May 31, 2017

Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Rom 12: 9-16

Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Seeing God’s Face

To me this reads like one more version of the beatitudes or simply said treat others as you want to be treated. Paul, speaking to the new fledgling Christian communities, must have found it necessary to explain why they should be different because of the Christ experience.

These letters were written hundreds of years in the past. Preserve the good; treat one another with respect; have hope; serve God; and basically love one another with true affection, and be welcoming.

We are living in times when this same message must be repeated over and over. It is not so difficult to apply the sentiment to the locals in my community and the members of my own church. But I find it pretty difficult outside my own comfort zone–to refugees and the undocumented. So do we build walls or do we knock down the walls as we see the face of God looking at us for a place to rest his head?

—Camille Devaney serves as Board chair for the Ignatian Spirituality Project (ISP).  

Prayer

God of love, whose compassion never fails, we bring you the griefs and perils of peoples and nations. The pains of the sick and the injured, the sighing of prisoners and captives.  The sorrows of the bereaved, the necessities of the homeless, the helplessness of the weak, the despair of weary, the failing powers of the aged.  Comfort and relieve them, O merciful Lord. According to their several needs and your great mercy. Amen.

—St. Anselm of Canterbury

 

 

 

 


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May 30, 2017

Jn 17: 1-11a

After Jesus had spoken these words, he looked up to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all people, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth by finishing the work that you gave me to do. So now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had in your presence before the world existed.

”I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything you have given me is from you; for the words that you gave to me I have given to them, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me.

I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours. All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them.

And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

All is gift

The similarity between Jesus’s prayer in today’s Gospel and the Suscipe (or the Take, Lord, and Receive) prayer at the end of the Spiritual Exercises is remarkable.  Each of these prayers has as its foundation the understanding that all that we have, and all that we are, comes from God.  

These words that Jesus speaks in today’s Gospel come just before he is arrested.  His prayer is that his followers remain close to the Father.  In the style so typical of John’s Gospel, the language Jesus uses is verbose, to say the least, and beautifully poetic.  Each sentence in this passage could be its own prayer meditation.  

Referring to his disciples, Jesus says, “they accepted [the words you gave to me] and truly understood that I came from you, and they have believed that you sent me.”  How can you act today based on your understanding that all that Jesus commanded us to do came from the Father?

—The Jesuit prayer team

Prayer

Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty,
my memory, my understanding,
and my entire will,
all I have and call my own.
You have given all to me.
To you, Lord, I return it.
Everything is yours; do with it what you will.
Give me only your love and your grace,
that is enough for me.

—Suscipe prayer of St. Ignatius


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

May 29, 2017

Jn 16: 29-33

His disciples said, “Yes, now you are speaking plainly, not in any figure of speech! Now we know that you know all things, and do not need to have anyone question you; by this we believe that you came from God.” Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe? The hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each one to his home, and you will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me. I have said this to you, so that in me you may have peace. In the world you face persecution.

But take courage; I have conquered the world!”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Searching for Meaning

I find it just a touch ironic that in John’s Gospel, of all the Gospels, the disciples might say, “now you are talking plainly.”  John’s Gospel is rich in imagery and meaning, but the substance can be veiled at times.  Searching for meaning, especially in our lives, can take time and effort.

In today’s world, we want easy answers.  We want knowledge, comfort, and security and we want it now.

Earlier in this chapter of John, Jesus reminds the disciples that their anguish will turn to joy.  While comforting in theory, for anyone experiencing grief or sadness this transformation might seem impossible.  And that’s okay.

Today, on Memorial Day, we remember the sacrifice of those who have gone before us in service to our highest ideals as a people.  We keep their memories alive so that we, like the disciples, might truly appreciate, reverence, and share the gift of peace.

—Jordan Skarr works in the Office of Pastoral Ministries for the Midwest Jesuits.

