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Mar 202017
 

I feel the Lord wants to put in us a longing, a desire to meet with him on the final day. This day in which we will look into His eyes, embrace Him and we will meet Him face to face. It is this certainty that gives us the Easter Vigil.

I have good news for you: Jesus is risen! Hallelujah! He proclaimed the eternity and the glory of the world without end. Christ the Lord protect us and save us.

To start the celebration of the Easter Vigil it was was dark. The Paschal Candle was lit and the light of Christ was coming among us. That little light was coming in and gradually we were lighting our candles and passing to each other the flame of resurrection. However small the flame may seem, it is enough, because it spreads the announcement that we proclaim with all our strength.

Amid all death there is a seed of resurrection. The light is Christ among His people.

We hear the proclamation of Easter, readings, psalms and were involved in every proclamation, all of which prepared us to the corner of the “Glory.” The altar consisted of candles, cross, towels and flowers. Everything was well rehearsed, well trained so that you realize that the silence was broken by the sound of the resurrection.

Our God is risen. He lives among us. Everything changed. Perhaps, today, in many places you still find a tomb closed by a stone, where there is still death, violence, corruption and defeat. What is the stone which is still in your life and prevents you from experiencing the miracle? What prevents you from resurrecting?

Those women got up early to perfume the Lord’s body. On the way, they probably questioned who would roll the stone for them. And we also ask ourselves, “Who will roll the stone?”. We need to take a step further through our faith.

Jesus was still in the tomb, but they wanted to see Him. If we do not have the courage to take a step, nothing will happen. We still need to continue to be in darkness and dawn, as did those women; otherwise, we will not see God’s surprises. When they got there, the stone had been removed. The obstacle that prevented had been removed.

We also found the stones of despair, the culture of death, depression and despondency in our way, but we need to step towards the Lord. Even without knowing how to roll away the stone, we can not stop. Do not think of the size or the weight of the stone, do not say it’s impossible, because the one rolls the stone is God Himself. He wants to get you out of the condition of death of anguish and sorrow, He wants you to rise again with Him.

The first surprise was that those women found the stone rolled away from the place. The second surprise was to see that Jesus was no longer there, he had risen. Like these women, go after the Lord and be surprised by Him!

Faithful participate in the Easter Vigil in the New Song

Only those who put themselves on the path experience the wonders of the Lord. Where is the place of your encounter with God? Return your heart to this place.

We heard in the readings that these people who would be freed from Egypt began to complain. They were slaves, so why complain if they were being delivered? Because, unfortunately, we tend to become accustom to our situation. It is easier not to believe and stand still because we are afraid of what the Lord will ask us. We prefer the realism of the least to the promise of the greatest. God is not only for us  the first experience you lived with him, there is much more to experience. Let us revive our faith.

Preferring the least to the promise of more produces in us a process of corruption. When the resurrection does not get us out of our complacency two terrible things are produced: mediocrity and lukewarmness. So God makes a move in today’s liturgy, He does not want us standing but rather moving forward. He wants to surprise us.

Consider yourself dead to sin and alive to God from tonight. Imagine when the disciples went to Galilee and encountered the risen Jesus, with His glorious body. Here the disciples receive the certainty that there was no more death, it was conquered and and we are sure that there is a place that awaits us, where there is no pain or crying, where God will be all in us. Where there will be full joy, no more emptiness. It will be a time of praise in the full. I look forward to it!

We can not lose the first fervor, the first love. God wants to reveal to us heaven, eternal life. I know you want to know the embrace of the Risen Christ in a very concrete way, the same embrace that the disciples received. And the Lord himself wants to give you that hug. Do you want to live for God? just offer more to your soul, for God has more miracles for you.

Original Transcription and adaptation: Rogéria Nair

Portuguese Version

 Posted by at 01:01
Mar 172017
 

Saint Peter's Square from the dome

By valyag (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons

Through faith and the Sacraments we become members of Our Lord’s Body.

“In that Body the life of Christ is poured into the believers who, through the sacraments, are united in a hidden and real way to Christ who suffered and was glorified” (Lumen Gentium # 7).

