Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Palm Sunday

Today we remember a DEAD MAN WALKING.
Today we remember what happened to Jesus almost 2000 years ago.
Today we pay attention to what is happening to so many others crucified in our times.
This week, we re-enact, symbolically, what really happened to Jesus.
This week, in and thru our liturgical re-enactment, what really happened to Jesus, really happens to us.

Now, we enter into the mystery of Holy week.
Now, God calls us to be with Jesus as Jesus goes to the cross for us.
Now, God calls us to continue Jesus' work of bringing forth the Kingdom of God in our times and places.
Now, God calls us to cry for a creation bent and blurred and beaten by sin and suffering.
Now, God calls us to heal a world filled with people who have been crushed by cruelty and intimidated by intolerance.
Now, God calls us to prophetically cry out and resist those who hate and hurt others.
Now, God calls us to convert those whose hearts are hardened, those who are blinded by desires for revenge.  An "eye for an eye" mentality leads to a world gone blind.
Now, God calls us to Love in Word and Deed; Truly Love to the point of no return; Truly Love to the point of going where Jesus is going, to the cross.
Now, with Jesus we must go to stand on the side of those who throughout history, have been and are and will be butchered and beaten by the powerful and oppressive. 

Today we remember a DEAD MAN WALKING.
Today we remember what happened to Jesus almost 2000 years ago.
Today we pay attention to what is happening to so many others crucified today.

This week, we re-enact, symbolically, what really happened to Jesus.
This week, in and thru our liturgical re-enactment, what really happened to Jesus, really happens to us.


Pay attention to the readings this night.  LET THE SAME MIND BE IN YOU THAT WAS IN CHRIST JESUS.  Pay attention to these readings, for they describe our God for us, this God who became a victim of human greed and intolerance and hate, our Lord who suffered at the hands of oppression.  Our God came and went to the cross to save us.  To save us from all the sin and horror of our human existence.  To save us, and free us from all the pettiness and selfishness that irritates and bugs us.  To save and free us from all that addicts us, and afflicts us.  To save us and free us from all that destroys human persons and human community.  To save us and set us free to believe, free to love, free to hope free.

The readings today are long.  These readings describe Jesus, our Lord, for us.  In these readings, we see Our Lord.  We watch Jesus and learn by imitating him.  The readings today are long.  Holy Week is the World Series of the Liturgical year, the March madness of the Church.  Easter is the real Super Bowl Sunday.  Let’s give some time this week to Jesus….

We need to give time to Jesus so we can become Jesus in our World today.  More than 25 years ago, Archbishop Oscar Romero was assassinated in El Salvador for being the voice of the voiceless, for speaking out against the oppression of the poor and powerless.  Who speaks for the voiceless today?

We learn by imitating others.  Whom will you imitate?  Bernie Madoff?  Tiger Woods?  Paris Hilton and other celebrities?  Or those who follow Christ?

The guys and gals playing in the NCAA March Madness learned how to play by observing others.  This Week we observe and contemplate Jesus.  We have the love of God our Father and the example of Jesus and the power of The Holy Spirit, in and through the church, supporting us, as we become great followers of Christ.

But to Follow Christ, we have to know him and love him, and pay attention to him.  Especially this week, this Holy Week, as he goes to the Cross yet again for us.  Listen.  And Pay Attention.


Fr. Rick Malloy, S.J.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Saturday of the Fifth Week of Lent

Saturday, March 23, 2013
Today’s Gospel from John strikes a chord because of the words from the chief priests and the Pharisees. Fearing Jesus’ power among the people, they say,
“What are we going to do? 
This man is performing many signs.
If we leave him alone, all will believe in him…”
In the Holy Week readings, we hear in no uncertain terms that they did not leave Jesus alone. Yet, the world has about 1.2 billion Catholics today, and Jesus continues to perform signs today, though in different ways, despite his Passion and Crucifixion. Caiaphas “prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation, and not only for the nation, but also to gather into one the dispersed children of God.” This is a reason to kill Jesus, Caiaphas believed. Jesus died at the hands of those who wanted Him dead, but He did for those who wanted Him alive. Those who had Him in their hearts, then and now. They didn’t leave Him alone, but still so many believe in Him, his signs and his love.
God showed us in Jesus’ Passion that the happiest of days can come out of the darkest nights, just as new life came from Jesus’ death. Today, we should be grateful for Jesus’ enduring legacy and the life He gives to us and to the Church even today.
-Laura, 2015

