In today’s story from the Book of John, Mary Magdalene goes to the tomb of Jesus early in the morning. In the dark, she sees that the stone has been moved away from the tomb. It’s open! She runs to get Peter and the beloved disciple (John) and tell them about what she has found. John runs faster than Peter so he gets their first. He looks in and can see the burial cloths! Peter goes in first to see that the cloths that Jesus was wrapped in for burial are there but the tomb is empty! Then John went in, saw and believed. Somehow, even after all the things that Jesus said, they didn’t understand that Jesus had risen from the dead. On Easter, we celebrate Jesus victory over death. We get to sing the Gloria and Alleluia again! We thank God for the gift he gives us. He has born our sins and purchased for us Eternal Life. We enter the season of Easter. Over the next weeks of Easter Season, we learn about the times that Jesus appeared to the disciples. He really rose from the dead! We hear about the signs and wonders of the Apostles in the Acts of the Apostles. Easter Sunday Readings for April 21, 2019 – John 20:1-9http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/042119.cfm Next week, we celebrate the Feast of Divine Mercy. See the bulletin for more details!
This journey doesn’t end well. Or does it? At Masses in the Catholic Church, we get to participate in Jesus’ life in a special way. It’s Palm Sunday! We get real palms that are blessed. We ‘welcome’ Jesus like they did on the road. Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord. Peace in heaven and glory in the highest. It doesn’t take long for us to enter into the worst part of the story. We hear the words of Jesus from the cross as he prays Psalm 22: My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? Have you ever felt that way? At the worst or most painful moments, we can fear that God is not with us. Today, we participate in this drama with parts of our own: Crucify him! Pilate washes his hands of Jesus fate. We will free Barabbas instead. You see, like us, Pilate is able to decide what the truth is. He doesn’t stand for what is right. He gives in to public opinion as he sends Jesus to a horrible death. We stand by as Peter, overcome with fear, denies knowing Jesus and being his follower three times. You are not one of his disciples, are you? If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself! Jesus is crucified but only one thief asks forgiveness as he tells Jesus to remember him when he comes into his […]
If only you were here, our brother would not have died! Those words were from Martha to Jesus about her brother Lazarus. This story from the Book of John is quite famous. Martha and Mary are sisters with different ideas. When Jesus came to visit, Martha thought she was doing all the work to prepare and feed everyone. Mary was just sitting at Jesus feet! We may have a lot to do but we need to sit at the feet of Jesus, too. We continue the story today with Martha very upset about Larazus’ death. They had sent word to Jesus but he didn’t come! Jesus tells Martha that Lazarus will rise again. Martha is grieving her loss. She knows that he will rise again on the last day! Jesus tells her that he is the Resurrection and the life. She knows that! It didn’t help her loss today. She knew he was the Messiah. That’s why they sent for him. He could have cured Lazarus! Jesus saw Mary and others weeping. Jesus asks them to take him to the tomb and roll away the stone. They tell Jesus it will smell bad, as if he didn’t know! Jesus says, Did I not tell you that you would see the glory of God? Jesus prays asking the Father to help him show everyone so that they will believe. He tells Lazarus to come out of the tomb. And he did! […]
Give me a drink. 4 simple words that changed a woman’s life forever. The woman from Samaria, not a Jewish place, receives a gift from Jesus. Not only does he meet her at the well at midday, he speaks to her, reads her heart and gives her the prescription she needs for healing. Forgiveness and a new start. It’s not too late. She seems to have given up when Jesus meets her at the well and offers life-giving water. Not water just for today but forever. She recognizes that he is a prophet. Jesus explains that he is the Messiah that she has heard about. The encounter with Christ changes her life and she goes back to town and tells everyone. She even leaves her water jar! She brings others to Christ. We may have fallen short but Jesus continues to meet us right where we are. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. We hope to say, just like the Samaritans, We no longer believe in him because of your word, we have heard for ourselves and we know this is truly the savior of the world. They have met him. Where will he meet you? Readings for March 24 John 4:5-42
Sunday, March 17, 2019 Jesus takes his best friends, Peter, John and James, up the mountain to pray. Jesus face changed and his clothing became dazzling white. They saw 2 men appear next to him, Moses and Elijah, who spoke of how Jesus would ‘exit’ Jerusalem with his passion, death and resurrection. They also recall the ‘exodus’ from Egypt. Jesus leaving would free us, too, so we could enter the Promised Land. See www.usccb.org—Luke 9 (Footnotes for verses 28-36.) Peter wants to build tents so that they could all stay there. Pretty silly but understandable! Why would you want to leave? A cloud overshadows them and they hear a voice telling them that Jesus is the Son and they should listen to him. It is God, the Father. So much happens after that. Peter, John and James encounter Jesus and God the Father in their glory but they still don’t understand. They still make mistakes as they try to follow him and learn. Only John stays with Mary at the foot of the cross. Thank God for his patience and forgiveness! Today, we try to stay close to God in prayer and thanksgiving. We have the gift of the Eucharist in the Mass and Adoration on Thursdays. Try to come and stay with him an extra time this week and bask in the glow!
Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit when he entered the desert. He set aside his divinity but he didn’t go alone to face the devil. Jesus answered each question with a Scripture. Why should he command a stone to be bread? Scripture says that we don’t live on bread alone. 2nd test was to give him the entire world, power and glory if he worshiped the devil. Jesus only replies with the 1st Commandment to worship and serve God alone. 3rd test is his mortality. Being fully human, Jesus would die if he jumped off the top of the temple. Of course, he is not fooled by the devil to think that angels would catch him and break his fall. He only tells the devil that he shouldn’t put the Lord, your God, to the test. Jesus faced our human temptations of hunger, glory and mortality. We keep our eyes on Jesus and the promise of Eternal Life. Nothing on earth can beat that! We, too, face our demons and mortality every day. With Jesus, our Lord, and the Holy Spirit, we can face our temptations and overcome them! One does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God. Mt 4:4b 2 Things to Take With You to Fight the Devil Holy Spirit – Be filled with the Holy Spirit. You are never alone! Just ask! Scripture – Jesus quotes […]
A good heart produces good. A good tree produces good fruit. A disciple is a good student that not only sits at the feet of the teacher but becomes like the teacher. We can only become the best version of ourselves by emulating the teacher. The saying that ‘you are what you eat’ is very true. What you put in matters! What are you doing to water your faith and grow in love? Lent begins in a few days. We can enjoy Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) but then we need to dig in and make some changes. Resolution Reset. You probably had goals at the beginning of the year. Did you evaluate the areas in your life that you could improve? It’s much easier to eat well and exercise when you have positive influences. Your attitude matters. That’s the spiritual side of the equation. What can you do to improve your spirit and mood? Confession (get that beam out of your eye) and spiritual reading can help to lighten the load. Read the daily Readings, get an app or join a bible/book study. Even better—get a friend to join you! Getting someone to walk with you is Jesus’ prescription. In Mark 6, he sent them out in pairs and said to keep it simple but do it! It changes everything! Based on the Gospel for Sunday, March 3, 2019 http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/030319.cfm
Love is patient; love is kind. Paul writes to the people of Corinth 1 COR 13:4-13 in today’s Second Reading. His list of what love looks like is quite challenging. How do you love? While this Scripture is often chosen for weddings, this call to love applies to everyone. Can we love like Jesus? Being human, we often fail at loving. How would you end the sentence “Love is…”? It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things…How can it endure all things? Today’s world and relationships are pretty complicated. Do you believe marriage can last a lifetime? Do you see that kind of love around you? Love is a decision and wills the good of another according to St. Thomas Aquinas. It takes a decision to love by both people in order to work out well or last…and forgiveness, understanding, listening and patience! Agape – love without conditions or motivations. (Greek) Paul says that we should strive eagerly for the greatest of spiritual gifts but we shouldn’t stop there! Write Paul’s list in your own words and post it on your refrigerator or bathroom mirror. Use it for your examination of conscience and go to confession to receive God’s mercy, grace and supernatural strength to love like He does. Put your name in place of the word love. Paul is kind; Paul is patient. You, too, can be holy if you follow his advice! Don’t forget to pray and ask for help! Based on the Readings for the Sunday Mass – February 3, 2019. http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/020319.cfm
In the power of the Spirit. In Luke Chapter 1 (LK 1:1-4; 4:14-21), Jesus returns to Galilee in the power of the Spirit. He goes home. Nazareth watches as he unrolls the scroll to proclaim the words of Isaiah on the sabbath. The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me…He has sent me to proclaim…freedom. Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing. Jesus echoes Isaiah (Chapter 61:1) the prophet and announces to his hometown that he is the anointed one! Jesus has been victorious after being tempted in the desert and now he is ready to begin his ministry. The story continues in Chapter 4 with the question, Isn’t this the son of Joseph? The prophet Ezra in the 1st Reading (1/27/19) proclaims Today is holy to the Lord… when he reads from the scroll. Scripture is read in our Churches today from a lectionary and from the Bible in studies and classes. We are the hands and feet of Jesus now. Paul reminds us that we are the Body of Christ. Can we bring glad tidings to the poor, give sight to the spiritually blind and speak the truth that sets all of us free? Whoever has ears ought to hear. We just need to speak and act in love. Live holy. If we do, this can be an amazing year! Let us all live in the power of the Spirit. Based […]
From water to wine! The Wedding at Cana tells us a story of a miracle where Jesus transforms water into wine. These wedding celebrations lasted for days especially since travel could take so long. No cell phones or email for these relatives! Mary, Jesus’ mother, sees that they are running out of wine and tells Jesus to fix the problem. Moms seem to be aware of everyone’s needs and want to help. Jesus knew that if he helped this would make his mission known. People would know that he could perform a miracle. Things would change. He tells Mary that it’s not the right time. It’s not that he couldn’t or even didn’t want to. Scripture only says he thinks it’s not the right time! Mary just tells the waiters to do whatever Jesus tells them. It’s one of the reasons we know that we can go to Mary for help. She will take our concerns to Jesus. We just need to “Do whatever He tells you.” These stone jars could hold 20-30 gallons! “Fill the jars with water.”So they filled them to the brim. John 2:7 Notice that Jesus not only transforms water to wine, John tells us that the jars were filled to the brim! The waiters did exactly what Jesus said. The headwaiter knew that everyone served the best wine at the beginning of an event, before you were too tipsy to notice the difference! The headwaiter asks the bridegroom why he kept the best […]