Lectio: Mary with Dr. Brant Pitre on Formed.org
Throughout my eight years in seminary I had a number of classes on the Sacred Scriptures taught by different professors. Most of these professors certainly knew their subject and knew the Bible, but they way they presented the information seemed to suck all of the life out of it. They mainly focused on the facts and on the intentions of the human authors of the Bible, sometimes to the point of neglecting the fact that God is the primary author of the Bible and there is also a spiritual meaning to every passage of Scripture. As St. Augustine put it, “In every page of these Scriptures, while I pursue my search as a son of Adam in the sweat of my brow, Christ either openly or covertly meets and refreshes me” (Contra Faustum 12.27). That is, since the entire Bible is the Word of God, Jesus Christ is present in the entire Bible, not just the New Testament.
At Notre Dame Seminary I had one class with Dr. Brant Pitre, Pentateuch. If you’ve read any of his books or listened to any of his talks, then you know that Dr. Pitre loves to show the unity of the Bible by showing how to read the Old Testament in light of the New and how the New Testament opens up the Old. That is exactly what you’ll get in the Lectio Bible Study on the Blessed Virgin Mary that Dr. Pitre did for Formed.org. In this Bible study Dr. Pitre talks about Mary as the New Eve, the New Ark, the Mother of the Messiah, the Queen Mother, the Perpetual Virgin, the Mother of Sorrows, and the New Rachel. In each 30-40 minute talk he shows the continuity of the Old and New Testaments and how the Church’s teaching on Mary is foreshadowed in the Old Testament, fleshed out in the New Testament, and present in the ancient Tradition of the Church.
If you’ve had trouble answering questions from non-Catholics about the Church’s teachings on the Mother of God, or if you simply want to dig into the Scriptural roots of those teachings, then you need to watch this series. It can be found on Formed.org, in the Bible Studies section. If you are a member of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, then you can use our subscription for free.
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As I write this we’ve just had the first termite swarm of the season hear around the rectory. It wasn’t a very big one compared to what we had last year, but I imagine it’s going to get worse. Imagine my surprise as I was sitting in my chair reading and a termite falls right into my lap. I checked the doors and found that they were crawling in through the cracks in the front and back doors. I turned off all of the exterior lights and as many of the inside lights as I could spare, and that helped a lot. I imagine we’ll be seeing swarms of termites around the light poles soon.
The way termites are attracted to light got me thinking. Why are they attracted to light? Scientists aren’t actually sure, but many of them think it’s because they mistake artificial lights for natural lights and get confused. If, for example, they’re trying to use the sun or moon to help navigate, they can get confused by a light bulb and end up flying circles around it, which makes them easy pickings for predators or bug zapping lamps.
This is a great example for the spiritual life. We are attracted to the light of Christ and naturally want to move towards Him. When we follow the light of Christ we find meaning, joy, and true life. Unfortunately, we often confuse mere reflections of the light of Christ for Christ Himself. These are genuinely good things that truly reflect the light and goodness of Christ, like human sexuality, food and drink, the respect of other people, money, and so many other things. These are all good things and gifts from God, but they are mere reflections of God, Who is the source of all goodness.
If we confuse them for the true Light of Christ, then we end up circling our lives around them and don’t get to where we’re meant to end up, which is union with God in heaven. We should use these things as God intended them, and see His own light and goodness reflected in them, but keep our eyes fixed on the true Light of the World, our Lord Jesus Christ.
For the past 2 months we’ve been practicing social distancing, staying at home, and/or quarantined. At times it’s felt like the world is on hold while we deal with Covid-19, but now, things are beginning to start back up again. We’re not completely back to how thing were, and we probably never will be in some ways, but in many places we’re seeing the new cases and hospitalizations dropping, businesses beginning to open back up, and people starting to go our and about. Now is the time to reflect on the spiritual lessons of this time and how we can truly take these lessons to heart and not just “go back to normal.” Some of the things that I’ll be working on, in the coming weeks and months, are being more comfortable with silence, having a greater appreciation for the community of the Church, and having a deeper reverence for and reliance on the sacraments, especially the Eucharist.
