FROM OUR EDITORS—April 21 & 28, 2019 – Easter & 2nd Sunday of Easter

Author: Erika De Urquidi ~ April 15, 2019

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When I worked as a fourth-grade teacher at a Catholic school in Monterrey, Mexico, I was talking to my class about the importance of Easter for all Christians. I was explaining that thanks to Jesus’ Death and Resurrection, we can go to Heaven one day and live with him forever.

My eight- and nine-year-old students were very interested in what I was saying and, judging by their comments and expressions, I knew that they agreed with what I was teaching. Everything was going just fine until I mentioned that Jesus’ Death and Resurrection brought salvation to the world, therefore, Easter was the most important feast for Christians.

As soon as I finished saying those words, I could see the eyes of my twenty-seven students open as wide as plates. Immediately, twenty-seven little hands went up, asking for permission to talk. It was obvious that for my young class, Christmas was the most important feast in the Church Year. Even Pope Francis admits he was fifteen years old when he heard about the importance of Easter for the first time!

I explained to my class, using language that they could understand, that “if Christ had not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is [our] faith” (1 Corinthians 15:14). We discussed that if Jesus had not been risen from the dead and if he had not fulfilled his promises, we would doubt that he really is God. Finally, I told my students that Easter is important because it is the celebration of God’s infinite love for us.

I don’t know if my students were able to grasp what I taught them that day. I asked them to keep my words in their hearts and, together as a class, we asked God to grant us the grace of experiencing the joy of his Resurrection and the hope of eternal life.

Let us pray: We thank you, Lord, for your sacrifice of love on the Cross, for your glorious Resurrection, and your infinite mercy. Help us to recognize the magnitude of your love for us so we can share it with the children under our care. Amen.

 

Image credit: iStock.com/anikakodydkova

FROM OUR EDITORS—April 14, 2019 – Palm/Passion Sunday

Author: Joan McKamey ~ April 9, 2019

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How fickle the events of Holy Week show us to be! We acclaim Jesus with shouts of praise and joy as he rides into Jerusalem on Sunday. By Friday, we are shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” In the Gospels for Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion, we hear the accounts from Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem through his Last Supper, betrayal, arrest, trials, Crucifixion, Death, and burial. It’s enough to give us emotional and spiritual whiplash.

As we struggle with sin and selfishness, we are in good company. In his letter to the Romans, Saint Paul wrote, “I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate” (Romans 7:15). And in the Book of Revelation, we read: “I know your works; I know that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either cold or hot. So, because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth” (3:15–16).

LET US PRAY: Lord, help us to grow in love for you and others as we enter these final days of Lent that lead to the celebration of Easter. Help us to conquer our selfish and sinful ways. Do not spit us out of your mouth. Instead, fan the flame of faith in us so that we burn with love and conviction. Open our mouths to praise you with constancy. We ask this in Jesus’ most holy name. Amen.

Image credit: Nabil BOUTROS/CIRIC

DE NUESTROS EDITORES—14 de abril de 2019 – Domingo de Ramos/la Pasión del Señor

Author: Joan McKamey ~ April 7, 2019

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¡Qué volubles nos hacen sentir los acontecimientos de la Semana Santa! Aclamamos a Jesús con gritos de alabanza y alegría cuando entra a Jerusalén el domingo. Luego, el viernes, gritamos “¡Crucifícalo, crucifícalo!”. En los Evangelios del Domingo de Ramos de la Pasión del Señor, escuchamos relatos de la entrada triunfal de Jesús en Jerusalén, su Última Cena, su traición, arresto, juicio, crucifixión, Muerte y sepultura. Suficiente para dejarnos aturdidos emocional y espiritualmente.

No estamos solos cuando luchamos en contra del pecado y el egoísmo. San Pablo escribió en su carta a los Romanos “No entiendo mis propios actos: no hago lo que quiero y hago las cosas que detesto” (Romanos 7, 15). Y en el Apocalipsis dice “Conozco tus obras: no eres ni frío ni caliente. ¡Ojalá fueras frío o caliente! Pero porque eres tibio y no frío o caliente, voy a vomitarte de mi boca” (3, 15–16).

OREMOS: Señor, ayúdanos a crecer en amor por ti y por los demás ahora que llegamos a los últimos días de la Cuaresma y nos acercamos a la celebración de la Pascua. Ayúdanos a vencer nuestro egoísmo y nuestro pecado. No nos vomites de tu boca. Mas bien, aviva la llama de la fe en nosotros para que nos consumamos en amor y convicción. Abre nuestra boca para alabarte con constancia. Te lo pedimos por el santo nombre de Jesús. Amén.

