Moderator's Corner-Fr. Pawel Sass, M.A., S.T.L.
with contributions from our Religious Community
"Mary, Mother of the Holy Eucharist, pray for priests.
May she preserve their hearts wholly for Jesus."
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The Resurrection of the Lord
May Easter bring you and your loved ones many blessings!
Easter reminds us that death is no victor. In fact, death, the loss of this life is but the beginning of the eternal day the Lord secured for each and every person. That ancient day when Christ rose from the dead was a day when time stopped, human history was transformed, and our promised Savior fulfilled the teachings of the ancient prophets. Because of our Risen Lord we will one day take our last breath and can join in the eternal company of the angels and saints. Eternal Life awaits us. Christ died and rose from the dead so we can have everlasting life.
This is the reason for the Great Alleluia! Holy is our Redeemer Jesus Christ.
May Easter Season bring us closer to our Lord. Let us recognize that this day, this very hour,
is all part of God’s time and that human history is but a part of God’s eternity.
We are a pilgrim people, a nation of Christ’s modern disciples, and people whose hearts
are on fire with the Gospel message.
I pray our Lord will continue to inspire and guide you and transform your current life into a life in which Christ is paramount. May Easter bring to you the reminder that the tomb was empty, that our Risen Christ appeared to Mary and the apostles, and that He walks with us, and all of His modern disciples on the daily Road to Eternal Life. Our Risen Lord is with us now and forever. May our good Lord bless you and your loved ones now and forever.
Have a blessed Easter Season.
Fr. Michael Briese, Immediate Past Moderator
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Power and Meekness"
I think the many characters and details contained in the story of Jesus’ Passion are deliberate: the Holy Spirit wanted to give us many entry points to this history-changing story. We can see ourselves, and our culture, through the many mirrors the Passion presents to our consciences.
One detail seems particularly telling; I have thought about it more and more over the years. The soldiers, while mocking Jesus, make a crown of thorns and put it on his head. Then, the next sentence tells us, they kept hitting him on the head. Nothing seems to have caught the deliberate cruelty and meanness of the human heart more than this detail. This was done to inflict a particular kind of pain, one unique to Jesus.
Every day the news brings to us stories that have cruelty and meanness at their heart, whether an attack on human bodies as we keep hearing in so many domestic massacres; or an attack on human dignity as our public discourse sinks lower and lower. All of this, just as the incident of Jesus mockery, shows one point: that some people feel their own esteem can only be earned with the pain of someone else: “I feel powerful by hurting you.”
Jesus accepts this mockery, along with the whole outrage of his assassination, to show the emptiness of this esteem and the weakness of this quest for power. In his meekness, Jesus shows us the true power of emptying human cruelty by giving oneself as a sign of divine love. What the prophets hinted at when reflecting on the suffering of the Jews Jesus now reveals in the gift of himself. True power comes with sacrificial love. What about each of us? Where am I in this Passion story? Where do I find my power? How do I resort to cruelty just for cruelty’s sake? Or am I ready to be at the side of Jesus and renounce human smallness for the sake of a better, a saving, vision?
(Shared with permission from Paulist Evangelization Ministries)
OH! ANCIENT DAY
Mary’s heart was broken. The apostles were in hiding. A guard stood near the tomb. The darkness of night surrendered unto the breaking dawn, and red rays pierced through the ancient sky. Dawn brought forth that ancient morning when time stopped and human history was transformed by God Himself as He reached down into the tomb and raised up for us His Son Jesus Christ—The Light of the World.
The tomb was empty. Mary and the apostles ran to the empty tomb! They knew in their hearts and minds that the new day had brought forth the Risen Christ. Indeed, He had fulfilled the ancient words of the prophets. Death and its sting had been overcome by infinite Divine Love. Sin had been conquered by redemption and eternal life. Divine mercy had fallen upon humanity, and the human spirit was renewed by Hope.
On that ancient morning, the Risen Light of The World brought forth the Good News. He had proclaimed freedom for prisoners, healing for the brokenhearted, hope for those in despair, forgiveness for all who choose to believe and reconciliation among enemies. Indeed, on that ancient day, morning had broken, the tomb was empty, and the Light of The World had risen in New Life.
All rights reserved. Copyright © 2015 by Michael Briese.
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The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. I pray everyday to Our Lord Jesus Christ through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary for you spiritual and physical wellbeing.
We are living in challenging times. Times of fear and uncertainty. I am certain that God will bring good out of evil, Saint Paul assures us in his epistle to the Romans: “We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” (Rom 8:28)
Sodality of the Blessed Virgin Mary in a very special way demonstrates the total surrender to the Will of God and puts entire trust in Jesus Christ in the same as Our Holy Mother did. In response to the current situation let us listen to words spoken by Virgin Mary in Guadalupe to the Native Son of the North American Continent Saint Juan Diego: “Juanito, dearest Juan Diego. Juanito, my dearest son, where are you going? Know and understand well, you my most humble son, that I am the ever-virgin Holy Mary, Mother of the True God for whom we live, of the Creator of all things, Lord of heaven and the earth. I wish that a temple be erected here quickly, so I may therein exhibit and give all my love, compassion, help, and protection, because I am your merciful mother, to you, and to all the inhabitants on this land and all the rest who love me, invoke and confide in me; listen there to their lamentations, and remedy all their miseries, afflictions and sorrows (…) Hear me and understand well, my little son, that nothing should frighten or grieve you. Let not your heart be disturbed. Do not fear that sickness, nor any other sickness or anguish. Am I not here, who is your Mother? Are you not under my protection? Am I not your health? Are you not happily within my fold? What else do you wish? Do not grieve nor be disturbed by anything.”
