| Shepherds of Christ
December 23, 2009
The Novena Rosary
Please pray for a special intention.
December 23, 2009
Sing before and in between
The Rosary Song
From the Mass Book
January 2, 1997
"In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen."
"The grace of our Lord, Jesus Christ, and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all."
God pours out His grace in this Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. It is the greatest gift when God gives Himself to us.
We share with God His life, given to us abundantly in the Mass.
He gives Himself to us, and we give ourselves to Him. The great love affair between God and man: His Holy Mass.
The priest is another Christ to us. It is Christ present, through the priest, celebrating the Mass. We must see Christ in the priest, see Him celebrate the Mass, see His beautiful brown hair, His gentle face, see Him, Our Savior. This Jesus Christ that came was born an infant and gave Himself to His death on the cross that we would share His life. See Him now in the Mass, giving Himself in the greatest gift of all. He gives us His divine love and His divine life.
Oh, we thank You for Your life. We know He died and rose and gave us a sharing in His holy life. His life is now abundantly poured, as a fountain to us, especially in the Mass.
Then we hear His Word. Let the Word of God penetrate our being. Let us feel this Living Word of God. As a two-edged sword, it comes forth with such conviction and love and it penetrates the souls of the faithful with such love. It is food indeed, food for our soul.
He is the Good Shepherd. He speaks to us. He gives us all we want. "There is nothing I shall want." (The Lord is my shepherd; I have everything I need. Ps. 23:1).
He gives us green pastures, and His water pours out and refreshes us. He outpours His grace as a fountain to feed us with His life.
He is a just God, good and kind, all loving, for He is love. We want for nothing for He outpours His love and His life to us in the Mass. We feast on His Body and Blood and are fed with His Word. We become one in Him and He shares Himself with us.
It is through the Mass celebrated by the hands of a holy pries that we will experience the Mass the way Christ intends. These writings are insights which hopefully will help lead you to the spring of life-giving water, the fountain of love and life He outpours in the Mass.
There will be a new earth when men will see with the light of seven suns. They will know God. A people walking in darkness will see a great light. They will no longer be blind, they will be enlightened, they will love God with the greatest love in the Mass. They will feast on His Body and Blood and will be united as one body in His holy Church through His life given to us in the Eucharist.
We will drink copiously from the fountain of grace which He pours out in the Mass. We will be filled with His love, absorbed with the love of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and feasting on His divine life.
We see with the vision of God. We partake in such a union with God. We see with the light the Spirit gives to us. The priest celebrates the Mass and we know God with such an intense knowing in this union. We are saturated with His life flowing from the hands of His consecrated priest.
And I look at Him, the priest, and I see Jesus there. I see Him giving Himself to me. I see the new and Holy City. I see with such clarity the great gift that God gives to us in the Mass!
We learn how to love in the Mass, for we unite to God. He gives us such an intimate sharing in His divine love that we carry His love out to the world. In this union we know His loving to an intense degree and we carry this love out to others. We share in an intense way in His divine act of loving. He, Who is Love, gives Himself to us and we are absorbed in His love and we know intensely how God loves. We are filled with love for God and for each other, for, in the oneness He is loving through us. He gives us lights into His loving capacity and we know His loving power in an intensity we did not know before.
We then pray. We offer up our intentions for this Mass. It is now we who intercede to Him to outpour His grace on us and help us with these intentions.
We pray for this reign of peace when the Sacred Heart of Jesus will reign and the Immaculate Heart of Mary will triumph and men will fervently love and adore God with burning love. We pray for all souls and the Church and we beg for His help, His love, His grace.
We offer ourselves as a sacrifice. We offer the bread that will become the Bread of Life.
The priest mixes the water and the wine and we realize how His Divinity mixes with our humanity.
We offer the wine that will become our spiritual drink—His Blood.
I give myself to Him and I beg to be cleansed of my sins with the washing of the hands.
"May the Lord accept the sacrifice of your hands for the praise and glory of His name, for our good and the good of all His Church."
We ask Him to accept the gifts we want to give Him, we give Him thanks, we lift up our hearts in thanks and praise and we sing out:
"Holy, Holy God, of power and might..." we sing Him praise and thank Him, "Oh, God we love thee so much."
My heart is so filled with such awe. I cry because I love Him so much.
Every word in the Mass, I love. The priest consecrates the Host and changes it into the Body and Blood of Christ. Hear Christ say to us: "This is My Body", "This is My Blood".
Oh, it makes me cry for I am so struck with awe at what happens at the Consecration. I unite in the oneness with the priest, with Christ and with all present, with heaven and earth. I am one in that moment, united in the sacrifice of Christ giving Himself to the Father.
This is the moment when I unite in such oneness with Christ in the purity of Mary's heart. I give myself as a sacrifice. I offer myself to the Father.
The Father looks down and He sees us united to His Son's Sacrifice. It is in this oneness that His grace is outpoured on us, that we die to that which is not like Him and that the Holy Spirit works in the heart of Mary and fills us with His life.
I am in ecstasy as I realize more and more the great gift of love that God gives us in His holy Mass. I am taken to such heights, being wrapped in the presence of God. It is rapture, this Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
It is a great gift, experiencing this intense presence of the Almighty God: Through Him, With Him, and In Him.
We pray to the Father the prayer as Jesus taught us and beg, "Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven."
We pray: "For the Kingdom, the power and the glory are Yours, now and forever."
We beg for peace in our hearts. We share this peace with one another. Then we beg of the Lamb of God. I want to get down to the ground and beg for His grace, mercy, and forgiveness for our sins.
Please, God, I see us as a sinful people. I want the grace and mercy to flow abundantly.
He raises the Host and says: "This is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, happy are those who are called to His supper."
We respond: "Lord, I am not worthy to receive You, but only say the word and I shall be healed."
I receive the Almighty God in Communion. All I want is Him. Oh, God, I want You, I adore You, I worship You, I love You.
Oh, for this moment when God gives Himself to me. Oh, God, words do not express this time—this intense presence of You within my being. Oh, sweet Savior, I love You!
