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.