Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Sunday - "This Jesus is Risen"

There is one only one lesson to be learned today.  One truth upon which all other truths rest.  One reality that puts all reality in perspective.

This Jesus of Nazareth, this son of Mary:
  • the one who preached the Good News to the people,
  • the one betrayed by his disciple,
  • the one denied by his friends
  • the one condemned by the people
  • the one scourged most cruelly by the Romans
  • the one nailed to the cross
  • the one who promised paradise to the repentant sinner
  • the one who died begging forgiveness for his executioners
  • the one who was buried three days in a tomb

This Jesus is risen!
This Jesus has conquered death!
This Jesus, is the sacrificial lamb who takes away the sins of the world
This Jesus, is the temple destroyed
This Jesus is risen up, as he promised.

Jesus is the Son of God.
Jesus is the Word made flesh.
Jesus is the Christ.
Jesus is the fulfillment of God’s promise of life everlasting in the Kingdom of Heaven for his people.
Jesus is the love of God, the Truth, the Way and the Life.
Jesus is our Lord and Savior in whom we believe.

All because of this one Truth.

Jesus, the Christ is Risen, Alleluia!  Alleluia!  Alleluia – Amen!

Happy & Joyful Easter!
Deacon Don Ron

Friday, April 18, 2014

Good Friday - "At the feet of Jesus"

Today we venerate the cross of Christ.  Catholics the world over come to the foot of His cross – a sign of shame made over into a throne of triumph – to lay their sorrows, their sins, their betrayals, their denials, their devotions and their love – at the feet of Jesus.

Here is the one place where we disciples of the One Lord - gather as brothers and sisters – before our Lord crucified – in awe and wonder at the great mystery
  • How by his death – Christ gathers up the burden of all our sins
  • How by His death – Christ shows us the way to the Father’s love
  • How by His death – Christ brings us to life everlasting

For Jesus, this day began in sorrow and torment – sweat and tears – betrayal and denial – torture and agony – pain and blood.
Through His cross of execution:
  • Only the Son of God could turn defeat into triumph
  • Only the Son of God could turn betrayal into everlasting faith
  • Only the Son of God could bring Glory out of cruelty
  • Only the Son of God could bring Life everlasting from ruin and death

Jesus ends this day in glory – the Lamb of God who came into the world – who’s death on the cross points to the Resurrection; - fulfilling God’s promise of salvation for His people.

As we approach the cross - bearing our burdens of sin and sorrow – our own denials and betrayals – placing them at the feet of Jesus – to be born up by Him – in expiation of our sins.
  • Let us dance away in joy –
  • Let our hearts be filled with gladness –
  • Let our faces reflect God’s glory

Showing the whole world that we are loved - loved so well – loved so completely – that our Lord and Creator – for love of us – who became one of us – has sacrificed himself – so we may have life – life abundantly – life joyfully – life forever and ever ~Amen.

Deacon Don Ron

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Palm Sunday - The Passion of Our Lord - 'What We Deserve"

I am sure there were more than a few members of the crowd in Jerusalem on that terrible day on Calvary, who thought Jesus got just what he deserved.  That he received a punishment that fit his crime – speaking the Truth: For this he received death, death on a cross – the most hideously cruel form of punishment in the Roman arsenal of cruelty. 

We now know that Jesus was truly an innocent man; a man who died, so that we all may have life, - life abundantly - in the love of God.  A God who’s love was so strong that - He gave His only Son up to that cruel death, so we, who believe in Him, - may have eternal life.
If Jesus ‘got what he deserved’, just what is it that we, children of a loving God, deserve?
  • Do God’s children deserve lives of suffering and cruelty?
  • Do God’s children deserve lives of poverty, filled with despair, lives without hope or joy? 
  • Do God’s children deserve lives lacking in dignity and respect? 
  • Do God’s children deserve lives - lived in fear – oppressed by the strong, - the clever, - the deceitful – those who plot against us – robbing us of our peace, our dignity and our freedom? 

Do we not deserve lives that offer more?  For what He gave us, - did not Jesus deserve better than what he received?
Or do we deserve what others think we deserve in life? 

If I were to ask today what each of us thinks we deserve in life - we would answer that we deserve:
  • kindness and respect,
  • dignity and hope,
  • justice and mercy:
  • Forgiveness, - peace and love. 

Each of us would want to be loved perfectly, in the way that we desire and need to be loved, - in God’s perfect love.

  • None of us would choose to be brought up in poverty. 
  • None of us would choose to suffer from mental illness. 
  • None of us would choose to bear the cruelty and oppression of others.
  • None of us would choose to endure physical or mental abuse. 
  • None of us would choose to be victims of addiction. 
  • None of us would choose to be different from others:

To suffer taunts and insults designed to make us feel less than human; separating us from the community of man.

