Monday, November 7, 2016

Bicentennial Celebration in Mexico

The First Bicentennial Celebration in the Province

Puebla and Querétaro, México

November 3-6, 2016

The Marianists of Mexico were very busy over the past few days celebrating the arrival of the Icon from Argentina.  Mexico is the first stop for the Icon pilgrimage in the Province of the United States.  The Brothers in Puebla celebrated with local Lay Marianists one evening and with members from other religious communities another evening.  The Icon was brought to Mexico by Sr. Gloria, FMI from Argentina.  She spoke about Mother Adele in the gatherings in both Puebla and Queretaro.

The Brothers from Puebla arrived in Queretaro on Friday in time for us to process from the Marianist community to the Chapel of Our Lady of Guadalupe in the Colonia of Amanacer.  More than 50 children wearing white and waving banners led the procession of the Icon to the Chapel for a Solemn Evening Prayer.  Close to 100 people were in attendance.  During the Evening Prayer Fr. Quentin and Sr. Gloria spoke about the Fr. Chaminade and Mother Adele respectively.  After the short talks about the Founders, the people had an opportunity to come and reverence the Icon and the relics.  It was a very touching and moving experience for all involved as people came forth to pray for so many different needs. True to good Marianist hospitality, a social was held in the hall for all those who attended.

Booklet and Prayer Cards

Chapel Queretaro

Procession from the Community to the Chapel
Our Lady of Guadalupe Chapel

Sr. Gloria, FMI (Argentina)

Fr. Quentin, S.M.

Br. Fermin and Br. Nereo during veneration of the relics

Marianist wearing the Bicentennial

Community Processes to the Mass

On Saturday evening, the Brothers once again processed from the community to the Chapel in anticipation of the Sunday liturgy.  The Chapel was filled to capacity.  It was a great vision of the Marianist charism with lay and religious gathered together to honor the legacy of Fr. Chaminade and Mother Adele.  After the celebration of the Eucharist, there was time for individuals to venerate the Icon and relics, as well as, gather in the hall for refreshments.  After the events of the evening, the religious held their own Evening Prayer in the community Chapel and celebrated with a festive meal of pozole.  The arrival of the icon and relics definitely raised our spirit and our commitment to our vocation! We hope that each community in the Province is inspired and strengthened by the presence of our Founders!

Homily, November 5, 2016

Celtic Alleluia

Good Evening Church! If you are happy to be here today, say Alleluia! Turn to the person next to you and say, I am happy to be here! We gather here this afternoon to give praise to God for two hundred years of Marianist life in our world.  This afternoon we give thanks to God for Fr. Chaminade and Mother Adele.  We give thanks for the Society of Mary, the Daughters of Mary Immaculate and Lay Marianists throughout the world who commemorate the Bicentennial of the founding of the religious communities of the Marianist Family.  It is good for us to be here, Amen?
The Word of God offer us today some words that exemplify Fr. Chaminade and Mother Adele and also words that can help all of us on our Christian journey.  The three words are: Belief, Sacrifice, and Fidelity.  Repeat after me, Belief, Sacrifice, Fidelity.  So let us see how the Word of God can shed some light upon these words and the life of our founders.
In the end, it all starts with Belief.  All things are possible for those who believe, Amen? In the Book of Maccabees, the young men held a belief and were willing to risk their lives for that belief.  They would not defile their bodies with pork and refused to dishonor their beliefs by eating pork in order to save their own lives.  It takes a deep belief in something in order to risk your life for it, Amen? These men gave their lives for their beliefs. They too believed in the resurrection and that they would be rewarded in the next life for their faith.  When we believe so deeply, we are determined in life.  Both Fr. Chaminade and Mother Adele had a deep faith and conviction.  They had a deep belief in the Marianist project.  An older man and a young woman shared the belief that Jesus and his mother wanted them to do something for them in founding a religious institute.  They had a belief in the mission.  They had a belief in the story of the Wedding at Cana, they believed that they would, Do Whatever He tells you.  And so they did.  They believed in the power of the resurrection and so lived their lives with determination and joy. Their belief, their determination, their conviction inspired others to join them to be part of a religious family that would embrace the mission of Mary- that of developing communities of faith and bringing Jesus into the world.  And so two hundred years later Marianist Brothers, Sisters and Priests continue the legacy and inspiration of Fr. Chaminade and Mother Adele that began in Agen and Bordeaux and now continues in cities throughout the world in places like Madrid, Paris, San Antonio, Honolulu, Buenos Aires, Bogota, Seoul, Tokyo, Nairobi, Bangalore, Rome, Kara, Lima, Santiago, New York, Puebla and Queretaro.  Do not underestimate the impact that belief can have in your life and in the lives of people you encounter.  Because of the belief of Fr. Chaminade and Mother Adele, this American finds himself living and ministering in Mexico.  Belief opens us up to possibilities that we could never have imagined possible.  Belief helps us stand firm in the midst of conflict, distress, pain and suffering.  Belief unites us and inspires us to be more than we thought was possible.  Belief is contagious.  Today we celebrate the belief of the young men in Maccabees, the belief of our founders, the belief in the resurrection and the belief that God will do something great in our lives, Amen?  For this we sing..
                                                      Celtic Alleluia
The second word that the Word of God brings to us this day is Sacrifice.  We all know that life demands sacrifice, Amen? Sacrifice unites us to one another.  When we sacrifice our own needs, we become part of something bigger than ourselves.  We are connected to others when we sacrifice.  They young men sacrificed and risked for their beliefs.  The path of the Lord demands sacrifice.  We know that because Jesus gave the ultimate sacrifice of his life for each and every one of us.  Fr. Chaminade and Mother Adele sacrificed much in their lives to see their dream become a reality.  Fr. Chaminade lived a long life and saw many conflicts and misunderstanding in the life of the Society of Mary.  He saw many success and failures in ministry and often times needed to sacrifice his ideas and his desires for the common good.  Mother Adele sacrificed greatly to begin the Daughters of Mary.  Many of the first sisters in the community suffered infirmities and death in the early years of the foundation.  Mother Adele suffered health issues and died at a very early age.  She sacrificed her life for the growth of the community.  Sacrifice helps us to be centered on the other person and not on ourselves.  I think we have all had the experience that even in our sacrifice we benefit somehow from the sacrifice, for it is giving that we receive, Amen?  And so what do you believe in so strongly that would lead you to sacrifice?  Fr. Chaminade sacrificed.  Mother Adele sacrificed.  Will you? For the many sacrifices we make each day for our families, for our friends, and for our Church together we sing:

