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Apr 182017
 

Self-knowledge helps us in our weakness and leads us to be better

conhecer o coração

Our self-knowledge of our weakness brings forth in us humility and true peace. Here are the Beatitudes of tears of which the Gospel speaks not those easy and sensitive tears that express nothing, but those tears deep of the heart, these returns and conversions that call us to humility and the painful heartache of sins committed, that contrition of the heart.

In the Gospel we see those tears our Lord called “Blessed”: “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted” (5.4 Mt), the forgiven sinner’s tears, the tears of Peter who denied the master, tears of my heart, that you and I have experienced and that God wants us to concede to us.

God provides, God will provide. Trust! His mercy won’t be lacking.

 

Your brother,

Wellington Jardim (Eto)
Co-founder of the community and administrator of FJPII Canção Nova

Portuguese version

Apr 172017
 

If Christ had not risen, vain would our faith

This month we have the biggest fact of all time, the great truth that divided history to “before and after Christ”: the resurrection of Jesus. This is because, if Christ had not risen, our faith would be in vain and the Christian life would be meaningless. Christ is risen! He is really the way to God, the truth for which every human being searches. The Life we all strive for, with total quality in abundance, true to life.

 

Photo: Daniel Mafra/cancaonova.com

The shroud of Turin shows that the Romans were vicious in the flagellation of Christ. Despite not having the custom  to give so many lashes, so the practice began and ended with the body of Jesus. He just persevered because he was a strong man. He was all bruised, in pain from head to toe. Jesus was wounded by our sins. We were all like stray sheep, each following his own path. Do we still do this today, leading our life the way that suits us. It’s not what the Father wanted, but it was for our redemption, that the Lord did put upon Him all our sins. Jesus knew what he was supporting was for our salvation.

Jesus was not a defendant, he was innocent. He was crucified for you and for me. Jesus accepted death because this was the means to save us. He took upon himself the sins of all humanity, he let the curse fall upon himself. He died for us, but also he rose for us, to make it clear that this project of the father be realized in our life. Just as Jesus was resurrected for a definitive life, we too will raise up at the last day, the Lord wants us to live the present life in this way, making sure that one day we shall resurrect with him.
Our body is still subject to sin, but we need to use all members, no more for evil, but for the sake of righteousness, because that’s why we were created.

“If Christ is in you, your body, without doubt, is destined to death because of sin, but the spirit is life because of righteousness. And if the spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, the one who raised Jesus Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies for your spirit that dwells in you “(Rm -11 8.10).

Although your body is weak, subject to sin and walks to death and corruption, if Jesus is in you, although your body is bound to the physical death, your spirit lives. The most beautiful reality is that your body also begins to experience the resurrection and the life. It becomes full of life, resurrection, and the signs that begin to appear in you, that becomes strong, brave by the power of Jesus. You stop being discouraged, a person who lives dragging through life, and you becomes a brave, fearless, kind person, who gives itself, full of courage, facing overwhelming odds, by the grace of God.

All this for what? Because of the presence of Jesus. Everyone will see your face, in your eyes, the true joy, enthusiasm, optimism, because Christ lives in you. And if the spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, the one who raised Jesus Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies for your spirit that dwells in you “(Rm 8.11). In the Valley of tears, (problems, difficulties, diseases), we will see people full of the resurrection and life. You are invited to be a transmitter of life for all those living in death.

The world needs Jesus! He is not physically with us, but we, Christians, by the power of the Holy Spirit are the source of living water to the world, as He. Jesus is the resurrection and the Life. There are a multitude of men in death, as in the vision of Ezekiel: “How parched bones scattered on the ground” (Ez 37.2). The Lord wants you to be resurrection and life for these people, to so many prodigal children who want to return home, they need to receive the embrace of the father of mercies. A person who has life and gives life to the point of saying: How Jesus is in me, how He lives in me and how I allow Him to penetrate me, I too am the resurrection and life.

