What to do when others Persecute you?

Let’s face it—we have all fell victim of persecution.  In fact, many of us, maybe not knowingly, have been involved in some form of persecution towards another person ourselves.  The past is the past and it cannot be changed. What is important is that we recognize those past actions and meet them head on and face them in a Christ like manner.   I can speak for myself when I say that I have fell victim to many acts of persecution.  I have dealt with some acts better than others—that’s the human part of me.

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Let’s face it—we have all fell victim of persecution.  In fact, many of us, maybe not knowingly, have been involved in some form of persecution towards another person ourselves.  The past is the past and it cannot be changed. What is important is that we recognize those past actions and meet them head on and face them in a Christ like manner.   I can speak for myself when I say that I have fell victim to many acts of persecution.  I have dealt with some acts better than others—that’s the human part of me.

On reflection, this Palm Sunday we see a connection in the Gospel and the second reading.  That on the road to Calvary, Jesus shows us the way of humility and nonviolence.  And with that we should questions our own actions….  How do your own actions, and the words you speak [Facebook messenger, Text message, or any other medium]/profess this Jesus as Lord of heaven and earth?  Are you in touch with the covenant relationship that God calls us into?  Are you aware that God calls us to act with extreme humility and nonviolence [including words and actions]—after all Christ offers himself, body and blood, for the healing of the world.

Recall the Psalm today—All who see me scoff at me; they mock me with parted lips, they wag their heads. – The Lord God is indeed my help; therefore, I am not disgraced.  I have set my face like flint, knowing that I shall not be put to shame.

The taunts we give/deliver unto others are like the taunts of the crowd mocking Jesus to come down from the Cross, believing only then that he is the Messiah, the Son of God.  But just as Christ did not give in to the persecution, nor should we.  We should not meet persecution with anger or retaliation—this is a hard concept, but an ever true one.

Remember that Christ is there with the outcast, the poor, the shamed, and the broken within our own families, communities, and world.  May we be blessed with the eyes to see our given Christ, to see the face which in whose eyes we see suffering, and in those same eyes we see the need to open our hearts, provide tenderness, and care for all the children of Christ.

December 25, 2019-CHRISTMAS reflection

John 1:1-18

The Light Shines- MERRY CHRISTMAS!

In just a few words this Gospel passage tells us what God gave us for Christmas.  “The Word became flesh and lived among us.”  There can never be a better gift given.  maxresdefault.jpgAnd this exchange of gifts, as described by St Augustine—“God became man, so that man might become God.”

Each time we go to the Eucharist we continue participating in this exchanging of gifts with God.  When the presiding priest pours a little water into the wine, he prays: “By the mystery of this water and wine may we come to share in the divinity of Christ who humbled himself to share in our humanity”. We offer up at each celebration bread and wine as an offering, and we then in return receive the Body and Blood of the Lord. This is why we, as Christians, should “remember the dignity that 2014-12-19-17.43.53Christmas gives you.” [Pope St Leo]. Christmas, the Incarnation, gives us the best of both worlds!  “God became man so that man might become God.”

Christmas takes place just a few days after the winter solstice, which is the shortest day of the year [making it the longest night of the year].  But on that day of the solstice, the balance of significance begins to shift.  Each day will be met with a longer period of light shining, and the night therefore doesn’t last as long.  It is the heavens’ way of reminding us, a found in John’s Gospel, that “the light shines in the darkness and the darkness could not overcome it.”  Christmas IS the birth of He who will call Himself the Light of the World.Star of Bethlehem 1.jpg

Let the light continue to shine in the darkness.  Let us rejoice in the coming of our Lord and Savior.  Give thanks to God for this great exchange of gifts.  The Lord of the angels became man today so that man could eat the break of angels!

 

REJOICE, HE HAS COME!

December 24, 2019- Reflection

Luke 1:67-79

The Canticle of Zachary

If you follow the prayer cycle of the Church you would find that each day morning the Divine Office r ends with this wonderful canticle.  There is NEVER at time that it is not Holy_Cross_Monastery_in_Jerusalem._Georgian_frescoes_01included.  There might be many things happening in your life, and it might pass you by, or you might fail to see the importance, but this Canticle of Zachary, is a great hymn of gratitude to God.  It allows us to discover the spirit around us, and it welcomes the new day-one fill with Love and Compassion of God’s unending Love.

