EASTER OCTAVE – Resurrection Sunday

Second Sunday of Easter

DIVINE MERCY

April 8, 2018

Jesus Appears to His Disciples

19 “On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. 21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that, he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” – John 20:19-23

Ant. 1: This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad. Alleluia. 

Insight 1 – Part 1: Jesus appeared to many people after His resurrection but the first to whom He appeared was Mary Magdalene. (John 20:16-17) It is here we see the loving mercy of Christ as He tells her to go tell the others that He has risen. The suspense was now over, the truth now finally revealed. The guilt and confusion pushed to the side as Jesus announces that He is alive – concurring death forever! I often think about this moment when Jesus came to Mary alive, her only word, ‘Teacher!’ was said out of shock or perhaps more of a sigh of relief. How quickly did her sadness change to joy? That is what it will be like when we pass away and go to Heaven and see Christ for the first time… sadness turned to instant joy! What must have been racing in her mind as she ran to tell the others? How was she going to announce the good news?  I wonder if she thought; would they believe? When she burst into the room the disciples were all hiding, how joyful her voice must have been yet they did not believe her. The visual clues must have been confusing for the disciples when they saw how excited she was. Now in John’s account, this joyful news was in the morning and that Jesus appeared to the disciples in the evening of the first day…

The Resurrection Narrative

According to Matthew, Mark, & Luke

In Matthew’s account, (Matthew 28:1-10) both Mary’s witnessed an angel from Heaven descending to earth and caused an earthquake. Then the angel rolled back the stone and invited Mary, mother of James, Salome, Joanna, and Mary Magdalene to come into the tomb to see that it was empty. It was the angel who told them to go tell the disciples and on their way Jesus appeared to them both. In Mark’s account, (Mark 16:1-8) which closely supports Matthew’s account in that it was an angel who told the two Mary’s to go tell the others. The main difference is that the two Mary’s did not see the angel roll back the stone as the angel had already done this and was inside the tomb when the two women came in.  The longer ending of Mark, (Mark 16:9-10) supports the individual appearance by Jesus to Mary Magdalene alone. It also states that the disciples did not believe her. Mark also further mentions an appearance to two disciples on the road to the countryside. These two unnamed disciples came back and told the others and were also not believed. Finally, in Luke’s account, (Luke 24:1-12) Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and some other women who went with them which are unnamed coming to the tomb with spices to anoint the body of Jesus. Supporting Mark, the stone was already rolled away by the time they got there. When they went in they did not find Jesus’s body but were greeted by two angels who reminded them of what Jesus had told them in Galilee, that he would die and be raised on the third day. They then returned to the disciples who did not believe them. (Luke 24:12) Tells that Peter got up and ran to the tomb and was amazed! Luke also supports the appearance of Jesus by two disciples, Cleopas & and an unnamed disciple while walking into the countryside, but does not tell of where they were actually headed… but we later find out they were going to the town of Emmaus. This account goes into detail of the conversations they had with Jesus without knowing it was the risen Lord. It ends with the breaking of bread and their eyes being opened and once this had happened Jesus disappeared and the two men went back to tell the disciples of what had happened to them.  In all during the first day, Jesus had appeared to;

Jesus Appears

 Ant. 2: After eight days, although the doors were locked, the Lord came among them and said: ‘Peace be with you.’ Alleluia. 

Insight 1 – Part 2:  Peter got up and ran to the tomb! (Luke 24:34) then in the evening after all the witnesses came to tell the disciples of the risen Christ – Jesus finally appears to them. (John 20:19-23) At this point, Peter is the only male disciple who had seen the risen Christ, as opposed to all the major female characters who had all seen Him, talked to Him, and in which truly believed. It was the women disciples who proclaimed that Jesus has risen and to this point, none of them were believed by the male disciples. Why was it that they did not believe? The hint is within, (John 20:19), they were afraid, terrified, and in Peters case depressed because of his three denials of knowing Jesus. In such a state how could they go out and preach about Jesus, and I really think that Thomas gets the worse wrap of them all by being labeled, ‘Doubting Thomas’, for clearly at this point they all did not believe it possible for Jesus to be alive for their collective grief had taken them over. 

Therefore, I tell you, my brothers and sisters, Jesus appeared to His disciples to lift their spirit, prove that He is the Son of Man, and to dispell this fear they had deep in their hearts. Mercy was extended to them all in different but similar ways as none could refute His divine powers. As for Thomas who had to wait eight days, and the second appearance to His disciples was invited by Jesus to stick his finger into Jesus’s side as proof of the resurrection. For truly I say to you that if Jesus’s body had been stolen from the tomb, thus not risen, then in the words of Saint Paul, ‘If Christ has not risen, then our proclamation has been in vain and your faith has been in vain.’ – Jesus’ Resurrection, (pg.118) The Catholic Faith Handbook for Youth, Saint Mary’s Press. Furthermore, the following three things we factually know because Christ did rise from the tomb;

1.) Jesus is confirmed as the Son of God

2.) All of Jesus’s teaching is in fact true

3.) The divine truth of the Paschal Mystery –  That death is not the end.

Guiding Question: “Do you personally believe that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead?” “Why is this fundamental question so important?”

Answer Q2: This core belief; that Christ was raised from the dead on the third day is so important because how you answer this question determines how seriously you believe in Jesus, His teachings, the reason why He had to die, and His promises He has made to you and the rest of mankind. If your answer is, ‘Yes! I believe in His resurrection!’ Then how can you not make Jesus the center of your life? 

For I tell you, my brothers and sisters, that this is why we celebrate His divine mercy.  For through His suffering and death we; all of God’s children will have everlasting life with Him in heaven forever and ever. How much greater our reward in heaven to have not seen but yet believe?  We celebrate because of Jesus Christ, His absolute truth within His words, His divine promises which he fulfilled on our behalf, and to which all our worries have now been made mute in His presences. For the Son of Man goes before us shining a light leading us to salvation which is God’s ultimate mercy upon all of His children.

Intercessions 

In rising from the dead, Christ destroyed death and restored life. Let us cry to Him, saying:

Lord Jesus, you live forever; hear our prayer.

You are the stone rejected by the builders which became the cornerstone rejoiced by the builders which became the chief cornerstone.

make us living stones in the temple of your Church. 

You are the faithful and true witness, the firstborn from the dead,

make your Church bear constant witness to yourself. 

You alone are the Bridegroom of the Church, born from your wounded side,

make us reveal to the world the love of the Bridegroom and Bride.

You are the first and last, you were dead and are alive,

keep those who have been baptized faithful until death, that they may receive the crown of victory.

Light and lamp of God’s holy city,

shine on our friend who have died, that they may reign forever. 

Let Us Pray

God, come to my assistance.

– Lord, make haste to help me.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever.

Ant 3: The Lord is risen. Alleluia.

God of mercy, you wash away our sins in water, you give us new birth in the Spirit, and redeem us in the blood of Christ. As we celebrate Christ’s resurrection increase our awareness of these blessings, and renew your gift of life within us. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. – The Liturgy of the Hours, pg. 451-452.

May the Lord bless you, protect you from all evil and bring you to everlasting life.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Saint Joseph, Pray for us.Sancte Ioseph – ‘ora pro nobis,’

Now go spread the word!

Reaffirming Our Mission

To Always Image Christ in Mind, Heart, Body, and Soul.

LIVE STREAM

Saint Louis De Montford Catholic Church

LIVE STREAM

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9:30am – Mass
11:30am – Mass
3pm – Mass (Spanish)
6pm – Mass

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EASTER 2018 – The Lord is Risen! Alleluia, Alleluia

The Price of Sin Paid in Full by the Gift from God!

April 1, 2018

Easter SUNDAY

23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 6:23 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Ant 1:  The splendor of Christ risen from the dead has shone on the people redeemed by his blood. Alleluia

Insight 1: So it was at the beginning that God created the Earth and from the dust of the Earth he created Adam, the first human, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. Then Lucifer offered to Eve the first women made from Adam the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. She ate it and gave it to Adam and he too ate of it. From this day forth sin entered into the world and God saw man’s heart had been taken by sin, therefore the Lord God declared,

You were made out of the ground. You will return to it when you die. You are dust, and you will return to dust.” – Genesis 3:19 (NABRE)

Therefore, I tell you my brothers and sister from that time till the rising of Jesus Christ death took us and we had no hope, no repentance, and our relationship with Our Heavenly Father was severed. It took the sacrifice of Jesus to redeem our sinful hearts, repair that sacred relationship with the Father, and in this, we now have his precious gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ. For today he is risen!

The Tomb is Empty

20:1 Early on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb. It was still dark. She saw that the stone had been moved away from the entrance. So she ran to Simon Peter and another disciple, the one Jesus loved. She said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb! We don’t know where they have put him!” So Peter and the other disciple started out for the tomb. Both of them were running. The other disciple ran faster than Peter. He reached the tomb first. He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there. But he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came along behind him. He went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there. He also saw the funeral cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place. It was separate from the linen. The disciple who had reached the tomb first also went inside. He saw and believed. They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead. – John 20:1-9 (NABRE)

Ant 2:  Our Redeemer has risen from the tomb; let us sing a hymn of praise to the Lord our God, Alleluia

Insight 2: Jesus had told his disciples many things before he was crucified and much of what Jesus had said they did not understand. Chief among them was;

17  “The reason my Father loves me is that I give up my life. But I will take it back again. 18 No one takes it from me. I give it up myself. I have the authority to give it up. And I have the authority to take it back again. I received this command from my Father.” – John 10:17-18 (NABRE)

To his disciples, this was a mystery because they did not want Him to die. They did not understand why he had to die. Therefore, when he was crucified they ran and hide filled with fear and uncertainty. Over and over they recounted the many things Jesus had said and in their grief, they still could not understand. However, Jesus had also told them;

 21 “When a woman is in labor, she is in anguish because her hour has arrived; but when she has given birth to a child, she no longer remembers the pain because of her joy that a child has been born into the world. 22 So you also are now in anguish. But I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you.” – John 16:22 (NABRE)

Therefore, my brothers and sisters, I tell you when Jesus was beaten for our sins, we too were one with Him in that pain. When Jesus felt the anguish of the cross, so was it that we too were in anguish for his blood was innocent and the worlds from Adam to this day was guilty steeped in sin. It was the curse of sin which equals death that Jesus now faced on our behalf willingly. His love so filled with forgiveness, mercy, and kindness that He walked confidently to His death on the cross, and willing lay His life down for us. But the mystery His disciples missed was in the words, ‘And I have the authority to take it back again.’ So, at the moment the disciples arrived at the tomb they saw with their own eyes that it was empty, and at that moment they understood that Jesus defeated death for all of us, redeemed all of us, and in this victory over death, we all now have eternal life.

