Mr. James Kolar, Director, wanted me to get these photos of my serving the Altar back in December, 2022.
I served again at Miracle House this weekend, January 14th, 2023. Having just come back from Guatemala and seeing the Eucharistic Adoration in every Church I visited there it was so comforting to know in every place and everywhere the Lord is glorified by our love. Including at home. Including as I noted in the Saturday reflection at the Chapel, anywhere where Jesus deems, he wants to go.
“Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” Jesus heard this and said to them, “Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.”
Saturday of the First Week in Ordinary Time. Mk 2:16b-17a.
Let Jesus, The word of God, living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrate even between soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and able to discern reflections and thoughts of your heart. So you may be healed.
Greetings on this the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time Readings: Is 49:3, 5-6; Ps 40:2, 4, 7-8, 8-9, 10; 1 Cor 1:1-3; Jn 1:29-34 Notes: John said this twice in the account of the baptism of the Lord.
I myself did not know him.
There is a mystery in this statment worthy of today’s consideration.
John did know Jesus certainly. Elizabeth was visited Mary and John leapt in the womb at the sound of Mary’s voice. Mary helped Elizabeth birth John (sympathetic reading of the scripture).
Taking a step back.
The baptism of the Lord is accounted for in each of the four Gospels.
We celebrated the Baptism of the Lord in Guatemala City on Sunday and in the USA on Monday past. On this second Sunday of Ordinary Time we encounter the Gospel of John’s account of the baptism.
There are slight variations between the accounts each giving a more profound accounting theologically than the one written before. Using progressive elaboration is a common theme in the divine-human exchange and most delightful when seeing the process play out over the development of the gospel accounts themselves.
One example to illustrate. ok?
Gospel of Mark – the first of the gospels – the Spirit descended upon him like a dove.
Gospel of Matthew – the second gospel – the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighted on him.
Gospel of Luke – the third gospel – the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form, as a dove.
Gospel of John – the last gospel – I saw the Spirit descend as a dove from heaven, and it remained on him.
There are many such examples in this very brief but impactful sacred scripture.
All four indicate the Trinity by the Father’s voice, the Sonship and the Spirit.
This is my beoved Son, with whom I am well pleased (three accounts, slight and important differences).
The Spirit, the Spirit of God and the Holy Spirit.
This is why we can make summary statements about the baptism taking into account the totality of the baptism accounts provided. For today, let us look at just one more and it will be the basis of the homily.
Gospel of Mark – the first of the gospels – Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee.
Gospel of Matthew – the second gospel – Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordon to John.
Gospel of Luke – the third gospel – Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized.
Gospel of John – the last gospel – After me comes a man who ranks before me, for he was before me (eternal).
The gospel of John adds:
Lamb of God.
Son of God.
Witness to divinity (preexistence).
Jesus is the baptizer of the Holy Spirit.
I did not know him.
Mark – Tempation of Jesus.
Matthew – Temptation of Jesus.
Luke – Genealogy of Jesus and the temptation of Jesus.
John – Calling of the disciples and the ‘conclusion’ of the temptation Heavens open and Angels (See Jn 1:51)
First reading The Servant of the Lord (Salvation for the Jew and Gentile alike)
It is too little, the LORD says, for you to be my servant, to raise up the tribes of and restore the survivors of Israel;
I will make you a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.
Responsorial Psalm Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.
“In the written scroll it is prescribed for me, to do your will, O my God, is my delight, and your law is within my heart!”
Second reading Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Alleluia Verse The Word of God became flesh and dwelt among us. To those who accepted him, he gave power to become children of God.
Gospel Portion Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.
I did not know him. I did not know him.
the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘On whomever you see the Spirit come down and remain, he is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ Now I have seen and testified that he is the Son of God.
Just like Simeon in the Gospel of Luke, John received insight as to how to know him.
Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, awaiting the consolation of Israel, and the holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Messiah of the Lord. He came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform the custom of the law in regard to him, he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying: “Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you prepared in sight of all the peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel.”
John knew Jesus as man and as Lamb of God – though he wondered what that meant.
John knew Jesus as Suffering Servant, The Ideal Davidic King, and Messiah after his visitation.
There are seven weeks in Ordinary Time before we begin Lent Season.
Provided by Father Frank O’Laughlin (he picks good articles to read)
Benedict’s legacy will be a contested one. “Your wonderful and at times heartbreaking edition of 7 January confirmed everything I felt for this very holy, peaceful, gentle but strong human being. Thank you for a rare, moving and honest series of features”, writes John Elder in our Letters pages this week. “Through his writings he set out in search of lost sheep, lifted me on to his shoulders, and carried me home,” adds Paul Hammond; “His legacy is of a timid man burned by the experience of Nazism then blinded by the glare of modernity who sought guidance by looking in the rear-view mirror”, offers Dominic Kirkham.
