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 Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, ‘How can this man give us his flesh to eat?’” From the beginning, the Eucharist has been a source of controversy. Some people have always found the teaching difficult to accept. But as Catholics, the Blessed Sacrament is at the heart of our worship and our spirituality; we go to Mass to share in the holy sacrifice of Jesus’ body and blood, and we receive spiritual nourishment from partaking of this heavenly food. As Jesus himself tells us in today’s Gospel, “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him.”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