Guiding Question: ‘So after knowing that Jesus willingly died for you then was raised on the third day to conquer death for you… is there any doubt left what Our God wouldn’t do for you… the one He loves so?’ 

Peter’s Speech

40 This man God raised [on] the third day and granted that he be visible, 41 not to all the people, but to us, the witnesses were chosen by God in advance, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42 He commissioned us to preach to the people and testify that he is the one appointed by God as judge of the living and the dead. 43 To him, all the prophets bear witness, that everyone who believes in him will receive forgiveness of sins through his name.” Acts 10:40-43 (NABRE)

Ant 3:  Alleluia, The Lord is risen as he promised, Alleluia!

Insight 3: Dear brothers and sisters, it is our victory of salvation, through our Lord Jesus Christ who died to wash away our sins, and who rose again on the third day to glorify our eternal Father in Heaven. I say to you that His promises which span millennia are as valid today as when he made them, for our Lord is faithful to His word. With fidelity did he make plans before the foundations of the Earth to conquer sin, and to bring salvation to His children whom he made in likeness, and who he within His infant wisdom became man, and lived among us. Through the prophets he reached out to us laying down His divine law, working wonders so that we might believe, and then in His final efforts to bring us closer to Him God raised Jesus from the dead. It was God’s declaration that the earthly tombs we are put in at death shall not be the final experience of life, for His promise was to raise us in His likeness, to shower us with His love and mercy. To breathe upon us the breath of everlasting life. This promise He fulfilled through His son Jesus Christ two thousand years ago in Jerusalem! Alleluia, alleluia!

Happy Easter – Celebrate saying, “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad, Alleluia!

Intercessions

Christ is the Lord of life, raised up by the Father; in his turn, he will raise us up by his power. Let us pray to him by saying;

Christ our life, save us.

Lord Jesus, light shining in the darkness, you lead your people into life, and give our mortal nature the gift of holiness,

– may we spend this day in praise of your glory.

Lord, you walked the way of suffering and crucifixion,

– may we suffer and die with you, and rise again to share your glory.

Son of the Father, our master, and our brother, you have made us a kingdom of priests for our God,

– may we offer you our joyful sacrifice of praise.

King of glory, we look forward to the great day of your coming in splendor,

– that we may see you face to face, and be transformed in your likeness.

Let’s Us Pray

God, come to my assistance.

Lord, make haste to help me.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

Ant. Very early on the morning after the Sabbath, when the sun had just risen, they came to the tomb. (Alleluia) 

 

God our Father, by raising Christ your Son you conquered the power of death and opened for us the way to eternal life. Let our celebration today raise us up and renew our lives by the Spirit that is within us. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. – The Liturgy of the Hours, pg. 428-429

May the Lord bless you, protect you from all evil and bring you to everlasting life.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Saint Joseph, Pray for us.Sancte Ioseph – ‘ora pro nobis,’

Now go spread the word!

Reaffirming Our Mission

To Always Image Christ in Mind, Heart, Body, and Soul.

LIVE STREAM

Saint Louis De Montford Catholic Church

LIVE STREAM

7:30am – Mass
9:30am – Mass
11:30am – Mass
3pm – Mass (Spanish)
6pm – Mass

Special events outside the above schedule will also be streamed.

Be a part of spreading the word of God by giving what you can today. 

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“Let’s grow together as children of God”

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Good Friday – Christ’s death at Calvary

Suffering and Triumph of the Servant of the Lord

FRIDAY OF THE PASSION OF THE LORD

MARCH 30, 2018

13 See, my servant shall prosper, he shall be raised high and greatly exalted. 14 Even as many were amazed at him— so marred were his features, beyond that of mortals his appearance, beyond that of human beings 15 So shall he startle many nations, kings shall stand speechless; For those who have not been told shall see, those who have not heard shall ponder it. – Isaiah 52:13-17 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Insight 1: From Heaven to Earth was the son of man called to do the impossible, write the wrongs of the entire world of sinners, and bring the truth into the world of darkness. God gave this knowledge to Isaiah and in the wisdom of the Lord it was written and spread by mouth unto all the many nations.

Ant. It is not you who speak but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.

Insight 2: God chose to forgive us just as Lucifer through pride chose to spread sin amongst us, tempting the Lord Our God to wipe man away as he had done in the flood thus forever breaking His divine promise made in the age of Noah. But God chose to forgive us, putting away His anger and wrath and in its place sent love, mercy, and grace. It would be by the promise of salvation the world would be redeemed by a God who is the father of us all. Therefore, perfect in every way God made a plan before the foundations of the world.

Ant. The eternal Word, born of the Father before time began, today emptied himself for our sake and became man.

Insight 3: For the Lord, God in Heaven did not send an angel to die for man’s sin, rather a whole army of angels could not accomplish this task. The whole of Heaven is not divine enough to wipe away the immortal sin now before God. This Lucifer knew but was unaware of the might of God’s love, unexpecting the Father’s desires to wipe away sin, unaware of the strength of His Holy Son to become man. For Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary to look like we do, feel like we do, love and hate as we do, but born without sin or blemish. Sent with a mission, a holy volunteer that would bring salvation to the world despite Lucifers plans to spread sin and to harden men’s hearts.

 Ant. In his great love for us, God sent his Son in the likeness of our sinful nature.

The Fourth Servant Oracle

Who would believe what we have heard? To whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? He grew up like a sapling before him, like a shoot from the parched earth; He had no majestic bearing to catch our eye, no beauty to draw us to him. He was spurned and avoided by men, a man of suffering, knowing pain, like one from whom you turn your face spurned, and we held him in no esteem. – Isaiah 53:1-3 (NABRE)

Ant. Lightly I run in the way you have shown, for you have opened my heart to receive your law.

Yet it was our pain that he bore, our sufferings he endured. We thought of him as stricken struck down by God and afflicted. But he was pierced for our sins, crushed for our iniquity. He bore the punishment that makes us whole, by his wounds we were healed. We had all gone astray like sheep, all following our own way, But the Lord laid upon him the guilt of us all. – Isaiah 53:4-6 (NABRE)

Ant. I put all my trust in the Lord and he has not failed me.

Insight 4: How could the world believe if Satan himself could not know God to be so loving, so forgiving and merciful? How could a mortal man see the Son of Man in his true personage, know it was God made flesh, hear His voice and man’s hearts not be stirred? For some purposefully hardened their hearts, ran from the light while clinging to the Holy books of Moses refusing to believe. The true message of Christ lost among them but was not wasted on the poor in spirit. For each miracle from His birth till His death, those who did see, who’s eyes where opened, and hearts filled with grace was Jesus received.  Gladly He walked with His cross to His final suffering –  dying upon it for all mankind.

Ant. But not in hurried flight will you go out nor leave in headlong haste, For the Lord goes before you, and your rear guard is the God of Israel. – Isaiah 52:12 (NABRE)

The Crucifixion of Jesus

 

So they took Jesus, 17 and carrying the cross himself he went out to what is called the Place of the Skull, in Hebrew, Golgotha. 18 There they crucified him and with him two others, one on either side, with Jesus in the middle. 19 Pilate also had an inscription written and put on the cross. It read, “Jesus the Nazorean, the King of the Jews.” 20 Now many of the Jews read this inscription because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek. 21 So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write ‘The King of the Jews,’ but that he said, ‘I am the King of the Jews.’” 22 Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.” John 19:17-22 (NABRE)

Insight 5: Dear Brothers and Sisters, truly I say to you that in the hour of judgment be not afraid, take heart in the fidelity of Christ, to which He gave Himself for you. For as it is written Jesus Christ goes before all mankind, both men and women, He descended into Hell for you, freed many who had no hope and in that hour Christ shook the foundations of the world on your behalf! He suffered, was beaten and scourged until unrecognizable, His blood poured out so ours would not have to be shed, and in that hour of judgment carried His cross to His death.  Truly Christ goes before all mankind paving the way and God the Father truly protects from the rear as we all march to the Holy Banquette in Heaven.

The Blood and Water

31 Now since it was preparation day, in order that the bodies might not remain on the cross on the sabbath, for the sabbath day of that week was a solemn one, the Jews asked Pilate that their legs be broken and they be taken down. 32 So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and then of the other one who was crucified with Jesus. 33 But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs, 34 but one soldier thrust his lance into his side, and immediately blood and water flowed out. 35 An eyewitness has testified, and his testimony is true; he knows that he is speaking the truth, so that you also may [come to] believe. 36 For this happened so that the scripture passage might be fulfilled:

“Not a bone of it will be broken.”

37 And again another passage says:

“They will look upon him whom they have pierced.”

