Corpus Christi 2018

From Fr. Jude Botelho:

Food for the Journey
I traveled to a place in the northern tip of Ireland one night to say Mass for a Prayer Group. It was a wild wintry night and, when the Mass was over, I was anxious to get on the road for home. As I dashed towards the car, I was stopped by an elderly lady, and I wasn't too please at the prospect of having to listen to her tale of pains and aches, while I was impatient to get going. I was very taken aback when she handed me a small boat-shaped basket, filled with triangular sandwiches, with all kinds of fillings. The basket was covered with cling film. "I just thought, Father, you might like to eat those on your journey home." She turned and went back into the church. For once I was stuck for words..! I still have the basket on my desk as I write here now. When I look at it I think of the Eucharist, 'food for the journey.'
Jack McArdle in 'And that's the Gospel Truth"

Holy Trinity 2018

From Fr. Jude Botelho:

In today's first reading from the book of Deuteronomy, Moses offers us a vision of God who goes all the way back to creation and then across history. Moses had led the people to the Promised Land and in his last words to the people, he speaks of God's fidelity and love. Other people had their gods but there is only one true God, the God who is creator, the God who revealed himself to his people; the God of Israel, who had bound himself to the chosen people. Moses reminds them of what a privilege it is to have this God revealing himself to them right through their journey to the Promised Land. Moses' advice to them was that they remember that their Lord is God and there is no other and that they show their fidelity by keeping his commandments. 

Pentecost 2018

From Fr. Tony Kadavil's Collection:

1) The Spirit of God is the melody that energizes the Church: In the last years of his life, the great cellist and conductor Pablo Casals suffered greatly from rheumatoid arthritis and emphysema.  At 90, he was badly stooped, and his head pitched forward; his breathing was labored.  He needed the help of his wife, Marta, to get dressed in the morning.  Marta would then help him shuffle into his studio where he would, with great difficulty, arrange himself on the piano bench.  Casals would then manage to raise his swollen, clenched fingers above the keyboard. A visitor describes what he saw next one particular morning: “I was not prepared for the miracle that was about to happen.  The fingers slowly unlocked and reached toward the keys like the buds of a plant toward the sunlight.  His back straightened.  He seemed to breathe more freely.  Now his fingers settled on the keys.  Then came the opening bars of Bach’s Wohltemperierte Klavier [Well-tempered Clavier], played with great sensitivity and control . . . He hummed as he played, then said that Bach ‘spoke to him here’ – and he placed his hand over his heart. “Then he plunged into a Brahms concerto and his fingers, now agile and powerful, raced across the keyboard with dazzling speed.  His entire body seemed fused with the music; it was no longer stiff and shrunken but supple and graceful and completely freed of its arthritic coils. “Having finished the piece, he stood up by himself, far straighter and taller than when he had come into the room.  He walked to the breakfast table with no trace of a shuffle, ate heartily, talked animatedly, finished the meal, then went for a walk on the beach.” (From Anatomy of an Illness as Perceived by the Patient: Reflections on Healing and Regeneration by Norman Cousins). Like music that inspires and exhilarates, the Spirit of God is the melody that energizes the Church, uniting our many different voices into the song of the Love of God.  God has formed us into a community, or Church, an instrument for bringing His life and love into our world.  But what makes our Church more than just a gathering of good people is His “Breath” infusing the Church with the music of His Divinity.  Today we celebrate that presence.  In Jesus’ breathing upon the assembled disciples on Easter night the new life of the Holy Spirit, the community of the Resurrection — the Church — takes flight.  That same Holy Spirit continues to “blow” through today’s Church giving life and direction to our mission and ministry to preach the Gospel to every nation, to immerse all of humanity into the music of God’s love and the symphony of the Resurrection.   

Easter 7 Sunday B

From Fr. Tony Kadavil's Collection:

1: “Then I’d Be a Baptist” (By Tony Campolo, the Baptist preacher and writer): A preacher pounding away at the pulpit, yelled at the congregation, “Is everybody here a Baptist?” A man several rows back answered, “No I am a Methodist!”  “Why are you a Methodist?” asked the preacher.  “Well, my mother was a Methodist,” said the man.  “And my father was a Methodist.  So, they raised me as a Methodist.”  “That’s the dumbest thing I ever heard,” said the preacher.  “If your mother was an ignoramus and your father was an ignoramus, would you be an ignoramus?”  “No,” said the man.  “If my father was an ignoramus and my mother was an ignoramus, I suppose I’d be a Baptist.” Denominationalism is the curse of Christianity and the greatest stumbling block to evangelization.  In today’s Gospel, we hear how Jesus prayed for unity among his   future followers; ignoring Jesus’ wish and prayer has resulted in more than 30,000 Christian denominations giving counter-witness to the true Christian message of forgiveness, unconditional love, unity, and universality.  

Mothers' Day 2018

# 1: Mother’s sacrificial love: On Sunday, August 16, 1987, Northwest Airlines flight 225 crashed just after taking off from the Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport. One hundred fifty-five people were killed. One survived with injuries: a 4-year-old from Tempe, Arizona, named Cecelia. News accounts say when rescuers found Cecelia they did not believe she had been on the plane. Investigators first assumed Cecelia had been a passenger in one of the cars on the highway onto which the airliner crashed. But when the passenger register for the flight was checked, there was Cecelia's name. "Cecelia survived because, as the plane was falling, Cecelia's mother, Paula Chican, unbuckled her own seat belt, got down on her knees in front of her daughter, wrapped her arms and body around Cecelia, and then would not let her go." She was a real mother. That sounds to me like a metaphor of the love of God. 

Ascension 2018

From Fr. Jude Botelho:

Jonathan Livingston Seagull
At the conclusion of Part One of Richard Bach's book Jonathan Livingstone Seagull, two radiant birds come as Jonathan's brothers to take him higher, to take him home. Jonathan balks, but the birds insist: "But you can Jonathan, for you have learned. One school is finished, the time has come for another to begin." It was a moment of enlightenment for Jonathan. He realized that he "could fly higher and it was time to go home." Taking one last long glance across the sky and land where he had learned so much, Jonathan Livingstone Seagull 'rose with the two star-bright gulls to disappear into a perfect sky. ' -There are striking similarities between this episode in Bach's book and Luke's account of our Lord's Ascension in today's readings. First, the 'school' and the 'learning' mentioned in Jonathan recall how Jesus 'taught' his disciples until the day he was taken up into heaven. Second, the 'time for another school to begin' for Jonathan, reflects Christ's promise to send the Holy Spirit upon his apostles so that they could be his 'witnesses to the ends of the earth. ' Third, the two 'star-bright gulls' suggest the presence of the 'two men dressed in white' who spoke to the apostles after Jesus ascended. Fourth, when Jonathan 'rose to disappear in the sky, ' it was reminiscent of Jesus being 'lifted up in a cloud which took him from their sight. ' The Jonathan Livingstone Seagull story can be taken, then, as a modern myth to help understand the significance of Christ's Ascension.
Albert Cylwicki in 'His Word Resounds'