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Gospel Reflections

Gospel Reflection June 11 – Deacon Don

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Sunday, June 11

The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity

John 3: 16 – 18

Gospel:
God so loved the world that he gave his only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him might not perish
but might have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world,
but that the world might be saved through him.
Whoever believes in him will not be condemned,
but whoever does not believe has already been condemned,
because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
Reflection:
This Gospel is so often seen in banners at sporting events (John 3:16) that the significance of this passage may be lost and reduced to some banner toting Christian extremist. This passage should not be reduced to mere cliche. If we reflect on it a bit, we should understand how important and true this passage is and how relevant it should be in our daily life.

If you believe in the Father, the Creator – who created man and woman with free will, then it should not be too much of a stretch to wonder about the many ways we have abused our free will. That abuse of free will is called sin. If the Father is the creator of only goodness, then all that creation must be good even to the extent that true free will must allow us to depart from purely good acts. Just ask any parent about their adolescent children, so we must have some way to counter the abuses of free will. We call that grace. If we buy all of that then it should not be too much of a stretch to realize that someone must show us the way to engage in God’s gift of grace. The best way to show us is to offer us an example of grace itself – Jesus Christ. He lived among us and experienced everything human except sin. He is grace itself. Once Jesus has revealed to us the Father’s goodness in everything created, we now have a living example, born of a woman, an example of free will revealing the Father’s full intent through the Son. It is not too much of a stretch that after the Son ascended into Heaven, he would not leave us to muddle around into eternity on our own. He would leave us with the means for continued access to the Father’s grace through the Holy Spirit and His Church.

Without some experience and devotion to the Holy Trinity in our daily lives, the entire world and all of creation would be simply an absurdity. Our daily news and the media overload us with routine abuses of free will. This can easily lead us into disappointment and despair. Keeping the Holy Trinity and the perfect unity the Trinity provides, we can realize that we are never alone. The Holy Spirit’s presence gives us ready access to the Son and the Father and should return the world back from mere absurdity to our own devotion to properly exercising our free will to the Father’s purpose. The Holy Trinity remains a mystery, but one of more relevance in our devotion to it.

Deacon Don Poirier

Gospel Reflection June 4 – Deacon Frank

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Sunday, June 4

Pentecost Sunday

John 20: 19 – 23

Gospel:
On the evening of that first day of the week,
when the doors were locked, where the disciples were,
for fear of the Jews,
Jesus came and stood in their midst
and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side.
The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you.
As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”
And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them,
“Receive the Holy Spirit.
Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them,
and whose sins you retain are retained.”
Reflection:
Pentecost Sunday formally brings to a close the 50 days of the Easter Season. This day is known as the “birthday” of the Church. That is, of course, all of us. We were born on this day. The Holy Spirit came and enlivened a group that had almost died. The risen Lord sent his living Spirit to be our life. Each one of us, as well as the whole Church together, receives these gifts, and these gifts need to be used.

We begin with the gift of PEACE. Not the world’s peace, initially, but our own. We seek to grow in the gift of a peaceful mind and heart, and peaceful relationships in our life. That is our first prayer. “Come Holy Spirit, into my heart and mind and life.”

The second gift is MISSION. All of us are sent from this church building into the world around us. We are able, with the Holy Spirit’s help, to be outgoing and to help bring a gift of peace into the lives of those we live with, play with, study with and work with. It is a grace given to us. Do not let it go for nothing. WE can inspire others.

Finally, the third gift is the GRACE to reconcile people who struggle or are at war with one another. There is the power to forgive others and the power to call people to justice. May we believe this and may we accept this.

Come Holy Spirit!

Deacon Frank Iannarino

Gospel Reflection May 28 – Sr. Teresa

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Sunday, May 28

The Ascension of the Lord

Matthew 28: 16 – 20

Gospel:
The eleven disciples went to Galilee,
to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them.
When they saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted.
Then Jesus approached and said to them,
“All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,
teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.
And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”
Reflection:
Since Easter we have been playing, “Now you see me; Now you don’t.” with Jesus.” He rose and then he was gone again. He appears to different people and different groups and then he is gone again.

I always wondered what was he doing during that time. Where was Jesus when he wasn’t appearing to people? I would have wanted to keep him with me every single minute. I would have said I am not ready for you to leave me alone. I would have bombarded him with questions: What about this? What about that? What should I do if…? I would have hung on his every word and took lots of notes.

