Saturday, April 18, 2015

Stirred Up


“It is not right for us to neglect the word of God to serve at table. Brothers, select from among you seven reputable men, filled with the Spirit and wisdom, whom we shall appoint to this task, whereas we shall devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”  Acts 6:2B-4

The sea was stirred up because a strong wind was blowing. When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they began to be afraid. But he said to them, “It is I. Do not be afraid.”  John 6:18-20

Piety
Father, let us not be afraid to change the direction in which we are looking for happiness.  Just as your Son comforted his friends, send for your Spirit to comfort us and to renew our commitment to the tasks you assign to us.  Amen.

Study
The natural elements make frequent symbolic guest appearances in John’s Good News.  Wind.  Fire.  Water.  Earth.   The wind blows where ever it may.  Sometimes, the Holy Spirit descends from it like a dove.  Other times, the wind whips up a frenzy. 

Although Jesus does not fully address the character of the Holy Spirit until chapters 14-16 of John’s Gospel, the sprint makes its presence known and felt in many places.  One of the ways this occurs is by the symbolism of wind. 

Today, not only did the wind physically stir up the sea and toss around the boat carrying the disciples but it also stirred up the emotions of the disciples.  They were worried about their mortal lives.  Would they survive being out on the Sea of Galilee in this storm? 

As the companion to the Holy Spirit, John presents Jesus to the men in the boat as the calming, peaceful influence.  He not only calms the seas but he calms the emotions.  The spirit may stir you up, but the spirit stirs you up to do the work that Jesus asks.  Do not be afraid of what you are being led to do.  Jesus worked hand in hand with the Holy Spirit to enable believers to accomplish God-given tasks.

Jesus’ response to the situation is to comfort the men in the boat.  “Do not be afraid.”  This is a phrase that we encounter dozens of times throughout the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament.  When Jesus no longer walks among the disciples, the Holy Spirit will take over the role of being the Great Comforter.

“Do not be afraid” becomes the pivotal first phrase that the women hear from Jesus when they meet him on the road to Galilee.  But it is not a new phrase.  It is a reinforcement of this theme that has been expressed over and over and over again and again in the Bible.  It works hand-in-hand with the first word of Jesus’ public ministry:  Repent. 

Action
The spirit is stirring up the participants of the 130th Men’s Cursillo Weekend running through Friday.  Remember to pray and sacrifice for their comfort with your Palanca, by participating in Morning Prayer and the Closing. 

Friday, April 17, 2015

God Will Prevail


By Colleen O’Sullivan

A Pharisee in the Sanhedrin named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, respected by all the people, stood up, ordered the Apostles to be put outside for a short time, and said to the Sanhedrin, “Fellow children of Israel, be careful what you are about to do to these men…  I tell you, have nothing to do with these men, and let them go.  For if this endeavor or this activity is of human origin, it will destroy itself.  But if it comes from God, you will not be able to destroy them; you may even find yourselves fighting against God.”  (Acts 5:34-35, 38-39a)

Piety
Many are the plans of the human heart, but it is the decision of the Lord that endures.  (Proverbs 19:21)

Study
Gamaliel, the learned scholar and teacher of St. Paul, is a person I would like to have met.  Was he simply very wise when it came to the ways of human nature or was he beginning to suspect there might be some truth to all that Peter and the other apostles were proclaiming in the streets of Jerusalem?   In any case, he advised the other members of the Sanhedrin not to put the apostles to death.  Don’t create an uproar for nothing.  If there’s no truth to their preaching and you ignore them, they will soon fade away.  On the other hand, if what they say is from God, you will be battling the Lord himself.
I like the message implicit in Gamaliel’s words.  You can fight God, and throughout the ages there have been many people who’ve done just that, but God will always prevail.  God sent the Light into the world and the darkness that often surrounds us will never have the last word.  Sometimes, when I read or watch the news, I have to remind myself of that. 
Fifteen years ago, I had never heard of Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, ISIS or al-Shabab.  Now, I am reminded as I am writing this that this is the first anniversary of the kidnapping of hundreds of teenage girls from their school in the primarily Christian village of Chibok in Nigeria.  The families of most of those girls have no idea where they are or if they’ll ever see their daughters again.  I cannot get out of my head the barbaric beheadings of Christians at the hands of ISIS.  While I was on a Triduum retreat, members of al-Shabab attacked students at a university in Kenya, reportedly targeting Christians.  That really felt like Good Friday news.
But we’re in the Easter season now.  Jesus is risen.  The Light continues to shine.  The news media may not always focus on that, but just look around and you will see and feel the presence of Christ.  The spring beauty of God’s creation surrounds us.  Their efforts often unheralded, Christians are still feeding the hungry, giving to the poor, visiting the elderly, showing mercy and compassion to the downtrodden.  Some are even still volunteering to go as humanitarian relief workers to dangerous, war-torn areas of the world 
Gamaliel was on the right track.  We human beings may sometimes attempt to snuff out the Light, but God will always prevail.  And that is the Easter message to which we respond, “Alleluia!”

Action
Where do you see the Light shining in the darkness in your life?  Give thanks to the Risen Lord.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

He Does Not Ration His Gift Of The Spirit

April 16, 2015

By Beth DeCristofaro

Peter and the Apostles said in reply, “We must obey God rather than men.  The God of our ancestors raised Jesus, though you had him killed by hanging him on a tree.  God exalted him at his right hand as leader and savior to grant Israel repentance and forgiveness of sins.  We are witnesses of these things, as is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him.”  (Acts 5:29-32)

He testifies to what he has seen and heard, but no one accepts his testimony.  Whoever does accept his testimony certifies that God is trustworthy.  For the one whom God sent speaks the words of God.  He does not ration his gift of the Spirit.  The Father loves the Son and has given everything over to him.  (John 3:32-35)

Piety
O Heavenly Father, do not ration your gift of the Spirit within me.  May your graces enable me to testify to your presence in the world, to the gifts you have given in my life and to the total dependence that I have on you for my life, my soul, my all.  Grant me the courage of the Apostles and the steadfast acceptance of St Bernadette as I proclaim your praise with my words and deeds.

Study
It is so fitting that today’s reading from Acts of the Apostles falls on the feast day of St. Bernadette Soubirous.  The Apostles, transformed in spirit through witnessing the miracle of the Resurrection no longer hide in locked rooms or in the hinterlands of Galilee.  Rather we see them here facing down the ire of the temple leaders heedless of their own safety. They are eloquent witnesses to the power of God and evangelizing to the divine Word, Jesus. 

