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Posts Tagged ‘Resurrection’

“Implore Divine Mercy”

In 01 Daily Meditations on 2015/06/19 at 12:00 AM
For each one of us, as for Lazarus, it was really a veni foras – come out – which got us moving. How sad it is to see those who are still dead and do not know the power of God’s mercy! Renew your holy joy, for opposite the man who is decomposing without Christ, there is another who has risen with him. (The Forge, 476)

It is good for us to consider the wiles of these enemies of the soul: the disorder of sensuality and easy‑going superficiality, the folly of reason that rejects God, the cavalier presumption that snuffs out love for both God and creatures. All these obstacles are real enough, and they can indeed cause us a great deal of trouble. For these very reasons the liturgy invites us to implore divine mercy: “To you, o Lord, I lift up my soul. O my God, in you I trust, let me not be put to shame; let not my enemies exult over me” [1], as we prayed in the introit. And in the offertory we shall go back to the same idea: “Let none that wait for you be put to shame.”

Now that the time of our salvation is approaching, it is consoling to hear from the lips of St Paul that “when the goodness and kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not by the works of justice which we have done, but according to his mercy” [2].

If you leaf through the holy Scripture, you will discover constant references to the mercy of God. Mercy fills the earth [3]. It extends to all his children [4], and is “all around us” [5]. It “watches over me” [6]. It “extends to the heavens” [7] to help us, and has been continually “confirmed” [8]. God in taking care of us as a loving father looks on us in his mercy [9] — a mercy that is “tender” [10], welcome as ”rain‑clouds” [11].

The life of Jesus Christ is a summary and compendium of the story of divine mercy: “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy” [12]. And on another occasion our Lord said: “Be merciful, therefore, even as your Father is merciful” [13]. (Christ is passing by, 7)

[1] Ps 24:1‑2
[2] Tit 3:5
[3] Ps 32:5
[4] Sir 18:12
[5] Ps 31:10
[6] Ps 58:11
[7] Ps 33:8
[8] Ps 116:2
[9] Ps 24:7
[10] Ps 108:21
[11] Sir 35:26
[12] Matt 5:7
[13] Luke 6:36

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The Gospel of John

In 15 Audio on 2014/05/08 at 12:00 AM
Host – Prof. Tim Gray et al.
Professor Tim Gray and 5 young adults of the FOCUS group, discuss in the 30 mins. show the writings in the Gospel of John. Explaining all the signs and symbolisms.

The Gospel of John

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Program Name

Audio File Name – Click to download

1.

Prologue of John & calling Disciples

( John 1: 1-59) 

Host – Prof. Tim Gray et al.

gj01.mp3

The prologue of John is a poetic master piece of theology. Echoing the creation story, John Shows how Jesus is the WORD who existed before time. And just as Jesus was the Vital Word of God who was the principal of creation, so now the Word Incarnate begins s a new creation. We shall also see how John intends the prologue to be the interpretative lens through which the rest of the story of Jesus must be read.

2.

Ignaural Signs of Jesus’ Ministry

(John 2-3) 

Host – Prof. Tim Gray et al.

gj02.mp3

The significance of Jesus’ first sign at the wedding feast of Cana will be highlighted, focusing on the role of Mary. Also, the important dialogue between Jesus and Nicodemus will be explained.

3.

The First Passover and Jesus’ Encounter with Nicodemus 

Host – Prof. Tim Gray et al.

gj03.mp3

4.

Woman at the Well and Healing on the Sabbath

(John 4-5) 

Host – Prof. Tim Gray et al.

gj04.mp3

The Old Testament background of Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman will open up the inner dynamics of their dialogue. Also, the importance of the theme of water here, and throughout the Gospel, will be explained. The story of Jesus’ healing on the Sabbath will be studied in light of Jewish law illustrating why Jesus did not break the Sabbath but rather offered a bold interpretation of his identity as the Son of God as the rationale for his Sabbath activity.

5.

The Fulfillment of Jewish Liturgy: Jesus 

Host – Prof. Tim Gray et al.

gj05.mp3

6.

