RevRobJack.com

John 1:14

Easter Sunday March 27, 2016

Filed under: Blog — admin at 9:12 pm on Saturday, March 26, 2016

God has kept his promise today. This was the promise he made to Adam and Eve, to Abraham and the Patriarchs, to King David, to his Apostles and finally to us. What was the promise he made exactly? He promised us that he would restore what we surrendered; he would recreate what we destroyed; he would fix what we had broken. This is our relationship with him. All throughout the Bible God was faithful to his promises but we have not been.

Today that has changed. Jesus Christ, true God and true man kept the promise that he made to the Father: that he would be eternally faithful and living to him, and he kept his promise to us, that the Son of man who was handed over to death would be raised on the Third Day. This is what we remember today not only because it truly happened in history, but that his bodily resurrection has changed history in a way that no one ever could have done before. By our Baptism, we have become not only partakers, but history makers with the risen Jesus Christ.

The Resurrection of Jesus from the dead is connected with our baptism because that is the day we became a part of salvation history. That is the day we put on Christ. That is the day we were anointed with the Holy Spirit. That is the day that the grace of God changed our hearts and made them capable with sharing Jesus’ life in a life altering way.  Jesus’ death and resurrection has opened up the river of God’s mercy and love that we had closed by our sins.  The light of the Easter candle has permanently removed the inky darkness of despair that has filled some many hearts. IT is a time to renew our faith and remember the promises we made to Jesus and to the church when we were first baptized.

In a couple of moments, we will renew the promises we made at baptism, namely to reject sin and to believe in the one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Maybe we have taken this lightly in the past, but I ask you to focus on it today. These promises in the realm of our faith really have a life or death meaning for us. By keeping our promises to the Lord, he grants us his many gifts of grace and strength and perseverance through good times and bad. He makes life truly livable. We become able to follow teachings and the path Jesus Christ in a way that we cannot do without him.

God has lived up to his word because this Word is Jesus his Son. May our renewing of the promises made our Baptism fill us our hearts with a new life, a new love and a new commitment to pray every day in thanksgiving and petition to God who opens us heaven for the human race today, by the bodily Resurrection of Jesus his Son. Praised be Jesus Christ, now and forever.

Good Friday 2016

Filed under: Blog — admin at 9:29 pm on Thursday, March 24, 2016

Jesus was wounded for our offenses. In his wounds we are healed. In the Prayer the Anima Christi, one of the invocations is “within your wounds hide me.” How is it possible to hide in the wounds of Jesus? We know he was wounded by scourges, he was wounded by a crown of thorns, he was wounded by nails in his hands and feet, and he was pierced in his side. These wounds are the result of his rejection by the very people he has come to save, each one of us. He paid a price we could not pay. He suffered a horrible death to put to death, death itself. He took on these wounds to offer us freedom.

We have our own wounds. They are not from scourges or nails or thorns or a sword but from a lack of love of God and neighbor. They are the wounds of sin, both those we have committed and those that have been done to us.

In a few moments, each of us will come forward to venerate the cross of our Lord, bearing our own wounds. We come to him with sorrow and suffering in our hearts. We pray that the wounds of our guilt may be healed by the wounds of Christ’s mercy. Our wounds are known to him. These are wounds of pride, arrogance, lust, selfishness, greed and violence: The wounds of our hands when we struck out at others rather than offer to lift them up: The wounds of our feet when we walked away from those in need instead of offering to carry them: The wounds of pride when we considered ourselves too good to serve or too proud to admit weakness: The worst of all, the wounds of the heart broken by rejection or having broken hearts out of selfishness or cruelty.

Jesus Christ, free from all sins, took on the ugliness, the emptiness and our rejection of his offer of unconditional love. He calls out to us from the cross:

“I thirst.” He thirsts for us to hide our wounds in his. He thirsts for our suffering, he thirsts for our broken and hardened hearts.  This day he offers to hide these wounds in his so that they can be forgiven and healed by the blood and water that flows out of his pierced heart. How can we not take him on this offer? How can we not embrace the cross and kiss it and say that here my wounds are hidden and here they are healed? Why would anyone stay away?

