Monthly Archives: March 2013

He Is Risen Indeed!


EmptyTomb

3 So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb. 4 They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and arrived at the tomb first; 5he bent down and saw the burial cloths there, but did not go in. 6 When Simon Peter arrived after him, he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there, 7 and the cloth that had covered his head, not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place. 8 Then the other disciple also went in, the one who had arrived at the tomb first, and he saw and believed. 9 For they did not yet understand the scripture that he had to rise from the dead. 10Then the disciples returned home. – John, chapter 20 3-10

Alleluia! Christ is Risen!

Yesterday when I arrived at Church to dress the Altar for Easter, I had gotten there very early and spent, as I normally do, most of my time in prayer while preparations were taking place. While pondering St. Mary Magdalene and placing myself in her shoes, (Read here: Empty Tomb – Pope Francis Homily Added) our Lord filed me with great joy being the first one there to prepare for the celebration. After thirty minutes the first helper arrived. t was one of our maintenance men and the first thing he said to me was: “I ran all the way here!”

I smiled and laughed so hard and asked him, “Are you Saint Peter?” Then explained to him what I had been pondering. It filled me with awe.

He is risen indeed!

Acts 10:40-43

God raised up Jesus on the third day and granted that he be seen, not by all, but only by such witnesses as had been chosen beforehand by God – by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. He commissioned us to preach to the people and to bear witness that he is the one set apart by God as judge of the living and the dead. To him all the prophets testify, saying that everyone who believes in him has forgiveness of sins through his name.

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Empty Tomb – Pope Francis Homily Added


Mary of Magdala Risen Jesus

‘On the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark,* and saw the stone removed from the tomb”

Today is a beautiful day to ponder St. Mary of Magdala’s despair at the sight of the empty tomb. Her love for our Lord and her expectations had brought her to the tomb in hopes of dressing the body of our Lord. Her hopes of touching Him one last time in love. Her hopes of the final goodbye, but what she seen and received was far greater than she had hopped for. This is where our Lord turns lack of faith, into true belief in Him.

I will be adding to this post later today. I am heading to “the tomb early” to prepare the “Altar” for Easter and I want to post more about St. Mary of Magdala and her love for our Lord but more, His love for her. I will post the update below.

ADDED
Full text of Pope Francis’s homily at the Easter Vigil

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

1. In the Gospel of this radiant night of the Easter Vigil, we first meet the women who go the tomb of Jesus with spices to anoint his body (cf. Lk 24:1-3). They go to perform an act of compassion, a traditional act of affection and love for a dear departed person, just as we would. They had followed Jesus, they had listened to his words, they had felt understood by him in their dignity and they had accompanied him to the very end, to Calvary and to the moment when he was taken down from the cross. We can imagine their feelings as they make their way to the tomb: a certain sadness, sorrow that Jesus had left them, he had died, his life had come to an end. Life would now go on as before. Yet the women continued to feel love, the love for Jesus which now led them to his tomb. But at this point, something completely new and unexpected happens, something which upsets their hearts and their plans, something which will upset their whole life: they see the stone removed from before the tomb, they draw near and they do not find the Lord’s body. It is an event which leaves them perplexed, hesitant, full of questions: “What happened?”, “What is the meaning of all this?” (cf. Lk 24:4). Doesn’t the same thing also happen to us when something completely new occurs in our everyday life? We stop short, we don’t understand, we don’t know what to do. Newness often makes us fearful, including the newness which God brings us, the newness which God asks of us. We are like the Apostles in the Gospel: often we would prefer to hold on to our own security, to stand in front of a tomb, to think about someone who has died, someone who ultimately lives on only as a memory, like the great historical figures from the past. We are afraid of God’s surprises; we are afraid of God’s surprises! He always surprises us!

Dear brothers and sisters, let us not be closed to the newness that God wants to bring into our lives! Are we often weary, disheartened and sad? Do we feel weighed down by our sins? Do we think that we won’t be able to cope? Let us not close our hearts, let us not lose confidence, let us never give up: there are no situations which God cannot change, there is no sin which he cannot forgive if only we open ourselves to him.

