Friday, May 30, 2014


Acts 18:9-18; Psalm 47 God is King of all the Earth; John 16:20-23

"But I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you.  On that day you will not question me about anything…"

How have  we surrendered our joy?  Who do we let take our joy from us?  Who in our life have we given the power to bring us down, to hurt us, make us sad?

Why have we relinquished the joy Jesus dies to give?

Joy often escapes us because we have been led to believe that it is tied to success, money, material possessions or even particular relationships with fellow humans.  True joy comes with letting ourselves be gazed upon by Christ, "I will see yo again…"

What would I life look like if it truly began to be shaped by the gaze of our heavenly Father.  If the loving gaze of Jesus was to be the center of our attention, how would that joy he promised surely be exponentially grown in our hearts and minds.

In that gaze of his loving concern, do not our questions begin to fade into the light of that radiance.

No questions, just joy beneath the gaze of Christ.

Today, let yourself be looked at by Christ.  Let his gaze penetrate your mind and heart.  Give him access to all those things you hide and bury hoping no one will find out.  Let your shame meet that loving gaze of Jesus and see it melt away.

Then joy shall be found.

Saturday, May 24, 2014


Acts 8:5-8,14-17; Ps 66 Let all the earth cry out to God with Joy; 1 peter 3:15-18; John 14:15-21

This weekend is Memorial Weekend.  Flags are erected across our nation so that we might remember those who have fallen in service to our country especially in the Military.  We recall to mind those who have died in that service.  To die for our country is a great and noble sacrifice.  To Live for our country is greater still.

We remember the fallen so that we do not forget how to live.  We remember the fallen so we can keep the fight alive.  We remember the fallen so that we might live differently, bold and brave each day anew.

What good is it to honor the fallen if we forget how to live today.  What our country needs today more than ever are those who are willingly to live for it, seeking to steer it on a path that is truly honorable.  What good is  it to remember those who died for our country and yet stand idly by and watch it slowly disintegrate, especially its morality.  To do this is make our remembering in vain and the lives of those who sacrificed their life in vain as well.

What do we do?

St Peter tells us to "sanctify Christ as lord in your hearts."

Perhaps this is a good starting point for us.  Do we "sanctify" Christ as Lord in our hearts?  Do we set apart our heart for him and him alone?  Do we live under his authority and guidance?  Have we developed a real and lasting relationship with Jesus and his Church through the abiding of his Holy Spirit?  YOU may think why the church?

Well, look at the first reading it was through the church that the Samarians were gifted the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, by the laying on of hands of the Apostles.  Later, this occurs through the bishops, the successors of the Apostles.   This is important.  To Love Jesus and to distance ourself fro his church is really delusional.  The church and Jesus go hand in hand.

Does Christ have primacy in our life?  Jesus desires personal relationship with us.  He has chosen his part as he tells us in the gospel today, "I am in my Father, you are in me, and I in you."  Jesus has chosen to be close and intimate with us and he awaits our choice.

As with any relationship, we choose how close we want to be with someone.  That closeness is not determined by words alone but is experienced in action.  What in our life points to the closeness we desire with Christ?

We say we love Christ but we distant ourselves from his church, could this be right?
We say we want relationship yet we make excuses for not praying or reading scripture or spending time with him. How do we create space and time for the one who has created space and time for us?

daily prayer time, going to mass, going to confession, reading the bible, discovering the teachings of the church, acting virtuously, choosing to suffer for doing good: all these ways we intensive intentionally our personal relationship with Jesus and give the Spirit and opportunity to enliven our life.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014


John 15:1-8

Words from Pope Francis

"to start anew with Christ means being close to him, being close to Jesus.  Jesus stresses the importance of this closeness  with his disciples at the Last Supper.  JEsus uses the image of the vine and the branches and says, abide in my love, remain attached to me, as the branch is attached to the vine.  If we are going to him we are able to bear fruit.

The first thing for a disciple is to be with the Master, to listen to him and learn from him.  This is always true and it is true every moment of our lives.