Bernadette was a nobody from a poor family who was also chosen as a witness to the presence of God on earth through visions of the Immaculate Conception. At first she was not believed by the church and by her community. However, she, too, was unafraid and not dissuaded in her faith in the grace given to her by the Blessed Virgin, speaking up and passing on the word of life to others.

Sr. Michaud, OSB, writes “the call to proclaim the Gospel to every creature is meant for us as well as for Jesus’ first disciples.  Easter is truly joyful, but our joy must lead to action. … How we live our lives can be a powerful example of dedication to Christ.”[i]  I often identify with Bernadette.  Who am I that I might testify in the face of greater issues and people than I?  God chooses and fills those chosen with the Spirit.

Action
The Men’s 130th Cursillo Weekend begins in Arlington this evening.  Keep them in prayer and hold them in your thoughts so that the Team bears witness and candidates’ heart open ever deeper to the joy of Christ within.

What are you doing with your fourth day that you might like to share with these new Cursillo brothers?



[i] “Give Us This Day”, April 2015, P. 187.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Born of the Spirit

Tuesday of the Second Week of Easter

By Melanie Rigney

With great power the Apostles bore witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great favor was accorded them all.   (Acts 4:33)

Your throne stands firm from of old; from everlasting are you, O Lord. (Psalm 93:2)

“The wind blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes; so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit. … If I tell you about earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? No one has gone up to heaven except the one who has come down from heaven, the Son of Man.” (John 3:8, 12-13)

Piety
Lord, may I accept with confidence and gratitude Your gift of the Spirit.

Study
It’s so much easier for us to understand and accept the gifts we receive from the Lord when they are accompanied by outward signs, such as oil and water and rings and the hugs and kisses from family, friends, and other well wishers. Prayer cards, phone calls, rides to the doctor, casseroles, and other signs of support also show us Christ working through others in times of great sorrow, joy or uncertainty.

But what is this “Spirit” thing? Is it any wonder in today’s Gospel that Nicodemus, a learned man, a Pharisee, finds it difficult to comprehend what being born of the Spirit means, even though he says he accepts Jesus is a God-sent teacher? But accepting someone as a teacher is one thing; believing that person is the Messiah, quite another.

Nicodemus did not have the benefit at this point of having seen or having heard of the risen Christ, as the apostles did in today’s first reading. He did not have the benefit at this point of having experienced or having heard of the Holy Spirit coming to dwell within Jesus’s followers. We are blessed with the knowledge of both these amazing signs of the Lord’s love for us. Now, what will we do to share it?

Action
Just for today, put aside your questions about where the Lord is leading your life. Just live it, just for a day, confident in His love and way.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Where It Goes


As they prayed, the place where they were gathered shook, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.  Acts 4:31

“What is born of flesh is flesh and what is born of spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I told you, ‘You must be born from above.’ The wind blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes; so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”  John 3:6-9

Piety
“We plant the seeds that one day will grow.  We water seeds already planted, knowing that they hold future promise.  We lay foundations that will need further development.  We provide yeast that produces far beyond our capabilities.  We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that.  This enables us to do something, and to do it very well.  It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way, an opportunity for the Lord's grace to enter and do the rest.”  (From A Step Along the Way,” by the late Bishop Ken Untener)

Study
We are certainly not getting a chronological telling of the Easter story today.  The Scriptures turn back the clock to the almost the beginning of John’s Gospel and focus once again on the First Encounter with Nicodemus.  With the hindsight of history, we can contrast the new-found boldness of the Acts of the Apostles with the initial timidity of Nicodemus – a timidity which will change to bold public action defending Jesus in the temple and then publicly assisting with the burial from the foot of the cross to the inside of the tomb. 

Like Nicodemus, the disciples were not always so bold.  In fact, for much of the first week of Easter, we focused on how they did not believe the evidence testified to them – evidence provided by the direct witness of their friends.  Thomas went so far as to tell his friends that that he would not believe without being able to touch the wounds of Jesus.  That’s a different kind of self-centered, audacious, and cheeky behavior for a disciple who was with Jesus for three years. 

We know how Thomas turned around his perspective.  We do not know what it was with Nicodemus.  However, we do know that something was affecting Nicodemus – gnawing at his conscience from the beginning.  We do not know where this feeling came from.  And we would not know until he assisted Joseph with the burial where it would take him.  Nicodemus was being drawn into the story of Jesus deeper and deeper while Judas was being pulled out as a traitor.

We really do not know the end of the Nicodemus story.  Jesus planted a seed with this Pharisee.  We will come to learn more about the path he will take.  By sneaking over to talk with Jesus – even under the cover of darkness – Nicodemus seized the opportunity to allow the Lord’s grace and mercy to enter his life.  Then that grace and mercy did its “spiritual magic.” 

“And so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” 

Action
What is pulling you into the Easter story? 

Are you timid about your faith?  How is the story changing you?  Has the Holy Spirit given you the gift of boldness?  

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Not Seen and Have Believed

Originally published on April 15, 2012
Sunday of Divine Mercy

By Rev. Joe McCloskey, SJ

The community of believers was of one heart and mind, and no one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they had everything in common. With great power the apostles bore witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great favor was accorded them all. There was no needy person among them, for those who owned property or houses would sell them, bring the proceeds of the sale, and put them at the feet of the apostles, and they were distributed to each according to need.
 Acts 4:32-35

For the love of God is this, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome, for whoever is begotten by God conquers the world. And the victory that conquers the world is our faith. Who indeed is the victor over the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
 1 John 5:3-5

Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe." Thomas answered and said to him, "My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, "Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed."
 John 20:27-29

PIETY
“The Quality of Mercy is not strained. It droppeth like a gentle rain from heaven.” Twice blessed is he who gives. The perfect self-love is to love the other as yourself. The paradox of mercy is that the one who gives receives more than the one who receives. God is Mercy in the gift he gives us of his son and we are his children when we are one with Christ by bringing mercy into our dealing with others. God is everlasting mercy because God is love and the love of God is in his giving all of himself in his son to be all of us when we accept the son as our deepest meaning of life. Indwelling is what the mercy of God brings us. God live in our love for one another. Mercy enkindles our faith. It sets the fire of love going in our hearts. It glows even in its embers as the wonder of life lived to its fullest. The one mind and the one heart of Christ is ours by mercy. The Acts of the Apostles tells us there were no needy persons among the first Christians. The Apostles distributed the gifts received to those who needed them. The early Christians were perfect Christ in the ways they shared what they had with one another so that there were no needy among them.

