Friday, January 29, 2010


The ipod has the weekly Sunday reflection. Do we try to control the Lord?

ths year we have the national census. Just thought that the Bishops' position on being careful to count everyone was rather timely...enjoy!!!

CNS Story: Churches Working to Make Sure Everyone is Counted
By Nancy Frazier O'BrienCatholic News ServiceWASHINGTON (CNS) -- Churches have a crucial role to play in ensuring that everyone is counted on Census Day 2010, April 1.That's the message Alejandro Aguilera-Titus and Beverly Carroll of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Secretariat on Cultural Diversity in the Church are delivering as key point people in the USCCB's partnership effort with the U.S. Census Bureau.The numbers gathered in the 2010 census will determine representation in Congress and the allocation of more than $400 billion in annual federal funding for local schools, roads, parks and other services."Historically we know there are three major communities that are difficult to count -- the new immigrant, those who are isolated due to little knowledge of English and the low-income," said Aguilera-Titus, assistant director for Hispanic affairs in the cultural diversity secretariat, in an interview with Catholic News Service Oct. 27.But with 19,000 parishes and thousands more social service agencies, health care facilities and educational institutions around the country, the Catholic Church is in a unique position to reach many of those people and to convince them that it's important to be counted, said Carroll, assistant director for African-American affairs, in the same interview."Our parishes, our centers, our outreach captures the attention and participation of many people, and the church has a particular role in working with communities and being supportive of political activities that supports the needs of our people," she said.Particularly among communities that are hard to reach and hard to count, "we have a certain credibility, so people would be more apt to be listening," Carroll added.Aguilera-Titus said the key to a smooth and efficient Census Day is trust. Those who are being counted must trust that their information will not be passed along to other federal agencies or made available to their neighbors."Churches can help to generate that level of trust," he said, and can also provide concrete assistance such as help with the census form or with finding language assistance for those who need it.People also need to know that the census will not be a complicated or time-consuming endeavor for them, Aguilera-Titus said. With only 10 questions, it is one of the shortest questionnaires since the U.S. census was first taken in 1790.Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of San Antonio, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church, said the statistics gathered in the census can serve much more than governmental purposes."The U.S. census is a useful tool for learning about God's people, who and where they are, and many other facts that shed light on their lives, possibilities and struggles," the archbishop said in a statement."A church that seeks to evangelize is characterized by outreach," he added. "The U.S. census gives us important information to do that."Required once every 10 years by the U.S. Constitution, the census aims to count every person residing in the United States on April 1, 2010. This includes all 50 states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.Hundreds of faith-based organizations, community and nonprofit groups, schools, corporations and government agencies have signed up as partners in the census effort, under the theme "It's in our hands."But some groups had feared that a move by two Republican senators could derail the entire census process.Sens. David Vitter, R-La., and Bob Bennett, R-Utah, proposed an amendment to the census funding bill that would have blocked all funds unless the census included a question about citizenship and immigration status. With census forms already in the printing process, there was little chance of meeting the April 1 Census Day target if new forms had to be printed.The proposed amendment has drawn strong criticism from Hispanic groups. The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials called it "an unconstitutional and costly effort to suppress Latino participation in the decennial census."The U.S. Constitution requires that topics to be included in the census be submitted to Congress three years before the census takes place, the association noted."By making intrusive inquiries into immigration status, the Vitter-Bennett amendment would raise concerns among all residents -- both native-born and immigrant -- about the confidentiality and privacy of information provided to the Census Bureau," the association added in a statement.Aguilera-Titus said the USCCB did not take a stand on the amendment but believes generally that "the census should be conducted in such a way that everyone is counted" and that "anything that would limit that might be problematic."The Vitter-Bennett amendment was blocked on a procedural motion in the Senate Nov. 5 but one thing seems certain: No matter how smoothly the census goes, some will question the numbers it comes up with.But that kind of questioning is deeply rooted in American history. When the first census was taken on Aug. 2, 1790, according to historical notes from the U.S. Census Bureau, both President George Washington and future President Thomas Jefferson "expressed skepticism over the final count, expecting a number that exceeded the 3.9 million inhabitants counted in the census."END
Copyright (c) 2009 Catholic News Service/USCCB. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed.CNS · 3211 Fourth St NE · Washington DC 20017 · 202.541.3250