                                                          Celtic Alleluia

The third word that the Word of God offers us today is fidelity.  Fidelity to a person, an idea, or a project is admirable, Amen? I think in our society today, we are in need of more fidelity, Amen? The young men in Maccabees maintained fidelity to their faith, to their traditions, to their way of life.  Fidelity helps us to grow deeper as a person.  It helps us to know when to say yes and when to say no to a person, an idea or a project.  Fidelity is like a compass.  When we are unfaithful, we go off course and may be lost.  Fidelity keeps us on course, it gives us direction in our lives.  Jesus reminds us that fidelity to the idea of the resurrection will keep us faithful and on the path while we are still here on earth.  Both Fr. Chaminade and Mother Adele lived a life of fidelity to their vocation and to their mission.  The special vow of stability unites all Marianists to fidelity to their vocation and their consecration to Mary.  Fidelity is a reminder to each of us as to who we are and who we are not, what we will do and what we will not do, for what we should choose and what we should not choose.  Fidelity is the plan for our life and for our life choices. 
And so I would ask the members of the Society of Mary and the Daughters of Mary to please stand.  Sister and brothers, today in Mexico we honor and celebrate two hundred years of history and service to the Church in our world.  These three words: Belief, Sacrifice and Fidelity will guide us for the remainder of our days.  As we honor our founders, we too honor our vocation and are called to re-commit our lives to the Marianist Family.  Today we are challenged to grow deeper in our faith, to sacrifice for the needs of others, and to be faithful to our call as vowed religious.  I encourage us to be proud of our heritage and to be open to our future.  May the motto of our Bicentennial Year, To Know, To Love, and To Serve, guide our thoughts, our actions, and our prayers during this year.  May we be witnesses of faith, hope, and love to the People of God.  May we live a life that is worthy of our calling.  And may the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be glorified in all places, through the Immaculate Virgin Mary…Amen

                                                               Celtic Alleluia

                                      Homilía, 5 de noviembre de 2016

                                                aleluya celta

¡buenas tardes Iglesia ¡Si ustedes están feliz de estar aquí hoy, digan Alleluia! Gira a la persona a su lado y decir, estoy feliz de estar aquí! Nos reunimos aquí esta tarde para alabar a Dios por doscientos años de vida marianista en nuestro mundo. Esta tarde damos gracias a Dios por el Padre. Chaminade y Madre Adela. Damos gracias por la Compañía  de María, las Hijas de María Inmaculada y los laicos marianistas de todo el mundo que conmemoran el Bicentenario de la fundación de las comunidades religiosas de la Familia Marianista. ¿Es bueno para nosotros que estemos aquí, Amén?
La Palabra de Dios nos ofrece hoy algunas palabras que ejemplifican al Padre. Chaminade y Madre Adela y también palabras que pueden ayudar a todos nosotros en nuestro camino cristiano. Las tres palabras son: Creencia, Sacrificio y Fidelidad. Repite después de mí, Creencia, Sacrificio, Fidelidad. Así que veamos cómo la Palabra de Dios puede illuminar alguna luz sobre estas palabras y sobre la vida de nuestros fundadores.
Al final, todo comienza con Creencia. Todas las cosas son posibles para los que creen, Amén? En el Libro de Macabeos, los jóvenes tenían una creencia y estaban dispuestos a arriesgar sus vidas por esa creencia. Ellos no contaminar sus cuerpos con cerdo y se negó a deshonrar sus creencias por comer carne de cerdo con el fin de salvar sus propias vidas. Se necesita una profunda creencia en algo con el fin de arriesgar su vida por ella, Amén? Estos hombres dieron sus vidas por sus creencias. Ellos también creían en la resurrección y que serían recompensados ​​en la próxima vida por su fe. Cuando creemos tan profundamente, estamos determinados en la vida. Tanto P. Chaminade y Madre Adela tenían una profunda fe y convicción. Tenían una profunda creencia en el proyecto marianista. Un hombre mayor y una mujer joven compartían la creencia de que Jesús y su madre querían que ellos hicieran algo por ellos en la fundación de un instituto religioso. Tenían una creencia en la misión. Tenían una creencia en la historia de la boda en Caná, creían que lo harían, Haz lo que Él les diga. Y así les hicieron. Creían en el poder de la resurrección y así vivían sus vidas con determinación y alegría. Su creencia, su determinación y su convicción inspiraron a otros a unirse a ellos para formar parte de una familia religiosa que abrazaría la misión de María: desarrollar comunidades de fe y traer a Jesús al mundo. Y así, doscientos años más tarde, hermanos marianistas, hermanas y sacerdotes continúan el legado y la inspiración del P. Chaminade y Madre Adela que comenzaron en Ajen y Burdeos y ahora continúan en ciudades de todo el mundo en lugares como Madrid, París, San Antonio, Honolulu, Buenos Aires, Bogotá, Seúl, Tokio, Nairobi, Bangalore, Roma, Kara, Lima, Santiago, Nueva York, Puebla y Querétaro. No subestime el impacto que la creencia puede tener en su vida y en las vidas de las personas que encuentre. Debido a la creencia del P. Chaminade y Madre Adela, este americano se encuentra viviendo y ministrando en México. La creencia nos abre a posibilidades que nunca habríamos imaginado posibles. La creencia nos ayuda a permanecer firmes en medio del conflicto, la angustia, el dolor y el sufrimiento. La fe nos une y nos inspira a ser más de lo que creíamos posible. La creencia es contagiosa. Hoy celebramos la creencia de los jóvenes en Macabeos, la creencia de nuestros fundadores, la creencia en la resurrección y la creencia de que Dios hará algo grande en nuestras vidas, Amén. Para esto cantamos.
                                                 Aleluya celta

La segunda palabra que la Palabra de Dios nos trae hoy es Sacrificio. Todos sabemos que la vida exige sacrificio, Amén. El sacrificio nos une el uno al otro. Cuando sacrificamos nuestras propias necesidades, nos convertimos en parte de algo más grande que nosotros mismos. Estamos conectados a otros cuando nos sacrificamos. Los jóvenes sacrificaban y se arriesgaban por sus creencias. El camino del Señor exige sacrificio. Sabemos que porque Jesús dio el último sacrificio de su vida por cada uno de nosotros. P. Chaminade y Madre Adela sacrificaron mucho en sus vidas para ver su sueño convertido en una realidad. Fr. Chaminade vivió una larga vida y vio muchos conflictos y malentendidos en la vida de la Compañía de María. Vio muchos éxitos y fracasos en el ministerio y muchas veces necesitaba sacrificar sus ideas y sus deseos por el bien común. Madre Adela se sacrificó mucho para comenzar las Hijas de María. Muchas de las primeras hermanas en la comunidad sufrieron debilidades y muerte en los primeros años de la fundación. La madre Adela sufrió problemas de salud y murió de muy joven de una edad.  Ella sacrificó su vida por el crecimiento de la comunidad. El sacrificio nos ayuda a centrarnos en la otra persona y no en nosotros mismos. Creo que todos hemos tenido la experiencia de que incluso en nuestro sacrificio nos beneficiamos de algún modo del sacrificio, porque es dar que recibimos, Amén? Y entonces, ¿en qué crees tan fuertemente que te llevaría a sacrificar? P. Chaminade se sacrificó. Madre Adela se sacrificó. ¿Uds. Podrían? Por los muchos sacrificios que hacemos cada día para nuestras familias, para nuestros amigos y para nuestra Iglesia juntos cantamos:
                                         Aleluya celta

