Saturday, April 15, 2023

Divine Mercy 2023


Divine Mercy Sunday “Let us also go to die with Him!”


As I was reading the Gospel this year for the 5th Sunday of Lent…I noticed something I had never notice before… that Gospel about Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead had a line I would like to read today…and it is this…

“The disciples said to him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just trying to stone you, and you want to go BACK to Bethany???  But Thomas, called Didymus, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go to die with him.”


Fast forward to today’s Gospel, we see this same Thomas called Didymus who doubts the Resurrection until he can see Jesus for himself.


What is the main takeaway from this…The Apostle Thomas showed tremendous courage while Jesus was alive the first time…but later St. Thomas flees from Jesus in the Garden…St. Thomas doubts in today’s Gospel…and after Pentecost he goes to India and evangelizes…and is eventually martyred there.


To distill this down to an even finer point…some of us say we are ready to die for the Lord…abandon Him at some point in our life…doubt Him at other times…but, if we stay close to Christ and His Church then God will always welcome us home no matter how far we have strayed…and God might even call us to actually give up our life for Christ.


The words at the bottom of the Divine Mercy image are as critical to our life today as they ever have been…we need to be like St. Thomas who said at some point in his life and meant it for the rest of his life - “Jesus, I trust in you!”



Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Easter Tuesday, 2023 "Do not touch me?"


Homily for Easter Tuesday, 2023 - "Do not touch me?"


It is not the case that Jesus does not want anyone to touch him.  He tells Thomas to touch his side and believe.


It is also not that Jesus doesn’t want women touching Him.  In Matthew 28:9 we read that this same Mary Magdalene and some other women met the resurrected Lord and fell at his feet and EMBRACED his feet.


So why, in this instance, does Jesus tell Mary Magdalene to not touch Him?  Saint John Chrysostom says that this was like Jesus telling Mary Magdalene “do not think that I have a mortal life, and can associate with you as before”


Again, as I have said so often, we have an infinitely greater gift than getting to touch Jesus, we are able to receive him into our bodies, and as St. Augustine said 1700 years ago, our bodies digest ordinary food to turn ordinary food into our bodies.  But when we receive Jesus in the Eucharist, He changes our bodies into His body.

Friday, April 7, 2023

Holy Thursday 2023


Holy Thursday 2023


I have heard it a lot from various people inside and outside the Catholic Church that the Mass should be much more like the Last Supper.  These persons say that the Catholic Church has added lots of unnecessary trappings to the Mass…incense, bells, candles, high altars…and that none of those things were present at the First Mass which was the Last Supper.  These persons say the Catholic Mass should be celebrated as close as possible to the Last Supper.


But you never hear people make that argument about Christmas (Which means Christ’s Mass)…no one thinks that we should celebrate Christmas in a cave nor a barn…we have added lots of things as the world has come to appreciate Christmas (Christ’s Mass) more…we have added evergreen trees, a symbol of unending life that Christ came to bring…we have added lots of lights…which remind us of Christ being the light of the world…we give gifts as a reminder of the greatest gift of all time…


The fact is that it took the Catholic Church about 400 years to work out the Doctrine of the Trinity…and so lots of other things…like Chirstmas and the Mass in general, have added things through the centuries.


When people see the Mass taking place, they need to recognize, instantly, that this is something that is not just a circle of friends…this is not just a prayer service…this is a participation in the one sacrifice of Jesus on Calvary.


And therefore our charity, symbolize by my washing the feet of 12 people tonight, needs to flow from and lead us back to the Catholic Mass.  It is a consistent upward spiral, if we continue to participate in Mass and then go serve the poor. 


May the Mass, and our charitable works that flow out of each Mass, continue to draw more and more people home to the Catholic Church…the Church that Christ has established for the salvation of every person on Earth.