Monthly Archives: April 2014

“My Joe, with the Pope.”

fol pope
It was sometime in the fall of 1962, when I was studying in Rome. Bishop Quentin Olwell, a Passionist originally from Broolyn, was made bishop of Cotabato in the Philippines and was visiting Pope John XXIII on his first “ad limina” visit.

Fr. Theodore Foley, then assistant to the Passionist superior general, came to my room and said. “Get a briefcase and let’s go over to the Vatican. We’ll be Bishop Olwell’s secretaries for the day. Sometime they let you in to see the pope.”

And that’s what happened. At the end of the bishop’s visit, they invited us into the pope’s library. He received the bishop’s “secretaries” quite genially, we shook his hands and got our picture taken with him.

I remember he asked me where I was from. I told him the United States. Then he said to me “Be like St. Gabriel,” a young Italian Passionist student who died at 24, close to my age then.

Pope John was named Time Magazine’s “Man of the Year” that year, I think, but my mother, who always carried this picture in her purse and would show it to anyone she could, would say; “This is my Joe, with the pope.”

Where is your Palm today?

You took some palm home with you Palm Sunday? Where is it today?

Following Jesus isn’t a one day thing, it’s a lifelong journey. Stay at his side day by day. To enter Jerusalem, he sat on a humble beast of burden, the donkey, who carried the burdens of the poor.

Follow him on his way and make it your way too.

Palm Sunday Procession

Victor's Place

The gospels of Mark, Matthew and Luke report that Jesus began his entry to Jerusalem on Palm Sunday at Bethphage and Bethany on the Mount of Olives. From here he went into the city of Jerusalem seated on a donkey and those who followed him threw olive branches before him, crying, “Hosanna to the Son of David, blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, hosanna in the highest.”

From the roof of the Passionist house in Bethany you can see the eastern slopes of the Mount of Olives looming ahead; the road winds over the crest of the mount down the other side past the Garden of Gethsemani and into Jerusalem. We walked part of the road last week.

The area around  Bethany was probably sparsely populated at the time of Jesus and into the Christian era. During great feasts, the poorer pilgrims would stay in…

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Palm Sunday

Lent 1
(Please read further for Spanish and Swahili)
Readings
Matthew’s story of the passion of Jesus (Matthew 26-27) is the first of the four gospels read in Holy Week. Why four? Because this story can’t be expressed easily; each of the evangelists has something to say.
It’s a story that begins when Jesus rises from the dead.

Appearing to his disciples at Jerusalem that day “Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’ When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side.” ( John 20,19-21 ) To the disciples on the way to Emmaus that same day, Jesus said: “‘Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?’ And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.” (Luke 24,26-27) The gospel narratives grew from these appearances of the Risen Christ and the scriptures he interpreted.

The Passion of Jesus is an Easter story that brings hope. He did not hide his wounds; he showed them to his disciples. He doesn’t dismiss his sufferings and death as an embarrassing setback; the power of God appeared in them. As Jesus revealed his experience, he made the hearts of his followers burn with rejoicing. As the story is told to us, we respond with a simple response of love.

“One loving word can keep your soul in prayer for a long time. For example, you are ready to meditate on Jesus Crucified and find yourself blank and unable. Make an act of love, like this: “O my Jesus Crucified, why are you on the cross?” Then, if you can go no further and your soul is a peace in the silence of love, lost in God, just continue that way. What a great prayer this is!”

May the Passion of Christ be always in our hearts!
Lent 1

Domingo de Ramos – Año A
Mateo 26, 14-75 y 27, 1-66

La historia de Mateo sobre la Pasión de Jesús (Mateo 26-27) es el primero de los cuatro Evangelios que se leen en la Semana Santa. ¿Por qué cuatro? Es que este relato no se puede expresar facilmente; cada uno de los evangelistas tiene algo que decir.

Este relato es contado inicialmente por Jesús Cristo después de resucitar de entre los muertos. Apareciendocele a sus discípulos en Jerusalén ese día, “Jesús entró y, poniéndose en medio de ellos les dijo, ‘Paz a ustedes.’ Cuando él había dicho esto, les mostró las manos y su costado.” (Juán 20,19-21) A los discípulos en el camino a Emaús ese mismo día Jesús les dijo, ” ‘¿A caso no tenía que sufrir el Mesías estas cosas antes de ser glorificado?’ Y comenzando con Moisés y todos los profetas él se puso a explicarles todos los pasajes de las escrituras que hablaban de él.” (Lucas 24,26-27) Estos narrativos del Evangelio provinieron de las apariciones del Cristo Resucitado y las escrituras que él interpretó para ellos.