Jesus Christ has come among us one of us so that he can live with us and offer his life for us in love for the Father and for the sorrow of the human race. The cross we venerate today makes clear the glory of God the Father, the love of God the Son and the power of God the Holy Spirit to free us and bring us back to life. Leave your wounds here. Leave your sorrow here, leave your sins here, and go with the love of Jesus Christ to make that love, the love which will direct your life.

Holy Thursday Homily March 24, 2016

Filed under: Blog — admin at 4:15 pm on Thursday, March 24, 2016

Jesus never stops leading us. In the darkness of his approaching death, he offers the light of his obedient love. In the chaos of his arrest and trial before the Sanhedrin and Pontius Pilate, he tells us the truth of who he is. In a world suffering from a famine of faith and love, He gives us himself as our food and drink.

Jesus has taught us through his preaching that the Father is one on whom we must depend. He tells us to live out this message and also commands us to love as he loves. St. Paul teaches the Corinthians this lesson in his Letter. He reminds them that he is passing on what he has received, namely that Jesus gives us his Body and Blood under the appearance of bread and wine to unite all people in faith and pour salvation upon the world. We can say that St. Paul gives us an example of living a “hand to mouth” existence not in the sense of his poverty, although he was poor, but rather by receiving everything from the hand of the Lord.

There are some people today who are forced to live a “hand to mouth” existence. They are just able to get by. They have enough money for rent, utilities, gas and food and that’s about it. The people we know who are living this way are not happy about it. They hope for a day when they have more than enough so they can do other things.

The Mass of the Lord’s Supper teaches us a different lesson. The hand to mouth existence that Jesus creates for the one who believes in him is one of great abundance. The Bible shows us time and time again that life is truly a hand to mouth existence. God fed the Israelites every day in the wilderness for forty years with manna from heaven. God sent ravens and an Angel to feed the prophet Elijah and his way to Zarapeth in Sidon. Jesus himself teaches us to pray every day “give us this day our daily bead.” Living in this country blessed with abundant resources, we can take for granted the poor and believe we have the ability to take care of ourselves without the help of God. Jesus makes it clear to his disciples that they cannot take care of themselves, not only their bodies, but particularly their souls. Like them, we receive everything we have from the hand of God. In the great mystery of the Holy Eucharist we are fed by the very hand of God with his own Body and Blood.

The disciples feel safe around Jesus, but soon he will be taken from them as he is handed over to the authorities for trial. Sadly, the disciples fail him. He is betrayed by one, denied by another and abandoned by the rest. They have not yet fully learned the lesson he taught them at the Passover meal, that when they eat his body and drink his blood, they proclaim his death until he comes again.

After the death and resurrection of Jesus and the descent of the Holy Spirit, the disciples will carry out what Jesus commanded them to do in memory of him, namely to proclaim his message and to share in the sacrificial offering of his body and blood that he commissioned them to carry out for his church and the world.  This is the lesson we must remember tonight.

We need to learn to live from hand to mouth, from God’s hands to our mouths. When there is darkness, the Eucharist brings light. When we are wounded by sin, the Eucharist brings healing and forgiveness.  Where there is division and confusion, the Eucharist will bring us unity and clarity.  In this action we accept and welcome our total dependence on the mercy of God who feeds us with himself. It is only then that we like Paul and the other Apostles can hand on what we have received to the mouths of others

Jesus has given us this memorial, this truly living reality of his presence, to remind us that his love never ends. May the celebration of the Lord’s Supper bring us peace, and fill us with the zeal to faithfully carry out his works today.

 

Links for 40 Words of Jesus

Filed under: Blog — admin at 8:35 pm on Tuesday, February 9, 2016

I have attached the templates for the 40 words of Jesus Lenten sheet. IF you copy both on one sheet you can then fold them in half.

master40wordsjesusb

Master40words

Have a Blessed Lent

January 21, 2016 Ethics notes

Filed under: Blog — admin at 4:11 pm on Thursday, January 21, 2016

Lecture notes for LPC 123

PRETHEOETH

Christmas Homily 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin at 9:46 am on Thursday, December 24, 2015

 

This is the time of year that families come home. Some return from college. Others bring their new families from far distances. Others come from overseas after being away defending our country. We gather together as f family who grew up with each other and retells all the old stories of Christmases long ago when we could not wait to go to bed, excited about what we would find around the tree on Christmas morning.  As we get older, we realize that it is not so much about things, but about each other and the one who makes this gathering possible, namely God, Father Son and Holy Spirit.

