Sunday, April 20, 2014

Sunday, April 20, 2014- Easter Sunday

Today's Word:

We rightfully look on Easter morning as a day of supreme joy.  And that is as it should be.

But those who experienced that first Easter morn were confused and astonished.  Mary of Magdala approaches the tomb before dawn on that Sunday, and is horrified to see the tomb open.  She rushes back to Peter and John, the beloved disciple, with the news that someone has taken the body of Jesus, the one whom they so loved.  Peter and John rush to the tomb.  John arrives first but awaits Peter before entering the tomb.  And Peter is as confused as Mary.  It is John who first understands.

The resurrection is not a resuscitation of the crucified Jesus.  His death was just as real as our own shall be.  But our transformation shall be just as real.  The apostle Paul likens it to a small seed—our present lives—which shall fall into the ground and die.  But from that tiny seed a great tree shall emerge, as different from the seed as we shall be from whom we are today, to whom we shall be in the resurrection.

Peter and Mary, of course, came to understand.  As we hear this morning from the Acts of the Apostles, we “ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.”  And so we too do, each time we gather for the Eucharist, and recognize Jesus in the breaking of the bread.  Alleluia!

Fr. Robert Grimes, S.J.
Dean of Fordham College at Lincoln Center

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Saturday, April 19, 2014- Holy Saturday

Today's Word:

“He has been raised from the dead!”

Tonight, Catholics all across the country, after braving through seven long readings from the Old Testament, each with their own Responsorial Psalm, and an epistle, will finally rejoice at hearing the Good News we have been waiting all of Lent to hear. That is what today is about: waiting. No masses are celebrated commemorating Holy Saturday, it is a time of quiet reflection and anticipation. 

Everyone in the City can identify with this sense of waiting. Through a particularly difficult and bitter winter, every day in February and March I would wake up and check the weather app on my phone, hoping for a promising change in the weather forecast. Each day, as disappointment would come, I would nostalgically recall the warm spring days of years past, renewing my excitement for the inevitable turn in the weather. 

In a similar way, I think that is what today is about. After the disappointment and heartbreak that comes with Christ’s passion, remembered on Good Friday, we spend Holy Saturday waiting for His return in the Resurrection. As we do we recall God’s infinite goodness.  The plethora of Old Testament readings read tonight, that anticipate the Gospel of Jesus’s resurrection, detail some of the most famous moments of God’s goodness in the life of the Israelites: creation, God’s promise to Abraham, God’s liberation of the Israelites from the Egyptians, etc. These readings are supposed to remind us of the many times that God has been good to His followers, culminating in God’s greatest act of love and redemption found in the resurrection. As we spend today prayerfully waiting, anticipating the Good News of Easter, take a moment to recall a time you have felt God’s blessing in your life, and offer it up in thanksgiving of God’s greatest gift of all: His son.

Greg Pfeiffer
FCLC 2014

Friday, April 18, 2014

Friday, April 18, 2014- Good Friday

Today's Word:

“Help me, Brian.  Help me.” 

Nelisiwe’s words continue to pierce my heart.  A beautiful, bright-eyed young woman in her early 20’s, Nelisiwe was ravaged by AIDS.  As I held her hand at the hospice in South Africa, she repeated those words to me over and over again.  She writhed in pain upon the bed, upon her cross.  What could I possibly do to help?  Unable to take away her pain or heal her from this incurable disease, I sat by her bedside.  In the early hours of the following morning, she passed away.  It was Good Friday.  Those were her last words to me.

Nelisiwe’s death and her words mirror Christ’s Passion in my life.  Every year when Good Friday comes, I think back to that final day with her.  I remember her pain and suffering, her plea for help, and my own inadequacy.

As we enter into the Triduum today, let us spend time with Jesus on the cross.  Pray with the Gospel story of Christ’s Passion and enter into the scene.  Hold Jesus’ hand.  Walk with him to the cross.  Stand by his side.  And listen closely.

What does Jesus have to say to you from the cross?  I hear his words, echoing in my mind.

“Help me, Brian.  Help me.”

Brian Strassburger, S.J.
Missouri Province Jesuit Scholastic 
in Studies at Fordham University

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Thursday, April 17, 2014- Holy Thursday

Today's Word:

On this day, Holy Thursday, we recall the very significant events that took place around the table at the Last Supper. At every Mass we attend, during the Consecration we are reminded of the Last Supper when Jesus instituted the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist. In today’s second reading from I Corinthians, Jesus says, “Do this in remembrance of me.” On Holy Thursday, these words are particularly meaningful to read and to hear spoken at Mass.

