Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Resurrection of the Lord

Alleluia, Alleluia. This is the word that we couldn’t use during Lent or during the first part of Holy Week. The Alleluia comes as an anticipation of the strong Light that is defeating all the darkness TODAY. The Church finds its way to be thankful with the gifts of God in this celebration of Thanksgiving. Today more than ever, the Church listens like a good servant to the voice of The Lord. We are gathered here acknowledging our need of light and healing from that strong Light that is Christ. 

 As we received it from the Easter Candle that symbolizes Jesus, we understand even more our need of it. It is a gift, a free gift that maybe we don’t deserve it, but we truly need it.  The best of the gifts from God The Father is here for you and for me.

Today, like I said, the Church hears the voice of the Lord, paying more attention than before. This is what she is saying through the readings:

In the1st reading we see that Nothing that comes from the hands of God can be bad. God saw that everything He was created was “GOOD”. At least remember this: His purpose and plan was to make you and me “Good”. Acknowledging this will help up to understand more clearly the effects of evil and its fatal consequences. We can see it in us and in others. Sin needs to be always a stranger and can't be welcomed into our hearts. The beauty of creation is damaged by sin.

In the 2nd reading we recall the Sacrifice of Abraham. Isaac asked where is the lamb for the holocaust? There is only one answer after 19 centuries of fasting and hope, which comes from John the Baptist: This is The Lamb of God. Who takes the sin of The World and of you and me. God will give Him to us in sacrifice, a propitiation of our sins.

In the 3rd reading we see God commanding Moses. “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to go forward. Tell them to cross the waters.” The People of God saw the Victory of God and they saw their enemy’s dead.

God, help us to see also our enemies lying and death again in our lives. Maybe our enemies are not physical enemies but we have sins, addictions, weaknesses, etc.

God will defeat Pharaoh again!

My brothers and sisters, This is the night of the victories. What enemy do you want God to defeat today? Are you afraid of death, solitude, or sadness? Cry out to God and He will open the waters for you to pass through and you will witness the death of your enemies. Do we need money at Saint Marks? remember, according to the Holy Scriptures: “Not a single one of them (the enemies) escaped”.

In tye 4th reading we hear our Compassionate Lord saying: For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with great tenderness I will take you back”. It's never too late. You are tired, yes but don't lose heart. God is claiming again Saint Marks like His Posesion.

In the 5th reading we read: “All you who are thirsty, come to the water!
You who have no money, come, receive grain and eat; come, without
paying and without cost”… Come all you who thirst to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and He will satisfy your thirst. Why waste time going everywhere, but getting nowhere. The Grace comes from His Heart.

In the 6th reading, “Hear, O Israel, the commandments of life:
listen, and know prudence” Learn where prudence is,
where strength, where understanding” You will know, where light of the eyes, and peace.’ Are.

and  in the 7TH reading God told us, that HE I will sprinkle clean water upon you to cleanse you from all your impurities. What is keeping you from loving God more through Sacraments or prayer? Sin? I will cleanse you. Do you have you heart broken with wounds, hatred and lack of hope? Listen: I will give you a New Heart. What is the spirit that leads your life? Envy, sadness, impurity?
I will put my spirit within you and make you live by my statutes, careful to observe my decrees.. Are you insensitive to the needs of others and too busy with YOUR PLANS AND AGENDA?, Do you have a stony heart? I will give you a new heart and place a new spirit within you,
taking from your bodies your stony hearts and giving you natural hearts. 

Do you think God is not near to you? Listen: I will pour my spirit in you. Do you think God's commandments are too hard to follow? I will help you to follow my precepts. Do you think you needed God and he let you down? Listen: You will live in the land I gave to your fathers. Do you think this message is not for you? Listen: you will be my people and I will be your God! Nothing can separate you from me!

All the readings are pointing to Baptism. That entire God promised. Everything He can do and knows comes to us in our baptism. In that Sacrament all the Old Testament finds fulfillment. Everything, so that you and I can have NEW LIFE! The history of Salvation is your Story.

