“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
The first reading and the gospel have some messages in common, in the sense that both readings present to us the human way of seeing things and the divine way. Most often human judgment is defective because it looks at outside appearance while divine light looks at the inner core of the person that is, the heart. In today’s Sunday liturgy we see that the divine light and wisdom of God far outweighs the human wisdom and knowledge. In the first reading, God saw something in the young David which Jesse and his sons could not recognize or see. David was in the field tending the sheep of his father when God chose him to be the leader and king of his people. Even though he was young and inexperienced, God saw his heart and chose him to lead his people. His strength and success came not from himself but from God who anointed him with the power and wisdom of his own spirit.READ MORE
Have you every tried to go through life and not even consider God in His master plan working through every decision and action that we throw at Him? Chances are you might be doing that right now. You are probably thinking about your next meal or whom you are going to meet. You might even be thinking how you are going to spend your day relaxing or not relaxing. Most likely you aren't even thinking about when or how God is going to encounter you.
In the stories we hear from the Exodus and in John we see how God encounters his people. It is through a very basic need, "Thirst". The Israelites who were in the desert were growing more and more thirsty traveling from Egypt. We are told that they were, in fact, testing God to see if He was with them. In the Gospel from John we hear of a woman from Samaria who was drawing water from Jacob's well in the middle of the day. In both accounts God encounters His people, providing nourishment and hope.READ MORE
The life of a Christian can be compared to a journey undertaken in the company of the Master. Abraham was the first to set off on this journey in answer to a call from God. Therefore, we are catechumen invited to leave our 'Country' only to show the light of our vocation.
The blessedness which is the heritage of Israel (Ps.33:12) is Abram's gift to the world: "… and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed." (Gen.12:3).
St. Paul has no other purpose than to convince us that God's purpose is God's grace, God's steadfast love. Love is its own justification, its own purpose. God's love is God's purpose in all creation and in all redemption (2Tm.1:9-10; Lk16:22).READ MORE
In the first reading from the Prophet Isaiah God says, “Can a mother forget her infant, be withouttenderness for the child of her womb? But even if she forgets I will not forget you.” This is God’s assurance to his people. He promises never to forget, us his people, at any time. In times of trial,the people of Israel often felt God had abandoned them. Nothing could be further from the truthsince, as Isaiah stated, the Lord’s love for his people is greater than that, a nursing or expectantmother has for her child. At times we face similar situations or difficulties in our lives when we feelGod has abandoned us but in today’s first reading from prophet Isaiah, God assures us that Hecannot forget us because his love for us endures forever. God is so compassionate and caringthat he cannot abandon us at any time.READ MORE
In our first reading the Lord said to Moses to tell the people, "Be holy, for I, the Lord, your God, am holy." In our second reading St. Paul writing to the Corinthians says, "If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy that person; for the temple of God, which you are, is holy." At the end of the gospel reading Jesus tells us, "So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect." From these verses we hear that we are called to be holy, that we are temples of God, which are holy, and we are called to be perfect like God the Father. Perfect in this passage means love. We are called to love like God. That's a tall order? How do we live a holy and perfect life in today's society?READ MORE
In the first reading from the book of Sirach, Ben Sirach tells us to choose between life and death.He goes on to tell us that it is within us to choose between life and death. He says, “If you trust inGod, you too shall live; he has set before you fire and water to whichever you choose, stretch forthyour hand. Before man are life and death, good and evil, whichever he chooses shall be givenhim.” What it means is that it is in the capacity of human beings to choose what he wants in life.God does not interfere with our human freedom. He has given us the will and intellect to choosehow we wish to live our life. If we choose life, the road is there for us, if on the other side wechoose death the door is equally open. However, the question is what the writer means by “life”.What does it mean to choose life? Is it just from conception till our last breath? And does deathmean when we give up the ghost.READ MORE
In the ancient period and time of Jesus, salt was of a great value. It serves multiple purposes. It wasused to purify things. When things like fruits and vegetable are sensed to be contaminated, salt wasused to wash it and purify it. Because of its whiteness it is connected with purity. The Romans saidthat salt was the purest of all things because it came from the purest of things; the sun and the sea.It was used for preservatives, thus to keep meat from decaying salt was used to keep it fresh. However the greatest and most obvious quality of salt is that salt lends flavor to things. We allknow how insipid a food without salt tastes. Thus, Jesus, very much aware of the great value of saltin his time uses it to point to his followers what they are expected to be.READ MORE