May 21, 2022

Stain Removal

How do you keep your whites white?

This portion of the Gospel we have listened to begins with the departure of Judas from the Upper Room and his descent into the darkness of the street. His mind was made up to betray the Lord. Christ remarks “now is the Son of Man glorified”. Is not Christ glorified while he performed the miracles, in his cross, or by his resurrection? Why “now”, with the simple departure of Judas from the Upper Room?

Keep in mind the second reading, from the Book of Revelation (John 21: 1-5) when we hear that John “saw a new heaven and a new earth.” Now that the traitor Judas had left the sacred company of the other apostles and had departed that sacred space where the Church would gather to celebrate the sacrament of Christ’s priesthood, now it is finally possible to “taste” the glory that awaits the whole world on the great day of Judgment. On that day when all enemies of God will be cast away, the glory of the Lord will shine without distraction.

Even liturgically we spell this out. When we gather together in this sacred place where heaven and earth are renewed, do we not first confess our sins – sending “Judas” out into the darkness, so we can celebrate this sacrament of love in all its glory and without distraction?

Notice what we do before baptism.  We first reject sin, then embrace our faith, and then one is baptized. Keeping our baptismal garment clean is a lifetime event!

How do we do this? Christ gives us a “new commandment” to love one another. Is that new? Is that not an old commandment?  It is a new commandment because Christ tells us to “love one another as I have loved you”. It is new because Christ tells us to imitate his love, which is not a natural love. It is supernatural. It is sacrificial. It is a love that endures through good times and bad. It is a love that gives life, sometimes painfully – but always beautifully. That’s the Cross and resurrection.

Let us ask our blessed Mother Mary, to encourage us to love as Christ did. But not only this. To bear the name of Christian is to be mistaken for Christ, by the way we choose to live, by the decisions we make.  May the cleansing power of the Sacrament of Confession and the strength of the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ keep the flame of our Christian charity burning brightly through the grace of compassion we have for the world and the salvations of souls.

5th Sunday of Easter 2022

May 6, 2022

Shore Leave

The resurrected Christ stands on the shores of the great sea. He looks out into the whole world. In the midst of the great sea of the world, Christ sees a boat - He sees the Church. What does Christ see us doing? 

From our perspective on board, it might at times seem very confining, bumping into so many people, everyone with different roles, gifts, backgrounds, abilities. 

From where He is, the Lord has a great perspective. He can also see the whole world in which we are in. He can see the weather approaching. He can see any dangers on the horizon. He can also see the distant lands yet to be visited. If we hear and pay heed to His calling out, we allow Christ to guide the Church in our mission. He sees what we don't. So we must trust HIs guidance. Even if we do not see, we must believe.  

With so many distractions, outside and within, it can be easy to lose sight of Christ who continually guides us in His Church, through every sort of danger. He alone knows where all the fish of the ocean are and how they will respond when the nets are lowered. He knows the location of the hidden dangers we face. If we trust him, nothing can sink His ship. He will always get us to the shore.

When the apostles reached land, they did not speak much. There was no need for many words. They stood, quiet and humble before the mystery of God. In the same way, we too must sometimes be silent before God. He allows us time to catch our breath, to find our legs again.

For strength, for endurance and for the challenges ahead, the Lord prepares a sacred meal for us. It is not “comfort food”. It is the risen Christ Himself, His glorious and heavenly body is presented to us to behold. He offers us Himself in the Holy Eucharist to form us more and more into His image and likeness. This doesn't happen in just one sacred meal with Him. It takes us to keep going out into the world and returning to Him, again and again, and again. Here we enter into Communion with the Risen Lord. From here He sends us out on a mission. Mission and Communion. Communion and Mission. We can never be complacent.

Christ got to Easter through a lot of hard work, borne out of love and sacrifice. It's now our turn.  Christ created a lot of waves. It's up to us to ride that wave. Although we cannot, at times, see the world from God's perspective, we trust the Lord who guides us and does so with gentleness and patience. 

Gentleness and patience! These are two qualities Christ experienced firsthand from his mother Mary who trusted her Son when He left home and went into the big world to begin His mission. She was not afraid of sending Him into the world, although she knew in her heart the dangers.  She is our mother too, and likewise, sends us out into the world to follow her Son. During the month of May, dedicated to her, be assured that she will always look to her Son to guide the family of the Church. And, like the good mother she is, while we are far from home, she also waits and prays for our safe return, in the company of Christ her Son our Lord, who lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen.

Third Sunday of Easter

Stain Removal

How do you keep your whites white? This portion of the Gospel we have listened to begins with the departure of Judas from the Upper Room and...