When I look at the things he said at the various appearances, I so resonate with the disciples.

“Go tell the others…” We are always being sent out to proclaim that Jesus has risen. We are being sent to spread the message… to be Jesus in the world.

“Thomas, put your hand into my wounds…” Was Jesus telling them and us that we must be in touch with the suffering of the world? Is he asking us to step into the suffering of the world with the same compassion and mercy that he showed? The suffering of others is the suffering of Jesus.

Then my favorite invitation of Jesus is, “Let’s eat.” And they sat down to share a meal. Continually Jesus calls us to the table. He calls us to come and eat the Bread of Life. He knew we would get hungry over and over again. Hungry for wisdom, hungry for courage, hungry for faith, hungry for community.

Do you sometimes feel that now you see Jesus and everything seems just right? Then you don’t see him and you begin to doubt or waiver in the faith or just drift into complacency? Today Jesus is telling them and us that he is going back to his Father (leaving again). It is the day we remember as we celebrate the feast of the Ascension.

With this gospel passage we have come full circle from the empty tomb of Easter. When Mary Magdalene saw Jesus outside the tomb he gave her a message, “Go and tell the others that I have risen and I will meet them in Galilee”. Today we find them in Galilee. They did what Jesus had told them to do. I am drawn to the verse: “When they saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted.” I don’t know about you, but this is the story of my life. I try do what he taught us to do. I believe in Jesus. I worship Jesus, but at times, I also doubt Jesus or struggle with faith. I drift and at times seem to take Jesus for granted.
Read the passage carefully. Jesus does this most amazing thing before he leaves. Knowing that the disciples are weak, knowing that sometimes they will fail and doubt, he also knows that they are faithful. Our faithfulness is what he focuses upon. Jesus gives them a mission. Yes, in their vulnerability, in their strength and in their weakness, in their faithfulness and in their sin, he gives them a mission, “Go and make disciples of all nations.”

We are gathered, not in Galilee, but at St. Brigid of Kildare Parish in Dublin. We, like the disciples, come amazed, fearful, doubtful, and hungry. In the midst of our vulnerability we, too, are given a mission. You and I have been commissioned to go and tell the others that indeed Jesus is risen. Jesus lives. We receive this commissioning at the end of every Mass. Go, the Mass is ended. Go, you have been fed by Word and the Bread of Life. Go you have been strengthened by the faith community gathered together. Go, and live as believers. Go, and share the good news.

Like the disciples, we are sent with the same reassurance that we do not go alone. We have a faith community and we have a promise, “I am with you always.” How much more do we need to get on with it, to get on with telling others the good news?

There is a legend that grew around Jesus’ Ascension into heaven. It seems that when Jesus arrived in heaven, an angel greeted him. The angel asked Jesus – “What did you do on earth to ensure that your mission and work would continue?” Jesus simply said, “I entrusted it all to a small band of men and women.” The angel stopped and looked dumbfounded. “You what?” Jesus repeated what he had said: “I entrusted it all to a small band of men and women.” The angel said, “What if they fail?” Without hesitation Jesus responded, “They will not fail.” With Jesus’ faith in us — we will not fail.
Sister Teresa Tuite, OP

Gospel Reflection May 21 – Msgr. Hendricks

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Sunday, May 21

Sixth Sunday of Easter

John 14: 15 – 21

Gospel:
Jesus said to his disciples:
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
And I will ask the Father,
and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always,
the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot accept,
because it neither sees nor knows him.
But you know him, because he remains with you,
and will be in you.
I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.
In a little while the world will no longer see me,
but you will see me, because I live and you will live.
On that day you will realize that I am in my Father
and you are in me and I in you.
Whoever has my commandments and observes them
is the one who loves me.
And whoever loves me will be loved by my Father,
and I will love him and reveal myself to him.”
Reflection:

The gospel assures us that Jesus will not leave us orphans but will come back for us.

This is a great comfort and it demands cooperation from us. That cooperation means we must commit our lives to Him and then show that commitment by our love of others.

In short, having heard his words we must show our love by our actions.

Monsignor Hendricks

Gospel Reflection May 14 – Fr. Morris

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Sunday, May 14

Fifth Sunday of Easter

John 14: 1 – 12

Gospel:
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Do not let your hearts be troubled.
You have faith in God; have faith also in me.
In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places.
If there were not,
would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?
And if I go and prepare a place for you,
I will come back again and take you to myself,
so that where I am you also may be.
Where I am going you know the way.”
Thomas said to him,
“Master, we do not know where you are going;
how can we know the way?”
Jesus said to him, I am the way and the truth and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through me.
If you know me, then you will also know my Father.
From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
Philip said to him,
“Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us.”
Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you for so long a time
and you still do not know me, Philip?
Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.
How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?
Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?
The words that I speak to you I do not speak on my own.
The Father who dwells in me is doing his works.
Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me,
or else, believe because of the works themselves.
Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever believes in me will do the works that I do,
and will do greater ones than these,
because I am going to the Father.”
Reflection:
If you like the window seat in an airplane, you have no doubt watched the ground pass beneath you. The best part of the flight for this activity are the minutes after takeoff and the minutes before landing. That is when the plane is low enough in its ascent or descent that you can survey the streets below in detail, watching the traffic and various buildings pass by.

As ardent ground watchers know, passing over a city center you can easily tell the tired urban rowhouses and revived brownstones from the sparklingly-new glass high-rise condos. The flat asphalt roofs of the big box stores in the commercial districts give way to the intentionally serpentine roads and ubiquitous cul-de-sacs of the suburban housing developments. And as the suburban sprawl peters out, the legacy of the 18th century surveyors turns the rural vista into a green and brown patchwork of orderly square-mile survey grids.

In a typical flight, we can see many different places and buildings that people call home; and they all appear very different even from the viewpoint of cruising altitude. But all these disparate dwellings and properties belong to a unity, the United States, an almost contradictory unity forged from a varied plurality. How prophetic our national motto, originally adopted in 1776 for our system of federalism, but quickly applied to our unique national identity: E pluribus unum. Out of many peoples, one great nation.

Our Lord tells us in today’s Gospel there are many mansions, many dwelling places, in His kingdom. Our Lord knows us personally, our needs, our personalities, and our vocations in the Church. Should we be so surprised that Our Lord prepares a place specially for us? That He is not afraid to make a unqiue place for us in His kingdom, knowing that our dwelling will fit in perfectly with the larger vista of Heaven? From His position at the right hand of the Father, doesn’t the Lord look down at us billions of Christians, living and dead, and see in that multitude his One Bride, the Church?

We Catholic Christians are a motley group, with many different cultures and ethnicities and devotional habits. We can see this every Sunday even within our own parish. But from that seemingly disunity, that superficial disarray, comes a deep sacramental unity forged by the Holy Spirit. While the Founding Fathers did a good job with our national motto, the Church did even better. How fitting our creedal “motto” from Nicene: Unam sanctam catholicam et apostolicam ecclesiam. Resting firmly on Her apostolic foundations, our Church is one, holy, and universal.
Father Morris

Gospel Reflection May 7 – Deacon Paul

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Sunday, May 7

Fourth Sunday of Easter

John 10: 1 – 10

Gospel:
Jesus said:
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever does not enter a sheepfold through the gate
but climbs over elsewhere is a thief and a robber.
But whoever enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep.
The gatekeeper opens it for him, and the sheep hear his voice,
as the shepherd calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
When he has driven out all his own,
he walks ahead of them, and the sheep follow him,
because they recognize his voice.
But they will not follow a stranger;
they will run away from him,
because they do not recognize the voice of strangers.”
Although Jesus used this figure of speech,
the Pharisees did not realize what he was trying to tell them.

So Jesus said again, “Amen, amen, I say to you,
I am the gate for the sheep.
All who came before me are thieves and robbers,
but the sheep did not listen to them.
I am the gate.
Whoever enters through me will be saved,
and will come in and go out and find pasture.
A thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy;
I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.”
Reflection:
In today’s Gospel, John portrays Jesus as the Good Shepherd. A good shepherd is willing to lay down his life in order to protect his flock. Jesus, as our shepherd, willingly laid down his life when he was crucified on the cross so that those who believe in him would be protected from sin and have the opportunity for eternal life.

Often we are reduced simply to numbers and statistics. Thankfully, our Savior Jesus Christ is not like this. Jesus knows each and every one of us by our names, just like a shepherd knows each and every one of the sheep in his flock.

