Saturday, April 22, 2017

What do you do after Lent?

It seems to me that Lent is often an exercise in futility for many people.  They want to participate in Lent in some meaningful way, so they decide to give up something like chocolate, soda or some other food or drink that makes them feel good.  If they make it through Lent without failing on their goal then it could be described as a victory.  In theory, they should have learned that by giving up on something that they loved, it was a sacrifice that drew them closer to God.  But how did that happen?  Did they take time to pray when they were craving chocolate or a soda?  Did they take time to read the Bible or to go to Adoration?  If they did not, then I might question whether or not it was a victory.  Many churches, priests and apologists are now challenging people not to give something up for Lent but instead to do something different.  Go to daily mass or Eucharistic adoration.  Pray the rosary or read the Bible each day.  Do something positive instead of something negative like giving something up that we like.  But either way, once Lent is over and the Easter decorations are put away, what are you doing differently with your life?  If you just go back to your old habits, then I don't think you have changed.  The exercise of Lent is to develop a positive attribute that you can carry forward.  We must try to become a better version of ourselves.  We must use Lent to draw ourselves closer to God and not just put him back in a box to collect dust until next year.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Easter Sunday

JOHN 20:1-9
Friends, our Easter Gospel contains St. John’s magnificent account
of the resurrection. It was, says John, early in the morning on the first
day of the week. It was still dark—just the way it was at the beginning
of time before God said, “Let there be light.” But a light was about to
shine, and a new creation was about to appear.

The stone had been rolled away. That stone, blocking entrance to the
tomb of Jesus, stands for the finality of death. When someone that we
love dies, it is as though a great stone is rolled across them, permanently
blocking our access to them. And this is why we weep at death—not
just in grief but in a kind of existential frustration.

But for Jesus, the stone had been rolled away. Undoubtedly, the first
disciples must have thought a grave robber had been at work. But the
wonderful Johannine irony is that the greatest of grave robbers had
indeed been at work. The prophet Ezekiel says this, “I will open your
graves and have you rise from them.”

What was dreamed about, what endured as a hope against hope, has
become a reality. God has opened the grave of his Son, and the bonds
of death have been shattered forever.

Bishop Robert Barron

Friday, April 14, 2017

Good Friday

Today is Good Friday, a most solemn and sacred day for all Christians.  As I reflected on the day, I came across a wonderful blog post that really summed up how we should feel about a day like today.

Christianity Without the Crucifixion is not Christianity is the title of a blog post written by David Stavarz for the Word on Fire Blog.

David Stavarz is a seminarian at St. Mary Graduate Seminary in Cleveland, Ohio.

Please read and share this piece with others as the Holy Spirit leads and directs you.