Sunday, April 27, 2008

Sixth Sunday of Easter

Jesus Christ promises that He will not leave his disciples orphan. He promises that those who respond to his loving will not only will experience His enduring presence, but that because He goes, also the presence of the Advocate, the Holy Spirit. This Holy Spirit is the one we can call to our side, the literal meaning of the term, Advocate.

In the second Reading today, St. Peter writes to be ready with an explanation for our Hope. What hope do we have, apart from Christ? What hope do we have without the Trinity, and the presence of God in our lives?

In love, let us respond to the will of Christ, to live the Commandments. We can live with the Holy Spirit, the departing gift of Christ, and ask His guidance for our lives.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Fifth Sunday of Easter

Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation, the only truth to believe, and the only life that is eternal. The Apostles miss the meaning of what Jesus says to them, and keep asking to be shown the way to the Father. It is simple - follow Jesus, see and believe in Him alone.

In the Second Reading, St. Peter tells us that we are living stones, built upon the foundation of Jesus Christ. United with Him, we are called to put all of our talents and skills to the use of the Church. Some, of course, are called as priests and religious. Some, perhaps most, are called to live out their vocations of marriage in the world, to lead others to Christ through a faithful witness in the secular sphere. Yet, all are united in the Church, which is the Body of Christ.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Good Shepherd Sunday (Fourth Sunday in Easter)

Jesus Christ is the Good Shepherd, the savior who leads us into the safety of the Trinity's loving embrace. We need to listen to His voice, to know His voice through and through. If we become 'accustomed' to knowing His voice, we will be more ready to follow wherever He leads. If we are not familiar with His voice, we may find ourselves following other voices that would lead us to our destruction, whether those voices are from Satan, the world, or our malformed consciences and twisted psyches. Only the Voice of Jesus Christ will lead to lasting freedom and eternal happiness.

Prayer, as I have said before, is absolutely necessary. Prayer is the conversation we have with God, and it is not to be a one-sided affair. We must listen to Christ, to hear His voice.

Though they are not Catholic and some of their songs are from a Protestant Theology, the band Casting Crowns has a powerful song that comes to mind this Good Shepherd Sunday: The Voice of Truth. In the song, they sing about listening not to the laughter of the giant or the rumble of the waves, but to the Voice of Truth, who says do not be afraid. Let us listen well - let us know the Voice of Truth, Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Message for the 45th World Day of Prayer for Vocations

His Holiness Pope Benedict has released a Message on the occasion of the 45th World Day of Prayer for Vocations, which is to be held this weekend. The message is beautiful and worth a read. Most touching, probably because I am a farm boy at heart, was the eighth paragraph which read:

8. Vocations to the ministerial priesthood and to the consecrated life can only flourish in a spiritual soil that is well cultivated. Christian communities that live the missionary dimension of the mystery of the Church in a profound way will never be inward looking. Mission, as a witness of divine love, becomes particularly effective when it is shared in a community, “so that the world may believe” (cf. Jn 17: 21). The Church prays everyday to the Holy Spirit for the gift of vocations. Gathered around the Virgin Mary, Queen of the Apostles, as in the beginning, the ecclesial community learns from her how to implore the Lord for a flowering of new apostles, alive with the faith and love that are necessary for the mission.

May we be that good soil!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Third Sunday of Easter

This week, we hear of the first post-Resurrection Mass. As Cloepas and his company are walking to Emmaus, they are joined by a 'stranger' who seems to have no idea of what has happened in Jerusalem in the days around that first Good Friday. He invites them to tell the story, and Jesus continues on, explaining the Scriptures to them and how they spoke of these events. Arriving at their evening lodging, they beg Him to stay. They sit down to a meal, and Jesus takes the bread, blesses it, breaks it, and gives it to them. With this, they recognize Jesus, and he is taken from their sight. They run back to Jerusalem to share the news, to be met with the news that Jesus had also appear to Peter.

Sometimes, we too don't understand what God is doing in our lives, but we need to allow Jesus to reveal to us what He desires. Perhaps like Cleopas, we will not understand, but it is in the Eucharist that we receive the grace to continue on.