Prayer

God of power and mercy,
you destroy war and put down earthly pride.
Banish violence from our midst and wipe away our tears,
that we may all deserve to be called your sons and daughters.
Keep in your mercy those men and women
who have died in the cause of freedom
and bring them safely
into your kingdom of justice and peace.
We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord.

—Prayer for Memorial Day, Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers, USCCB

 


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May 28, 2017

Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord

Mt 28: 16-20

Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

On Mission

Pentecost has been called “the birthday of the Church” or the beginning of “the Age of the Church.” This majestic feast signals the completion of Christ’s redemptive mission. Jesus had been sent by his eternal Father to redeem the human community by his passion and death.

Do we have a role in helping to advance our Lord’s mission? St. Paul leaves little doubt. He writes: “God in Christ has reconciled the world to himself, and the Good News of reconciliation He has entrusted to us.” (2 Cor. 5, 17-18)

Could there be a more significant and satisfying life assignment for us?  I doubt it very much!  We are a pentecostal people with a noble mission. Ignatius of Loyola helped refine the meaning of this call in founding the Society of Jesus.  

—Fr. Jonathan Haschka, S.J. writes from the St. Camillus Jesuit Community in Wauwatosa WI, where he serves as Assistant to the Superior.

Prayer

Come, Holy Spirit, enkindle in us the fire of your Holy Spirit.
Send for your Spirit and we will be re-created,
And you will renew the face of the earth.

—a traditional prayer

 


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May 27, 2017

St. Augustine of Canterbury

Jn 16: 23b-28

On that day you will ask nothing of me. Very truly, I tell you, if you ask anything of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete. “I have said these things to you in figures of speech. The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures, but will tell you plainly of the Father. On that day you will ask in my name. I do not say to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf;for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.

I came from the Father and have come into the world; again, I am leaving the world and am going to the Father.”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Ask and You Shall Receive

Jesus’ words in today’s gospel were spoken to his apostles during the Last Supper. They are equally important for us today as we prepare to celebrate the feast of the Ascension. Jesus promises to ask the Father for whatever each of usas well as our families and co-workers, neighbors and friendsmight need. “Ask and you shall receive,” Jesus says, “that your joy may be full.”

Amidst the busy-ness of this weekend, take a few moments to ponder whatever you wish to “ask” God for. As we celebrate Jesus’ reunion with the Father, what requests do I wish to place in Jesus’ hands? What persons and situations among my family and neighbors and friends do I entrust in a special way to the Father’s loving concern? And, for myself, what do I really need deep down in my heart, that my joy “may be full”?

—the Jesuit prayer team

Prayer

A hymn of glory let us sing!
New hymns throughout the world shall ring: Alleluia Alleluia!
Christ, by a road before untrod,|
Ascends unto the throne of God: Alleluia Alleluia, Alleluia!

—Text: Venerable Bede; Tune: Lasst Uns Effreuen.  © 1996, GIA Publications, Inc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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May 26, 2017

St. Philip Neri

Jn 16: 20-23

Very truly, I tell you, you will weep and mourn, but the world will rejoice; you will have pain, but your pain will turn into joy. When a woman is in labor, she has pain, because her hour has come. But when her child is born, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy of having brought a human being into the world. So you have pain now; but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.

On that day you will ask nothing of me. Very truly, I tell you, if you ask anything of the Father in my name, he will give it to you.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

An Easter People

Christians are fundamentally an “Easter People.” The Resurrection lies central to the mystery of our faith and the grounding of our daily lives.

Yet, in a world which so often lacks joy and hope, the Resurrection can seem far away. For example, the coverage of politics—on both sides of the aisle—makes it feel as if we are in a continual, hopeless fight.

But, we are an Easter People. Jesus calls us to something deeper than a blind optimism. In today’s Gospel, we hear the words “anguish” and “pain” interwoven with “joy.”

How can that be?