The Bread of Life

(John 6) 

Host – Prof. Tim Gray et al.

gj06.mp3

This study will focus on Jesus’ revelation of the Eucharist. We shall study how this chapter on the Eucharist is the center of Jesus’ mission and the focal point of John’s Gospel. By carefully tracing the Old Testament echoes and the literary structure of this chapter, we shall see how the Eucharist is at the center of Jesus’ proclamation of the Kingdom of God.

7.

The Feast of Tabernacles

(John 7-8:59) 

Host – Prof. Tim Gray et al.

gj07.mp3

Here we shall see how Jesus fulfilled the Jewish Liturgy of Tabernacles. Jesus replaces the Torah as the source of knowing the Father. The last day of the Feast involved a water ceremony that symbolized the gift of God’s Spirit. Jesus takes advantage of this celebration to announce that it is He who will give the Holy Spirit.

8.

The Feast of Tabernacles Cont’d 

Host – Prof. Tim Gray et al.

gj08.mp3

9.

The Good Shepherd and the Raising of Lazurus

(John 10 – 11) 

Host – Prof. Tim Gray et al.

gj09.mp3

In this study, we shall examine Jesus’ statement that He is the Good Shepherd, as Jesus gives seven “ I AM” statements in this Gospel, which are a key theme for understanding who Jesus is and what His mission is all about. The raising of Lazarus from the dead is the most powerful sign performed in Jesus’ ministry, anticipating Jesus’ own resurrection and the final resurrection of the dead. The story relates the challenge of having a radical faith in Jesus, seen through the reactions of Martha and Mary. Here we will explore the important theme of faith.

10.

The End

The Washing of the Feet

(John 12-13) 

Host – Prof. Tim Gray et al.

gj10.mp3

Chapter 12 of John’s Gospel is the hinge of the story, moving from Jesus’ ministry to his passion. Here we will note the symbolism of Jesus’ triumphal entry and the significance John gives to the rejection of Jesus by the Jewish leaders. The importance of the washing of feet in Jewish culture and cult will be reviewed, with special emphasis on Jesus’ radical teaching on the nature of discipleship.

11.

Jesus’ Farewell Discourse and His Passion

(John 18-19:42) 

Host – Prof. Tim Gray et al.

gj11.mp3

Throughout the Gospel story so far, Jesus has identified Himself as the one “sent” by the Father. Now Jesus commissions the Apostles “sending” them out on a mission just as the Father sent Jesus. Here we see the final discourse of Jesus and how He prepares the Apostles for their priestly mission.

12.

Resurrection

(John 20-21) 

Host – Prof. Tim Gray et al.

gj12.mp3

The Resurrection of Jesus is the climax of Salvation History and the Gospel of John. The nature and meaning of the Resurrection, in light of the Jewish understanding of resurrection and Gentile views of resurrection will be studied. This episode also looks at the importance of Jesus’ breathing the Holy Spirit on the disciples and its ushering in of a new creation. Finally, the centrality of Jesus’ Resurrection in our faith will be explored, debunking false views and doubts about the historicity of Jesus’ Resurrection and what the empty tomb represents.

13.

Resurrection (Conclusion)

(John 20-21) 

Host – Prof. Tim Gray et al.

gj13.mp3

The Resurrection of Jesus is the climax of Salvation History and the Gospel of John. The nature and meaning of the Resurrection, in light of the Jewish understanding of resurrection and Gentile views of resurrection will be studied. This episode also looks at the importance of Jesus’ breathing the Holy Spirit on the disciples and its ushering in of a new creation. Finally, the centrality of Jesus’ Resurrection in our faith will be explored, debunking false views and doubts about the historicity of Jesus’ Resurrection and what the empty tomb represents.

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Christ Has Risen, He is Risen Indeed!

In Uncategorized on 2013/03/31 at 9:46 AM

“Dear brothers and sisters in Rome and throughout the world, Happy Easter! Happy Easter!”

“What a joy it is to announce this message: Christ is risen! I would like it to go out to every house and every family, especially where the suffering is greatest, in hospitals, in prisons… Most of all, I would like it to enter every heart, for it is there that God wants to sow this Good News: Jesus is risen, there is hope for you, you are no longer in the power of sin or of evil! Love has triumphed! Mercy has been victorious! God’s mercy always triumphs!”

