EASTER MONDAY, APRIL 17

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This feast is a day of joy for the entire Church; that is why we so
frequently and so solemnly sing these words of the Royal Prophet:
This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Indeed,
the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is at once very glorious for him
and highly advantageous for all the faithful.
 
St. John Baptist DeLasalle Meditation for Easter Sunday 

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 Closing Reflection

During the Advent season, Christmas decorations, music, and celebrations can overcome those four weeks leading up to December 25th.  Catholic Churches have successfully separated Christmas from Advent and you will not see a nativity, wreath or any other holiday adornment until the Christmas Vigil on December 24th. 
 
The sacredness of Lent, however, seems to have been maintained by most in our culture.  Easter Sunday is THE day to bring out the candy, the chocolate bunnies, and Peeps!  Easter Sunday is THE day for a family celebration, egg hunt, and the reintroduction of the Alleluia at mass.  For Christians, it is the holiest day of the year and certainly a reason to celebrate. 
 
This Lenten journey of spiritual reflection was taken by over 5000 members of the CBHS family.  To be accompanied by such faith-filled alumni, parents, students, faculty members, and friends adds to the celebratory spirit of the Easter season.  
 
However, the journey does not stop today.  Hopefully our souls have been "fed" and our spiritual growth will continue because of the promises made by the Resurrection of Christ.
 
Thank you to all who participated whether publicly or privately.  May your lives reflect God's love in this world.  
 
Br. Chris Englert, FSC
CBHS President


EASTER SUNDAY, APRIL 16

John 20:1-9

On the first day of the week,
Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning,
while it was still dark, 
and saw the stone removed from the tomb.
So she ran and went to Simon Peter 
and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them, 
"They have taken the Lord from the tomb, 
and we don't know where they put him."
So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb.
They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter 
and arrived at the tomb first; 
he bent down and saw the burial cloths there, but did not go in.
When Simon Peter arrived after him, 
he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there, 
and the cloth that had covered his head, 
not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place.
Then the other disciple also went in, 
the one who had arrived at the tomb first, 
and he saw and believed.
For they did not yet understand the Scripture 
that he had to rise from the dead.
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  Reflection  

It’s happened to me before and it happened to me again. On Tuesday night February 14, 2017, Brother Joel and I drove to Canale Funeral Home for recitation of the Rosary for Mr. James McWillie. Brother Joel suggested we eat dinner at Patrick’s on the way. He said it was “his treat”.
 
While enjoying his company and a delicious dinner, the waitress approached our table and said that one of the customers had taken care of our bill. You are free from paying for the dinner. What a great treat and kind surprise.
 
As I said it has happened to me on several occasions. Usually my response is one of sincere gratitude. Thankful for someone being so thoughtful to me simply because I am a priest. Thankful because I’m aware of how many wonderful people are in the church and how generous they are and how much they respect the priesthood. I too, often think in gratitude, how blessed I am in my faith and in being a priest.
 
Your bill has been paid is actually the message of Easter Sunday. We rang up quite a tab because we listen to the lies of the evil one, we choose “our way” over the way of God. We worship false gods of society. Mankind can be so selfish, narcissistic and proud. We choose the darkness and dispel the light.
 
God saw us like that family saw Brother Joel and me at dinner that night. He said “I want to pay their bill”. He became one of us in all ways but sin and offered a broken fallen nature to the Father. I will pick up humanities’ tab and free them from the burden.
 
The empty tomb is an expression that God has accepted the payment and we are relieved of the bill. God has paid it for us. He loves us all!
 
This Easter reminds me to be grateful that I am born in to this family at Baptism. It is a time to renew my promises to be a faithful believer.
 
When Brother Joel and I left the restaurant we were so grateful for a wonderful meal and fellowship, but also for generosity of so many people in our lives.
 
This Easter we too are fed by Jesus in word, sacrament and one another. We are freed from the power of death. We can be grateful that the bill was paid by someone in our lives who loves us daily and eternally. We are full, satisfied and thankful. Happy Easter! The Lord is Risen! Your tab has been picked up because you are loved.

Monsignor John McArthur
CBHS Class of 1966


HOLY SATURDAY, APRIL 15

Matthew 28:1-10

After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning,
Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb.
And behold, there was a great earthquake; 
for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, 
approached, rolled back the stone, and sat upon it.
His appearance was like lightning
and his clothing was white as snow.
The guards were shaken with fear of him
and became like dead men.
Then the angel said to the women in reply,
"Do not be afraid!
I know that you are seeking Jesus the crucified.
He is not here, for he has been raised just as he said.
Come and see the place where he lay.
Then go quickly and tell his disciples,
'He has been raised from the dead, 
and he is going before you to Galilee;
there you will see him.'
Behold, I have told you."
Then they went away quickly from the tomb, 
fearful yet overjoyed,
and ran to announce this to his disciples.
And behold, Jesus met them on their way and greeted them.
They approached, embraced his feet, and did him homage.
Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid.
Go tell my brothers to go to Galilee,
and there they will see me."
 ______________________________________________________________________
  
  Reflection  
I am sure this earthquake that preceded the angel’s appearance was off the Richter scale.  This passage is about awakening faith.  Unconditional faith in something or someone may be frightening but it can strengthen us as well.  I think this quotation from A Theology of Liberation is applicable. “It is not he whom I find in my path, but rather he in whose path I place myself, he whom I approach and actively seek.”

