Archive for the ‘Love’ Category

Jesus Asks, “Do You Love Me?”

April 9, 2016

Christ Handing the Keys to St. Peter by Pietro Perugino (detail)In St. Peter along the shore of Galilee, Jesus is asking this question of us: “Do you love me?” We each have a choice to make in how we respond.

You can answer like Simon Peter in the high priest’s courtyard, with blasphemous denials and lingering regret. Or you can answer like St. Peter the Rock, who said, “Yes Lord, you know that I love you,” and then lived a life which proved that love.  How are you going to answer?

I do not know the particulars of Christ’s will and plan for you, but I know it consists at least in this: to pray every day, to attend Mass every week, and to strive to do His will for the rest of your days.

Jesus Washed Their Feet

March 10, 2016

Jesus Washing Peter's Feet by Ford Maddox Brown, 1852-6.[Jesus] loved his own in the world and he loved them to the end. … So, [during the Last Supper,] he rose from supper and took off his outer garments. He took a towel and tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and dry them with the towel around his waist. … So when he had washed their feet and put his garments back on and reclined at table again, he said to them, “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. I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do. Amen, amen, I say to you, no slave is greater than his master nor any messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you understand this, blessed are you if you do it.

—The Gospel of John, chapter 13

In 1955, Pope Pius XII inserted an optional washing of the feet rite into the Mass of Holy Thursday, the liturgy which commemorates the events of the night before Jesus died. This foot-washing rite is called the Mandatum (from the Latin for “the Mandate”) for Jesus said, “as I have done for you, you should also do.

Though the rubrics (that is, the rules for the liturgy) required no specific number of persons to have their feet washed in this optional rite, they indicated that the participants were to be men. This year, this rite which recalls Christ’s humble gesture of service and charity has been revised by a decree promulgated by Pope Francis. Where this rite is celebrated, pastors are to “select a small group of the faithful to represent the variety and the unity of each part of the people of God. Such small groups can be made up of men and women, and it is appropriate that they consist of people young and old, healthy and sick, clerics, consecrated men and women and laity.”

In past years, it has often been difficult to find people to humbly “bear their soles” on Holy Thursday but perhaps it may be a little easier this year. If you would volunteer to take a seat in this year’s washing of the feet, please contact Father so that he may create a representative group of our faithful.

Our Lord as Love

January 27, 2016

Thomas answered and said to [Jesus], ‘My Lord and my God!’”

—Gospel of John 20:28

Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love.”

—1st Letter of John 4:8

“Brothers and sisters: Strive eagerly for the greatest spiritual gifts. But I shall show you a still more excellent way.

If I speak in human and angelic tongues, but do not have [Jesus], I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal. And if I have the gift of prophecy, and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge; if I have all faith so as to move mountains, but do not have [Jesus], I am nothing. If I give away everything I own, and if I hand my body over so that I may boast, but do not have [Jesus], I gain nothing.

[Jesus] is patient, [Jesus] is kind. [He] is not jealous, [he] is not pompous, [he] is not inflated, [he] is not rude, [he] does not seek [his] own interests, [he] is not quick-tempered, [he] does not brood over injury, [he] does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. [He] bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. [Jesus] never fails.”

—1st Letter of Paul to the Corinthians 12:31-13:8

The Meaning of Life

June 9, 2015

Homer Simpson once had this exchange with “God”:

HomerGod, I’ve gotta ask you something.
What’s the meaning of life?

God:      Homer, I can’t tell you that.
HomerC’mon!
God:      You’ll find out when you die.
HomerI can’t wait that long!
God:      You can’t wait six months?
HomerNo, tell me now!
God:      Well, OK. The meaning of life is…

[The theme song and ending credits interrupt before we hear the answer.]

So what is the meaning of life? Why are we here, for what purpose do we exist?

Philosophers and TV writers may balk at the answer, but for Christians this is not an unanswerable riddle. Jesus Christ tells us what we are meant to do on earth (and likewise, in Heaven): first, to “love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,” and second, to “love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-40, Mark 12:30-31, & Luke 10:27-28)

Nothing is more important than this. This is what the Law, the Gospels, the prophets, and the saints are all about. Loving relationship with God and each other is the meaning of our lives. Of what enduring value is anything else if separated from this?

