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Thursday, March 31, 2016

Poem: “Tell Them” By Edwina Gateley

Breaking through the powers of darkness
bursting from the stifling tomb
he slipped into the graveyard garden
to smell the blossomed air.

Tell them, Mary, Jesus said,
that I have journeyed far
into the darkest deeps I’ve been
in nights without a star.

Tell them, Mary, Jesus said,
that fear will flee my light
that though the ground will tremble
and despair will stalk the earth
I hold them firmly by the hand
through terror to new birth.

Tell them, Mary, Jesus said,
the globe and all that’s made
is clasped to God’s great bosom
they must not be afraid
for though they fall and die, he said,
and the black earth wrap them tight
they will know the warmth
of God’s healing hands
in the early morning light.

Tell them, Mary, Jesus said,
smelling the blossomed air,
tell my people to rise with me

to heal the Earth’s despair.

Prayer: Eastern Orthodox Prayer

Christ is born, give glory. Christ comes from heaven, meet him. Christ is on earth, be exalted. All the earth, sing unto the Lord, for he has been glorified. Wisdom and word and power, Christ our God is the Son and the brightness of the Father; he was made human and so has won us back again, for he has been glorified.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Divine Mercy Sunday

Ignatian Spirituality: Set the World Ablaze

Divine Mercy Sunday
April 3, 2016
Acts 5:12-16; Psalm 118; Revelation 1:9-13, 17-19; John 20:19-31

            Thomas joins the other Disciples in the Upper Room because the others told him, “We have seen the Lord.” Naturally, Thomas protests because he wants empirical evidence that Jesus is alive and is not just a dream or a hallucination. He saw him die and he knows Jesus did not survive this brutal form of crucifixion and no one has ever come back from the dead. Any sane person would want proof for this preposterous claim that Jesus is alive and is visiting his friends. Give me the proof, Thomas demands. Show me the marks on his hands and his side.

            When Thomas meets the Risen Jesus, he crumbles with his demands. He no longer seeks proof because he sees the wounds and feels the pain of the suffering humanity of Jesus. No one can stand in front of a man who has been brutally crucified and not feel the anguish of those marks. He does not need to touch the wounds; just seeing them is enough to bring a visceral reaction. The mercy we show someone who is suffering connects us closer to the person.   

            I wonder what Thomas preached when he told others about Jesus. I’m sure he mentioned the miracles, healings, and teachings of the earthly ministry of Jesus, but I would venture to say that those wounds left an indelible mark on his consciousness, that he preached about the wounds Jesus still carries from the cross. Thomas would probably be one of the great advocates for those who come to belief without seeing the Risen Lord with their own eyes. The testimony of others is enough. One’s personal prayer is sufficient. But for Thomas, he was bound closer to Jesus because he gazed upon those holy wounds.

            Many adults willingly entered into the Catholic faith this Easter. What is their faith all about? It is not because these neophytes were strong, clever, or accomplished in their spiritual lives, but because they were vulnerable enough to explore their questions. Many times persons have a jarring emotional experience that jostles their spiritual life and deeper faith is often borne out of holding the pain before our eye and asking, “Why do you haunt us?” One’s response to this suffering shapes the way our faith grows. Suffering prunes us and makes us reassess what we value. If we feel a response of mercy, then our faith life deepens and we find greater meaning in the fractured parts of our world, and we see that mercy connects us and keeps us whole.

            Jesus still bears many wounds today as the crucified peoples of the world lead shattered lives. Nearly every person suffers invisibly and the wounds of Jesus remain unhealed while our suffering continues. The world remains broken and in need of someone to touch our suffering. This is the call of Divine Mercy to the church. It is our time to be like Thomas, that is, it is our time to reach into the wounds of another person and be that healing presence. We have to bandage, apply ointment, provide a balm, and comfort those in pain. We have to sit and listen and hold and honor the experience of another person. It may lead us to a place where we are suspended on the cross with Jesus, writhing in pain for another person, powerless to cause any real change, but we allows ourselves to be crucified in solidarity with them so they know they are not alone. Mercy heals. Mercy is miraculous. Mercy is our greatest expression of faith. Mercy has to be the good news we bring to others.