John 19:31-37 (NABRE)

Insight 6: Even after death Jesus was fulfilling scripture. For Our Lord told His beloved disciples these things and they did not believe. Isaiah for told these events and yet many did not believe during his age. In truth, it was those who condemned Jesus who helped to bring about the fulfillment of scripture unwittingly. For their lust for power drove them into sin out of fear. Had the Pharisees contemplated further, consulted the scriptures more, prayed to God to help them discern the truths about Jesus perhaps our salvation would have been in parallel, i.e a paradox. But God knew no one would be able to ignore the temptation to murder Jesus, and thus fulfilling scripture and set in motion our salvation.

The Burial of Jesus

38 After this, Joseph of Arimathea, secretly a disciple of Jesus for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate if he could remove the body of Jesus. And Pilate permitted it. So he came and took his body. 39 Nicodemus, the one who had first come to him at night, also came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes weighing about one hundred pounds. 40 They took the body of Jesus and bound it with burial cloths along with the spices, according to the Jewish burial custom. 41 Now in the place where he had been crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had yet been buried. 42 So they laid Jesus there because of the Jewish preparation day; for the tomb was close by.

Insight 7: So it was when the Lord died the earth shook and the sacred place in the temple was torn. God cried for His Son, for His tears fell to the earth as rain and all who were there fleed in fear. The wind gushed up as the Romans broke the legs in haste of the two criminals who still were alive but Jesus appearing to be dead thus He received a spear to His side. After all these events it would be two Pharisees who would lay Jesus to rest, taking Him form the cross, bounding him with ritual spices and closing the tomb. If they had not believed before they did now. If their hearts had been hardened by Satan they were open and obedient to God now. Yet there was a plan to keep Jesus in the tomb as guards were placed to watch over the tomb making sure there was no one to steal Christ’s body claiming Him risen. In these things, we see the love of Jesus as man tried his best to snuff it out, to end the works of Christ. But it was written;

13 The one who forms mountains and creates winds, and declares to mortals their thoughts; Who makes dawn into darkness and strides upon the heights of the earth, the Lord, the God of hosts, is his name! – Amos 4:13 (NABRE)

Ant. All you works of the Lord, bless the Lord. Praise and glorify him forever.

For I tell you now my brothers and sisters today we witness the death of Christ Jesus and we wait for His resurrection and final return.

Let’s Us Pray

God, come to my assistance.

Lord, make haste to help me.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

Ant. Lightly I run in the way you have shown, for you have opened my heart to receive your law. (Alleluia) 

Psalm 119:25-32

 25 My soul lies in the dust;
by your word revive me.
26 I declare my ways and you answered me:
teach me your statutes.

Ant. Lightly I run in the way you have shown, for you have opened my heart to receive your law. 

27 Make me grasp the way of your precepts
and I will muse on your wonders.
28 My soul pines away with grief;
by your word raise me up.

Ant. Lightly I run in the way you have shown, for you have opened my heart to receive your law. 

29 Keep me from the way of error
and teach me your law.
30 I have chosen the way of truth
with your decrees before me.

Ant. Lightly I run in the way you have shown, for you have opened my heart to receive your law.

31 I bind myself to do your will;
Lord, do not disappoint me.
32 I will run the way of your commands;
you give freedom to my heart.

Lord, we are citizens of this earth and ask to be made citizens of heaven by your free gift. Help us to run in the way of your commandments and to set our hearts on you alone.

May the Lord bless you, protect you from all evil and bring you to everlasting life.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Saint Joseph, Pray for us.Sancte Ioseph – ‘ora pro nobis,’

Now go spread the word!

Reaffirming Our Mission

To Always Image Christ in Mind, Heart, Body, and Soul.

LIVE STREAM

Saint Louis De Montford Catholic Church

LIVE STREAM

7:30am – Mass
9:30am – Mass
11:30am – Mass
3pm – Mass (Spanish)
6pm – Mass

Special events outside the above schedule will also be streamed.

Be apart of spreading the word of God by giving what you can today. 

Support Listening Faithfully

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“Let’s grow together as children of God”

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Listening Faithfully Blog written by Brian K. Stark © 2009-2018

 

Palm Sunday 2018

Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Palm Sunday

11 When they were approaching Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany, near the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples and said to them, ‘Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately as you enter it, you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden; untie it and bring it. If anyone says to you, “Why are you doing this?” just say this, “The Lord needs it and will send it back here immediately.”’ They went away and found a colt tied near a door, outside in the street. As they were untying it, some of the bystanders said to them, ‘What are you doing, untying the colt?’ They told them what Jesus had said, and they allowed them to take it. Then they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it, and he sat on it. Many people spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut in the fields. Then those who went ahead and those who followed were shouting,

‘Hosanna!
    Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
10     Blessed is the coming kingdom of our ancestor David!
Hosanna in the highest heaven!’

11 Then he entered Jerusalem and went into the temple; and when he had looked around at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve. – Mark 11:1-11 New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Catholic Edition (NRSVACE)

Reflection

The Conspiracy Against Jesus 

The Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread were to take place in two days’ time. So the chief priests and the scribes were seeking a way to arrest him by treachery and put him to death. They said, “Not during the festival, for fear that there may be a riot among the people.”

The Anointing at Bethany

When he was in Bethany reclining at table in the house of Simon the leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of perfumed oil, costly genuine spikenard. She broke the alabaster jar and poured it on his head. There were some who were indignant. “Why has there been this waste of perfumed oil? It could have been sold for more than three hundred days’ wages and the money given to the poor.” They were infuriated with her. Jesus said, “Let her alone. Why do you make trouble for her? She has done a good thing for me. The poor you will always have with you, and whenever you wish you can do good to them, but you will not always have me. She has done what she could. She has anticipated anointing my body for burial. Amen, I say to you, wherever the gospel is proclaimed to the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her.”

The Betrayal by Judas

10 Then Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve, went off to the chief priests to hand him over to them. 11 When they heard him they were pleased and promised to pay him money. Then he looked for an opportunity to hand him over.

Preparations for the Passover

12 On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, when they sacrificed the Passover lamb, his disciples said to him, “Where do you want us to go and prepare for you to eat the Passover?” 13 He sent two of his disciples and said to them, “Go into the city and a man will meet you, carrying a jar of water. Follow him. 14 Wherever he enters, say to the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says, “Where is my guest room where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?”’ 15 Then he will show you a large upper room furnished and ready. Make the preparations for us there.” – Mark 14:1-15 (NABRE)

This reading always gets me because here we see Jesus executing the final part of the Lord’s plan for Salvation. It is a plan which will end with torcher and death, much suffering, and much torment. Jesus knows what is now going to happen once he enters into Jerusalem, he knows that the only way out for him is by completing the plan His father has laid out for him.

Guiding Question: ‘If you knew the future and saw your own suffering and death, knowing you put your self in that position to save the world would you?’ 

The other part of this which I find is mindblowing is how Jesus prepared for this moment, how he tried to prepare his disciples, how Jesus took each step closer to his own death with confidence in His resurrection and glorification by His Holy Father in Heaven. But even knowing all this Jesus still did not do it for His own rewards rather he single-mindedly sacrificed Himself like a sheep led to slaughter for you and me so we all could be together feasting with Him and God together in Heaven for all time.

The Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus

 

43 Then, while he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived, accompanied by a crowd with swords and clubs who had come from the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders. 44 His betrayer had arranged a signal with them, saying, “The man I shall kiss is the one; arrest him and lead him away securely.” 45 He came and immediately went over to him and said, “Rabbi.” And he kissed him. – Mark 14:43-45 (NABRE)

So, it was with a single kiss our Lord, Jesus was betrayed and taken to the High Priests in the cover of darkness. How many things do we do under the cover of darkness? How many people in course of our life could we be guilty of betraying? Still, none of those betrails equals this single betrail of Jesus by Judas. But remember my brothers and sisters this was all part of a greater plan that Jesus Himself was executing as instructed by God on our behalf. With that said Jesus would have to have known Judas would be able to play his part, Just as He would have known the other disciples would flee in fear and that Peter would deny him three times before the cock would crow. (Luke 22:61-62) Each step Jesus took for you and me for our sins, so we might know God and receive His mercy and salvation. So, each of our personal betrails of others is forgiven by Jesus, and thus we must also learn to forgive others and love each other as Christ, Jesus loved us on this day of His own personal betrail by man. 

Let’s Us Pray

ANNUNCIATION

SOLEMNITY

God, come to my assistance.

Lord, make haste to help me.

Ant. A shoot will spring forth from the stock of Jesse, and a flower will blossom from his root. The Spirit of the Lord will rest upon him (Alleluia) 

Psalm 113

 Praise the Lord.

Praise the Lord, you his servants;
    praise the name of the Lord.
Let the name of the Lord be praised,
    both now and forevermore.
From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets,
    the name of the Lord is to be praised.

The Lord is exalted over all the nations,
    his glory above the heavens.
Who is like the Lord our God,
    the One who sits enthroned on high,
who stoops down to look
    on the heavens and the earth?

He raises the poor from the dust
    and lifts the needy from the ash heap;
he seats them with princes,
    with the princes of his people.
He settles the childless woman in her home
    as a happy mother of children.

Praise the Lord.

May the Lord bless you, protect you from all evil and bring you to everlasting life.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Saint Joseph, Pray for us.Sancte Ioseph – ‘ora pro nobis,’

Now go spread the word!

Reaffirming Our Mission

To Always Image Christ in Mind, Heart, Body, and Soul.

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Let Them March!

