Archives: June 2019

For this Sunday’s readings click on the link below or copy and paste it into your browser.  http://usccb.org/bible/readings/061619.cfm 

This weekend we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity.   This Feast celebrates our belief that God has revealed God’s Self as loving Father, redeeming Son and sanctifying Spirit.  In the preface for this Feast we read:  “For what you have revealed to us of your glory we believe equally of your Son and of the Holy Spirit.”   How this can be we do not know.  That it can be we do believe.   

While our belief in a Triune God has been at the core of our faith since the beginnings of our Church, the dogmatic statements that articulate this belief are the result of later generations of believers.   

Our Gospel reading for this weekend is from the Gospel of John.   In it Jesus promised to send the Spirit to his disciples.   In making this promise, Jesus is clear that even though he will no longer physically be with them, the Spirit will empower and guide them.  “I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now.  But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth.”   

Our first reading this weekend is from the Book of Proverbs.  We don’t read from this book very often.  At least part of the reason for this is that it is poetic literature, and thus not always easily accessible.  In today’s reading “Wis​dom” is personified as being with God from the very beginning.  As Christians, we would see “Wisdom” as a prefiguring of both Christ and the Holy Spirit. 

Our second reading for this weekend is taken from the Letter of St. Paul to the Romans.   While it was probably chosen because it speaks of each member of the Trinity, I found the last few lines to be most poetic and compelling:   “………but we even boast of our afflictions, knowing that affliction produces endurance, and endurance, proven character, and proven character, hope, and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.”    

Questions for Reflection/Discussion:

  1. We believe in one God, who has revealed God’s self as Father, Son and Spirit.  What explanation of the Trinity has been most helpful to you in understanding this belief?  
  2. How have you experienced the presence and/or action of the Father, Son and Spirit in your life?  
  3. What gives you hope in your life?   

The Arizona Borderlands: Where humanitarian aid is being criminalized by Chris Serres. 

Out now in the new issue of BASILICA magazine. As we seek to grow in our faith, we are called to learn about what is happening in our communities, country, and world, and to reflect on this in prayer. 

The Arizona Borderlands
Where humanitarian aid is being criminalized 
by Chris Serres 

 

The Arizona Borderlands Basilica Magazine Spring 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BASILICA magazine spring 2019
 

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Seeing All As God's Children webpage image

God's Big Picture

Many years ago while visiting my brother and sister-in-law, I spent some time playing with my niece and two nephews (all of whom are now adults). At one point during my visit my youngest nephew was attempting to color a picture. I say attempting because, while he was using a variety of different crayons to color the picture, his efforts at staying inside the lines were being met with only limited success. I commented on this and suggested that he try harder to say inside the lines. His response was a masterpiece of childhood simplicity. 

He looked at me and said: “That’s okay. I’m not sure what the picture’s gonna be yet.” Silly me, I thought the picture was determined by the pre-drawn lines. My nephew on the other hand had a slightly broader vision. For him the picture was whatever it turned out to be. He wasn’t limited by any preconceived ideas or pre-drawn lines. For him the end product was what really mattered. 

In the years since this experience happened, I have reflected on it often. You see, many times I have approached my life similar to the way I approach coloring. I think I see the whole picture, but in reality my perception is limited and I see only what I want to see. In my mind, the lines have already been drawn, and all that is left is for me to try to stay within them. I think I see the full and complete picture, only to discover later that there was more to be seen just outside my preconceived lines. In effect, I often missed the big picture and settled for a limited/reduced version. 

I think the above is particularly true in regard to my relationship with God. I have discovered that more often than not, God draws outside the lines in my life. God sees a bigger picture than I do, and I am surprised (and sometimes amazed) when I finally get enough perspective to see that bigger picture. There are times I have faced adversity or distress only to discover later that they were the source of great blessing or grace. On the other hand there have been times when something that initially appeared to be a blessing was in fact not the blessing I originally thought it was.

It is indeed fortunate for us that God is not limited by our preconceived ideas or the pre-drawn lines in our lives. God sees the bigger picture. And often times God draws outside the lines of our picture, to make a picture of God’s own design. In light of this, over the years my prayers have become less specific as to what I want and more open to what God wants for me. In this way I am hopeful that I might be more open to the picture of myself and my life that God has for me, and that I might work with God to make this picture a reality. 

For this Sunday’s readings click on the link below or copy and paste it into your browser.

http://usccb.org/bible/readings/060919-day.cfm   

 

This weekend we celebrate the Feast of Pentecost.   This Feast celebrates the gift of the Spirit to the Church.   Along with Christmas and Easter, Pentecost is really the third great Feast of our Church Year.   Unfortunately coming as it does at the beginning of summer, it doesn’t get the same attention as Christmas and Easter.   This is regrettable because it is our belief that the Spirit leads and guides our Church as well as each of us individually.  Moreover it is the gifts of the Spirit that enable and empower us to live as Christ has called us to live.  

 

There are different readings that can be used on Pentecost.   At the Basilica the second reading we will use 1Corinthians 12: 3b-7; 12-13.   The Gospel will be John 20: 19-23. 

 

Our Gospel reading this weekend is the story of an appearance of the resurrected Christ.   Jesus came to his disciples even though “the doors were locked.”  Twice he says to them: “Peace be with you.”   Then he goes on to say:  “As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”  And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.”    Jesus’ breathing on his disciples calls to mind God breathing the breath of life into Adam.  (Gn. 2.7).   It is spiritual life, though, that Jesus breathes into his disciples. 

 

Our first reading this weekend is from the Acts of the Apostles.   It recounts the first Pentecost when “tongues as of fire” came upon the disciples and they were all “filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim.” 

 

Our second reading this weekend is taken from the first Letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians.  It reminds us that “There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit.”  

 

Questions for Reflection/Discussion:

1.  Have you ever felt empowered by the Spirit to do something?

2.  Some gifts of the Spirit are very evident/dramatic; some are more subtle,  All are real, though, and all are necessary.  What gifts of the Spirit have been given to you?  

3.  Why do you think Jesus told his disciples twice:  “Peace be with you”?