One – imperfect but not unhelpful – way the papacies of Pope Francis and Pope Benedict are characterised is as an echo of the contrasting visions of two of the great theologians of the last century, Karl Rahner and Hans Urs von Balthasar. Rahner saw the grace of God at work in the world, thick with anonymous Christians; Balthasar saw a world of totalitarian nightmares, of nuclear arsenals, labour camps and torture chambers crying out for the abrasive medicine of the Gospel. As we write in our leader this week, “The Balthasar/Rahner debate, the dialogue between Benedict and Francis, is something the Church needs constantly to ponder – without trying to bring it to a simple resolution and without one side demonising the other. For they were both right. Humankind is simultaneously both redeemed and fallen.”
The other link: Why the dialogue between Benedict and Francis is something the Church needs constantly to ponder.
Fr Frank asks that I remind you (and myself) of the difficulty of the migrant harvest workers.
When the freeze comes no aid is available for the harvest workers. Or hurricane, or tornado, or drought.
While the State of Florida provides financial assistance to farmers for crop failures as a result of freezes and other agricultural disasters, the migrant worker does not receive unemployment or financial assistance to bridge to the next planting season. It can be a very hard life.
The migrant worker is every bit as part of our common economic life as any USA citizen. Whether here on visa, green card, or undocumented, they are an important part of our economic life and our social life. We are in fact one family.
We should as a part of our systematic care for all members of the common life provide assistance specific to the harvest workers when such impacts occur. Out of Christian charity, yes. But in a sense more so out of Solidarity and in our common humanity. You don’t have to be Chrisitan to see yourself in their plight.
Humanism and Christian Humanism share many common goals. This should be one of them.
The memorial on the night day we were in the city photos.
The tragedy is the poor care for the orphan and the effects of social injustice have a cascading effect. Even righteous protest can be disastrous. It is wise to keep our eyes on Jesus and our behaviors in the Beatitudes.
I pray for Benedict XVI and his peaceful journey. I read everything he ever wrote so plain speaking and genuine his faith. Sad the Curia exhausted him their intrigue and power.
Pope Francis equally worn down but the advantage is his street-bishop smarts kept him from being overwhelmed. I think the pasta and pastries at the Vatican did more harm than these.
Pastor Quesnel leaves us in a few weeks. The administrator to come will have little interest in my eclectic spiritually. Such is life. If St Thomas More hadn’t seceded from the faith through schism, I would be happy to finish my service in the shadows of Dcn George Collins and Bill Cresswell, whom you would have loved.
As it is I insisted to accompany Fr Quesnel to Guatemala this Monday for the Three Kings Mission, ten days. Since coming to Sacred Heart I have protected him from harm, why would I stop now. Once he is boarded USA bound, I told him I will pray Simeon’s praise.
Oddly enough I am doing substitute service to the Altar at Miracle House tomorrow. I pray for the Mom’s and babies. It’s distracting to pray through the fog of power and politics. The women understand my prayers and reflection. The men want to interrogate for republican orthodoxy. Happily a newly ordained Priest is the presider so the Lord in his cosmic humor places him in my care if for a moment.
I feel so blessed to be near holy men.
I am still working your must read list from 2011. It’s comprehensive.
2023. Camino de Santiago via France. If I were to enter monastic life it would be as a perpetual pilgrim. Passing through every place of diaspora bringing Christ’s blessing. One tunic, one cloak, and a pair of sandals. GPS, too. My angel antenna is bent.
Greetings on this the Feast of The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph Readings: Sir 3:2-6, 12-14; Ps 128:1-2, 3, 4-5; Mt 2:13-15, 19-23 Notes: Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI is lucid, conscious and stable but his condition remains serious, the Vatican said Thursday… at age 95 the retired Pope is entering his final days, his final journey home.
The Holy Family had to flee to Egypt to save Jesus’ life. On their return they had to divert to Galilee for Judea was unsafe for them. The course of our lives is filled with the unexpected and the dangerous.
But the Lord is always guiding: (three times the angel helped Joseph decide what to do)
the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream to flee (refugee).
the angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt to return.
and because he had been warned in a dream (to divert), he departed for the region of Galilee (internally-displaced).
Today about 68 million people are in forced migration. Refugees, migrants, and internally-displaced persons all make up these numbers.
The world has changed so very much. Yet the fatherly care of the popes continues in the line of Saint Peter, the Apostolic Succession. Who was Pope when you were born? I have lived under the fatherly care of these popes:
John Paul II
John Paul I
Formative Guidance (in my life)
And what is more, the Church has the firm conviction that all temporal liberation, all political liberation- even if it endeavors to find its justification in such or such a page of the Old or New Testament, even if it claims for its ideological postulates and its norms of action theological data and conclusions, even if it pretends to be today’s theology- carries within itself the germ of its own negation and fails to reach the ideal that it proposes for itself whenever its profound motives are not those of justice in charity, whenever its zeal lacks a truly spiritual dimension and whenever its final goal is not salvation and happiness in God.