La Pasión de Jesús es un relato de Pascua que trae esperanza. Él no escondió sus heridas; él se las enseñó a sus discípulos. Él no descarta sus sufrimientos y muerte como si solo hayan sido unas molestosas contrariedades; el poder de Diós se manifestó por ellas. Cuando Jesús revelaba su experiencia, él causaba que los corazones de sus seguidores ardieran con regocijo. Cuando nosotros escuchamos este relato, respondemos con la sencilla respuesta del amor.

San Pablo de la Cruz nos dice; ” Una palabra de amor puede mantener tu alma en oración por un largo rato. Por ejemplo, estás preparado para meditar sobre Jesús Crucificado y te encuentras incapaz, con la mente en blanco. Haz un acto de amor, como este: ‘O mi Jesús Crucificado, ¿por qué estás en esa cruz?’ Entonces, si no puedes proceder más allá y tu alma se siente en un estado de paz en el silencio del amor, perdido en Diós, pués continua de esa manera. Qué gran oración es esta! ”

Qué la Pasión de Cristo siga siempre en nuestros corazones!

Lent
Sikukuu Ya Matawi

Hadithi ya Matayo juu ya mateso ya Yesu ni ya kwanza kwenye injili nne

zinazosomwa wakati wa wiki takatifu. Kwa nini nne? Kwa sababu hii hadithi

haiwezi kuelezewa kwa urahisi; kila mwinjili ana jambo la kusema.

Ni hadithi iliyoanza baada ya Yesu kufufuka kutoka katika wafu.

Kuwatokea wanafunzi wake, siku ile kule Yerusalem “Yesu alikuja na kusimama

kati yao na kusema, ‘Amani iwe nanyi’. Baada ya kusema hayo, aliwaonyesha

mikono yake na ubavu (Yohana 20:19-20)”. Kwa wanafunzi wake waliokuwa

safarini kuelekea Emmaus siku ile ile, Yesu alisema: “ ‘Haikumpasa Kristo ateswe

mambo haya na kuingia katika utukufu wake?’ Aliwatafsiria maandiko matakatifu

na yale yote yaliyomhusu yeye mwenyewe, kuanzia kwa Musa na manabii. Luka

24:26-27.Simulizi la injili ya leo limekuwa kutoka katika kuonekana kwa Kristo

Mfufuka na maandiko matakatifu aliyoyaeleza/aliyoyafafanua.

Mataso ya Kristu ni hadithi ya pasaka yenye kuleta matumaini. Hakuficha vidonda

vyake; aliwaonyesha wanafunzi wake. Hatupilii mbali mateso na kifo chake

kwamba ni kitu cha aibu; nguvu ya mungu ilijionyesha ndani yao. Jinsi Yesu

alivyojifunua, alifanya mioyo ya wafuasi wake ichomwe kwa furaha. Nasi kadri

hadithi hii iliyvoelezwa kwetu, tunaitikia na mwitiko rahisi wa upendo.

Mtakatifu Paulo wa Msalaba

“Neno moja la upendo linaweza kuuweka moyo wako katika hali ya kusali kwa

mda mrefu. Kwa Mfano, uko tayari kutafakari juu ya kusulibiwa kwa Yesu na

unajikuta umetawanyika kimawazo na kushindwa kusali. Fanya tendo la upendo,

kama hili: “ O Yesu wangu uliyesulibiwa, kwa nini uko msalabani?” Alafu, kama

hauwezi kuendelea na moyo wako uko katika amani katika ukimya wa upendo,

umezama katika Mungu, basi endelea namna hii. Hii ni sala kubwa namna gani!”

Basi mateso ya Kristo na yawe daima ndani ya mioyo yetu.

Palm Sunday

We call this week “Holy Week,” because it’s the week the church follows Jesus closely to his death and resurrection. Today we go with him into Jerusalem where people clapped their hands and shouted out his name and sang his praises; a few days afterwards they put him to death by crucifixion.

This is a week to ask “Who is this?” and “Why did this happen to him?” We ask these questions because they answer the great questions of life. “Who are we?” and “Why are we here?”

Jesus Christ came upon earth, not just to teach us but through his death to take away the death we all face, and through his resurrection to give us the promise of life, eternal life.

The first few days of Holy Week, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, the gospel readings follow Jesus as he prepares to die. He stays away from the temple area in Jerusalem where he spoke previously to mostly hostile listeners. In these first days of Holy Week he looks for the company of “his own,” his friends in Bethany and the disciples who have followed him up from Galilee.

On Thursday of Holy Week Jesus goes with his disciples into the city, to an upper room near the temple, and at that meal he offers himself to his Father as a new sacrifice for the life of the world.