Zachary found a reason to be grateful and to celebrate even though he was, for a moment, struck with a being “dumb” for his disbelief of God’s message.  But how can you be full of gratitude all the time?  Luke tells us that with the newly reinstated speech, Zachary was “filled with the Holy Spirit.”  It is important to know that the way forward is to always look with thanksgiving to what had come before. God had visited the people—“As he promised through the mouth of  His Holy Prophets from of old.”  Zachary recalls the promise to rescue the people of Abraham from their Zechariah_Prophetenemies.  This litany leads to a great celebration of those last of the great prophets who “will go before the Lord to prepare his ways.”   Zachary’s canticle radiates the new order the high priest’s own son; he will bridge the old and the new.  He will become the mouthpiece announcing the coming of the Messiah who is to come.

When you pray the Divine Office in the morning you are collected together with all the people of good will and recall the works of God.  You can NEVER have enough gratitude. This path of gratitude is a way of memory, recollecting the past, and creating a path forward to fully recognize God’s mission for each of us.

Benedictus Dominus Deus!

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©www.LawrenceMcCrobie.com

December 23, 2019-Reflection

Luke 1:57-66

The Birth of John

It is customary that when a child is born, the mother and father pray and give thanks to God for the gift of a new, happy, and healthy life.  This is no exception for Zachary and GratitudeElizabeth, as they were well beyond their child bearing years, and yet they had been blessed with a baby.  Not only were they now blessed with this gift of new life, they were also greeted with the notion that this young baby boy—John—would be someone with an important vocation, “For surely the hand of the Lord was with him.”   This was reaffirmed as Zachary had been struck “dumb”, but when he finally was able to speak, he spoke of the blessing that God had given to them.  God had truly been so good to them, and it was all such a welcomed and joyous gift.  They could not have known that the greatest gift of all was soon to be given.  The gift of the Father’s Son, Jesus Christ, would soon be upon them and the whole world.  He would soon come to begin His mission of salvation.

71PACgnfCdL._RI_Sometimes the words of “gratitude” and “thankfulness” are not easily found in our own vocabulary.  We often hear people refer to the act of “giving thanks to”, but never do we hear giving thanks because.  We forget that at times we fail to be thankful for what God has granted us.  When we see others that need more than we—we should not grumble but rather give thanks.  When we are interrupted because someone calls, or comes to see us—we should not become irritated, but rather to welcome it as a visit or call from Christ.  The Gospels tach us to have gratitude, to come to understand that all we have is a gift from God, and that we should always remain truly grateful for these gifts.

As we usher in the mystery and gift of the birth of Christ, let us try and have the grateful hearts of Elizabeth and Zachary who trusted that God would fulfill His promises to them.  May we, like them, remember that God owes us nothing, but He does give us everything!

Rejoice in the coming of the Savior!

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Trinity Sunday- June 16, 2019

On the feast of the most Holy Trinity we read from the Gospel of John. It is quite interesting that the word “Trinity” is not mentioned at all in either the Old or the New Testament. Trinity comes from a Latin-based word meaning the number three or triad. Although in the New Testament there are many texts that speak of God as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; there is never a direct reference to the Trinity.

Gospel Acclamation: Rev 1:8

Glory to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; the God who is, who was, and who is to come.

Unknown.jpegOn the feast of the most Holy Trinity we read from the Gospel of John. It is quite interesting that the word “Trinity” is not mentioned at all in either the Old or the New Testament. Trinity comes from a Latin-based word meaning the number three or triad. Although in the New Testament there are many texts that speak of God as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; there is never a direct reference to the Trinity.

Today’s reading is where Jesus, the Son, is speaking making references to the Spirit and to the father. There is a dynamic relationship between each of the three persons that the Trinity represents, and it is expressed in a variety of ways throughout the various different scriptural passages. Today’s particular gospel from John gives us a hint of the relationship that will be explored for many centuries.

The passage today we experience the notion of the “Spirit of Truth” rather than the  “Holy Spirit” that we all are very Unknown.pngfamiliar with.  This Spirit of Truth has a particular task that is bestowed upon them, which is to guide the disciples through the truth—bringing to them the message that is heard from the Father, Son, and Spirit.   The Spirit of Truth also functions to glorify the Son—and to then take from the Son, whom has everything the Father has—declaring it all to the disciples—HOW WONDERFUL!

images-1.jpegWe run into problems is the fact that we are given several different reference points to try and explain the Trinity.  One of the most popular is the shamrock—followed closely by the image relation of using the sun.  God is of course more than a leaf on a clover, and more than the sun [Father the sun itself, Son is the light, and Spirit the heat].  No matter what image that you use, all of the references lack in some way, creating an incomplete and problematic approach to trying to explain the presence of the Trinity.  It is, of course, best to go back to the Scripture for the understanding.