Dear friends, stretch out your hands. Let us see your wounds. We know the marks run deep and have been open for a long time. Would you let us touch your wounds? Together, we put our lives in the healing, wounded hands of Jesus Christ.             

Scripture for Daily Mass

First Reading: 
Monday: (Acts 4) Peter and John return to their people after being released from the religious authorities. They prayed about their ordeal and the whole house shook and all were filled wit the Holy Spirit. 
Tuesday: (Acts 4) The community of believers was of one heart and mind and together they bore witness to the Resurrection. Joseph, called Barnabas, sold a property and give money to the Apostles.
Wednesday: (Acts 5) The high priest with the Sadducees jailed the Apostles but during the night the Lord opened the prison doors and the Apostles returned to the Temple area to preach.
Thursday: (Acts 5) The Apostles were brought forth again during their arrest and they were reminded that they were forbidden to preach. Peter said on behalf of the Apostles that they are to obey God, and not men. 
Friday (Acts 5) Gamaliel, the Pharisee, urges wisdom for the Sanhedrin declaring that if this is of God, it cannot be stopped, but if it is of men, it will certainly die out .
Saturday (Acts 6) The number of disciples grew. The Hellenists complained to the Hebrews that their widows were being neglected. The Twelve decided it was right to select seven reputable men (deacons) to take care of the daily distribution while they continued with prayer and the ministry of the word. Meanwhile the number of disciples in Jerusalem increased greatly. Even a large group of priests were becoming obedient to the faith.

Monday: (John 3) Nicodemus, a Pharisee, a ruler of the Jews comes to Jesus wondering about where he is able to do the great miracles and teachings. He tries to understand.
Tuesday: (John 3) Jesus answered Nicodemus saying, “you must be born from above” to accept this testimony.
Wednesday (John 3) God did not send his Son into the world to condemn it, but that the world might be saved through him.
Thursday (John 3) Jesus explains that he was come from above and speaks of the things that are from above. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life.
Friday (John 6) Near a Passover feast, Jesus miraculously feeds the hungry crowds as a good shepherd would. He reminds the people that the actions in his earthly life were precursors of the meal that they are to share. They are to eat his body and drink his blood. 
Saturday (John 6) Jesus then departs to the other side of the sea. When a storm picks up, he walks on the turbulent waves and instructs them not to be afraid. He is with them. He has power over the natural and supernatural world.

Saints of the Week

No saints are on the calendar this week because it is typically Holy Week or Easter.

This Week in Jesuit History

·      Apr 3, 1583. The death of Jeronimo Nadal, one of the original companions of Ignatius who later entrusted him with publishing and distributing the Jesuit Constitutions to the various regions of the early Society.
·      Apr 4, 1534. Peter Faber (Pierre Favre) ordained a deacon in Paris.
·      Apr 5, 1635. The death of Louis Lallemant, writer and spiritual teacher.
·      Apr 6, 1850. The first edition of La Civilta Cattolica appeared. It was the first journal of the restored Society.
·      Apr 7, 1541. Ignatius was unanimously elected general, but he declined to accept the results.
·      Apr 8, 1762. The French Parliament issued a decree of expulsion of the Jesuits from all their colleges and houses.

·      Apr 9, 1615. The death of William Weston, minister to persecuted Catholics in England and later an author who wrote about his interior life during that period.

Domingo de la Misericordia

Domingo de la Misericordia
3 de abril de, el año 2016
Hechos 5: 12-16; Salmo 118; Apocalipsis 1: 9-13, 17-19; Juan 20: 19-31

Thomas se une a los otros discípulos en el Cenáculo porque los otros le dijeron: "Hemos visto al Señor." Naturalmente, las protestas Thomas porque quiere evidencia empírica de que Jesús está vivo y no es sólo un sueño o una alucinación. Él vio morir y él sabe que Jesús no sobrevivió esta forma brutal de la crucifixión y nadie ha vuelto de entre los muertos. Cualquier persona en su sano juicio quiere prueba de esta absurda afirmación de que Jesús está vivo y está visitando a sus amigos. Dame la prueba, Thomas demandas. Muéstrame las marcas en las manos y el costado.

