“Que se cumpla lo que deseas.” Recuerdo los días de mi juventud, en que me dijeron y condicionaron a creer y considerar una mejor vida – una vida que sería más fácil, más rica – toda con respecto a mí. A menudo escuchaba a mis amigos hablar de un día tener una casa grande, un trabajo presuntuoso y conseguir un auto veloz. Sus esperanzas y sueños se convirtieron en lo que yo más desearía. Como niños, frecuentemente jugamos a: “¿si tuvieras tres deseos; qué desearías?” Mi respuesta siempre fue la misma. Yo desearía riqueza y poder y tres deseos más para poder tener más riquezas y más poder y más deseos. A medida que maduré en mi espiritualidad, llegué a comprender que estos son los medios, los modos, los métodos, con que el Diablo nos distrae, nos separa y seduce lejos de la bella presencia y rostro de Dios. Que al conseguir que queramos más cosas, buscar más estatus es la manera que Satanás llama nuestra atención lejos de la mirada sagrada que Cristo tiene sobre nuestros corazones y que nuestros ojos debieran tener en su Santa Cruz y su Sagrado Corazón. ¿Qué pasaría si realmente pudieras pedir deseos a una estrella; qué pedirías? ¿Te traería verdadera felicidad? Del tipo que satisfice tu profundo anhelo de gozo verdadero; del tipo que nunca desvanece. ¿O desearías tener tres deseos más? ¿Qué pasaría si te encuentras vencedor de un juego de tiro del hueso de la suerte, qué desearías? ¿Pedirías una larga vida, una familia mejor, ese trabajo de salario impresionante? ¿Te haría eso verdaderamente feliz; darías gracias a Dios que tu deseo se hizo realidad? Qué pasa con el deseo anual cuando cierras los ojos y soplas las velas; deseas algo que te acerque a Cristo; elevaría él su voz en gozo y diría, “Oh hijo bendito de mi Padre – ¡qué grande es tu fe! Que se cumpla lo que deseas.” Jesús dijo, “cualquier cosa que pidan en mi nombre, yo la haré para que el Padre sea glorificado en el Hijo. Yo haré cualquier cosa que me pidan en mi nombre”. Que tu deseo te acerque a Cristo, te ayude a producir buen y Santo fruto y que dé gloria sin fin a Dios nuestro Padre. Que vivas feliz para siempre.
“Let it be done for you as you wish.” I recall the days of my youth and being told and conditioned to believe and consider a better life – a life that would be easier, wealthier – all about me. I would often hear my friends speak of one day owning a big house, having a fancy job and getting a fast car. Their hopes and dreams became what I would wish for the most. As children, we often played the game: “what if you had three wishes; what would you wish for?” My response was always the same. I would wish for riches and power and for three more wishes so I could have more riches and more power and more wishes. As I matured in my spirituality, I came to realize that these are the means, the ways, the methods, that the Devil distracts us, separates us and lures us away from the beautiful presence and face of God. That getting us to want more stuff, to desire more things, to seek greater status is the way that Satan draws our attention away from the sacred gaze that Christ has on our hearts and that our eyes should have on his Holy Cross and his Sacred Heart. What if you could really wish upon a star; what would you ask for? Would it bring you true happiness? The kind that satisfies your deep longing for true joy; the kind that never fades away. Or would you wish you had three more wishes? What if you find yourself the victor of a wishbone tug of war; what would you wish for? Would you ask for a long life, a better family, that awesome paying job? Would that truly make you happy; would you thank God that your wish came true? What about your yearly wish when you close your eyes and blow out candles; do you wish for something that will bring you closer to Christ; would he raise his voice in joyfulness and say, “O blessed child of my Father – great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.” Jesus said, “whatever you ask in my name, I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it.” May your wish draw you closer to Christ, help you to bear good and holy fruit and give endless glory to God our Father. May you live happily ever after.
“Jesus made the disciples get into a boat and precede him to the other side.” The image of a boat is use throughout Scripture to indicate how God assists his people to journey from one state of life to another. A state of life that remains under the watchful and gentle care of the One who invites us to seek him, to long for him, to come to him, to find him graciously waiting for us on the other side. Those who choose to embark on the journey will find themselves forever transformed. They will find themselves in a new place, with a new beginning, with an endless opportunity to commune with God. Consider how Noah and his family traveled with God’s creatures in a boat and with the help of God’s grace they survived the great flood. After the long and difficult journey, they found themselves in a land freed from the devastation of sin; a place cleansed from evil – a new day, a new beginning, a new life, a better place. Or consider the moment Jesus called the disciples from their boat, from their livelihood, from their family. Their lives were transformed from ordinary, simple fisherman to great fishers of men. Or consider when the disciples found themselves on a boat being tossed about in a violent storm. Jesus met them along the way and transformed their fears, their doubts, their frustration, their distress into a place of peace. Or consider how Jesus would often teach the great crowds from a boat piercing their hearts with his words, his preaching, his teaching. He melted their stony hearts then fed the hungry, cured the sick, restored their dignity, brought them to a better place. Or consider how after hearing the sad news of John the Baptist’s death, Jesus went away in a boat by himself to a deserted place. As he floats along the water, he goes to the Father; he shares his grief. The journey transforms his current situation. He grieves, he cries, he prayers, he is strengthened; he continues his own journey to the Cross. The boat is symbolic of our journey. At times we may encounter a violent storm or an endless sunny day. We may encounter a flood or a smooth sailing along the way. We may even find ourselves in unfamiliar waters or waters that are gentle, calm, reflective, healing. In either case, the trip is worth taking because what awaits us on the other side is a loving smile, a welcome home, the kiss of peace, our loving Father. May His peace be with you always.
