Saturday, April 25, 2009

Blessings and inspiration.... here is a day in the life of a priest...

Today was a beautiful day.

8:30 I went to buy donuts for the kids who were coming to work.

The morning and afternoon was spent cataloging books for Tanzania and moving them to the storage container. Here's some pics. It got so hot I ordered Rita's Ice for the volunteers. In the afternoon when the books were all cataloged and placed in the container we started packing and moving the computers. The computer volunteers finished all of the updates and we switched all the power supplies to 230 volts (what they use in Kigoma).. It is amazing how this project is coming together. We have collected cataloged and boxed 5641 books and I am so pleased with the quality of the donations. Here is the online catalog of what we are sending. Library thing is a really great website check it out. You type in the ISBN number and it pull the complete record for book with all of the subject headings.

Around two I went to see the group of students who were going to the Invisible Children Rally
by the National Mall. The purpose of this event was to bring attention to the plight of the thousands of children in Dafur who are forced to join militias. We sent a really good group of students both in quality and quantity.

Around 3:00 I took what was left of the Rita's Ice Buckets to the South Side Showdown. There were lots of kids their and lots of water fun. Someone dumped a whole bucket of ice water on me. I have to admit it felt good.

This evening I went to the Annual Red line Invitational which is a benefit concert by area acapella (how do you spell that) groups to benefit the missions where our students will volunteer this year. (Sorry no pictures.

While we were working
on the container another group of students took all of my garden stuff to the roof. It's that time again. Here are some pictures from last year...

Our students are generous, committed, passionate and very willing to put in a good day's work for a worthy cause. It is a privilege for me to be a part of their lives... even though I can't remember their names to save my life... somethings never change.

Coming up...

The Luau will be this Friday May 1st, from 5 to 10 Rain or Shine...

The final shipment day for the container to Kigoma will be on May 4th.. we will only have two hours to transfer everything to the new container... Yicks... HELP and PRAYERS NEEDED.

I'm still tired and inspired.

Protect us Lord as we stay awake
Watch over us as we sleep
That awake we may keep watch with Christ
And asleep rest in his peace.


Friday, April 24, 2009

Third Sunday of Easter Year – B 2009

From today’s Gospel.

We learn that God doesn’t give up easy…
When Jesus appears to his apostles
He appears to a broken, disillusioned, and even frightened group of men.

Even when they see him they are incredulous,
they can’t believe what they see.

He has to repeatedly engage them, calm them, and coax them to belief.

“Look at my hands and my feet,
Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones
as you can see I have."
And as he said this,
he showed them his hands and his feet.”

It took the disciples a while to come to believe and Jesus was persistent he didn’t give up.

Once they dared to believe,

“Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.”

The Cross was part of God’s plan it was not something he was forced to do.

He helped them understand that being willing to suffer, is part of love.

Jesus, the Messiah willingly suffered and died to bring us to redemption because he loved us.

Finally with the last line of the Gospel Jesus gave the apostles their mission.

“You are witnesses of these things”.

A witness is only a witness if he speaks, if he testifes.
witness who says nothing is no witness at all.

And so you see holy one…

Today’s world like the Apostles gathered in that room is broken, disillusioned, and frightened.

Today’s Gospel should inspire us to have patience the same patience that Jesus showed to the Apostles.

Remember after all the time he spent with them he he still had to coax them to belief.

We must be patient

Patient with our friends
Patient with our families
Patient even with those who refuse to believe who remain incredulous.

I know its hard not to get fed up or give up when someone just won’t change
but that’s what the Gospel calls us to do.

Today’s Gospel should inspire, challenge us to sacrificial love, it should challenge us not only to face the cross but to willingly embrace it..

Only when we are willing to look beyond our own needs
only when we are willing to suffer, for someone else
can we dare to say that we are capable of loving.

To chose to love is also to be willing to suffer

Finally our one of our greatest failures is to accept our mission to be witnesses.

The message of the Gospel is meant for everyone
because.. w
e fail to live it credibly
Because we fail to speak
Because we fail to testify

Quite often we are very poor witnesses indeed.

If all of us on this campus who attend Mass lived our faith credibly what a different campus and a different world it would be indeed.


Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Friday Year B 2009

Good Friday is not like any other day of the year.
It is not necessarily a day of comfort.
It is a somber day.
It is a day which should cause us to stop and reflect.

Good Friday is a day which often leaves us with a strange feeling as we walk out of church,
a feeling that something is not yet finished,
a feeling that something is not complete.

I feel always feel an emptiness on Good Friday when I see the door of the tabernacle left open and the tabernacle light out.
The empty tabernacle reminds, us all of the power of the real presence which we so often take for granted.

And all of these feelings do not happen by chance.
The church goes to great lengths to set mood and create these feelings.

The altar is stripped
Many times the statues are covered or removed
The holy water fonts are dry
Here at catholic we always take things a little farther, the sacristans even roll up the carpets in the sanctuary.
You see my dear friends the rituals and traditions of Good Friday
are meant to teach us a lot about ourselves,
and they also teach us a lot about God.

Good Friday puts before our eyes the reality of our sin.
It reminds us that all of us are sinners,
all of us are broken.