“We too, like the women who were Jesus’ disciples, who went to the tomb and found it empty, may wonder what this event means (cf. Lk 24:4). What does it mean that Jesus is risen? It means that the love of God is stronger than evil and death itself; it means that the love of God can transform our lives and let those desert places in our hearts bloom. God’s love can do this.”

“This same love out of which the Son of God became man and followed the way of humility and self-giving to the very end, down to hell—to the abyss of separation from God—this same merciful love has flooded Jesus’ dead body with light and transfigured it; has made it pass into eternal life. Jesus did not return to his former life, to an earthly life, but entered into the glorious life of God and He entered there with our humanity, opening us to a future of hope.”

“This is what Easter is: it is the exodus, the passage of human beings from the slavery to sin and evil to the freedom of love and goodness. Because God is life, life alone, and we are his glory, the living person.”

“Dear brothers and sisters, Christ died and rose once for all time and for everyone, but the power of the Resurrection, this passing from the slavery to evil to the freedom of goodness, must be accomplished in every age, in our concrete existence, in our everyday lives. How many deserts, even today, do human beings need to cross! Above all, the desert within, when are lacking love for God and neighbour, when we fail to realize that we are guardians of all that the Creator has given us and continues to give us. God’s mercy can make even the driest land become a garden, can restore life to dry bones (cf. Ez 37:1-14).”

“So this is the invitation that I address to everyone: Let us accept the grace of Christ’s Resurrection! Let us be renewed by God’s mercy! Let us be loved by Jesus! Let us enable the power of his love to transform our lives too and let us become agents of this mercy, channels through which God can water the earth, protect all creation and make justice and peace flourish.”

“And so we ask the risen Jesus, who turns death into life, to change hatred into love, vengeance into forgiveness, war into peace. Yes, Christ is our peace, and through him we implore peace for all the world.”

“Peace for the Middle East, in particular between Israelis and Palestinians who struggle to find the road of agreement: that they may willingly and courageously resume negotiations to end a conflict that has lasted all too long. Peace in Iraq: that every act of violence may end. And above all for dear Syria, for its people torn by conflict and for the many refugees who await help and comfort. How much blood has been shed! And how much suffering must there still be before a political solution to the crisis will be found?”

“Peace for Africa, still the scene of bloody conflicts. In Mali: may unity and stability be restored. In Nigeria, where attacks sadly continue, gravely threatening the lives of many innocent people, and where great numbers of persons, including children, are held hostage by terrorist groups. Peace in the East of the Democratic Republic of Congo and in the Central African Republic where many have been forced to leave their homes and continue to live in fear.”

“Peace in Asia, above all on the Korean peninsula: may disagreements be overcome and a renewed spirit of reconciliation grow.”

“Peace in the whole world, still divided by greed looking for easy gain, wounded by the selfishness which threatens human life and the family, selfishness that continues in human trafficking, the most extensive form of slavery in this twenty-first century. Human trafficking is precisely the most extensive form of slavery in this twenty-first century! Peace to the whole world, torn apart by violence linked to drug trafficking and by the iniquitous exploitation of natural resources! Peace to this our Earth! Made the risen Jesus bring comfort to the victims of natural disasters and make us responsible guardians of creation.”

“Dear brothers and sisters, to all of you who are listening to me, from Rome and from all over of the world, I address the invitation of the Psalm: ‘Give thanks to the Lord for He is good; for his mercy endures for ever. Let Israel say: “His mercy endures forever”.’ (Ps 118:1-2).”

“Dear brothers and sisters who have come from all over the world to this Square, the heart of Christianity and to all of you joining us via the media, I repeat my wishes for a happy Easter! Bring to your families and your nations the message of joy, of hope, and of peace that every year, on this day, is powerfully renewed. May the Risen Lord, who defeated sin and death, sustain us all especially the weakest and those most in need. Thank you for your presence and the witness of your faith. A thought and special thanks for the gift of these beautiful flowers that come from the Netherlands. I affectionately repeat to all of you: May the Risen Christ guide all of you and all of humanity on the paths of justice, love, and peace!”

Then, in Latin, Pope Francis imparted the “Urbi et Orbi” blessing.