That is the reason why each and every Baptized Christian is called to “conforming with” the Christ (NT. From the Latin conformare = com/like, with, according to + formare/to form); that means taking the same shape of, being similar or identical to the Christ in suffering and in glory. Like Saint Paul told Saint Timothy:

“This saying is trustworthy: if we have died with him we shall also live with him; if we persevere we shall also reign with him” (The Second Letter to Timothy 2, 11-12).

The Popes of the Church have always affirmed: “Christianus alter Christus”, which means that  “a Christian is another Christ”, precisely because he is a member of Christ’s Body and he lives in His Spirit. Saint Paul actually felt he was a member of the Christ and affirmed:

“Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his body, which is the church” (The Letter to the Colossians 1, 24).

Saint Paul Apostle also reveals his perfect identification with the Christ-Head of the Church in his Letter to the Galatians:

“Yet I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me; insofar as I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who has loved me and given himself up for me” (The Letter to the Galatians 2, 20).

Saint Paul also reveals his perfect communion with the Christ in his Letter to the Philippians:

“My eager expectation and hope is that I shall not be put to shame in any way, but that with all boldness, now as always, Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me life is Christ, and death is gain” (The Letter to the Philippians 1, 20 21).

Paul wanted the Philippians to share the same feeling of belonging to the Body of the Christ:

“Have among yourselves the same attitude that is also yours in Christ Jesus”(The Letter to the Philippians 2, 5).

In other words, he wanted the members of the Body to act in accordance with their Head.

“Complete my joy be being of the same mind, with the same love, united in heart, thinking one thing” (The Letter to the Philippians 2, 3).

The ultimate goal of each and every member of the Body is to be in total conformity with the Head:

“He is the head of the body, the church” (The Letter to the Colossians 1, 18).

We have been inserted in the Mystery of His Life to achieve that goal:

“My children, for whom I am in labor until Christ be formed in you” (The Letter to the Galatians 4, 19).

The Church is “just one Body” and therefore its greatest need is unity. Christ and the Apostles have repeatedly pointed at that fact. During the Last Supper Jesus prays His Father before His Passion:

“Holy Father, keep them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one just as we are” (John 17, 11).

Prof Felipe Aquino

Professor Felipe Aquino is a widower, father of five children. On TV Canção Nova he presents the program “Escola da Fé” [School of faith] and “Pergunte e Responderemos” [Ask and respond], on Radio he presents the program “in the heart of the Church”. On weekends he preaches deepening meetings throughout Brazil and abroad. He wrote 73 books of Catholic background by publishers, Loyola and Cleopas and Canção Nova. His teacher’s page:www.cleofas.com.br Twitter: @pfelipeaquino

 Posted by at 01:01
Mar 162017
 

Brooklyn Museum - The Pharisees and the Saduccees Come to Tempt Jesus (Les pharisiens et les saducéens viennent pour tenter Jésus) - James Tissot - overallThe heart full of evil is far from God! If we want to be less Pharisees in life, we need to approach God and stop being gossips!

“These people honor me with their lips, but their heart is far from me” (Mark 7: 6).

Dear brothers and sisters, the Pharisees are upset because Jesus and His disciples eat and drink without washing hands. We know that by an oral tradition that we receive from others, which passed from person to person, the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands without washing cups, pots, copper pots and all the utensils for power; and that there is an excess of rigor to wash their hands and so on.

It exists today in our midst, many people who have an excess of careful cleaning. We all need to be clean, hygienic, but be careful because the excesses seem an obsession! And the obsession with cleanliness is something very terrible because one sees dirt everywhere; for all the places that she looks, it seems there is dirt. And it will create within itself prejudices and misconceptions, she distrusts the cleaning of any glass in any dish.

The Pharisees, described in today’s Gospel, do it with a certain amount of evil. You know those people who do not speak, but think [something against someone]? You know those people who sometimes greet you and always look suspicious, wanting to tell you this or that? Judging you, interpreting according to their concepts and prejudices.

We often do it too! And that risk and danger of being rejected by God, because we honor Him with our lips, praise Him, glorify Him, and bless, then stretch our hands and our tongues to receive the Eucharist, but often our hearts is far from him!

