Monthly Archives: May 2022

Reflection on the Trinity

 “Jesus said to His disciples:’ Amen, amen, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in my name He will give you.’ ”

     How many of us dare to go directly to the Father with our prayers and pleas? We have this ingrained idea that the Father, Our Father, is beyond our reach. I am one of these individuals. I always reach out to Jesus, our Savior! I know He loves me. I also reach out to the Holy Spirit because Jesus sent Him to us and I believe that the Spirit is on my side and is there to lead me where the will of God is taking me, Eternity with Him! Why is it that the Father eludes my attention?

     Jesus in John’s Gospel 16:25-27 tells us the following: “ …..I will tell you clearly about the Father. On that day you will ask in my name and I do not tell you that I will ask the Father for you. For The Father Himself loves you, because you have loved me and have come to believe that I came from God.”

     Yes, I have come to truly believe that God the Father loves me; why else would He have sent His Son to free us from ourselves? Why would He have sent His Holy Spirit to accompany and guide us throughout our lives?

     In my own little way I have come to understand that when I pray to Jesus, or reach out to the Holy Spirit, I am also praying to and pleading to God the Father. I truly believe, at this moment in my life that it is the One God listening! Our Triune God accompanies us always. Our Triune God suffers and cries over our hurts, over our sicknesses, over our loneliness, over our confusion. Our Triune God wants to bring relief to our pain and our suffering.

     How do we hear and see His mercy? How do we actually understand His help and love? I believe He is leading us to where we need to go. I believe He is whispering words of love. I believe that He is filling us with His Holy Spirit! I believe He is using others to help us!!!!

     What must we do? We must have faith in Him. We must follow where He leads without fear or reservations. We must listen and open ourselves to His presence! We must love!!! We must love as strongly as Jesus did when He gave His life for His friends. And who are His friends? Look around. Look at your neighbor. Look at the stranger passing by on your street. Look at the homeless person sleeping in the subway. Look at the poor trying to feed their family and in trying to do so they find no hope. Look finally at yourself. We are all God’s children. We are all His friends!

     Because I have faith in my Triune God, I dare to pray for the end of war. I dare to ask for the end of senseless killings. I plead that I may see my neighbor not as an enemy, but as a child of God thus seeing him/her as my sister or brother. Let us all pray to our Triune God for a new beginning. A new world full of God’s peace, love and compassion between all of us, God’s children .

Berta Hernandez

Sustainable Development Goals

We are living in a time of wars and climate change. Can we do anything? Let’s not be afraid of big ideas. Why not think big?

In September 2015 world leaders at the United Nations agreed to work for 17 Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. The goals aim to “eliminate poverty, fight inequality and tackle climate change, while ensuring no one is left behind. They recognize that ending poverty must go hand-in-hand with strategies that build economic growth and address a range of social needs including education, health, social protection, and job opportunities, while also tackling climate change and environmental protection.”

Cities have become an important focus for Sustainable Development, because today more than half the world’s population lives in cities and that number is expected to reach two-thirds by the year 2060. In cities “the battle for sustainability will be won or lost,” one UN expert remarked.

The 11th goal of Sustainable Development is “making cities safe, inclusive, resilient and sustainable by 2030. Sustainability differs from city to city, but quality of life means among other things, adequate housing, work and employment, clean water and air, access to public transportation.

Mayors throughout the United States have recognized the important role that cities can play in achieving the SDGs. In 2018, New York City was the first city to issue a report on its progress towards sustainability.

Governments, civil society and the private sector are all called upon to contribute to the realization of these goals.

At a time when countries are building walls and thinking only of themselves, why not think big? What can we do? Our church, at least here in the US doesn’t seem active enough.

Daily Readings, Daily Bread

Reading the scriptures daily and on Sundays in the lectionary and the Liturgy of the Hours is one of the great reforms begun by the Catholic Church after the Second Vatican Council. It’s an effort to seek renewal through the Word of God, yet after 60 or so years we’re still getting used to it. Not too many individuals or parishes or other groups in the Catholic Church focus on it, in my view.

Early Christianity saw the scriptures as daily bread. Today we may think the scriptures old and and not up to offering wisdom to our age. More than ever, we have to trust if we search for “the face of God” in scripture we will find it there.

“If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.” The daily scriptures are daily bread, but they may not be easy to digest. We go from Matthew, preoccupied with the tensions of his church with Pharisaic Judaism,  to Luke preoccupied with an outreach to the gentiles, to the other New Testament writings, each with its own purpose.

Then there are the various readings of the Old Testament. They can be hard to understand, but the church wisely keeps them side by side with the New Testament. They hold a treasure all their own. We need to understand them better.

We need help to appreciate this daily bread, this varied diet served up. We need people like those hosts on the cooking shows on television who not only  tell you what to eat but make those strange dishes appetizing and appealing. We need good homilists and good catechists.

We need a “lamp, shining in a dark place.” So we ask: Come, Holy Spirit, fill our hearts with your light.”

Mary Garden Prayers

You may wish to print out these prayers we use for visits to our Mary Garden for your own prayers at your garden, small or large. They take us to the origins of the Mary Garden, in the Book of Genesis. The psalm and canticle attune our eyes and hearts to God’s creation, which we’re called to cherish and care for.

