The last chapter, chapter 3, of Equipped was about who we are as children of God made in His image and likeness. The fourth chapter, “Understanding Sexual Integrity,” is about human sexuality. You see, everything has a meaning. It’s been said that God writes history the way that an author writes a book; everything means something and past events point forwards to future events. Well, that doesn’t go far enough, everything that God created, He created for a reason and a purpose, including us. Even our actions have meanings. For example, if you slap someone in the face, it doesn’t mean, “I like you and want to be your friend,” even if that’s what you thought you were saying. It means that you don’t like them and want to hurt them.
The more more important something is, the more important its meaning, and human sexual is very important. In fact, it was the very fist thing that God commanded us in the Bible, “Be fruitful and multiply.” So, what does human sexuality mean? It means, “I want to be completely united to you. I give myself to you totally and completely.” As much as we try to make it mean other things, we all know, deep down, that that’s what it really mean. That’s why we call it consummating, or completed, a marriage. Marriage is about giving yourself to someone totally and completely and uniting your life to theirs.
If human sexuality is about giving myself to another person completely and totally, then what is pornography about? As Equipped puts it, “Porn always teaches us to use and dispose of people.” It’s not about sharing your life with another person, it’s about your own pleasure. If marriage is supposed to teach us to be generous and giving, through caring for our husband or wife and children, then pornography teaches us to be selfish and take.
Once we know and accept the truth about human sexuality and what it means, then we can begin to live it in our lives.
Fr. Bryan Howard
5th Sunday of Lent – Year B – 18 March 2018
In a world of cyber bullying, safe spaces, and school shootings, two words that you probably hear over and over are self confidence. Self confidence and self esteem are very important concepts in a world where posting the wrong thing on twitter or instagram can see you fired from you job, black listed, and ostracized from society, at least until people forget about you. As the song says, “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.”
So, the first time we really pay attention to today’s Gospel, it may seem odd that Jesus says, “Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life.” Is Jesus really telling us to hate our lives? To hate ourselves? Talking about this specific line, St. Augustine gives us two possible interpretations of it, and I thing that both of them are very good to reflect on during this second to last week of Lent.
First, “If you would preserve your life in Christ, fear not death for Christ.” If you love your life, and want to keep it, then you need to understand that the only way to do that is to live for Christ and die for Christ. Put more simply, you are going to die. Maybe not today, and maybe not tomorrow, but someday you are going to die. We can’t choose whether we’re going to die, only how we’re going to live. Will you live for Christ? Will you die for Christ, it you are called upon to do so?
Second, St. Augustine tells us, “Do not love your life here, left you lose it hereafter.” Have you ever heard the song, “If heaven ain’t a lot like Texas, I don’t want to go,” or Billy Joel, “I’d rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints.” Have you ever heard someone say, “If they don’t have such and such in heaven, then I don’t want to go. If that’s just a way of saying that you really like something a lot, then that’s fine, it’s just a figure of speech, but sometimes people mean it. What they’re basically saying is that they love that thing or person more than God. “I would rather be separated from God for all eternity, than be separated from my favorite this.”
Think about what the season of Lent is all about. God loved us so much that he created the universe, even though He didn’t get anything out of it. Think about it. You can give something back to your parents because they have needs outside of themselves, food, water, shelter, affection, respect, friendship. But, God doesn’t need anything that He doesn’t already have, and if He did need something, He couldn’t create it because He doesn’t have it. So why did God create us? He simply wanted to share His love with us. He shared His love with us by sending us the prophets of the Old Testament, by choosing a people, the Jewish people, to share His way of life with the world, and by revealing His truth to us. Finally, Jesus Christ the Son of God, God Himself, came down to become one of us. Even if I could, I wouldn’t become an ant, just to share my love with the ants. But that’s basically what God did. And if that wasn’t enough, then He died for us, and not just any death, but the death of the Cross.
So, how can we love Jesus more? How can we love God more than we love even our own lives. Are we willing to die for Jesus, and even to live for Jesus, so that we can live with Jesus for eternity. What are we willing to sacrifice, to put aside, so that we can live with Him? Our pride? Our greed? Our anger? Our unforgiveness?