How do you abide int he presence of the Lord? When you visit the lord, when you look at the tabernacle, what do you do? Do you let yourself be gazed at by the Lord?

Starting new with Christ means imitating him by leaving ourselves behind and going out to encounter others.  When we put Christ at the center of our life, we ourselves don't become the center!  The more you unite yourselves to Christ and he becomes the center of your life, the more he leads you out of yourself an do pens you to others.  This is the true dynamism of love, this is the movement of God himself! God is the enter, but he is always self-gift, relationship, love that gives itself away and thesis what we will become if we remain united to Christ."

What does it mean for us to be united to Christ?  What does it mean for us to put into practice the words of today's gospel we hear from Jesus, "Remain in me, as I remain in you…I am the vine and you are the branches.  Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing…"

What does it mean?  It means like Christ our life becomes a gift for others.  A gift for others.  Our life is a gift not to be hoarded but to be given away.

"By this is me Father glorified, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples."

BEar the fruit worthy of the vinedresser, be a gift for others.

Not a push over.  Not someone to be abused.   But some one who understands the truth is not afraid to live it, unashamed to be the bearer of the gift of truth in love for others.


Being Catholic in Zanzibar
"They want to convert my children to Islam"

ROME, May 20, 2014 ( - Mathew Limo* knows what to expect when he goes to church with his family. On the Tanzanian island of Zanzibar, where 98 percent of the population is Muslim, Christians are given the cold shoulder. The past year has been characterized by renewed violence against Christians. So far the violence remains aimed at religious, but the teacher has a great fear: that his wife and children may be forced to convert to Islam.

Church attendance
"If we go to church on Sunday, we have to go through a crowd of people who often try to intimidate us," Limo told international Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need. "We have a relatively large parish, about 400 people. Of these, usually 200 come to Mass. But the houses around the church belong to Muslims. They often shout that we are fools to go to church or that our women are naked. In fact, the Muslim women are all covered from head to toe." He himself does not feel intimidated, "but a lot of comments are directed towards our women and children."

Murder of priests
Christians on the island have become even more cautious since a wave of violent attacks on churches and individuals started in December of 2012. A Catholic priest and Protestant pastor have been killed and another priest shot and wounded sparking widespread fears among the Christian community. The Catholic priest Father Evarist Mushi (55) was shot to death with three bullets upon arriving in his car at the entrance of St. Joseph's Cathedral to celebrate Sunday Mass. Father Ambrose Mkenda sustained serious injuries in a subsequent ambush.

The perpetrators are still at large and according to many Christians, local police have sometimes obstructed the investigation distorting evidence at the crime scene. According to Limo the perpetrators are to be found among the inhabitants of Zanzibar: "They're not outsiders, but local people who have been radicalized and have even been trained by Al–Shabab, the terrorist group which has Somalia as its home base. The organization is closely linked to the religious group Uamsho (Awake), which seeks the establishment of an independent Islamic state on Zanzibar.

Fear of conversion
Limo still feels safe enough to leave home and travel. "If there are elections, like next year, the atmosphere is often explosive. On the street, people try to embarrass you or to make you angry. In periods like that I come home early and do not go out in the evening." He explains that although this is not the case at present, he still worries about his children. "At home we try to encourage and to teach them a love for Christ and the Church. But we are insecure about what others do. We often hear stories about Muslims trying to convert children. Sadly enough we need to tell our children to be careful in building friendships with Muslim children."

Tuesday, May 20, 2014


ACTS 14:19-28; Ps 145 Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your kingdom; John 14:27-31a

Jesus says, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.  Not as the world give do I give it to you…"

The world offers peace that is intimately wrapped up immaterial possessions.  The world promises peace by giving things, money, retirement benefits, socials security and the like.  The world offers peace by giving more of that which belongs to the world.

Jesus offers peace not by giving but by subtracting.  Jesus wants to take things away and create space for the true giver of Peace that in dwelling of the Holy Spirit.  Jesus comes to remove our attachment to things of the world so that we can be attached to him and him alone as we journey forth.