Mon. Mrk.5:1-20...For a short time the crowds must be forgotten and attention turned to the much to teach these people: who will continue His work? Up till now all the works have been among the Jews..this is the time to show them that the message is not only for the Jews but also for the Gentiles...the marvels which He works stirs up feelings of amazement in these people....the disciples will learn that they will go among the Gentiles and that they, because they act in His name, shall conquer the power of evil.
The swine of evil shall be cast

Sun Feb.2 THE PRESENTATION OF THE LORD...Luke2:22-40..the candles..they remind us of many things..the one who has come to expel the darkness of sin and the power of evil..they remind us of how lives should be bright when we go to meet Christ...Mary carried the Light in her arms..she held Him up for all to see. We should carry the light for all to see...candles, how common place they are. Today we look at them and many of us will hold them in procession....we are reminded of the light which has shone upon us and the glory that is yet to come. Today’s feast is a feast of hastening to meet the Lord...the lamps which the wise Virgins carried these are our candles. waiting for and hastening to the Lord. It is a day to remind us of light..and what the Light has done for is a day when we can sing with Simeon the hymn of thanksgiving which he sang. It is a day which invites us to look around and to see the darkness which engulfs so many people and to let them see the candle which we hold, the candle lit by the love of
So much darkness which has not yet been touched by the many eyes which have not yet seen the Light which we have seen. Christ was Presented in the Temple, we are asked to present Him to the temple of the world in which we live. We process where and to whom? we process to the Lord to be found in the world, hidden but still there.

.Wed. Mrk.6:1-6....He has walked though the Galilee, this beautiful section of the country.
He has preached and healed, the crowds have followed Him Before moving on He must first visit His town, the town where He grew up, the town in which people knew Him, the town which was one of the first to hear His message. That time they received the message with enthusiasm.
36 He entered the synagogue. He started to preach. It was no longer enthusiasm that He met. Now it was skepticism, even animosity. What had happened to such a promising beginning? What happened to the seeds of faith? He will meet this time and again..enthusaism, quite suddenly turning to rejection. He will see the crowds who hailed Him as “King” within three days turn into the crowd which shouts:crucify Him. The message touched the hearts of people in areas that sometimes they do not wish to be touched.
His words are the words of life but then comes the moment of decision: shall I act on them. It is difficult. It is so comfortable now. To go to a new life, a new vision, means leaving the familiar. It is either reject Him or accept Him, sometimes the pain of letting go to accept Him is too much.
Perhaps this is just a stage one has to go through. This questioning, this pain, this fear...the challenge becomes I really want to do it? .

A young lady, a college student, is being challenged. The only reason she goes to Church is to keep peace in the home, as soon as she moves out she will stop. She doesn’t believe, except that the Master was a nice man who said good things. She argues. Faith is almost dead, one thinks. The simplicity of the faith when she was a little girl is now submerged in a sea of secular thought. She meets a young man. They fall in love. He is a convinced follower of the Master. This is our life, he says, and we shall lead it with Him. The reason for following the Master becomes clear in the young lady’s heart. She leaves the synagogue of doubt and rejection into the fresh air and the green hills of her spiritual Galilee.

Thurs. Mrk.6:7-13...the mission of Jesus, the mission of the disciples, the mission of the Church, to preach repentence. Repentence, the turning to God and away from sin. Repentence, the opening of the human heart to receive the Lord. Repentence, the moment of truth when we see ourselves as sinners, but more, sinners being looked upon by the merciful God.

Fri. Mrk.6:14-29.....the Master has said that the disciples must go where the Master has gone...they have to expect the same treatment.
The Master will follow the the disciple ,John, was killed so the Master will be killed. John goes before only to point out what will happen to the Master. The question: who is Jesus? We will meet this same question many times...many answers were given...almost as if people were afraid to say who many of them knew in their hearts who He was.
Fear is a strange feeling. On the one hand it can help us to live good normal lives. We are afraid of getting sick, so we take care of ourselves, afraid of failing an exam, so we study, fear, can be a great motivator. On the other hand it can cripple us. We are afraid of loosing power so we have to downgrade people, we are afraid that people will not think the highest of us, so we have to do a lot of making believe....unhealthy fear can kill rather than be a life giver. Every now and then we are reminded of fear and what it can do the human heart.
Herod was a man wracked with fear...fear of John, will he start a rebellion, fear of Jesus, who is He, fear of loosing power, fear of what people will think of him...all coming together to form a man who is really afraid to live.

