“It is necessary for us to undergo many hardships to enter the Kingdom of God.” Many folks really work very hard to circumvent difficult situations. We prefer the easier way around something, rather than risk inconvenience, hurt or prolonged suffering. It’s no wonder euthanasia is rapidly becoming acceptable around the world. Through purely human eyes, there is no issue bypassing the inevitable, taking control and bringing things more swiftly to a place of peace. If this is the way God sees things, then why does Jesus make such a big deal helping us understand the experience of suffering and embrace it? God’s wisdom clearly takes us in another direction.READ MORE
“Human beings, while capable of the worst, are also capable of rising above themselves, choosing again what is good, and making a new start.” (Pope Francis) We have a difficult time figuring out what is true and best for us. There are many voices talking and so many trying to get our attention. We wrongly convince ourselves that the true voice is the voice of progress, the one that speaks of contemporary wants and desires, enticing us with the latest trends and causes. We are taught, by listening to the voices around us, that truth is found in feelings and thought, and ideals must match current and popular human wants. Because we feel a particular way it must be true. Then, we find a shepherd who empathizes with us and affirms us. We follow that voice even though listening to that voice will render us powerless and lead us to harm. There are many with me in this procession to this pasture. I must be on the right path and listening to the right voice.READ MORE
Could it be that God’s image has become so soiled and distorted that it is hard for us to see it? Our self-serving agendas have done a great job twisting God’s image into what profits us. We want our agenda to be God’s agenda and use prayer as the convincing leverage we need. Worse still, our success and egocentric agenda often erases God’s image completely, replacing it with our own. St. Oscar Romero instructs us that the Son of Man “dies on the cross to cleanse God’s image, which is soiled in today’s humanity, a humanity so enslaved, so selfish, so sinful.” Striving to preserve control of our destinies at all costs, we fail to see the risen suffering servant, the Christ, standing right beside us.READ MORE
Even Thomas struggles to remove his boulder! Being very pragmatic and determined, he wants to see the risen Christ for himself! Thomas’s boulder is heavy with mistrust. Many of ours are too. A certain amount of skepticism is good, as it can save us from being duped or misled. But we can become so skeptical of things that it erodes our ability to trust anything we see or hear. Skepticism can actually be a well-disguised defense mechanism that we use to prevent us from being hurt or perceived as a fool. Having too much ego protection is a real risk. Thomas, because of the boulder blocking his vision, could not even trust the word of his friends.READ MORE
Dear Friends in Christ: Christ is Risen! Alleluia!
Alleluia means “praise the Lord.” Why do we praise Him, especially today? Because the whole Church, and with her all of creation, rejoices with the victory of the Risen Christ.READ MORE
Pope St. John Paul II rightly taught, “To believe in Jesus is to accept what he says, even when it runs contrary to what others are saying. It means rejecting the lure of sin, however attractive it may be, in order to set out on a difficult path of Gospel virtues.” Acceptance, rejection, suffering, betrayal, fear, reluctance, persecution, and painful, undeserved and unjust death are all played out in dramatic fashion today.READ MORE
We love to make examples out of those who have erred and done wrong. Publicly punishing others serves as a means of demonstrating the consequences for what is deemed inappropriate or wrongful behavior. While this may appear an effective way of achieving conformity to established rules, it runs the real risk of distorting motivation. Obviously, we want people to do what is right and pursue healthy, virtuous behaviors and ideals. But is fear of punishment ever the best motivation for avoiding one action in favor of another?READ MORE