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Sunday, April 30, 2017

Prayer: Angela Merici

The more you are united, the more Jesus Christ will be in your midst. Loving one another and living in harmony together are a sure sign that we are walking the path right and pleasing to God.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Prayer: "Easter" by Pope Francis

Entering the tomb … That is why we are here: to enter, to enter into the mystery which God has accomplished with his vigil of love. We cannot live Easter without entering into the mystery. It is not something intellectual, something we only know or read about. It is more, much more!

To enter into the mystery means the ability to wonder, to contemplate; the ability to listen to the silence and to hear the tiny whisper amid great silence by which God speaks to us (cf., 1 Kings 19:12).

To enter into the mystery demands that we not be afraid of reality: that we not be locked into ourselves, that we not flee from what we fail to understand, that we not close our eyes to problems or deny them, that we not dismiss our questions …

To enter into mystery means going beyond our own comfort zone, beyond the laziness and indifference which hold us back, and going out in search of truth, beauty, and love. It is seeking a deeper meaning, an answer, and not an easy one, to the questions which challenge our faith, out fidelity, and our very existence.

To enter into the mystery we need humility, the lowliness to abase ourselves, to come down from the pedestal of our “I” which is so proud, of our presumption; the humility not to take ourselves so seriously, recognizing who we really are: creatures with strengths and weaknesses, sinners in need of forgiveness. To enter into the mystery we need the lowliness that is powerlessness, the renunciation of our idols … in a word, we need to adore. Without adoration, we cannot enter into the mystery.

Source: Magnificat, Edition for Holy Week, 2016, pp. 251-252.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Spirituality: The Second Sunday of Easter

Today’s Gospel reading is John 20:19-31, St. Thomas and the Risen Lord.

[Meditating] on the story of Doubting Thomas, the disciple who had not been present when Christ appeared to the disciples that first Easter evening, and so had – understandably – refused to believe that Jesus had risen:

And who among us hasn’t at some moment doubted? Did I not doubt [in my meditation two days ago] the whole necessary, implausible meeting between Mary and Jesus. Hadn’t Jesus himself trembled with fright the night before he died, asking his Father to remove the cup of his agony, if it were possible. Maybe Peter had been right. There had to be another way, without a crucifixion. But there hadn’t. A Resurrection needs a death. Unless a grain of wheat fall into the ground …

He stands in for all of us this Thomas, doesn’t he? A skeptic who put it as baldly and you can. Unless I can see the holes the nails made in his hands, AND unless I put my finger into the holes they made, and unless I can put my hand into his side, I will not believe. This hard-nosed Thomas who, when Jesus had set his face toward Jerusalem and his oncoming death, had remarked, Let us also go to die with him. Thomas the fatalist. Thomas the realist.

Now, a week after Easter, the disciples are again gathered behind locked doors and this time Thomas is with them. Again Jesus appears in their midst. Peace be with you, he says. And then, turning directly to Thomas: Here are my hands. Put your finger here [in the nail hole]. Now, give me your hand and put it into my side. Do not be unbelieving any more, but believe. And with that, Thomas utters one of the most profound gestures of belief found anywhere in the Gospels. My Lord, he says. And my God. They are words millions have said – and still say – whenever the host is raised at the Consecration. And Jesus’ gentle rebuke: You believe, Thomas, because you can see me. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.

Somehow we arrive at our yes or no. Whether it be a single transformative moment or a lifetime of questioning, pray with all you have that it be yes. With Paul on the road to Damascus, the yes was sudden and unmistakable. With Augustine, on the road to Rome, it took decades. “Lord, change my heart,” he once prayed. “But not yet.”

Source:       Paul Mariani, Thirty Days: On Retreat with the Exercises of St. Ignatius, pp. 242-243.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Spirituality: “Endless Miracle of Love” by Caryll Houselander

Perhaps it is most difficult of all to realize, or to believe, that the Risen Christ is hidden in our own lives. Difficult not only for others, but for ourselves.

If his purpose in indwelling [humans] is to radiate the light and heat of his love through the whole world, how can we honestly believe that he chooses people for such a mission who have no great talents, no work of importance, nothing to show for the work they have done, and no influence; people moreover whose circumstances, humanly speaking, are, by God’s own will for them, both cramping and inescapable?