You share Yourself so intimately with me. You imprint on my soul a knowing of Your Divine Being that is so intimate in this Communion when You give Yourself to me.
Oh, let our hearts be open to His grace that we may know this great gift more, that we will partake more fully in this greatest act of love with Divinity.
He shares Himself with us, the Almighty God, in such oneness. This is the greatest way to bind us with each other, to unite with each other in the Mass and Communion.
And so I sing the love of God, the love of His Mass. I beg you to pray for the grace that He can teach you in these writings about His most intimate love affair with man, the gift of Himself—the gift He gives us in the Mass.
The Holy Sacrifice, the sacrifice of Calvary, sacramentally-made-present in the Mass when He gives Himself to us with the greatest love!
And what does He ask in return? He asks that we love one another, that we give Him the glory, the thanksgiving, the adoration that is His due as the Almighty God.
He sends us forth with His blessing to share His most intimate love with all. We go forth as other Christs in the world. For He is alive this day and He lives in us and He gives His love to others through us. We act as channels of His life to one another.
The Mass is the richest source of His life. His life flows through the body, the Church, especially through the sacraments and the Mass.
Oh Jesus, from the fountain of life that pours forth from your pierced Heart, give us holy priests whose hearts are consecrated to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary to celebrate the Mass—that there is such oneness between the priest and Christ that His grace will flow copiously.
We thirst for the fountain of life pouring forth from the pierced Heart of Christ. It is His life we seek and find in the Church. It is His love we want and we experience the greatest love affair with God in the Mass.
These books on the Mass are accounts of my intimate love affair with our Almighty God. Many experiences were enlightenments I received in the Mass.
I strongly advise all to pray, to say the Holy Spirit Prayer, the consecration prayers, and the Prayer before the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, before Mass.
This book is the journey into the red room, the inner chamber of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, through the gateway, the pure and Immaculate Heart of His Mother.
It is in the Mass we give ourselves in such love to our Holy God. He gives Himself to us and we give ourselves to Him.
end of January 2, 1997
Fr. Carter found out September 22, 2000
he had cancer.
His funeral was December 22, 2000.
December 23, 2009
Mysteries of Light
Baptism of Jesus
(1) Matthew 3: 13-17
Then Jesus appeared: he came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptised by John. John tried to dissuade him, with the words, ‘It is I who need baptism from you, and yet you come to me!’ But Jesus replied, ‘Leave it like this for the time being; it is fitting that we should, in this way, do all that uprightness demands.’ Then John gave in to him.
And when Jesus had been baptised he at once came up from the water, and suddenly the heavens opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming down on him. And suddenly there was a voice from heaven, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved; my favour rests on him.’
(2) Baptism is such a gift.
(3) In baptism we receive such gifts —
a sharing in His Divine Life.
(4) If we are baptized and remain in the
state of grace — the Father, Son and
Holy Spirit dwell in us in a special way —
(5) Isaiah 42: 1-4, 6-7
First song of the servant
Here is my servant whom I uphold,
my chosen one
in whom my soul delights.
I have sent my spirit upon him,
he will bring fair judgement to the nations.
He does not cry out or raise his voice,
his voice is not heard in the street;
he does not break the crushed reed
or snuff the faltering wick.
Faithfully he presents fair judgement;
he will not grow faint,
he will not be crushed
until he has established
fair judgement on earth,
and the coasts and islands
are waiting for his instruction.
I, Yahweh, have called you
in saving justice,
I have grasped you by the hand
and shaped you;
I have made you a covenant of the people
and light to the nations,
to open the eyes of the blind,
to free captives from prison,
and those who live in darkness
from the dungeon.
(6) Guiding Light - Feed My Soul - Cycle C Homilies - by Fr. Joe Robinson
Baptism of the Lord - January 8, 2007
Today’s first reading is closely connected with Jesus’ baptism. This first reading was written over 500 years before Christ. It is a mysterious passage in that scholars do not know who the prophet was writing about. But in hindsight, we can see how perfectly Jesus fulfilled this description of God's servant. The words that introduce our first reading are directly connected with the account of Jesus’ baptism. In our first reading God introduces his servant in this way: “Here is my servant whom I uphold, my chosen one with whom I am well pleased.” And it is on this servant that God has put his spirit. God's words at Jesus’ baptism are almost exactly the same except for one word that is changed. At Jesus’ baptism, God speaks of Jesus as his Son. And upon Jesus God the Father sends the Spirit. We have here something more than just an introduction of God's Son to the world and his being empowered by the Spirit. The words of the Father also gave direction to Jesus’ future work. Jesus was being called for the victory of justice. He was to be a covenant of the people, a light for the nations as described in this servant passage from Isaiah.
(7) Acts 10: 34-38
Then Peter addressed them, ‘I now really understand’, he said, ‘that God has no favourites, but that anybody of any nationality who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.
‘God sent his word to the people of Israel, and it was to them that the good news of peace was brought by Jesus Christ—he is the Lord of all. You know what happened all over Judaea, how Jesus of Nazareth began in Galilee, after John had been preaching baptism. God had anointed him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and because God was with him, Jesus went about doing good and curing all who had fallen into the power of the devil.
(8) Guiding Light - Feed My Soul - Cycle C Homilies - by Fr. Joe Robinson - January 8, 2007 - Baptism of the Lord
The baptism of John the Baptist was a baptism of repentance. Jesus was God's Son, human like us in every way, except he was without sin. Why would he present himself for baptism by John? If you are confused about the baptism of Jesus you are in good company. The early Church was confused and somewhat uncomfortable about it. St. Matthew reports John saying to Jesus “I ought to be baptized by you, yet you come to me.” St. Luke, as we heard in today’s gospel, hardly mentions the baptism itself. And St. John in his gospel makes only an indirect reference to it. Yet all the gospels as well as the Acts of the Apostles know that it happened, but they struggled to understand it.
