Posts

You Shall Never Hunger

“I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger” (Jn 6:35)

Even though this verse from today’s Gospel is referring to spiritual food and hunger, is it true? For those of us who have come to Christ, do we never spiritually hunger?

Well, His Grace in our hearts and souls really does satisfy and fulfill us. But we do speak of and experience a hungering for Christ. Many of us who have had the amazing privilege of attending daily Mass for years have experienced a hunger for the Eucharist if we go anytime without it.

So, how can we understand Jn 6:35? An article below from www.catholic-daily-reflections.com offers a really good explanation of how we can be satisfied by Christ and yet still hunger for Him. The basic point is that His Grace satisfies and satiates us, but we have to be continually nourished by Him.

A new message on our sign has the quote from St. Therese: “Receive Communion often, very often”. Daily Mass!

Wouldn’t it be nice if you were never hungry or thirsty again? What’s fascinating is that Jesus uses these very natural human experiences to teach us about Himself. He uses natural hunger and thirst to teach us that we long to be satisfied spiritually. And there is only one way to satiate these spiritual longings…through Him.

It is a good spiritual practice to reflect upon your natural longings as an analogy for your spiritual longings. Naturally speaking, we regularly get hungry and thirsty. We eat and drink, but several hours later we hunger and thirst again. This is a cycle we cannot avoid. Our body continually craves food and drink.

The same is true on a spiritual level. We cannot pray once and satisfy our spiritual longings forever. We cannot simply believe in Jesus and then be satisfied forever. Why? Because prayer and unity with Jesus is something that must take place daily throughout your day.

The Eucharist offers insights into this hunger and thirst in that it provides us with our “daily” food. It is a gift that we must daily seek. Some of the Sacraments are given to us only once (Baptism and Confirmation). But the Eucharist is a gift that we must continually consume and long for. The fact that we must continually go to Mass and receive the Eucharist tells us that our Christian life is not something that can be fulfilled by one definitive decision. Rather, it’s something that needs daily nourishment and fulfillment.

What do you do to satisfy this Christian longing each and every day? Perhaps you cannot attend Mass every day, but do you seek to fulfill your Christian desire for Christ each and every day? Do you seek Him who is the Bread of Life every day? Do you seek to satiate your thirst with Christ each and every day?

Loving Jesus and following Him is a decision that must be renewed not only each day, it must also be renewed throughout your day. It must be renewed as often as you become physically hungry and thirsty.

Reflect, today, upon these natural longings you have for food and drink to continually remind yourself of your much deeper spiritual longing for Christ. Praying to Him, listening to Him and receiving Him into your soul is the food that satisfies like nothing else. Jesus is the true Bread of Life and your true Spiritual Drink. He is what you are made for. Let Him satisfy your deepest desires in life!

Also, this excerpt from an article at www.osv.com offers more insight to John 6, specifically about those who were fed through the multiplication of the loaves:

The experience of being satisfied with food after a long day clearly made a deep impression. No doubt some of these people were poor and rarely had enough to eat. Others were dreaming of a world in which the Jewish people would once more be fed directly by the hand of God, as they were in the wilderness under Moses (cf., Jn 6:31). For them, the multiplication of the loaves did not merely

point toward the relief of physical hunger but also toward political liberation from the power of Rome. The manna of Exodus had freed the Jewish people to escape the flesh-pots of Egypt. Thus, bread represented both nourishment and freedom.

When Christ answers them, he tries to guide their thinking away from short-term physical and political hopes. “Do not work for food that perishes,” he tells them, “but for the food that endures for eternal life” (Jn 6:27). Later, he clarifies: “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world” (Jn 6:51).

May you know the peace of Christ,

Fr Greg

Don’t be afraid, just have faith

13th Sunday
Mexico
God wants to heal us
   Wisdom 1
Woman / garment
   12 years of faith —> “Your faith has saved you”
Have faith
   “Don’t be afraid, just have faith”

Holy Communion: You have God within you!

Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ

Liturgy here

Holy Communion
Body and Blood of Christ / Scripture

  Faith in Real Presence
  Guidelines
Capital One Arena JOY
Us after every Mass

Defend the faith in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit

Feast of Holy Trinity

Caps / Wilson
In the name of the Caps

Church, people
In the name of Father, Son, Holy Spirit
Identity / dignity stripped
Fight with others

Life w Trinity started at Baptism
Life itself / Grace
Fight for it in ourselves

God in communion
Himself
Us

Hope remains, glory awaits

Ascension

Mothers – help us reach our goals
  They descend so that we will ascend
   Mom – sacrifices

   Mary – vision of hell
   Church – united with Christ
        Sacraments, mission, every day
Hope remains, glory awaits

What is real?

What does it take to believe that something is real? We live in an age of computer technology complete with things like Photoshop and other programs that can enhance photographs, create realistic images, and mimic artistic renderings. When looking at a picture of something, we find ourselves wondering if what we are seeing is real or just the result of technological creativity. Early believers came to believe because of what they witnessed in these new communities of faith. They saw people authentically living out Jesus’ command to love and to show mercy. What do people witness when they see us in action?

