Saturday, April 22, 2017

Living in Community with ALL Our Unique Brothers & Sisters

Second Sunday of Easter (or Divine Mercy Sunday)

Musings by Wayne Miller

They devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles and to the communal life, to the breaking of bread and to the prayers. Awe came upon everyone, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles.  Acts 2: 42-43

Now a week later his disciples were again inside and Thomas was with them. Jesus came, although the doors were locked, and stood in their midst and said, "Peace be with you." 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!" John 20: 26-28

Piety
A C T S (Adoration, Contrition, Thanksgiving, Supplication) - Lord, you are my Rock, my sure, calm voice in the midst of chaos, my only refuge in fear & stress & doubt.

And yet I so often wander off on my own in wonder & fascination, following the siren call of the next shiny experience.  I know that this gift of joy/excitement/pleasure-in-Your-Creation is also from You and an intrinsic element of the unique, precious son You created me to be.  But I so often surrender connection with You when I search for a relationship with the created instead of the Creator.

Thank You for Your everlasting forgiveness & acceptance & welcome in all my wanderings and all my homecomings.

Please help me to recognize when I am not on a path with or toward You, and to be teachable in every moment of this journey.  Please, give me Your Eyes & Ears & Heart & Gentle Tongue, and use me to express Your Love to Your children.  And please help me hear Your voice in all my brothers & sisters – especially when I don’t feel or understand it.

Study
A C T S (Adoration, Community, Theology, Service) – Being a part of a joyful, praising community is no less essential today than it was 2,000 years ago.  While personal conversation & reflection & listening with God are essential, far more epiphanies have come to me through the voices & lives of my brothers & sisters.

I am called to grow & learn about my relationship with the Lord because it is His Way & how He uses me to reach out in love to ALL His children.  When we share the fire & excitement & inspiration we have received from Him with our brothers and sisters, THAT is the Fire of the Holy Spirit, spreading as surely among us as it did on Pentecost in that Upper Room.

Today the Gospel tells of Jesus’ first appearance to His disciples and how poor old, stubborn Thomas missed the party.  When Jesus visited again to clarify Thomas’ vision, we can even feel the embarrassment at Jesus’ chastisement because Thomas had to touch to believe.  But I see a Brother-Lord-God who loves us so much and is so infinitely patient with us, that He will go to any lengths to establish a relationship with each of His precious, unique children.  And some of us are just wired such that we need to touch to believe.  And, yes, blessed are those who have not seen and do believe.  But I’m betting even those first touched Jesus through a parent, a friend, a pastor who had the courage to open their life & will so that Jesus could flow through their unique, personal gifts to LOVE His brothers & sisters.

Action
A C T S (Another Chance To Sing!) – Lord, just for today, help me to Love everyone I meet with Your Infinite Patience and Appreciation and Forgiveness and Acceptance.  May I celebrate every stranger, friend, associate, family member I meet in perfect peace & harmony with You.  May our piety, study, & action lead each of us to a deeper appreciation of You as we experience a deeper appreciation of our brothers and sisters.

De Colores!

Friday, April 21, 2017

Proclaim


Observing the boldness of Peter and John and perceiving them to be uneducated, ordinary men, the leaders, elders, and scribes were amazed, and they recognized them as the companions of Jesus. Then when they saw the man who had been cured standing there with them, they could say nothing in reply. So they ordered them to leave the Sanhedrin, and conferred with one another, saying, "What are we to do with these men?  Acts 4:13-16A

But later, as the Eleven were at the 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
Father, help us to obey you rather than our culture.  Make it impossible for us to not speak and act about what we have seen and heard.

Study
There are lots of commandments throughout the Bible.  There are the ten that Moses carved in stone and brought back down the mountain.  There are the two that Jesus spoke and etched into our hearts and minds. Remember that from Matthew 22:36-40?

“Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?”  He said to him, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”

In Mark’s Gospel, Jesus does not say much that is directly quoted AFTER the Resurrection.  There is the encounter in the tomb with the young man in the white robe.  However, that figure is not revealed as Jesus.  While there is a reference to a few other encounters, today’s Gospel includes the beginning of the ONLY direct quote we have according to St. Mark. 

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

What happens?  Do the disciples run and scatter again as they did on Good Friday?  Not hardly.  This time, they obey and act upon the Final Commissioning. “…[T]hey went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the word through accompanying signs. (Mark 16:20). 

