Saturday, May 28, 2016

Wave On, Old Glory, Wave On - Billy Dean

Sunday Corpus Christi

(A biblical reflection on the Solemnity of CORPUS CHRISTI – Sunday, 29 May 2016) 
Gospel Reading: Luke 9:11-17 
First Reading: Genesis 14:18-20; Psalms: Psalm 110:1-4, Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 
When the crowds learned it, they followed Him; and He welcomed them and spoke to them of the Kingdom of God, and cured those who had need of healing. Now the day began to wear away; and the twelve came and said to Him, “Send the crowd away, to go into the villages and country round about, to lodge and get provisions; for we are here in a lonely place.” But He said to them, “You give them something to eat.” They said, “We have no more than five loaves and two fish – unless we are to go and buy food for all these people.” For there were about five thousand men. And He said to His disciples, “make them sit down in companies, about fifty each.” And they did so, and made them all sit down. And taking the five loaves and the two fist he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke them, and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd. And all ate and were satisfied. And they took up what was left over, twelve baskets of broken pieces. (Luke 9:11-17 RSV) 
Corpus Christi Sunday is a day when we celebrate Jesus’ goodness in feeding us through the Holy Eucharist.
Christianity is a belief (a set of beliefs) and not a theory. Granted there is a great deal of intellectual work involved in the Catholic-Christian story. For we understand theology to be faith seeking understanding (fides quaerens intellectum). However, we can never rest with mere intellectual constructions. To do so would reduce Christianity to a head-game. We could be very orthodox (correct beliefs) but still be deficient in orthopraxis (correct action). Christianity is a belief which demands costly grace and the willingness to be a disciple in the most ultimate ways of love. Jesus did not merely preach the Kingdom; He also ushered it in through His birth, death and resurrection. It is not those who say Lord, Lord, but those who do the will of the Father in heaven who are saved (Matthew 7:21)
The above discussion is very important for understanding of the Eucharist. We often hear it said, “I am going to receive the Eucharist.” Or we say, “I am going to church.” Some even say, “I am going to hear Mass.” There is something very passive and inactive about such phrases. For we are called to do more than just “receive” the Eucharist or “go” to church and “hear” Mass. We are to actively receive the Eucharist or “go” to church and “hear” Mass. We are to actively receive the Eucharist. We are to be Church and proclaim as well as hear the celebration of the Mass.
770295ee - EKARISTIThe feast of Corpus Christi, the Body of Christ, is anything but a theory or some inactive dogma. All good dogmas and teaching are worthy of our active allegiance. They help us to know and do the truth. We believe that Jesus is really present in the Eucharist. We believe that the Eucharist is the food for eternal life. We believe that the Eucharist is the food which transforms us and changes our hearts of stone to hearts of flesh centered in Christ. Do we really believe this? Lord, help our disbelief. Help us to become more like the body of Christ we celebrate.
How is this to be done? The words of Jesus in our Gospel reading are a good place to start! “Why do you not give them something to eat yourselves?” To be as well as to receive the Eucharist means involvement and care for others. This care is both spiritual and material. We do not live by bread alone (Matthew 4:4; Deuteronomy 8:3). Neither do we live without bread and the basic material necessities of life. It is not enough to say that we believe in the Eucharist and the real presence. To stop with a verbal affirmation would render the Eucharist a splendid theory. However, when we put the Eucharist into practice it becomes a genuine belief. When we clothe the naked and feed the hungry, make welcome the stranger and provide for homeless we show what we believe (see Matthew 25:31-46). When we share our beliefs about God in a way that is both confident and respectful, we mirror the example of Jesus. He refused to call down thunder on those who disagreed (Luke 9:51-56). He allowed those who found His teachings too hard to leave His company (John 6:66).
In conclusion, we must put into practice what we believe. We should observe the effects or fruits of a given belief in the lives of those who hold the belief. What do others observe in our lives? Are we a people of the Eucharist who believe that Jesus is really present and so really give thanks? Are we living reminders of the real presence of Jesus? Each time we come together to eat the bread, drink the cup and hear the word, do we proclaim the death of the Lord until He comes?
Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, You gave Your Church an admirable sacrament as the abiding memorial of Your passion. Teach us so to worship the sacred mystery your Body and Blood, that its redeeming power may sanctify us always.
Jakarta, 27 May 2016  
A Christian Pilgrim 