Jesus did not have sin to repent of, so John’s baptism had no relevance in this regard. One approach to understanding this event is to see it as a clarification of who Jesus is. He is God's Son, his beloved, with whom the Father is well pleased. There would be no question about Jesus’ identity. Jesus’ identity had already been revealed to us in Luke’s gospel when the angel told Mary at the annunciation that she would conceive her child through the power of the Holy Spirit and he would be holy and would be called Son of God. Jesus’ identity was also revealed when Jesus was lost in the temple for three days and when he was found he said to his parents: “why were you looking for me? Didn’t you know I must be in my Father’s house?” But his identity was hidden from everyone around them. It was only when Jesus was baptized and God announced to the world “This is my beloved Son” and the Spirit came down upon him that the world was to know who he was.
Our baptism gives us our identity too. It tells us: we are God's child, sharing God's life, beloved by the Father and called to live our lives in a way that is pleasing to our heavenly Father. So often we forget who we are and that we are God's beloved. The advertising media is constantly telling us we don’t measure up, we’re not worthwhile. We’re not as beautiful, as shapely, as energetic, as stylish, as popular, as successful, as wonderful, as happy as we should be. But do not despair! The ads tell us the product they happen to be promoting will make everything better. It will solve our problems and make us over into someone worthwhile.
(9) Guiding Light - Feed My Soul - Cycle C Homilies - by Fr. Joe Robinson - Homily Baptism of the Lord continues
God has already made us someone worthwhile. He first made us in his image and likeness. More than that he has given us his life. He has made us his beloved son or daughter. Archbishop Tutu, the Anglican bishop from South Africa, says he always preaches one message to his people there. His message is simple and he repeats it over and over again. It is that “God loves you.” “I tell them that,” he says, “because the entire culture tells them that they are unlovable, and I have to give them the message of who they really are, because God loves them.”
Through baptism we have been defined forever as God's children and the only one who can deface or destroy that dignity that has been given to us is we, ourselves.
But, Jesus’ baptism not only clarified for all the world who Jesus was, but it also gave Jesus his mission. He was to be a covenant of the people and a light for the nations. Especially he was called to establish justice on the earth. Justice here means “righteousness,” fidelity to God, goodness, living up to what we know God wants of us. Who we are should define how we live . If a person is a policeman, he or she is to work to uphold the law. If a person is a doctor, he or she has a concern about people’s health. If a person is a teacher, he or she is oriented toward helping people grow in wisdom and knowledge. If we are God's child, we are called to live up to that dignity. And in trying to live up to that dignity, who better could we imitate than the perfect Son of God, with whom the Father was well pleased.
As we celebrate Jesus’ baptism, may we at the same time celebrate our own. May we rejoice in God's gift of love and life given to us, and may we live up to the high dignity with which God has blessed us.
(10) Sing: Come Holy Ghost
Marriage at Cana
(1) John 2: 1-11
On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee. The mother of Jesus was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited. And they ran out of wine, since the wine provided for the feast had all been used, and the mother of Jesus said to him, ‘They have no wine.’ Jesus said, ‘Woman, what do you want from me? My hour has not come yet.’ His mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you.’ There were six stone water jars standing there, meant for the ablutions that are customary among the Jews: each could hold twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants, ‘Fill the jars with water,’ and they filled them to the brim. Then he said to them, ‘Draw some out now and take it to the president of the feast.’ They did this; the president tasted the water, and it had turned into wine. Having no idea where it came from—though the servants who had drawn the water knew—the president of the feast called the bridegroom and said, ‘Everyone serves good wine first and the worse wine when the guests are well wined; but you have kept the best wine till now.’ This was the first of Jesus’ signs: it was at Cana in Galilee. He revealed his glory, and his disciples believed in him. After this he went down to Capernaum with his mother and his brothers and his disciples, but they stayed there only a few days.
(2) Jesus performed miracles
We see Mary's intercession —
Jesus changed water into wine.
(3) God wants us to grow in the spiritual life —
We are to be constantly changing to be
more and more in the image of Jesus.
(4) Mary carried the baby Jesus within her womb —
Jesus was formed in the womb of Mary
through the power of the Holy Spirit.
(5) We go to the spiritual womb of Mary —
She is our spiritual Mother.
We are formed more and more in the
image of Jesus as the Holy Spirit
forms us more in that image —
(6) From Tell My People by Fr. Edward Carter
The Holy Spirit
Jesus: "My beloved friend, tell My people to pray daily to the Holy Spirit. They are to pray for an increase in His gifts. My people must realize that the Holy Spirit comes to transform them. The Spirit desires to transform you more and more according to My image. Those who are docile to His touch become increasingly shaped in My likeness. He performs this marvel within Mary's Immaculate Heart. The more one dwells in My Mother's Heart, the more active are the workings of the Spirit. The Spirit leads Mary to place you within My own Heart. In both Our Hearts, then, your transformation continues. The more you are formed after My own Heart, the more I lead you to the bosom of My Father. Tell My people all this. Tell them to pray daily for a greater appreciation of these wondrous gifts. I am Lord and Master. All who come to My Heart will be on fire to receive the gifts of the Spirit in ever greater measure! I love and bless My people!"
Reflection: The Holy Spirit is given to us to fashion us ever more according to the likeness of Jesus. And the more we are like Jesus, the more Jesus leads us to the Father. Do we, each day, pray to the Holy Spirit to be more open to His transforming influence? Do we strive each day to grow in union with Mary? The greater our union with our Mother, the spouse of the Holy Spirit, the greater is the transforming action of the Holy Spirit within us.
(7) Shepherds of Christ Priestly Newsletter - 2000 Issue 3
The Holy Spirit and Mary
Martinez of Mexico strikingly speaks of the ongoing cooperation of Mary with the Holy Spirit regarding the reproduction of Jesus within us: "Christian life is the reproduction of Jesus in souls…
"Now, how will this mystical reproduction be brought about in souls? In the same way in which Jesus was brought into the world, for God gives a wonderful mark of unity to all His works. Divine acts have a wealth of variety because they are the work of omnipotence; nevertheless, a most perfect unity always shines forth from them because they are the fruit of wisdom; and this divine contrast of unity and variety stamps the works of God with sublime and unutterable beauty.