STUDY
Our love of God reveals itself in the ways we live the commandments of God. The commandments are the perfect statement of Inter-personal Relationships. If the commandments did not exist and we wanted to be happy we would have had to invent the commandments for ourselves. Love is shown by how we relate to each other. We conquer the world by how we love one another. Force never makes right. In the paradox of Christianity we have to lose our lives in order to save them. There is no shortcut in salvation. The cross of Christ reveals the resurrection. Our victory over the world is found in our love of Christ. We study the dying of Christ to find the road to the resurrection. 

ACTION
We see the divine mercy of Christ in the wounds of love. Even as Christ shows his hands and his side, we look at the price of love in the way parents and friends and even strangers sacrifice themselves for us. Christ invites his disciples to share in his peace. He gives us the deepest meaning of peace in the security and the safety we find in knowing that every sacrifice of love is worth what it costs us in being a share of the Mercy and the love of God in what we do for one another. We know that the wounds of love are the price of the resurrection. We rejoice in our martyrs who have shed their blood in the name of Christ. We too can rejoice in what it costs us to share the love of Christ by the mercy we offer one another in the name of Christ. Our love makes us one with the love of God for us. Christ sends us out into our world even as the Father has sent Christ. It is up to us by our love to baptize our world into the love of Christ. It is okay that we are misunderstood in the ways we are willing to leave ourselves unprotected. In the mercy we show to those who would have hurt us, Divine Mercy is seen. The Mercy of the Lord flows out of the heart that was pierced on the Cross. We are blessed even when we do not see how Christ is in the mercy we have for one another. “Blessed are those who have not seen the risen Christ and share mercy in his name.”


What Are We to Do With These Disciples


“What are we to do with these men?  Everyone living in Jerusalem knows that a remarkable sign was done through them, and we cannot deny it.  But so that it may not be spread any further among the people, let us give them a stern warning never again to speak to anyone in this name.”  Acts 4:16-17

But later, as the Eleven were at table, he appeared to them and rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart because they had not believed those who saw him after he had been raised.  He said to them, “Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.”  Mark 16:14-15

Piety

The choice that challenges all of us is to pick the right path – not the easy path, not the straightest path, but the right path.  The easy path for Peter and John would be the path of least resistance.  They can just obey the elders.  Stop healing, stop proclaiming and stop going down the path that will lead to inevitable suffering.  They don’t.  They pick the path Jesus walked.

Study

Who do you obey when the requirements they set out are in conflict?  The Gospel tells us how Jesus rebuked the disciples for not believing – AND doing – as he asked of them.  Although they were ordinary men – fishermen and farmers and tax collectors – they obeyed and observed the instructions from Jesus with a boldness that amazed the more learned leadership of the temple.

As the disciples emerged from the safety and comfort of their cocoon in the Upper Room, they went back out among the people in the world to proclaim the Good News.  In doing so, the disciples became a threat to the powers that be in the temple.  Therefore, the power structure instructed the disciples to stop doing the very things that Jesus told them to do.  

What is the right course?  “Whether it is right in the sight of God
for us to obey you rather than God, you be the judges.
It is impossible for us not to speak about what we have seen and heard.”

Action
Obedience is at the heart of the Credo.  We are to act on what we believe.  What then should we do when there are two competing paths?

Even in these early days of the church, we can see the roots of conscience and civil disobedience emerge.  The Acts of the Apostles predated Henry David Thoreau by about 1800 years.  Yet, without the roots of this obedience to a higher authority, history might never have witnessed the likes of the Boston Tea Party, Gandhi or Lech Walesa.

Yet these choices are not all about life and death, war and peace.  Sometimes, we find ourselves having to choose among two options which both have merit and which both have problems.  

Friday, April 10, 2015

Prison Musings

By Colleen O’Sullivan

They brought (Peter and John) into their presence and questioned them, “By what power or by what name have you done this?”  Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, answered them, “Leaders of the people and elders:  If we are being examined today about a good deed done to a cripple, namely, by what means he was saved, then all of you and all the people of Israel should know that it was in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead; in his name this man stands before you healed.  He is the stone rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone.  There is no salvation through anyone else, nor is there any other name under heaven given to the human race by which we are to be saved.”  (Acts 4:7-12)

Piety
I have the strength for everything through him who empowers me.  (Philippians 4:13)

Study
Peter’s musings as he and John spend the night under guard:
I have no idea how this will turn out.  Do a good deed, heal a crippled man, and you find yourself locked up!  This has been quite a day.  I didn’t know I had it in me to speak like that in front of a crowd.  You always said we might be persecuted and despised but not to worry, because you would give us the words to say.  Jesus, I miss you so much, but through your Spirit, it was like you were whispering in my ear.

What a journey this has been.  I remember the day I first met you by the sea.  I was contented with my lot.  Fishing with my father and brother wasn’t such a bad way to spend my days.  But there was something irresistible about you.  You were so enthusiastic and convincing, I felt compelled to follow you.  Could that really have been just a few years ago? 

It’s actually only been a little over three years since that day, but I think I’ve lived several lifetimes worth of highs and lows in that time.  I knew you were special from the start.  I guessed that you were the long-awaited Messiah, but, looking back, I had no clue what that meant.  I had stars in my eyes and lofty, earthly visions of grandeur for you and us.

I loved you more than I’ve ever loved any other human being, but I made a bumbling mess of things on more than one occasion.  I was shocked when you so strongly rebuked me, because I couldn’t bear the thought of you suffering.  I wanted to curl up in embarrassment, but I truly didn’t want to see any harm come to you.

I honestly always thought I would lay down my life for you if necessary, but it turned out exactly the opposite.  You laid down your life for me, for all of us.  And all I could do was deny I ever knew you.  That was the low point of my entire life, when I realized what I had done to my best friend.  I was overcome by sorrow and overwhelmed with gratitude and humility that you forgave my betrayal.

