Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
For daily readings, see http://www.usccb.org/nab/readings/043008.shtml
Mary, Queen of Vocations, pray for us!
This is maybe my favorite reading from the Acts of the Apostles, mostly because Athens is one of the few places I have been where Paul preached the Gospel. Mostly because of good fortune (long story for another time) I ended up in Athens with some time to kill in October of 2006, so I went with Fr. Bill Porter to the top of the Areopagus to visit the Parthenon. We took a bible with us and read about Paul's preaching there. Of course we had to laugh when we heard the reaction of the Athenians to Paul's preaching about the resurrection. Most of them said they might like to hear Paul about this another time!
Who are we to complain that preaching the resurrection of Jesus is difficult?
The Gospel today reminds me that indeed our heads cannot contain now everything that we will need to know for the future. Our futures consists of millions of small uses of our freedom, and in each situation, we are to call upon the Holy Spirit to remind us of Jesus' presence and to take from the truth that is His and deliver it to us as we need it. Just as we cannot haul around with us all the food and water that we will need for the rest of our lives - this would be cumbersome, so the Holy Spirit allows us to confidently travel light during this our pilgrimage, for the Holy Spirit will always be there to deliver to us the message of truth we need to hear from our Lord!
Monday, April 28, 2008
Monday, April 21, 2008
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
For daily readings, see http://www.usccb.org/nab/readings/041708.shtml
St. Peter, Vicar of Christ, pray for us!
St. Paul does his best to preach to the Jews in the synagogue at Antioch in Pisidia. He speaks in terms with which they are familiar, quoting the law and the prophets. Pope Benedict as he addresses the United States this week will try to make his knowledge of the scriptures and of theology accessible to us. He will do this in speeches of course, but most importantly, through his homilies that He will given in the context of the Eucharist. This is where we as Catholics seek conversion. I look forward to hearing the homily the Pope will give today at National Stadium in Washington DC. Pope Benedict is a great theologian, but He will speak plainly to us for the benefit of our conversion to Christ. He comes not to be served, but to serve, in imitation of Christ who washed his disciples' feet before reminding them that they will carry the same cross that He will carry, since no messenger is greater than the one who sends him.
What is great about the Pope's visit is that we see clearly in him Christ's promise to leave as gift more than His words. Christ's words are indeed recorded for us in Holy Scripture, and there are many who appeal to Scripture as the only revelatory authority, and many others who are happy to receive the spiritual message delivered by Jesus but who want no part of the Church that He founded. The Pope leads his flock in accepting from Jesus not simply the responsibility to pass on His words, but also the great gift of sharing in His mission of reconciling the world to the Father. Jesus does not say in today's Gospel - whoever receives the word that I spoke receives me. No, He says that whoever received the one I send receives me. Through our confirmation each one of us shares in the responsibility of making Christ more present by offering our bodies as a sacrifice acceptable to the Lord, and by making up in our suffering what is lacking in the suffering of Christ. Through apostolic succesion that can be traced to St. Peter, Pope Benedict appears to us this week as one who has been sent (an apostle) to represent Christ to the people of the United States. Pray that our country will be humble enough to receive Him as we would receive Christ, and in so doing to welcome the blessing of our Father in heaven!
2nd Day of Apostolic Visitation of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI to the United States of America
Mary, Mother of the Risen Lord, pray for us!
