|THE WORD AND THE SPIRIT||
This Sunday, we celebrate the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, two important figures in the life of the early church who were very instrumental in building it and sustaining it. Due to their great suffering in the service of the Gospel, we have the Catholic Church which we are part of today. Both men confessed that Jesus is the Son of God. How did they come upon this revelation? In Peter’s case, not from flesh and blood but from the heavenly Father, who gave him the gift of faith nurtured by his having followed Jesus’ formation program for three years. In Paul’s case, the risen Jesus did not wait for him to change, but met him, in the midst of his rage and great character weakness, on the Road to Damascus. Jesus chose the most imperfect men on which to bestow His grace and glory. Jesus blessed Simon Bar-Jona and changed his name to Peter, which is Cephas in Aramaic, and Petros in Greek from the word which means “rock.” Jesus then promised that upon this rock, Peter, He would build His church against which “the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail” (Mt 16:18).
The Roman Catholic Church believes in a doctrine called "transubstantiation", referring to communion as the sacrament of "Holy Eucharist," wherein the bread and wine used in the Mass actually and supernaturally transform into the literal body and blood of Jesus Christ. This was clearly defined in the Council of Trent in 1551 when it declared that “in the sacrament of the most Holy Eucharist is contained truly, really, and substantially the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ, and consequently the whole Christ. Hence Christ is present truly actually and not only symbolically. He is present really, that is objectively in the Eucharist and not only subjectively in the mind of the believer.”
Almost everybody in BLD knows the “Our Father” and the “Hail Mary” by heart. After last Saturday, about 150 members who attended a lecture about these prayers now know them even more intimately than before.
Dr. Gregory Glazov, an Associate Professor at Seton Hall University, gave the lecture last Saturday afternoon at St. Mark’s Church in Rahway.
Have you ever stopped to meditate on the words we pray, “Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, Amen”? What does it mean to give “Glory to the Father”? Do we have any fathers in this community like our true Abba Father that we are able to exclaim that He is “Glorious”? And the same question may arise as we glorify the “Son” and the “Holy Spirit” in that same doxology. In the perfect unity of the Three Persons of the Godhead that we call the “Holy Trinity,” we experience the perfect love of each member toward one another. As one commentator wrote, “there is a common word among the three readings and it is Love, God’s Love.” It’s an example that we strive to imitate in our daily walk with one another in family and community.
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden.” (Matthew 5:14)
I did not know why God allowed my husband and me to migrate to the US. I was content with our jobs and lifestyles in the Philippines. But I trusted God and accepted His will to move our family to New Jersey.
We are taught that the Gift of Jesus’ death and resurrection is the Holy Spirit, the personal love of the Father and the Son. His death and resurrection freed us from sin, and when we repent we are washed clean. But when we are empty of sin we could theoretically still be in a state of emptiness.
This Sunday’s feast rounds up the awesome mysteries that we have been observing since Holy Week - the Passion, the Death, the Resurrection, and Ascension of Jesus. The events culminate in the empowerment of the disciples by the Holy Spirit to become bold missionaries, to make a change, and renew the face of the earth.
“For it will not be you who speaks but the Spirit of the Father speaking through you.” Mt 10:20
While growing up I often heard non-Catholic Christians say such things as, “the Lord spoke to me” or “thus says the Lord.” I never quite understood how these people could proclaim such things with such conviction. After being baptized in the Holy Spirit and seeking the Lord more in prayer through adoration, daily mass and His word, I too, began to hear the voice of God speaking to me.
Preparations for our community’s first Life in the Spirit Seminar started about 6 months after the ME 1 weekend. Only the three founding couples had formation as LSS shepherds, hence the candidates were prepared through group shepherding after worship on Fridays.
Saint John XXIII’s vision for the Second Vatican Council was deeply intertwined with his desire for a “new Pentecost.” On Christmas day in 1961, the Pope solemnly convoked the Council in the constitution Humanae Salutis, which he concluded with a wonderful prayer:
May there thus be repeated in the Christian family the spectacle of the Apostles gathered together in Jerusalem, after the Ascension of Jesus to heaven, when the newborn Church was completely united in communion of thought and of prayer with Peter and around Peter, the shepherd of the lambs and of the sheep.
To nurture and promote the love of the Gospel of Christ.