A challenge for us all is to seek and find our path and place ourselves in a path bringing us closer to God.  Our real challenge is to expand our horizons out of our comfort zones in our daily world and apply those teachings of Christ to all by our words and actions.  I feel blessed in my work in that I am constantly taken out of my comfort zone and learn so much more from people of all backgrounds.  This constantly challenges me to be more understanding and I have come to feel it as my duty to carry it forward in my life.  

In this Gospel, fear preceded joy.  Fear before exuberant joy brings gratefulness and peace.  When we are happy we can’t wait to tell someone.  The overjoyed messengers couldn’t wait to share the angel’s news that Christ was to have a resurrected appearance to the disciples.  Jesus wanted to prove what He had promised and preached.  He constantly lived his life out of His comfort zone.  He knew his appearance, after a mortal death, would prove the promise of eternal life.  This is the happiness that He gave to His disciples to share and pay forward.  He had laid down the path that they could choose to pursue. 

I reflect and think; did I do something today to make somebody happy enough that they impacted someone else in the same way?  I hope we all find an angel in our lives.   Happy Easter!  

Warren Johnson
CBHS Class of 1975 


GOOD FRIDAY, APRIL 14

John 18:1-19:42

Jesus went out with his disciples across the Kidron valley 
to where there was a garden, 
into which he and his disciples entered.
Judas his betrayer also knew the place, 
because Jesus had often met there with his disciples.
So Judas got a band of soldiers and guards 
from the chief priests and the Pharisees 
and went there with lanterns, torches, and weapons.
Jesus, knowing everything that was going to happen to him, 
went out and said to them, "Whom are you looking for?"
They answered him, "Jesus the Nazorean."
He said to them, "I AM."
Judas his betrayer was also with them.
When he said to them, "I AM, " 
they turned away and fell to the ground.
So he again asked them,
"Whom are you looking for?"
They said, "Jesus the Nazorean."
Jesus answered,
"I told you that I AM.
So if you are looking for me, let these men go."
This was to fulfill what he had said, 
"I have not lost any of those you gave me."
Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it, 
struck the high priest's slave, and cut off his right ear.
The slave's name was Malchus.
Jesus said to Peter,
"Put your sword into its scabbard.
Shall I not drink the cup that the Father gave me?"
So the band of soldiers, the tribune, and the Jewish guards seized Jesus,
bound him, and brought him to Annas first.
He was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, 
who was high priest that year.
It was Caiaphas who had counseled the Jews 
that it was better that one man should die rather than the people.
Simon Peter and another disciple followed Jesus.
Now the other disciple was known to the high priest, 
and he entered the courtyard of the high priest with Jesus.
But Peter stood at the gate outside.
So the other disciple, the acquaintance of the high priest, 
went out and spoke to the gatekeeper and brought Peter in.
Then the maid who was the gatekeeper said to Peter, 
"You are not one of this man's disciples, are you?"
He said, "I am not."
Now the slaves and the guards were standing around a charcoal fire
that they had made, because it was cold,
and were warming themselves.
Peter was also standing there keeping warm.
The high priest questioned Jesus 
about his disciples and about his doctrine.
Jesus answered him,
"I have spoken publicly to the world.
I have always taught in a synagogue 
or in the temple area where all the Jews gather, 
and in secret I have said nothing. Why ask me?
Ask those who heard me what I said to them.
They know what I said."
When he had said this, 
one of the temple guards standing there struck Jesus and said, 
"Is this the way you answer the high priest?"
Jesus answered him,
"If I have spoken wrongly, testify to the wrong; 
but if I have spoken rightly, why do you strike me?"
Then Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.
Now Simon Peter was standing there keeping warm.
And they said to him,
"You are not one of his disciples, are you?"
He denied it and said,
"I am not."
One of the slaves of the high priest, 
a relative of the one whose ear Peter had cut off, said, 
"Didn't I see you in the garden with him?"
Again Peter denied it.
And immediately the cock crowed.
Then they brought Jesus from Caiaphas to the praetorium.
It was morning.
And they themselves did not enter the praetorium, 
in order not to be defiled so that they could eat the Passover.
So Pilate came out to them and said, 
"What charge do you bring against this man?"
They answered and said to him,
"If he were not a criminal, 
we would not have handed him over to you."
At this, Pilate said to them, 
"Take him yourselves, and judge him according to your law."
The Jews answered him, 
"We do not have the right to execute anyone, " 
in order that the word of Jesus might be fulfilled
that he said indicating the kind of death he would die.
So Pilate went back into the praetorium 
and summoned Jesus and said to him, 
"Are you the King of the Jews?"
Jesus answered,
"Do you say this on your own 
or have others told you about me?"
Pilate answered,
"I am not a Jew, am I?
Your own nation and the chief priests handed you over to me.
What have you done?"
Jesus answered,
"My kingdom does not belong to this world.
If my kingdom did belong to this world, 
my attendants would be fighting 
to keep me from being handed over to the Jews.
But as it is, my kingdom is not here."
So Pilate said to him,
"Then you are a king?"
Jesus answered,
"You say I am a king.
For this I was born and for this I came into the world, 
to testify to the truth.
Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice."
Pilate said to him, "What is truth?"
When he had said this,
he again went out to the Jews and said to them,
"I find no guilt in him.
But you have a custom that I release one prisoner to you at Passover.
Do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?"
They cried out again,
"Not this one but Barabbas!"
Now Barabbas was a revolutionary.
Then Pilate took Jesus and had him scourged.
And the soldiers wove a crown out of thorns and placed it on his head, 
and clothed him in a purple cloak, 
and they came to him and said,
"Hail, King of the Jews!"
And they struck him repeatedly.
Once more Pilate went out and said to them, 
"Look, I am bringing him out to you, 
so that you may know that I find no guilt in him."
So Jesus came out, 
wearing the crown of thorns and the purple cloak.
And he said to them, "Behold, the man!"
When the chief priests and the guards saw him they cried out, 
"Crucify him, crucify him!"
Pilate said to them,
"Take him yourselves and crucify him.
I find no guilt in him."
The Jews answered, 
"We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die, 
because he made himself the Son of God."
Now when Pilate heard this statement,
he became even more afraid, 
and went back into the praetorium and said to Jesus, 
"Where are you from?"
Jesus did not answer him.
So Pilate said to him,
"Do you not speak to me?
Do you not know that I have power to release you 
and I have power to crucify you?"
Jesus answered him,
"You would have no power over me 
if it had not been given to you from above.
For this reason the one who handed me over to you
has the greater sin."
Consequently, Pilate tried to release him; but the Jews cried out, 
"If you release him, you are not a Friend of Caesar.
Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar."
When Pilate heard these words he brought Jesus out 
and seated him on the judge's bench 
in the place called Stone Pavement, in Hebrew, Gabbatha.
It was preparation day for Passover, and it was about noon.
And he said to the Jews,
"Behold, your king!"
They cried out,
"Take him away, take him away! Crucify him!"
Pilate said to them,
"Shall I crucify your king?"
The chief priests answered,
"We have no king but Caesar."
Then he handed him over to them to be crucified.
So they took Jesus, and, carrying the cross himself, 
he went out to what is called the Place of the Skull, 
in Hebrew, Golgotha.
There they crucified him, and with him two others, 
one on either side, with Jesus in the middle.
Pilate also had an inscription written and put on the cross.
It read,
"Jesus the Nazorean, the King of the Jews."
Now many of the Jews read this inscription, 
because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; 
and it was written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek.
So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, 
"Do not write 'The King of the Jews,'
but that he said, 'I am the King of the Jews'."
Pilate answered,
"What I have written, I have written."
When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, 
they took his clothes and divided them into four shares, 
a share for each soldier.
They also took his tunic, but the tunic was seamless, 
woven in one piece from the top down.
So they said to one another, 
"Let's not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it will be, " 
in order that the passage of Scripture might be fulfilled that says:
They divided my garments among them,
and for my vesture they cast lots.
This is what the soldiers did.
Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother
and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas,
and Mary of Magdala.
When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved
he said to his mother, "Woman, behold, your son."
Then he said to the disciple,
"Behold, your mother."
And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.
After this, aware that everything was now finished, 
in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled, 
Jesus said, "I thirst."
There was a vessel filled with common wine.
So they put a sponge soaked in wine on a sprig of hyssop 
and put it up to his mouth.
When Jesus had taken the wine, he said,
"It is finished."
And bowing his head, he handed over the spirit.
Here all kneel and pause for a short time.
Now since it was preparation day,
in order that the bodies might not remain on the cross on the sabbath,
for the sabbath day of that week was a solemn one, 
the Jews asked Pilate that their legs be broken 
and that they be taken down.
So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first 
and then of the other one who was crucified with Jesus.
But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, 
they did not break his legs, 
but one soldier thrust his lance into his side, 
and immediately blood and water flowed out.
An eyewitness has testified, and his testimony is true; 
he knows that he is speaking the truth, 
so that you also may come to believe.
For this happened so that the Scripture passage might be fulfilled:
Not a bone of it will be broken.
And again another passage says:
They will look upon him whom they have pierced.
After this, Joseph of Arimathea, 
secretly a disciple of Jesus for fear of the Jews, 
asked Pilate if he could remove the body of Jesus.
And Pilate permitted it.
So he came and took his body.
Nicodemus, the one who had first come to him at night, 
also came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes 
weighing about one hundred pounds.
They took the body of Jesus 
and bound it with burial cloths along with the spices, 
according to the Jewish burial custom.
Now in the place where he had been crucified there was a garden, 
and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had yet been buried.
So they laid Jesus there because of the Jewish preparation day; 
for the tomb was close by.
  
