Blowing in the Wind!

Easter Weekday Tuesday

Acts 4:32-37

John 3:7-15

 

Perhaps you have heard the story from this past weekend where a man was traveling down M-6, and in the back of his pickup truck, he had a box with $31, 000 dollars in it. All of the money blew out, and he has only been able to recover $7000. The guy gives new meaning to “Blowing in the wind.”

 

Our Gospel today has a lot about ‘blowing in the wind’ as it begins as yesterdays’ Gospel ends, by repeating verses 7&8. Our opening lines of our Gospel today reads, “You must be born from above. The wind blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes; so it is with everyone who is born in the Spirit.” To have this line repeated the Church in hearing great wisdom must want us to reflect on its meaning.

 

Perhaps our reflection of the Spirit blowing like the wind and blowing us around brings us to reflect on our first reading from the Book of Acts. The community of followers understand everything as a blessing from God and are living as one heart and one mind, and no one went without.”  

 

Where is the Spirit of God blowing us today? How are we to be humble and to try harder to live in the community with those that God has entrusted to our care? Our Eucharist is offered for our holiness may we be blown where the Spirit moves us?

 

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The wounds of Glory!

Second Sunday of Easter

Acts 5:12-16

Revelation 1:9-11, 12-13, 17-19

John 20: 19-31

 

I would think most of us have a scar either from an accident, a sporting event, a surgery, or giving birth to a child. I have lots of scars. I have two scars that are easily seen. The first scar I have is from being hit in the head by a snow shovel playing out in the snow. The very next summer we were building a fort, and I got hit by a dirt shovel right over the eye, and I have a good scar from those stitches. Today is about knowing those wounds and how they have been healed over time.

 

In our Gospel, the disciples have had a pretty big week filled with lots of ups and downs. The first part of our story takes place on Easter evening with Jesus appearing to the disciples in the Upper Room. Jesus comes into the room he offers them his peace, and he says, “Come and touch my hands and my feet.” Thomas was not with the disciples when Jesus appeared to them. When Thomas returns, the disciples are so excited to share their good news that they have seen the risen Lord. Thomas says, “Unless I see the marks of his nails in his hands and put my finger into his nail marks in his side, I will not believe.” The reality of what Thomas is asking is to have the same opportunity as what the rest of the disciples got. He is called “Doubting Thomas,” but I chose not to think of him in this manner.

 

Now a week later, Jesus appears to them a second time, and this time Thomas is with them. Jesus repeats what he said the first time, he gives them his peace, and he says to Thomas, “Put your finger in the wound of my hand and put your hand into the wound of my side.” Thomas does as Jesus says and he makes a strong profession of faith as he says, “My Lord and my God.”

 

What I love about this resurrection story is that Jesus did not rise from the tomb with all of his wounds made into scars! The other thing I love is that Jesus does not come into the room and begins to give everyone a hug, a handshake, or a high five. Jesus comes into the room gives his peace and tells them to touch his wounds. It is by his wounds that the lives of the disciples are changed. If you follow the life of Thomas, he goes on to do great things in the name of Christ. Touching the wounds of Christ moved the disciples from being just witnesses to being active participants to the resurrection. 

 

On this Divine Mercy Weekend, we too need to have this same faith to see the wounds of Jesus and to know that he spent his entire life of ministry healing others wounds. The wounds of Jesus are open because there is were the glory for us is. Will we be able to come to believe that the resurrected Christ has come to heal our wounds this day.

Let’s go back to the place that was the best!

Friday Octave of Easter

Acts 4:11-12

John 21:1-14

 

 

  1. Where is the place that you have visited that you have the best memories and you would love to go back to visit?

 

  1. My best memory and the place that I would love to go back to would be the cottage we had in the Upper Peninsula. I have great memories as a child at that place.

 

In our Gospel Simon Peter and some of the other disciples are at the end of a long week after the resurrection of Jesus are not sure what to do so Peter says, “Let’s go back to fishing” and they go off. After they had been fishing all night and did not catch a thing they had back to shore. As they get closer to shore Jesus sees them and calls out to them and tells them to ‘put their nets down on the other side of their boat.’ When they bring their nets in they are full of fish. Peter realizes it is the Lord, jumps in and swims to shore. When Peter and the others get to shore Jesus has breakfast ready for them to eat.

 

What I love about this story is after the resurrection of Jesus the disciples do not know what to do so they go back to what they do best which is fishing. The other interesting thing is they go back to the place where Jesus first called them to follow him and be “fishers of men.” The other cool fact is Jesus also goes back to what he does best, and that is to call others to follow him and to be his witnesses.  The Sea of Galilee is the place that Jesus first called his disciples.

 

We gather in this holy space to come back to a place we know all so well. It is here we are called to do our best when we are here and to know that Jesus Christ is calling us to be his witness to his Good News. May we hear the voice of Jesus calling us to be his disciple this day.

 

 

 

Believing that God meets us right where we are!

Thursday Octave of Easter

Acts 3:11-26

Luke 24 35-48

 

 

Do we believe in the resurrection? Well good, I am glad that you answered so well? However, if we do believe in the resurrection that we are to give evidence of this in our lives and one thing we are to do is to know and believe that the risen Christ meets us right where we are today, spiritually, physically, and emotionally.