But it is precisely from such lives that his love can and does radiate. We know nothing about the “many miracles” which were not written down. But what we do know of what things he did and how he did them in his Risen Life, shows us that the power of his endless miracle of love is given to the most circumscribed lives, and the means whereby it is worked are means that belong to us all …

He used these means to bring peace, to comfort, to give courage, to restore self-respect, to change fear to love, shame to joy …

To the stricken world in the person of Magdalen, compassion: “Why are you weeping, for whom are you looking?”

To the apostles, his first word, “Peace!”

To Thomas, “Believe” because of the wounds – “the courage of faith.”

The only condition for finding and recognizing the Risen Christ today is that we love him: not power, chance or virtue, but only love.

Caryll Houselander, The Risen Christ, as found in Give Us This Day, March, 2016, page 392.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The Third Sunday of Easter

The Third Sunday of Easter
April 30, 2017
Acts 2:14, 22-33; Psalm 16; 1 Peter 1:17-21; Luke 24:13-35

            We remember the part of the Emmaus story when the disciples remark, “were not our hearts burning within us while he spoke to us on the way?” We like the idea that Jesus walks among us and enlightens our minds and hearts with such a passion that we remember so many details of the experience. We even remark afterwards that the person speaking with us was actually Jesus because the experience is so divine and memorable and was not an ordinary experience. We recognize his familiar gestures and we believe more deeply because our experiences are to be honored.

            Jesus takes on the role of the educator and enlightener on that first Easter day. He appears to the women at the tomb and then to others, and later on to Peter. He can tell that he is busy comforting his friends, forgiving them, and instructing them. He begins to reveal himself to his disciples to help them understand the experience of his Passion and suffering. He teaches them the fuller meaning of scripture, and he addresses the question everyone wants to know: If God is all good and all powerful, why does God allow the suffering of the innocent and just? We will always have questions about our suffering.

            Peter, in the Acts of the Apostles, speaks about God’s actions with regard to the suffering of Jesus. Peter describes the actions of the Jews forthrightly, but without condemnation, when they handed over Jesus for crucifixion. The Jews used lawless men to kill Jesus, but God raised him up because he could not be held by the throes of death.  After all, Jesus was a man commended by the Jews to God for his mighty deeds, signs, and wonders.

            Here is where we learn something tremendous about God as Peter quotes King David. “You will not abandon my soul to the netherworld; nor will you suffer your holy one to see corruption. You had made known to me that paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.” In other words, God had to redeem Jesus because he was just and innocent and it would have been a mockery of him to let him reside in the Netherworld. Through the promises of scripture, God could not show Jesus the path of life and then leave him to be conquered by death. That would have been incompatible with God’s logic and heart. Jesus pleased God so much that God’s love was sufficient to penetrate the walls of death.

            We have to see God’s love in the face of suffering. God is trying to pull us closer to God’s very self, but we cannot see it because we are mired in our own pity, which is understandable, but we miss the collateral beauty of God’s love if we do not recognize all the parts of life that are at work among us. This is Christ’s role that he carried out with the Emmaus disciples. As Jesus enlightens us and widens our perspectives, we are able to see all the people who are at work in making things right and giving us love.

            Let’s look for the collateral beauty if life this week. Let us look for the great system of support we actually have surrounding us. If we cannot directly experience the risen Jesus, Let us honor that vast network of people who are on our side. When we realize what they are doing on our behalf, we can only say, “were not our hearts burning with desire?” See all the goodness that is there. Your suffering will weigh less; your spirit will soar and your heart will burn in joy.     

Scripture for Daily Mass

First Reading: 
Monday: (Acts 6) Stephen worked great signs and wonders in the name of Jesus.
Tuesday: (Acts 7) False testimony is lodged against him but he stands angelic before them. Angry opponents stone him, including Saul, who consents to execute him. 
Wednesday: (Acts 8) A severe persecution breaks out in Jerusalem and the believers are displaced to Judea and Samaria. Saul, trying to destroy the Church, enters house after house to arrest them.
Thursday: (Acts 8) Philip’s testimony and miracles in Samaria emboldens the believers. Philip heads out to Gaza and meets an Ethiopian eunuch who is reading Isaiah’s texts. Philip interprets the scripture and the eunuch begs to be baptized.  
Friday (Acts 9) Meanwhile, Saul is carrying out hateful acts against the believers and is struck blind as he beholds a manifestation of Jesus. The beginning of his call and conversion takes place. 
Saturday (1 Peter 6 – Mark the Evangelist) Clothe yourself in humility; be sober and vigilant and resist the devil. The God of grace will restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you after you have suffered a little. 