We see how some in the world react to this in the Acts of the Apostles. Peter and John did not get in trouble for what they said.  They got in trouble for what they did – their preaching was mixed up in their action – healing the man crippled from birth.

Action
What are these Cursillstas to do with the lessons they have learned?

Proclaim. Sound off. Spread it around. Get on a Soapbox.  Announce.  Blast.  Broadcast.  Demonstrate. 

Demonstrate.

Demonstrate.

It is not just about what we say.  It’s more about what we do.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Peter’s Transformation


By Colleen O’Sullivan

 “… 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 4:10-11)

Jesus said to them, “Come, have breakfast.”  And none of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?” because they realized it was the Lord.”  (John 21:12)

Piety
The stone which the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone.
By the Lord has this been done;
it is wonderful in our eyes.  (Psalm 118:22-23)

Study
Peter’s musing: 

Someone asked me the other day how I came to be where I am.  I fell to thinking about the journey I’ve been on these last few years.  It boggles even my mind to realize the distance I’ve come.  You see, I used to be content working with my father and brother fishing.  It’s what my father’s father did and his father before him.  I just followed in their footsteps.  I liked fishing, still do.  I loved my family, spending the day with them out on our boat.

Neither Andrew nor I were great scholars.  We knew the basics of the Scriptures, but our family had no money for education beyond the basics.  They needed us to help put food on the table.  There was never any discussion of us studying at the feet of any rabbi.  We simply took up fishing with our dad.  I found a beautiful woman and married her, and I needed the money to support her and the kids who came along.

Although we spent most of our time out on the water, casting our nets for fish, my brother and I found time to go out into the desert once in a while to hear that preacher everyone was talking about, John the Baptist.  He was always talking about someone greater than he who was coming into the world.

Sure enough, one day this fellow Jesus, whom John talked about at every turn, showed up as we were unloading our boat.  He stood there watching us for a while and then we began to talk. There was something about him that struck me.  Maybe it was his enthusiasm or his zest for life, but I liked him from the moment I met him.  When he invited us to follow him, promising to make us fishers of men, I was intrigued.   I think even my dad would like to have tagged along, but he said someone needed to keep up the fishing business, so he stayed back while my brother and I followed Jesus.

I’ve never done anything like that in my entire life, but there was something extraordinary about Jesus.  He looked so sure of himself and so full of life.  I wanted to know how he got that way.

Little did I know where the journey would lead.  At first, it was exciting.  Jesus had a healing touch.  He even healed my mother-in-law of a fever one night!  Everywhere we went (and more people began to journey with us as time went on) crowds began to gather.  I never knew there were so many sick and crippled people in the world.  Everyone wanted to be made whole.

After a while, though, I began to feel an undercurrent of danger.  Not everybody liked Jesus.  The scribes and the Pharisees particularly seemed to hate him.  Maybe they saw the crowds flocking to Jesus every place we went.  Maybe they realized that more people wanted to see and hear Jesus than wanted anything to do with them.  They began laying traps, trying to get Jesus to say something they could arrest him for, but he always had some comeback to which they had no answer.

About now, Jesus began to talk with us in a more serious manner.  He always wanted to know what people were saying about him, who they thought he was.  He was the most special person I’ve ever known.  I wondered if maybe, just maybe, he was the one we had been waiting for.  So, one day when he asked who we thought he was, I blurted out, “the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”  I had it right, but, boy, did I have it all wrong at the same time.

A suffering Messiah wasn’t anything I had ever envisioned.  I protested the notion that my friend Jesus should ever suffer, and Jesus yelled at me.  He called me Satan!  I was so upset and ashamed!  But there was a lot I didn’t understand.

Jesus had a final meal with the 12 of us.  Before we ate, he wanted to wash our feet.  My feet are the ugliest, dirtiest part of me and there was no way the man whom I worshiped was going to wash them, but again I completely misunderstood what Jesus was trying to do.  I made an utter fool of myself.

I wish I could say I was a faithful friend.  I wanted to be.  Jesus even predicted that I would betray him.  I had every intention of being the best friend in the world, but when the trouble really started, with Judas betraying our leader, I found myself shivering with fear.  They took him to the high priest’s courtyard, where the mood was deadly.  And, so, before I knew it, out of fear I had denied three times ever knowing my friend.  He looked over at me at one point with love and compassion, and that made me feel even worse.

