Sunday, June 7, 2015

Corpus Christi - Where Shall We Go ...? (2015-06-07)

Corpus Christi/ 7 June 2015
Exodus 24:3-8
Psalm 116
Hebrews 9:11-15
Mark 14:12-16, 22-26

[__01___]        Where should we celebrate the Passover?

Where should we celebrate the Passover?

The disciples asked our Savior this question in the Gospel, today, this Sunday of Corpus Christi.

They were asking for direction and directions.  “Do you want us to go and prepare for you to eat the Passover?” (Mark 14:12)

And we read very specific instructions about the –

·       CITY

Jesus had a place prepared. And, by the miraculous divine power of his insight, he did not need to call ahead for reservations but rather he knew the place before they would arrive.

“Where should we celebrate the Passover?”

[__02___]      This would be a question that a Jewish family would ask today, carefully considering the location for their sacred and Seder meal.

“Where should we celebrate the Passover?”

Where should we celebrate? Where should we go?

[__03___]       Don’t we need assistance/guidance/reflection to find the right place [OR, DESTINATION] to celebrate, to sacrifice with our loved ones?

At any major holiday/observance, this is also the question in our families, between married couples. 

Sometimes, it is a series of exchanges and trades, free agents, draft picks, and players to be named later.

“Where should we celebrate the Passover?”

We will go to your family for Thanksgiving and mine for Christmas.

Where should we celebrate? Where should we go?

In these discussions, also we are called to be guided by prayer, by the Holy Spirit, in the decisions we make for our FAMILIES and the time we spend together.

These decisions enable us not only be fed, to be fed physically but also to be nourished and united spiritually.

[__04__]     I also meditate on this question because this is Corpus Christi Sunday, and we recall our tradition and teaching of not only RECEIVING the Body of Christ but also FORMING and BECOMING the Body of Christ.

[__05__]      Where should we celebrate our Holy Communion with our Savior?

We celebrate here at Our Lady of Lourdes.   

*** If this were a recorded messages about SUNDAY MASS, we would now press [9] for the Mass Schedule.

One might object or question.  Why here?

Why in church?   Why not at home … at my address?

Why not on a mountain or in the forest … away from all material distractions … and where everything is truly wireless?

Is not God present everywhere? That is, he is present whether we are home alone or going out into the wild.

Yes, we believe God is present everywhere. He is maker of all things, visible and invisible, as we profess in the Creed.

Then again, might we also not say that our family and our unity in marriage is present EVERYWHERE?

That is, you and I remain children to our parents, parents to our children, brother or sister to another, husband and wife, even outside of the physical presence of the other person.

At the same time, do we not consider physical presence, HOME to be SACRED, SPECIAL?

We consider the family table to be sacred, special.

For this reason, at home also, we are also called to pray before MEALS, to acknowledge we are in God’s presence, to speak in certain tones and display manfiest certain attitudes of listening and compassion – at the table …and, so, whether we are in church or in the dining room … we live the Good News of the Gospel:

“where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (reference).   This is a message of God’s presence for the FAMILY and the CHURCH.

[__06__]     The Lord invites us every Sunday to come home, to come home to him in prayer.

Yes, it is true that God is present everywhere, but we discover God because of the arrangement here, just as we have arranged our homes in  a certain way.

We arrange the church with…

è Cross and Crucifix to remind us that this meal of the Holy Eucharist – Holy Communion – was made possible by his death and resurrection.

è The Tabernacle reminds us that his presence – of his Body and Blood – is abundant and enduring.

[__07__]      We come to church to experience God’s love.

We read in the Gospel of Matthew:

For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.”  (Matthew 7:8)

This verse teaches not that our each one of our DESIRES may be granted, but it does teach us that each one of our QUESTIONS – everything we ask – is really heard by God. 

We come to church so that we may focus our meditation and contemplation.

We are called also to listen, to experience God’s love and also identify his love and truth everywhere.

[__08___]        This gathering in church at MASS also reminds us that just as the body needs nourishment to hold together, to bond together, so also the community, the Body of Christ, needs the nourishment of communal prayer and penance and sacrifice to unite, to stay together.

Just as husband and wife, family and children, gather not only to be nourished physically at the table, but also to be loving, charitably, spiritually nourished.

Husbands and wives, family and children gather at their own altar, in their own homes, to sacrifice and share with each other.

[_09_]     And, where should we celebrate, the disciples ask.

We celebrate and pray here as one family as one body to know also that the Lord has given us not only DAILY BREAD so that we may have grace and strength.

