Thursday, April 30, 2009

He Regained His Sight

May 1, 2009

Friday of the Third Week of Easter

By Melanie Rigney

So Ananias went and entered the house; laying his hands on him, he said, “Saul, my brother, the Lord, has sent me, Jesus who appeared to you on the way by which you came, that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit. Immediately things like scales fell from his eyes and he regained his sight. He got up and was baptized, and when he had eaten, he recovered his strength. (Acts 9:17-19)

Go out to all the world and tell the Good News. (Mark 16:15)

“Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me.” (John 6:57)

Piety

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound!
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found;
Was blind, but now I see.
(John Newton, first published 1779)

Study

There were a couple of blind men that day in Damascus: Paul, whose sight Jesus temporarily took away to illustrate his power, and Ananias, who initially protested that he didn’t want to go to Paul because of the evil he had done to Christ’s followers.

And there were a couple of men whose eyes were opened that day in Damascus: Paul, who went on to preach unceasingly and is remembered nearly two thousand years after his death, and Ananias, who doesn’t even rate his own listing in the Catholic Encyclopedia. We believe he moved on to Eleutheropolis, southwest of Jerusalem, and was martyred.

Huge differences in journeys and fame. Yet where would Paul have been without Ananias? Surely, Ananias could have said, “Forget it, God. You’re powerful, but not even You could change this man’s heart.” But he didn’t. Ananias put aside his personal feelings, said yes, and helped foster a conversion that has inspired billions.

Not all come-to-Jesus moments are as dramatic as Paul’s. Consider the case of John Newton, who wrote Amazing Grace. The story goes that he was a slave trader who, while tossed about in a storm at sea, turned his life over to the Lord and wrote the hymn in thanksgiving. The truth isn’t quite that dramatic; Newton wrote the song decades after he’d left slave trading and had become a minister. And yet, as the folks at Snopes.com, the Web site that checks out urban legends and such, wrote:

It was a slow process effected over the passage of decades, not something that happened with a clap of thunder and a flash of lightning. In Newton’s case, the “amazing grace” he wrote of might well have referred to God’s unending patience with him.

Still, Newton’s story gives us all hope—even the greatest of sinners can ultimately and meaningfully repent, and even the most half-hearted of conversions can over time work its magic.


Ultimately, we will never know how many will be reached directly or indirectly when we go out and tell the world the Good News or whether we will be remembered for it. But we do know that if we say no and choose not to share the Word, the opportunity is lost. Let us ask for the wisdom and confidence to say yes.

Action

Think of a situation in which your eyes were opened to a facet of God’s goodness by grace shining through another person. Write him or her a note of personal thanks today.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

For the Life of the World

April 30, 2009

Thursday of the Third Week of Easter

Philip ran up and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and said, "Do you understand what you are reading?" He replied, "How can I, unless someone instructs me?" So he invited Philip to get in and sit with him. Acts 8:30-31

Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died; this is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world. John 6:49-51

Piety

May He support us all the day long, till the shades lengthen, and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over and our work is done! Then in His mercy may He give us a safe lodging, and a holy rest, and peace at the last. John Henry Newman

Study

New teachings lead to new dimensions in our faith. Philip is in the midst of a group reunion with the eunuch in the chariot. They are working on their study when we first encounter them. Then, the agenda shifts to piety (baptism). There is no doubt in my mind that the eunuch would say the encounter with Philip and subsequent baptism was his closest moment to Christ.

When we get together for our Group Reunion, we often can learn new teachings and new dimensions of our faith from each other as they bring Christ to us. That was what Philip did. That also is what Jesus did in our Gospel reading.

I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died; this is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat it and not die. John 6:48-51

Jesus took a passage with which his audience was familiar and molded it into a new teaching. When we open our minds, our ears and our hearts to the Word, we can learn much that is new.

Jesus promises that his body will deliver life for the world. That life starts one person at a time.

Action

Faith is an act, not a motto and not mere window dressing. The eunuch was not content with just reading the Bible. He wanted to be baptized. Jesus knew that he was shocking his disciples with the Bread of Life teaching. He was a hard teaching and many of the disciples left Jesus because of it. However, others did not.

Jesus then said to the Twelve, "Do you also want to leave?" Simon Peter answered him, "Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God." John 6:67-69

Their faith led them to stick with Jesus. We know that the group frayed on Good Friday in the face of the death penalty being imposed upon the lamb. After the Resurrection, the consequences of following Jesus did not result in people turning away, not the disciples, not the eunuch and not the members of the new church.

Can we be as true to our faith as they were? Can we live up to the principles of our faith in our actions, not just in our words?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Great Joy

April 29, 2009

Memorial of Saint Catherine of Siena, virgin and doctor of the Church

With one accord, the crowds paid attention to what was said by Philip when they heard it and saw the signs he was doing. For unclean spirits, crying out in a loud voice, came out of many possessed people, and many paralyzed and crippled people were cured. There was great joy in that city. Acts 8:6-8

Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and I will not reject anyone who comes to me, because I came down from heaven not to do my own will but the will of the one who sent me. John 6:37-38

Piety

I Am The Bread Of Life (Words and Music by Suzanne Toolan)

I am the bread of life, all who come to me shall not hungerAll who believe in me shall not thirst. No one can come to me, unless the Father beckons.
And I will raise you up, and I will raise, you up, and I will raise you up, on the last day!
Unless you eat of the flesh of the Son of Man
And drink of His blood, and drink of His blood, you cannot have life within you.
And I will raise you up, and I will raise, you up, and I will raise you up, on the last day!
Yes, Lord, I believe, that you are the Christ, the son of God who has come into the world.
And I will raise you up, and I will raise, you up, and I will raise you up, on the last day!