The answer lies in the Christ we see after the Resurrection—a Christ glorified, but still bearing the wounds of the Passion. The cost of following always remains, but that cost is always less than the Glory of God. It is by seeking the Glory of God that we find our joy and hope.

—Colten Biro, S.J. is a Jesuit scholastic of the Jesuits USA Central and Southern Province; he is currently studying English at St. Louis University.

Prayer

We are an Easter People and Alleluia is our song! We are not looking for a shallow joy but rather a joy that comes from faith, that grows through unselfish love, that respects the fundamental duty of love of neighbour, without which it would be unbecoming to speak of Joy.

—St. John Paul II

 

 

 

 


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May 25, 2017

St. Gregory VII / St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi

Jn 16: 16-20

”A little while, and you will no longer see me, and again a little while, and you will see me.” Then some of his disciples said to one another, “What does he mean by saying to us, ‘A little while, and you will no longer see me, and again a little while, and you will see me’; and ‘Because I am going to the Father’?”

They said, “What does he mean by this ‘a little while’? We do not know what he is talking about.” Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him, so he said to them, “Are you discussing among yourselves what I meant when I said, ‘A little while, and you will no longer see me, and again a little while, and you will see me’? Very truly, I tell you, you will weep and mourn, but the world will rejoice; you will have pain, but your pain will turn into joy.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Hope in the Darkest Moments

We will rejoice…even in our darkest moments, there will be happiness! Easier said than to believe, right?  Am I like the disciples, not understanding what Jesus was saying to them?  

I recently lost a friend due to cancer.  She was a beautiful, young, intelligent woman.  She was a wife who was very caring for her husband, she was a mother to four young children who love and miss her dearly.  Her death was heart-breaking to many of us.  Will there be joy after this grief?  

As I walked into church, I saw her family strong and together with big smiles.  They shared their thoughts about her life as we celebrated together.  They knew Carol was with God.  Their faith reminded me of what Jesus said to his disciples, “A little while and you will no longer see me, and again a little while later and you will see me.”

—Cecilia Hernandez works in the Vocations Office for the Midwest Jesuits.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, in this month of May, we pray for all the children who have lost their mothers due to illness. May they find peace and comfort. One day, may we all rejoice with you.  

—Cecilia Hernandez

 


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May 24, 2017

Jn 16: 12-15

“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.

He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine. For this reason I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Leaving “Home”

Growing up on the Southside of Milwaukee, where are you from meant the Parish. It was later in life that I realized the world was a whole lot bigger than I imagined.

Now “where are you from,” means from what part of this big world did we start. When Jesus said “I have so much more to teach you” makes me reflect on my experiences with the Ignatian Volunteer Corps and the Ignatian Spirituality Program.  In both of these ministries I meet people with totally different life experiences. I could not have understood this if I never left “home.”

God teaches us slowly and calls us to grow when we are ready to experience the wisdom he has to share. It is only with God’s guidance that we can experience “the more He has to share with us,” each at and in God’s time.

—Camille Devaney serves as Board chair for the Ignatian Spirituality Project (ISP).  

Prayer

Though the mountains may fall and the hills turn to dust,
yet the law of the Lord will stand
as a shelter for all who will call on his name.
Sing the praise and the glory of God.

—Dan Schutte, “Though the Mountains May Fall” © OCP Publications, Inc.

 


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May 23, 2017

Jn 16: 5-11

But now I am going to him who sent me; yet none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your hearts.

Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will prove the world wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: about sin, because they do not believe in me; about righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will see me no longer; about judgment, because the ruler of this world has been condemned.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Following Christ

Before I go to bed at night, I examine my hands: I make sure they are empty. This means I have given it all in my day.

Before I wake in the morning, I examine my hands: I make sure they are empty. For this means I am ready to receive it all in my day.

When I follow Christ, I examine my hands: I make sure they are empty and bear his wounds. For now giving and receiving have become one.

