Guest Blog – Message from an 8th Grader on Good Friday

Guest Blog – Message from an 8th Grader on Good Friday

My Parochial Vicar wanted to add to Good Friday and proclamation of the 7 last words of Christ.  I said to go for it and I am so glad that I did.  The only mistake was that I let him talk me into taking one of the words.  As pastor, people hear me enough and what came out of our parishioners was amazing.  Many priests think that priests that love having a school are crazy.  (We might be, but for good reason) If we let them, our young people can teach and amaze us.  This is the first Guest Blog and is a message from an 8th grader to those gathered for the 7 last words.  As I listened there was no doubt why I love being at parishes with schools.

So, a message from an 8th grader on Good Friday:

Carli Medina

The sixth last word of Jesus- it is finished.

From the Gospel according to John

There was a vessel filled with common wine. So they put a sponge soaked in wine on a sprig of hyssop and put it up to his mouth. When Jesus had taken the wine, he said: it is finished.

“It is finished,” is written as the Greek word tetelestai which translates directly to “it is finished” or “it is completed.” There are only two places in the New Testament in which this word is used and both are found in St. John’s version of the Passion of Christ. In John 19:28, this word is used to state that Jesus completed the scripture passage from what the Old Testament testifies and in John 19:30 Jesus simply states “it is finished.” It may seem very obvious to us here today about what Jesus implied when he spoke these words, but I hope I may help you dive a little deeper through my reflection on these words.

At this time, the word tetelestai was also written on business documents or papers to indicate that the bill or loan had been paid in full. Now understanding the basic components of this word, it is clear to see why Jesus stated this words. It was no accident that he was handed over to be crucified, was beaten so horribly at Pilate’s Palace, it was not an accident when he died on the cross. It was all a part of God’s plan of complete salvation for his children. Jesus took the burden of suffering the hideous death on the cross so that we might obtain the promise of eternal life. When Jesus said this before he gave up his spirit to death, he stated of his fulfillment of his mission on earth. It can be easily mistaken to be spoken with grief, despair, and surrender. This probably what Satan believed to be true and he rejoiced, as seen in Mel Gibson’s, the Passion of the Christ film. We believe this to be the opposite. With these words, Jesus was victorious over evil and I am confident to say he spoke these words with an overwhelming sense of relief. Jesus knew that he had won over evil and that he had completed his earthly task. We must recognize that right now and have faith in our true Savior. God loved us so much that he gave up his only Son to death on the cross. To me, this is hope for my spiritual life and future and peace for knowing that God’s love never dies. It is at times like today when we feel most vulnerable when we have to look up at the cross and trust in what God has done for us.

 

Thanks for letting me use this and get my birthday off!

Happy Easter! Let the message go out!

Happy Easter!

Let the message go out!

I look that the spread of our Faith in the early years and it boggles my mind!  Happy Easter, it is a miracle that we are here.  At Pentecost the message of Happy Easter! Let the message go out!  was listen to as not other message in history!  Lot at how the message spread in early day of our faith…

 

It amazes me every time I see it.  Last weekend, Churches across the world were full.  People got up and for the first time in months decided to go celebrate their faith and will the world be different tomorrow?  Will this Easter have the impact of the first Easter?  I am afraid by next weekend, we will worry about fitting in the Divine Sunday extras.  A week later people will say, oh, they are still celebrating Easter.

So why do we bother?  Why do we put all the effort we do into these celebrations?  It is like the story of the boy tossing starfish back into the sea and an older guy comes up and says, Son there are thousands of starfish on this beach, you don’t really think you are going to make a difference are you?  Boy shrugs and tosses another back into sea and says, it made a difference to that one.  Happy Easter to all if it made a difference to that one.

Happy Easter! Let the message go out! Means for me that I have to trust that through what we do God is working.  I asked those at mass last weekend.  What is that stone in your life that needs to be rolled away so that you can truly embrace the risen Lord.   I have also taken that to heart.

What else can we do

I am not content just doing what we are doing.  So at Mass last weekend and now here, I am asking a few questions:

  1.  What do we need to do so that you want to be here every day or at least every week?
  2. What is missing in your life that sucks you into the internet or TV and how can the Church help to fill that void?

I want to hear it ALL!  (that said, I can’t change the past, so lets focus on what we can do from TODAY forward!)

Happy Easter!

I found this looking for something else and thought WOW.  A blind kid, asking for the eyes of is heart to be opened.  Will never sing this song the same way again!

