Saturday, July 23, 2016

Give us this day our daily love

I sit here at my desk preparing for another wedding celebration here at the parish.

Again, here are few pointers about life together as husband and wife, for what its worth.

The reading for today is chosen from the book of Tobit and Tobiah and Sarah find themselves praying on their honeymoon and these are the words they use:

"Lord you know I take this wife of mine not because of Lust but for a noble purpose,  Call down your mercy on me and on her and allow us olive together to a happy old age."

They began their wedding night together with prayer and acknowledgment of Marriage as a noble vocation not just an ordinary event but that which has cosmic effects on the world.

It reminds of there word of Pope Francis as he addressed the crowd of couples engaged to be married.  He said often times people are fearful of forever.  They just aren't sure how the former can be achieved in a world that is so disposable and wasteful with commitments to each other.


Forever is not a question of duration as much as it is a question quality.  If you let the Lord in to your marriage and life together then know that just as he multiplies the loaves and fish he can multiply your love and give anew fresh he day.

He recommended that couples pray daily a simple prayer: give us this day our daily love.

Here again the Lord is given the opportunity to work daily in the life of marriage his miraculous gift of transformation and allowing love to be fresh and fruitful each and every day.

This way love can truly conquer every difficulty for the Lord is present in it and working through it: Give us this day our daily love!

Give it a try!

Then when it doubt focus on the three A's of marriage: attention, affection, appreciation.
Attention to detail, affection from the heart for the heart, and appreciation that takes nothing for granted.




Sunday, July 17, 2016

One thing

Genesis 18:1-10; Ps 15 He who does justice will live in the presence of the Lord; Colossians 1:24-28; Luke 10:38-42


What have you done for God lately?  What have you done for God today?

What do you do for God in your daily life?

I ask these questions because at some point our life of faith engenders this kind of response to life as St Paul tells whether we live or die we do it for the Lord.

Think about the thoughts and words and actions that go into this day; of those which will be offered for the Lord.

Often times we are busy gaging our actions for the Lord, or at least we we think, though much is for ourselves and not for the Lord.

But at the heart of today's readings is not so much what we are doing for the Lord but what the Lord has done for us.

What has God down for us, for you and me today?

Martha is concerned for what she can do for Jesus but her anxiety arises because she has forgotten what Jesus can do for her, the very same thing Mary realizes as she sits at Jesus' feet.

We can run around on our two feet like martha or we can sit at His two feet and listen for this is the one thing necessary.

Our anchor isn't what we can do for the Lord but what he can do for us.

We must listen first to him before we can do anything. Listening to him speak is essential to transforming our society and our culture.

Being mindful of his presence and action in our life is essential to not getting overwhelmed by the anxiety of living, the worries and work and the load that often is associated with life and love.

Mary reveals this to us perfectly or rather Jesus reveals this to us in Mary's posture before him.

Each day, throughout the day ask the Lord to show what he has done.  Be mindful of his presence. Surrender the work load of life in to his merciful embrace.  Console his heart by trusting his loving gaze that accompanies us daily in our journey and walk such manner that e never forsake the better part but allow it to transform each day a new.


Friday, July 8, 2016

MISSION OF MESSINESS

Hosea 14:2-10; Ps 51 My mouth will declare your praise; Matt 10:16-23

"Behold, I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves. But beware of men..."


Again the apostles are sent on mission or is it they are mission.  Listen to the words of Pope Paul VI:
"the church doesn't have a mission; it is a mission" according to now St. Pope Paul VI.  What is that mission but simply this to cause the merciful face of Jesus to gaze upon everyone in the world.

When Pope Francis was elected our pope during an interview about the election he was asked, "who is Jorge Mario Bergoglio and after a pause he said, "a sinner whom the Lord has looked upon."  At the heart of this catholic thing we call church and life of grace is an encounter between us sinners and the God of amazing grace.

This is the task plain and simple.

As Hosea reminds us in today's first reading,
"Thus say the Lord, I will heal their defection; I will love them freely...I will be like the dew for Israel: he shall blossom like a lilly, he shall strike root like the cedar of Lebanon, and put forth its shoots.  His splendor like the olive tree and fragrance like the cedar...They shall blossom like the vine and his fame shall be like the wine of Lebanon."

I will heal their defection and I will love them freely!

Pope Francis on his visit to South America told the young people the following,
"Make a mess, but then also help to tidy it up. A mess which gives us a free heart, a mess which gives us solidarity, a mess which gives us hope."

Go make a mess!

Saturday, July 2, 2016

TWO BY TWO

Luke 10:1-12,17-20

In today's gospel we read these words, "At that time the Lord appointed seventy-two others  whose he sent ahead of him in pairs to every town and place he intended to visit."