Sat. Mrk.6:30-34.....those who were sent and returned must have been so excited...the power that they had could possibly have frightened them...they were just simple men how could they do all these was not them it was the Master working in them, that was the only possible explanation. There were many people around. Maybe Jesus just wanted to be alone with His friends and listen to their stories without distractions...perhaps He knew how tired they were and wanted to give them a chance to rest...perhaps He was reminding them that by going out into the desert the new Exodus had begun and they will be the leaders.
What attracted the people to them? Why did they search them out, give them no rest? What was it about these men that drew people? Surely, it was the Master who was at the center..without Him there would be nothing, but these others. They come into contact with the Master, He shares with them who He is, people come to them not because of who they are but because of who the Master is. The emptying so the Master can live.

Friday, January 22, 2010


We have all heard or read about what the Church in the States is doing for the Haitian people.
I thought it would be good just to let youknow that the church in other countries are active in sending aid. The choice of the Philippines and England were random.

NEW ATTRACTION...starting this week there will be a reflection on the Sunday Gospel. I would like to promise that there will one every week but because of my travelling there will be weeks when we miss.
Caritas aid reaches Haiti quake survivors Caritas Internationalis, the Vatican-based umbrella organization for Catholic charities, quickly delivered aid to the survivors of the Haiti earthquake but was in urgent need of additional relief materials.
Home » News » Headlines
Manila archdiocese earmarks second collection for Haiti

MANILA, January 21, 2010—The Archdiocese of Manila has recently announced that the second collection on all masses this Sunday, January 24, 2010, will be allotted for the earthquake victims in Haiti.
“We request that a second collection be made in all Masses in parishes, shrines, and communities in the Archdiocese of Manila on Sunday, January 24, 2010,” read a circular issued by the chancellor of the archdiocese Fr. Rufino Sescon.
“We are deeply saddened by the recent earthquake that struck Haiti. Its city was laid wrecked and its people are in dire need of all possible humanitarian assistance,” said Sescon.
The circular also urged the public to continue praying those who died and those who are suffering due to the calamity that befell on Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince.
Last week, the President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines recommended that all the dioceses in the country allocate Sunday second collection for the earthquake victims of Haiti. (Kate Laceda

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Mon. Mrk.3:22-30...He forgot His own sense of loneliness at having been rejected. It was the denial of the power of God working in Him which caused the pain. His Father had given Him the Spirit in His human nature to show the wonders of the Kingdom. The Spirit led Him, empowered Him, gifted Him, and now they were saying it was not the Spirit of His Father but an evil spirit by which He does the things He does. Attributing to evil that which is good; saying that the power of God is the power of evil...what a blasphemy. They do not see the Spirit which leads people along the path of salvation, they think his work is evil. Sin encases them. The very Spirit through whom their sins are forgiven they say no to.....How can forgiveness come to such people when they deny the power which grants forgiveness.
His forgiving hand is always outstretched but it can not break through the walls which they have surrounded themselves with. His light is always there but they have chosen the darkness. He looked at them and thought that if they deny His gifts they have to deny their own. It is the same Spirit which blesses both He and them. If they can not see it in Him they can not see it in themselves. The works He does were threats . Their goodness had to be denied. He thought that the story of this blashempy is not over. As the Master endured it so shall the disciples.
The gifts which the Spirit gives will be looked at as threats. Why it is so difficult for people to accept the goodness in others? Why is evil such an easier more comfortable thing to say has power? This is not the way it is. It is the power of the Spirit working in the hearts of people which bring about good…when will they say yes to this.

