Tuesday, April 23, 2019

From Grief to Joy

Today's gospel story centers on Mary Magdalene's grief and confusion over the missing body of Jesus. (cf. Jn 29:11-18).  She weeps, as many weep over the loss of a loved one, but from the depths of her sorrow, she rises to deep joy when she hears her name spoken by a familiar voice. We get a sense of her gushing reversal from sorrow to joy from the words of Jesus to stop clinging to him.  Surely, she did not want to lose him again and wanted to hold him in her grasp forever. Such love, such simplicity, such genuineness!  Do we have the same?  Are we held back by convention, fear of "looking stupid" or an uncultivated love?  Mary let nothing bar her from the expression of her deep love for Jesus.  May she help us lower the barriers that keep our love hidden, so that it can reach and inspire others to do likewise.
Bro. Rene

Monday, April 22, 2019

Where Is Jesus?

As we read various stories of the Resurrection during the Octave of Easter, we might ask ourselves,
Where is Jesus for us?  Churches welcomed less people at the Holy Week services and even on Easter Sunday.  Fewer people in the pews than in times past, even a few years ago?  Does the life, death and Resurrection of Jesus mean anything anymore?  Do we have the desire to love and follow him as did the women and the apostles who were at first saddened at the empty tomb?  Where is Jesus for me? 

Sunday, April 21, 2019

The Empty Tomb

Since we know "the rest of the story", it's hard to imagine the surprise and confusion the women experienced when they arrived early on the day after the Sabbath to anoint the body of Jesus with perfumes and spices and saw the stone rolled back and only the burial cloths in the tomb.  We can understand the incredulity of the Apostles when they heard the news, , thinking the women were delirious. . Think back to last week when the fire at Notre Dame in Paris hit the media.  Incredulity, right?  Until we saw the images of the flames, we could not believe such a thing was happening.  Having forgotten the promises of Jesus, and totally swamped by the event of Friday, no one was expecting an empty tomb.  It took visits to it, and apparitions of Jesus to verify "the impossible."  So, today, let us take time to absorb the meaning of this empty tomb, and allow our own, perhaps lingering incredulity to morph into belief, joy and song so that like the finally believing disciples, we are moved to share our enthusiasm that Christ is truly risen, death and sin have been conquered and we too share in a new life in the Risen Jesus.  Let us sing and LIVE our Alleluias!
Bro. Rene

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Quiet Waiting

Holy Saturday:  the body of Jesus sealed in the tomb, empty tabernacles in our churches, no services till this evening's Easter Vigil.  A feeling of emptiness, loss and at the same time, anticipation.  We know the "ending", but it's good to feel the longing and sense of loss. We might imagine as a did homilist of old, Jesus entering the world of the dead, greeting Adam, whom he created and whose son he became, taking his hand and awakening him from sleep to the new life his death purchased for him and all of us.  He leads him to the paradise of eternal peace and glory, destined for us all.  Yes, but we must wait, wait our turn, carry on the mission of Jesus to overcome the power of darkness and bring light and hope to a world in desperate need.  He is with us. he invites us to be with him.  May we find some quiet time today to do so and be better prepared for the celebration of the Resurrection and the continued living out of our Life with Jesus in the days ahead.
Bro. Rene

Friday, April 19, 2019

The Power of the Cross

Note:  Time constraints limit us to this word from Fr. Basil Moreau, Founder of the Congregation of the Holy Cross.

No moment in the history of the world is so memorable, so awesome and moving, as the moment when the cross of Jesus Christ was raised on Calvary. And when the cross with its precious Burden was finally in its place, dominating the horizon as the mysterious Sign of divine justice and mercy, the crowd surged toward it. For the moment, this movement was one of hatred, but it was presently to be a surge of love whose great waves were to beat against this Rock and his Holy Cross until the end of time.

May we spend some time today meditating on the power of the Cross.
Bro .Rene

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Holy Thursday

The first day of the Triddum, the three most holy and crowning days of our Liturgical Year begins with Holy Thursday, a truly holy day, since we celebrate the institution of two sacraments, Holy Orders and the Holy Eucharist.  We also see the role of service in the life of the Christian, as Jesus washes the feet of his disciples, Judas included!  This day is also called in some communions, Maundy Thursday, derived from the Latin, mandatum, command, as Jesus commanded that as he has given us an example of loving, service, so he commands us to do the same. All of us, priests, pastors, laypeople are commissioned to serve others, no ourselves, and find nourishment for doing so in the Bread of Life and in the fellowship of believers, our nourishing community.  Without these, cannot live an effective life of service. Let us spend this day in gratitude and in prayer for one another.
Bro. Rene

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

"Surely It Is Not I?"

In Matthew's account of the betrayal, Judas received 30 pieces of silver, and sought an opportune moment to hand Jesus over to the chief priests.  Like a person intent on suicide, there's no turning back.  And Judas, heart already hardened, hides his intent with the innocent question, "Surely it is not I, Rabbi?" (Mt 26: 25). He knew he was the "one" as surely as Jesus did, "You have said so." (Mt 26:25).
Jesus knows our inmost thoughts, our "secret sins" yet constantly invites us to own up to them, offering us over and over again his mercy and forgiveness.  But so often, like Judas, we persist in our pattern of sin and refuse his offer. Yes, there is a Judas in each one of us; may the power of Jesus's love prevail and give us the peace we seek.Perhaps this prayer by Matthew Kelly will help us admit our fault and seek forgiveness.
The Prayer of Transformation:
Here I am.
I trust that you have an incredible plan for me.
Transform me. Transform my life.
Everything is on the table.
Take what you want to take and give what you want to give.
I make myself 100 percent available to you today.
Transform me into the person you created me to be, so I can live the life you envisioned for me at the beginning of time.
I hold nothing back.
I am 100 percent available.
Lead me, challenge me, encourage me, and open my eyes to all your possibilities.
Show me what it is you want me to do, and I will do it.

Bro. Rene