Blessed with knowing this precious knowledge, how are you going to live?

Theological Gifts & Obligations — Tuesday, 15th Week of Ordinary Time

July 15, 2014

Gospel: Matthew 11:20-24

Jesus began to reproach the towns where most of his mighty deeds had been done, since they had not repented. “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! … For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I tell you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.”

In the visitation of Jesus Christ, Chorazin and Bethsaida had advantages that no people before them had ever enjoyed. The Word of God was before them, but they did not accept him. Incarnate love was among them, but they did not embrace him. The hope of the world was in their midst, but they did not change their ways.

Consider how much more understanding we have of Christ and his teachings than they, how much we have experienced the love of Christ and his people, how many prophesies of Christ we have seen fulfilled. How much more cause do we have to respond to him with faith, hope, and love; how much more of an obligation. As St. Bonaventure said:

“Three things are necessary to everyone regardless of status, sex, or age, i.e., truth of faith which brings understanding; love of Christ which brings compassion; endurance of hope which brings perseverance. No adult is in the state of salvation unless he has faithful understanding in his mind, loving compassion in his heart, and enduring perseverance in his actions.”

The Two Mountains — Wednesday, 3rd Week of Lent

March 26, 2014

Readings: Deuteronomy 4:5-9, Matthew 5:17-19

[W]hat great nation is there that has gods so close to it as the LORD, our God, is to us whenever we call upon him? Or what great nation has statutes and decrees that are as just as this whole law which I am setting before you today?

The greatness of Israel among the nations consisted not merely in their moral law but in their intimacy with God. As C.S. Lewis once observed, “The road to the promised land runs past Sinai.” The morality of Mount Sinai is essential to the journey, but our goal is to worship on Mount Zion.

Immediately following today’s Gospel about fulfilling the Law, Jesus declares, “I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” The Pharisees and scribes kept the commandments pretty well but they were often far from God.

This Lent, let us not only focus on growing in our moral practices, but also on our love and intimacy with the Lord.

Increasing Intimacy in your Marriage & Home

February 13, 2014

Physical intimacy is an important aspect of marriage, but it is certainly not the only kind of intimacy. A marriage in which the intimacy shared is exclusively physical will not endure. The acronym “SPICE” contains five modes of sharing intimacy: Spiritual, Physical, Intellectual, Creative, and Emotional. Sharing your prayers, touches, ideas, projects, and feelings are all important elements to keeping your marriage strong.

Another issue in relationships between spouses and within households comes in how love is expressed and received. Gary Chapman’s 1995 book, “The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate,” suggests that people prefer to receive love in different ways. Chapman describes five main ways, or languages, by which love is experienced: Gifts, Quality Time, Acts of Service, Words of Affirmation, and Physical Touch. Some people feel love most deeply when their spouses help around the house and with the kids (Acts of Service) but feel little thrill from receiving gifts, such as golf clubs or jewelry.

A problem arises when people understandably, but mistakenly, assume that the significant others in their lives receive love best through the same love language as themselves. They try to love their neighbor just like themselves without realizing that their love languages differ. For instance, people whose main love language is Quality Time may feel neglected or even abandoned, despite their spouses’ tender caresses and sincere compliments, if not enough time is shared together between them at home. Knowing another’s love language allows you to love them in the manner they most want to be loved.

  • What are your top-two favorite Love Languages?
  • Can you guess what your spouse and children’s top Love Languages are?
  • Share your answers with each other—you may discover something new.
  • How can you add more SPICE, more Spiritual, Physical, Intellectual, Creative, and Emotional Intimacy, into your marriage and your home?

Remade for Love — 5th Sunday of Easter—Year C

April 27, 2013

Today, Jesus gives us his new commandment: “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another.” What a challenge this is! Consider how Jesus loved us: he lived and died for us! Loving people like Jesus does is not an easy commandment to keep, yet we must keep it. As Saint Paul preached, “It is necessary for us to undergo many hardships to enter the kingdom of God.”