On Good Friday he faces death on a cross in a drama that has never been equaled and has hardly been understood.

Holy Saturday is a day when the world is silent. Like the disciples of Jesus before us, we wait with the little faith and hope we have for the light that will come from the empty tomb.

Easter Sunday Jesus Christ rises from the dead.

This week at Immaculate Conception Parish in Melbourne Beach, Florida, I’m preaching a mission for the first three days of Holy Week. My reflections will be mostly from the Gospel of Mark, but they will include the other scriptures that speak of the mysteries of Holy Week.

On Monday, I’ll speak about the supper at Bethany and the Last Supper in Jerusalem.

On Tuesday I’ll speak about the Passion narrative of Mark from the arrest of Jesus in the Garden to his burial in the tomb.

On Wednesday, I’ll speak about his Resurrection from the dead as the scriptures describe it.

Sunday, 5th Week of Lent

Lent 1
Readings (Please read further for Spanish and Swahili versions)

The wonderful story of the death and resurrection of Lazarus (John 11,1-45) leads us to the mystery of Jesus’ death and resurrection. Lazarus belongs to an influential family that welcomed Jesus to their home in Bethany, a village about two miles from Jerusalem. Martha and Mary were his sisters. Jesus stayed with them when he visited the Holy City.

When Lazarus died some days before the Passover, Jesus had left Jerusalem because of threats to his life and was staying in the safety of the Transjordan, the region where John the Baptist had baptized. Notified of his friend’s death, Jesus returned to Bethany, unconcerned for himself.
Death in its many forms was what Jesus came to take away, our gospel wants us to understand, and the dead Lazarus was a sign of what he wishes to do for all humanity. Lazarus was his friend, but Jesus, the Word made flesh, befriends the whole human race.

In the stirring conclusion of today’s gospel, Jesus calls the dead Lazarus from the tomb and “the dead man came out,” bound with the burial cloths that claimed him for death. “Untie him and let him go,” Jesus says. Those powerful, hopeful words are said to us too. We are called, not to die, but to live.

Later, on Calvary Jesus himself becomes our sign. A painful death does not claim him, nor will the grave hold him. He is our hope.

The same hope nourished Paul of the Cross: “ You ask me how I’m doing. I’m more sick than well and full of ailments. I can hardly write this…(but) I find it very good. Bearing the chains, the ropes, the blows, the scourges, the wounds, the thorns, the cross and death of my Savior, I fly to the bosom of the Father, where the gentle Jesus always is, and I allow myself to be lost in his immense Divinity.” (Letter 1925)
Like Martha, the sister of Lazarus, O Lord,
I believe you are the Resurrection and the Life.
Spanish
5to domingo de Cuaresma, Año A
Juan 11, 1-45

El maravilloso relato de la muerte y resurrección de Lázaro nos ayuda a apreciar el misterio de la muerte y resurrección de Jesús, Lázaro pertenecía a una familia con influencia que le dió la bienvenida a Jesús a su hogar en Betanía, una aldea a unas dos millas de Jerusalén. Marta y María eran sus hermanas. Jesús se quedó con ellos cuando él visitó la Ciudad Sagrada.

Cuando Lázaro murió algunos días antes de la Pascua, Jesús había dejado a Jerusalén debido a las amenazas contra su vida, y estaba aguardándose en la seguridad del Transjordán, la región donde Juan el Bautista había bautizado. Notificado de la muerte de su amigo, Jesús retornó a Betanía, despreocupado por sí mismo.

Nuestro Evangelio quiere que nosotros comprendamos que la muerte en sus muchas formas era lo que Jesús vino a remover, y que el Lázaro muerto era un signo de lo que Él quiere hacer por toda la humanidad. Lázaro era su amigo, pero Jesús, el Verbo hecho carne, es amigo de toda la raza humana.

En la conmovedora conclusión del evangelio de hoy, Jesús llama al difunto Lázaro de la tumba y “el muerto salió” atado con las vendas funerales que lo habían atrapado en la muerte. ” Desátenlo y déjenlo ir,” Jesús dice. Esas poderosas palabras, llenas de esperanza, son dichas para nosotros también. Somos llamados, no a la muerte sino a la vida.

Después en el Calvario Jesús mismo se convierte en un signo para nosotros. Esa muerte dolorosa no lo reclama, ni tampoco la tumba lo aguantará. Él es nuestra esperanza.

La misma esperanza sustentó a San Pablo de la Cruz: “Tú me preguntas como me va. Estoy más enfermo que bién y lleno de dolencias. Casi ni puedo escribir esto…[pero] encuentro esto algo muy bueno. Soportando las cadenas, las ataduras, los golpes, los latigazos, las heridas, las espinas, la cruz y muerte de mi Salvador, yo vuelo hacia el regazo del Padre, donde el dulce Jesús siempre está, y me dejo perder en su inmensa Divinidad.”