—Michael Martinez, SJ, a Jesuit scholastic of the Antilles Jesuit province, writes from Arrupe House, on the campus of Loyola University Chicago.

Prayer

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me
Christ to comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

—lines from “The Breastplate of St. Patrick”

 


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May 22, 2017

St. Rita of Cascia

Acts 16: 11-15

We set sail from Troas and took a straight course to Samothrace, the following day to Neapolis, and from there to Philippi, which is a leading city of the district of Macedonia and a Roman colony. We remained in this city for some days. On the sabbath day we went outside the gate by the river, where we supposed there was a place of prayer; and we sat down and spoke to the women who had gathered there.

A certain woman named Lydia, a worshiper of God, was listening to us; she was from the city of Thyatira and a dealer in purple cloth. The Lord opened her heart to listen eagerly to what was said by Paul. When she and her household were baptized, she urged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come and stay at my home.” And she prevailed upon us.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Paying Attention

The holy women in my life are good at noticing things:

Our five-year- old Maeve: “Daddy, Tess wiped her yogurt cereal on your pants.”
Our two-year- old Tess: “Daddy, your pants dirty.”
My wife Megan: “That’s okay. Daddy doesn’t mind, really.”

Noticing things is at the heart of Ignatian Spirituality. St. Ignatius tells us at the beginning of the Spiritual Exercises to savor our experiences for quality of meaning that only the heart can know.

I wonder what quality of character drew Paul to recognize that being in Lydia’s and the other women’s presence would be a “place of prayer.” We know that she “listened” and “paid attention” and that she generously opened her home.  Perhaps our own prayer and our evangelization of the Gospel today can be to similarly “pay attention” to whom in our life offers us this gift and to whom we might offer it in return.

—Jordan Skarr works in the Office of Pastoral Ministries for the Midwest Jesuits.

Prayer

Lord, open our eyes to notice the people in our lives who offer us the space to foster a deeper relationship with God.  May we seek them out for ourselves, and provide that space for others.

—The Jesuit prayer team


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May 31, 2017

Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Rom 12: 9-16

Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Seeing God’s Face

To me this reads like one more version of the beatitudes or simply said treat others as you want to be treated. Paul, speaking to the new fledgling Christian communities, must have found it necessary to explain why they should be different because of the Christ experience.

These letters were written hundreds of years in the past. Preserve the good; treat one another with respect; have hope; serve God; and basically love one another with true affection, and be welcoming.

We are living in times when this same message must be repeated over and over. It is not so difficult to apply the sentiment to the locals in my community and the members of my own church. But I find it pretty difficult outside my own comfort zone–to refugees and the undocumented. So do we build walls or do we knock down the walls as we see the face of God looking at us for a place to rest his head?

—Camille Devaney serves as Board chair for the Ignatian Spirituality Project (ISP).  

Prayer

God of love, whose compassion never fails, we bring you the griefs and perils of peoples and nations. The pains of the sick and the injured, the sighing of prisoners and captives.  The sorrows of the bereaved, the necessities of the homeless, the helplessness of the weak, the despair of weary, the failing powers of the aged.  Comfort and relieve them, O merciful Lord. According to their several needs and your great mercy. Amen.

—St. Anselm of Canterbury

 

 

 

 


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May 30, 2017

Jn 17: 1-11a

After Jesus had spoken these words, he looked up to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all people, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth by finishing the work that you gave me to do. So now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had in your presence before the world existed.

”I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything you have given me is from you; for the words that you gave to me I have given to them, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me.

I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours. All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them.

And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

All is gift

The similarity between Jesus’s prayer in today’s Gospel and the Suscipe (or the Take, Lord, and Receive) prayer at the end of the Spiritual Exercises is remarkable.  Each of these prayers has as its foundation the understanding that all that we have, and all that we are, comes from God.  

These words that Jesus speaks in today’s Gospel come just before he is arrested.  His prayer is that his followers remain close to the Father.  In the style so typical of John’s Gospel, the language Jesus uses is verbose, to say the least, and beautifully poetic.  Each sentence in this passage could be its own prayer meditation.  