This is what I was looking for!

Happy Easter!

 

Holy Week, How Can We Truly Open Hearts to the Mystery?

Holy Week, How Can We Truly Open Hearts to the Mystery?

Again Holy Week, again we are busy, we have work to do, families to feed parties to prepare for and just no time.  The loneliness of Jesus must have felt when he asked them to stay and pray and they slept, must have been profound.  How could they leave him alone at this time.  They had to have known, but they still fell asleep.

Loneliness can be a gift.  A gift that we seem to avoid at all costs.  As soon as were start to feel alone what do we do?  We check Facebook, our text feed, our other social media.  Someone out there just have something to say.  What if this week we give up our social media and our garbing for our phone at the first twinge of loneliness?  What if we used the feeling as a call to prayer, a call to be with our Father in Heaven?

I spent three years of college at a Benedictine monastery in the middle of now where.

See, I wasn’t kidding.  All those towns are just a few hundred people except Maryville and St. Joe.

I learned here that quiet could be good and I couldn’t wait to get away from that “good” quietness.  I now love going back for retreat.  It is almost as isolated as being on a cruise ship.

I realize that I am using a social medium platform to ask people to get away from social media, but it can’t be helped.  Each of us need time with our God.  We need that quiet peace.  We need that focus on the Mystery that should envelope us this week.

In Short

Words with Friends can wait a week, but can our faith?  We are called deeper in the Mystery every day, but I think we are afraid to let go.  The loneliness could be God calling.

Let us take a week and risk loneliness and see if we can find God in new and exciting ways!

Standing vs Kneeling after Receiving Communion

Standing vs Kneeling after Receiving Communion

I was assigned to my current parish July 1st last year.  Before I even arrived the previous pastor handed me their pastoral priorities.  The Archdiocese had all parishes do that, and St. Pius X took that very seriously.  The main points were 3 pages long and with all the clarifications was much longer.  What does this have to do with Standing vs Kneeling after Receiving Communion?  Let me tell you….

Two if the items presented to me were to increase reverence during Mass and music.  At a conference two presenters talked about remaining standing after receiving communion and the great impact it had on the assembly.  I talked to many people and we decided to give it a try.  After mass, there was a very positive response and I think a total of 4 people against.  I liked the prayerful sense I felt during communion this weekend.

The whole time I have said that we are trying this for a few months to see if it fits this community.  I was surprised that this morning there were a few emails and letters of people wanting to leave the parish if we keep doing this.  Then I find on Facebook that a parishioner quoting a priest saying that what we are doing isn’t Catholic.  I just don’t get how easy it is for people to manufacture truth online.  Part of me longs for simpler days, but then I lose this forum and I realize it is just part of life today!

That said, here are the directions from the GIRM (General Instruction on the Roman Missal or the instruction book for our liturgies), if you click here, it will take to to link I got this from on the USCCB website.

From the GIRM:

43. The faithful should stand from the beginning of the Entrance Chant, or while the Priest approaches the altar, until the end of the Collect; for the Alleluia Chant before the Gospel; while the Gospel itself is proclaimed; during the Profession of Faith and the Universal Prayer; and from the invitation, Orate, fratres (Pray, brethren), before the Prayer over the Offerings until the end of Mass, except at the places indicated here below.

The faithful should sit, on the other hand, during the readings before the Gospel and the Responsorial Psalm and for the Homily and during the Preparation of the Gifts at the Offertory; and, if appropriate, they may sit or kneel during the period of sacred silence after Communion.

In the Dioceses of the United States of America, they should kneel beginning after the singing or recitation of the Sanctus (Holy, Holy, Holy) until after the Amen of the Eucharistic Prayer, except when prevented on occasion by ill health, or for reasons of lack of space, of the large number of people present, or for another reasonable cause. However, those who do not kneel ought to make a profound bow when the Priest genuflects after the Consecration. The faithful kneel after the Agnus Dei (Lamb of God) unless the Diocesan Bishop determines otherwise.[53]

For the sake of uniformity in gestures and bodily postures during one and the same celebration, the faithful should follow the instructions which the Deacon, a lay minister, or the Priest gives, according to what is laid down in the Missal.

Note:  Communion isn’t over till the prayer after communion where we now are all all seated together and I guess if people wanted to kneel they could.

In Short:

The time after we receive communion isn’t really private prayer time.  It is communal.  We are to be signing and praying together.  I hope we can give this enough time to see if this works for us.

What does your Church do?