First question in regards to this reading is: who are the 72?  What do they consist of as they go out?  Who makes up these pairs that Jesus sends ahead of him?

If we think it is only men who are priest or religious professed men and women in habits then we would be sadly mistaken.

We have to get that notion out of our heads.  Missionary activity is not reserved only for those who wear the collar or the religious habits i.e. the friars, monks, sisters, nuns.  No way is this what Jesus meant.

The pairs that are sent out is representative of the whole; it consist of men, women, young adults, maybe even children.  I would assume it consists of husbands and wives, grandparents and cousins.  It may be neighbors working in tandem.

It is everyone and all of us.

What doe this missionary activity look like?  Do they need special training and theological studies?

Poep Francis in his homily for St Junipero Serra last September spoke these words,

"Mission is always the fruit of a life which knows what it is to be found and healed, encountered and forgiven. Mission is born of a constant experience of God’s merciful anointing."

This is what it means to be a missionary; we simply introduce others to the experience we ourselves have first had.

We share the encounter and experience of being found and healed, encountered and forgiven. We give away what we ourselves have first received. 

All missionary work commences here at this point. 

We ask ourselves, "Have we encountered the risen Lord?  Have we be found and healed and forgiven?  These are the tools of the trade when it comes to missionary activity in our life.

If w have not encountered the risen Lord or the love of the Father then we must ask him to show us.  He who has commissioned us will certainly give us was we need as we go forth. 

Lastly, notice Jesus sends the pairs out the cities he intended to visit.  How does Jesus visit these towns?  He visits them through the disciples themselves.  As they share their encounter with Christ the others begin to experience the presence of Jesus himself. 

In particularly, I think of husbands and wives, that ready made dynamic duo, pairs sent forth to share the joy of Christ. 

This is why the church calls the family a domestic church. 

Rooted in their vows as husbands and wives is this notion and reality of being a missionary.  In fact the opening prayer at wedding ceremonies is inviting the bride and groom to becomes living witness of God' love. 

Go forth.  Carry the joy of Jesus in being found, healed, encountered, forgiven. 

Go forth two by two and by our presence may Jesus be experienced in the lives of others. 


Friday, July 1, 2016

SIEMPRE ADELANTE

Amos 8:4-6,9-12; Ps 119 One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God; Matthew 9:9-13

Here is an excerpt from Pope Francis Homily for the Canonization of Junipero Serra this past september.  Today is his feast day.

Father Serra had a motto which inspired his life and work, a saying he lived his life by: siempre adelante! Keep moving forward! For him, this was the way to continue experiencing the joy of the Gospel, to keep his heart from growing numb, from being anesthetized. He kept moving forward, because the Lord was waiting. He kept going, because his brothers and sisters were waiting. He kept going forward to the end of his life. Today, like him, may we be able to say: Forward! Let’s keep moving forward!

When Jesus invites Matthew to follow him in today's gospel, it is is an invitation to keep moving forward.  It is an invitation to the great adventure of sharing the joy of the gospel.  It is an invitation to blaze new trails of life and love. 

It is an invitation to cast off mediocrity and to be concerned with things that matter most of all. 

"Follow Me."  
This is not just for the ordained or religious professed but this is for all of us.  Each of us find our joy in heeding that invitation of JEsus, "Follow Me!"

It means we unite our hearts in love to Christ, hunting our hearts to the love of Christ.  This is what it means to follow and move forward.

Let us all keep moving forward in the joy of Christ: Siempre Adelante!


ON JUNIPERO SERRA FEAST, WORDS FROM FRANCIS

Rejoice in the Lord always! I say it again, rejoice! These are striking words, words which impact our lives. Paul tells us to rejoice; he practically orders us to rejoice. This command resonates with the desire we all have for a fulfilling life, a meaningful life, a joyful life. It is as if Paul could hear what each one of us is thinking in his or her heart and to voice what we are feeling, what we are experiencing. Something deep within us invites us to rejoice and tells us not to settle for placebos which always keep us comfortable.

At the same time, though, we all know the struggles of everyday life. So much seems to stand in the way of this invitation to rejoice. Our daily routine can often lead us to a kind of glum apathy which gradually becomes a habit, with a fatal consequence: our hearts grow numb.
We don’t want apathy to guide our lives… or do we? We don’t want the force of habit to rule our life… or do we? So we ought to ask ourselves: What can we do to keep our heart from growing numb, becoming anesthetized? How do we make the joy of the Gospel increase and take deeper root in our lives?