2. But let us return to the Gospel, to the women, and take one step further. They find the tomb empty, the body of Jesus is not there, something new has happened, but all this still doesn’t tell them anything certain: it raises questions; it leaves them confused, without offering an answer. And suddenly there are two men in dazzling clothes who say: “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; but has risen” (Lk 24:5-6). What was a simple act, done surely out of love – going to the tomb – has now turned into an event, a truly life-changing event. Nothing remains as it was before, not only in the lives of those women, but also in our own lives and in the history of mankind. Jesus is not dead, he has risen, he is alive! He does not simply return to life; rather, he is life itself, because he is the Son of God, the living God (cf. Num 14:21-28; Deut 5:26; Josh 3:10). Jesus no longer belongs to the past, but lives in the present and is projected towards the future; he is the everlasting “today” of God. This is how the newness of God appears to the women, the disciples and all of us: as victory over sin, evil and death, over everything that crushes life and makes it seem less human. And this is a message meant for me and for you, dear sister, dear brother. How often does Love have to tell us: Why do you look for the living among the dead? Our daily problems and worries can wrap us up in ourselves, in sadness and bitterness… and that is where death is. That is not the place to look for the One who is alive!

Let the risen Jesus enter your life, welcome him as a friend, with trust: he is life! If up till now you have kept him at a distance, step forward. He will receive you with open arms. If you have been indifferent, take a risk: you won’t be disappointed. If following him seems difficult, don’t be afraid, trust him, be confident that he is close to you, he is with you and he will give you the peace you are looking for and the strength to live as he would have you do.

3. There is one last little element that I would like to emphasize in the Gospel for this Easter Vigil. The women encounter the newness of God. Jesus has risen, he is alive! But faced with empty tomb and the two men in brilliant clothes, their first reaction is one of fear: “they were terrified and bowed their faced to the ground”, Saint Luke tells us – they didn’t even have courage to look. But when they hear the message of the Resurrection, they accept it in faith. And the two men in dazzling clothes tell them something of crucial importance: “Remember what he told you when he was still in Galilee… And they remembered his words” (Lk 24:6,8). They are asked to remember their encounter with Jesus, to remember his words, his actions, his life; and it is precisely this loving remembrance of their experience with the Master that enables the women to master their fear and to bring the message of the Resurrection to the Apostles and all the others (cf. Lk 24:9). To remember what God has done and continues to do for me, for us, to remember the road we have travelled; this is what opens our hearts to hope for the future. May we learn to remember everything that God has done in our lives.

On this radiant night, let us invoke the intercession of the Virgin Mary, who treasured all these events in her heart (cf. Lk 2:19,51) and ask the Lord to give us a share in his Resurrection. May he open us to the newness that transforms. May he make us men and women capable of remembering all that he has done in our own lives and in the history of our world. May he help us to feel his presence as the one who is alive and at work in our midst. And may he teach us each day not to look among the dead for the Living One. Amen.

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The Death Of Jesus


Jesus Death

It was now about noon and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon because of an eclipse of the sun. Then the veil of the temple was torn down the middle. Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit”; and when he had said this he breathed his last. The centurion who witnessed what had happened glorified God and said, “This man was innocent* beyond doubt.” When all the people who had gathered for this spectacle saw what had happened, they returned home beating their breasts; but all his acquaintances stood at a distance, including the women who had followed him from Galilee and saw these events. – LUKE 23 44:49

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His Rock My Rock


jerusalemmtoliveschurchofallnationsrock

While I spent time with our Lord in Gethsemane last night, I pondered. Why did my Lord cling to this rock. Why not keep waking up St. Peter, St James and St John?

