In today’s Gospel, we hear the foundational commandment of Christianity: “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” (Mt 28:19). Ever since, believers have been trying to wrap their brains around this essential mystery of faith: the Holy Trinity. Many have offered images: St. Augustine proposed the idea of Giver, Receiver, and Gift. Rublev inscribed the famous icon of three angels seated at a table in conversation. St. Patrick famously offered the shamrock as the image of three-in-one, one-in-three.READ MORE
Happy Birthday! It may not be your personal birthday, but today, the Feast of Pentecost, is often considered the birthday of our Church.
Why? Because Pentecost signifies the end of Jesus’ earthly work among us, and the beginning, the birth, of the disciples’ mission and of our mission – to carry on His ministry, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to all the world. Hence, today can be considered the birthday of our Church.READ MORE
To quote biblical scholar, Dianne Bergant: “Today we stand awestruck watching Jesus ascend into the clouds of heaven, there to be enthroned at the right hand of God. Today is a day to be overwhelmed by the reality of the divinity of the one we have known in his humanity…we live between the time of his departure and the time of his return.”READ MORE
Normally during the year our Sunday readings have a central theme running through the first (Old Testament) and third (Gospel) readings. That is, except the Easter Season.
Throughout the Sundays of Easter joy we are treated to a history lesson in our first reading, from the Acts of the Apostles. This is the story of how, after Jesus’s ascension, our first communities of faith began. In many ways it is hard to imagine that the same people who turned their backs on Jesus in his hour of greatest need are the same folks now fearlessly going out into the streets to preach, getting arrested and persecuted for His name.READ MORE
The Greek verb ‘Menein’ appears 8 times in the first 8 verses of today’s Gospel passage (John 15:1-8). Why?
‘Menein’ means to remain, to stay, to abide, to live, to dwell, to be an integral part of... To continue the life of Jesus in our hearts, we must ‘remain’ in him. Jesus is the vine, we are the branches. To bear fruit, we must remain, abide, stay, live, dwell, be an integral part of Jesus.READ MORE
Beloved parishioners of SFX,
Happy Easter – again and again! Kierkegaard once remarked “why do Christians look so sad? Don’t they know they are redeemed?” This allegedly dour Dane makes a good point: Jesus has risen – triumphant over pain, suffering, and death. Why be distraught and de pressed? “Rejoice and be Glad!”READ MORE
During the Easter season Gospels, we hear of Jesus’ appearances to his disciples, and how all of them are incredulous at his arrival. They want physical proof that he is not a ghost or a spirit. Thomas insists on putting is fingers in the nail-marks. Mary Magdalene clings to his feet. And this week, the disciples have to witness him eating in order to prove that Jesus is flesh and blood.READ MORE
May the Joy and Glory of Easter continue to fill you with great Peace and Hope!
In today’s gospel, the Risen Jesus returns to visit with his friends, his disciples, to help them to better understand what happened at the Easter Event and to better understand how He wanted them to move forward. His friends were astonished when they first saw Jesus and it took a few moments for them to truly recognize Him. When they did, they were filled with joy! He said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.” And then, He breathed the Holy Spirit upon them. He breathed upon them his love, strength and courage, all that they would need to continue His mission, for there was still much work to do!READ MORE
The fourth and final week of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius is Jesus risen from the dead. Since we are always living in the time of Jesus resurrected, the retreat never really ends. During the retreat, the retreatant is asked to pray for a specific grace, one geared to the spirit of that particular week. The grace for the fourth week is to enter into the joy of Jesus raised from the dead. This is more difficult than one would image. (Most of us find it easier to remain in the third week of Jesus’s passion and death, especially after this past year because of all we have lost).READ MORE
As we enter into Holy Week, we are called to grow in our love of Christ by following him through his passion, death, and resurrection. But in order to grow in love, we must grow in our knowledge of Jesus, because it is difficult to love someone you do not know. To this end, St. Ignatius invites us to focus not so much on our head, but on our heart. In Ignatius’ native language, Spanish, he distinguishes between intellectual knowledge (saber) – knowing Christ in theological terms; familiar knowledge (conocer) – knowing Christ as a friend and brother; and felt knowledge (sentir) – knowing Christ through our senses and imagination. For Ignatius, this felt knowledge is what allows us to connect with Jesus in a deeper way, and to love him more deeply.READ MORE
Last Sunday – Laetare (“Rejoice Sunday”) was our lenten break given by the church to help remind us that no matter what our practices of prayer and penance are these 40 days and, even as we contemplate the Suffering and Death of Jesus Himself, we know there is Light at the end of the penitential tunnel: the triumphant Resurrection of Christ, Our Savior!READ MORE
Dear Friends in Christ,
Most Jesuits make a fourth vow "to go anywhere in the world at a moment’s notice for the good of the mission of the Church." My fourth vow has blessed me with a global adventure from the Arctic to the Argentine; from the Pyramids of Teotihuacán to the Pyramids of Giza; from the Great Wall to the Wailing Wall; from the Yukon to the Mekong to the Amazon. What a wonderful, colorful, adventurous ride in the service of the Gospel of Love and Justice!READ MORE
Today’s Gospel, about Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well, reminds us that God’s love, compassion and mercy are offered to everyone! In the story, Jesus meets a woman from Samaria, someone with whom the Jews would not usually associate, and engages her in conversation about a drink of water. Jesus knows that she carries a lot of sinful baggage and offers her "a spring of water welling up to eternal life." The woman begins to realize who Jesus is, and gratefully accepts His gift of water and eternal salvation.READ MORE