Cuando Thomas se encuentra con el Jesús resucitado, que se desmorona con sus exigencias. Ya no busca la prueba porque ve las heridas y se siente el dolor de la humanidad sufriente de Jesús. Nadie puede estar delante de un hombre que ha sido brutalmente crucificado y no sentir la angustia de esas marcas. Él no necesita tocar las heridas; sólo ver ellos es suficiente para provocar una reacción visceral. Merced mostramos a alguien que sufre nos conecta más cerca de la persona.

Me pregunto lo que Thomas predicó cuando le dijo a otros acerca de Jesús. Estoy seguro de que menciona los milagros, curaciones, y las enseñanzas del ministerio terrenal de Jesús, pero me atrevería a decir que esas heridas dejaron una marca indeleble en su conciencia, que predicó sobre las heridas de Jesús todavía realiza desde la cruz. Thomas probablemente sería uno de los grandes defensores para aquellos que vienen a la creencia sin ver al Señor resucitado con sus propios ojos. El testimonio de los demás es suficiente. Uno de oración personal es suficiente. Pero para Thomas, que estaba obligado más a Jesús porque él contempló aquellas santas llagas.

Muchos adultos entraron voluntariamente a la fe católica en esta Pascua. ¿Cuál es su fe todo esto? No es porque estos neófitos eran fuertes, inteligentes, o logrado en su vida espiritual, sino porque eran lo suficientemente vulnerable a explorar sus preguntas. Muchas veces las personas tienen una experiencia emocional discordante que empuja su vida espiritual y una fe más profunda es a menudo lleva fuera de la celebración el dolor antes de que nuestro ojo y preguntar: "¿Por qué nos persiguen?" La respuesta de uno a este sufrimiento da forma a la manera en que nuestra fe crece. El sufrimiento y las ciruelas pasas nos impone reconsiderar lo que valoramos. Si sentimos una respuesta de la misericordia, entonces nuestra vida de fe se profundiza y nos encontramos con un mayor sentido a las partes fracturadas de nuestro mundo, y vemos que la misericordia nos conecta y nos mantiene entera.

Jesús todavía tiene muchas heridas hoy como los pueblos crucificados del mundo conducen vidas destrozadas. Casi todas las personas sufre de manera invisible y las heridas de Jesús permanecen sin cicatrizar mientras que nuestro sufrimiento continúa. El mundo sigue siendo roto y en necesidad de alguien para tocar nuestro sufrimiento. Este es el llamado de la Misericordia a la iglesia. Es nuestro tiempo para ser como Thomas, es decir, que es nuestro tiempo para llegar en las heridas de otra persona y ser que la presencia de curación. Tenemos que vendaje, aplicar el ungüento, proporcionar un bálsamo, y confortar a los que sufren. Hay que sentarse y escuchar y sostener y honrar la experiencia de otra persona. Nos puede llevar a un lugar en el que están suspendidas en la cruz con Jesús, retorciéndose de dolor de otra persona, incapaz de provocar un cambio real, pero nos permite a nosotros mismos para ser crucificado en solidaridad con ellos para que sepan que no están solos. Mercy se cura. La misericordia es milagroso. La misericordia es nuestra mayor expresión de fe. Merced tiene que ser la buena noticia que aportamos a los demás.

Estimados amigos, extenderás las manos. Veamos sus heridas. Sabemos que las marcas son profundas y hemos estado abierta durante mucho tiempo. ¿Le vamos a tocar sus heridas? Juntos, ponemos nuestras vidas en la cicatrización de heridas, las manos de Jesucristo.