To have that life we need to be in communion with the Lord, take communion the body and blood of Jesus, because “he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I shall rise on the last day” (Jo 6.54). Simply do not receive communion, but enter into intimate communion with the Lord. The Eucharist is the great means for our body, our soul and our spirit to come into communion with Jesus. How to assimilate the food we eat, and it becomes life for our body, so it happens when we enter into intimate communion with Jesus.

Raising up on the last day will be just a natural consequence of a lifetime. When our body you discard as the seed falls apart on Earth, eternal life will be on us. I always wondered why Mary Magdalene was the first to see the Lord. It wasn’t any of the Apostles. She’s the one who goes and announces to Peter and John that the Lord had risen. Mary Magdalene was chosen because she was the more determined, more determined to follow the Lord. While the Apostles went into hiding for fear of the Jews, she took her companions and, at dawn, determined, even at risk, she went to the Tomb, to express the great love she had for Jesus, because she had broken from her old life. We need to be as determined as she was!

If we stay on the fence, in “more or less” correct “neither hot nor cold,” and we’re not going anywhere. Mary Magdalene knew if she stayed in mourning, she wouldn’t want to go anywhere. My brethren, the Church wants us to live in this expectation of resurrection, because the resurrection of Jesus is the certainty of our resurrection. If we are living in the light, if we took the word of God and she takes effect in our lives, if we persevere and fight, especially in today’s world, where we are against the current, when we die, by the grace and mercy of God we shall resurrect to eternal life, eternal award, and not for conviction.

And the word of God, which attests to the resurrection of Jesus, we aim also to his glorious coming. We are between these two wonderful events, seeking in each Easter, our resurrection and new life. At the same time, we turn to the happy expectation of the coming of Jesus in glory, and we turn, every day, by the powerful action of the Holy Spirit who was given to us. You see: the same Holy Spirit,-tells us the Scriptures –, who raised Jesus from the dead, has been given to us and dwells in us, to enact in each of us the resurrection of Christ and to lead us to new life!

Your brother,

Monsignor Jonas Abib
Founder of the community Canção Nova

Portuguese version

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
Apr 132017
 

The Lord has prepared a place in heaven for us

The Lord already booked for you and your family an address in the Kingdom of heaven. This “uniqueness” is not synonymous with egotism, but requires of us a great responsibility. No one can take this place, because Jesus prepared and reserved it exclusively for you. Imagine the pain that the Lord will feel in the heart if he finds your empty place!

Jesus humbled himself, became man, and died on a cross for you to take your place in Heaven. Jesus died for us, but was resurrected and ascended to heaven. There, he became our intercessor and is waiting for us, so we can live the life that does not end. Like Jesus, we should strive to rescue our brothers. Unfortunately, many of us have used all our strength on things of this world, as a profession and studies.

All this is very good and should be taken seriously, but we use them also as a means to get people to heaven, to rescue souls to hasten the coming of New Heaven and the New Earth. We can’t put the profit, personal benefit or vanity in front of evangelization.

Your brother,

Monsignor Jonas Abib

Portuguese version

Apr 112017
 

What is your life in your life?

I got a scratchpad and noticed that it had a white and a black part. I wondered what to do with the black part. Looking in a small box, I found a black pencil and a white pencil, and it was written on black paper.

Many times, your life is “black” because you did not pray or move the bottom of the box, as I did, to find the right pencil for every occasion.

It is necessary to move the box, it is necessary to go to the bottom of the heart, because, when we seek the solution, the Father always reveals himself. We will need penance, fasting, and a lot of knees on the ground to overcome the obstacles of life.

The best administrator, who is God, never has in his hands only black pencil or white, he has the recipe for them, He sees all.

your brother,

Wellington Garden (Eto)
Co-founder of the Canção Nova Community and administrator of the FJPII

Portuguese version

 Posted by at 01:01
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