Traducción: Erika De Urquidi

Imagen: Nabil BOUTROS/CIRIC

FROM OUR EDITORS—April 7, 2019 – 5th Sunday of Lent

Author: Erika De Urquidi ~ April 1, 2019

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Last Wednesday evening, my family and I attended our parish’s Penance Service. This is something we try to do every year during Lent. When we got out of the car and were walking through the parking lot, my 15-year-old daughter said to me: “Mom, I’m afraid. I don’t like going to confession.” I smiled and simply told her: “You will be fine.”

To get to our church, you must walk through a long hallway that has doors for different rooms and a big TV monitor that is usually turned off but that, on that day, had a picture of Pope Francis listening to a young man make his confession. The words “Do not be afraid of confession” were next to the image. My daughter looked at me with a big smile on her face. She didn’t say anything, but I’m sure she felt those words were directed at her.

When we entered the church, there was a long line to get to Father Eric’s confessional. We waited for our turn, and my daughter was the first one to go in. While she was inside, I was praying that she could experience God’s mercy and tender love during her confession. After the rest of us finished, we prayed for a little while and started walking back to the car.

We were still inside the building when my daughter told me: “I will have to do my penance when we get home.” I replied, “Why didn’t you do it while we were praying in there?” She said, “After hearing my confession, Father Eric asked me what makes me happy. I told him that playing my guitar makes me happy. He told me that my penance was to play my guitar and to thank God for giving me happiness.” What a wonderful way to help a 15-year-old girl feel God’s love!

We pray to God that we can experience his mercy during this Lenten season, so we can celebrate with joy the Resurrection of his Son during the upcoming Easter time.

 

Image credit: Philippe NOISETTE/CIRIC

DE NUESTROS EDITORES—7 de abril de 2019 – 5.o Domingo de Cuaresma

Author: Erika De Urquidi ~ March 26, 2019

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El miércoles pasado fui con mi familia al servicio de reconciliación que ofrece nuestra parroquia con motivo de la Cuaresma. Cuando nos bajamos del coche e íbamos caminando por el estacionamiento para entrar a la iglesia, mi hija de 15 años me dijo: “Mami, tengo miedo. No me gusta confesarme”. Yo la vi, le sonreí y le dije: “Vas a estar bien”.

Al entrar al edificio, es necesario pasar por un largo pasillo antes de entrar a la iglesia. En ese pasillo, hay varias puertas para entrar a diferentes salones y un monitor de televisión que, ese día, tenía una imagen del Papa Francisco confesando a un muchacho joven. Junto a esta fotografía, estaban las palabras: “No tengan miedo de la confesión”. Mi hija me vio con una enorme sonrisa y con un brillo especial en los ojos. No me dijo nada, pero estoy segura de que sintió que estas palabras eran para ella.

Al llegar, había una larga fila para entrar al confesionario. Cuando por fin llegó nuestro turno, mi hija fue la primera en entrar al confesionario en donde estaba el Padre Eric, el vicario de la parroquia. Mientras ella estaba adentro, yo le pedí a Dios que le hiciera sentir su misericordia y su amor mediante esta confesión. Después de que los demás nos confesamos, oramos un rato y comenzamos a caminar hacia el carro.

Todavía no salíamos del edificio y mi hija me dijo: “Llegando a casa, voy a hacer mi penitencia”. “¿Pero por qué no aprovechaste el tiempo mientras los demás nos confesábamos?”. Fue lo primero que le dije. “El Padre Eric me preguntó qué me hace feliz y yo le dije que tocar mi guitarra me hace feliz. Entonces, él me dijo que, como penitencia, tocara mi guitarra y le diera gracias a Dios por hacerme feliz”. ¡Qué manera tan hermosa de hacer sentir la misericordia de Dios a una niña de 15 años!

Pidamos a Dios que nos permita experimentar su misericordia en este tiempo de Cuaresma para poder celebrar la Resurrección de su Hijo en la Pascua que se aproxima.

 

Imagen: Philippe NOISETTE/CIRIC

FROM OUR EDITORS—March 31, 2019 – 4th Sunday of Lent

Author: Joan McKamey ~ March 25, 2019

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Spring has finally sprung, and we are more than halfway through Lent! It’s time to rejoice!

The 4th Sunday of Lent, also called Laetare Sunday, is a day of joy during a penitential season. It is one of two days in our Church Year for rose-colored vestments. Just as we light a rose candle on the Advent wreath and priests may wear rose vestments on the 3rd Sunday of Advent (Gaudete Sunday), priests may wear rose vestments for Laetare Sunday. Both Gaudete and Laetare are Latin words that mean “Rejoice!” (Note: On both of these Sundays, a priest may also wear violet vestments.)

Every Sunday of Lent—and of the entire Church Year—is a “little Easter” because on Sunday, the Lord’s Day, we remember and celebrate Christ’s Resurrection. That’s why the Sundays of Lent aren’t counted in the 40 days of Lenten sacrifice.

We pray that others may see the joy of Christ’s Resurrection in your words and actions all through the year.

