Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Tuesday February 17

Mass Readings: Genesis 6:5-8; 7:1-5, 10      Mark 8:14-21

What is the leaven that Jesus is warning us about? It is self-righteousness and self-gain.

It is when the human person makes themselves the object of their hearts desire. The more they live for themselves, the less they have room in their hearts for others or for God.

They are no longer drawn to the good and as a result they endanger themselves.  Why? Because in God is found the good, beauty and love. What is there if you remove these?

The story of the great flood is not about God's anger or punishment. Just the opposite. We are told that "his heart was grieved" by humanity's choosing evil over him.  The story is about humanity choosing evil over good, death over life.

Their desire was themselves. They consumed but never replenished. Even worse, they justified their selfishness.  In doing so, they tried to make themselves God by placing themselves at the center of their existence.  Regardless of what they thought, they weren't God and neither are we.

The Lord desires that we make Him the object of our love. In doing so we become more loving to others. We find the meaning, peace and joy that we so desire.  While our love and faith in God doesn't rid ourselves of stress in life, it gives us the means to persevere through those times and to be true to ourselves in all situations we encounter in life.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Growing in Faith

On this 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time, we are presented with the Parable of the Sower. Parables can be annoying because their meaning may not be immediately clear. Even if we come up with a quick understanding, often after further review we come to an even deeper understanding, perhaps different from what we first thought. The question that may come to mind is, "Why Lord? Why not just say what you want to say? What's with the hidden teaching?

Jesus' point in using parables is not to confuse, but to challenge us to engage the Word as a whole person. Human beings, made in the image and likeness of God, are a union of body and soul, mind and heart. Wholeness comes when mind and heart work together. The parables are meant to stimulate our intellect so that the decision to follow Christ is informed and not simply blind passion.

John Paul II reminded us that to be authentic disciples of Christ, it requires faith and reason. Remove one of them from the equation and we flounder. Benedict XVI, when he was a young theologian, wrote in An Introduction to Christianity that faith motivates us to utilize our intellect in the search for truth, reminding us that such a search is meant to enhance our lives, to allow us to be more human. Remove faith, we remove the human element, life, the world and its beauty is reduced to processes and equations and a loss of appreciation and awe with the beauty of creation and the human person.

Friday, July 4, 2014

And We're Back!

It's been over a year since there has been a post on this blog and I apologize for that.  A lot has happened (positive things) and then I lost the log in information.   Needless to say, not only have I been finally able to reaches the blog, I've set it up to be sure not to have a repeat issue!

Posts will resume here soon.

Happy Fourth!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Pentecost Sunday: Our God is Near!

Remember Grover from Sesame Street?

The sketch that always comes to my mind when I think back to those days is the explanation of far and near. He would come right up to the camera and say "near!" and then run (or whatever it is that muppets do) across the room and yell back, "far!"

We quickly get the point.

It is a concept that we learned even before Grover taught us. A toddler may not know what the words "near" or "far" mean, but you better believe they have an understanding of it!

They want mommy and daddy near. At a baptism at Mass when I was first ordained, I called up the parents and the newborn from the first row. The older brother, maybe 2 years old, did not like the fact that his parents were so far away.
In our lives we want our loved ones near. We don't like it when they are far from us. Likewise with God, we want him near.

Perhaps the greatest struggle we have in life is thinking that God is far. He is out there somewhere, beyond our reach, beyond our sight, beyond our understanding.
It is a struggle in that we attempt to then live life without God.

Today's feast of Pentecost-the gift of the Holy Spirit to the Church addresses this. God is not far, he is near. He has made his dwelling among us and continues to dwell within each of us and His Church.

That is what Paul and John are both telling us today.

Why does God dwell among us?

To love us and through that love to empower us and guide us.

We are drawn into the mystery of God, to become a friend of God, to be intimately bound to him.

We don't go into the world by ourselves. We are not alone when faced with difficult problems or tasks we have to deal with.

Today's readings challenge us to open our eyes, to remind ourselves of His love and presence and to seek His help.

The Cathechism of the Catholic Church tells us that through this gift of the Holy Spirit, the mission of Christ becomes the mission of the Church, of all of us. (CCC#730)

It is the working of the Holy Spirit within us that motivates us to seek forgiveness, to restore us to friendship with God, to be true to ourselves, that we may then become instruments of this God in drawing others to Him, letting those we interact with know that God, the creator of the universe, of our world and all that is good, is indeed near us.

When we are in a seemingly permament state of stress, angry, frustrated, annoyed, etc., we are not living in union with God. In those times it is all about us, we are seeking to live life on our own and eventually even for ourselves. Peace and happinness cannot be secured by working more hours, spending more money, etc.
Peace only comes when we are able to walk with God in our daily lives, the good days and the bad days.

That only happens when we take the time to connect with Him daily, when we are nourished with the Eucharist weekly (or more), when we go to the Sacrament of Reconciliation to allow Him to remove the cluter from our hearts.

We are then tuned in to Him and are able to live our day knowing He is near.



- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, April 15, 2013

Prayers for Boston

This has been an unbelievable day. I would like to share with you the letter that I sent out to the Catholic students this evening and have posted on the campus ministry blog:

April 15, 2013


Dear Friends,

Once again we are witnesses to just how cruel human beings can be towards others.  Patriots Day is a day of great celebration in our beloved Commonwealth.  We look forward to the Sox, the Boston Marathon and the Bruins. Many go to Boston to be a part of this great day first hand.  Today’s tragic events have hurt us all. We pray for those who lost their lives or who were injured.

I am mindful that as I am writing this, many of you are still awaiting word from loved ones who went to Boston today.  It will be a long evening as our family and friends finally make their way out of the city and are able to reestablish communication with us.  If you have not been able to reach somebody please be aware that cell towers in part of the city have been shut down for safety purposes.  If you know of somebody who was running the marathon, you can call (617) 635-4500 to get information.

As this event is still playing itself out, I invite you to take some time this evening to say a prayer for the victims of today’s attack, the first responders and all those who are searching for their loved ones.  Tomorrow evening (Tuesday) a special Mass will be offered at 8PM in the Reflection Room.  You are invited to join us as take some time as a family of faith to pray for the victims of today’s violence as well as for an end to such violence.

If we can be of any service to you, please do not hesitate to contact us.  The office number is 508-999-8872. You can also reach us through Facebook or by cell.  Go to www.umassdcatholics.com. 

This time of the semester is already a stressful time and today’s events can certainly make things seem overwhelming.  As Catholics, we are mindful of Jesus’ words in Matthew’s Gospel “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Mt. 18:20).  In times like this we come together to support and encourage one another, to remind us that the darkness that exists at times in our lives will not have the ultimate say.  Please make use of this family of faith so that we may persevere as a people of faith and joy even in this time of darkness.

Peace,
Fr. David

Sunday, April 14, 2013

2000 Years of Eucharist

 

This is an interesting read.  I posted this over at Catholic Corsairs, the blog for Catholic Campus Ministry at UMass Dartmouth.  It contains the text from the Office of Readings for the 3rd Sunday of Easter from Justin Martyr: