The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

May 29, 2016


I am not a very nostalgic person, but for a number of reasons, this feast – more than any other – always brings it out in me. While some of you may remember the era when Eucharistic Processions were prominent, I never really did.

But what I do remember was SunDAY. When my family used to visit my grandparents and we really struggled to even find a gas station that was open. It was a time when retail didn’t dare compete with Church. In fact, the only thing that ever did was football, but most of the time Church was well done by then.

Now it seems there are more sports on Sunday than Saturday. Hockey, Ballet, Baseball, Swimming and the such all seem to force families to make a choice between church and the extra-curriculars that really aren’t so much of an extra anymore.

The question isn’t simply a matter of what you want to do, but what is really necessary – because you just don’t have time to do it all.

CLICK HERE for the readings for Corpus Christi (Genesis 14:18-20; Psalm 110; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26; Luke 9:11-17)


The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity

May 22, 2016


If the concept of the Triune God – the Holy Trinity – is a confusing one to you, then don’t be surprised, since this concept rattled the church for the first 4 centuries of its existence. After all, we are discussing the very nature of God. I suppose, if we could understand God’s nature, then God wouldn’t be much of a God. . . .

The problem of the early church though is quite simple: how to you hold the Shema (the Hebrew directive to believe in and love the one true God) with the teachings, death and resurrection of Jesus?

In its struggle, the church considered everything from tri-theism, monarchism and modalism and just and about everything in between. Finally, St. Basil along with Gregory and Augustine, offered clarity.

So first, let us see if we cannot get a glimpse into the nature of God; and then let us consider what it means for us, since we are, after all, made in God’s image and likeness.

CLICK HERE for the readings for Trinity Sunday (Proverbs 8:22-31; Psalm 8; Romans 5:1-5; John 16:12-15)


Pentecost Sunday

May 15, 2016


We are told that the Holy Spirit will teach us everything that we need to know and remind us of all that Jesus told us. So, what do you want to know?

Since I have always believed that the right questions begin with a reflection of what God has been doing in our lives, perhaps it is most helpful to think about the questions and the understanding we have searched for through this past Lent and Easter season.

How many expectations and conditions do we put on mercy that we empty it of its concrete meaning? As Pope Franc writes, “This is the worst way of watering down the Gospel.”

You see the question that often gets asked, is whether or not God exists? It is the answer we most want to know; the answer for which we most want proof.   But what we really need to know is does God exist who is rich in mercy?

CLICK HERE for the readings for Pentecost Sunday (Acts 2:1-11; Psalm 104; 1 Corinthians 12:3-7, 12-13; John 14:15-16, 23-26)


The Ascension of Our Lord

May 8, 2016


The Ascension is most closely related, in meaning, to Christmas, for both are incarnational. At Christmas, what it means to be God became fully a part of what it means to be human. In Jesus, the human and divine become united in the person and life of one man. That’s what happened in Christmas.

At the Ascension, this human being – the person and the resurrected body of Jesus – became for all eternity a part of who God is. The life of a single human being is forever joined to the life of God the Father, the one who created the heavens and the earth.

It was not the spirit of Jesus or the divine nature of Jesus that ascended to the Father. It was the resurrected body of Jesus: a body that the disciples had touched, a body that ate and drank with them, a real physical, but gloriously resurrected body, bearing the marks of nails and a spear. This is what ascended.

CLICK HERE for the readings for the Ascension of Our Lord (Acts 1:1-11; Psalm 47; Ephesians 1:17-23; Luke 24:46-53)


Sixth Sunday of Easter

May 1, 2016


This Sunday, our first reading describes the Council of Jerusalem: a meeting of the apostles and elders to discuss the necessity of the Mosaic Law for salvation. This law stated, among other things, that circumcision was a requirement for salvation; furthermore, it is a law that Jesus kept and never challenged.

However, we know through other readings that Peter, on the impulse of the Holy Spirit baptized the household of a Roman Centurion without requiring circumcision. Likewise, Paul extended the Faith to the Gentiles who where also uncircumcised.

So a council was convened to clarify what was necessary for salvation. But this is not the central issue at hand for us this Sunday; rather, it is how we find peace in our lives when change is all around us?

The Gospel answers this question for us: all that we need to know will be provided by the Holy Spirit. If we follow these instructions, then the peace of Christ will be with us.

CLICK HERE for the readings for the Sixth Sunday of Easter (Acts 15:1-2, 22-29; Psalm 67; Revelations 21:10-14, 22-23; John 14:23-29)


Fifth Sunday of Easter

April 24, 2016


Our Gospel today reminds us that we are called to love one another. If you have been paying really close attention, you will find this command is part of the great theme of the Easter season.

Love leads us, we said a few weeks ago. Love expands with use.

The experience of the resurrection is not something that we can comprehend – that we can understand; it is something that we experience – that is felt at our core. Belief is stronger than knowledge – not that it contradicts it – but it does transcend it. Belief starts what we know and meets us where we are at, and then takes us to the place in our soul where hope and joy dwell.

As we have been discussing over the past few weeks, the Apostles and early Christian experience of the resurrection required a courageous choice to forget the pain of their loss – to return to the lives they once knew – to return to fishing or walk back to Emmaus. Or to be lead by love . . . and become creators – to dare to think and do something that has never been done before. To become cultivators – who nourish the best of what people before them have done.

“Do you love me?” Jesus asked Peter. Then feed my sheep and tend my lambs. Then don’t just speak to the Jews, but feed everyone – the Gentiles and eventually everyone to then ends of the Earth.

Love leads us – it gives us the courage to stretch out our hands and be led to that place which we would rather not go, but how do we know we are going the right way?  This is what discernment is all about.

CLICK HERE for the readings for the Fifth Sunday of Easter (Acts 14:21-27; Psalm 145; Revelations 21:1-5; John 13:31-35)


Fourth Sunday of Easter

April 17, 2016


Our first reading today marks a cultural shift in early Christianity. For centuries, the Jews have been told they would be a light to the nations; that all people would come to Jerusalem for instruction and salvation.

However, these words were never truly realized. Many Jews remained exclusive, defensive and protective – admittedly for good reason. Generations of persecution gave way to fear and skepticism.

But the Holy Spirit always finds a way. . . If there is anything I have learned, its that God’s will has about 1000 different ways it can be accomplished.

Its tempting to focus on the jealously of this Jewish minority, but this reading is not about what the Jews tried to limit; rather, it is about what the Gentiles added.

CLICK HERE for the readings for the Fourth Sunday of Easter (Acts 13:14, 43-52; Psalm 100; Revelations 7:9, 14-17; John 10:27-30)


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