The hymn is a version of Mary, the Dawn, by Father Justin Mulchahy. Passionist, who taught sacred music for many years. Music available online.

For more on the Mary Garden:

The 5th Week of Easter: Readings

MAY 16 Mon Easter Weekday, St. Gemma, Acts 14:5-18/Jn 14:21-26 

17 Tue Easter Weekday Acts 14:19-28/Jn 14:27-31a 

18 Wed Easter Weekday [St John I, Pope and Martyr] Acts 15:1-6/Jn 15:1-8 

19 Thu Easter Weekday Acts 15:7-21/Jn 15:9-11 

20 Fri Easter Weekday [St Bernardine of Siena, Priest] Acts 15:22-31/Jn 15:12-17 

21 Sat Easter Weekday [St Christopher Magallanes, Priest, and Companions, Martyrs]

Acts 16:1-10/Jn 15:18-21 


Acts 15:1-2, 22-29/Rv 21:10-14, 22-23/Jn 14:23-29


The gospel readings for the remainder of the Easter season are from the Farewell Discourse of Jesus from John’s gospel. He is going to the Father, Jesus says. What does that mean his disciples wonder?

“I will not leave you orphans,” Jesus says, yet he will not be with them as he was before, but he will be with them as God is always with them. The Paraclete, the Spirit of truth, will teach them all things. Jesus will be present to them in signs.

“I will not leave you orphans,” Jesus says to them– and to us. 

The Acts of the Apostles continue to describe  the church’s journey in time. This week’s readings describe the successful missionary efforts of Paul and Barnabas among the gentiles in the Asia Minor cities of Lystra, Derbe, and Pisidia. Their success raises question among some in Jerusalem. Are the gentiles taking over? To meet what some consider a threat and others an opportunity,  a council was called in Jerusalem, which has  enormous consequences for the church. (Wednesday-Friday)

Councils are important in the church. Can we say the Second Vatican Council has enormous consequences too?

Conflict causes the church to grow, Pope Francis commented some time ago: “But some in Jerusalem, when they heard this, became ‘nervous and sent Barnabas on an “apostolic visitation”: perhaps, with a little sense of humor we could say that this was the theological beginning of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith: this apostolic visit by Barnabas. He saw, and he saw that things were going well.”

Recent changes in the Roman Curia approved by Pope Francis indicate where Pope Francis himself might stand in conflicts like this. The curial body on evangelization, headed by the pope himself, appears before the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

The pope is looking for a synodal Church, “ a Church, that is, of mutual listening, in which everyone has something to learn: the faithful people, the college of bishops, the Bishop of Rome: each listening to the other, and all listening to the Holy Spirit…to hear what the Spirit is saying to the Churches.”

Morning and Evening Prayers Week 1 here.

Feast of St. Matthias


May 14th is the Feast of St.Matthias, chosen by lot to take the place of Judas. He brings the number of apostles back to twelve, symbolic of the twelve tribes of Israel who await the promises of God. The Spirit comes after Matthias is selected in Luke’s account. j

The qualifications for a new apostle seem simple enough. Peter says it should be someone “who accompanied us the whole time the Lord Jesus came and went among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day on which he was taken up from us. He joins us as a witness to his resurrection.”

Two have those qualifications. Joseph called Barsabbas and Matthias.

Then, they pray:
“You, Lord, who know the hearts of all,
show which one of these two you have chosen.”
Then they gave lots to them, and the lot fell upon Matthias,
and he was counted with the Eleven Apostles.” (Acts 1,15-17, 20-25)

Yet, it isn’t as easy as it sounds. For Matthias to be a witness to Jesus it wasn’t enough to get all the details right about what Jesus did or said, as a reporter or witness at a trial might do it.

In John’s gospel read for Matthias’ feast, Jesus describes a disciple as one who abides in him, who remains in him– a friend committed to him. So, a disciple cannot be just an on-looker, but one who enters the mystery of Jesus’ death and resurrection. He’s one who weathers doubts and uncertainties as the disciples listening to Jesus’ Farewell Discourse did. He’s like Thomas who sees the wounds in the Lord’s hands and side and learns to trust and believe through them.

Rembrandt’s wonderful portrayal of Jesus showing his wounds to Thomas (above) presents Thomas, not as a lonely skeptic, but someone representing all the disciples. All the disciples must come before Jesus’ wounds.

Pope Francis in a homily  spoke of the importance of the wounds of Christ for a disciple of Jesus. We’re on an exodus beyond ourselves, he said, and there are two ways open for us. “one to the wounds of Jesus, the other to the wounds of our brothers and sisters.”

“If we are not able to move out of ourselves and toward our brothers and sisters in need, to the sick, the ignorant, the poor, the exploited – if we are not able to accomplish this exodus from ourselves, and towards those wounds, we shall never learn that freedom, which carries us through that other exodus from ourselves, and toward the wounds of Jesus.”

The wounds of Christ and the wounds of our brothers and sisters– we learn from both to see victory of death and to trust in the passion of Jesus.

Like Matthias, we’re called to be witnesses..