We all want lives that share in the love and bounty of God.  We want to live - lives free from strife, - lives filled with hope. Lives delivered from suffering, pain and oppression - lives overflowing in kindness, peace and love

Today, as we celebrate Palm Sunday: our Lord’s entry into the holy city, Jerusalem.  Let us reflect on our lives and how we love one another, and wish for others what we ourselves desire – the perfect love of God.  

Let us remember that the love we seek is found in the love we give.

And let us remember how easily the crowd was swayed from celebrating our Lord’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem - to their vilifying, jeering, taunting, and cruelly treating Him for bringing the Truth of God’s love to His people.

Let us keep in mind the lives we would chose for ourselves; remembering the good things we seek as beloved children of God: dignity, respect, hope, mercy, forgiveness, peace and – love – and that all others seek and deserve these too.

Let the suffering and death of Jesus, - not have been in vain. When we next are tempted to say - that someone got what they deserved: Remember the same was said of Jesus – truly an innocent man, - whose cruel execution - was a sacrifice for our sins – which bought us freedom from death and corruption - to eternal life in the love of God – something we continually receive, - but do not deserve. ~Amen


Deacon Don Ron

Monday, April 7, 2014

5th Sunday in Lent - John 11-42 - "Community of Believers"

In death, Lazarus hears the voice of Jesus and responds; –returning to life.  We too have heard the voice of Jesus calling us to: “Come Out!” 
Come out of the darkness  
Come out of death’s grip
Come out of the world of sin and corruption
Come out of the tomb -
Into the Light – into Life eternal and - the heavenly embrace of God. 
Be alive - live in peace and joy! 
Be free from the binding cloths of sin and sorrow. 
Come out - live in the perfection of God’s love.

We too, in sin, were dead, like Lazarus, - but in the death of sin, we too, like Lazarus - were still able to hear the words of Life, - the voice of Jesus calling to us – Come Out!  Come out of the darkness!  Come into my Light! 

How sweet the sound that stirred our hearts.  We moved toward His voice – a sound, so pure and inviting – even in death we could not resist!  We responded to His voice - emerging from the dark and lonely place, where the evil-one lured us by his invitation to taste the temptations of worldly pleasures.  The corrupter, who enticed us away from the grace of our baptism – down into the dark tomb of sin - where we dwelled despairing of hope and freedom.

Then we heard the voice of Jesus calling us to come out.  We struggled, like Lazarus, within our shroud of death to emerging from the tomb still wrapped in the trappings of death.  We hopped and hobbled: struggling with the cloths that still held us: yearning to be free, but kept in place, trapped by the whispers of the evil-one, who still seeks to hold us within his grasp.

Jesus greeted us and called others to unbind us from the cloths wrapped around us: the garments of death given to us when placed in the tomb.  It was through our called brothers and sisters in Christ, heeding Jesus’ Word, that we were freed from our bonds to walk in His Light.

Through God’s love and mercy, in His sacrament of reconciliation, we moved back into the Light and Life of Christ.  Like the Prodigal children, beloved of God, we were received into the Father’s loving embrace.  He calls for celebrations in heaven at our return- for:
We who were lost are now found –
We who were dead are now alive! 
We, who lived in darkness and have re-emerged into the Light of Life.
We, like Lazarus, found our way back to life through the call of Jesus Christ and aided by the helping hands of the community of believers. 

Jesus continues to use the community of those who believe in Him to help bring about the Kingdom of God.  He calls each of us, as believers of the Truth, to be witness to the grace of our baptism and the graces freely given us in our lives, so we may help free others who respond to His call from the death of sin to Life. 

He ask us to ‘unbind them and let them go free’ - from the trappings of worldliness that hold them in darkness.  We who are God’s holy people, - in response to the Word of Jesus, - help others emerge from the shroud of sin that surrounds them to go into His Light and new Life.

We, the community of believers – who have heard the voice of Jesus and witness His saving grace in our lives, are called to be witness to others of Jesus’ saving action that has brought us to live as one in Him.  We are the called and blessed - people of God, who work through:
Our prayers,
Our lives of Christian fidelity
Our active participation in the life of the Church
Our faithful witness of the Gospel to the world
 And our devotion to bringing all people to Christ.

So, let us rejoice in this Gospel message: witnessing Christ calling - “Come Out!” to all our brothers and sisters who are dead through sin.  Let us be His hands; helping others to unwind the cloths that bind them, so they may be free to walk in the Light of Life with Christ and be welcomed into the Kingdom of God. ~Amen

Deacon Don Ron