

.

Unity

What better way to bring people together in peace and harmony than sharing a meal together.

Jesus knew this well, as the Gospels recall many occasions of gatherings at meals.  It served as a terrific time for ministry too.

On one occasion after a HUGE meal together which Jesus had miraculously provided (Jn 6:1-13), the people were later searching for Jesus.  When they found him, the following discussion transpired:

(Jesus said,) “Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you.  For on him the Father, God, has set his seal.”  So they said to him “What can we do to accomplish the works of God?”  Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in the one he sent.”  So they said to him, “What sign can you do, that we may see and believe in you?  What can you do?  Our ancestors ate manna in the desert, as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.'”

So Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave the bread from heaven; my Father gives you the true bread from heaven.  For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

So they said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.”  Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst…” Jn 6:27-35

At the first Jewish Passover, the Israelites ate the last meal before their Exodus from slavery in Egypt.  That meal was commemorated year after year in remembrance of God’s Covenant with Abraham and His salvation of them through Moses.

Jesus celebrated this same Passover meal with family and friends throughout His life.  But now there would be a “New Covenant.”  And in instituting this new covenant, Jesus used the Passover meal as it’s sign.  However, this sign was more than just a memorial.  Jesus told His disciples and the world that this meal was different.  This bread and this wine created a new UNITY, a unity of the WORLD and not just the Israelites.  It was a UNITY in Himself, for Jesus would BE the Bread and Jesus would BE the Wine.  And we would become ONE in body and ONE in spirit with Jesus when we partake in this, very special meal together.

Jesus said, “Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life.  I am the bread of life.  Your ancestors ate manna in the desert, but they died; this is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat it and not die.  I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give you is my flesh for the life of the world.” Jn 6:47-51

At the institution of the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist (meaning – thanksgiving), the “Last Supper” of Jesus before His Passion and Death, Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and giving it to his disciples said, “Take and eat; this is my body.”  Then he took a cup and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins. Mt 26:26-28

It is a UNITY – in and through LOVE.
And Jesus, God is LOVE!

____________________________________________________________

Jesus, Window B

Jesus’ Passion

At what cost?

Can we put a value on the lives of our own sons or daughters?  Would we empty out our wallets or our bank accounts?  Would we give our very lives, if it would save theirs, even if it meant a little suffering –
or maybe a LOT of suffering?
What is the cost of LOVE?

This is the GREATEST LOVE STORY ever told!

It’s the story of a God who loved His children so very much, that He gave to them the very “freedom” that could cost their lives.  And it did!  For with that freedom they chose death instead of life.

Yet “God so loved the world…”  He knew there would be some who would choose LIFE and He loved His creation so very much, just as we love our own children, that He wanted to offer them a “second chance.”  And the only way that was possible was for God to atone for that bad choice Himself.  So, God became man for atonement, for reconciliation, for justification, for redemption – for all those big words we may not understand, but in the simplest terms – to give US a second chance to CHOOSE LIFE!

And His Name was JESUS!

What would the ‘world’ do with the Son of God? 
What was God willing to allow be done to His only begotten Son? 
What would we learn from all this?  
And was it all worth it?

.

Did you notice in this second window of the Jesus Triplet, unlike the last two sets, there is no picture of Jesus here?  No infant in a manger, no baby in His mother Mary’s arms, no young boy in the temple with the Rabbis, no young man healing the blind, raising the dead, meeting with Moses and Elijah on a mountain top, no wise teacher preaching to his twelve apostles, no battered, beaten or crucified Son.

Instead, what we see in this Window is a Tree.
Remember the beginning of the story? . . .

Out of the ground the LORD God made various trees grow that were delightful to look at and good for food, with the tree of life in the middle of the garden and the tree of the knowledge of good and bad. (Gn 2:9)   And . . .

The LORD God gave man this order: “You are free to eat from any of the trees of the garden except the tree of knowledge of good and bad. From that tree you shall not eat; the moment you eat from it you are surely doomed to die.” Gn 2:16-17

This was the first man’s first choice – and as we know, he chose death.  And that “tree of Life” was kept away from man.  Now, with this knowledge, man could use the remaining trees of the earth either for “good” – to build shelters, to build vessels for travel (Ark of Noah), to build containers of protection (Ark of the Covenant of Moses), to build and preserve LIFE, or he could use it for “bad” – to build devices of torture and death (crown of thorns, crucifix, spear, arrows, gallows and guns…).  Yet, God in His merciful creativity would use that very same ‘tree of death’ to reverse that first wrong choice and to reopen humanity’s access to the “Tree of Life.”