Over that last couple of weeks you may have noticed a theme running through my homilies: baby steps, a little bit at a time. And this week is no different. The way that we grow to love God more, is by giving up things that we like and that we don’t really need for Him. That’s what we’re doing in Lent. When you pass by a Burger King and really want to stop in for a chicken sandwich, but then you remember that it’s Friday, and you keep driving. You’re saying, Jesus, I love you more than I love chicken sandwiches. When you’re praying and you get distracted, maybe by work or what’s coming on TV later, but you pull yourself away from that and turn your attention back to Jesus, you’re saying, “Jesus, I love you more than I love TV.” When you come to the Church to volunteer, or go help out at the food bank or battered women’s shelter, when you could be going fishing. You’re saying, “Jesus, “I love you more than I love fishing.” And that’s really saying something. So, when Lent ends, don’t stop making little sacrifices for Jesus, because, each time you do you’re saying, “Jesus, I love you more than I love even myself.”
In the third chapter of the book, Equipped: Smart Catholic Parenting in a Sexualized Culture, we read about the first wall of the house, our God-given identity. We are unique and unrepeatable people. We are made in the image and likeness of God. We are sons and daughters of God.
“God is love,” as we read in the first letter of St. John. God is eternal, which means that He didn’t have a beginning but has always existed, and that He won’t have an end, or stop existing. But, if God is eternal, how can God also be love. Love has to be shared with another or given away. Before God created the universe He was alone, wasn’t He? No, God wasn’t alone, because God is a Trinity, and the Trinity is an eternal exchange of love. Before time began, the Father has been pouring Himself out in a total gift of love to the Son, and the Son has been receiving the Father’s love and pouring Himself back out to the Father, and they have both been pouring themselves out to the Holy Spirit. God is a relationship, a perfect sharing of love. We are destined to share in the eternal, perfect love of God. That is the reason that we were made, and that is what it means to be made in the image and likeness of God.
The first wall of the house is to make sure that you and your children understand this. We all we know about religion is the rules, the “thou shalt not’s,” then we’re doomed to failure. We have to understand God’s love for us and that we are destined for the same love. Our job on earth is to love and serve God by living in His love and by loving one another as He has loved us.
Fr. Bryan Howard
4th Sunday of Lent – Year B – 11 March 2018
Today is Laetare Sunday, or “Rejoice Sunday.” It’s the fourth Sunday of Lent, meaning that we’re halfway through Lent and that much closer to Easter and to the celebration of the Paschal Mystery, the death and resurrection of the Lord. And we have a lot of reasons to rejoice. God has given us immeasurable blessings. We’re blessed to be born in this great land of freedom and opportunity, the United States. We’re blessed in our family and friends. We’re blessed to be Catholic, to know about God and His love for us, and to be members of His people. We shouldn’t take these blessings for granted, because there are people in the world today who don’t have them. There are people who don’t have any family or friends. There are people who struggle just to get enough to eat and drink and some sort of shelter. There are places in the world where people don’t have the freedoms that we do where you might be arrested or killed just for being Christian or disagreeing with the government. There are people who’ve never even heard of Jesus.
We are Christians and Catholics, but what does that mean to us? Does it make a difference in how we live our lives? St. Paul wrote in our 2nd reading, “because of the great love he had for us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, brought us to life with Christ…, raised us up with him, and seated us with him in the heavens in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the immeasurable riches of his grace.” This is really why we rejoice. We have been called to salvation, to the grace of God, and to the life of Christ.
If we have such great blessings and graces from God, then why is there so much sin in the world? As we read in the Gospel, “And this is the verdict, that the light came into the world, but people preferred darkness to light, because their works were evil.” People preferred darkness to light. If you attended the Mission this past week with Fr. Kurt Young, one of the things you heard on the first night of the Mission, Monday night, was that our own sins can keep us from deepening our relationship with God. In fact, sin is one of the main things that make it harder to grow closer to God. God is light. He brings light into the darkness and reveals what is in our hearts. We all have those places in our hearts that we prefer to keep in darkness. Things that we don’t want anyone to know about. When we sin, if we’re not actively trying to overcome that sin, it starts to affect the way we think. First, it gets harder to fight that temptation. That’s called concupiscence, the tendency to fall into sin. Second, it becomes easier to justify that sin and convince ourselves that it’s not really wrong at all. 75 years ago, almost everyone agreed that sex outside of marriage was wrong, now most people think that it’s normal. 25 years ago, most people agreed that euthanasia (physician assisted suicide) was wrong, now it’s legal in 5 states and Washington, DC. You see, it causes us a lot of stress when we’re acting in a way that we believe is wrong. So, we can either change our behavior or change our mind. It’s often easier to change our minds.