A Lesson in Social Justice

March 24, 2018

Give justice to the weak and the orphan; maintain the right of the lowly and the destitute. – Psalm 82:3 New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE)

School shootings in America is not a new phenomenon, rather gun-toting angry people, mostly young males have taken upon themselves to dispense justice by raining bullets into the crowds full of the innocent, who in some cases had nothing to do with the anger felt by their now armed peers. We call ourselves God-fearing, we are a Christian Nation, we declare that we hold the moral high ground, but yet time and again nothing is done once the bullets have stopped flying, it seems social justice is spouted while the emotions are high but those two words are allowed to disappear until the next mass shooting. We have utterly let our youth down in both faith and in governmental policy. When I said, my brothers and sisters, that school shooting is nothing new I am quite serious, for the American record reads as follows;

1.) July 26, 1764 – Greencastle, Pennsylvania – 10 dead, 2 injured

2.) November 12, 1840 – Charlottesville, Virginia – 1 dead

3.) November 2, 1853 – Louisville, Kentucky – 1 injured

4.) August 16, 1856 – Florence, Alabama – 2 dead

5.) July 8, 1858 – Baltimore, Maryland – 1 dead

6.) January 21, 1860 – Todd County, Kentucky – 1 dead

7.) February 6, 1864 – Ashland County, Ohio – 1 dead

8.) February 16, 1867 – Knights Ferry, California – 2 dead

9.) April 2, 1867 – Madison, Florida – 1 dead

10.) June 8, 1867 – New York City, New York – 1 injured

11.) December 22, 1868 – Chattanooga, Tennessee – 3 dead

12.) January 27, 1871 – Knoxville, Tennessee – 1 dead

13.) February 1, 1872 – Washington, Pennsylvania – 1 injured

14.) February 11, 1873 – Wisconsin – 1 injured

15.) February 20, 1874 – Agency, Montana – 1 dead

16.) April 9, 1874 – Lebanon, Tennessee – 1 dead

17.) May 24, 1878 – St. Paul, Minnesota – 1 injured

18.) May 24, 1879 – Lancaster, New York – 1 injured

19.) December 1, 1881 – Santa Monica, California – 1 dead

20.) December 22, 1881 – Shelby County, Indiana – 0 dead 0 injured (School teacher Charles J. Gregory shot at a pupil at close range because he refused to write on a slate. The bullet missed the boy. The teacher was arrested) So much for teachers caring guns into the classroom Mr. President Trump! 

21.) January 16, 1882 – Iola, Kansas – 0 dead 0 injured (A group of boys shot into a schoolhouse, but no one was hurt. Two of the boys were arrested and pleaded guilty three weeks later. They were fined $9.00 each.) Outrageous! 

22.) April 13, 1882 – Huntsville, Texas – 1 injured

23.) February 14, 1883 – Florence, Nebraska – 3 injured

24.) November 20, 1883 – Barber County, Kansas – 0 injured 0 dead (A bunch of drunken cowboys stopped at several schoolhouses, forcing two teachers to drink whiskey and firing numerous shots at three schoolhouses.) Wouldn’t this be called an act of terrorism today? 

25.) February 28, 1884 – Danville, Virginia – 2 injured

26.) March 6, 1884 – Boston, Massachusetts – 0 injured o dead (As news of outlaw Jesse James reached the East Coast, young boys started to imitate him. For instance, boys armed with guns shot at police investigating their activities at the Concord-street schoolhouse.) To this day we call Jesse James an American hero? 

27.) March 15, 1884 – Gainesville, Georgia – 0 injured 0 dead (In the middle of the day, a group of very drunk Jackson County farmers was shooting their revolvers as they headed down the street, driving people into their homes. As they approached the female academy, the girls fled from the yard into the school. The gang followed and fired several rounds into the front door, but no one was hurt.) Yet another case where guns were used by people to scare and intimidate the masses – Guns make us feel powerful but lead us to unnecessary violence and depravity, such a disregard of life and dignity of the human spirit. 

 Is this the justice we American’s seek?

29.) June 13, 1889 – New Brunswick, New Jersey – 0 injured 0 dead (Charles Crawford, upset over an argument with a school trustee, went up to the window and fired a pistol into a crowded schoolroom. The bullet lodged in the wall just above the teacher’s head.) Misplaced anger? ‘Again, a person who with a gun needlessly endangers innocent children and their teacher!’ That could be a modern-day headline!

 April 24, 1890 – Brazil, Indiana – 1 injured

31.) December 27, 1890 – Staunton, Virginia – 1 dead ( At the Kable’s Military Academy a 15-year-old student, A.H. Hathaway of Dennison, Texas, was accidentally killed by his 17-year-old classmate James Whitworth of Sulphur Springs, Texas, while they were playing with an old pistol.) An accident no parent wants on their conscience. 

32.) March 30, 1891 – Liberty, Mississippi – 14 injured

33.) April 9, 1891 – Newburgh, New York – 0 dead / ? injured (70-year-old James Foster, fired a shotgun at a group of students in the playground of St. Mary’s Parochial School, causing minor injuries to several of the students.) What makes an old man do such an unspeakable act of violence? 

34.) June 29, 1892 – Van Wert, Ohio – 1 dead (Convoy teacher, B.L. Richie, was killed by 14-year-old student, Shirley Longsworth, son of Dr. Longsworth.) Are you tired yet? Can we conclude that people are dangerous with a gun in their hands? Can we now say we need strike gun control laws? No… ok. Heres more history of needless human violence.

35.) October 10, 1892 – Lawrence, Kansas – 2 injured

36.) March 26, 1893 – Plain Dealing, Louisiana – 4 dead / 1 injured

37.) October 17, 1894 – Parkersburg, West Virginia – 2 dead

38.) December 13, 1898 – Charleston, West Virginia – 6 dead / 1+ injured

(38) dead by the end of the 19th century. I say to you my brothers and sisters even one death is too many! Remember when the students speak tomorrow in Washington D.C., in fact when you personally witness to others of the need for gun control, “It is not you who speaks but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.” – Antiphon – Morning Prayer for TURIBIUS DE MONGROVEJO, BISHOP, The Liturgy of the Hours, pg. 1113

39.) February 24, 1903 – Inman, South Carolina – 1 dead

40.) July 21, 1903 – Jackson, Kentucky – 2 dead / 1 injured

41.) April 6, 1904 – Chicago, Illinois – 1 dead

42.) November 16, 1904 – Riverside, California – 2 dead / 1 injured

43.) December 16, 1904 – Magee, Mississippi – 1 dead / 1 injured

44.) February 9, 1905 – Colusa, California – 1 injured

45.) October 5, 1905 – Hickman, Kentucky – 0 dead / 0 injured (While returning from church, Professor Emmet W. Roach, was ambushed by an assassin) 

46.) March 23, 1907 – Carmi, Illinois – 1 dead

47.) December 20, 1907 – Chico, California – 1 dead

48.) January 10, 1908 – Council Bluffs, Iowa – 0 dead / 0 injured (At around 6 a.m., as George O Mortensen, 35-year-old janitor of the Washington Street school building, was unlocking the outer door of the school, someone discharged a shotgun from only a few feet. The shot riddled the door within a foot of his head) 

49.) March 11, 1908 – Boston, Massachusetts – 2 dead

50.) March 19, 1909 – Mount Vernon, Illinois – 0 dead / 1 injured

51.) June 10, 1909 – Trinidad, Colorado – 1 dead (Walter Harris, 11-year-old student, accidentally shot his teacher, B.C. Briggs in the head while on a school field trip, killing him.) Why did Walter have a gun in the first place, let alone out and loaded on a field trip? I am quite sure that question was asked many times by everyone involved.

52.) August 18, 1909 – Bakersfield, California – 0 dead / 0 injured (After hunting doves, a group of six young men deliberately shot out the glass at the Fruitvale School. They also shot at the nearby residence of A.J. Hunter, narrowly missing several children in the rear yard.) Another case of irresponsible youth taken by the power of the gun. In this case was it the guns fault or those who used the gun? 

53.) September 11, 1909 – Gravette, Arkansas – 1 dead (John Butram, a student at the Bear Hollow School, told his fellow students that school was canceled. The teacher A.T. Kelly insisted that the day’s lesson was not over. When Butram drew a knife on his teacher, Kelly drew his gun and shot him.) Another instance of why arming teachers is not a good idea. 

54.) January 12, 1910 – New York City, New York – 2 dead

55.) March 10, 1910 – Ione, California – 0 dead / 0 injured (At the reform school, known as Preston School of Industry, students Albert Brown and Eugene Griffin tried to escape, stealing a revolver from the school’s bakery shop. They shot at Captain William H. White when he pursued them. No one was hurt, but the boys were transferred to the penitentiary, which held adults.) 

56.) August 16, 1910 – Lexington, Kentucky – 1 dead / ? injured

57.) April 27, 1911 – Manhattan, Kansas – 1 dead / 0 injured

58.) January 31, 1912 – San Francisco, California – 1 dead (During a stone-throwing confrontation near the Oriental School on Clay Street, a group of white boys found themselves trapped between two groups of Chinese boys. In an attempt to escape, Jose Aguilar, fired a BB shot air rifle twice hoping to frighten the Chinese. However, 10-year-old Wong She had a gun and fired back. One bullet passed through Aguilar’s coat sleeve as he ran and fatally struck 14-year-old James Kane in the school’s rear yard.) 

59.) February 16, 1912 – Lagrange, New York – 1 dead / 0 injured

60.) November 19, 1914 – Sayre, Pennsylvania – 1 dead / 0 injured (While walking to school, 14-year-old Charles Listman, killed 15-year-old Andrew Milton, over the affections of a classmate, 13-year-old Minnie London.) 

61.) January 13, 1915 – Vancouver, Washington – 1 injured

62.) February 3, 1915 – Jasper, Florida – 1 dead / 1 injured

63.) September 20, 1916 – Bemidji, Minnesota – 1 injured

64.) December 26, 1916 – Danville, Kentucky – 1 dead / ? injured

65.) June 5, 1917 – Harrisburg, Pennsylvania – 1 injured

66.) October 28, 1917 – Chicago, Illinois – 1 dead / 0 injured

67.) November 29, 1917 – Manes, Missouri – 0 dead / 1 injured

68.) March 29, 1918 – Jefferson City, Missouri – 1 dead / 0 injured

69.) April 6, 1918 – Reeder, North Dakota – 1 dead / 0 injured (During the afternoon recess, a boy was looking over a 22-caliber rifle; it discharged, striking the head of the Coyne boy in the seat to the front, killing him instantly.) 

