Running the race of life: April 2006

Running the race of life

Friday, April 28, 2006

International Prayer for Peace

I had the opportunity to attend the International Prayer for Peace sponsored by the Community of Sant' Egidio yesterday at Georgetown University. It was a very good experience.

I attended panel sessions on Pluralism and Faith; Media: War, Peace and Religion; and Solving the crisis of HIV/AIDS. As I listened to the panelists, my heart felt heavier and heavier in considering the brokenness, injustice and suffering in the world.

As we came together to pray at the end of the day (the Christians assembled in the local Catholic Church and other faiths to other areas), I was lightened by the hope of the Gospel. At first I was annoyed because we kept singing the Gospel acclamation, "Alleluia" after every reading and meditation. Then I realized, thats what its all about. The Risen Christ is the hope that trumps every darkness!

There was a moving closing ceremony where religious leaders from different faiths signed a common declaration for peace. I know peace has to go beyond signatures on a paper but just being together you could sense the movement of the Holy Spirit.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Free Ice Cream today!

Today is Free Cone Day at Ben and Jerry's!

Hope you can slip away for a treat! Its Easter, have some extra calories!

Monday, April 24, 2006

Graduation is approaching!

In ten minutes I'm beginning my last class in seminary. I'm going to graduate! Not that I haven't enjoyed theology studies, but I am thrilled to be finishing what I started.


A Man of Deep Faith in the Risen Christ

I had the privilege of preaching today and speaking about Friar St. Fidelis. Here's my reflection:

Memorial of St. Fidelis, Martyr, Friar Priest
Acts 4:23-31
John 3:1-8

Models of Faith in the Risen Christ

Three great men of faith are put before us in our liturgy today- the apostles Peter and John and the saint we celebrate, St. Fidelis

Peter and John have been preaching and teaching in the name of Jesus and are beginning to receive heavy persecution
What do they do when they are threatened?
They return to the community for support and prayer
In this communal prayer they are refreshed with the Holy Spirit and given further boldness to proclaim the Lord

Sixteen centuries after Peter and John, a man named Fidelis is born
Fidelis was born Mark Rey in Germany in 1577
After getting doctorates in civil law and canon law, Fidelis took on the clients others didn’t earning the title, the ‘lawyer of the poor’
Disenchanted with the corruption and greed of law, Fidelis entered the friars and served the community as guardian in several friaries

Fidelis was then sent as missionary to Switzerland where many people had renounced Catholicism and become Calvinists
The mission was successful as Fidelis effected many conversions through his preaching and writing
At the success of the mission, Fidelis’ adversaries were enraged and they stirred up the peasants against him saying he was a spy for the Austrian emperor

Fidelis, aware of the threat, was said to return to prayer for several days.
He was then preaching a sermon when a bullet was fired, barely missed him and lodged in the wall behind him.
The place became chaotic and Fidelis refusing shelter headed out
He was on his way home when he was attacked and killed when he refused to deny his faith.
He was 45 years old.

Peter, John and Fidelis are models of faith in the Risen Christ
They could be bold because they clung to the fact that whatever might happen to them in this world, they would live with Jesus forever in the Resurrection

This living faith in Jesus Christ was evident in one of Fidelis’ last sermons:
“This is the victory that overcomes the world, our faith. It made the most powerful kings subject to the rule of Christ; it brought the nations to serve Christ. What was it that gave the holy apostles and martyrs the strength to endure severe trials and bitter sufferings? It was the faith, especially faith in the resurrection… It is this faith that causes us to give what is good here and now in the hope of what is to come, and to exchange what we have for what will be ours in the life to come.”

Peter, John and Fidelis received power and boldness through prayer with their community of faith. In this prayer, they were given the grace to let God use them, the faith to not be afraid of any threats.
This prayer empowered them to be witnesses of the saving name of Jesus no matter what the circumstances

Almost 2 millenniums after Peter and John, we are worshipping today
Much has changed and yet much is the same
We are called to be people who have deep faith in the Risen Christ
Like Peter, John and Fidelis, we are to live and speak about Christ to those we meet
I’m not saying we do this at every moment but I’m convicted of how seldom I’ve shared my excitement that Jesus is alive

Perhaps we should be like Peter, John and Fidelis in coming back to the community to stir up that boldness
“Can we pray for one another that we may be evangelists of the Risen Christ to whomever we meet? Can we encourage one another in the ways we are already boldly proclaiming the Lord in our lives?”
As we approach the altar of the Lord together, let us indeed pray for the boldness to continue to carry on the mission the Lord has entrusted to us

Monday, April 17, 2006

Congratulations Boston Marathon Runners!

I got a little excited today watching the Boston Marathon. Lets just say the Kenyans had a good day of running... but so did the Americans.

I immediately procrastinated further on my paper and went out for a run... and yes, I did pretend I was one of those lightning fast Kenyans!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Christ is Risen, Alleluia!

He is risen! Alleluia. Jesus has conquered. Alleluia. Death is layed under foot. Alleluia. Our suffering, sorrow and loss are dimmed with the undiminished hope of glory, joy and life! Alleluia.

God bless the world on this Easter day!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

A Beautiful Day at the Franciscan Monastery

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Preparation Day
The disciples prepare today
Eleven for the meal of deliverance
One for the deliverance of the Bread of Life
Can compassion stem the movement of betrayal?
Sharing intimacy of food and drink
Deliver us Lord from all evil
Prepare us this day

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

The Promise of the Holy Spirit

Last night was our fifth session of the Life in the Spirit Seminar. I can't do justice to how the Lord blessed us!

I simply want to testify to the gift of the presence of the Holy Spirit that was poured out upon us. I know that as a team member it was an incredible privilege to lay hands on our brothers and sisters and pray for them.

Happy Holy Week

I pray that you are having a blessed Holy Week. As I think of the liturgies ahead I am reminded of the great gift of the richness of what we celebrate.

May the Lord bless you to be immersed ever more fully into the the wonderful mystery of love we recall in these days!

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Another Gift of God in my life!

My niece is growing up! She's going to be 16 months in a few days!

Isn't she beautiful?!

The Earth is the Lord's!

Praise God that Spring has sprung!!

The Syrian Bride

Today, I went with a few friars to see a very powerful movie: The Syrian Bride

Its about a young woman named Mona on the day of her wedding. Usually a happy day but for her it was also filled with sadness: Once Mona crosses the border line between Israel and Syria she will never be able to return to visit her family who live in a Druze village in the Golan heights that is Israeli territory. The story focuses on Mona and her family as well as all those who are wrapped up in this day; her family, Syrians and Israeli's.

I liked this movie because it didn't seem to me to be propaganda for a particular people or culture. It honestly probed the emotions of issues such as separation, family loyalty, animosity and redemption. The musical score is also beautiful.