Skies Darken for Jesus

Friday, March 22, 2019

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Agnus Dei

Today, in Mercy, we begin with the powerful and moving story of Joseph – sweet, innocent son of of Jacob who was betrayed by his brothers. Jacob sends Joseph to work with his brothers, believing they love him. He was wrong.

Our Gospel then tells the story of the frustrated landowner who sent his son on mission to settle his accounts. though the landowner’s servants had been abused by the tenants, he believed his son would be respected. He was wrong.

Both these stories are prototypes of the Father sending Jesus to redeem us. The intention is the same. The hope is the same. Unfortunately, the result is the same.

In our Gospel, Jesus realizes that the Father’s hope for him will not be met with openness and acceptance. He sees the Pharisees milling around in hateful conversation.  Referencing the parable, Jesus says:

“The Kingdom of God will be taken away from you
and given to a people that will produce its fruit.”
When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables,
they knew that he was speaking about them.
And although they were attempting to arrest him,
they feared the crowds, for the crowds regarded him as a prophet.

This morning, let’s pray for all those who send their beloveds out in hope to do good in the world:

  • for police officers, firefighters, first responders whose families send them out each day always fearing for their safety
  • for medical personnel who risk sickness in their care for others
  • for missionaries and justice workers who encounter threat and danger in helping others
  • for peacekeepers and military who work to end war and tyranny
  • for all of us when we reach out in justice and courage, hoping to be received with respect and mutuality

May the example of Christ inspire and sustain us to do our part for God’s continuing redemption of the world.

Music: Agnis Dei – Michael Hoppè

My Brother’s Keeper

Monday, February 18, 2019

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Today, in Mercy, Genesis tells the story of the first murder. Driven by jealousy and resentment, Cain takes the life of his own brother, Abel. Cain then denies any responsibility for the crime with the now oft-repeated line:

Am I my brother’s keeper?

Gen 2_4 Cain

God’s outrage is the answer to Cain’s question. God bans Cain from the soil which had been his livelihood, because that same soil now cries out with Abel’s blood.

The account is appalling and traumatic. We have gotten so used to hearing it that we may be immune to the abomination. Brother turned against brother. God’s gift of life and hope taken irrevocably in a moment of selfish anger. All of First Creation must have fallen on its knees in sadness and shock at this primal crime.

Friends, as you pray today, pick up the newspaper. See Cain’s crime repeated over and over again as humanity becomes more and more desensitized to its horror. We have even devolved to the point that some murders are “legal” under the pseudonyms of war, abortion, genocide, and capital punishment. Our culture is rife with the abuse of life in so many forms that we have become hardened to its reality just to protect our souls.

When Jesus meets such hardness of heart in our Gospel, he refuses to give them a sign of his power. He just walks away.

Let us pray that God will not walk away from our desensitized generation – that he will give us a sign of grace to open our eyes.

Music: Kyrie Eleison Lord, have mercy) ~ Michael Hoppè
(Visuals appear to be filmed at Normandy, soil filled with the blood of those who died on D-Day)

P.S. I am sending a second reflection later today that has been heavily on my mind. I hope some of you find a spiritual benefit in it.