Reflection

The Ninth Beatitude

The Ninth Beatitude. In response, Jesus told Thomas, Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed. Thomas came to believe because he saw the risen Lord, but Jesus did not praise Thomas’ pathway to faith; rather, he pronounced a blessing upon those who have […]

via Coming to believe: life — friarmusings

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THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK April 23-29, 2017

Picture1-41FROM ST. AUGUSTINE SPIRITUALITY CENTER

“Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”  John 20:29  In the amazing story of Jesus’ appearance to his disciples behind locked doors after his Resurrection, we eventually meet the doubting Thomas, one of the apostles. He was an impetuous person and encouraged the apostles to go with Jesus to Jerusalem. He was outspoken and seemed fearless.  We can be indebted to him for wanting material proof of Jesus’ rising from the dead.  It is because of him that we have received that most welcome blessing. It is believed that he preached as far as India and perhaps beyond.  Catholic.org

Like Thomas, we would like to place our fingers in the hands, side and feet of Jesus for re-assurance. However, have we not done that when we console the sorrowing, have mercy on the lost, visit the suffering and hold the dying?  All the good we do, no matter how small, we do with and in Christ. Jesus said in the story of the vine and the branches, “Live on in me, as I do in you…I am the vine; you are the branches. He who lives in me and I in him, will produce abundantly.” John 15: 4-5 What further support for our faith do we need, but his WORD?

Another gift of Thomas was his beautiful words, “My Lord and my God!” John 20: 28 In many places it is still traditional to hear a few voices at the elevation of the body and blood of Christ during the Consecration in the Mass say these words.  As a child, I can remember the congregation saying it loudly and clearly.  It was a breathe-taking moment. I always wondered at this strong response and knew something marvelous had just happened.  Why have we lost this beautiful practice? Maybe our students would be a little more attentive, if they participated in this sacred moment with these words on their lips.

This Sunday is also known as Divine Mercy.  Jesus gave us the great example of mercy – to give one’s life to save others.  Pope Francis has called for the spirit of mercy and forgiveness.  During this season of Easter, let us constantly remind ourselves to be merciful and compassionate.

May this most pivotal event of our Christian life – the Resurrection of Jesus – fill us with joy.  In the words of Jesus, “Peace be with you.” John 20: 19

Sister Rosemarie Goins, Felician Franciscan
Director of the Spirituality Center

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Divine Mercy Sunday

April 23, Second Sunday of Easter (Divine Mercy Sunday) Cycle A. Readings: 1) Acts 2:42-47 Psalm 118:2-4, 13-15, 22-24 2) 1 Peter 1:3-9 Gospel: John 10:19-31 By Sharon K. Perkins Catholic News Service We all know people who endure hardships and trials but who never seem to complain or grumble. […]

via Word to Life — Sunday Scripture readings, April 23, 2017 — CNS Blog

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Wednesday of Holy Week

IMG_4987

mgfredrick, cssf

Reading 1 Is 50:4-9a

The Lord GOD has given me
a well-trained tongue,
That I might know how to speak to the weary
a word that will rouse them.
Morning after morning
he opens my ear that I may hear;
And I have not rebelled,
have not turned back.
I gave my back to those who beat me,
my cheeks to those who plucked my beard;
My face I did not shield
from buffets and spitting.

The Lord GOD is my help,
therefore I am not disgraced;
I have set my face like flint,
knowing that I shall not be put to shame.
He is near who upholds my right;
if anyone wishes to oppose me,
let us appear together.
Who disputes my right?
Let him confront me.
See, the Lord GOD is my help;
who will prove me wrong?

Responsorial Psalm Ps 69:8-10, 21-22, 31 and 33-34

  1. (14c) Lord, in your great love, answer me.
    For your sake I bear insult,
    and shame covers my face.
    I have become an outcast to my brothers,
    a stranger to my mother’s sons,
    because zeal for your house consumes me,
    and the insults of those who blaspheme you fall upon me.
    R. Lord, in your great love, answer me.
    Insult has broken my heart, and I am weak,
    I looked for sympathy, but there was none;
    for consolers, not one could I find.
    Rather they put gall in my food,
    and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.
    R. Lord, in your great love, answer me.
    I will praise the name of God in song,
    and I will glorify him with thanksgiving:
    “See, you lowly ones, and be glad;
    you who seek God, may your hearts revive!
    For the LORD hears the poor,
    and his own who are in bonds he spurns not.”
    R. Lord, in your great love, answer me.

Verse Before the Gospel

Hail to your, our King;
you alone are compassionate with our errors.

OR

Hail to you, our King, obedient to the Father;
you were led to your crucifixion like a gentle lamb to the slaughter.

Gospel Mt 26:14-25

dry desertOne of the Twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot,
went to the chief priests and said,
“What are you willing to give me
if I hand him over to you?”
They paid him thirty pieces of silver,
and from that time on he looked for an opportunity to hand him over.