We all took your death hard.  I wanted to die myself from the grief that came over me.  You being nailed to a cross wasn’t anything I ever envisioned.  What joy filled my heart when I realized you had come back to us three days later!  Your rising from the dead is the best thing that’s ever happened in my entire life!

I hope I don’t ever let you down again.  Continue to give me the words to say, Lord, because there are a lot of angry people in Jerusalem, who don’t even want to hear your name spoken aloud.  On my own I wouldn’t know what to do or have the courage to do it, but with you, I know I will be empowered to speak the truth.  I want all the world to know who you are!

Action
Peter is my favorite of the disciples.  Whenever I ponder all the twists and turns of his life, I am filled with hope.  He was far from perfect, just as we all are.  But, if we live in Christ, as Peter did, God, through the Holy Spirit, can empower us and use us to accomplish far greater works in his name than we ever dreamed possible. 

Which disciple is your favorite and why?

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Understand and be Easter People


By Beth DeCristofaro

When Peter saw this, he addressed the people, “You children of Israel, why are you amazed at this, and why do you look so intently at us as if we had made him walk by our own power or piety?  The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus whom you handed over and denied in Pilate’s presence, … The author of life you put to death, but God raised him from the dead; of this we are witnesses. And by faith in his name, this man, whom you see and know, his name has made strong, and the faith that comes through it has given him this perfect health, in the presence of all of you. (Acts 3:13-14, 15-16)

(Jesus) said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and in the prophets and psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. (Luke 24:44-45)

Piety
Lord Jesus, we ask you now
To help us to remain with you always.
To be close to you with all the ardor of our hearts,
To take up joyfully the mission you entrust to us.
And that is to continue your presence
And spread the good news of your resurrection.
(Carlo Maria Martini, SJ, “Hearts on Fire:  Praying with the Jesuits”, p. 150.)

Study
Construction began on the Cathedrale Saint Sauver in Aix-en-Provence, France, in the 5th century and was not completed until the 15th.   It was a holy site longer, however, being built where a pre-Roman pagan shrine once stood and it is said that the baptistery was centered on the site of a Roman temple.  I remember standing there, in the immense, stark yet impressive nave wondering about the many, many people who had stood, knelt, or lifted their arms in prayer over the centuries.  They sought healing or power or wisdom perhaps.  They sought God.  Did they resist believing as the people who witnessed Peter’s miracle cure?  Did they have as much difficulty seeing God around them as I do? As Mary did outside the tomb on Easter morning?

Peter and John’s passionate, confident sharing of the Word was rooted in their certainty that their Lord Jesus had died and risen, changing the world and changing what it is to be human.  Their joy and faith, deep and strong as a mustard seed, showed how it can also change each and every person’s life and heart in particular, eternal ways.  Their fear was gone.  Salvation and Divine love given in abundance lit their eyes and inspired their words.  Their witness led multitudes to holiness in the Holy Land, all the way to France, the U.S. and to the ends of the earth.  

Action
How do I experience myself as an Easter Person?  Jesus is overjoyed for me!  Can I share in His joy for me even if it brings mystery and great change into my life?  Can I share His joy with others even if they are fearsome, different, annoying, or have different beliefs than I have?  Can I be an Easter person, risen with Jesus even weighed down with the realities of being so human? If I open my mind and heart to him I can indeed.

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

He Took Bread


When he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked for alms. But Peter looked intently at him, as did John, and said, “Look at us.” He paid attention to them, expecting to receive something from them. Peter said, “I have neither silver nor gold, but what I do have I give you: in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean, rise and walk.”  Acts 3:3-6

So he went in to stay with them. And it happened that, while he was with them at table, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them. With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him, but he vanished from their sight. Then they said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he spoke to us on the way and opened the Scriptures to us?”  Luke 24:29C-32

Piety
Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.  But to taste we need to be mindful of who and what is around us.  We cannot praise Him at all times unless we take away all the distractions in our life. 

Study
The appearance on the road to Emmaus may be the quintessential story of the modern Church. 

In the Good News today, we hear the disciples going about their business.  They have heard of the Easter story but are acting more like Joe Friday (“Just the facts, ma’am”) rather than Pope Francis (“The Joy of the Gospel”).  They are walking along with JESUS AT THEIR SIDE and fail to recognize him.  They see him.  They hear him.  But they don’t recognize him. 

Like the women at the tomb, they need to use more of their senses.  The women actually touched Jesus and believed.  Not until those walking to Emmaus touched the bread and tasted him, did they realize that Jesus was in their midst.  Mission accomplished and Jesus moved on to have an Easter encounter with someone else.

Action
How often is Jesus walking right next to us?  Or sitting on the bus?  Or begging for alms right outside the temple?  Or in front of us at the checkout line at Potbelly?  How do you experience that moment?  More than likely, if you are like the people on my 17G bus home, your head is buried in a screen, book, or newspaper – totally oblivious to your surroundings.  How can you be more aware of what is happening in the present moment?

Perhaps you need a daily disconnect.  Here is a three-minute, or five-minute or ten-minute meditation that will point you in the right direction.  http://www.carmelites.net/daily-disconnect/april-7-2015-easter-tuesday/

You can add the Daily Disconnect to your Facebook page or go right to the Internet Machine for the prescribed dose administered by the Carmelites. 

Try it…you’ll like it. 

Monday, April 06, 2015

To My God and Your God

Tuesday in the Octave of Easter

By Melanie Rigney

(Peter said to the Jewish people:) “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”  (Acts 2:38)

The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord. (Psalm 33:5b

(Jesus said to Mary Magdalene:) “Go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” (John 20:17)

Piety
Lord, help me to appreciate the gift of redemption purchased by your Son.

Study
The inclusive language may not have struck Mary Magdalene and Jesus’s other followers, not at first.
But in today’s Gospel reading, after Mary finds him alive and well outside the tomb, he talks not only of going to His Father and His God… but also to “your Father… and your God.”
For while Jesus’s relationship with the Father, seated at His right hand, always was and always would remain special, his words to Mary remind us that we are children of that same God… not to some lesser deity, but to the very same being to which Jesus prayed and offered up His life on our behalf.
The temple veil is ripped. The separation is done, once and for all… unless we choose to distance ourselves from the Light, to decline the Good News that we share the same Father and God with the Christ. And as we go about our daily affairs throughout the Easter season, may we be mindful of the things that could move us away from this love… and in His name, reject those temptations.

