Fifth Sunday of Ordinary Time

As we reflect on the readings from the 5th Sunday of Ordinary Time…I would like to offer another reflection on the Gospel alone by Bishop Robert Barron.

There are many layers to Sacred Scripture, and while I focused on the image of our Lord’s Glory filling the temple, as Isaiah experiences at the moment of his call as a prophet of God.

I am reminded that through Mary, in the 4th Joyful Mystery of the rosary (Allows, in that moment )THE RETURN OF THE LORD’S GLORY TO AGAIN FILL THE TEMPLE, IN THE PERSON OF JESUS CHRIST, AS PROMISED BY THE OLD TESTAMENT PROPHETS.

During the Babylonian captivity, the temple ritual, sacrifice, and daily worship were not possible. But behold! The presence of Jesus in the new Temple (The Church) with His Glory; so that all nations who offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in the temple, can receive the superabundant spiritual grace, as signified with the amazing haul of fish from St. Simon Peter’s boat. Why? Because this boat is now directed by Christ Jesus, who is in the center.

With that said, I also love Bishop Barron’s reflection on the Gospel alone…
“Friends, today’s Gospel gives us the story of the miraculous draught of fishes. In many ways, the whole of the spiritual life can be read in this Gospel Reading.

Without being invited, Jesus simply gets into the fisherman’s boat. This is to insinuate himself in the most direct way into Simon’s life. Again, without further ado, he begins to give orders,            first asking Simon to put out from the shore and then to go out into the deep. This represents the invasion of grace. The single most important decision that you will ever make is this: Will            you cooperate with Jesus once he decides to get into your boat?

In many ways, everything else in your life is secondary, is commentary. When the Lord Jesus Christ gets into your boat, he will always lead you to the depths. Duc in altum, as St. John Paul II      loved to quote. More dangerous? Yes. More exciting? Yes.

Now, mind you, the depths we’re talking about here are spiritual depths. The excitement we’re talking about is the true excitement that comes from spiritual transformation. The depths have        nothing to do with what the world considers important or exciting.”

The Lord be with You…Father Vic

Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

As we continue to move into the New Year of 2019, and enter into February…I have 2 questions…1. Did you create New Years Resolutions…2. If you did…How are they going? … If you have failed already, here are some tips…

General New Years Resolutions like…(This year I will get in shape)…(Or this year I will grow closer to God) are doomed to failure.

New Years Resolutions have to be specific & Measurable to find success.
You actually have to join a gym & then, as a beginner, hire a personal trainer…You might start with 2 trips a week…This you can monitor to know if you are keeping up.

If you are interested in growing closer to God this year…Here is a short list to help you start…You can measure your progress and adjust to be successful…Any of these will change your life…

1.Go to an extra Daily Mass other than Sunday…Start with getting the Parish App, which has the Sacred Heart Mass Schedule, and also tools to find other Mass schedules while traveling. Start with one extra Mass per week.

2.Pray the Rosary…After the prayer of the Holy Mass…The Rosary is a most powerful prayer…Mary, at Fatima, told the children to pray the Rosary daily…Start out weekly & then move towards adding days…It will change your life…Look up the 15 promises offered to those who pray the Rosary daily.

3.Read Scripture Daily…Start with 1 chapter a day…Perhaps start with the Gospels…Before you know it, you will be through the 4 Gospels…Then move to the New Testament Letters…You choose…It is also measurable.

4.Attend Sacred Heart’s Wednesday and/or 1st Friday “Eucharistic Adoration”…Perhaps begin with once a month and then move towards a weekly Holy Hour…If you are not use to silence…Start with 10 to 15 minutes and move towards a Holy Hour. It will change your life.

5.Listen to Wilmington Catholic Radio…Is inspiring and will help you to grow spiritually. Start with a day per week…

6.Come to hear Dr. Allen Hunt, of Dynamic Catholic, speak on “Finding Your Greatness” at Sacred Heart on February 16.

Blessings…Father Vic

FROM THE BAPTISM OF THE LORD…TO ORDINARY TIME & HIS PUBLIC MINISTRY…

 

-I have been leading up to this…The Manifestation of God…
-From John stressing thru Jesus…The Invisible becoming Visible…

-This Visible King who will allow John the Baptist to baptize Him in the Jordan…Thus, this King anoints and makes Holy the “water”…He gives His followers a Visible Baptism where we pour this blessed Visible water over our bodies…& Filled with the Holy Spirit…We die and rise with Christ…With this Visible entrance Sacrament we enter into the Visible Holy Family of God…

-Upon entrance into this Visible Church & Sacraments instituted by Jesus…He gives us a Visible liturgy where we can use our bodies to worship him…We can bless ourselves with Holy Water, genuflect before the Real Presence of Christ hidden in a Visible Tabernacle…We use our bodies to kneel, stand, sing, & pray…Who needs a gym when we have the Holy Mass where, like the Magi we can prostrate ourselves before this Visible King…Where we see our prayers lifted up to the Father thru the Son via the Smoke of the Incense wafting up towards Heaven…We can taste and see as we receive the Holy Eucharist of the Body & Blood of our Lord Jesus…