Study

"I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst. But I told you that although you have seen (me), you do not believe. John 6:35-36

Seared into my heart and memory is the first time I remember hearing and experiencing the song “I Am the Bread of Life.” It was at a Trenton, New Jersey Diocesan CYO gathering in 1975. There must have been 1,000 or more teens assembled. As we hit the first refrain, everyone grabbed the hands of those next to them and raised them up. Wow. Two thousand hands lifted up in unison.

I am the bread of life.

Fast forward to 1987 at St. Mary’s Parish in Middletown, New Jersey for the funeral Mass for my father. Members of my family and I had come to the church and met the day before with our pastor, the late Rev. Msgr. Robert Bulman whom we expected would celebrate the Mass.

All who come to me shall not hunger.

We went over Dad’s favorite readings (John 3:16) and songs selected for the Mass. Msgr. Bulman reminisced with us about Dad and our life in the parish through the years we lived there. We recalled fondly one particular associate, Rev. Leon Kasprzyk, a former parochial vicar at that parish. Fr. Leon was the spiritual director for the CYO in my high school years. However, he was transferred and was now pastor at St. Stephen’s in Perth Amboy.

All who believe in me shall not thirst.

The next day, as the funeral procession pulled into the church parking lot, Msgr. Bulman came down to the car which carried my mother, brother, sister and I. He knocked on the window and asked me to come back with him to the sacristy. I thought it an odd request that we were pulling up in front and had not noticed that he was not yet wearing his vestments for a Mass that would begin any minute.

No one can come to me, unless the Father beckons.

As we walked up the stone steps to the sacristy, Msgr. Bulman, although many years my senior, exhibited Benedictine hospitality and held the door open for me to enter first. Standing there vested in white was Fr. Leon. Our dear pastor called his old associate who drove from many miles away, leaving his parish in mid week, to celebrate this Mass with us much to our joyful surprise. Tears of joy and sadness streamed down my face.

And I will raise you up, and I will raise, you up, and I will raise you up, on the last day!

As the Mass concluded, the choir began the communion hymn “I Am the Bread of Life.” And that day, when we got to the refrain, everyone in our old historic church clasped the hand of the person next to them and lifted them skyward as we got ready to walk Dad’s mortal body out of the church for the short ride to its final resting place.

Yes, Lord, I believe, that you are the Christ, the son of God who has come into the world.

Action

Fr. Leon retired recently from his St. John the Evangelist Parish in Lambertville, NJ – part of the Diocese of Metuchen. I think fondly and with great joy of how our relationship – through fun times and sad times – helped to shape my life as a young Catholic man and continues to have a residual effect through my life as an adult.

Sometimes in sadness I mourn over how some young people in the church were robbed of this kind of nurturing, positive relationship. They were not able to benefit from the kind of loving kindness our family had with Fr. Leon and so many other priests who were such positive influences on our lives. These priests led us in the breaking of the bread of life on a daily and weekly basis. Like Philip who went down to Samaria, Fr. Leon brought great joy into our lives. May he experience such in his retirement.

Just like the late Rev. Martin Hayes, O.S.B.
Just like retired Abbot Oscar Burnett, O.S.B.
Just like Sr. Frances Sheridan, M.S.B.T.
Just like Sr. Pauline Clifford, R.S.M.
Just like Brother Paul Shanley, O.S.B.
Just like Rev. Mike Hann, CICM
Just like Rev. Bill Quigley, CICM.
Just like Rev. Bob Yankovich, S.J.
Just like Rev. Joe McCloskey, S.J.
Just like Rev. John Adams, S.J.
Just like Fr. Clement, Fr. Tuck, Fr. Creedon, Fr. Stephan, Fr. Barkett, Fr. Ephraim.
Just like Deacons Jack Ligon, Nick LaDuca and Gene Betit.

The list could go on and on. Fill in your own names and pray in thanksgiving for their commitment and sacrifices.

Take a few minutes to thank someone in the religious life – priest, brother, sister or deacon – who has played an important positive role in your life. The next time the basket comes to you at church to support our retired religious, take a look at the contribution you plan to make…and consider doubling it if your means can handle the extra commitment.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

What Can We Do?

April 27, 2009

Monday of the Third Week of Easter

Now Stephen, filled with grace and power, was working great wonders and signs among the people. Certain members of the so-called Synagogue of Freedmen, Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and people from Cilicia and Asia, came forward and debated with Stephen, but they could not withstand the wisdom and the spirit with which he spoke. Acts 6:8-10

Jesus answered them and said, "Amen, amen, I say to you, you are looking for me not because you saw signs but because you ate the loaves and were filled. Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him the Father, God, has set his seal." John 6:26-27

Piety

I Need to Breathe Deeply by Ted Loder in Guerillas of Grace

Eternal Friend,
grant me an ease
to breathe deeply of this moment,
this light,
this miracle of now.
Beneath the din and fury
of great movements
and harsh news
and urgent crises,
make me attentive still
to good news,
to small occasions,
and the grace of what is possible
for me to be,
to do,
to give,
to receive,
that I may miss neither my neighbor's gift
nor my enemy's need.

Study

What can we do to accomplish the word of God?

Once we taste and see the goodness of the Lord, then we can not stay away from his table of plenty. Last week we read how Peter and Paul could not NOT witness to everything that they saw. Now, we see that drive reflected in Stephen. When the Holy Spirit is at work, the crowds who can not resist the attraction of Jesus’ love and how that love is reflected back through disciples like Peter, Paul and Stephen.

Watching moths in the summer evening when the outdoor lights go on, we watch the insects fly toward the light instinctively. Do we have an inherent instinct to be drawn to good (the word of God) or do we have an inherent instinct to be drawn toward evil?