In the past two months, I’ve spent a lot of time sitting in Church or sitting out on my porch. Some of that time has been spent watching TV and some of it reading, but a lot of it has been spent in silence, with only the sound of the wind, the birds, and the occasional passing car. I’ve come to realize that I was accustomed to always having some sound going on. Even if I was just working around the house, I would turn on the radio or listen to a podcast. The silence has allowed me to hear myself thinking again. Silence can be uncomfortable or make us feel anxious because we’re not used to being alone with ourselves. When become comfortable in the silence, we begin to realize that we’re not alone, because God is with us. God doesn’t usually come with a light show and a spectacle, and it can be hard to hear His voice even in the silence, and He’s much harder to hear when we never allow the silence to linger.
I’ve also come to realize just how much I need the community of the Church. I’ve always focused on prayer, teaching and preaching, and the sacraments, and I might have taken the community aspect of Church for granted. It’s not that I thought it was unimportant; I just never really thought much about it at all. This time without the Church around me has reminded me why I love being a parish priest and why I chose diocesan or parish priesthood over joining a monastery. The monasteries are extremely important, but the ordinary life of the Church is in the parish and in the day to day lives of ordinary Catholics, coming together in Church to worship God together, to be strengthened through that worship, and then going out to bring the Word of God into the world.
Finally, I think that we, and I mean the Catholic Church throughout the world, not any specific individuals, have taken the sacraments for granted. In these two months I’ve seen a growing desire for the Eucharist, I’ve seen people spending hours each week in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, just to be close to our Lord present in the Blessed Sacrament, and I’ve seen multiple people brought to tears because they’ve finally been able to receive Communion again. Even, and especially priests, can fall into the trap of taking the Sacraments for granted, because we handle sacred things on a day to day basis and sometimes we don’t stop to think just what it is that we’re doing. We must remember that we don’t go to the Sacraments for ourselves, but to give ourselves to God, but we must also remember that what we receive in the Sacraments is far greater than what we give, because we receive God Himself, the Most Holy Trinity.
From the Pastor’s Archive
First Published October 22, 2017
Even though you probably can’t remember it, your baptism is one of the most important moments in your life. In that moment you were freed from the tyranny of sin, claimed for God through the sign of His Cross, and filled with His Holy Spirit. Just before the baptism of an infant, the priest or deacon turns to the parents and godparents and tells them, “See that the divine life which God gives them is kept safe from the poison of sin, to grow always stronger in their hearts.”
Holiness is not just for priests and nuns. Everyone is called to a life of holiness. It may be intimidating at first, but it simply means that God wants us, with the help of His grace, to strive to follow Christ. It’s not always easy, but, with God’s help, it is possible. So, how do we do it? How do we answer God’s call to live a holy life?
First, go to Mass. What happens to your body when you don’t eat enough good food? First, you start to get weaker. Next, you start to get sick. Then, you die. Exactly the same thing is true in the spiritual life. If you don’t eat spiritual food (that is, the Eucharist) you won’t have the strength to live a spiritual life. You won’t have the life of God within you. Think I’m exaggerating the importance of Mass? Well, listen to what Jesus said, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day” (John 6:53-54).
Second, pray every day. How do we know what Jesus wants us to do? How do we know how to follow Him? We have to get to know Him, and we get to know Jesus the same way that we get to know anyone else: through spending time with Him, talking to Him, and listening to Him. People often ask me to tell them how to pray, but the “how” of praying is easy. Just talk to Jesus and listen to Him. The hard part is actually doing it.
Finally, go to confession. All of us, every one, sometimes fails to follow Jesus, to listen to Him, and to love Him. That’s why He gave us the Sacrament of Reconciliation. That is where we repair our relationship with God when we’ve damaged or broken it through sin. When we read the lives of the saints, we see that all of them went to confession regularly. Let’s try to follow their example.
So, you are getting by and through this worldwide pandemic and dealing with all of the hand washing, social distancing, sanitizing, and limited travel away from home but just not feeling yourself. You have not tested positive for the virus but there is a sense that the pep in your step is less than what it was or that the things that usually amuse you seem not to be as amusing.
There is a better than average chance that you may have a different strain of the Coronavirus – the Corona Crud. For complete disclosure purposes, I am not aware that there is an actual ailment officially called the Corona Crud, but you get the idea. The overall feeling that life is just a bit off balance and that some days things almost feel normal but still different. You’re not overtly depressed or having debilitating anxiety but the updates of information and the review of the COVID19 statistics usually end with a deep sigh. Even the occasional glass of wine or beer is interrupted by some conversation about the virus and it seems that it’s one of the last things that you think about at night and one of the first things that you greet the day with on more days than not.