Tues. Mrk.3:31-35...Did he mean His words to be as curt as they sounded? Was He denying the relationship with His mother? What was He saying …the words seem so cold?
He could not see His mother, she was standing outside. In His mind, though, she was there. She who brought Him into the world, who nourished Him, taught Him how to read, she who walked with Him in the deepest way, could not be dismissed . She could not be forgotten. The words which must have shocked those sitting around gave meaning to Her vocation and of all those who would be called disciple.
He looked and saw something beyond blood relationship. He saw that she brought Him into the world spiritually before she did it physically. He looked and saw her once again saying the “yes” to the messenger of God, and in that yes fulfilling the will of God and at that instant becoming “mother”. To be disciple is to say the “yes” and in saying it we all become truly mothers of the Master because through it He is once again brought into the world.
He is made visible by the life of those who have said the yes. As Mary carried Him for nine months, alive and growing within her , the yes brings Him to us. Just as Mary then physically gave birth, those who believe are not expected to just carry the Life within but to share it and let the world breathe this new life. In giving life to the same Master we are bound together through Him into a new family. Being Mother brings about being brother and sister to Him and to one another in the Body which we have through the power of the Spirit given birth to.

Wed. Mrk.4:1-20…listening is so difficult…it requires so much letting go of the voices and conversations which we constantly have within us and which we like to listen to….listening demands courage, to hear something which we may not like , which may challenge us in a new and unexpected direction in life…listening asks for silence, so difficult in this age when there is so much noise and the loss of the love of silence…listening is generous…it receives another knocks down so many barriers which exist between people….it is fruitful because it sows inside of us new seed …it is freeing, in letting go, in being generous, in being courageous, we are freed from the shackles of our selves

Thurs.Mrk.4:21-25...What is the key to unravel these words? Is it to believe? Faith is the two edged sword that at one and the same time is the light and the key to help us see the light. The bushel basket and bed under which the light is hidden, what are they? The light shines, but we can not see it. Is it possible that it is hidden within us? In that deepest part of who I am, there is a light, I am the light of the world. The bushel basket of selfishness, indifference and blindness cover the Light up. There is the yearning to be brought forth. To be placed on the lampstand of who we are. To let the Light shine on us, so that we can see.
The paradox comes in. We need the light to see it. This newness within us all goes beyond human nature because it is God. Therefore, only God can bring it forth..only God can do away with all the coverings which prevent the Light from shining. It will be uncovered. This Light shall not stand in the darkness, its rays shall not be hindered. Slowly the basked will be lifted. A ray now, one later...the darkness becomes a shadow and the shadow becomes bright. The life which was hidden for so long breaks through. To believe has lifted all those things which made seeing so difficult.
Not only to see but to hear. There are so many sounds resounding within us. So much static. The good sounds and the bad sounds are intermingled, sometimes it is difficult to tell which is which. The sounds become clearer. We can tell the difference. The more we hear the more we are expected to hear. We do not stop listening, A desire to hear more is born because once we stop searching the sounds we will not be able to hear at all. Once we stop searching the sounds will once again become a muddled noise, the static will be too much. Once we stop searching the sound the basket will return. The Light will be hidden.

Fri. Mrk.4:26-34...How best to explain the secret of the Kingdom? He thinks. This relationship with His Father that is called the kingdom, can any human words explain it? They know the earth, their fields. He speaks in the language they use everyday...about seeds, and crops, of growth and how they look at their fields trying in some way to gauge the almost imperceptible yet real growth of the crops. They know it does not happen overnight. They know they have to be patient. Take each day as it comes. He looks at them and knows that they will worry about the rain, is there enough or too much. He knows the joy they will feel when they bring their crops in.
He looks into the future. He sees a little girl crying. Her friend has just been killed by an automobile. She should have been with her, something held her back today so she did not go.
He looks at the little girl over whom He spread His care. Someday she will know. The seed has been planted. The years go. The little girl grows up but all the time in her heart she knows that someone is watching over her. It is just that she does not know His name. Who or what is it that protects her? The thought recurs and recurs throughout the years.
The seed breaks through the earth. She starts reading the Bible, and listening to the Word of God...her heart is joyful listening to the Good News. The question persists. One day she reads about the treasure in the field. Her eyes swell with tears. Now I know, she almost shouts. Now I know who it is who has watched me. It is God.
The crop has matured. The field has become verdant.

