Last week’s Gospel presented the all-important question that every must person must answer: “Who do you say Jesus is?”. And remember also Jesus’ response to Peter’s declaration of faith- If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself, pick up his cross daily and follow me”.
My brothers and sisters, at the heart of the gospel, at the heart of our faith, is the claim that Jesus is the Son of God. And if Jesus is God become man, then Jesus is everything, the be all and end all. Jesus is the one to whom a totalizing decision has to be made. After all, Jesus himself polarizingly declares- “you are either with me or against me”. We cannot be indifferent to Jesus, either you give your whole life to Him or you should reject him. There is no middle ground, there is no halfway when it comes to following Jesus.READ MORE
Today’s Gospel is Luke’s version of the famous conversation Jesus has with his Disciples about his identity, and the 1st prediction of His Passion.
While Jesus was praying, though with his disciples, Jesus asked, Who do the crowds say that I am? They answered, some say John the Baptist, Elijah, or one of the ancient prophets.
Let’s look more in depth at that answer by recalling who a prophet was.READ MORE
Trinity Sunday- Who God is. Little Theology to appreciate what it means for us. Unity of Trinity- 3 is 1. Some think existence- Father, then Jesus, then Holy Spirit. No, Eternal existence. Never a time the 3 did not exist. Nicene Creed- Jesus is begotten not made, consubstantial with the Father. Through Him all things were made.
John- God is Love. What does it mean that God is love? Who He is, not what he does. We choose to love or not, God is love. Complete gift of self. Father gives Himself completely. Fathers is a giver, his nature is to give- love. Son so thankful- given Himself to me. Gospel says “Everything that the Father has is mine”. Son fully receives, chooses to fully give Himself in return.READ MORE
Today we celebrate the sending of the Holy Spirit, the 2nd person of God, upon the Apostles and Church. However, in today’s Church, few people really have a relationship with or live in the freedom of the Holy Spirit.
So what, or better said, who is the Holy Spirit?
The Father through Jesus will send the other person of Trinity. LOVE between Fr and Son. We have received the love of God.
Pope Francis quote: “We shouldn’t try to tame the Holy Spirit. Yet, that is what we do. We want the Holy Spirit to do what we want. It should be the other way around. We should do what the Holy Spirit wants of us”.READ MORE
Today we celebrate what is known as Good Shepherd Sunday, as our Gospel reveals the nice and comforting truth that we have a Good Shepherd who will take care of us who entrust ourselves to his care. We need to live this as though we believe this, so in order to appreciate this truth more fully, let us look first at our 1st and 2nd readings.READ MORE
I am excited to preach at all the Masses to share a very important opportunity for you. But before I share what it is, let me relate it to our Gospel today.
This story in our Gospel is the 3rd encounter that the disciples have with the Resurrected Jesus. After fearfully locking themselves in the upper room, they decided they needed to do something, so they went back to what they knew, their previous job and lifestyle. Simon Peter and the other disciples went fishing. Remember it was at the Sea of Galilee where Jesus first encountered Simon and the sons of Zebedee, and after calling them to follow him, it is there that he prophesied that they would become fishers of men. It is telling, therefore, that this encounter of the Lord, out on the sea, is the same place of their first encounter with Jesus.READ MORE
There is so much we are celebrating today. We celebrate not only the 2nd Sunday of Easter and the fact that Christ is risen from the dead for the forgiveness of our sins, but also we celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday. Do you know the story? In the 1930’s, Jesus appeared to a humble nun, St. Maria Faustina in Poland. Jesus called her to be the secretary and apostle of His mercy, and instructed her to keep a diary and record His Words of Mercy for the whole world, of which I will quote a little from. It is Jesus himself who asked that this day be the Feast of Mercy, and so Pope John Paul II announced, the Sunday after Easter is Divine Mercy Sunday. In April 2000 John Paul II canonized Sr. Faustina. Pope John Paul II committed his Papacy to spreading the message of Sr. Faustina and God’s unfathomable mercy through the Sacrament of Reconciliation Christ gave to His Church. John Paul II himself went to confession every week and spent 1 to 2 hours in Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament every single day. After he was shot in 1981, the Saint asked that Sr. Faustina’s diary be re-read to him in its entirety. And God honored His servant by calling him home in the beginning hours on the vigil of the Feast of Divine Mercy on April 2nd, 2005.READ MORE