On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread,
the disciples approached Jesus and said,
“Where do you want us to prepare
for you to eat the Passover?”
He said,
“Go into the city to a certain man and tell him,
‘The teacher says, My appointed time draws near;
in your house I shall celebrate the Passover with my disciples.'”
The disciples then did as Jesus had ordered,
and prepared the Passover.

When it was evening,
he reclined at table with the Twelve.
And while they were eating, he said,
“Amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me.”
Deeply distressed at this,
they began to say to him one after another,
“Surely it is not I, Lord?”
He said in reply,
“He who has dipped his hand into the dish with me
is the one who will betray me.
The Son of Man indeed goes, as it is written of him,
but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed.
It would be better for that man if he had never been born.”
Then Judas, his betrayer, said in reply,
“Surely it is not I, Rabbi?”
He answered, “You have said so.”

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Holy Week Meditations

Jesus-in-the-Desert

FROM ST. AUGUSTINE SPIRITUALITY CENTER

April 9-15, 2017

 

The most solemn time of the Church year is Holy Week.  It is commenced with the joyful words, “Hosanna to the Son of David; blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord; hosanna in the highest” Matthew 21: 9   Unfortunately, this praise is very short lived.  People are swayed by the most popular position and soon they will be saying, “Crucify him.” Matthew 27: 22-23 We cannot stand in judgment of these people, because at times we may find ourselves silent in the face of issues that are not popular.  We tend to want to be part of the in group; it is not fun or advantageous to career or position to be on the outside.

When a look is taken at the history of Catholics in the United States, many concessions have been made to popular opinion and even morality.  The Catholic Church was bitterly persecuted in the beginning years of this country.  Maryland was the only Catholic colony; Catholics were not welcome anywhere else. In the state of Oklahoma, in which I grew up, Catholicism was about 2%.  Even the Ku Klux Klan was after Catholics.  So, wanting to fit in and prove that Catholics were part of the status quo, we slowly slipped into the American way of life.  During this Holy Week we can ask ourselves what we have sacrificed in our faith to fit in.  Are we willing to be like the thief on the Cross who defended Jesus and asked to be “remembered when Jesus entered his kingdom,” Luke 23: 39-43 or the Roman soldiers who witnessed Jesus’ death and said, “Truly, this was the Son of God!” Matthew 27: 54

In the story of creation it is seen how Adam and Eve wanted to be gods and such a desire has been repeated down through the ages.  In Philippians 2: 6-11 it says, “Christ Jesus, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; …humbled himself, becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”  This aspect of Christianity is not very desirable, but it is central to being a true follower of the Christ. A humble leader brings healing and peace; a grasping, full-of-self leader brings destruction and suffering.

As an aside, I read an interesting article in the May/June 2017 SIERRA magazine called, “Code of Silence.” The announcement of a new documentary, “In Pursuit of Silence,” is coming in June on the damage done by constant noise to our physical, mental and emotional health. “In a cacophonous world, we’re losing our capacity for deep listening, and with it, our sensory connection to the natural world.”  I immediately added spiritual.  Is it possible that we have lost the ability to listen to God, because we fill our day with the noise of the cell phone, let alone all the other artificial noise around us?  Are we so numbed that we cannot participate in the services of this Holy Week, in which we quieten our minds, so as to engage with the momentous salvific actions of Jesus? It is rather frightening to think that we have lost the “listening” gift of our souls to the technological gift of the media.  It will take much strength to balance these two gifts, so as to grow more fully as complete human beings.

Wishing you a faith-filled Holy Week,

Sister Rosemarie Goins, CSSF

Director

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Passion Sunday

Cross palmsJesus Predicts Desertion and Promises Reunion (26:30b-35) The Gospel reading for Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion is quite lengthy and so will not be included here. It can be found at the USCCB website: One of the curious “tests” that some scholars apply to a passage regarding “authenticity” (by which they really mean historicity) […]

via Passion Sunday: the sheep scatter — friarmusings

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“Amen, amen, I say to you

IMG_0679Gospel Jn 8:51-59

Jesus said to the Jews:
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever keeps my word will never see death.”
So the Jews said to him,
“Now we are sure that you are possessed.
Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say,
‘Whoever keeps my word will never taste death.’
Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died?
Or the prophets, who died?
Who do you make yourself out to be?”
Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is worth nothing;
but it is my Father who glorifies me,
of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’
You do not know him, but I know him.
And if I should say that I do not know him,
I would be like you a liar.
But I do know him and I keep his word.
Abraham your father rejoiced to see my day;
he saw it and was glad.”
So the Jews said to him,
“You are not yet fifty years old and you have seen Abraham?”
Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you,
before Abraham came to be, I AM.”
So they picked up stones to throw at him;
but Jesus hid and went out of the temple area.

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