This week we return to ordinary time in our liturgical calendar. After the power of the Easter season, with its conclusion, on Pentecost Sunday, it can seem to be a little bit of a lull.
It may be ordinary time, but we are always an Easter people. This means we live as a people, all parts of Christ’s Body working together toward a single purpose: love. The challenge for us is to continue working through our ordinary days to always to follow God’s will for us. The great news is that we’re never alone in this journey. As we were told last week, He has left His advocate, the Holy Spirit, to be with us always.READ MORE
Pentecost celebrates the gift of the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete, the Advocate to the Apostles. The power of the Spirit was given to them so they could boldly carry out the mission Jesus gave them before his crucifixion, death, and resurrection. The mission to bring the Word of God and its saving grace to all corners of the earth. The verses following our first reading from Acts of the Apostles tells us that over 3000 persons joined the Church and its mission that day.READ MORE
Every once and awhile, it seems that God throws us a bone. If we are honest, we’d have to admit that it’s more often than it seems. It’s just that we miss it. On a small scale, I was offered and noticed and was, therefore, able to receive a nice freebie.READ MORE
Our Church was created to evangelize; to bring the message of the Gospel to all corners of the earth. We weren’t called to just attend Mass once a week for an hour. We are called to be lights of His love to all people at all times. It’s simple to understand but sometimes difficult to live. Those that accept this mission are called disciples.READ MORE
The Easter season is an amazing time of change and growth in the Church. The liturgy spends a good deal of time inside the Acts of the Apostles where we see the Apostles transformed from scared and fearful to bold and evangelical. The season culminates at Pentecost where we see Peter step out of the shadows and, with the power of the Holy Spirit, he converts the hearts of 3,000 persons. The rest of the book of Acts focuses on how the Word was spread across the world from one believer to another. It was personal. It was sometimes hard. It was never unfulfilling.READ MORE
You’re correct; technically, it’s not a verb but bear with me…
As we move through the Easter season we see a transition in how the risen Christ instructs the disciples. The parables, metaphors and symbols have been replaced with clear directives. He "opened their minds to understand the scriptures," making known the connections between his own words and deeds and "everything written about [Him] in the law of Moses and in the prophets and psalms."READ MORE
What does it take to believe that something is real? We live in an age of computer technology, with things like Photoshop and other programs that can enhance photographs, create realistic images, and mimic artistic renderings. When looking at a picture of something, we find ourselves wondering if what we are seeing is real or just the result of technological creativity.
Early believers came to believe because of what they witnessed in these new communities of faith. They saw people authentically living out Jesus' command to love and to show mercy. What do people witness when they see us in action?READ MORE
Our humanity bleeds through today’s Gospel passages in more ways than one. We see both elation and fall, hope in the midst of the darker sides of our natures. If we allow it, these Gospels hold a mirror to our own fickle hearts. The crowds cry “ Hosanna” and the Apostles profess allegiance unto death. In a manner of days—even hours—-Jesus is betrayed, abandoned, denied, condemned, tortured, and executed. As God, he could have stopped this horrific narrative from unfolding, but he doesn’t. He allows free will to play itself out.READ MORE
We all fear losing that which is familiar. We fear dying. When our securities and familiarities are threatened, the anxiety of uncertainty can lead us into fear and despair. We have difficulty believing that new life comes from death. This is the basis of what it means to Hope.READ MORE
Who Invented the Stations of the Cross?
The first Stations of the Cross were walked by Jesus himself on the way to Calvary. Known as the “Via Dolorosa” ( The Way of Suffering”) or the “ Via Crucis” ( The Way of the Cross”), it was marked out from the earliest times and was a traditional walk for pilgrims who came to Jerusalem. The early Christians in Jerusalem could walk the same pathway that Jesus walked, pausing for reflection and Prayer.READ MORE
Can you recite the Ten Commandments by heart? Several years ago a national US survey found more people could identify the ingredients in a Big Mac and name the children in the Brady Bunch television show than recite the Ten Commandments. Of course, being able to recite them is not nearly as important as living a life in harmony with them. However, if we simply live to not break them then we are only living out half of our discipleship.READ MORE