As Jesus said in the Gospel, “For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come toward the light, so that his works might not be exposed. But whoever lives the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God.” At the Easter Vigil, as I carry the paschal candle, which represents the resurrected Christ, into the darkened Church, I’ll sing, “The light of Christ,” and then everyone’s candles will be lit from that candle. Christ is the one who brings light into the dark places. We have to bring the light of Christ into the dark places in our own lives, so that He can burn away our sins. Here are three tips to help you do that.
First, frequent confession. When we wait 6 months or a year between going to confession, it’s easy to forget some of our sins, or to start thinking that they’re not a big deal. If we go each month, it helps us to face them directly and bring them to God. Then, with God’s help, we can start to break their power over us.
Second, use an examination of conscience. Find a good examination of conscience. I have several good ones linked on our website in the resources section, and we keep a stack of them next to the confessional. Use it regularly to examine your life. Then you’ll be better prepared for confession and it’ll get easier to go to confession.
Finally, the one percent rule. This comes from World War II. When the US entered the war, we had to get our factories changed from peace time to war production quickly, so the government send a pamphlet out giving advice on how to get changed over. They suggested that factories not try to go full out right away, but aim to improve production 1% every day. After the war, when they were taking stock, they found that the factories that listened outproduced the ones that tried to go 100% right away. Aim to improve yourself 1% each day. We can’t do everything, right away. It’s just not possible and if we try we’ll burn ourselves out. But if you try to improve 1% each day, you might do more than you could have imagined.
Remember, you’re not alone. God wants to share with you the immeasurable riches of His grace, so walk in the light.
The 12th Station: Jesus Dies on the Cross
“Behold Jesus crucified! Behold His wounds received for love of you! His whole appearance betokens love. His head is bent to kiss you. His arms are extended to embrace you. His heart is open to receive you. Oh what love! Jesus dies on the Cross, to preserve you from eternal death.” –St. Francis of Assisi
The 13th Station: Jesus is Taken Down From the Cross
The body of Jesus is taken down from the Cross and placed in the arms of His mother. Jesus proved that He has power over life and death by raising Lazarus from the dead. Instead of taking Himself off of the cross, He must be lifted from it by one of His disciples. In the midst of suffering and affliction, we must pray that we may persevere until the end. If Jesus Christ, the Son of God, prayed to the point of sweating blood, how much more do we need to pray.
The 14th Station: Jesus is Laid in the Tomb
In the Rite of Burial, the Church prays, “Lord Jesus Christ, by your own three days in the tomb, you hallowed the graves of all who believe in you and so made the grave a sign of hope that promises resurrection.”
As we keep vigil before the empty tabernacle from the crucifixion on Good Friday until Easter Sunday, and as we keep vigil before the graves of our loved ones, let us remember the vigil that the disciples kept during those three dark days, and thank God that He has given us the hope of resurrection.
The Resurrection of Our Lord (To be prayed on Easter Sunday)
Today we approach the tomb of Jesus with the women and the disciples, we see the stone rolled back and the burial clothes rolled up. Pope St. John Paul II wrote of this moment, “The empty tomb is the sign of the definitive victory of truth over falsehood, of good over evil, of mercy over sin, of life over death. The empty tomb is the sign of the hope which 'does not deceive' (Rom 5:5).
'[Our] hope is full of immortality' (cf. Wis 3:4).”
Lord God almighty,
you have prepared us for this Easter Sunday
by the self denial of Lent,
as we celebrate today
look upon us in Your mercy
shine the light of Your Presence upon us,
enlighten us with Your Truth,
and fill us with the Life of the Spirit,
that we may see your presence among us
as clearly as the Apostles saw you
in the upper room.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
The second chapter of Equipped is “The Blueprint.” Most of the chapter is taken up with a summary of what we’ll see in the rest of the book, but it starts off with a brief explanation. It says that the book is modeled after a home, with the chapters being the walls, roof, and floor of the home. They chose to do this because the home is the Domestic Church. This is a term taken from the 2nd Vatican Council, from the document Lumen Gentium. Lumen Gentium has this to say about the family:
"Finally, Christian spouses, in virtue of the sacrament of Matrimony, whereby they signify and partake of the mystery of that unity and fruitful love which exists between Christ and His Church, help each other to attain to holiness in their married life and in the rearing and education of their children. By reason of their state and rank in life they have their own special gift among the people of God. From the wedlock of Christians there comes the family, in which new citizens of human society are born, who by the grace of the Holy Spirit received in baptism are made children of God, thus perpetuating the people of God through the centuries. The family is, so to speak, the domestic church. In it parents should, by their word and example, be the first preachers of the faith to their children; they should encourage them in the vocation which is proper to each of them, fostering with special care vocation to a sacred state (LG 11)."
