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Saturday, April 30, 2022

Poem: Rumi

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.

                                        Don't go back to sleep. 

You must ask for what you really want.

                                        Don't go back to sleep.

People are going back and forth across the doorsill where the two worlds touch.

The door is round and open.

                                        Don't go back to sleep.

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Photo: The Cathedral of the Holy Cross


Spirituality: Parker Palmer, "A Hidden Wholeness"

There are at least two ways to understand what it means to have our hearts broken. One is to imagine the heart broken into shards and scattered about. The other is to imagine the heart broken open into new capacity. As I stand in the tragic gap between reality and possibility, this small, tight fist of a thing called my heart can break open into greater capacity to hold more of my own and the world's suffering and joy, despair and hope.

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Our God-given conscience: The Third Sunday of Easter

                                                  Our God-given Conscience

The Third Sunday of Easter

May 1, 2022

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Acts 5:27-41; Psalm 30; Revelation 5:11-14; John 21:1-19


          The church gives us two very different readings that contain rich nuances and inspirational moments, and it is difficult to choose which part of the story to highlight. In the Acts of the Apostles, the religious leaders instruct the Apostles not to say anything that would embarrass them further. In the Gospel, we have the recognition of Jesus, the appearances, the necessity of eating, the return to one’s livelihood, the triple forgiveness upon which the church is built, and the mandate to love one another as the basis for discipleship. Rich stuff indeed.


          The commonality that I see in both sets of readings is that we have an innate sense to perceive the presence of the Lord and to know what is right to do. We are inspired by the boldness of the Apostles when their experience of Jesus cannot be contained, even at the urgings of the high priests’ council. The religious leaders are confused, embarrassed, mocked, and they are trying to control the news narratives and maintain the status quo and their strict levels of authority, and the Apostles are compelled to speak from their truth. This allows the Apostles to speak without fear, to be prudent, and to build up the community of faith that has come to believe that Jesus is the Christ.


          From early on, the primacy of Conscience has been part of the part and is essential for our active discipleship in which we follow the Spirit’s guidance. Here is a quote contained in the Second Vatican Council about the function of conscience within our discernment:


Deep within their consciences, men and women discover a law that they have not laid upon themselves but which they must obey. Its voice, ever calling them to love and to do what is good and to avoid what is evil, tells them inwardly at the right moment: do this, shun that. For they have in their hearts a law inscribed by God. Their dignity lies in observing this law, and by it they will be judged…. By conscience, that law is made know in a wonderful way that is fulfilled in love for God and for one’s neighbor. Through loyalty to conscience, Christians are joined to others in the search for truth and for the right solution to so many moral problems that arise both in the lives of individuals and in social relationships.


          This conscience allowed the Apostles in the Gospel to recognize Jesus and to know he was among them, and he gave each disciple, in humility and honesty, to one another as a gift to be cherished and honored. We have been redeemed and been judged to be ‘good.’ That we can know the Lord gives us dignity and full citizenship in heaven, and no one can take that away from us, no matter what words are spoken or actions are taken. The presence of the Lord within our consciences, within our soul, can speak to other souls, and only good follows from this beholding of the other person. This part of us sees our own abundant goodness, and from it, we see the goodwill in other people. This part of us allows us to respond when asked, “Do you Love me?” “Yes, of course, I do, and I love those who are your friends because you are the one who came back for me at the seashore, you are the one who has loved me when I didn’t think I deserved love, you are the one who comforts me and shares your life with me. Yes, Lord, you know that I love you, and you don’t have to tell me, because I naturally want to feed your sheep because I show my love for you when I do so.”


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


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


  • 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." 

May 7, 1547. Letter of St. Ignatius to the scholastics at Coimbra on Religious Perfection.

Nuestra conciencia dada por Dios: El Tercer Domingo de Pascua

                                         Nuestra conciencia dada por Dios

El Tercer Domingo de Pascua

1 de mayo de 2022

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Hechos 5:27-41; Salmo 30; Apocalipsis 5:11-14; Juan 21:1-19


La iglesia nos brinda dos lecturas muy diferentes que contienen ricos matices y momentos inspiradores, y es difícil elegir qué parte de la historia resaltar. En los Hechos de los Apóstoles, los líderes religiosos instruyen a los Apóstoles a no decir nada que los avergüence aún más. En el Evangelio tenemos el reconocimiento de Jesús, las apariciones, la necesidad de comer, la vuelta al propio sustento, el triple perdón sobre el que se edifica la iglesia y el mandato de amarse unos a otros como base del discipulado. Cosas ricas de hecho.


