Monday, September 16, 2019

Living A Good Life

Don't most of us want to live a good life?  Not simply in the sense of good health, financial security, and the means to enjoy comfort, but also with an active Faith that stretches us to reach beyond our limits for the sake of others?  It's in small things that we do this and experience God's favor and blessing.
The Centurion in today's gospel passage  (Lk  7:1-10) was such a person. He reached out to Jesus for the sake of one of his slaves, already showing him to be a man of deeper than usual human compassion.  He was a humble man, in his words, not even worthy in his own estimation for Jesus to come to his home to see the sick slave.  He was a man who did his duty as a Centurion, who gave the appropriate orders,  being evidently devoted to the service of the Empire.  Nothing extraordinary. Yet, it was his Faith that amazed Jesus, and  made the difference. .  It is such Faith that can transform our daily duties into the means of living a truly good and effective life. "Lord, I do believe.  Help my unbelief and help me to go about my daily tasks with a growing FAITH"
Bro. Rene

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Finding the Lost

Luke's chapter 15 presents three parables about finding the lost:  the lost sheep, the lost coin and the prodigal son. God's compassion comes clearly to us through the images of the shepherd leaving his 99 sheep, searching out and locating the one lost sheep; the woman turning the house upside down to find her coin; the powerful, lavish love and mercy of the father for his youngest son.  So many of our "Millennials" and people in general today seem lost as they have no roots in Faith and have drifted from the Church and God himself, that we wonder if they will ever find their way back.  However, the picture of the God who searches and finds the lost brings assurance that HE will do his best to bring them home.  Let us offer him our gifts and talents to help him in this quest.
Bro Rene  

Saturday, September 14, 2019

The Exaltation of the Holy Cross

Today's celebration of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross commemorates two events:  the finding for the true cross by the St. Helen, the mother of the Emperor Constantine, in 320 A.D. , and the recovery of the lost reliquary containing the pieces of the cross, celebrated in a solemn procession by the Emperor Heraclius in 629 A. D.
As we reflect on these two events, the paradox of the cross becomes evident: once the sign of an ignominiou and torturous death, the cross is now a sign of victory over evil and death...the springboard for the resurrection, hope and new life. We gaze upon the cross in wordless prayer and find the strength and assurance we need that whatever cross we are bearing will eventually lead to new strength, to new life, to resurrection.  May we embrace and kiss our cross as Jesus did with the assurance that his cross means salvation and life for us.
Bro. Rene

Friday, September 13, 2019

Removing the Beam

Today's Gospel Passage hits us right between the eye.  (Lk 6:39-42). Jesus observes so rightly how easy it is to find fault with someone else, and not realize that we might have even greater faults in our own behavior that we fail to see. "Why do you noticed the splinter in your brother's eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own?" (Lk 6: 41).  We don't like criticism and sometimes take it at nit-picking, putting ourselves on the defense and failing to accept that there is room for improvement, yes, even in our "perfect " selves.  Let us be humble enough to accept advice or admonishment from others, who see us more clearly than we see ourselves; let us ask Jesus for the grace to be able to remove the beam that blinds us.
Bro. Rene

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Putting On Love

As we celebrate the Memorial of The Most Holy Name of Mary, we have before us two powerful guideposts for putting on love, one from Colossians 3:12-17, and the other from Lk 6 :27-38. Both provide much food for thought and for action. Mary, as the First Disciple, is the exemplar of the qualities of true love. Paul tells us to "put on heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another." Forgiveness is key, and love is the bond of perfection through which the peace of Christ controls our hearts.  Gratitude, joyful hearts, songs of praise and doing all in the name of Jesus mark the life of a disciple. 
Jesus tells us to love our enemies, do good to those who hate us, bless those who curse us, pray for those who mistreat us, turn the other cheek, give to everyone who asks of us, and do to others what we would have them do to us. The list goes on, seemingly beyond our human capacity, but looking at Mary's simple but powerful life, we see that it IS possible to live this way.
Bro. Rene

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

The Challenge of the Beatitudes

St. Luke's rendition of the Beatitudes (Lk 6:20-26), with his accompanying "Woes" brings us back to he theme of detachment and "holy indifference" that Sunday's slice of  Daily Bread proposed.  On this 18th anniversary of 9/11, it's hard to swallow "Blessed are you who are now weeping,/ for you will laugh," or "Blessed are you when people hate you..."  We are called to rise above our purely human reactions and work our way to another level where we will experience the "blessing" of what seems so contrary to it. In the "Divine Economy" black is white, and white is black."  We don't see things the way God does, but with his grace, eventually we can.  May we MAKE the time today to work on this worthwhile quest.
Bro. Rene

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Our Calling

Today's Gospel provides us with an important day in the mission of Jesus:  his calling of the Twelve. (Lk 6: 12-19).  So important it was, that he spent the night in prayer on a mountain before making the formal announcement.  Luke notes that this was done on level ground; no one was even physically above the other, although Peter emerged as the leader, and Judas, as the betrayer.
We might reflect on our call to be in union with Jesus and in the company of these Twelve as well as one another.  We are to spread the good word of love and forgiveness, compassion and care and point the way to Jesus as our loving Savior, our loving Brother in our daily dealings with all who come into our path.  We too are on level ground and can receive from others as well as give. With Jesus, let us spend time in prayer to know our Father's will, so that we might be effective disciples.
Bro. Rene