The world gives and in doing so never truly satisfies. Jesus comes to take away in doing so brings security and lasting peace by his in dwelling.

What does this peace consist?

Throughout the gospel of John, Jesus becomes cryptic in his message.  As we move through the chapters 14 and following it becomes difficult to understand the words of Jesus but a few things are prominent.

Jesus says this over and over, "whoever loves me will beloved by my Father and I will love him and reveal myself to him."  This is the foundation of lasting peace.

Not that this love is in us but this same love is offered to others, to everyone we meet along the way.  When we realize this truth then we stop looking upon others with suspicious eyes and begin to recognize in them the very presence of Christ the Prince of Peace himself.   This perhaps is the peace Jesus wishes to give.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014


Acts 1:15-17, 20-26; Ps 113 The Lord will give him a seat with the leaders of his people; John 15:9-17

Today we celebrate the feast of St Matthias, the one who took the place of Judas, yeah that guy.  How would you like to be the one who follows in the footsteps of Judas?  Ominous yet hopeful, I would say. You could only go up.

"Judas was numbered among us and was allotted a share in this ministry."  So Peter mentions to the crowd gathered.  Quoting from scripture Peter notes that Judas held an office, "May another take his office."

This in itself points to the fat that the apostles were holding an office, that Jesus had chosen them with their succession in mind.  Upon their death then someone would be chosen to take their place and continue their office of guidance and leadership in regards to faith and morals.  The leadership of the church does not end with the Apostles death but rather be continued forth in those who would succeed them.

And today we call those who continue the office of the Apostles, bishops.  Bishops  thus are called to guide us and we are called to let them guide us.

What are the characteristics of these men who are to be chosen for the office: "to have accompanied Jesus and witness to his resurrection."

Even today, Bishops are examined to see if they accompany Jesus and give witness to the resurrection.

But we too are asked to do the same.  We too are asked to accompany Jesus and give witness to the resurrection.  How do we accompany Jesus daily?  How do we give witness to his resurrection on our life?

Then We have the moment of election.  Drum roll Please!

Joseph and Matthias are contenders for the office.  They are selected by Lot.   It was a lottery.  No voting.  No propaganda.  No selling one self.  No discussion.  Just draw lots and may the Holy Spirit be upon the one who is chosen.

The idea behind the drawing of lots is that no one would have an unfair advantage.  It was meant to give power to ordinary people.  Isn't that what the Holy Spirit does? He gives power to ordinary people to rise above, to be heed the call of Christ.

 Matthias.  Apostle and Martyr. He was an ordinary person empowered from above.   It is the Holy Spirit that guides us in the path of Christ and not in the path of Judas.  What is the path of Judas?

St. Peter tells us that Judas "turned away to go to his own place."

How often is that the temptation we experience in our life that is to go to our own place, to do our own thing, to do it our own way.  History is scattered with men and women who have left destruction in their wake because they have sought to not so much follow but rather to lead in their own way.

The whole history of the protestant movement is a movement to remove oneself from any authority other than ones self.  When protestants speak about the bible alone, what they are really saying is they want to be their own authority.  They want to go their own way to  their own place.  We experience this with over 30,000 denominations.

But each of us do this in our own little way: daily, weekly, monthly.  We need the Holy Spirit more than ever.  This is why Pope Francis' remarks this past week are insightful and exhorting.

Yesterday, in his daily homily he spoke about docility to the Holy Spirit:

"Other times, the Holy Spirit leads us gently and the virtue is in allowing ourselves to be carried by the Holy Spirit, in not resisting the Holy Spirit, in being docile to the Holy Spirit. And the Holy Spirit works in the Church today, is acting in our lives today. Some of you may say: 'I have never seen him!'. But pay attention to what is happening, to what comes to your mind, to what comes in your heart. Good things? It is the Spirit that invites you to take that path. It takes docility! Docility to the Holy Spirit.

Come Holy Spirit keep us from going our own way and lead us by the path of Christ and his church that we may be followers first and only then true leaders. 