 

In our Gospel, Jesus meets the disciple’s right where they are at by coming to them as they are huddled together in the Upper Room. He knows they are frightened and scared so he says, “Peace be with you!” To give them physical evidence that he is not a ghost he shows them his hands and his feet and he eats with them. We are told that Jesus continues by opening the scriptures to them to help them understand all that had happened. He then tells them that they are to be witnesses of all they have seen and heard.

 

It must have worked because, in our reading from the Acts of the Apostles, Peter and John give physical evidence to the risen Christ by healing a crippled man. Peter recalls for them the scriptures that refer to what is taking place and then he sends them out to be God’s witnesses.

 

My friends in Christ, as we gather this morning, we have physical evidence of the risen Christ as we celebrate the Eucharist together and are given the Body and Blood of Christ. We have had the scriptures proclaimed to us, and we will be sent out to be the witnesses for God. May we believe in the resurrection and believe that Christ meets us right where we are!

 

In our ordinary lives can we see the light of Christ?

Easter Sunday

Acts 10:34, 37-43

Colossians 3:1-4

John 20:1-9

When I got up on Saturday morning, I went to a local diner to eat breakfast. I arrived as they were opening, so the only people in the diner was a woman about my age who I presume was the manager, the cooks and myself, there was no wait staff. As I sat down the place began to fill up with hungry people. Since there was no wait staff this woman greeted everyone at the door, she showed them to their table; she gave them their menu’s, took their orders and brought them their food. The whole time she is doing this the business phone was ringing, she was making calls to get someone to come in to help, and her phone was ringing. She had a very distinct ringtone; it was the sound of when a nuclear fall out is about to happen, and she had it so loud everyone could hear it. In spite of all these things, this woman had to do she did it with a smile and never made excuses or got angry. As I watched this woman, I thought she exemplifies what we are doing here this morning, and that is in the darkness of our busy lives to find the resurrected Christ. We have to look beyond all the flowers, all the wonderful music and discover the reason for our joy which is Jesus Christ.   

 

In our Gospel we are told that the resurrection happens in a very ordinary way; there are no earthquakes, no soldiers running away, and no angels. The Gospel writer John tells us the resurrection happen at night. I believe this brings a whole new meaning to the resurrection because it is hard to see in the dark; we fear the dark. As Jesus rises from the tomb in the dark, he is telling us, “I want to make the night, the darkest parts of your lives to be nothing to fear, because I have come to break into the darkness and bring light.

 

The Gospel writer John gives us three different movements to the resurrection of Christ. First, there is Mary Magdalene who arrives first, and as she sees the stone rolled away, she turns and runs away. Secondly, we have Peter who arrives at the tomb he investigates a little more as he goes into the tomb he checks the burial cloths, but it does not change his life. Finally, we have the beloved disciple, who goes into the tomb and believes. How will we respond to the resurrection of Christ? Will be run away, will we look but not have a change in our lives, or will we look and believe?

 

Our challenge this Easter is to look into the ordinary places of our lives and to see the risen Christ and believe! Will we be able to see the risen Christ in all the dark places of our lives? May we witness this to others this day?

It is a strange day!

Good Friday

Isaiah 52:13-53:12

Hebrews 4:14-16; 5: 7-9

John 18:1-19:42

 

This day we call “Good” always seems strange to me. To know that our Savior Jesus Christ to be arrested, tied up, interrogated, tortured, and executed, is all too strange for me. To hear Jesus say his last words of, “It is finished” is all too much.

 

It is a strange day because the cross becomes the centerpiece of the day. It is from the cross Jesus recalls his disciples fleeing, Peter denying him, and Pilate handed him over. It is at the cross that today I do not know how to feel, and there is a part of me that also wants to flee.  

 

It is a strange day and from our centerpiece the cross demands an answer to the question, “What are you going to do with me today?” We search for answers, and we are only left with our sufferings, our pain, and we know there is no easy way around our sufferings, as there is no forgetting our sufferings.

 

It is a strange day, as the cross says, “What are you going to do with me today?”  Our only response is that of the psalmists who says, “Into your hands, I commend my spirit.” We can say this because Jesus does not take away our crosses he only climbs on our cross with us to hold us.

 

Come and venerate the Cross of Christ.

 

  

 

What is at the center of our lives?

Tuesday of Holy Week

Isaiah 49: 1-6

John 13: 21-33, 36-38

 

Perhaps we all looked on with great horror and dismay yesterday as we watched the news of the Cathedral of Notre Dame, in Paris France burn. It is one of the most iconic landmarks in the world and one of the places we as Roman Catholic’s look to as the center of our faith. Our readings today speak about what is at the center of our lives.

 

In our first reading, the Suffering Servant knows what is at the center of his life as he recalls that God called him at birth and at his birth was given his name by God. He recalls that even though he has had some setbacks, he has always remained faithful to God. The Suffering Servant proclaims that no matter what happens to him in his life he will remain faithful to God because he has put God at the center of his life.

 

In our Gospel, the Lord is not at the center of Judas’s heart. The heart of Judas is far away from the Lord as Judas comes up with his own plan. However, Judas is not the only one whose heart is far away; Peter thinks what he is saying is from his heart but it is really only from his head as Jesus tells Peter he will deny him three times.

 

This week is named “Holy.” It is named holy to remind ourselves of what is at the center of our hearts. This week is not about being productive; it is about being faithful to what is the center of our lives.