Monday, April 30, 2012

The Ironic Catholic: The great big giveaway for a new life for Harper!

The Ironic Catholic: The great big giveaway for a new life for Harper!: Oh, this is going to be so much fun .  But first, you need to read this! Many of you know my husband and I are adopting a little boy thro...

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Surely it is Not I, Rabbi?

Today we have Mark's account of the Last Supper and the betrayal by Judas.  When Jesus tells his twelve closest friends that one of them will betray him they are all quick to say, of course it won't be me!  Interestingly enough, in this account we know that Judas has already gone to the Sanhedrin and made a bargain for the life of Jesus in exchange for thirty pieces of silver.  So, how much sincerity is Judas showing when he utters the phrase "Surely it is not I. Rabbi?"

How often do we betray our faith in Christ and His teachings in very overt ways and yet we come to the Eucharist and present ourselves among those who are worthy to receive him, body, blood, soul and divinity?

One of the changes to the New Translation of the Roman Missal that I was really happy about was that we went back to the original wording of the prayer we say just before we proceed up to receive communion:

Lord, I am not worthy
that you should enter under my roof,
but only say the word
and my soul shall be healed.

When I am at my most vulnerable, when I am confronted with my sinfulness by the Confetior at the beginning of mass (in my thoughts in my deeds. in what I have done and in what I have failed to do. Through my fault, through my fault. through my most grievous fault)  My only response to the thought that I have betrayed my Lord is "Surely it is not I, Rabbi?"  When I know full  well that it is I that have made these errors in judgement and strayed from the path and taken my equivalent of thirty pieces of silver.  But I can stand before Christ present in the Blessed Sacrament I am about to receive and say the above words and know that even though I stumble and fall in my attempts to follow Him, he will accept me and heal me and make me stronger.  

And with the strength of the Eucharist within me, hopefully I can reject the offer of the thirty pieces of silver the next time it is extended.

Just for today, be honest with yourself about how faithful you are to following God's plan for your life.  Ask for his mercy and healing, and if you get a chance go to Mass or Confession, or both. 


Tuesday, April 03, 2012

"Master, why can I not follow you now?
I will lay down my life for you."

In today's gospel we hear a snippet of the story of the Last Supper according to John.  Jesus has just sent Judas away to betray him, and is trying to prepare the remaining apostles for his impending death on the cross.  But none of them, least of all Peter wants to hear that Jesus will die soon.  Jesus tells them that where he is going they cannot follow.  and Peter (you have to love how impetuous Peter is) replies with the line above, I will lay down my life for you.  

We all know the end of that story;  in the early hours of the morning after the arrest of Jesus Peter denies any knowledge of him to protect himself on three different occasions, just as Jesus said he would.  

How often are we, when confronted with a situation where it is uncomfortable to stand up and be counted as a Christian, willing to act like Peter and remain silent, or worse yet, deny that we have any connection to Christianity. In American culture today it becomes very easy to "deny Jesus" in the name of "it was just a joke" or "I personally don't believe in it, but I shouldn't force my beliefs on others. or I don't want to seem to much of s stick in the mud so I will go along a little just to fit in what will it hurt.

Does Jesus send a cock to crow in our lives to remind us that we have been found out?  Maybe if he did we would be more willing to admit that we do deny our Christianity all too often. 

Just for today. stand up and be counted for something that really matters in the lives of not only Christians, but people everywhere.  You decide what that stand should be, just be willing to stand up for the truth even if you are the only one standing in the entire crowd in which you find yourself.   Remember, if you truly are living In Christ, you are never really alone. 


Monday, April 02, 2012

You will always have . . .

In today's gospel story Jesus has come to the home of his dear friends Lazarus and his sisters Mary and Martha.  Martha as usual is busy taking care of the physical needs of the guests, but Mary does somethg very extraordinary.  Mary takes a bottle of expensive perfume and annoints Jesus' feet with it and then dries them with her hair. 

Judas, who kept the money purse for the apostles, and would soon betray Christ is indignant at the waste of the expensive perfume which "could have been used for the poor".  In response to Judas' indignation Jesus says something very puzzeling. 

You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me."

What is Jesus telling his apostles here? Hasn't her promised that he will always be with them?  Is he preparing them for his eventual (and soon) death on the cross).  He is giving them a hint about how they can find him after he is no longer physically present to them.

 He has constantly told them that they must reach out to the poor, and in fact what they do for the poor and weak and downtrodden they are doing for Jesus himself.  Aha!  Perhaps this is one of those times when he is giving them a puzzle that can be solved only by action.

If they work for the poor, they will continue to have Jesus with them always in their daily lives.  They will see him in the face of every person they encounter as they go about their work. 

Are you able to see Jesus in everyone you encounter in your day. especially those people who demand the most of you?  That should be your challenge today.  Encounter Jesus in everyone you meet.  How will that change how you respond to them?


Sunday, April 01, 2012

Am I the Naked Boy?

Now a young man followed him
wearing nothing but a linen cloth about his body.

They seized him,
but he left the cloth behind and ran off naked.

Do you remember this line from today's account of the Passion of Christ at Mass?  It is such a throwaway line, the sad young man doesn't even merit a name and is never mentioned again in scripture.  What is God trying to teach us in these two short sentences about the "streaking boy" as my daughter calls him?

He is only wearing a linen garment, which we can infer as the garment that symbolizes our Baptism.  When confronted by the guards he doesn't stand and proclaim his faith in the One True Son of God, he flees.  If we place ourselves in his position,  how often when our faith is attacked do we choose to run away, or stay under the radar rather than stand up for what we believe?  Especially in this time, when one is more than likely going to be derided for a belief in God, natural law, fundamental truths such as the sacredness of all life, and the belief that marriage is a covenant between one man and one woman.  

If we stand up for these beliefs in today's society we are more often than not going to feel exactly like the poor young man in the scripture today; stripped of our defenses and left naked in front of our enemies.  But we have to remember, that we must stand up for our beliefs.  It is not only our right to do so, but it is our duty given to us at our Baptism and sealed upon us at our Confirmation, to not only live the truth of our faith, but to proclaim the truth, even if we are the only ones who believe it to be true.

So, my goal for this Holy Week is to become a bold proclaimer of the truth, even when I am stripped naked by my enemies.  Who's with me?