The New Gasparian
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A journal dedicated to the life and mission of St. Gaspar del Bufalo, and to a life lived in response to the call and the cry of the Most Precious Blood of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Our on-going mission is to share good news of hope and communion.

Wednesday, March 26, 2003
Thursday of the Third Week

The Readings
Jer 7:23 28 Here is a nation that will not listen to the Lord.
Psalm 95 If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts
Luke 11:14 23 Jesus casts our demons. Some say it is through Beelzubul....

St. Gaspar
"Clinging to one's own opinions and rejecting the advice of others, one can be led to believe that he is in our Society for a purpose other than the one that is understood to be properly its own. But, such is the miserable condition of humans, so that the saying of the saints is only too true: we are all patients in the vast hospitals of the world. Infirmities are cured, however, by the oil of meekness, tenderness, docility; by overcoming self-love through a victorious obedience to our superiors; by supporting each other in mutual, charitable love; by patiently correcting each other; and finally, by steadfastly bearing with one another."

Some people are amazed at what Jesus has done. There are others who refuse to listen. Those in the Gospel who refuse to listen resort to calling Jesus names. In their obstinacy they refuse to answer Jesus' questions. Jesus is no mere legislator. He is the Lord who remains with us, and sustains us. Yet what he asks of us is more rigorous and demanding than the old law. The new law is love and requires us to give everything. When we are converted to the Lord, it means we turn to him, to his ways, and we do not cling to our ways or opinions. To follow Jesus is to embark on a new way. The word "obedience" comes from the word "to listen." We are a people who listen to His living word and follow in his way. For St Gaspar this docility leads to mutual and supporting love, and ultimately to holiness and sainthood.

• What attracted me to Jesus?
• When I turned to Jesus, what did I turn from?
• How do I reveal that I am with Jesus in tangible ways?

posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. on 11:24 PM link
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Mission Notes: Day 4

Today's (Thursday) text is John 2:1-11, the wedding Feast at Cana.

These are just sketchy notes. The homily itself will have more stories and detail.

Gospel of John: Mirror image of the book of Genesis
John: book of signs (not a miracle)(only in passing, not a public

"In the beginning"
seven days....This is the seventh day of the new creation.
This is when the reign of God is revealed.

On the third day

On the third day Jesus is raised from the dead. Life is now full. We live in the power of the resurrection. We believe that death has no more power over us. We believe that we shall reach the fullness of life the same way Jesus did, by standing for life, for justice and for truth, in spite of what anyone may do or say.

John 20:1
Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb.

there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee,

Again, fullness, abundance, celebration. Those hearing these words would have thought of this celebration as the sign of the fullness of the kingdom. The principal image Jesus used for the reign of God was a wedding:

Once more Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying: {2} "The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding banquet for his son. {3} He sent his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding banquet, but they would not come. {4} Again he sent other slaves, saying, 'Tell those who have been invited: Look, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready; come to the wedding banquet.' {5} But they made light of it and went away, one to his farm, another to his business, {6} while the rest seized his slaves, mistreated them, and killed them. {7} The king was enraged. He sent his troops, destroyed those murderers, and burned their city. {8} Then he said to his slaves, 'The wedding is ready, but those invited were not worthy. {9} Go therefore into the main streets, and invite everyone you find to the wedding banquet.' {10} Those slaves went out into the streets and gathered all whom they found, both good and bad; so the wedding hall was filled with guests.

and the mother of Jesus was there.

Mary is never mentioned by name in John's Gospel, and she only appears twice, here and at the cross. Here, where that hour had not yet "come", but where the glory of God is visible in water become wine....and at the cross, where the new wine of the kingdom is poured forth in its fullness, and the water and blood are poured forth.

1 John 5:6
This is the one who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ, not with the water only but with the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one that testifies, for the Spirit is the truth.

Genesis 3:15
I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will strike your head, and you will strike his heel."

This is the new creation. This is Genesis fulfilled. In calling his mother"woman", Jesus may have been identifying her as the new Eve. Through her intercession the kingdom is revealed. At this point in the Gospel, she is given Jesus, who does not refuse her request. At the end of the Gospel, she is given the Beloved Disciple, also someone who is never named, someone who is the ideal Christian, who will do whatever she asks.

{2} Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding.{3} When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, "Theyhave no wine."

{4} And Jesus said to her, "Woman , what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come."

{5} His mother said to the servants, "Do whatever he tells you."{6} Now standing there were six stone water jars for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons.
They have no wine! They have no wine! The old ways don't work anymore. The rites of purification are inadequate to fill real human need. The old ways are dead. After all "we have died"

Galatians 2:19-20
[We] have been crucified with Christ; {20} and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

{7} Jesus said to them, "Fill the jars with water." And they filled them up to the brim.
again, abundance, fullness, celebration

{8} He said to them,"Now draw some out, and take it to the chief steward." So they took it.

{9} When the steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward called the bridegroom
If the old rites no longer work then the stewards of the old ways no longer have the answers. The servants know. We hold in our hands the fullness of life... we drink from the cup of salvation, and we know where we get this power... we live in the power of the resurrection.

{10} and said to him, "Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the inferior wine after the guests have become drunk. But you have kept the good wine until now."
The best has been kept for last. The new wine of creation, the new wine of compassion is something we have in abundance

{11} Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.
This is the kicker!
Do his disciples today believe?

