Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Monday, May 18, 2009
Friday, May 15, 2009
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Sunday, April 12, 2009
The Son whom you merited to bear, Alleluia,
Has Risen as He said, Alleluia.
Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary, Alleluia!
For the Lord has truly Risen, Alleluia.
I love the phrase from the Regina Caeli, that He has Risen as He said. Jesus has done what He said He was going to do. The Father has done what Jesus said He was going to do; He is Risen from the Dead. Death no longer has power over Him. He has destroyed death itself by offering himself up to death. He has won the victory. Even as death sought His destruction, in Love He brought forth Life and gave the gift of Life to the Church born from His side, the Water and the Blood. Jesus has done what He said. He has been raised from the dead by the Power of the Holy Spirit and the Love of God the Father. The Trinitarian Love of God has been revealed and we have been invited to enter in. On this Easter Morn we enter into Love and Mercy itself. Death has been destroyed and Life has been given. Death no longer has any power over us. We have been ransomed. The price has been paid. We are free now to live as the beloved sons and daughters of God. Jesus has Risen as He said. There are no wounds that cannot be healed. Jesus is Risen as He said. There are no sins that cannot be forgiven. Jesus has Risen as He said. There is no suffering that cannot be overcome. Jesus has Risen as He said. He has given us new Life in Him who conquered death. The glory of this morn resounds throughout the ages. The glory of this morn rings out throughout the year, Sunday after Sunday we rejoice and are glad for He is truly Risen. Today we celebrate the very heart and foundation of our Faith. Jesus is Risen. Alleluia! Alleluia! Now we can have life and have it to the full. Now His Joy can be in us, and in the Joy of our Risen Lord our Joy is complete. He is truly risen. May our Blessed Mother, the Mother of the Crucified and Risen One teach us to Rejoice with her in the Truth of our life and our faith.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
"I looked for sympathy, but there was none; for consolers, not one could I find."(Ps 69)
This is the contrast that will so bitterly be on display as we approach the Sacred Triduum. Our Heavenly Father is near to the Suffering Servant, even while we abandon the Lord. In the Father's great Love, Jesus completes the work of our Redemption. We abandon Him. In the Father's Love, Jesus does the Father's Will. We abandon Him. In the Father's Love Jesus offers himself as a Sacrifice for our sins. We abandon Him. I could go on and on but the point is quite clear. This stark contrast is not meant to weigh us down with guilt or shame. The Truth that we are called to reflect upon today in these two brief passages is this: Our Father is near to us, He will uphold us in all our trials as we seek to do His Will, and secondly that even as we abandon Him He still Loves us until the end. His Love is gratuitous; we gave Him nothing, no sympathy, no consolation, yet He gives us life, even life eternal. Such is His great Love. This is the Will of our Father. The bitterness of our Lord's Passion reminds us of His great Love. Even as the weight of our shame and guilt bears down upon us, our hearts must be lifted up in joy and gratitude to the Father who did not spare His only Son. As Jesus is lifted up on the Cross this Sacred Triduum let us not abandon Him but instead draw near to Love and Mercy itself.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Although this Mass is properly celebrated on the morning of Holy Thursday many Diocese transfer the celebration to today so that as many priests as possible can attend. If you can you should go to this Mass. That is to say if you live near the Cathedral of your Diocese, go! It is a beautiful celebration. Laredo Diocese is celebrating The Chrism Mass today. Before it the priests will have a spiritual conference then dinner together with the Bishop. Unexpectedly I was asked to give the conference to the English speaking priests. Pray for me. I will return to Holy week reflections on Wednesday.