70.) January 9, 1919 – Monroe City, Missouri – 0 dead / 0 injured (While school was in session, Hugh Claggett shot through the school house’s front door while on his way home from work. No one was hurt, and he was fined $20) So we see fines have risen from $9.00 to $20.00  a growth of $11.00. Children could have been killed but this is what the price of life is in our Nation. Sad commentary all around. 

71.) April 12, 1919 – Ogden City, Utah – 0 dead / 1 injured (During a high school assembly, six boys shot off their guns. Permission had been given in the belief the guns were loaded with blanks but they had live shot. Teacher Verna Davidson was shot in the foot.) Complete lack of judgment! What possessed the school Administration to allow such a thing in the first place?

72.) August 4, 1919 – Berkeley, California – 0 dead / 2 injured

73.) February 14, 1920 – Durant, Oklahoma – 0 dead / 1 injured

74.) March 4, 1920 – Cincinnati, Ohio – 0 dead / 1 injured

75.) May 1, 1920 – Summerville, Georgia – 0 dead / 0 injured (At the High School, 15-year-old student Alexander Potter, fired six shots at his teacher, Prof. Ransom, but missed. Potter was upset over having received a severe thrashing and expulsion. Potter was sentenced to six years at a reform school.) 

76.) May 15, 1920 – Bowling Green, Ohio – 1 dead / 0 injured (While attending her son’s school track meet, Mrs. F. Mahl was killed accidentally by shot from the starter’s pistol.)

77.) August 1, 1920 – Ogden, Utah – 0 dead / 1 injured

78.) October 22, 1920 – Chicago, Illinois – 0 dead / 1 injured (Mrs. Carmila Rindoni went to the school and twice shot Rosalind I. Reynolds, her son’s teacher, for spanking her son the day before. Mrs. Rindoni was arrested, and Miss Reynolds was expected to recover.) 

79.) November 4, 1920 – Middlesboro, Kentucky – 1 dead / 0 injured

80.) February 17, 1922 – Valdosta, Georgia – 2 dead / 0 injured 

81.) August 1, 1922 – Ardmore, Oklahoma – 1 dead / 0 injured

82.) December 29, 1926 – Gettysburg, Pennsylvania – 0 dead / 1 injured

83.) May 22, 1930 – Ringe, Minnesota – 1 dead / 0 injured (24-year-old Douglas Petersen, killed 20-year-old teacher, Margaret Wegman, who was standing in the doorway of a rural schoolhouse.) 

84.) May 28, 1931 – Duluth, Minnesota – 1 dead / 0 injured (Katherine McMillen, 24-year-old teacher at the Howard Gensen rural school near Duluth, was accidentally killed by a pupil who brought a revolver to school.)

85.) September 14, 1934 – Gill, Massachusetts – 1 dead / 0 injured (Headmaster Elliott Speer was murdered by a shotgun blast through the window at Northfield Mount Hermon School. The crime was never solved.) 

86.) May 7, 1935 – Irvington, New York – 1 dead / 0 injured

87.) May 19, 1936 – Williamstown, Massachusetts – 2 dead / 1 injured (Lewis Jack Somes, Jr. shot and killed classmate Robert Henneberry and wounded William Hartz, Jr. before killing himself in Lehman Hall at Williams College.) 

88.) June 4, 1936 – Bethlehem, Pennsylvania – 2 dead / 0 injured 

89.) June 4, 1937 – Isabel, Kansas – 1 dead / 0 injured

90.) September 24, 1937 – Toledo, Ohio – 0 dead / 2 injured

91.) January 24, 1938 – Blencoe, Iowa – 1 dead / 0 injured

92.) May 6, 1940 – Pasadena, California – 5 dead / 2 injured (South Pasadena Junior High School murders: Outraged by his dismissal, following conflicts with other staff, thirty-eight-year-old Verlin H. Spencer shot and killed 62-year-old superintendent of the South Pasadena city schools George C. Bush, 50-year-old principal of South Pasadena High School John E. Alman, and 52-year-old School District business manager Will R. Speer. He then attempted to kill Bush’s secretary, 32-year-old Dorothea Talbert; she was struck near the shoulder. He later shot and killed 45-year-old art teacher Ruth Sturgeon, with whom he’d been in conflict, fatally wounding her in the chest and, following an intense struggle, 35-year-old mechanical arts teacher Verner V. Vanderlip, another with whom he had a grievance. Spencer was cornered by police as he attempted to escape through the school cafeteria; as one officer aimed, Spencer pressed the .22 caliber automatic pistol against his right side and fired twice, critically wounding himself. Police later found a suicide note from Spencer to his wife, Polly. He survived his wounds and was tried for murder. Pleading guilty to all charges, he received 5 consecutive life terms. He was discharged from California’s Department of Correction in 1977, aged 75. Verlin Spencer died January 11, 1991.) I guess the question I have is, ‘Was it worth it?’ 

93.) July 4, 1940 – Valhalla, New York – 1 dead / 0 injured

94.) October 2, 1942 – New York City, New York – 1 dead / 0 injured

95.) June 26, 1946 – New York City, New York – 0 dead / 1 injured

96.) February 2, 1947 – Madill, Oklahoma – 2 dead / 0 injured (62-year-old Ellis Laird killed his estranged wife, a 40-year-old teacher, Jessie Laird, inside her first-grade classroom. He then took his own life. All of this took place in the presence of several pupils.) 

97.) December 24, 1948 – New York City, New York – 1dead / 0 injured

98.) March 11, 1949 – New York City, New York – 0 dead / 1 injured (A 16-year-old student at Stuyvesant High School was accidentally shot in the arm by a fellow student who was ‘showing off’ with a pistol in a classroom.) 

99.) November 12, 1949 – Columbus, Ohio – 1 dead / 0 injured

100.) July 22, 1950 – New York City, New York – 0 dead / 1 injured

101.) January 24, 1951 – Alton, Illinois – 1 dead / 0 injured

102.) March 12, 1951 – Union Mills, North Carolina – 2 dead / 0 injured

103.) June 4, 1951 – New York City, New York  – 1 dead / 0 injured

104.) November 27, 1951 – St. Louis, Missouri – 1 dead / 0 injured (15-year-old student, David Brooks, was fatally shot as fellow pupils looked on. Two former students were sought by police.) 

105.) April 9, 1952 – New York City, New York – 1 dead / 0 injured (A 15-year-old boarding school student shot a dean rather than give up his pin-up pictures of girls in bathing suits.) A case where a thing was more important than human life! 

106.) July 14, 1952 – New York City, New York – 1 dead / 0 injured

107.) October 2, 1953 – Chicago, Illinois – 1 dead / 0 injured (14-year-old Bernice Turner, killed 14-year-old Pasquale Coletta inside the science classroom at Kelly High School. The shooting was later ruled to be accidental.) Why was there a gun in the classroom in the first place? How could this be an accident?

108.) March 31, 1954 – Newton, Massachusetts – 1 dead / 0 injured (14-year-old John Frankenberger, was accidentally killed in a classroom at Day Junior High School when a pistol being held by a classmate discharged.) Again, why was there a gun permitted in the classroom and how could the death of an innocent be an accident?

109.) May 15, 1954 – Chapel Hill, North Carolina – 1 dead / 2 injured

110.) January 11, 1955 – Swarthmore, Pennsylvania – 1 dead / 0 injured

111.) May 4, 1956 – Seat Pleasant, Maryland – 1 dead / 2 injured

112.) October 20, 1956 – New York City, New York – 0 dead / 1 injured

113.) October 2, 1957 – New York City, New York  – 0 dead / 1 injured

114.) March 4, 1958 – New York City, New York  – 0 dead / 1 injured

115.) May 1, 1958 – Massapequa, New York – 1 dead / 0 injured

116.) September 24, 1959 –  New York City, New York – 1 dead / 0 injured (Twenty-seven men and boys and an arsenal were seized in the Bronx as the police headed off a gang war resulting from the fatal shooting of a teenager at Morris High School.) 

FOR COMPLETE LIST OF SCHOOL SHOOTINGS CLICK HERE

The Breakdown

Within the 1960’s there were a total of 18 shooting, 44 deaths and 64 injured. This then brings the death toll of the 20th century up to 109 dead. That means the 1960’s having 44 dead was the most deaths by school shootings ever in our nation’s history. However, it just gets worse from here. 1970’s we see at a total of 36 dead and 73 injured. Bring the 20th century up to 145 dead. The 1980’s records 49 dead and 164 injured, bring the death toll within the 20th century to 194 dead. The 1990’s records a total of 88 deaths the most in any single decade of the 20th century leaving 146 injured. By far the 1990’s was the most violent period in American history, raising the 20th century’s death toll to 282 dead. When calculating total deaths from the start of this count to the end of the 20th century the overall deaths in America comes out to 330 people who died in school-related shootings. I find this oddly ironic because during this period of time America has clung tightly to the 2nd Amendment of the constitution which is the right to bear arms… and in light of this the rights of those who have been killed have been forgotten, so I ask which is more important, the Right to Bear Arms – which has been taken out of context by the NRA, or the right to, ” Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness?” Do guns bring us happiness? For it says in the Bible, (1 John 2:15-16), ‘Do not love the things of this world.’ Happiness cannot be found in the things or deeds of men,

 20 Hell has a voracious appetite, and lust just never quits. – Proverbs 27:20 (Message – MSG) 

Social Justice

Indeed, I say to you my brothers and sisters that the ‘Hell’ our country has been sucked into by a few over the gun issue has cost us much at the price of innocent blood. In just the 21st century we have seen 278 deaths within our schools bring the overall death toll to 608 dead. This problem is not getting any better rather it is just getting worse! For it is a sin of the love of money which forces the many to continually pay the price of blood for the few who want or mistakenly think they have the right to bear arms. What would you say to those who have died, what will you say to the God upon judgment day? For I tell you the truth, “In God’s infinite wisdom, we came into this world dependent on those around us, and we will exit this world having left some great or small impression on the strands of life. We will be held accountable, not only for the things we do but also for the things we do not do. When it comes to the social effect of our moral decisions, the things we do not do may be as important as the things we do.” – The Catholic Faith Handbook for Youth, 3rd Edition, Saint Mary’s Press, Chapter 24 – Social Justice, pg.264-265.