Today we witness something about God. He has decided to make him home among us. We have become his home and his dwelling. He has taken on our flesh and blood today so that he becomes the ultimate story of our lives. Joy to the world, God has come to make his home among us.

He has made a home among us because he loves us and desires to draw us closer to him. He has personally come among us to build up what we have torn down through selfishness and sin. He has come among us to show us how to live, by following God the Father through gratitude, obedience and trust. He has come to be alongside of us to share our joys and sorrows and to give us hope and strength. He has come to save us by telling us and showing us that our true path in life requires a generous, merciful and humble heart.

The Son of God comes among us not as a fully grown man and carried on the wings of angels. He comes to us as an infant, born of the Virgin Mary into a cold and dark world to give us a chance in reclaiming our life through the love of him.  Most of us honor him this time of year by placing a Nativity scene among the decorations. But that is not the place where the Stable will have its greatest effect. God makes a home for himself not only in our world. His greatest desire is to make a home for himself in our hearts and minds and bodies.

In that holy action, accomplished by daily prayer, receiving the sacraments and living a life of virtue we become recipients of all the gifts of God.  These gifts are not wrapped. These gifts rather wrap our souls with love, courage, perseverance, faith and hope. As God becomes man, he makes it possible for us to become more like him and make the world a place of his grace and holiness.

On this Christmas day, as we celebrate this Holy Mass, we have come home to God. This is God’s house and our home. It is a place of closeness to God. It is a place where we have experienced him through our eyes and ears, and even our nose and mouth as we receive the Gifts of his Body and Blood.

This great feast of the Birth of our Lord gives us the hope of a heavenly home. Jesus has made this possible and our faith and love for him make it real for us. We see God when we look at Jesus. We hear God when we listen to his word. We even taste God as he becomes our food and drink. He becomes like us in every way except sin so that we can become like him through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Just as we never get tired of telling the old family stories of Christmas, may we rediscover again the power of Christ’s birth. God makes his home in our midst. Let us receive him with great joy.

April 4, 2015 Easter Vigil

Filed under: Blog — admin at 8:40 pm on Saturday, April 4, 2015

Easter Vigil 2015

On this night the Church takes us back all the way to the creation of the world. We hear the story of creation from the book of Genesis when God first created light. That light comes from the fire of God’s love which warms us, purifies us and enlightens us. It is also for us the light of faith.

From that light we are now able to see ourselves as we truly are, marked with sin and death. We see that we cannot save ourselves, so we reach out to the one who has offered to save us, Jesus Christ. With Jesus’ Bodily resurrection, God the Father has chosen to offer us a new life, which we receive in the waters of Baptism. From those life-giving waters, sin and death have been conquered and we are made children of God by adoption. We become inheritors of the gift of everlasting life and bear of the gift of the Holy Spirit.

On this night, we move from darkness to light, from death to life and from sadness to glory. By the gift of faith we have received we are given a new strength and courage to be witnesses to the saving power of Jesus Christ which fills of with a deeper love and a sure hope that God will not abandon us. You are who Elect are about to receive the greatest possible gift a human being can receive, a new rebirth to a real life and a sharing in the divine life of Jesus Christ.

What is this divine life that you are about to receive? God wishes to take the central place in your heart and reshape your whole life in the shape of the cross. It is by the cross that we are taught the true meaning of God’s love and tonight you are to be given the gift to take that love on you self. It is a love that enables you to worship God with a pure and undivided heart. It is a love that focuses you on the care of others and a dedication to service of God and neighbor in the world. It is a merciful love that turns you to depend on God for all things and seek his forgiveness when you have sinned. Lastly, it is a courageous love by which you are committed to share this pearl of great price, this personal meeting of Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit with others and with your fellow Christians as a way to encourage others in this life who are lost and seek direction.