I wanted to die when I realized what I had done.  I went home.  I despised myself, but I didn’t have the courage to go back.  He was crucified the next day.  I couldn’t watch.  I thought the world, my world, anyway, had come to an end. 

Even later, when some of the others said he had risen from the dead, I couldn’t lose that feeling of self-loathing and shame.  I desperately wanted to see him and, at the same time, I couldn’t imagine ever looking him in the eye again.

So it was with trepidation that I approached the shore that morning when we gave up on fishing and then saw the Lord himself making breakfast for us. But my utter failure as a friend never came up.  In fact, Jesus wanted to walk with me.  I realized that he knew how remorseful I was.  Even more, I saw that my denials of him hadn’t stopped him from loving me and forgiving me.

I am a transformed man.  I know I am a sinner, but I also know the power of God’s love poured out on me through the trust and friendship of his Son.  Where before I was timid and afraid, the Holy Spirit has strengthened me.

The powers that be can seize me or arrest me, but they will never shake the foundation of my faith, which is my friend and Savior, Jesus the Christ.  Only death will ever silence me.  I want to heal and forgive in the name of Jesus!  I want to tell the whole universe about this Messiah who turned the world upside down!

My family can hardly believe the change.  I am aglow with my love for Jesus Christ, and I cannot contain that love.  I want to tell the story so that every person will see him the way I do.  Jesus, I love you, and I will proclaim you as the cornerstone of our faith as long as there is breath in my body.

Action
Spend some time today prayerfully reflecting on your own faith journey.   Are there any similarities to Peter’s journey?

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Strong Faith in His Name


By Beth DeCristofaro

(Peter) 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 (the crippled man) 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 when he had decided to release him.  You denied the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you. 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 3:12-16)

While they were still speaking about this, (Jesus) stood in their midst and said to them, "Peace be with you." But they were startled and terrified … Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. And he said to them, "Thus it is written that the Christ 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: 36-37, 45-48)

Piety
Jesus Passed Through Death,  Stephen B Whatley
Study
It’s disconcerting to have someone ask “How are you?” while they walk right past without pausing.  “Uhhhh, ok” you might have time to mumble.  “Have a nice day” is an afterthought spoken without minding to whom we speak while “take care” might be said with a real wish to wish it but is mouthed without attention.  Much of what we say to each other is said only to say something because we want to connect but don’t know how.

Jesus, however, doesn’t worry what others think nor does he fumble for words to fill the space. “Peace be to you,” Jesus says.  “Do not be afraid,” He comforts Mary at the tomb.  There is no need for an uproar or fear even living under Roman oppression, even traumatized by watching a beloved innocent be tortured to death.  No need for uproar or fear because The One who acted not on his own but on behalf of and to display God’s glory is with us.  No need for an uproar or fear because the greatest, the deepest reason to fear has been conquered.  Death is vanquished once and for all in His resurrection. No reason for an uproar or fear even in the suffering of the human condition.

During Lent, we practice self-denial not out of hatred for the world which, after all, is of God.  We practice self-denial to reveal the truth that we are too often governed by our own egos.  We are not aware of the presence of Jesus standing in our intimate midst saying to us “Peace” and “Do not fear.”  The joy of resurrection gifted by Jesus is obstructed.   Peter and John knew and proclaimed that power, their peace, their confidence was rooted and sprung from Jesus in their midst, not in personal limited human identity.  Once “startled and terrified”, men and women whose faith was strong in His name changed the world with their witness.

Action
“In his Regina Coeli address on Easter Monday, Pope Francis preached about how Christ’s resurrection brought hope and life into the world, and how we are called to live that out in how we act toward our brothers and sisters around the world.  ‘In the midst of events that afflict the world,’ he said April 17, ‘in the midst of worldliness that is distant from God,’ we are called to show solidarity, welcoming and peace to people. These are only human signs that we can give, he continued, but ‘inspired and sustained by faith in the Risen Lord,’ we can gain effectiveness ‘well beyond our capacity.’” [i]  

How do we display strong faith and radiate God’s Peace toward our brothers and sisters around the world?