Are you a leader or are you a follower? A good leader has the vision of the end state in mind, understands the outcome that needs to be achieved and has a good plan on how to get to the desired destination. A good leader leads by example and reaches back to assist those who are following. A good follower, on the other hand, is simply one who is able to listen for instructions, can follow directions and trusts in the person they are following. So are you a good leader or a good follower? I guess it’s like asking if you are a Martha or are you a Mary. It all depends on the situation and what is appropriate and needed at the time. Yes, like Martha – there is a time to be busy making preparations, a time to offer hospitality and a time to serve but when Christ is in our midst we need to be prepared to receive him and offer him the hospitality of our hearts and undivided attention. Jesus reminds us that Mary chose the better part. We must allow Jesus to lead us to a place of comfort and peace; and Mary understood this. That by following her example, we can achieve our desired end state. That by humbly placing ourselves in the presence of the Lord and allowing his sweet voice, his words of encouragement, the beauty of his face to transform our hearts and lives we can be at peace. So in order to become good leaders, we must first learn to become good followers. We must listen, follow, and trust in the Lord. Jesus would often invite the disciples to come away with him. The Good Leader, our Good Shepherd would reach back and lead his disciples up a high mountain to a place where they could learn to pray, hear God’s voice, be transformed, go and lead. But rather than trusting in the Lord, rather than listening for instructions or following his directions they often were self-absorbed and concerned themselves about worldly things. They argued about who was the greatest among them; who would sit next to Jesus in the Kingdom; who was the favorite. But Jesus, in his example, through his obedience, in his faithfulness to the Father showed us how to follow the Father’s lead and that a good leader is the one who can lead us up the mountain, bring us into the Kingdom and take us to the Father. Jesus, I Trust in You.
Throughout October, I am reminded of the richness of faith traditions this month brings to us every year especially a renewal of spirit in the active role our Blessed Mother plays in our lives and the beautiful devotion of the Holy Rosary. The Rosary consists of the richness of our salvation history with prayers given to us by God to contemplate the great mystery of his love for us and for all humanity. Through Mary, we can learn to respond to the great gift of God’s love which is truly pure, holy, unconditional, and free. Mary’s response to God’s gift is most gracious and generous; she responds in the only way that one can respond to such a precious gift – she responds with her whole heart, body, soul and mind. Her life is simply dedicated to God and is a perpetual reflection of God’s love. Mary loves us just as God has loved her. And now as beloved children of God, we are invited through Mary’s intercession to respond to God in a similar way. We are invited to receive God’s love into the depths of our being and to share it with one another; especially those in need. My brothers and sisters, this truly is the greatest commandment; to love God and one another. Thank you Lord for loving us so much. “O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary… Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.”
God’s Peace and Blessings Always, Fr. Ivan
el mes de Octubre, me acuerdo de las riquezas de las tradiciones religiosas que este mes nos trae cada año; especialmente una renovación del espíritu en el papel activo que juega nuestra Bendita Madre en nuestras vidas y la bella devoción del Santo Rosario. El Rosario consta de las riquezas de nuestra historia de salvación, con oraciones dadas a nosotros por Dios para contemplar el gran misterio de su amor por nosotros y por toda la humanidad. A través de María, nosotros podemos aprender a responder al gran regalo del amor de Dios que es verdaderamente puro, santo, incondicional y gratuito. La respuesta de María al regalo de Dios es bondadosa y generosa; ella responde de la única forma que uno puede responder a un regalo tan precioso – ella responde con todo su corazón, cuerpo, alma y mente. Su vida es simplemente dedicada a Dios y es una reflexión perpetua del amor de Dios. María nos ama tal como Dios la ama a ella. Y ahora como amados hijos de Dios, nosotros estamos invitados a través de la intercesión de María de responderle a Dios de la misma manera. Nosotros estamos invitados a recibir el amor de Dios en la profundidad de nuestro ser y compartirla unos con otros; especialmente a los necesitados. Mis hermanos y hermanas, esto es verdaderamente el mandamiento más grande; amar a Dios y al prójimo. Gracias Señor por amarnos tanto. “Oh clemente, oh piadosa, oh dulce Virgen María… Ruega por nosotros, Santa Madre. Para que seamos dignos de alcanzar las promesas de nuestro Señor Jesús Cristo.”
Paz y Bendiciones de Dios Siempre, P. Iván