The pope is appropriately called the Vicar of Christ - his principal representative. I saw in the National Catholic Register today a large apologetic piece talking about the papacy. It looks like it has been prepared for printing in major newspaper around the country, and I hope that it is. The pope as the Vicar of Christ takes on the responsibility of speaking on behalf of Christ, and this is what he is in the United States to do. First of all, the pope must strive to know Christ, especially in the Scriptures and in the breaking of the bread, and no doubt Pope Benedict has done this well or he would have never been elected to this special office. But what is more, through the holy office of the papacy which is Christ's gift to the Church, the pope receive the special assistance of the Holy Spirit to help him to speak the words Christ would want us to hear. Just as Barnabus and Paul were impelled by the Holy Spirit to carry the Gospel to new lands, so Pope Benedict has also been driven by the Spirit to carry the Gospel to every corner of the earth. Now is the time he sees fit to visit the United States and to proclaim the Gospel to all people here whom he has the responsiblity to shepherd. May he be helped by all our prayers and he takes on this responsibility. The pope must imitate Jesus closely by always reminding us of the great love Christ has for us. The pope does not visit us to condemn us, but to remind us of all that Jesus did and said. It is the word of Christ which gives life, and gives life in abundance. It is this word that the pope comes to speak to us, so that we will no longer dwell in darkness, but can enjoy the happiness that God the Father intends for us through the redemption of His only begotten Son. The pope does not come to condemn, but in imitation of Christ, he does come to leave us a word that can lead to life, or if it is ignored, to death. Let us pray that our country will have the humility to listen to this Vicar of Christ, and the courage to be converted by the words we hear!
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Monday, April 7, 2008
Sunday, April 6, 2008
The Royals were below average offensively today but prevailed because believe it or not, Brett Tomko did alright as their 5th starter. He had life on his fastball and got some double plays when he needed them. I hope the Royals saw something during Tomko's stint as a Dodger that everyone else missed - that they were not letting him pitch his game or something. Admittedly, Tomko is nothing better than a 5th starter right now, but his first start was better than the Royals have been getting the last 10 years from their fifth starters. I actually thought without looking ahead that the Royals would pitch Bannister today and pitch Greinke for the home opener, but I'm glad they did it this way. Bannister will have a better approach against the Yanks, whereas Greinke will hit them Wednesday with great stuff after getting a look at them Tuesday. What do you say we take 2 of 3 from the Bombers, who suddenly seem to have less power than the Tampa Bay Devil Rays! I think it would be great if the American League were just a bloody mess this year, with all good teams just hanging around .500 and the Royals hovering around there somewhere as well. Wouldn't that make for a great summer? I'll be at Opening Day, thanks to some great friends, but will miss the debut of the Powder Blue jerseys next Saturday since I am headed to Conception seminary for a retreat! It's great that the Royals are 4-2 with Guillen off to a slow start, and with Teahen, Buck and Pena being absolutely brutal offensively so far. Teahen looks stronger this year but seems to me to be popping everything up! Thanks to our pitching and defense however, there is less pressure on the offense so they can relax and get it going soon. I've never been a Joey Gathright fan, but he is slowly and surely winning me over. I think he strikes out way too much for an OBP guy, but boy did he make an awesome catch today in center that I'm not sure DeJesus makes. Get him in the lineup everyday and give Teahen or Guillen a rest from time to time.
Jean Baptiste de la Salle, pray for us!
Well, it is hard to write a homily when all I can think about is the Jayhawk game vs. Memphis tonight for the national championship. Actually, I can think about a lot of other things, but living in Lawrence, it is on the front of everyone's minds. Stephen in today's readings from Acts shares intimately with Christ his Lord, and as we will hear soon, becomes the protomartyr of the first Christian community. Stephen's name is remembered in the Roman Canon of Eucharist Prayer I, used most often during the highest solemnities of the Church year. Stephen is given the grace of martyrdom because He is ready to testify to his belief that Jesus is truly the Savior of the world. This is the very thing that Jesus says can be done to accomplish the works of God (Jn 6:29). The first and most important work of God is to believe in the one whom God has sent. Before we can be as ready as Stephen to make the ultimate witness of our faith, we must begin by meditating on the last beatitude - Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great (Mt 5:11)! Meditating on this beatitude will help us to lose our fear of professing our faith, and will encourage us to make the sacrifices necessary to let the light of our faith in Jesus' resurrection to shine brightly before our brothers and sisters (Mt 5:15).
Mary, Queen of Vocations, pray for us!