Here we discover the lasting friendship JEsus offers to us, "I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing.  I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father.  It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you to go and bear fruit that will  remain…"

Monday, May 12, 2014


John 10:11-18

"A Good Shepherd lays down his life for his sheep."

We obviously know the action Jesus undertook as he went up to Calvary.  We obviously understand that Jesus not only predicts his death but insist upon it with great attention.

He gives his life away.  He lays down his life. He surrenders so that we might have life.

When have we embraced opportunities to imitate Jesus in laying down our life?  Think for a moment.  How often does this invitation come to us and we bulk, hesitate, refuse, denounce, run?

We rejoice in the fact that Jesus doesn't hesitate, doesn't hold back, doesn't let the circumstances dictate his action.  We rejoice in retelling the story of salvation founded deeply in Jesus self-less act of surrender.

We do rejoice.  But why do we not follow through?  Why do we expect Jesus to lay down his life all the while refusing to do the same?

How often do we think about what's in it for us before we go forth and pt our life on the line?

The Good Shepherd stands before us inviting us to do as he did, he does.

It is time to follow in the footsteps of the He who calls us by name and leads us to life abundant.

Friday, May 9, 2014


Acts 9:1-20; PS 117 Go out to all the world and tell the good news; John 6:52-59

Slime Ball, Sleaze Bucket, Scum bag, Jerk, dirt bag….What do all these words have in common?

They are probably what was coming to mind to Ananias when God had asked him to pray over Saul.

Saul was a murderous man with evil intent when it came to Christians. The opening lines of today's first reading paints the picture nicely, "Saul, still breathing murderous threats against the disciples of the Lord, went to the High Priest and asked for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, that if he should find any men or women who belonged to the Way, he might bring them back to Jerusalem in chains."

Saul was like a bounty hunter and the bounty were those who followed Christ.  He had bad intentions, malice filled his mind and heart.

No wonder Ananias was a bit skeptical when the Lord asked him to go and pray over him.  Ananias was ready to write this dirt bag off because of his murderous past, but God had other things in mind.

God was not so much concerned with who Saul had been but rather with who Saul was going to be.

In God's mind and plan, there was a future waiting for Saul that was going to bring God glory.

We can not just see who people are; rather, we need to look at who them can become.  The potential God recognizes is always greater, always more.  This is where we as people of faith are invited to operate.

Beyond the senses God always operates.  A better tomorrow awaits with God's plan of action and grace.

Do we do this?  Do we seek to bring out the best in others?  Do we see their potential as God's sees it or do we just settle for what meets the eyes?

God reminds Ananias that Saul was his "chosen instrument."   From Slime Ball and sleaze bucket to Chosen instrument.  Who could have ever imagined.  That is the point.  Even our imagination needs to be redeemed.

Thursday, May 8, 2014


Acts 8:26-40; Ps 66 Let all the earth cry out to God with Joy; John 6 44-51

"It is written they shall all be taught by God."

These are the words of Jesus taken from the prophet Isaiah 54:13 as Jesus instructs the disciples about the bread of life.  This passage from John's gospel is entitled the Bread of Life Discourse.

What is most interesting about this passage is that many will take the passage of Isaiah and claim that they God instructs them on their own and therefore they do not need a church to help with instruction.  They can interpret the scriptures by themselves with the help of the Holy Spirit with out recourse to anyone else.

This is not what the passage means.  It doesn't mean we are renegades on our own, but rather God himself will send forth those who will be empowered with authority to instruct in his name.

We see that int he first reading where the Ethiopian Eunuch is unable to understand the prophet Isaiah unless Philip( who is a member of the church) assists him in understanding the passage and eventually leading him to be baptized.

Understanding and knowledge of Christ and the revelation God has revealed does not happen in isolation.  We are not lone rangers.  Rather it occurs in an environment of faithfulness.

How do we help others understand?  Who helps us understand?  Who do we go to understand our faith?  Do we seek out people who know or just anyone who claims to know?

