capa-blog copy
Apr 162017
 

098 Sanok, Diacons preparing to light the Christ candle prior to Easter Vigil mass, 2010.JPG
(photo: By SilarOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link)

I don’t know if you heard that a war almost happened this weekend. I am not being sarcastic, the reality is that what I just said is true. It seems that according to online reports linked to Drudge several English language publications indicated that North Korea showed off its latest submarine nuclear ballistic missile, but the Chinese news service mistranslated it and reported to the Chinese that North Korea fired off its latest submarine nuclear ballistic missile.

Obviously, if people did not catch the error that could have started a war or drawn us closer to war. It seems that we are kind of living the Cuban Missile Crisis in another form. At the same time, this is Easter weekend and it is the time we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

It would seem that those two events are not related, but they are very related. Why are we living in a time where people especially in Asia are on edge? Why is there concern that a situation could go out of control quite quickly which the Chinese have warned repeatedly? The answer is simple, we are a race of beings that no matter how hard we try, we cannot build a world that is permanently at peace. To use a phrase that to the apostles would be completely unknown, but is clearly in accords with Church teaching, our inability to build the perfect world is not in our DNA.

We know that Jesus died to save us from our sins, but his death is meaningless without his resurrection. If Jesus did not resurrect from the dead then He is nothing more than an Aramaic speaking version of Socrates. However, since he raised from the dead, He has demonstrated to us who He is, in contrast to who we are and invites to be on the road that leads us to be more like Him into eternal life.

The other option is to be his polar opposite which is not Satan, for Satan is not human. In fact, his polar opposite has appeared many times in different forms.

One of my favorite folk tunes is Jack Hardy’s Ragman which you can find on Youtube where he talks about the different vicious leaders that have appeared over the years who have created great destruction throughout history especially the Twentieth Century. We can think of our own Ragmen the obvious ones from the Twentieth Century are of course Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pinochet and, of course, the entire family line of North Korean Dictators. If they exist for any reason, it is to remind us that such evil is a potential within every one of us, in one form or another. That is because the ability tDNA Furcheno be perfect and build a perfect world is not in our DNA but to do things that hurt and destroy is.

Jesus’ resurrection is a call to us to recognize who we are and to make a choice whether we will follow the prince of peace into eternal life or try to solve our own problems here. But we do not have the right DNA to succeed without Christ who does.

This is why this Sunday is not just a liturgical feast that is the height of the entire liturgical year. It is celebration that leads us to confront the question to our very being which path do we want to follow: The one that is led into resurrection by the true prince of peace or the one built on the false notion that he is a myth and we can solve our own problems.

I learned many years ago as a sailor in the Navy, which, let’s face it, is still the most powerful Navy in the world, that it is Christ who is the one to follow for as St. Peter says in John 6, he is the only who has the words of eternal life.

In fact, when we look at the history of the world, Jesus is God, He is the Son of God, but when He died on that cross the whole world was not on edge. Indeed the whole world yawned, because the world did not know him and all that he promises. Meanwhile about a hundred years ago a horrible war started to come to an end. It began three years earlier because a man was shot after his driver took a wrong turn and ended up on the wrong street. That man was Archduke Ferdinand. Whole nations collapsed and the world never was the same after that driver innocently took a wrong turn.

In whom do you put your hopes? Do you put it in those who do not get that they do not have the DNA to build a perfect world, to solve the world’s problems? Or do you put in the one who by resurrecting from the dead promised us eternal life in a kingdom where that DNA would be repaired? It is your choice.

Not only is it your choice, but you have been called agents of that kingdom to lead others to see the truth.

When I was a teenager, my friend and I went to some show at the Hynes Convention Center, it may have been the fishing and camping show. Outside there was a man who had a pin on a table and a ball suspended from a line in front of the pin. The man invited us for maybe a dollar to use the ball and move make it swing around the pin so that on the return swing, it would knock over the pin. He demonstrated it and it worked every time. When we did it, it failed and he took our money. Well, we later learned in physics class that the man was a scam artist. He used a magnet to fool us when he demonstrated it, but in reality without the magnet it was literally a physical impossibility. We did not know enough science to understand it. We later learned the truth in high school physics class.

Jesus’ resurrection is a reminder of the same mission in reality. To believe we can build the perfect world is to be like myself and my friend who believed we could make the ball knock over the pin on the return swing. It looks possible, but it is impossible. When we put our trust in Christ the resurrected one, we can see the true way to build the perfect world and it begins by following Him, because after all he alone came back to show us the way.

A Blessed Easter,

Fr.Robert J Carr

Fr. Carr is member of the Segundo Elo  of the Canção Nova Community. He is the pastor of Holy Trinity Quincy, MA and is the editor of this blog. He is the author of several books, blogs and hundreds of videos all of which you may find on Youtube You can follow him on twitter as @frbobcarr and on Google plus as+FrRobertCarr, his website is Carrbooks.com Thoughts, comments on the homily? Let us know at Facebook

 Posted by at 01:01
Apr 142017
 
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

Vatican Council II teaches us that the Kingdom of God is identified with the Church.

The Church “receives the mission to proclaim and to spread among all peoples the Kingdom of Christ and of God and to be, on earth, the initial budding forth of that kingdom” (Lumen Gentium 5).

Therefore Christ founded the Church on the rock of Peter and the Apostles so that She can be the “seed” of God’s Kingdom. Christ founded His Kingdom on earth and His Kingdom cannot exist for mankind without the Church.

The images Jesus used to describe His Church show Her mission and intimate union with Him.

When “the fullness of time” had come (The Letter to the Galatians 4, 4) God sent His Son to the world so that His Plan of Salvation could be accomplished. That is Jesus’ Mission, for the Father wants  “to sum up all things in Christ, in heaven and on earth” (The Letter to the Ephesians 1, 10). Jesus founded the Kingdom of Heaven on earth through the announcement of the Gospel and the creation of His Church.

“The Church, or, in other words, the kingdom of Christ now present in mystery, grows visibly through the power of God in the world” (Lumen Gentium 3).

It is worth noticing here that Vatican Council II identifies the Church to Christ’s Kingdom, present on earth as a mystery.

Jesus started the Church by preaching the Good News, “the coming of God’s Kingdom” promised in the Gospel. “This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand” (Mark 1, 15).

God’s Kingdom emerged through Jesus’ presence on earth, His Words and His miracles.

“But if it is by the finger of God that [I] drive out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you” (Luke 11, 20; Matthew 12, 28).

The seed and the beginning of the Kingdom is that “little flock of sheep” that Jesus the Shepherd gathered to live with Him.

 “Do not be afraid any longer, little flock, for your Father is pleased to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12, 32).

That “little flock” of disciples represents the starting point of the Church, predestined to be “God’s Family” (The Letter to the Ephesians 2, 20). It is Jesus’ family and He looks after them like a Good Shepherd.

“ I am the good shepherd, and I know mine and mine know me” (John 10, 14).

The Lord compares His Church to a sheepfold and the only gate to it is the Christ Himself.

“Amen, amen, I say to you, I am the gate for the sheep…. Whoever enters through me will be saved” (John 10, 8-9).

The Church is God’s flock and He Himself is the Shepherd. Human shepherds take care of the flock but each sheep is guided and fed by Christ Himself.

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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