It is not easy to love as Christ loves, but the Lord assists those who seek to please and serve him. God matures us in love through our ordinary, daily lives. And God perfects us in love through our hard times. We have no lack of opportunities: daily life gives us countless chances to love as Jesus would. And wherever we are too weak to grow or change ourselves, the Lord permits us to experience difficulties in order to transform us. Like a doctor, he sometimes gives us bitter medicine to cure our illnesses.

I have seen this happen in my own life. When I was little, it was painful to be teased by my peers, but this led to my practice of treating everyone kindly. When I was older, it hurt to discover that the first woman I fell in love with did not share my feelings, but this experience cured me of my cynicism about the beauty of romantic love. When I was newly ordained, my first assignments were challenging, but this made me a better priest. All these things displeased me at the time, but now I am grateful for their results.

Can you see how God has used the difficulties of your life to make you become more like Jesus Christ? Then do not lose heart when new difficulties come to you. Through all these things, our love is being made into the perfect likeness of Jesus Christ. God refuses to leave us as we are. Instead, as the One who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.”

Hoy, Jesús nos da su mandamiento nuevo: “Que os améis los unos a los otros. Que, como yo os he amado, así os améis también vosotros los unos a los otros.” ¡Qué desafío es esto! Considere como Jesús nos ha amado: él vivió y murió por nosotros! Amar a las personas como Jesús no es un mandamiento fácil de mantener, sin embargo, deben mantenerlo. Como San Pablo predicó: “Es necesario que pasemos por muchas tribulaciones para entrar en el Reino de Dios.”

No es fácil amar como Cristo ama, pero el Señor ayuda a aquellos que tratan de agradar y servir a él. Dios nos madura en el amor a través de nuestras vidas cotidianas. Y Dios nos perfecciona en el amor a través de nuestros tiempos difíciles. No tenemos ninguna falta de oportunidades: la vida cotidiana nos da innumerables posibilidades de amar como Jesús lo haría. Y donde estemos demasiado débiles para crecer o cambiar nosotros mismos, el Señor nos permite experimentar dificultades para transformarnos. Él es como un médico, que a veces nos da la amarga medicina para curar nuestras enfermedades.

He visto que esto suceda en mi propia vida. Cuando era pequeña, era doloroso para ser objeto de burlas por mis compañeros, pero esto me llevó a la práctica de tratar a todos con amabilidad. Cuando fui mayor, me dolía al descubrir que la primera mujer que me enamoré no compartía los mismos sentimientos que yo tenia, pero esta experiencia me curó de mi cinismo acerca de la belleza del amor romántico. Después de mi ordenación, mis primeros trabajos fueron duros para mí, pero me hizo un mejor sacerdote. Todas estas cosas me disgustaron en su momento, pero ahora estoy agradecido por sus resultados.

¿Puedes de ver cómo Dios ha usado a las dificultades de tu vida para hacer más como Jesucristo? Entonces no perder el corazón cuando las nuevas dificultades vengan a ti. A través de todas estas cosas, nuestro amor se convirtió en la imagen perfecta del amor de Jesucristo. Dios se niega a dejarnos como somos. En cambio, como el que estaba sentado en el trono dijo: “Yo hago nuevas todas las cosas.”

All Because He Loves You — Easter Vigil

April 2, 2013

As human beings, our knowledge and motivations are limited.

Jesus Christ, however, is human and divine.

He is the eternal second person of the Trinity.

His knowledge is unlimited and his motivations are countless.

And so, truly and amazingly, Jesus Christ has known you and loved you since before time began.

 

In the beginning of creation, Jesus foreknew you and loved you.

He calls the Patriarchs in ancient times; in part, because he loves you.

He frees the Hebrews from slavery, because he loves you.

He settles them in the Promised Land, because he loves you.

He establishes David’s kingdom, because he loves you.

He commissions the prophets, because he loves you.

 

In the fullness of times, he becomes man, because he loves you.

He ministers and preaches on earth, because he loves you.

He is rejected, because he loves you.

He is whipped, because he loves you.

He is crucified, because he loves you.

He suffers and dies, because he loves you.

On third day, he resurrects and conquers death, because he loves you.