          Lo que veo en común en ambos conjuntos de lecturas es que tenemos un sentido innato para percibir la presencia del Señor y saber lo que es correcto hacer. Nos inspira la audacia de los Apóstoles cuando su experiencia de Jesús no puede ser contenida, incluso a instancias del consejo de los sumos sacerdotes. Los líderes religiosos están confundidos, avergonzados, burlados y están tratando de controlar las narrativas de las noticias y mantener el statu quo y sus estrictos niveles de autoridad, y los Apóstoles se ven obligados a hablar desde su verdad. Esto permite a los Apóstoles hablar sin miedo, ser prudentes y edificar la comunidad de fe que ha llegado a creer que Jesús es el Cristo.


          Desde muy temprano, la primacía de la Conciencia ha sido parte de la parte y es esencial para nuestro discipulado activo en el que seguimos la guía del Espíritu. He aquí una cita contenida en el Concilio Vaticano II sobre la función de la conciencia dentro de nuestro discernimiento:


En lo profundo de su conciencia, los hombres y las mujeres descubren una ley que no se han impuesto a sí mismos, pero que deben obedecer. Su voz, llamándolos siempre a amar y hacer el bien y evitar el mal, les dice interiormente en el momento oportuno: haz esto, evita aquello. Porque tienen en sus corazones una ley inscrita por Dios. Su dignidad reside en observar esta ley, y por ella serán juzgados... Por la conciencia, esa ley se da a conocer de una manera maravillosa que se cumple en el amor a Dios y al prójimo. Por la lealtad a la conciencia, los cristianos se unen a los demás en la búsqueda de la verdad y de la justa solución a tantos problemas morales que se plantean tanto en la vida de las personas como en las relaciones sociales.


          Esta conciencia permitió a los Apóstoles del Evangelio reconocer a Jesús y saber que estaba entre ellos , y entregó a cada discípulo, con humildad y honestidad, unos a otros como un regalo para ser apreciado y honrado. Hemos sido redimidos y juzgados como 'buenos'. Que podamos saber que el Señor nos da dignidad y plena ciudadanía en el cielo, y nadie puede quitarnos eso, sin importar las palabras que se hablen o las acciones que se tomen. La presencia del Señor dentro de nuestras conciencias, dentro de nuestra alma, puede hablar a otras almas, y sólo el bien sigue de esta contemplación de la otra persona. Esta parte de nosotros ve nuestra propia bondad abundante y, a partir de ella, vemos la buena voluntad en otras personas. Esta parte de nosotros nos permite responder cuando se nos pregunta: "¿Me amas?" “Sí, claro que sí, y amo a los que son tus amigos porque eres tú quien volvió por mí a la orilla del mar, eres quien me ha amado cuando no creía que mereciera amor, tú eres quien me consuela y comparte tu vida conmigo. Sí, Señor, tú sabes que te amo y no tienes que decírmelo, porque naturalmente quiero apacentar tus ovejas porque te demuestro mi amor cuando lo hago”.


Escritura para la misa diaria


Primera lectura: 

Lunes: (Hechos 6) Esteban hizo grandes señales y prodigios en el nombre de Jesús.


Martes: (Hechos 7) Se presenta falso testimonio contra él , pero él se presenta como un ángel ante ellos. Opositores enojados lo apedrean, incluido Saúl, quien consiente en ejecutarlo.


Miércoles: (Hechos 8) Se desata una severa persecución en Jerusalén y los creyentes son desplazados a Judea y Samaria. Saulo, tratando de destruir la Iglesia, entra casa tras casa para arrestarlos.


Jueves: (Hechos 8) El testimonio de Felipe y los milagros en Samaria animan a los creyentes. Philip 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, Saulo está llevando a cabo actos de odio contra los creyentes y queda ciego al contemplar una manifestación de Jesús. Se produce el comienzo de su llamada y conversión.


Sábado (1 Pedro 6 – El evangelista Marcos) Revístanse de humildad; sed sobrios y vigilantes y resistid al diablo. El Dios de gracia te restaurará, confirmará, fortalecerá y establecerá después de que hayas sufrido un poco.



