Monday, April 16, 2018
Story is told of a Missionary sent to Burma, had to ask permission of the king.
King looked him over
No, not you. My people are not foolish enough to listen to your preaching, but they will notice those calloused, work scarred hands.
Toward the end of my parent’s lives, I began to notice their hands more and more. I can still picture them very clearly. How many meals she made! How much wash! How much work! My dad had a meat store & deli. All the cuts he used to have! I would know those hands anywhere!
Jesus disciples were hearing confusing stories about resurrection.
A Made up story? A ghost?
He comes before them – look at my hands & feet. It is really I!
We might think that the resurrected body was without blemish. Shock at scars!!! How he suffered! Recent studies of the Shroud of Turin reveal over 600 wounds. Yet, those scars helped disciples recognize him! It showed them it was the same person who was crucified. It is a proof of his love.
People who care about others – people who love - pick up a lot of wounds. On the outside and in. (Sometime children yell at their parents and even hit – hurts their hearts!)
If a person has no wounds – I wonder – was there nothing worth suffering for???
Thing about hands – they teach us about a person:
Hold a hand
Make a Fist in rage
Wrap in embrace
Slam a door
Feed hungry person
Steal from store
What we do with our hands – says much about who we are.
WWII – Story of a bombed out church. People went through wreckage – armless Sacred Heart – guess we have to get a new one – next day, someone put a sign – you are the hands!
We are the hands, we are the feet, we are the heart – we can show others that Christ is truly Risen!
Thursday, April 12, 2018
Monday, April 9, 2018
But - what is mercy?
In simplest terms – God made us out of love! He loved us into being.
But, human beings always seem to turn away – this is called sin.
God calls us back into relationship – this is called mercy.
Pope Francis likes to use 2 examples:
- Righteous man stands in front of temple – look at me, I fast, tithe, thank God I’m not like that tax collector - O God, have mercy on me a sinner.
- Woman caught in act of adultery - let the one among you without sin be the first to cast a stone at her.
- So sure I am always so holy, good and right – I have no need of mercy
- I have done so many bad things, I cannot possibly be forgiven,
Today is called Divine Mercy Sunday. Began by John Paul II.
Our Lord rose from the tomb, and He met many people who had treated him badly.
The apostles and disciples had run away and left Him. Peter denied Him.
The only ones at the cross were his mother, the holy women & John.
But instead of condemning them, He was merciful.
Remember – Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.
Or – to the thief on the cross - Today you will be with me in paradise . . .
In 2000, JP II canonized St. Faustina – She has furthered our understanding of Divine Mercy.
She wrote that - even at the moment of death - God extends his hand in mercy!
Christ calls all souls at the moment of death and offers the grace of conversion.
They are, of course free to receive it or reject it.
This gives so many of us great hope when our relatives and friends leave this life unprepared.
We see the beautiful image of Divine Mercy - really an alternate image of the Sacred Heart
Flowing from heart - rays.
Remember soldier took lance and pierced Jesus heart - out flowed blood and water.
Red = blood = Eucharist
White = water = Baptism
Loving heart of Savior calls - come for forgiveness, healing & salvation
1) Ask for mercy – especially in Confession
Whose sins you forgive and forgiven them
St. Faustina was told:
- when you approach confession. Know that I myself am waiting there for you.
- I am only hidden by the priest, but I myself act in your soul
- Here the misery of the soul meets the mercy of God
2) Be merciful
Corporal & Spiritual Works of Mercy.
3) Completely trust in Jesus!
He has broken power of death - wants us to be with him forever. Lord Jesus, be merciful to me, a sinner – Have mercy on us and on the whole world!
Monday, April 2, 2018
Happy Easter! A time of new beginnings!
Easter Baskets – the Lenten fast is over – time to eat!
Easter Eggs with festive colors – like chicks, Christ has come out of the tomb
Easter bunnies – spring babies – new life
Easter outfits and Easter parade – new garments received by newly baptized
All these signs point to one thing – the Resurrection.
Amazingly – the one who was dead now lives. How can this be?
What is the Resurrection?
- Some say it is a metaphor – Jesus was still alive in their hearts and minds. He lives on in memory.
- Some – another way to speak of nature after the death of winter, like caterpillars to butterflies and frozen earth to green shoots.
- Some – his legacy lives on. Jesus will live on, just like the writings of Shakespeare on the music of Beethoven.
Nice – but we believe in something more – That he physically rose from the dead – Why? What is the evidence?
1) The Tomb was empty. Where is He? If the authorities took His Body, why not show it? If robbers – why did they leave behind the cloths, the only things of value?
2) He was seen on 11 occasions, once by over 500 people. Some say a hallucination – for 500???
3) The disciples were never the same. They left the Upper Room never to return. All except John would die a violent death – John in exile. Would you give your life for a made-up story?
4) It is still happening! Over 1 Billion Catholics in the world. And the Faith is still being passed on.
See now – we come to the decision point
Is he who he said He is – the Son of God?
Was he crazy or dangerous – of did he speak the truth?
If he did – what does that mean for my life?
Did He Truly Rise from the dead? If he did not, it’s time for me to get a real job and time for us to close and sell St. Columba Church!
But if He did – and I believe He did - it changes everything!
How I look at my life – as a gift from God.
And how I look at death – a passing to eternal life.
It changes what I do with my life, how I speak to others, where and how I work, what I read, what I watch on TV, what I view on the Internet, how I treat the poor, the aged, the sick, the immigrant, the unborn.
It changes everything!
St. Augustine once said – I can now catch sight of my homeland from afar - How do I get there? The One who is our Goal came to us. He brought us the plank to make our passage.” And now with St. Thomas we can say – My Lord and My God!”
A time of new beginnings! Happy Easter!!!