The overwhelming death count is now and always had been a matter of Social Justice, the laws not enacted, those who keep the lawmakers from acting, and the money within the system which lines the pockets of the powerful all have become an issue of right from wrong, a matter of moral conscience, an issue of social justice.  For, “God calls society to follow moral principles that defend human dignity by ensuring that essential human needs are met and that essential human right are protected for all people.” – Social Justice, pg.265…  Not for just a few.

So, I say let the children march! Let the students teach society a lesson about the basics of human dignity, let them stand up and be heard as they cry out for Social Justice, and make the lawmakers in every State of the Union see the numbers of the dead and know it’s time to finally act! LET THE STUDENTS MARCH, LET THEM MARCH, LET THEM ALL MARCH!

Let’s Us Pray

TURIBIUS DE MONGROVEJO, BISHOP

Commemoration

God, come to my assistance.

Lord, make haste to help me.

Ant. This is a faithful and wise steward: the Lord entrusted the care of his household to him so that he might give their portion of food at the proper season. 

Lord, through the apostolic work of Saint Turibius and his unwavering love and truth, you helped you Church grow. May your chosen people continue to grow in faith and holiness. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.

May the Lord bless you, protect you from all evil and bring you to everlasting life.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Saint Joseph, Pray for us.Sancte Ioseph – ‘ora pro nobis,’

Now go spread the word!

Reaffirming Our Mission

To Always Image Christ in Mind, Heart, Body, and Soul.

LIVE STREAM

Saint Louis De Montford Catholic Church

7:30am – Mass
9:30am – Mass
11:30am – Mass
3pm – Mass (Spanish)
6pm – Mass

Special events outside the above schedule will also be streamed.

Be apart of spreading the word of God by giving what you can today. 

Support Listening Faithfully

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“Let’s grow together as children of God”

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Listening Faithfully Blog written by Brian K. Stark © 2009-2018

 

 

 

 

Joseph the Carpenter, Husband, and Father

Knowing the Voice of God

Solemnity of Saint Joseph – Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Monday, March 19, 2018 – Fifth Week of Lent

23 “Whatever your task, put yourselves into it, as done for the Lord and not for your masters, 24 since you know that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward; you serve the Lord Christ.” – Colossians 3:23-24 New Revised Standard Version, Anglicized Catholic Edition (NRSVACE)

He who knows the voice of God is truly blessed, he who hears and obeys the voice of God truly knows the grace of God the Father.  It could be said that Joseph, husband of Mary, Father of Jesus knows the voice of God. It could be said that his faith led him in such ways as to accept the unacceptable, believe in the unbelievable, and love and forgive despite the harsh and stiff laws of man. There is nothing more rewarding than to rise up and confront the world in its most terrible of moments with God’s courage, conviction, and love as Joesph had done. Joseph for all his flaws was a man of deep faith and courage. He loved with his heart and listened intently to each word from the lips of our God in heaven and rightly in the Bible (Matthew 1:19) Joseph is described as a righteous man. Moreover, Joseph was the type of man who not only wanted to do what was right for others, but also to do those things in the right way.  We know that Joseph listened to and could understand God. But listening is just one part of the total action of Joseph, for he also obeyed our Lord. So, let’s walk together, my brothers and sisters through the story we all know concerning Joseph and his four dreams.

The Birth of Jesus the Messiah

First Dream – Joseph the Husband: (Matthew 1:19-25) Joseph was engaged to Mary and she came to him telling him about the ‘Immaculate Conception’, knowing the baby was not his and did not want to get her in trouble with the law chose to dismiss her quietly. But God had other plans, for he sent an angel to Joseph in his dream, assuring him that the baby was of God and that Joseph was to name him Jesus. But above all Joseph was to take Mary as his wife.

Question ‘What does Joseph immediately do after waking from this dream?’ 

Answer: That’s right, Joseph does what he was told to do without any reservations. In addition to this, he also makes sure Mary stays a virgin until Jesus is born. In this way, Joseph plays an essential part in the plan of salvation. 

The Escape to Egypt

Second Dream – Joseph the Protector: (Matthew 2: 13-15) While still in Bethlehem after the birth of Jesus once again we read that Joseph was asleep and an angel of God appeared to him in a dream forewarning him of King Herod’s plans to kill every male child the age of two and younger. The Angel instructs Joseph to go to Egypt and wait there until told to come back.

Question ‘Again what does Joseph immediately do after waking from this second dream?’ 

Answer: That’s right, Joseph does what he was told to do without any reservations. Again, setting it up for scripture to be fulfilled – ‘Out of Egypt I have called my son.’

The Return from Egypt

Third & Fourth Dream – Joseph Loyal Servant to God: (Matthew 2:19-23) This time once again came to Joseph in a dream telling him to get up and go to Israel, but when Joseph heard that Herod’s son Archelaus was ruling over Judea from the fourth and final dream, Joseph became concerned and thus changed their destination to the district of Galilee, settling in the town of Nazareth. In doing this Joseph once again fulfills yet another prophecy concerning Jesus, ‘He will be called a Nazorean.’

Ok, I’m not going to ask the same question and give you the same answer as the first two times, however, it is painfully obvious that Joseph is both listening and obeying God’s every command to the letter. Joseph exhibited some core characteristics of a righteous man in his actions above that I would like everyone to take note of;

1.) Joseph exhibits a great deal of confidence in the angel’s messages, always immediately do what was being requested of him without delay.

2.) Joseph exhibits an enormous amount of faith in that his dreams were indeed inspired and from an angel of God. This is also recorded in, (Luke 2:41-42).

3.) Joseph exhibits a real maternal fatherly roll over Jesus in that he not only acts as a protector but also caregiver during those first days.

Scripture also tells of Joseph and Mary having other children of their own, (Matthew 13:55), but moreover, Joseph taught Jesus how to be a carpenter, (Mark 6:3), this is certain as it was the Jewish custom for fathers to pass down to their sons their trade and training at the age of 12 for this is a known Jewish custom, therefore Joseph becomes a teacher in the training of his son’s to be a tektōn (τέκτων), Greek for artisan/craftsman, in particular, a carpenter or wood-worker or builder. Following Jewish customs we also know that Joseph was very religious as scripture also records that Joseph and Mary took Jesus to the temple, once every four years. So, we can conclude Joseph had an immeasurable influence on what religious message Jesus received under his tutelage. I would like to think that Jesus used some of the lessons His step-father had taught throughout His ministry. So, with these additional character traits my brothers and sister take a moment and reflect on Joseph as a father figure;

4.)  Joseph as the legal father of Jesus taught him a trade, that being a carpenter. This would allow Jesus to earn money and provide for his family once Joseph had passed on.

5.) Joseph instructed Jesus in matters of religion as a member of the Jewish faith. Thus, Joseph takes his family to the temple every four years.

In these ways, Jesus was taught life skills as well as how to practice his religious customs. I have heard by several priests that out of every person on earth God could have possibly chosen to raise His son, God chose Joseph, from the House of David, again fulling scripture, (Isaiah 9:6-7).  With all these admirable traits Joseph as Saint is looked up to for his characteristics of loyalty, commitment, labor, selflessness, humility, honorable, chivalrous, and as a brave servant leader.

Saint Joseph – Patron of Use All

Pope Pius IX proclaimed Saint Joseph the patron of the Universal Church in 1870. Having died in the “arms of Jesus and Mary” according to Catholic tradition, he is considered the model of the pious believer who receives grace at the moment of death, in other words, the patron of a happy death. – Foley, O.F.M., Leonard. Saint of the Day, Lives, Lessons, and Feast, (revised by Pat McCloskey O.F.M.), Franciscan Media, ISBN 978-0-86716-887-7

Referring to Saint Joseph, Pope Leo wrote, “[h]e set himself to protect with a mighty love and a daily solicitude his spouse and the Divine Infant; regularly by his work he earned what was necessary for the one and the other for nourishment and clothing…” – Quamquam pluries, (August 15, 1889), in Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

Veneration of Saint Joseph is believed to have started somewhere around the year 800 A.D. referencing Joseph as ‘Nutritor Domini’, or (educator/guardian of the Lord). Saint Joseph believed deeply in the dignity of the human person, in the family, in sacrifice, and in the love of service to his community and to God. Because of his qualities as a believer in God, he also is the patron saint of families, fathers, expectant mothers (pregnant women), explorers, pilgrims, travelers, immigrants, house sellers and buyers, craftsmen, engineers, and working people in general. The following countries and cities claim him as their Patron Saint as well, Americas, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Croatia, Indonesia, Mexico, Korea, Peru, the Philippines, and Vietnam. Finally, as there are special payers said for Mother Mary, there are also the same for Saint Joseph. These prayers within the Catholic Church focus on the seven joys and seven sorrows of Saint Joseph which include prayers for daily protection, vocation, happy marriage, happy death, and hopeless cases; specific prayers, novenas, and devotions include the Prayer to Saint Joseph and the Novena to Saint Joseph.