Thus we see in this second window the CROSS of death overlaid upon the Tree of LIFE, changing it forever into the CROSS of LIFE.  But that transformation was not free, nor was it easy.  In order for that change to be possible there had to be Life upon that Cross of death.  And the only Life that could cause that level of change would have to be a “perfect, unblemished” human life.  And since all of humanity was tainted (blemished) from that original wrong choice, the only perfect human life would have to be One created anew by God himself.  Thus, the “perfect” One was created – God Himself in the form of man, incarnation, Jesus Christ, the Son of God.  And He was perfect, and He was beautiful, more beautiful inside and out than any picture can possibly depict!

“And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert,
so must the son of Man be lifted up,
so that everyone who believes in him
may have eternal life.”

Jn 3:14-15

.

At what cost – Love?
What would the world do with the Son of God?

What does ‘insecurity’ do with anything that’s not in it’s power?  It eliminates it!  We see it at our workplace.  We see it on the road.  We see it in Countries.  We see it in the World!  It’s a world that doesn’t KNOW God.  It doesn’t know LOVE.  It doesn’t know that “all things work for Good,” when worked TOGETHER.

Instead, it perceives everything and everyone as a threat to a security that doesn’t even exist, because the ONLY security is God; not money, not fame, not homes, nor cars, not land, not even other people.

So what do we do with the Son of God?  We mockingly “Crown” Him with a crown of Thorns taken from that Tree of Death.  And ironically – He truly IS our King!  We think that by taking out His Life-Blood, He will no longer be a threat to our false-security.  Yet, it is that very Life-Blood of Jesus that will transform the Tree of Death into a CROSS of LIFE.

Jesus said, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower. . . .
I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing.  Anyone who does not remain in me will be thrown out like a branch and wither; people will gather them and throw them into a fire and they will be burned.  If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you.  By this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.
Jn 15:1-8

This road of the Cross, the journey taken by Jesus, was as we’ve said, not an easy one.  There was disbelief – even with physical proof.  There was betrayal.  There was hunger, heat and exhaustion.  There was temptation and deception, disease and insanity.  And then there was torturous physical suffering at the hands of the greedy and the insecure.  Kicks and blows, brutal scourging and finally crucifixion.  And that is not just a pretty little picture of a man tacked onto a wooden cross – it is excruciating and unbearable torture and pain!

We not only ‘eliminate,’ we revel in witnessing the pain and suffering.  “That dirty dog deserved it!”  Yet – “There, but for the Grace of God, go I”  Just WHO am I to even think that ANYONE deserves suffering – be it an opposing hockey player, a miserable coworker, a street urchin, a convict or even a misguided dictator?

At what cost, Love?
Maybe more than I or any human would be willing to pay! 
Yet, Jesus did – for the LOVE of us!

.

Abel’s Lamb:  Abel became a keeper of flocks, and Cain a tiller of the soil.  In the course of time Cain brought an offering to the LORD from the fruit of the soil, while Abel, for his part, brought one of the best firstlings of his flock. The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not. Cain greatly resented this and was crestfallen. So the LORD said to Cain: “Why are you so resentful and crestfallen? If you do well, you can hold up your head; but if not, sin is a demon lurking at the door: his urge is toward you, yet you can be his master.”  Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let us go out in the field.” When they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.     Gn 4:2-8

So Abel made the first sacrificial offering of the perfect unblemished lamb.  Abel’s offering came from his heart of Love for God.  He felt that God deserved only the best!  And for that God looked with favor upon Abel.

The Passover Lamb:  The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, “This month shall stand at the head of your calendar; you shall reckon it the first month of the year.  Tell the whole community of Israel: On the tenth of this month every one of your families must procure for itself a lamb, one apiece for each household.  If a family is too small for a whole lamb, it shall join the nearest household in procuring one and shall share in the lamb in proportion to the number of persons who partake of it.  The lamb must be a year-old male and without blemish. You may take it from either the sheep or the goats.  You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month, and then, with the whole assembly of Israel present, it shall be slaughtered during the evening twilight.  They shall take some of its blood and apply it to the two doorposts and the lintel of every house in which they partake of the lamb.  That same night they shall eat its roasted flesh with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. Ex 12:1-8

This Passover Lamb became the Jewish symbol of remembrance of when God had delivered Israel from their bondage in Egypt.  It was God’s covenant of salvation.

God’s Lamb – Jesus: 21 The Lamb of God: the background for this title may be the victorious apocalyptic lamb who would destroy evil in the world (Rev 5-7; 17:14); the paschal lamb, whose blood saved Israel (Exodus 12 – referenced above); and/or the suffering servant led like a lamb to the slaughter as a sin-offering (Isaiah 53:7, 10).

Some Pharisees were also sent. They asked him (John the Baptist), “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Messiah or Elijah or the Prophet?”  John answered them, “I baptize with water; but there is one among you whom you do not recognize, the one who is coming after me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to untie.” This happened in Bethany across the Jordan, where John was baptizing. 