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  Reflection  

Christianity is born today.  With Jesus’ crucifixion and death, the Christian faith is born on the hill of Calvary.  It is important to recall how the Christian faith was born and the promises God makes with us following the death of His Son.  Jesus died a gruesome death and obeyed completely His Father’s plan.

Jesus makes His way toward his crucifixion and carries His cross without any hesitation.  Jesus accepts fully His condemnation, beatings, scorning, and the betrayal of His apostles.  Jesus does not ask for any help or relief in the carrying of His cross.  He accepts His fate and the help of Simon, Veronica, and the Women of Jerusalem, who offer to help Him along the path to Calvary.

When we are suffering great hardships, and struggling to carry our crosses, we often look outward and want to blame others and maybe even God.   Jesus teaches us to look inward and find strength, resolve and purpose in suffering.  He also shows us that we are never alone in our suffering and that we must be humble to accept the care of others.   

Let us pray on this Good Friday that we find purpose in our suffering.  Let us pray that our suffering draws us closer to God and enables us to be His humble servants.  It is my prayer for you and your family that you experience the joy and promises of Jesus’ resurrection on Easter Sunday and may God bless you and your family.

Chris Fay
CBHS Principal


HOLY THURSDAY, APRIL 13

Luke 4:16-21

Jesus came to Nazareth, where he had grown up, 
and went according to his custom
into the synagogue on the sabbath day.
He stood up to read and was handed a scroll of the prophet Isaiah.
He unrolled the scroll and found the passage where it was written:
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring glad tidings to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.
Rolling up the scroll, he handed it back to the attendant and sat down,
and the eyes of all in the synagogue looked intently at him.
He said to them, 
"Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing."
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  Reflection  

Simple. Powerful. Authoritative. Today's Gospel according to Luke depicts an early phase of Jesus' ministry, beautifully summarizing the breadth of His mercy and His constituency.
 
As Isaiah foretold in today's first reading and Luke then reprised, Jesus relieved the poor, the infirm, the captives and the oppressed. I can't help but wonder how Isaiah and Jesus might expand this list were they communicating afresh in today's society.
 
How do we mirror the symbolism of today's Gospel onto our own lives? We all have foibles.
 
Many of us are incredibly fortunate to be affluent, healthy, free and decidedly un-oppressed -- the opposite of the beneficiaries in Isaiah's passage. We must take care that our good fortune doesn't render us complacent about Jesus' message and mercy.
 
Our needs may be less obvious, but our spiritual needs may be more intense. Somehow, the poor, infirm, captive and oppressed often feel a more natural call. We cannot allow ourselves to take our own connection for granted.
 
Ironically, later on this same trip to Nazareth, His homeland, Jesus' role as Messiah was challenged for the first time. And today, Holy Thursday, observes Jesus' being challenged for the final time when betrayed by Judas Iscariot at the Last Supper.
 
Given the symbolic challenges immediately ahead as we proceed through Holy Week, Holy Thursday is an opportune time to reflect on Jesus' commitment to his ministry.   We are well-served to draw inspiration for our own commitment.
 
 
Chris Whitman 
CBHS Class of 1985



WEDNESDAY, APRIL 12

Isaiah 50:4-9A

The Lord GOD has given me 

a well-trained tongue,

That I might know how to speak to the weary

a word that will rouse them.

Morning after morning

he opens my ear that I may hear;

And I have not rebelled,

have not turned back.

I 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.

The Lord GOD is my help,

therefore I am not disgraced;

I have set my face like flint,

knowing that I shall not be put to shame.

He is near who upholds my right;

if anyone wishes to oppose me,

let us appear together.

Who disputes my right?

Let him confront me.

See, the Lord GOD is my help;

who will prove me wrong?

______________________________________________________________________
 

  Reflection  

Today’s reading from the prophet Isaiah is the third of four “servant songs” found in the Book of Isaiah.  Collectively, these servant songs reveal the qualities portrayed in the ideal servant leader.

Not surprising that the early Christians saw a remarkable similarity between the servant songs and Jesus’ words and actions.  Through His courageous suffering, the Christ (that is, the anointed) provides the prime example of Brotherly Love.  Who among us doesn’t aspire to the that?

Be encouraged brothers, for we are each equipped to follow in Christ’s footsteps.

-          Are we not each of us bestowed with a tongue to teach and encourage  others?

-          Do we not possess an ear to hear God and our fellow man?

-          How likely are we to experience opposition?  Certainly God will help us in those times.

-          Do you have the determination necessary to “...set your face like flint”?

Finally, I encourage you all to maintain confidence in victory over adversaries through Christ Jesus.  Know that we never suffer alone, for Christ Jesus, our suffering servant leader - continues leading us on our way.  Trust that God + 1 = a majority, and set your face like flint in our world desperately needing servant leaders as we rush toward our Easter reward.