La tercera palabra que la Palabra de Dios nos ofrece hoy es la fidelidad. La fidelidad a una persona, una idea o un proyecto es admirable, Amén? Creo que en nuestra sociedad actual, necesitamos más fidelidad, Amén. Los jóvenes de Macabeos mantuvieron la fidelidad a su fe, a sus tradiciones, a su modo de vida. La fidelidad nos ayuda a crecer más profundamente como persona. Nos ayuda a saber cuándo decir sí y cuándo decir no a una persona, una idea o un proyecto. La fidelidad es como una brújula. Cuando somos infieles, salimos de rumbo y podemos perderse. La fidelidad nos mantiene en el rumbo, nos da la dirección en nuestras vidas. Jesús nos recuerda que la fidelidad a la idea de la resurrección nos mantendrá fieles y en el camino mientras todavía estamos aquí en la tierra. Tanto P. Chaminade y Madre Adela vivieron una vida de fidelidad a su vocación y a su misión. El voto especial de estabilidad une a todos los marianistas a la fidelidad a su vocación y a su consagración a María. La fidelidad es un recordatorio para cada uno de nosotros en cuanto a quiénes somos y quiénes no somos, qué haremos y qué no haremos, para qué debemos elegir y qué no debemos elegir. La fidelidad es el plan para nuestra vida y para nuestras elecciones de vida.
Y por eso pido a los miembros de la Compañía de María y de las Hijas de María Inmaculada que se pongan de pie. Hermana y hermanos, hoy en México honramos y celebramos doscientos años de historia y servicio a la Iglesia en nuestro mundo. Estas tres palabras: Creencia, Sacrificio y Fidelidad nos guiarán para el resto de nuestros días. Al honrar a nuestros fundadores, también honramos nuestra vocación y somos llamados a re-comprometer nuestras vidas a la Familia Marianista. Hoy nos desafían a profundizar en nuestra fe, a sacrificarnos por las necesidades de los demás y a ser fieles a nuestro llamado como religiosos prometidos. Nos animamos a estar orgullosos de nuestra herencia y estar abiertos a nuestro futuro. Que el tema de nuestro Año Bicentenario, Conocer, Amar y Servir guíe nuestros pensamientos, nuestras acciones y nuestras oraciones durante este año. Que seamos testigos de la fe, la esperanza y el amor al Pueblo de Dios. Que vivamos una vida digna de nuestra vocación. Y que el Padre, el Hijo y el Espíritu Santo sean glorificados en todos partes por la Inmaculada Virgen María... Amén

                                                     aleluya celta

Feast of All Saints and All Souls/ Todos Los Santos y Dia de los Muertos

November is a big month here in Mexico.  There were lots of festivities marking All Saints and All Souls Day.  Unlike the US, Halloween is not very big here...yet!  Here are some pics and my texts for both of those feast days.

Altar for our community
Altar in the Center of town dedicated to a musician

Altar dedicated to the deceased museum curator

Feast of All Saints
Good Evening Church! If you want to be holy, say Amen! If you want to be close to Jesus, say Amen! If you want to live your life worthy of your calling, say Amen! Today we celebrate the great feast of All Saints.  Today we are united with all the holy men and women who have gone before us in faith.  These men and women were not perfect, they made mistakes, sometimes they were angry, sometimes they were jealous, sometimes they were mad at God, sometimes they treated other people poorly.  Our saints were also sinners, Amen?  For me, that is the good news of this feast.  The saints were human, just like you and me.  What they offer us today is a way to stay firm on our path to God.  The Saints were dedicated, they believed in their causes, they were open to God, they were open to change in their lives and they knew that God loved them.  We can all be saints, Amen?
The Word of God today gives us some ways in which we can all be saints.  The Book of Revelation talks about being counted among the multitude and giving glory to God.  A saint is not afraid to share his or her faith.  A saint is not afraid to celebrate God publicly.  A saint is one who can withstand times of distress and with honor and gratitude wear the white robes of baptism and be proud of their faith even when others want to persecute them.  Will you be counted among the multitude?  Are you proud of your faith? Will you stand firm even in persecution?  If you can answer yes to these questions, then you too can be counted among the saints!  In the first letter of Saint John, the author reminds us that we are children of God.  We all come from some family.  We share a last name with our parents, but we are first children of God and then children of our parents.  Do you act like a child of God, or do you act like a child? If we act like children of God then the potential and possibilities that are in front of us are limitless.  Acting like a child of God helps us to become saints.  And finally in the Gospel today, Saint Matthew gives us a map of how to live our Christian life.  The map is the Beatitudes.  If we hold firm to these sayings and live poor in spirit, aware of the sadness of the world, meek, seeking justice, mercifully, pure of heart, seeking peace, and proud of our faith, then we too can be saints.  The saints lived the Beatitudes in many different ways.  There is no one way in order to live this life, the saints show us that in the example of their lives, Amen?
So today as we remember people like, St. Benedict, St. Francis, St. Dominic, St. Ignatius, St. John, St. Damien, St. Martin de Porres, St. John Baptist de la Salle, St. Champangnat, Blessed William Joseph Chaminade, St. Scholastica, St. Teresa of the Cross, St. Rose of Lima, St. Angela Merici, St. Terese of the Little Flower, St. Catherine of Sienna, Mother Adela and St. Teresa of Calcutta, we also remember people in our own lives who have been living saints for us.  Friends, family members, members of this community who were strong in faith, lived as children of God and lived the Beatitudes to the best of their abilities.  Today I rejoice in the saints in my own family, my mother, my grandparents, my uncle, my cousins who through the everyday actions of being part of a family showed the love of God in their lives.  I rejoice in members of my Marianist Family who have shown me how to be a good Brother and how to live Marianist life to its fullest, among whom I mention Br. George Dury, Br. Charles Roggemann, Br. Herman Lambers, Br. Charles Wanda, Fr. Richard Knuge, Fr. John McEnhill, Fr. John Mulligan, Fr. Jack McGrath and Fr. Mike Lisbeth. All of these brothers were very different from one another, but they all showed me how to live this life in an authentic way and so modeled for me sainthood.  I rejoice in the lay members of the Marianist Family who have been holy men and women, pointing the way towards God and the kingdom in their lives.  For the members of the Marianist Lay Community in Hollywood, Florida where I was president of the school, to the members of Marianist Life, a program for teenagers in San Antonio, Texas, and the members of the Towel and Basin community in Honolulu, Hawaii who came together to grow deeper in their faith.  I am so privileged in my life to know members of my family, the Society of Mary, and the Lay Marianist Family who have shown me what it means to be a saint.  Who are the people in your lives that are saints for you?  Are you a saint for someone else? Turn to the person next to you and say, “I want to be a saint”
Yes, Church, today is a great day indeed, Amen? Today we celebrate those people in our lives who show us the way to God.  Some of these people are formally recognized by the Church as saints, but perhaps, many more will never be formally recognized by the Church, but they are recognized by each of us as people for whom we can model our lives.  The Church is filled with many saints, Amen? Today let us be the saints that God has called each of us to be, Amen?
Homily Feast of All Souls
And I will raise you up
And I will raise you up
And I will raise you up on the last day

Good evening Church! If you believe in the resurrection, say Amen!  If you believe that Jesus is the Bread of Life, say Amen! If you believe in everlasting life, say Amen!  Yes Church, today we celebrate the great mystery of our faith.  We honor our dead brothers and sisters today, but we do not necessarily mourn for them because if we believe in the resurrection then we know that we will see them again in the next life, Amen? Our faith tells us that even if we mourn, it will not be forever.  Our faith is a faith of hope and joy.  In death, life is changed and not ended.  The dead share in our lives in a different way.  The dead have joined the communion of saints and pray for us while we are still here on earth.  We honor our loved one’s today, members of our family, friends, colleagues, Church community, who have gone before us in faith and are experiencing the everlasting joy of seeing the face of God.  In our homes perhaps we have created an altar for our beloved deceased, this evening we come before the altar of the Lord to pray for, and to remember our deceased in the great prayer of the Church, the celebration of the Eucharist.  And so celebrate, we will, Amen?

