Welcome

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.

Saturday, 08 May 2021 00:00

SATURDAY, WEEK V, EASTER

Jesus said to his disciples: 
“If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first.
If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own;
but because you do not belong to the world,
and I have chosen you out of the world,
the world hates you.
Remember the word I spoke to you,
‘No slave is greater than his master.’
If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you.
(Jn 15:18-21)

When we were kids, we never wanted to be the last one chosen, much less the one nobody wanted. Being chosen by the Lord carries with it other risks. Or as the shortest sermon I ever heard in seminary said about this particular passage: “Why is it that nobody hates us anymore?” After asking the question, the young student preacher sat down to stunned silence. Today's photo is of the ambo (the pulpit) of Saint Meinrad Abbey Church.

Friday, 07 May 2021 00:00

FRIDAY, WEEK V, EASTER

Responsorial Psalm (Psalm 57)

R.   I will give you thanks among the peoples, O Lord. Alleluia.
My heart is steadfast, O God; my heart is steadfast;
    I will sing and chant praise.
Awake, O my soul; awake, lyre and harp!
    I will wake the dawn.
R.    I will give you thanks among the peoples, O Lord. Alleluia.

The center of our faith is the Eucharist, the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of the Lord. The word “eucharist” is from the Greek; it means “to give thanks.” We use that word because “the Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over, took bread, and, after he had given thanks, broke it and said, “This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me. In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me” (1 Cor 11:23-25). Thanksgiving is the very heart of our faith. I give thanks to God for your presence in my life. Thank you to all who attended the Mass yesterday and those who remembered me in prayer. May God bless you all!

Jesus said to his disciples: 
“As the Father loves me, so I also love you.
 Remain in my love. 
If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love,
 just as I have kept my Father’s commandments 
and remain in his love.
“I have told you this so that 
my joy might be in you and 
your joy might be complete.”
(Jn 15:9-11)

Today marks 43 years of complete joy as a priest. I’m grateful for the opportunity to be able to serve the people of God. “His banner over me is Love!”

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Wednesday, 05 May 2021 00:00

WEDNESDAY, WEEK V, EASTER

Responsorial Psalm (Psalm 122)

R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
I rejoiced because they said to me,
    “We will go up to the house of the LORD.”
And now we have set foot
    within your gates, O Jerusalem.
R.  Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.

A psalm of pilgrimage expressing the joy of pilgrims arriving at the goal of their journey, the House of the Lord. Cardinal Roger Mahony, in his pastoral letter on the liturgy, Gather Faithfully Together, talks about the true entrance procession of the Mass beginning in the homes and apartments all through the neighborhood:

“So this is the entrance procession, coming from all directions, made up of all ages, several races, a variety of economic circumstances and political outlooks -- and speaking at least three first languages! But they are all in a great procession, the Church assembling in the house of the Church. “We shall go up with joy,” “Que alegría cuando me dijeron vamos a la casa del Señor.”

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Tuesday, 04 May 2021 00:00

TUESDAY, WEEK V, EASTER

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.
Not as the world gives do I give it to you.
Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.
(Jn 14:27-31)

Peace is Christ’s farewell gift to us. But peace is not just the absence of war, peace is the fruit of justice. Pope Paul VI reminded the world of this truth when he told the United Nations:

If you want peace, then work for justice.

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Christ Jesus being found human in appearance,
    he humbled himself,
    becoming obedient to death,
        even death on a cross.
Because of this, God greatly exalted him . . . .
(Phil 2:6-11)

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you
because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

 

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Sunday, 02 May 2021 00:00

FIFTH SUNDAY OF EASTER

Children, let us love not in word or speech
but in deed and truth.
(1 Jn 3:18-24)

Deeds are always more important than words. Perhaps, the gospel writers were aware of that as well when they portrayed Saint Joseph. In the Scriptures, Saint Joseph never utters a word . . . instead he acts, and that made all the difference.

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