Lunes: (Juan 6) Jesús alimenta a los 5000 como un flashback a la memoria eucarística de los creyentes con el discurso del Pan de Vida.


Martes: (Juan 6) Jesús les instruye, “No fue Moisés quien les dio pan del cielo; mi padre celestial da el verdadero pan.” 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 él.


Jueves (Juan 6) Jesús declara 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 se pelean y surge la oposición a las referencias caníbales de Jesús 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 comes de Jesús, vivirás para siempre.


Sábado (Marcos 16) Jesús se apareció a los Once dándoles instrucciones de proclamar el Evangelio a toda criatura.


santos de la semana


1 de mayo: José el Trabajador fue honrado por el Papa Pío XII en 1955 en un esfuerzo por contrarrestar el Primero de Mayo, una fiesta sindical, obrera y socialista. Muchos católicos creen que 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 doctor (295-373), fue un egipcio que asistió al Concilio de Nicea en el 325. Escribió sobre la divinidad de Cristo pero esto provocó su exilio por parte de los emperadores no cristianos. Escribió un tratado sobre la Encarnación y trajo el monacato a Occidente.


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


4 de mayo: Joseph Mary Rubio, SJ, sacerdote (1864-1929), es un jesuita conocido como el Apóstol de Madrid. Trabajó con los pobres llevándoles los Ejercicios Espirituales y la dirección espiritual y estableció escuelas de oficios locales.


Esta semana en la historia jesuita


  • 1 de mayo de 1572. En Roma, muere el Papa San Pío V. Su decreto que imponía el Coro a la Sociedad fue cancelado por su sucesor, Gregorio XIII.
  • 2 de mayo de 1706. Muerte del hermano jesuita GJ Kamel. La flor de camelia lleva su nombre.
  • 3 de mayo de 1945. Las tropas estadounidenses toman Innsbruck, Austria. Los estudios de teología en el Canisianum se reanudan unos meses después.
  • 4 de mayo de 1902. Muerte de Charles Sommervogel , historiador de la Sociedad y editor de la bibliografía de todas las publicaciones de los jesuitas desde los inicios de la Sociedad en adelante.
  • 5 de mayo de 1782. En Coimbra muere en desgracia y destierro Sebastián Carvahlo , marqués de Pombal, cruel perseguidor de la Compañía en Portugal. Su cuerpo permaneció insepulto durante 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, esa es la compañía de Loyola".
  • 7 de mayo de 1547. Carta de San Ignacio a los escolásticos de Coimbra sobre la perfección religiosa.

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Photo: To Wash One Another's Feet


Spirituality: David Fleming, S.J.

It’s often said, “I’ll believe it when I see it.” But Ignatius Loyola reverses the saying: “When I believe it, I’ll see it.” He observed that our vision largely controls our perception. If we think the world is a bleak place, full of evil, greedy, selfish people who have no love for God or each other, that’s what we will see when we look around. If we think that our world is full of goodness and opportunity, a place that God created and sustains and loves, that is what we’ll find.

Monday, April 25, 2022

Sunday, April 24, 2022

Photo: Easter Desserts


Spirituality: David Whyte, "Consolations"

Vulnerability is not a weakness, a passing indisposition, or something we can arrange to do without, vulnerability is not a choice, vulnerability is the underlying, ever present and abiding undercurrent of our natural state. To run from vulnerability is to run from the essence of our nature, the attempt to be invulnerable is the vain attempt to become something we are not and most especially, to close off our understanding of the grief of others.

Saturday, April 23, 2022

Spirituality: Reflections on Symbols

Last night (on Wednesday, April 13th), I attended the Tenebrae prayer service at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston to enhance my prayer as I enter into the Triduum (Three Days). The Cardinal was there with maybe 125 people of prayer. The music was articulate and skillfully done and the whole tone of the proceedings was solemn and respectful.


As the prayer was finishing, I flipped to the back of the program to see the other services that are available during this week. I noticed that the Latin-rite mass is advertised for a weekly service. I began to wonder about the types of liturgy that Cardinal O’Malley experiences on a regular basis versus what the average Catholic experiences. 