Married people have a special calling, or mission, from God, which they agree to when they make their vows before God. That mission is to help their family to get to heaven by growing in holiness, by loving one another sacrificially, and by raising their children in the faith. It says that parents should be “the first preachers of the faith to their children,” by word and example. Notice that it doesn’t say that the Church, or the priest, or the religion teacher is the first preacher of the faith, it says the parents are. Parents have a unique role and relationship with their children. We learn about what is truly important in life from our parents. Every child, as they grow into an adult, has to choose for themselves what is going to be most important in their life and whether to live the faith or not, but what you say to them, and more importantly what you show them, can prepare them to make those decisions. If they look at your life and how you spend your time will they see that your relationship with God is very important, or not very important at all?
Fr. Bryan Howard
3rd Sunday in Lent – Year B – 4 March 2018
Actions speak louder than words. Put your money where your mouth is. All that glitters is not gold. These are all ways of saying that sometimes, what something appears to be, isn’t what it really is. We value honesty and integrity because, when someone lives their life by those principles, you always know what you’re going to get. They’re consistent and dependable. This is true in our families. Children need to know that the rules aren’t going to change from one day to the next, and spouses need to be able to rely on one another. It’s true in friendships. A faithful friend is one that you can count one to be there when you need them. It’s true in business. When you get a reputation for being unreliable, then only unreliable people will do business with you. So, it shouldn’t be surprising that it’s also true in the spiritual life. Many people say that they’re spiritual or religious, but they don’t put in the work to grow in the spiritual virtues, faith, hope, charity, temperance, justice, prudence, and courage.
Our first reading is the Ten Commandment, which is the basic guide to the spiritual life, to strengthening your relationship with God. Everything else, the beatitudes, the virtue, the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit, builds on this foundation. That’s why we make children memorize the 10 Commandments, but we need to keep going back to them. It’s like basketball. You need to start with the fundamentals, with dribbling, shooting, and passing, in order to get anywhere. Eventually, you’ll get to more advanced plays and strategies, but if you forget the fundamental everything else is useless.
When we teach the 10 Commandments, especially in the teenage years, we get lots of questions like, “Is this okay? Is that a sin? What about this?” Always trying to push the boundaries, to know how far they can go before it becomes a sin. We do this as adults too, we’re just better and sneakier about it. We’re very good at justifying the things that we want, at twisting the law just enough, or convincing ourselves that it’s really not so bad.
This is what’s happening in the cleansing of the Temple in today’s Gospel. All Israelites were required to offer sacrifice in the Temple twice a year, but some of them lived a long way away, and it was difficult to bring sheep and cattle all the way there. So, in the book of Deuteronomy Moses gave them permission to sell the animals, bring the money to Jerusalem, and then buy animals there to sacrifice in the Temple. By the time of Jesus, however, the chief priests’ family was in charge of selling these animals, so he made a law that you can’t use Roman coins to buy sacrificial animals. You could only use Temple coins, and you can only get Temple coins by going to the money changers in the Temple. They charged a large fee to change your money. This was not specifically against any law, but it was basically theft. Christ, outraged that they’re using His Father’s House, the Temple, to enrich themselves, makes a whip out of cords and drives out the animals, overturns the money changes tables, and tells them, “Stop making my Father’s House a marketplace.”
Instead of asking ourselves, “How can I get away with doing what I want?” We should be asking, “Is what I want really good?” Remember, God can look into the heart. It’s not enough to follow the letter of the law, we also have to have good intentions. Do we want to grow in holiness? Do we want to grow closer to God? Do we want to be better neighbors to one another? This is not about rules and regulations. It’s about relationships. During this coming week, look through the Ten Commandments again, and really think about them. The first three are about our relationship with God. Do I put God first in my life, or do I put other things ahead of Him? Have I made something else more important than God? Do I take the name of the Lord in vain? Remember, most other sins that we commit indirectly offend God, but when we use His name to curse, we directly insult God. Do I keep Holy the Sabbath? Do I go to Mass on Sunday? Do I use Sunday to focus on God and family instead of work? The last seven commandments are about our relationships with one another. Do I honor my father and mother? Do I wish harm on others? Am I faithful to my spouse? Or, if I’m not married, to my future spouse? Do I steal? Do I lie? Do I covet my neighbor’s spouse or goods? Do I focus on everyone else’s blessings in life instead of my own blessings? Am I ungrateful?