The Word of God reminds us that God will watch over us and wipe away our tears as we heard in the prophet Isaiah.  God will provide for all of us, and all nations will come before the mountain of the Lord and God will wipe away tears from all faces and delete the insult from his people.  God will provide a place for us and we will not be left alone.  The God of compassion is with us in death and in life that is good news, Amen?  Paul reminds us that if Jesus died and rose from the dead, then we too as believers will share in the resurrection of Jesus on the last day.  While we may be sad for a while, there is no need to be in despair because the promise of the resurrection is ours.   The Gospel of John provides us with the beautiful imagery of Jesus being the Resurrection and the Life, and the Bread of Life.  Both of these images are very important for us this day.  As we celebrate this day, we pray and hope for the resurrection for ourselves and our loved ones, and we also are reminded that every time we gather to celebrate the Eucharist we proclaim that Jesus is the Bread of Life when we eat the bread and drink the cup.  The Bread that we share in the Eucharist is bread for the life of the world, and we partake of the bread in faith that we too share in the mystery of the resurrection and that we are connected to Jesus and our ancestors in a very real way.  Each time we receive the Eucharist we honor our loved ones who also received the Eucharist while on earth.  This ritual binds and unites us to them.  When we celebrate our faith, we honor our beloved deceased brothers and sister who also lived their faith in their lives.  We hope and pray that we all will share in the resurrection, Amen?
And I will raise you up
And I will raise you up
And I will raise you up on the last day
And so tonight, let us think about the qualities that our deceased shared with us.  What made these people so special to us?  How do we reflect their qualities now in our own lives? And so I am going to name people from our families and lived experiences and I want you to think about the people in your life that fit this category.  Bring them to mind, and think about the gift they were to you and maybe how you take after them in some way.  So, close your eyes and reflect upon the following questions:

And so, if your mother passed away, how was she a gift to you?
If your father passed away, how was he a gift to you?
If an aunt or uncle passed away, how was she or he a gift to you?
If a cousin passed away, how was he or she a gift to you?
If your brother or sister passed away, how was he or she a gift to you?
If your son or daughter passed away, how was he or she a gift to you?
If your friend passed away, how was he or she a gift to you?
If your neighbor passed away, how was he or she a gift to you?
If your coworker passed away, how was he or she a gift to you?
If a member of this Church community passed away, how was he or she a gift to you?
Okay, open your eyes.  If the dead I mentioned have been a gift to you say Amen! Tonight we remember and honor our loved ones.  We pray that they are with God and that they are watching over us and praying for us.  Tonight we are united with them in this Eucharist.  As we share the Bread of Life, we proclaim that Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life and that we will be raised on the last day.  That is Good News, Amen?  And so with great joy and confidence we sing together:
And I will raise you up
And I will raise you up
And I will raise you up on the last day
And let the Church say, Amen!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Fun in the Midwest

What a glorious weekend this past weekend in Dayton, Ohio.  The leaves were changing and the weather was just perfect! We held our annual Directors Meeting at Bergamo.  The Directors from the 37 local Marianist communities gathered for sharing best practices and challenges in exercising leadership in our local communities.  Other time was devoted to some of the mundane that is necessary in running a house, ie, emergency contact, medical information, living wills, budgets and other sources information that assists a director in exercising his leadership. The first night the Novitiate community hosted a great social and the other two nights were hosted in the Bergamo Retreat Center.  As always, it was good to see some Brothers and catch up with the "happenings" of their lives. 

On Saturday morning we all attended the Ordination of Sean Downing, S.M..  The service was held at the UD Chapel and the choir made the ordination an outstanding experience.  The ordaining bishop, Archbishop Gustavo Garcia from San Antonio was so pastoral and caring during the whole time he was with us.  I think he delivered the best ordination homily I've heard in recent years!  Close to 300 people attended the Ordination and the dinner that followed.  Lot's of good food, conversation, and plenty of wine was had by all! The next day, Fr. Sean celebrated a Mass of Thanksgiving with close to 100 people attending.  He did an excellent job in presiding and preaching for the first time as Fr. Sean....there will be many more times and years ahead of him.  It certainly brought me back to my own ordination 17 years ago.  The memories are still priceless!
Ordination Day.  I was one of 40 concelebrants who was able to lay hands on Sean during the Ordination Ritual.  For the welcome to his new role among us as priest in the community, a line of close to 100 Brothers and Priests waited to embrace him and wish him peace during the Sign of was a beautiful moment!

Sean and I at the reception

The Founders of the Marianist Family: Fr. Chaminade, Mother Adele and Marie Terese de Lamorous
This is hanging in the new Chaminade Center on the property of Bergamo

The 3 Founders (puppets) reading their own Biographies!

After my time in Dayton, I flew to St. Louis to go to some doctors appointments and to celebrate Mass on the Feast of Our Lady of the Pillar (Oct 12) at one of our Marianist Sponsored Secondary Schools.  I was invited to preside by my good friend Mallory Green.  She is currently the Director of Campus Ministry at St. Mary's.  I arrived early (7:30am) to hear some Confessions before Mass and then celebrated a festive Eucharist with close to 400 high school boys!  It was great seeing Mallory whom I knew when I lived in Hawaii.  I helped her during her time at St. Louis School by presiding at Masses, hearing Confessions, and helping out on Retreats.  We were part of a Lay Community together.  She is committed to the Marianist Charism and is a breath of fresh was so good to see her again.
Mallory and guess who?

So, I returned back home to Mexico last night.  Today I will hear First Confessions and the weekend will be booked with special Masses for the Feast of Our Lady of the Pillar in one of the colonia (Friday 9pm and Saturday 2pm), and 3 Masses on Sunday.  So, this American will be busy preparing 3 homilies for the next 3 days....God give me strength!

Have a great one!!!

Monday, October 3, 2016

Feast of the Guardian Angels

Yesterday the Society of Mary celebrated the Feast of the Guardian Angels.  This feast is important to us because we consider it our Foundation Day.  Yesterday we celebrated 199 years of existence.  During this coming year we will have various celebrations throughout the year to mark our Bicentennial.  Watch for more posts about the Bicentennial throughout the year!