Action
Talk about the gift of the resurrection with a person with whom you seldom discuss matters of faith. Be bold. Be passionate. Carry the Good News.

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Fearful Yet Overjoyed


You who are Israelites, hear these words. Jesus the Nazorean was a man commended to you by God with mighty deeds, wonders, and signs, which God worked through him in your midst, as you yourselves know. This man, delivered up by the set plan and foreknowledge of God, you killed, using lawless men to crucify him. But God raised him up, releasing him from the throes of death, because it was impossible for him to be held by it. Acts 2:22-24

“Then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead, and he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him.’ Behold, I have told you.”  Then they went away quickly from the tomb, fearful yet overjoyed, and ran to announce this to his disciples. Matthew 28:7-8 

Piety

Telling.  The connection of the Resurrection to the Nativity involves the act of proclamation.  Jesus was born but the fact could not survive on its own unless the shepherds, the Magi and others told the story of what happened in Bethlehem to others.  Jesus was born again but the fact wo09uld not make any difference in the world if people did not know. Thus the women, the disciples and others had to tell the story.  The elders did not want word to get out so they bribed the guards just like they tried to pay off Judas.  They were fearful but not overjoyed to hear Jesus’ body was not in the tomb. Yet no amount of money could keep people from telling it on the mountain, over the hills and everywhere that Jesus was born again of the Spirit.

Study

What was the Easter experience like?

In one sense, it was like any other encounter with Jesus before the Resurrection.  The women spoke with Jesus.  They touched him, embracing his feet in a gesture that called to mind the anointing of his feet before the Crucifixion.   They listened to him and the command/lesson that was proclaimed.  Then, they followed his instructions.

In another sense, it was unlike anything that came before it.  Even though they had walked the land with Jesus for years, at first, even His closest friends did not recognize Jesus.  Instead of just being overjoyed at seeing their friend who was dead but now lived, they also were fearful because they did not yet really fully understand the meaning of the Easter Resurrection experience.

Action

Touching.  The Easter encounter was not purely mystical.  There was an actual physical interaction just like you can have with the person sitting next to you at Mass during the sign of peace.  There was an actual physical interaction just like you can have when greeting a friend with a hug or handshake.  There was an actual physical interaction just like you can have when meeting someone for the very first time.

The embracing of Jesus’ feet reminds me of two interactions that people have described to me recently.  First, if you are following the progress of Fr. Joe’s recovery on the Caring Bridge page, his family described how he squeezes their hand in prayer and when they read to him the comments and prayers left on the website.  Second, a nurse was describing something that happened when her patient’s water broke.  During the internal exam, the baby in the birth canal actually reached out and grasped her fingers.

Touching is the most basic human interaction.  Before we can see, before we can speak, we reach out to touch one another. Who is reaching out for you this Easter Week?  Who are you reaching out to embrace?

Saturday, April 04, 2015

Resurrection: A Foothold in Heaven

The Resurrection of the Lord

The Mass of Easter Day

Originally Published for April 12, 2009

By Rev. Joe McCloskey, S.J.

This man God raised (on) the third day and granted that he be visible, not to all the people, but to us, the witnesses chosen by God in advance, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. He commissioned us to preach to the people and testify that he is the one appointed by God as judge of the living and the dead. Acts 10:40-42

When Simon Peter arrived after him, he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there, and the cloth that had covered his head, not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place. Then the other disciple also went in, the one who had arrived at the tomb first, and he saw and believed. John 20:6-8

Piety

Heavenly Father, you have sent your Son into our lives so we may be touched with something of Divinity; that our hearts might be converted to belong entirely to you; that we might know ourselves as special and we possess within our hearts the power to carry us through every cross to the Resurrection.

Help us to understand this Mystery. Send Your Spirit upon us so that filled with the love you gave the world by his second birth into heaven, we might know the meaning of life in his Resurrection and claim its meaning even now for our life here. Let the Resurrection really make a difference in our lives. Allow us to be integrated into the mystery of what we can be in the power and the glory of Christ's Resurrection.

Open us to the love that is claiming us as citizens of heaven in the joys of Christ that are such a rich taste of what is coming. Mold us in the power of this hope that is ours in Christ. Let him tell us again and again how to be so totally your children we would never choose a passing pleasure of this world before the joy of always being yours. Allow us to be more united to your love each day. May our minds, hearts, and feelings bring us closer and closer to you. We would realize even now the joy of belonging totally to you so that all we would choose would be chosen in the love we have for you in your Son Jesus Christ. Let him be our foothold on heaven and our holiness now and forever. Let our stony hearts be taken away. Give us Christ's heart so we may all be of one mind and heart destined for his resurrection and your love forever and ever. This we ask with all our hearts in his Sacred Heart. Amen.

Study

Foothold in Heaven

Resurrection is God's personal response to who we are. The heart of Jesus pierced on Calvary blankets us with the blood of salvation. The warmth of Christ's love touches the loose ends of our lives. Christ has died for us and we want to be with him forever. Resurrection is much more than a destiny; it is the fulfillment of love. Christ's love of the Father, even to death on the cross, promises a stake in heaven when we own Christ's death. The Cross and resurrection of Christ are our salvation and our foothold in heaven.

Energizer

Resurrection ought to be an integral part of us. Resurrection implies many simple statements of our faith. God is in our world! He loved us so much that he sent his only Son to redeem us! God let His only Son die ignominiously on a cross! Resurrection should not be something we are vaguely waiting for after we die. The destiny to be with God forever is part of who we are now in God's love. Christianity is living the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Our love of God needs the resurrection as an energizer. Christianity without the resurrection is a mockery of God's love. God wants us with him. Wanting to be with God is the force of the Resurrection touching our lives now. People without hope have the resurrection as a missing link in their lives. A continual growth of resurrection's meaning in our lives gives us a firmer foothold on heaven. Christ's death calls us to our own resurrections. The difference resurrection makes in our lives defines the final meaning of life. Knowing what awaits us in the resurrection surpasses our powers of imagination. The “infinite ocean of mercy” of the Sacred Heart resolves doubts about personal resurrection. On the day we die all question marks will be removed by Christ's loving heart. The mystery will be over, and we will know how worthwhile it was to respond to that love.