 

In more recent times, he gives you life in your mother’s womb, because he loves you.

He grants you countless blessings, because he loves you.

He encounters you in his Catholic Church, because he loves you.

He baptizes you as the Father’s child, because he loves you.

He confirms you as the Spirit’s coworker, because he loves you.

He incorporates you as a member of his body, because he loves you.

 

You are blessed in more ways than you can count because of him.

You are here today because of Jesus Christ.

You are here on Easter because you love Jesus Christ but, more importantly, because he loves you.

 

 

Como seres humanos, nuestros conocimientos y motivaciones son limitados.

Jesucristo, sin embargo, es humano y divino.

Él es la segunda persona de la Trinidad.

Su conocimiento y sus motivos son ilimitadas.

Verdaderamente, y sorprendentemente, Jesucristo te conoce y te ama desde antes de los siglos.

 

En el principio de la creación, Jesús te preconoce y te ama.

Él llama a los Patriarcas en la antigüedad, en parte, porque él te ama.

Él libera a los hebreos de la esclavitud, porque él te ama.

Él les instala en la tierra prometida, porque él te ama.

Él establece el reino de David, porque él te ama.

Él comisiona a los profetas, porque él te ama.

 

En la plenitud de los tiempos, se convierte en el hombre, porque él te ama.

Él ministra y predica en la tierra, porque Él te ama.

Él es rechazado, porque él te ama.

Él es azotado, porque él te ama.

Él es crucificado, porque él te ama.

Él sufre y muere, porque él te ama.

En el tercer día, él vence la muerte, porque él te ama.

 

En nuestro tiempo, él te da la vida en el vientre de tu madre, porque él te ama.

Él le concede innumerables bendiciones, porque él te ama.

Él le encuentra en su Iglesia Católica, porque él te ama.

Él le bautiza como un hijo del Padre, porque él te ama.

Él le confirme como compañero de trabajo del Espíritu, porque él te ama.

Él le incorpora como miembro de su cuerpo, porque él te ama.

 

Eres bendecido de muchas maneras que usted puede contar por su culpa.

Estas aquí hoy debido a Jesucristo.

Estas aquí en la Pascua porque amas a Jesús Cristo, sino, más importante aún, porque él te ama.

Love Against Indifference — 5th Sunday of Lent—Year C

March 22, 2013

The scribes and Pharisees do not care about the woman caught in adultery. They do not care about her sin. If they actually cared about the adultery, the man she sinned with would be there too. They do not really care whether this woman gets punished or forgiven. They only want to trap Jesus. They want Jesus to say something against the Law of Moses that they can use to attack him. When it becomes clear that their scheme will not work, they leave Jesus and the woman. She has merely been their tool for a failed task.  Now she is left alone with Jesus.  Jesus neither denies the woman’s sin nor withholds his mercy. He says, “Neither do I condemn you. Go, and from now on sin no more.”

Jesus does not deny the truth. What the woman has done is wrong and it needs to end. But Jesus encounters her with love. We need to be the same way with the persons in our lives. Sharing the truth without love is repulsive. Who can embrace the truth when served with a sour taste? On the other hand, loving someone without sharing important truths is an imperfect love. We each have the duty to share the truth seasoned with love.

Like many of you, I am very happy concerning our new Holy Father. Pope Francis is a pleasant gift. He is an interesting and refreshing character who seems very holy. He comes to us from Argentina and is the first pope from Latin America, where more than forty-one percent of world’s Catholics live. One of my hopes is that Pope Francis will renew the Catholic faith there and here. Sometimes Catholicism can be widely present but not deeply held. Many claim our Faith but neglect to live lives moved by it.

I am honored to come here to celebrate Mass for few or for many and I am happy to do it. But how many people do you know that are absent from Mass? Invite them lovingly to come to the Mass here in the special weeks ahead. Next Sunday is Palm Sunday, which includes the reading of the Passion. And in two weeks is Easter Sunday, the most important of all Christian celebrations.

The scribes and Pharisees did not care about the sinning woman. Let’s be unlike them. Let us help the people in our lives with love, truth, and the invitation of Jesus Christ to the sacraments in his Church.