Just think how great it is that Jesus knows us by name. The sheep follow the shepherd because they recognize his voice. The question I would like to pose today is this: “How many of us recognize the shepherd’s voice, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ? Can we distinguish his voice from all the other voices in our daily lives and follow Him in faith? Or, is there a tendency to listen to the other voices of our secular world? We can have all of the world’s goods, but we would still be empty inside. The only one that can truly satisfy us is Jesus. If we allow Jesus to live in us, we will have an abundant life. His love encourages us and empowers us so that we will obey him out of joy and thankfulness. People who truly belong to God, listen to and believe in the words of Jesus.

Deacon Paul Zemanek

Gospel Reflection Apr 30 – Deacon Don

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Sunday, April 30

Third Sunday of Easter

Luke 24: 13 – 35

Gospel:
That very day, the first day of the week,
two of Jesus’ disciples were going
to a village seven miles from Jerusalem called Emmaus,
and they were conversing about all the things that had occurred.
And it happened that while they were conversing and debating,
Jesus himself drew near and walked with them,
but their eyes were prevented from recognizing him.
He asked them,
“What are you discussing as you walk along?”
They stopped, looking downcast.
One of them, named Cleopas, said to him in reply,
“Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem
who does not know of the things
that have taken place there in these days?”
And he replied to them, “What sort of things?”
They said to him,
“The things that happened to Jesus the Nazarene,
who was a prophet mighty in deed and word
before God and all the people,
how our chief priests and rulers both handed him over
to a sentence of death and crucified him.
But we were hoping that he would be the one to redeem Israel;
and besides all this,
it is now the third day since this took place.
Some women from our group, however, have astounded us:
they were at the tomb early in the morning
and did not find his body;
they came back and reported
that they had indeed seen a vision of angels
who announced that he was alive.
Then some of those with us went to the tomb
and found things just as the women had described,
but him they did not see.”
And he said to them, “Oh, how foolish you are!
How slow of heart to believe all that the prophets spoke!
Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things
and enter into his glory?”
Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets,
he interpreted to them what referred to him
in all the Scriptures.
As they approached the village to which they were going,
he gave the impression that he was going on farther.
But they urged him, “Stay with us,
for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over.”
So he went in to stay with them.
And it happened that, while he was with them at table,
he took bread, said the blessing,
broke it, and gave it to them.
With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him,
but he vanished from their sight.
Then they said to each other,
“Were not our hearts burning within us
while he spoke to us on the way and opened the Scriptures to us?”
So they set out at once and returned to Jerusalem
where they found gathered together
the eleven and those with them who were saying,
“The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon!”
Then the two recounted
what had taken place on the way
and how he was made known to them in the breaking of bread.
Reflection:
May the blessings of Our Lord be with you as we continue this Easter Season!

It seems almost laughable that two guys would be hiking down the road together, meet up and continue their walk with Jesus – the subject of their highly energized conversation – and not recognize that Jesus was walking with them. Perhaps their combined emotions of excitement, grief, and sorrow had made them blind to that fact. They were totally focused on their grief and the awesome events that had just taken place. How could these men be that blind? We too can easily get caught up in the moment and be equally blind to Jesus’ presence in our lives.

There is a saying that you don’t see with your eyes or hear with your ears. Eyes simply diffuse light and ears simply receive audible noise. It is our brains that process what we see and hear and our intellect that determines if and how we might respond. Our brains can only process about one or two things at a time, so whatever pre-occupies us must necessarily push out other possibilities. So it might have been this way with these two men. They were so caught up in their emotions that the most important moment of their lives almost entirely escaped their grasp. Luckily for them, their brains caught up with the drama that unfolded. It was Jesus’ breaking of the bread that rattled their brains away from their grief and back into the moment. They were filled with joy as their eyes were opened with the Body of Jesus. When the disciples finally realized who was with them, Jesus left instantly. The bread, now his Body, became the suitable replacement, equal in value, equal in substance, and equal in reality. As joy replaced sorrow and grief for these men, so it should be with us.

How often and how easily can we get caught up in our daily grind and other day-to-day busyness that are of little or lasting importance. Our brain can easily be distracted with television, news, and social media – all forcing out thoughts of Jesus’ presence in our lives. He is here! He is Risen! He is with us now and forever! Do we give ourselves enough time to wrap our brains around that? His presence with us in the breaking of the bread and hearing His word remains with us today just as it did for those two guys hiking to Emmaus so long ago.

