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Pray for Revival

Prayer for the 2017 East of the River Revival

Almighty and loving Father, we humbly pray that You will bless our revival with the powerful assistance of your Sweet Spirit.

Grant that our parish may respond to this time of grace and mercy through “Where there is Light There is Hope”. Help us put aside all things that crowd our lives so that we can schedule these four days to come together as a praying and fasting Catholic community.We ask for the grace to learn to live the simplicity that Jesus taught in our complex world.

Bless our revival priest, Fr. Roy Lee, preacher and teacher.

Prepare his heart with the message you have for us. Fill him with your Sweet Spirit to help us to be transfigured in Christ. May Mary, Our Mother, our model and guide, obtain from her divine Son, all that we need to make this tin1e of spiritual renewal. This we ask of You, Father, Son, and Sweet Holy Spirit who lives and reigns forever and ever.

Amen!

Christ makes all things new

“Behold, I make all things new.”

We are experiencing some new things around us this Easter season and spring. God gave us an awesome Revival night last Monday that was new for some of our visitors which included neighbors who just popped in. Getting complaints about the church being too hot that night was something new! The gorgeous and consistent spring weather has indeed been something new in our area. Things certainly seem to be new for our town’s hockey team, the Washington Capitals. They are the best team in the NHL playoffs which is new, and they are doing things in the playoffs they have never done before. They usually have an early and painful exit from the post-season. Now, I know that today’s reading from the Book of Revelation isn’t referring to sports teams, but hopefully this will be the year for the Caps and us fans: “no more mourning, wailing or pain”, and that “the old order has passed away” (!).

Does Christ really make all things new? In a general sense, Christians know that the answer is yes. The “new heaven and new earth” are brought out by the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Believing this is at the heart of what means to be a Christian.

But, in a personal sense, many Christians offer a different answer. Some Catholics grumble that Holy Mass is “the same old thing” or that the Sacrament of Reconciliation consists of confessing “the same old sins over and over again.” Complaints about prayer derive from “asking God for the same things.” It appears that when Christians describe a life in Christ, they talk more about what is the same or old than what is new!

Christ makes all things new! We actually celebrate that newness (again, in a general sense) at every Mass. And, Confession is the best way to get rid of old, bad habits and to start new ones. Prayer is so much more than asking God for stuff! It is a relationship.

Speaking of relationships, imagine falling in love with someone. They are new to you in so many ways. Their particular gifts of beauty or kindness or intelligence might be refreshing and attractive. But, it’s more than that…it is just something about them in general. They are new and unlike anyone you’ve ever met. Being with them makes you feel like a new person. Developing a relationship with them makes you a new person. You begin to see life and yourself in new ways. And, hopefully, they are all good.

With Christ, new life is ALL GOOD! It really is a resurrection experience. His Grace changes us to be good…in ways we’ve never been good. His sacrificial love is new, deep, and never-ending. We see the world around us differently; it has become “a new earth”. We see ourselves in a new, beautiful way; we have become “a new creation”. We are loved by Love Himself and are motivated to do all things for Love. Love makes all things new. Christ makes all things new!

May you know the peace of the risen Christ,

Fr Greg

Hearts built by God to be attached only to Him

The East of the River Revival was awesome! Indeed, it was powerful, electric

stuff with the Holy Spirit. I was there on Monday night when the revivalist, Deacon

Harold, gave a rousing, inspiring, and insightful talk. The Lord moved some hearts

through him! There were some entertaining moments as well. When the deacon

spoke about the rosary as a weapon and his consists of bullets, he joked that “every

time you pray the rosary, you pop a cap in the devil’s ass!”

The theme of his message was taken from Pope Francis’s, “The Joy of the

Gospel”. He focused on living happiness with joy. With a strong showing of

Assumption parishioners in the congregation, he was preaching to the choir! But, he

gave several examples from today’s world of people who live happiness without joy.

He even used the story of this Sunday’s Gospel as an example: the young man in

Mark 10 who was happy living the commandments, but then felt “sad” when he

couldn’t answer Jesus’s call to give up everything he had to follow Him.

It’s a story to which we can all relate in one way or another. It’s a story about

detaching from the things of the world. The man had many attachments in his life

which we presume are material possessions. In Matthew’s Gospel, he is described as

a “rich young man”. In both Gospel accounts (Mark and Matthew), he couldn’t give

up everything because “he had many possessions”. He was attached to his

possessions and to his wealth which is the danger of both.

People can become attached to them and the power, status, prestige, and

control that they appear to give. But, these attachments don’t bring happiness. In

fact, they can lead to sadness. This is what the young man in the Gospel experienced.

Our hearts are built by God to be attached to Him alone. ONLY when we are free to

attach ourselves to Christ and to follow Him do we find happiness with joy.

In a spiritual way, the story of the young man is the story of your pastor’s

vocation. I heard Jesus’s call to be a priest when I first entered the seminary. Like

the young man, I walked away from the call two years later. I was too attached to my

own dreams, goals, and desires. But, this Gospel story kept coming up in my

prayer…particularly, the word “sad”. When I realized that sadness is the result of not

answering the Lord’s call, I came back to the vocation and have experienced true

happiness, joy, and peace ever since. These are some of the “hundred times more”

fruits Jesus promises in Mark 10:30 for those who follow Him:

“Amen, I say to you, there is no one who has given up (attachments)… for my

sake and for the sake of gospel who will not receive a hundred times more now…and

eternal life in the age to come”.

–Sincerely in Christ,

Fr Greg