Thursday, October 21, 2021

 Happy Feast of St. Ursula!



"Loving God, St. Ursula had the courage and leadership to gather others and unite them in love and discipleship with Jesus the Savior.  

May we be witnesses of service for others and foster unity in mission.  

When we encounter resentment and ill will may we meet it with courage and unswerving faith and hope.  

Together may we honor and serve the Christ for whom St. Ursula died and for whom we live.  

We ask this in the name of Jesus the Christ.  Amen."

Sunday, October 10, 2021

 

As Jesus was setting out on a journey, a man ran up, knelt down before him, and asked him, "Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?"  Jesus answered him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone.  You know the commandments: You shall not kill; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness; you shall not defraud; honor your father and your mother." He replied and said to him, "Teacher, all of these I have observed from my youth."  Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him, "You are lacking in one thing.  Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me."  At that statement his face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.

Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, "How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!"  The disciples were amazed at his words.  So, Jesus again said to them in reply, "Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God!   It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God."  They were exceedingly astonished and said among themselves, "Then who can be saved?"  Jesus looked at them and said, "For human beings it is impossible, but not for God.  All things are possible for God."  Mark 10: 17 - 27

 In today’s Gospel, we hear the familiar story of the rich young man who approaches Jesus and asks about what he must do to inherit eternal life. Jesus replies that one must follow the commandments of the Law of Moses. The man acknowledges that he has observed all of these since his childhood. Jesus then says that only one thing is lacking: he must give his possessions to the poor and follow Jesus. The man leaves in sadness, and Mark tells us that this is because he had many possessions.

Jesus makes two requirements of the wealthy man who approaches him. First, he must give up his possessions. Throughout history, some Christians have taken this literally. Their example witnesses to us a radical commitment to the Gospel of Jesus. Christians have generally understood that at the least, following Jesus requires that believers hold material possessions loosely and remain vigilant against seeking security in accumulating possessions.

The second requirement Jesus makes of this man is the invitation that Jesus extends to all would-be disciples: “follow me.” Jesus very much wants this man to be his disciple. We believe that the Christian faith is one in which each believer is in a personal relationship with Jesus. Just as this Gospel tells us that Jesus loves the man and is sad when he departs, so too, Jesus loves us and is saddened when we are unable to follow him.

I think my favorite line is this Gospel is the very last one where Jesus assures us, “That all things are possible with God.”  Let us live this day and every day remembering this line.



Sunday, October 3, 2021

Feast of St. Francis

 

Tomorrow we celebrate the Feast of St. Francis and the end of the Season of Creation.  As we celebrate the Feast of St. Francis let us remember his Peace Prayer and his prayer for animals.  Tomorrow (or this past weekend) many people will bring their pets to their Church to be blessed.  May this day be filled with many blessings for all.

Peace Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand;
To be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Amen.

 

Canticle of the Creatures

Most High, all-powerful, good Lord,

Yours are the praises, the glory, and the honor, and all blessing.

To You alone, Most High, do they belong,

and no human is worthy to mention Your name.


Praised be You, my Lord, with all Your creatures,

especially Sir Brother Sun, Who is the day and through whom You give us light.

And he is beautiful and radiant with great splendor

and bears a likeness of You, Most High One.

 

Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars,

in heaven You formed them clear and precious and beautiful.

Praised be You, my Lord, through Brother Wind,

and through the air, cloudy and serene, and every kind of weather,

through whom You give sustenance to Your creatures.

 

Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Water,

who is very useful and humble and precious and chaste.

Praised be You, my Lord, through Brother Fire,

through whom You light the night, and he is beautiful and playful and robust and strong.

 

Praised be You, my Lord, through our Sister Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us,

and who produces various fruit with colored flowers and herbs.

Praised be You, my Lord, through those who give pardon for Your

love, and bear infirmity and tribulation.

 

Blessed are those who endure in peace for by You, Most High, shall they be crowned.

Praised be You, my Lord, through our Sister Bodily Death, from whom no one living can escape.

 

Woe to those who die in mortal sin.  Blessed are those whom death will find in Your most holy will, for the second death shall do them no harm.