Do we give God the freedom to change the plain water of life into a rich vintage of faith and creativity for us and for this community?

Do we take hold of the abundance that has been given to us, or do we insist on remaining in a chronic state of weepers and kneelers?

Do we celebrate the abundance, or do we invent scarcity? A Rolex watch is valuable because they are so few. The status a fur coat or an expensive car confers on us depends on their remaining scarce. Only if we keep these objects in short supply can we guarantee their value. Consumerism trains us in this illusion of scarcity and need.

Do I need more time?
Do I need more education?
Do I need to be accepted?
Do I still place the blame on someone else?

Do we limit where God can be revealed to us? Do we refuse to call ourselves holy, even though we have been washed clean in the blood of Christ, even though we have been immersed in the life death and resurrection of the Lord, in the waters of baptism?

Isaiah 62:1-5
You ... a crown of beauty in the hand of the LORD,
and a royal diadem in the hand of your God. {4}

You... no more termed "Forsaken", more termed Desolate;

but you shall be called "My Delight Is in Her",
and your land Married;

Remember! this is a wedding feast!!!
for the LORD delights in you, and your land shall be married.

For as a young man marries a young woman, so shall your builder marry you, and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you.

{12} After this he went down to Capernaum with his mother, his
brothers, and his disciples; and they remained there a few days.
God of wonders,
in the hour of his crucifixion
you have revealed your glory
in Jesus Christ.
and summoned all humanity
to find communion in him.

Show to your people gathered on this day
the power of your Spirit to glorify
and transform;
and in this Eucharist.
give us to taste the wine you have kept
for the age that is to come.
We ask this through your Son,
our Lord Jesus Christ,
who lives and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God for ever and ever.

--How do I limit my possibilities in life?
--How do I separate myself from others and break covenant from other Christians?
--What are some ways I might build up the experience of communion and community in my neighborhood and church?

posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. on 7:42 PM link
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Mission Notes Day 3

Today's mission talk will be on what it takes to forgive ourselves. The Book of Jonah is a great illustrator here. Jesus said that we seek signs and wonders, but that no sign will be given except the sign of Jonah. The sign of Jonah is more than about the whale.

Unlike the other prophetic books, the book of Jonah is not a collection of oracles announced by a historical prophet but a consciously composed story that attempts to entertain and instruct. Even if "the gift Christ has placed in your soul is so unique that you cannot run away," it is also part of human nature to try and run away from responsibilities that seem to heavy. Jonah does this by boarding a ship heading for the other end of the world.

But running away from God means running away from one's own heart, and this can only lead to a dead-end, both for oneself and for others. Fortunately, even when forgotten, God remains present to bring the wanderer back to the truth of his or her existence. The author of the book shows with great imagination how God can use anything to lead human beings back to God: non-believers(the pagan sailors are much more "religious" than the Israelite prophet!) and even the forces of nature (the storm and the "big fish" which evokes the sea monsters depicted in the ancient stories as the greatest opponents of God.)

Jonah's disobedience seems to lead him to a death far from God. But this apparent calamity turns out in the end to be a direction the prophet has to take to get back to the right road. It is not surprising that the early Christians (and Jesus himself Mt.12:40) saw Jonah as a figure of Christ in his passover from death to the fullness of life.

—What can I do when tempted to run away from the responsibilities God entrusts to me?

—Has God used other persons and events to help me understand his call? which ones?

posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. on 12:31 AM link
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Wednesday of the Third week

The Reading
Dt. 4:1,5 9 Observe the law, tell them to your children, and your children's children.
Psalm 147, Praise the Lord, Jerusalem
Matt 5:17 19 I have come, not to abolish the law, but to fulfill it.

St. Gaspar
"Oh how our souls find comfort in the exercise of virtue and of what great undertaking is the heart capable that is dedicated solely to God! . . ."

"Not the walls that surround us nor the men with whom we live, but rather the victory over our own will, even in spiritual things ---that mystic childhood to which Christ calls us --- the desire for the glory of God and the salvation of souls, these alone will make us more perfect. They form, as it were, the framework of the holiness which is lacking in us and which we must absolutely seek to attain as the consequence of this retreat. "So get rid of all the old yeast" “Let your armor be the Lord Jesus Christ. ”

It is not the fact that I go to church that makes me holy. It is not because we have these laws and commands of Jesus that makes us perfect. St Gaspar indicates that the inner law of love, the desire for God's will rather than my own is the framework or law that makes us whole. It is not the law itself, but the life as God desires or intends. That is what Jesus came to fulfill. We arrive at God's desire not by disregarding laws, but by seeking to fulfill their deepest intent as Jesus did. The least command, the obscure parts of God's will, the mundane parts of each day, all have the capacity to reveal God's way. We may get the impression that Jesus disregarded the laws of his day, but he did not approach them with a destructive intent, but with a desire to see God's desire fulfilled. I go to church on Sunday, not because I have to, but because I desire to be with God and with his people, the body of Christ.

• What laws of my family do I have difficulty appreciating?
• Are there laws of my city and state that do not fulfill God's desire? What are they and how do I respond to them?
• What laws of my church have I rejected, or have difficulty accepting?

posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. on 12:19 AM link
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