Category Archives: Resurrection

Desolation

During any reading of the Passion, there are two things that touch my heart.  Yesterday, was no different.

First, I always cringe when we are “the Crowd” and I have to read the part that says “Crucify Him.”  Second, I am always struck by the utter desolation that is in the cry of Jesus.  “My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me?”

About the first:  my sins crucified my Lord.  And that is part of the reason that I cringe.  I might not have been there, on the scene, but I was there.  When His arms were stretched out, He saw me and He saw every sin I would ever commit.  Yes, He died for me. Personally.

About the second:  Life is a spiritual roller coaster.  We are either in a period of Consolation or in a period of Desolation or somewhere in between at any given point of our lives.  The periods of Consolation are awesome and a time of great spiritual joy.  The periods of Desolation are dry and sterile.  Sometimes when I am there, I don’t think I will ever experience great spiritual joy again.  Then I remember Jesus on the Cross.  “My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me?”  And, that gives me strength to begin the ascent again, up the hill of the roller coaster, to a period of Consolation.

I am going to be making my weekend Ignatius Retreat: Consoling the Heart of Jesus beginning on Thursday evening.  & I will not be back on here again until Easter Monday.

I hope this Holy Week is a time of great consolation to you.  That’s my plan for me.

 

 

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Filed under Catholic, Easter, Holiness, Lent, Palm Sunday, Resurrection, Sacrifice, suffering, The Cross, Triduum

Sunday’s Comin’

forty days for life40 Days for Life is over on Sunday.  I thought this was quite appropriate so I decided to share.

 

Reflection by Fr. Frank Pavone

This meditation, based on a sermon I once heard, is adapted for pro-life concerns.

It’s Friday. Jesus is on the cross. He has been killed by his enemies; he is off the scene.

But that’s because it’s Friday. Sunday’s comin’!

It’s Friday. Abortionists continue their work 3,300 times a day, tearing off the arms and legs of little babies and crushing their heads.

But that’s because it’s Friday. Sunday’s comin’!

It’s Friday. Pro-abortion groups receive blood money from billionaires who are as deceived as they are.

But that’s because it’s Friday. Sunday’s comin’!

It’s Friday. Liars attempt to speak for all women and hide the pain of abortion, and ignore the evidence of how it harms women, and call abortion a blessing.

But that’s because it’s Friday. Sunday’s comin’!

It’s Friday. People of hardened hearts guard the clinics and usher desperate women in to have their abortions, while keeping them from the pro-life people who want to give them hope.

But that’s because it’s Friday. Sunday’s comin’!

Hope does not mean that we ignore or minimize the evils around us. It means, rather, that we see the whole picture, which is that evil is conquered because of what happened one Sunday morning.

We are called to proclaim, celebrate, and serve that victory, waiting in joyful hope for Christ’s return and the full flowering of the Culture of Life!

Indeed, Sunday’s comin’!

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The Bread from Heaven John 6: 22-71

If you haven’t done so yet, I would suggest that you stop and read these verses in your own Bible.

6: 27  Food which perishes:  While earthly food is necessary to sustain our life on earth; we need something more to give us supernatural life or to guard us against death. (6: 49)  Only Christ can give us food that satisfies our spiritual hunger and leads us to everlasting life.  Eventually in 6: 50-58, this food will be identified as the Body and Blood of Christ in the Eucharist.

6: 31  He gave them bread:  This is a reference to Exodus 14: 4.  The manna that was provided by Moses was a food that was perishable.  Even though it had a heavenly origin, it melted away every morning and turned rotten if stored over night.

6: 32  the true bread:  The manna was merely a sign of the imperishable bread that the Father sends down from heaven in His Son, Jesus.

The Bread of Life Discourse:  Invitation to Faith (6: 35-47)

“I am the Bread of Life.”  This is followed by a string of invitations to come to Jesus and believe in Him for salvation.  The import of this metaphorical teaching of Jesus is not lost on the Jews, because they don’t ask Him why He calls Himself bread, but how can He claim to have come down from Heaven.  (6: 41  “Jews then murmured.”–just like they did in the desert about the manna.)

The Bread of Life Discourse:  Invitation to the Eucharist (6: 48-58)

“I am the Bread of Life.”  We are invited to eat the flesh of Jesus and drink His blood.  The impact of this literal teaching of Jesus is not lost on the Jews either, because they ask how is it possible for them to eat His flesh.  (6: 32)  The crowd is thinking of cannibalism, which would be repugnant to them.  They misunderstand because Jesus give us His glorified humanity that was His after the resurrection.  This is why He calls Himself “the living bread.”  (6: 51)

We conclude then that without faith we cannot be united to Christ or recognize Him in the Eucharist.  If eating is believing in 6: 35-47; then believing leads to eating in 6: 48-58.

