Daily Email

Sunday, March 31, 2024

Photo: He is Risen


Prayer: Happy Easter

Pope Francis writes:  “Holy Week challenges us to step outside ourselves so as to attend to the needs of others: those who long for a sympathetic ear, those in need of comfort or help. We should not simply remain in our own secure world, but we should go out, with Christ, in search of...”

If we pray on these words and let them sink into our hearts, we will move away from our ideologies to see the pain and the suffering around us. We call to mind the suffering in many places in the world: 

  • Israel and Gaza/Palestine
  • Syria, Lebanon, Myanmar
  • Russia and Ukraine, Armenia and Azerbaijan
  • Sub-Saharan Africa: Cameroon, Mozambique, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and South Sudan.
  • Challenges in the Americas: The United States, Venezuela and Guyana, Peru and Nicaragua
  • Environmental crisis and Climate Change
  • Migration and the Mediterranean crisis
  • Education, Human Rights, Dialogue

Easter is not just a feel-good day for Christians. It is a solemn one in which we take responsibility of bringing reconciliation, forgiveness, and peace to the world because we believe in the power of the Resurrection. The Resurrection is a gift and a responsibility.

We pray for the people of Gaza who bear an enormous burden. We cannot celebrate Easter without remembering the hardships of our brothers and sisters in Palestine. We cannot condone the atrocities of Hamas on the October 7th attack, and we must protect our Jewish brothers and sisters in Israel and abroad. 

Christians are a pro-life people. We value the sanctity and dignity of each life. We must have a cease-fire and build peaceful relations between the two-semitic nations, and the many cultural and religiously diverse people who inhabit Israel-Palestine. War is never the solution. War is never an answer. 

Christians/Catholics are against war and for diplomatic conversations. We must build a world where people who are different from one another encounter one another in trust and discovery. 

  • We pray for safety for all Jews. We pray for their flourishing and protection in Israel and across the globe.
  • We pray for the people of Gaza and Palestine, for an end to the humanitarian crisis. We pray for their safety and their ability to flourish and to build a nation in peace and prosperity. 
  • We pray for Christians who live in Israel, Palestine, and Gaza.

We are a "both-and" people and we can pray for both. They are compatible prayers. We can have sympathy for all peoples beset by violence and hatred as we work together to construct a world of peace, compassion, and understanding. 

Let's call for a cease-fire and give diplomacy a chance.

Update on Gaza Numbers (by wikipedia as of March 30, 2024)


Prior to the War: killed between Jan. 1, 2008 and Sep. 19, 2023

            6,407 Palestinians, most were civilians

            308 Israelis

Strength of Military:

            Israel: 529,500

            Hamas: 25,000 to 40,000


Israeli offensive in Gaza killing 

Inside Israel:    1,609 militants killed; 200 militants captured

Inside Gaza                  

32,632 people. (8,000 missing; 1,000 militants).  

(24,655 are vulnerable people listed below)

                        9,100 are women

                        13,790+ are children

                        1,049 elderly

                        364 paramedics and medical staff

                        152 UN Staff

                        200 Journalists

            75,092 Gazans wounded by bombings

48,000 Gazans ill, without clean water, fears of dysentery    

1.9 million displaced; 2.1 million total Gazans

Saturday, March 30, 2024

New Book for our Study Group

 Tuesday Morning Adult Education: God After Einstein, John Haught 

In conversation with Einstein’s ideas and opinions, John F. Haught develops here a new cosmological understanding of the meaning of God, time, eternity, mystery, life, thought, freedom, and faith. In doing so, he offers readers a new way of understanding the relationship of science to theology.

You are welcome to join us.

Spirituality: The many abuse of human life, Oscar Romero

 For the church, the many abuses of human life, liberty, and dignity are a heartfelt suffering. 

The church, entrusted with the earth’s glory, believes that in each person is the Creator’s image and that everyone who tramples it offends God. 

As holy defender of God’s rights and of his images, the church must cry out. It takes as spittle in its face, as lashes on its back, as the cross in its passion, all that human beings suffer, even though they be unbelievers. They suffer as God’s images. 