Mark Bray 

CBHS Faculty

TUESDAY, APRIL 11

John 13:21-33, 36-38


Reclining at table with his disciples, Jesus was deeply troubled and testified,
"Amen, amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me."
The disciples looked at one another, at a loss as to whom he meant.
One of his disciples, the one whom Jesus loved,
was reclining at Jesus' side.
So Simon Peter nodded to him to find out whom he meant.
He leaned back against Jesus' chest and said to him,
"Master, who is it?"
Jesus answered,
"It is the one to whom I hand the morsel after I have dipped it."
So he dipped the morsel and took it and handed it to Judas,
son of Simon the Iscariot.
After Judas took the morsel, Satan entered him.
So Jesus said to him, "What you are going to do, do quickly."
Now none of those reclining at table realized why he said this to him.
Some thought that since Judas kept the money bag, Jesus had told him,
"Buy what we need for the feast,"
or to give something to the poor.
So Judas took the morsel and left at once. And it was night.
When he had left, Jesus said,
"Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him.
If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself,
and he will glorify him at once.
My children, I will be with you only a little while longer.
You will look for me, and as I told the Jews,
'Where I go you cannot come,' so now I say it to you."
Simon Peter said to him, "Master, where are you going?"
Jesus answered him,
"Where I am going, you cannot follow me now,
though you will follow later."
Peter said to him,
"Master, why can I not follow you now? 
I will lay down my life for you."
Jesus answered, "Will you lay down your life for me?
Amen, amen, I say to you, the cock will not crow
before you deny me three times."
 ______________________________________________________________________
  
  Reflection  

In a world of social media, television and advertising that flood our feed and timeline, it's easy to forget what is important in this season of Lent and reflection. This passage reminds me of how easy it is to succumb to the pressure of society ... do we stand up for what we believe or just go with the crowd? How easy you can say one thing and live something else completely. Christ desires a relationship with us that is genuine. 

On April 1st I got married to the love of my life, and every day since we started dating she has always been genuine with me and she desires a genuineness from me as well.  In the same way my wife expects me to be honest and genuine with her, so does Christ with my life. In this season remember to be real with those around you. Be proud to stand for your faith even in the pressures that exist. 

There's an old song from a band named Avalon called "In Not Of." This passage reminds me of this song because we are called to live in the world not of it... staying strong and clinging to our faith even when the world says something different. 

Be Blessed Alumni and Family.
 
 Carson Krueger
CBHS Class of 2012

MONDAY, APRIL 10

Minimize
Isaiah 42:1-7

Here is my servant whom I uphold, my chosen one with whom I am pleased,Upon whom I have put my Spirit; he shall bring forth justice to the nations, Not crying out, not shouting, not making his voice heard in the street. A bruised reed he shall not break, and a smoldering wick he shall not quench,  Until he establishes justice on the earth; the coastlands will wait for his teaching.

Thus says God, the LORD, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spreads out the earth with its crops, Who gives breath to its people and spirit to those who walk on it: I, the LORD, have called you for the victory of justice, I have grasped you by the hand; I formed you, and set you as a covenant of the people, a light for the nations, To open the eyes of the blind, to bring out prisoners from confinement,
and from the dungeon, those who live in darkness.

 ______________________________________________________________________
  
  Reflection 
 
“Here is my servant whom I uphold, my chosen one with whom I am pleased...”  With this phrase begins one of the four “servant of the Lord” poems.  We hear a similar phrase in each of the Gospels during the Baptism of Jesus, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased,” Luke 3:22.  Christ is the ultimate servant following the will of His Father even to death.  It also describes in this reading how the servant shall do this without crying out or shouting or making his voice heard in the street.  The parallel that I see here with Jesus is during His ministry when He performs miracles or healings, He admonishes His disciples and those that He heals not to tell others about what He has done.  He does this because He knows that He needs to be able to move around and preach and teach without drawing too much attention to Himself until the time is right.  In contrast to this, He later tells his disciples in Matthew 10:27, “What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light; what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops.”  Why do we see this contrast?  I think that Paul hits on the reason for this in his Second Letter to Timothy 4:3-4, “For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine but, following their own desires...will stop listening to the truth and will be diverted to myths.” 

When we see this happening in our society, we are compelled by our faith in Christ to act against evil and to help those who can’t help themselves.  It is not enough for us to proclaim that we are Christians and that we believe that Jesus died for us.  We cannot sit by idly while the world around us crumbles. James tells us this very explicitly, “For just as a body without a spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead,” James 2:26. I hope that through this Lenten journey, you can center yourself on Christ and what your mission is and what the will of God is calling you to do.  Without each of us, taking up our cross daily, following Christ in the dark places of our world, and shining His light by sharing the Good News of the Gospels, we cannot expect things to change for the better.  Jesus tells us in Mark 16:15, “Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature.”  We are called to use our time, talent, and riches wisely to help others and show them the love that Christ has shown us.  Have a blessed Holy Week and a joy filled Easter Season. 
 
