Thursday, April 29, 2010


A little change of pace this week...instead of the sermon video I thought some music might be nice. I found this beautiful rendition which fits in perfectly with the Gospel of the Fifth Sunday.
Also, I have to be out of town this weekend so had to get the Blog published early....have a good week

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Fifth Week of Easter

Monday of the Fifth Week of Easter (Acts 14:5-18; John 14: 21-26) Once again “to listen.” There is a pleading in His voice. “I want to be with you, walk with you, live your life with you. My word binds us together”. The listening will never end. It has to break through the noise of who I am. The Spirit will come and unclutter the ears of my heart and teach the Words He wants me to hear.

Tuesday of the Fifth Week of Easter (Acts 14:19-28; John14:27-31) His life was a “passing over,” from this world back to the Father. It will be accomplished by His death and Resurrection. His life will not end, it will reach its fulfillment in returning to the Father. The paradox is ; in separation He is present.

Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Easter (Acts 15:1-6; John 15:1-8)The new life of the Resurrection is not for Himself. It is life giving to all who listen to Him. It is the life of hope. It is the life of unity with God, ourselves and the world It is the life not restricted by the material but enters into the very life of God. It is sharing this life which makes God present in our lives and in so doing life becomes a great hymn of glory to the Father.

Thursday of the Fifth Week of Easter (Acts 15:17-21; John 15:9-11) Joy, the desire of the heart. We search for it, find it, then must search again. Joy is the possession of a good. The Resurrected Lord is standing before us saying that He is the highest good. The good which will never end. He wants to be possessed by us. This is the completeness of joy, to say that the Lord is mine.

Friday of the Fifth Week of Easter (Acts 15:22-31; John 15:12-17) He is our friend. “friend” is a precious word. Everything that we associate with it, warmth, understanding, compassion, unity of hearts, He has for us and is asking us to return that friendship. Friendship means forgiving. It means to enjoy some ones company. The Lord is telling us that He not only loves us, but likes us. He likes to be around us, even with or maybe because of, our limitations.

Saturday of the Fifth Week of Easter (Acts 16:1-10; John15:18-21) The Resurrection stands against the world and its values. The Resurrection tells us of something new, something beyond what we see and touch. The Resurrection says “no” to so many things to which the world says “yes”. There is a conflict which breeds hatred. He is telling us that to live the life of The Resurrection we have to embrace misunderstanding and rejection as ways of identifying with Him.
The Sermon
A little girl became restless as the preacher's sermon dragged on and on. Finally, she leaned over to her mother and whispered, "Mommy, if we give him the money now, will he let us go?"

Friday, April 23, 2010

Women of the Old Testament as Types of Christ

The purpose of this reflection is to show that there are women of the Old Testament who are “types” of the Lord. We have limited typology to men. There are women of the Old Testament who speak to us as forcefully about the Lord as men. There are women who foreshadow the Lord .
It is looking at people, places, situations of the Old Testament and seeing them in the light of Jesus. There are examples of types in the New Testament e.g. the multiplication of the loaves, which find their fulfillment later in the ministry of the Lord. For the sake of this paper we limit ourselves to the Old Testament. Typology may be compared, albeit a little weakly, with reversed coming attractions. A true type only comes to be understood in the light of Jesus. We look at Jesus and then see the continuity with the previous persons, places or things. We see them as “reversed” coming attractions because we have already seen the movie.
This principle of typology shows the unity of Scripture, the story of God with us, and also the gradual revelation of who He is. This finds its culmination in Jesus, the one who brings everything together. At one and the same time, He is the masterpiece and completes the masterpiece. Typology simply then is looking at the Old Testament as foreshadowing Jesus.