"In His miraculous birth, Jesus was the fruit of heaven and earth…The Holy Spirit conveyed the divine fruitfulness of the Father to Mary, and the virginal soil brought forth in an ineffable manner our most loving Savior, the divine Seed, as the prophets called Him…
"That is the way He is reproduced in souls. He is always the fruit of heaven and earth.
"Two artisans must concur in the work that is at once God’s masterpiece and humanity’s supreme product: the Holy Spirit and the most holy Virgin Mary. Two sanctifiers are necessary to souls, the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, for they are the only ones who can reproduce Christ.
"Undoubtedly, the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary sanctify us in different ways. The first is the Sanctifier by essence; because He is God, who is infinite sanctity; because He is the personal Love that completes, so to speak, the sanctity of God, consummating His life and His unity, and it belongs to Him to communicate to souls the mystery of that sanctity. The Virgin Mary, for her part, is the co-operator, the indispensable instrument in and by God’s design. From Mary’s maternal relation to the human body of Christ is derived her relation to His Mystical Body which is being formed through all the centuries until the end of time, when it will be lifted up to the heavens, beautiful, splendid, complete, and glorious.
"These two, then, the Holy Spirit and Mary, are the indispensable artificers of Jesus, the indispensable sanctifiers of souls. Any saint in heaven can co-operate in the sanctification of a soul, but his co-operation is not necessary, not profound, not constant: while the co-operation of these two artisans of Jesus of whom we have just been speaking is so necessary that without it souls are not sanctified (and this by the actual design of Providence), and so intimate that it reaches to the very depths of our soul. For the Holy Spirit pours charity into our heart, makes a habitation of our soul, and directs our spiritual life by means of His gifts. The Virgin Mary has the efficacious influence of Mediatrix in the most profound and delicate operations of grace in our souls. And, finally, the action of the Holy Spirit and the co-operation of the most holy Virgin Mary are constant; without them, not one single character of Jesus would be traced on our souls, no virtue grow, no gift be developed, no grace increased, no bond of union with God be strengthened in the rich flowering of the spiritual life.
"Such is the place that the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary have in the order of sanctification. Therefore, Christian piety should put these two artisans of Christ in their true place, making devotion to them something necessary, profound, and constant."
18. Archbishop Luis M. Martinez, The Sanctifier, op. cit. pp. 5-7.
Shepherds of Christ Priestly Newsletter
2007 - Issue 5 - page 1
John 10: 11-15
I am the good shepherd:
the good shepherd lays down his life
for his sheep.
The hired man,
since he is not the shepherd
and the sheep do not belong to him,
abandons the sheep
as soon as he sees a wolf coming,
and runs away,
and then the wolf attacks
and scatters the sheep;
he runs away
because he is only a hired man
and has no concern for the sheep.
I am the good shepherd;
I know my own
and my own know me,
just as the Father knows me
and I know the Father;
and I lay down my life for my sheep.
Mold me Mary
O beautiful mold of Mary, where Jesus was naturally and divinely
formed, pray for me.
Mary you molded your Son, Jesus, God and man.
May I be melted and broken down so that I may be poured into
May you mold me in such a way that I might appear as your Son.
Mold me to be fully human and so that I may participate in the
divinity of your Son.
O beautiful mold of Mary, where Jesus was naturally and divinely
formed, pray for me.
MARY --By Fr. Karl Rahner (excerpt)
“Holy Virgin, truly mother of the eternal Word who has come into our flesh and our life, Lady who conceived in faith and in your blessed womb the salvation of us all, and so are the mother of all the redeemed, you who live ever in God’s life, near to us still, because those united to God are nearest to us.
With the thankfulness of the redeemed, we praise the eternal mercy of God that redeemed you. When your existence began, sanctifying grace already was yours, and the irrevocable grace was with you always. You walked the way of all the children of this earth, the narrow paths which seem to wander so aimlessly through this life of time, commonplace, sorrowful roads, until death. But they were God’s ways, the path of faith and unconditional consent: ‘Be it done unto me according to thy word.’ And in a moment that never passes, but remains valid for all eternity, your voice became the voice of all mankind, and your Yes was the Amen of all creation to God’s irrevocable decree. You conceived in faith and in your womb Him who is at once God and man, creator and creature, changeless unalterable blessedness, and an earthly life marked out for bitter death, Jesus Christ our Lord. For our salvation you said Yes, for us you spoke your Fiat;
(Prayers for a Lifetime, trans. Albert Raffelt [New York: Crossroad, 1986], 140-142).
RIESTHOOD -- By Charles De Foucauld
To a Friend Preparing for Ordination
“The priest... is something transcendant; through baptism he brings souls to birth, through the sacrament of penance he purifies them, through communion he gives them our Lord’s Body as He Himself did at the Last Supper, and at their death He helps them to appear before the Beloved by giving them their final forgiveness and the supreme strength... Every single day of his life, a priest does what Jesus did during his three years of ministry—He teaches men to know, love and serve their good Master. What a vocation!”
end of page 1 - SofC Priestly Newsletter
Prayer for the Word Alive in Our Hearts
We know, dear Holy Spirit, the Word in His human nature was brought forth within the womb of the woman. We pray that His word will be brought forth in our hearts as He lives and dwells in us. We want the incarnation to go on in our lives. Dear Holy Spirit, work in us.
We are to be children of the light —
(10) Sing: Come Holy Ghost
Kingdom of God
(1) Luke 23: 35-43
The people stayed there watching. As for the leaders, they jeered at him with the words, 'He saved others, let him save himself if he is the Christ of God, the Chosen One.' The soldiers mocked him too, coming up to him, offering him vinegar, and saying, 'If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.' Above him there was an inscription: 'This is the King of the Jews'.
One of the criminals hanging there abused him: 'Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us as well.' But the other spoke up and rebuked him. 'Have you no fear of God at all?' he said. 'You got the same sentence as he did, but in our case we deserved it: we are paying for what we did. But this man has done nothing wrong.' Then he said, 'Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.' He answered him, 'In truth I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.'