The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him and said, 21Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.  He is the one of whom I said, ‘A man is coming after me who ranks ahead of me because he existed before me.’ I did not know him, but the reason why I came baptizing with water was that he might be made known to Israel.”  John testified further, saying, “I saw the Spirit come down like a dove from the sky and remain upon him.  I did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘On whomever you see the Spirit come down and remain, he is the one who will baptize with the holy Spirit.’  Now I have seen and testified that he is the Son of God.”   Jn 1:24-34

By the sacrifice of Jesus, the unblemished Lamb of God, a new covenant was initiated.  Jesus would be the cause for the forgiveness of Adam’s sin and all sin.   Jesus would be the cause for our reunion with God and the ultimate salvation of all humanity.  And this Lamb, this Body of Christ, composed of many parts, as depicted in the multi-faceted Lamb of the Window, would become our Church, His Church, our Body – composed of many different personalities, nationalities, talents and charisms – ALL ONE!

.

At the final moments of Jesus’ crucifixion:

When Jesus had taken the wine, he said, “It is finished.” And bowing his head, he handed over the spirit.  Now since it was preparation day, in order that the bodies might not remain on the cross on the sabbath, for the sabbath day of that week was a solemn one, the Jews asked Pilate that their legs be broken and they be taken down.  So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and then of the other one who was crucified with Jesus.  But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs, but one soldier thrust his lance into his side, and immediately blood and water flowed out.  Jn 19:30-34

Tradition holds that the Roman soldier who thrust his lance into the side of Jesus was named Longinus.  And seeing the events that transpired during and after the crucifixion of Jesus, Longinus became a believer in Jesus.   Having had his eyes splattered with the blood and water from Jesus’ side, Longinus’ poor eyesight miraculously improved.  Now, the Italian town in which Longinus was born came to be known as Lanciano (the spear). And some 700 years later in that same town another miracle occurred. And it was, like that of Longinus, a miracle of belief (see Eucharistic Miracles page).

You see, Jesus truly is with us.  Through this water from His side we are baptized into His Church.  Through this Blood from His side, we are saved.  And we can partake in that beautiful Sacrament of His Body and Blood every day – in the Eucharistic celebration of the Mass.   Just as the ancient Israelites were saved from their slavery in Egypt, we too are saved from the slavery of sin through that Sacred Blood and Water that Jesus offered for us.  And by it we are freed to truly be the Children of God that we, humanity, were created to be!

Finally, to answer that last question posed at the beginning of this B-Window section, “Was it all worth it?”  The answer is unquestionably YES!..  For in the sacrifice – Jesus opened for us the Gateway to Heaven, the Gateway to Eternal Life.  Without touching God’s gift to us of our “free will,” we now have the choice that Adam relinquished:

Do WE choose Life, or not?
It’s ours for the choosing!

___________________________________________________________

Jesus, Window C

Jesus’ Resurrection and Promise

After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb.  And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, approached, rolled back the stone, and sat upon it.  His appearance was like lightning and his clothing was white as snow.  The guards were shaken with fear of him and became like dead men.  Then the angel said to the women in reply, “Do not be afraid! I know that you are seeking Jesus the crucified.  He is not here, for he has been raised just as he said.
Mt 28:1-6

The Great Easter Triduum

Just as the Israelites celebrated the Passover every year, in remembrance of their salvation from slavery in Egypt,  every year we Christians celebrate (at the same time as the Jewish Passover) our remembrance of our salvation from slavery to sin – by the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ.  We call the three days prior to Easter, the Easter Triduum.

– On Holy Thursday we remember the Last Supper, Jesus’ washing of the disciples feet, and His decent and rising to the Mount of Olives and the “Agony in the Garden”.

– On Good Friday we remember His Passion:  the mock trial, the scourging, the crowning with thorns, the “way of the cross,” and His crucifixion and death.

– On Holy Saturday we ponder the tomb.  Jesus is gone.  What would life be like without Him?  But we know the best is yet to come.

Then on Easter Sunday we REJOICE, for Jesus has risen, alleluia, alleluia!

This last window of the Jesus Triplet, commemorates that Resurrection.
That most Blessed day of Jesus’ return.

St. Paul said it best with the words:
Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.
But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 

1 Cor 15:55-57

shroud-of-turin

Shroud of Turin (video link)

.