Forces of the world never stop tempting us until they break down all our barriers (self control) and succumb to the promise of affection, esteem, power and control. But, the Holy Spirit does not take a day off either. For the Spirit, every day is a holy day (holiday). Whether working through the saints, our clergy, our family, or the homeless person on the park bench, the Spirit is drawing us to works of mercy. Even the homeless person on the bench reflects the face of an angel of God. From these ministers, our attraction to the word of God becomes as strong as our attraction to breathing.

Action

What can we do to accomplish the word of God? All around us are distractions. How can we focus on the word of God and not the word of ABCCNNBCCBS bring us the latest things to worry and obsess over (swine flu, the NFL Draft, the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the World Bank protests, diversifying your portfolio, gay marriage, the President speaking at Notre Dame)?

Jesus teaches the what. "Believe!"

Jesus also teaches the how. “Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him the Father, God, has set his seal." Love God and love your neighbor as yourself.

What is your program to strengthen your belief this week? What is your plan of action for God’s love? Nothing happens if it does not get planned. How will you diversify your plan of Christian action for this week?

Into Your Hands Lord

April 28, 2009

By Beth DeCristofaro

As they were stoning Stephen, he called out, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." Then he fell to his knees and cried out in a loud voice, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them"; and when he said this, he fell asleep. (Acts 7:59-60)

Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit. (Psalm 31:6)

So Jesus said to them, "Amen, amen, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave the bread from heaven; my Father gives you the true bread from heaven…."I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst." (John 6: -35)

Piety

In you, Yahweh, I take refuge; let me never be disgraced,…Into your hands I commit my spirit; you will redeem me, Yahweh….I will exult and rejoice in your love! You, who have seen my wretchedness and known the miseries of my soul, have not handed me over to the enemy. My fate is in your hand; rescue me from the hands of my enemies and persecutors…You heard my petition when I called to you for help. (I will be strong, I will let my heart be bold and have hope in Yahweh.) (Psalm 31, from Psalms Anew)

Study

This Psalm is one of my favorites. It is a lament with a sense of strong trust. You are my rock and my fortress has become an iconic image of God’s merciful and saving power. Its beautiful words have been recited in many sick rooms and at the side of the dying. Both Stephen and Jesus die with Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit on their lips.

But perhaps we can hear this psalm as a way of living also. "Imitate the Eucharist and you will become a saint." St. Therese of Lisieux said. If we can commend our own spirit to God just as Jesus, the living Eucharist does, is this not a prayer of life? If we commend ourselves into the hands of God, what do we receive but the Bread of Life?

Another way of looking at this is for me to assume that I am dying (which, being a mortal human is not out of line, anyway). Between now and my unknown time of death, can I live as if I have commended my spirit to God and am trusting in the rock-steady presence of the Spirit? Can I trust that the Bread of Life will give me what I need? Each moment will be God’s.

Action

Make a mantra of St. Stephen’s prayer: “Lord receive my spirit.” Let the Lord, infusing you, guide each and everything you say and do today. Whether your prayer in praise, lament, sadness, confusion, hope, or seeking direction, trust that the Bread of Life will fill you with the nourishment you need.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Touch Me and See

April 26, 2009


Third Sunday of Easter


By Rev. Joe McCloskey, S.J.


God has thus brought to fulfillment what he had announced beforehand through the mouth of all the prophets, that his Messiah would suffer. Repent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be wiped away. Acts 3:18-19


Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures. And he said to them, "Thus it is written that the Messiah would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. Luke 24:45-48


Piety


Jesus, help us to see you in everyone we encounter. Help us to see what scars others bear and give us the ability to heal their wounds. Open us to the healing that others offer to us. Help us to forgive those who hurt us. Open us to the free and unlimited love and forgiveness that you grant to all including us. Amen.


Study


Sharing the moment close to Christ brings Christ back again. The disciples on the road to Emmaus were talking about Christ and Christ came to them. They recognized Christ in the breaking of the bread. When we share Christ with others, he comes back to us again. It is all too true that the only way to hold unto Christ is to give him away. He calls us into his life by the love we share with each other. And the greatest love we have to share is Christ himself. They recognized Christ in the breaking of the bread. We find Christ when we do things with each other. Walking with Christ on our journey of life comes to the point where Christ will go on unless we invite him to break bread with us. It is in the breaking of bread with each other that we recognize the Christ of the other’s heart. Sometimes I say it too easily that the Christ of my heart recognizes the Christ of your heart. We need more than a few moments to reach the rock bottom of Christ in our lives. He is there without forcing himself on us. We solidify his presence in the asking each other to stay.


Keeping the commandments is how to stay in each other’s life with Christ as the ultimate meaning of our love. The commandments are the ultimate statement of interpersonal relationships. Happiness is the living of our lives with the good of each other utmost in our minds and our hearts. Once the two disciples on the road to Emmaus realized they had been with Christ they returned to Jerusalem to be with the bigger community. We live the wonder of Christ with us when we are willing to go out of our way to share Christ with those with whom we have met Christ. It is in the further sharing of Christ that a deeper encounter with Christ takes place. Christ is the expiation for our sins and for those of the whole world. Thus, Christ is perfected in us. We need to experience the efforts that others put out. Thus, we find Christ in the time and the energy that others expend for the sharing of Christ. It is a wonderful journey when we are free to put out for each other. Christ fulfilled his destiny that he learned about in the writings of Moses and the prophets. We have to be witnesses of what Christ did in his life by living out in our lives what Christ would do if he were us. We allow him to live in us by the love we share with those who need us most. Family, friends and strangers become one in Christ by charity and love shared. The people of God who are the Church are also the mystical body of Christ. He gathers with us when we gather in his name. When two or three gather in his name, he promises us his companionship. We are called by Christ to be witnesses to his love.