VIS 130331

Easter Sunday

In 05 Homilies by Fr. Reid on 2013/03/30 at 12:00 AM
  • Today we read the marvelous story from St. Matthew’s Gospel of our Lord appearing to Mary Magdalene after His resurrection.
  • From this version of the post‐resurrection events, it seems that St. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary with her were the first to see the risen Lord.
  • Perhaps there is some consolation to be found in this thought that, despite the terrible sins of her life, our Lord found Mary Magdalene worthy of such a great honor, for this privilege proves our Lord’s deep mercy and love for even the most sinful among us.
  • However, this Gospel and the question of to whom our Lord first appeared has raised considerable speculation over the centuries, for the Scriptures do not record our Lord’s resurrection in detail.
  • From today’s Gospel we can only deduce that Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were up early on Easter Sunday, found the tomb empty, and then our Lord appeared to them.
  • Conspicuously absent from all of the Post‐Resurrection narratives is the very person who was most closely united to Jesus during His life on earth: His Mother Mary.
  • Indeed, the very last we hear of Mary is at the crucifixion, when in His final act of filial solicitude, our Lord lovingly places her within the care of St. John, the disciple He loved most, and the only one to stay with Him throughout the entirety of His terrible Passion.
  • Our Catholic Tradition gives us some answers as to what happened to our Lady after Jesus died. We know that she was present as Jesus was taken down from the cross, and that she lovingly held her dead Son in her arms before He was prepared for burial.
  • We know from the Book of Acts that after Jesus ascended into Heaven, Mary was with the 11 apostles in prayer, and it is a traditional belief, as well, that Mary was present for the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.
  • We know, too, that Mary spent the remainder of her life in the care of St. John, and that when the course of her earthly life was over, Mary was assumed body and soul into Heaven, where she was reunited with Jesus and crowned Queen of Heaven and Earth.
  • But beyond these details, we know very little of what happened to our Lady after Jesus’ death.
  • In one of his weekly audiences in 1997, Pope John Paul II took up the issue of our Lord’s resurrection appearances, stating that, although Scripture is silent on the issue, it is wholly reasonable to believe that the Virgin Mary was the first to see her risen Son.
  • He stated that: “The unique and special nature of the presence of the Virgin at Calvary, and her perfect union with the Son in his suffering on the Cross, seem to postulate a very particular participation on her part in the mystery of the Resurrection.”
  • Pope John Paul II believed that the Blessed Virgin Mary: “was probably also a privileged witness to the Resurrection of Christ, in this way completing her participation in all the essential moments of the paschal mystery.”
  • He went on to conclude with a most important point: “Embracing the risen Jesus, Mary is, in addition, a sign and anticipation of humanity, which hopes to reach its fulfillment in the resurrection of the dead.”
  • In other words, we see in the Blessed Virgin Mary our hopes for resurrection fulfilled. We see in revealed in the mysteries of her life, most especially her Assumption into Heaven, the salvation possible for us all.
  • The favors granted by God to our Lady offer proof of His goodness and mercy, and they show us what is possible for mankind: namely, the perfection of our human nature so that we may be fully and eternally united with our Lord in the glory of Heaven.
  • This is what our Lord makes possible for us through His death and resurrection, which we honor and celebrate today. And we know that this is possible, for we see how our Lord has already carried this out in the life of His Immaculate Mother.
  • For the past three days we have been recalling our Lord’s Paschal Mystery: how He suffered for us and because of us, dying a most ignoble death on the cross, and being buried in the tomb.
  • But it is not simply bare historical facts that we recall each Easter. Easter is our annual celebration of the spiritual reality made possible by Christ’s Paschal Mystery!
  • Out of love for sinful man, Christ slept the sleep of death so that we might rise with Him to new life. He went into the darkness of Hell so that we might be enlightened by His grace.
  • And He took on the bondage of sin so that we might experience the true freedom of the sons and daughters of God. This is what we celebrate today; this is what we believe
  • And in the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we see our Lord’s Easter promises to humanity fulfilled. [It is for this reason that our stained glass windows depicting the Resurrection and the Assumption of Mary are placed directly opposite one another!]
  • Because she remained united with Christ throughout her life, most especially as He suffered and died on the cross, Mary now enjoys eternal life. As such, Mary is our constant reminder of the eternal blessings possible for those who believe in Christ.
  • My dear brothers and sisters, in His resurrection from the dead today, Jesus makes good on the promises to grant new and eternal life to all who believe in Him.
  • With Mary as our model, let us make good on the promises we made to Jesus at our baptism by always remaining faithful to Him in this life. In doing so, let us trust that He will grant us eternal blessedness in the life to come.