: Drawing Lines in the Sands of Mercy

Veritas Ministeria: Drawing Lines in the Sands of Mercy: Several months ago, Pope Francis declared this year to be a "jubilee year of mercy." Mercy is something that everyone - regardles...

Sunday, May 22, 2016

God in Three Persons: A Doctrine We Barely Understand

Trinity Sunday -a Mystery
Frederick Buechner (author and Minister) had a unique reflection
He says"
Look in the mirror
A) There is the interior life known only to yourself and those you choose to communicate it to. (The Father)
B) the visible face which in some way reflects the inner life. (The Son)
C) the invisible power you have in order to communicate that interior life in such a way that others do not merely know about it but know it in the sense its becoming part of who they are (The Holy spirit)
Yet what you are looking at in the mirror is clearly and indivisibly the one and only you.

After reading this I recalled that St. Clare's words to St. Agnes of Prague
Place your mind before the mirror of eternity(Triune God):

place your soul in the brightness of glory (God , father and Creator),
place your heart in the figure of the divine substance ( The Son who dwells in our hearts)

And transform your whole self through the contemplation of the Godhead- (The Holy Spirit's work)

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Trinity Sunday May 22, 2016

St Francis & the Holy Trinity   

Happy Feast of the Trinity to all!!!

St Francis of Assisi held a deep love for the Trinity and was often caught up in prayer and contemplation on the Mystery of the Trinity. The Trinity is one, if not THE, great mysteries of our faith. Father, Son and Spirit united as one, yet individual. United by pure and uncontaminated Love (with a capital L!). The Trinity is the exemplar of self-less Love, of Fellowship, of Communion and of Giving. The Three Divine Persons are bound together in a bond of Love which is impossible for us to imagine. However, this Love is not self satisfying or self contained, but rather spills out into all of creation, causing it to be, and into the hearts of each and every one of us, through Baptism. The Trinity dwells within us....what a mind blowing though!

Our call then is threefold:
  • To recognise that we are vessels of the Trinity and to rejoice in it
  • To live as vessel of the Trinity radiating that self-less Love to all Creation
  • To allow the Trinity to prayer in and through us

Francis, at the end of the Earlier Rule for the Friars , composed a beautiful prayer of Praise and Thanksgiving, the latter part referring directly to the Trinity, praying this may be a good way to get in-touch with He who  dwells inside of you:
Wherever you are, in every place, at every hour,
at every time of the day, every day and continually,
let all of us truly and humbly believe, hold in our heart an
love, honour, adore, serve, praise and bless,
glorify and exalt, magnify and give thanks to the
Most High and Supreme Eternal God
Trinity and Unity.
Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Creator of all! Saviour of all!
Who believe and hope in Him, and love Him, Who, without
beginning and end, is unchangeable, invisible, indescribable, ineffable,
incomprehensible, unfathomable, blessed, praiseworthy,
glorious, exalted, sublime, most High, gentle, lovable, delightful, and,
totally desirable above all else, for ever and ever. Amen

Friday, May 20, 2016

Feast of Saint Bernadine of Siena May 20 , 2016

  • Bernardino of Siena

    Bernardino of Siena
    Saint Bernardino of Siena, was an Italian priest, Franciscan missionary, and is a Catholic saint. 


    1397: In 1397, after a course of civil and canon law, he joined the Confraternity of Our Lady attached to the hospital of Santa Maria della Scala church.
    1403: In 1403 he joined the Observant branch of the Order of Friars Minor (the Franciscan Order), with a strict observance of St. Francis' Rule.