And as if all that wasn’t enough, all of your badges of honor from past disasters like Katrina, Rita, the BP Oil Spill, Refinery explosions, and even Betsy for the most experienced of survivors, really carry little weight to combat this one.
Well, here is the good news- in addition to the Gospel. If you’re going through any of the above or things similar you are completely normal. Keep in mind that normal is a relative term. But for the most part, you can count on the above symptoms remaining with you for a while longer butyou will get better at it and it will help form the roots for a stronger and more resilient you. In the meantime, here are a few helpful hints to remember that make for good emotional health.
1. One of my personal favorites- why give yourself a hard time for having a hard time dealing with hard times. In other words, feeling a bit off center in the face of a historical pandemic and all of the impacts associated with it is right where most of us spend a decent amount of our days. It is really important that we can acknowledge that the things that we are experiencing like the symptoms above is OK to feel. It doesn’t mean that we are in some way less than we are supposed to be. It just means that this situation is a challenge for now. Vent a little more, wonder a little more, nap a little more, and question a little more; but just for a while.
2. But be OK with not staying there. Once you can give yourself a pass for not being completely happy with the pandemic situation, you also can free yourself from having to change it. Take solving the COVID19 crisis off your To Do list. You see, we are creatures who look for ways to minimize discomfort and maximize pleasant experiences. So, if you release yourself from having to solve the COVID19 pandemic, it becomes a bit more sensible to let yourself do and think about other things. Be free of the chains of the virus. This simple act can go a long way to open yourself to the rest of the world around you.The daylight, the clouds, the rain, the stars, the sunset, the birds that you hadn’t seen before. Be open to it all.
3. Here is a small but powerful tool. Laugh and Smile. Sure, it may seem inconsistent to laugh or walk around with a big grin on your face when there is so much stuff going on but trust me on this one. This is a biggie. You know that it takes more muscle energy to frown than to smile- so it is actually more efficient to smile. Find something: a television show, a movie, a joke, a photo album or old video, a funny memory, or watching orangutans. Whatever it is that amuses you, find it, experience it, and laugh at will. Repeat as often as possible. And feel free to make yourself contagious on this one. Obviously, be mindful of the other people around who may not have advanced to your level of personal adjustment and who may not understand your laughter just yet.
4. Another helpful hint is to allow yourself to engage the pandemic for what it is - a world crisis that will end in time - and move on with your history story. Not that we should be insensitive to the struggles that people may have but let it have its place and stay in its place. People often can get wrapped up in having to know all there is to know about the tragedies of the world. Sort of like having to look at the car accident on the highway- you don’t want to see but you just have to look. Here is a secret that is related to #2 above. Its likely not your job to solve the Coronavirus pandemic so engage the crisis; get the facts;know that it is real, that it will have some impact on life as we know it for the immediate future; and expect that it will pass. So, turn off the 24-hour coverage on the pandemic and get on with something else. There will be plenty of time to come back to any relevant issue or person that needs your attention.
5. Eat, Play, Pray, and Rest. You know the saying- take care of yourself and your self will take care of you. Be deliberate in trying new things to eat or places to order from. EAT - Our culture is such a delicacy and while some of our reliables may be on a temporary hiatus, use this as the time to expand your food experience. Do a food exchange with friends and neighbors. You know you can really tell a lot about a person from the food they feed you. Travel the seven continents one by one by different cultural dishes during the course of the pandemic. Or play your own version of your favorite reality cooking show- you make the rules and you always win. PLAY - Dust off those board games or tennis shoes or gardening tools. You know all those things you used to enjoy doing but got too grown up to do anymore or made it a chore to do. Now is a good time to try them out again. Make it fun instead of seeing as a “have to do” item. And even while you’resocial distancing, you may find someone to do them six feet away from. Take pics of your new playful self. PRAY - And while you’re doing things deliberately- work a couple of practical prayers into the mix. The old favorites like the rosary or novenas are good solid prayers but stretch your spiritual self and try adding in a little mixture of prayers that you hadn’t followed before. Be it a focus on nature or history or mankind, let your prayer journey be influenced by topics of prayer that you have not considered a source of prayer time or include in your prayers getting to know some of the saints and or other spiritual models whom you don’t know. REST - And get your rest. Be careful in the process of eating, playing, and praying that you leave time for a few good mid-day siestas and some early to bed nights and late to rise days. Sleep is such a distinct behavior of ours that on this one be cautious about changing what works but be open to adjusting what does not. Someone recently shared with me that last year laying on the couch when the neighbors were out was seen as lazy and antisocial and this year it is seen as responsible distancing. Go figure. Rest sustains us; good rest energizes us; and peaceful rest strengthens us.