Phillip L. Norton ‘90
CBHS Faculty 


PALM SUNDAY, APRIL 9

Isaiah 50:4-7

The Lord GOD has given me
a well-trained tongue,
that I might know how to speak to the weary
a word that will rouse them.
Morning after morning
he opens my ear that I may hear;
and I have not rebelled,
have not turned back.
I 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.
The Lord GOD is my help,
therefore I am not disgraced;
I have set my face like flint,
knowing that I shall not be put to shame.
 ______________________________________________________________________
  
  Reflection 
 
It has always been so exciting and amazing to me that our God became a person. Think about it. We have a God that loves us so much He gave himself a body to hang out with us and know what it feels like to be us.

Teaching my middle school students about psalms, prophets, and epistles, I gain a new appreciation each day of how the whole of the Bible fits together. Often I pray as Isaiah does in today’s first reading that “The Lord GOD has given me a well-trained tongue, that I might know how to speak to the weary a word that will rouse them.” After a long day I lament with Isaiah that “I gave... my cheeks to those who plucked my beard.” But the Psalm today reminds us--as I try to remind my students--that we should offer our suffering to God, who cares deeply about our problems and can not only sympathize but truly empathize based on His own suffering.
 
All of this comes into profound focus when we consider Paul’s letter to Philemon. In this letter Paul spells out the wonder and power of our incarnate God--Jesus. God, knowing all about our world, chose to be born with low status, in poverty, and in much suffering. God has felt your pain. God knows our weakness and loves us for it. That is what this Parade on Palm Sunday celebrates. The Word of God was made flesh and a for a short, glorious time dwelt among us--as us. So offer your challenges to our God who truly knows what it is like to be you.
 
Brother Dylan Perry, FSC
CBHS Class of 2006 


SATURDAY, APRIL 8

John 11:45-56

Many of the Jews who had come to Mary
and seen what Jesus had done began to believe in him.
But some of them went to the Pharisees
and told them what Jesus had done. 
So the chief priests and the Pharisees
convened the Sanhedrin and said,
"What are we going to do? 
This man is performing many signs.
If we leave him alone, all will believe in him,
and the Romans will come
and take away both our land and our nation."
But one of them, Caiaphas,
who was high priest that year, said to them,
"You know nothing,
nor do you consider that it is better for you
that one man should die instead of the people,
so that the whole nation may not perish."
He did not say this on his own,
but since he was high priest for that year,
he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation,
and not only for the nation,
but also to gather into one the dispersed children of God.
So from that day on they planned to kill him.
So Jesus no longer walked about in public among the Jews,
but he left for the region near the desert,
to a town called Ephraim,
and there he remained with his disciples.
Now the Passover of the Jews was near,
and many went up from the country to Jerusalem
before Passover to purify themselves.
They looked for Jesus and said to one another
as they were in the temple area, "What do you think?
That he will not come to the feast?"
 ______________________________________________________________________
  
  Reflection  

How could we possibly understand the perfection and purity of Jesus?  It is as impossible a task today as it was during the time He walked the Earth.  The chief priests and the Pharisees didn’t understand the inconceivable immensity of the son of God.  They feared with selfish intent what they didn’t understand as they found themselves woven into God’s universal tapestry of salvation through the death of Christ.   Humankind will likely wonder in awe about the journey and message of Jesus for as long as God wishes His mystery to remain in the world.  The perfection of God’s plan for the death of His Son on Earth is as baffling as it is inspirational.  Today’s gospel touches on the power of Christ’s message and its impact on the hearts and minds of the powerful leaders as well as the inspired believers of the day.

Jesus taught through his pure example of spiritual willingness, wisdom, and humility.  Suffering physical agonies on Earth was a reality for Jesus and serves as a strong testament to the power of God’s love through words and deeds.   Love was the breath and sustenance for Christ as He traveled towards the desert town of Ephraim with his disciples.  The unfolding of Christ’s life on Earth found his original followers witnessing the miraculous purity of God speaking to them and walking by their side. 

Jesus freely chose a life that He knew would be ended by horrific suffering. He became the pure inspirational symbol of God’s love for humanity. 

 Shawn Kelly '86
CBHS Faculty


FRIDAY, APRIL 7

John 10:31-42

The Jews picked up rocks to stone Jesus.
Jesus answered them, "I have shown you many good works from my Father.
For which of these are you trying to stone me?"
The Jews answered him,
"We are not stoning you for a good work but for blasphemy.
You, a man, are making yourself God."
Jesus answered them,
"Is it not written in your law, 'I said, 'You are gods"'? 
If it calls them gods to whom the word of God came,
and Scripture cannot be set aside,
can you say that the one
whom the Father has consecrated and sent into the world
blasphemes because I said, 'I am the Son of God'? 
If I do not perform my Father's works, do not believe me;
but if I perform them, even if you do not believe me,
believe the works, so that you may realize and understand
that the Father is in me and I am in the Father."
Then they tried again to arrest him;
but he escaped from their power.

