Sunday, April 12, 2009

He Is Risen

Queen of Heaven, Rejoice, Alleluia.
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

Holy Triduum

I will post a reflection on Easter Sunday. These are the holiest days of the year I pray that we spend them reflecting on our Lord Jesus and the Merciful Love of our Father that He revealed in His Life, Death, and Resurrection. May the Holy Spirit guide you these days in a profound reflection on our Christ's Passion and a joyful encounter with our Risen Lord this Sunday.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


"He is near who upholds my right;"(Is 50:4-9)

"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

Chrism Mass

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


"Wait for the LORD with courage; be stouthearted, and wait for the LORD."(Psalm 27) This is the last line of the Psalm Response today. It has particular importance for us today as we begin Holy Week for it challenges us to imitate Jesus who in the midst of the sufferings He bore lived in the knowledge of these words. Waiting is not something that any of us enjoy no matter how patient we may or may not be. But we are told twice today to wait for the Lord and to be courageous and stouthearted while doing so. In undergoing His Sorrowful Passion Jesus waited for the Lord, and while He was waiting He underwent the most brutal and vicious suffering. The words of the psalmist rang true, "When evildoers come at me to devour my flesh..."(Ps27) even so Jesus waited upon the Lord. In knowing that Judas would betray Him, Jesus waited. In knowing that His beloved Apostles would abandon Him, Jesus waited. In knowing that Peter would deny Him, Jesus waited. In fear and trembling in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus waited. Captured and abused by His own people, Jesus waited. While liars denounced Him, Jesus waited. Spit upon and slapped by fools and sinners, Jesus waited. Thrown in the dark cistern, alone, Jesus waited. Dragged up the steps of the Praetorium to stand before Pilate, Jesus waited. Keeping silent and not defending Himself, Jesus waited. As every blow from the whip violently tore at His flesh, Jesus waited. As the thorns were buried deeper and deeper into His Head, Jesus waited. As the Romans cracked Him with the reed and mocked Him, Jesus waited. As Pilate condemned Him at His own peoples demand, Jesus waited. As the Cross was placed upon His shoulders, Jesus waited. As He stumbled through the streets, Jesus waited. As He encounters His Sorrowful Mother, Jesus waited. With each step towards Golgotha, Jesus waited. Stripped of His clothes for all to see, Jesus waited. Wickedly stretched out on the cross, He waited. As the nails were touched to His aching flesh, He waited. As each blow of the hammer came down, Jesus waited. As He was lifted up Crucified, Jesus waited. As He Thirst hanging between Heaven and Earth, Jesus waited. As He gave up His Spirit into the hands of His Father, Jesus waited. Laid in the Tomb, Jesus waited, He was courageous throughout His ordeal. He remained stouthearted in waiting for the Lord. On the Third Day His waiting was over, His Father raised Him from the Dead by the Power of the Holy Spirit. His waiting won Him the Victory. He is the Lord, and He is our life's refuge. "The LORD is my life's refuge;of whom should I be afraid?"(Ps27) In our own suffering and in our own struggles we must take refuge in Him, and our hope will be fulfilled, for Jesus Waited for the Lord. Now He is our Victor King, we do not have to be afraid any longer, for He comes to us in Mercy and Love that will endure forever.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Fear No More

"Fear no more, O daughter Zion; see, your king comes, seated upon an ass's colt."(Jn12:12-16)
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

Performing No Sign

"John performed no sign, but everything John said about this man was true." (Jn10:31-42)
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

The Father's Glory

"If I glorify myself, my glory is worth nothing; but it is my Father who glorifies me,"(Jn 8:51-59) If we are adopted sons and daughters of God, then our Father will glorify us as He Glorified His Son Jesus our Savior. How simple the spiritual life can become if we live in this confidence, and accept this truth of our life. All too often we are busy glorifying ourselves, seeking the glory of others, or lamenting that God is not doing anything for us. A worthless pursuit as Jesus points out in the Gospel today. It is our Father who glorifies us and sanctifies us with the gift of His Holy Spirit just as He redeems us in the gift of His only Son Jesus our Lord. Our lives are truly in His hands. Pray that as you approach Holy Week, you can imitate Christ Jesus and pray "Into your hands Father I commend my spirit."

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Submit Yourself to His Holy Will

"If our God, whom we serve, can save us from the white-hot furnace and from your hands, O king, may he save us! But even if he will not, know, O king, that we will not serve your god or worship the golden statue that you set up." (Dan3:14-20)
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.