Monthly Archives: September 2018

26th Week of the Year: b

 

 

 

 

September 30 TWENTY-SIXTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
Nm 11:25-29/Jas 5:1-6/Mk 9:38-43, 45, 47-48 (137)

1 October Monday Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus, Virgin and Doctor of the Church
Memorial
Jb 1:6-22/Lk 9:46-50 (455)

2 Tuesday The Holy Guardian Angels
Memorial
Jb 3:1-3, 11-17, 20-23 (456)/Mt 18:1-5, 10 (650)

3 Wednesday
Jb 9:1-12, 14-16/Lk 9:57-62 (457) 37

4 Thursday Saint Francis of Assisi
Memorial
Jb 19:21-27/Lk 10:1-12 (458)

5 Friday
[USA: Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos, Priest]
Jb 38:1, 12-21; 40:3-5/Lk 10:13-16 (459)

6 Saturday
[Saint Bruno, Priest; USA: Blessed Marie Rose Durocher, Virgin; BVM]
Jb 42:1-3, 5-6, 12-17/Lk 10:17-24 (460)

Saints like St.Thérèse of the Child Jesus and St Francis of Assisi are saints who define our church as a whole and so the universal church celebrates their feasts to learn how the Spirit forms the church. They have a universal meaning.
Saints and blesseds like Blessed Francis Seelos and Blessed Marie Rose Durocher, who are recalled this week, are important figures in the church of North America. We remember them as guides to the history of our local church.

Saints Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, Archangels

Michael

St.Michael, Lucca, Italy

We celebrate the feast of three archangels today, September 29th. St. Gregory the Great says of the angels: “There are many spirits in heaven, but only the spirits who deliver a message are called angels.” Archangels like Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, “are those who proclaim messages of supreme importance…

“And so it was that not merely an angel but the archangel Gabriel was sent to the Virgin Mary. It was only fitting that the highest angel should come to announce the greatest of all messages.”

Their names, Gregory says, tell the service they perform. “Thus, Michael means “Who is like God”; Gabriel is “The Strength of God”; and Raphael is “God’s Remedy.

“Whenever some act of wondrous power must be performed, Michael is sent, so that his action and his name may make it clear that no one can do what God does by his superior power…

“So too Gabriel, who is called God’s strength, was sent to Mary. He came to announce the One who appeared as a humble man to quell the cosmic powers. Thus God’s strength announced the coming of the Lord of the heavenly powers, mighty in battle.

“Raphael means, as I have said, God’s remedy, for when he touched Tobit’s eyes in order to cure him, he banished the darkness of his blindness. Thus, since he is to heal, he is rightly called God’s remedy.”

St. Paul of the Cross, the founder of the Passionists, dedicated his first foundation on Monte Argentario in Italy to St. Michael and he said the archangel preserved his community from harm. Paul was a Lombard. Historians say the Lombards believed the Saracens where stopped from invading Lombardy in the 6th century by Michael and fostered devotion to the archangel afterwards.

In a world so convinced that human power is the only power, it’s comforting to have another level of power to look towards.

“St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle…”

