Monday, February 22, 2016

Msgr. Walter Presents A Lenten Reflection Series


 
Priest, Prophet, King

A DVD  presentation of the
Most Rev. Robert Barron

Session One: Wednesday, March 2, at 7:00 pm
                                      Lesson One: Adoratio
                                      Lesson Two: The High Priest

Session Two: Wednesday, March 9, at 7:00 pm
                                      Lesson Three: Challenging False Worship
                                      Lesson Four: the Word Made Flesh

Session Three: Wednesday, March 16, at 7:00 pm
                                      Lesson Five: Ordering the Kingdom
                                      Lesson Six: King of Kings

Each lesson will be preceded by an introduction
and followed by shared reflections.

All sessions will take place at Guardian Angel Church hall,
193 Tenth Avenue, and will end at 8:30 pm.

Most Rev. Robert Barron is the creator of the
renowned TV series Catholicism.

Parish of Guardian Angel/St. Columba
212-807-8876

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Lent 2016: Fast and Abstain for Mercy

As we enter in this Holy Season of Lent, I would like to share with you, my dear friends, a different way to look at sacrifices and Lenten resolutions. In general, people tend to have a very negative view of sacrifices. Perhaps this is due to the simple dictionary definition of sacrifice:

“the act of giving up something that you want to keep especially in order to get or do something else or to help someone: an act of killing a person or animal in a religious ceremony as an offering to please a god: a person or animal that is killed in a sacrifice” (www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sacrifice).

This negative view is expressed in the fact that sacrifice means for many some sort of surrender of something of value as means of preventing some evil; e.g., “I will give up candy for Lent because the Church says I must abstain and fast on Fridays lest I be condemned.”

In addition, there is the misinterpretation of the words of our Lord Jesus Christ: “But go and learn what this means: ‘I want mercy and not sacrifices’” (Ps 50; Mt 9:13 quoting Hos 6:6). Most people ignore that the OT Covenant was centered on a liturgy whose central aspect of worship consisted in offering holocaust sacrifices to appease the wrath of God. We are talking about a system in which every year thousands of animals were slaughtered and, burnt to God as means of worship. In the NT Our Lord Jesus reproaches that those sacrifices amount for nothing if there is no love in the heart of the one doing the offering. In fact, with the advent of the New Covenant, liturgy radically changed its understanding and its ways for worshiping the Lord. No longer, there is need to sacrifice animals, neither to sprinkle the sacrificial blood unto the People of God, the Sanctuary and the Altar, in order to be purified and thus be rendered acceptable for worship. The Lord Jesus Christ revealed to us that the only sacrifice from pleasing to the Father in Heaven is the very own Sacrifice of His Only Begotten Son on the Ara Crucis.  

Perhaps the etymology of the word sacrifice may assist us to understand the novelty of Jesus’ teachings. Sacrifice in Latin is sacrificium, from sacer holy + facere to make; a sacrifice is to make something holy, and not just to prevent us from evil. There is nothing negative in Jesus’ sacrifice on Calvary. He did not just give up his life to please his Father. On the contrary, Our Lord Jesus Christ embraced the Patibulum Crucis with the very essence of the power of his Agape Love: “No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again; this charge I have received from my Father” (Jn 10: 18). Sacrifices are then, things we do to sanctify other people and ourselves or to sanctify situations, or things important to us. What it is important is not so much what we offer, but the intention for which and in which we offer sacrifice.

During this year of Mercy, Papa Francisco invites us to live out the Corporal and Spiritual works of Mercy: The corporal works of mercy are as follows: To feed the hungry; to give drink to the thirsty; to clothe the naked; to harbor the harbourless; to visit the sick; to ransom the captive; and to bury the dead. And the spiritual works of mercy are:  to instruct the ignorant; to counsel the doubtful; to admonish sinners; to bear wrongs patiently; to forgive offences willingly; to comfort the afflicted; to pray for the living and the dead. Let us, particularly, do those as our Lenten sacrifices.

Nevertheless, I would like to invite you also to consider going an extra step in offering to Jesus that which you enjoy the most; that which, unfortunately, has trapped you in its nets, so that, without it, you feel very empty. I am talking about your phones and your tablets, your LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Facetime, WhatsApp, Skype and all the social networks available. Make them holy, that is sacrifice them, offer them up, so that in turn the Lord may increase in you the power of his Agape Love in order to  rise with Him on Easter Sunday. Please pass it on this Lent, let us fast and abstain for an increase of Love in our hearts … Jesus is waiting for you nailed onto the Cross, what are you going to do? He loved you first and now he is expecting your act of love in return, he is expecting you. Open you heart and love him back the way He loved you. Fast and Abstain for Mercy.

Fr. Randy Soto
Kenrick Seminary
Saint Louis, Mo
Lent 2016

Thursday, February 11, 2016

From Pope Francis - February 10, 2016

GENERAL AUDIENCE

Saint Peter's Square
- Wednesday, 10 February 2016 -

If we want God to be merciful to us, it must come from us first.

Many pilgrims looked shocked as they watched a sick patient being brought on a stretcher, so that the Pope could bless and greet people who accompanied him.

It was moments before Pope Francis began a new general audience in which he explained the origin of the Jubilee in the Old Testament. It was celebrated every 50 years and was a time of  "general amnesty when debts were canceled and the land restituted to their owners.”

POPE FRANCIS

"The goal was a society based on equality and solidarity, where freedom, land and money to become a good for everyone, not just for some, as is the case now.”

Pope Francis said that today's wealth is controlled by a few and said that a concrete way to live the Jubilee is by living fraternity and giving to those in need.

POPE FRANCIS

"Jubilee is to transform, so that our hearts get bigger, more generous, more filled with the love of God. But I tell you one thing. If this desire, if the Jubilee does not reach your bank account then it is not a true Jubilee. Is this understood?”

Pope Francis recalled that the Jubilee originally reminded people that everything belongs to God.  We are all brothers and we should not subject our neighbor to misery.

POPE FRANCIS

"And often, in desperation, many men end in suicide because they fail and don't have hope. They don't find a helping hand but a hand that asks them to pay interest. FLASH. The biblical message is clear: open up courageously and share. This is mercy. And if we want God to be merciful to us it must come from us first.”


Pope Francis concluded by calling for prayers for his meeting with the Patriarch of Moscow on Friday, in Cuba, and for his next trip to Mexico.



© Copyright 2016 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

February 11th - Fr. James Martin, S.J.
discusses “Seven Last Words”


Fr. Martin will discuss his new book, followed by a book signing.
This event is free. (Voluntary donations accepted at the door.)

Seven Last Words: An Invitation to a Deeper Friendship with Jesus

Based on his talks at New York’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Good Friday 2015, the New York Times bestselling author and editor at large of America magazine, Fr. James Martin, S.J. offers a portrait of Jesus, using his last words on the cross to reveal how deeply he understood our predicaments, what it means to be fully human, and why we can turn to Christ completely, in mind, heart, and soul.



February 11th at the Sheen Center: http://sheencenter.org/…/authors-series-fr-james-martin-s-j/.