Copyright 2011 by Reverend Timothy S. Reid

Reverend Reid is pastor of St. Ann’s Catholic  Church in Charlotte, NC

The Semantics of Easter

In 08 Musings by Jack Reagan on 2012/04/07 at 9:11 AM

Beginning in the 1960’s, a concerted effort was launched by influential clergy in the Vatican and their American allies to make radical changes in the Church. According to some, the changes have not enhanced the Church or the religious experience of the Catholic people.

The  most obvious was the complete overhaul of the Mass under the guidance of Archbishop Bugnini who worked in the Vatican. It was later discovered that he had been a secret member of the Masons, a group not well-disposed toward the Church. Bugnini’s goal, in his own words, was the make the Mass more acceptable to Protestants which is odd because Protestants do not even believe in the Mass in any form. The new Mass has been a subject of controversy ever since.

Another source of negative change were the  new Bible translations which too often actually altered the meaning of the original texts. One notable example concerns what used to be a familiar verse:”What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and suffers (allows) the loss of his SOUL.” This is a warning from Christ Himself that the salvation of the soul is one’s most important need and goal. The contemporary wording is: “What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world, but loses his LIFE?” Major difference. The idea that to become very wealthy and then die has no spiritual implications at all. To use a slang term…it’s a “tough break”, but little else. After all, everyone will “lose his life” at some time. The tragedy is not dying: it not being ready to die spiritually.

Another change for the worse is in the verse “My Father’s house is a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves.” The new reading is “My house is a house of prayer, but you have made it a place of business”. In the time of Christ, the Jews had to convert their Roman coins to Jewish coins for Temple use. Money-changing was, in itself, legitimate. However, the men were gouging the  Temple attendees by giving far less vale in Jewish money than for the Roman money they took in. Christ was not objecting to the business aspects, but to the almost extortionary exchange rates over which the people had no control.

An even more serious change occurs in the Easter narrative. It concerns to change from the active to the passive voice (Normally translations would not change the voice of verbs.) The active voice in grammar means that the subject of the sentence is doing something himself. Ex. The man opened he door. The passive voice means that the subject is being acted upon by someone/something else. The door was opened by the man. The door did not open itself. In my younger years, the Easter narrative always read: “Christ rose from the dead.”, “He is risen: which are in the active voice and means that Christ brought Himself back to life.

Nowadays the words are in the passive voice. Christ was raised from the dead.”God raised Him up.” The problem is that some might conclude that Christ did not raise Himself and had to be resurrected by some other power like Lazarus and widow’s son were raised by Christ.

If we begin to doubt the reality of the Resurrection, it will damage our faith and lead to doubt about other aspects of doctrine, especially ones we may not be much in favor of. Thus, it is very important that we understand that Christ as God brought Himself back to life. He did not need any help.

Is all this re-translation an effort to deny or denigrate the Person of Christ. I don’t know, but the history of the Church in U.S. Certainly suggests I might be so. If the faith of a Catholic is weakened or lost, there is no alternative. In the words of St. Peter, “Where shall we go, Lord, you have the words of eternal life.”

The Resurrection of Christ is the singular event in the history of mankind and of the Church. No has done it before or since. The Resurrection is a truly a historical event as any historical event you can name. It really happened and can be proved.

St. Paul tells us that if Christ did not rise from the dead, we are wasting our time with Christianity because, without the Resurrection, Christ is just another teacher of doctrine and morals, but no more significant than any other teacher.