Praise and bless my Lord and give Him thanks and serve Him with great humility.  Amen



 

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

 

Jesus and his disciples left from there and began a journey through Galilee, but he did not wish anyone to know about it. He was teaching his disciples and telling them, “The Son of Man is to be handed over to men and they will kill him, and three days after his death the Son of Man will rise.”  But they did not understand the saying, and they were afraid to question him. They came to Capernaum and, once inside the house, he began to ask them, “What were you arguing about on the way?”  But they remained silent. They had been discussing among themselves on the way who was the greatest.  Then he sat down, called the Twelve, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.”  Taking a child, he placed it in their midst, and putting his arms around it, he said to them, “Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me; and whoever receives me, receives not me but the One who sent me.”  Mark 9: 30 – 37

On this 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time hear the story of Jesus teaching the disciples about His death and resurrection.  The disciples did not understand and were afraid to question Him further.  Jesus then asks them what they were discussing on the road and they remained silent because they had been discussing who was the greatest among them.  Jesus knew what they had been discussing and told them if you wish to be first then you will have to be last and a servant.  I wonder how I would receive that message.

As I reflected on this Gospel, I found myself wondering the age-old questions – why do I try to be perfect?  Why am I afraid to make mistakes?  Why do I worry so much about things?  Why, why, why?  The answer seems simple when reflecting on today’s Gospel – that kind of thinking is a recipe for an unsatisfying life.  It is more important to listen to what Jesus calls greatness – to be willing to have a humble heart and serve others.  If we do this then we are living the life that Jesus calls us to.  May we take time this week to look at the invitation Jesus gives us to receive one another with childlike simplicity.




Sunday, September 12, 2021

 

Grandparents Day is always celebrated on the first Sunday after Labor Day. This year, that's Sunday, September 12! While we honor our grandparents every day, take an extra moment to appreciate all the joy and wisdom that grandparents bring to our lives.

A Prayer for Grandparents

Look with Love

Look with love on grandparents the world over.
Protect them!
They are a source of enrichment
for families and for all of society.
Support them!
As they grow older,
may they continue to be for their families
strong pillars of Gospel faith,
guardian of noble domestic ideals,
living treasuries of sound religious traditions.

Make them teachers of wisdom and courage,
that they may pass on to future generations the fruits
of their mature human and spiritual experience.

Help families and society
to value the presence and roles of grandparents.

May they never be ignored or excluded,
but always encounter respect and love.
Help them to live serenely and to feel welcomed
in all the years of life which you give them.
Keep them constantly in your care,
accompany them on their earthly pilgrimage,
and by your prayers, grant that all families
may one day be reunited in our heavenly homeland,
where you await all humanity
for the great embrace of life without end.




Sunday, September 5, 2021

Season of Creation: Jubilee

On September 1st we began the Season of Creation which concludes on October 4th, the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi.  As we pray for our created world let us remember all those who have died, experienced hardships, and who have lost their home or possessions as a result of the recent hurricanes.  The prayer below was provided by Education for Justice.  For more information information go to www.seasonofcreation.org.



Sunday, August 29, 2021

Praying for Afghanistan

 

These days call upon us to pray for our Afghan sisters and brothers are treated.  The Justice and Peace and Integrity of Creation Rome group shared the following information.  Let us do all we can to help.

During these days we have heard and seen how our afghan sisters and brothers are suffering and trying to escape from their country after the Taliban took power. Our prayer and thoughts are with Afghanistan. Sr. Ann Scholz from the Leadership Conference of Women Religious in the United States, shared with us this initiative of the The Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) who have prepared a resource to aid our efforts to support the Afghan people, especially women and girls, in their time of need. They are inviting people of faith and good will to join them in a “Sacred Silence for Afghanistan”. The website allows one to register for an Interfaith Prayer Vigil on August 31; an Interfaith Prayer Toolkit; the chance to Contribute a Prayer of your own, as well as a number of ways to Help Our Afghan Allies by volunteering, donating, advocating, teaching, and learning. 


Sunday, August 22, 2021

Thanksgiving for the Earth

 

Yesterday we had our annual Prayer Service in thanksgiving for our benefactors, friends, families, associates, and all those who support our ministries.  It was an opportunity to thank all those who have supported us.  Early in the prayer we prayed in Thanksgiving for the Earth.  It was a moving experience as one of our sisters held a bowl of incense and faced the four directions as the prayer below was read.  May we pray for our earth and all who inhabit it.