In the Gospel reading from John 13, we read that Jesus knew that His hour had come to pass from this world to the Father and also that He loved his own in the world and He loved them to the end.  Jesus was sharing a meal with these friends He loved while facing his crucifixion and death.   He must have felt great sadness as well as dread at what was to come very shortly.  In spite of this, He took the time to minister to His friends – the friends He loved.  In an act of humble service, He washed the feet of his disciples.  He explained to them that even though they called Him teacher and master, He did not consider it beneath Him to do this for them.  He asked them to follow his example:

            I have given you a model to follow,
            So that as I have done for you, you should also do.  (John 13:15)

The model that Jesus gave the disciples on Holy Thursday night is a model for us as well.  In fact, His whole life was a model -- and a gift -- for all of us.   

Judy Kelly
Assistant to the Dean
Fordham College at Lincoln Center    

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Today's Word:

Betrayal is a horrifying reality that strikes the heart and injures our relationships.  Betrayal is the risk we wage when opening ourselves to another, letting our guard down, and trusting intimate moments with a person we hold dear.  Many of us have confided in someone only to be disappointed to learn that our investment flopped.  Perhaps we have been the one to betray another …

In this selection of the Gospel of Matthew, we learn of the betrayal of Jesus by a close friend: Judas.  Judas became enthralled in the possibility of gaining power and wealth – turning his back on Jesus for the sake of selfish advancement.  Judas wanted to believe that he would not betray the Lord: Not I, Rabbi?  How often do we rationalize a wrong to a right?  How often do we allow the desires of the world to corrupt our own vocation? 

As we venture more fully in Holy Week, perhaps we can consider the times we are tempted to betray those who put their trust in us: a friend, colleague, partner, the Lord.  What draws us away from our commitment?  What makes us afraid to be bold and convicted in our calling?  Do we have the courage to return to the Lord, beg forgiveness, and be refreshed in the mercy that is our God?  Let us turn to the Cross of Christ and recognize our sinfulness only to embrace true salvation. 

Ave Crux, Spes Unica!

Joseph Desciak

Assistant Dean, Fordham College at Lincoln Center 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Today's Word:

“So Judas took the morsel and left at once.” John 13:30

When I was a child, I would poke at minuscule green seasonings in my supper, and ask my mother, “What is this?”  Exasperated, she would say, “Don’t pick it apart, just eat it.”  Nowadays, when cooking for my own children who refuse to eat their supper, I am reminded of my own ingratitude.

In the Gospel today, I am struck by the ingratitude of Judas.  Jesus feeds Judas his Body at the Last Supper and Judas leaves anyway to betray him.  Judas chooses to reject the loving grace of God. Why would anyone do that?  Why do we do it today?

This week, as we remember the Last Supper and as we celebrate Easter with a feast, let us recollect with gratitude all the graces we receive, not only the food lovingly prepared, not only Jesus’ gift of himself in the morsel of the Eucharist, but also in all the everyday graces of our lives.  Let us try not to be ungrateful children in the presence of the God of all graces.

Joseph Creamer 
Assistant Dean, Fordham College at Lincoln Center

Monday, April 14, 2014

Monday, April 14, 2014

Today's Word:

“I formed you, and set you as a covenant of the people, a light for the nations”

We are all chosen.  We are all set apart.  We are all called to bring God’s Light to His people. 

In July 2005, I embarked on my journey into the unknown.  I left my family, my friends, my job and my comfort zone.  It was not easy. 

In a unique way, God gave me reassurance.  A few days before leaving, my mother and I went to morning Mass as usual.  Unbeknownst to Mum, on this particular morning, after all was set for my journey, I had the ‘cold feet’ feeling.  I was quiet as we drove down to Mass, not wanting to make her more anxious for me. 

Mass was amazing.  When the Postulants on duty sang a hymn entitled “Be not Afraid, I go before you always” I instantly felt comforted and reassured.  Later on, the priest on duty asked a Jesuit Scholastic (JS) to preach after the Gospel.  He did not know of my upcoming journey, but his homily touched me.   The JS shared how at times God sends us far and wide, to charter the unchartered waters.  He also mentioned that God always goes before us and that we need not be afraid.  At that moment it all made sense to me.  I was not coming to the U.S. alone, He was going before me!

My departure day arrived.  Before boarding my flight, I cried my eyes out.  Surprisingly, God provided guardian angels throughout my trip to The United States.

Since coming to the United States, He has continued to show me His face through so many wonderful people.  My experience as a student has made me feel chosen and set apart with a Mission to be a light for God’s people.  Let us continue to find Jesus in the ordinary events of our lives.  He is waiting for us to anoint His feet, just like Martha did.

Clare Mukolwe
Fordham Graduate School of Business