The rock was and still is today, a better specimen at doing God’s will then any mortal man. The rock our Lord clung to, had been created by God, to do as God asked, and did exactly what God had designed it to do. To be a rock. It was not budging from Gods order. Thus was the obedience of our Lord. He could not be moved from carrying out God’s will. He did exactly as our Father had asked. Thus the reason we cling to Him and not any worldly object or person. He is my Rock. He doesn’t budge. He doesn’t change, I do. He is set firm and His Bride is set with Him. She does not budge.

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Good Friday


ChristCrucified14

“Over his head they hung their accusation: Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews.”

Isaiah 52:13-15

See, my servant shall prosper,
he shall be raised high and greatly exalted.
Even as many were amazed at him —
so marred was his look beyond that of man,
and his appearance beyond that of mortals —
So shall he startle many nations,
because of him kings shall stand speechless;
For those who have not been told shall see,
those who have not heard shall ponder it.

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Turning Tables


flipping

“And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but you have made it a den of thieves”

Last Friday, a woman made her way to our Adoration chapel with two family members. She was in a condition of great fear. Frozen in fear. She did not want to leave the tabernacle. She clung to it with a crucifix in one hand and begged me to place holy water on her. My heart cried for her. You see I knew her pain as I had been in a similar condition many years ago. It’s a state of deep repentance. As I was describing this poor woman to another person, I was quickly reminded this week of our Lord in the temple, flipping over the money changers tables. The body is the Temple. When the “world” sees a soul in this state, they call it mental illness but never even think of the sickness of the soul. Confession! Anointing of the Sick! THEN take them to a mental care facility, arming them with a book of prayers for the duration. When the soul is sick, everything in the body is sick. There is no pill you can take or that can be created by man to cure a sick soul. Only our Lord is the Doctor of your soul. If you allow Him to fix your soul, your entire life blossoms into great beauty!

You see, our Lord did this to me. My soul has always belonged to Him as do all of ours baptized in the faith. I had made His “Temple” a den of thieves by living a sinful life and falling away from His teachings. He came in to His “Temple” and removed everything He did not place in there, everything that did not belong there. When this happened, I too was in a state of dread and fear, frozen in fear because it is Him, allowing the soul to be “Sifted as Wheat”. Every sin I had ever committed was being tossed into the dumpster as I stood by it repenting as it was thrown in, feeling like a “hoarder” watching everything I had, my sinful posessions and passions, which was in fact worthless garbage, being tossed away. There was nothing else I could do but repent. I was guilty of everything. A disconnect comes when we do not understand this is for the greater good of our soul and we think that Christ want’s us to just stand there and not move as this is taking place. Or that He hates us and is punishing us. Dead wrong! It is very incorrect to think this way. God never wishes you to be frozen in fear. He needs you to trust in Him and continue moving closer to Him with the understanding He is everywhere you are to complete His will. If we remain frozen in fear, afraid to move, we miss out the beauty of his consolations through all life, that He is trying to replace all the death that He removed from your soul that you had built up separated from Him.

No table of junk is left unturned. But know this. Everything that is removed is replaced with great joy and love that explodes into a satisfaction of knowing He is God and He is with you but it takes lots of prayer to work through this along with using all the grace and gifts He gives to you. Leaning and trusting completely on Him as the Builder, turning the tables on living the sinful life and bringing you into “communion” with Him, in a life of prayer.

Our recompence is in Christ’s hands and when we submit, we are then crucified with Him.

Edit to add on 3/30/2013

Hosea 5:15b-16:2

Thus says the Lord:
In their affliction, they shall look for me:
“Come let us return to the Lord,
For it is he who has rent, but he will heal us;
he has struck us, but he will bind our wounds.
He will revive us after two days;
on the third day he will raise us up,
to live in his presence.”

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Bread Of Life


last-supper

How could Jesus, the Son of God, become simple bread & wine? He doesn’t. He turns bread & wine into His Body & Blood, in the same way he turns sinners into Saints. In the same way the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, because HE is God ever-present with us so we could be ever-present with Him.

“And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”

“In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.”

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