Sat. Mrk.4:35-41...He will not leave them orphans.. His mission must continue through the years,. the message has to be preached, the Sacrifice has to be offered...His presence must be witnessed....The Church, the new Chosen People, will continue to preach, to offer sacrifice. It will live in a world which often times is not friendly. Values will clash, what the message is and what the world wants are going to be different...the Light will always win, and is winning. It will appear that the message is loosing, that it is no longer relevant. Enemies will arise to do away with it...many times this will be done not with the sword but with the printed word. The winds of misunderstanding, the waves of hatred will buffet it...but it will continue going to the “other side”.
Those living in the Church will have to be strong. The winds which would like to blow them to another shore will be strong...the waves which crash against them may seem to high....they may even loose their way for a moment in the will be a time of faith and hope for them. False teachers will arise preaching a strange message, but so easy to accept. The Master in the hearts of many will fall asleep. Many will awaken Him, they will be able to see that the Church is still heading to the “other side” , the shore of completeness.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


The terrible tradegy in Haiti has been uppermost in the minds of most people. We can not escape it. the voices of those effected cry out and reach our ears over the water and the miles.
Most of you have given, especially this last weekend at the special collection. Just thought what the bishops are saying would interest you.
Please scroll down to the end of the scripture reflections. You will find a very interesting video on the Franciscans. I had planned on it being the lead this week, but I did think Haiti took preference.

Head of Catholic Bishops Asks President Obama to Grant Haitians in the U.S. Temporary Protected Status
WASHINGTON—In a letter sent to president Barack Obama on Friday, January 15, Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, asked the White House to designate the country of Haiti for Temporary Protected Status (TPS). “It is clear that Haiti merits an immediate designation of TPS after suffering the devastating 7.0 magnitude earthquake of January 12, one of the worst in Haitian history,” Cardinal George said in the letter. TPS permits nationals of a designated nation living in the United States to reside here legally and qualify for work authorization. TPS designation is based upon determination that armed conflict, political unrest, environmental disaster, or other extraordinary and temporary conditions exist in a nation and that the return of that country’s nationals would further destabilize the nation and potentially bring harm to those returned. Cardinal George said that “it is important that Haitians in the United States are allowed to receive legal status and obtain work authorization, as a designation of TPS would provide. These Haitians then would be better able to assist their families in Haiti through remittances and by working together as a community to garner other resources for their stricken homeland.” Citing the language contained in the statute itself, Cardinal George urged the President to act on this matter. “[B]y any measure, the conditions in Haiti meet the statutory requirements for TPS… Extending this mantle of protection to struggling Haiti is not only appropriate, but a just, compassionate, and concrete step the United States can take toward alleviating the human suffering of the Haitian people.”
U.S. Bishops Mourn Devastation in Haiti, Urge Special Collection January 16-17 to Support Efforts of USCCB, CRS
WASHINGTON—The Church mourns the terrible suffering of the people of Haiti, and parishes across the country are urged to take up a special collection the weekend of January 16-17 for the humanitarian efforts of the U.S. bishops and Catholic Relief Service (CRS) in Haiti, according to a January 13 letter to Catholic bishops of the United States from Cardinal Francis George of Chicago and Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York.
Cardinal George, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), and Archbishop Dolan, chair of CRS board, said the magnitude 7.0 earthquake that ravaged Haiti “destroyed countless homes, churches, seminaries, schools, and other buildings and has left millions without the most basic necessities of life. Our faith compels us to pray for and reach out to our brothers and sisters in their time of suffering

Mon . Mrk.2:18-22...It is present, the rule of God is among us. In the very person of Christ the last days make their beginning...the end has begun. The promised days have arrived. The marriage of God to His people is seen now in the person of His Son. How beautiful God tells us about the relationship He has with us, marriage. He takes that most sacred of human bindings, where two become one, wherever the one goes the other will follow, that life sharing relationship, and says: see this is how close I am to you.
11 The bridegroom to the bride, the Church. The image continues. As close as the husband is to is wife that is how close I am to you, and now the final step has begun. The marriage is now visible. There can be no fasting. Is fasting sad? It is not sad, it is hopeful, a sign of not completeness . The Bridegroom has come, it is complete...but not complete. The paradox all things are complete but not yet...He has come but we are waiting for his coming
A people possessing what they are waiting for...this is why we must fast. The cloth of the universe has been made new, the wine of the new creation has been poured…. from the unseen to the seen is what we are waiting for.

