Crucifixion and Death of Our Lord

The final Sorrowful Mystery is the Crucifixion of the Lord and focuses on the death of Jesus. It can be found in all the Gospels and it is mentioned several times in the Letters as well. This can also be found in some other non-Biblical books like Tacitus and Josephus as well as in the Babylonian Talmud, it is also mentioned in the Koran where Jesus isn’t Crucified but raised by Allah unto heaven.  So Jesus carried the cross and we have the Stations of the Cross which highlight these events, eventually getting to Calvary or Golgotha where he was stripped from his clothes and offered wine mixed with myrrh or gall to drink. Jesus was hung between two thieves with a sign saying Jesus of Nazareth King of the Jews.

The fruit of the mystery is Perseverance in faith, grace for a holy death and Forgiveness. This has quite a few fruits. We touch on the Cardinal Virtue of Fortitude as well as the Gift of from the Holy Spirit. It’s pretty great let us all pray for a holy death. As well as the courage to ask for forgiveness of all that we’ve done wrong in our lives to others and what not.

The Finding in the Temple

The Fifth and final Joyful Mystery is the finding of Jesus in the Temple. As with many of the other mysteries this can be found in Luke’s Gospel (2:41-52). The story of the finding is the only event from the adolescence of Jesus that is in the Gospel and Bible. This event is when Jesus, Mary and Joseph all head to the Temple with some relatives for Passover. Jesus is about 12 year old. It goes that on the day they were returning Jesus lingers in the Temple, Mary and Joseph both assumed that Jesus was in the group. So after a day Joseph and Mary realized that Jesus was missing and they turned back to find him. When they found Jesus, Mary asked “Child, why have you treated us like this? Look, your father and I have been searching for you in great anxiety.” Jesus said to them, “Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” but his parents didn’t understand what he meant. Yet Jesus went with them back to Nazareth and was obedient to his parents.

The fruit of this mystery is True Conversion (Piety, Joy of Finding Jesus) and/or Obedience. It would be nice if more people could live a pious life, this is one of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. In a world that is starving for humility if we could all try to live a more pious and humble life that would be a godsend.

Pentecost

The readings this week are Acts 2:1-11; Psalm 104; Paul’s first letter to the Corithians 12:3b-7,12-13 or Paul’s letter to the Romans 8:8-17; the sequence Veni, Sancte Spiritus; and John’s Gospel 20:19-23 or John’s Gospel 14:15-16, 23b-26.

The is the final Sunday in the Easter Season and the Holy Spirit is the thing of chief importance today. As we see above there are options this week of what the best readings are. Now we get fruits and gifts from the Holy Spirit. The fruits are attributes of a Christian Life according to Paul’s letter to the Galatians the fruits are Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Generosity, Gentleness, Faithfulness, Modesty, Self-control, and Chastity. It’s a dozen tips to living a good life.  The gifts are different  as there are only seven and are wisdom, understanding, counsel, knowledge, fortitude, piety, and fear of the Lord (awe and wonder). Now these gifts are given to us at Baptism and are strengthened at Confirmation. We are not just given one of these gifts but we get the whole set and we should use them all our lives. Thomas Aquinas relates these gifts with the seven virtues. Let us all try to life our lives living out these gifts and fruits of the Spirit. As the Easter Season comes to an end and we return to Ordinary Time let us not forget about our Easter journey out into the world to spread the word of the Lord.

Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

The reading for this week are from the prophet Isaiah 62:1-3, Psalm 96, Paul’s 1st letter to the Corinthians 12:4-11, and John’s Gospel 2:1-11.

Well this week we actually encounter some of the things I talked a bit about last week Gifts of the Spirit and the Wedding at Cana. Boiled down to the base the readings this week are all about love. The Lord loves us so we shouldn’t be ashamed and rejoice in his love. The love is made manifest in the gifts of the Spirit since the Lord give them to us in varied in different ways along with the love from heaven. Finally we have the manifestation of the love of the Lord on the earth in the wedding. Ben Franklin himself reflected upon this gospel story” We hear of the conversion of water into wine at the marriage in Cana as of a miracle. But this conversion is, through the goodness of God, made every day before our eyes. Behold the rain which descends from heaven upon our vineyards; there it enters the roots of the vines, to be changed into wine; a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy. The miracle in question was only performed to hasten the operation, under circumstances of present necessity, which required it.” This quote “wine is a constant proof that God loves us” has been mis-remember as of late to being about beer but either way it is a profound statement about  how the hand of the Lord works its way into the world and it’s all about love. Let us reflect this love out into the World, have a glass or two of wine and maybe even some beer this week.

Baptism of the Lord

This week the readings are from the prophet Isaiah 40:1-5, 9-1, Psalm 104, Paul’s letter to Titus 2:11-14; 3:2-7, and Luke’s Gospel 3:16-16,21-22. There is also a chance for all readings but the Gospel to come from Year A of the Cycle Isaiah 42:1-4,6-7, Psalm 29, and Acts 10:34-38.

At our Baptism we are given the gifts and fruit of the Holy Spirit. The gifts are awe and wonder, wisdom, understanding, counsel, knowledge, fortitude, and  piety. Thomas Aquinas in his Summa says that the seven gifts correspond with the seven Virtues. The fruit of the Holy Spirit are charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control, chastity. These are what Paul tells the Galatians are all attributes to living a Christian life. It would be wonderful if we remembered all of these, sure we are told to memorize them when we get Confirmed but many of us forget what they are by the time we are anointed. Yet we should strive to live out the fruit and gifts of the Spirit in our lives.

We need to remember that the Holy Spirit is living in the world today and our heavenly father says the same words as he did at the Baptism of the Lord as he does at our own baptisms. “You are my beloved, with whom I am well pleased.” This is some earth shattering realization that someone out there is pleased with you just as you are. It’s like Fred Rogers said “I like you just the way you are.” This is how we need to go out into the world and share this message “I like you just the way you are.”

The Baptism of the Lord

The fruit of this mystery is Openness to the Holy Spirit.

This is the first of the Luminous mysteries and reminds us about the Holy Spirit. All to often we forget that Jesus sent the Holy Spirit for us. Sure we are reminded about this at Pentecost but we should always be reminded that the Spirit is here and in our lives. We are in the age of the Spirit and should be willing for the Spirit to help direct all of our decisions, like the cardinals do at a Papal Concave. I hope that in the new year we can all be willing to share our lives with the Holy Spirit. At our Baptism and Confirmation we are anointed with the Holy Chrism which is a physical sign of the Spirit in our lives. Let’s recall the gifts and fruits of the Spirit as well and try to live these in the world. This weekend there will be some more about the Gifts and Fruits of the Holy Spirit.