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

Magnificat

“Magnificat” 
Luke 1:46-47
Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
©️2021 by Gloria M. Chang

The Canticle of Mary

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, 
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant. 
From this day all generations will call me blessed: 
the Almighty has done great things for me, 
and holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation. 
He has shown the strength of his arm, 
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, 
and has lifted up the lowly. 
He has filled the hungry with good things, 
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he remembered his promise of mercy, 
the promise he made to our fathers, 
to Abraham and his children forever.

The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary



Faith gives life and sends you on a mission. That’s what it did for Mary, Luke’s gospel says. That’s what the mystery of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, May 31st, does for us.

Mary believes the angel who announces in Nazareth the coming of Jesus, and she’s empowered by the message. So she sets out “in haste” for the hill country of Judea to visit Elizabeth, the wife of Zechariah, who also was with child. It’s not an ordinary visit. She goes “in haste” because she’s inspired by a sense of mission. She hurries to Judea to announce good news to her relatives serving in the temple of God.

Faith is not a burden; it empowers us. It does not cripple us, it enables. Faith takes us beyond our dreams and what we hope for.

 “Blessed are you who believed,” Elizabeth says to Mary.

“You too, my people, are blessed,” comments St. Ambrose, “ you who have heard and who believe. Every soul that believes — that soul both conceives and gives birth to the Word of God and recognizes his works.

“Let the soul of Mary be in each one of you, to proclaim the greatness of the Lord. Let the spirit of Mary be in each one of you, to rejoice in God. According to the flesh only one woman can be the mother of Christ, but in the world of faith Christ is the fruit of all of us.”

As with Mary so with us, faith gives life and sends us on a mission..

Four years ago, on May 31st, we blessed our Mary Garden here at Immaculate Conception Monastery. We will celebrate Mass in our chapel at 11 AM and pray afterwards in the Mary Garden to Mary, Queen of All Creation.

7th Week of Easter: Readings and Feasts

MAY 30 Mon Easter Weekday Acts 19:1-8/Jn 16:29-33 

31 Tue Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Feast 

Zep 3:14-18a or Rom 12:9-16/Lk 1:39-56 

JUNE1 Wed Saint Justin, Martyr Memorial Acts 20:28-38/Jn 17:11b-19

2 Thu Easter Weekday [Sts Marcellinus and Peter, Martyrs] 

Acts 22:30; 23:6-11/Jn 17:20-26 

3 Fri St Charles Lwanga and Companions, Martyrs Memorial

Acts 25:13b-21/Jn 21:15-19 

4 Sat Easter Weekday Morning: Acts 28:16-20, 30-31/Jn 21:20-25)

5 SUN PENTECOST SUNDAY  Solemnity

 Acts 2:1-11/1 Cor 12:3b-7, 12-13 or Rom 8:8-17/Jn 20:19-23 or Jn 14:15-16, 23b-26 

The readings and feasts of this week are a wonderful preparation for the Feast of Pentecost on Sunday.

Luke in the Acts of the Apostles describes Paul hurrying through the Roman world in answer to the command of Jesus:  “Go out into the whole world and preach the gospel. ”  He’s inspired by the Spirit, like Jesus.

Like Jesus, Paul bids farewell to his followers, the elders from Ephesus, and urges them to continue the ministry given to them by the Spirit. ( Tuesday and Wednesday) “I know that after my departure savage wolves will come among you, and they will not spare the flock. And from your own group, men will come forward perverting the truth to draw the disciples away after them. So be vigilant.”

Like Jesus, Paul must go up to Jerusalem (then to Rome). “ Compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem. What will happen to me there I do not know, except that in one city after another the Holy Spirit has been warning me that imprisonment and hardships await me. Yet I consider life of no importance to me, if only I may finish my course.

Paul experiences the passion of Jesus as he clashes with the Jewish leadership and appears before the Roman tribunal where Festus, judging him innocent yet in a quandary over the religious issues that are raised, sends Paul, at his own request, to be judged by the Emperor in Rome. (Thursday and Friday)

In the gospel readings through the week  from John,  Jesus bids farewell to his disciples and promises to be with them, no matter what. “In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have overcome the world.” (Monday) He will send them his Spirit.

“I pray for them,” Jesus says.  “I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you preserve them from the Evil One.” (Wednesday) “I pray not only for these, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me.” (Thursday)

Friday and Saturday’s gospel readings from John takes us to the Lake of Galilee where Jesus commissions his apostle Peter to feed his sheep. Peter will stretch out his hands and be led where he did not want to go–“signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God.” Paul too will be led to death like Peter. He will follow Jesus.

May 31st is the feast of the Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth, two women overshadowed by the Spirit. The Martyr Justin, June 1st, is remembered for introducing the gospel to the philosophers of the Roman world. June 3rd is the Feast of Charles Lwanga and companions. Africa receives the gospel. St. Boniface, the apostle of Germany, is remembered June 5th.

Before the Foundation of the World

“Before the Foundation of the World”
A reflection on John 17:20-26 and Ephesians 1:3-6
Seventh Sunday of Easter (Year C)
©️2022 by Gloria M. Chang

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The Voice of the Faithful

Apollos is mentioned  in Saturday’s reading from the Acts of the Apostles (18,23-28).   He reminds us that Peter, Paul and the other apostles were not the only teachers in the early church. Others brought the message of Christ to the cities and towns of the Roman Empire and Apollos was one of them.

He’s an eloquent, learned teacher who came to Ephesus from Alexandria, one of the great centers of Jewish and Christian learning, and drew a following by preaching about Jesus. But Apollos doesn’t know everything, so a Jewish couple, Priscilla and Acquila, “took him aside and explained to him the Way of God more accurately.”

They were disciples of Paul who supported  him by giving him some work in their tent business. They traveled with Paul and certainly listened to his teaching, but I don’t think they were ever considered teachers as he and Apollos were. They were considered “hearers of the word,” more likely. Well informed, for sure, but still among those we would call today “the faithful.”

Yet, let’s not forget what important teachers “the faithful” are, as Priscilla and Aquila remind us.

I remember a story a priest I knew, a brilliant teacher, told me long ago about a baptism he was conducting for an infant born to a member of his family. His father was the baby’s sponsor and according to the rite then was expected to recite the Creed.

“Can you say the Creed, Dad?” the priest said to his father.

“Who do you think taught it to you?,” the father sharply replied.

Faith can’t survive in this world without the faithful, ordinary Priscillas and Aquilas explaining it and  passing it on.