Thanksgiving for the Earth                                                          

Creator, the strength of all creatures, we honor you. Listen to the thoughts of your people.  We honor your Spirit who renews the world and calls us to care for your creation to the East, to the South, to the West and to the North.

We live by the ways you have entrusted to us within the circle of life. Come Great Spirit as we gather in your name.

We look to the East:

The place of dawning, there is beauty in the morning, there the seeker finds new visions as each sacred day is born. All who honor life around them, all who honor life within, shall shine with light and glory when the morning comes again. And we pray, Come Holy Spirit, Come

We look to the South:

In the South, the place of growing, there is wisdom in the earth, Both the painful song of dying and joyful song of birth. As the Earth gives up her lifeblood so that her children’s hearts may beat, so we give back to her our reverence for the holy ground beneath our feet. And we pray, Come Holy Spirit, Come

We look to the West:

The place of seeing, there is born a vision of the servant of the servants, who proclaimed the Gospel to us. Guide us at the end of each day and fill us with your peace. And we pray, Come Holy Spirit, Come

We look to the North:

We look to God our Creator who cleanses our earth with snow, wind, and rain. To Jesus who fills us with the wideness of mercy and grace and lovingly embraces all the people.  And the Holy Spirit who comes to inspire us. And we pray, Come Holy Spirit, Come

You can view the entire Prayer Service at https://youtu.be/IzQh30W6-Pc




Sunday, August 15, 2021


Today is the Feast of the Assumption.  Our Development Director shared this on our social media so I thought it would be nice to share it on our blog.  Happy Feast of the Assumption.

Mary, Mother of God, pray for us.

Mary’s Assumption is the preview of God’s promise of salvation to the Faithful. It asserts that the souls of those who will be saved shall one day, after the end of the world, be reunited with their bodies and live forever with God, just as Mary is in Heaven now with both her body and soul.

It was Mary who first shared in the fruit of the Risen Jesus. She was assumed into Heaven even before the end of the world since she was the most united with Our Lord in His life, Passion, Death and Resurrection.

Just imagine the joy Mary must have felt when she realizes God’s love for her. This light and happiness carried Mary through all of her sorrows. She never fails to be a perfect example of how to bring love and joy into the darkest places. In our struggles, we, like Mary, can find the light of Christ in order to persevere.

Mary understood what it meant to do the will of God. We are called to imitate Mary as we try to spread God’s message and carry His love to all. Just as Mary radiated her son’s light and love, we are each called to emulate her and bring that joy into the world and shine with the fire of Christ’s love.

This excerpt is from https://www.fs-vierzehnheiligen.de/.../the-assumption-of...



 

Sunday, August 8, 2021

Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

 

The Jews murmured about Jesus because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven, “and they said, “Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph? Do we not know his father and mother? Then how can he say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?” Jesus answered and said to them, “Stop murmuring among yourselves.  No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draw him, and I will raise him on the last day. It is written in the prophets: They shall all be taught by God. Everyone who listens to my Father and learns from him comes to me.  Not that anyone has seen the Father except the one who is from God; he has seen the Father.  Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life.  I am the bread of life.  Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died; this is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat it and not die.  I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.” (John 6:  41 – 51)

Whenever I read this gospel, I always think of the song I Am the Bread of Life by Suzanne Toolan.  As I reflected on the words today, I was very much reminded of the number of times I have sung this song.  Take some time today and reflect on the words and remember the number of times you have heard it.  May we always remember that we do hunger for Jesus and allow him to fill our hearts and needs.

I Am the Bread Of Life

I am the Bread of life, you who comes to me shall not hunger, you who believes in me shall not thirst.   No one can come to me unless the Father draw him.

            And I will raise you up, and I will raise you up,  and I will raise you up on the last day.

The bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world, and he who eats of this bread, He shall live forever, He shall live forever.

Unless you eat of the flesh of the Son of Man and drink of His blood, and drink of His blood, You shall not have life within you.

I am the Resurrection, I am the Life, he who believes in me even if he die, he shall live forever.

Yes, Lord, we believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God who has come into the world.