There is no dichotomy between man and God’s image. Whoever tortures a human being, whoever abuses a human being, whoever outrages a human being abuses God’s image, and the church takes as its own that cross, that martyrdom. 

DECEMBER 31, 1977

Friday, March 29, 2024

Photo: The Crucifix


Poem: “In A Garden” by Elizabeth Jennings

When the gardener has gone this garden
Looks wistful and seems waiting an event.
It is so spruce, a metaphor of Eden
And even more so since the gardener went,

Quietly, godlike, but, of course, he had
Not made me promise anything, and I
Had no one tempting me to make the bad
Choice. Yet I still felt lost and wonder why.

Even the beech tree from next door which shares
Its shadow with me, seemed a kind of threat.
Bade us Everything was too neat and someone cares

In the wrong way. I need not have stood long
Mocked by the smell of a mown lawn, and yet
I did. Sickness for Eden was so strong.

Thursday, March 28, 2024

Photo: The Tabernacle of the Lord at the Last Supper Chapel


Poem: “The Last Supper," Ranier Maria Rilke (Austrian, 1875-1926)

They are assembled, astonished and disturbed
round him, who like a sage resolved his fate,
and now leaves those to whom he most belonged,
leaving and passing by them like a stranger.
The loneliness of old comes over him
which helped mature him for his deepest acts;
now will he once again walk through the olive grove,
and those who love him still will flee before his sight.

To this last supper he has summoned them,
and (like a shot that scatters birds from trees)
their hands draw back from reaching for the loaves
upon his word: they fly across to him;
they flutter, frightened, round the supper table
searching for an escape. But he is present
everywhere like an all-pervading twilight hour.
Here they are gathered, wondering and deranged,
Round Him, who wisely doth Himself inclose,
And who now takes Himself away, estranged,
From those who owned Him once, and past them flows.
He feels the ancient loneliness today
That taught Him all His deepest acts of love;
Now in the olive groves He soon will rove,
And these who love Him all will flee away.

To the last supper table He hath led,
As birds are frightened from a garden-bed
By shots, so He their hands forth from the bread
Doth frighten by His word: to Him they flee;
Then flutter round the table in their fright
And seek a passage from the hall. But He
Is everywhere like dusk at fall of night.

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

God’s Final Word: Easter Sunday, 2024

                                                              God’s Final Word:

Easter Sunday, 2024 

March 31, 2024

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Isaiah 50:4-7; Psalm 22; Philippians 2:6-11; Mark 14:1-15:47


Last night the whole church gathered to witness God’s saving event through the Cross of Jesus. Amid the pain and suffering that Jesus of Nazareth endured, God remained present to the cries and pleas of the people, and even heard the prayers of Jesus. As a people, churches across the globe collectively remembered the many saving acts of God, assuring us that still today, God hears our prayers and is moved by our love for one another.


          This morning, we become aware of what is almost incomprehensible. Our creative God has raised Jesus of Nazareth from the grave. God has vindicated Jesus and has definitively declared that Jesus was the true, righteous representative of God. Because of this, Jesus became our Christ of faith, the one who is seated at God’s right hand to intercede for us and to bring us near to God’s heart. Though painful and unjust, the death of Jesus was the way God was able to tell us that God cares deeply for our suffering. God understands it and God’s heart is broken when we feel pain.


          You can imagine how perplexing that first morning was when Mary of Magdala went to the tomb and found the stone was rolled away. She did not go in, but in her confusion, she ran to tell Peter and the other disciple because she concluded that someone had rolled the stone away and taken his body. It was when the other disciple and Peter entered the tomb, saw how carefully the burial cloths were laid, that they began to sense that something supernatural had happened. They began to believe that God raised Jesus from the dead. The empty tomb was enough proof that God continued to be active in their salvation history.