In the Easter season, the Church often speaks of the “joy of Easter”. This joy is not a physical or emotional joy as it was at the first Easter. It is the happiness that arises in the mind because we KNOW that Christ rose from the dead as He said He would. It is the joy of confirmation that all that He said is true. It is the satisfaction of certitude that we are followers of the true God and our faith is not misplaced. It is the assurance that our efforts to lead a moral life amid a grossly immoral culture are not in vain.  It is the hope that the blessed eternity that Christ promised to those who are faithful will actually come to pas in due course.It is the consolation of knowing that our God who took on human flesh is still alive and always available to us.

Live accordingly.

“Resurrexit sicut dixit.”

“He has risen as He said.”

Alleluia!

Construct a Eucharist Mosaic

In 14 Book Corner on 2011/07/01 at 11:11 AM


If you look closely at the Rose Window in the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris, you will observe that is it a composite of colored fragments of glass inset in such a manner that their colors blend into each other while remaining separate.

Take these quoted excerpts, from Pope Benedict’s book on the Eucharist entitled GOD IS NEAR US: The Eucharist, the Heart of Life,  and create a mosaic for yourself.

…the heart of all our creeds in our YES to Jesus Christ….p.12

…the Incarnation required acceptance….the Virgin was needed….p.13

“A body have you prepared for me.” Ps. 40 & Heb 10:5 ….the entire Gospel is contained within  this single statement….as the Fathers said: the Word has contracted to become small; to become a child…p.21

The Word, the Crucifixion, and the Resurrection…the three belong together. p.44

The Eucharist is much more than a meal; it cost a death to provide it. p.44

The Eucharist is a sacrifice, the presentation of Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on Cross p.44

God Himself gives to us, that we may give in turn. p.45

Christ identifies Himself with us to such an extent that our sins belong to Him and His being to us. p.50

The disciples had no need to look back on the Resurrection as something in the past: the Risen One is alive; that is why the day of Resurrection was…the day of His presence, the day He gathered them together, when they were gathered around Him. p.61

In place of the Temple, there is the Eucharist, since Christ is the true Pascal Lamb; everything that every took place in the Temple has been fulfilled in Him. p.63

Paul compares what happens in Holy Communion with the physical union between man & woman….adding, “He who is united to the Lord becomes one spirit (that is, shares a single new existence in the Holy Spirit) with him.  (1 Cor 6:17) p.77

Ratzinger quotes Augustine “…eat my flesh….you will not transform me and make me part of you; rather, I will transform you and make you part of me.” Confessions Bk 7,chpt.10:16   p.78

Communion is always a personal act…I enter into the Lord, who is communicating Himself to me.  Sacramental Communion must therefore always be also spiritual Communion. p.81

We are coming into contact with the living God…Augustine says: No one can receive Communion without first adoring. p.83

Communion and contemplation belong together; a person cannot communicate with another person without knowing him. p.97

God has put Himself in our Hands and into our hearts.  God is near. God knows us. God is waiting for us in Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. p.102

The more we stand for the Lord and before the Lord, the more we stand with one another, and our capacity to understand one another grows. p.110

The Eucharist is instrumental in the process by which Christ builds Himself a Body and makes us into one single Bread, on single Body. p.114

The Church is a Eucharistic fellowship…one people….one table…p.115

Christ is both the giver and the gift…. p.119

Ratzinger, Joseph GOD IS NEAR US.  Ignatius Press.

http://www.ignatius.com/Products/GIN-P/god-is-near-us.aspx

Came and Went Before; Now Appears and Vanishes

In 07 Observations on 2011/06/09 at 9:00 AM

There is no doubt that when the Apostles saw Jesus of Nazareth, their Lord, ……..this experience broke the limits of the normal and made these ordinary men commit themselves to Him in an extraordinary manner for the rest of their lives.

He told them he had come and that he would go away but come again, yet now we appeared suddenly (and disappeared) not just a spirit but the same bodily Lord they had lived with for three years.

Jesus was transformed in an incomprehensible manner.  He was really bodily alive and his wounds showed themselves clearly to their corporal eyes.  They could touch Him, but He was transformed.

The Word of God had become flesh in the Incarnation and by his transfiguration in His Resurrection, he remained man forever.  His humanity accompanies Him forever into eternal glory.

Jesus Christ is the God of the Resurrection.  He is now supremely divine and human and now man can believe that man is not only human but has an eternal destiny which will achieved when he too rises from the dead and we share in His Transfiguration.