Meeting of CLAMAR

This past week was very busy for us here in Queretaro.  We had 8 visitors from Latin America here for the annual meeting of the Latin American Superiors (CLAMAR).  The Brothers arrived on Monday at different points during the day.  The following members are Superiors in their country and attended the meeting: Fr. Rodrigo Betancur, S.M. (Columbia), Fr. Andres Tocallini, S.M. (Argentina), Fr. Javier de Aguire, S.M. (new superior of Argentina), Br. Jose Pascual, S.M. (Chile), Br. Doug Roper, S.M. (Peru), Br. Domingo Fuentes, S.M. (Brazil), Br. Javier Anso, S.M. (Cuba), and myself (Mexico).

The days were long and action packed.  We discussed many issues including vocations, formation, educational projects, parishes, the realities of the Church in each of the countries, the Bicentennial, leadership and various other theme's.  The day's began at 7am with Morning Prayer/Mass and Breakfast, followed by meetings until 2pm, the Comida, break, followed by more meetings until Vespers followed by La Cena and a nightly social.  Each night we had a Mexican cultural treat.  Tuesday night members from the Church Choir came to share some songs with us, Wednesday a local Mariachi Band came and played and entertained us, and Thursday we were entertained with Mexican Folk Dance performed by a group of people from the Chapel.  Each participant brought with them some sweets and drinks to share with all of us.  It was a long week, but it was great and our local community all pitched in and helped out tremendously during this time together.  We really shared an international experience of community and fellowship.  On Friday, we took an early bus to make a pilgrimage to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe.  We spent a good 2 hours there exploring all the pilgrimage sites.  After our visit to the Basilica, we had a great meal and then dropped off all the Brothers at the airport in Mexico City so that they could return home to their communities....a bit heavier but content!

Fr. John, Fr. Andres, Br. Domingo, Br. Doug, Fr. Rodrigo, Br. Jose, Fr. Javier, and Br. Javier

Marianist Cross on our Property

An Evening with the Mariachi in our Dining Room

Our Lady of Guadalupe

Mary appears to Juan Diego

Original Basilica

On  Saturday evening, 11 members of the Chapel community made their consecration as Lay Marianists.  An additional 4 members renewed their commitment to grow in the spirituality of the Marianists.  It was a great evening and many of the members were touched and overwhelmed by making this commitment.  This community, Divino Nino, traveled together for the past six months with the assistance of Br. Regulo.  After the Mass we all shared in a great meal together.  On Sunday, I celebrated 2 more Masses....needless to say that I was tired by Sunday night.  Today I was able to get to the gym and work off some of the great food and drinks from our time together. 

Here's my homily from the Marianist Consecration Mass:

Homily for Marianist Consecration

October 1, 2016
Good evening Church!  If you are happy to be here tonight, say Amen! Yes, tonight is a special and important night not only for the men and women who are making their consecration, but also, for those of us who gathered here tonight to witness their consecration.  Their desire to grow deeper in their faith and their vocation as a committed lay person in the Church is an incredible testimony to the importance of faith and the Marianist charism in their lives, Amen?  The Word of God this day offers them, and us, something important to consider in our lives. Three words come to mind when hearing the Word of God this evening: Vision, Passion and Faith.  Repeat after me, Vision, Passion and Faith.  Very good Church, you are learning!
The prophet Habakkuk calls upon the Lord in a time of distress and God tells the prophet, “Write down the vision clearly upon the tablets, so that one can read it readily. For this vision has its time, presses on to fulfillment and will not disappoint, if it delays, wait for it, it will surely come, it will not be late.” So, do you believe that God has a vision for your life? We all know, that God’s timing is not our timing.  Our community members have been preparing for this night for a long time.  Many have been part of this Chapel community for many years, and yet tonight they are making their consecration.  Sometimes the vision needs more time for us to see it clearly, Amen? And the vision will not disappoint.  As you make your consecration tonight, the only way you will be disappointed is if you do not live up to your commitment that you make tonight.  God called you, Mary confirmed this call, now you must live it.  The call will not disappoint if you live this call with joy and freedom.  Tonight you are joining thousands of other men and women throughout the world who for the past two hundred years embraced the vision of Fr. Chaminade and committed themselves to the Blessed Mother in bringing her Son into the world.  The vision is grand and inspiring.  Tonight you are being called to live this vision in a particular way as members of the Divine Child community.  There are many others gathered in this Church who have embraced this similar vision of Fr. Chaminade either as a lay person or as a vowed religious, and the vision did not disappoint, Amen? So, it is important to write down the vision, to remember what captured your heart in the words of Fr. Chaminade and the virtues of the Blessed Mother.  These will guide you on our journey.  And so VISION is crucial to staying on the path.
Saint Paul wrote to Timothy, “I remind you to stir into flame the gift of God that you have through the imposition of my hands.  For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather of power and love and self-control.” In other words, Paul is telling Timothy, be Passionate, set a fire in your heart so that you can have PASSION in sharing your faith.  Passion helps us to not be afraid.  If we are passionate about our lives and our faith, it will be contagious to others.  Often, Fr. Chaminade wanted his first followers to be a contagion in the world.  Fr. Chaminade wanted the early brothers and lay men and women to infect others with a deep and abiding faith.  Fr. Chaminade knew that the only way for others to come to a deeper faith was to witness other people who were passionate about their own faith.  It wasn’t only a matter of the intellect, but a deep and profound faith that resided in an individual and who incorporated both the head and the heart into their faith lives.  You all have learned some things about the Marianist charism, the sayings of Fr. Chaminade, the ways of the Mother of God and that is very important.  But, the way you incorporate these intellectual ideas with a passionate heart is what will attract others to want to make this same commitment that you will make tonight.  All believers must have a fire in their heart.  The fire in your heart will make you passionate about your faith and your commitment.  The fire in your heart will attract others to want to make a similar commitment.  God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but a spirit of power and love and of self-control, Amen?  So PASSION will keep your commitment strong!
And finally, the Gospel reminds us of the importance of FAITH.  The disciples made a very simple request of Jesus, “Increase our faith”.  I am sure everyone in this Chapel has asked the same thing of Jesus at one time or another in our lives, Amen?  And Jesus gives his disciples such an assuring response, “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed you can do great things”.  Now I hope that everyone in this chapel knows how small a mustard seed is.  If you were to put a seed on your finger, it would be so small that you might not be able to see it.  But the thing about mustard seeds is that they may start out small, but one seed could grow into a tree very tall.  So, a mustard seed can be deceiving.  When one looks at the seed, one might think, well what good is that seed, it is so small.  We might think about our own faith in the same way.  We may think about our faith lives and think, well what can I do with my faith, it is so small and I have so many doubts.  What can God do with me?  Well that one small seed can grow to eventually become a sturdy tree.  God can do the same for you and for me.  All we need is a little faith and God will do the rest.  As Mother Teresa once said, “God does not expect us to do big things, God expects us to do small things with great love.” Lord increase our faith.  Well, making a commitment tonight does not mean that you have the greatest and best faith in the Colonia…sorry.  It means that you are taking your mustard seed and allowing God to help you grow into a sturdy and steady man and woman of faith.  With the faith that you have today, God can use you to do more than you ever could have imagined.  When you say yes to God, there are many more possibilities open for your life than you every thought possible.  When I entered the Marianists twenty six years ago, I never thought that I would one day be in a Chapel in Mexico witnessing the consecration of lay men and woman.  With God, all things are possible, Amen? So FAITH will deepen your commitment over the years.