On the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and saw the stone removed from the tombSo she ran and went to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they put him.”  So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb.  They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and arrived at the tomb first; he bent down and saw the burial cloths there, but did not go in. When Simon Peter arrived after him, he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there, and the cloth that had covered his head, not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place.  Then the other disciple also went in, the one who had arrived at the tomb first, and he saw and believed.  Jn 20:1-8

Throughout the Gospels, (these recollections of the deeds, words and teachings of Jesus), we seem to continually hear of the apostles “belief” in Jesus. Then they lose it or forget until the next time.  They believed at His Baptism – enough to follow him.  They believed at Cana in the changing of water to wine, at the multiplication of a few loaves to feed a multitude, at the calming of the sea, at His Transfiguration, with each one of His miracles they believed.  Then after His crucifixion, they hid.  What happened to that belief then?  Did they not see the raising of Lazarus?  Did Jesus not tell them several times over that He would rise again?

How strong is our belief – our FAITH?  Are we willing to give up these fleshly lives, these “tents” in order to truly LIVE?  Are we willing to stand up for that belief, even in the face of humiliation, threats, abuse or terror?  There are many a saint who were, and did, and died for their faith!  That’s why – EVERY YEAR, we remember the Tomb, the empty tomb, and we continually remind ourselves that someday that will be ours too; and we too will be resurrected, body and soul, to be whole again with Jesus forever!

.

After this, Jesus revealed himself again to his disciples at the Sea of Tiberias. He revealed himself in this way.  Together were Simon Peter, Thomas called Didymus, Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, Zebedee’s sons, and two others of his disciples.  Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We also will come with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. 

When it was already dawn, Jesus was standing on the shore; but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.  Jesus said to them, “Children, have you caught anything to eat?” They answered him, “No.”  So he said to them, “Cast the net over the right side of the boat and you will find something.” So they cast it, and were not able to pull it in because of the number of fish. 

So the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord.” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he tucked in his garment, for he was lightly clad, and jumped into the sea.  The other disciples came in the boat, for they were not far from shore, only about a hundred yards, dragging the net with the fish.  When they climbed out on shore, they saw a charcoal fire with fish on it and bread.  Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you just caught.”  So Simon Peter went over and dragged the net ashore full of one hundred fifty-three large fish. Even though there were so many, the net was not torn.  Jesus said to them, “Come, have breakfast.” And none of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?” because they realized it was the Lord.  Jesus came over and took the bread and gave it to them, and in like manner the fish.  This was now the third time Jesus was revealed to his disciples after being raised from the dead. (Jn 21:1-14)

153 Large Fish!  At the beginning of His ministry Jesus told His disciples to follow Him and they would become “fishers of men” (Mt 4:19).  Now, after the completion of his earthly ministry, Jesus has them catch a large number of fish to represent that huge number of “men” (and women) they are to catch in the unbreakable net of His Church.  Now the numerologists go crazy with the number 153 – and you can have fun reviewing all their mind-boggling analyses on the internet.  But we’ll settle with it being a large number, with the important part being – that unbreakable net!

Here again, Jesus did what he always did, he shared a meal with his disciples and taught them another lesson.    He said, “Feed my lambs.”  Just as He has modeled a “Way” for them to follow, by the example of His own life (Serving, Healing, Uniting), they, WE, are also called to share that overabundance of “food,” HIS LOVE, with a starving world.  He said, “FEED” not only the young, the lambs, but also feed His sheep – those who may wander or get lost in the shuffle of life.

In the charcoal fire, we remember
that this Mission may not always be easy.
It wasn’t for Jesus.
But the reward is well more than worth it!

.

After six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves.  And he was transfigured before them; his face shone like the sun and his clothes became white as light.  And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, conversing with him.  Then Peter said to Jesus in reply, “Lord, it is good that we are here.  If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”  While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud cast a shadow over them, then from the cloud came a voice that said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.”  Mt 17:1-5

The Rays of Light descending from the sky upon the tomb represent this same Voice of God the Father that was heard at Jesus’ Baptism (Lk 3:22), at the Transfiguration (Mk 9:7) and after his Entry into Jerusalem (Jn 12:28), affirming that Jesus is the Son of God.

A Commission and a Promise

Then Jesus approached and said to them, “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.  And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”  Mt 28:18-20

And then, He was gone . . .
(The Ascension)

When they had gathered together they asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”  He answered them, “It is not for you to know the times or seasons that the Father has established by his own authority.  But you will receive power when the holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”  When he had said this, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him from their sight.  While they were looking intently at the sky as he was going, suddenly two men dressed in white garments stood beside them.  They said, “Men of Galilee, why are you standing there looking at the sky? This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven will return in the same way as you have seen him going into heaven.”  Acts 1:6-11

WHY ARE YOU STANDING THERE LOOKING AT THE SKY????

There is work to do – a world to feed!
So let’s move on…

_______________________________________________________

4. The Church Triplet

The Church Triplet – click to enter

.

Return to The Moses Triplet
Return to Stained Glass Splendor
Return to Time

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s