Archive for June, 2011

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Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ

June 26, 2011

A FAMILY MEAL

When I was growing up, I lived on a street with all boys my own age.  I mean, there were like a dozen boys and not a single girl.  You can imagine, we hung out and played with each other quite a bit.  Often we were over at each others houses for meals.  But once a week, my parents told us that it was family night.  Often, we were bummed about it, but in time, we started to understand the value of family night.

Sometimes it was good just be around those with whom we share that special bond.  Sometimes it is good to be with just your family.  We see this just as much with Jesus and his family of Apostles.

The same is true with Mass.  Catholics do a better job than most when it comes to being present to the world around us.  We educate and care for those in need; we actively engage in social concerns in every stage imaginable; and speak the Gospel to all who will listen.  But there comes a time when we need to come together and relax so that we might be strengthen to do the work we are about.

This what happens at Mass.  It is the one place when don’t need to be quite as careful about what we say or how we act for we speak a common language here, we share common motions.  It is comfortable, known to us, easy.  In short, it is our family time.

CLICK HERE for the Readings for Corpus Christi: (Deuteronomy 8.2-3, 14-16; 1 Corinthians 10.16-17; John 6.51-59)

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Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity

June 19, 2011

DESIGNED FOR RELATIONSHIP

At the heart of our readings and celebration today is “relationship”.  Take a moment:  tell me 3 things that you desire out of a relationship with a friend or loved one?

Now what do you desire out of your relationship with God?

And what do you think God desires out of relationship with you?

When we speak of the Trinity, we speak of the very nature of God.  Should it surprise us that we find it so difficult to rationalize?

Too often we think of God as a thing or as hierarchy.  But really God is family; communion; relationship.   God is the essence of relationship – and relationship simply understood as being for the other.

CLICK HERE for the Readings for Trinity Sunday: (Exodus 34:4b-6, 8-9; 2 Corinthians 13:11-13; John 3:16-18)

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The Solemnity of Pentecost

June 13, 2011

QUENCHING OUR THIRST

‘Let anyone who thirsts, come to me and drink.’  Let anyone who is looking for meaning – come to me.  There is meaning to all of this; to everything.

Paul tells the Romans, ‘We know that all creation is groaning in labor pains even now, but in hope we are saved.  Now hope that sees is not hope.  For who hopes for what one sees?  But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait with endurance.’

We want easy answers.  I believe it is one or reasons why we don’t like church – because when you encounter God in this place; in this community, you encounter a message that says there are no easy answers, so do not think there will be easy actions.

But we are told that our thirst will be quenched from within.  To receive the Holy Spirit means that your motivation and endurance does not come from external sources or your own power.

CLICK HERE for the Readings for Pentecost: (Acts 2.1-11; 1 Corinthians 12.3b-7, 12-13; John 20.19-23)

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Ascension Sunday

June 5, 2011

TRAVELING BETWEEN HEAVEN AND EARTH

In Jesus of Nazareth, Benedict XVI gives us a vivid lesson on the Ascension:

‘Because Jesus is with the Father, he has not gone away but remains close to us. Now he is no longer in one particular place in the world as he had been before the ‘Ascension’: now, through his power over space, he is present and accessible to all — throughout history and in every place. There is a very beautiful story in the Gospel where Jesus anticipates this kind of closeness during his earthly life and so makes it easier for us to understand.

After the multiplication of the loaves, the Lord makes the disciples get into the boat and go before him to Bethsaida on the opposite shore, while he himself dismisses the people. He then goes ‘up on the mountain’ to pray. So the disciples are alone in the boat. There is a headwind, and the lake is turbulent. They are threatened by the power of the waves and the storm. The Lord seems to be far away in prayer on his mountain. But because he is with the Father, he sees them. And because he sees them, he comes to them across the water; he gets into the boat with them and makes it possible for them to continue to their destination.

This is an image for the time of the Church — intended also for us. The Lord is ‘on the mountain’ of the Father. Therefore he sees us. Therefore he can get into the boat of our life at any moment. Therefore we can always call on him; we can always be certain that he sees and hears us. In our own day, too, the boat of the Church travels against the headwind of history through the turbulent ocean of time. Often it looks as if it is bound to sink. But the Lord is there, and he comes at the right moment. ‘I go away, and I will come to you’ — that is the essence of Christian trust, the reason for our joy.’

And so here we are on the ocean – perhaps the one place on our planet where we can so clearly see the place where heaven and earth touch.  But there is another place – this parish.  This is the Eucharist.

CLICK HERE for the Readings for Ascension Sunday: (Acts 1.1-11; Ephesians 1.17-23; Matthew 28.16-20)