The Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream. God said, "Ask something of me and I will give it to you." If God were to ask you and I the same question, what would we ask for? I've asked this question several people over the last 10 days and I got many different answers. I had only one that had the same request that Solomon had requested from God, "Give me the understanding to know right from wrong." This is what Solomon had asked for and that pleased God. In the Book of Kings, Chapter 3: 5-12, we find that this understanding Solomon received is called Wisdom. And if we read on a bit further, lines 16-27, we read a story that we are very familiar with, the splitting in half of a baby.READ MORE
Patience in the midst of Evil
Jesus preaches to the crowds a number of parables in today’s gospel reading. In the first parable, he tells a story of a man who planted good seeds in his vineyard and while everyone was asleep his enemy went and planted weed. The servants discovered it and requested they go and uproot the weed, Jesus tells them, “No, lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned but gather the wheat into my barn”.READ MORE
Humility is the foundation of the spiritual life. Because of this foundation, the Lord God can dwell more fully within us. In today’s parable, “A sower went out to sow.” Now either this sower is foolish, or he knows something that we don’t know. If you were driving down a paved road, and came up behind a farmer driving his tractor, dropping seed for miles on the path, will you have concern for him? Doesn’t he know he’s wasting his time, energy and money? Why is the Gospel so slow in entering our hearts?
The sower in Jesus’ parable acts in a similar way: “…as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path, and birds came and ate it up.” Jesus explains the parable of the sower: “The seed sown on the path is the one who hears the word of the kingdom without understanding it and the evil one comes and steals away what was sown in his heart.” This parable is an invitation to a radical choice in which words are not enough, deeds are required.READ MORE
In our gospel reading we hear Jesus say, "Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light."
A yoke is a piece of wood or metal placed over the necks of two animals walking side-by-side. It keeps them in line when plowing a field. Instead of being independent the animals become dependent on each other. They must depend on each other to save their own neck. If one of the animals runs ahead or sideways, then both get a stiff neck.READ MORE
The woman in the first reading was open to life; she welcomed the prophet into her home, was aware that he was a holy man of God, and set about facilitating his mission.
The second reading could be seen under this light too since it speaks of entry into the new life of Baptism. This sacrament demands generosity towards those who have pledged their lives to the gospel.
At Baptism the grace of Christ is given to us and frees us from sin. This sacrament joins us to Christ; immersion in water symbolizes the burial, taking away our guilt; emerging from the watersymbolizes the Resurrection of Christ.READ MORE
Fear limits our world view and life’s infinite possibilities. Fear can take away our confidence and trust in God and create a sense of doubt in the power of our Almighty God. When we find ourselves in a difficult situation, fear can blind us to most possibilities. And fear can rob us of our ability to reason correctly and warp our thinking.READ MORE
The Lectionary took us to John 3 this past Sunday and to the passage that includes John 3:16. It's a verse that I can remember saying in a Sunday school class as I was growing up. It's probably the verse I have referred to more than any other so far in ministry.
Today, I prefer to use such Biblical translations as the Common English Bible and the NIV.
"Whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
“And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself”(Jn 12:32). The lifting up of Jesus on the cross signifies and announces Christ lifting up by his Ascension into heaven and indeed begins it.