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Stay With Us


When [the man crippled from birth] 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

As they approached the village to which they were going, he gave the impression that he was going on farther. But they urged him, "Stay with us, for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over." So he went in to stay with them. And it happened that, while he was with them at the 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. Luke 24:28-31

Piety
Rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord. 

Study
Feet play a pretty important role in the Bible. Over the weeks of Lent and the Triduum, we witnessed Jesus washing the feet of his disciples and nails being pounded through the feet of Jesus. Jesus told the disciples when they were not welcome, to shake the dust from their feet and move on. Sometimes, feet delayed a journey – as in the time Jesus did not leave to see Mary and Martha until several days after their brother Lazarus died. Sometimes, feet moved quickly, as when John ran faster than Peter to find the empty tomb.

Today’s blessed feet belong to the man crippled from birth until he was reborn through the miracle of Peter and John. The other blessed feet belong to the walkers heading to Emmaus when they encounter the Risen Christ.

When our feet take us where we are supposed to be, amazement and astonishment are sure to follow. The man who was healed and the disciples walking to Emmaus have Epiphany moments. Up until the moment of healing and/or revelation, the people in our stories today – like us -- continually suffer at the smallness of our temporal existence. The crippled man just wants gold and silver. The disciples just want to remain in their grief reciting the news of the past – too busy to recognize the God in their midst. However, the miracles that they experience pull them beyond the anchor of the past, into the present moment and onward to eternity. Onward!

The great Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard said, “The moment is not properly an atom of time but an atom of eternity. It is the first reflection of eternity in time, its first attempt, as it were, at stopping time.” Time stopped for eternity in the Triduum – the span of days that we commemorate and relive every day at Mass but especially in the Octave of celebrating eight days of Easter.

Action
Time also stops in the stories today as we read them and await our healing, our revelation, our Epiphany. Are you ready for your moment? Will it come tonight? Will it come tomorrow? Where is your Beautiful Gate and your Emmaus?

Where will your feet take you today and tomorrow?
Art by Lisbeth Zwerger for a special edition of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland


Did you render unto Ceasar on April 18?  In honor of every reader of Your Daily Tripod who has completed, filed or extended their tax deadline: I offer you this bonus observation:  "The tax code is 10 times longer than the Bible, without the Good News." - David Camp

Monday, April 17, 2017

Rabbouni

Photo by @melanierigney

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 her, "Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?" She thought it was the gardener and said to him, "Sir, if you carried him away, tell me where you laid him, and I will take him." Jesus said to her, "Mary!" She turned and said to him in Hebrew, "Rabbouni," which means Teacher. (John 20:15-16)

Piety
Lord, teach me.

Study
Mary Magdalene was full of words and requests…and probably worries and grieving and nervousness… when she thought he was the gardener. Would he send her away or jeer at her or have her arrested? Would he tell her where they had taken Jesus, and would he let her take the body? Any caution she might have for herself or concern about the two disciples who had left for home was overridden by her need to care for Him. Indeed, moments before this encounter, she talked with two angels, and in her grief, that didn’t seem to have fazed her one bit.

But there was only one thing to say after he called her by name and she turned to see Him:

“Rabbouni.”

No questions about what had happened or how or why, or what would happen next to Him, to her, to their friends, or to those who hated them.

“Rabbouni.”

It was all she said. It was all she needed to say. It is all we need to say.

Action
Set aside your concerns about the past or the future. In prayer today, simply listen to what the Teacher desires to teach you.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Go Tell


God raised this Jesus; of this, we are all witnesses. Exalted at the right hand of God, he poured forth the promise of the Holy Spirit that he received from the Father, as you both see and hear." Acts 2:32-33

Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went away quickly from the tomb, fearful yet overjoyed, and ran to announce the news to his disciples. And behold, Jesus met them on their way and greeted them. They approached, embraced his feet, and did him homage. Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid. Go tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me." Matthew 28:8-10

Piety
From “The Wreck of the Deutschland” by Gerard Manley Hopkins


To the happy memory of five Franciscan Nuns, exiled by the Falk Laws, drowned between midnight and morning of Dec. 7th, 1875. [Written in late 1875 and 1876, the occasion of Hopkins' resumption of poetry; here his work begins to exhibit the unusual features for which he became famous. This is just the last of 35 stanzas; the Mother Superior is praying to Our Lady for herself, her sisters and her fellow-passengers as they are about to drown.]