Do not be afraid! TRUST, it is real, HE can do it. He did it in many, many lives already and is doing it in you today! This CAN’T STOP

Sacred Heart of Jesus, you are the source of all life because you are life itself. Your resurrection gives me the hope of being raised from the dead to rejoice with you forever in heaven. Thank you for your presence in my life. I love you, and I want to follow after you with all my heart. Be with me now, and create in me a new Heart.

Grant me the joy of seeing my hopes constantly kindled by your power over sin and death. May the strength of your resurrection overcome the weaknesses of my human nature.

Lord Jesus, you know how to prepare your disciples to experience your presence deeply and know you intimately. I ask today for a deepening in the faith of Saint Mark’s Church. Give us more Faith in your resurrection. Let all the events of our lives point us to the truth that you are ALIVE!

Alleluia, Alleluia.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Day 9 of the Novena to The Divine Mercy

 Once again it's time for the 2011 Divine Mercy Novena. Here's what's amazing about this prayer. It takes only a couple of minutes to pray each day and it is hugely powerful. It's a 9 day prayer with each day being for a specific purpose.

                                  Day 9:

"Today bring to Me The Souls Who Have Become Lukewarm and immerse them in the abyss of My mercy. These souls wound My Heart most painfully. My soul suffered the most dreadful loathing in the Garden of Olives because of lukewarm souls. They were the reason I cried out: 'Father, take this cup away from Me, if it be Your will.' For them the last hope of salvation is to run to My mercy."

Most Merciful Jesus, whose very nature it is to have compassion on us and to forgive us, do not look upon our sins, but upon our trust which we place in Your infinite goodness. Receive us all into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart, and never let us escape from It. We beg this of You by Your love which unites You to the Father and the Holy Spirit.
Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon all mankind and especially upon poor sinners, all enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. For the sake of His Sorrowful Passion show us Your mercy, that we may praise the omnipotence of Your mercy for ever and ever. Amen.

Meditate on the prayer above then say the Divine Mercy Chaplet

1. Begin with the Sign of the Cross, 1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary and The Apostles Creed.
2. Then on the Our Father Beads say the following:

Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.

3. On the 10 Hail Mary Beads say the following:

For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

(Repeat step 2 and 3 for all five decades).
4. Conclude with (three times):

Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

More information can be found here:

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Was it necessary for Jesus to Die?

Peter assures us of the Risen Body of Jesus. Why is this so important? It is not enough like some will say: That Jesus was sincere, good and understandable and above all He had shown us a very clear way of solidarity and service. The question is: What will the Resurrection will add to His entire message, the gospel, which after all is beautiful, strong and capable of rebuilding human beings and societies.

Nobody is saying that to preach a good message is a bad thing. This is something that many people in many times and in many cultures and religions had done. The question is: what if the mission of Christ is reduced to that and if that is enough argument to explain His death on the cross?

If we consider human life in terms of reality of what our eyes can see, in other words in terms of the intra-human, then we don’t have a need of more than an understandable and “good” preaching that will help us to be good and to have solidarity. For that we shouldn’t need an Immaculate Conception, miracles, exorcisms and, of course, the atrocious suffering and death on the cross. Confucius, Buda or Mohamed preached with eloquence about being good, patient, humble, pure… and there are even atheists that have given us very good preachings about all of this. 

Things change when we find that life on earth is not everything, when we understand that the problem of evil is not only a dysfunctional social problem that can be fixed with good intentions. The evil have a sort of power in us. In many cases the evil is attractive, pleasurable and produces many benefits and money. The whole Old Testament in the Ten Commandments is the proof that the GOOD, is not always welcome in our hearts because of selfishness, envy, stupidity and the other Seven Capital Sins and their consequences. The mystery is absurd but powerful evil that hurt us but at the same time reports good things for us, pushes us to stay in us. To do evil is not a matter of only ignorance of the good.

