Thursday, April 18, 2019

“At the end of life we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, how much money we have made, how many great things we have done…….We will be judged by "I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat, I was naked and you clothed me. I was homeless, and you took me in.”


“I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.” ― Tagore: (1861 –1941: was Indian polymath, poet, & musician)

Gospel Text: (JN 13:1-15)
Before the feast of Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come
to pass from this world to the Father.
He loved his own in the world and he loved them to the end.
The devil had already induced Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot, to hand him over.
So, during supper,
fully aware that the Father had put everything into his power
and that he had come from God and was returning to God,
he rose from supper and took off his outer garments.
He took a towel and tied it around his waist.
Then he poured water into a basin
and began to wash the disciples' feet
and dry them with the towel around his waist.
He came to Simon Peter, who said to him,
"Master, are you going to wash my feet?"
Jesus answered and said to him,
"What I am doing, you do not understand now,
but you will understand later."
Peter said to him, "You will never wash my feet."
Jesus answered him,
"Unless I wash you, you will have no inheritance with me."
Simon Peter said to him,
"Master, then not only my feet, but my hands and head as well."
Jesus said to him,
"Whoever has bathed has no need except to have his feet washed,
 for he is clean all over;
so you are clean, but not all."
For he knew who would betray him;
for this reason, he said, "Not all of you are clean."

So when he had washed their feet
and put his garments back on and reclined at table again,
he said to them, "Do you realize what I have done for you?
You call me 'teacher' and 'master,'  and rightly so, for indeed I am.
If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet,
you ought to wash one another's feet.
I have given you a model to follow,
so that as I have done for you, you should also do."


We see in the Gospel that even though he is teacher and master and God, he still serves. He washes the feet of his disciples. He takes a towel and a water basin and washes the road dust and dirt from the feet of these men who have walked long distances in sandals. Peter is embarrassed. This is a more private act, or an act for a servant to be doing for a master, not the other way around. But Jesus is turning things around. The greatest will be the least, and the least will be the greatest. He is the greatest, but he performs a very lowly, but very intimate act by washing the feet of his friends. And by this example, tells them what it means to “love each other as I loved you.”  They must serve, not stand above or apart. Not pontificate or set themselves up as authorities, but be there in the trenches with others. Jesus gave his body and blood, gave his life, and washed their feet. Rinsed their dirty, smelly, feet, then wiped them with a towel. Touched them. Jesus loved us by being born a baby, a human baby, growing up, healing people, helping people, knowing people. And then dying for us all. Through his life, through the Eucharist, through his death he showed his love for us in his intimacy, in becoming man, and in dying. We can show our love for him by showing our love for each other. We can heal people, help people, know people, and through that, know and love God.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Judas made a huge blunder the day in which he sold Christ for 30 denarii, but he made an even bigger one when he thought that his sin was too great to be forgiven. No sin is too big: any wretchedness, however great, can always be enclosed in infinite mercy.


Judas is neither a master of evil nor the figure of a demoniacal power of darkness but rather a sycophant who bows before the anonymous power of changing moods and current fashions. But it is precisely this anonymous power that crucified Jesus, for it was anonymous voices that cried 'away with him! Crucify him!' - Pope Benedict XVI: (16 April 1927 - is a senior prelate of the Catholic Church who served as its head and sovereign of the Vatican City State from 2005 until his resignation in 2013.) 

Gospel Text: (MT 26:14-25)
One of the Twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot,
went to the chief priests and said,
"What are you willing to give me
if I hand him over to you?"
They paid him thirty pieces of silver,
and from that time on he looked for an opportunity to hand him over.

On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread,
the disciples approached Jesus and said,
"Where do you want us to prepare
for you to eat the Passover?"
He said,
"Go into the city to a certain man and tell him,
'The teacher says, "My appointed time draws near;
in your house I shall celebrate the Passover with my disciples."'"
The disciples then did as Jesus had ordered,
and prepared the Passover.

When it was evening,
he reclined at table with the Twelve.
And while they were eating, he said,
"Amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me."
Deeply distressed at this,
they began to say to him one after another,
"Surely it is not I, Lord?"
He said in reply,
"He who has dipped his hand into the dish with me
is the one who will betray me.
The Son of Man indeed goes, as it is written of him,
but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed.
It would be better for that man if he had never been born."
Then Judas, his betrayer, said in reply,
"Surely it is not I, Rabbi?"
He answered, "You have said so."

The betrayal of Judas was very painful for Jesus, coming from one of his trusted chosen ones.

We, too, betray Our Lord when we sin, when we do not follow his commands, when we prefer the world's values to the Gospel values he preached. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

“He who knows how to forgive prepares for himself many graces from God.”


