May 27, 2018
We are viewing spectacular and frightening volcano eruptions on the Island of Hawaii. I remember my experience on top of a volcano on the Island of Maui. In the middle of the night we drove up the mountain to be in place at the top when the sun rises. It was so dark that we didn't realize that we were positioned inside the rim of the volcano. When the first rays of the morning sun pierced the darkness it was breathtaking, awesome, wonderful! It was and is for me an OMG moment on the mountain -- Oh My God!
In the Gospel according to St. Matthew, there is an OMG encounter with Jesus, the Risen Lord, on a mountain in Galilee. The 11 disciples are gathered and Jesus appears to them. They see, they worship and they doubt. Jesus imparts power given to him and sends his disciples to "make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and the Holy Spirit ..."
Jesus is commissioning his disciples to initiate others into the precious life that they enjoy as the community of the Risen One. This "life" is the very life of God. Those who enter into the community of believers are entering into the intimate indwelling life of God. God is one. In the unity of God there is the relationship of three divine persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We use the word "Trinity" to describe the mystery of oneness and community in God. God is creating Father. God is redeeming Son. God is sanctifying Spirit. Human words can never adequately explain the mystery. Ultimately our response must be: silence.
Jesus ends his "commencement" address with the assurance that he will always be with us. "Behold, I am with you always, until the end of the ages." It is the the same angelic message that St. Joseph receives/hears at the beginning of the Gospel: "Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and shall name him Emmanuel, which means, God is with us." It is only in and through Jesus that we can dare to profess our belief in the Blessed Trinity.
“He stood in their midst!” But even with the greeting “Peace be with you” the disciples are startled and terrified thinking they are seeing a ghost. He asks “Why are you troubled? Why do questions arise in your hearts?” He invites them to touch him. He is not a ghost! Calmed by his words and what is strangely familiar the disciples, while still incredulous, are... READ MORE
Today is the 2nd Sunday of Easter or Divine Mercy Sunday. St. Faustina, a Polish nun and mystic, had a vision of Jesus, the Risen Lord, with streams of light emanating from his heart. Her mystical meditations on the mercy of God had an influence on a Polish Pope, St. John Paul II. He promoted Divine Mercy Sunday. Fittingly, Divine Mercy Sunday occurs when the Gospel accord... READ MORE
We know these women by name – not always the case in the Bible – Mary Magdalene, Mary, the mother of James & John and Salome. They are looking on from a distance when Jesus dies on the cross and then they watch when his body is taken down, is given to Joseph of Arimathea and is laid in the tomb. After Sabbath rest, very early in the morning, the women return to the... READ MORE
Palm Sunday 2018 My Dear Brothers & Sisters in Christ, As we enter this holiest week of the liturgical year, I want to address with you the revelation of the clerical sexual abuse scandal within our diocese. To any and all of you who are victims of sexual abuse as children or youth by a priest of the Diocese of Buffalo, I am profoundly sorry for the tremendous... READ MORE
“Greeks” approach Philip: “We would like to see Jesus.” They are visitors in Jerusalem and they are drawn to see Jesus. Philip and Andrew have seen Jesus for an extended period of time yet they too are seeing more in him than meets the eye. Last week, Nicodemus, a Jewish Religious leader, a member of the Sanhedrin, comes to Jesus at night wanting to talk with him. ... READ MORE