For the next few weeks, you will see in this column items used at Mass, along with a short description of each item and what it is used for.
Chalice The sacred vessel used to hold the wine which becomes the Body and Blood of Christ.
Paten A saucer-like disk which holds the bread that becomes the Body and Blood of Christ. The Paten holds the host consumed by the priest and clergy.READ MORE
Most of us are quiet people who desire to live a good and holy life, promote the values and mission of the Gospel as best we can and desire to one day inherit the surprise of life eternal God promises to us. We are not trail blazers. We are simple people who want to do the simple things of life well. But there are others who left a more profound impact along the way of the paths they walked. Folks like Dorothy Day, Martin Luther King, Thomas Merton, Gandhi, St. Teresa of Calcutta, and many others left lasting impacts and legacies. Like Moses, they show us by word and deed who God is and what integrity and a purpose driven life look like. They show us how to be holy. We need Moses people like these to give us inspiration, hope and an example of holy living.READ MORE
It was a normal day by all accounts, but John just wasn’t feeling himself. He was a little lightheaded and out of sorts. Later in the afternoon, he experienced a sharp pain in his chest and arm. Quick thinking and action brought John to the emergency department with a diagnosis of a significant heart attack. Surviving this ordeal, he found himself face to face with his cardiologist, having an honest conversation about things that needed to change. “I came close to death,” John found himself thinking. Then came the remorse. He was a young man with a loving wife and children who were very close to facing life without him. John found himself with intense sorrow for living an unchecked and self-indulgent life that almost brought him to his demise. He wanted to change.READ MORE
A thread that runs clearly through today’s readings is “Repent and Believe”.
In the psalm we hear, “Your ways, O LORD, make known to me; teach me Your paths…for You are God my Savior.”
The willingness to be taught and led by God is a sign of true repentance and humility.READ MORE
What are you looking for? The question rings out from Jesus to us just as it did tor his first disciples. What are we looking for? Do we really think that this world with all its chaos and empty promises has anything to offer? It certainly can never satisfy. Instead of looking for answers from the government or self-proclaimed “experts”, let’s take seriously Jesus’ invitation, “Come and see”.READ MORE
Our faith is not just about ideas. It’s really about having an encounter with God and, in particular, the Risen Christ! Once we give ourselves over to the notion of God’s presence, we have to train ourselves to listen for God’s voice and be attentive to God’s call. Having companions on our faith journeys is so incredibly important as they can help us fine-tune our listening skills and discern God’s voice from others we may be hearing. Faith is all about having these profound encounters not only with God but with our brothers and sisters, and creation itself. Anyone or anything that is alive with God’s presence becomes an occasion for God to speak and call us to deeper graces and experiences. “Come, and you will see.”READ MORE
At Jesus’ baptism, God the Father speaks, “You are My beloved Son, with You I am well -pleased.”
When we are re-born in the waters of baptism, we receive this same expression of love and delight from our Father. Jesus makes it possible for all of us to be born again into the relationship God always wanted for us.
Though sin blurs and distorts our relationship, God has kept his promise to baptize not only with water, but with “the Holy Spirit and fire” (see Mt 3:11). Jesus’ baptism wipes away sin and implants divine life in us. This is not just some nice religious phrase. Once baptized, we really haveREAD MORE
We need history. We need it in order to understand ourselves, personally and collectively. The pieces of our histories may not have always been the most positive, honest, exemplary, dignified, proud and best moments of our lives, but they are ours. We have to acknowledge, remember, accept, and often heal them. We cannot forget them or pretend that they never existed. As horrible as the atrocities of events like Auschwitz, brutal injustices committed throughout the human journey, or personal painful experiences in our own stories, we need to remember. These times when humanity in general or people in particular have lost their way are times that need to be reconciled and redeemed.
If we lose the memories, we will make the same mistakes again. The human soul needs a strong sense of affirmation, direction, and clear purpose. Without these essentials, we will easily run amuck and repeat the sins of our past. God’s voice throughout history has spoken precisely about this! We are reminded through the voices and example of many prophets and witnesses not to make the same mistakes again, come back to center, discover the purpose given to us by God, maintain a sense of proper direction, seek healing for wounds and be reconciled to our Creator.READ MORE