Saturday, May 23, 2015

"Follow Me"

As we approach Pentecost and the conclusion of the Easter Season, what final advice does Jesus give us?  As he said to Peter, "You, follow me." (Jn 21:22).  We might have family members, friends, role models, all of whom give us some glimpse of Jesus, but who are not Jesus himself.   He is the ONE we must listen to and follow.  He alone.  Others may help along the way, but when all is said and done, it's Jesus who must be the center of our lives, our end all and be all. Jesus, I give you my whole heart, soul, strength, my total being.  Help me to follow you without hesitation, without holding back.  It is only in you that I will find complete satisfaction, wholeness and happiness.
Bro. Rene

Friday, May 22, 2015

Sending Them Forth

Another chapter in the dream of St. Marcellin closed last night as 307 seniors received their diplomas and crossed the threshold to the next phase in their educations.  They go forth as Marists, filled with a sense of belonging to a large family whose mission is to make Jesus known and loved. The graduation ceremony and the gathering afterwards testified that all understood and accepted this mission and are grateful for it.
Today members of the class of '65, celebrating their 50th anniversary will gather to give thanks for the years that have passed so swiftly since their graduation and to reflect on what effect their Marist Education had on their lives.
For all who read this slice of bread, let us be aware that we are not simply here by chance, but that we are a part of a specific plan God has for us.  The plan may not be what we thought it would be, but as we step back and look at it, we see that it turned out much better than what we thought would be best for us. Let us trust in and be grateful for the ways of the Lord.
Bro. Rene

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Ut Omnes Unum Sint

Ut omnes unum sint, that they may all be one. (Jn 17: 21), the prayer of Jesus and a favorite of Pope St. John XXIII, prayed so fervently for decades, centuries, yet still unfulfilled.  No need to be discouraged despite the endless fraction between peoples around the globe.  The unity that Jesus prays for is based on the unity in the Trinity, "that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me..." (Jn 17: 21).  This unity is based on the unbreakable love between Father, Son and Holy Spirit and this love will prevail over all the powers of Evil.  In the Song of Solomon (3:2) we read of the lover pursuing the beloved, So I said to myself, "I will get up and roam the city, searching in all its streets and squares. ... the streets, and in the broad ways I will seek him whom my soul loveth: I sought him, ... "Run up and down every street in Jerusalem," says the LORD. This is the God who loves us and seeks to be one with us and for us to be one with each other.  We forget how powerful that love is. If we allow God to find us, we will find others and bring them into the union of love,  It begins with the God who loved us first (I Jn 4: 19) and then ripples out from us.   Let us not lament division, but open our hears to God's great love which is the foundation of the unity we seek and for which Jesus prays.
Bro. Rene

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

In The World

Jesus realistically prays that his disciples, who rightly belong "in the world" (Jn 17: 15) do not become part of the world.  World here meaning a set of values contrary to those given to us through Scripture and the teachings of Jesus, and in subsequent ages, the teaching of the Church, guided by the Holy Spirit.  World would mean, self-centeredness, the pursuit of material wealth with no concern for those who have less, a "me first" attitude, a "get ahead" at any cost, dishonesty and destruction of anyone who stands in the way.  These do not make for a pretty world and are the work of the Evil One. Jesus is not denying the beauty of the world in which we find the revelation of God's magnificence.  He is not asking that we be protected from THAT world, but indeed that we immerse ourselves in it to come to a deeper knowledge and love of its Creator.   No, we belong to this world; it is there we find God and reveal him to others.  The protection we need is from those contrary "worldly" values promoted by the Evil One that in truth destroy the beauty intended by God.  Jesus became one of us, a part of our humanity and material world to redeem it and sanctify it; our job is the same.
Bro. Rene

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Jesus Prays For Us

Chapter 17 of St. John's Gospel contains the beautiful prayer that Jesus offered for his apostles before he entered into his intense suffering  and excruciating death. It is a model prayer for us when we are looking for an example on how to pray for others. It is totally focused on them.   We pray daily to Jesus, but do we think of how his prayer continues for us?  So great is his love that he finds joy in praying that we continue to grow stronger in our faith, that we comprehend more completely the extent of his love for us and his desire for our well-being--that we become the best of what we were created to be.  He prays that we be one with him, the Father and Holy Spirit, and that ultimately we relinquish all within and outside us that might hinder that union.  The Holy Spirit constantly reminds us of what Jesus told us and sends people into our lives who also serve as reminders of his love. May we find motivation for our prayer by thinking of how at this moment Jesus is praying for us!
Bro. Rene

Monday, May 18, 2015

Overcoming the World

"In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world." (Jn 16:23).  As we look at the world today, even our own little "worlds" of families, workplaces and communities, we need the reassurance that, indeed, though things seem bad, impossible, Jesus will prevail.  And the Jesus who prevails is the Jesus working through us.  Yesterday at the St. Anselm College graduation, several amazing people were honored for their contributions to medicine, and service to others.  It brought home what we can do when Jesus works with us and when we set ideas and people in motion.  One honoree began the first four year nursing training \program in Haiti, another came up with a serum that is eliminating meningitis in sub-Saharan Africa, another changed the face of St. Anselm College itself, moving it to a top place among small colleges.  Among the graduates awaiting their diplomas sat more of these kinds of people who in time will help "conquer the world." 
No matter where we are or who we are, we can make a difference if we let Jesus work in us.
Bro. Rene

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Getting Holy

Got Milk?  Got Marist?  The advertising world has clicked on to the little word, "Got"  and it has caught on in big way.  Even we Marists have adopted it:  quick and clever.  As Jesus was praying for his disciples before his death and resurrection, we might boil his prayer down to, "Got Love?"  He was trying to express the infinite love he and the Father have for us based on who they are (LOVE), and on the beauty they see in each one of us, which makes us so loveable that Jesus would become one of us to the point of death, in order to pass on indelibly and eternally this greatest of gifts.  Jesus prays, "consecrate them",  "sanctify them',  perfect them, and make them holy. (Jn 14:6).  He wants the richness of who we are to be fully realized.  And this is to be done in the Truth.  As St. Thomas Aquinas tells us, "It is like saying:  Make them share in my perfection and holiness (sanctity). "
The work of the Holy Spirit is to carry this out in us, to bind us closer to Jesus and the Father. That's what consecration is, that's what sanctification is.    It is for us to choose to let this happen, to work toward this union as a driven college student breaks his back to get the highest GPA he can.  "Getting Holy" is the "business", the goal of our life. Let's "Get with it!."
Bro. Rene