(2) 2 Samuel 5: 1-3
David is anointed king of Israel
All the tribes of Israel then came to David at Hebron and said, 'Look, we are your own flesh and bone. In days past when Saul was our king, it was you who led Israel on its campaigns, and to you it was that Yahweh promised, "You are to shepherd my people Israel and be leader of Israel." 'So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron, and King David made a pact with them in Yahweh's presence at Hebron, and they anointed David as king of Israel.
Guiding Light - Feed My Soul - Cycle C Homilies - by Fr. Joe Robinson
Christ the King - November 25, 2007
When the first king of Israel, King Saul, was killed in battle, the southern part of Israel chose David as their king. The northern part chose Ishbaal, King Saul’s son, to be their king. Ishbaal was inept and after seven years of chaos, the northern tribes turned to David and asked him to rule them also. This is where our first reading comes in. David was a successful leader and, in spite of some serious misbehavior, was viewed throughout Jewish history as an ideal king. The Jews always hoped for another king like him. When a king assumed his office, he was anointed and thus the ideal king the Jews longed for was often referred to as “the anointed one.” The Hebrew word for this is “Mashiah,” or as we say it: “Messiah.” When Mashiah is translated into Greek we have “Χριστός.” So when we call Jesus “Christ” we are in effect saying Jesus, the King. Christ’s kingdom is not an earthly one, as St. Paul tells us, but it is eternal and a sharing in God’s own authority and power.
(3) Guiding Light - Feed My Soul - Cycle C Homilies - by Fr. Joe Robinson - Christ the King
This will be my last homily for this year. Before everyone cheers or wonders whether I am taking an extended vacation, I should tell you I’m talking about the liturgical year -otherwise known as the Church year. Next Sunday is the first Sunday of Advent, and we begin again a new Church year, preparing ourselves to celebrate Christ’s birth. Before we know it, we’re into Ash Wednesday, and it is especially early this year. The last time Lent came so early in the spring (and that’s because Easter is early) was 89 years ago. Starting next Sunday, then, we begin to recall the major events of Jesus life: his birth, his death, resurrection, ascension and his sending of the Holy Spirit. After Pentecost, as usual, we hear about his miracles and his teaching as presented to us in St. Matthew’s gospel. And as usual, at the end of the liturgical year, we will again celebrate the feast of Christ the King.
The feast of Christ the King was established in 1925 by Pope Pius XI. You might wonder, didn’t Pius XI know kings are not so popular any more? But what else could we call Christ? Should we call him instead a president, a prime minister, the chairman of the board, a dictator, president for life? The title “King” is most fitting for Christ. But he is not the same as any other king. His power is absolute and eternal. He has received his authority and power from God the Father and that will never change.
When we think of kings, it is automatic to associate them with castles and crowns, royal robes, jewelry, servants, armies and various symbols of wealth and power. Today Jesus, our king, is pictured hanging on the cross, his crown a crown of thorns. His small group of followers is nowhere to be found except for his mother, one faithful Apostle, and a couple of women. No rings were on his fingers, just nails in his hands and feet. No royal robes, instead he was most likely stripped naked as was the Roman custom. Later centuries have covered him over with a loin cloth for modesty. No one is cheering him or praising him. His enemies are outdoing each other mocking him. After three years working to establish a kingdom of love, he is condemned as a criminal, tortured and executed. He warned his followers some of them would suffer in a similar fashion. It’s a wonder he had any followers at all.
(4) Guiding Light - Feed My Soul - Cycle C Homilies - by Fr. Joe Robinson - Christ the King continues
I am always impressed when I think of what Jesus did in three years. Moses labored for 40 years, Buddha 45 years, and Muhammad 23. The carpenter on the cross, with the sign above his head, Jesus Christ, king of the Jews, who came from a politically and religiously insignificant part of an insignificant country, influenced this world more than any human being that ever lived. After two thousand years a billion people, including ourselves, call him our king! If some of his followers reflected his teachings more faithfully, there might be six billion who now follow him. Jesus is a king who does not parade around in worldly glory or demonstrate worldly power. However, he is greater than any king who ever lived, for he is “the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.”
Our king does not rule by arms and weapons. Arms and weapons get people’s attention. Without having someone to stand over us with a club or a gun, we are tempted to feel “why do I have to do what they tell me?” A lot of people feel that about Jesus. The people who put him on a cross felt that way, except for his few friends and the thief who asked to be remembered when Jesus entered his kingdom. The Jewish leaders thought they would be rid of this troublemaker, this bossy person who went around telling people how they should live. They didn’t understand the power that he lived by and taught by, the power of love. He will always be a king who rules with love, but whether or not he is king in our lives and in our hearts is up to us. If we respond to him in love, it will lead us into his kingdom of new life.
A cartoon in the New Yorker showed two fellows walking to lunch one day and the one was complaining to the other: “my boss keeps telling me what to do.” Authority is not popular, we like to make our own rules, even with regard to God. The new age theology, which is really a return to paganism, views Christ as a nice guy who overlooks our bad behavior and is going to reward all of us in the end, no matter how we’ve lived. He will forgive us if we turn to him. Notice his words of forgiveness were directed only to one of the two crucified with him. We cannot take our salvation lightly. The cross was not a joy ride for Jesus. Salvation is serious business and Jesus suffered in order to win salvation for us. But he can only save us if we do not forget that he is always our king, not just in an abstract way but in our concrete, everyday lives. Amen.
(5) Colossians 1: 12-20
giving thanks with joy to the Father who has made you able to share the lot of God’s holy people and with them to inherit the light.
Because that is what he has done. It is he who has rescued us from the ruling force of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of the Son that he loves, and in him we enjoy our freedom, the forgiveness of sin.
I: FORMAL INSTRUCTION
Christ is the head of all creation
He is the image of the unseen God,
the first–born of all creation,
for in him were created all things
in heaven and on earth:
and everything invisible,
thrones, ruling forces,
all things were created through him
and for him.
He exists before all things
and in him all things hold together,
and he is the Head of the Body,
that is, the Church.
He is the Beginning,
the first–born from the dead,
so that he should be supreme in every way;
because God wanted all fullness
to be found in him
and through him
to reconcile all things to him,
everything in heaven
and everything on earth,
by making peace through his death
on the cross.