            Dame, at our door
            Drowned, and among our shoals,
        Remember us in the roads, the heaven-haven of the Reward:
            Our King back, oh, upon English souls!
    Let him easter in us, be a dayspring to the dimness of us, be a crimson-cresseted east,
   More brightening her, rare-dear Britain, as his reign rolls,
        Pride, rose, prince, hero of us, high-priest,
Our hearts’ charity’s hearth’s fire, our thoughts’ chivalry’s throng’s Lord.

Study
The tomb is empty. The lilies still grace the altars. The notes of Handel’s Messiah still echo in our ears. Easter, after all, is big news…the biggest news in Christendom. This news so big that the Gospel of the Resurrection cannot be contained in the readings for just one day. In essence, we celebrate Easter every day, in every Mass, as we commemorate the Paschal Mystery and all that we believe. However, the actual feast spreads out over this entire week.

In our first reading, Peter proclaims the Good News of what has happened. In the Gospel, the two Marys run to announce the news. However, along the way, they encounter the Risen Christ for the first time. Like John, they immediately recognize what has happened. They embrace his feet, feet which were anointed by oils just days earlier before the Passover.

We hear of another reaction, though. The soldiers see the empty tomb as well. When they run to their leaders that the tomb is empty, they are immediately told to spread the false story that the body was stolen.

Action
Where are we running today? What will we do if we encounter the Risen Christ along the way? Will we even recognize him?

"Let Him easter in us." -- Gerard Manley Hopkins
Photo credit:  By Frederick Whymper - From page 652 of the 1887 book The Sea: its stirring story of adventure, peril & heroism., Volume 1. Uploaded by the British Library to Flickr here, rotated and cropped.This file has been provided by the British Library from its digital collections.

Resurrection: A Foothold in Heaven

Originally Published on Your Daily Tripod
Easter Sunday, April 12, 2009[i]

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 the 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 find 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 within 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. The 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 are 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’S 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 hotline, 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 the 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.

Fr. Joseph M. McCloskey, SJ

Dedicated Teacher, Counselor and Retreat Director


Rev. Joseph McCloskey, SJ, was a frequent spiritual director for Cursillo weekends and wrote Sunday reflections for the blog site Your Daily Tripod (www.yourdailytripod.blogspot.com) until shortly before he passed away March 2, 2016 at Manresa Hall in Philadelphia after suffering a stroke the previous year. 
Fr. Joe was born on October, 24, 1932 in New York City, the son of the late Joseph and Frances McCloskey.  He attended St. Francis Xavier High School where he captained the track and cross-country teams.  He entered the Society of Jesus in 1950 and was ordained in 1963.  After ordination, he served in Chile and Samoa. After returning to the United States, he was active in spiritual direction in North Carolina, Virginia and Washington, DC.

He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Classical Studies and a Masters in Philosophy from Fordham University and went on to receive another Master’s Degree in Education and Counseling from George Washington University.

He has been in residence at Gonzaga College High School for the last 25 years.  He was an avid bridge player, golfer, tennis player and skier.  He resumed his running career by running his first of five marathons at the age of 60.  To the chagrin of his many scrabble partners, he seldom lost.
In addition to providing individual spiritual direction and regular retreats to thousands of people over the course of his Jesuit life, Fr. McCloskey was a beloved member of many spiritual communities for whom he provided spiritual wisdom and companionship.  In addition to the Catholic Cursillo movement, he was active with the Kairos prison retreats, the Ignatian Volunteer Corps, the Christian Life Community, the PAX community, NOVA, Ignatian study and prayer groups at Gonzaga College High School, numerous parishes as a visiting priest, and Alcoholics Anonymous.  

He is survived by his brother and sister-in-law, Peter and Louise McCloskey of McLean, VA and sister and brother-in-law Margaret and Gerald Ferguson of Fairfax, VA. He took great pride and joy in his nine nephews and nieces and 32 grandnephews and grandnieces.



[i] "Your Daily Tripod" is a series of daily reflections on the Catholic Lectionary published by and for members of the Cursillo Community in the Diocese of Arlington, VA.  Each daily reflection signifies the personal Fourth Day journeys of its author and editor. We are happy to have companions like you share in this project. Our prayer is that these reflections will invite and inspire your Fourth Day journey of Piety, Study and Action as much as writing or editing them inspires our journey and brings us all close moments with Jesus and our neighbors.