Happy Easter everyone! We come now to the end of the 3 holiest days of our year- on Holy Thursday our Savior gave us His Body and Blood in the Eucharist through His ministerial priesthood and on Good Friday Jesus died upon the Cross for the forgiveness of sins. Today Christ is risen from the dead. As we journeyed toward Easter, each of us are called to experience the joy and glory that our Lord has for us; but like our readings today teach us, faith is a journey and it takes time for the understanding and joy to sink in. In order to grow in faith and fully appreciate the fact of Jesus’ Resurrection, we must place ourselves with the disciples so we can feel what they felt and experience what they experienced. Join me as we reflect on their journey.READ MORE
My brothers and sisters, our readings this week reveal who God is, as well as how we should approach Him. Let us open our hearts to learn from our readings to know and appreciate who God is in a deeper way.
In our 1st reading, as Moses was tending the sheep of his father-in-law, God reveals himself to him through a burning bush. Moses sees a bush on fire, but notices it is not being consumed. Understandably curious, Moses approaches the bush for a closer look. As he approaches, he hears the voice of God calling him by name. So first, we learn that God knows Moses by name, he has intimate knowledge of who Moses is. Then God tells him to come no nearer but to take off his shoes for He is on holy ground. This gives us some insight to how we should approach God. The burning bush is extra-ordinary, no one, including Moses, has ever seen a bush on fire but not being consumed. And so it should be approached differently, more special, than we approach anything else. God is extraordinary, and so we should not approach God with a casual attitude. We should approach God in reverence for who He is, but to do so we must come to know who God is for ourselves.READ MORE
My brothers and sisters, in our 1st reading, God enters into a Covenant with Abram. A covenant is a sacred oath saying that God will be faithful to Abram and Abram will be faithful and let God be God in his life. However, we know that God’s people didn’t uphold their vow to the Lord, but God had mercy and entered into other covenants over the centuries with Moses and David. Jesus Christ has entered into a final and ever-lasting covenant with us, and this and every Mass, indeed every Sacrament, is a renewal of God’s and our vows of faithfulness to each other. Although we so often don’t keep our vows to the Lord, God is merciful and invites us to repentance and renew this covenant once again. Mindful of this covenant renewed in this Mass, let us see how this covenant is played out in our lives.READ MORE
We have entered into the great season of Lent. We can call it a desert time--a time to grow in simplicity and purification and to focus on building a deeper relationship with our Lord. St Luke in our Gospel tells us that before Jesus begins his public ministry, the Holy Spirit led Jesus into the desert, if you are familiar with the bible you will notice that before the important figures of salvation history can begin their work, Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Jeremiah, David, and so on, there is a period of testing or trying. Much like after the schooling, medical students, for example, will go through an internship, a period of testing, before they can begin their work. And this time is important; it has a very significant purpose. Just as Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert, so we too are led by the Holy Spirit into our desert during this season of Lent. May we see Lent as an important time for us.READ MORE
Even though we are still in Ordinary time, at least until Wednesday, still we are called to conversion. Each of our readings today speak to us about a transformation that God desires for each of us, for our own good. Let me start with our Gospel and as I describe the scene, I invite you to picture yourself as Simon.
Our Gospel from Luke comes shortly after Jesus began his public ministry in which he preached in the Synagogues around Galilee and was praised by all. He even went to his hometown of Nazareth and proclaimed that He was the Messiah, the fulfillment of all the prophets. And although those in Nazareth threw him out, many people throughout Galilee were seeking Jesus and bringing to him all who were sick, or possessed with a Demon, and Luke says that He healed them all.READ MORE