Let us continue this Easter Season with the joy that comes with His presence in Word and in Sacrament!
Deacon Don Poirier

Gospel Reflection Apr 23 – Deacon Frank

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Sunday, April 23

Second Sunday of Easter

John 20: 19 – 31

Gospel:
On the evening of that first day of the week,
when the doors were locked, where the disciples were,
for fear of the Jews,
Jesus came and stood in their midst
and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side.
The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you.
As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”
And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them,
“Receive the Holy Spirit.
Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them,
and whose sins you retain are retained.”

Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve,
was not with them when Jesus came.
So the other disciples said to him, “We have seen the Lord.”
But he said to them,
“Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands
and put my finger into the nailmarks
and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

Now a week later his disciples were again inside
and Thomas was with them.
Jesus came, although the doors were locked,
and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.”
Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands,
and bring your hand and put it into my side,
and do not be unbelieving, but believe.”
Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
Jesus said to him, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me?
Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”

Now, Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples
that are not written in this book.
But these are written that you may come to believe
that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God,
and that through this belief you may have life in his name.
Reflection:
This weekend when you go to Mass you will hear the familiar story of ‘Doubting Thomas’. As you are aware, Thomas the Apostle is called that because he refused to believe the other disciples when they told him they had seen the Risen Lord. On hearing of the visit he said ‘No way! ‘Or, as the text reports, “…unless I see the mark of the nails in His hands and put my finger in His side, I will not believe.’ When Jesus appeared and told Thomas to put His finger and hand into his wounds, the Gospel passage says Thomas responded with “My Lord and my God!’ Of course he believed. Who wouldn’t?

Today Jesus doesn’t appear to us and tell us to touch His wounds. As He invites Thomas to do just that, He proclaims a message that may be a source of hope for all of us. “Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed. ” Yes, Jesus was talking about us – about you and me. We are blessed because we believe in Him even though we have not seen. We are blessed.

Think of the people whom you know in your life who make Jesus the Christ known in how they live and in how they are with others. In seeing them we see Jesus. We must remind ourselves that Jesus is in these people around us. And going one step further, we must ask ourselves if others ever see or experience Jesus in us. In you. In me.

Sometime this week look into a mirror; look into your eyes reflected back at you. Ask Jesus to reflect His face, His life, and His love to others. And remember that when Jesus is with you, so much is possible.

Deacon Frank Iannarino

Gospel Reflection Apr 16 – Sr. Teresa

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Sunday, April 16

The Resurrection of the Lord

Matthew 28: 1 – 10

Gospel:
After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning,
Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb.
And behold, there was a great earthquake;
for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven,
approached, rolled back the stone, and sat upon it.
His appearance was like lightning
and his clothing was white as snow.
The guards were shaken with fear of him
and became like dead men.
Then the angel said to the women in reply,
“Do not be afraid!
I know that you are seeking Jesus the crucified.
He is not here, for he has been raised just as he said.
Come and see the place where he lay.
Then go quickly and tell his disciples,
‘He has been raised from the dead,
and he is going before you to Galilee;
there you will see him.’
Behold, I have told you.”
Then they went away quickly from the tomb,
fearful yet overjoyed,
and ran to announce this to his disciples.
And behold, Jesus met them on their way and greeted them.
They approached, embraced his feet, and did him homage.
Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid.
Go tell my brothers to go to Galilee,
and there they will see me.”

Reflection:
I feel a bit discombobulated as I sit typing out my gospel reflection. It is Tuesday of Holy Week but I am supposed to be reflecting on the gospel offered to us for Easter Sunday, to tell again of the miracle of the Resurrection.

Last Sunday we celebrated Palm Sunday and welcomed Jesus into the holy city of Jerusalem. Before the week was out this man to whom we shouted songs of praise gave us the gift of his Body and Blood (so that we would be forever nourished by the gift of his life) then he was crucified on a cross. By the end of the week the parade would be very different. It would be a parade of very few people taking the body of Jesus to be laid in a borrowed tomb.