Tues. Mrk. 2:23-28...The Sabbath, the Holyday, covered with laws..binding people up in the ropes of does’ and don’ts’ and knotted with fear. There was a power structure in it also. He who controlled what could and could not be done on the Sabbath, he who could say what the Sabbath was and was not, controlled the lives of people. Anyone who dared to touch this power was an enemy. The law had to be supreme.
The Master brought a new law. He wanted to cut the knots and undo the ropes. He needed no reason for doing what He did except the power which was given to Him by the Father. He did not have to have recourse to any excuses, He is Lord. That is all that is needed.
How afraid of Him they must have been. Someone to stand in front of them, challenge their authority, How dare He say that people are the norm of the positive law. That it is from the nature of being human that rules are made, and anything which does not arise from this is not a good law. How dare He say that man is the crown of creation for which all things all others are made.

Wed. Mrk.3:1-6...He had to teach again and again. The synagogue was the place of teaching. It was the place of confrontation between the new and the old, between the slavery of the law and the freedom which He proclaimed. The law was the structure upon which their relationship to God was based. It was a good thing gone was meant to serve but instead had become the was supposed to open hearts to the presence of God, but was clouding the lives of people in fear. He had recourse to something beyond the written law. His authority once again comes out: is it lawful to do good rather than evil on the Sabbath...He healed ....not waiting for an answer. Their authority was challenged, they could not let this go on, He had to be done away with. The voice of the Lord penetrating the darkness put too much light, they preferred the shaded light of their own hearts. The healing was not joyful for them. It was a sign that one greater than they was about to teach the new law.
14 The place of confrontation is the world, His voice still resounds, His healing power still touches the lives of so many.... fear still is in the hearts of so many... Light is blocked out … it will not be denied. His power will be seen.

Thurs.Mrk.3:7-12.....They came to Him. Perhaps their motivations were not the highest. They were wrapped up in the desire to be healed without looking at who the healer was.....Did they come to give honor and praise? No. They came because there was a hope of a new life ...there was the hope that this Man would take their sicknesses, their maimed limbs, their non-seeing eyes, the ears that could not hear, the legs that could not walk... He would make them whole and a new life would begin, They came because no one else gave them this hope, this dream, of newness. So many would come after them. Through the centuries they would come to Him because He was and is hope. Those who followed Him in the Galilee were the beginning, the sign of all those who would come after. With motivations not perfect, they would come to Him; at first with an almost selfishness, not looking at Him so much as looking at their own weaknesses. He would heal, and in healing they would see Him,,,and the voices of the evil spirits would be replaced. The secret would be proclaimed: You are the Son of God.

Fri. Mrk.3:13-19.....mountains were so important. They were the places He chose to do very important things. He proclaimed the new law from a mountain, He gave His disciples a glimpse of who He was on a mountain, He went to the mountains to speak to His Father. He chose mountains because they were so close to His Father. He chose them because from mountains we can see so far, sight is not limited as it is in the valleys. Horizons are wider,
16We see from mountains new things. To speak from a mountain meant your voice would echo in the valley, it would carry far beyond the spot were the words were spoken. The words would go into the valley and people would wonder where they came from, some would even go searching. He chose the mountain for this solemn moment. He chose the mountain to say that a new people will come into existence. He chose the mountain to tell these twelve that their voices, and the voices of all who would come after them must resound in the valley. Their voices must cause wonder: where did these voices come from? What a message? Let us go and discover more of these wondrous things of which these echoed voices speak.

Sat.Mrk.3:20-21....they had to make excuses for his behavior...they were afraid to acknowledge that this man who they knew from His birth was blessed beyond their wildest imaginings. “We’re sorry He is causing so much trouble, please forgive Him” “Insane” did they really think He was possessed by some sort of evil spirit. How it must have hurt Him to have those who called themselves “his relatives” deny Him like this. But He knew that this would be the story of His life...those closest to Him would inflict the most pain...the denials, the misunderstandings, the selfishness of those close to Him....but the crowds would still come and wonder. The crowds would always eventually do away with those voices which would take from Him who He was. His loneliness has started. The pain of rejection will resound through His ministry...”he is insane” will be the cry of those who seek the “practical” the “rational” and are afraid to see those things beyond. “He is insane” will be the cry of those through the ages who try to made excuses for the complete newness which He brings.