Victory Already Won

The Resurrection involves us personally with Christ. He claims our hearts when we look up at his cross. Seeing Mary and the young John standing close by, we can feel a part of that scene. Christ says to his Mother: "...Behold your Son!"(John 19:26) Christ is really speaking to us when he says to John: "Behold your mother!" Christ dying on the cross tells each of us his mother Mary is to be our mother and we are to belong to her in a special way. Our hearts expand on the journey to Calvary with even a glimpse of what happened. The resurrection brings victory to the death on the hill of Calvary. Our Eucharistic acclamation of faith, "Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again," proclaims our hearts HOPE in the victory already won.

Now Journey

The resurrection had its beginning on the hill of Calvary. Going from the Christ on the cross to the Christ of the resurrection encompasses our lifetime. We envision this Christ of the resurrection at the end of our lives as someone we are going to meet, see and touch. If the resurrection is going to motivate our lives, then our hope of the resurrection should be expressed every day of our lives. The significance of saying "yes" to living the resurrection does not automatically change our lives. Our "yes" to now changes our lives. Now always touches eternity.

Fully Alive

The Resurrection gives rise to a consideration of heaven. To live fully demands having a meaning to our lives beyond the present moment. Trauma in our lives blocks the memory of a hurt and keeps us from facing what resembles the bad experience. Unable to move toward something pain-filled in our lives, we fine in resurrection a motive for looking at even hard things in our lives. We get hints for the meaning of our pain in the historical life of Christ whose heart, opened on the cross, tells us something about ourselves. People search for the meaning of their lives in many different ways. Faith, searching for deeper faith, begins with an answer and becomes meaningful in the Risen Christ. Christ's love calls us to an even deeper understanding of self, based on the realization that in Christ we have a foothold in heaven NOW. The resurrection helps us face life's difficulties. The Resurrection brings something beautiful to the pain, poverty, and displacement which wrack the human frame. Marx called religion the opium of the poor. Our opium should be the resurrection. Graces received from the resurrection lift us up to confront life's problems with confidence and excitement.

Completion

Christ was filled with joy when he returned to his Apostles with the gift of his peace. Touched by Christ's resurrection his joy becomes our joy. Resistance to the resurrection comes from fear of death. The resurrection, source of hope in its promise of new life, offers the treasure for living well. The resurrection of Christ allows us to hope for what we missed during life. Christ came that we might all have a share in his life. We would like to have him around us all the time. Even as Christ came back to his disciples and friends, the resurrection promises us the chance to return to those with whom we would like to have stayed. The resurrection will be the opportunity to finish everything we have left undone. Love has a need to give the best of everything to the beloved. The problem with responding to Christ's gift is our love often fails to meet the standard of the all given on the cross. The resurrection is the unfinished being finished and the incomplete being completed. All the love we have had for our friends on earth attains its ultimate meaning in Christ. The fullness of our union with Christ opens our hearts to all that was missing in our friendships. The resurrection is the completion of all in Christ. Love, begun in time, needs the promise of the forever of Christ's resurrection.

Restlessness

Resurrection is the goal reached. Until then our souls are constantly restless. We can perhaps kid ourselves that we have found what we have been searching for all of our lives. The fact is, that even when we think we possess the most joy and excitement of life we have ever had, we are already looking for something more. As soon as something starts to repeat itself and we know we have the wherewithal to handle the problem with which we are dealing, the restlessness begins. It is hardly noticed at first because there is the hustle and bustle of things to be done to get caught up and stay current. Eventually we have gone as far as we can go. Horizons, where we could go on forever, are barely touched before we are pulled off in other directions. We stake out a territory and try to claim a meaning to our lives which has to do with the job we are doing. In truth, the territory now has other bosses and the job gets done whether we are there or not. We grow in the realization that the job was not the meaning of our lives. We discover, in our relationship to Jesus Christ the true meaning of our lives. He is the goal for which we are made. In him we can find all that is missing. Our foothold in heaven is the destiny of each of us, and in finding Christ we will have the truth of ourselves even as we accept his peace and can rest IN HIM contented FOREVER.

Family Name

Joy and peace abound when the goal of reaching Christ is attained. It is Christ who will bring us to the Father. It is Christ who, by dying for us, will give us belonging. We can imagine Christ's joy as he says to his Mother and his disciples: “I am his son.” What is now humanly known to him by hearing his Father call HIS name, is ALSO knowable by us. The Father is his Father, and the Father is our Father. Baptism puts Christ in Our Souls. The flowering of baptism is our dying by which we are called to eternal life. The resurrection is the rite of coming of age in heaven. Acceptance is then for us in his name. The statement of the goal reached is made in hearing ourselves called by his name. We recognize that name, and the way that it is said gives us cause to believe that we really do belong; we really are part of his family. All of our lives we strive to be accepted for ourselves, and suddenly we know that acceptance is in being called by the "family" name.

Really Christ

We are called by his name because we are meant to be other “Christs.” Baptism gave us not only his life, but also the right to his presence in our life. Christ becomes the source of the resurrectional grace in our hearts. That which we have no right to expect happens; the Father is our Father. The Parable of the Prodigal Son says it so simply; the return of the inner to the family makes our Father happy. Our life in the resurrection makes a difference to God. We do not have to wait for heaven to enjoy his life. There is nothing unimportant in our lives. Real freedom is doing what Christ has revealed as love for the Father. The Commandments themselves are the truth of our belonging to God. How much we love Christ is seen in our living the Commandments. What we could have spent years figuring out for ourselves has been revealed to us from the earliest years of our lives in the commandments of God. God has revealed the secret of happiness in the commandments.

Fact or Fiction

The resurrection is the greatest of all the gifts which has been given to us by God or it is an outrage and a magnificent deceit foisted on the human race. Are we willing to say that the resurrection is our life's greatest dream? Are we willing to say that because of the resurrection we are willing to promise ourselves never to commit a mortal sin, never even to commit a venial sin, or even to walk into an ambiguous situation? Are we willing to be at a point in our lives where every person we have ever known suddenly becomes one person in the Christ of the resurrection? If we can convince ourselves Christ is in everyone, then every person in our lives will begin to make sense in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. We will be able to take up the need, the hurt, and the pain of everyone who comes into our lives. If we do not see the resurrection as making a difference, here and now, then we have to face up to the fact that we have been conned, taken for a ride, made a part of the greatest hoax in history.