          The resurrection remains perplexing to us today. We take it for granted, but do we let the reality of this event sink into our consciousness? Jesus has been raised from the dead and has become our Christ, our Advocate, the one who brings our prayers to God, the Steadfast Creator. That is a marvelous reality. It ought to change everything in our life. We have life with God because of the Christ event. We live in a world of possibilities, of newness, of promise. This is a God of creative possibilities. No more do we have to focus on sin or hardship. For a Christian, when we think of death, we automatically think of life. The sign of a Christian must be the smile. Or a sigh. What a relief we have because of the creative way God enters our world to call us closer. We seek what is above because we live in the “now” and “not yet.”


          Since the Resurrection, the ministry of Jesus has been one of consolation. He first visited his mom to ease her pain, and then he went to Mary Magdalene who poured our her heart to him. He then went to places where there was once love so he could return and restore that love to its proper and privileged place, which is the reason he went to his disciples to wish them peace. He comes to us today when we have estrangement or tension in relationships. He is there to help us restore the pure love that once welcomed and forgave and healed. He tends the pain and heartache that we have, and he draws us together so we can console and strengthen one another. He gives us one another as a gift to be cherished and honored. He wants us to love one another without restrictions, and to have any blockages removed. He is going to keep trying, over and over again, as we believe more fully in the power of his resurrection, and when we reconcile, we will know the power of love, and we will give thanks to God of all possibilities, which is the reason we sing out today: Alleluia. Alleluia.        


Scripture for Daily Mass


Monday: (Acts 2) Peter stands up on Pentecost to proclaim to Jews in Jerusalem that Jesus of Nazareth who they put to death has been vindicated by God and raised to new life. 


Tuesday: (Acts 2) When the Jews realize the significance of their actions, they petition Peter to be baptized in the name of Jesus. 


Wednesday: (Acts 3) Peter and John heal the crippled man at "the Beautiful Gate" at the temple. 


Thursday: (Acts 3) All who witnessed the healing recognize that the man used to be the crippled beggar. Peter and John preach to the Jews gathered at Solomon's portico and tell them all that the prophets and scripture say about Jesus. 


Friday (Acts 4) The priests, temple guards, and the Sadducees confront Peter and John and hold them in custody. The religious authorities question their teaching and healing power. The Sanhedrin dismissed them with instructions not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. 


Saturday (Acts 4) Peter, John, and the healed man persevere in their boldness. The Sanhedrin wait to see if this is of God or of another source of power.



Monday: (Matthew 28) In Matthew, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary meet Jesus on the way and he exhorts them not to be afraid. The chief priests hire soldiers to say, "the disciples came and stole the body of Jesus." 


Tuesday: (John 20) Magdalene weeps outside the tomb and thinks Jesus is the gardener, until he speaks to her familiarly. 


Wednesday (Luke 24) Two disciples heading towards Emmaus meet Jesus along the way and he opens the scripture for them. 


Thursday (Luke 24) As they recount their story to the Eleven, Jesus appears before them, beckons them not to be afraid, and eats with them. 


Friday (John 21) Six disciples are with Peter as they fish at the Sea of Tiberius. After a frustrating night of fishing, Jesus instructs them to cast their nets wide and they catch 153 large fish. The beloved disciple recognized the man on the beach as the Lord and they rush to meet him. 


Saturday (Mark 16) Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene who told the Eleven about him. Two other disciples on the road returned to speak of their encounter, and then Jesus appears to them while they were at table.


Saints of the Week


No saints are remembered during the Easter octave.


This Week in Jesuit History


  • March 31, 1548: Fr. Anthony Corduba, rector of the College of Salamanca, begged Ignatius to admit him into the Society so as to escape the cardinalate which Charles V intended to procure for him. 
  • April 1, 1941. The death of Hippolyte Delehaye in Brussels. He was an eminent hagiographer and in charge of the Bollandists from 1912 to 1941. 
  • April 2, 1767. Charles III ordered the arrest of all the Jesuits in Spain and the confiscation of all their property. 
  • April 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. 
  • April 4, 1534. Peter Faber (Pierre Favre) ordained a deacon in Paris. 
  • April 5, 1635. The death of Louis Lallemant, writer and spiritual teacher. 
  • April 6, 1850. The first edition of La Civilta Cattolica appeared. It was the first journal of the restored Society.