Action


So we pray to the Lord that his face not only shine on us, but that we may be his face to the world. It is Christ who brings gladness into our hearts by his countenance shining upon us. Christ is the gladness of our hearts and brings security into our dwelling places. In each other we touch and see the goodness of the Lord. Christ rises from the dead again in the goodness of each of us. Every encounter of our lives becomes an encounter with Christ in our efforts to bring Christ into each meeting with another. Our apostolic actions are the richness of our love shared. With our efforts to do something about the needs of our brothers and sisters, our love covers a multitude of sinfulness. In the love of Christ shared by our willingness to bring Christ into anything we do for another, we become the perfect witnesses of the resurrection of Christ. We make up for the failures of each other by our love shared. Forgiveness of sins is preached whither we go when we offer our lives for what is wrong with our world. Thus we are witnesses of the resurrection of Christ.

After You Have Suffered a Little

April 25, 2009

Feast of St. Mark, Evangelist

Be sober and vigilant. Your opponent the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for (someone) to devour. Resist him, steadfast in faith, knowing that your fellow believers throughout the world undergo the same sufferings. The God of all grace who called you to his eternal glory through Christ (Jesus) will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you after you have suffered a little. 1 Peter 5:8-10

“Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned.” Mark 16:15-15

Piety

The Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time; Enjoying one moment at a time; Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it; Trusting that He will make all things rightif I surrender to His Will; That I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him Forever in the next. Amen. --Reinhold Niebuhr

Study

“Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.”

As we celebrate St. Mark’s feast day, we reflect on the final message in his Gospel, a message sent to a community filled with fear and hell-bent on denial of everything they learned for the last three years. These so-called friends abandoned Jesus at his darkest hour, when he needed them the most. As Ched Myes writes in “Say to This Mountain,” the third call to discipleship in Mark is “directed to those discipleship became mired in the dead-end of denial.” Even though we may look elsewhere for happiness, Jesus still seeks us out for a new beginning.

Proverbs 3 tells us: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths.” As we say in the Total Security talk on Cursillo weekends, change the direction in which you are looking for happiness. Fully rely upon God.

Be sober and vigilant. Your opponent the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for (someone) to devour. Stop looking for happiness at the shopping mall or neighborhood bar. You might find happiness there but it will be fleeting. Stop looking for happiness on the basketball court or the golf course.

Once we assent to go on this spiritual journey with Jesus, we learn that our emotional programs for happiness based on our needs for affection-esteem, survival-security, and power-control prevent us from reacting to other people and their needs. When we are locked into our private worlds, we are not present to the needs of others when they seek help.

When we put our trust in God, all things are possible. St. Mark tells us that the results of God’s friendship will be truly amazing. “They will pick up serpents (with their hands), and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not harm them. They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover."

The path will not be without pain. The Serenity Prayer by Niebuhr nudges us out of our sleep and reminds us that we are only promised that life will be “reasonably happy on earth. Just like the letter to Peter tells us that we will suffer a little.

Do you plan on picking up snakes? No, I don’t either. But there are many obstacles in our path. We must pick these up and throw them out. We can overcome the obstacles to God’s friendship because Jesus and your fellow travelers are there for us. We can meet these as yet unknown challenges provided we maintain an ongoing relationship with Christ and our brothers and sisters.

This may be the end of the Gospel but it is only the beginning of our journey to find the risen Jesus. The Easter tomb is empty. Myers reminds us, “If we wish to see Jesus, we too must journey to Galilee. Jesus has gone on ahead of the church. Only by responding to the invitation to discipleship can we join him where he already is: on the Way.”

Action

"Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.” How are you responding to the call to discipleship?

Are you faithfully relying upon your group reunion? Are you attending to it and its members on a regular basis?

What tools are you using to strengthen your piety?

What is your plan of action for next week?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

If It Comes from God

April 24, 2009

Friday of the Second Week of Easter

By Melanie Rigney

(The Pharisee named Gamaliel told the Sanhedrin about the Apostles,) “… (H)ave 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.” They were persuaded by him. After recalling the Apostles, (the Sanhedrin) had them flogged, ordered them to stop speaking in the name of Jesus, and dismissed them. So they left the presence of the Sanhedrin, rejoicing that they had been found worthy to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name. (Acts 5:38-41)

The Lord is my life’s refuge; of whom am I afraid? (Psalms 27:1)

When Jesus raised his eyes and saw a large crowd was coming to him, he said to Philip, “Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?” He said this to test him, because he himself knew what he was going to do. Philip answered him, “Two hundred days’ wages worth of food would not be enough for each of them to have a little.” (John 6:5-7)

Piety
Jesus, help me to live my faith in you large and with utter confidence.

Study
A couple years ago, I hosted a home Mass. I was worried, because I’d cut up enough pita bread for twelve people to have Communion and we’d ended up with sixteen. When the priest approached me to begin sharing the Eucharist, I said as softly as I could, “Leave me until last. I’m afraid there won’t be enough.”

He looked like he wanted to burst into laughter. “Don’t worry. I’ve done this before,” he said loudly.

“Oh puh-leese!” I hissed. “Just let me be Martha. Leave me till the end.”

For some of us, that need to make sure there’s enough for everyone starts at the dinner table when unexpected guests arrive. “FHB,” we might say to our siblings or our kids, shorthand for “family hold back in case we run short of chicken breasts, doughnuts, or cake.”

