Blessings in this Holy Week. Please check the schedule for all of the liturgies and activities during this time. Go to the Bulletin Updates Tab and choose Announcements.
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Reflections

EASTER SUNDAY, April 21, 2019
[Acts: 10: 34, 37-43; Colossians 3: 1-4; John 20: 1-9]

“This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad.”

Today we witness Mary of Magdala at the tomb.  She is coming to a very shocking and stunning conclusion: “They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they put him.”  This is certainly a natural and logical conclusion.  Peter and John respond to her call and they run to the tomb. Their conclusion seems to be about the same. 

We read about these events now, and we know that their “natural” conclusion is not the only conclusion, or the right one.  We know that, in time, they also began to see these events through the ‘eyes of Faith.’   They were no longer limited to the eyes of natural reason alone.

We cannot be too hard on them.  How often do we also panic and get discouraged when things just don’t ‘add up’ the way we expect they should.  Easter is a good reminder for us, once again, that we can easily forget about the Life of Grace, the workings of God in us and our world.  When things don’t ‘add up’ according to our calculations, we now remember:  The Lord is in charge. The Lord is keeping track of His world and our lives.

 St. Paul tells us in the Second Reading: “If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above…Think of what is above, not of what is on earth. For you have died, (in Baptism), and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”

May you have all the Blessings and Joy of this Easter Season!  Because we are raised up in Christ, we are now people of HOPE.  When things don’t ‘add up’, we must stop and remember:  The Lord’s calculator is the one that is important.  His ‘computer’ has programs that are ‘out of this world’.  We don’t have to have all the answers, when we believe, through Faith, that the Lord has the complete plan.

 

PALM SUNDAY - HOLY WEEK 2019
[Isaiah 50: 4-7; Philippians 2: 6-11; Luke 22: 14-23: 56]

 “Christ became obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
Because of this, God greatly exalted him,
and bestowed on Him the Name which is above every name.”

Today we begin this very special week:   HOLY WEEK!   The title of this week - Holy Week is enough for us to reflect on just by itself.  We are remembering all the events of the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus: All the events that are done to ‘make us Holy.’ 

Palm Sunday, is a ‘transition’ celebration.   Jesus’ joyful entry into Jerusalem changes quickly as we begin reading the Passion of Jesus.  We recall here why Jesus came to Jerusalem - to enter the process of His Passion. It is by His passion that He brings the grace and power of Holiness to each of us.

HOLY THURSDAY:  Jesus gives us the Mass. The Mass makes the grace and power of Holiness available to each of us every time we celebrate the Eucharist.  We are recalling the Passion, the offering of Jesus to us, to make us Holy.  We are given that grace of Holiness each time we ‘celebrate’ the Life of Jesus made available to us in the Eucharist.

GOOD FRIDAY and HOLY SATURDAY make the events of this Holy Week real for us. It is impossible to contain all the Mystery of the Passion and Resurrection of Jesus in one week, or in our one lifetime! But each year, hopefully, we discover a bit more of the Mystery of Jesus as we live it out in Holy Week.

 

FIFTH SUNDAY OF LENT, April 7, 2019
[Ezekiel 37: 12-14; Romans 8: 8-11; John 11: 3-7, 17, 20-27, 33-45]

“I am the Resurrection and the life, says the Lord,
whoever believes in me, even if they die, will never die.”

I think our opening quotation above gives good insight into the theme and lesson of our readings today, the last Sunday before Palm Sunday and Holy Week = die, and not die!  Jesus is talking to Martha, Mary, and the crowd about the Life in the Spirit.  We have been hearing about this ‘Life in the Spirit’ the last few Sundays.  Jesus used the image of Living Water, and Seeing as God Sees, not as humans see.

St. Paul in the Second Reading puts this lesson into clear language: “Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.  But, you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit, if only the Spirit of God dwells in you.”