So tonight is about VISION, PASSION, and FAITH.  Does your commitment tonight require you to be perfect from now on?  I doubt it.  But, I do think that your commitment tonight will now give you a specific vision for your life that will help you live a passionate faith that will  honor God and provide a good reason to help your sisters and brothers in need.  Yes my friends, tonight is about you and the consecration that you will make, but it is also about each of us and how we deepen our baptismal call to follow Jesus Christ, Son of God, become Son of Mary, for the salvation of all.  And so, it is good for us to be here, Amen?
                             Homilía para Marianista Consagración
                                    1 de octubre de, el año 2016

Buenas Tardes Iglesia! Si está contento de estar aquí esta noche, decir amén! Sí, esta noche es una noche especial e importante no sólo para los hombres y mujeres que están haciendo su consagración, sino también, para aquellos de nosotros que se reunieron aquí esta noche para presenciar su consagración. Su deseo de crecer más profundamente en su fe y su vocación de laico comprometido en la Iglesia es un testimonio increíble de la importancia de la fe y el carisma marianista en sus vidas, Amén? La Palabra de Dios el día de hoy les ofrece, y nosotros, algo importante a tener en cuenta en nuestras vidas. Tres palabras vienen a la mente al oír la Palabra de Dios esta noche: visión, pasión y fe. Repita después de mí, visión, pasión y fe. Muy buena Iglesia, que están aprendiendo!
El profeta Habacuc pide al Señor en un momento de angustia y Dios le dice al profeta: «Escribe la visión que te he manifestado ponla clara en tabillas para que se pueda leer de corrido. Es todavía una visión de algo lejano, pero que viene corriendo y no fallara.  Si se tarda, espéralo, pues llegara sin falta. "Por lo tanto, es lo que creo que Dios tiene una visión para su vida? Todos sabemos, que el tiempo de Dios no es nuestro tiempo. Nuestros miembros de la comunidad se han estado preparando para esta noche durante mucho tiempo. Muchos han sido parte de esta comunidad de la capilla durante muchos años, y sin embargo, esta noche están haciendo su consagración. A veces, la visión necesita más tiempo para que podamos ver con claridad, Amén? Y la visión no va a defraudar. Como ustedes hacen su consagración esta noche, la única forma en que será decepcionado es que si ustedes no viven hasta su compromiso de que ustedes hagan esta noche. Dios se llama, María confirmó esta llamada, ahora Uds. tienen que comportarse. La llamada no va a defraudar si vive esta llamada con alegría y libertad. Esta noche se están uniendo a miles de hombres y mujeres en todo el mundo que durante los últimos doscientos años abrazó la visión del P. Chaminade y se comprometieron a la María en traer a su Hijo al mundo. La visión es grande e inspirador. Esta noche están siendo llamados a vivir esta visión de una manera particular, como miembros de la comunidad Divino Niño. Hay muchos otros se reunieron en esta Iglesia que han abrazado esta visión similar de P. Chaminade ya sea como laico o como religiosos con votos, y la visión no defraudó, Amén? Por lo tanto, es importante anotar la visión, para recordar lo que capturó su corazón en las palabras del P. Chaminade y las virtudes de María, Madre de Dios. Estos le guíen en el camino. Y así que la visión es crucial para mantenerse en el camino.

San Pablo escribió a Timoteo: "Te recuerdo para agitar el fuego del don de Dios que tiene a través de la imposición de mis manos. Porque no nos ha dado un espíritu de temor, sino de fortaleza, de amor y de moderación." En otras palabras, Pablo está diciendo a Timoteo, ser apasionado, encender un fuego en tu corazón para que pueda tener pasión en compartir su fe. La pasión nos ayuda a no tener miedo. Si nos apasiona nuestra vida y nuestra fe, va a ser contagiosa a otros. A menudo, el P. Chaminade quería que sus primeros seguidores a ser un contagio en el mundo. P. Chaminade quería que los primeros hermanos y laicos, hombres y mujeres para infectar a otras personas con una fe profunda y duradera. P. Chaminade sabía que la única manera para que otros vengan a una fe más profunda fue testigo de otras personas que estaban apasionados de su propia fe. No era sólo una cuestión de la inteligencia, sino una fe intensa y profunda que residía en un individuo y que incorpora tanto la cabeza como el corazón en su vida de fe. Todos ustedes han aprendido algunas cosas sobre el carisma marianista, los dichos de P. Chaminade, las formas de la Madre de Dios y esos son muy importante. Sin embargo, la forma de incorporar estas ideas intelectuales con un corazón apasionado es lo que va a atraer a otros a querer hacer el mismo compromiso que va a hacer esta noche. Todos los creyentes deben tener un fuego en su corazón. El fuego en su corazón le hará un apasionado de su fe y su compromiso. El fuego en su corazón va a atraer a otros a querer hacer un compromiso similar. Dios no nos ha dado un espíritu de temor, sino un espíritu de fortaleza, amor y moderación,  Amén? Así PASIÓN mantendrá su fuerte compromiso!
Y por último, el Evangelio nos recuerda la importancia de la fe. Los discípulos hicieron una petición muy simple de Jesús, "Auméntanos la fe". Estoy seguro de que todos en esta capilla han hecho la misma cosa de Jesús en un momento de nuestras vidas, Amén? Y Jesús da a sus discípulos una respuesta tan tranquilizadora, "Si tuvieron fe, aunque fuera tan pequeña como una semilla de mostaza, podrían hacer grandes cosas.” Ahora espero que todo el mundo en esta capilla saben qué tan pequeña es una semilla de mostaza. Si tuvieran que poner una semilla en su dedo, sería tan pequeña que pueden que no sea capaz de verlo. Pero lo que pasa con las semillas de mostaza es que pueden empezar desde abajo, pero una semilla podría crecer en un árbol muy alto. Por lo tanto, una semilla de mostaza puede ser engañosa. Cuando uno mira a la semilla, se podría pensar, así lo buena que es la semilla, que es tan pequeña. Podríamos pensar en nuestra propia fe de la misma manera. Podemos pensar en nuestra vida de fe y pensar, bueno lo que puedo hacer con mi fe, es tan pequeña y tengo tantas dudas. ¿Qué puede hacer Dios conmigo? Así que una pequeña semilla puede crecer hasta eventualmente convertirse en un árbol robusto. Dios puede hacer lo mismo para ustedes y para mí. Todo lo que necesitamos es un poco de fe y Dios hará el resto. Como dijo una vez que la Madre Teresa, "Dios no espera que hagamos grandes cosas, Dios espera que hagamos cosas pequeñas con gran amor." Señor aumenta nuestra fe. Así, hacer un compromiso de esta noche no significa que ustedes tienen la mayor y mejor fe en la Colonia... lo siento. Esto significa que ustedes están tomando su semilla de mostaza y permitir a Dios que les ayudará a convertirse en un hombre y una mujer de fe robusta y estable. Con la fe que tenemos hoy en día, Dios puede usar para hacer más de lo que jamás podría haber imaginado. Cuando nosotros dicimos sí a Dios, hay muchas más posibilidades abiertas para nuestra vida de lo que cada pensamiento sea posible. Cuando yo entré en los Marianistas hace veintiséis años, nunca pensé que iba a ser un día en una capilla en México testigo de la consagración de hombres y mujeres laicos. Con Dios, todo es posible, Amén? Así que la fe va a profundizar sus compromisos a lo largo de los años.