We can not deny it, but even among us, Jesus’ followers, how many times do we let evil grow within us! Evil against others, against situations; we can only look at things from the perspective of evil. So we know that slander is born, accusations, but above all gossip.

Gossip is something for people who have questionable character. It is for those who have no courage or willingness to say what needs to be spoken or are silent when it is necessary. This person is lives creating situations to talk about this or that. Of gossip is born the greatest evils is born misinterpretations, born the labels we play with and create on people. It is no distant comparison, but is very close for helping us to understand that self-righteousnessness leads to gossip. Are the Pharisees who think Jesus. The gossips today think Jesus in another way: they do through their children, siblings, followers and disciples of Him.

So if we want to be less the Pharisees in life, we must not give in to gossips: we need to stop being gossips! And we can not allow this evil, which is called “gossip” or “slander”, a part of our life.

Jesus loved and welcomed everyone, the worst sinners, according to our concepts, but had no way to host the Pharisee who was full of malice or who was gossiping maliciously.

May God purify our hearts! Do not just honor Him with your lips, because our heart is full of evil. This purification is from the Lord.

God bless you!

Father Roger Araujo
Priest of the New Song Community, journalist and member of the New Song Portal team.

Portuguese Version

https://www.facebook.com/rogeraraujo.cn

Mar 152017
 

25966158172_e25222d9c2_zWe can lose the battles, but the war was won. Christ is alive and resurrected, is in the midst of us to lift our spirits and confidence

The angels said, “Woman, why are you weeping?”. She replied: “They have taken my Lord and I don’t know where they put him” (John 20.13).

Mary Magdalene went to the Tomb early in the morning to be at the side of the Lord, but when she got there, she did not find his body, the tomb was empty. She started crying compulsively, even angels who were present were giving her the first consolation: “why are you crying?”.

In our life we often encounter situations where we weep for sadness and disappointment, because something is not right within us. We cry due to losses and troubles; we cry because we put our hope where it failed because we lost someone very dear or because we received bad news.

There are those for whom the tears flow from their eyes, and also those who, perhaps, don’t let them fall, but are crying on the inside. There is a cry that is sadness, longing, need and comfort.

A very important thing: the risen Christ comes to wipe away all our tears and to lead us toask ourselves: “why cry? Why are you sad and discouraged? Why is my soul so upset? “. We need to answer why.

Mary said she was crying because her Lord had been stolen, He was not there. And why do we cry? Why does the sadness comes knocking on our door? We need to put it out, vent it and let the reasons that grieve our hearts and make us cry in life out of us .

Jesus is alive and risen. He is the solace of our soul and our hearts! We can lose the battles, but the war was won and Christ is alive and resurrected, He is in the midst of us to lift our mood, our confidence and doesn’t allow us to lose hope, whatever the situation, whatever the tribulation or anguish that we spent in this life.

Do not be discouraged, don’t give your soul to discouragement and despair, don’t give your heart to failure. Our ultimate victory has already been proclaimed and is among us! So if you have 1000 reasons to be sad, we have a single one that lightens our souls and our hearts definitely.

Be the consolation of mourners, the mood of those who are discouraged, the hope of those who are lost. Bear witness that Christ is alive, witness the one who met with him and that made all the difference in your life. Don’t bring discouragement, despair, do not create panic among the people. Do not use the expression “there’s no way!” There is a way, because, to death that seemed have no way out, Christ brought to life.

When a situation in life appears totally hopeless, sow the seed of resurrection.For even what appears worse and greater than is the Calvary, will sprout new life!

God bless you!

Fr. Roger Araujo

Portuguese version

 Posted by at 01:01
Mar 142017
 

“We are useless servants; We did what we had to do ” (Luke 17, 10).

19778287871_8dccee02d2_zThere is a mercantilist mentality that often guides human actions and is present even in the way we relate to God.

We want to be rewarded, we want you to give us a return, because we work for him, because He is served, because we went to church and because we seek to be good and generous.

Kindness is a reward; be good, be in God, it’s a sublime grace. We can’t do things with the expectation of receiving something in return. Some people want to do trade with God: ‘ I can do it, if God gives me that. I’m going to commit, because God will give me that! ‘.