18Sat. Jan.25,THE CONVERSION OF ST. times the absolute freedom of God overpowers us. He is not “logical” in the human sense of that word. His actions go beyond our limited way of thinking. We want things to be predictable. The correct person must be chosen for the job. His credentials must be perfect. His character references must be of the highest. In the way we
do things there is almost a desire to away with the element of surprise. God’s power must be brought down to the level of human is much easier to accept something which fits comfortably into our way of doing is much easier to receive the expected rather than the unexpected.
19We are asked today to look once again at the surprises which God works. We are asked to reflect on the freedom of God. Once we put limits on this freedom we put limits on His love. Once we try to bring Him to our level of doing things we at the same time bring Him to our level of love. We start relating to God not as the God of love who is love, but a great organizer and administrator. This, of course, makes our relationship to Him cold. But if we stand as His children with the open hands of children waiting for the surprise than His love will become for us the unlimited reality which it is.
He freely chose Paul. Everyone was surprised. Some could see the hand of God others could not. This was not the man to preach the message. He
persecuted the church. He could see in Paul that element so important, the great capacity to love beyond limits imposed by the world. Because He could love He could be surprised by the love of God. He could share this with others.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Holy Name Province's "Love at Work" video

Many of you have told me about your family, now I'd like to introduce you to mine: look at the above video to see them-

Friday, January 8, 2010


We begin "ordinary time" this week. Ordinary conjures up thoughts of not being very exciting, something we have been through before. Ordinary time in the liturgy is quite different. Where did it get its name? Very simple. the Sundays from now on are counted, ie. first,second,third etc. The numbers we use to count are called the ordinal numbers, ordinary is just a derivative of ordinal. the word "ordianry" is not meant to be descriptive.

The Sundays of the year are the way most people travel with the Lord. they do this by listening to scripture in the context of the Eucharistic celebration. Walking with the Lord, meeting the Lord along the way of our lives, seems to be rather exciting. As someone once mentioned: there really is nothing ordinary about "ordianry time."

NEW YEAR'S MESSAGE....this is something really worthwhile. Pope Benedict's message delivered on New Year's Day. He puts the enviroment in the context of all human development. It can not be separated. I think the best word to describe it (I hesitate touse it)is "wholistic" Taking time to read and think about it would be a good investment. Goggle to: new year's message/pope benedict xvi and scroll down to: message on the World Day of Peace.(it is the second down)

Mon. Mrk.1:14-20...a man with a mission. He does not waste time...he gathers a group around himself. The new shall be a community, the new shall be built on these...He proclaims the time of fulfillment...He must bring it about...tell people about it. There is a sense of excitement. They must have known something...they must have been caught up in this excitement...the new has come. They will learn, He will teach them. They are the first to leave all, but not parade of people who have heard that voice within: come after me.

Tues. Mrk.1:21-29...He leaves the water. The voice within leads Him to the desert. The desert. The place of meeting His Father. But it is also the place where He meets the powers He has come to destroy. He defeats the temptations. His people will know that He is one like them and that His power defeated sin. He leaves the desert. The beautiful sea of Galilee lies in front of Him. The new community must begin. He sees the fisherman. “Come after me”. They follow. The dove of His baptism is starting to take on human form.
3He sees the power which He defeated in the desert before Him. A man possessed. “Jesus of Nazareth...the Holy one of God” the evil one uses these words in the hope of by naming in some way will exert power over the Lord. It is a cry of vanity, of pride. He has lost. He knows it but he refuses to let go. “Come out of him”. Evil meets good, and is defeated. The power of light has come into the world. But the light, for a reason known only to Him, is a secret. Only those who believe in Him and the other end of the unclosed circle, the evil ones, know who He is.
The secrets of God are pronounced by instruments which He chooses. The crowds heard what the evil ones professed....