As we approach these last days of Lent and Holy Week, we come as people, who are alive in the Spirit.  However, we come knowing that we need to continue to grow in the Life of the Spirit.  The coming days of Holy Week help us once again to appreciate this Life in the Spirit.  Our appreciation of the Life in the Spirit is very much enhanced when we recognize how very important it is to Jesus to share His Life with us.  When we witness, once again, the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus, we see that Jesus really was serious.  He made His Life available to us at great cost to Himself.  Passion is a good word for what we witness once again.  Another word is Desire.   Jesus Desired to share the Divine Life with us—and no one and nothing could change His plans.  We need only to reflect: If this Life of Grace is so important for Jesus to share with us; we cannot ever let anything come between us and the Desire of Jesus to be with us.  May our Desire, our Passion, for the things of God grow and deepen in these Holy Days!

 

THIRD SUNDAY OF LENT, March 24, 2019 (Year A)
[Exodus 17: 3-7; Romans 5: 1-2, 5-8; John4:5-15, 19-26, 39, 40-42]

“If you knew the Gift of God and Who is saying to you, give me a drink.
You would have asked Him and He would have given you Living Water.”

We have the very familiar Gospel account today of Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well.  This Gospel is always used to help prepare those in RCIA for the Easer Sacraments.  But, more than that, Jesus in this Gospel is helping each of us to again treasure the “Gift of God.”

What is this Gift of God that Jesus offers to the Samaritan woman?  What is this Gift that He continually offers to us?  It is, of course The Gift of the Spirit of God.  This Gift of the Spirit of God comes to each of us for the first time in the waters of the Sacrament of Baptism.  Water is such a beautiful image of this Gift of the Spirit.  We know we cannot go very long without water.  We have, humanly speaking, all kinds of products to quench our thirst, but water is the basic ingredient in all of them.

The Gift of God’s Life in the Spirit is also the basic ingredient for a life of true purpose and meaning.  How often, again in the physical world, we complain: “I am still thirsty, whatever I drank does not take away my thirst.”

Jesus goes into the private life of this Samaritan women, who had five husbands, plus the present live-in.  It is the woman who “looked for love in all the wrong places” - looking for God in all the wrong places.  Maybe it was her ‘panic’ to find meaning, hope, pleasure in life that led her to look in all the wrong places.  Perhaps Jesus brings up her past, to remind her, and us, that we look in so many different directions to satisfy our ‘Inner Thirst’, our search for purpose and meaning in our lives.

We need also, during this Lent, to come back to the true Gift of God, the Life of God’s Spirit within us, to satisfy our most fundamental ‘thirsts’ in life.  Jesus is always available to us to offer us that inner Peace and Hope which can truly satisfy our ‘thirst’ for a full and peaceful life.

 

SECOND SUNDAY OF LENT, March 17, 2019
[Genesis 15: 5-12, 17-18; Philippians 3: 17-4: 1; Luke 9: 28-36]

“From the shining cloud, the Father’s voice is heard,
‘This is my chosen Son, listen to Him.’”

In the First Reading we hear about God establishing the “Covenant” between Himself and Abram.   As Abram accepts and responds to the ‘Covenant call of Love’ between God and himself, his name is changed to Abraham.’

The theme of this covenant love between God and His people is like a thread that runs through the whole Bible.  God’s call of love is the whole purpose of creation. It is God’s love that calls us into existence.  We know the Bible also talks about how people refused to be faithful to this Covenant call of Love between God and them; that is also part of the story.  God does not change in His Faithfulness to the Covenant Love, even when we might not be ready to receive Him into our hearts.

Today in the Gospel we see the Covenant continuing now in the New Testament.  We have the Gospel of the Transfiguration.  Jesus’ appearance is changed.  This ‘change’ in the appearance of Jesus is a sign of what can happen to us Spiritually.  This is a beautiful Gospel for Lent.  It is a reminder of the call for us to change:  not our physical appearance, but our internal being.  It is a reminder that our response to God’s covenant love is continuing to change us.  We become more like Jesus in who we are.  We don’t have to look like Jesus, but we are called to Be Like Him.

God the Father gives us the same advice He gave to the Apostles: “This is my chosen Son, listen to Him.”  As we listen to Jesus the words of God the Father will be translated into meaning for each of us: “You are my chosen son/daughter, as you listen each day to My Son.”