KEY PHRASE:

Everything of the Fathers is mine—and from mine will be given unto you!

Focusing on the Gospel today we see that the three people are relational.  The Son have obtained everything from the Father, while the Spirit functions as a commutator relaying the message of fullness and unity of the Father and Son.  Within God there is shown a completeness, and a relationship between the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit.  We see that all are necessary to complete the outpouring of everything among them. Because we are made in the likeness of God, we are called to participate in this community.  To pour everything from within—to be then filled with the mercy, forgiveness and love of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

In the readings we are introduced to a figure of “Lady Wisdom”.  In the first reading the Lady sings a song of self-revelation.  This hymn tells us of a long-lived relationship that developed over time.  It was a relationship of Joy.  It is a complete relationship that is of mutual respect.  It is a relationship of dependence.  It is a humble gift that should be met with humility and JOY!

 PSALM:

O Lord our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth!

images.jpegTaking a look at this mystery we can see that it is nearly impossible to fully understand it.  The mystery of the Trinity is not something we can understand in this world, and we should not try to understand it.  We should engage in a deeper relationship to get to know God the Father, and God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.  There is no distinct answer that can ever be given, but then why would you want to solve that mystery.  By maintain the mystery of the Trinity we care thus called into a developing relationship.  We can be continually filled with wonder and LOVE!

Let us take His message out and breathe new life among all God’s disciples.maxresdefault.jpg

St Maximilian Kolbe, PRAY FOR US!

Deus lo Vult!

†lvm†

Pentecost Sunday — June 9, 2019

Let us take His message out and breathe new life among all God’s disciples.

Gospel Acclamation: John 7:37-39

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful.

We are now several weeks from Easter [50 days] and that is fitting as Pentecost is a season of celebration [in the Jewish religion], that is also known as the Feast of Weeks, or New Harvest depending on where in the Jewish world you find yourself.  We mark this particular day because we find the message in the Bible [LEV 23:16] that ye shall count the days after the feast of Passover and call it Pentecost, which is a Greek word meaning “50”.Unknown.jpeg

When looking at the Acts of the Apostles we find that it was on this Jewish date that the Holy Spirit came down upon the Apostles and gave them the strength and courage to go out and preach to Israel.

 

It might seem odd that in the Gospel reading from John today that it appears that the Apostles know nothing of the feast of Pentecost.   The story that is delivered this weekend is one coming from Easter Sunday when the now Risen Christ come upon the disciples to give them the gift of Spirit and peace. It is at this moment that the disciples are given the task of forgiveness of sins.  It was here that it is established that it was Christ that conquered sin, and that the task of the disciples was to act on an individual level to forgive sins.  Even though this is seen as the sacrament of reconciliation in terms of the Church—we are called to as sinners ourselves to forgive all those around us that have sinned.

KEY PHRASE: As the Father has sent me, so I send you.

images.jpegSeeking forgiveness is a sign of humanity.  This is something we do not always seek to do, which is why we often find ourselves in situations that are hard to control, full of grief and ultimately difficult for us to understand.  But a even bigger task that we are given is to not only seek forgiveness, but to forgive those who have done wrong unto us… That one sure is hard for most EVERYONE to do! But that forgiveness of others is in fact the pathway to salvation.   Do not seek to admire Christ by asking for forgiveness, seek to be a follower of Christ and deliver that forgiveness!

 

PSALM: Lord send out your Spirit and renew the face of the earth.

Lord-send-out-your-Spirit-and-renew-the-face-of-the-earth.jpg

We have come to the end of the Easter season.  Here is where we are given our mission—Go forth as Jesus did in His ministry and make disciples of people of all nations; PROCLAIM the redemptive love of God.

