Friday, April 28, 2017

He Feeds Us Too

The feeding of the multitudes in John 6 precedes the discourse on the Bread of Life. As we listen to this tale of wonder, we might ponder the great miracle of the Holy Eucharist in which Jesus feeds us daily (if we wish) with his own Body and Blood.  Let us thank God for this great gift and do our best to take advantage of it more often.
Bro. Rene

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Waiting By the Beautiful Gate

Often we are like the beggar at the Beautiful Gate, asking for STUFF we think will make us happy.  He asked for money, Peter had none to give him, but gave him something better:  the ability to walk.
Just a brief thought, that in our petitions, we think we are asking for the "right stuff", but miss the substance of what will really help us in our need.  Perhaps our prayer should be: Lord, Grant me what you know is best for me ...or so and so.
Bro. Rene

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

John 3:16

This popular Scripture citation begins today's Gospel:  "God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish, but might have eternal life." Jn 3:16).  Indeed it captures the message of the Gospel and the Mission of Jesus in a convenient nutshell, a quote to be memorized and digested over and over in the course of a day.  With faith in Jesus, there is no darkness nor condemnation, but light and clarity.  May it also move us to gratitude for the priceless gift of salvation.
Bro. Rene

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Like A Prowling Lion

After telling us to be humble in our dealings with one another, and to cast our cares and worries upon God, St. Peter sternly warns us to be "sober and vigilant," for our opponent, the Devil is
 prowling around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." (1 Pet 5: 8). Yes, 2,000 years later, this advice still rings true.  The pressures on all of us, and especially on youth, to stray from the straight path of self-discipline, faith-informed morals, and even the most basic kindness and politeness seem to grow strong as the months go by.  By humbly asking God for the grace to resist and by supporting one another in our efforts to live as the Gospel describes, we shall overcome this lion.
Bro. Rene


Monday, April 24, 2017


(Note:  I hope you found yesterday's slice...scroll far down and you'll find it)

Nicodemus comes to Jesus by night to seek further information for his personal search for his identity
He must have been surprised when Jesus turned the conversation to being born, born from above and born of "water and the Spirit."  Was Nicodemus able to understand?  Are we?  Jesus likened this new- born life to the wind which blows unpredictably where it wills.  If we are to live, we need to detach ourselves, free ourselves to accept the unexpected that barges into our routine or scheduled day.  Like the wind, we need to be able to respond to requests or circumstances that might draw us far afield from our "normal" course.  It gives us the freedom to react as God would have us react and grow as he would have us grow.  Holy Spirit, free me to ride the windy currents you blow into my life.
Bro. Rene

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Divine Mercy

In the year 2000, Pope John Paul II (now St. John Paul II) established the Sunday of Divine Mercy to be celebrated on the Second Sunday of Easter in response to the private revelation received by Sister Faustina Kowalski, a Polish nun, in which Jesus asked for this feast to honor his tender desire to share his mercy in a special way through the sacrament of reconciliation.  This celebration fits right into today's Gospel where we hear of Jesus imparting the Holy Spirit to the Apostles and commissioning them to bring forgivness to the contrite:  "Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sines you forgive are forgiven thenm, and whose sins you retain, they are retained." (Jn 20: ) It is also the passage in which Thomas recants his doubt in the Risen Jesus and professes his faith in him with the beautiful and simple prayer, "My Lord and My God."  The Jesus of Divine Mercy urges us:  "Trust in Me," to counteract any Thomas-like doubts we might have. The popularity of this feast has grow enormously over the years and it has become customary for overnight vigils and pilgrimages to take place. In Rwanda,thousands will gather at the town of Ruhango where priests will hear confessions all night long and Mass will be celebrated outside since there is no church in the area large enough to welcome them all.  In Massachusetts, the Marian Center Stockbridge will host busloads of pilgrims who come to confess and attend Mass.   Parishes will open their doors for holy hours and confessions and people will be urged to pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy at home, if they cannot attend the holy hours or make the pilgrimages. All of this is to underscore the Mercy of Jesus and the Power of His Resurrection.
Bro. Rene

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Hardness of Heart

In today's Gospel, we hear Jesus upbraiding his disciples for their "hardness of heart.Mk (16:14) .This phrase appears frequently in the Old Exodus, as the Hebrews constantly complain and bicker despite the wonders God works for them.  In Psalm 95, God chides them for their hardness of heart at the waters of Meribah at Massah in the desert where they had heard and seen his works. (cf. Ps 95: 8-9).  We hardly think of his disciples as being hard of heart, especially after they had witnessed his power and goodness for three years, and after his clear and visible appearances on Easter and the days following.  We might n be more inclined to accept our OWN hardness of heart rather than theirs, yet as we so easily fall into this pit, so did they; it comes with the human territory.  Let their weakness be a source of encouragement for us.
But after the scolding, Jesus commands them to "Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature." (Mk 16:15).  This is hardly the mark of  Jesus's lack of confidence in them or in us, but a remedy for our hardness of heart.  Think about it.
Bro. Rene