Escritura para la misa diaria

Primera lectura:
Lunes: (Hechos 4) Pedro y Juan regresar a su pueblo después de haber sido liberado de las autoridades religiosas. Oraron sobre su terrible experiencia y toda la casa se sacudió y todos estaban llenos de ingenio del Espíritu Santo.
Martes: (Hechos 4) La Comunidad de los creyentes tenía un solo corazón y la mente y juntos dado testimonio de la resurrección. José, llamado Bernabé, vendió una propiedad y dar dinero a los Apóstoles.
Miércoles: (Hechos 5) El sumo sacerdote y los saduceos encarcelado los Apóstoles, sino durante la noche, el Señor abrió las puertas de la cárcel y los Apóstoles regresó a la zona de Temple a predicar.
Jueves: (Hechos 5) Los Apóstoles fueron a luz otra vez durante su detención y se les recordó que se les prohibió predicar. Pedro dijo en nombre de los Apóstoles que han de obedecer a Dios, no los hombres.
Viernes (Hechos 5) Gamaliel, el fariseo, insta a la sabiduría para el Sanedrín declarando que si esto es de Dios, no puede ser detenido, pero si se trata de los hombres, que sin duda se extinga.
Sábado (Hechos 6) El número de discípulos creció. Los helenistas se quejaron a los Hebreos que sus viudas eran desatendidas. Los Doce decidió que era el derecho de seleccionar a siete hombres de buena reputación (diáconos) para hacerse cargo de la distribución diaria mientras continuaban con la oración y el ministerio de la palabra. Mientras tanto, el número de discípulos en Jerusalén aumenta considerablemente. Incluso un gran grupo de sacerdotes obedecían a la fe.

Lunes: (Juan 3) Nicodemo, un fariseo, un principal entre los Judios viene a Jesús preguntando acerca de dónde es capaz de hacer los grandes milagros y enseñanzas. Se trata de entender.
Martes: (Juan 3) Jesús respondió diciendo a Nicodemo, "Os es necesario nacer de lo alto" para aceptar este testimonio.
Miércoles (Juan 3) Dios no envió a su Hijo al mundo para condenarlo, sino para que el mundo se salve por él.
Jueves (Juan 3) Jesús explica que había salido de arriba y habla de las cosas que son de arriba. El que cree en el Hijo tiene vida eterna.
Viernes (Juan 6) Cerca de una fiesta de la Pascua, Jesús alimenta milagrosamente las multitudes hambrientas como un buen pastor haría. Se recuerda a las personas que las acciones en su vida terrena eran precursores de la comida que se van a compartir. Son de comer su cuerpo y beber su sangre.
Sábado (Juan 6) Jesús entonces sale al otro lado del mar. Cuando una tormenta recoge, camina sobre las olas turbulentas y les instruye a no tener miedo. Él está con ellos. Él tiene poder sobre el mundo natural y sobrenatural.

Santos de la Semana

No son santos en el calendario de esta semana, ya que es normalmente la Semana Santa o Pascua.

Esta semana en la historia de los jesuitas

• 3 abr, 1583. La muerte de Jerónimo Nadal, uno de los primeros compañeros de Ignacio, que más tarde le confió publicación y distribución de las Constituciones de la Compañía de las diversas regiones de la primera Compañía.
• 4 abr, 1534. Peter Faber (Pierre Favre) ordenado diácono en París.
• 5 de Abr, 1635. La muerte de Louis Lallemant, escritor y maestro espiritual.
• 6 abr 1850. La primera edición de La Civiltà Cattolica apareció. Fue la primera revista de la Sociedad restaurado.
• 7 abr 1541. Ignacio fue elegido por unanimidad en general, pero se negó a aceptar los resultados.
• 8 abr 1762. El Parlamento francés emitió un decreto de expulsión de los jesuitas de todos sus colegios y casas.
• 9 de abril de 1615. La muerte de William Weston, ministro de los católicos perseguidos en Inglaterra y más tarde un autor que escribió sobre su vida interior durante ese período.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Spirituality: “A Genuflection in Love” By Fr. Ronald Rolheiser

They embraced his feet! What a curious gesture! Yet this is the response of Jesus’ disciples when they first meet him after the resurrection. Why his feet?

