Thursday, April 17, 2014

Holy Thursday: "Do this in remembrance of me."

"This day shall be a memorial feast for you, which all your generations shall celebrate with pilgrimage to the LORD, as a perpetual institution."

In the sense of Sacred Scripture the memorial is not merely the recollection of past events but the proclamation of the mighty works wrought by God for men. In the liturgical celebration of these events, they become in a certain way present and real. This is how Israel understands its liberation from Egypt: every time Passover is celebrated, the Exodus events are made present to the memory of believers so that they may conform their lives to them.
-- CCC 1363

I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you,
that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over,
took bread, and, after he had given thanks,
broke it and said, "This is my body that is for you.
Do this in remembrance of me."
In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying,
"This cup is the new covenant in my blood.
Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me."
For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup,
you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.
-- 1 Cor 11:23-26

In the New Testament, the memorial takes on new meaning. When the Church celebrates the Eucharist, she commemorates Christ's Passover, and it is made present: the sacrifice Christ offered once for all on the cross remains ever present. "As often as the sacrifice of the Cross by which 'Christ our Pasch has been sacrificed' is celebrated on the altar, the work of our redemption is carried out."
-- CCC 1364

"Do you realize what I have done for you?
You call me 'teacher' and 'master,' and rightly so, for indeed I am.
If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet,
you ought to wash one another's feet.

"Teacher, what good deed must I do, to have eternal life?" To the young man who asked this question, Jesus answers first by invoking the necessity to recognize God as the "One there is who is good," as the supreme Good and the source of all good. Then Jesus tells him: "If you would enter life, keep the commandments." And he cites for his questioner the precepts that concern love of neighbor: "You shall not kill, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother." Finally Jesus sums up these commandments positively: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."
-- CCC 2052

(Art: Washing of the Feet, Duccio di Buoninsegna, 1308-11, Tempera on wood, Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, Siena. From the reverse central part of the Maesta.)

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

“When you lift up the Son of Man, the you will realize that I AM"

I do nothing on my own, but I say only what the Father taught me. The one who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, because I always do what is pleasing to him.” Because he spoke this way, many came to believe in him. - Jn 8:21-30 "And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself." The lifting up of Jesus on the cross signifies and announces his lifting up by his Ascension into heaven, and indeed begins it. Jesus Christ, the one priest of the new and eternal Covenant, "entered, not into a sanctuary made by human hands. . . but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf." There Christ permanently exercises his priesthood, for he "always lives to make intercession" for "those who draw near to God through him". As "high priest of the good things to come" he is the center and the principal actor of the liturgy that honors the Father in heaven. (CCC 662)

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Third Sunday of Lent: From shame to trusting Faith in examination of conscience

Is this the picture of  superficiality? Does this look like Someone who is satisfied with a superficial response? Don't you think He can handle your shame?



The Samaritan woman met the Water of Life at the well who read her conscience and transformed the source of her shame in sin into reason for trust and saving faith in Him.



"... whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst; the water I shall give will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”



This truly is the Savior of the world.Is this the picture of superficiality? Does this look like Someone who is satisfied with a superficial response? Don't you think He can handle your shame?

The Samaritan woman met the Water of Life at the well who read her conscience and transformed the source of her shame in sin into reason for trust and saving faith in Him.

"... whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst; the water I shall give will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

"This truly is the Savior of the world."

Friday, March 21, 2014

"When his brothers saw that their father loved him best of all his sons, they hated him"

‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and acquire his inheritance.’(Gn 37:3-4, 12-13a, 17b-28a)

The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
by the Lord has this been done,
and it is wonderful in our eyes
. - Psalm 118, 22


"For a Christian, believing in God cannot be separated from believing in the One he sent, his 'beloved Son', in whom the Father is 'well pleased'; God tells us to listen to him. The Lord himself said to his disciples: 'Believe in God, believe also in me.' We can believe in Jesus Christ because he is himself God, the Word made flesh: 'No one has ever seen God; the only Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known.' Because he 'has seen the Father', Jesus Christ is the only one who knows him and can reveal him." (CCC 151)

Thursday, March 20, 2014

"Like a tree planted beside flowing waters": our leaves never fade if the Eucharist is the lifeblood of Faith

The Gospel story of the rich man's plea for water as he gazes longingly upon Lazarus who rests in the bosom of Abraham is a warning, but not against riches. The failing of the rich man was that he did not live his blessings with a view to the waters that never cease to flow: those which come from God alone.

Whether rich or poor, we live as trees planted beside flowing waters when our actions are rooted Eucharistically in the love of Jesus Christ, a giving and fraternal love for others and God. The rich man refused to share his bounty with Lazarus despite his knowledge that the poor man needed food.

No matter in what season of life we find ourselves, old or young, rich or poor, it is not what we have that determines life but how we live with what we have.

"I, the LORD, alone probe the mind
and test the heart,
To reward everyone according to his ways,
according to the merit of his deeds."

The Lord invites us to share in His love by deeds. When our actions flow from the Eucharist they always have God's love as source, that "fountain welling up to eternal life".

Thursday of the Second Week in Lent

Friday, March 14, 2014

"If the wicked man turns away from all the sins"

... he committed, if he keeps all my statutes and does what is right and just, he shall surely live, he shall not die.

"Sins can be distinguished according to their objects, as can every human act; or according to the virtues they oppose, by excess or defect; or according to the commandments they violate. They can also be classed according to whether they concern God, neighbor, or oneself; they can be divided into spiritual and carnal sins, or again as sins in thought, word, deed, or omission. The root of sin is in the heart of man, in his free will, according to the teaching of the Lord: 'For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a man.' But in the heart also resides charity, the source of the good and pure works, which sin wounds." (CCC 1853)

Friday, First Week of Lent 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

“This generation is an evil generation; it seeks a sign"

"it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it, except the sign of Jonah."

But there is more. Jesus links faith in the resurrection to his own person: "I am the Resurrection and the life." It is Jesus himself who on the last day will raise up those who have believed in him, who have eaten his body and drunk his blood. Already now in this present life he gives a sign and pledge of this by restoring some of the dead to life, announcing thereby his own Resurrection, though it was to be of another order. He speaks of this unique event as the "sign of Jonah," the sign of the temple: he announces that he will be put to death but rise thereafter on the third day.
-- CCC 994

Wednesday, First Week of Lent