La última palabra de Dios: Domingo de Pascua, 2024

                                                 La última palabra de Dios:

Domingo de Pascua, 2024

31 de marzo de 2024

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Isaías 50:4-7; Salmo 22; Filipenses 2:6-11; Marcos 14:1-15:47


Anoche toda la iglesia se reunió para presenciar el evento salvador de Dios a través de la Cruz de Jesús. En medio del dolor y sufrimiento que soportó Jesús de Nazaret, Dios permaneció presente ante los gritos y súplicas del pueblo, e incluso escuchó las oraciones de Jesús. Como pueblo, las iglesias de todo el mundo recordaron colectivamente los muchos actos salvadores de Dios, asegurándonos que aún hoy, Dios escucha nuestras oraciones y se conmueve por nuestro amor mutuo.


          Esta mañana tomamos conciencia de algo que es casi incomprensible. Nuestro Dios creador ha resucitado a Jesús de Nazaret de la tumba. Dios ha vindicado a Jesús y ha declarado definitivamente que Jesús era el verdadero y justo representante de Dios. Por eso Jesús se convirtió en nuestro Cristo de la fe, el que está sentado a la diestra de Dios para interceder por nosotros y acercarnos al corazón de Dios. Aunque dolorosa e injusta, la muerte de Jesús fue la forma en que Dios pudo decirnos que Dios se preocupa profundamente por nuestro sufrimiento. Dios lo entiende y el corazón de Dios se rompe cuando sentimos dolor.


          Puedes imaginar lo desconcertante que fue esa primera mañana cuando María de Magdala fue a la tumba y descubrió que la piedra había sido quitada. Ella no entró, pero en su confusión corrió a decírselo a Pedro y al otro discípulo porque concluyó que alguien había quitado la piedra y se había llevado el cuerpo. Fue cuando el otro discípulo y Pedro entraron al sepulcro, vieron con qué cuidado estaban colocados los lienzos funerarios, que comenzaron a sentir que algo sobrenatural había sucedido. Comenzaron a creer que Dios resucitó a Jesús de entre los muertos. La tumba vacía fue prueba suficiente de que Dios continuó activo en su historia de salvación.


          La resurrección sigue siendo desconcertante para nosotros hoy. Lo damos por sentado, pero ¿dejamos que la realidad de este acontecimiento penetre en nuestra conciencia? Jesús ha resucitado de entre los muertos y se ha convertido en nuestro Cristo, nuestro Abogado, el que lleva nuestras oraciones a Dios, el Firme Creador. Esa es una maravillosa realidad. Debería cambiar todo en nuestra vida. Tenemos vida con Dios debido al acontecimiento de Cristo. Vivimos en un mundo de posibilidades, de novedad, de promesas. Este es un Dios de posibilidades creativas. Ya no tenemos que centrarnos en el pecado o las dificultades. Para un cristiano, cuando pensamos en la muerte, automáticamente pensamos en la vida. La señal de un cristiano debe ser la sonrisa. O un suspiro. ¡Qué alivio tenemos por la forma creativa en que Dios entra en nuestro mundo para acercarnos más! Buscamos lo que está arriba porque vivimos en el “ahora” y el “todavía no”.


          Desde la Resurrección, el ministerio de Jesús ha sido de consolación. Primero visitó a su mamá para aliviar su dolor, y luego fue a María Magdalena, quien le derramó su corazón . Luego fue a lugares donde alguna vez hubo amor para poder regresar y restaurar ese amor a su lugar propio y privilegiado, razón por la cual acudió a sus discípulos para desearles paz. Él viene a nosotros hoy cuando tenemos distanciamiento o tensión en las relaciones. Él está ahí para ayudarnos a restaurar el amor puro que una vez acogió, perdonó y sanó. Él atiende el dolor y la angustia que tenemos y nos une para que podamos consolarnos y fortalecernos unos a otros. Él nos da unos a otros como un regalo que debemos apreciar y honrar. Él quiere que nos amemos unos a otros sin restricciones y que eliminemos cualquier bloqueo. Él va a seguir intentándolo, una y otra vez , a medida que creamos más plenamente en el poder de su resurrección, y cuando nos reconciliemos, conoceremos el poder del amor y le daremos gracias al Dios de todas las posibilidades, que es la razón por la que cantamos hoy: Aleluya. Aleluya.        