It reminds us that sin is a part of our lives,
it reminds us that our sins cause pain and cause hurt,
Not only in our own lives but in the lives of everyone we meet.

Good Friday teaches us that our sins are so serious
That, God Himself has to intervene..

Good Friday teaches that God is just not willing to give up on us.
It shows us just how far God is willing to go for us.
On Good Friday we see the ultimate proof of God’s love.

And from the tree of life, from the cross,
we learn how we can and how should respond to the sin in our own life
and the sin in lives of those around us.

When creation strayed from God,
God did not break off His relationship with us
he doesn’t give up on us.

When we sin God does not move farther away,
instead he came closer.

In fact He came very close.
He sent his Son

So often in our lives when people hurt us when we feel the effects of our sins and the sins of others,
our first inclination is to run and hide,
to get away  to distance ourselves.

When things get messy, when things go bad,
God does not run and hide,

A second thing we learn on Good Friday is that God did not pretend that our sin was not present
he didn’t look the other way rather he acknowledged our sin.
He faced it and he calls us to do the same.

So often when we come in contact with sin or when we sin ourselves we pretend that it really doesn’t  matter.

We say things like,
I’m not hurt, or I haven’t hurt anyone,
as if we somehow we have the ability to wish power of sin away.

On the cross Jesus teaches us that sin is real and it matters and it can’t be taken lightly.
On the cross Jesus teaches us that sin demands a radical response from God and a radical response from us.

On Good Friday we see how God responds to our sin
Compelled by love for each one of us
God responds to our sin by taking it upon himself.
By paying the price of our sin Himself on the cross
He allows Himself to feel it’s pain.

We too must be willing to take on the pain of the cross.
We too must be willing to carry the cross.

By lovingly taking our sins upon his shoulders God transforms the
When he forgives them He redeems them.

God shows us how we can change evil into good.
He shows us that love even has the power to redeem sin

So often we respond to sin, and pain, with sin and pain
So often we allow the evil we experience to take root in our hearts
To distort us.

It is so easy for us to allow evil to breed evil
And pain to cause pain.

It is so easy for us to allow anger and resentment to make us angry and resentful

When that happens evil and anger and sin wins…

Jesus did not allow our sins to make him become angry or bitter.
Rather he heals them with this love.

The world would be so different if we like God could respond to sin with love.

This is such an important lesson for all us to learn.

Finally, despite our transgressions,
despite our sin, from the pulpit of the cross,
Jesus he prayed for us.

He took our sin upon himself and he offered up his suffering for us
the very people who had sinned against him.
Forgive them Father they know not what they are doing.

How often do we pray for those who hurt us?
How often do we offer up our pain and hurt for the very people who cause them?

Yes Good Friday teaches us so much.
We learn so much from powerful witness of the cross.

Let us not run from sin
let us not fear evil.
Let us look sin in the eye
let us face it and acknowledge is.
Let us willingly carry our cross.
When someone sins against us let us not respond in kind
Let us not allow evil to take root in our hearts.
Instead of letting sin change us let us change it.
Let us love the sinner and redeem the sin.

In a few moments when kneel before the cross
When we venerate it.

Let us all pray God that we learn its lessons well.

We adore you or Christ and we praise you
Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world

Friday, April 03, 2009

Palm Sunday Year B – 2009

They had been with Him for years.

They had seen Him transfigured on a mountain top with Moses and Elijah.

They had seen Him walk on water and calm the winds and waves of a storm.

They had watched Him compassionately heal the sick sometimes even at great personal risk to Himself.

We don’t even know about all of the private  little personal conversations that he shared with each one of the apostles as they walked down the dusty roads or warmed themselves by the fire at night,

Jesus listening to them,
talking with them,
laughing with them,
and even crying with them.

And yet after they had experienced all of these incredibly powerful things…
they could not even stay awake with Him for an hour in the garden of Gethsemane.
they betrayed him,
they ran away and abandoned Him,
they denied Him,

Yet don’t be fooled  the story of the passion of Jesus Christ,
is not about betrayal,
it is not about abandonment,
It is not about denial…

It is rather is about being loyal,
about being loyal even
unto death.

The passion teaches us just how far God will go..
The passion teaches us how strong God’s love is for each and everyone of us…
…no matter what our sins are,
no matter how cold our hearts have become.

Holy ones sadly we are not much different than the apostles.

All of our lives are filled with incredible moments of grace.

Our families
Our friends
Our talents our gifts
The chance to be here and study and learn.
The chance to prepare ourselves well to make a difference in a world so much in need of love and healing.

We have all received
grace after grace after grace after grace after grace,
sadly sometimes we just don’t seem them.

We like the apostles run and hide.
We like the apostles fail to be loyal to our friends,
and we like the apostles often only stick around when things are going well.

We like the apostles live  as though we are not loved or that God does not care for us…

As we meditate on the Passion of our Lord Jesus

Let strive to imitate God’s faithfulness,

Let us try to follow the example of Jesus who loved us all with reckless abandon ,a loving reckless abandon which led him to His death on the cross the price of His love.

Remember when he died on the cross the veil in the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.

That which had separated the holy of Holies That which had separated God from us and His creation was gone.

Nothing now separates us
can separate us from the love of Christ.

We adore you O Christ and we praise you
Because by your holy Cross you have Redeemed the World.