The Words of Eternal Life

6: 66  His disciples drew back.  This is the only time in the Gospels when Jesus is abandoned by His disciples in such large numbers.  Yet, Jesus does not soften His words or make any effort to clear up any possible misunderstanding.  Instead He asks “Will you also go away?” (6: 67)

6: 68-70  Peter’s profession of faith:  He speaks from his heart because he doesn’t yet understand the mysteries that Jesus has just revealed.  “Lord, to whom shall we go?  You have the words of eternal life; and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”

The Promises of Eucharistic Adoration

The Promises of Eucharistic Adoration

Next time:  Early Christian Worship and the Liturgical Calendar.

Meditation:  Reread John 6: 68-70.  What new insight about my faith have I received from this scripture?

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I Once Was Blind; But Now I See!

Then God goes on to say, “I invite you to a relationship of love: your love of me, my love of you.”  Yes, God comes to us as an invitation to love. . .

At this moment love surges in our heart like a tremendous sea that takes us in and lays us in the arms of God whom we haven’t seen but in whom we believe.  Across the waves we hear, “Blessed are they who have not seen and yet believe” (Jn 20:29).  Now I walk in the darkness of faith and I see.  I see more clearly than is possible with my fleshly eyes.

–Servant of God Catherine de Hueck Doherty

Bartimaeus (Mark 10: 46-52)

Bartimaeus’ eyes are opened by Jesus in two ways.  The obvious opening is the physical one.  The second opening is in Bartimaeus’ response to his healing.  Even though Jesus told him to go his way, Bartimaeus chose to follow Jesus.

Bartimaeus is a model for the process of conversion.  He had a strong faith.  He called out to Jesus, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” (Mk 10:48)  This means that he believed Jesus was the Messiah.  And this belief added to what he had heard about Jesus stirred up a great trust.

When asked what he wanted, Bartimaeus replies, “Master, let me receive my sight.” (Mk 10:51) What boldness!  What confidence!  What faith!

Jesus affirms how important trustful faith is to Him when He replies to Bartimaeus, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.”  (Mk 10:52)

This convert stays with Jesus to know His teachings and to be formed by them.  He stays with Jesus, trusting in His wisdom.  He stays with Jesus at the cross so that he finds the forgiveness of his sins through Jesus’ suffering.  He stays with Jesus because the Resurrection promises new life.  He stays with Jesus to be nourished and given hope.

Our prayer today and always:  Let us stay with you, Lord.  Let us walk in your light so we may truly see!

(FYI: Tomorrow, Thursday, April 26th is the feast day of St. Mark the Evangelist.)

BartimaeusNext time:  the woman at the well

Meditation:  Have we been through our own conversion process?  Are we using this Easter season to really know Jesus through His word?

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Conversion: It’s not Just for Pagans, Anymore.

“The Year of Faith, from this perspective, is a summons to an authentic and renewed conversion to the Lord, the one Savior of the world.  In the mystery of his death and Resurrection, God has revealed in its fullness the Love that saves and calls us to conversion of life through the forgiveness of sins (cf. Acts 5: 31).  For Saint Paul, this Love ushers us into a new life: ‘We were buried. . . with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life’ (Rom 6: 4).  Through faith, this new life shapes the whole of human existence according to the radical new reality of the Resurrection.  To the extent that he freely cooperates, man’s thought and affections, mentality and conduct are slowly purified and transformed, on a journey that is never completely finished in this life.” –Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, Porta Fidei (n. 6)

“Never completely finished in this life.”  The faith journey is ongoing; a sweet adventure, the passage to an eternal life with an infinite God where we will continue to explore the mysteries of faith forever.  This is one my my favorite thoughts to ponder and, yet, it is also a mystery, so I can never wrap my mind around it.  It’s like looking at the night time sky and trying to imagine the universe beyond the stars that we can see: a universe that goes on infinitely; a world without end.

However, I can wrap my mind around people and relationships.  I know that Jesus calls us to have a relationship with Him and to convert and follow Him.  We must turn away from the bad direction we are heading and find the good way.  Faith is the act of believing that there is a good path to follow.  Faith in Jesus believes that He is the Way to eternal life with the Father and that He will strengthen us to walk the right path all the way to its completion in eternity.

During the next few times on this blog, we are going to study some examples from the New Testament of persons who heard Jesus’ call and followed Him.  In other words, they “converted.”

On Friday, we will begin with St. Peter who is mentioned the most in the New Testament after Jesus.  After studying him, we will consider St. Matthew, Bartimaeus, and the Woman at the Well.

There are many conversion stories in the New Testament.  Faith in Jesus changed the lives of:

  • Zachaeus  Luke 19: 1-10
  • A man born blind  John 9: 35-38
  • the Ethiopian eunuch  Acts 8: 26-40
  • Saul  Acts 9: 1-22
  • Cornelius  Acts 10: 1-48
  • Lydia  Acts 16: 11-15
  • the jailer in Philippi  Acts 16: 25-34

This week let us pray the 13th century prayer of St. Richard of Whyche.

“O most merciful Redeemer, Friend, and Brother, may I know Thee more clearly; love Thee more dearly, and follow Thee more nearly, day by day.”

100px-Dürer-PetrusNext time:  Simon Peter

Meditation:  How might I be blind to my own faults or sins?

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Filed under Catholic, Christian, Easter, Faith, Gospel, Jesus, New Testament, Resurrection, Simon Peter