Tempting Christ — 1st Sunday of Lent—Year C

March 3, 2013

Today’s Gospel from Luke is preceded by Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan. There, Jesus is revealed to be the Anointed One awaited by God’s people. The Anointed One is called the Messiah in Hebrew and the Christ in Greek. It was foretold that the “Anointed One” would have God as his Father in a unique and intimate way. This “Anointed One” was prophesied to come and be the savior, the champion, and the liberator of God’s people.

“Filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the desert for forty days…” Here, before the start of the public ministry of Jesus, in the silence and solitude of this desert retreat, the thoughts and prayers of Jesus were probably about his mission ahead. At this time the devil comes to tempt him. The devil wants to influence the kind of Christ that Jesus will be in hopes of derailing his mission from the start.

The devil says, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” And Jesus answers, “One does not live on bread alone.” What would be the evil in Jesus making this food? If he uses his power to meet his own needs, then the devil will ask “How can you refuse the needs of other people?” The devil wants Jesus to become an economic savior, a materialistic Messiah.

Jesus has compassion for our human condition–he knows it from his own first-hand experience. Jesus commands us to show his love to others by caring for their bodily needs. And when we do this it is Jesus acting through us. But if Jesus’ first mission had become to satisfy all material human needs, then Jesus would have been a Christ of bread alone, and we cannot live forever on bread alone. Making all of us wealthy wouldn’t be enough to make us holy, and so Jesus refuses the first temptation.

Then the devil shows Jesus all the kingdoms of the world and says, “I shall give to you all the power and glory…. All this will be yours, if you worship me.” And Jesus answers, “You shall worship the Lord, your God, and him alone shall you serve.” The devil offers Jesus an alternative to a life of obedience to his Father and in service to all. Jesus can become the world’s dictator whose own will must be done, if he would simply worship the devil.

This is the devil’s promise, but the devil is a liar. Making a deal with him gains nothing but loss, yet even if Jesus knew the devil would keep his word Jesus would have none of this. Jesus does not come to control us, but to invite us. He does not want to dominate us, but to persuade us to love. God seeks our loving response, and a response in love cannot be forced, so Jesus rejects the second temptation.

Then the devil takes Jesus to a high place and says, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for God will command his angels to guard you, and with their hands they will support you….” And Jesus answers, “You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.”

Here the devil argues that Jesus should expect to be protected from suffering and be preserved from death. But Jesus was sent and came to die and rise for us. Without these things how would we have been saved? Jesus trusted the Father’s will, even in suffering and death, and so Jesus refuses the third temptation.

God often works in ways that we wouldn’t imagine or choose for ourselves. We would wish that everything in life would be easy and painless. We wish our temptations and sorrows did not afflict us. But a doctor’s cure is given according to the disease he finds. After the Fall of mankind, God intends to save us through the difficulties and struggles of this life.

Our growth in holiness can be slow and our sufferings may be difficult. However, we should never despair. Our struggle has rewards and our suffering has purpose. We know this because of Jesus, who endured temptations just like us and for us.

El evangelio de hoy es precedido por el bautismo de Jesús en el Jordán. Allí, Jesús se revela como el Ungido esperado por el pueblo de Dios. El ungido es llamado el Mesías en hebreo y Cristo en griego. Fue predicho que “el ungido” sería tener a Dios como su Padre de una manera única e íntima. Este “Ungido” fue profetizado ser el salvador, el campeón, y el libertador del pueblo de Dios.

“Llenos del Espíritu Santo, Jesús volvió del Jordán y fue llevado por el Espíritu al desierto por cuarenta días…” Aquí antes del inicio del ministerio público de Jesús, en el silencio y la soledad de este retiro desierto, los pensamientos y las oraciones de Jesús fueron probablemente sobre su misión por delante. Entonces, el diablo viene a tentarle. El diablo quiere influir en el tipo de Cristo que Jesús va a ser, con la esperanza de desbaratar su misión desde el principio.