The Son of Man


Orlando Hernandez

Dear Brethren. Once again I find myself writing for this blog and asking myself why I do it. I think the main reason is that I love Fr. Victor and I just can’t say “no” when he invites me to share my little reflections. What helps me the most is that , even though I am painfully challenged by the readings, sooner or later they drop me softly into a state of prayer and I am touched by the delightful, mysterious Love of God. I realize that I also write this because I love you too, everyone who reads this, and hope that even a small ray of this Divine Love I feel might get past these words and touch your hearts.
In this Friday’s Gospel (Lk 9: 18-22), “ Jesus was praying in solitude and the disciples were with Him.” He asks them who do they think He is. Peter tells Him, “The Christ of God.”
I try to be there in this scene and look at Jesus, accompanied by those He loves and yet in “solitude.” Holiness is sometimes defined as “being set apart.” Jesus, of course, was and is so different from everyone of us, His brothers and sisters. Did He ever feel loneliness? Or was he in such intimate contact with His “Abba” that He never felt alone?
Last weekend I worked with my Emmaus Brothers in a retreat in Miami, FL. I live in New York and I had not seen them in half a year. I felt such joy in serving among them, whom I admire so much. But I also felt alone many times, much welcomed, but still an outsider after so many months away. And yet, I was never lonely. To my eyes, the light of God’s Holy Spirit glowed everywhere around me, in the eyes of everyone, even inside of me. Things tend to fluctuate in the spiritual life; it’s all in God’s will, but lately I feel so accompanied, so loved by my Heavenly “Papa”, held so tightly by my Divine Brother, in the splendor of Their Spirit, that sometimes I just have to sit down and shake my head, and my tears, because it is too much for me.
Friday’s Psalm (144) begins to express this feeling:
“Blessed be the Lord, my rock,
my mercy and my fortress,
my stronghold, my deliverer,
my shield, in whom I trust.
Lord, what is man, that You notice him;
the Son of Man, that You take thought of him?”
I ask Him the same question that He invites the disciples to ask: “Who are You?” Lord why do You love us so much? Why do You give us Your very Self when we reach out to You in prayer? And my mind goes back to the last part of the Gospel reading. Yes, intimate prayer can be a blissful experience, but sometimes it pierces our hearts like a spear. It is painful and scary. Would Jesus feel fear and sorrow when His Heavenly Father would tell Him that He actually was the Suffering Servant, a martyr for all of humanity? He tells the disciples who He really is: “ The Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised.” (v 22)
Peter might have thought: “That’s not what I was imagining when I called Him ‘the Anointed One of God.’ I think I meant a mighty, victorious warrior-king, no?” The great apostle must have been very distressed. I myself, have been, many times, before the hundreds of crucifixes I have knelt in front of, asking Him, “Why did it have to be like this? I hate to see You suffer like this! Why this horrible ritual?” And so on… My Lord has been slowly curing me of this whining. I don’t completely understand, but He has led me to accept this “horrible ritual” as the source of the Power that enables me to “dare approach the Throne of Grace to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help.” (Heb 4 : 16), and not be afraid to be loved by this great Love.
There is a catch though. In this same Gospel, our Lord goes on to say: “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.” (Lk 9:23-24)
Wow! Again I am reminded of the beautiful Peter and his three denials. Am I ready to die for the One who gives me every breath of life? I certainly hope so, to strive for not just “spiritual death,” but to go out into harm’s way, up to Calvary, into the heart of suffering, carry the cross with the crucified of this world, bring some relief, some companionship, some empathy to every Child of God I meet.
Help me Lord! Give the strength to love, and die, like you!

Orlando Hernandez

25th Week of the Year

September 23 SUNDAY TWENTY-FIFTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
Wis 2:12, 17-20/Jas 3:16—4:3/Mk 9:30-37 (134)

24 Monday
Prv 3:27-34/Lk 8:16-18 (449)

25 Tuesday
Prv 21:1-6, 10-13/Lk 8:19-21 (450)

26 Wednesday
[Saints Cosmas and Damian, Martyrs]
Prv 30:5-9/Lk 9:1-6 (451)

27 Thursday Saint Vincent de Paul, Priest
Memorial
Eccl 1:2-11/Lk 9:7-9 (452)

28 Friday
[Saint Wenceslaus, Martyr; Saint Lawrence Ruiz and Companions, Martyrs]
Eccl 3:1-11/Lk 9:18-22 (453)

29 Saturday Saints Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, Archangels
Feast
Dn 7:9-10, 13-14 or Rv 12:7-12a/Jn 1:47-51 (647)

A Garden For Mary

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Come join us,
This Sunday, September 23rd,
after the I PM Mass at Immaculate Conception Church, Jamaica, New York
for the blessing of our Mary Garden.

The Passionists honor Mary, the Mother of Jesus. She greets you when you come into our church. Church windows sing her praises. A beautiful grotto in our garden recalls her appearance at Lourdes.

Now, next to the Lourdes grotto we’ve planted a Mary Garden. Mary Gardens originated in Europe following the Black Death, a pandemic that caused millions to die in the 14th century. Mary gardens, begun in monasteries and churches, reminded people that God brings life to us from the earth.

Recalling the Garden of Eden, the Mary Garden with its flowers, medicinal and edible plants reminds us of the beauty, life and healing we have from God through the earth. Mary, creation’s great gift, stands in the midst of the garden, as “our life, our sweetness and our hope.” We look to her prayers to “make us worthy of the promises of Christ. “

In a world where the earth is threatened and our church is battered by scandals, we’re planting a garden of hope, a Mary Garden.

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Come join us, Sunday, September 23rd.
The Passionists
Immaculate Conception Monastery
86-45 Edgerton Boulevard
Jamaica, New York