    Find more on Wikipedia

  • Monday, May 16, 2016

    Pope Francis' Pentecost Homily

    Pope Francis \ Homilies

    Homily for Pentecost Sunday: full text

    Pope Francis delivers his homily during Mass for Pentecost Sunday. - REUTERS
    Pope Francis delivers his homily during Mass for Pentecost Sunday. - REUTERS
    15/05/2016 11:37

    (Vatican Radio) Here is the full text of Pope Francis' homily for Pentecost Sunday 2016: 

    Pope Francis

    Homily during Mass for Pentecost Sunday

    “I will not leave you orphans” (Jn 14:18).
    The central purpose of Jesus' mission, which culminated in the gift of the Holy Spirit, was to renew our relationship with the Father, a relationship severed by sin, to take us from our state of being orphaned children and to restore us as his sons and daughters.
    The Apostle Paul, writing to the Christians in Rome, says: “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the spirit of sonship, which enables us to cry out, ‘Abba, Father’” (Rom 8:14-15). Here we see our relationship renewed: the paternity of God is re-established in us thanks to the redemptive work of Christ and the gift of the Holy Spirit.
    The Spirit is given to us by the Father and leads us back to the Father. The entire work of salvation is one of “re-generation”, in which the fatherhood of God, through the gift of the Son and the Holy Spirit, frees us from the condition of being orphans into which we had fallen. In our own day also, we see various signs of our being orphans: in the interior loneliness which we feel even when we are surrounded by people, a loneliness which can become an existential sadness; in the attempt to be free of God, even if accompanied by a desire for his presence; in the all-too-common spiritual illiteracy which renders us incapable of prayer; in the difficulty in grasping the truth and reality of eternal life as that fullness of communion which begins on earth and reaches full flower after death; in the effort to see others as “brothers” and “sisters”, since we are children of the same Father; and other such signs.
    Being children of God runs contrary to all this and is our primordial vocation. We were made to be God’s children, it is in our DNA. But this filial relationship was ruined and required the sacrifice of God’s only-begotten Son in order to be restored. From the immense gift of love which is Jesus’ death on the cross, the Holy Spirit has been poured out upon humanity like a vast torrent of grace. Those who by faith are immersed into this mystery of regeneration are reborn to the fullness of filial life.
    “I will not leave you orphans”. Today, on the feast of Pentecost, Jesus’ words remind us also of the maternal presence of Mary in the Upper Room. The Mother of Jesus is with the community of disciples gathered in prayer: she is the living remembrance of the Son and the living invocation of the Holy Spirit. She is the Mother of the Church. We entrust to her intercession, in a particular way, all Christians, families and communities that at this moment are most in need of the Spirit, the Paraclete, the Defender and Comforter, the Spirit of truth, freedom and peace.
    The Spirit, as Saint Paul says, unites us to Christ: “Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him” (Rom 8:9). Strengthening our relationship of belonging to the Lord Jesus, the Spirit enables us to enter into a new experience of fraternity. By means of our universal Brother – Jesus – we can relate to one another in a new way; no longer as orphans, but rather as children of the same good and merciful Father. And this changes everything! We can see each other as brothers and sisters whose differences can only increase our joy and wonder at sharing in this unique fatherhood and brotherhood.
    15/05/2016 11:37

