Archive for “2015”

6/12/2015 Lectio Divina

Friday, June 12 ~ Tenth Week in Ordinary Time

Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus

 

Holy Gospel: John 19:31-37 Since it was the day of Preparation, in order to prevent the bodies from remaining on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who had been crucified with Him; but when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water. He who saw it has borne witness – his testimony is true, and he knows that he tells the truth – that you also may believe. For these things took place that the scripture might be fulfilled, “Not a bone of Him shall be broken.” And again another scripture says, “They shall look on Him whom they have pierced.”

 

Meditation: Have you ever come to meditate in order to know in a deeper and more profound way the heart of Jesus?  To better understand His Sacred Heart, which was pierced for your sake and mine? Of all the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ death, John mentions that the soldiers pierced his heart with a lance. This was a fulfillment of the prophecy of Zechariah 12:10: “when they look on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him.” The heart of Jesus was pierced for our sake – each of us. He willingly went to the cross and laid down his life as the atoning sacrifice for our sins. If we want to understand the depth and breadth of God’s love for each of us, then look upon the heart that was pierced for you and for me. That is the reason Jesus went to the cross, to redeem us from slavery to sin and death. True love does not count the cost, but gives everything for the beloved. God proved his love for us by sending us his beloved Son who withheld nothing from us but gave everything he had for our sake. Saint Paul the Apostle tells us that “Jesus loved us and gave himself up for us – a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God” (Ephesians 5:2). God’s love is perfect and complete because God is merciful, just, and forgiving.

 

Prayer: Grant, we pray, almighty God, that we, who glory in the Heart of your beloved Son and recall the wonders of his love for us, may be made worthy to receive an overflowing measure of grace from that fount of heavenly gifts. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

 

Contemplation: On May 25 1899, Pope Leo XIII, in his encyclical Annum Sacrum, declared that all Catholics should consecrate themselves to the Christ’s Sacred Heart, and his intention to solemnly consecrate all mankind to the Sacred Heart of Jesus — although the Pope pointed out that this would simply be giving Christ what is already His: “[In His infinite goodness and love, He in no way objects to our giving and consecrating to Him what is already His, as if it were really our own; nay, far from refusing such an offering, He positively desires it and asks for it: ‘My son, give me thy heart.’ We are, therefore, able to be pleasing to Him by the good will and the affection of our soul. For by consecrating ourselves to Him we not only declare our open and free acknowledgment and acceptance of His authority over us, but we also testify that if what we offer as a gift were really our own, we would still offer it with our whole heart. We also beg of Him that He would vouchsafe to receive it from us, though clearly His own. Such is the efficacy of the act of which we speak, such is the meaning underlying our words. And since there is in the Sacred Heart a symbol and a sensible image of the infinite love of Jesus Christ which moves us to love one another, therefore is it fit and proper that we should consecrate ourselves to His most Sacred Heart – an act which is nothing else than an offering and a binding of oneself to Jesus Christ, seeing that whatever honor, veneration and love is given to this divine Heart is really and truly given to Christ Himself.”

 

 

Scripture passages (NAB translation) courtesy of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops;

prayers are from The Roman Missal, Catholic Book Publishing, 2011;

information about saints, solemnities, feasts and memorials courtesy of Catholic Culture.

frlumpe:2015

6/11/2015 Lectio Divina

Thursday, June 11 ~ Tenth Week in Ordinary Time

Saint Barnabas, Apostle

 

Holy Gospel: Matthew 5:20-26 Jesus said to his disciples: “I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter into the Kingdom of heaven. You have heard that it was said to your ancestors, You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment. But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment, and whoever says to his brother, ‘Raqa,’ will be answerable to the Sanhedrin, and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ will be liable to fiery Gehenna. Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar, and there recall that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift there at the altar, go first and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Settle with your opponent quickly while on the way to court with him. Otherwise your opponent will hand you over to the judge, and the judge will hand you over to the guard, and you will be thrown into prison. Amen, I say to you, you will not be released until you have paid the last penny.”

