December 19, 2019- Reflection

Luke 1:5-25

Announcement of the Birth of John

When you think of ordinary people, you do not get much close to the definition than that of Zachariah and wife Elizabeth.  But even with ordinary people, as with all people, God has a special plan/role for them.  An angel was sent to visit Zachariah.  This angel came with a message that Zachariah was not quick to pay attention to—sounds familiar to 10807471605_be4afc6766_bmany of us!  After sharing the message Zachariah was rendered mute, unable to speak.  So, for nine months he spent waiting for the birth of their child.  They may not have known it, but they were VERY much part of God’s plan.

Just like Zachariah and Elizabeth, each one of us are special and that comes with the unique distinction of God having a specific plan and mission for each one of us.  We come to find that role through the participation in the Eucharist—the celebration of the Eucharist through the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Christ.  This is exactly what happens each time that we received the Sacraments.  This is God’s gift to us, the presence of Christ.

As you read the Gospels you slowly discover the complete humanity of Christ.  Can you picture seeing Christ in a crowd of people, and as you gaze in their eyes and face, you see john-baptistthe image of God?  Afterall we were indeed created in the image of God and in his likeness.  Christ, God become human, spent his life showing us the human dignity of living in the image and likeness of God.  Since Jesus died and rose from the dead, he sent the Spirit to live within us so we can live as Jesus lived, and be his presence in the world which we live.  We must take this message and share with others, as we have been given the greatest gift of all.

Zachariah and Elizabeth play a part in the Salvation of the world.  We must be grateful that they raised their son, John, who was meant to proclaim Jesus as the Messiah!

 

©Dr. Lawrence V. McCrobie, Ed.D.-KHS. http://www.LawrenceMcCrobie.com.    www.LawrenceVMcCrobie.com

December 18, 2019

Matthew 1:18-25

Be Not Afraid!

images.jpegA more exact statement is to; Do Not Be Afraid!  And we are indeed blessed with four different accounts of the Birth of Jesus.  Each of the Gospel narratives have their own theology, creating a unique and somewhat different point of view.  In this Year A, we come across Matthew’s encounter with the birth of Jesus.  It is important to note and understand that Matthew was writing for a Jewish community—which is why he begins with the male aspect of the family, St. Joseph.  Matthew places emphasis on the fact that Joseph is a man that is suffering from the news that Mary is indeed pregnant.  And that it is not biologically of his line.  Joseph is at a crossroads.  What should he do?  When we look at Luke’s account, which is at contrast, Mary becomes the central figure.  Her fiat from the question posed by the Archangel Be Not AfraidGabriel – this narrative is a much different angle of the story of the incarnation.  You can see how the different accounts take on new meaning depending on which “lens” one looks through:  In Matthew it is through the lens of Joseph, and in Luke’s account it is through Mary’s. The result is in fact the same, the one central difference is that instead of an excited young girl happy to give birth to the Messiah, we get the image of a man who is slightly shocked and saddened that his soon to be bride is pregnant.  The one centralized focal point, and point of “unity” in the two differing account is when the angel says to Joseph, as when Gabriel said unto Mary,  DO NOT BE AFRAID!

Let us all be fearless in of Faith!

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Crest of Dr. Lawrence V. McCrobie, Ed.D.-KHS.                       “Be Not Afraid”

December 17, 2019

Matthew 1:1-17

maxresdefaultMatthew proclaims a lineage/ancestry of sorts for Jesus.  This is not so that Jesus might be able to discover or come to discover things about his ancestors (human family), but rather so that we might come to better understand things about Christ that we should understand.  Matthew speaks to us so that we can better understand who Jesus is from understanding HIS roots.  This is accomplished in the opening words that are proclaimed, and then follows Christ’s “genealogy”—The Son of David- Son of Abraham. (It is in the Gospel of St Luke that this lineage is traced back even further, to Adam and Eve).

Matthew initially is proclaiming this message to Jewish Christians, bringing the news that Christ has been sent to fulfill the promises that were made to Abraham, the promise that came to David and to all those in his house.  If, for Luke, Jesus the Christ is, more than Adam and infinitely more truly, the Son of God, for Matthew, Jesus the Christ is the fulfillment in human history of that salvation which began with Abraham.  This is all presented to us through the coming of Christ, whom in indeed the Son of God and truly is the Son of Abraham, David, and of Mary.

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We must reflect and remember that this lineage belongs to each one of us.  For we each as Christians are reborn in and into Christ.  The identity given and imposed on us in this fallen world, and through the history of sin, is abolished and washed clean.  Our true nature and our purity is given once again to us through the rebirth into Christ – restoring us as a child of God.

REJOICE IN THE LORD!

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.

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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†

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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†

6th Sunday of Easter- May 26, 2019

Gospel Acclamation: John 10:23

Whoever loves me will keep my word, says the Lord, and my Father will love him and we will come to him.

 

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“I AM” by Akiane

The Gospel this Sunday comes from John—more specifically it is from the Last Supper.  Even though we are nearing the end of the Easter season we are brought back to an event happening in Lent.  It is here that we hear words of wisdom from Jesus.  This is also a point of foreshadowing for what is to come in two short weeks—Pentecost—as Jesus tells the disciples that the Father will send the Holy Spirit as an advocate in the name of Jesus.  The purpose of the Holy Spirit is to teach the disciples and to remind them of Christs message; simply put, to become an advocate of Christ. THE HOLY SPIRIT IS A GIFT FROM THE FATHER!  This gift was something meant for all Christians through all generations.

 

There are other gifts given to us—like that of Peace.  Though we are reminded that it is Christ that gives us Peace and not the world.  The Peace that Christ gives us is something that completes us wholly in our interior.  We should be at peace internally.  We should let go of anger, aggression, anxiety, the pursuit of ill-gotten gain.  By creating a sense of Peace, we are able to fully live in harmony with Christ.

KEY PHRASE: Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you.

Jesus knows that the disciples and all Christians are soon face turmoil.  Christ is able to offer them Peace as one final gift in His human form. When Christ rises, and sees the peace_1474.jpgdisciples huddled in the Upper Room, He again reminds them that Peace should be with them.  He reminds them: “Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.”  Christ NEVER tires of offering this offering of Peace.

Christ always wants Peace to be with us.  When we are faced with rules and decrees, or anything that places burdens upon others, we need to take a moment to reflect back to see if it is truly the will of Jesus that wishes to burden His people—or if he wishes for peace.  This can be found in the reading today from Acts of the Apostles.  The early church is struggling with the process of how to allow Gentiles to join the Church.  Paul and Barnabas head to Jerusalem to discuss with the Apostles to see if circumcision should be required for Gentile Christians.  It is through the prayer and discernment of Peter and James with the Holy Spirit that they rule in favor of not requiring circumcision for Gentile Christians and write a letter to the Gentile churches explaining that they do this to place the Gentiles with a Peace of Mind and clarify that they do not wish to place undue burden upon them.

PSALM: May the peoples praise you, O God; may all the peoples praise you!

We see this spread all throughout the messages today.  In the readings, today we see the 8408653.jpgGentiles receive the good news of Jesus’ death and resurrection and are brought into the early Church with their Jewish brothers and sisters. Then we are given a vision of the Holy City [Jerusalem], becoming a beacon for the world and all nations to “walk by its light”, and to be shared to all peoples.

Can we find how we experience the Peace of Christ in our daily lives?  How can we take God’s direction to Be Not Afraid, and not allow our hearts to become filled with fear and troubled?  And how can we bring the Lord’s light into our life and allow it to shine within us?

O Heavenly Prince of Peace, PRAY FOR US!

Deus lo Vult!

†lvm†

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