Monday, April 6, 2009
Saturday, April 4, 2009
The prophecy that we hear proclaimed in the Gospel today was given to the people of Israel over 500 years before the birth of Jesus. The people of Jerusalem welcome Jesus, rejoicing in the fulfilment of the prophecy. What should be clear to us today 2000 years later is that the prophecy is still valid and Jesus Christ remains the fulfilment. We do not have to be afraid. Our King comes to us. There are many things in the world that can harm us, and in fact seek to harm us or dominate us. Fear no more! There are many times in our life when we feel isolated and alone. You are not, Your King comes to you. Isolation, loneliness, and fear have been the scourge of the human person from the very foundation of the world. Today however we rejoice in the remedy to such a scourge. Jesus is the remedy. Jesus is the King. Jesus comes to us with great power and strength which to our amazement are shown in His Humility and His Mercy. Riding humbly into the great kings city upon an ass's colt, Jesus is our King we do not have to be afraid anymore. But as we begin Holy Week we must not simply recall the events of 2000 years ago as mere history. We must recognize that Jesus remains the fulfilment of the prophecy and He remains relevant today in our daily life. He continues to come to us with great power and strength. We do not have to be afraid. His power continues to be shown to us in His Humility and His Mercy. We still are amazed and struggle to believe but the prophecy is true as is it's fulfilment who is Truth itself, our King Jesus. How is this so? In the Eucharist that we celebrate each day. There is no wound, there is no sin, there is no struggle that we need fear, our King is with us. He reigns from His throne on the Altar and He manifests His power by His Mercy. Mercy that was poured out in His Sorrowful Passion. Mercy that still flows from the Humble Sacrifice of the Mass. We should rejoice for His Mercy endures forever. By His wounds we are healed. We do not have to be afraid. Heap upon the King all your fear, all your misery, all your shame, all your guilt, all your sins do not be afraid for He comes to you. He goes to Calvary for you. He Loves you. The isolation and fear that has ruled your life can no longer stand in the presence of the King. The shame and the guilt can no longer cling to you who have been washed in the King's Blood. Your sins He bore. They are gone, wiped out. Such is the King's Mercy, such is His Love. Humbly enter in to the Mystery of our Faith these days so that in a weeks time you will know true joy and true peace.
Friday, April 3, 2009
I propose that we pray to become more like St. John the Baptist. Jesus tells us that John the Baptist is the greatest man ever born of a woman. Yet John performed no sign. What he did do was point to Christ Jesus. What he did do was speak about Christ Jesus. What he did do was go about his daily duties in a manner that was fitting to the calling God gave to him. He performed no sign for he himself was the sign as the grace of God permeated his life and oozed out of him to the delight and fear of others. We too are called by God to a special vocation, and in performing our daily duties while faithfully cooperating with the grace God gives to us we can draw people to Jesus. By embracing the truth of our lives in Christ in an ordinary everyday manner, we will find that others will want what we have. Some will accept what we tell them about Jesus, others will reject the message. Our part is to tell the truth about Jesus and about our life in Him. We do not have to perform signs or work wonders for in living our Sacramental life we are the sign. Our lives point to Christ, and we speak of Him, and we live in Him. This is the best possible life that anyone could lead. There is no better life. Living and practising our Catholic faith, nourished by the Sacraments, especially the Eucharist and Confession, is the best life that anyone could lead, and it is for everyone. Rich and poor, saint and sinner, no one is excluded from the invitation. So many refuse the invitation. So many look for happiness elsewhere. So many are looking for signs and wonders. So many are ignorant to what they have in Jesus, in the Church, in Blessed Mother, and in the Sacraments, but we do not have to be. St. John the Baptist wanted to decrease that Jesus may increase. May we be so humble so as to let others know the joy and the hope in which we live. May they come to know Jesus and that all we say about Him is true, that His Mercy endures forever.
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
We are called as followers of Christ to submit ourselves to the Will of our Heavenly Father. In this we imitate Jesus the only Son of the Father. In submitting ourselves to the Father's Will we acknowledge that we truly are His sons and daughters by adoption. An adoption that was won for us at the cost of Christ's Precious Blood. In the story of Hannaniah, Azariah, Mishael we see that these three young men submit themselves to God's Holy Will. They recognize that their God is God alone and that they can trust in Him even when bad, wicked, and evil things happen. They remain strong in their faith. They trust in God completely. They know that His Love endures forever regardless of what happens to them. See that God saves them. See that He did not save Jesus from the Cross. Saving the boys from the furnace was a great act of love on the part of our Fathers in Heaven. Not sparing His only Son from His Passion and Death was the Greatest Act of Love Ever. It is the cause of all our joy. It is the very foundation of our faith. It is the love in which we live. It is the fulfillment of all our hope. It is the gift of our Father. In imitating the boys in the first reading today and submitting ourselves to God's Holy Will our faith, hope and love will be deepened this Lent. We too can live in the knowledge that our Father's Love endures forever and that His Holy Will is Love and Mercy itself.