 

Meditation: In these stress-filled and anxious times, are you ever driven by anger, rage, or revenge? The first person to hate his brother was Cain. God warned Cain: ‘Why are you angry? ..Sin in couching at the door; it’s desire is for you, but you must master it (Genesis 4:6-7). Sin doesn’t just happen to us; it first grows as a tiny seed in our heart. Unless it is uprooted, by God’s grace, it grows like a weed and chokes the vine and all its fruit. Jesus addressed the issue of keeping the commandments with his disciples.  The scribes and Pharisees equated righteousness with satisfying the outward observance of the law. Jesus showed them how short they had come. Jesus points to the heart as the seat of desire and choice. Unless evil and forbidden desires are eradicated, the heart will be corrupted. Jesus points to forbidden anger with one’s brother. This is a selfish anger that broods and is long-lived, that nurses a grudge and keeps wrath warm, and that refuses to die. Harboring anger in the heart as well as anger in speech and action are equally forbidden by God. What, then, is the antidote to anger and rage?  Mercy, kindness, and forbearance spring from a heart full of love and forgiveness. God has forgiven us and he calls us to extend mercy and forgiveness towards those who cause us grief and harm.  In the cross of Jesus we see the supreme example of love and forgiveness and the power of goodness for overcoming evil. Only God’s love and grace can set our hearts and minds free from the tyranny of wounded pride and spiteful revenge. Do you harbor any anger towards another person? And are you quick to be reconciled when a rupture has been caused in your relationships? Ask God to set you free and to fill your heart and mind with his love and goodness. Paul the Apostle reminds us that “God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us” (Romans 5:5).  Through the grace and help of the Holy Spirit we can overcome malice with good, hatred with kindness, and injury with pardon.

 

Prayer: O God, who decreed that Saint Barnabas, a man filled with faith and the Holy Spirit, should be set apart to convert the nations, grant that the Gospel of Christ, which he strenuously preached, may be faithfully proclaimed by word and by deed. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

 

Contemplation: The following prayer of Saint Eusebius is well worth contemplation: “May I be no man’s enemy, and may I be the friend of that which is eternal and abides. May I never quarrel with those nearest me: and if I do, may I be reconciled quickly.  May I love, seek, and attain only that which is good. May I wish for all men’s happiness and envy none. May I never rejoice in the ill-fortune of one who has wronged me. When I have done or said what is wrong, may I never wait for the rebuke of others, but always rebuke myself until I make amends. May I win no victory that harms either me or my opponent. May I reconcile friends who are angry with one another. May I never fail a friend who is in danger. When visiting those in grief may I be able by gentle and healing words to soften their pain. May I respect myself. May I always keep tame that which rages within me. May I accustom myself to be gentle, and never be angry with people because of circumstances. May I never discuss who is wicked and what wicked things he has done, but know good men and follow in their footsteps.”

6/10/2015 Lectio Divina

Wednesday, June 10 ~ Tenth Week in Ordinary Time

 

Holy Gospel: Matthew 5:17-19 Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law, until all things have taken place. Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in the Kingdom of heaven. But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.”

 

Meditation: Jesus taught reverence for God’s law – reverence for God himself, for the Lord’s Day, reverence or respect for parents, respect for life, for property, for another person’s good name, respect for oneself and for one’s neighbor lest wrong or hurtful desires master us. Reverence and respect for God’s commandments teach us the way of love – love of God and love of neighbor. What is impossible to men is possible to God and those who have faith in God. God gives us the grace to love as he loves, to forgive as he forgives, to think as he thinks, and to act as he acts. The Lord loves righteousness and hates wickedness. As his followers we must love his commandments and hate every form of sin. Do you love the commands of the Lord?

 

Prayer: O God, from whom all good things come, grant that we, who call on you in our need, may at your prompting discern what is right, and by your guidance do it. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

 

Contemplation: Have you ever wondered why people generally tend to view the “law of God” negatively rather than positively? Jesus’ attitude towards the law of God can be summed up in the great prayer in Psalm 119: “Oh, how I love your law!  It is my meditation all the day.” For the people of Israel the “law” could refer to the Ten Commandments or to the five Books of Moses – the Pentateuch – which explain the commandments and ordinances of God for his people. The “law” also referred to the whole teaching or way of life which God gave to his people. The Jews in Jesus’ time also used it as a description of the oral or scribal law. Needless to say, the scribes added many more things to the law than God intended. That is why Jesus often condemned the scribal law. It placed burdens on people which God had not intended. Jesus, however, made it very clear that the essence of God’s law – his commandments and way of life, must be fulfilled. The law of God is truth and when we live according to that truth it produces the fruits of righteousness, holiness, peace, and joy.