Monday: (John 6) Jesus feeds the 5000 as a flashback to the Eucharistic memory of the believers with the Bread of Life discourse.
Tuesday: (John 6) Jesus instructs them, “It was not Moses who gave you bread from heaven; my heavenly father gives the true bread.” Jesus proclaims, “I am the bread of life.”
Wednesday (John 6) God did not send his Son into the world to condemn it, but that the world might be saved through him.
Thursday (John 6) Jesus states that all that is required is belief in him. Belief is not given to all. The way to the way is through the Son.
Friday (John 6) The Jews quarreled and opposition to the cannibalistic references of Jesus rises because his sayings are hard to accept. He tells the people, “my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.” If you eat of Jesus, you will live forever.  
Saturday (Mark 16) Jesus appeared to the Eleven giving them instructions to proclaim the Gospel to every creature.

Saints of the Week

April 30: Pope Pius V, Pope (1504-1572), is noted for his work in the Counter-Reformation, the Council of Trent, and the standardization of the Roman Rite for mass. He was a fierce conservative who prosecuted eight French bishops for heterodoxy and Elizabeth I for schism. The Holy League he founded defeated the Ottoman Empire at the Battle of Lepanto whose success was attributed to the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

May 1: Joseph the Worker was honored by Pope Pius XII in 1955 in an effort to counteract May Day, a union, worker, and socialist holiday. Many Catholics believe him to be the patron of workers because he is known for his patience, persistence, and hard work as admirable qualities that believers should adopt.

May 2: Athanasius, bishop and doctor (295-373), was an Egyptian who attended the Nicene Council in 325. He wrote about Christ's divinity but this caused his exile by non-Christian emperors. He wrote a treatise on the Incarnation and brought monasticism to the West.

May 3: Philip and James, Apostles (first century), were present to Jesus throughout his entire ministry. Philip was named as being explicitly called. James is called the Lesser to distinguish him from James of Zebedee. Little is known of these founders of our faith.

May 4: Joseph Mary Rubio, S.J., priest (1864-1929), is a Jesuit known as the Apostle of Madrid. He worked with the poor bringing them the Spiritual Exercises and spiritual direction and he established local trade schools. 

This Week in Jesuit History

·      Apr 30, 1585. The landing at Osaka of Fr. Gaspar Coelho. At first the Emperor was favorably disposed towards Christianity. This changed later because of Christianity's attitude toward polygamy.
·      May 1, 1572. At Rome, Pope St. Pius V dies. His decree imposing Choir on the Society was cancelled by his successor, Gregory XIII.
·      May 2, 1706. The death of Jesuit brother G J Kamel. The camellia flower is named after him.
·      May 3, 1945. American troops take over Innsbruck, Austria. Theology studies at the Canisianum resume a few months later.
·      May 4, 1902. The death of Charles Sommervogel, historian of the Society and editor of the bibliography of all publications of the Jesuits from the beginnings of the Society onward.
·      May 5, 1782. At Coimbra, Sebastian Carvahlo, Marquis de Pombal, a cruel persecutor of the Society in Portugal, died in disgrace and exile. His body remained unburied fifty years, till Father Philip Delvaux performed the last rites in 1832.

·      May 6, 1816. Letter of John Adams to Thomas Jefferson mentioning the Jesuits. "If any congregation of men could merit eternal perdition on earth and in hell, it is the company of Loyola."

El Tercer Domingo de Pascua

El Tercer Domingo de Pascua
30 de abril de 2017
Hechos 2:14, 22-33; Salmo 16; 1 Pedro 1: 17-21; Lucas 24: 13-35

Recordamos la parte de la historia de Emaús cuando los discípulos comentan: "¿no estaban ardiendo nuestros corazones dentro de nosotros mientras nos hablaba en el camino?" Nos gusta la idea de que Jesús camina entre nosotros e ilumina nuestras mentes y corazones con tanta pasión Que recordemos tantos detalles de la experiencia. Incluso observamos después que la persona que hablaba con nosotros era en realidad Jesús porque la experiencia es tan divina y memorable y no fue una experiencia ordinaria.