Go to Him who has power over all things

5th Sunday of Lent
Funeral
    Resurrection of body and soul
Raising of Lazarus scene
     Faith in Christ in general
Faith in Christ
     Specific situations

Hope Springs Eternal

The hope of being transformed or transfigured into the image of God awaits all of God’s children. We walk through this life knowing that our eternal destiny is to be like God and live eternally in his presence. How does this truth about who we can become change the way we live today? Does it even matter to us that we are called to a higher purpose that is often quite different than the one we fabricate for ourselves here on earth? A transformed, eternal life is God’s desire for all of his daughters and sons. Knowing this helps us put suffering in perspective and walk peacefully with hope in our hearts.

Lent: A Season of Faith

When I was first in parish work, I remember the parish priest talking with the schoolchildren about the topic of Lent and prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. He asked them if any of them knew what fasting was. After a very long wait, one student raised his hand and said, “It is what I do when my Mom is mad at me. I run really fast!” The adults in the assembly burst into laughter.

Laughter is good. However, the Lenten devotions of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving are very serious practices for us as we prepare to celebrate the Easter mysteries.

As our catechumens prepare for the Easter sacraments, we are called by the Church to model what it means to be a Catholic Christians. We are called, especially during this Lenten season, to pray, fast, and give from the wealth we have to those who need our assistance.

This season is not merely a season of obligation to act more intently as God calls us to act; it is a season of opportunity to practice the foundation of our faith more attentively: prayer, fasting, almsgiving.

Listen for God with your heart

“How can I hear God?” One woman asked this with some exasperation at Bible study when we discussed today’s first reading (Sam 3) of Samuel hearing the voice of God. It is a question to which we all want the answer. Every day. St. Teresa of Avila taught that “Jesus is always speaking to us; the question is, are we listening?” If we are men and women who pray daily, read and meditate on Scripture regularly, and come into the Real Presence of the Lord in Adoration, then we are listening. Of course, these are not the only ways to hear God, but they are the best.

To that point, we will increase our hours of Eucharistic Adoration on Wednesdays starting in Lent. I will explain the significance of this for us as a parish in the days ahead. For each of us, it will provide a tremendous opportunity to hear God. The first time in my life that I heard the voice of God was when I started praying in Adoration. I promise you that God will reward whatever time you give to adore Jesus, and it very well might be an experience of hearing Him.

I thought that the words of another priest would help would be more beneficial when it comes to hearing God. So, here is a good reflection by Fr. Killian J. Healy at www.catholicexchange.com. See you at Wednesday Adoration!

May you know the peace of Christ,

Fr Greg


 

God does not have to use external words and signs to attract our attention and convey ideas to us. He enters our minds directly. He speaks secretly, noiselessly, as befits the Divinity. It is only by faith that we know He is working in us. For example, God once spoke in a special, hidden way to St. Peter, who then confessed Jesus to be the Son of God. “Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona,” said our Lord. “For flesh and blood hath not revealed this to thee, but my Father in Heaven.”

St. John tells us that we will know all things from the Holy Spirit: “But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things.” St. Paul says that God enters our very thoughts: “Not that we are sufficient to think anything of ourselves, as of ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God.”

God also enters our hearts and inspires us to holy desires. “And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God, was listening; and the Lord touched her heart to give heed to what was being said by Paul.”

Thus, the Scriptures and the Church tell us that God speaks to us in the silence of our minds and hearts. He speaks to all men, but all men do not hear Him. God speaks to our mind and heart when we kneel to meditate or to adore Him in the Blessed Sacrament. He enters our mind when the passing things of time excite our thoughts. It is He who gives us holy thoughts to conquer our temptations. It is He who stirs up within us the desire to persevere against all adversaries.

Perhaps we have never realized that God is illuminating our intellect and inspiring our will. Yet He does just that. That is why we are told not to do all the talking in prayer. For, if we continually recite vocal prayers without pausing now and then to think, we will stifle the thoughts and desires that God wishes to excite in us.

St. Thérèse of Lisieux tells us how she listened to the voice of God. “I know and have experienced that ‘the Kingdom of God is within us,’ that our Master has no need of books or teacher to instruct a soul. The Teacher of teachers instructs without sound of words, and though I have never heard Him speak, yet I know He is within me, always guiding and inspiring me; and just when I need them, lights, hitherto unseen, break in upon me. As a rule, it is not during prayer that this happens, but in the midst of my daily duties.”

But we are not only to listen; it would be folly to remain in a state of mental blankness, waiting for God to speak. No, prayer is a loving conversation, and, when the Holy Spirit moves us, it is time to begin our part of the colloquy.

One way, then, to practice the exercise of the presence of God is to listen to God, to be aware that He speaks to us, to be ever conscious that God can use all things to communicate with us.