Monday, April 20, 2015

Testify to Love (Avalon)

Testify to Love

All the colors of the rainbow, all the voices of the wind;
Every dream that reaches out,
That reaches out to find where love begins;
Every word of every story, every star in every sky,
Every corner of creation lives to testify.

For as long as I shall live, I will testify to love.
I’ll be a witness in the silences when words are not enough.
With every breath I take, I will give thanks to God above,
For as long as I shall live, I will testify to love.

From the mountains to the valleys,
From the rivers to the sea (rivers to the sea);
Every hand that reaches out,
Every hand that reaches out to offer peace (give peace);
Every simple act of mercy,
Every step to kingdom come (kingdom come),
All the hope in every heart will speak what love has done.


Colors of the rainbow, voices of the wind,
Dream that reaches out where the love begins,
Word of every story, star in every sky,
Corner of creation testify
Mountains to the valleys, rivers to the sea,
Hand that reaches out to offer peace,
Simple act of mercy, step to kingdom come
Every heart will speak of what love has done
Colors of the rainbow, voices of the wind,
Dream that reaches out where the love begins,
Word of every story, star in every sky,
Corner of creation testify


Video source
Lyrics source

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Sunday Gospel Reflection, April 19, 2015: The love of God is truly perfected in him...

Do you know the Risen Christ?

Jesus appears several times to his disciples after the Resurrection.  For example, in our gospel reading from Luke this Sunday, Jesus reveals himself to his disciples both in the Word and in the Breaking of the Bread.  In so doing, he transforms their meal, opening their minds, and their hearts, and inviting them – Peace be with you – to let go of what is holding them down – their doubts, their unbelief, their sin and fear – so that they, too might be transformed.  And then, fully present to them, body and spirit, Jesus asks them to enter into his death and rising with him so that they might be his witnesses to all that is written, so that they might preach repentance in his name.

Peter has been doing just that throughout Jerusalem, as we read in Acts this week, witnessing not only to all that God has done, but to the forgiveness Peter himself has experienced in his own life.  Peter calls his listeners to do the same: to know the risen Jesus, to know the power of his death and resurrection at work in their lives.  Repent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be wiped away, he tells them, for Jesus, as the epistle-writer John tells us, is expiation for our sins (1 John).  And, once they are in right relationship with God, Psalm 4 assures them, they will fall peacefully asleep, able to enjoy God’s countenance shining upon them, and the gladness God puts in their hearts.

Do you know the Risen Christ?
(Hint:  for starters, he’s present in the Word and in the Breaking of the Bread!)

This post is based on Fr. Pat's Scripture class.
Image source:  Wordle

Monday, April 13, 2015

My peace I give to you

My peace I give to you...
Are you comfortable with the Sign of Peace?

Parishioners under 50 might not recall that the Sign of Peace was reintroduced following the deliberations of Vatican II.  After the celebrant prays that the peace of Christ fill our hearts, our families, our Church, our communities, and our world, we are invited to share with those around us a sign of Christ’s peace.  As we do so, we might keep in mind that it is Jesus taking the initiative here:  I leave you peace, my peace I give to you.  It is this peace, born of the gift of salvation, that calmed the worried disciples as they sheltered in a locked room on Pentecost; indeed, it is so important, Jesus says it twice!  Surely it should be as important to us…

When we say to one another at the Mass, Peace be with you, we are extending to those around us something bigger than ourselves, namely, the knowledge of all that Jesus’s love has to bring to this world.  We are invited to share some sign of that love active in our life, communicating it to others, so that that love can flow from within to without, filling our world.  The love of God can’t be contained, or preserved.  Peace be with you is our invitation to others to find the peace that only love can bring, the love, and peace, we know in our hearts.

Peace be with you!

This post is based on Fr. Pat's Scripture class.
Image source

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Sunday Gospel Reflection, April 12, 2015: Jesus is the Christ...

How do we give witness to what we believe?

Sunday’s gospel reading from John reminds us of the story of the disciple Thomas, who is not present when Jesus first visits the apostles, and whose doubt is manifest:  Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my fingers into the nailmarks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.  As it happens, Thomas has only to see the Lord one week later and his conversion is immediate:  My Lord and my God!  he exclaims.  God revealed before him elicits a profound statement of faith, and Jesus’ reflection on this moment is telling:  Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.

After the first generation of disciples has passed, of course, this will be the situation of all those (including us) in the Church:  they will not see, yet they will believe.  In our reading from the Acts of the Apostles, it is the great power of the witness of the apostles that helps them to strive for peaceful community, where everyone is of one heart and mind.  All is shared in a just distribution of goods; they had everything in common. In the words of Psalm 118, this is cause for rejoicing, the joyful shout of victory in the tents of the just, the tents of those who do God’s work.

Like the apostles, we are charged with a mission:  As the Father has sent me, so I send you, Jesus says. We are called, in other words, to give witness; it is part of our identity as baptized believers in Christ.  We are called to bring the love God has to bear for us upon the world, to transform it, giving witness to his love with our lives.  With the help of the Spirit – the one that testifies, according to the First Letter of John – we are called to plant ourselves squarely within the domain of God’s love, a position from which we can give open witness to our belief that Jesus is indeed the Christ, and to the ways our lives are transformed, daily, by faith in his love.

This post is based on Fr. Pat's Scripture class.
Image source:  Wordle

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

I have seen the Lord!

In today’s Gospel reading, Mary Magdalene encounters Jesus at the tomb… and she doesn’t recognize him!  How is this possible, we might ask?  Yet, is our experience of Jesus all that different?  Is it not possible for us to encounter Jesus daily, in those we meet, family, friends, colleagues, even perfect strangers?  And yet, how often do we recognize him in them?  

Mary Magdalene does eventually recognize Jesus, when he speaks her name:  Mary.  Like Mary Magdalene, we are called to wait for Jesus’ voice; like her, we are called to see him when he appears before us; like her, we are called to name him, acknowledge him.  And, like Mary Magdalene, we are called to bring the good news to all:  I have seen the Lord!

Where will you see the Lord today?   And whom will you tell?

Image source:  Le Christ ressuscité apparaît à Marie-Madeleine, 14th-century wood carving, Notre-Dame-de-Paris, Paris, France.

Monday, April 6, 2015

The Disciples Peter and John Running to the Sepulchre (Eugène Burnand)

Might the greatest Easter painting ever made not actually contain a representation of Jesus risen?  In Eugène Burnand's The Disciples Peter and John Running to the Sepulchre on the Morning of the Resurrection (1898, above), Elise Ehrhard suggests, the disciples are sprinting towards discovery of the moment that forever altered heaven and earth.  We see their anxiousness and hope, a mystery beyond full human comprehension or control.  Let us see through their eyes, that we, too, may discover the empty tomb... and all that it promises!

Happy Octave of Easter!
To read all of Ehrhard's article, click here.

Article source

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Christ is Risen! Come and see!

In every human situation, marked by frailty, sin, and death, the Good News is no mere matter of words, but a testimony to unconditional and faithful love:  it is about leaving ourselves behind and encountering others, being close to those crushed by life’s troubles, sharing with the needy, standing at the side of the sick, elderly and the outcase…  Come and see!  Love is more powerful, love gives life, love makes hope blossom in the wilderness.  (Pope Francis, Easter 2014)


Image source:  Personal crypt, Père Lachaise Cemetery, Paris