-Thru Jesus we receive a God who is no longer an abstraction, but tangible…
-Just like the King Baby in the manger is real flesh…not an abstraction…

-In His 2 Natures (Human & Divine)…Is found Transcendence & Intimacy…How should we approach Jesus?…When I was young my mother was a rock, who was bigger than life…When she became sick, as an adult, I developed a deeper friendship with her…Yet in the end she was the one who gave me life…So above all things even in friendship…There was always a deeper respect because she gave me life…Helped me to realize this was no ordinary friendship…Our relationship with Jesus should be similar…We can come to Him as a friend, but at the end of the day we should also come to Him on our knees giving Him thanks for giving us life as our creator and Logos…

-I have put this into daily practice…I Begin each day in the chapel (Perhaps with a cup of coffee)…But I always End the day on my knees In Thanksgiving.

  • Please remember the church worship space… is Sacred Space…
    Fr. Doug in his wisdom built the church with a beautiful welcoming area.
  • After Mass please move to that area, so others may kneel or sit and pray in the church without distraction…I ask you to let the church worship space be a place of prayer & also one of intimacy…And may we do the latter in the welcoming area so the church proper may be a place for prayer…

Finally from our readings on Epiphany Sunday…Herod feared Jesus…Jesus as a Visible King was seen as a competitor…The World has never understood God…When asked: “What do Christians believe God is”…Atheism rarely gives a proper answer…

-God, as “Being” & “Existence” itself…isn’t a part of creation nor in competition with creation…The world, such as Herod, has never understood this…This worldview leads to fear…notice how people (like Herod) “Live In Fear.”

-Jesus simply came to bring us out of fear (into Light)…Abolish death…Give us a life based on the Hope of not ending…We share in God’s immortality…A Bodily Resurrection…
-When we fall prostrate before the Lord we learn not to Fear but to Hope…For thru God & His Creation – The invisible becomes visible…

Why matter isn’t all that matters…Darkness becomes Light…Light brings Hope…Hope leads to a life fulfilled in participating in the Divine Life of Almighty God…This is our gift of Hope as we enter the season of Ordinary Time…And the ministry of Jesus…

Blessings…Father Vic

AN ADVENT-CHRISTMAS REFLECTION

 

While hearing Advent Confessions – I know some people are hurting…
-Concerned with their church…

-I’m reminded that…From the beginning – Judas, and the apostles deny & reject Jesus’ cross – Other than St. John, Mary, and a few others, the apostles ran and hid during the crucifixion of their Lord… Yet, at Pentecost they were inspired by the Holy Spirit & then began to receive the Sacraments that changed their lives & help to renew their hearts.

-I’m reminded of the 4th century Arian Heresy, & the many early heresies that confused & weakened the early church & allowed other religions to grow in influence – Yet The Holy Spirit spoke through the 4th century councils to say that Jesus is Lord & God – Mary is His mother; Theotokos (The mother of God)…

-Mary is our model – She never left Jesus – She saw Judas give him up for silver – She saw the first Pope deny him and flee the trouble of the cross – But she stayed close to him – Stayed at the foot of the cross – She took her Son into her heart.

-When Jesus was crucified she didn’t leave the apostles – She stayed with St. John, & then stayed close to the church, her Son, Jesus founded.

-Jesus’ birth brings light – And the 7 Sacraments sustain that light within us.
-The hierarchy & people do not make the church Holy, but must be made Holy by the core & center of the church. What makes the church Holy? Jesus in His Word & Sacrament via the Holy Spirit – When we stop looking up – To God – We, for a time, may lose our way – But the 7 Sacraments, especially CONFESSION, THE EUCHARIST, & THE HOLY MASS, the Light of Jesus, will always be the core of the Church that He founded.

So, why do I stay close to the Church?
-Mary’s perpetual Virginity – Stays a virgin, yet still conceives – God has done impossible things before. He does them even today, turning hearts of stone into hearts of flesh, making ordinary bread & wine into the Body & Blood of Jesus Christ – Offering forgiveness for ‘unforgivable’ sins that are then forgotten & blotted out – God wants to do impossible things in our hearts & lives as well, using the power of the Holy Spirit to accomplish these amazing wonders.

COME LORD JESUS THIS ADVENT AND CHRISTMAS – FATHER VIC

Thirty- Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Christ, King of the Universe…

-Testifies to the truth.
-He is the author & blueprint of Creation/Life.
-As Logos He speaks all Nations and things into existence.
-All human activity has its purpose & is redeemable through Him.