Saint Joseph indeed emulated the words of  (Colossians 3:23-24) in all that he did, he was the perfect model of a servant leader, embodying the what it meant to be a father, teacher, husband, believer, and most importantly of all a protector. There is no better a person to be your personal hero and patron. Saint Joseph is the one man who helped preserve the salvation story fighting earnestly for Jesus, for Mary, and for God. Today my brothers and sisters take time and join in with the world and celebrate Saint Joseph, Husband of Mary, through the INVITATION TO PRAY. 

LETS PRAY

ANCIENT PRAYER TO ST. JOSEPH

Over 1900 Years Old

Oh, St. Joseph, whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God, I place in you all my interest and desires.

Oh, St. Joseph, do assist me by your powerful intercession, and obtain for me from your divine Son all spiritual blessings, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. So that, having engaged here below your heavenly power, I may offer my thanksgiving and homage to the most loving of Fathers.

Oh, St. Joseph, I never weary contemplating you, and Jesus asleep in your arms; I dare not approach while He reposes near your heart. Press Him close in my name and kiss His fine head for me and ask Him to return the kiss when I draw my dying breath. St. Joseph, patron of departing souls, pray for me.

Amen.

May the Lord bless you, protect you from all evil and bring you to everlasting life.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Saint Joseph, Pray for us.Sancte Ioseph – ‘ora pro nobis,’

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Born of Paradise

An Argument to be Exalted

SUNDAY, MARCH 11, FOURTH SUNDAY OF LENT

14 ‘And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.’ – John 3:14-15 New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Catholic Edition (NRSVACE)

First a Warning!

There is a true battle which rages within us, it consumes us, and in the end, it will either prove us to be innocent and straightforward children of God beyond reproach or guilty sinners unworthy of eternal life. For I confess we will either be with God in heaven or be like the snake and trampled underfoot.

The Snake of Fiery Copper

4-5 They set out from Mount Hor along the Red Sea Road, a detour around the land of Edom. The people became irritable and cross as they traveled. They spoke out against God and Moses: “Why did you drag us out of Egypt to die in this godforsaken country? No decent food; no water—we can’t stomach this stuff any longer.” 6-7 So God sent poisonous snakes among the people; they bit them and many in Israel died. The people came to Moses and said, “We sinned when we spoke out against God and you. Pray to God; ask him to take these snakes from us.” Moses prayed for the people. God said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it on a flagpole: Whoever is bitten and looks at it will live.” So Moses made a snake of fiery copper and put it on top of a flagpole. Anyone bitten by a snake who then looked at the copper snake lived.” – Numbers 21:4–9 The Message (MSG)

Reflection

For I tell you, my brothers and sisters, that Jesus came from heaven, he is of heaven, descended from paradise barring witness to the things he saw and heard and from his experiences testified here on earth to the truth. In this, I speak plainly so it will not be misunderstood or mischaracterized by talented charlatans who speak out of the side of their mouth, who weave a believable story which leads thousands astray.  So, that it may be made known to you the secret message of, (John 3:14-15). This message is more of a revelation about the Season of Lent and the selfless acts which are characterized in what God has done for us.  For this season of Lent is all about rebirth, it is about renewal, it is all about repentance, and forgiveness. It is about God showing us His everlasting grace, and bring to humanity the wisdom of life; the words of every lasting life.  We find here in this scriptural reading that Jesus is making the argument to Nicodemus that before people actually commit and believe in something, even if it was a well-known truth, written down in black and white moreover, proven in plain daylight; we human beings still need a signpost! In many ways, even with a signpost, there are some who still question its validity and procrastinate with questions that they already know the answer to. In this Jesus is instructing us that his signpost leads straight to Heaven, to salvation, we can skip past Hell collect eternal life and move on to spending eternity with God forever! As Moses lifted up the serpent as a signpost, so is God lifting up His son here on Earth to lead us all to everlasting life! Thus, I gave the warning against those who would tell you others wise first, I expressed this internal fight we all have with ourselves so you all may see there are no more reasons to continue warring with yourselves, (internally), just as there is no longer the basis to listen to liers and thieves about God’s signpost… Our Lord Jesus Christ! I boldly proclaim for the world to read in black and white the truth, for we are in the crisis of disbelief in the face of a modern world who has grown to think, dare to believe, that Christ is no longer relevant, that the laws of God have no hold on us, and if you fall to this disbelief you fall to sin and damnation needlessly! Just like the Israelites who cursed God and Moses in the desert. Surely I say to you your spirit will be forever damned needlessly! I say needlessly because all you have to do is look to the serpent lifted up on the flagpole, look to Jesus Christ who suffered and died on the cross!

A question of a new hearer: ‘So, how do I know this signpost is real? I mean… it is a scary thing to give up control of our lives and give that control to God. Someone we cannot see, feel, hear, or touch. So, how can I or anyone else be sure Jesus is the real deal?’ 

Answer: ‘Just Look!’

What is of Earth & What is of Heaven

31-33 “The One who comes from above is head and shoulders over other messengers from God. The Earthborn is earthbound and speaks earth language; the heaven-born is in a league of his own. He sets out the evidence of what he saw and heard in heaven. No one wants to deal with these facts. But anyone who examines this evidence will come to stake his life on this: that God himself is the truth.” – John 3:31-33 The Message (MSG)

The principal thought that should be in every human beings mind once hearing Jesus’s message for the first time prior to committing to being baptized is this… ‘Already, how have I handled myself before others?’  The hearer should be concerned with how they have led their lives up to this point, how they have conducted themselves, and they should already before hearing the message have wanted to have acted humbly thinking of others needs first rather than their own. The pretext is just as important as the post-change soon to follow the baptism. I started with this because Jesus has already testified to the truth and the life God wants for us, we know what is possible if only we submit and believe. The first time hearer needs to understand this basic fact and accept it as truth. I say this because it is not an easy thing to do, for either party, the one who is leading and the one who is following. Prime example, (John 3:1-10), in which Nicodemus, a full-fledged Pharisee who seeks Jesus out but was still fighting this internal war I spoke about in the beginning. His questions elementary in nature revealing his wanting to believe, but just needed Jesus to be that signpost. Nicodemus was deeply troubled as he tried to resolve his own faith and beliefs with what his eyes had witnessed and his ears had heard from Jesus – in the flesh! The moral of the story frankly is simple, God wants you to exhibit the changed life once you have committed because He is committed to you! God is in a league all His own, He knows your mortal body could never see Heaven in its fullness and He knows the spirit is weighed down by the wants of the flesh. God knows that before you can accept the truth there needs to be a very persuasive argument. Above all, God also knows to be saved all you have to do is look – look at His saving grace of the cross. I think that the one thing we can rely upon with confidence each time we confess our faith in Jesus, is the promise He spoke two-thousand years ago – found in, (Luke 21:15);

‘I will inspire you with the wisdom which your adversaries will be unable to resist.’

Closing Prayer

God our Father,

Foundation and source of our salvation, may we proclaim your glory every day of our lives, that we may sing your praise forever in heaven. O Lord, make my joy complete by your unanimity, possessing the one love, united in spirit and ideals. I pray that you help me and all of humanity daily to never act out of rivalry or conceit; rather, let us think humbly of others as superior to ourselves, looking to our brothers and sisters interests from all around the world rather than our own. As I look to the Day of Christ, O My God I know you will always be there holding my hand validating my faithfulness uplifting me at the end showing me that I did not run the race in vain or work to no purpose. As you have done this for me I know you will do the same for all your children whom you love endlessly. We, your children, ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. – The Liturgy of the Hours

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever.

May the Lord bless you, protect you from all evil and bring you to everlasting life.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Saint Joseph, Pray for us.Sancte Ioseph – ‘ora pro nobis,’

Now go spread the word!

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The Transfiguration

Jesus the Heavenly High Priest

SECOND SUNDAY OF LENT
LENTEN SEASON YR. B – WKII

Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter, James, and John, leading them up a high mountain apart, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no one on earth could bleach them. – Mark 9:2-3 New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Catholic Edition (NRSVACE)

The Transfigured Christ

 A Glimpse of Glory

Many times in my life especially as a child I wondered what life would be like when I grew up. I wondered what I would look like, sound like, and or how much my personality would have changed as an adult. I often would be laying down in my bed wishing I could hit a fast-forward button and be an adult. Of course, I never wanted the responsibilities of an adult just the respect, glory without the pain, and stature without hardship. When I read (Mark 9:2-3) it reminds me of those moments because as flawed, broken, human beings uncertain of what is coming down the line in our future it is always better to receive the prize before we run the race. It is human nature to wish we could avoid the hardship and glimpse the end result. My grandma Stark called this, ‘having your dessert before fixing your dinner.’ 

See my brothers and sisters Jesus took Peter, James, and John up high upon the mountain out of sight from the others to give them a glimpse of the end result, the glorified Christ, and a taste of Heaven backed up by two of the greatest prophets in human history. But as flawed human beings the three disciples though in awe, was filled with fear, and so missed the bigger picture until much later. Jesus wanted to give them comfort in the knowledge that His death was not pointless, that He would conquer the world, not be conquered. Jesus wanted to strengthen them for the hardships to come. Remember, what they had been through up to this point and what miracles they had seen. From His baptism to Jesus feeding the five thousand, the earthly temptation of the Pharisees who had demanded a sign from heaven all of which was sure to test Him. From there Jesus cures a blind man from Bethsaida, then on a beach of the dead sea Peter declares Jesus the Messiah. But most assuredly what was on all their minds was what their rabbi had predicted about the ‘Son of Man’, which by now all of them agreed was Jesus, (Matthew 16:21Jesus’s emphatic, heartfelt, and detailed description about His own suffering, crucifixion, and resurrection. In a reflection of this moment, perhaps it was His certainty that this was God’s plan for Him, that it must be done which struck the deepest cord of concern in the disciple’s hearts. None of them wanted Jesus to leave them, in fact, they wanted to go with Him, they all wanted the fruits before the labor. Perhaps, the three who went with Jesus saw the glory and power of their Lord but failed at that moment to see the true High Preist that would reign in Heaven forever. Maybe, they concluded Jesus didn’t have to suffer, die, and be raised from the dead, so in their innocents, they offered to erect three tents so this moment would never pass them bye. The three disciples reacted in a very human way, wanting to hold onto the moment rather than to embrace the hardship that would lead to this transfigured Jesus. Very much as I had wanted to be an adult before my time but without the heartache and pain of making the real world sometimes agonizing, dreadful, and sensitive decisions that all adults have to make.