Examples of typology:
There are events (e.g. the Exodus), places (e.g. the Temple) and things (e.g. Ark of the Covenant) which find their fullest meaning in the New Testament. However once again we limit this paper to people. Recent scriptural studies have used this principle “typology” to enlighten the pages of the Word of God.
There is the story of Abraham and Isaac, the Father about to sacrifice his son, the obedience of Abraham and of Isaac, the complete self giving. We look at that and see the fulfillment with Jesus on the Cross.
Moses, was the great law giver. On the mountain he received and announced the law of the Old Testament. With direct continuity Jesus is the new Moses proclaiming the law of the New Covenant from a mountain.
The prophet Jeremiah whose righteous life and inspired words were a reproach to the authorities was condemned. One might easily see that he prefigures, Jesus the innocent one.
There are many more examples. It seems to me that we take men as types of Jesus but are quite hesitant in looking at women as foreshadowing Jesus.

Women as types of Jesus
The basic principle that I use in applying typology to women in the Old Testament is transcendentalism. What I mean by that rather intimidating word is abstracting from the physical . Is this approach valid? Given the fact that Christian life means being transformed into the Lord through the working of Holy Spirit, I think it is. Saints are given to us as models of what the Spirit does and as a result make Our Lord incarnate in their lives. We seem to accept this on the theoretical level but when it comes to practice, especially in sermons, there is a hesitancy in applying this to women.
For example, the great prophetess Deborah (Judges 4 ff) a very courageous woman, stands out as a great protectoress of her people. If Deborah were a man he would, without hesitation, be put up as an example of the Lord’s love for his people. Also, he would be used as an example of the Lord prodding us to do things we might think impossible. Yet never have I seen Deborah referred to as a “type” of Jesus.

In the book of Daniel (Daniel 13) we have the beautiful story of Susanna. While we have no problem in using Jeremiah as a model of the innocent Christ being condemned paradoxically we have a great deal of difficulty in saying the same about Susanna. Yet the parallels are quite obvious in both stories. In fact Susanna gives us a fuller picture of the lord because she was saved from death…Easter.
The final example that I would offer is that of Queen Esther. She undertook great risks to intercede for her people in time of great danger. If Esther were a king rather than a queen that would be used as foreshadowing the Lord as the great intercessor.

As I mentioned in the paper, would the story of Abraham and Isaac be used as a foreshadowing of Jesus if they were replaced by Sarah and a daughter? We have Moses interceding for his people and being used as a type of Jesus, yet we do not do the same for Ester.
In the Franciscan tradition we have the example of Lady Clare. For so many years, and probably in some quarters, is relegated to the Francis is for the men and Clare for women. Isn’t this possibly selling the Holy Spirit a little short? Our spirituality and humanity would be a lot richer if we looked at Clare and her uniquely feminine way of expressing the Franciscan charism as being for both men and women.
The spirit blows where it wills to manifest the Lord in many ways and through many people, male and female The challenge for us is to remember that we are not dealing with the physical but with the spiritual, God working in people.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Fourth Week of Easter

Monday of the Fourth Week of Easter (Acts 11:1-18; John 10:1-10) He is the center. All the rays find their source in Him. The Sun, He touches all. Even those who do not know Him, are touched by Him. All of creation comes from Him and returns through Him to the Father. He is the One who makes of creation, material and immaterial, living and dead, one. It is He who gives meaning to existence.

Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Easter (Acts 11:19-26;John 10:22-30) He comes to take us back to the Father. He comes not to do His own will. The will of His Father is His motivating force. “I and the Father are one” finds its meaning in the conformity of their wills. Maybe “desire” would be a better word. The desire to have all share their lives with the Father and Himself.

Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Easter (Acts 12:24-13:5; John 12:44-50) He is the light. Darkness is sin, being separated from God, from ourselves and from the world. Darkness is a prison which prevents us from seeing the wonders of the world. We are wrapped up in ourselves. He comes to give us sight. To see the world of God and in so doing be freed from the darkness of our own little world.

Thursday of the Fourth Week of Easter (Acts 13:13-25; John13:16-20) The great I AM, the identity with the Father is made known. He does not keep it a secret. This identity is not something He holds onto as solely His own. It is something to be shared. Those who believe in Him are identified with Him as He is with the Father. They walk in His place. They are He in time and space.