Jesús asume el papel de educador y iluminador en ese primer día de Pascua. Él aparece a las mujeres en la tumba y luego a otros, y más tarde a Pedro. Puede decir que está ocupado consolar a sus amigos, perdonarlos y instruirlos. Comienza a revelarse a sus discípulos para ayudarles a comprender la experiencia de su pasión y sufrimiento. Él les enseña el significado más completo de la escritura, y él se dirige a la pregunta que todos quieren saber: Si Dios es todo bueno y todopoderoso, ¿por qué permite Dios el sufrimiento de los inocentes y justos? Siempre tendremos preguntas sobre nuestro sufrimiento.

Pedro, en los Hechos de los Apóstoles, habla de las acciones de Dios con respecto al sufrimiento de Jesús. Pedro describe las acciones de los judíos directamente, pero sin condenación, cuando entregaron a Jesús para la crucifixión. Los judíos usaron a hombres sin ley para matar a Jesús, pero Dios lo resucitó porque no podía ser retenido por las agonías de la muerte. Después de todo, Jesús fue un hombre alabado por los judíos a Dios por sus poderosas obras, señales y maravillas.

Aquí es donde aprendemos algo tremendo acerca de Dios como Pedro cita al Rey David. "No abandonarás mi alma al infierno; Ni permitirás que tu santo vea corrupción. Me habías dado a conocer los caminos de la vida; Me llenarás de gozo en tu presencia ". En otras palabras, Dios tuvo que redimir a Jesús porque era justo e inocente y habría sido una burla de él dejarlo residir en el Infierno. A través de las promesas de la Escritura, Dios no podía mostrar a Jesús el camino de la vida y luego dejarlo ser conquistado por la muerte. Eso habría sido incompatible con la lógica y el corazón de Dios. Jesús agradó tanto a Dios que el amor de Dios fue suficiente para penetrar los muros de la muerte.

Tenemos que ver el amor de Dios frente al sufrimiento. Dios está tratando de acercarnos al yo mismo de Dios, pero no podemos verlo porque estamos atascados en nuestra propia compasión, lo cual es comprensible, pero extrañamos la belleza colateral del amor de Dios si no reconocemos todas las partes de la vida que Están trabajando entre nosotros. Este es el papel de Cristo que llevó a cabo con los discípulos de Emaús. A medida que Jesús nos ilumina y amplía nuestras perspectivas, podemos ver a todas las personas que están trabajando para hacer las cosas bien y darnos amor.

Vamos a buscar la belleza colateral de la vida esta semana. Busquemos el gran sistema de apoyo que realmente tenemos alrededor de nosotros. Si no podemos experimentar directamente al Jesús resucitado, honremos a esa vasta red de personas que están de nuestro lado. Cuando nos damos cuenta de lo que están haciendo en nuestro nombre, sólo podemos decir: "¿No ardían nuestros corazones de deseo?" Vea toda la bondad que hay. Su sufrimiento pesará menos; Su espíritu se elevará y su corazón arderá de alegría.

Escritura para la misa diaria

Primera lectura:
Lunes: (Hechos 6) Esteban hizo grandes señales y prodigios en el nombre de Jesús.
Martes: (Hechos 7) El testimonio falso se presenta contra él, pero se pone angelical ante ellos. Los opositores enojados lo apedrean, incluyendo a Saúl, quien consiente en ejecutarlo.
Miércoles: (Hechos 8) Una severa persecución estalla en Jerusalén y los creyentes son desplazados a Judea y Samaria. Saúl, tratando de destruir a la Iglesia, entra en casa tras casa para arrestarlos.
Jueves: (Hechos 8) El testimonio de Felipe y los milagros en Samaria enaltecen a los creyentes. Felipe se dirige a Gaza y se encuentra con un eunuco etíope que está leyendo los textos de Isaías. Felipe interpreta la Escritura y el eunuco pide ser bautizado.
Viernes (Hechos 9) Mientras tanto, Saúl está llevando a cabo actos de odio contra los creyentes y queda ciego al contemplar una manifestación de Jesús. El comienzo de su llamada y conversión tiene lugar.
Sábado (1 Pedro 6 - Marca al Evangelista) Vístete en humildad; Ser sobrio y vigilante y resistir al diablo. El Dios de gracia te restaurará, confirmará, fortalecerá y establecerá después de haber sufrido un poco.