Friday, March 22, 2013

Friday of Fifth Week of Lent

This week’s Friday reflection will be short. Living down here in México for the past two months has taught me a lot. For the past couple of weeks, the morning news has shown the thousands upon thousands of young “Spring Breakers” in bikini’s and sunglasses that have come to Cabo San Lucas, Acapulco, and Cancun for their spring vacations after a long harsh winter season. These “Spring Breakers” come to let loose, party it up, enjoy the sun, and the “works” for a low and reasonable group rate. However, next week we Catholics celebrate our Spring Break a bit differently. In addition to the much needed break from the stressors of tests and papers, we are going to remember how Jesus suffered and died for us in such an amazing way, that two thousand years later it is worthy of a week plus of vacation.
After a long winter of the brutal cold, barrenness, DARKNESS, and 40 days of Lenten observance, we enter into the season of spring with flowers, sunshine, allergies, and life in the air. It is no coincidence that this upcoming week is also when Jesus suffers and dies on the cross in order to triumphant over Death and Sin, giving us Life renewed.
So, now, I invite you to think about your plans for Spring Break……..
In addition to catching up on sleep, watching a ton of TV, hanging out with family and friends, perhaps a short vacation, try and remember the main reason we are off for vacation, Jesus. If you need help staying focused, use this simple prayer:

Ciro, ‘15

Thursday of Fifth Week of Lent

“Faith is the art of holding on to things in spite of your changing moods and circumstances.”  –C.S. Lewis
C.S. Lewis was a very smart man. When I find myself feeling defeated about my faith, or dismissing it as an unattainable goal for the perfectly pious, Lewis can always talk some sense into me.  I love everything about this quote. Firstly, he refers to faith as an “art”—what a beautiful concept. Art takes discipline, creativity, imagination, and, most of all, practice. Now, consider applying all of these skills to faith; naturally, it takes discipline to live faithfully, because it requires self-control, but what about creativity and imagination?  At first, that thought threw me off, but then I realized that my faith has given me a creative lens through which I can view the world with all of the beauty it truly possesses, as designed by God. Furthermore, it made me realize that I possess a personal faith and relationship with God unlike anyone else’s, so naturally, my triumphs, failures, and methods are totally different from those of my brothers and sisters in faith. Finally, the idea that faith takes practice brings me immeasurable comfort. Flaws in faith, no matter how massive, do not indicate failure. They are just steps in an ongoing process, and a sign that more practice is definitely necessary.
Lewis goes on to define faith based upon its permanence—it is immoveable, no matter what. Cognitively, most people with an understanding of faith from a spiritual perspective know this, but anyone who has ever been anything but satisfied (everyone) knows at a deeper level just how difficult of a task this proves to be. Times of great pain or loss can feel like a slap in the face to a person of faith; everything inside of us cries out “How can God do this to me?”. In my experience, at times like this, I try my hardest to picture myself walking alongside Christ carrying the cross, and ask instead, “How is God going to bring me through this?”  Sometimes it works; other times, I have to practice a little bit harder.
As we move rapidly towards Holy Week, there is no better time to begin looking at faith as the art form it is. Everyone falters. Sometimes, faith feels impossible, but maybe, for some, it is a matter of finding the right medium.
-Cailin Potami, Class of 2016

Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Lent

“Brothers and sisters:
I consider everything as a loss 
because of the supreme good of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.
For his sake I have accepted the loss of all things 
and I consider them so much rubbish, 
that I may gain Christ and be found in him.
Phil 3: 8-14
This past Sunday we were given a beautiful reading second reading that I cannot seem to shake from my conscious. It is a concept that is not easy to adopt in our lives - relinquishing all worldly possessions and desires so that we are empty and may be filled with Christ.
It seems almost impossible and certainly would be met with judgment by our society.  We are inundated on a daily basis with advertisements, marketing campaigns, and media which successfully convinces us that buying [insert good or service here] will contribute greatly to our happiness. As a business major, I am sometimes taken back by what we are taught in the classroom. Many times I find myself thinking, “This consumption driven, self-indulgent society is not what God intended.” We were created for much more, and more importantly, are underutilizing ourselves.
I am guilty; of course, to succumbing to the “normal” 21 year old wants. I too have bought Uggs, a Northface coat, and designer clothing. This is not necessarily bad. To have nice, quality things is not bad, but I believe the excess of these things will lead to a misconstrued view of life. We begin to think we need these things. We begin to judge based on what is on our bodies, we see categorize based on what we believe someone’s economic standing to be, and we create ideologies of acceptance based on Elle, Vogue, and Marie Claire.
It is easy to do this. Retail therapy is relaxing, we don’t have to think, it gives us momentary happiness; therefore, we continue to do it. But, what if we tried for a week, two weeks, a month to limit ourselves. Limiting ourselves so that the Divine can enter into our beings and make us limitless. Are you up for the challenge?

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Tuesday of the Fifth Week of Lent

Matthew 18:3 - Then he said, "I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven.
            This is a passage we’ve heard often, but I have never fully understood. At first I thought that you shouldn’t question God, but then how can I grow? So that was option was out. Then I thought you must return to what you believed about God when you were little. But that was a long time ago and I forgot, plus my family was not very ‘into Church’ so I didn’t put much importance in it when I was young. So that wasn’t going to work either.
            After years and years of hearing this, someone showed me what this faith looked like. Last semester I interned at an agency serving adults with intellectual disabilities. One woman had the most beautiful faith I have ever seen in my life. She would see the sun and look up at the sky each day and tell us “God’s watching me.” Even when she had a difficult day, she was immediately cheered up when she saw the sun peaking through the window knowing it was God’s presence. And this woman showed God’s ‘sunshine’ everywhere she went by lighting up a room with her loving nature.  She taught me what it was to have faith like a child. Life is so complicated, she was able to make it so simple and know that God was with her.
            So in what ways do we need to become like children and make things simple? Maybe in actions: like stepping away from studying for midterms and do something childlike, such as coloring (a personal favorite). Maybe in thoughts: asking God to remind you that no matter how crazy things God shines down on us. In whichever way you please, let God be our parent this Lent.

-Lauren G. Class of ‘13

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Monday of the Fifth Week of Lent

The days of Lent are numbered! Now especially is a good time to check up on your Lenten promise. Have you done well and kept it? When were the times that you slipped? Take a little time to reflect on it today. Today’s responsorial psalm, Psalm 23, is possibly the most well-known psalm, and possibly my favorite. In the following paragraph, I’ll break it apart for you so you can see each message our Lord presents to us in this psalm (the psalm will be bolded). I wanted to include the whole psalm because there are so many valuable messages and so much wonderful imagery in it.
 “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” Here we see Jesus as our shepherd, our guide. We will not be lost with him. We also know that God fulfills us. God makes whole what was broken! We need not any more than His love and grace to fulfill all our wants and needs. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.” Here we know that Jesus is with us, and leads us to peace; peace in our souls, our lives, and in those around us. We also can be comforted knowing that He is constantly leading us on an ever ascending journey towards Heaven. “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” Amongst all of the evil in the world, Jesus is beside us. In all of our shadowy moments, thoughts, and days, Jesus is with us. There is nothing we should fear, yet rather, we should find comfort in all times. “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows. Surely goodness and loving kindness will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” God is preparing for us! He has a place saved in Heaven for those that He loves (all of us, his children!). His loving mercy and kindness which surpass all human understanding are always with us and we are beyond filled with them. At the end of our days, we will be with God, and He with us.
So, for all of the days when you feel alone, for all of the days you feel there is no one there, Jesus is….always. Pax amicis in Christos!
-Eric C. Class of 2016