All of this brings us to the question: What is the meaning of my life? If our efforts are not helping to substantially change things, what are we doing in life? Do I need to just suffer and endure things? So, is there nothing we can do against the power of death? If Jesus, just died without a purpose, what a futile death. It was better for Confucius, Buda or others… 


Saint Paul is willing to help us with: “And if Christ has not been raised, then empty (too) is our preaching; empty, too, your faith” ( 1 Corinthians 15, 14). The cross gives meaning to Easter. Death doesn’t have the last word. The ones that tried and keep trying to use this as a weapon to torture and make a life of fear won’t be forever the lords of the earth. 

Once we understand the second reading of the Easter Sunday Mass: “If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Think of what is above, not of what is on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. With Christ your life appears, then you too will appear with him in glory” (Col 3, 1-4). A life with hope in the Risen one is a pre-taste of Heaven. Like the beloved disciple we are invited to see and believe.

Lord, you are the source of all life because you are life itself. Your resurrection gives me the hope of being raised from the dead to rejoice with you forever in heaven. Thank you for your presence in my life. I love you, and I want to follow after you with all my heart. Be with me now, and inspire my prayer.

Lord Jesus, grant me the joy of seeing my hopes constantly kindled by your power over sin and death. May the strength of your resurrection overcome the weaknesses of my human nature.

Lord Jesus, you know how to prepare your disciples to experience your presence deeply and know you intimately. I ask today for a deepening in my faith in your resurrection. Let all the events of my life point me to the truth that you are alive.

Lord, convince my heart that you truly died out of personal love for me.


Sunday, April 17, 2011

Good Friday of the Lord’s Passion

I think all of us can say, as one of those who were crucified with him: "Our pain is just, because we are sinners, but He has not done anything wrong," (Luke 23.41). 

What is most painful about the death of Christ is this: it is the death of an innocent, and that white innocence of Christ's soul makes His blood even more scarlet. All crime is horrendous, but none more so, than that which attacks the innocence and Christ is innocent. 

All crime is horrendous, but especially against those who hurt the ones who have only learned to love. Love is what Christ gave. His words gave only blessings and miracles, peace, mercy and compassion.

His feet were always quick searching for the lost sheep, the sheep-that is each one of us- He defended us with His prayers, watched over us, shed tears of sorrow for our sins and wanted, with all His might, to  be surrounded by love. This is precisely why it hurts so much, the death of Christ, because He surrounded us with love, what have  we have surrounded Him with pain, it hurts to see those hands that blessed so many sick, pierced by nails, it hurts a lot to see that body, the true temple of purity, torn by  lashes. 

That head full of dignity, pierced with thorns, His mouth gave us many words of comfort, but  now could not even get a cup of cold water, because when He asked for something to quench His thirst, vinegar was what He received. 

All this is surrounded by pain for Christ, all around us is confusion for us, because we know well that all these things Christ suffered, were for the sins of the world. 

He knew what would happen to Him when He was in the Garden  praying, crying out in pain and fear and sweating blood, He says to  His father, God: "If you can, take from me this chalice, but not what I will, but what thou wilt "Luke 22:42. 

That is the reason why we as a church today, why we turn our eyes to the dull eyes of the dead Christ on the cross, and say with our  soul: "Thank you, because at the time of my sin, you do not turn away, Lord, I walked away from you, I have been away from you many times. " 

"We've gotten away from you, we have departed from you, we've done what is displeasing to you, you told us to love God above all things, and we have ignored you." 

You asked that we respect your Holy Name, and we have ignored you, let us reserve this time, this sacred holiday time to rest from our work and to sanctify the delight of meditation on your marvels. We have not done this, you, Lord, asked us to make the family a sanctuary of love and respect, and we have not done that.”

"You asked that we respect life, and commanded us not to kill and we have  filled with death and blood our land, the soil has been used for suffering from the blood of many who have fallen."