Due to current situation we were not able to meet in person at our monthly meetings, be assured that I keep you in my heart every prayer and every Mass I celebrate. I would like to thank our Immediate Past President Margaret Johnson for her exemplar and excellent leadership. I give thanks to the outgoing Executive Council. As we welcome our new President Lisa Williams and new Executive Council we entrust their service to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. I pray that we can meet in person soon. May the Lord bless you and protect you from all evil and harm in body and spirit.
Yours in Christ,
Fr. Pawel Sass, Moderator
WE ARE SINNERS -- by Father Michael Briese
You are a sinner and so am I and so is every single human being. We are a broken and imperfect race of various peoples. Our one common thread is our own humanity. Do you even care about people whom you know not; people who certainly share in your own humanity? Do you truly care about the stranger? Do you have any concern for the people here in the community who are “down on their luck”, poorly educated, unskilled, living in the woods, an alleyway or off in the countryside living in some abandoned building? Do you know what I know? They too, like you, me, and all people are human in nature, broken, frail and within them rests the presence of our dear beloved Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
We are sinners whose very being holds within it a sacred place, a holy presence and a temple in which our Lord finds rest. Go to that holy place within the very depths of your imperfect being. Go there. It is there you will discover and rediscover the presence of our dear Lord. Go off to a quiet place, a desolate place, and there amid the passing silence you can find our Lord. In such moments you will be in the presence of our Lord and He will find in you a holy place, a spirit grounded not in some material joys, but rather, within the very depth of your own imperfect human being, our Lord will discover you, your abiding love and your faith. In return, your own life will grow as it discovers and rediscovers our Lord’s infinite Divine Mercy, infinite love and invaluable heartfelt wisdom.
Come closer to our dear Lord. Draw near and nearer. When you find yourself in troubled times go quietly into that moment, that time and that place where only you and our Lord can find one another and like two lovers can bind together in union. There in prayer, the very language of the human heart you and our dear Lord can find healing, reconciliation, forgiveness , courage, greater love, more intimate prayers and a more powerful mutual understanding of one –another. Always seek to live this broken and imperfect life with a keen awareness that indeed our Lord is with you through it all. Do all this for your one lifetime. Our Lord waits for you. Hear His call and accept His divine invitation to draw near, and to enter more fully into His company and to find rest and stillness. Run the race, go the extra mile. Do so in the Holy Name of Jesus. Do this over your one holy, sacred and precious lifetime and know you will have lived a devout life, a life centered on, and deeply rooted in Christ. Jesus encourages you to pursue this life in memory of our dear Lord. Now you hear His call. Will you accept His Divine invitation?
by Fr. Michael Briese (Immediate Past Moderator)
On that ancient Pentecost the Holy Spirit came down upon the apostles and early Christians and ignited them with that vibrant faith! They were granted great spiritual renewal, gifts and wisdom. They could speak in tongues, heal, preach and even raise from the dead. The Spirit granted unto them a great sense of God’s presence. Today, you and me, all Christians of faith possess a share in the countless gifts which God grants unto His peoples.
As people baptized into the Church, as Catholics who have received the great sacrament of Confirmation, and as Catholics who strive to put our faith into action, to live out the Gospel message and as Catholics attentive to God’s ways, all of us share in the modern calling to bring the presence of our Lord into the lives of others. Pentecost reminds us that we were granted this gift of life by God and that your life, my life, all human life is sacred and holy and precious.
This very day Pentecost reminds us that God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son to preach, teach, heal and to die and rise and to ascend into heaven; and our Risen Lord Jesus Christ is now seated at the right hand of our Father and will come again to welcome us into the eternal kingdom. Pentecost assures us that the many gifts of the Holy Spirit permeate the very fiber of our being. As faithful Catholics we are blessed with much grace and are blessed to share in the Holy Word and also the Holy Eucharist which Jesus instituted at the Last Supper. This Pentecost may we take time to be still and in that stillness, to be quiet and pray by listening to the wisdom of the Holy Spirit.
Pentecost is a feast we ought to recall throughout the passing year. It is a great event which reminds you and me that the Lord is with us, now and until the hour of our death. Our Lord guides us through the spiritual counsel and divine wisdom which the Holy Spirit whispers within the silence of the human heart. The Holy Spirit finds shelter within the temple of our heart. Go off to a quiet place and give ear to our Lord. Listen as the Spirit groans the divine wisdom only God can give. Pentecost reminds us that our Lord journeys in our company. Pentecost calls us to go forth to love and serve our Lord and one another!
PRAY THE ROSARY!
Sodality Union Archdiocese of Washington
To Jesus through Mary.