Friday, April 20, 2018

God's Choice

As we read today of Saul's conversion on the road to Damascus,  we are reminded that it is God's choice, not ours, that makes the difference.  "This man is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before Gentiles, kings and children of Israel...." (Act 9: 16).  Saul, a persecutor of believers in Jesus, would have been the most unlikely candidate in their eyes to be the "chosen instrument", but not in the eyes of the all-seeing and all-knowing God.  It is in this God that we are to trust...and, if we find ourselves "chosen" for a mission totally "outside our box",  to respond with the submission, obedience and zeal of Saul.  It defies human logic, but that's what makes it so REAL!
Bro. Rene 

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Jesus and Mary Will Call

It's not uncommon for all families to see some members drift away from active practice of the faith in which they were raised.  It's painful and distressing to see this happen, but it's not the end of the world.  It's the path they have chosen, but they are still in the hands of a loving God who sent his Son especially for them.Our prayers, offered in trust to to Jesus and Mary will eventually bear fruit.  It's amazing to hear of the power of the Rosary in such cases...Jesus wishes for the salvation of all, and Mary, as Mother of us all, will be unrelenting in her loving and nourishing way to lead them "home" in God's good time, not ours.  May we not give up, as God does not give up on us...
Bro. Rene

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

A Taste of Eternal Life

Chapter Six of John' Gospel is a long explanation on the gift of the Eucharist.  If we remember that it was written sixty or so years after the Last Supper, we can appreciate the years of reflection on this sacrament that have enabled John to explain it so well.. It is the bread of life and gives us a foretaste of eternal life, for it allows us to taste love, be fed on love, and be filled with love.  It is heaven on earth, it is nourishment for our daily journey of love-giving to all who walk with us. It is not something to receive out of rote, but with love and gratitude, as if for the first and last time.  Dear Jesus, thank you for this precious, life-sustaining gift and help me to grow in appreciation of it.  Amen.
Bro. Rene

Monday, April 16, 2018

More Than Bargained For

(Note:  I will be in West Virginia and later in Pittsburgh until Sunday...Not sure of my access to the internet.  But God always provides)

Looking for a sign (and a handout) the crowd asked Jesus, "What sign can you do that we may see and believe in you?  What can you do?" (Jn 6:30)....Hoping for daily bread, as their ancestors had received in the desert, Jesus offers them the "true bread" from heaven..which he eventually reveals is HIMSELF.  They asked for it, but expected some miraculous earthly bread that we replenish itself day after day....Not so.  The true Bread from Heaven is much more than that: his Body and Blood....Too much for some to swallow (sorry!), but indeed the bread that gives eternal life. How blessed are we to have it daily on our altars...How it pleases God when we receive it as often as we can.  "I am the bread f life; whoever comes o me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst." (Jn 6:45).  What is keeping us from coming to the table daily, or even a bit more than once a week?
Bro. Rene

Food That Endures

It's so easy to get side-tracked.  Jesus confronts the people who sought him by telling them that they were looking for him because they "ate the loves and were filled." (Jn 6: 26). He then tells them to work for "the food that endures for eternal life." (Jn 6: 27).  Later on in Chapter six, he speaks of the Bread of Life, the Eucharist, which, indeed is the food for eternal life.
This conversation reminds us to place Jesus as our main objective and motive for our actions, not those which make us feel "warm and fuzzy", but  fail the test of time and endurance.  Even in the service we might undertake must be for Jesus and with Jesus, not for the sake of "looking good" in the eyes of others and winning their commendation.  No humbly, quietly, FOR JESUS. This is the food that endures to eternal life. Dear Jesus, help me to believe in you, live in you and serve you in serving others and thus partake of the food that endures.
Bro. Rene

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Opening Our Minds

This Third Sunday of Easter calls us again to open our minds to the reality of a Rise Jesus, and the possibility of resurrection, transformation in our own lives. The Gospel recounts the appearance of Jesus to the Disciples on the evening of his resurrection.  The two disciples had just returned from Emmaus with the story of their encounter with the risen Jesus, however, doubt still persisted when Jesus appeared to them. He understood their doubt, let them touch him, ate with them and opened their minds to understand who he was and why he had to suffer and rise from the dead.  He was as persistent with them as they were persistent in their doubt, and with gentleness and patience convinced them to believe,  or perhaps simply BEGIN to believe  He allowed them time to absorb this reality, which when we think of it, is far-fetched,  a first in human experience.
When doubts, fears and anxieties bind us into inaction behind "locked doors", this passage from Luke 24: 48 has the power to free us and set us straight.  Jesus rose from the dead, everything is possible.  Why worry?
Bro. Rene

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Rough Waters

Off and on, the waters of our life rise and fall from calmness to tempest, and as many times as we have weathered the storm, fear, even panic at times, keep coming back, forcing us to look for help.In doubt, anxiety, and confusion we need to hear the reassuring voice of Jesus say, "It is I,  Do not be afraid." (Jn 6:20).  He the Divine One, the Son of God, is with us always and will not allow the fears we create in our imaginations overpower us when we think the worst is about to happen. At the right moment, HIS moment, he will come and resolve the problem, and calm the storm.  He is God.  He can do and does all things.
Bro .Rene