Saturday, April 24, 2010


They devote every day to God. Every single one.

They spend time teaching, so that we can be inspired.

They get up in front of a crowd every week, when many are afraid to do that just once.

They listen for countless hours as we pour our sins and problems on them, yet they rarely return the favor.

They are the vessel for the miracle of the Eucharist.

They are held to unreasonable standards of perfection, even though they are as human as you and I.

They suffer a disproportionate amount of backlash because of the mistakes of a small sample of their peers. (I can't think of a profession with a more unbalanced scale.)

They, despite it all, continue to serve and pray for us. Much more than we do for them.

They are our front line of defense against the evil one.

They need our prayers and our support.

Please say an extra prayer for the priesthood this Good Shepherd Sunday.

God Bless you.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Life Is Beautiful

I recently watched the movie Life is Beautiful for the first time in about 10 years.

It's a good thing, too, because I almost forgot how powerful a movie it is.

For those of you that haven't seen the movie, it's a heart-tugging story about a Jewish man who is so positive, and so uplifting, that he even makes the most of a Nazi-era Concentration Camp.

That movie, coupled with today's Gospel reading and the Easter season, led me to reflect on how beautiful our lives really are.

Sure, we all have our issues, our struggles, and our crosses to endure.

But they all pale in comparison to what life would be like if Jesus did not make the ultimate sacrifice for us, and if God wasn't eternally willing to forgive us.

Imagine, for just one minute, that there was nothing to look forward to. That, after taking our last breath, our souls would languish in emptiness for eternity.

Picture emptiness.


(go on, I'll wait)

Kinda scary, huh?

Life would be pointless! Like a relatively short distraction on our way to perpetual gloom.

But thanks to Christ, we have Hope.

Hope that our lives are leading us to an eternity surrounded by God's love and joy in Paradise. That our future is a place where there is no sadness, no pain, and no emptiness.

Just our Father's never ending beauty.

Unfortunately, in the movie, Roberto Benigni's character is forced to make life beautiful for his son and everyone around him.

Luckily, in the real world, Jesus has already done that for us.

God Bless.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Apologetics for Today's Thomas

"Yes, but how do you know that the Resurrection actually happened?"

As Christians, we have all heard this question at least once in our lives. Especially at Easter.

So I thought it would be worthwhile to share a list of some apologetics that I have heard over the years, put into loose theoretical order.

Here it goes ...
  1. Jesus died while on the cross. There is almost no debate on this one. Christian and non-Christian writers have mentioned Jesus' execution and death. Furthermore, the odds of surviving the scourging, crucifixion, and lance to the side are medically slim to none.
  2. Joseph of Arimathea was given the body. There is no other written testimony to contradict this. And, Joseph was a member of the Sanhedrin (albeit sometimes mentioned to be Jesus' relative). If the followers of Christ were making up a tale, they certainly would not have let their King's body be turned over to a member of the despised group that condemned Him to begin with.
  3. Matthew tells us there was a guard stationed at the tomb. We do not know if this is a Roman guard or a Jewish one. If it was a Roman one, there is no way he would have taken the body or assisted in a cover-up because the punishment would have been severe. If it was a Jewish guard, surely he would have done everything possible to prevent theft of the body. In either instance, the guard was likely armed, making it even harder for a common person to get past him.
  4. All four Gospels tell us that it was women who found the empty tomb. In Jesus' time, the testimony of women was worthless. If the authors were trying to gain credibility, they would have had men making the greatest discovery of all time. If they were just telling the truth, they would tell it exactly as it happened.
  5. There was a two-ton stone covering the tomb. The women could not have moved it themselves to take the body. Nor could anyone else with any degree of stealth.
  6. There are no Jewish or Roman writings contradicting the empty tomb. Having an empty tomb is paramount to proving there was a Resurrection. If the women were at the wrong tomb, as some protest, the Jews would have showed the world the actual tomb.
  7. Jesus appears to many. To different people at different times. To believers and non-believers. He ate with the disciples. Thomas was able to touch Him. St. Paul even tells the Corinthians that the Resurrected Jesus appeared to over 500 at one time, many of whom were still living. In other words, they could have confirmed this if they wanted to.
  8. The Apostles were convinced. These same folks that ran when Jesus was captured, denied Him, and remained hidden after the Crucifixion, suddenly found the courage to preach the Word to their death. Every one of them. Surely at least one of them would have bailed on the plan if the whole thing was a conspiracy, no?
  9. They had nothing Earthly to gain. People lie to gain something. Money. Power. Status. They got ridiculed, beaten, and jailed. And they kept going. That is pretty strong conviction.
  10. They preached in Jerusalem. They didn't all go off immediately to a foreign land to preach the Word. They preached in front of witnesses. They could not have gotten away with that if they were fabricating the events that had transpired. (And again, if the Jews had the body, they would have produced it to nip the revolution in the bud.)
This certainly isn't an exhaustive list, and I'm sure there are many more points to make.

But hopefully it will help more than one person echo the Apostle Thomas' beautiful statement ...

"My Lord and my God"

God bless.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Blessed Easter!

He is not here, but is risen
- Luke 24:6

A Blessed Easter to you and your families!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Moved to Tears on Good Friday

If you are like me, and are going to watch Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ today, I'd like to offer a suggestion.

During the extremely-difficult-to-watch 10 minutes where Jesus is scourged at the pillar, don't get mad at the giddy Roman soldiers. Likewise, don't direct your anger at the pompous chief priests.

Instead, every time Jesus is whipped, say to yourself "I am doing this to Him. This is because of my sins."

The scene is hard enough to watch in its entirety.

It's almost impossible to watch knowing we are the ones doing it to Him.

If you are like me, it will move you to tears.

Have a Blessed Good Friday.

P.S. If you do not own the movie, but would like to watch the scene I am talking about, I found it on YouTube.
(Unfortunately with Christ's name misspelled...) See below.