-Paul VI. 1975.
John XXIII (11) Man has the right to live. He has the right to bodily integrity and to the means necessary for the proper development of life, particularly food, clothing, shelter, medical care, rest, and, finally, the necessary social services. In consequence, he has the right to be looked after in the event of illhealth; disability stemming from his work; widowhood; old age; enforced unemployment; or whenever through no fault of his own he is deprived of the means of livelihood.
—John XXIII.Pacem In Terris. 1963.
It is not too much, We are sure, to expect that in the process of restriction, Christian charity and the sense of human solidarity existing between all men, children of the one eternal God and Father, will not be forgotten. Immigration can help in solving one of Europe’s saddest human problems, – a problem which is being aggravated inhumanely by the enforced transfer of helpless, innocent populations.
PIUS XII. 1946.
First reading God sets a father in honor over his children; a mother’s authority he confirms over her sons. Whoever honors his father atones for sins, and preserves himself from them. When he prays, he is heard; he stores up riches who reveres his mother.
Responsorial Psalm Blessed are those who fear the Lord and walk in his ways.
Blessed is everyone who fears the LORD, who walks in his ways! For you shall eat the fruit of your handiwork; blessed shall you be, and favored.
Alleluia Verse Let the peace of Christ control your hearts; let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.
Gospel Portion And because he had been warned in a dream, he departed for the region of Galilee. He went and dwelt in a town called Nazareth,
First reading Beloved: This is the message that we have heard from Jesus Christ and proclaim to you:
God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all.
The Blood of his Son, Jesus, cleanses us from all sin.
We have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous one.
We have fellowship with one another.
Forgive [ness of] our sins and cleanse us from every wrongdoing.
Expiation for our sins.
Responsorial Psalm Our soul has been rescued like a bird from the fowler’s snare.
Alleluia Verse We praise you, O God, we acclaim you as Lord; the white-robed army of martyrs praise you.
Gospel Portion “Rise, take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you. Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him.”
When Herod realized that he had been deceived by the magi, he became furious. He ordered the massacre of all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had ascertained from the magi.
Jeremiah the prophet:
A voice was heard in Ramah,
sobbing and loud lamentation;
Rachel weeping for her children,
and she would not be consoled,
since they were no more.
Abortion is about the powerful not the woman and not her child.
Come learn the meaning of this mystery.
The LORD has created a new thing upon the earth: woman encompasses man (Jer 31:22).
Pastor testifies on the reason evangelicals support Republicans: We “made a deal with the devil”
“From that point on that community that I had served, and still do, made a deal with the devil,” he said. “That deal was, we would support everything on the conservative agenda, whether or not we had conscientious conflict with them. The means were justified by the ends of that.”
“That deal was, we would support everything on the conservative agenda,” says Rev. Robert Schenck By BRAD REED PUBLISHED DECEMBER 9, 2022 12:30PM (EST)
Filled with the holy Spirit, Jesus returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the desert for forty days, to be tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and when they were over he was hungry. The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘One does not live by bread alone.’” Then he took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a single instant. The devil said to him, “I shall give to you all this power and their glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I may give it to whomever I wish. All this will be yours, if you worship me.” Jesus said to him in reply, “It is written: ‘You shall worship the Lord, your God, and him alone shall you serve.’” Then he led him to Jerusalem, made him stand on the parapet of the temple, and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, for it is written: ‘He will command his angels concerning you, to guard you,’ and: ‘With their hands they will support you, lest you dash your foot against a stone.’” Jesus said to him in reply, “It also says, ‘You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.’” When the devil had finished every temptation, he departed from him for a time (LK 4:1-13).
In the ordinary reading of the temptations of Jesus in the desert, most commentators talk in terms of Jesus’ needs and wants. It makes sense as this is how we think.
He was hungry.
He needed power to do his work.
He needed someone to watch his back.
The devil offered all these things.
The devil offered the fast and easy path: I will do it for you. At a price.
The Lord is my nurishment.
My work is enpowered by the Lord not man or devil.
The Lord has my back.
Jesus in popular language:
I don’t need your deal.
I don’t need shortcuts.
I don’t need to use ‘the ends justify the means.’
The Anti-abortion movement made abortion the god of their faith. It made the sin (and virtue) of higher importance than relation and divine life. A grave error in judgement.
I am glad this Evangelical Pastor confessed is his sin.
Waiting for the Catholic Church to do the same.
Salvation is hard work, prayer and fasting. Truth and compassion.