When we partake of the Holy Eucharist by eating His body and drinking His blood, we are already participating in this transfiguration

In resurrection, the entire person is re-created by the power of God.  We end the Creed of the Apostles with: “I believe in the Resurrection of the Body and life everlasting. Amen.”

Ascension: Go and Come?

In 07 Observations on 2011/05/31 at 9:29 PM

Jesus told his disciples: “I go away, and I will come to you” (Mt.14:28) and they were joyful when He ascended.  Does this make sense?

Go and come?  Come again?  What?  We do say in the Creed: “He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of the Father?”  So, He has gone, but where is He?

Ponder these thoughts:

The way of relating to Christ changed with his Resurrection.

Jesus is with the Father.  When He is with the Father, He sees us just as when He saw the apostles in the storm on the lake while He was praying on land.  He saw them and went to them.  So He sees us, and when we call him, He hears and comes.

When Jesus ascended He became present to all mankind, everywhere and for all times.  He is now present to all in a completely new and more powerful manner.  He has not disappeared; He is close by.

But, where is He?  He does not occupy space; He is at the right hand of the Father as God, with complete dominion over space.  When Jesus ascended, He entered into the the mystery of God, into another dimension.

St. Paul speaks of this dimension, which is beyond our present understanding. I could spend the whole day explaining the computer to the cat, and it would not understand.  The same with us now: we cannot understand the dimension of the Father.

So, it is with Faith that we accept the gift of grace from God, who can neither deceive nor be deceived.

We can gain great consolation from the words of St. Augustine: “God’s ears hear our prayers.”  Let us ask for an increase in faith, hope, charity and fidelity.

PS: It bothers me to hear someone say, “Well, it beats the alternative” with regard to accepting an illness.  Perhaps it is only with the eyes of faith that one can see the glass door behind the deathbed, the door on which Jesus knocks.  When we pass through it, we will find him on the other side.  May He say to each of us: “Good and faithful servant.”

Apostolate of Faith

In 01 Daily Meditations on 2011/05/16 at 7:42 AM

“Our faith in the risen Christ impels us to go out to other and announce to them that Christ is alive, that we unite ourselves to Him by faith and love every day, that He guides us and gives meaning to our lives.

It is essential that our faith in Jesus Christ increases every day, that we learn to look upon happenings and persons as He looks on them, that our activity in the middle of the world be animated by Jesus’ doctrine.

St. Gregory the Great says ‘for we have not seen Him in the flesh but know Him in the mind.’  (St. Gregory, Homilies on the Gospel, 26, 7)

The Resurrection of Our Lord is a call to us to show with our lives that He lives. The deed of a Christian should be the fruit and the manifestation of his love for Christ.

St. Augustine also comments that: ‘Let the Creed be for you as a reminder of your faith and a mirror….Look at yourself, then, in it; check to see if you continue believing all the truths that you say in words that you believe, and rejoice daily in your faith.’

Show with you behavior and your words that Christ is alive.”

(Fernandez, Francis IN CONVERSATION WITH GOD, Vol.II, 54.1, 2,3.)

Who “WAS?”

In 06 Scripture & Theology on 2011/05/03 at 12:33 PM

“Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed…” (Luke 24:32)  The disciples on the way to Emmaus said:  “Who WAS”!

They said so and so do we often say forgetting that just as on the road to Emmaus, Jesus is alive and by our side at this very moment.

This is a discovery which enlivens our faith and revives our hope, a finding that points to Jesus as a joy that is ever present: Jesus is, Jesus prefers, Jesus says, Jesus commands now at this very moment.  (A. G. Dorronsor, GOD AND PEOPLE).

Today is the feast of St. Philip.  Our Lord said* to him: “He who has seen me has seen the Father”. (John 14:6-14)  He reveals that God is with us. By contemplating Christ’s Sacred Humanity we can reach the Blessed Trinity.

*We can use the past tense in reference to Jesus when we are talking about him in a historical fact like he lived in Nazareth.  Whatever he said in a historical sense  also applies eternally because He is divine.   Jesus lives…as He was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be.

Jesus lives!  Do not forget that Jesus is always present with His power and His mercy.