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
"Then the people came to Moses and said,"We have sinned in complaining against the LORD and you." (Nm 21:4-9)
The people sinned in complaining against God and Moses. This is a shock to our modern ears, so much so that we often ignore it. It is a sin to complain against God's Will. Yes it is! As modern men and women we constantly complain to God . Our patience is worn out. We also do the opposite of complaining, we pretend as if we do not care and say "God will work it out". Both are sinful. Both are born of selfishness. Both lead to further misery and resentment against God and neighbor, especially against God's servants like Moses, but in our modern world the Pope, the Bishop, or the local Priest will do. What is the underling problem with the sin of complaining or feigned indifference? We do not seek God's Will. In the midst of our suffering and pain, when our patience is running out, when the problem has lasted too long and shows no sign of ending we complain, complain, complain, and then often feign indifference in the end. Instead we could pray and ask God, "What is your will in my present suffering?" We could even ask, "Do you see my suffering? How can I go on?" Why do we complain then? Because we do not want to hear God's response. Because we do not want to have to make hard decisions. Because we do not want to have to change. Because we feel justified in our behavior. Because we are right. Because we do not deserve what has happened. The list is endless but the fruits of each are the same. SIN IN COMPLAINING AGAINST GOD. Instead let us follow the example of our Blessed Mother and in the midst of the struggles of life say to the Lord "Let it Be Done Unto Me According to Your Word" the Grace we will receive will sustain us in the most difficult of circumstances and we will no longer have to feign indifference for our Blessed Mother will teach us how to submit ourselves to the Father's Holy Will which is Love and Mercy itself.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Friday, March 6, 2009
BUT WITH YOU IS FORGIVENESS! Thanks be to God that this is the next line in the Psalm. Thanks be to God that He is Merciful, that He loves us.
You do not have to wait until you die and stand before the judgment seat in order to repent. This holy season of Lent calls us to repentance now, today. We are called to repent and believe in our Father's Mercy and Love. We are called to repent and believe in the invitation of our Divine Savior placing all our trust in His Divine Mercy, and seeking to do the Father's Will. We are called to repent and believe in what the Lover of our souls speaks to us; that under the Holy Spirits promptings we may find strength to overcome our temptations and humbly submit ourselves to the Holy Will of our Father which is Love and Mercy itself. You cannot stand before the Truth. Humble yourself now and have confidence in the Merciful Love of our Father. Then as you are bent in guilt and shame you will look up to see Mercy, to see Love, and you will be raised up in Joy, overcome with Joy for you will see what Christ Jesus' Victory on the Cross has won for you, ADOPTION, REDEMPTION and ETERNAL LIFE.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
The word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time: "Set out for the great city of Nineveh,and announce to it the message that I will tell you. "So Jonah made ready and went to Nineveh, according to the Lord's bidding.
"Forty days more and Nineveh shall be destroyed," when the people of Nineveh believed God; they proclaimed a fast and all of them, great and small, put on sackcloth. Man and beast shall be covered with sackcloth and call loudly to God; every man shall turn from his evil way.and from the violence he has in hand.
When God saw by their actions how they turned from their evil way, he repented of the evil that he had threatened to do to them;he did not carry it out.
Are you obedient like Jonah? Do you do what you know God is asking of you? Are you like the people of Nineveh, do you repent when you know you are wrong? Do you believe that God actually cares about you? Do you believe that He cares about how you live your life? Will you repent or are you like the people in the Gospel today who want everything on their own terms? Jesus says today that those who want everything on their own terms will be condemned. This is rather harsh, but look at His reason for saying so; they do not recognize Love and Mercy itself standing in their midst. All they know is their selfishness, and their selfishness will be their destruction. Repent and forgive and God will repent of your just punishment and forgive you. His Mercy endures forever.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
"In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words." (Mt 6:7-15) Our words have such little affect.
Jesus teaches us how to pray. He gives us the words we are to pray, the Our Father. These words are given to us from God the Father. This is how He wants us to pray to Him. These words are His words thus they make our lives fertile and we begin to bear fruit. Fruit produced by doing the Father's Will. Fertility cultivated by the Holy Spirit. Our hearts tended by Christ Jesus, our Merciful Savior.
We can babble and babble seeking our own will, expressing our own understanding, and living according to our selfish desires, but our hearts and our lives will be barren. Eventually we will cease to tend them and instead seek only to quench them. In seeking to quench our barren souls, all manner of sin and distraction will be presented to us until we find one to our liking. Once found we will cling to it as if it were our very life. But it is not, it is a lie. In living according to our own will, we live a lie. In the desert while the plants seem to be dead the roots are still lush and green. A drop of water and the plants spring to life. If we do not seek to do the Father's Will, we have no roots. The drop of water is easily wasted. Our thirst will never be satisfied. We often blame God saying that He does not answer our prayers. The truth is much harsher. We do not want to do His Will. His response is unimportant if it is not in line with our desire, our want, or our will. Lent is a time to repent, to turn away from our selfishness, and believe in the Good News. Seriously taking time to pray and Meditate on the Our Father is a good place to start. In doing so we can put down roots. Rooted in doing the Father's Will, in imitation of Christ, we can follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit into the desert. There we will find strength to overcome our temptations, and comfort in the Loving Mercy of the Most Holy Trinity.