Escritura para la misa diaria


Lunes: (Hechos 2) Pedro se levanta en Pentecostés para proclamar a los judíos en Jerusalén que Jesús de Nazaret, a quien mataron, ha sido vindicado por Dios y resucitado a una nueva vida.


Martes: (Hechos 2) Cuando los judíos se dan cuenta del significado de sus acciones, le piden a Pedro que sea bautizado en el nombre de Jesús.


Miércoles: (Hechos 3) Pedro y Juan sanan al hombre cojo en "la Puerta Hermosa" del templo.


Jueves: (Hechos 3) Todos los que presenciaron la curación reconocen que el hombre solía ser el mendigo lisiado. Pedro y Juan predican a los judíos reunidos en el pórtico de Salomón y les cuentan todo lo que los profetas y las Escrituras dicen sobre Jesús.


Viernes (Hechos 4) Los sacerdotes, los guardias del templo y los saduceos confrontan a Pedro y Juan y los mantienen bajo custodia. Las autoridades religiosas cuestionan su poder docente y curativo. El Sanedrín los despidió con instrucciones de no hablar ni enseñar nada en el nombre de Jesús.


Sábado (Hechos 4) Pedro, Juan y el hombre sanado perseveran en su valentía. El Sanedrín espera para ver si esto es de Dios o de otra fuente de poder.



Lunes: (Mateo 28) En Mateo, María Magdalena y la otra María se encuentran con Jesús en el camino y él las exhorta a no tener miedo. Los principales sacerdotes contratan soldados para que digan: "Vinieron los discípulos y robaron el cuerpo de Jesús".


Martes: (Juan 20) Magdalena llora fuera de la tumba y piensa que Jesús es el jardinero, hasta que le habla familiarmente.


Miércoles (Lucas 24) Dos discípulos que se dirigen a Emaús se encuentran con Jesús en el camino y él les abre la Escritura.


Jueves (Lucas 24) Mientras cuentan su historia a los Once, Jesús se aparece ante ellos, les hace señas para que no tengan miedo y come con ellos.


Viernes (Juan 21) Seis discípulos están con Pedro mientras pescan en el Mar de Tiberio. Después de una frustrante noche de pesca, Jesús les ordena que lancen sus redes a lo ancho y capturan 153 peces grandes. El discípulo amado reconoció al hombre en la playa como el Señor y corrieron a su encuentro.


Sábado (Marcos 16) Jesús se aparece a María Magdalena, quien le habló a los Once de él. Otros dos discípulos que estaban en el camino volvieron para contarles su encuentro, y luego Jesús se les aparece mientras estaban a la mesa.


Santos de la semana


Durante la octava de Pascua no se recuerda a ningún santo.


Esta semana en la historia jesuita


  • 31 de marzo de 1548: P. Antonio Corduba , rector del Colegio de Salamanca, rogó a Ignacio que le admitiera en la Sociedad para escapar del cardenalato que Carlos V pretendía procurarle.
  • 1 de abril de 1941. Muerte de Hippolyte Delehaye en Bruselas. Fue un eminente hagiógrafo y estuvo a cargo de los bolandistas desde 1912 hasta 1941.
  • 2 de abril de 1767. Carlos III ordena el arresto de todos los jesuitas en España y la confiscación de todos sus bienes.
  • 3 de abril de 1583. Muerte de Jerónimo Nadal, uno de los compañeros originales de Ignacio que más tarde le encomendó la publicación y distribución de las Constituciones jesuitas en las diversas regiones de la primitiva Compañía.
  • 4 de abril de 1534. Peter Faber ( Pierre Favre) es ordenado diácono en París.
  • de abril de 1635. Muerte de Louis Lallemant , escritor y maestro espiritual.
  • Aparece la primera edición de La Civiltà Cattolica . Fue la primera revista de la Sociedad restaurada.


Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Spirituality: Oscar Romero, The Violence of Love

The true protagonists of history are those who are most united with God, because with God’s viewpoint they can best attend to the signs of the times, the ways of Providence, the building of history. Oh, if we only had persons of prayer among those who oversee the fate of the nation and the fate of the economy! If, instead of relying on human devices, people would rely on God and on his devices, we would have a world like the one the church dreams of, a world without injustices, a world with respect for rights, a world with generous participation by all, a world without repression, a world without torture. 

JULY 17, 1977

Poem: “Spring” by Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J. (1844-1889)

 Nothing is so beautiful as Spring – 

When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush;

Thrush’s eggs look little low heavens, and thrush

Through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring 

The ear, it strikes like lightnings to hear him sing;

The glassy peartree leaves and blooms, they brush

The descending blue; that blue is all in a rush

With richness; the racing lambs too have fair their fling.


What is all this juice and all this joy?

A strain of the earth’s sweet being in the beginning

In Eden garden – Have, get, before it cloy,

Before it cloud, Christ, lord, and sour with sinning,

Innocent mind and Mayday in girl and boy,

Most, O maid’s child, thy choice and worthy the winning.

Monday, March 25, 2024

Photo: Hold out your hand


Poem: “The Box of Ointment” by Alfred, Lord Tennyson (British, 1809-1892)

 Her eyes are homes of silent prayer,

Nor other thought her mind admits

But, he was dead, and there he sits,

Anh he that brought him back is there.


Then one deep love doth supersede

All other, when her ardent gaze 

Roves from the living brother’s face,

And rests upon the Life indeed.


All subtle thought, all curious fears,

Borne down by gladness so complete,

She bows, she bathes the Savior’s feet

With costly spikenard and with tears.

Sunday, March 24, 2024

Photo: The Bound Jesus


Prayer: Blessed Palm Sunday

 Loving God, help us to realize that you are calling us to decide, just as you called Israel to decide, to choose your rule in the world today. Yours is one of non-violence and of seeing each person as a brother and sister with dignity and goodness. As we pray through this week, help us care for Jesus as he goes through his Passion. Help us to learn about the suffering he faced, so that we may lessen the suffering of others. Help us to see how you display your power in silence and with steadfastness. Jesus entered this week powerless, so that your power could be on display. Help us to notice how you move throughout this week, so that we may cooperate with your plan with greater trust and understanding. Bless us and keep us. We ask this through Christ, Our Lord. Amen.

Saturday, March 23, 2024

Poem: “Spring” by Christina Rossetti

 Frost-locked all the winter,

Seeds and roots, and stones of fruits,

What shall make their sap ascend

That they may put forth shoots?

Tips of tender green,

Leaf, or blade, or sheath;

Telling of the hidden life

That breaks forth underneath,

Life nursed in its grave by Death.


Blows the thaw-wind pleasantly,

Drips the soaking rain,

By fits looks down the waking sun;

Young grass springs on the plain;

Young leaves clothe early hedgerow trees;

Seeds, and roots, and stones of fruits,

Swollen with sap put forth their shoots;

Curled-headed ferns sprout in the lane;

Birds sing and pair again.

There is no time like Spring,

When life’s alive in everything,

Before new nestlings sing,

Before cleft swallows speed their journey back – 

Along the trackless track, ---  

God guides their wing,

He spreads their table that they nothing lack, – 

Before that daisy grows a common flower

Before the sun has power

To scorch the world up in his noontide hour.


There is no time like Spring,

Like Spring that passes by;

There is no life like Spring-life born to die,

Piercing the sod,

Clothing the uncouth clod;

Hatched in the nest,

Fledged on the windy bough,

Strong on the wing:

There is no time like Spring that passes by,

Now newly born, and now

Hastening to die.

Friday, March 22, 2024

Photo: Pedro Arrupe, S.J.