El diablo dice: “Si eres Hijo de Dios, di a esta piedra que se convierta en pan”. Y Jesús responde: “El hombre no vive solamente de pan”. ¿Cuál sería el mal en la fabricación de este alimento? Si Jesús usa su poder para satisfacer sus propias necesidades, entonces el diablo le preguntará “¿Cómo puedes negar las necesidades de otras personas?” El diablo quiere Jesús para convertirse en un salvador económico, un Mesías materialista.

Jesús tiene compasión por la condición humana y él lo sabe por su propia experiencia. Jesús nos manda a mostrar su amor a los demás por el cuidado de sus necesidades corporales. Y cuando hacemos esto, Jesús está actuando a través de nosotros. Pero si la primera misión de Jesús había sido la de satisfacer todas las necesidades materiales humanas, entonces Jesús habría sido un Cristo de pan solamente, y no podemos vivir para siempre en el pan solo. Haciendo todos nosotros ricos no sería suficiente para hacernos santos, y así Jesús rechaza la primera tentación.

Entonces el diablo muestra a Jesús todos los reinos del mundo y le dice: “Yo te daré todo el poder y la gloria …. Todo esto será tuyo, si me adoras. “Y Jesús responde:” Adorarás al Señor, tu Dios, ya él solo servirás “. El diablo ofrece a Jesús una alternativa a una vida de obediencia a su Padre y servicio de todos. Jesús puede convertirse en dictador del mundo, cuya propia voluntad se debe hacer.

Esta es la promesa del diablo, pero el diablo es un mentiroso. Haciendo un trato con él no gana nada sino pérdida, sin embargo, incluso si Jesús sabía que el diablo cumpliría su palabra de Jesús no quiso saber nada de esto. Jesús no viene a controlarnos, sino para invitarnos. Él no quiere que nos dominen, sino para persuadir al amor. Dios busca nuestra respuesta de amor y una respuesta en el amor no puede ser forzado, y así Jesús rechaza la tentación segundo.

Entonces el diablo lleva a Jesús a un lugar alto y le dice: “Si eres Hijo de Dios, arrójate desde aquí, porque Dios mandará a sus ángeles para que te guarden, y con sus manos te apoyan….” Y Jesús responde, “No tentarás al Señor, tu Dios.”

Aquí el diablo argumenta que Jesús debe esperar a ser protegido de el sufrimiento y ser preservado de la muerte. Pero Jesús fue enviado y vino a morir y resucitar por nosotros. Sin estas cosas, ¿cómo hemos sido salvados? Jesús confió la voluntad del Padre, incluso en el sufrimiento y la muerte, y así Jesús se niega la tercera tentación.

A menudo Dios obra de maneras que no nos imaginamos o elegir por nosotros mismos. Nos gustaría que todo en la vida iba a ser fácil y sin dolor. Queremos nuestras tentaciones y sufrimientos no nos afligen. Pero la curación de un médico se administra de acuerdo a la enfermedad que encuentra. Después de la caída del hombre, Dios quiere salvarnos a través de las dificultades y las luchas de esta vida.

Nuestro crecimiento en la santidad puede ser lento y nuestro sufrimiento puede ser difícil. Sin embargo, nunca debe desesperarse. Nuestra lucha tiene recompensas y nuestro sufrimiento tiene un propósito. Lo sabemos gracias a Jesús, que sufrió tentaciones como nosotros y por nosotros.

What Jesus is Like — 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time—Year C

March 3, 2013

You may recognize today’s second reading from many weddings. This beautiful discourse on love from Saint Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians is often chosen by couples to be read at their ceremony. Ironically, Saint Paul wrote these words to the Christians at Corinth because they were not living together in love. However, these words gave to them, and give to us, a pattern to follow. This pattern for love is Jesus.

As Saint John has told us, “God is love.” Also, Jesus Christ is truly God. Therefore, whatever is true for love, is true about Jesus Christ. And likewise, knowing Christ gives us understanding into love.

Jesus is patient, Jesus is helpful and does not envy; Jesus is not boastful nor conceited, not rude nor selfish, not irritable nor resentful; he does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth. Jesus bears all things, hopes all things, preserves all things. Jesus endures forever.

Meditating on these words help us to know Jesus better. They can also serve as a list for ourselves. In which area do you need and want to improve the most? Choose one virtue and pray at this Mass for the help of God.