Jesus gives the answer. He said to his disciples then and he says it to us now: Go forth! Proclaim! The joy of the Gospel is something to be experienced, something to be known and lived only through giving it away, through giving ourselves away.
The spirit of the world tells us to be like everyone else, to settle for what comes easy. Faced with this human way of thinking, “we must regain the conviction that we need one another, that we have a shared responsibility for others and for the world” (Laudato Si’, 229). It is the responsibility to proclaim the message of Jesus. For the source of our joy is “an endless desire to show mercy, the fruit of our own experience of the power of the Father’s infinite mercy” (Evangelii Gaudium, 24). Go out to all, proclaim by anointing and anoint by proclaiming. This is what the Lord tells us today. He tells us:
A Christian finds joy in mission: Go out to people of every nation!

A Christian experiences joy in following a command: Go forth and proclaim the good news!
A Christian finds ever new joy in answering a call: Go forth and anoint!

Jesus sends his disciples out to all nations. To every people. We too were part of all those people of two thousand years ago. Jesus did not provide a short list of who is, or is not, worthy of receiving his message and his presence. Instead, he always embraced life as he saw it. In faces of pain, hunger, sickness and sin. In faces of wounds, of thirst, of weariness, doubt and pity. Far from expecting a pretty life, smartly-dressed and neatly groomed, he embraced life as he found it. It made no difference whether it was dirty, unkempt, broken. Jesus said: Go out and tell the good news to everyone. Go out and in my name embrace life as it is, and not as you think it should be. Go out to the highways and byways, go out to tell the good news fearlessly, without prejudice, without superiority, without condescension, to all those who have lost the joy of living. Go out to proclaim the merciful embrace of the Father. Go out to those who are burdened by pain and failure, who feel that their lives are empty, and proclaim the folly of a loving Father who wants to anoint them with the oil of hope, the oil of salvation. Go out to proclaim the good news that error, deceitful illusions and falsehoods do not have the last word in a person’s life. Go out with the ointment which soothes wounds and heals hearts.

Mission is never the fruit of a perfectly planned program or a well-organized manual. Mission is always the fruit of a life which knows what it is to be found and healed, encountered and forgiven. Mission is born of a constant experience of God’s merciful anointing.
The Church, the holy People of God, treads the dust-laden paths of history, so often traversed by conflict, injustice and violence, in order to encounter her children, our brothers and sisters. The holy and faithful People of God are not afraid of losing their way; they are afraid of becoming self-enclosed, frozen into élites, clinging to their own security. They know that self-enclosure, in all the many forms it takes, is the cause of so much apathy.

So let us go out, let us go forth to offer everyone the life of Jesus Christ (Evangelii Gaudium, 49). The People of God can embrace everyone because we are the disciples of the One who knelt before his own to wash their feet (ibid., 24).

We are here today, we can be here today, because many people wanted to respond to that call. They believed that “life grows by being given away, and it weakens in isolation and comfort” (Aparecida Document, 360). We are heirs to the bold missionary spirit of so many men and women who preferred not to be “shut up within structures which give us a false sense of security… within habits which make us feel safe, while at our door people are starving” (Evangelii Gaudium, 49). We are indebted to a tradition, a chain of witnesses who have made it possible for the good news of the Gospel to be, in every generation, both “good” and “news”.

Today we remember one of those witnesses who testified to the joy of the Gospel in these lands, Father Junípero Serra. He was the embodiment of “a Church which goes forth”, a Church which sets out to bring everywhere the reconciling tenderness of God. Junípero Serra left his native land and its way of life. He was excited about blazing trails, going forth to meet many people, learning and valuing their particular customs and ways of life. He learned how to bring to birth and nurture God’s life in the faces of everyone he met; he made them his brothers and sisters. Junípero sought to defend the dignity of the native community, to protect it from those who had mistreated and abused it. Mistreatment and wrongs which today still trouble us, especially because of the hurt which they cause in the lives of many people.

Father Serra had a motto which inspired his life and work, not just a saying, but above all a reality which shaped the way he lived: siempre adelante! Keep moving forward! For him, this was the way to continue experiencing the joy of the Gospel, to keep his heart from growing numb, from being anesthetized. He kept moving forward, because the Lord was waiting. He kept going, because his brothers and sisters were waiting. He kept going forward to the end of his life. Today, like him, may we be able to say: Forward! Let’s keep moving forward!

Thursday, June 30, 2016

DESIRE

Open you heart to Jesus as it is not as you wish it to be. We ask Jesus to align our hearts to his.

Dear Jesus, I give you my heart.  If my desire is not in harmony with your desire then by your wisdom and love change it.  Dear Jesus, I can not change my desire on my own, for I am too week.  Dear Jesus, you can do it.  I entrust you to do it, to change my desire.  I thank you in advance for doing it.