Our Lord’s Ascension into heaven helps explain the present condition of his risen body. Christ’s Ascension into heaven signifies his participation, in his humanity, in God’s power and authority. Jesus Christ is Lord: he possesses all power in heaven and on earth. As Lord, Christ is also head of the Church, which is his Body (Rom.14:9). Taken up to heaven and glorified after he had thus fully accomplished his mission, Christ dwells on earth in his Church (Eph 1:20-22).READ MORE
The first reading of today’s liturgy, taken from the Acts of Apostles, tells us how Philip took the gospel message to Samaria and proclaimed the Christ to them and the people welcomed the message. In the second reading, Peter encourages us never to give up our faith due to the persecution and challenges we may encounter since Jesus first suffered for us and left us an example to follow. Then in the Gospel, Jesus said to his disciples; “If you love me, you will keep mycommandment.”READ MORE
Have you ever received a gift that you didn't know how to use? It was a gift that you wanted and needed, so you really need to figure out how to use it. Or maybe you ordered something and when it came in, it needed to be assembled and the instructions were too confusing to understand. When this happens, what do you do? In both cases, we would get help putting it together or get someone to teach us how to use the gift. For me, the gift I got was a new, updated, full of options that I couldn't live without, cell phone. My family insisted that I update my old, simple to use, limited cell phone for a new, packed with options I will probably never use, phone. Now, I have a gift that is filled with features that are beyond my abilities to master. I now need help on how to use it to make a call. Thank God I still have a teenager in my household. I am learning that in order to get my phone to do what I need it to do, I must follow the procedures set up in the phone. Just one wrong click on an icon and I am asking my daughter, "How did I get here and how do I get back to where I wanted to go? Even though I will always find my gift, my cell phone, difficult, confusing, and frustrating, I still see the advantages and the potential this gift can have if I just learn and obey how to use it properly.READ MORE
We often hear it said, "Nobody is perfect" or, we say with a chuckle, "I'm no saint." We will admit that we have faults. We even admit that we are sinners. But then, where do we go from there? What do we do next?
The first reading today from the Acts of the Apostles is a continuation of last Sunday's first reading. Peter is standing up publicly with the other Apostles and calling out to the Jews and others in Jerusalem to announce to them the horrible sin in which they have participated, mainly, the mock trial and murder of the innocent man Jesus of Nazareth. No doubt the people were all uncomfortable with the incident. Very probably they were sad and disturbed. Perhaps they even regretted it deeply. But, now that it was over and in the past, people were just trying to get on with their daily lives. So, Peter stands up and calls out that a proper fear of God requires them to face their involvement rather than forget it. He deliberately and publicly reminds them of something they are trying to forget. They are guilty of murdering God's chosen man.READ MORE
The first and second readings draw our attention to the need to have recourse to the Scriptures if we want to understand what happened to Jesus and what happens to us every day.
Peter offered a testimony of the Resurrection, the divinity of Christ, and His Salvific Mission by explaining how Christ fulfilled the messianic prophecies of the Old Testament. His newfound insights into the mysteries of salvation and his courageous preaching clearly show the power of the Holy Spirit (Mt.16:16-23; Is.53:10-12).
Christ commanded us to speak to God as Father in prayer, signifying that His redemption has brought us to the level of children of God. Therefore, our judgment in both the Old and New Testaments is based upon our thoughts, words and deeds (Jn.1:1; 1 Jn.5:1).READ MORE
Today's feast is unique because it is believed to be the only feast based on "A Divine Revelation" to a single individual, one person. When our Lord, for seven years, continually appears to a Polish woman named Helen Kowalska. At the age of about twenty, Helen enters a congregation of nuns known as "Our Lady of Mercy". They cared for and educated troubled young girls. The nuns rename Helen Faustina now known as St. Faustina.
God throughout "Our Salvation History" consistently sends messengers to us; because of His great love for us. St. Faustina is such a messenger. From 1931 to 1938 Jesus appears to her, with the "Hope" that she can rekindle in the hearts of all of us who fall; a renewed and stronger love for the "Crucified Christ". It is through our love for Jesus that we will never waiver or loose our trust, in God's "Infinite Mercy" and "Divine Goodness".READ MORE
This is the day the Lord has made let us rejoice and be glad. (Psalm 118:24). Today we can againsing “Halleluiah” that we have not sung all through Lent. Today we begin again to sing Glory be toGod in the highest because the Lord has indeed risen.
We rejoice today because Christ has risen from the dead, he has conquered death and the enemy ofdeath and taken the victory over sin and death. What does this rising from dead mean for us? Itmeans that death no longer has the final power. It means that despair began to give way to hope,darkness began to give way to light, hatred began to give way to love and sorrow began to give wayto joy. We are no longer afraid because Jesus rising from dead has liberated us from fear.READ MORE