As a world community, we are held in the terror of warfare. On April 4th, at least 70 people were killed in Tuesday’s attack, which witnesses described as a fog of chemicals that enveloped men, women and children, leaving many to suffocate, choke or foam at the mouth. In horror, I looked at the young father who held his twin babies. They died along with his wife, two brothers, two nephews and a niece. There is no difficulty entering the horrors of Good Friday and seeing the connection to the horrors of warfare and to again witness the inhumanity shown to each other.

We know the emptiness of Holy Saturday because I think we live so much of life in “Holy-Saturday mode.” It is the in-between time. The time between a sense of hopelessness and hope; between the known and unknown. Repeatedly we live the Easter Mystery of life, death and resurrection but it is the time in-between that we try to grapple with.

The celebrant could choose the passage from the gospel according to John or according to Matthew. I chose the piece from Matthew.

Mary Magdalene and “the other Mary”, two women who had been there when Jesus was placed in the tomb and the tomb sealed with a very heavy stone. When everyone else had left, it was these two women who remained and kept vigil. They witness the angel rolling back the stone. They see the guards paralyzed with fear. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were afraid but not paralyzed and were open to the mission given to them. “then go quickly and tell the disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead.” They leave the tomb “fearful yet overjoyed.”

I think we know these women; we have, most undoubtedly walked in their shoes. Like them they could not prevent what happened to Jesus. We cannot change, as hard as we may try, the tragic course of events: a fatal illness, a marriage breakup, the death of a loved one, the downward decline of an addiction, a refugee crisis nor acts of chemical warfare. So often something breaks through that horror and sorrow and we are faced with a choice – be paralyzed and do nothing or work through our fear and sorrow and do what we can do to move toward new life.

These two women are the first witnesses to the resurrection and the first chosen for an Easter mission, “Then go quickly and tell his disciples.” In that one act, the history of the world was changed forever.

“The resurrection has changed the world forever.” We cannot focus on the resurrection alone – it is part of a bigger piece. It is part of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Through all of this we have hope now for new life in God

Through Jesus’ resurrection we all have been raised and now the mission is ours … go out and tell others about Jesus Christ. Be witnesses to his life, to his death and crucifixion and to his resurrection. Cling to hope in the in-between-times of life. Hold fast to hope when what is taken for normal is broken and shattered. Give witness and respond to the needs of others. The Risen Jesus is in our midst especially in our neighbor, the hungry, the prisoner, the thirsty and the lonely. Do you not recognize him? He has Risen and lives and gives our mission. The resurrected Jesus sends each one of us to go out to others. SO – “don’t be afraid,” go out and spread the word!!

-Sr. Teresa Tuite

Gospel Reflection Apr 9 – Msgr. Hendricks + Rice Bowl Week 6

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Sunday, April 2

Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion

Matthew 27: 11 – 54

Gospel:
Jesus stood before the governor, Pontius Pilate, who questioned him,
“Are you the king of the Jews?”
Jesus said, “You say so.”
And when he was accused by the chief priests and elders,
he made no answer.
Then Pilate said to him,
“Do you not hear how many things they are testifying against you?”
But he did not answer him one word,
so that the governor was greatly amazed.

Now on the occasion of the feast
the governor was accustomed to release to the crowd
one prisoner whom they wished.
And at that time they had a notorious prisoner called Barabbas.
So when they had assembled, Pilate said to them,
“Which one do you want me to release to you,
Barabbas, or Jesus called Christ?”
For he knew that it was out of envy
that they had handed him over.
While he was still seated on the bench,
his wife sent him a message,
“Have nothing to do with that righteous man.
I suffered much in a dream today because of him.”
The chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowds
to ask for Barabbas but to destroy Jesus.
The governor said to them in reply,
“Which of the two do you want me to release to you?”
They answered, “Barabbas!”
Pilate said to them,
“Then what shall I do with Jesus called Christ?”
They all said,
“Let him be crucified!”
But he said,
“Why? What evil has he done?”
They only shouted the louder,
“Let him be crucified!”
When Pilate saw that he was not succeeding at all,
but that a riot was breaking out instead,
he took water and washed his hands in the sight of the crowd,
saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood.
Look to it yourselves.”
And the whole people said in reply,
“His blood be upon us and upon our children.”
Then he released Barabbas to them,
but after he had Jesus scourged,
he handed him over to be crucified.

Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus inside the praetorium
and gathered the whole cohort around him.
They stripped off his clothes
and threw a scarlet military cloak about him.
Weaving a crown out of thorns, they placed it on his head,
and a reed in his right hand.
And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying,
“Hail, King of the Jews!”
They spat upon him and took the reed
and kept striking him on the head.
And when they had mocked him,
they stripped him of the cloak,
dressed him in his own clothes,
and led him off to crucify him.

As they were going out, they met a Cyrenian named Simon;
this man they pressed into service
to carry his cross.

And when they came to a place called Golgotha
– which means Place of the Skull -,
they gave Jesus wine to drink mixed with gall.
But when he had tasted it, he refused to drink.
After they had crucified him,
they divided his garments by casting lots;
then they sat down and kept watch over him there.
And they placed over his head the written charge against him:
This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.
Two revolutionaries were crucified with him,
one on his right and the other on his left.
Those passing by reviled him, shaking their heads and saying,
“You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days,
save yourself, if you are the Son of God,
and come down from the cross!”
Likewise the chief priests with the scribes and elders mocked him and said,
“He saved others; he cannot save himself.
So he is the king of Israel!
Let him come down from the cross now,
and we will believe in him.
He trusted in God;
let him deliver him now if he wants him.
For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.'”
The revolutionaries who were crucified with him
also kept abusing him in the same way.

From noon onward, darkness came over the whole land
until three in the afternoon.
And about three o’clock Jesus cried out in a loud voice,
“Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?”
which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
Some of the bystanders who heard it said,
“This one is calling for Elijah.”
Immediately one of them ran to get a sponge;
he soaked it in wine, and putting it on a reed,
gave it to him to drink.
But the rest said,
‘Wait, let us see if Elijah comes to save him.”
But Jesus cried out again in a loud voice,
and gave up his spirit.

Here all kneel and pause for a short time.

And behold, the veil of the sanctuary
was torn in two from top to bottom.
The earth quaked, rocks were split, tombs were opened,
and the bodies of many saints who had fallen asleep were raised.
And coming forth from their tombs after his resurrection,
they entered the holy city and appeared to many.
The centurion and the men with him who were keeping watch over Jesus
feared greatly when they saw the earthquake
and all that was happening, and they said,
“Truly, this was the Son of God!”

Reflection:
Today the Church begins Holy Week. Palm Sunday marks the time when Jesus enters the Holy City Jerusalem, to begin his victory over sin and death.

Although the gospel this Sunday is an account of His Passion by St. Matthew, the real key to our understanding of this wondrous gift is in the second reading from St. Paul’s letter to the Philippians. It is here that we learn that Jesus is the Christ, the anointed of the Lord, and at the mention of His name all on heaven and earth fall down in adoration. This reminds us of the beginning of His life when the Magi come to offer their gifts to Him. They give the best they have for the new born king. We offer our best as he promised us new life with Him in heaven.

Our response is to hear and accept the message of the gospel, reflect on it this Holy Week and come to conversion as we follow Him through the valley of death to the newness of the resurrection.

Have a great Holy Week!
Monsignor Hendricks
OPERATION RICE BOWL: WEEK 6

Global Solidarity
Catholic social teaching inspires and guides how we are to live and work in the world. In this principle, Global Solidarity, Jesus tells us to love our neighbors, even though they may be different than us. That means the neighbors who live next door and also those who live on the other side of the planet. Jesus reminds us that we are all part of God’s great family.
Encounter Our Neighbors
You are born with breadfruit, you grow up with breadfruit and you die with breadfruit. This popular saying from the Micronesian island of Chuuk, thousands of miles off the coast of Hawaii, captures the importance of this starchy fruit. It’s a staple both for the Chuukese living in Micronesia, and for people like Micaela, who were forced to migrate to Hawaii due to a changing climate and rising seas.

Though Micaela moved to Hawaii seeking a better life, she instead found a community of Chuukese struggling with hunger. Through the One ‘Ohana: Food and Housing for All program, Micaela organizes groups of women to learn farming techniques. Together, they gain the knowledge to plant breadfruit trees and feed their communities.

For Micaela, the project is a way to look to the future while remembering the past. “It’s been many years since I dug my hands in the ground. We are reconnecting back to our home, even though it’s not the soil from where we came from,” she says.

Watch a 3 ½ minute video to learn more about the One ‘Ohana: Food and Housing for All program: http://www.officeforsocialministry.org/one_ohana_food_housing_for_all/