6/9/2015 Lectio Divina

Tuesday, June 9 ~ Tenth Week in Ordinary Time

Saint Ephrem, Deacon and Doctor of the Church

 

Holy Gospel: Matthew 5:13-16 Jesus said to his disciples: “You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned? It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.”

 

Meditation: On many occasions Jesus used ordinary images, such as salt and light, to convey extraordinary truths. What does salt and light have to teach us about God and his reign on earth? Salt was a valuable commodity in the ancient world. People traded with it, like we trade with gold and stock. Salt also served a very useful purpose in hot climates before the invention of electricity and refrigeration. Salt not only gave food flavor, it also preserved meat from spoiling.  Jesus used the image of salt to describe how his disciples are to live in the world. As salt purifies, preserves, and penetrates, so the disciple must be as salt in the world of human society to purify, preserve, and penetrate that society for the kingdom of God and of his righteousness and peace. Jesus also used the image of light and a lamp to further his illustration. Lamps in the ancient world served a vital function, much like they do today. They enable people to see and work in the dark and to avoid stumbling. The Jewish people also understood “light” as an expression of the inner beauty, truth, and goodness of God.  “In his light we see light” ( Psalm 36:9). “His word is a lamp that guides our steps” (Psalm 119:105). God’s grace not only illumines the darkness in our lives, but it also fills us with spiritual light, joy, and peace. Jesus used the image of a lamp to describe how his disciples are to live in the light of his truth and love. Just as natural light illumines the darkness and enables one to see visually, so the light of Christ shines in the hearts of believers and enables us to see the heavenly reality of God’s kingdom.  In fact, our mission is to be light-bearers of Christ so that others may see the truth of the gospel and be freed from the blindness of sin and deception.

 

Prayer: Pour into our hearts O Lord, we pray, the Holy Spirit, at whose prompting the Deacon Saint Ephrem exulted in singing of your mysteries and from whom he received the strength to serve you alone. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

 

Contemplation: Despite the steps we take to engage in activities out of the public eye in our attempt to keep things “secret,” Jesus reminds us that nothing really ever remains hidden or secret. We can try to hide things from others, from ourselves, and foolishly from God – God who sees all and knows all. How tempting to shut our eyes from the consequences of our sinful ways and bad habits, even when we know what those consequences are. And how tempting to hide them from others and even from God. But, nonetheless, everything is known to God who sees all. There is great freedom and joy for those who live in God’s light and who seek this truth. Those who listen to God and heed his voice will receive more from him. Do you know the joy and freedom of living in God’s light?

6/8/2015 Lectio Divina

“If the human heart represents an unfathomable mystery that only God knows, how much more sublime is the heart of Jesus, in which the life of the Word itself beats. In it, as suggested by the beautiful Litanies of the Sacred Heart that echo the Scriptures, are found all the treasures of wisdom and science and all the fullness of divinity. In order to save man, victim of his own disobedience, God wished to give him a ‘new heart,’ faithful to his will of love. This heart is the heart of Christ, the masterpiece of the Holy Spirit, which began to beat in the virginal womb of Mary and was pierced by the lance on the cross, thus becoming for all the inexhaustible source of eternal life. That Heart is now the pledge of hope for every man.

–Saint John Paul II, Angelus Excerpt, June 24, 2002

 

Monday, June 8 ~ Tenth Week in Ordinary Time

 

Holy Gospel: Matthew 5:1-12 When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain, and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him. He began to teach them, saying: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land. Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven. Thus they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

 

Meditation: The beatitudes which Jesus offers us are a sign of contradiction to the world’s understanding of happiness and joy. How can one possibly find happiness in poverty, hunger, mourning, and persecution? Poverty of spirit finds ample room and joy in possessing God as the greatest treasure possible. Hunger of the spirit seeks nourishment and strength in God’s word and Spirit. Sorrow and mourning over wasted life and sin leads to joyful freedom from the burden of guilt and spiritual oppression.  God reveals to the humble of heart the true source of abundant life and happiness.  Jesus promises his disciples that the joys of heaven will more than compensate for the troubles and hardships they can expect in this world. Thomas Aquinas said: No one can live without joy.  That is why a person deprived of spiritual joy goes after carnal pleasures.  Do you know the happiness of hungering and thirsting for God alone?