Como Marta la hermana de Lázaro, O Señor, yo creo que tú eres la Resurrección y la Vida.
Amén
Lent
Padre Evans Fwamba Cp

Jumapili ya tano ya kwaresima Yohana 11:1-45
Hadithi nzuri sana kuhusu kifo na kufufuliwa kwa Lazaro inatuonyasha fumbo la kifo na ufufuko wa Yesu Kristu. Lazaro alikuwa katika familia maarufu na ya ushawishi mkubwa sana. Walimkaribisha Yesu nyumbani kwao kule Bethania, kijiji kilicho kuwa umbali wa maili mbili kutoka Yerusalem. Marita Na Maria walikuwa dada zake Lazaro. Yesu alibaki nao alipotembea mji mtakatifu.
Lazaro alipokufa siku chache kabla ya karamu ya mwisho, Yesu aliondoka Yerusalem kwa sababu ya vitisho viliyotishia maisha yake. Alibaki kwenye sehem ya amani Transjordan, eneo ambalo Yohana mbatizaji alimbatiza yesu. Baada ya kupata taarifu ya kifo cha rafiki yake, Yesu alirudi Bethania, bila kujali usalama wake.
Yesu alikuja kuondoa aina zote za kifo, injili inataka tuelewe kifo cha Lazaro ni alama ambayo Yesu alifanya kwa ajili ya wanadamu wote. Lazaro alikuwa rafiki wa Yesu aliyetwaa ubinadamu wetu. Amekuwa rafiki wa wanadamu wote.
Kwa ujumla katika injili ya leo, Yesu anamuita Lazaro aliyekufa kutoka kaburini na “mtu akatoka nje,” akiwa amefungwa sanda za kuzikwa zizoanyesha alikuwa mfu.. “Mfungue na mueche aende” Yesu alisema. Haya maneno yenye nguvu, matumaini yanasikika kwetu pia. Tumeitwa ili tuishi na siyo kufa.
Badae katika mlima wa kalvari Yesu mwenyewe alikuwa alama. Kifo na maumivu hakimtangazi Yesu wala kaburi halitamsuia Yesu, ni matumaini yetu.
Kwa hayo matumaini yalimuimarisha Mt. Paulo wa Msalaba.
“Unaniuuliza ninaendeleaje. Niko mgonjwa kuliko mwenye afya, nimejaa na maradhi. Ni vigumu kuandika haya… lakini naona vizuri kubeba pingu, kamba, ngumi, mijeledi, vidonda, miiba, msalaba na kifo cha mkombozi wangu, nakimbia kwenye kifua cha baba, kwenye undani wa kimungu.
Kama Marita dadake Lazaro.
Ee bwana,ninaamini ufufuko na uzima.” Barua1925, November 26, 1770

Saturday, 4th Week of Lent

Lent 1
Readings
The lenten readings from John’s gospel for today and the next week of lent (chapters 7-10) describe Jesus‘ activity in Jerusalem during the eight- day Feast of Tabernacles, the popular autumn feast that brought many visitors to the city to celebrate the grape harvest and pray for rain. Water was brought into the temple courtyard from the Pool of Siloam and lighted torches were ablaze during the celebration.

Arriving late for the feast, Jesus taught in the temple area and revealed who he was, using the images of water and light. His cure of the blind man, in the 9th chapter of the gospel, is a sign of the light he bestows on a blind world.

Yet, some don’t see. Those hearing him are divided; some want him arrested, some believe, some question his Galilean origins and his upbringing as a carpenter’s son. How can he be the Messiah, a teacher in Israel?

We’re surprised at unbelief before the Word of God on his way from Nazareth to Jerusalem. Why didn’t all see and believe? People doubted him then, and they will doubt him now. Even his disciples are slow to believe. “How slow you are to believe…”Jesus says to the two on the way to Emmaus.

But the Word continues to teach in our world and to instruct disciples weak in faith. His mission is not ended. Saints like Paul of the Cross knew that. However fierce the opposition, the Word of God, Jesus Christ, brings light and life.

“All the works of God are now attacked by the devil, now by human beings. I now have both at once. Don’t be dismayed when contrary factions and rejections arise, no matter how great they are. Be encouraged by the example of St. Teresa who said that the more she was involved in enterprises for the glory of God, the more difficulties she experienced.” (Letter 1180)

The Lord is my light and my salvation,
Whom should I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life,
Of whom should I be afraid?