I visited recently the “Dubrovnik Hall of Heroes” – A small room containing pictures of the young who gave their lives in the great wars to protect this seafaring fortress city in Croatia…

-Without The Resurrection their deaths have little meaning beyond the temporal – But these deaths have a deeper meaning precisely because of the resurrection

-Arlington National Cemetery, Our dead buried in Normandy – All temporal honor and sacrifice raised up to the eternal in the Bodily Resurrection of Christ.

As King of the Universe, He will redeem His Church!
-Sacred Scripture paints us this Image of the Church – A Boat in stormy seas.
-Constructed from the bark of Saint Peter…

Pope Pious XII – use to meditate on this picture in his chapel before prayer – A picture of the Apostles, in the boat, in stormy seas, with Jesus appearing to be asleep. This was during WWII with Germany and the axis powers threatening the world. And throughout history the Church rides in stormy seas, threatened from within, and from the outside – Yet, Christ is not asleep, even if it seems that way. He will guide His church, the ark, to Heaven.

Never say your life or someone else’s life is not redeemable.

-Thru Christ the King, all can be redeemed, starting at Mass by simply saying – Lord I’m not worthy to receive you under my roof, but only say the word, and my soul shall be healed.

Those who hold to the resurrection of the body are those who are most effective at working for justice and peace in this world. If you are a complete materialist and secularist, you hold that everything and everybody, in the end, just fades away. But if you believe in the resurrection of the body, then everything in this world is destined for redemption. Everything matters.

Amen Fr. Vic

Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

“This is a monkish practice for anyone to adopt, and I highly recommend it. At the end of the day, take an inventory of all the people who have angered you, and forgive them. Say it out loud. Then you can go to bed.” (Fr. Augustine Wetta, OSB from Humility Rules) . . .

Amen Fr. Vic

Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time

“Immediately before and for a good while after my conversion, I was of the opinion that to lead a religious life meant one had to give up all that was secular and to live totally immersed in thoughts of the Divine. But gradually I realized that something else is asked of us in this world and that, even in the contemplative life, one may not sever the connection with the world. I even believe that the deeper one is drawn into God, the more one must ‘go out of oneself’, that is, one must go to the world in order to carry the divine life into it.” (St. Edith Stein in conversion)…

Amen—Fr. Vic

Thirtieth Sunday In Ordinary Time

This past week the Church celebrated St. John Paul II Feast Day. I think one of his greatest gifts was a number of talks he gave which were collected & published as “Theology of the Body.” Our bodies are a part of us, and the body is sacred.

From – “Theology of the Body in One Hour”…More than abstinence or self-restraint, piety is a deep reverence for all things sacred, including the body. If sin dulls our understanding of the meaning of the body and the value of sexuality, piety heightens our sensitivity to the dignity that the body possesses. It is the crowning of chastity, and according to John Paul, “turns out to be the most essential power for keeping the body ‘with holiness.’” It is the Holy Spirit who empowers each person to view his or her body—and the bodies of others—with such reverence.

Amen—Fr. Vic

 

Twenty-Nineth Sunday in Ordinary Time

When we sometimes feel down. Or ask questions like…

-Why can’t God change me – Why do I confess the same things

– Why am I not progressing spiritually

– Why do I seem to be a failure?…

-Then how about this…
-The Crucifix around your neck – The crucifix above our church altars the world over.
-Jesus changed a Roman instrument of torture and brutality into a sign of salvation, Hope, & love – A sign that was meant to bring terror is now a sign of blessings and hope.

-If Jesus can do this with the crucifix – He can certainly change us.
-The Curse of the “wood of the tree” found in Deuteronomy & the instrument of torture – The “Wood of the Cross” – is turned into love – And when lifted up – “Will draw all nations to myself says the Lord.”

We are lifted up at every Mass, Confession and in the Sacraments – Our Lord can change us, just like He changed a sign of Roman damnation into a sign of Christian forgiveness and renewal – Patience & Perseverance are key.

Amen—Fr. Vic.

Twenty-Eighth Sunday of Ordinary Time

“Look at the Crucifix” was comprised by a “Father of Mercy”. I love to meditate on these when I need a pick me up moment. Simple but shows the true depth and love of our Lord for each one of us. Reminds me of the High Priest (28 Sunday’s – “Letter to the Hebrews”) who has experience all that we have, and His love for each of us displayed by the acceptance of His Cross and Passion. Pax – Fr. Vic

LOOK AT THE CRUCIFIX

– If you want to know God, look at the Crucifix.

– If you want to love God, look at the Crucifix.

– If you want to know the infinite, eternal love of God, look at the Crucifix.

– If you wish to have a part in giving that same love to others, look at the Crucifix.

– If you want to know who you are and your worth, look at the Crucifix.

– If you want to know how you were saved from the jaws of hell, look at the Crucifix.

– If you want to know how much God wants to save your immortal soul, look at the Crucifix.

– If you want to know Who will lead you to Heaven, look at the Crucifix.

– If you want to live well, look at the Crucifix.

– If you want to die well, look at the Crucifix.