The Promise

How do we know if the resurrection makes a difference? The answer is so simple. Look at the altar of sacrifice. The bread and wine offered on that altar signify Christ's promise of everlasting life to those who eat his body and drink his blood. We come before the Eucharistic table asking for this moment be really present to the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Eucharist is the celebration of the Last Supper and the death of Jesus. The resurrection cannot be left out of this celebration. The resurrection mystery is part of an equation which is death plus resurrection equals the victory of Christ. Christ, who is in heaven is in the Eucharistic mystery now a reality here on earth! Eucharist by touching the resurrection gives all of us access to our foothold in heaven. When a priest holds up the bread and says: "This is my body," he has entered into the power of the resurrection. It is the event of two thousand years ago. By those words the priest has committed his life and the lives of those who celebrate with him to Eucharist. All have been joined together in the power of Christ's promise of eternal life. Past, present, and future meet. The expression of faith: Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again, becomes an alive moment! Christ is not only present in Eucharist, but the gift of every heart now comes together with Christ's resurrectional friendship. We allow our lives, in varying degrees, to be absorbed into the power of the resurrection. We allow our lives and the sacrifice we offer to make a difference. We say "yes" to living the resurrection. We respond by freely offering up to the Lord all that we do. The resurrectional grace which makes this possible is found in Eucharistic faith and in the sharing of the Eucharistic Meal.

Christ Today in Us

How does the resurrection meet with the nitty-gritty of everyday life? How can we take up our cross and follow Christ if he died two thousand years ago? The death is over! Christ has the glory of the resurrection! How does this most sacred, solemn and touching moment here on earth become the same sacrifice? The mystery is more than we can ever fully appreciate. The Resurrectional Church celebrates the Resurrectional Christ. Christ who embraces us with his life of resurrection lives that same sacrifice in us. Our suffering belongs to this mystery, belongs to the resurrection of Christ. It is much more of a real sacrifice to us than we could ever have imagined because it is our sacrifice. Our joy at filling up what is wanting to the suffering of Christ's body, his church, - makes Christ's sacrifice real in our lives today. In Christ, our sacrifice becomes his Resurrectional sacrifice. His once and for all death of two thousand years ago becomes, in us, the same sacrifice. We fill up what is wanting to the Body of Christ by what we do for his church.

Centerpiece of Christianity

Every widow, every separated or divorced person, everyone who is lonely, old, hurt, weak and broken - for whatever reason, whatever outrage - lives in the power of the cross of Christ by the hope of the resurrection. If we break off the resurrection from the cross of Christ in our lives, suffering obviously makes no sense. If we are living our lives in such a way that we do not honestly see in the resurrection of Christ some sense to what we are suffering in our daily lives, our pain of not being able to live up to responsibilities of family or friends, or whatever, has no meaning. Then Christianity is a mockery of what God's love and mercy is all about. What we have to understand is that the Sacrifice of Christ is the centerpiece of all Christianity. All of the other Sacraments look toward what is done at the Eucharistic table where the fullest expression of the Mystery of the Resurrection takes place. Christ in our Eucharistic celebration claims all of our crosses for the glory of our resurrection.

Recognition of Christ

Love means doing what is best for another. It challenges us to live up to what is good and noble. It means living up to the Christ relationship. Thus the gift is given of being one's self in Christ. We have to reach an intense awareness of the Christ in our own hearts so that we can honestly say to anyone we meet; “My Christ recognizes your Christ!” If we affirm that Christ, we empower each other to step forth into the world in the name of Christ. If we do not have honor and reverence for the Christ of another's heart, we do not truly love. The recognition of Christ is the greatest gift we can give to anyone. The power of the resurrection is expressed by the definition of Church which calls it “the People of God.” The beauty of the Church is that the Resurrectional Church is truly the People of God! It is our responsibility to do something about anything that upsets the rights or needs of the poor. We will be judged before God on whether we did something about the needs of the people around us. Christ lives in the hungry, the thirsty, the naked, the infirm, and the incarcerated. Christ identifies with all the needy. Anger is holy when it gives the energy to be involved in the search for solutions to pain. Because we are the Church as the People of God, it is our responsibility to live the power of Christ's love. Our zeal for the poor expresses the power of the resurrection to all those around us. Our hope to make a difference makes hope a grace of the Resurrection. Christ is seen in what we try to do in his name for the poor.

The Living Christ

The resurrection needs to be a lived experience with others. Because the resurrection belongs to the People of God, it is the shared experience which Paul captured in his realization that the Church is the Body of Christ. The special grace of being alive today is that we have come a long way from the Mystical Body statement of Pius XII. We see the Church as made up of the People of God. That brings us to the awareness of the resurrectional grace which is contained in Matthew 25, 40:"...insofar as you did this to one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me!" The meaning of our service to the least one of our brothers and sisters is that Christ lives in the poor we serve. Christ is in all of the suffering men and women of the world. "Why are you persecuting me?" (Acts 9:4) of Christ to Paul strikes fear into any serious minded Christian. Christ told his disciples at the Last Supper that if they were his followers they would be persecuted even as he was. He never told us to criticize one another. If something is of God, and has in it the life of the resurrection, it will survive no matter what the enemies of Christ have to say about it. The seed of martyrs is the seed of Christianity, where the life-blood of resurrection is passed on to us. It would be terrible to discover in the resurrection we had been against Christ. The good which people do belongs to Christ. That is why scandal, even when it is the truth about someone, and especially calumny, a lie about someone, are wrong. Champions of truth, once too many times, can be the persecutors of Christ in their brothers and sisters.

Drawing Power of Christ

In the power of the resurrection, God becomes a friend. We have reason to be comfortable with him and with each other. The only difficulty in living the resurrection, in making it our way of life, will be in letting God take care of everything. We can never fully fathom in a moment of time the mystery of the resurrection. Images can tell us how much a difference the resurrection makes. It might be compared to an overloading of circuits with the energy of life. It is an expression of love where the human is held together by the divine. The Father's love brings Christ back to heaven. In us the resurrectional grace is our humanness meeting a divine destiny. Christ's joy draws us toward perfection. Just as perfect love generates a return, creation and birth come back to the Father in our resurrections when death puts periods on a life in time. Death and resurrection become the nativity of a life in eternity.