 

Prayer: O God, from whom all good things come, grant that we, who call on you in our need, may at your prompting discern what is right, and by your guidance do it. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

 

Contemplation: So one might ask: What is the “good life?” What is the ultimate end or purpose of life? Is it not happiness, which is none other than the complete good, the sum of all goods, leaving nothing more to be desired? Jesus addresses this question in his sermon on the mount. The word beatitude literally means “happiness” or “blessedness.”  What is the significance of Jesus’ beatitudes, and why are they so central to his teaching? The beatitudes respond to the natural desire for happiness that God has placed in every heart. They teach us the final end to which God calls us, namely the coming of God’s kingdom (Matt. 4:17), the vision of God (Matt. 5:8; 1 John 2:1), entering into the joy of the Lord (Matt. 25:21-23) and into his rest (Hebrews 4:7-11). Jesus’ beatitudes also confront us with decisive choices concerning the life we pursue here on earth and the use we make of the goods he puts at our disposal. God alone satisfies. Knowing this, do you seek the highest good, the total good, which is above all else?

 

 

 

From the Rector 6/7/2015

I need to forego my usual column as we have a number of items of interest to report this week…

 

I am sad to report that Dr. Paul Thornock will be leaving the Cathedral this summer, and am yet very happy for Paul and his family that they will be returning to their home of Seattle, Washington, where Paul will assume the position of Director of Sacred Music at the Cathedral of Saint James. Paul’s dedication, hard work, and faith  ushered in a tremendous change in the Cathedral music program, making it one of the best known and highly regarded in North America. A search committee has been formed, and we are already receiving applications. We will keep you apprised of our progress, and of a “bon voyage” recital and reception for Paul, along with his wife, Nancy, who has sung in the Cathedral Choir and served as wedding coordinator at the Cathedral for a number of years.  Both will be greatly missed!

 

Deacon Thom Johnston has announced his retirement as an active Deacon.  Deacon Thom will be celebrating a trifecta this month – 30 years as a Permanent Deacon, 60 years of Marriage to his wife, Mary Alice, and he will be turning 90 years old.  Proud levels of achievement in all respects! After his “retirement” Deacon Thom will continue to help out with many pastoral outreaches at the Cathedral, of which I am grateful.  We have a reception planned for him later this month – stay tuned!

 

Deacon Jeremiah Guappone has been assigned to us by Bishop Campbell as he completes his course of study and last year of formation at the Pontifical College Josephinum.  Deacon Jeremiah hails from Northeast Ohio and is a 2010 graduate of Ohio Dominican University.  His home parish is Saint Catharine of Siena, where I first met him when I served there as pastor. He will be serving as a Deacon at both the Cathedral and at Holy Cross, just as Deacon, now Father Tony Davis, did during the past year. Please welcome Deacon Jeremiah to our parish communities.

 

We welcome back Father Tony Davis, having been ordained last Saturday with five other priests for our Diocese.  Father Davis has been assigned by Bishop Campbell to be the new Parochial Vicar of Saint Andrew Parish (Columbus), under the tutelage of Msgr. Steve Moloney, who serves at Pastor.  Continued prayers and congratulations to Fr. Tony Davis!

 

We have received some fine applicants for the position of Organist and Music Director at Holy Cross Parish. We hope to have that position filled soon, following the departure of Kelly Doman who moved to Pittsburgh with her husband and family after her husband, Gabe, landed a new job there.  We continue to wish them well, and pray for their success!

 

We are in need of Liturgical Ministers for the Cathedral – Lectors, Altar Servers, Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, and Hospitality.  Following all of the Masses next weekend, Michael Elton will be available to answer questions and to help you sign up for these positions.  We will provide all of the training.  If you have questions in advance, feel free to contact Michael by calling (614) 405-7770, or via e-mail: melton@columbus.rr.com. Thank you!

 

The Bishop’s Annual Appeal is moving along, with Holy Cross Church parishioners already meeting the Diocesan goal, and moving forward on the enhanced goal – extra monies going to repairs in the parish Rectory/Offices, and completing renovation projects in the Church interior. Cathedral parishioners are off to a very good start with more than half of the Diocesan goal met.  A BAA statistics page is included in this bulletin. Everyone benefits from the BAA, folks, so please let us all participate!