Suzanne Toolan




Sunday, August 1, 2021

Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

 

“I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.” John 6: 35

In today’s Gospel, we hear Jesus proclaimed as the “Bread of Life” for all who hunger and thirst.  We are often left wanting for more when we put all our hopes in the world’s ability to take away our hunger and satisfy our thirst. For those who are searching for more than what the world offers, Jesus reminds us that it is God who wants to satisfy the longings and hunger of the human heart.

In the homily I heard this morning the priest used a quote from Pierre Teilhard Chardin, “The future belongs to those who give the next generation reason for hope.”  When I heard this quote, it caused me to pause and think. Our world is suffering greatly between natural disasters, the resurgence of the Covid virus due to the Delta variant, the flood of migrants at our southern border, and violence in our streets.  Where can we find hope in these times?  I believe our hope lies in our Gospel reading today.  Our loving God wants to feed both our spiritual and physical hunger.  God rains down bread from Heaven to feed the people’s physical hunger and Jesus teaches them about how God wants to satisfy the desires of our hearts.

We are transformed through the Eucharist.  Each time we receive the Eucharist our spiritual hunger is satisfied.  May we always seek the Lord who desires to feed us.

God’s grace transforms us through the Eucharist. We are invited to reflect during this week about our spiritual hunger and thirst and seek out the Lord who always feeds us.



Sunday, July 25, 2021

Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time


In today’s Gospel we hear the familiar story of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes.  John tells us the story of a mighty God who can do anything. God cannot fail.  One who takes the impossible and makes it possible.  In today’s Gospel passage of the feeding of the five thousand and the multiplication of the loaves and fish, we see that God blesses us abundantly in ways that we can only imagine.

One of the things that stands out for me in this passage is that fact that the young boy was willing to share his food without reservation.  This boy was willing and helped to provide for many.  The disciples were anxious, but Jesus had the matter well in hand. As Jesus made the five barley loaves and two fish more than enough to feed more than five thousand people, Jesus promises to provide for our needs. When we give our all to God, God can transform what we think is too small into that which can satisfy our hunger and thirst.  Our worries, our weakness, and our humanness are all transformed by the mighty hand of God.  Let us never be afraid to share our seemingly simple gifts with others as our loving God will transform them into great things.




Sunday, July 18, 2021

Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

 

The apostles gathered together with Jesus and reported all they had done and taught. He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” People were coming and going in great numbers, and they had no opportunity even to eat.  So, they went off in the boat by themselves to a deserted place.  People saw them leaving and many came to know about it. They hastened there on foot from all the towns and arrived at the place before them. When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things.  Mark 6: 30 – 34

In the book of the Prophet Isaiah we read, “Seek the LORD while He may be found; Call to Him while He is near.”  We are all called to seek the Lord, to turn our focus to Him, and follow Him and dedicate ourselves as His faithful disciples, and remember the love with which He has patiently guided us, and nurtured us all with generous love and dedication. As we heard in our Scripture passages today, the Lord has always loved us and showed us His kindness.

In today’s Gospel, we read the report of the return of the Twelve, who were sent by Jesus to preach repentance, heal the sick, and drive out demons. When the Twelve return, he invites them to come away from the crowds and rest. But the crowds will not give them peace. The crowds continue to approach them, and Mark reports that the disciples don’t even have time to eat. To get away, Jesus and his disciples board a boat in hopes of finding a deserted place. But the crowds notice this and follow. The crowds are so persistent that Jesus and his disciples cannot find a place to be alone. Mark’s Gospel tells us that Jesus is moved with pity and begins to teach the crowds.

We who are Jesus’ disciples today have also been sent to share the Gospel with others. Perhaps our commitment to following Jesus as his disciple leaves us feeling tired and overwhelmed. In today’s Gospel, we hear Jesus affirm the importance of times of rest and renewal. Jesus wanted his disciples to come away and spend time alone with him. Let us remember to take time to rest so that we may be reenergized to follow Jesus’ call.





Sunday, July 11, 2021

Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

 

Jesus summoned the Twelve and began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over unclean spirits.  He instructed them to take nothing for the journey but a walking stick— no food, no sack, no money in their belts.  They were, however, to wear sandals but not a second tunic.  He said to them, “Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave.  Whatever place does not welcome you or listen to you, leave there and shake the dust off your feet in testimony against them.”   So they went off and preached repentance.  The Twelve drove out many demons, and they anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.