(6) Sing: To Jesus Christ Our Sovereign King
(7) Sing: The King of Glory
(8) Sing: A Song from Jesus
(9)We are commissioned in baptism to spread
the Good News —
To be witnesses to Jesus Christ —
To live in faith — according to
the Father's vision
Jesus is the King of Heaven and
Oh sweet Jesus help us to love You
with all our hearts —
(10) Sing: God's Love
(1) Mark 9: 2-10
Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John and led them up a high mountain on their own by themselves. There in their presence he was transfigured: his clothes became brilliantly white, whiter than any earthly bleacher could make them. Elijah appeared to them with Moses; and they were talking to Jesus. Then Peter spoke to Jesus, "Rabbi," he said, "it is wonderful for us to be here; so let us make three shelters, one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah." He did not know what to say; they were so frightened. And a cloud came, covering them in shadow; and from the cloud there came a voice, "This is my Son, the Beloved. Listen to him." Then suddenly, when they looked round, they saw no one with them any more but only Jesus.
As they were coming down from the mountain he warned them to tell no one what they had seen, until after the Son of man had risen from the dead. They observed the warning faithfully, though among themselves they discussed what 'rising from the dead' could mean.
(2) Jesus took them up and He was transfigured
before them —
(3) Oh God outpour Your grace — fill us
with Your life - that we will
be witnesses, that we will
be children of the light - witnessing to You
(4) Fr. Carter said — we would fall over
if we saw our own graced
(5) Oh God thank You for Your grace —
for the gift of the sharing in
Your Divine life in baptism —
Oh God help us to be as St. Paul
says more and more
"it is no longer I,
but Christ living in me."... —
(6) Matthew 17: 5
‘This is my Son, the Beloved; he enjoys my favour. Listen to him.’
(7) Jesus is the fulfillment of the Law and
Moses was given the Commandments.
Elijah was a great prophet.
(8) We are so loved by God that He gives
us this sharing in His life through baptism —
(9) We go to the altar of the Lord at Mass —
Jesus gives us Himself
(10) Sing: I Love You Jesus
Institution of the Eucharist
(1) Mark 14: 22-25
And as they were eating he took bread, and when he had said the blessing he broke it and gave it to them. ‘Take it,’ he said, ‘this is my body.’ Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he handed it to them, and all drank from it, and he said to them, ‘This is my blood, the blood of the covenant, poured out for many. In truth I tell you, I shall never drink wine any more until the day I drink the new wine in the kingdom of God.’
(2) From the Mass Book
December 27, 1995
LET US LOVE THE TWO HEARTS OF JESUS AND MARY
HE GAVE HIMSELF TO US ON THE CROSS. HE GIVES HIMSELF TO US IN THE EUCHARIST.
How great was the act of love, God gave to this world, when He gave Himself and died on the cross. He gives Himself to us this day in the Holy Eucharist.
The greatest commandment is that we must love God with our whole heart, our whole soul, and our whole being. This is a commandment. If we are to enter heaven, we must follow the commandments. They are commands given by God for us to follow.
The greatest act we can do on this earth is an act of loving God. The reason for our existence is to love God. In the sacrament of His greatest love, He gives Himself to us. This is an act of love on His part. We are called to respond by giving ourselves in love to Him.
This is the purpose of the Holy Eucharist: to unite in such oneness with our Holy, Loving God. Our all consuming passion should be that of loving God. How many go to the Eucharist with the sole purpose of giving great love to God? He wants us to love Him. He wants souls to tell Him how much they truly love Him. This is the most intimate act of love when Jesus gives Himself-Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity to man. If it is such an act of love, how are we receiving Him in Communion? We should beg God, in this most intimate union with Him, to help us to love Him with greatest love.
Jesus is a Person. He wants our love. The Holy Spirit wants such intimacy with us. Our Father wants us to love Him. In the Eucharist, we unite with God. In this intimate act of uniting with our beloved God, with Divinity, we must pour out our love to God. We must pour out our heart to the most adorable Heart of Jesus. Jesus is so unjustly treated by many of His beloved souls He loves so much. Let us help make reparation to the Almighty God by loving God with our whole heart, our whole soul, and our whole being in the sacrament of His greatest love. This is the Gift of Himself.
Think of how it is to love someone and give your all for that person, to pour out your heart to him or her and then be treated with coldness and neglect. It hurts our heart so much more when we deeply love someone to be rejected by that person. Jesus loves us with the deepest love. We cannot fully comprehend this love. Let us love Him with the deepest love. Let us love Mary and her Immaculate Heart. Let us love her as the Mother of God. Let us love her as the virgin who bore the Son of God. May we, in the reception of the Eucharist pour out our love to Him, to this adorable Heart. May we pour out our love to His Holy Mother.
Mary said at Fatima that Jesus wants His Heart venerated next to the heart of His Mother. Let us love these two Hearts as we receive the Sacrament of the Eucharist. Then we are so deeply united with God. We see Their two Hearts surrounded with thorns for the injustices against Their Hearts. Let us help make reparation daily as we receive Him in the Eucharist. This is a special time to help make reparation to Their wounded Hearts.
Let us remember how He poured His love out to us on the cross and how He pours out His love to us now when He gives us Himself in the Eucharist, the Eucharist which contains His Heart of burning love. His Heart was pierced with a lance. Her heart was invisibly pierced with a sword. As the wounds in Their Hearts are deep, so too is Their love so deep.
He does not want "surface love". He wants hearts filled with deep burning love.
end of December 27, 1995
A Prayer before the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
Let me be a holy sacrifice and unite with God in the sacrament of His greatest love.
I want to be one in Him in this act of love, where He gives Himself to me and I give myself as a sacrifice to Him. Let me be a holy sacrifice as I become one with Him in this my act of greatest love to Him.
Let me unite with Him more, that I may more deeply love Him. May I help make reparation to His adorable Heart and the heart of His Mother, Mary. With greatest love, I offer myself to You and pray that You will accept my sacrifice of greatest love. I give myself to You and unite in Your gift of Yourself to me. Come and possess my soul.