SO often i encounter people who are Catholic and yet they distrust the Catholic church in leading them to a fuller understanding of What God has revealed and yet they trust those who are not only not Catholic but often against the Catholic faith itself?

Go figure.

It is time we trusted those who God put here to guide us in the way of truth, faith and morals.


Acts 8:1-8; PS 66 Let all the earth cry out to God with joy; John 6:35-40

"There broke out a severe persecution of the Church in Jerusalem, and all were scattered throughout the countryside of Judea and Samaria, except the Apostles. Devout men buried Stephen and made loud lament over him.  Saul, meanwhile, was trying to destroy the church; entering house after house and dragging out men and women, he handed them over for imprisonment.

Now those who had been scattered went about preaching the word.  Philip went down to the city of Samaria and proclaimed the Christ to them.  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."

The above is the first reading for Mass today on this wednesday the third week of Easter.  The church has come along way from its beginning.

Lets look at the underlined parts of the reading.

Remember after the burial of Jesus and on the third day when rumors abound that Jesus was risen.  Where were the Apostles?  They were huddled together in fear.  What were they afraid of?  Well, who knows but the fact of the matter fear had paralyzed them. so much so that they door to the upper room where they were was locked.

From that fear filled night to the out pouring of the Holy Spirit something happened.  These scared, petrified men were no longer paralyzed by fear.  Rather they are empowered to stand their ground, to grit their teeth at the darkness, and bear down upon the resistance with certitude and conviction.

While every one was scattered, the Apostles remained steadfast in their preaching.  They did not give up ground but rather met the resistance head on.  Every one except the Apostles were scattered.

That is what we need today from our Bishops.  We should pray that they dig deep, stand fast, and face the resistance head on.

Secondly, notice that those who were scattered don't just tuck their tales and run and hide.  They get busy spreading the word.  Philip doesn't waste anytime in getting down to the brass tax as we say.  It is important to note that those who caught to destroy the church actual help in making her grow.  Now that is a good litmus test for us.  Are we growing the church, growing the faint, spreading it around like good manure?  Or are w just tucking our tales and hiding out?

Lastly, note that the writer of Acts tells us that their was Great joy in the city.  What is the fruit of the labor of those seeking to destroy the church and those using it as an opportunity to grow the church: joy.  Where Godlessness reigns and Jesus is absent t joy is lost.  But just the opposite is true as well.  Where Jesus is proclaimed, preached, lived, embraced no matter the circumstances joy abounds abundantly for all, not just for those who profess it.  The whole city is filled with joy.  Is our city filled with Joy?  If not then maybe its because we do not testify as we are called forth to do in the name of Christ, in his Sprit, we go forth.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014


Here is an article reflecting on resurrection and reunion in light of the new ABC Televison series Resurrection and the early Christians' response to Jesus rising from the dead.  I find it thought provoking.  It comes from