Friday of the Fourth Week of Easter (Acts 13:26-33; John 14:1-6) He does not say “I will show you the way I will teach you the truth, I will show you life” He says: I am the way, the truth and the life. He asks us to cling to Him. In our union with Him is found the way of being human, in our trust in Him is found conformity to reality and in resting in Him do we find life, the serenity of wholeness.

Saturday of the Fourth Week of Easter (Acts 13:44-52; John 14:7-14) He was sent. Once again His obedience to the Father strikes us. He left the glory that was His, He said “yes” to His Father. He listened and shared what He heard. Obedience bears fruit. Not listening, the opposite of obedience, leads to discord. The obedience of the Lord is life giving, not listening kills the spirit. The obedience of the Lord enlightens the world, not listening brings darkness. To let go of all the voices within us so that we can hear the life giving words and answer them is the path of a believer.

Friday, April 16, 2010

We have all been reading about the sex scandal. Most of us rely on the secular press, which does a great service. However, just because of its nature the other side of the story is not reported. By reprinting the article below I do hope the picture becomes a little fuller...
Catholic News ServiceVATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Fresh developments in the continuing storm over clerical sex abuse illustrate a chronic Vatican problem as well as some reasons for guarded optimism about the future.The problem, acknowledged by many inside the Roman Curia, has been recent missteps in communication that have undercut the Vatican's own patient efforts to provide accurate and detailed information about sex abuse policies.The latest came when Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican secretary of state, told reporters in Chile April 12 that many psychologists believe there is a connection between homosexuality and pedophilia.The groans could be heard throughout Vatican City the next day, as news media reported not only the cardinal's remarks but also the intensely critical public reaction -- including a condemnation from the French government.The Vatican spokesman, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, came back with a statement that tried to reframe Cardinal Bertone's remarks with an unusual disclaimer: "Church authorities do not believe they are competent to make general affirmations about specifically psychological or medical issues."The Vatican relies on specialists and experts for such information, Father Lombardi said. In fact, experts consulted by the Vatican several years ago argued against a cause-effect relationship between homosexuality and pedophilia.The groans in Rome came from people who wondered why Cardinal Bertone was needlessly raising an inflammatory side issue at a time when the Vatican was already under a media siege on sex abuse.The Vatican has been down this road before. A papal preacher recently surprised the pope and others at a Good Friday liturgy by comparing criticism of the church on the sex abuse issue with anti-Semitism. A cardinal stood up at the pope's Easter Mass and used the term "petty gossip" to describe such criticism.Some have faulted Pope Benedict XVI for failing to take firmer control of the reins."It's a matter of governance. You have to bring people together, get them on the same page. And tell them to stop speculating out loud with the media," said one Vatican source. But this kind of hands-on management is not Pope Benedict's strength, he added.Father Lombardi had to put out another fire April 15, after a French Web site published a 2001 letter from Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, at the time head of the Vatican's Congregation for Clergy, congratulating a French bishop for not reporting a sexually abusive priest to the police. The priest was later sentenced to 18 years in prison for multiple counts of sexual assault. The bishop was given a three-month suspended sentence for not reporting the abuse in violation of French law."I congratulate you for not denouncing a priest to the civil administration," Cardinal Castrillon wrote to Bishop Pierre Pican of Bayeux-Lisieux. "You have acted well and I am happy to have a colleague in the episcopate who, in the eyes of history and of all other bishops in the world, preferred prison to denouncing his son, a priest."Father Lombardi said in a statement: "This letter is a confirmation of how opportune it was to centralize the handling of cases of sex abuse of minors by clergy under the competence of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in order to assure their rigorous and coherent management."In effect, Father Lombardi was pointing to Cardinal Castrillon as part of a problem that has since been overcome. Cardinal Castrillon retired in 2006; Bishop Pican retired last March.The Vatican has emphasized recently that it now tells bishops to follow civil law when it comes to reporting accusations of sexual abuse to civil authorities. When that policy was posted online as part of a "layman's guide" to the Vatican's sex abuse procedures, it prompted such erroneous headlines as "Vatican: Bishops Must Report Alleged Abuse To Police."Erroneous, because where civil law does not require mandatory reporting -- in Italy, for example -- the Vatican still advises bishops not to do so. The reasoning is twofold, Vatican sources said: first, the role of a bishop in these situations is to effectively implement church law, not to act as a reporting agent for the state. Second, while bishops should advise and sometimes encourage victims to go to police, they should not exercise that right for them; some victims, for a variety of reasons, may not want to report an allegation to police.The Vatican's policy, then, still has the potential to create problematic situations -- especially because non-reporting, in the eyes of many people today, is the equivalent of cover-up.For all the complaining about Vatican communications, there is a growing consensus inside the Roman Curia that, this time around, the Vatican has been more effective and proactive in responding to allegations, rumors and misinterpretations on the sex abuse issue.Officials of the Vatican's doctrinal congregation have given extensive and detailed interviews, the Vatican has translated and posted on its Web site copious background information and documents on church law and sex abuse, and Father Lombardi has been unusually swift to respond to media reports.Reporters on the Vatican's e-mail list sometimes receive such statements late at night, reflecting an urgency that in previous times would have been reserved for papal death.Another point the Vatican is eager to make in the court of public opinion is that the recent disclosures and media reports have focused on cases that are decades old, whereas new allegations of sexual abuse against priests are relatively rare.Father Lombardi, for example, cited a study by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which said more than 60,000 child sex abuse perpetrators were reported in 2008. In contrast, in the one-year period covered by the 2008-2009 audit of child sex abuse in U.S. church institutions, there were 21 new accusations of sex abuse by priests against persons who are currently minors.In short, the Vatican now has a record of progress to point to, largely thanks to the efforts in the United States. Eight years ago, the struggle to establish strict sex abuse norms in U.S. dioceses met with resistance in some Vatican quarters -- notably from Cardinal Castrillon, who has since retired. Today, many at the Vatican are pointing to the U.S. norms as a success story.END
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Third Week of Easter

