The wellspring of thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving Day: Nov. 22, 2012
Sir 50:22-24; Ps 145; 1 Cor 1:3-9; Luke 17:11-19

A week or two ago, I received the latest newsletter from the Saint Luke Institute, which helps priests and religious sisters who have run into psychological difficulties. And the article on the front page was written by none other than Fr. Hugh Lagan SMA (who was recently resident in this parish for a couple years and is a member of their clinical staff). In this article, he spoke about “positive psychology,” which, rather than focusing upon psychological illness, instead studies what it takes for human beings to grow and function well and thrive. Toward the end of the article, he passed on two specific tips:

  • Count your blessings: Every evening for one week, write down three things that went well during the day. This can help refocus your thoughts on the positive, rather than the negative, and enhance your well-being. (more…)

Ascension of the Lord: Christ kicks it up a notch

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Ascension of the Lord, Year B: May 20, 2012
Acts 1:1-11; Ps 47; Eph 4:1-13; Mark 16:15-20

On that first Good Friday, our Lord Jesus suffered, died upon the cross, and was buried. On the third day, that first Easter Sunday, he rose from the dead, his body transformed, the firstfruits of the Resurrection. For the next 40 days, he appeared often to his disciples, teaching them about the Kingdom of God. And then, as we heard in our first reading and our Gospel reading, he ascended into heaven.

Today we celebrate our Lord’s Ascension; and so, we might say, we celebrate his retirement. His work has been accomplished; his earthly life is done; and so it’s time to go back home and sit down and relax. It’s time to retire.

No! Christ’s Ascension was not retirement! (more…)

To redeem and to save what was lost

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22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A: August 28, 2011
Jer 20:7-9; Ps 63; Rom 12:1-2; Matt 16:21-27

As we celebrate this Holy Mass today, we all are awaiting the arrival of Hurricane Irene—which will bring strong rains and powerful winds, and will cause a lot of damage, especially along the coast. And we might think back three weeks ago, when we heard the Gospel reading about the disciples crossing the Sea of Galilee at night, when a powerful storm came up, with great winds and waves that tossed their boat around and threatened their lives; and Jesus came to them, walking on the water; and then he calmed the storm.

The disciples knew about storms—and not just the storms on that sea. They knew about the great storms that we constantly face in this earthly life: (more…)