You have sought the Lord and tonight you are told in Mark’s Gospel that he is alive. He has been raised from the dead and brings the whole into new relationship with God the Father. You have found him in his Mystical Body the Church, of which you are about to become a member. You will share with us the Body and Blood of the Lord and the manifold gifts of the Holy Spirit.

You serve not only as a witness to the world of the saving power of God in your life, you serve also as a witness to us “old-timers.” You know that the Christian life is one that is filled not only with great joys and loves, but also with great sacrifices. We live in the world in which the Christian faith is mocked and persecuted and our brothers and sisters are being killed for simply professing and living the Christian faith. You faith renews ours and your zeal reminds us of the fire of a vibrant and spirit filled life. We welcome you to the banquet of the Lord and the way of his glory. As you become sharers in the resurrection and new life of Christ tonight, do not have fear. The love of God you receive in the waters of rebirth and confession of faith will remove your doubts and bring a whole new life to your soul.

Holy Thursday Homily 2015

Filed under: Blog — admin at 3:56 pm on Thursday, April 2, 2015

Holy Thursday Homily

People today are always on the run. They try to accomplish many things at the same time and often they are catching themselves coming and going. The book of Exodus this evening speaks of eating Passover meal with your “loins girt, sandals on your feet and your staff in hand. You shall eat like those who are in flight.” Are the Israelites doing this because they are too busy? Do they have time management problems?

The answer to this is, of course, no. God reminds the people that they are only visitors in this world. They are simply passing through and will one day arrive at the permanent place, life with God in heaven. This world is not an end in itself, but a path to a greater life. That greater life though has been derailed by sin. We cannot get ourselves on track. We are held in the terrible grip of slavery to sins and selfishness.

On this Feast of Holy Thursday and the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, Jesus himself is opening the door for us to the greater life that his death and resurrection will bring about.  The Bread that is used at the Passover is unleavened, called the bread of affliction. It is hard and tough to chew, but it nourishes just as well. Jesus gives us the bread of affliction at the Passover because we live in affliction in this world. Things do not always work right. We have setbacks and failures and struggles. Faith is a constant challenge for us. But these are not to stop us. By us giving us his Body, this bread of affliction becomes for us the Bread of Life, the food that is his very life, that gives us the grace to endure and to overcome and to prosper especially when we are weary and fearful. Jesus gives us the Holy Eucharist so that we do not give up.

He also knows that for this food to continue, he needs to provide those who share in Christ’s life in a unique way. So on this night he institutes the sacrament of Orders, the holy Priesthood.  These men are his shepherds who feed, lead and protect the flock of the Church. They are given through the Holy Spirit and the laying on of hands the authority to heal, teach and forgive in Christ’s name to encourage them on their path of faith. The mission to which the priest is called is to make of himself an offering in the person of Christ for the people entrusted to him, so that they will be kept safe in this dangerous world and provided with the gifts necessary to continue on through this passing life with joy and hope.

Finally, Jesus gives his disciples the Great command:  love another as I have loved you.  His followers are not to rely only on their knowledge or their talents or their social connections. They are to rely on the love of God. This giving in love that is expressed in the Last Supper has now become the measure of what it means to be a Christian in the world.

 

The mission given to every believer is the same, love God and love your neighbor as yourself. Jesus gives us this mission because of the struggles we face in life. We have not been created to face them alone. We have not been abandoned to fend for ourselves. Jesus makes this crystal clear on this night. He gives us each other and makes it possible for us not only through his example, but by the power of the Holy Spirit

Jesus is changing the world tonight. He is changing how he is going to be with us. He makes it clear that in the suffering and death he is about to endure, he takes it up freely out of love for us and for the Father. God loves us enough to die for us. He keeps our souls strong as we move through this world by feeding us with his own Body and Blood.  He is opens up the door to a new life with him to help us focus on what lasts, so that we do not get distracted by the passing things of this world. Let us take this time tonight to keep watch with Jesus, so that as the world changes, and the storms continue to blow we can remain faithful to him so as to reach our goal: everlasting life.

 

 

Templates for 40 Words of Jesus pamphlet

Filed under: Blog — admin at 6:38 pm on Tuesday, February 17, 2015

I have attached the two pages for the 40 Words of Jesus Lenten devotion. You can download it as a Word file and then copy the pages back to back to create the foldover. If you wish to make multiple copies, be careful in cutting them up because the margins are not even.