He went back across the Jordan
to the place where John first baptized, and there he remained. 
Many came to him and said,
"John performed no sign,
but everything John said about this man was true."
And many there began to believe in him.
 ______________________________________________________________________
  
  Reflection 
 
“I and My Father are one.”
 
These are the words of Jesus with which the Jews take issue in today’s reading.  They accuse Him of blasphemy: “You, being a man, make yourself God.”  Today, for most Christians, I would imagine that this seems no big deal.  Jesus’s claim to be the Christ, the Messiah, the very Son of God is the foundation upon which our faith is built.  One might even go so far as to say that it is something which some take for granted.  However, in looking at the radical nature of this claim from the viewpoint of the first century Jew, we can perhaps understand further not only their violent response, but also (and more importantly) the faith that it takes for Christ’s followers at the time to believe in him so wholeheartedly that they would be willing to endure deaths like the one with which the Jews are threatening Jesus here in John’s Gospel account.
 
Why are the Jews so upset?  Why do people like Saul of Tarsus condone the killing of first-century Christians?  Perhaps some are motivated by selfish or hypocritical reasons, but I get the feeling that many (certainly Saul) are motivated by a much more powerful force:  Zeal.  Recently, the virtue of Zeal has been a point of focus among teachers and students at CBHS, and rightly so, since it is a direct result of Faith in the Presence of God.  Look further at the words of Christ from this gospel reading and see His call for zealous faith: “... believe the works, that you may know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him.”

Like the Christians of the early church, we are called to be men and women of faith.  This season, let’s add to our faith zeal, remembering the words of James: “Be doers of the word, not hearers only... I will show you my faith by my works.”
 
Shawn Morgan
CBHS Faculty



THURSDAY, APRIL 6

Genesis 17:3-9

When Abram prostrated himself, God spoke to him:
"My covenant with you is this:
you are to become the father of a host of nations.
No longer shall you be called Abram;
your name shall be Abraham,
for I am making you the father of a host of nations.
I will render you exceedingly fertile;
I will make nations of you;
kings shall stem from you.
I will maintain my covenant with you
and your descendants after you
throughout the ages as an everlasting pact,
to be your God and the God of your descendants after you.
I will give to you
and to your descendants after you
the land in which you are now staying,
the whole land of Canaan, as a permanent possession;
and I will be their God."

God also said to Abraham:
"On your part, you and your descendants after you
must keep my covenant throughout the ages."

 ______________________________________________________________________
  
  Reflection  
 
God's statements in the passage to Abraham as he is lying face down remind me of difficult and confusing times when I too have felt as though there was no hope.

The reassurances offered to Abraham from God via their multi-generational covenant are justifications that belief in the Almighty can thrust us through the most troubling of times.

With an unwavering faith in God, the passage reminds me that anything can be accomplished by anyone if the desire and will to succeed is great enough coupled with a strong belief in God's divine ability.

Life will yield all of us many unexpected curves in the proverbial road, but the way we react, and the manner in which we remain steadfast in our missions and remember always our faith in the Lord will push us through rough times.

In closing, I'd like to provide a relevant quote my mother used when I was facing stressful times as a young boy: "If at first you don't succeed then try, try, and try again. Remember, if God will bring us to it then He will shepherd us through it."
 
Will Duffel
CBHS Class of 2006 

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 5

 Daniel 3:14-20, 91-92, 95

King Nebuchadnezzar said:
"Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego,
that you will not serve my god,
or worship the golden statue that I set up?
Be ready now to fall down and worship the statue I had made,
whenever you hear the sound of the trumpet,
flute, lyre, harp, psaltery, bagpipe,
and all the other musical instruments;
otherwise, you shall be instantly cast into the white-hot furnace;
and who is the God who can deliver you out of my hands?"
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered King Nebuchadnezzar,
"There is no need for us to defend ourselves before you
in this matter.
If our God, whom we serve,
can save us from the white-hot furnace
and from your hands, O king, may he save us!
But even if he will not, know, O king,
that we will not serve your god
or worship the golden statue that you set up."
 
King Nebuchadnezzar's face became livid with utter rage
against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
He ordered the furnace to be heated seven times more than usual
and had some of the strongest men in his army
bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego
and cast them into the white-hot furnace.
 
Nebuchadnezzar rose in haste and asked his nobles,
"Did we not cast three men bound into the fire?"
"Assuredly, O king," they answered.
"But," he replied, "I see four men unfettered and unhurt,
walking in the fire, and the fourth looks like a son of God."
Nebuchadnezzar exclaimed,
"Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego,
who sent his angel to deliver the servants who trusted in him;
they disobeyed the royal command and yielded their bodies
rather than serve or worship any god
except their own God."

