Thursday, April 28, 2011

May 1: Second Sunday of Easter

Each week during Lent and Easter, a young adult from the Archdiocese offers a reflection on the upcoming Sunday's Gospel.

Gospel: Jn 20:19-31

In recent days, the disciples have experienced two monumental life transitions--the crucifixion and resurrection.  They hid in fear with the doors shut. I can only imagine how uncertain their future must have felt.  As young adults, we also experience major transitions in our lives.  These changes may or may not be as revolutionary as what the disciples experienced, but they do transform our lives.  We evolve with every big decision we make regarding school, the economy, our careers, family, and relationships.   Just like the disciples, I admit that I have not handled every tough life decision with grace and have often laid low, fearing the consequences and hating the uncertainty.

Similarly, I can relate with doubting Thomas.  Thomas needed to experience seeing and touching Jesus to know that He was with the disciples.  As I struggle through my own difficult transitions, I need a sign to let me know Jesus is with me. Interestingly, He has sent me so many today.  I saw him in the sunshine-filled day, in my friends who brought me coffee, and even in the stranger that was incredibly accommodating with my many of loads of laundry that consumed our shared washer and dryer.  God is here and He is with us.  

God has given us so many blessings to help us with our transitions and to ease our doubts.  We are seeing and touching God in the midst of His blessings and His people who are part of our lives.  However, His presence goes even beyond those senses.  He is all around us.  If we can embrace that idea, then we can be set free of any uncertainty that our transitions bring.

“Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.”

Michelle Cantu
Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, Los Angeles

Thursday, April 21, 2011

April 24: Easter Sunday

Gospel: Mt 28:1-10

That Nature is a Heraclitean Fire and of the comfort of the Resurrection
A poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins, SJ

CLOUD-PUFFBALL, torn tufts, tossed pillows ' flaunt forth, then chevy on an air- 
built thoroughfare: heaven-roysterers, in gay-gangs ' they throng; they glitter in marches. 
Down roughcast, down dazzling whitewash, ' wherever an elm arches, 
Shivelights and shadowtackle in long ' lashes lace, lance, and pair. 
Delightfully the bright wind boisterous ' ropes, wrestles, beats earth bare
Of yestertempest’s creases; in pool and rut peel parches 
Squandering ooze to squeezed ' dough, crust, dust; stanches, starches 
Squadroned masks and manmarks ' treadmire toil there 
Footfretted in it. Million-fuelèd, ' nature’s bonfire burns on. 
But quench her bonniest, dearest ' to her, her clearest-selvèd spark
Man, how fast his firedint, ' his mark on mind, is gone! 
Both are in an unfathomable, all is in an enormous dark 
Drowned. O pity and indig ' nation! Manshape, that shone 
Sheer off, disseveral, a star, ' death blots black out; nor mark 
                Is any of him at all so stark
But vastness blurs and time ' beats level. Enough! the Resurrection, 
A heart’s-clarion! Away grief’s gasping, ' joyless days, dejection. 
                Across my foundering deck shone 
A beacon, an eternal beam. ' Flesh fade, and mortal trash 
Fall to the residuary worm; ' world’s wildfire, leave but ash:
                In a flash, at a trumpet crash, 
I am all at once what Christ is, ' since he was what I am, and 
This Jack, joke, poor potsherd, ' patch, matchwood, immortal diamond, 
                Is immortal diamond.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

April 17: Palm Sunday of the Lord's Passion

Each week during Lent and Easter, a young adult from the Archdiocese offers a reflection on the upcoming Sunday's Gospel.

Gospel: Mt 26:14-27:66

“The greatest and most overwhelming work of God’s love.” 
- St. Paul of the Cross – description of Jesus.

I’m personally a huge fan of St. Paul of the Cross.  I’m not sure why, but I just am.  When I saw this quote from him describing who he thought Jesus was, it got me thinking.  What was the greatest act of love that was ever shown for us?  You’ll hear scholars say it was the Crucifixion…but, I tend to think it’s the whole Passion of Jesus. 

Jesus knows what is going to happen.  In fact, he says it when he’s in the Garden of Gethsemane “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet, not as I will, but as you will.”  Jesus knows how much suffering this is going to be…and yet, even though our Father will not take this away from him, he’ll still go through everything because of that love he has for us. After all the trials, beatings, and suffering Jesus experiences, he is crucified on Golgotha.  We, as Christians, are called to look at the cross, and to realize that tremendous love that Jesus went through for us…his saving love as it were.  It goes beyond this though.  

"Love is filled with struggle, pain, and moments of real darkness. When we gaze upon the cross of Jesus, there we see God’s love revealed to us in the concrete, in flesh and blood. We perceive with our own eyes the lengths to which God would go to reach out to us, to redeem us and raise us up.”
– Fr. Robin Ryan, cp.

As we enter into Holy Week, let us all remember that Jesus died for us, not just so the prophecy could be fulfilled, but to show how much God loved us. 

Michele Fanara
St. Martin of Tours, Los Angeles

Thursday, April 7, 2011

April 10: Fifth Sunday of Lent

Each week during Lent and Easter, a young adult from the Archdiocese offers a reflection on the upcoming Sunday's Gospel.

Gospel:  Jn 11:1-45
While reading thru this passage I can’t help but notice that Jesus already has a plan. When they came to notify Jesus he didn’t run to Lazarus right away, He waited for 2 days because rushing to Lazarus’s side would not fit with God’s plan. We must also wait on Jesus sometimes, just like the two sisters had to. Jesus is working according to His schedule, so that it will all fit with the Father’s plan. The waiting is usually the difficult part, and there is no indication on how long it will take. That’s one of the problems with our generation. We want everything NOW; if it’s not NOW I don’t want it. Sound familiar? Brothers and sisters, we must be patient with God, for He is working on his schedule. We must stay strong in faith that Jesus will also come through with a miracle in our own lives.

The part of the story that touched me the most is when Jesus wept. Even though Jesus knows what the plan was and that Lazarus would soon be resurrected from death, he is still deeply touched by their sorrow. He cried with them, He cries with you. I wish my hands could express what my heart feels when I read that. Jesus cries for us, cries with us. When we are going through a difficult time and when we are hurting and in pain, he cries with us. He knows the plan that God has for us, and like this story there might be a breakthrough just around the corner. Something that we can all learn from this story is that we must have faith in Jesus and be patient for we are living on his time.

Vidal Gutierrez
St. John Vianney, Hacienda Heights

Feel free to share your thoughts below.