These reflections are a result of more than 40 years of ministry as a Roman Catholic priest. Most of these years I spent in the Diocese of Charlotte which covers Western North Carolina. Now I am retired, and live in Medellín, Colombia where I continue to serve as a priest in the Archdiocese of Medellín.
Jesus said to his disciples: “I came from the Father and have come into the world. Now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father.” (Jn 16:23b-28)
What a wonderful visit to the United States! We made it safely home and the hummingbirds are very happy, and so are we!
Alleluia (Jn 6:56)
R. Alleluia, alleluia. Whoever eats my Flesh and drinks my Blood, remains in me and I in him, says the Lord. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
“His Banner Over Me Is Love!”
I, John, looked and heard the voices of many angels who surrounded the throne and the living creatures and the elders. They were countless in number, and they cried out in a loud voice: “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches, wisdom and strength, honor and glory and blessing.” (Rev 5:11-14)
THE MONTH OF MAY
I will be in Asheville May 2-8 and May 21-27. Starting tomorrow the daily reflection, the Orchid Ministry and the Sunday Mass on Facebook will be on vacation until Sunday, May 29. I will concelebrate the First Communion Mass at the Basilica of St Lawrence on Saturday, May 7 at 11:00 am. I will also celebrate Mass in English at St Eugene Parish on Saturday, May 7 at 5:30 pm and Mass in Spanish at St Eugene on Sunday, May 8 at 7:30 am. I hope to celebrate Mass in Spanish at the Basilica of St Lawrence on Sunday, May 22 at 4:00 pm. My time will be very limited so I hope to see you at Mass!
As the number of disciples continued to grow, the Hellenists complained against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution. So the Twelve called together the community of the disciples and said, “It is not right for us to neglect the word of God to serve at table. Brothers, select from among you seven reputable men, filled with the Spirit and wisdom, whom we shall appoint to this task, whereas we shall devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” The proposal was acceptable to the whole community. (Acts 6:1-7)
The creation of the Seven (referred to much later in church history as “deacons”) was to respond to a language problem in the early church between the Greek-speaking and Hebrew-speaking members. It is fascinating that those who are named as the Seven all have Greek names. Perhaps the church knows that to speak one’s language helps in spreading the gospel.
One of his disciples, Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, said to him, “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what good are these for so many?” (Jn 6:1-15)
Poor Andrew! The lack of faith on the part of church leadership is never surprising. Saint Catherine of Siena in the 14th century did her best to convince church leadership to lead. Despite all the failures of leadership in her day, Saint Catherine never gave up on the church.
The one who comes from above is above all. (Jn 3:31-36)
The question about where Jesus is from is answered in a very simple way in the Fourth Gospel: Jesus is from above, from God. And so the one whom God sends is the one who speaks the words of God. This is precisely what the Fourth Gospel community believes. And so the instructions of the Mother of Jesus to the waiters at the Wedding Feast of Cana are appropriate for all would-be disciples: “Do whatever he tells you.”
God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. (Jn 3:16-21)
The heart of the gospel . . . and the challenge as well. If God so loved the world, then perhaps we need to do a better job of loving our sisters and brothers instead of condemning them.