Saturday, January 12, 2008

Going up to Jerusalem

"Look, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the son of man is about to be handed over to the chief priests and scribes. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the gentiles to be mocked and scourged and crucified; and on the third day he will be raised up again." (Matthew 18: 18-19)

Ezekiel was sent to "snakes and scorpions." Jeremiah was sent to rebellious Israel. Both prophets foreshadow Jesus' ministry. Just as Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Jesus were not sent to a nice party filled with well-groomed men and women, no Christian should expect such a ministry. Jesus says that if they persecute him, they will surely persecute his followers. St. Paul writes that the presence of persecution is a sign that we are following in the footpath of Jesus. When we are baptized, we die with Jesus so that we can rise with him.

Friday, January 11, 2008


"Come on,' ' Let us concoct a plot against Jeremiah, for the law will not perish for lack of priests, nor advice for lack of wise men, nor the word for lack of prophets. Come on, let us slander him and pay no attention to anything he says." (Jeremiah 18:18)

Blessed are those who suffer persecution for the cause of right, the kingdom of heaven is theirs.

If they persecute me, they will persecute you.

Persecution is a necessary ingredient in the mission of the Baptized.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Baptism and Mission

"Ever-loving God, you called Blessed Katherine Drexel to teach the message of the Gospel and to bring the life of the Eucharist to the African American and Native American peoples. By her prayers and example, enable us to work for justice among the poor and the oppressed and keep us undivided in love in the Eucharistic community of the Church. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your son. Amen" (Opening Prayer in the Memorial of St. Katherine Drexel, Virgin – March 3)

Saint Katherine Drexel, Virgin:

(1858 – 1955) Born into a wealthy Philadelphia family, Katharine took an avid interest in the material and spiritual well-being of African and Native Americans. She founded the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament for Indians and Colored People, and opened mission schools in the West for Native Americans and in the South for African Americans. In 1915 she founded Xavier University in New Orleans. At her death, there were more than 500 sisters teaching in 63 schools. (Roman Missal)

The mission of St. Katherine Drexel: Go and teach the message of the Gospel and bring the life of the Eucharist to African American and Native American people. St. Katherine was chosen, called and anointed for this mission. She was chosen for this mission at her Baptism, anointed for it in her Confirmation and at the fullness of time called to dedicate her life to it. She succeeded.

I am also called for a specific mission at my Baptism. I am anointed for it by the Holy Spirit. I am waiting for the fullness of time. In the meantime, I recognize that preparation time is part of the mission.




Wednesday, January 09, 2008

God’s Perfect Love

"There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment, and so one who fears is not yet perfect in love." (1 John 4: 18)

"Take courage, it is I, do not be afraid!" (Mark 6: 50)

What are you worried about?

  • Family
  • Job
  • Money
  • Health
  • Tools
  • Future

1 John 4:8 states that there is no fear in love. If I truly understand and believe in God's love for me, I would see that his love includes my family, job, money, health, tools and of course my future. When my love is imperfect, I think I deserve punishment from God and therefore my health or my money may not be covered by God's love. God's love for us is perfect and includes everything that we care for. How comforting to hear Jesus say to us: "Take courage, it is I, do not be afraid!" How beautiful is the truth of God's loving providence for all of us.


Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Divine Pedagogy

"Father, teach us to lead good lives, encourage us with your support and bring us to eternal life …." (Mass Prayer)

How does God teach us to live good lives?

These are some of the elements in the divine pedagogy:

  • Word of God
  • The Sacraments, especially the Eucharist and the Sacrament of Reconciliation
  • Family
  • Friends
  • Circumstances

In the divine teaching plan, there are also sticks and carrots. The carrots are the many ways in which God supports or encourages us. Some of them are listed above and others are:

  • Good health
  • Peace
  • Music
  • Books
  • Job


Monday, January 07, 2008

Practice what you teach 2

"The scribes and the Pharisees occupy the chair of Moses. You must therefore observe and obey what they teach you; but do not be guided by what they do, since they do not practice what they teach." (Matthew 23: 2-3)

Fruit of the fourth Joyful Mystery is Obedience.

Mary and Joseph obeyed all the laws, statutes and customs prescribed by God.

Obedience is better than sacrifice.

Lord, I want to practice what I teach. Make me a teacher of the Eucharist. You bless me every day with this awesome gift. Let the Eucharist be the source, center and summit of my life. Give me the assignment of drawing people to the Eucharist. Then you will help me every day to practice what I teach. Amen!