If we are to be effective disciples of Christ, we must stay the course, trust the process, and follow all directives so that we, too, can be a healing presence in our world, as the first disciples were. Regardless of how irrational or illogical the facts may seem, the inner promptings of the Holy Spirit will always lead us home, wherever and whatever that may be. Thy will be done.  Mark 6: 7 -13

In today’s readings, we encounter Amos, who was called for a special purpose. Amos describes himself as a shepherd and a dresser of sycamores before the Lord instructed him to prophecy to the people of Israel.  In the second reading, St. Paul tells us that God the Father has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens; God chose us before the foundation of the world to be holy and without blemish.  The gospel reading shows that purpose in action as Jesus summons the twelve disciples and sends them out.

What are we called to?  Jesus gives us the instructions on what to take on the journey and promises to be with us always.  We have been commissioned by Jesus to spread the good news and to serve the needs of others.  Our world is deeply in need of healing and peace and we are called to do all we can to foster a world full of love and peace.

The readings this Sunday call each of us to listen, discern, and heed the way God is calling us individually. What will you do to answer that call?



Sunday, July 4, 2021

Happy 4th of July

 

The 4th of July (also known as Independence Day) is an American holiday celebrated on July 4th annually.  “Why do we celebrate the 4th of July? What does it mean?” Well, this day is incredibly significant in American history, as it marks the day the United States officially became its own nation. The Declaration of Independence was adopted on July 4th, 1776—and thus, America was born. American citizens celebrate America’s birthday with festivals, parades, fireworks, barbecues, fireworks, sparklers, and other festive activities.

Many modern Independence Day traditions stem from America’s early independence celebrations. People would attend bonfires, concerts, and parades to celebrate their new nation. It was also common for the Declaration of Independence to be read aloud, followed by muskets and cannons firing. It’s safe to say the earliest Americans celebrated the 4th of July loudly and proudly.

The 4th of July is a holiday Americans hold near and dear to their hearts. It marks the day America became the country it is today—a country where people have a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. On this day, we remember the United States’ fight for freedom and celebrate our country with friends, family, food, and fun. Happy birthday, USA!




Sunday, June 27, 2021

Do Not Be Afraid

 

Today’s gospel comprises two distinct stories with no particular connection between them.  First, we have the raising of Jairus’s daughter to life and the second is the healing of the woman with the hemorrhage.  There are two miracle stories in this long extract from Mark and they demonstrate an important theme and characteristic of this gospel. The first thing we notice is that the story of the raising of the daughter of Jairus begins the sequence, but then is cut off as we consider the woman with the hemorrhage.  It quickly becomes apparent that the overarching theme is the need for faith. In the story of the woman, her willingness to trust in Jesus is total but by contrast the people in the house of Jairus laugh at him when he suggests the child is only asleep. Jesus tells the woman who touched him that her faith made her well, and to the people announcing the news of the death of the little girl he says: ‘Do not be afraid, only have faith.’ We have only already learned through the preaching of Jesus and his parables that the kingdom is present in his ministry and that it is both a gift and a challenge. Living by faith is the challenge but it is also the way to healing and new life for those who embrace the message with trust and confidence.

Someone once wrote to the poet, Gerard Manley Hopkins, asking how he could come to know God. Hopkins wrote back with the simple answer: ‘Give alms.’ The God who wills us to live eternally cannot be known in theory or theology — he can only be truly known through love. That is our calling as Christians.' If we understand that we have been made rich through the poverty of Jesus, then we cannot but reach out to others.  Let us always reach out in love and allow God’s love to fuel our lives.





Sunday, June 20, 2021

Father's Day

 

Happy Father’s Day!! Let us pray….

Loving and faithful God, as we celebrate Father’s Day, we not only give thanks for our fathers, we ask you to bless them Keep them close to you and to St. Joseph. May Joseph’s example and prayers give them the continued strength to live out their vocation of fatherhood faithfully. Help us never to take them for granted and to be patient with their imperfections.

For our deceased fathers, give them eternal rest.

For our fathers, weighed with burdens, give them peace and hope.

For fathers who have buried a child, give them consolation.

For those who have caused pain for their children, give them a new heart.