Never be afraid because your growth in holiness is slow. In today’s Gospel, the people of Nazareth, neighbors and acquaintances of Jesus, “were filled with wrath, and rose up, drove him out of the city and took him to a ledge of the mountain … to thrust him down. But passing through the midst of them, went away from there. You or I, in the situation of Jesus, could begin to hate these people. But Jesus’ love lasts forever.

Jesus can be patient and merciful towards people who hate him. Imagine the intense joy he has for people who want to serve and please him.

Usted podría reconocer la segunda lectura de hoy de muchas bodas.  Este discurso hermoso en el amor, de la primera carta de San Pablo a los Corintios, se elige a menudo por las parejas para ser leído en su ceremonia. Irónicamente, San Pablo escribió estas palabras a los cristianos de Corinto porque no estaban viviendo juntos en el amor. Sin embargo, estas palabras dio a ellos, y daran a nosotros, un modelo a seguir. Esto modelo del amor es Jesús.

Comosan Juan nos ha dicho: “Dios es amor”. Además, Jesucristo es verdaderamente Dios. Por lo tanto, todo lo que es verdadero para el amor, es verdad acerca de Jesucristo. Y de igual manera, sabiendo que Cristo nos da la comprensión en el amor.

Jesús es comprensivo, Jesús es servicial y no tiene envidia; Jesús no es presumido ni se envanece; no es grosero ni egoísta; no se irrita ni guarda rencor; no se alegra con la injusticia, sino que se goza con la verdad. Jesús disculpa sin límites, confía sin límites, espera sin límites, soporta sin límites. Jesús durara por siempre.

Meditando sobre estas palabras nos ayudan a conocer mejor a Jesús. También pueden servir como una lista para nosotros. ¿En qué área te necesito y quiero mejorar más? Elija una virtud y rezar en esta Misa por la ayuda de Dios.

Nunca tengas miedo porque su crecimiento en la santidad es lento. En el evangelio de hoy, la gente de Nazaret, los vecinos y los conocidos de Jesús, “se llenaron de ira, y levantándose, lo sacaron de la ciudad y lo llevaron hasta una saliente del monte…  para despeñarlo. Pero Él, pasando por en medio de ellos, se alejó de ahí”.  Usted o yo, en la situación de Jesús, podría comenzar a odiar a esta gente. Pero el amor de Jesús durara por siempre.

Jesús puede ser paciente y misericordioso hacia las personas que lo odian. Imaginen se la legría intensa que él tiene para las personas que quieren servirte y agradarte él.

Infinite Power at Work

August 27, 2012

“What if God visited to you today and said, “Here.  It’s all yours.  Everything.  I put it all under your feet.  Anything you want done.  The universe will be your servant.  Just speak and it will respond.”

…I bet you wouldn’t do what Jesus did… ”Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power.”  So he cured all disease, ended all suffering, erased all evil, wiped away every tear.  He answered all our prayers.  He stopped the nonsense and rebellion and asserted his lordship.

No.  Not this God.

“Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power… so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist.  After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.”

Love is what God is after and power has no power to prompt love.  So behold the Master of the Universe, the Ancient of Days, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies: Jesus Christ the Foot Washer.”

-Chris Travis

Whom Her Heart Loves — July 22 – St. Mary Magdalene

July 23, 2011

Mary Magdalene in today’s gospel shares obvious parallels with the woman in the first reading from the Song of Songs. The woman in the Song of Songs rose to find him whom her heart loves. Mary Magdalene rose early in the morning and came to the tomb. The woman in the Song of Songs sought her beloved but did not find him. Mary Magdalene reported to the apostles, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they put him.” The watchmen came upon the woman in the Song of Songs. As Mary wept, she saw two angels in white. The woman in the Song of Songs asked, “Have you seen him whom my heart loves?” Mary said (unknowingly to Jesus,) “Sir, if you carried him away, tell me where you laid him, and I will take him.” The woman in the Song of Songs had hardly left the watchmen when she found him whom her heart loved. Jesus said Mary’s name; she turned and said to him, “My rabbi!” The woman in the Song of Songs goes on to say, “I took hold of him and would not let him go.” Jesus had to say to Mary Magdalene, “Stop holding on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father.

So what is the reason behind this providential parallel between Mary Magdalene and the woman in the Song of Songs? I have heard it said that the Song of Songs is the book of the Bible on which the saints have written about most. Perhaps God gave us Mary’s example so that we would not interpret the Song of Songs merely as a description of the corporate love between Yahweh and the people of God, or between Jesus and His bride the Church, but so that we would also see in it the love affair between Him and every person individually.

Our faith is not based upon feelings alone. (Feelings are too fickle to be our foundation.) Yet, feelings of the heart are an important part of our relationship with God. As Jesus said, “You shall love the Lord you God with all your heart, with all you mind, with all your strength, and with all your soul.” We must love Him with the intellect of our minds, with the strength of our bodies, and with the will of our souls, but we must also love Him with the emotions of our hearts. Stir up your affections for Christ, pattern the emotions of Mary Magdalene, who showed true devotion to Him whom her heart loved.

The Death of Bin Laden — May 3 — Sts. Philip and James

May 3, 2011

Osama Bin Laden has caused the deaths of countless people worldwide, he has spread hatred and division among peoples, and he has exploited religion for these purposes. He has done evil things, and now he is dead. How should we take this news? On Sunday night, some people celebrated in the streets of New York City and Washington, DC. Many people said with unrestrained delight that not a man, but a vermin, or a thing of pure evil, had been exterminated. But what is God’s opinion? What are His feelings on these events? God speaks to us in his words from Ezekiel 33:11: “Answer them: As I live, says the Lord God, I swear I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked man, but rather in the wicked man’s conversion, that he may live.” If God does not rejoice in the death of the wicked, then neither should we.

Our U.S. Special Forces’ successful mission in Abbottabad, Pakistan rightly pleases us in many ways, like in how this achievement may prevent future terrorist attacks or the fact that al-Qaeda is now deprived of their most charismatic leader, but a Christian should not rejoice in the death of a sinner. It should be noted here, that Jesus the Prince of Peace loves peace, but He is not a pacifist. (A pacifist is someone who condemns the use of force in all situations.) Recall that Jesus did not drive out the money-changers and animal-sellers from the temple solely by endlessly asking them nicely. “He made a whip out of cords and drove them all out of the temple area…” Force, even deadly force, is sometimes just and necessary, as I believe it was in Abbattabad this Sunday. And yet, even in wartime, we must not hate those who hate us, nor rejoice in the death of wrongdoers, not even when it’s Osama Bin Laden. The death of a sinner is a tragedy to the heart of Jesus, whose Divine Mercy and Love we celebrated on that same Sunday.

Perhaps someone might hear this and ask, “What difference does it make whether or not I hate Bin Laden or other people I’ve never met? Or what difference does it make whether or not I hate some of the people I actually know?” This is why it matters. You heard Jesus say to Thomas, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” No one comes to the Father, except through Him. Jesus is the way. He is our way to Heaven not just by our saying that He’s our Lord and Savior. Jesus is the way because He is the way we must become. No one comes to the Father in Heaven except they who conform themselves to the person of Jesus Christ. Therefore, if you die hating anyone in your heart, when you come to the gates of Heaven, whether the persons you hate are inside or not, you will not enter in; either you will be prevented from entering until your heart is cleaned to be like Christ’s, or you will never enter in, because you will have decided that you do not want Heaven’s ways, Heaven’s truths, or Heaven’s life.

You’re unlikely to hear the message of this homily said anywhere on TV. Imagine how the world would react if someone went on FOX News or CNN and suggested we shouldn’t hate Bin Laden. If you’ve heard anything like this homily since Sunday’s events, it was probably here at Columbus, through one of your teachers. What makes them different from the world is that they have been formed by the Gospel and a Catholic Christian worldview. Our Catholic Faith is the only thing that frees from the slavery of merely being a child of one’s time. It allows us to see the world more through Jesus’ eyes and to conform our hearts to His. This is important, because if you and I want to enter into Heaven someday, we must be converted into Him.