Lunes: (Juan 6) Jesús alimenta a los 5000 como un recuerdo de la memoria eucarística de los creyentes con el discurso del Pan de Vida.
Martes: (Juan 6) Jesús les instruye: "No fue Moisés quien os dio pan del cielo; Mi padre celestial da el pan verdadero. "Jesús proclama:" Yo soy el pan de vida ".
Miércoles (Juan 6) Dios no envió a su Hijo al mundo para condenarlo, sino para que el mundo sea salvo por medio de él.
Jueves (Juan 6) Jesús dice que todo lo que se requiere es creer en él. La creencia no se da a todos. El camino al camino es a través del Hijo.
Viernes (Juan 6) Los judíos pelearon y la oposición a las referencias canibales de Jesús se levanta porque sus dichos son difíciles de aceptar. Él le dice a la gente: "Mi carne es verdadera comida, y mi sangre es verdadera bebida." Si come de Jesús, vivirá para siempre.
Sábado (Marcos 16) Jesús apareció a los Once dándoles instrucciones de proclamar el Evangelio a toda criatura.

Santos de la Semana

30 de abril: Papa Pío V, Papa (1504-1572), es conocido por su trabajo en la Contrarreforma, el Concilio de Trento y la estandarización del Rito Romano para la misa. Fue un conservador feroz que procesó a ocho obispos franceses por la heterodoxia ya Isabel I por el cisma. La Liga Santa que fundó derrotó al Imperio Otomano en la Batalla de Lepanto cuyo éxito fue atribuido a la intercesión de la Santísima Virgen María.

1 de mayo: José el Trabajador fue honrado por el Papa Pío XII en 1955 en un esfuerzo por contrarrestar el Día de Mayo, una unión, obrero y fiesta socialista. Muchos católicos creen que él es el patrón de los trabajadores porque es conocido por su paciencia, persistencia y trabajo duro como cualidades admirables que los creyentes deben adoptar.

2 de mayo: Atanasio, obispo y médico (295-373), fue un egipcio que asistió al Consejo Niceno en 325. Él escribió acerca de la divinidad de Cristo, pero esto causó su exilio por los emperadores no cristianos. Escribió un tratado sobre la Encarnación y trajo el monaquismo a Occidente.

3 de mayo: Felipe y Santiago, apóstoles (primer siglo), estuvieron presentes a Jesús durante todo su ministerio. Felipe fue nombrado como explícitamente llamado. Santiago es llamado el Menor para distinguirlo de Jacobo de Zebedeo. Poco se sabe de estos fundadores de nuestra fe.

4 de mayo: José María Rubio, S.J., sacerdote (1864-1929), es un jesuita conocido como el Apóstol de Madrid. Trabajó con los pobres trayéndoles los Ejercicios Espirituales y la dirección espiritual y estableció escuelas de comercio locales.

Esta Semana en la Historia de los Jesuitas

• 30 de abril de 1585. El aterrizaje en Osaka del P. Gaspar Coelho. Al principio el emperador estaba favorablemente dispuesto hacia el cristianismo. Esto cambió más tarde debido a la actitud del cristianismo hacia la poligamia.
• 1 de mayo de 1572. En Roma, muere el Papa San Pío V. Su decreto imponente Coro en la Sociedad fue cancelado por su sucesor, Gregorio XIII.
• 2 de mayo de 1706. La muerte del hermano jesuita G J Kamel. La flor de la camelia se nombra después de él.
• 3 de mayo de 1945. Las tropas estadounidenses asumen el control de Innsbruck, Austria. Los estudios de teología en el Canisianum se reanudan unos meses más tarde.
• 4 de mayo de 1902. La muerte de Charles Sommervogel, historiador de la Sociedad y redactor de la bibliografía de todas las publicaciones de los jesuitas desde los inicios de la Compañía.
• 5 de mayo de 1782. En Coimbra, Sebastián Carvólo, marqués de Pombal, cruel perseguidor de la Compañía en Portugal, murió en desgracia y exilio. Su cuerpo permaneció sin enterrar cincuenta años, hasta que el Padre Philip Delvaux realizó los últimos ritos en 1832.
• 6 de mayo de 1816. Carta de John Adams a Thomas Jefferson mencionando a los jesuitas. "Si alguna congregación de hombres pudiera merecer la perdición eterna en la tierra y en el infierno, es la compañía de Loyola".