For those who wish to be a father but cannot, give them hope.

Loving God hear our prayers and help us to give respect and love to our dads as we lift them to you, through Christ our Lord.  Amen


Happy Father's Day to all fathers, father figures.  May this day be richly blessed!



Sunday, June 13, 2021

Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

 

Jesus said to the crowds:  “This is how it is with the kingdom of God; it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land and would sleep and rise night and day and through it all the seed would sprout and grow, he knows not how.  Of its own accord the land yields fruit, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear.  And when the grain is ripe, he wields the sickle at once, for the harvest has come.”  He said, “To what shall we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable can we use for it?  It is like a mustard seed that, when it is sown in the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on the earth.  But once it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade.”  With many such parables he spoke the word to them as they were able to understand it.  Without parables he did not speak to them, but to his own disciples he explained everything in private.  Mark 4: 24 – 36

God speaks to us in many ways including our Sunday scriptures.  In today’s Gospel reading we are given two parables to think about and pray over.  First, we read the parable of the seed followed by the parable of the mustard seed.  I had the experience a few times of planting a garden.  Growing up in the Bronx I did not have a space that I could dedicate to a garden.  When if first decided to take on this endeavor I remember reading on how to prepare the space and what would be the best seeds to plant.  In planting I made the usual amateur mistakes.  Having not portioned out the plot of land I proceeded to plant the seeds and watered them faithfully and waited.  It seemed like an eternity before anything showed signs of growth.  All of a sudden, the growth happened, and we had zucchini, tomatoes, beans, eggplant and a host of herbs.  What I learned from this experience was the importance of patience and perseverance.  As I watched the garden each day, I found myself getting anxious that nothing would grow and was so relieved when the garden came alive.  In fact, at one point the garden was so prolific that I was giving the harvest to anyone who wanted some of the yield.  It was a true learning experience and I remember being so happy with the outcome.

As we live this day let us remember that “we walk by faith and not by sight.”  We are invited today to continue the journey and to grow in God’s abundant love for us.  May we always be willing to accept God’s invitation to a deeper relationship and grow in the love of our God.



Sunday, June 6, 2021

Solemnity of Corpus Christi


Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, also known as the Feast of Corpus Christi, is a celebration of the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. On this day, we recall the institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper.   In the United States, the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ is celebrated on the Sunday after Trinity Sunday. 

While the Last Supper is also commemorated on Holy Thursday, the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ focuses solely on the gift of the Eucharist. The mood is also more joyous than that felt on Holy Thursday, the day before Christ's passion and death.

The feast is often marked by eucharistic processions, during which the Blessed Sacrament is carried in a monstrance through the church and into the streets. Many also spend time in Eucharistic Adoration on the solemnity.  As a child I recall participating in the Corpus Christi procession in my parish.  We processed from our parish Church throughout the neighborhood behind our pastor who held the monstrance.  I recall that it was an honor to be part of the procession.  As the procession went through the streets many people joined and followed along.  Last year amidst the Covid pandemic one parish in the Bronx did not want to disappoint its parishioners.  The Corpus Christi took on a new look as the pastor stood in the back of a pickup truck and was driven through the neighborhood.  Parishioners stood on their porches and bowed and waved as the truck drove past.

However, you mark this day let us recall the gift of the Eucharist.  May our hearts be filled with gratitude for the gift we received. 



Sunday, May 30, 2021

Trinity Sunday

 

Happy Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity.  This week we return to the liturgical season of Ordinary Time. This Sunday and next Sunday, however, are designated as solemnities, special days that call our attention to the central mysteries of our faith. Today, on the first Sunday after Pentecost, we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity. This feast invites us to consider what we believe about God, who has revealed himself to us in the Trinity, one God in three Persons.  The Gospel for this Solemnity is taken from the Gospel of Matthew.

The final commission of the disciples is given on the mountaintop.  In today’s Gospel, the eleven disciples go the mountaintop in Galilee, as Jesus had instructed them through Mary Magdalene and the other Mary. They see Jesus, and they worship and doubt at the same time. Jesus approaches them and commissions them to baptize and teach.  In this final commission, the eleven are told to go to all nations. The mission of Jesus is now to be taken to all people, and the task is to baptize and to teach.  As baptized Christians, we share in the life of the blessed Trinity and seek to invite others to share in God’s love.

