Monthly Archives: February 2013

A Celebration of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

As Pope, Benedict XVI taught about the Catholic faith and the solutions to the problems of discerning and living the faith.  He exercised this role with great kindness, wisdom, authority, and humility.  Among his great teachings were” “Friendship with Jesus Christ”; the “Dictatorship of Relativism”; Christianity as religion according to reason; “God is Love”; “Saved by Hope”; “Love in Truth”; allowing celebration of the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite; condemning excessive consumerism; and ecumenical efforts.

Perhaps His Holiness’ greatest teaching was his instruction of “Friendship with Jesus Christ.”  One may argue that the focus of his papacy was to herald the message that the key to happiness is a living relationship with Jesus Christ.  To summarize his teaching, Benedict XVI instructed that if we let Christ into our lives we lose absolutely nothing of what makes life free, beautiful, and great.  In giving ourselves to Christ, we receive a hundredfold in the beauty and liberation of his friendship in return.  Jesus Christ is the only one who can make the world good and happy, and we he calls us all to grow in a living relationship with him.

Give yourself to Jesus today.  Tell him you love him and enter into a friendship with him.  What have you to lose?

Thank you Pope Benedict.

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My Side of the Confessional: What is it Like for a Priest?

“There is almost no greater place to be than with someone when they are coming back to God.”  This blog post made me so much more thankful for priests and the Sacrament of Reconciliation:

http://lifeteen.com/my-side-of-the-confessional-what-is-it-like-for-a-priest/

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Year C – Second Sunday of Lent – February 24, 2013 – Gospel Reflection

Genesis 15:5-12, 17-18; Psalm 27:1, 7-8, 8-9, 13-14; Philippians 3:17 – 4:1 or 3:20 – 4:1; cf. Matthew 17:5; Luke 9:28b-36

Every so often life gives you a glimpse of glory – the beauty of a sunset, goodness in a person, truth in words spoke, peace and well-being in a friendship.  Sometimes it comes suddenly; other times it has been there but you have not been paying attention.  Still, it is real.  This happened to Peter, James, and John.  Jesus often went off to pray, to be in the presence of his Father.  On this particular occasion, while praying, his glory shone through and his disciples saw it.  They also saw Moses and Elijah, speaking with him about his coming death, his passing over into full glory.  Jesus will go on to speak to his disciples of the glory awaiting them at the end of the road.  We too need a reminder of our destiny, that “our citizenship is in heaven” (Philippians 3:20).  Our Savior has promised he will come and “change our lowly body to conform with his glorified body” (3:21).  For now, hear the Father’s words, “This is my chosen Son: listen to him” (Luke 9:35).  Our ultimate glory may depend on it.

Do you think of yourself as destined for glory?

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Moses

I could not resist posting this since I am currently reading from Exodus in my Office of Readings everyday!  Enjoy!

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“Papal Securities”

According to Father John Reutemann (2013), “A funny, but tastefully-done SNL commercial parody in light of this week’s big news.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=efebm_plJIU

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Year C – First Sunday of Lent – February 17, 2013 – Gospel Reflection

Deuteronomy 26:4-10; Psalm 91:1-2, 10-11, 12-13, 14-15 (R/. cf. 15b); Romans 10: 8-13; Matthew 4:4b; Luke 4:1-13

Food, fortune, fame – the temptations sound like categories from TV’s Jeopardy.  “Feed yourself, you’re starving,” Satan said.  After forty days of daytime heat and nighttime cold, Jesus could not have had much energy.  But it was not physical strength that was needed; it was strength of the spirit.  Jesus was not lacking that.  The Spirit has come down upon him at his baptism, had driven him into the wilderness, and did not abandon him now.  First temptation: Use your power to feed yourself.  Jesus’ answer: God’s word is my food.  There I find strength.  Second temptation: Bend the knee to me in exchange for all the kingdoms of the world.  Jesus’ answer: Only God deserves worship; the only kingdom worth having is God’s kingdom.  Third temptation: See if God is with you by throwing yourself off the temple.  Jesus’ answer: You do not test God; you trust God.  As Israel was tested in the desert, tempted to turn from the God who delivered them from Egypt, so Jesus is tested.  But Jesus, the new Israel, the beloved Son, trusts his Father.  That Spirit who was with Jesus during his testing is with us today.

Where do you place your trust?

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Year C – Ash Wednesday – February 13, 2013 – Gospel Reflection

Joel 2:12-18; Psalm 51:3-4, 5-6ab, 12-13, 14 and 17 (R/.  cf. 3a); 2 Corinthians 5:20-6:2; cf. Psalm 95.8; Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18

Lent means spring, a season of the heart.  “Rend your hearts, not your garments,” shouts the prophet Joel (2:13).  The word “rend” is related to the rind of an orange or lemon, that tough skin protecting the fruit.  So we can imagine a tough covering over our hearts, hard to penetrate.  Lent’s work, then, is to peel away whatever prevents our hearts from loving God and loving others.  Lent can be a springtime for the heart, bringing new growth and fruitfulness.

Jesus’ words from the Sermon on the Mount remind us of three ways to open our hearts.  First is by fasting, which helps us to remember that many in our world go hungry, and to recognize that hunger can affect our spirits.  Fasting leads to two other practices: prayer, which brings us into God’s presence, and almsgiving, which calls us to share with those in need.

St. Paul reminds the Corinthians that now is the acceptable time, the day of salvation.  Ashes on our forehead call us to recognize God’s call to repentance.  Lent offers us forty days to call on God.  “A clean heart create for me” (Psalm 51:12).

How will you rend your heart this Lent?

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Reaction to the Resignation of Pope Benedict XVI

Because he’s the pope the Church deserves, but not the one it needs right now.  Image

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Year C – Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time – February 10, 2013 – Gospel Reflection

Isaiah 6:1-2a, 3-8; Psalm 138:1-2, 2-3, 3-5, 7-8; 1 Corinthians 15:1-11 or 15:3-8, 11; Matthew 4:19; Luke 5:1-11

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Psalm 111:10; Proverbs 9:10).  Being in the presence of God is not always a comfortable experience.  Today’s readings make us aware of our sinfulness.  Isaiah has a vision of God on “a high and lofty throne,” surrounded by angels, smoke swirling up, and cries out, “Woe is me, I am doomed!  For I am a man of unclean lips.”  When Jesus points out where the fish are to be found, Peter responds, “Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.”  Even Paul, remembering how Jesus appeared to him, writes that he himself is “not fit to be called an apostle.”  Do we live in a time when people are more awestruck by pop/movie/TV stars, sports figures, and political leaders than by the living God who created, redeemed, and continues to sanctify (“to make holy”) us?  Many times, we hear the words “Do not be afraid” in scripture.  Perhaps fear is like cholesterol; there is a healthy and an unhealthy version.  One can lead to paralysis before God, the other to joining confidently in God’s work.

How does fear play a part in your life?  Is it paralyzing or does it have a positive effect on your actions?05_to_c 

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The Liturgy Can Teach us to Listen to the Voice of God

“Before we can speak of God and with God, we need to listen, and the liturgy of the Church is the ‘school’ of this listening to the Lord who speaks to us.” – Pope Bendict XVI

Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/liturgy-teaches-us-to-hear-gods-voice-pope-reflects/#ixzz2KQdurN3N

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