So, there you have a quick review of the Corona Crud and some ideas to cope with it. I most encourage readers to rip it apart, write your own version of the crud symptoms and the helpful hints to cope with it. Afterall, you are the expert. And as we often need to be reminded-
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change. The courage to change the things I can. And the wisdom to know the difference.
This, too, shall pass. You know this because this is not where our story ends.
God Bless You.
We are now a little over a month into the “Stay at Home” orders stemming from the Coronavirus, or COVID-19, and this Sunday is Divine Mercy Sunday. As a parish family we just finished praying the Divine Mercy Novena together, with the special intention of against God, in His mercy, to heal the sick, protect those most at risk, and end this pandemic.
I want to invite you to pray another novena with me, starting Monday, April 20. This is one that I wrote to ask for God’s grace during times of spreading disease. I call it the Novena Against Disease and Pestilence. We’ll pray it starting Monday, April 20, and go through Tuesday, April 28. The full text of the novena will be available on our website: www.olol-church.com.
We’re starting tomorrow, not today, because I want to reiterate a point from last Sunday’s, Easter Sunday’s, homily. While we definitely need to fast and pray, to seek conversion and forgiveness, and to beg God’s mercy, the Church, in her wisdom, also recognizes that we need time to feast as well. Sunday is a special time for feasting because on every Sunday, and most of all during the Easter season, we celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ to new life, and the gift of new life that He offers us in the Sacrament of Baptism. Take the time this Sunday to do something that makes you happy: make some bread pudding, fire up the grill, go for a drive, or call a friend or relative you haven’t talked to in a while. We need to celebrate the Resurrection of the Lord. Even my pet turtle celebrates on Sundays. Every other day of the week he gets turtle food pellets, but on Sundays he gets something fresh, usually a bit of shrimp.
I like to focus on the Most Holy Eucharist on Easter Sunday, because the Eucharist is the Resurrected and Glorified Jesus Christ made present for us in the Most Blessed Sacrament. We celebrate the Resurrection of the Lord specifically on Easter Sunday, but every Sunday, and every Mass, is a celebration of the Resurrection, just as every Mass is also a memorial of the Passion and death of the Lord. On this Easter Sunday, many of us won’t get to receive Holy Communion and almost none of us will get to go to Mass. We’ve been encouraging people to watch and listen to the Mass however they can and to make a Spiritual Communion, but that truly isn’t the same as actually attending Mass. In the Mass the Body of Christ, which is the Church, is gathered together to worship our Lord and God and be united to him through the Most Blessed Sacrament of His Body and Blood, and our physical presence there is important. After all, it’s important that the Son of God really became flesh and didn’t just appear to. However, just being physically present at Mass isn’t enough, either; we need to actually be paying attention. We need to actively participate in the Mass, and we can do that part even sitting in front of our computers or TVs, and God can use that to bring unimaginable graces into our lives.
Before Mass even starts, take 3-5 minutes to prepare yourself for Mass. Try to push any distractions out of your mind, and ask the Holy Spirit to help you to focus. Take this time to tell God what you are offering the Mass for: a particular grace, a person, the intentions of the Pope, etc.
During the Penitential Rite, really ask God for mercy. You probably don’t have enough time to do a full examination of conscience, but in the brief pause remember any particular sins that are weighing on your soul and ask God to give you a holy hatred for every sin and a desire to never be separated from Him.
Try to really pay attention to the readings as they’re read. You don’t need to analyze them for every little detail, but at least listen for something that stands out to you: an idea, theme, phrase, or action. During the homily, listen for the main point. God can and will speak to you through the homily, whether the homilist is interesting or boring. You may learn something new, find something to bring to prayer, or be called to do something.
While the gifts are being prepared, prepare to offer yourself to God along with them. Place your intention on the altar with the gifts. Place yourself on the paten with the host and in the chalice with the wine. Ask the Lord to transform you through His grace just as the bread and wine or transubstantiated to become the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. Then, during the Eucharistic Prayer focus on the words the priest is saying and unite your prayers to his.