"We killed the innocent, we have claimed the lives of innocents, even those unborn, and millions of abortions have been committed in our land, you commission us, Lord, you have asked us to keep the purity of our bodies created in your own body image, and we have not done that. " 

"We are commanded to respect the property of others and never lie, and that's not what we have done. We have sinned, Lord.  We have turned our backs on you, we fled from you, we've gotten away from you, but you have not abandoned us, and that sovereign patience of yours, that is what is evident beyond any doubt, the incomparable love you have for us. " 

So brothers and sisters, the word most important and the word most beautiful is this Good Friday, the word we have to say is the word: "Thank you, thank you, Lord, because you have shown love, because from now on we know the meaning of  the word love. "

Love is not just a nice word when passions are running throughout the body, love is not a word to deceive a man or a woman, love is not a word to disguise our selfishness, and to use other people for our own benefit. 

Love, what is said to be love, true love, that's what you have done for us, Jesus Christ. In loving, you have loved us, we have seen in you love, we have found you, you gave your love with peace, with gentleness, with mercy, you really have loved us, Lord. 

It is a flood of love that you have given us, it  is a downpour of love that falls from your heart, truly, sir, in that water and blood that has left your side in these rivers of love, we need to bathe ourselves. 

Lord God, we wash in the rivers of your love you let you water and blood came forward, you have washed us with water renewing the grace of baptism in our people, washed in the blood, renewed forgiveness and reconciliation of our people, wash us Lord.

Blessed Blood of Christ, Holy Blood of Christ, that which is red, makes white the human soul, holy blood, which turns darkness into be brightness and it illuminates the human soul;  Jesus, that is the blood we need, the Blood that was shed by hatred and was given up  in love  They took your blood with hatred, but you gave your blood with love. 

Jesus, on behalf of all these, my brethren, I a sinner like them, I say, "Thank you, Lord, for that Blood, thanks for the love, thanks for the patience that comes upon us by thy redeeming blood, come on us like rivers of mercy and your love keeps goes on, Lord.  For this assembly, clean our conscience, loosen our chains; free us, Lord, from our past sins.

I ask you, Lord Jesus, that if there is someone in this assembly who feels a desire for revenge or who has done evil, I pray for mercy, by the power of your blood, to release that feeling of revenge, if anyone is thinking about shedding blood, I ask you, Lord, by the power of your blood, to take away this feeling. 

If anyone, O Lord, who is living in sin, who is living their lives by offending  you, perhaps because he lives for the crime, because he lives with crimes, perhaps because they live a lie, perhaps because he lives to hurt others. 

Now you can say with determination: "Today I let go of my old sin, now I leave my life of sin. Today I understand that God loves me, today I turn to you, and I embrace you." That is the power of the Cross. 

I'm sure many of you right now are feeling the sweetness of the love of Christ which is being poured into your hearts, because it was for us and for our salvation that Christ embraced the extreme suffering to its end on the cross. 

Lord Jesus, today we have seen your death, your cross we have seen today, today we have seen your tears, today we saw your Blood, today we have seen your love.

Therefore Jesus Christ, together, because your love gathers us together, I want to say: "Thank you Jesus, thank you for that love, thank you for those tears, thanks for the Blood, thanks for the cross, thank you for your death, because your death has given us life that never ends.

Blessed be Jesus, blessed and loved be Jesus, blessed Jesus, loved and adored!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Ignorance of Scripture is Ignorance of Christ.

This famous excerpt from Jerome's Commentary on Isaiah (Nn. 1.2: CCL 73, 1-3) is used in the Roman Office of Readings for the Feast (liturgical memorial) of St. Jerome on September 30.? In it, St. Jerome firmly insists that ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ.

A strong exhortation from a Father and Doctor of the Catholic Church to Christians urging all to recognize? that serious? Bible study is a necessity, not an optional luxury.? The author, St. Jerome, was a monk and bible scholar of the 5th century, a contemporary of Saint Augustine