That type of reserve might be appropriate at the dinner table, but not when it comes to having confidence in God. In today’s Gospel reading, Philip despairs that even with more than half a year’s wages, there wouldn’t be enough money to provide everyone in the crowd with a bit of food. Andrew despairs the little good a boy’s five barley loaves and two fish could do. And yet, fully confident in his Father, Jesus offers up the loaves and fish ... and all are fed and leftovers have to be gathered.

And when we are fed in confidence and know the Lord will provide refuge, we can do anything. In the first reading, the Pharisee Gamaliel warns the Sanhedrin if the apostles’ endeavor comes from God, “you will not be able to destroy them” and urges them to use caution. The Sanhedrin settle for flogging rather than killing the apostles, who rejoice in their suffering and go on teaching. Now that’s faith.

As for that Mass at my home, there was enough to go around at Communion—exactly enough. Funny how that happened.

Action

Today, identify one situation, large or small, in which you find it difficult to trust in God. Offer it up in prayer, and show the confidence of the apostles as you face down your concern.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

He Does Not Ration His Gift

April 23, 2009


Thursday of the Second Week of Easter


"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 that God has given to those who obey him." Acts 5:29-32


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. John 3:33-34

Piety

Look to God that you may be radiant with joy and your faces may not blush for shame. In my misfortune I called, the LORD heard and saved me from all distress. The angel of the LORD, who encamps with them, delivers all who fear God. Learn to savor how good the LORD is; happy are those who take refuge in him. Fear the LORD, you holy ones; nothing is lacking to those who fear him. The powerful grow poor and hungry, but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing. Psalm 34:6-11

Study

When reading John 3, it is hard not to think of the Parable of the Prodigal Family. “He does not ration his gift.” No matter what we do, even if we prefer darkness, He does not ration His gift. For everyone who does a wicked thing hates the light and does not come toward the light, yet He does not ration his gift.


Maybe that is why God is so hard to understand. God is NOT like us. He sent his only son to try to be like us for a while. After that great experiment in love, the Son went back to the Father and sent the Holy Spirit to dwell among us but not in human form.


Most of our images of God and Jesus always have a body like ours. The finger of God reaches across the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel for Adam. The arms of Jesus reach across the old wooden cross to embrace us. Yet our images of the Spirit are more mystical – wind, fire, doves. Just like God does not ration his gift of love or his gift of his only son, God does not ration his gift of the Holy Spirit either. The wind blows where it will and we can only hope to enjoy the breeze.


John 3 also is intriguing because of the two co-stars who share center stage with Jesus and who both seek the Lord. First, Nicodemus encounters Jesus in John 3:1-21. He is a teacher who seeks but does not yet understand the fullness of the lessons Jesus teaches. Then John the Baptist encounters Jesus in John 3:23-30. The desert hermit grasps the significance of the Messiah before he hears Jesus utter a word. Although his disciples are jealous, John knows better. He knows the role he plays in our salvation to prepare the way of the Lord.


From-Nicodemus-to-John is the life path we seek to travel. Nicodemus desires in his heart to know Jesus. As the Psalmist writes, Nicodemus “sought the Lord, who answered me, delivered me from all my fears.” John goes beyond desire to live his yearning for the Lord, to fully rely on God.

"No one can receive anything except what has been given him from heaven. You yourselves can testify that I said (that) I am not the Messiah, but that I was sent before him. The one who has the bride is the bridegroom; the best man, who stands and listens for him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom's voice. So this joy of mine has been made complete. He must increase; I must decrease." John 3:27-30

Action

Bishop Howard J. Hubbard of Albany, N.Y., chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), welcomed the Obama Administration's decision to relax restrictions on Cuban-American travel and regulation in remittances to Cuba, calling the move "long overdue" and "an important change in U.S. policy towards Cuba."

In an April 15 letter to Daniel Restrepo, Senior Director of Western Hemisphere Affairs for the National Security Council, Bishop Hubbard wrote, "The USCCB has for many years called for relaxing the sanctions against Cuba. These policies have largely failed to promote greater freedom, democracy and respect for human rights in Cuba."

He added, "Improving the lives of the Cuban people and encouraging human rights in Cuba will best be advanced through more rather than less contact between the Cuban and American people."

Bishop Hubbard also urged the Administration to build on the President's action and work with Congress to remove travel restrictions to Cuba for all Americans, citing the "Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act" (H.R. 874 and S. 428) as welcome legislation. Join with Bishop Hubbard to encourage the Administration to work with Congress to pass this legislation and ask the President to sign it into law.

The full text of Bishop Hubbard's letter can be found online at: http://www.usccb.org/sdwp/international/2009-04-15-hubbard-cuba-travel-ltr-nsc.pdf

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

So Loved

April 22, 2009

Wednesday of the Second Week of Easter

For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. John 3:16-17

Piety

What we call the beginning is often the end
And to make an end is to make a beginning…
With the drawing of this Love and the voice of this Calling
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
T.S. Eliot

Study

Our daily readings have been so slowly approaching the heart of John’s Gospel for a few days. Monday, we scrapped the surface. Jesus so urged Nicodemus to be born again of the spirit. But Nicodemus was so not able to grasp the meaning. Tuesday, we got under the surface further following the wind blowing where it will and the holy Spirit so guiding us. Today, we get to the nerve center, the vital organ which for so many is summed up on one phrase. John Three Sixteen. God so loved the world…

Jesus' lesson to Nicodemus that dark night 2,000 years ago is this: God loves us. He is waiting for us to turn from evil and love him back. When we do, Jesus will know us and show us the only path to eternal life.

“So” is a pretty common adverb that indicates comparative degree. Using it signals the reader that the action word (love in our case) is being expressed to a great degree. God loved the world so very, very, very extremely much.