It is the time of the church year when we consider that a dead man came back to life and walked among us for 40 days. In the lingering energy of Easter’s festivities, I sat down to catch up on ABC’s new drama,Resurrection, which is set in a small town in Missouri where people begin to return from the grave.
The show began as a couple wrestled with the reappearance of their precious 6-year-old boy who had drowned decades earlier. In recent episodes, the town’s pastor must face the sudden return of his love who had committed suicide years earlier. The uniqueness of the series is grounded in human emotion. We witness the resurfacing of feelings that death had exacted in the lives of these characters, and the unravelling of certainty. It is powerful to see the mixture of grief and joy in the return of a lost child. It is moving when the pastor is able to ask his lost love why she committed suicide. The audience is left pondering: “What if?”
The television show has charged head first into spiritual territories, questions and emotions that the First World Western Christian Church delicately whitewashes and often works to avoid.
It is speculated that American culture is more insulated from death than any in the history of the world. Studies say the average American lives to be around 79 years old — quite a divergence from the shorter lifespans of countries in the Third World. It was common early in the 20th century for churches to sit adjacent to cemeteries. Parishioners might walk by the headstones of their parents, aunts and uncles, brothers, sisters and friends on their way to worship. While we cannot live fixated on death, it can also be said that we now work too hard to avoid the evidence of our own mortality. I wonder if we can truly understand the power of Jesus’ story when our religious and popular culture seems so intent on keeping death at arm’s length.
Watching the powerful portrayal of the characters’ emotions inResurrection made me wonder about the real power of our Easter story and how impotent it becomes when it is fairy taled away from its humanity: the raw tears, the wrenching heartache, and the emptiness that death imposes.
Before we celebrate resurrection, the central moment of the Christian faith, we must first have death: cold and lifeless, thick with its hopelessness and finality. The empty tomb means nothing without the dirt, grime, betrayal and blood of crucifixion’s labor.
There is a moment in Resurrection when the pastor’s resurrected fiancée is told by the doctor that she is pregnant. This twist in the show’s storyline caught me off guard. Even a decade later, my family still grieves the loss of my younger sister and her unborn child, Gabriel. Watching the emotion around this character’s resurrection made me think of my sister and what it would mean for her to come back to life. It made me wonder about the real power of our Easter story and how impotent it becomes when it is fairy taled away from its humanity: the raw tears, the wrenching heartache, and the emptiness that death imposes.
Imagine the grief of Mary at the cross. The next day, she awoke and had to remind herself of this new reality of life without her child, and then the tears of joy and confusion when she realized that resurrection was true. Hear the emotions of Jesus as he cried out in his last words on the cross, “Dad, where in the world are you?” Wonder at the first full breath which the very human, yet very divine, Messiah might have taken in the cold dark tomb. Consider the still small voice of the Father echoing like a hurricane inside those stone walls, maybe with the answer to our Savior’s final question on the cross. Feel Thomas trembling to touch the wounds of his friend who had days earlier taken his last breath.
Imagine the visceral humanness of these moments. Is it possible that the players in the story of Jesus’ death experienced emotions similar to those of the characters of the television drama?
If we fail to recognize death’s permanence, we cannot get our minds around the miracle of new life; the truth of an imminent reunion with those we love.
There are many points in the Bible that can be debated. Resurrection cannot be one of them. The tomb is empty. The foe we work so hard to deny in 21st-century life will ultimately be defeated. Jesus walks from the grave and therefore so will each of us.
You see, the ABC drama captures our imaginations with the essence of resurrection, not the fairy tales of white robes and singing choirs, halos and wings, or even with the new American gospel promises of wealth and a happy life. The television show and the Gospel narrative capture the creation-rattling certainty of the dead waking. That truth is our sure reunion with those who departed too soon and left us here with an ache of longing that is fundamental to the human experience.
ABC’s Resurrection has left me thinking quite often of a reunion. I’ve been imagining what it might be like for my little sister to walk into our home with her son Gabriel in her arms or to sit around the dining room table with my father and the grandchildren he never met. It is during this time, under the bright rays of Easter’s wake, that we must be sure to consider death and all that it has stolen so that we might celebrate the reunion that resurrection will some day deliver.


Acts 7:51-8:1; Ps 31 Into your hands O Lord, I commend my spirit John 6:30-35

We read the martyrdom of Stephen today.  In fact, this particular section of Acts of the Apostles come up at leads twice a year, once immediately after Christmas on Dec 26 and once during the Easter season.

Immediately after Christmas we are invited to give witness to Stephen's martyrdom.  As soon as the Prince of Peace is born into the world we turn our attention to the violence that thrusts itself upon all those who choose to follow his pathway of peace.  We are remind that there are those in the world who do not want to follow but rather prefer to lead.

During the Easter season we are once again asked to give witness to Stephen's martyrdom.  Again we realize that to some in the world the good news of the resurrection is not considered so good.  There are those who rail against the news of the empty tomb and against Jesus who is risen.

We must not be naive.  This is what the church proclaims to us.  Following Jesus will not simply be a stroll in the park on a sunny day.  It will not be all sugar and spice and every one play nice.  It will require a commitment and a conviction.

