This weekend we celebrate the close of the Sacred Triduum with the feast of the Resurrection of the Lord – Easter! Happy Easter - May you welcome God’s extravagantly abundant gifts of life into your heart and home, bringing fresh beginnings and surprises of joy and beauty! Join us as we celebrate the feast of Easter.
The Solemn Easter Vigil will be celebrated at 5:30 AM
We companion our elect who have been preparing for full initiation by remembering salvation history. lighting the new fire, blessing the water, recalling our own baptism, hearing the story of resurrection and celebrating the gift of the Spirit. By journeying with Christ through suffering and death, we find that love is the ultimate victor, bringing resurrection life. What new seed is coming to life in each of us, and how are we nurturing it? How do we welcome the movement of the Spirit among us? What new life needs to be celebrated?
To deepen the new life begun at Easter, we invite you to continue your Spiritual Practices during this entire Easter Season. Please pick up a white book for your daily prayer and reflection, and check the bulletin and website for the weekly focus, prayer and action.
This Sunday is Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion. Welcoming the deepest mysteries of our faith…Holy Week shows us our faith “in a nutshell.” Jesus takes in everything this world brings, responds only in love, and is willing to let everything go, even his human life, to be true to God and his own identity.
As followers of Jesus, we too are called to this “paschal journey.” Will you follow this same path, wherever it takes you? Are we willing to live as Jesus lived, practice His teachings and values, love as He loved; and even go with Him to the Cross through what appears a disastrous loss – trusting in the power of God’s ultimate love and life?
This is the Fifth Sunday of Lent. Dying to give life is an observable wonder of nature, and a necessary aspect of redemption. Death - self-giving - is the only way to fullness of life and a share in God’s glory. As followers of Jesus, we, too are part of this paschal process. We have to die to ourselves in order to be transformed into something new.
How open are you to giving of yourself, to letting go of your preferences and perspectives? How do we need to let go - to change - in order that Christ might fashion us into life-giving sustenance for others?
Jeremiah 31:31-34: God makes a new covenant. God’s law is written in the hearts of all people! I shall be their God and they shall be my people…..All shall know God from the least to the greatest!
This is the Fourth Sunday of Lent. Jesus is God’s light come into a sinful world to manifest God’s love, care and concern for all. God has called us out of darkness into the light of Christ, and asks for us to respond. More than experiencing an encounter, we are called to be transformed - to live as Jesus, loving one another in the same expansive manner that God has loved us. What do I need to let go of to live more fully in the light that is Christ? To welcome the other whose struggles are much like mine?
2 Chronicles 36: 14-16, 19-23: : Early and often, God's compassion prompts prophets to speak to the people of Judah who repeatedly show disdain for the law and forget all that God's love has offered them. The burning of the temple in Jerusalem is the last straw. Only a remnant of the people escape to Babylon where they eventually come to their senses and welcome their liberating God in the guise of Cyrus.
This is the Third Sunday of Lent. Today we are asked to look at how well we live in covenant relationship with God and with each other. Jesus invites us to remove those trappings of religion that hinder us from really speaking to God in prayer. We must re-examine how well we make our church a place of prayer for all people -- an oasis of mercy in a world of indifference. How is God inviting me to open to deeper prayer and more loving relationship with community?
Exodus 20:1-3, 7-8, 12-17: The Covenant of Moses can be summarized in the ten commandments. They are a special wisdom from God who liberates us. They become the constitution of the new people of God. They set up right relationships between us and God and between each other. We do these things “that we may have life.” We welcome each other with the respect required of a covenant people (living in covenant with God and with each other).
1 Corinthians 1;22-25: The wisdom of God is fully revealed in Jesus. He is our way, our truth and our life. Lent invites us to follow him more fully and more deeply. God’s wisdom and power is the person of Jesus. We welcome each other in the shared wisdom of Jesus.
John 2:13-25: At the start of his ministry Jesus removes from the worship of Israel (symbolized in his day by the Temple worship in Jerusalem) all the is extraneous to the meaning of worship. Meeting God in simple prayer is the greatest act of worship. Lent is a time for us to deepen this reality in our lives. It explains why Jesus was so often found in prayer. It was the center of his life. We are called to make it the center of our lives as well. We welcome each other by making a space for prayer as a community of believers.
This is the Second Sunday of Lent. Though the disciples are fearful and confused about Jesus’ identity and mission, Jesus is shown in Mark’s gospel to be God’s beloved, the messiah who would be raised up. Life, not death, is God’s desire for all beloved sons and daughters. “Jesus wants evangelizers who proclaim the good news not only with words, but above all by a life transfigured by God’s presence.” (Pope Francis: Evangelii Gaudium) How would my life be different if I was “transfigured by God’s presence?”
This is the First Sunday of Lent. “The Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe the Gospel!” were the first words of Jesus when he came out of the desert. The waters of the flood of Noah’s time and the waters of our baptism are both about major change, about reshaping -- in other words, about repentance. How is the Spirit leading you, like Jesus, into 40 days of prayer, fasting and almsgiving? How can you open to the transforming flow of God’s mercy?
Genesis 9:8-15: God established a covenant with Noah and his family, a covenant that included the earth and every living creature--a covenant that promises life.
This is the Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time: Isolation vs. Inclusion…that is the theme of the readings for Sunday, February 15, 2015. In biblical terms leprosy was understood as covering a wide range of skin diseases. The Jewish people had their laws stating who could be called “unclean” and what rituals had to be done in order for an individual to be reunited to a community.
In our modern world we often try to isolate ourselves from the “lepers” in today’s society: the homeless, the mentally ill, those afflicted with diseases, the poor, etc. Jesus was a faithful Jew. Yet he reached out to touch the unclean. It was his desire that no one, no group be isolated or excluded from the community. Jesus was a compassionate man.
The disciples of Jesus, you and I, have the ability to reach out and touch the alienated of our day through a smile, a kind word, a helping hand, involvement in advocacy for these outcasts. The more developed our society becomes the greater the need to be inclusive of all. We need one another. The marginalized, the excluded can teach us much.
This is the 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time. Today’s gospel gives each of us direction for our lives. After healing many, Jesus “went off to a deserted place, where he prayed.” When Simon and the others found him and told him people were looking for him, Jesus answered, “Let us go on to the nearby villages that I may preach there also. For this purpose have I come.”
Serve. Pray. Serve. Jesus’ life is the perfect example for our lives. Each of us is God’s gift to the world. Each of us has been called to use ourselves in service to others. For Jesus it was to preach. His apostles and disciples assisted, each in his/her own way. So too for us. Our purpose, our calling as followers of Jesus, is to use our unique lives to spread the Gospel. It is through our lives that others will come to believe in the greatest life of all.
This is the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time. Moses is telling all the people that a prophet, like him, will be raised by God from within their own kin for them to listen to who will speak God’s words. It is important to note that in the culture of the people, a leader, or a prophet, carries the message of God. Just like kings were considered to represent in some way the divine, or speak for the divine, a prophet’s responsibility was to speak in God’s name and be true to God’s commands. Whoever did not listen to the prophet, will have to answer to God. And, if a prophet speaks what God has not commanded to be spoken will have to answer to God too. People were to trust the prophet speaking in God’s name, yet be weary of messages of false gods and teaching. In true listening, the people should discern the truth of God’s commands.