The use of “so” is discouraged in college grammar books but is nonetheless standard in daily language and is at the very essence of this passage. God does not merely love his children in the world. God does not love his children in the world a whole lot. God does not love his children in the world “this much” – imagine the pair of my 36-inch sleeves reaching out in both directions.

So loved. The quantity, quality and depth of God’s love for us is so extensive that God most decidedly loves the world to such a degree that the only way he could prove to us how much He loved us was to give us his one and only son.

So loved. Remember how you felt when you were separated from the one you so loved most. Maybe your girlfriend (or boyfriend) was working overseas or stationed abroad in the military. You can not be with them and live with them your daily experiences. Sure you can write or call and tell them about your day but that is not the same as being there. Do you have a college student studying in a far off city? Do you have an adult child working in another country? Do you have an elderly parent in a nursing home hundreds of miles away? Separation is not easy to endure.

So loved. God did not only endure the separation from one he loved. He endured the ultimate separation – the death of one he loved. Not just any death like a car accident or disease. He endured watching his son undergo a humiliating and painful public trial, torture and execution by the state.

So loved. Another dimension of this redemptive love is that the death was not just for people he loved but for people who did not love Him back.

The love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the holy Spirit that has been given to us. For Christ, while we were still helpless, yet died at the appointed time for the ungodly. Indeed, only with difficulty does one die for a just person, though perhaps for a good person one might even find courage to die. But God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us. Romans 5:5-8

“So loved.” God proved his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. All that deeper dimension is communicated to us through those two little words. “So loved.”

How much did God love? So much that He gave His only begotten Son. So much that He emptied Himself; He gave Himself. So much that the amount of His love is indicated by the scale of the gift. Like the prodigal father heaping a share of his fortune on the one son who wants to run away. Like the prodigal father waiting and waiting – patiently – for the return of the son who was lost. Like the prodigal father who also heaped his love on the son who resented the return of his brother. He so loved them both. Just like God so loves us sinners.

Action

Invite some of the new men from the 119th Cursillo to your next group reunion or parish ultreya. Keep the light and the love burning in their hearts.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Born of the Spirit

April 21, 2009


By Beth DeCristofaro


The community of believers was of one heart and mind, and no one claimed that any of is possessions was his own, but they had everything in common. (Acts 4:32)


"'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 3:7-8)


Piety


“Prayer of Nicodemus” by Sarah M. Foulger


God of second chances, who is patient with our confusion and who leads us into greater understanding if only we have ears to hear and souls willing to search, grant that we may be born anew each day into hope, born anew each day into joy, born anew each day into your realm. When we become legalistic in our living, teach us the language of forgiveness. When we become concrete in our thinking, lift us into the ways of your Spirit. When we become stuck into religious patterns that lead us away from you, bring us back to living faith. May your grace become the context of our days. Amen.


Study

Welcome! Babe Chicks from the Men’s 118th Cursillo. Welcome also to the men who attended Walk to Emmaus held in Kinston, OK, this weekend, including my brother, Alex. Born anew in the Spirit they are “reentering” the work and family world. During the weekend they were often in my thoughts as I considered how my Weekend in 2001 brought me a new Spirit: the tears of recognition during a guided meditation that introduced Jesus to my life in a new image; the putting to rights of sins forgiven in the Sacrament of Reconciliation; the delight in meeting other faith-filled women whose journeys gave me insight; the shared dread over sharing, in public, our new awareness of the breath which the Spirit had blown upon us – and the support of each other to accomplish that witness.


The readings since Easter have proclaimed again and again that Jesus, ascended, is yet with us and that he left the Spirit to guide, give courage and inspire us. We have this in common: The wind blows where it wills…so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit." The Spirit is not always as many-colored and carnival-like as a Cursillo or Emmaus weekend. Nor is the movement of the Spirit always as profoundly moving as the conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus. Can we recognize it? Can we bend with it and let it blow us as it will? Can we, like the flag whose colors are displayed by the blowing wind, display our colors to the glory of God by accepting the wind of the Spirit? Or do we struggle to stand firm in what we have always known, the cultural and socially acceptable, the safe? Do we resist the liberating Spirit which promises eternity rather than the “good life.”


Action


Take the opportunity to discern the wind of the Spirit in recent personal events: the hustle-bustle, the sadness, the joys, the dryness, the successes and failures. The Spirit speaks of eternity writ in all God’s creation. Mother Theresa said: There is always the danger that we may just do the work for the sake of the work. This is where the respect and the love and the devotion come in - that we do it to God, to Christ, and that's why we try to do it as beautifully as possible.” It isn’t just life, it is God’s life.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Do Not Be Amazed

April 20, 2009

Monday of the Second Week of Easter

Lord, take note of their threats, and enable your servants to speak your word with all boldness, as you stretch forth (your) hand to heal, and signs and wonders are done through the name of your holy servant Jesus." Acts 4:29-30

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 3:7-8

Piety

The Trees

The trees are coming into leaf
Like something almost being said;
The recent buds relax and spread,
Their greenness is a kind of grief.
Is it that they are born again
And we grow old?
No, they die too,
Their yearly trick of looking new
Is written down in rings of grain.
Yet still the unresting castles thresh
In fullgrown thickness every May.
Last year is dead, they seem to say,
Begin afresh, afresh, afresh.

by Philip Larkin

Study

Curiosity. Albert Einstein is said to have said: “The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day. Never lose a holy curiosity.”

Nicodemus had a holy curiosity about this rabbi from Nazareth so he crept away under the cover of darkness to find out more about what this teacher said.

Yet, he was too literal to fully understand what Jesus meant. He was too much like Dragnet’s Sgt. Joe Friday (“just-the-facts-ma’am” attitude) and not enough of the inquiring minds of “Mythbusters.”