Poem: “God So Loved the World, John 3:14-21” by Ann Weems

 For God so loved the world …

The melody of the anthem 

we sang in the church choir 

when I was in high school 

floats over me, 

embeds itself in me, 

repeats itself … 

that God gave his only begotten Son … 

The days of Lent are passing too quickly.

Almost over almost over.

Where have the days gone?

What have we done? 

that whoso believeth, believeth in him …

Keep your eyes on me. 

Shall not perish shall not perish 

Eyes on me. 

but have everlasting life 

everlasting life

Eyes on me.


Many did, many didn’t 

keep their eyes on Jesus.

Many do, many don’t 

keep their eyes on Jesus.


God gave covenant 







and love … 

and they complained 

about the food. 

The story makes me nervous.


For God so loved the world 

that God gavegavegavegave 

gave his only Son 

that whoever believes in him 

will have everlasting life.


We don’t have to earn it.

If we believe we will follow we will live.

Believe follow live.

Live because you follow because you believe

God’s good news.

Thursday, March 21, 2024

Prayer: John Bell, of the Iona Community

You keep us waiting … you, the God of all time, want us to wait For the right time in which to discover Who we are, where we must go, Who will be with us, and what we must do. So, thank you … for the waiting time. 

You keep us looking … you, the God of all space, Want us to look in the right and wrong places for signs of hope, For people who are hopeless, For visions of a better world which will appear Among the disappointments of the world we know. So, thank you … for the looking time. 

You keep us loving … you, the God whose name is love, Want us to be like you – To love the loveless and the unlovely and the unlovable; To love without jealousy or design or threat; And, most difficult of all, to love ourselves. So thank you … for the loving time. 

And in all this, you keep us. Through hard questions with no easy answers; Through failing where we had hoped to succeed And making an impact when we felt we were useless; Through the patience and the dreams and the love of others, And through Jesus Christ and his Spirit, you keep us. So, thank you … for the keeping time, And for now, And forever, Amen.

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Israel’s Decision: The Passion of our Lord, 2024

                                                              Israel’s Decision:

The Passion of our Lord, 2024 

March 24, 2024

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Isaiah 50:4-7; Psalm 22; Philippians 2:6-11; Mark 14:1-15:47


The triumphal entrance to Jerusalem was the big moment of the ministry of Jesus. He accomplished his preaching on the reign of God and needed to see if Israel would accept God’s rule. His entire existence and life’s work was for the sake of the reign of God to be rooted within Israel. He enters the Holy City as a victorious Messianic King to take possession of the City for God. He also enters as a lowly person before God ridin on a donkey, but he is the ultimate, righteous rule who does the will of God.


          Though we know the rest of the story, we are still filled with excitement and anticipation. The entrance of Jesus was an unmistakable sign that he truly represented God. He arrived in the city as a poor, unarmed king, the Messiah of peace, the one who faithfully proclaimed God’s reign. He rejected all force and violence as he called Israel to make a fundamental decision. Will the City as a symbol of all of Israel accept God’s rule? The Temple was the center of Israel, which was celebrating its greatest feast with inhabitants and pilgrims. All of Israel was being called to account. This was Israel’s decision day. This was big. Scripture says, “The whole city was shaken.” Who is this man who has captured the hearts and minds of so many people? What does this mean for Israel?


          The conflict with the religious establishment intensifies as Jesus forces Israel to choose. Will Israel recognize the inbreaking of the kingdom and become a part of this new Israel that Jesus is assembling around him? This is the hour. The Passover feast is near, and Jesus will celebrate this sacred meal, but he is bringing about something new, a new Israel, one that was more faithful to God’s rule. The nation must decide, and Jesus knows he may be a rejected prophet who will be handed over, lifted up, but all done for the sake of Israel. 