What struck me about the act of Stephen's martyrdom today was the last line of the reading 7:60, "Then Stephen fell on 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."

Notice the writer doesn't say Stephen died or that he was killed but rather that he fell asleep.

Early on the resurrection became a part of the Christians subconscious.  They were conscious aware that death was no longer final.  The new existence brought to world by Jesus' resurrection was not to be an isolated event but rather it was to belong to us who believe as well.

So Stephen doesn't die but rather falls asleep until he is awaken again.

We need to rediscover that hope and that reality in our life.  To often we speak about death as if it were that which defeats us or take our life.  But this isn't true at all. Death is a transition that opens to the fullness of life.

We speak about illness being terminal.  But is it terminal.  Is anything terminal now that the resurrection has been gifted to us and we have been grafted on to him who has risen.

In fact the early church called their cemeteries not cities of the dead like the greeks but rather dormitories, places of rest.

Stephen fell asleep until he is awaken.  Death is no longer terminal, it ha snot sting, Jesus Christ stands victorious and we stand with him.

How do we live this reality out in our life today?  How do our words and actions reflect this truth?

Friday, May 2, 2014


Rev 12:1; John 19:27

We begin the month of May honoring Mary, the Blessed Mother.  Throughout the globe there will be processions with flowers and perhaps even crowns where a statue, symbolic of Mary's presence, will be crowned.

There are many Christians who are appalled by this, which is due to lack of understanding on their part and lack of charity as well.

First, we process to signify that life is a journey, a pilgrimage.  From the moment of our baptism, we were filled with the Holy Spirit and began a journey back to the Father, but also a journey of living our faith in and through all circumstances.  A public procession symbolizes and invokes the reality of faith being a public reality.  Faith is to be professed publicly, outwardly in a community.  We journey together.

We place flowers and a crown on this symbolic representation of the Mary, the mother of Jesus.  We do this to recreate heaven on earth.  In the book of revelation, we are told of a woman clothed with a son with a crown of twelve stars upon her head.  This is the vision St John gives us of heaven.  Mary is the woman with the crown.  This crown she wears is not of her own doing, we do not sneak our own crown into heaven, but rather God, the Father, has placed this crown upon her head.  We imitate the Father in crowning the Blessed mother. Through her yes, Jesus entered the world, Jesus had access to our humanity, redemption was inaugurated in time and space.  If Mary has a crown on her head then God must have given it to her.

So we recreate that reality, giving thanks to Mary's yes which brought Jesus into our lives.

Secondly we fulfill one of the last commands of Jesus from the cross.  In John 19:27 Jesus entrust Mary, his mother to the beloved disciple, "Then he said to his mother,  'Woman, behold your son.' Then he said to the disciple, 'Behold your mother'. And from that hour the disciple took her into his home."

Jesus invites the disciple to take his mother into his home.  Jesus also invites his mother to claim us as her own, "woman, behold you son."  We honor her who through Jesus and by his command has become our heavenly mother. The crown we place upon her head is our sign of gratitude and thanks.

Just as God the Father entrusted himself and the world to Mary as she conceives and bears his son into the world.  Jesus also entrust his mother, Mary to us and us to her, as he brings forth salvation and redemption by his death and resurrection.

Mary illumines the path, like the moon that reflects the light from the sun, so Mary reflects the light of Christ for us.  As the Father ask for her intercession the moment the angel ask her to become the mother of Jesus, so Mary continually intercedes for us.  We look to her for guidance that she made lead us every closer to her son.

We can boldly ask for her to pray for us as we would ask our earthly mothers to pray for us.  We can thank her for he guidance as we thank our earthly mothers for their guidance.

We remember that being a mother is more than just giving birth.  A mother is one who cares for us.  A mother is one who chooses to be there for us.  A mother is one who puts the will of God first in their life for us.  The Blessed Mother is all of these things and more.

As we approach, we should have the words, "Mother May I" pressed upon our lips in honor and thanks for the hidden guidance she brings to us daily as we move ever closer in step with Jesus her son, our brother, as we journey back to the Father.