He also given us his grace and strength and word as our DAILY BREAD.    [_10_]        [_fin_]     

Monday, June 1, 2015

Trinity Sunday (2105-05-31)

Trinity Sunday  / 31 May 2015

[__01___]        This Sunday is Trinity Sunday, traditionally observed as the Sunday immediately following Pentecost Sunday.

Regarding the Trinity, we recall that God exists as distinct persons, with distinct roles --- as the Father, as the Son, and as the Holy Spirit.

Traditionally – and mathematically – we also assign numbers, implicitly ranking them as …

1st – God the Father
2nd – God the Son
3rd – God the Holy Spirit.

However, the mystery of our faith is that the three are equal.

They are different, distinct, yet equal.

In the Bible, reading sequentially from the Old Testament from the New Testament, from the Book of Genesis …and onward to the Book of the Gospels, we read …

·       First …in Genesis … the words of God the Father, such as as “let there be light”  (Genesis 1:3)
·       Many pages later, we read Jesus saying …for example  “let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”   (John 8:7)

So, we are accustomed the words of the Father precede – in sequence and on paper – the words of the Son.

[__02___]      Nevertheless, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are equal.

Saint John, the Evangelist, in his Gospel of John, writes and summarizes this way :  “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God; he was in the beginning with God; all things were made through him and without him was not anything made that was made” (John 1:1-3)

In this regard, the very first word, the very first idea of God the Father was through his Son.

[__03___]     Are we not aware that two persons can be equal in status, equal in importance, yet different …

For example, a parent and child are equal in importance to the family, yet each has a different role to play.
We might also say that the “parent” and “child” come into existence at exactly the same moment… if we consider that a person’s life would changed, if he or she were to become a parent.

A husband and wife, in marriage, are equal in dignity, but each has a different gift to bring. In fact, in their love, in the Sacrament of Matrimony, in their vows, in their “I Do” before God, they are allowing God into their lives, to complete them, as a third person, as a trinity.

Do we in, our relationships, welcome God in as our partner, our guide, not to impose rules on us, but simply to share his desires with us, so that we might also respond to his desires, his hopes, his direction?

[__04___]     Yes, there is a 1st person, a 2nd person, and a 3rd person in the Holy Trinity, but this is not a computerized ranking system or review.

1st … 2nd … 3rd … reminds us their distinct roles.

[__05___]      Also, we are called to consider how we can form a trinity and the trinity by our own actions – in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
This is a challenge we may resist or overlook.

For example, in HOLY MATRIMONY, we are often reminded of the 2 persons…the first 2 persons.  Which is, for example…

·       ME – I am the first person
·       YOU – You are the second person.

And, between ME and YOU …or between YOU and ME, there may not be perfect agreement, as there is between the “FATHER” and the “SON” and “HOLY SPIRIT”.

There are the 3 divine persons. We are, in our lives, striving to be made like God, by allowing God – the Divine Presence – to be the third person.

We form a trinity – in marriage – by acknowledging that God also has hopes, has desires, even has  TO-DO LIST (HONEY-DO LIST?) equal in importance to our own.

God is calling us to form this trinity of love.

[__06___]      In the relationship between parent and child, between 2 family members, a trinity exist, not only the first person of my desires and the second person of your desires, but also the 3rd person of God’s desires.

What does God want as a partner, as a guide? He wants what every spouse wants, he wants what every parent wants of her child…or what every child wants of his parent …

That is, God wants us to be –

·       HUMBLE –  In the first letter of Saint Peter we read:

All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.” 
(1 Peter 5:5-6)

Don’t we hope that those we love are HUMBLE ?

God wants us to be

·       HOPEFUL – St. Paul wrote to the Romans that we hope for what we do not see and we wait for it with patience. (cf. Romans 8:25)   Do we not expect – do we not hope – that others will be patient with us… even if they cannot see everything we are doing?

We are called to demonstrate the same patience, to imitate God.

That is, God wants us to be –

·       HELFPUL – We are called to be servants. Even if we are in leadership roles – or in charge – we remain SERVANTS.

In the Gospel of Luke, we read –

But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you.”  (Luke 14:13)

Under the sign of the cross – of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – we welcome God into our lives.

[__07___]     Our calling in life is to be closer to God, through the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

This is a calling not only for those in religious life, or the ministry of the priesthood …for those whom we call Sister, or Brother…or Father …

All of us are called to meditate on how we can enter into the life of the trinity on how we can join ourselves to God,  so that we can know what God wants as a partner, an equal partner in our lives… as we carry this out in distinct and different ways.      [_fin_]