Monday of the Third Week of Easter (Acts 6: 8-15; John 6:22-29) The Lord’s heart cries out: “believe me.” It is more than simply obeying what He has taught. “to believe” is a response to the love of God. The Lord is present to us as the very love of God made visible. Love is life sharing and so He gives His life in the Eucharist so we can live this life of love.

Tuesday of the Third Week of Easter (Acts 7:51-8:1; John 6:30-35) Life is a journey back to God. It is a true journey in the desert, a “passing over” to new life. As we walk this journey we keep our eyes on the final goal, the dream which God has given us, eternal life. It is this dream which forms the background for life, it is this dream which gives it color, meaning, order. It is also the dream and journey which needs to be fed. He gives us Himself as the bread to help us along the way.

Wednesday of the Third Week of Easter (Acts 8:26-40; John 6:35-40) Ordinary food eventually becomes part of who we are. The food which the Lord promises is the opposite. He gives so we may become who He is. We share in the Eucharist so that we may become God. The “bread” is a call to slowly change our attitudes, ways of acting into the attitudes and way of acting of God. This will always be imperfect. The change is a life long process. The journey will go on until it reaches its goal.

Thursday of the Third Week of Easter (Acts 8:26-40; John 6:44-51) He stands before us, with arms open, ready to receive us as the gifts given to Him by the Father. Gifts are precious. They are signs of love…we are the signs of the Father’s love. He receives us and in so doing shares His life with us. The “bread of life” is our being invited into the very life of God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The bread is the Son given to us by the Father and we believe because of the Holy Spirit working within us.

Friday of the Third Week of Easter (Acts 9:1-20; John 6: 52-59) He tells us of the identity which the “bread” will make. The life of which He speaks is His life. Our lives are the ever-evolving process of being formed into Christ. The life is us living in Christ. It is the Father looking at us in our own uniqueness and seeing the Lord. We have this life not as something slapped on to us. We have it because we have identified with the Lord.