It is easy to see how he would develop a different worldview than the majority of the people within his Archdiocese, and it is easy to see that his eyes might be pointed to Rome versus the people of Dorchester, Chelsea, Byfield, or Randolph. 


It lead me to thinking about our topic of conversation these past days on the flags and symbols that communicate something to the people. A symbol always reveals and hides at the same time. 


The flags that are flown at Nativity Worcester are in question by Bishop McManus, who no doubt has the same orientation to Rome that the high liturgies of Cardinal O’Malley represents.  If we are going to do something, we ought to do it well so that our efforts give glory to God. 


The question that arises for me is: Who gets to decide what a symbol represents? Who is the one who gets to interpret the meaning?


As I listened to you the other day, you had different interpretations for what the Black Lives Matter an LGBTQ flag represent. 


For some, the BLM flag represents a movement, a source of rioting and destruction, of a corrupt BLM leadership. For others, it represents dignity of the individual, and is statement to declare to the world: I’m here, I exist, and I want you to see me. My life matters. And then there are interpretations in between.


For some, the LGBTQ flag represents a promotion of gay marriage, promiscuity, sexual perversion, and a right for freedom of expression. For others, it represents a history of judgment and injustices done to a people because God made persons in a particular way, that life is hard and that one is no longer going to live in the shame that society imposes upon people who are different from them, and is a statement to declare to the world: I am your relative, friend, doctor, teacher, I’m here, I exist, and I want you to see me and the harm you have done to me. My life matters. And then there are the interpretations in between.


These flags point to ideologies, and as Catholics, we have to remove ideologies from our worldviews. The Spiritual Exercises are a good antidote to the development of ideologies. 

It is understandable that a bishop, when coming from a high liturgical practice whose orientation is directed to all things Roman, would want to make a statement about flags and symbols. It points us back to the Church to ask: What really is the teaching of the church? Where is it coherent and where it is incoherent?


I cannot imagine that someone waving a Gay Pride flag would primarily be thinking that they want the Catholic Church to hold sacramental same-sex marriages in their churches. If that is a bishop’s view, then how does he need to be enlightened? How does the LGBTQ community need to be sensitive to society’s struggle to accept them?


I cannot imagine that someone waving a BLM flag would primarily be advocating violence and destruction, and I cannot imagine the BLM protestors are pleased that their flag is associated with the violence that erupted on their watch. If that is a bishop’s view, then how does he need to be enlightened? How do people who wave the BLM flag need to be sensitive to society’s struggle to wrestle with these larger issues?


The danger we fall into is to see these symbols as ideologies and then to take sides. As a church, we are to find the greater good, the common good, and to seek understanding so we can achieve unity of minds and hearts. It is not easy, and yet we have a tool. We have the capacity to enter into dialogue, which is a long-term process, but one that will produce the fruit that is needed for God’s grace to be manifest. We might have to be the ones to be the adults in the room, but the goal is worth enduring the process. 


As we have reviewed the book on Vatican II, we have a classic example of the usefulness of dialogue. Look at the miracle that was produced from hardline bishops and cardinals in the mid-1960s. We need to take the Vatican II style of dialogue to heart because it will change the world. Doctrines develop, church teachings change, we understand more when we seek a common goal together. This is the whole purpose of the Synod – that we come together to speak civilly and with charity so we can learn from one another and then to make changes that will tend to the needs of the people at the center, but mostly at the margins. Dialogue brings us to those frontiers that are often frightening because much is unknown. How do we want to go forward? Let’s go like the Easter disciples who realized Jesus is alive, God is active, and the Spirit will lead. Let’s be audacious enough to hope – and to love.

Friday, April 22, 2022

Photo: An Easter Bunny


Poem: “Salvator Mundi: Via Crucis” by Denise Levertov

 Maybe he looked indeed 

much as Rembrandt envisioned Him 

in those small heads that seem in fact 

portraits of more than a model. 

A dark, still young, very intelligent face,

A soul-mirror gaze of deep understanding, unjudging.

That face, in extremis, would have clenched its teeth

In a grimace not shown in even the great crucifixions.

The burden of humanness (I begin to see) exacted from Him

That He taste also the humiliation of dread, 

cold sweat of waiting to let the whole thing go, 

like any mortal hero out of his depth, 

from what like anyone who has taken herself back.