Referring to his disciples, Jesus says, “they accepted [the words you gave to me] and truly understood that I came from you, and they have believed that you sent me.”  How can you act today based on your understanding that all that Jesus commanded us to do came from the Father?

—The Jesuit prayer team

Prayer

Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty,
my memory, my understanding,
and my entire will,
all I have and call my own.
You have given all to me.
To you, Lord, I return it.
Everything is yours; do with it what you will.
Give me only your love and your grace,
that is enough for me.

—Suscipe prayer of St. Ignatius


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

May 29, 2017

Jn 16: 29-33

His disciples said, “Yes, now you are speaking plainly, not in any figure of speech! Now we know that you know all things, and do not need to have anyone question you; by this we believe that you came from God.” Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe? The hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each one to his home, and you will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me. I have said this to you, so that in me you may have peace. In the world you face persecution.

But take courage; I have conquered the world!”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Searching for Meaning

I find it just a touch ironic that in John’s Gospel, of all the Gospels, the disciples might say, “now you are talking plainly.”  John’s Gospel is rich in imagery and meaning, but the substance can be veiled at times.  Searching for meaning, especially in our lives, can take time and effort.

In today’s world, we want easy answers.  We want knowledge, comfort, and security and we want it now.

Earlier in this chapter of John, Jesus reminds the disciples that their anguish will turn to joy.  While comforting in theory, for anyone experiencing grief or sadness this transformation might seem impossible.  And that’s okay.

Today, on Memorial Day, we remember the sacrifice of those who have gone before us in service to our highest ideals as a people.  We keep their memories alive so that we, like the disciples, might truly appreciate, reverence, and share the gift of peace.

—Jordan Skarr works in the Office of Pastoral Ministries for the Midwest Jesuits.

Prayer

God of power and mercy,
you destroy war and put down earthly pride.
Banish violence from our midst and wipe away our tears,
that we may all deserve to be called your sons and daughters.
Keep in your mercy those men and women
who have died in the cause of freedom
and bring them safely
into your kingdom of justice and peace.
We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord.

—Prayer for Memorial Day, Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers, USCCB

 


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

May 28, 2017

Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord

Mt 28: 16-20

Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

On Mission

Pentecost has been called “the birthday of the Church” or the beginning of “the Age of the Church.” This majestic feast signals the completion of Christ’s redemptive mission. Jesus had been sent by his eternal Father to redeem the human community by his passion and death.

Do we have a role in helping to advance our Lord’s mission? St. Paul leaves little doubt. He writes: “God in Christ has reconciled the world to himself, and the Good News of reconciliation He has entrusted to us.” (2 Cor. 5, 17-18)

Could there be a more significant and satisfying life assignment for us?  I doubt it very much!  We are a pentecostal people with a noble mission. Ignatius of Loyola helped refine the meaning of this call in founding the Society of Jesus.  

—Fr. Jonathan Haschka, S.J. writes from the St. Camillus Jesuit Community in Wauwatosa WI, where he serves as Assistant to the Superior.

Prayer

Come, Holy Spirit, enkindle in us the fire of your Holy Spirit.
Send for your Spirit and we will be re-created,
And you will renew the face of the earth.

—a traditional prayer

 


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

May 27, 2017

St. Augustine of Canterbury

Jn 16: 23b-28

On that day you will ask nothing of me. Very truly, I tell you, if you ask anything of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete. “I have said these things to you in figures of speech. The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures, but will tell you plainly of the Father. On that day you will ask in my name. I do not say to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf;for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.

I came from the Father and have come into the world; again, I am leaving the world and am going to the Father.”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Ask and You Shall Receive

Jesus’ words in today’s gospel were spoken to his apostles during the Last Supper. They are equally important for us today as we prepare to celebrate the feast of the Ascension. Jesus promises to ask the Father for whatever each of usas well as our families and co-workers, neighbors and friendsmight need. “Ask and you shall receive,” Jesus says, “that your joy may be full.”