          We see what Israel chose. Jesus points us that God is always faithful. This week, we watch in slow motion what happens with Jesus, and we keep an eye on the movements of God, who stands by Jesus. The week remains a celebration of what God is doing with Jesus, even amidst pain and suffering. God hopes Israel will return wholeheartedly to the covenantal promises. It is our decision day too. Can we see the inbreaking of God’s reign in our world today through Jesus? He is creating something new today. He showed us that God’s fidelity never wavers, and as long as our world exists, God will stay faithful to us, even in our darkest hour. This is the reason we wave our palms. We remember. We know. We believe.



Scripture for Daily Mass


Monday of Holy Week: We hear from Isaiah 42 in the First Oracle of the Servant of the Lord in which God’s servant will suffer silently but will bring justice to the world. In the Gospel, Lazarus’ sister, Mary, anoints Jesus’ feet with costly oil in preparation for his funeral.

Tuesday of Holy Week: In the Second Oracle of the Servant of the Lord (Isaiah 49), he cries out that I will make you a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach the ends of the earth. In deep hurt, distress and grief, Jesus tells his closest friends at supper that one of them will betray him and another will deny him three times before the cock crows.

(Spy) Wednesday of Holy Week: In the Third Oracle of the Servant of the Lord (Isaiah 50), the suffering servant does not turn away from the ridicule and torture of his persecutors and tormentors. The time has come. 
Matthew’s account shows Judas eating during the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread with Jesus and their good friends after he had already arranged to hand him over to the chief priests for thirty pieces of silver. The Son of Man will be handed over by Judas, one of the Twelve, who sets the terms of Jesus’ arrest.

Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday: Only an evening Mass can be said today and we let our bells ring freely during the Gloria that has been absent all Lent. In Exodus, we hear the laws and customs about eating the Passover meal prior to God’s deliverance of the people through Moses from the Egyptians. Paul tells us of the custom by early Christians that as often as we eat this bread and drink this cup, we proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes. In John’s Gospel, Jesus loves us to the end giving us a mandate to wash one another’s feet.

Good Friday: No Mass is celebrated today though there may be a service of veneration of the cross and a Stations of the Cross service. In Isaiah, we hear the Fourth Oracle of the Servant of the Lord who was wounded for our sins. In Hebrews, we are told that Jesus learned obedience through his faith and thus became the source of salvation for all. The Passion of our Lord is proclaimed from John’s Gospel.

Holy Saturday and the Easter Vigil: No Mass, baptisms, or confirmations can be celebrated before the Vigil to honor the Lord who has been buried in the tomb. The Old Testament readings point to God’s vision of the world and the deliverance of the people from sin and death. All of Scripture points to the coming of the Righteous One who will bring about salvation for all. The Old Testament is relished during the Vigil of the Word as God’s story of salvation is told to us again. The New Testament epistle from Romans tells us that Christ, who was raised from the dead, dies no more. Matthew's Gospel finds Mary Magdalene and the other Mary at dawn arriving at the tomb only to find it empty. After a great earthquake that made the guards tremble, and angel appears telling the women, "Do not be afraid." The angel instructs them to go to the Twelve to tell them, "Jesus has been raised from the dead, and is going before you to Galilee." 


Saints of the Week


No saints are remembered on the calendar this week.


This Week in Jesuit History


  • March 24, 1578: At Lisbon Rudolf Acquaviva and 13 companions embarked for India. Among the companions were Matthew Ricci and Michael Ruggieri. 
  • March 25, 1563: The first Sodality of Our Lady, Prima Primaria, was begun in the Roman College by a young Belgian Jesuit named John Leunis (Leonius). 
  • March 26, 1553: Ignatius of Loyola's letter on obedience was sent to the Jesuits of Portugal. 
  • March 27, 1587: At Messina died Fr. Thomas Evans, an Englishman at 29. He had suffered imprisonment for his defense of the Catholic faith in England. 
  • March 28, 1606: At the Guildhall, London, the trial of Fr. Henry Garnet, falsely accused of complicity in the Gunpowder Plot. 
  • March 29, 1523: Ignatius' first visit to Rome on his way from Manresa to Palestine. 
  • March 30, 1545: At Meliapore, Francis Xavier came on pilgrimage to the tomb of St. Thomas the Apostle.