After Mass is over, just get up and walk away immediately. Take a moment to thank the Lord for the great gift of the Mass, of your faith, and of the Church. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you put the graces you’ve receive to use so that, through this Mass, you might grow in love of God and neighbor in some tangible way.
During this time of exile from the sacraments I’ve been thinking of other times when Catholic have, by necessity, been away from the sacraments. I don’t mean when we can’t make it to Mass because of our work schedule or when we’re traveling; I’m talking about extended, involuntary periods of time away from the Sacraments and the Eucharist. Since we know that God’s hand can work in all things and that the Lord can bring blessings even out of evil, then we can think about the blessings that can come from this present absence from the sacraments caused by the Coronavirus Pandemic.
The first group I thought of was the Catholic community in Japan. The first Catholic missionaries reached Japan in the 16th century and they began to make great progress in spreading the faith, converting 2-300,000 to Catholicism. The persecutions began in 1587 when Christianity was outlawed, the missionaries exiled, and some churches burned, but the missionaries continued their work in secret. The martyrdoms began 10 years later, in 1597, and continued on year after year, with brief intervals of peace. The last of the missionaries, 5 Jesuits and 3 secular religious, were martyred in 1643, and we don’t have much information from after that time. However, in 1848, when Commodore Perry forced the Japanese to reopen their borders to outsiders, it was discovered that there were still tens of thousands of Christians practicing the faith in secret without clergy or any sacraments other than Baptism. We can thank the Lord for our religious liberty, which wasn’t granted to the Japanese Christians until 1873, and ask God to strengthen our faith like the faith of the Japanese Catholics and martyrs.
Next, I thought of Christians imprisoned for their faith, like those in Communist Russian prisons. Now Cardinal Sigitas Tamkevicius was a priest in Lithuania in 1983 when he was arrested by the KGB and sentenced to 10 years in prison, some of which was spent in Siberia. Cardinal Tamkevicius explained, “My stronghold was my faith, which I kept alive by praying a lot. I could only celebrate Mass secretly.I celebrated the Eucharist with great care, and for me it was a great source of strength in prison.” He was able to request unleavened bread with his meals, and would use the grapes to make wine in secret. We can learn from Cardinal Tamkevicius and those like him to rely more on prayer, to stay close to the Eucharist however we can, and to do what we can with what we have.
Finally, I thought of those who are homebound or in hospitals and care facilities and who thus can’t get to Mass. Sometimes, they are able to watch Mass on TV or have the Eucharist brought to them, but that’s not the same as actually attending Mass. I have greater compassion for these people now, even though I get to celebrate mass every day, because I can’t go where I want or do what I want, and I also intend to have greater appreciation for the great gift of the Eucharist in the future. Let’s learn to never take our Lord, or Holy Communion, for granted, but to always reach out to Him in faith, wherever we may be, through the power of the Holy Spirit.
They say that some people see the world through rose colored glasses. They always look on the bright side of things and see the positives in people and events, sometimes to the point of blinding themselves to the very real dark sides of things. There are other people that, we might say, can’t be happy unless they have something to complain about. They always find the negatives in things and often can’t see the positives. Neither of these has anything to do with hope or despair. Hope, as Christians understand it, is the infused virtue by which we have absolute certainly that God will give us everything we need to reach eternal life.
Hope is infused within us. It doesn’t come just from ourselves; it is a gift of God. However, it’s also a virtue that we build up over time by living in the hope of eternal life and keeping our eyes on heaven. It’s like making tea. If you put the tea leaves in cold water, you’ll just get soggy tea leaves. The water has to be heated so it can be infused with the flavors of the tea leaves. It takes work on our part to make ourselves ready to accept the gift of God’s grace, but it doesn’t matter how hot you get the water if you don’t have tea leaves.
Hope is in the middle between two extremes: despair and presumption. Despair is the lack of confidence in God. It’s when we think we can’t possibly be saved, and so we stop trying. Despair is not depression. Depression is an emotional disorder that saps our energy and motivation; it isn’t a sin but a condition that we should seek treatment for. Despair is a choice not to seek the things of God, because we don’t believe that salvation is possible for us.
The other extreme is presumption, which causes us to assume that we’ll be saved regardless of what we do. When we presume on God’s mercy we may fail to do everything we can to overcome our sins and grow in virtue, because we don’t think we have to do anything to prepare ourselves to receive God’s grace.
