Sunday, March 29, 2015

Sublime Glory, Lowly Suffering

Today's Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem is quickly shadowed by a week of conflict with the Pharisees, another dramatic chasing of the money-changers from the temple, the betrayal of Judas and the gut-wrenching passion and death.  The one sweet moment (before the resurrection) is the Last Supper.  Matthew, Mark and Luke give short versions, focusing on the institution of the Eucharist and Priesthood, but John's fuller account gives us a real picture of Jesus...loving, divine, devoted to his Father and to us...John 13-17 are "musts" this week, especially on Holy Thursday.  Treat yourselves to a slow, reflective reading and meditation on them...Perfect for the adoration time after the celebration of the Lord's supper.
The pattern of this week is mirrored in our own lives, when at one point we are gung-ho for Jesus, and in the next fall into some very un-Jesus-like behaviors.  We could kick ourselves over and over again for the stupid and sinful things we do.  But they are blessings, as well as curses, if they force us to turn to Jesus as our Savior and Redeemer, as we come to see that only in Jesus is our power, strength and salvation.  May our prayers and meditations this day bring us closer to living out that realization.
Bro. Rene

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Have I Seen and Believed?

Note:  There should be two slices of Bread today.

As we draw closer to Holy Week, we see the conflict between Jesus and the Pharisees.  Many folks had seen the wonderful works of Jesus which brought them closer to the notion that Jesus was the Messiah.  Others saw the same signs and wonders and did not believe.  The Pharisees saw these things too, but, fearful of losing control of the people who were flocking to Jesus, they planned to kill him.  It's amazing how perceptions and subsequent actions can be so different.  Yet we know this phenomenon to be true in our own lives.  Our question then for today and Holy Week is, after all the efforts I've made to spend more time with Jesus during Lent, to fast, pray and give alms, have I seen Jesus more clearly, have I come to know, love and believe in him more profoundly?  Am I excited about what I have seen and learned?  Am I more deeply in love with Jesus?  Can I call him my best friend?  Am I willing to lay down my life for him as he was for me?  Ponder these questions while praying, even while driving or during those "commercial breaks" in our busy daily routines.  There's still time left to see and believe.
Bro. Rene

Friday, March 27, 2015

Saving Our World

Note:  Today the computers at CCHS are working very slowly.  This slice of bread might not reach you until Saturday.

In this week before his actual arrest, passion and crucifixion, Jesus was in verbal conflict with the Jews who even wanted to stone him as they heard his claim to be the Son of God.  Jesus was there in their midst working signs and miracles yet still they did not believe. We find ourselves in such a world even today, which seems has not changed, except to get worse! .  Caryll Houselander, a very holy and gifted spiritual writer, speaks of the times in which she lived, the first half of the 20th century:
Looking at the world today, it is not easy to believe that everywhere Christ is born again, that God looks down on the wreckage and misery--the fiasco, if you like,--that we have made of the world, and seeing us in the midst of it says, This is my beloved Son!
How would Ms. Houselander describe OUR world today?   Yet, the truth is, that JESUS is the Savior, and works through US to continue his saving mission.  Houselander continues:  Our rest in a world that is full or unrest is Christ's trust in his Father, our peace in a world without peace is our surrender, complete as the surrender of the sleeping child to its mother, of the Christ in us, to God who is both Father and Mother.  May we turn over again and again our world to the Saving Power of Jesus.
Bro. Rene

Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Way of Love

Note:  A power outage due to some electrical work prevented this slice from reaching your table on March 26th.  Enjoy it today...It didn't get stale.

During this Lent many have been participating in the Way of the Cross on Fridays, or praying the Stations at home with a good prayer book and a wooden cross.  As we draw closer to Holy Week and the Triduum, we might consider the "last walk" of Jesus as a walk of love.  He suffered the horrendous scourging at the pillar after having been beaten on the way from Gethsemane, the crowning of thorns, the push-shove-fall-rise walk from the Praetorium to Calvary, the agonizing three hours on the cross, and last breath commending his spirit to the Father.  No greater love has the world seen, no greater inspiration for us to use these last days of Lent to meditate on the passion, death and resurrection.  Can we drink from this same cup?  Can we die to those little things that separate us from God and one another?  Is our WAY of living, of treating one another, no matter who they are, a Way of Love?
Bro. Rene

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

To Jesus Though Mary

The Solemnity of the Annunciation is an especially Marist Feast, for Jesus comes to us through Mary, and we go to him through her.  Without her, there would be no Jesus.  Without Jesus there would be no reconciliation with the Father nor with one another. As simple but as powerful as the story is told by Luke, (1:26-38), the Son of God takes flesh and lives among us, drawing us to himself and battering down the fences that divide us from one another.  As Marists, our work is to make this Jesus known and loved, to continue his mission of reconciliation, mercy and forgiveness.  May we take inspiration from Mary's openness to receive God's Gift of Jesus and the graces that will help us to love one another as he loved us.  Keeping it simple, it might be just to pat others on the back for their good deeds, to make amends with those with whom we've experienced estrangement, or to go to the sacrament of reconciliation before Lent is over and encourage others to do so.
Bro. Rene

Tuesday, March 24, 2015