The painters, even the greatest, don’t show how, 

in the midnight Garden, 

or staggering uphill under the weight of the Cross, 

He went through with even the human longing 

to simply cease, to not be.

Not torture of body,        

not the hideous betrayals human commit 

not the faithless weakness of friends, and surely 

not the anticipation of death (not then, in agony’s grip) 

was Incarnation’s heaviest weight, 

but this sickened desire to renege, 

to step back from what He, Who was God, 

had promised Himself, and had entered 

time and flesh to enact.

Sublime acceptance, to be absolute, had to have welled 

up from those depths where purpose

Drifted for mortal moments.

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Photo: The Sacred Heart


Poem: “All Souls’ Day” by Frances Bellerby

 Let’s go our old way 

by the stream, and kick the leaves 

as we always did, to make 

the rhythm of breaking waves.


This day draws no breath – 

shows no colour anywhere 

except for the leaves – in their death 

brilliant as never before.


Yellow of Brimstone Butterfly, 

brown of Oak Eggar Moth – 

you’d say. And I’d be wondering why 

a summer never seems lost 


if two have been together 

witnessing the variousness of light, 

and the same two in lustreless November 

enter the year’s night …


The slow-worm stream – how still! 

Above that spider’s unguarded door, 

look – dull pearls … Time’s full, 

brimming, can hold no more.


Next moment (we well know, 

my darling, you and I) 

what the small day cannot hold 

must spill into eternity.


So perhaps we should move cat-soft 

meanwhile, and leave everything unsaid, 

until no shadow of risk can be left 

of disturbing the scatheless dead.


Ah, but you were always leaf-tight. 

And you so seldom talk 

as we go. But there at my side 

through the bright leaves you walk.


And yet  -- touch my hand 

that I may be quite without fear, 

for it seems as if a mist descends, 

and the leaves where you walk do not stir.

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

We all rise: The Second Sunday of Easter

We all rise

The Second Sunday of Easter

April 24, 2022

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Acts 5:12-16; Psalm 118; Revelation 1:9-19; John 20:19-31


          An extraordinary proof of the Resurrection of Jesus was the transformation of the disciples into men and women who boldly proclaimed what they knew to be true from their experiences. The Apostles healed many and performed wonders publicly and the ministry of Jesus continued through their preaching. Through their actions, many were brought to belief to the astonishment of the crowds who just days earlier handed Jesus over to crucifixion. Many in the crowds began to doubt whether they were right to condemn a man to death.


          The Gospel is about dealing with Thomas’s doubt without having direct experience of the Risen Jesus, and it reminds us that doubt is a necessary and natural part of faith, and it is important to note what this doubt leads to – a sense of peace and greater certainty. Having doubt does not create a weaker faith, but one that might be examined maturely. Thomas does not have to touch the wounds of Jesus. He no longer needs physical proof as he once demanded. The mere presence of Jesus erases his doubt and allows him to make one of the greatest statements of faith – My Lord and my God – a saying that many Catholics say interiorly during the consecration. 


          Jesus was not the only one to rise at the Resurrection. When he returned to his friends to share the news of God’s victory over death and sin, he raised the disciples to a new height of being. Those who were healed in the Acts of the Apostles were raised to good health and spiritual maturity. Thomas was raised to a high level of faith as he uttered his oft quoted words, and we are healed when we contemplate what the resurrection was.


          Two weeks ago, I saw the play “To Kill a Mockingbird,” and the child, Scout, at the beginning mentioned that we were about to witness a trial, and that when the judge came into the courtroom, the court officer would yell “All Rise.” Scout made the point that it was not that we were merely to stand, but we as individuals and as a community were to rise. We are to rise to a new, heightened level of justice – to invoke God’s justice – and to seek the greatest good in the proceedings. All the parts of us that are self-concerned, self-interested, self-absorbed must be subjugated by our command to rise beyond who were thought we were to become the person God intends us all to be. This injunction is what happens at the Resurrection. It is not merely Jesus who was vindicated by God and raised from the dead. We are raised with him. 