Amidst the busy-ness of this weekend, take a few moments to ponder whatever you wish to “ask” God for. As we celebrate Jesus’ reunion with the Father, what requests do I wish to place in Jesus’ hands? What persons and situations among my family and neighbors and friends do I entrust in a special way to the Father’s loving concern? And, for myself, what do I really need deep down in my heart, that my joy “may be full”?

—the Jesuit prayer team

Prayer

A hymn of glory let us sing!
New hymns throughout the world shall ring: Alleluia Alleluia!
Christ, by a road before untrod,|
Ascends unto the throne of God: Alleluia Alleluia, Alleluia!

—Text: Venerable Bede; Tune: Lasst Uns Effreuen.  © 1996, GIA Publications, Inc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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May 26, 2017

St. Philip Neri

Jn 16: 20-23

Very truly, I tell you, you will weep and mourn, but the world will rejoice; you will have pain, but your pain will turn into joy. When a woman is in labor, she has pain, because her hour has come. But when her child is born, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy of having brought a human being into the world. So you have pain now; but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.

On that day you will ask nothing of me. Very truly, I tell you, if you ask anything of the Father in my name, he will give it to you.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

An Easter People

Christians are fundamentally an “Easter People.” The Resurrection lies central to the mystery of our faith and the grounding of our daily lives.

Yet, in a world which so often lacks joy and hope, the Resurrection can seem far away. For example, the coverage of politics—on both sides of the aisle—makes it feel as if we are in a continual, hopeless fight.

But, we are an Easter People. Jesus calls us to something deeper than a blind optimism. In today’s Gospel, we hear the words “anguish” and “pain” interwoven with “joy.”

How can that be?

The answer lies in the Christ we see after the Resurrection—a Christ glorified, but still bearing the wounds of the Passion. The cost of following always remains, but that cost is always less than the Glory of God. It is by seeking the Glory of God that we find our joy and hope.

—Colten Biro, S.J. is a Jesuit scholastic of the Jesuits USA Central and Southern Province; he is currently studying English at St. Louis University.

Prayer

We are an Easter People and Alleluia is our song! We are not looking for a shallow joy but rather a joy that comes from faith, that grows through unselfish love, that respects the fundamental duty of love of neighbour, without which it would be unbecoming to speak of Joy.

—St. John Paul II

 

 

 

 


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May 25, 2017

St. Gregory VII / St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi

Jn 16: 16-20

”A little while, and you will no longer see me, and again a little while, and you will see me.” Then some of his disciples said to one another, “What does he mean by saying to us, ‘A little while, and you will no longer see me, and again a little while, and you will see me’; and ‘Because I am going to the Father’?”

They said, “What does he mean by this ‘a little while’? We do not know what he is talking about.” Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him, so he said to them, “Are you discussing among yourselves what I meant when I said, ‘A little while, and you will no longer see me, and again a little while, and you will see me’? Very truly, I tell you, you will weep and mourn, but the world will rejoice; you will have pain, but your pain will turn into joy.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Hope in the Darkest Moments

We will rejoice…even in our darkest moments, there will be happiness! Easier said than to believe, right?  Am I like the disciples, not understanding what Jesus was saying to them?  

I recently lost a friend due to cancer.  She was a beautiful, young, intelligent woman.  She was a wife who was very caring for her husband, she was a mother to four young children who love and miss her dearly.  Her death was heart-breaking to many of us.  Will there be joy after this grief?  

As I walked into church, I saw her family strong and together with big smiles.  They shared their thoughts about her life as we celebrated together.  They knew Carol was with God.  Their faith reminded me of what Jesus said to his disciples, “A little while and you will no longer see me, and again a little while later and you will see me.”