Remember that God’s mercy is always available in the Sacrament of Confession. This week confession is available at every Church in the Archdiocese of New Orleans from 5:00 pm to 6:30 pm. Our mission preacher, Fr. Kurt, will also be available after the Mission on Wednesday night to hear confessions.
Stations of the Cross, part 2
The 6th Station: Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus
The name “Veronica” literally means “true image,” we do not know Veronica's true name, for she was named for the gift that Christ gave her, his Divine Image imprinted on her veil. We can also do a service of mercy for Christ. Whenever we do it for the least of His brethren, the poor, weak, and suffering, then Christ will imprint His Image, not on a piece of cloth, but on our very souls.
The 7th Station: Jesus Falls a Second Time
This second fall of Jesus speaks to us of how we fall into sin again and again. Christ was able to get up, pick up His cross, and continue. By getting up again, Christ gives us the strength to get up again. By ourselves, we are not strong enough to get up again, we get discouraged and disillusioned, but Jesus tells us, “My grace is sufficient for you.”
The 8th Station: Jesus Speaks to the Holy Women
He tells the women not to weep for Him, but for themselves and for their children; He tells them to weep for their sins, because they “did not recognize the time of their visitation.” What about us, do we recognize the time of our visitation, do we hear the voice of God speaking in our hearts? Now is the time for us to weep for our sins, to repent, and to return to the Lord.
The 9th Station: Jesus Falls the Third Time
“Exhausted at the foot of Calvary, Jesus falls for the third time to the ground. How painfully must have been reopened all the wounds of His tender body by these repeated falls. And how enormous must my sins be, to cause Jesus to fall so painfully. Had not Jesus taken my sins upon Himself, they would have plunged me into the abyss of Hell.” –St. Francis of Assisi
The 10th Station: Jesus is Stripped of His Garments
Imagine the pain of Jesus as His blood-soaked garments are torn from His body and His wounds once again reopened. Let us remember that pain when we shy away from the confessional for fear reopening our own spiritual wounds of sin. In His great love for us, Jesus received the wounds to His body that He might heal the wounds to our souls.
The 11th Station: Jesus is Nailed to the Cross
Jesus' agony is only intensified as large nails are driven through His hands and His feet. As the cross is lifted He must fight even to take a breath. As He lifts Himself to fill His lungs the nails tear at the nerve endings in His hands and feet. Getting enough air to speak is especially difficult, but Jesus speaks 7 times from the cross. However, as great as this suffering is, Jesus' love for you and me is even greater, and, as He is lifted up, it is this love that draws us to Him.
This is my first blog post about Equipped, I hope to post about 1 chapter each week, usually on Wednesdays.
My paw paw used to tell us a story about a group of scholars working for an emperor. The emperor charged them with collecting all human knowledge; so the scholars worked for ten years collecting copies of all the books and manuscripts in the world. The collection was so large that it filled up an entire palace. After the ten years were up, the Emperor came and saw the collection, and said that it was too much. They would have to reduce the size of the collection. So the scholars worked for another 10 years going through the tomes and manuscripts, getting rid of repeated information and useless books, until the collection could fit into a building the size of a mansion. But this was still too large to the Emperor. So, they worked for another 10 years until it was could fit into a large room, but this was still too large, so they kept working. Then one day, the Emperor came to check on his scholars, and found the room empty of books. The head scholar came up to the Emperor and handed him a slip of paper. The paper said, “There ain’t no free lunch.”
In the first chapter of the book that we gave out after Mass a few weeks ago, Equipped: Smart Catholic Parenting in a Sexualized Culture, you can read that some studies show that, in the Millennial Generation, 79% of men and 76% of women say that the view pornography at least once a month. More disturbing than that, though, is that some people think pornography is actually good for society. This shouldn’t be surprising, since sexuality is one of the most powerful human passions, and we live in a highly sexualized culture where pornography is available for “free” on thousands, if not tens of thousands. We all know from personal experience, however, that nothing is free, everything has a price.