Embracing one’s feet was, at the time of Jesus, a symbolic image for discipleship. The idea was that the disciple was meant to embrace the feet of the master by sitting at his feet and walking in his footsteps. In essence, the idea was that the feet of the master laid out the road to be followed, and the gestures of embracing the master’s feet and walking in his steps designated a certain acquiescence of the will, an obedience to someone and something higher than oneself.

But, prior to Jesus, this normally implied a relationship of non-equals, a master and a disciple, a teacher and a pupil. There was obedience, but not necessarily friendship and intimacy. What changes with Jesus is that the embrace now becomes one of intimacy. One now falls at the feet of Jesus akin to how one falls in love. In love, we embrace each other’s feet; the acquiescence is not a bending to power but a genuflection in love.

Jesus had tried to instill into his followers this shift in obedience: “I no longer call you servants, but friends.” The God that Jesus incarnated is not a God who demands obedience on the basis of power and fear. This God, rather, invites us to acquiescence in love. Genuine intimacy is nothing other than a mutual genuflection in love. That is also the essence of discipleship. Jesus’ early disciples already knew that and, hence, upon meeting him on Easter morning, they give him the deepest, most robust, intimate hug of all: they embraced his feet.

Source: Found in Give Us This Day, April 2015, pp. 138-139.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Poem: “An Easter Carol” By Christina Rossetti

Spring bursts today,
for Christ is risen and all the earth’s at play.
Flash forth thou Sun,
The rain is over and gone, its work is done.
Winter is past.
Sweet Spring is come at last, is come at last.
Bud, Fig, and Vine,
Bud, Olive, fat with fruit and oil and wine.
Break forth this morn
In roses, thou but yesterday a Thorn.
Uplift thy head,
O pure white Lily through the winter dead.
Beside your dams
Leap and rejoice, you merry-making Lambs.
All Herds and Flocks
Rejoice, all Beasts of thickets and of rocks.
Sing, Creatures, sing,
Angels and Men and Birds and everything.
All notes of Doves
Fill out our world: this is the time of loves.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Prayer: Gregory the Great

It is only right, with all the powers of our heart and mind, to praise you, Father, and your only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Dear Father, by your wondrous condescension of loving-kindness toward us, your servants, you gave up your Son. Dear Jesus, you paid the debt of Adam for us to the Eternal Father by your blood poured faith in loving-kindness. You cleared away the darkness of sin by your magnificent and radiant resurrection. You broke the bonds of death and rose from the grave as a conqueror. You reconciled heaven and earth. Our life had no hope of eternal happiness before you redeemed us. Your resurrection has washed away our sins, restored our innocence, and brought us joy. How inestimable is the tenderness of your love.

Spirituality: Easter Joy

Happy Easter!

Intimacy with Jesus is the central grace of the Spiritual Exercises, which helps us experience the risen Jesus who rejoices to share with us the boundless intimacy of his resurrected life. The contemplation on the Love of God has us reflect on the limitless blessings that God cascades down on our world like they rays of the sun. Our response is, “The Take, Lord, Receive” prayer.

Intimacy holds nothing back. Those in a truly intimate relationship share everything. Ignatius wants us to be in this type of friendship with Jesus, who is all heart, where we want to share everything with him, and he with us. Jesus is all heart.

Henry David Thoreau once wrote, “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately…and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived… I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life… to put to rout all that was not life…

As we enter into Easter’s joyful season, let us pray for the grace of “joy with Christ in joy.”  Yes, Jesus is joyful because of God’s victory over sin and death and he wants to share his joy with us. This joy is more than a mere happiness of contentment – but a deep sense that all is well and will be well. Life will still be chaotic, but all will be well in the end.