—Cecilia Hernandez works in the Vocations Office for the Midwest Jesuits.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, in this month of May, we pray for all the children who have lost their mothers due to illness. May they find peace and comfort. One day, may we all rejoice with you.  

—Cecilia Hernandez

 


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May 24, 2017

Jn 16: 12-15

“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.

He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine. For this reason I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Leaving “Home”

Growing up on the Southside of Milwaukee, where are you from meant the Parish. It was later in life that I realized the world was a whole lot bigger than I imagined.

Now “where are you from,” means from what part of this big world did we start. When Jesus said “I have so much more to teach you” makes me reflect on my experiences with the Ignatian Volunteer Corps and the Ignatian Spirituality Program.  In both of these ministries I meet people with totally different life experiences. I could not have understood this if I never left “home.”

God teaches us slowly and calls us to grow when we are ready to experience the wisdom he has to share. It is only with God’s guidance that we can experience “the more He has to share with us,” each at and in God’s time.

—Camille Devaney serves as Board chair for the Ignatian Spirituality Project (ISP).  

Prayer

Though the mountains may fall and the hills turn to dust,
yet the law of the Lord will stand
as a shelter for all who will call on his name.
Sing the praise and the glory of God.

—Dan Schutte, “Though the Mountains May Fall” © OCP Publications, Inc.

 


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May 23, 2017

Jn 16: 5-11

But now I am going to him who sent me; yet none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your hearts.

Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will prove the world wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: about sin, because they do not believe in me; about righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will see me no longer; about judgment, because the ruler of this world has been condemned.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Following Christ

Before I go to bed at night, I examine my hands: I make sure they are empty. This means I have given it all in my day.

Before I wake in the morning, I examine my hands: I make sure they are empty. For this means I am ready to receive it all in my day.

When I follow Christ, I examine my hands: I make sure they are empty and bear his wounds. For now giving and receiving have become one.

—Michael Martinez, SJ, a Jesuit scholastic of the Antilles Jesuit province, writes from Arrupe House, on the campus of Loyola University Chicago.

Prayer

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me
Christ to comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

—lines from “The Breastplate of St. Patrick”

 


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May 22, 2017

St. Rita of Cascia

Acts 16: 11-15

We set sail from Troas and took a straight course to Samothrace, the following day to Neapolis, and from there to Philippi, which is a leading city of the district of Macedonia and a Roman colony. We remained in this city for some days. On the sabbath day we went outside the gate by the river, where we supposed there was a place of prayer; and we sat down and spoke to the women who had gathered there.

A certain woman named Lydia, a worshiper of God, was listening to us; she was from the city of Thyatira and a dealer in purple cloth. The Lord opened her heart to listen eagerly to what was said by Paul. When she and her household were baptized, she urged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come and stay at my home.” And she prevailed upon us.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Paying Attention

The holy women in my life are good at noticing things:

Our five-year- old Maeve: “Daddy, Tess wiped her yogurt cereal on your pants.”
Our two-year- old Tess: “Daddy, your pants dirty.”
My wife Megan: “That’s okay. Daddy doesn’t mind, really.”

Noticing things is at the heart of Ignatian Spirituality. St. Ignatius tells us at the beginning of the Spiritual Exercises to savor our experiences for quality of meaning that only the heart can know.

I wonder what quality of character drew Paul to recognize that being in Lydia’s and the other women’s presence would be a “place of prayer.” We know that she “listened” and “paid attention” and that she generously opened her home.  Perhaps our own prayer and our evangelization of the Gospel today can be to similarly “pay attention” to whom in our life offers us this gift and to whom we might offer it in return.

—Jordan Skarr works in the Office of Pastoral Ministries for the Midwest Jesuits.

Prayer

Lord, open our eyes to notice the people in our lives who offer us the space to foster a deeper relationship with God.  May we seek them out for ourselves, and provide that space for others.

—The Jesuit prayer team


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