Jesus tells Nicodemus that he has to open up his life to the Holy Spirit and be born differently.

On last weekend’s Cursillo, we had a lot of discussion about self mortification (denying oneself) and seeking happiness in different places that we are tempted to seek it out now. One constant expression that was nagging away was Jesus’ call to repent. He was not asking for some kind of Elmer Gantry fire-and-brimstone tent revival: “Sin, sin, sin! You're all sinners! You're all doomed to perdition!” NO!

“Repent” does not mean to spend your life in penance, fasting, vigils, rosaries, and almsgiving. Those practices all have their place in our spiritual lives. Repent means to change the direction in which you are looking for happiness. Christ will revive us from sleep walking through life to live once again reconnected to Him and His Presence.

Action

You can meet the challenges you will face in life because Jesus and your fellow travelers are there for you. You can meet these as yet unknown challenges provided you maintain ongoing relationships with Christ and your brothers and sisters.

Being born of the spirit means, among other definitions, that we no longer seek those ‘things” we sought when we were born of the flesh. Our wants and desires to the flesh must die so we can be born again in the spirit.

Saying yes to the invitation to “Follow Jesus” is a way to achieve freedom from these former means of happiness. It is a long journey. Do not be amazed that you need to leave behind your childish ways.

Once we assent to go on this spiritual journey with Jesus, we learn that our emotional programs for happiness based on our needs for affection-esteem, survival-security, and power-control prevent us from reacting to other people and their needs. When we are locked into our private worlds, we are not present to the needs of others when they seek help. The clarity with which we see other people’s needs as a cause for our Christian action – AND RESPOND TO THEM – is in direct proportion to our own interior freedom and to our own intellectual curiosity.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Do Not Be Unbelieving

April 19, 2009

Divine Mercy Sunday

By Rev. Joe McCloskey, S.J.

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. Acts 4:32-33

"Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed." John 20:29

Piety

The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. By the LORD has this been done; it is wonderful in our eyes. This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice in it and be glad. Psalm 118:22-24

Study

“Blessed are they who have not seen and have believed.” It is not hard to imagine how Thomas felt. He did not believe what he most wanted to believe. Love is proved by deeds. But how is that love when we have to see and touch the pain of another for our sake? Love is never deserved. It is the free gift we offer to another. When someone has to prove their love, we are offering justice, not love. Christ is the perfect example of love because he died for the good and the bad alike. Christ is the acid test of love. How alike to Christ are we with our love? Christ loved us even as the Father loved him. He invites us to live in his love. St. John tells us that Jesus is begotten by God and everyone who loves the Father loves also the one begotten by him.

Loving without seeing is the faith t hat Christ is asking of us. Faith is the conviction we have about what another will do in the future because of all we know from the past. God is forever faithful. Because God is love, there will never be a moment that does not have the fullness of the love of God. Christ converts all the ordinary of our lives into the extraordinary by his Hidden Life. It can be said that only the ordinary is extraordinary in the kingdom of God. If our love for God needs to be proven by deeds, justice rather than love is what is needed. Believing God is there for us in the most difficult times is the special love of the Resurrection. Because of the risen Christ, every human act done out of love has the potential of a God meaning. Christ raises us up to the power of his Resurrection. We have the potential to take the human into the divine by our love. Wherever there is love, God is there. God’s love is everlasting.

Action

The first Community of believers was of one mind and heart in Christ. They had everything in common. There were no needy persons. The needs of each person were well cared for. Today the needy are no less in need of a community to take care of them. Such a community has Christ as the cornerstone. Our actions for the poor have Christ as the center piece because Christ identifies with the hungry, thirsty, naked, sick and prisoners. Whatever we do for the least person of our lives is the measure of how much we love Christ and how much Christ love is in the good we do for those that love us and are brothers and sisters to us. We are called to love the others of our lives even when we do not see Christ in them. When we put our hands into the wounded side of Christ and touch the wounds in his hands and feet, it is easy to believe that the pains we put up with for each other are worth the price. But Christ says: “Blessed are those who believe without seeing” and that is what we do when we help those we do not know in their difficulties without needing to see the connection to Christ. That is what happens when we help without seeing Christ. No good we do for the needy will ever be wasted. Thus we have life through this belief in his name.

What Are We To Do With These Men?

April 18, 2009

Saturday within the Octave of Easter

Peter and John, however, said to them in reply, "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." Acts 4:19-20

He said to them, "Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned. Mark 16:15-16

Piety

The Angelus


V. The Angel of the Lord declared to Mary:

R. And she conceived of the Holy Spirit.


Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.


V. Behold the handmaid of the Lord:

R. Be it done unto me according to Thy word.


Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.


V. And the Word was made Flesh:

R. And dwelt among us.


Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.


V. Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God,

R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.


Let us pray: Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts; that we, to whom the incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection, through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.


Study


We can be inspired by Jesus' work with the disciples.


The humanity of the disciples shows through so strongly when they are still walking around with Jesus, preaching and serving and healing. In the Gospels, they just don’t seem to fully understand what they are being asked to do with the two cardinal requests from Jesus: “Repent” and “Follow me.” James fights over sitting next to Jesus in heaven. Peter denies Christ to save his own skin (or neck). Judas betrays the Lord and turns Jesus over to the Sanhedrin. They fall asleep in Gethsemane. They all run away. So at the foot of the cross, the only one who is left is John.


However, the resurrection changed everything. As the disciples encountered Jesus after Easter, they were compelled to “repent” and to “follow.” They became instruments of the Lord’s peace.


When we see them in Acts, they cannot not (double negative alert) fulfill the commandment in Mark 16. As they tell the authorities, “It is impossible for us not to speak about what we have seen and heard in our lives.”