Cleanse me, strengthen me, heal me. Dear Holy Spirit act in the heart of Mary to make me more and more like Jesus.
Father, I offer this my sacrifice, myself united to Jesus in the Holy Spirit to You. Help me to love God more deeply in this act of my greatest love.
Give me the grace to grow in my knowledge, love and service of You and for this to be my greatest participation in the Mass. Give me the greatest graces to love You so deeply in this Mass, You who are so worthy of my love.
-Mass Book, December 27, 1995
A Prayer for Intimacy with the Lamb, the Bridegroom of the Soul
Oh Lamb of God, Who take away the sins of the world, come and act on my soul most intimately. I surrender myself, as I ask for the grace to let go, to just be as I exist in You and You act most intimately on my soul. You are the Initiator. I am the soul waiting Your favors as You act in me. I love You. I adore You. I worship You. Come and possess my soul with Your Divine Grace, as I experience You most intimately.
(5) Song: A Priest is a Gift From God
(6) Genesis 14: 18-20
Melchizedek king of Salem brought bread and wine; he was a priest of God Most High. He pronounced this blessing:
Blessed be Abram by God Most High,
Creator of heaven and earth.
And blessed be God Most High
for putting your enemies
into your clutches.
And Abram gave him a tenth of everything.
Guiding Light - Feed My Soul - Cycle C Homilies - by Fr. Joe Robinson - The Body and Blood of Christ
June 10, 2007
Today we celebrate our faith in the Eucharist as the Body and Blood of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Today’s first reading takes us back about 1850 years before Christ. Abraham’s nephew Lot had been captured by some local tribes and Abraham set out to rescue him, which he did. On his return, he passed by Salem, which is Jerusalem today and he was met by Melchizedek, who was both king and high priest in that area. They didn’t believe in separation of church and state in those early days and it was not unusual for the same person to be both king and high priest. Melchizedek offered bread and wine to Abraham. This act of eating together signified the creation of a bond of enduring friendship and mutual protection. Many of the early fathers in the Church saw this gesture as a foreshadowing of the Eucharist.
St. Paul describes the institution of the Eucharist in his letter to the Corinthians. The language he uses indicates that this is a tradition that is authentic and reliable. He received it from the Lord and he is handing it on to the Corinthians as he has received it. Receiving it “from the Lord” does not necessarily mean that he received it directly, but that it is an essential part of the gospel that has its origin in the teaching and the life of Jesus Christ.
(7) 1 Corinthians 11: 23-26
For the tradition I received from the Lord and also handed on to you is that on the night he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread, and after he had given thanks, he broke it, and he said, This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me. And in the same way, with the cup after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Whenever you drink it, do this as a memorial of me. Whenever you eat this bread, then, and drink this cup, you are proclaiming the Lord's death until he comes.
(8) Guiding Light - Feed My Soul - Cycle C Homilies - by Fr.
Joe Robinson - The Body and Blood of Christ
June 10, 2007
I want to begin by saying to all of our fathers here: “Happy Father’s Day.” I was trying to find a joke about fathers and you know what, there aren’t very many. There must be ten times as many jokes about mothers as there are about fathers. Perhaps fathers aren’t as funny or perhaps men write most of the jokes. But since I couldn’t find one about fathers I decided to tell one about mothers. There was this young son who phoned is mother and asked how she was. She said she was awfully weak. Concerned, he asked why she was so weak and she said she hadn’t had anything to eat for 32 days. He was alarmed and asked what was going on she hadn’t eaten for 32 days. She said it was because she didn’t want to have a mouth full of food in case he would call. How’s that for giving someone a guilt trip? Well, in case your mother or father are still alive and you haven’t called your recently, give them a call today. Remember fathers need love and affection as much as mothers do. They just try to be tough and don’t say they do.
I was thinking fathers (and mothers) sometimes have a difficult job. They have to try to convince their children that vegetables do them more good than ice cream, that turning off the TV and going to bed early is important, especially on school nights, that they need to brush their teeth, go to school, be nice to others, share their things, do their chores and do dozens of other things that children are not inclined to do.
God the Father has the same difficult job. He tries to convince us that we are going to be happiest when we do what he tells us to do. One of the hard things he has to do, is to try to get us to to take on faith many things we cannot see. He wants us to believe in him, to believe in his love (even though we do not see it at times), to believe in his Son Jesus, to believe that death is not the end of life but for those who faithfully follow Jesus but it is the beginning of eternal life. One of the things we cannot see but have to take on faith is the Eucharist.
(9) Guiding Light - Feed My Soul - Cycle C Homilies - by Fr. Joe Robinson - The Body and Blood of Christ continues
We heard in today’s gospel the one miracle, other than the resurrection of Jesus, that is reported in all four gospels. It wasn’t necessarily mentioned by all four because it was the most spectacular of Jesus miracles, but because it foreshadows the ongoing miracle of the Eucharist through which Jesus continues to feed his people with his own Body and Blood. When a child who is told to eat spinach and carrots instead of ice cream or cake which they might prefer, they may not see benefit in doing that. We may not see anything special about this small wafer and sip from a cup that we receive in Communion. We just have to take it on faith, a faith that is founded on one thing: the very clear words of our Lord: “This is my Body” and “This is my Blood.” “Do this in remembrance of me.”
I was encouraged recently when I read in the Catholic Telegraph that a recent study reported that 91% of young Catholics (ages 20-39) believe the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Christ at Mass. But I was sorry to see in the same report that only 77% say they can be a good Catholic without attending church every Sunday. It’s like saying I believe that a healthy diet and exercise are really important, but I can be healthy without it.
Most of us nourish our bodies three or more times a day. Yet we’re going to have to leave that part of behind us some day. What are we doing to nourish the spiritual part of us, the part of us that will live forever? Christ gives us himself because he knows we need him. “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.” Jesus lost a lot of his followers because of that line. But he didn’t back down on what he said. The Church tells us to be a good Catholic we must come to Mass at least once a week. This is the way we Catholics observe the third commandment to keep holy the Lord’s day. The Church encourages our full participation at Mass, which includes the reception of Communion but says we must receive the Eucharist at least once a year to be in good standing.