Wed. Mrk 1:29-39...the home is such a holy place. So many marvelous things happen inside a home where there is love. Forgiveness, healing, compassion, joy, tears, laughter ....He enters the home of His friend. The holiness of the place fills Him, and His holiness comes out and touches it. The power of a home where the Master is becomes present. His hand rests gently on the woman. She rises from the bed. Some day His Father’s hand will rest upon Him as He lies in the Tomb and He will arise. Perhaps they will remember this woman when they are asked to believe in His death to life. The rising is only the beginning...she serves. From joy, from h
having found her strength, to share what she has with others.
Good health is something not appreciated until lost. Regained it is looked at as a great gift, given not only for oneself but for others. Those about are not yet ready to see beyond...they are not yet ready to grasp that what He has just done for her body he will do for the hearts of all who lie on the bed of spiritual sickness .
He leaves the house. It is sunset. There is no use in keeping such a great event secret. People are overjoyed that they now have the hope of being healed. With hope they come to Him and their hope is not denied. Once again it is the demons who know who He not tell. People are not ready to receive the type of Messiahship which I offer. Their expectations are for the knight who will defeat the earthly enemy…the second David. They are not ready for the Cross.
The joy of the headings is overshadowed by the words of His friend: everyone is looking for you.....those words, He will hear them again. He will hear them at a Garden. He will hear them not amidst his friends but those who have come to take Him away. The cloud of those words will always be there. But He must go on.

Thurs. Mrk. 1:40-45...What right does this leper have to be here? He has been cast out, he is impure. He should not be among “ordinary” people. His sickness has built a wall between him and them. He is no longer part of the community and should be off in his separate place.
The hope of being healed does away with all of these. There is a courage which is born within him . It is a courage blind to everything except healing. The Master. He looks. He does not say: go away. He does not impose the Law on human suffering.
He touches the leper. His desire to heal has to be shown to those around. It has to be shown sometimes in very heroic ways. The courage of the Lord to come into contact with sickness....almost to welcome it and in welcoming it to heal it....He healed by ignoring the law... having healed He reverts to the law.

It seems like the old and the new come together. He does not forget His roots, His heritage. In bringing the new He fulfills the old. But the old must still be respected and loved , yes, even at times used to show the power of the new. The joy has to be spread. The healed one can not look at his skin cleansed, and not give thanks. The horror is over. He jumps and dances: look the master has made me new.
People come to Him. Curious to see this new wonder worker. More, than this, they are hopeful. The crowds see sickness, pain, they know oppression. They do not know who He is, but they have heard of the wonders He has worked... human suffering has found the Healer.

Fri. Mrk. 2:1-12...He tries to get away...they keep coming. People find him in the deserted places. Maybe that is the way it is supposed to be. He returns to “his home”, the city He loved so much that just did not understand. The city that saw but did not see, the city that was always amazed at the wonders He worked without every understanding their meaning. Caperrnaum, Capernaum. In you so many things, breaking down walls to get to Him, disbelief, who can forgive sins but God alone...there is silence, the sick man says nothing, there is the noise of the crowd....there is warmth, friends taking care of friends....there is the coldness of the righteous and those “who know” what is right....there is sight and blindness. Blindness. Capernaum, Capernaum, you can not see beyond….why don’t you believe me? Why are you closed to my words? Capernaum, who are you?

Sat. Mrk.2:13-17.....The action continues. There is an urgency to what He is doing. He must keep moving and preaching that for which He came. The Sea of Galilee is so beautiful. Yet capable of terrible storms. So peaceful, a mirror. Will the wind and the waves come....Levi the tax collector. “Come follow me” The people standing about were amazed. “Look who He is calling to be a disciple? A tax collector, one who has betrayed his people for gain. There are so many good people, so many who have kept the law...why doesn’t He call them?” Levi stands and follows the master. He doesn’t know why but he does know he must do it. The voice was to strong. There was no time for questions: why me? If he thought about it perhaps he would not do it. It was one of those times when one had to have recourse to a higher way . A way which could not be explained, but was true.
Levi followed and in following led. He led the master to a table. Levi’s friends came to the table.
The Master welcomed them all, it was His table now. Levi opened the door but the Master made the feast. They came. Those like Levi, those who were looked down upon, outcasts, those who could find no consolation except in the company of those like themselves.
10 Is the Master saying to us that He is one like us...that He is despised, and rejected by His He telling us that He knows the pain of loneliness, of rejection. Is He telling us that he understands why we have to act so is our way of loving .

Wednesday, January 6, 2010