Joy does not burst onto the scene, but is more subtle. It grows slowly and may scarcely command our attention. We seek for joy in the same way we seek God – we heighten our senses and pay attention to the details. At some point, we will notice the insignificant event that is infused with joy and we will be caught with surprise.

Happy Easter, my friends. Together, let us pray for our lives to be enveloped by Christ’s joy.

He is Risen, my friends. Indeed. He is truly Risen. Alleluia! Alleluia!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Easter Homily

            The Gospel scene is quiet and confusing as Mary Magdalene does not understand that Jesus has been raised from the dead. Peter goes into the tomb and notes the placement of the burial cloths, but does not conclude that Jesus is no longer dead. He is perplexed and wonders what happened. The other unnamed disciple, however, enters the tomb after Peter, and he sees and believes.

The Resurrection is not an easy concept to figure out and it takes time for the meaning to set in. Today, we have to experience the resurrection of Jesus personally for us. Jesus has to return expressly for us, just as he did for his mother, his disciples, and those who were faithful to him. He wants to come back to us to console us and to reassure us we can go through life together. His ministry is all about comforting and encouraging us and delighting in his victory over the awful forces of the world. He has won.

            Believing in Jesus is a difficult thing to do these days. Tragedies in Paris, Brussels, and Istanbul, and unresolvable like crises the Middle East dilemma make us wonder if God has any power to shape world events. Death, sorrow, and suffering grip us because it makes no sense to lose a loved one. Why does God allow the suffering of the good and the innocent? Too many factors keep us away from developing a faith life in the one who can make sense of the senseless. The Resurrection takes time to understand; it is a process we have to go through just like Peter, the other disciples, and Mary Magdalene did.

            We know when it happens. Something inside our soul is suspended, if but briefly, and we linger over a moment that comes from outside of us. Can there be a possibility that Jesus is reaching out to me? Something in our lives gets realigned or knocked out of place, whether I am a believer or doubter. I have a sense that there is something, perhaps someone, greater than that which is in my life. I may be filled with a desire, a yearning, for my world to have greater meaning. I hold onto this moment and return to it. Somehow, something meaningful is being born within me. Something authentic, something real, is growing inside my soul and it fuels me, even if I tell no one else about it at first. We do not even know if it is from God, but it is something I cannot deny. If we are like the beloved disciple, we see and believe, but most of us are like Peter, who is weighed down with life’s decisions, and it takes time to grasp the holy among the profane, the mystery in the midst of ordinary life.

Joy does not burst onto the scene triumphantly, but is subtle. It grows slowly and may scarcely command our attention because it is found in hidden details that soon will make itself known. We seek for joy in the same way we seek God – we heighten our senses and notice the fine details that have something important to say. At some point, we will notice the insignificant event that is infused with joy and we will be caught with surprise. It is like a summer firefly’s flicker. We wonder: did I just see it. Or was I imagining things. It was gone in a flash and yet when we walk deeper into the woods, we find the forest alight with these beaming lights.

            Intimacy with God through Jesus is the Easter moment. Joy is the emotion we feel when the risen Jesus comes to us rejoicing that he wants to share the boundless intimacy of his resurrected life with us. Easter is about reflecting on these limitless blessings that God cascades down upon our world like the rays of the sun. When this happens, we want to share ourselves with the ones who are near to us. Intimacy holds nothing back. Jesus, who is all heart, wants to share his victory with us.

As we celebrate this solemn day, let us notice the joy that we have. Let us be bold even to share that deep down joy with one another. Let’s reach out to our brothers and sisters and shake hands in friendship because we have one Lord and we are his brothers and sisters. Let us pray together for the grace to be joyful with Christ who is joyful.  Yes, Jesus is joyful because of God’s victory over sin and death and he wants to share his joy with us. This joy is more than a mere happiness of contentment – but a deep sense that all is well and will be well. Life will still be chaotic, but all will be well in the end.

Happy Easter, my friends. Together, let us pray for our lives to be enveloped by Christ’s joy.

He is Risen, my friends. Indeed. He is truly Risen. Alleluia! Alleluia!