Action


Today, on the second day of the Cursillo, the candidates have been exposed to talks, discussions, sacraments, and liturgies which help them to know Jesus. May the witness of the team guide them toward the work of the Risen Christ in conjunction with the Holy Spirit who will inspire their education and change. Please support these the men to “go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel.”

In the Name of Jesus Christ

April 17, 2009

Friday in the Octave of Easter

By Melanie Rigney

(When Peter and John were challenged by the authorities,) 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.” (Acts 4:8-11)

The stone the builders has rejected has become the cornerstone. (Psalms 118:22)

… Jesus was standing on the shore; but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. Jesus said to them, "Children, have you caught anything to eat?" They answered him, "No." So he said to them, "Cast the net over the right side of the boat and you will find something." So they cast it, and were not able to pull it in because of the number of fish. So the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, "It is the Lord." (John 21:4-7)

Piety

Jesus, I do it all for you. Build on me as you will.

Study

You can sum it up in three words: In Christ’s name.

In today’s Gospel reading, Peter tells a number of disciples he’s going fishing. They come along, but catch nothing. Jesus appears on the shore around dawn, but they don’t recognize him. He suggests they recast the net and, presto! they can’t even pull in all the fish they’ve caught. Imagine that!

The post-Pentecost Peter of today’s first reading is changed—forever. This is no longer the man who denied Christ three times or who couldn’t catch a single fish, even with help. This Peter is on fire. “You want to know why we do what we do?” Paul he brashly asks the authorities. We do it in the name of Jesus Christ.

The contrast and comparison brought to mind a speech I heard at a Christian writers’ conference last summer. The speaker, Barbara Hibschman, had the audience enthralled as she talked about the power and joys associated with the gift of writing for the Lord. We were all feeling particularly and especially blessed. Then Barbara brought the focus back to where it belonged. Never, never forgot whose work you’re doing and whose words you’re writing, she said. Remember that donkey that strode into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. He heard the cheers and applause and excitement and thought, “Wow! I’m pretty special!” He didn’t realize the glory was for the one he was carrying.

On his own, Peter wasn’t much of a leader—or fisherman. Once he realized who was truly in charge—then and forever--Peter said and did things that have inspired millions and millions of people.

And so can we, if we build on the greatest cornerstone there is, rather than trying to start from scratch.

Action

The Diocese of Arlington’s 118th Men’s Cursillo Weekend is under way at Missionhurst. Pray that the candidates and team will be fed to the brim with the love of Christ and community and are inspired by the Holy Spirit to cast some nets of their own.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Appointed for You

April 16, 2009

Thursday within the Octave of Easter

Repent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be wiped away, and that the Lord may grant you times of refreshment and send you the Messiah already appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the times of universal restoration of which God spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets from of old. Acts 3:19-21

You are witnesses of these things. Luke 24:48

Piety

A voice cries out: In the desert prepare the way of the LORD! Make straight in the wasteland a highway for our God! Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill shall be made low; The rugged land shall be made a plain, the rough country, a broad valley. Then the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all mankind shall see it together; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken. (Isaiah 40:3-5)


Study


As we mark our path through the Octave of Easter, tonight also marks the beginning of the Men’s 118th Cursillo plus dozens of other similar weekends around the world.


Today’s readings remind us of our two-fold purpose for the weekend: teaching and conversion. As the candidates connect with themselves, Jesus, and the community, the reading from Acts reminds us of the mystery that Jesus was already appointed for us. Individually. Personally.


As the team members prepare for the weekend, Luke reminds us that we are all witnesses to the way the Lord works in our lives and in the world. They have planned and coordinated the weekend talks, tables and liturgies. Now, that they have “prepared the Way of the Lord, it is time to step aside and let the Resurrection Jesus and the Holy Spirit take over.


Action


Keep the candidates for this weekend in your prayers and remember those candidates at more than 30 other Cursillo weekends happening around the world.


Arlington, VA Candidates


Chris Aycock, Precious Blood

Rich Baffa, St. Patrick

Dave Bentz, St. Charles Borromeo

Ned Cain, St. John Bosco

Tony Campos, St. Patrick

CJ Capen, St. John Neumann

Jonathan Carlson, St. John Bosco

Dave Clem, St. John the Beloved

Joe Conklin, St. Ignatius

John Dister, St. John Neumann

David Hauge, St. Peter

Tomas Hillman, St. John Neumann

Robert Kendall, Precious Blood

Craig Koszycki, St. Mary of Sorrows

Emil Meny-Plunkett, St. John Bosco

Rick Miller, St. Charles Borromeo

Benny Perez, Precious Blood

Steve True, St. Mary of Sorrows

Tim Tully, St. John Bosco

Nate Wurst, St. Charles Borromeo


Weekends around the World April 16-19, 2009:

Orlando, FL

Wilmington, DE

West Palm Beach, FL

Orange, CA

Chicago, IL

London, ON, CANADA

Nuevo Laredo, TM, MEXICO

Milwaukee, WI

Jacksonville, FL

San Diego, CA

San Juan City, PHILIPPINES

Fremont, OH

Moberly, MO

Taguatinga, BRASIL

Mooresville, NC

Seattle, WA

Oregon, IL

Pur├ępero, MH, MEXICO

Peekskill, NY

Tulsa, OK

Ciudad Guzman, JA, MEXICO

Arlington, VA

Midland, TX

El Centro, CA

Rioverde, SL, MEXICO

Providence, RI

Tampa, FL

Dodge City, KS

Burlington, VT

Progreso, YC, MEXICO

Lomas de Zamora, ARGENTINA