    Saturday, May 14, 2016

    May 15, 2016 Pentecost


    by achristianpilgrim
    (A biblical refection on the PENTECOST SUNDAY, 24 May 2015)
    First Reading: Acts 2:1-11 
    Psalms: Psalm 104:1,24,29-34; Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 12:3-7.12-13 or Romans 8:8-17; Gospel Reading: John 14:15-16,23-26 
    The Scripture Text
    When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly a sound came from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire, distributed and resting on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
    Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. And they were amazed and wondered, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians, we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.” (Acts 2:1-11 RSV)
    Among the qualities we must admire in others – and hopefully to be admired and found in ourselves – is fidelity. Perhaps fidelity is so admired because we experience it so rarely. What is fidelity? Fidelity is a virtue (strength) of character by which we keep our word in the face of danger and personal loss.
    It is often said that times change and with it our commitments. When we make a commitment the circumstances are known. However, tomorrow or next week things may be different. This is certainly true. Yet what must endure is fidelity to our word regardless of the change of circumstances and the inconvenience that we may fac. Our word cannot be binding only when things suit us or work to advantage. Our various pledges and vows (husband, wife, priest, teacher, doctor, student, etc.) can weigh heavy on our hearts. New obligations and even misfortunes can arise. What to do? The faithful person “keeps on keeping on”. The faithful person continues to keep watch and refuses to just walk away.
    ROHHULKUDUSPentecost Sunday is a powerful example of Jesus’ fidelity. In the fourteenth chapter of John’s Gospel we read: “I will not leave you desolate; I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also. In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you” (John 14:18-20). Today we celebrate the gift of the Spirit and the beginning of the public witnessing of the faith-community. Through His passion, death, burial, resurrection and ascension Jesus remained faithful. He told His followers of His constant love and guidance. Today is one of the great joy, for the Holy Spirit has been poured into our hearts. We can believe and trust the words of Jesus. They are forever.
    Our first reading from Acts, recounting the Pentecost story, says that the Holy Spirit came to rest on the disciples, who “began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2:4). The fear that once gripped their hearts is now replaced by God’s liberating love. They must go public and witness that “Jesus is Lord”. They mus go forth and share the peace they have received from Jesus. As their sins have been forgiven, so they must now set about the ministry of reconciliation: “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained” (John 20:23).
    On this Pentecost we must ask some very profound questions of ourselves and our community: How do we witness that Jesus is Lord? Are we chariots of fire alive and burning with the flame of Pentecost? Are we bold in our proclamation and even bolder in working for justice, peace and forgiveness among individuals and communities? For today is the day that we are sent forth to proclaim peace and forgiveness froam the only One who is lasting peace and total forgiveness. The Holy Spirit comes as a flame to burn away our illusion and liberate us to see the world on fire for Christ and His peace. In a world which so desperately needs the Holy Spirit, let us be about the work of Pentecost.
    There are so many false flames in the world seeking to “light up our life”. Yet in the end such flames only consume us and leave us dead and cold. The Holy Spirit is a flame of bold conviction and profound proclamations about Jesus and the truth of our lives. The flame of the Holy Spirit does not consume us but transforms us into the likeness of the One who said: “Please I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you ... You heard Me say to you, ‘I go away, and I will come to you’”  (John 14:27-28). Today in the Spirit, Jesus comes into our hearts. Let us earnestly pray:“Come, Lord Jesus! Come, Holy Spirit, come!” 
    Note: Adapted from Rev. William F. Maestri, GRACE UPON GRACE, Makati, Philippines: ST. PAUL PUBLICATIONS, 1990, pages 45-47. 
    Prayer: Father of light, from whom every good gift comes, send Your Holy Spirit into our lives with the power of a mighty wind, and by the flame of Your wisdom open the horizons of our minds. Loosen our tongues to sing Your praise in words beyond the power of speech, for without Your Holy Spirit man could never raise His voice in words of peace or announce the truth that Jesus is Lord, who lives and reign with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
    Jakarta, 14 May 2016 
    A Christian Pilgrim 
    achristianpilgrim | May 14, 2016 at 8:03 am | Tags: HOLY SPIRITJESUS CHRISTPENTECOST | Categories: BIBLICAL REFLECTIONS 2016 | URL:
    Comment   See all comments   Like

    Monday, May 9, 2016

    Monday May 9, 2016

    Friar, Michael Lorentsen OFM Conventual celebrated Mass today on the feast of St. Catherine of Bologna .  The vestment Michael is wearing was made by Barbara King in memory of her husband Nick and her sewing partner, Trudy Dombrowski. Barbara's brother was a conventual Friar who died at the early age of 67 from a heart attack.  It was fitting that the first one to wear this new vestment would be a Conventual Friar. 

    Christmas Newsletter 2018