Así que esta noche se trata de visión, pasión y fe. ¿Sus compromisos esta noche requieran un buen estado perfecto de ahora en adelante? Lo dudo. Pero, yo creo que sus compromisos esta noche ahora les darán una visión específica para sus vidas que le ayudarán a vivir una fe apasionada que honrarán a Dios y dar una buena razón para ayudar a sus hermanos y hermanas en necesidad. Sí mis amigos, esta noche es sobre de ustedes y la consagración que van a hacer, pero también se trata de cada uno de nosotros y cómo profundizar nuestro llamado bautismal de seguir a Jesucristo, Hijo de Dios, convertido en Hijo de María, para la salvación de todos . Y así, es bueno para nosotros que estemos  aquí, Amén?

Monday, September 26, 2016

Perpetual Vows

What a weekend! I really enjoyed myself during my stay in St. Louis for the Perpetual Vows of our Brothers, Brandon Paluch, S.M., and Michael Chiuri, S.M. 

I arrived on Thursday afternoon and my good friend Br. Jesse was waiting for me in the airport.  We went to the car rental center to pick up the car and made our way to Maryland Ave.  There were a good 10 of us staying at this community for the weekend festivities so the house was full!  We had Mass and Dinner on Thursday evening and shared in many laughs and stories throughout the dinner.  After dinner, Jesse and I walked to a local bar known for its vodka drinks.  It was called Sub Zero because on the bar itself was a sheet of ice to keep your drinks cold! Well, lets just say that the martini's were great....and cold!

The next day, we did some site seeing and had lunch out.  In the early evening there was a get together at the community where I lived two years ago.  There were probably close to 75 people there.  It was great to catch up with some, and meet others for the first time.  It was a great testimony to Brandon and Michael about how many people care enough about them to travel to St. Louis to witness their Final Profession. 

Saturday morning, I woke up early, went to a WW meeting and weighed in.  I'm on track!! Now the WW scale is different from my home scale, so I had to make some mental adjustments to the number in front of me, but it will all work out in the end.  When I returned, I ran for 3 miles in Forest Park, showered and headed to the Perpetual Vow Ceremony at Our Lady of the Pillar Church.  I was fortunate enough to be with some great friends during the ceremony and after.  There were probably a good 250 people in Church and 68 of those people were members of the community.  The ritual was beautiful, and there were many tears shed by many in the congregation.  I was so happy to be part of this day and so happy to be a Marianist.  After the Mass, we had a reception at Chaminade Prep and we were treated to some great food and drinks!  After the festivities, we all went home, took a nap to get ready for round 2 in the community later that evening.  So much food and drink...I was glad I weighed in on Saturday morning!
Fr. Dave, Fr. John, Br. Jesse
Vow Class 92

Br. Michael, Fr. John, Br. Brandon

I made it back safely yesterday afternoon and presided at the 6pm Mass in the Colonia.  Today we are gearing up for a big meeting that we are hosting here in Queretaro.  It is the meeting of the superiors of the Latin American Marianists (CLAMAR).  In attendance will be Brothers from Argentina, Peru, Chile, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba and Mexico. You might remember that I attended this same meeting last year in Bogota around the same time.  I will definitely fill you in at the end of the week about our time together.   It will be a fun, but busy week!

Here is my homily from this past Sunday

Homily September 25, 2016

Good evening Church! So here we are on another Sunday, and the Word of God continues to challenge us to care for the needs of others, Amen? As a people of faith we are all called to be mindful of the needs of others, especially the poor. And yet, sometimes we can forget that caring for the poor is not just an option for people of faith, but it is a demand an imperative from Jesus.  When we think about the needs of others, it helps us to not focus on all of our own problems and helps us to realize that although each of us may have problems, that there are always people who have more problems than we do.  Sometimes the poor can almost become invisible to us if we do not go out of our way to look at the poor in the same way Jesus looks at them.  We must be vigilant in caring for the poor and not be complacent.  Complacency is probably the worst sin for Christians, because complacency allows us to sit back and let things happen.  We may know that what is happening is wrong, but when we are complacent it is difficult to move into action, and as disciples of Jesus we are supposed to be men and women of action, Amen?

The prophet Amos warned the rich of his time to get off the couch, to stop focusing on wealth and acquiring more material goods, to stop making a show of having the best while there are people who suffer and who do with far less. The prophet warns us that when we are caught up in acquiring more riches, we forget the poor in our presence and forget how to act as a community.  Wealth is not bad, but wealth can prevent us from opening up our eyes to the reality of other people.  When we no longer see the reality of those around us, we have forgotten that we are a community called to help one another, especially those in most dire need.  The prophet warns the people, and he warns us today, not to be complacent in our care for one another.

Saint Paul implores Timothy to purse righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience and gentleness.  Not once does Paul mention money or material things.  Money cannot buy devotion, faith, love, and patience.  These things are priceless in the eyes of Paul.  How often do we ask our children what they want to be when they grow up? Or, what they may want to study at the university so that they may have a good career? Yes, these are important things, but not the most important.  For those of you who are parents, have you asked your children to pursue devotion, faith, love, patience as the most important thing in life, or do you want to know how much money they will make in the future?  As I have said in the past, money will come and go, but a strong relationship with Jesus Christ is eternal.  And that strong relationship helps inform our future decisions in life.  A Christian does not ask the question do I do this?  A Christian asks the question, Should I do this? Our faith should inform our decision, Amen?

The Gospel of Luke is often referred to the Gospel of the Poor.  Over and over again, Luke writes about the importance of the community caring for the needs of the poor.  Today, the parable of Lazarus and the rich man reinforces the importance of caring for the needs of the poor.  This parable reinforces the idea that sometimes we can be blind to the reality around us.  Lazarus was at the doorstep of the rich man each day.  The rich man did not see Lazarus as a person, only as a beggar.  God sees each of us for who we are.  The rich man did not see Lazarus with the eyes of God, he only saw him as a nuisance. The rich man was more interested in the finest of food, clothes and appearances.  Each time he held a banquet, the rich man ignored the cries of Lazarus.  The rich man did not notice Lazarus in the same way that God noticed Lazarus.  Not only did God notice Lazarus, but he cared for him in the next world.  The rich man could not enjoy eternity because he did not do the things he was supposed to do for the poor in this life.  These words are very challenging! Each of us must ask ourselves the question, How have I treated the poor? How have I treated those in need?  Do I ignore people who need my help? Am I complacent in my discipleship? Am I blind to the reality of those around me? If God were to take me today, would I be enjoying the joys of eternity, or would I be suffering like the rich man in our story?  See, we did have someone who came back from the dead to tell us how we should act. Do we act in the way that Jesus would want us to act? 