Saturday of the Third Week of Easter (Acts 9: 31-42; John 6:60-69) Life is the recurring theme. He has come to give us life. He shares His life with us. He promises us eternal life. This life of which He speaks is not separate from the ordinary lives which we are called to live. It is its fulfillment. Life is two dimensional; horizontal and vertical. Horizontal is the ordinary things we do every day, work, play, think. Vertical is our basic orientation to God. The life which He promises is not taking the horizontal away but rather enriching with the call to live the vertical.

Saturday, April 10, 2010


Once again I invite you to view the link on the Franciscan Volunteer Ministry. you or someone you know may be interested in looking into it. Of course when it comes to this ministry I am not objective. I am convinced that it is just what some young people are looking for when they finish college. Give it a look


The Franciscan Volunteer Ministry is a group of lay men and women, living in community, who dedicate themselves to ministry in the Church in collaboration with the Franciscans of Holy Name Province.
Based on the Gospel message to express love in action, it provides an environment that fosters service to the marginalized, personal and interpersonal development, spiritual growth, and an active prayer life.
As a living witness to Gospel values and Franciscan ideals, the volunteer is committed to a simple lifestyle that promotes solidarity with the poor and builds a Christian Community with one another.
This experience, with the aid of the Holy Spirit, will nurture the volunteer to grow in Christ to become a leader in the Church.
P.O. Box 29276 • Philadelphia, PA 19125
phone: 215.427.3070 • fax: 215.427.3059

Second Week of Easter

Monday of the Second Week of Easter (Acts 4:23-31; John 3:1-8) He is the one who has come from God. The obedience of the Lord runs throughout the Gospel message. To listen actively is the lesson which He wants to teach us about Himself. Obedience is so difficult. It is the saying “yes” and in so doing we must die to ourselves as the Lord did. It was through His obedience that we have life…it is through our obedience to the Lord that we can be life givers to others.

Tuesday of the Second Week of Easter (Acts 4:32-37; John 3:7-15) The Cross is always before Him. It is the path His entire life takes. “to be lifted up” so in dying others may have life. What is “life”? To be alive is to be in relationship with the world. To be dead is to place ourselves in an ice cube. We cannot escape nor can others enter. To live is doing away with the chains of selfishness so that we can both love and be loved. Eternal life is living in the love of God.

Wednesday of the Second Week of Easter (Acts 5:17-26; John 3:16-21) He is the light. Light permits us to see. Without light we stumble, knock things down. Without light we are afraid, the unknown hidden in darkness. It is easy to create our own light, to think that we see. A paradox, this light is really the darkness of pride, and selfishness. It is the “I” centric. He comes to
enlighten that light, to break through the light/darkness which we have made . It is this light which allows us to see ourselves as people living tied to God.

Thursday of the Second Week of Easter (Acts 5:27-33; John 3:31-36) How much He loves us. He testifies but no one listens, but He does not stop. Love has to have the courage to be rejected. He never stops giving Himself. It would have been so easy if they had listened. Today He speaks to us. He speaks with the courage of love, we are free to respond or not to respond. “respond” is a beautiful word, it means to answer a hope of another. He has the courage to tell us His hopes for us and for us to say “no”.

Friday of the Second Week of Easter (Acts 5:34-42; John 6:1-15) Such a completely human thing, to feed people. Without food there can be no life. He feeds them not because He has a lot of food, rather He feeds them from a lack of food. He does something from a limitation. The miracle of feeding continues through those who give not because they have a lot, but because the little they do have can do marvelous things.

Saturday of the Second Week of Easter (Acts 6:1-7; John 6:16-21) “do not be afraid” how important these words are. Fear is a two edged sword. At one time it protects us from dangers, and another time it can paralyze us. Fear can be a positive motivator in life, or it can stifle the human spirit. Fear in itself is not bad it only becomes bad when we let it stop us from living. It is this fear that Jesus says to us “do not be afraid”.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

A very close friend once told me that Easter is the day on which God reminds us that we are all 10 feet tall...