Forty Words of Jesus2015 A

40words of Jesus2015B

HAPPY LENT.

 

Feast of the Holy Family December 28

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin at 8:55 pm on Saturday, December 27, 2014

Feast of the Holy Family                                                      2014

Everything that God touches, he sanctifies, consecrates, glorifies and makes a means of communicating his life and presence. We saw this on the Feast of the Birth of Our Lord. When Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary and took on our human nature, He did not destroy our nature, but came with the intention of recreating it and making it capable of sharing life with God in a personal and intimate way that it could not do before. God is slowly but surely putting into place the path for our redemption and making us sharers in the Kingdom of God.

Today we give thanks for God’s touch on the most basic reality of human existence, the family.  The Word of God desired to live in a human family and have a mother who gave him birth and foster-father who would love him, protect him and teach him. This is an amazing fact of how God desires to interact with us. To be a part of a family is a human thing. A family exists by nature in the sense that the Mother and Father become Co-creators with God in the gift of children, which is seen as the fruit of their love for one another. Human beings live by relationships. We need each other and depend on one another to live in the world. God has come to show us that the fundamental root of every human relationship is love.

When we look at the secular understanding of family, the virtue that is highlighted is justice. By the fact that they are parents, husbands and wives owe their children the necessities to survive and thrive in the world. Children, on the other hand, by justice, owe their parents respect, obedience and gratitude for all they have given them.  If we remember that everything God touches he raises up to a higher level of life, what can we say about the Holy Family? When God is brought into the life of the family by the faith of the parents, Justice is raised to the level of Love, a duty becomes a privilege, a responsibility becomes a gift. This gift is given to be shared so that it will continue to grow and bear fruit.

God is showing us that the greatest vocation in the world is not a profession or a trade of some kind, but to be a Mother and a Father. There is nothing greater in the world for the building up of the Kingdom of God and the happiness of the human race than this. The Sacrament of Matrimony, the union of a man and woman in a permanent and unbreakable communion of love is a privileged place for meeting God. From this sacrament comes a reality that is like a sacrament, the Family. The Second Vatican Council referred to the family as the “domestic church,” because it is the first place where faith in Jesus Christ is acknowledged and passed on. Many Saints of the Church have said these words, a strong family produces a strong Church, and a Strong Church helps to form a strong family.

When we talk about family we often talk about having the same blood. But we know that there is something even greater than having the same blood, it is professing and living out the same faith. This is why we recognize in a special way those parents who have natural children, but also those who adopt children out of the abundance of their marital love that finds its roots in the love of Jesus Christ.           The family itself is a place where faith in God and love is learned and practiced every day.

There are people today who do not see this way of life as either possible or healthy. There are attempts to change the meaning of “family.” There are also families that are so overwhelmed with the things of this world that they don’t take the time to care for and nourish their souls and the souls of their children. We have a choice to family life in one of two ways- with Jesus and (kinda) without Jesus. Family life (kinda) without Jesus is one that is run by constant motion and activity and obligations that turns families into a group of individuals, each with their own goal and way of life, little is held in common except the same address and last name.

Family life with Jesus is constant because it is rooted in daily prayer. It is unitive because everyone has the same goal and each one shares in helping others achieve it. Finally it is also sacrificial and reverent because the focus is on serving and loving each other. They learn to live for each other confident that God will always guide them through life’s challenges and make their moments of joy more lasting.

The Church has always been a staunch defender of the family because family life in Christ is impossible without the Sacraments of the Holy Eucharist and Penance. It is impossible without the love that the Holy Spirit pours out upon them in daily prayer and the security which comes with knowing the truth of the teaching of Jesus Christ. As our Mother, the Church daily offers every family the grace of Jesus Christ, which helps us overcome our sinful and selfish natures so that we can be for each other.

God has touched the family through Jesus, Mary and Joseph. He has given us not only the example but the grace to live it out. HE asks for our faith, hope and love of Him. May we pray every day: God our Father, help our family be holy. Help us live for one another and serve you in love and gratitude that we may one day know the fullness of joy in the heaven you have promised for us. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, make our family like unto yours.

Next Page »