If a man finds it very hard to forgive injuries, let him look at a Crucifix, and think that Christ shed all His Blood for him, and not only forgave His enemies, but even prayed His Heavenly Father to forgive them also………- Saint Philip Neri: (1515 – 1595: known as the Third Apostle of Rome, after Saints Peter and Paul)

Gospel Text: (JN 13:21-33, 36-38)
Reclining at table with his disciples, Jesus was deeply troubled and testified,
"Amen, amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me."
The disciples looked at one another, at a loss as to whom he meant.
One of his disciples, the one whom Jesus loved,
was reclining at Jesus' side.
So Simon Peter nodded to him to find out whom he meant.
He leaned back against Jesus' chest and said to him,
"Master, who is it?"
Jesus answered,
"It is the one to whom I hand the morsel after I have dipped it."
So he dipped the morsel and took it and handed it to Judas,
son of Simon the Iscariot.
After Judas took the morsel, Satan entered him.
So Jesus said to him, "What you are going to do, do quickly."
Now none of those reclining at table realized why he said this to him.
Some thought that since Judas kept the money bag, Jesus had told him,
"Buy what we need for the feast,"
or to give something to the poor.
So Judas took the morsel and left at once. And it was night.

When he had left, Jesus said,
"Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him.
If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself,
and he will glorify him at once.
My children, I will be with you only a little while longer.
You will look for me, and as I told the Jews,
'Where I go you cannot come,' so now I say it to you."

Simon Peter said to him, "Master, where are you going?"
Jesus answered him,
"Where I am going, you cannot follow me now,
though you will follow later."
Peter said to him,
"Master, why can I not follow you now?
I will lay down my life for you."
Jesus answered, "Will you lay down your life for me?
Amen, amen, I say to you, the cock will not crow
before you deny me three times."

To get to Easter, we walk through the grim reality of betrayal. We see there that God calls us to repent of our own sins of betrayal and to forgive those who have betrayed us. Even as we forgive, we know that only Christ is the perfect friend. Only He is without blemish or blame in a relationship. He beckons us beyond the darkness of human failing to the hope and promise of Easter and to true friendship in Him.


Monday, April 15, 2019

Only the ideas we actually live are of any value........


“One of the great tragedies of life is that men seldom bridge the gulf between practice and profession, between doing and saying. A persistent schizophrenia leaves so many of us tragically divided against ourselves. On the one hand, we proudly profess certain sublime and noble principles, but on the other hand, we sadly practice the very antithesis of these principles. How often are our lives characterized by a high blood pressure of creeds and an anaemia of deeds! We talk eloquently about our commitment to the principles of Christianity, and yet our lives are saturated with the practices of paganism. We proclaim our devotion to democracy, but we sadly practice the very opposite of the democratic creed. We talk passionately about peace, and at the same time we assiduously prepare for war. We make our fervent pleas for the high road of justice, and then we tread unflinchingly the low road of injustice. This strange dichotomy, this agonizing gulf between the ought and the is, represents the tragic theme of man's earthly pilgrimage.” ― Martin Luther King Jr., Strength to Love


Gospel Text: (JN 12:1-11)
Six days before Passover Jesus came to Bethany,
where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead.
They gave a dinner for him there, and Martha served,
while Lazarus was one of those reclining at table with him.
Mary took a liter of costly perfumed oil
made from genuine aromatic nard
and anointed the feet of Jesus and dried them with her hair;
the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.
Then Judas the Iscariot, one of his disciples,
and the one who would betray him, said,
"Why was this oil not sold for three hundred days' wages
and given to the poor?"
He said this not because he cared about the poor
but because he was a thief and held the money bag
and used to steal the contributions.
So Jesus said, "Leave her alone.
Let her keep this for the day of my burial.
You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me."

The large crowd of the Jews found out that he was there and came,
not only because of him, but also to see Lazarus,
whom he had raised from the dead.
And the chief priests plotted to kill Lazarus too,
because many of the Jews were turning away
and believing in Jesus because of him.

In his short lifetime on earth Jesus could not do everything but he did do something.  None of us can do everything, but each of us can do something.  Jesus spelled out the course.  Jesus set the pace.  Now we, by our words, our actions and our enthusiasm are to be Christ in action today.  We are to give light to those living in ignorance and fear.  We are to help free those shackled by selfishness and sin.  We are to wipe out oppression with the power of love.

If the task seems intimidating, we find our strength in today’s Psalm response, “The Lord is my hope and my salvation; whom should I fear.” (Psalm 27:1)  Let’s do it.