We find in the readings that Christ gave the gift of the Holy Spirit through breathing on the disciples. In the readings we hear “the mighty acts of God” and “Jews from every nation inder heaven.”  Yet, is it not amazing how every person is able to hear and understand the message in the own native tongue?  This is better explained in the second reading where we come to find and hear that the works of the Holy Spirit  is given to us through the many different gifts the God confers unto us. The Holy Spirit’s work is universal, so why wouldn’t the language be?  The mission is simple, UNIFICATION! As the Father has sent me, so I send you.

Penetcost-Mural-924x600.jpgDo not compare the gifts that each of us have.  They all come from the same place.  What a boring world it would be if we all had the exact same thing [though we do in the redemption of Christ].  Instead of comparing, let us look toward asking ourselves how we can use the gifts that we each have for the good of ALL GOD’S PEOPLE.

Let us take His message out and breathe new life among all God’s disciples.

St Norbert and St Boniface, PRAY FOR US!

Deus lo Vult!     †lvm†

StNorbert.jpg   Rethel_Bonifatius.jpg

7th Sunday of Easter- June 2, 2019

images.jpegGospel Acclamation: John 14:18

I will not leave you orphans, says the Lord.  I will come back to you, and your hearts will rejoice!

Scholars of Theology will often tell you that while looking at the Gospel of John, that it takes about 3 chapters for you to see that God and Jesus are doing just fine.  And if you look at the Gospel reading for today’s you can see where that inside joke among the scholars come from.

You will see that the message today is essentially straight theology, Jesus and the Father are ONE, and this is conveyed and repeated several times in the few short verses.  We get a strong sense of the message of unity, but the message of unification and that of being one does not cease with just the Father and the Son.  We will see that Christ incudes all.  Not only those that are in the moment following Him, but also those that “believe in me through their word.”   Simply put, Jesus is praying for us to become one.  But we do not have to venture out far, or even look very far to know that Christs’ message and prayer has not become fully realized.  Just think about all of the different split churches (i.e. denominations), beliefs about women’s roles in the church, ethical practices, doctrinal practices, etc.  We should take comfort in knowing that this is not just a problem that we realize in our world today, because we know that the Early Church also found themselves faced with this reality as well.  You might wish to look at it in this light:  As long as there have been Christians, there has been disunity—we should work harder to strive to trust Jesus and the message He brings.  For if we BELIEVE in the message that Christ brings to us, then the world will be set in a position to better find and experience the message of God, and unity as ONE body of Christ.

KEY PHRASE:

That they might be brought to perfection as one.

One thing that we as humans do well is spotting those things that are different.  Jesus-prays.jpgIn fact, we often do this too well!  It is easier for us to want to believe that things should all blend in and be the same.  We are then able to find those things that are different and easily call them out. But have we forgot that Christ did not pray for us to be the same?  He prayed for us to be united.  If we actually looked closer at what we felt were different we might actually see that they have more in common than they often do different.  IF we spend more time trying to find that common ground rather than trying to find ways to set people, and even groups, apart, then we will actually find ourselves in a position to better understand and fulfill Christs prayer for all of us.

PSALM:

The Lord is King, the most high over all the earth.

In the Acts of the Apostle we see division and enmity.  We hear of Stephen, the first Martyr, brought to the Sanhedrin for judgement and punishment. After being condemned to be stoned, we hear the call of Stephen for unity.  For the sins of those who cast the stones upon him to not be held against them.  It is this message that shows us the compassion of Stephen combines with the ability to show and experience “perfect love” granted by God towards those that wish to bring him harm—that they might come to experience unity with him through the forgiveness of this sin.  It is here that Stephen comes to once again remind us of the possibility of reconciliation through the sacrifice of God, and through God alone.  As we come to the conclusion of Revelation which we have been reading throughout the Easter season, we find the hope and wish for fulfillment through Christs desire for unity: Jesus invites us , “Let the one who thirsts come forward, and the one who wants it receive the gift of life giving water.”

Unknown.jpegIn the psalm we find Israel worshiping among other nations who serve other gods.  In present day, idols are not foreign gods, but rather the things that we allow to take a higher place than God in our lives. Chaos and despair are bound to rule when we allow things such as:  money, power, fame, drugs, pornography, hate or anything “thing” come before God or take a place above God.  When we can find the personal will power to place all of these things below God, and submit ourselves to the powerful God—allowing him to become: “Most High over All the Earth”; it is THEN that we will find peace and unity among all the nations.

St Jude of Impossible situations, PRAY FOR US!

Deus lo Vult!

†lvm†