Thursday, April 1, 2010


The Resurrection of the Lord is so important and so rich in meaning that one day does not do it justice. The Feast not only has an Octave, which is really a continuation of the Solemnity of Easter, but is celebrated through the Fifty Days to the Feast of Pentecost.

The Gospels for the “Fifty Days of Easter” tell us who the Lord is. In the first readings, from the Acts of the Apostles, we are reminded of the working of the Lord in His Church through the Holy Spirit. There are many windows through which we may look at these readings. Like the mystery they make present their meaning is never quite exhausted.

The simple question which is asked and hopefully in some small way answered is: “What does the Lord tell us about Himself?” These mediations will in an inadequate way try to answer this question and in so doing to continue the celebration of Easter.

Easter cannot be relegated to just one day. It is basically a celebration of our lives and the “Fifty Days” help to impress on us the importance of this Celebration.

The meditations will focus on the Gospels. It is not because the first readings do not contain important lessons. The history of the Church, of how it grew within a very short period of time from just a few people gathered on Mt. Sion to a religion which touched the known world, is indeed exciting. The Gospels, however, are the words of the Lord and permit us to see Him more clearly.

The Octave of Easter

Monday of the Octave of Easter (Acts 2:14,22-32; Matt.28: 8-15)…The first word He speaks after the Resurrection is “peace”. This is the Easter gift. Peace, order, the way things should be. With this greeting He is saying that His task is finished, that all has been reconciled. All of creation has been brought back into the order that first existed, things are the way they should be. That is what has happened because of the Resurrection. In the “peace” is also the “not yet”. Radically all things have been brought together, but this still has to be accomplished. The task of Easter is to become and help the world become what the Resurrection has made it.

Tuesday of the Octave of Easter (Acts 2:36-41; John 20:11-18) It is so easy to miss the Lord as we walk through the “garden” of our lives. We see Him in so many different ways; in a beautiful sunset, in the smile of a child, in the face of one crying out to be recognized, in the poor, the sick. We call Him by a different name, the “gardener”. Through all the noise, the “not seeing” a voice comes through. It calls gently, like a summer’s breeze, we have to be attentive or we miss it. It calls out our name. He knows who we are. We close our eyes and hear the voice, we know the Resurrection is not distant but is now.

Wednesday of the Octave of Easter (Acts 3:1-10; Luke 24:13-35) Going back to the past is so easy. That is what the two men of today’s Gospel were doing. The newness of the future was clouded. They had dreamed of a different future. The Cross had not been in their dreams. They had to go back to the past, where things were secure. Along the way to the past, the future met them. He opened their eyes. They let go of the past. Their dreams of the future were replaced by the Future, the Lord.

Thursday of the Octave of Easter (Acts 3:11-26; Luke 24: 35-48) It is so difficult to see the Lord. He stands in front of us, we want to believe, but surely He would come to us in a more glorious way. We have to see, to touch, be assured. To live Easter, is to break loose from the restrictions of the material. We enter a new world. In entering the new world we see the present world through different eyes. We see that the present world has sin. It is separated from God. It has to be given Easter.

Friday of the Octave of Easter (Acts 4:1-12; John 21:1-14) Sometime in the deepest part of our hearts we may be asked to do something completely foolish. Peter throwing the net to the starboard was foolish. One just did not fish from that side of the boat. It was especially “foolish” after having caught nothing through the night. It was in doing this “foolish” thing that they could say “It is the Lord”. Easter asks us to make judgments not by the standards of the world, which are safe, logical, measurable but rather by the standards of God which are not safe, because we are not in control; are not logical, because they look at reality through the eyes of God; are not measurable because Easter works slowly.

Saturday of the Octave of Easter (Acts 4:13-21; Mark 16: 9-15) Easter is to be shared. The times we met the Lord in the garden of our lives, the times He walked with us along the way, the times He opened the future, the times He asked us to cast the net of our lives on the starboard side, all of these are not to be held onto selfishly but rather to be given to the world. The Lord wants everyone to be an Easter person.