SECOND SUNDAY OF LENT

It is Good to be Here

In the Gospel reading this weekend Jesus takes with him Peter, James, John, and Peter’s brother Andrew. These four men have been with Jesus the longest, ever since being called away by Jesus into a new life. When they reach the top of the mountain, the face of Jesus is transformed and his clothes become a dazzling white.
Next Peter reacts in a way that I imagine many of us would react. He says “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” Peter’s reaction is to do something, as opposed to simply taking in the moment and the events that are before him. He does this likely because he is excited, and overwhelmed, and even scared. Then the dark cloud comes over them and they hear the voice of God. At that point the apostles fall down in fear, which is also a reaction we would probably have. It seems like the apostles can’t deal with what is happening right
before their eyes.
I feel as though the Gospel passage is telling us to draw closer to the Lord by just being present to him. For me, like the apos-tles, when the glory of God through the holy spirit is revealed before me, I feel the need to do something, even sometimes to resist it, as opposed to just be with God, and to let the moment be a transformative one in my life.
It’s interesting to see how at the side of Jesus, stood Moses, the mighty leader, who had led Israel out of slavery, and Elijah, the greatest of Israel’s prophets.
We are embarking on a time of change in Parish, and in our Diocese. We will need leaders to step up and help us through this process of change, as in just a few short years, things will look very different than they do now. We will also need prophets to encourage change, and demonstrate why the changes need to come. I feel we are very
fortunate to have a great pastor, and a strong leadership team to help us along this time. The same can be said for the Diocese as well, as there are already incredible things happening, by the grace of the movement of the holy spirit.
Our main focus must be on light of Christ as our primary guide, a light that at Mount Tabor had never been seen before. A light which “no fuller on earth could bleach them.” If we keep focus on Jesus, the light of our parish, and the Archdiocese will continue to shine brightly for years to come.
God bless you all, Deacon Danny

SIXTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

Healing and Cleansing 

When I read the story of Jesus healing a man with leprosy, I couldn’t help but think back to travelling to Kenya a few years ago, and meeting a man with
leprosy. As you can see from the picture I have included, the disease took its toll on the man, where he lost one foot and the other was badly dam-aged.
However, at the same time, I believe that he was healed and cleansed by his community, much like Jesus healed the man in the reading. I say he was healed because while he did lose his foot because of leprosy, his com-munity was able to save his life by providing medicine and other care at the clinic that was
happening. at the time. I feel he was cleansed because when I spoke to the man, he told me how the community had embraced, and welcomed him, even though some were scared of him because of his disease It’s like the
community lived out the gospel message that Jesus is teaching us to reach out to those living on the margins, even
if we might be scared or unsure of them. After speaking to the man along with some of the people who were with him, they all were amazed at the spiritual, physical, and emotional healing that had taken place in him.
We are called to recognize anyone in need and to bring them into our community, and help them heal and be cleansed.
Sometimes, the challenge is recognizing those in need, and getting past our own fears. I recently watched a movie with my family about Ruby Bridges. She is an American civil rights activist. She was the first African-American child to desegregate the all-white William Frantz Elementary School in Louisiana during the New Orleans school desegregation crisis in 1960. There is a scene in the movie of a teacher, and she is speaking about how they
shouldn’t bring Ruby into the school, and how we need to keep the black and the white students separated. The next thing this lady does is sit down to have lunch, and then she does the sign of the cross and says grace. The way they filmed it and the way the actress portrayed it, you really do get pretty upset watching it. Sometimes it seems we don’t recognize how to be Christ to others, and sometimes we don’t even see that someone is in need. The lady in the movie couldn’t get past all her preconceived ideas and was affected by her culture, all of which made her blind to the needs of this young child and the needs of the African-American people during this difficult time. Jesus calls us to heal the broken hearted in any way that we can, and to constantly pray that we recognize the needs of others, and that there are still groups and individuals out there who desperately want community, and love, and healing. After all, don’t we say Jesus is for everyone? God bless you all, Deacon Danny

FIFTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

Off to a solitary place

 

There is a lovely scene here where Jesus heals the mother in law of Simon Peter. When
researching this reflection, I discovered that the fact that today’s Gospel from Mark
makes reference to Jesus curing Peter’s mother-in-law would seem to point to the fact
that Peter was married. However, the majority of scholars are of the opinion that the
wife may have died before Peter was called by Jesus as an Apostle. In fact, there are
many misconceptions about St. Peter. For one, although often portrayed as much older,
he was probably younger than Jesus. In fact all 12 Apostles were most likely younger
than Jesus. Peter is often presented in paintings and movies and books as being a very
old man, but historians have also concluded that Peter was martyred in Rome when he
was about 66 years old. He was never the old, old man we see depicted quite often. The
fact that Jesus healed Simon’s mother in law, and that she immediately got up and served Jesus has symbolic
meaning for us as well. When we are healed by Jesus or enter into relationship with him, we too are called to
immediately get up, and serve him, and serve others at the same time.
The other line in the reading that struck me was “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left
the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” We see Jesus going off to be by himself often in the
gospels as it was so important for him to have time where it is just him and God. I read that line and I thought
wow!, that would be nice to have. Then I remembered, we have a place just like that to go to, and that is during the
exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. Every Thursday, after 9am Mass until 5:00pm, we have Adoration of the
Blessed Sacrament in our church. It is a time where you can come and spend one on one time with Jesus. I can’t
tell you how many times I have gone before Jesus and felt enormous peace afterwards, especially during times when
there was something difficult to deal with and think about. I may not have received the whole solution to the problem,
but my attitude towards it was sure changed, as I was better able to deal with the challenges of life. You can
come anytime during the day on Thursday between 9:30am and 5:00pm. Come and join the wonderful parishioners
who visit Jesus all day, as at least one person is with Jesus all day in the chapel, Jesus is never left alone. I promise
you that if you take, even a few minutes every Thursday to spend with Jesus and the Blessed Sacrament, you will
find peace by spending a one on one time with Jesus.
God bless you all
Deacon Danny