Jesus – The Real-World Teacher

The Sermon on the Mount, Block 1890

As they were coming down the mountain, he ordered them to tell no one about what they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead. 10 So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what this rising from the dead could mean. – Mark 9:9-10 (NRSVACE)

After 15 plus years in the classroom, 22 years of being a parent, and all my life being a student there are times I have given real-world examples or have been asked questions pertaining to a real-world scenario and just simply come up empty-handed. There have been times I have questioned my parents, teachers, ex-spouse, bosses, my only child, and or I have been put on the spot and still are left with more questions than answers though the real, less complicated, and the most logical answer was always right there before me. So, I can relate to Peter, James, and John as they came down from the mountain. Though they saw who Jesus was, what He would transform into after suffering and dying, they still did not connect the dots to His resurrection. I would have loved to have lived during this period and heard the questions about this resurrection Jesus was talking about. All this time spent watching Jesus perform miracles they did not connect the phrases He was using, or perhaps they did understand but refused to believe it out of love for Jesus as their desire was to be with Him forever on this earth. Ironically, it is this same stubborn human desire of Peters that was the cause of him being scorned by Jesus, (Matthew 16:23) just prior to the trip up the mountain and the same unwavering human impulse to question things that should be obvious. I truly believe that even if Jesus had given them a mental flash-forward they still would question it’s real-world relevance to them in their own lives; though I have to admit the transfiguration was an infinitely better visually.

The Message of the Transfiguration

24-25 You’ve all been to the stadium and seen the athletes race. Everyone runs; one wins. Run to win. All good athletes train hard. They do it for a gold medal that tarnishes and fades. You’re after one that’s gold eternally. – 1 Corinthians 9:24-25 The Message (MSG)

Perhaps one of the most overstated things people hear in church is, ‘God so loved the world… ,’ (John 3:16-18). But nevertheless, my brothers and sisters God indeed loved us so much he sent His only son, but on the flip side of this coin, ‘God did not spare his own Son but gave Him up for us all.’The Liturgy of the Hours, pg.294. With that said, the medal we win after living our life for Christ is one of eternal value, running on behalf of our brothers who cannot run, morally defending those who struggle mentally or spiritually, and standing up against injustice which is so prevalent in our world. We can live for others, changing their lives for the better, and giving the example of grace which brings those we touch to Christ. In a way, Jesus showed the true person He is, the true self we all have within, and the eternal reward we run so hard for and run too. See my brothers and sisters the message behind the transfiguration is one of hope and rejuvenation in the life to come. It was the promise of God that salvation is real, that He means what He says, that His covenant stands and is binding.  At that moment Jesus is saying, “Here I Am!”, He is lighting the pathway, revealing Himself in such a way no one could ever deny His divinity and purity of heart and to truly find Him we must listen faithfully to the words He speaks to our hearts that will guide us throughout our lives. Our Lord and Saviour had proven His connection to Heaven while standing next to Moses and Elijah. The symbology for the Jewish people was unmistakable for Moses representing God’s divine law and Elijah representing all the prophets, both symbolizing the Old and Jesus the New. The dividing line between both halves of the story as it unfolds in real time, as one covenant ends and a new one begins. The rejuvenation of God’s promises, His Law, His love and mercy through His only Son which He stated clearly for all to hear when Jesus was baptized;

Matthew testified;   

17 “And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.’” – Matthew 3:17 (NRSVCE)

Earlier I had said that the three disciples did not fully understand the transfiguration of Christ until much later, after the events of Pentecost. But when they did get it, this is what two of them wrote;

John testified; 

14 And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth. – John 1:14 (NRSVCE)

Peter sometime later testified:

16 For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we had been eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 For he received honor and glory from God the Father when that voice was conveyed to him by the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, my Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.” 18 We ourselves heard this voice come from heaven, while we were with him on the holy mountain.” – 2 Peter 1:16-18 (NRSVCE) 

Let Us Pray

God our Father, help us to hear your Son. Enlighten us with your word, that we may find the way to your glory. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.    – The Liturgy of the Hours, pg.295.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever.

May the Lord bless you, protect you from all evil and bring you to everlasting life.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Saint Joseph, Pray for us.Sancte Ioseph – ‘ora pro nobis,’

Amen, Alleluia

Now go spread the word!

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To Always Image Christ in Mind, Heart, Body, and Soul.

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Transformation – My Brother’s Keeper

Chair of Saint Peter the Apostle

Feast Day 2018
LENTEN SEASON YR. B

“Since the fourth century, the feast of the Chair of Peter has been celebrated at Rome as a sign of the unity of the Church founded upon that apostle.” – Proper of Saints, pg. 1095.

18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock, I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. – Matthew 16:18 New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised (NRSVA)

Guiding Question: How has God transformed your life, made you the example of change to others?

In our life, before meeting God for the first time we are unmistakingly human, flawed, corrupt, with sin written in blood on our foreheads.  Lies are easy as they come forth with such splendor and detail. We are operating on the basic level with little conscience and little desire to change. Our needs are met on the basic level, food, water, companionship, with very little loyalties or commitments to anyone or thing. We are like a hunk of clay unformed lacking detail and filled with many wants and desires. Take Peter for instance, before God he fished for a living, followed in his father’s footsteps with no desire to do anything other than fish. Peter had a family, but they were not what motivated him rather they were his duty, not his motivation. Peter before God was just like every other man of his age, rough around the edges, no more or less interesting, and he lived like everyone else from catch to catch never getting ahead in life. In comparison to what he would become Peter lead a life based upon just the basic requirements complete with basic needs and wants, quite boring really.  No one would have ever looked at him and thought, ‘hum, this man I will build my church upon.’ For there was not a religious bone in his body.

But after God, Peter was quite different indeed, see his life was no longer just a basic ordinary life that everyone else in the world was living. No sir! Peter’s heart though still filled with sin was set aflame and the light of God burned deep inside him. His mind had stopped thinking about the concerns of an everyday life of a fisherman and instead was focused on the salvation of all mankind. He intently watched everything Jesus did and said, wrote some of it down, then when Jesus had shared His fate on the cross Peter didn’t want Jesus to go, though His heart in the right place his humanity he allowed to take over. On Gethsemane when Jesus was betrayed Peter pulled a sword, in Jerusalem when the crowd recognized him Peter lied three times and denied knowing Jesus. From that moment until Christ appeared Peter was operating out of fear, suspicion, and deep shame. Then when Jesus asked him three times, ‘Peter do you love me?’ Peter three times said yes and just like that Peter went from a sinner to a Saint. Peter allowed God in and became the rock of which Jesus build the modern day Catholic Church upon.  Peter underwent an incredible transformation and what is so exciting about this story is that all of us can also undergo this same transformation if only we allow God in.

Change in the Modern World

Tribute to Billy Graham 1919-2018

My dear brother’s and sister’s truly I say to you we can be transformed and become the catalyst of change for other people. All we have to do is look around and see how badly this world needs to change. A good example of a person changing and then driving change in the world is the young men and women of Parkland, Florida who refuse to go another day with allowing semi-automatic firearms to be sold. How about Billy Graham who past away today at the age of 99 and who shared the gospel with more people than any other modern-day preacher but yet he too needed to be converted, transformed, and molded. This special person as the story goes was his Sunday School Teacher when he was just a boy who told him,

“You can count the apples on the tree, but who can count the apples in a seed?” goes the old aphorism.

We can’t forget Saint Augustine’s conversion as it is found in the Province of Our Mother of Good Counsel of the Augustinian Order website, “Augustine’s life as a young man was characterized by loose living and a search for answers to life’s basic questions.” par. 1 One day he heard a child singing a song, “Pick it up and read it. Pick it up and read it.” After some discernment, Augustine reasoned it was a command from God to pick up the bible and read it. So he did and read the first thing he saw,

Not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual excess and lust, not in quarreling and jealousy. Rather, put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the desires of the flesh. Romans 13: 13-14

It was this Scripture that changed his life forever, and like Peter, the Students of Parkland, Florida, Billy Graham and thousands of others became a pillar of positive change within the world.

“Do you love me?” asks Jesus. Our Lord and Saviour is the example of what grace in leadership is all about, from parenting which starts and ends with love to a manager of a corporation who can exhibit dignity in the workplace, and to the leaders in Washington who can if they want to build fairness and security into every law. Saint Peter is celebrated as is many others because they emulated Jesus Christ, in heart, mind, body, and soul and through them led thousands to a transformation, they truly were their brother’s keeper and those they impacted came to Jesus on their knees in praise. See my brother’s and sister’s each and every one of those examples can be that one special instance in someone’s life that turns them to God, allows them to open up their heart just enough, and to fill their whole body with the Holy Spirit giving them the ability to answer that one fundamental question Jesus is asking,  “Do you love me?”. 

Let Us Pray

All-powerful Father, you have built your Church on the rock of Saint Peter’s confession of faith. May nothing divide or weaken our unity in faith and love. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever.

May the Lord bless you, protect you from all evil and bring you to everlasting life.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Saint Joseph, Pray for us.Sancte Ioseph – ‘ora pro nobis,’

Amen, Alleluia

Now go spread the word!

Reaffirming Our Mission

To Always Image Christ in Mind, Heart, Body, and Soul.

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“Let’s grow together as children of God”

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Listening Faithfully Blog written by Brian K. Stark © 2009-2018