When we were young and didn’t feel like eating our vegetables we did it because we had to. Hopefully as we matured we got to the point that we saw the value of a good diet and followed it. So the Church makes rules about Mass and about the Eucharist to help us when we don’t feel like doing what is beneficial for us, but hopefully most of us have gotten beyond that point to where we are able to be nourished in faith and joy by the bread of life and the cup of eternal salvation.
(10) Sing: I Am the Bread of Life
Mass at Christmas Eve
Isaiah 62: 1-5
The splendour of Jerusalem
About Zion I will not be silent,
about Jerusalem I shall not rest
until saving justice dawns for her
like a bright light
and her salvation like a blazing torch.
The nations will then see
your saving justice,
and all kings your glory,
and you will be called a new name
which Yahweh's mouth will reveal.
You will be a crown of splendour
in Yahweh's hand,
a princely diadem in the hand of your God.
No more will you be known as 'Forsaken'
or your country be known as 'Desolation';
instead, you will be called
'My Delight is in her'
and your country 'The Wedded';
for Yahweh will take delight in you
and your country will have its wedding.
Like a young man marrying a virgin,
your rebuilder will wed you,
and as the bridegroom rejoices in his bride,
so will your God rejoice in you.
Acts 13: 16-17, 22-25
The God of our nation Israel chose our ancestors and made our people great when they were living in Egypt, a land not their own; then by divine power he led them out
Paul stood up, raised his hand for silence and began to speak:
'Men of Israel, and fearers of God, listen!
he deposed him and raised up David to be king, whom he attested in these words, "I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart, who will perform my entire will." To keep his promise, God has raised up for Israel one of David’s descendants, Jesus, as Saviour, whose coming was heralded by John when he proclaimed a baptism of repentance for the whole people of Israel. Before John ended his course he said, "I am not the one you imagine me to be; there is someone coming after me whose sandal I am not fit to undo."
Matthew 1: 1-25
Roll of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, son of David, son of Abraham:
Abraham fathered Isaac,
Isaac fathered Jacob,
Jacob fathered Judah and his brothers,
Judah fathered Perez and Zerah,
whose mother was Tamar,
Perez fathered Hezron,
Hezron fathered Ram,
Ram fathered Amminadab,
Amminadab fathered Nahshon,
Nahshon fathered Salmon,
Salmon fathered Boaz,
whose mother was Rahab,
Boaz fathered Obed,
whose mother was Ruth,
Obed fathered Jesse;
and Jesse fathered King David.
David fathered Solomon,
whose mother had been Uriah’s wife,
Solomon fathered Rehoboam,
Rehoboam fathered Abijah,
Abijah fathered Asa,
Asa fathered Jehoshaphat,
Jehoshaphat fathered Joram,
Joram fathered Uzziah,
Uzziah fathered Jotham,
Jotham fathered Ahaz,
Ahaz fathered Hezekiah,
Hezekiah fathered Manasseh,
Manasseh fathered Amon,
Amon fathered Josiah;
and Josiah fathered Jechoniah
and his brothers.
Then the deportation to Babylon
After the deportation to Babylon:
Jechoniah fathered Shealtiel,
Shealtiel fathered Zerubbabel,
Zerubbabel fathered Abiud,
Abiud fathered Eliakim,
Eliakim fathered Azor,
Azor fathered Zadok,
Zadok fathered Achim,
Achim fathered Eliud,
Eliud fathered Eleazar,
Eleazar fathered Matthan,
Matthan fathered Jacob;
and Jacob fathered Joseph
the husband of Mary;
of her was born Jesus
who is called Christ.
The sum of generations is therefore: fourteen from Abraham to David; fourteen from David to the Babylonian deportation; and fourteen from the Babylonian deportation to Christ.
This is how Jesus Christ came to be born. His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph; but before they came to live together she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph, being an upright man and wanting to spare her disgrace, decided to divorce her informally. He had made up his mind to do this when suddenly the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because she has conceived what is in her by the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son and you must name him Jesus, because he is the one who is to save his people from their sins.’ Now all this took place to fulfil what the Lord had spoken through the prophet:
Look! the virgin is with child
and will give birth to a son
whom they will call Immanuel,
a name which means ‘God–is–with–us’. When Joseph woke up he did what the angel of the Lord had told him to do: he took his wife to his home; he had not had intercourse with her when she gave birth to a son; and he named him Jesus.
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Words of Jesus to Members of
Shepherds of Christ Associates:
"My beloved priest-companion, I intend to use the priestly newsletter, Shepherds of Christ, and the movement, Shepherds of Christ Associates, in a powerful way for the renewal of My Church and the world.
"I will use the newsletter and the chapters of Shepherds of Christ Associates as a powerful instrument for spreading devotion to My Heart and My Mother's Heart.
"I am calling many to become members of Shepherds of Christ Associates. To all of them I will give great blessings. I will use them as instruments to help bring about the triumph of the Immaculate Heart and the reign of My Sacred Heart. I will give great graces to the members of Shepherds of Christ Associates. I will call them to be deeply united to My Heart and to Mary's Heart as I lead them ever closer to My Father in the Holy Spirit."
- Message from Jesus to Father Edward J. Carter, S.J., Founder, as given on July 31, 1994,
feast of Saint Ignatius Loyola, Founder of the Society of Jesus (The Jesuits)
The China Church is over 140 years old
and we pray in there 24 hours a day.
It needs stucco and so does
the community building.
Can you please help us?
Call Shepherds of Christ
Likewise the priest house
is 150 years old.
Jesus told us to repair it
which we have been doing.
We need $13,000.00 for this work.
You can help put the Blue Book V
in the hands of 1,000 people
we need $1,200 postage for this
It is ready to go
Call Shepherds of Christ
You can help put Fr. Joe's homily
book in the hands of
1,000 priests — it costs $1,100
This can help 1,000 parish priests
talk about Covenant for Lent
Please help us
It is ready to go
Call Shepherds of Christ
Crucifix — hand carved by Felix
Available for $750.00
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