So, today is about action.  From moving from complacency to action.  Today is about caring for the needs of the poor and focusing less on money and fame and more on doing things for those around us.  It is easy to sometimes be so caught up in our own lives and problems that we forget that we are responsible to care for those who are less fortunate than us.  Today we are reminded that we must do both.  We must care for ourselves and the needs of our family, but we must also care for the needs of the poor.  This is not optional.  This is not extra.  This is what it means to be a Christian.  As Scripture states, How can you say that you love God whom you cannot see and yet do not love your sister and brother whom you can see.  Today we are reminded to open our eyes and see those around us who need our help.  The Word of God today is a call to action.  Are you ready to be the hands of Christ in our world? Jesus needs you.  Will you work for him this day? Turn to the person next to you and say, I will work for Jesus today…Amen?

                                        Homilía 25  de septiembre

Buenas Tardes Iglesia! Así que aquí estamos en otro domingo, y la Palabra de Dios continúa desafiándonos para el cuidado de las necesidades de los demás, Amén? Como un pueblo de fe que todos estamos llamados a ser conscientes de las necesidades de los demás, especialmente a los pobres. Y, sin embargo, a veces nos podemos olvidar que el cuidado de los pobres no es sólo una opción para las personas de fe, pero es una demanda de un imperativo de Jesús. Cuando pensamos en las necesidades de los demás, nos ayuda a no centrarse en todos nuestros propios problemas y nos hace entender que, aunque cada uno de nosotros puede tener problemas, que siempre hay personas que tienen más problemas que nosotros. A veces los pobres pueden llegar a ser casi invisible para nosotros si no nos salimos de nuestra manera de mirar a los pobres de la misma manera en que Jesús los mira. Debemos ser vigilantes en el cuidado de los pobres y no ser complaciente. La complacencia es probablemente el peor pecado para los cristianos, porque la complacencia nos permite sentarse y dejar que las cosas sucedan. Podemos saber que lo que está sucediendo es malo, pero cuando estamos satisfechos es difícil pasar a la acción, y como discípulos de Jesús se supone que debemos ser hombres y mujeres de acción, Amén?

El profeta Amós advirtió a los ricos de su tiempo a levantarse del sofá, dejar de centrarse en la riqueza y la adquisición de bienes materiales, que dejar de hacer un espectáculo de tener el mejor mientras que hay personas que sufren y que lo hacen con mucho menos. El profeta nos advierte que cuando estamos atrapados en la adquisición de más riquezas, nos olvidamos de los pobres en nuestra presencia y olvidar cómo actuar como una comunidad. La riqueza no es mala, pero la riqueza puede evitar que la apertura de los ojos a la realidad de otras personas. Cuando ya no vemos la realidad de los que nos rodean, nos hemos olvidado que somos una comunidad llamada a ayudarse unos a otros, especialmente a las más extremas necesidades. El profeta advierte al pueblo, y él nos advierte hoy, no ser complacientes en la consideración de los otros.

San Pablo a Timoteo que implora monedero justicia, la piedad, la fe, el amor, la paciencia y la dulzura. Ni una sola vez menciona Pablo dinero o cosas materiales. El dinero no puede comprar la devoción, la fe, el amor y la paciencia. Estas cosas no tienen precio a los ojos de Pablo ¿Cuántas veces nos preguntamos a nuestros hijos lo que quieren ser cuando crezcan? O, lo que es posible que quieran estudiar en la universidad para que puedan tener una buena carrera? Sí, estas son las cosas importantes, pero no el más importante. Para aquellos de ustedes que son padres, ¿ha pedido a sus hijos a seguir la devoción, la fe, el amor, la paciencia como la cosa más importante en la vida, o quieres saber cuánto dinero van a hacer en el futuro? Como ya he dicho en el pasado, el dinero va a ir y venir, pero una fuerte relación con Jesucristo es eterno. Y que la fuerte relación a las decisiones de futuro en la vida. Un cristiano no pide la pregunta qué hago esto? Un cristiano hace la pregunta: ¿Debo hacer esto? Nuestra fe debe informar a nuestra decisión, Amén?

El Evangelio de Lucas se refiere a menudo el Evangelio de los pobres. Una y otra vez, Lucas escribe sobre la importancia del cuidado de la comunidad para las necesidades de los pobres. Hoy en día, la parábola de Lázaro y el hombre rico refuerza la importancia del cuidado de las necesidades de los pobres. Esta parábola refuerza la idea de que a veces podemos ser ciegos a la realidad que nos rodea. Lázaro estaba en la puerta del hombre rico cada día. El rico no vio a Lázaro como persona, sólo como un mendigo. Dios ve cada uno de nosotros por lo que somos. El rico no vio a Lázaro con los ojos de Dios, él sólo lo veía como una molestia. El hombre rico estaba más interesado en el mejor de los alimentos, la ropa y las apariencias. Cada vez que él llevó a cabo un banquete, el rico se hizo caso omiso de los gritos de Lázaro. El rico no se dio cuenta a Lázaro de la misma manera que Dios se dio cuenta de Lázaro. No solo Dios cuenta Lázaro, pero él se preocupaba por él en el otro mundo. El hombre rico no podría disfrutar de la eternidad porque no hacer las cosas que se supone que debe hacer por los pobres en esta vida. Estas palabras son muy difíciles! Cada uno de nosotros debe preguntarse la pregunta, ¿Cómo he tratado a los pobres? ¿Cómo he tratado a los necesitados? Hago caso de las personas que necesitan mi ayuda? ¿Estoy complaciente en mi discipulado? ¿Estoy ciego a la realidad de los que me rodean? Si Dios me llevará hoy, ¿estaría disfrutando de los placeres de la eternidad, o iba a estar sufriendo como el rico de nuestra historia? Véase, tuvimos que alguien que regresó de entre los muertos para decirnos cómo debemos actuar. Por qué actuamos de la manera que Jesús querría que actuar?

Por lo tanto, hoy en día se trata de una acción. De pasar de la complacencia a la acción. Hoy se trata de atender a las necesidades de los pobres y centrarse menos en el dinero y la fama, y ​​más en hacer las cosas para los que nos rodean. Es fácil ser atrapado por lo que a veces hasta en nuestra propia vida y los problemas que nos olvidamos de que somos responsables de cuidar a aquellos que son menos afortunados que nosotros. Hoy se nos recuerda que tenemos que hacer las dos cosas. Hay que cuidar de nosotros mismos y de las necesidades de nuestra familia, pero también hay que cuidar de las necesidades de los pobres. Esto no es opcional. Esto no es extra. Esto es lo que significa ser un cristiano. Como dice la Escritura, ¿Cómo puedes decir que amas a Dios a quien no puede ver y sin embargo no ama a su hermana y hermano, a quien se puede ver. Hoy se nos recuerda que abrir los ojos y ver los que nos rodean que necesitan nuestra ayuda. La Palabra de Dios hoy es una llamada a la acción. ¿Estás listo para ser las manos de Cristo en nuestro mundo? Jesús te necesita. Va a trabajar para él el día de hoy? Vuelvo a la persona a tu lado y decir, voy a trabajar para Jesús hoy ... Amén?