God already gives to us, it’s sublime in His generosity toward us. He was the one who gave us life, He allows us to live every day if we are moved by humility, God gives us the grace more sublime to savor his presence in every thing, in every situation in which we live. It can be in the pain, the suffering, the tribulations, the difficulties and the things that don’t work out.

We can’t have the mentality, the thought that we will be free from this and that, that we’re not going to have disease, that we will no experience difficulties, because we serve the God. Sometimes, you spend the whole time serving him, but, when it comes to a painful point that passes by or some tribulation and hardship, we turn to God and say, “Lord, I serve my whole life, I’ve always been at your disposal, I’ve always been faithful to you. And this is what I get in return? Is that what you give me? “.

Some talk as if God sent us a punishment, an ordeal, a deprivation; as if he was taking all from us. Even if the Lord allows us to go through any trouble in this life, it is an opportunity to say to ourselves that we don’t serve to God for what he gives us.

We serve the Lord for what he is: always good, always Father and always grace! We don’t have anything, however, we’re not going to expect retribution from God for having nothing to offer, but we can be thankful from the heart, to be his children, everything else is extra.

What is essential is that we are children of God and we need to live as such: live the grace to serve with dedication and commitment; not to be moved by the mentality that we need to be compensated by God.

God is good and completely good! May He bless you!

Fr. Roger Araujo

Canção Nova [New Song] community priest, journalist and collaborator of the Canção Nova Portal.

Portuguese version

 Posted by at 01:01
Mar 132017
 

Brooklyn Museum - The Sower (Le semeur) - James Tissot - overall

“The sower went out to sow the Word of God” (Mark 4: 3).

Dear Brothers and Sisters in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, we have heard many times the Parable of the Sower, and every time it is addressed to us, it is a reminder, to understand how the Kingdom of God is happening among us.

First, the sower is every man, every woman, every apostle and all those who do as Jesus did: throwing the seeds in the Kingdom of God among mankind. The sower is one that spreads the Word of God, in every way and in every way, proclaiming, singing, preaching, tweeting, copying and passing to others the seed of the Gospel.

Who receives, through a text or even an audio, the daily homily, the daily liturgy, the Word, the Gospel! It’s our way of the spreading the [Word of God] seed, throwing it on social networks, talking about it to others in our work, in our commitments, our obligations; gathering together in Bible circles, meeting our in our home and in our families to be sowers of the Word.

You and I can not omit ourselves, we are called by God to be sowers of His Word in the heart of humanity, within our family, the people who are with us in our work and wherever we are. The apostle of Jesus does not rest, he is a walking sower, through which he plays the good seed!

We are powered by the seed of the Word of God, move and sown in our hearts, we have to persevere because the Word has three enemies that need to be fought for it to have power and effectiveness in our hearts and in our lives.

The first enemy of the Word is called: distraction We are very distracted, we heard the Word, we find it beautiful, beautiful, but the distraction comes and takes away what we hear, what has been sown in our hearts.. We often travel, mentally speaking, we are concerned about this and that and the power of the Word does not grow on us because we let the enemy, called “distraction”, take the Word in our hearts.

The second enemy of God’s Word is called: inconstancy; which means lack of patience, lack of consistency, regularity. We are very moved by the waves of time; now we are excited about it, pray with it, but there come other things and situations and now we have to fall for them. We do not have deep roots, we do not know how to persevere in what we started.Sometimes we order, “Oh, I’ll read the Word of God every day!” However, the first thing that appears and we leave left this commitment aside.

The third enemy of the Word is called: a concern; the worries of life, the illusion with wealth, with so many worldly desires, worldly, which choke the power of the Word of God in us. When we do not give our concerns to care of our relation with God and our affection for Him, they choke our lives. The Word of God may look pretty, but it will not grow in us if we let ourselves take the concerns and the excesses of life and the world.

Who listens carefully to the Word of God with joyfulness and allows it to grow and be fruitful, that yes, bears fruit; thirty, a hundred, no matter the amount, the most important is that it will bear fruit in our lives!

God bless you!

Fr. Roger Araujo

Portuguese Version

 Posted by at 01:01
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