Archive for May, 2016

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The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

May 29, 2016

MEMORIES OF SUNDAY

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)

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The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity

May 22, 2016

A REFLECTION OF THE TRIUNE GOD

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)

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Pentecost Sunday

May 15, 2016

MERCIFUL POWER

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)

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The Ascension of Our Lord

May 8, 2016

GLORIFIED HUMANITY

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)

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Sixth Sunday of Easter

May 1, 2016

THE THIRD WAY

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)