Heavy use of pornography can be damaging for anyone, although this will be different for everyone. When we view pornography, we train ourselves to view other people as objects of sexual gratification, instead of as people with human dignity. Just like we don’t want other people to view us as a means to get something for themselves, so we shouldn’t treat others that way. Human sexuality was given to us by God as a way for husbands and wives to express their total love for one another. Love is concerned for what I can do for you, whereas lust is concerned with what you can do for me.
When someone views pornography, it becomes very easy to stop thinking of them as people at all, but as objects, and we don’t want to train ourselves to do that. During this season of Lent, and as we go through the rest of this book, let’s pray that God will help us to learn more about the dangers of pornography, grow in the virtue of chastity, and become better at controlling our desires so they don’t control us.
Fr. Bryan Howard
2nd Sunday of Lent – Year B – 25 February 2018
In the ancient pagan religions of the world, the gods are constantly at war with each other. The world teaches us that this is the only way to gain true power, to take it from others. However, Christ teaches us that the greatest glory is to be found not in conquering others, but in sacrificial love.
Our first reading is the famous account of the binding of Isaac. Abraham has waited decades for God to fulfill His promise to send Him descendants, and that promise is going to be fulfilled through Isaac. But then, God tells Abraham to take Isaac and bring Him to a place that He will show him, and offer him as a sacrifice. Many people find this to be a deeply disturbing story, and it may cause them to question everything they thought they knew about God. But what is really happening here. In paintings of this event, Isaac is always depicted as a fairly young boy, about 8 or 10, but in the story Isaac is the one who carries the wood for the sacrifice up the mountain, while Abraham only carries the knife and fire, because the wood is the heavier burden. Isaac isn’t a young boy, but a young man, while Abraham is over 100 years old. There is no way that Abraham could force Isaac to do anything. He does not resist. Who else went to His death, silently, “as a lamb to the slaughter,” when He could have stopped it at any time? Jesus.
Then, on the way up the mountain, Isaac asks where the lamb for the offering is, and Abraham says, “God Himself will provide the lamb.” But the animal that is found is not a lamb, but a ram. What is it that Jesus is called over and over again? “Lamb of God.”
Finally, When God stops Abraham, he says to him, “I know now how devoted you are to God, since you did not withhold from me your own beloved son.” And what does the Father say on Mt. Tabor, at the time of the Transfiguration? “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.” And in the second reading, “He who did not spare his own Son but handed him over for us all, how will he not also give us everything else along with him?”
The Binding of Isaac is meant to foreshadow the sacrifice of Christ. Isaac is called Abraham’s “only beloved Son,” and Jesus is the only begotten Son of God. Isaac goes to His death willingly out of reverence for His father, and Jesus goes to His death willingly out of love for His father and love for us. Jesus Christ is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.
On Mt. Tabor, when Jesus is transfigured before Peter, James, and John, He reveals His glory to strengthen their faith. However, after He is betrayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, He says, “Now is the Son of man glorified, and in him God is glorified; if God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and glorify him at once.” God’s glory is truly revealed, not just on Mt. Tabor, but on Mt. Calvary, on the Cross. The glory of God is that He is willing to give His very life to save us, and He calls us to do the same.
We naturally desire glory, but we usually look for it in the wrong places. Jesus Christ found glory in humbling Himself. He humbled Himself by becoming human, becoming one of us. He humbled Himself by living in obedience to Mary and Joseph, even though He’s God. He humbled Himself by going before King Herod and Pontius Pilate, even though their power is nothing next to His. Finally, He humbled Himself on the Cross.
Humility isn’t the greatest virtue, that’s love, but it is the foundation of all virtues. We need humility in order to have any of the other virtues. First, we have to realize that everything we have and are comes from God. Our lives, our existence, and every blessing that we have comes from God. Yes, we worked for the things we have, but we wouldn’t have any of it if not for God. We also need to realize how much we need God. We have an absolute need for God. We need God in order to grow in holiness and virtue and become the best people we can be.
Pray for an increase in the virtue of humility, especially during this Mass. As you come forward to receive the Body and Blood of Christ, ask God help you grow in humility, and be prepared for Him to give you an opportunity to be humbled.
We, members of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, are committed to establish a safe haven for believers in our community. Having Christ as the center of our worship and being impelled by his teachings:
• We continually grow in ministries that address the needs and concerns of our community.
• We strive to be a vibrant “Christ Centered” spiritual family and experience His love and presence in the celebration of the Eucharist.