Image credit: iStock.com/glebchik

DE NUESTROS EDITORES—31 de marzo de 2019 – 4.o Domingo de Cuaresma

Author: Joan McKamey ~ March 24, 2019

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¡La primavera por fin ha llegado y estamos justo en la mitad de la Cuaresma! ¡Es un momento para estar alegres!

El 4.o Domingo de Cuaresma, también llamado Domingo de Laetare, es un día de alegría durante este tiempo de penitencia. Es uno de los dos días en el calendario de la Iglesia en el que se utilizan vestiduras de color rosa. Así como encendemos una vela rosa en la corona de Adviento y los sacerdotes llevan vestiduras rosas en el 3.er Domingo de Adviento (Domingo de Gaudete), los sacerdotes vestirán de rosa este Domingo de Laetare. Gaudete y Laetare son términos en latín que significan “¡Alégrense!” (Nota: estos domingos, el sacerdote también podría llevar vestiduras de color morado).

Todos los domingos del tiempo de Cuaresma y del año de la Iglesia se celebra una “pequeña Pascua” porque el domingo, el Día del Señor, recordamos y celebramos la Resurrección de Cristo. Es por esto que los domingos de Cuaresma no se cuentan en los 40 días de sacrificio cuaresmal.

Le pedimos a Dios que los demás perciban el gozo de la Resurrección de Cristo en tus palabras y acciones durante este año.
Traducción: Erika De Urquidi

Imagen: iStock.com/glebchik

FROM OUR EDITORS—March 24, 2019 – 3rd Sunday of Lent

Author: Erika De Urquidi ~ March 18, 2019

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This Monday, March 25, we celebrate the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord, when Mary said yes to God and became the Mother of our Savior.

The angel of the Lord came to Mary to initiate the dialogue that would change the course of history: “The holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God” (Luke 1:35). Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38).

The dialogue between the messenger and the Virgin was not an imposition, but a proposal that Mary, “blessed among women,” accepted with complete freedom.

Pope Saint John Paul II says that “by her conduct, Mary reminds each of us of our serious responsibility to accept God’s plan for our lives.” This season of Lent presents us with a wonderful opportunity to say yes to the Lord by living the Lenten practices of fasting, praying, and almsgiving.

Mary was likely only 15 years old when her answer brought salvation to all humanity. In our classrooms and homes, we have children and young people who are called to be messengers of hope. Let’s pray to the Lord that we may have the grace to instill in them a love for God that is so big that one day, they will say yes to his call throughout their lives.

Image credit: iStock.com/sedmak

DE NUESTROS EDITORES—24 de marzo de 2019 – 3.er Domingo de Cuaresma

Author: Erika De Urquidi ~ March 17, 2019

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Este lunes celebramos la Solemnidad de la Anunciación del Señor, cuando María dio su “sí” a Dios y se convirtió en la Madre del Salvador.

El Ángel del Señor se apareció a María para iniciar el diálogo que cambiaría el rumbo de la historia: “El Espíritu Santo vendrá sobre ti, y la fuerza del Altísimo te cubrirá con su sombra; por eso el Santo que va a nacer se llamará Hijo de Dios”. María contestó: “Aquí está la esclava del Señor; hágase en mí según tu palabra”.

El diálogo del mensajero con la Virgen no fue una imposición, sino una propuesta a la que María, “la bendita entre las mujeres”, aceptó con plena libertad.

El Papa San Juan Pablo II nos dice que “María, con su modo de actuar, nos recuerda la grave responsabilidad que cada uno tiene de acoger el plan divino sobre la propia vida”. Esta cuaresma nos presenta una excelente oportunidad para dar nuestro “sí” al Señor al vivir las prácticas cuaresmales del ayuno, la oración y la limosna.

María era una jovencita de 15 años cuando su respuesta trajo la salvación a toda la humanidad. Nosotros tenemos en nuestros salones y hogares a niños y jóvenes que están llamados a ser mensajeros de esperanza. Pidamos al Señor la gracia de infundir en ellos un amor tan grande a Dios para que puedan responder “sí” al llamado que él les haga a lo largo de su vida.

Imagen: iStock.com/sedmak

FROM OUR EDITORS—March 17, 2019 – 2nd Sunday of Lent

Author: Joan McKamey ~ March 11, 2019

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Para la versión en español, haga clic aqui.

Listen to him. In Sunday’s Gospel of the Transfiguration, a voice from the cloud says, “This is my chosen Son; listen to him.” That doesn’t sound so difficult, but really listening to another—in this case, the Son of God—requires more than our attention. Listening involves making a response—an action, a change of behavior, a surrender of will. Listening to the Son of God means following wherever he leads.

Peter, John, and James were given a glimpse of Jesus in his divine glory. We pray that our Lenten practices of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving help move us along the path that Jesus laid out for us…to Heaven!

Image credit: iStock.com/konradlew

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