To grow in hope, I have to remind myself that everything is within God’s providence. When we look back from heaven, God willing, we’ll be amazed to see how God was present and working in every moment of our lives, and we’ll be amazed at how often we failed to see Him, even though He was always with us. Every day, we should put ourselves into God’s hands, but not passively as if we’re waiting for Him to do all of the work. Were the saints passive? No, they were actively listening to where the Holy Spirit was leading and looking for opportunities to do God’s will in the world. The virtue of hope gives us the confidence in faith to know that God is with us and to boldly follow after Him.
Fr. Bryan Howard
4th Sunday of Lent – Year A – 22 March 2020
I went to minor seminary at St. Joseph Seminary College, usually better known as St. Ben’s, which is at the Benedictine Abbey in Covington on the North Shore. The Abbey has about 1,200 acres of woods and fields behind and around it. The grounds really are beautiful. One day during my first year there I had a class that let out at 3 o’clock and didn’t have anything I needed to do until Evening Prayer at 5:30, so I decided to take a walk though the woods. Now, there’s a main trail that runs through the middle of the property from the Abbey to Camp Abbey on the other side, and then there are lots of smaller trails, too. After about 45 to an hour I decided to head back in, but I couldn’t find the main trail, and that’s when I realized that I was lost. I was eventually able to find my way back to the main trail and barely made it to evening prayer on time, but I told that story because of the moment I realized that I was lost. I bet most people have had moments like that, whether you were lost in the woods, or in a mall, or in the city, and the moment you realize it is an intense moment. We’re all lost, or, as our Lord said, blind, but we don’t always realize it, but Jesus came to give sight to the blind.
In the story the man born blind stands for us. Our first parents, Adam and Eve, were created in a state of grace. From the moment God made them they were filled with God’s grace and lived in friendship with God. In original sin they rejected God’s place in their lives. Satan told them that if they ate of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil then they would become like God. Their sin wasn’t eating an apple or something; it was the sin of pride. They wanted to take God’s place in their own lives. Then, having rejected God’s friendship, what we call sanctifying grace, they were cast from the garden, symbolizing the loss of that friendship with God. What they lost in original sin, they couldn’t pass down to us, their descendants, and so we are born outside of grace. We are born blind, not because of anything we’ve done, but because our first parents rejected God’s grace. When our parents take us to the Church to be baptized they are saying that they are accepted God’s offer of love on our behalf. God made that offer of love on the Cross when Jesus Christ came to undo, by His obedience, Adam’s act of disobedience.
The healing of the man born blind symbolizes the grace of God and especially the gift of faith. In baptism and the other sacraments we receive sanctifying grace to make us holy, to make us like Christ. It’s a gift of love, free and undeserved, because God wants to share His love with us and show us how to love one another in a Christ-like way.
After the man is healed, the pharisees come to question him, because they want to use this healing against Jesus. Jesus healed him on a Sabbath day, and it’s against God’s law to do any work on the Sabbath. This story is in the 9thchapter of John’s Gospel. In chapter 5 John tells a very similar story. Once again Jesus is in Jerusalem on a Sabbath, and once again he heals someone, this time a crippled man, and again the pharisees question the man so they can use this against Jesus. That man didn’t know who Jesus was, but latter on Jesus found him again and told him, “Look, you are well. Do not sin anymore,” but the man went immediately and told the Pharisees that it was Jesus and it says, “The man went and told the Jews that Jesus was the one who made him well. Therefore, the Jews began to persecute Jesus because He did this on a Sabbath.” The man born blind, however, stands up for Jesus, and when Jesus comes back to talk to him again He said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” He answered and said, “Who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?” Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, the one speaking with you is he.” He said, “I do believe, Lord,” and he worshiped him.”
Jesus has opened our eyes and made us see. He’s given us faith to believe in Him. He’s given us the Holy Spirit to guide us to our final destination. What good is sight if we walk around with our eyes closed, what good are directions if we don’t follow them, and what good is faith if we don’t live it? In our second reading we heard what St. Paul wrote to the Ephesians, “You were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light, for light produces every kind of goodness and righteousness and truth. Try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the fruitless works of darkness.”
The Lord has told us how to reach our destination in the Holy Bible, He’s given us food to strengthen us for the journey in the Most Holy Eucharist, and He’s given us the whole community of the Church to travel with. Now we just have to keep putting one foot in front of the other and persevere in running the race.
Fr. Bryan became pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes on July 3, 2017. Read his bio here.