Friar’s Corner: JESUS IS RISEN, ALIVE, and GLORIFIED. ALLELUIA! AMEN!

Acts 10:34a, 37-42; Psalm 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23; Colossians 3:1-4; (1 Corinthians 5: 6b-8; John 20:1-9

So many books have been written about the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the savior of the human race. The whole Church life moves to Jesus Christ and flows from his wounded side. Easter is our greatest feast and we celebrate it for eight days. At the daily Masses this coming week we only read short parts of the resurrection stories. I think what is most helpful for our growth in faith is to take the time to sit down and read each of the gospel stories about the resurrection. Then take some notes and write for yourself one story from morning to night. Who saw Jesus first and last on that Sunday? What did Jesus tell them? How was He different from before His death? After that read the early part of Acts of the Apostles with the various sermons of St. Peter after Pentecost.

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Free ebook today and Friday (4-17,18)

Gary Garner just told me that the ebook (Kindle) version of his book, Swept Up by the Spirit Journey of Transformation, is free today and tomorrow on Amazon.

I reviewed it here: Review: Swept Up by the Spirit.

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Persecution by Amy Welborn, guest author

/ gave my back to those who beat me,
my cheeks to those who plucked my beard;
My face I did not shield
from buffets and spitting

(Isaiah 50:6)

I once saw an image of an old print in which a small group of Christians huddled in the middle of a Roman amphitheater, standing with courage in the face of wild animals ready to tear them to pieces. The caption to the antique print was modern and wry: "God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life," it said.

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Friar’s Corner: Jesus Christ is welcomed into Jerusalem as Israel’s King and Messiah

Matthew 21:1-11; Isaiah 50:4-7; Psalm 22:8-9, 17-20, 23-24; Phil 2:6-11; Matthew 26:14 – 27:66

The Liturgy is so rushed and full of meaning. We remember Jesus Christ’s triumphal entry through the Golden Gate into God’s temple in Jerusalem on that first Palm Sunday. Its significance is often overlooked because of the sad reading of the Passion.

The people proclaim Jesus as Messiah as he comes into his holy city. Let us stop and think what this Solemn Entry is really saying. Here is the Son of God who will take away the sins of the entire human race by his suffering and death. Jesus died, condemned for the disobedience of the entire human race. Only God could atone for all of those sins. He loves us that much and wants us to be back in his Kingdom and claim again our ancient inheritance. God the Father showed his acceptance of what his Son did by raising Jesus from the dead on that first Easter Sunday.

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Review: Swept Up by the Spirit, Journey of Transformation by Gary Garner

“I have lived two vastly different lives—one spent exalting materialism and filled with spiritual darkness, the other spent exalting Jesus the Lord and filled with light and hope.” Because Gary’s conversion was so “life and death,” he sees it that way for everyone.

He recounts how the Spirit plainly revealed some of the traps he and his family narrowly avoided. He credits angels, signposts and appointed helpers, “pinpoints of light in the darkness, placed there for us to discover and to show us the way—without them we couldn’t possibly have made it to where we are now. There is hardly an hour that I don’t feel an urgency toward others of the impending dangers and perils that await them, much like someone who barely avoided a collapsing bridge.”

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Posted in Conversion, Covenant, Evangelism, Gary Garner, Healing, Holy Spirit, Identity, Writing | 1 Comment

Friars Corner: Jesus is the resurrection and new life for those who believe and become his disciples

Ezekiel 37:12-14; Psalm 130:1-8; Romans 8:8-11; John 11:1-45

Living with faith in Jesus Christ, knowing who he is and trying to live as a faithful disciple is not an easy task. Although we have a fallen and weakened human nature inherited from our first parents and the effects of sin all around us, the Holy Trinity came to live in us at our baptism.

Since most of us were baptized as children, our parents made the commitment to be followers of Jesus for us. Then they must teach us how to live as disciples of Jesus. Someday as adults we must make our own decision to be followers of Jesus. God gave us free will and will not take that away. God is living in us as in a temple. He wants to transform us and make us "glow" with his light and wisdom in the world. We need to activate that grace offered to us each day by a personal relationship with him in our prayer life. We can do that by our prayers, meditating on scriptures and listening for God’s voice to us within. We need some quiet time for that to happen.

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An Open Spirit by Amy Welborn, guest author

One thing I ask of the Lord;
this I seek:
To dwell in the Lord's house all the days of my life,
To gaze on the Lord's beauty,
to visit his temple.

(Psalm 27:4)

I was sitting in a church one weekday and saw a woman come in and sit down. She looked around at the images of the saints, at the crucifix, at the other people praying. There was no great intensity in her bearing. She was just looking.

She picked up a missalette and flipped through it quickly. Then she did so again, this time more slowly, pausing at times. Finally, she went back to the beginning and started reading this time, slowly.

Who knows what brought her into the church that day. Who knows what seeds were planted and what she took away. For a moment, she put everything else aside, came inside and listened.

God of wisdom, during this season, I will come into your house with an open spirit.

An Open Spirit“ was selected from Reconciled to God, Daily Lenten Devotions (Creative Communications for the Parish)  with Amy Welborn's permission to publish it on JoyAlive.net.  Amy, mother of five, has worked as a Catholic high school teacher, Parish Director of Religious Education, writer for the Florida Catholic, columnist for Our Sunday Visitor and Catholic News Service. She has been writing full time since 1999 and has written nineteen books and many pamphlets and study guides. She is a regular contributor to the Living Faith and Living Faith for Kids devotionals.

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