Many people have attempted over the years to explain the Trinity – three persons in one God.  St. Patrick used the shamrock to explain it to the people of Ireland.  Others have used the image of the three musketeers.  Their life mantra was “one for all and all for one!”  However, we are able to understand the concept let us be faithful to our baptismal call and live as disciples called by Christ to be there for one another.

A song which has always helped me to understand the Trinity is All Haile Adored Trinity.  I have included the text of it below.  I invite you to spend some time reflecting on the words and the message behind it.

All hail, adored Trinity; All hail, eternal Unity; O God the Father, God the Son,
And God the Spirit, ever One.

Three Persons praise we evermore, One only God our hearts adore;

In Thy sure mercy ever kind May we our true protection find.

O Trinity! O Unity! Be present as we worship Thee; And with the songs that angels sing
Unite the hymns of praise we bring.

John David Chambers(1805-1893)




Sunday, May 23, 2021

Pentecost Sunday

 

Pentecost is considered the birthday of the Church, the day when that first community of believers were baptized with the Holy Spirit and sent out to tell the world about the Risen Christ. The storm of the present pandemic is inviting all of us, whether we like it or not, to rethink how we live in this world. It’s also beckoning us to reimagine ourselves as Church, as that community of baptized believers who are sent to recreate the world.

Those early Christians did not know how to be church. When Jesus of Nazareth left the future in the hands of his followers, he did not present them with a handbook of how to do it. But he promised them his own Spirit to dwell with them and in them to be their hope, their comfort, and their guide. All they had to do was listen to the quiet, gentle voice in their heart of hearts that spoke of love and truth and mercy.

The most powerful message we preach to the world is in the way we treat each other, especially at times like this when we are afraid and tired and confused. “By this shall they know that you are my disciples: by the way you love one another.” This is where Pentecost begins. This is how we become the church.

On this Pentecost Sunday I share with you one of my favorite songs Dan Schutte’s, Send Us Your Spirit.  It is based on the Veni Sanctus Spiritus and offers tremendous hope.  Let us always remember and trust in the Spirit’s love and guidance as we seek to live as faithful followers.  Happy Pentecost Sunday.  

Send Us Your Spirit

Send us your spirit O Lord. Evening enfolds us and holds us too near.  Wake the morning light.  Make our living bright.  Shine on our darkness O Lord.

Hold us with mercy O Lord.  Sorrow has spoken, has broken our hearts.  Clothe us in your care.  Be the life we bear.  Feed us and fill us O Lord.

Teach us your wisdom O Lord.  Shadows have clouded, have crowded our sight.  Give us hearts that see.  Set our loving free.  Hear us and help us O Lord.

Send us good summer O Lord.  Winters have chilled us and stilled us too long.  Give us love’s own fire.  Be our true desire.  Send us your spirit O Lord.

© Daniel L. Schutte and New Dawn Music, 1985.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=miW1IBX3CTs





Sunday, May 16, 2021

Laudato Si Week

 

Laudato Si Week (May 16-25) is a global event sponsored by the Vatican’s Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development and supported by the Global Catholic Climate Movement in collaboration with about 150 Catholic organizations.  There are many resources available to use to increase your knowledge and pray for our common home.  Below are some resources provided by our Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation group.  Let us pray for one another and our common home not only during this week but everyday.



Pope Francis’ Prayer for Our Earth 

All-powerful God, you are present in the whole universe and in the smallest creatures. You embrace with your tenderness all that exists. Pour out upon us the power of your love, that we may protect life and beauty. Fill us with peace, that we may live as bothers and sisters, harming no one. O God of the poor, help us to rescue the abandoned and forgotten of this earth, so precious in your eyes. Bring healing to our lives, that we nay protect the world and not prey on it, that we may sow beauty, not pollution and destruction. Touch the hearts, of those who look only for gain at the expense of the poor and the earth. Teach us to discover the worth of each thing, to be filled with awe and contemplation, to recognize that we are profoundly united with every creature as we journey toward your infinite light. We thank you for being with us each day. Encourage us, we pray, in our struggle For justice, love and peace.

For other resources visit our website:  usaromanunionursulines.org