          This rising takes time, just as it did for Thomas. Over the past few days, I saw images of Jesus on Easter morning sprinting out of the tomb to declare his victory, and I can’t imagine his first steps were like that. Having just run the Boston Marathon, I feel hobbled, pained, and I have to step gingerly, and this is more in line with the way Jesus must have felt when we rose from the tomb and took his first steps to a new life. The wounds and the muscle aches must have been tremendous as he learned to walk again. This is real life and not a spiritualized view, and it is important for us to remember that in our faith life, we are sometimes hobbled by our new experiences and our doubts, but that they are necessary for rebuilding the strength for our new life – a life of being risen with the Lord.


          So, as we contemplate the first steps of Jesus in his resurrected life, let us remember our own tentative steps to greater faith, and let us choose to rise with him to new heights – individually and as a community – for we have seen the signs and wonders, and we are called to something greater. Let us raise our hearts and minds; let us raise our doubts and ponderings; lets us raise our care for the common good and our love for one another. Let us hear the words of Jesus this morning as he stands in our midst as he calls us: All Rise. Alleluia. 


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 with 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


April 24: Fidelis of Sigmaringen, priest and martyr (1578-1622), was a canon lawyer from Swabia, Germany who became a Capuchin Franciscan  in Switzerland in 1612. Prior to priesthood, he tutored nobles in France, Italy and Spain and helped interpret legislation that served the poor. He was known as the "lawyer for the poor." He was later appointed to the challenging task of preaching to the Protestants in Switzerland, where he was killed for being an agent for the king. He was the head of the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith in anti-Catholic hostilities. He was accused of being the king's political agent and was assaulted and killed. 


April 25: Mark, the Evangelist is the author of the earliest Gospel and is associated with Peter whom he heard preach. Mark was a member of the first Christian community in Jerusalem and his mother owned a house in the city that was used as a place of prayer during Peter's imprisonment under Herod Agrippa I. He was originally a companion of Paul and Barnabas having traveled with them back to Antioch in Syria. Later, they brought him along as their assistant on a missionary journey. He is associated with Peter’s ministry later in life. He was sent to Alexandria and formed a church that is now known as the Coptic Orthodox Church.


April 28: Peter Chanel, priest, missionary, martyr (1803-1841), is the first martyr of the Pacific South Seas. Originally a parish priest in rural eastern France, he joined the Society of Mary (Marists) to become a missionary in 1831 after a five-year stint teaching in the seminary. At first the missionaries were well-received in the New Hebrides and other Pacific island nations as they recently outlawed cannibalism. The growth of white influence placed Chanel under suspicion, which led to an attack on the missionaries. When the king’s son wanted to be baptized, his anger erupted and Peter was clubbed to death in protest. 


April 28: Louis of Montfort, priest (1673-1716), dedicated his life to the care of the poor and the sick as a hospital chaplain in Poitiers, France. He angered the public and the administration when he tried to organize the hospital women's workers into a religious organization. He was let go. He went to Rome where the pope gave him the title "missionary apostolic" so he could preach missions that promoted a Marian and Rosary-based spirituality. He formed the "Priests of the Company of Mary" and the "Daughters of Wisdom."


April 29: Catherine of Siena, mystic and doctor of the Church (1347-1380), was the 24th of 25thchildren. At an early age, she had visions of guardian angels and the saints. She became a Third-Order Dominican and persuaded the Pope to return to Rome from Avignon in 1377. She died at age 33 after receiving the stigmata.


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. 


This Week in Jesuit History


  • April 24, 1589. At Bordeaux, the Society was ordered to leave the city. It had been falsely accused of favoring the faction that was opposed to King Henry III. 
  • April 25, 1915. Pierre Rousselot, Professor at the Institute Catholique in Paris, is wounded and taken prisoner during World War I. 
  • April 26, 1935. Lumen Vitae, center for catechetics and religious formation was founded in Brussels. 
  • April 27, 1880. On the occasion of the visit of Jules Ferry, French minister of education, to Amiens, France, shouts were raised under the Jesuit College windows: "Les Jesuites a la guillotine." 
  • April 28, 1542. St Ignatius sent Pedro Ribadeneira, aged fifteen, from Rome to Paris for his studies. Pedro had been admitted into the Society in l539 or l540. 
  • April 29, 1933. Thomas Ewing Sherman died in New Orleans. An orator on the mission band, he was the son of Civil War General William Tecumseh Sherman. He suffered a breakdown, and wanted to leave the Society, but was refused because of his ill health. Before his death he renewed his vows in the Society. 
  • April 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.