Chips of the Cross

Any moment in the life of Christ, the eternal Word of the Father, would have been enough for our salvation. Christ went the extra mile to the cross. Our extra mile can be found in the claim Christ has on our hearts to go beyond the status quo. That we could want our Christ of the resurrection to wipe out our enemies is the all too human experience of anger. That we are called by the grace of the resurrection to announce the forgiveness of Christ means that we have a reason for being willing to accept our crosses. The lived experience of the resurrection does not keep us out of trouble. In truth, it gets us into trouble because our love takes us to where Christ is hurting. Christ is in the little ones of the world. What we do for them, Christ takes as done for himself. We may one day enjoy the excitement of our relationship to Christ in our sufferings which can be like chips off the block of Christ's cross. Christ came for, the forgiveness of sins. We can be his forgiveness. The offering up of our chips for the sins of the world around us brings the Lord's forgiveness to our world. Our sufferings can touch our brothers and sisters as the forgiveness of the Resurrection.

Access to Heaven

Anything can be a signal of Christ's presence. Sometimes his presence is too well hidden, disguised by the sinfulness of life. We need Christ's help to break the code. Christ's hidden life, our awareness of the importance of any moment, and our love for the cross of Christ, can lead us toward the resurrection as a meaningful destiny in our lives. Awareness of Christ in our daily lives contributes to the Resurrectional Grace. This grace is the sum of the Christ experience in a person. The excitement of the resurrection pushes the choice of God forever in heaven. The hope for the resurrection is found in life. In the intensity of a passionate love affair with Christ, the desire to be possessed by Christ grows. Christ, our foothold in heaven, is our access to the Father.

A Father’s Love

The resurrection, an embarrassment of riches, HAS A LIFE OF ITS OWN! Just as it only takes a moment to love for a lifetime, the resurrection is the Eternal Moment of a lifetime to express love. The lived experience of Christ in our own lives makes each one of us a Child of God. We have no right to expect love, but we can receive it. The very mystery of creation includes the world which is always praising God just by being what it was meant to be - it could not be anything else. Yet, the love of God is such a mighty force that it goes out from him as a force of life which is the creation mystery. A true human relationship leaves us with our freedom. Perfect love generates a return. Any incomplete act in the human race has the need of fulfillment. Christ, by his death and resurrection, came to claim us for the Father. To say we are adopted children says a great deal, but it does not say enough, because, in the death of Christ for our sins, we become the recipients of the very love that the Father has for Jesus Christ.

Claimed by God

Thus, we love God, and God, because we are living as children in his house, fills us with the power of the resurrection. This power enables us to give away our lives in the name of the love of Christ. The journey of life ends in the discovery of what makes our lives his life. In Christ, two natures are found in one person. What we would never have been able to understand about the nature of God (which is so much mystery that it needs all of eternity to be said) is said in the human nature of Christ in such a way that GOD MYSTERY IS HUMAN MYSTERY! The human life of Christ is the perfect statement of the mystery of the mercy and love of God. Humanity has been claimed by God, in Christ. We can claim, by asking Christ to die for us, the flowering of that relationship in our lives. We do not have to wait in line for God. We can look within, through the power of the resurrection, to find the joy that is the sign of God's presence in our lives. God is so much a lover that he has been waiting all this time for us to want him. If there were a hot-line, it would be in our hearts, as God waits for us to really call out for him. Then, he could come as the Lover rather than the Master.

Action

The Sun of God

Resurrection speaks to our hearts. We need to love so much that we are totally lost in our beloved. Some do not like Paul because he was so "turned on" by Christ. He could make us feel like part-time Christians in comparison. Paul grows on us as we grow in Christ as the one love of our hearts. What you look at, you become. We find ways of looking at Christ in our lives, and we find that he was there even when we were not looking. Paul no longer seems so far out or out of reach in the way that he loved Christ and spoke about him. The truth of the resurrection grace is that the Son of God is like the morning sun. As Christ comes up in our lives, the darkness is pushed away. With the rising of the Son of God in our hearts in the power of the resurrection, we find him in so many more ways in our lives in the hundredfold that come to us for following him. The Resurrection makes us be treated all too well in his Name. The resurrection can be an attracting force that focuses our hearts on God. We go from a world divided to one where all hearts are one. There is no longer anything that is unimportant. We do not miss a thing. We have arrived where perfect giving and perfect receiving meet in the beauty of how much the Father loves the Son and, through him, us. We are truly the Communion of Saints, united through the resurrection in each other's Christ. The Son of God shines brightly.

Free Choice

Sometimes, we might feel like hitchhikers on the road of life. We are going along with our thumbs out, waiting for someone who is on the way to the Resurrection to stop and pick us up, take us along. If anything is certain, at this moment of life, it is that we have to be willing to get out there and drive our own cars to the Resurrection. We have to be willing to get out of the traffic jams where we hide in the confusion of what other people are doing, and get out there in front, willing to be counted as one of those who belong to Christ. Love of the cross is a sign and symbol of a genuine contemplative. It reflects our love of Christ. The Resurrection is the sign and symbol of love expressed and has an excitement for life whose meaning is belonging to Trinity where all mysteries of life come to an end in God's life shared forever. God is now understandable in Christ having been human; even as Christ the human becomes the CHOICE of our belonging to God.

Our Belief

The Resurrection can make a difference to us. When we have located one reason for personal joy in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, we have found the uniqueness of our relationship to Christ. Then we have a reason to love him so much we are willing to die for him. He already HAS SHED HIS BLOOD which has passed into the soil of life. Our shedding our blood brings a flowering of souls. Wet become part of Christ's Eucharist by being his disciples in the carrying of our crosses for him to bring his peace to our world. In the light of the Resurrection, we believe that:
  • Christ is our 'foothold' in heaven.
  • Suffering and resurrection cannot be 'hyphenated; they must be 'crossed'.
  • If we face the cross without the Resurrection, Christianity is a scandal and an outrage.
  • The Resurrection, as our, hope, is in the person Christ. 
  • The world which was groaning for salvation has it in the suffering, death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
  • Joy is the infallible sign of the Resurrection. 
  • The resurrection is the fullness of the joy of life.
  • If we treat someone as they can be with God's love, we call forth the Resurrection of Christ in that person.
  • If we look toward the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, we become what we see.
  • The Resurrection is lived by claiming it.
  • The Resurrection is the fullness of life.
  • Eye has not seen and ear has not heard what awaits us in the fullness of what Christ has won for us in his passion, death and resurrection.