 ______________________________________________________________________
  
  Reflection 
 
How many King Nebuchadnezzar’s do we encounter in our lives? Too many, that’s for sure. Each day we are presented with subtle misguidances, leading our focus away from God. In fact, we carry one of these subtle misguidances in our pocket every day. Especially in today’s society, it can be hard to peel our eyes away from the screens of our phones. There’s just so much to do, like Snapchatting your friends whom you haven’t seen in hours or keeping up with the next NBA trade or even taking the time to boast a much needed caramel macchiato from Starbucks after a long day of work. With all this at our fingertips, it’s easy to neglect and forget about God. But, through all of our neglect and forgetfulness, God remains with us. Yes, He sees us playing Bejeweled and scrolling through Instagram completely ignorant of the beauty of life around us, but He understands we are imperfect, an unmistakable quality of humans. However, He wants us to take a moment out of our lives to make Him the most important notification. We are loved so much by the Lord, it is only right that we take a little of our time and send a little back His way.

Michael Pham
CBHS Class of 2017



TUESDAY, APRIL 4

Numbers 21: 4-9

From Mount Hor the children of Israel set out on the Red Sea road,
to bypass the land of Edom.
But with their patience worn out by the journey,
the people complained against God and Moses,
"Why have you brought us up from Egypt to die in this desert,
where there is no food or water?
We are disgusted with this wretched food!"

In punishment the LORD sent among the people saraph serpents,
which bit the people so that many of them died.
Then the people came to Moses and said,
"We have sinned in complaining against the LORD and you.
Pray the LORD to take the serpents away from us."
So Moses prayed for the people, and the LORD said to Moses,
"Make a saraph and mount it on a pole,
and whoever looks at it after being bitten will live."
Moses accordingly made a bronze serpent and mounted it on a pole,
and whenever anyone who had been bitten by a serpent 
looked at the bronze serpent, he lived. 

 ______________________________________________________________________
  
  Reflection
  
I remember as a youth, opening a full refrigerator and complaining about how there was nothing to eat. Even worse, I would ask my mom what was for dinner only to respond with a disappointing and pitiful groan.

Today’s reading connects us to our ancestors in faith; their journey towards the Promised Land reminds us of our journey. The Israelites faced many obstacles: slavery in Egypt, staggering odds in battle, but worst of all the quail and manna! Naturally tired from years of journeying and battling for their lives, their patience is gone. They doubted the guidance of Moses and they doubted that God even had a promised land for them. They were bitter and openly complained. Honestly, when we are hungry, angry, lonely, or tired we are no better than they were.

Lent is preparing us to celebrate two resurrections: Jesus’ and ours. Marked with black ashes, we began our Lenten journey acknowledging the darkest reality about ourselves- sin and death.  The journey to our resurrection does not happen without suffering and death. This is not a very consoling reality, but it’s the only way we can to get to the Promised Land. Late in the Lenten season and in the school year, we may be tired and burnt-out.  Sometimes we lose sight of our journey’s goal and cannot see past the next meal. In these moments, do not waste your suffering. Instead, know that you are intimately united with Him in that holy moment. Gaze tenderly upon our loving Lord and be with Him on the cross. Say to Him “Live Jesus in my heart” and He will respond “Forever.”

John Michael Simpson
CBHS Faculty 


MONDAY, APRIL 3

 John 8:1-11

Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.
But early in the morning he arrived again in the temple area, 
and all the people started coming to him, 
and he sat down and taught them.
Then the scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman 
who had been caught in adultery 
and made her stand in the middle.
They said to him,
"Teacher, this woman was caught 
in the very act of committing adultery.
Now in the law, Moses commanded us to stone such women.
So what do you say?"
They said this to test him,
so that they could have some charge to bring against him.
Jesus bent down and began to write on the ground with his finger.
But when they continued asking him,
he straightened up and said to them,
"Let the one among you who is without sin 
be the first to throw a stone at her."
Again he bent down and wrote on the ground.
And in response, they went away one by one,
beginning with the elders.
So he was left alone with the woman before him.
Then Jesus straightened up and said to her,
"Woman, where are they?
Has no one condemned you?"
She replied, "No one, sir."
Then Jesus said, "Neither do I condemn you.
Go, and from now on do not sin any more."

 ______________________________________________________________________
  
  Reflection  

For good reason, this parable is taught in every Sunday school class at some point in our lives and usually repeated multiple times throughout the course of our adolescence.  We’ve all heard it referenced in sermons, and probably by our parents.  It resonates with us almost immediately, even as a child, because we’re all guilty of judging, and the passage so succinctly embodies the true spirit of Christianity. 
 
During the dozens of times I heard this story or listened to it preached, I always saw it through the eyes of a scribe or a Pharisee.  Not because we feel so bold as to try and trick God but because it’s so easy to relate to a time when we were quick to find fault with the failure of another.  Reading it again, I’m struck as much, or more, by the calm power in which Jesus diffuses the situation as I am of anything else.  Despite the frustration of being tested by his rivals, Jesus confidently addresses the situation without any regard for His power or the anger that would be brewing inside most of us.  It’s a parable inside of a parable.  Obviously Jesus was without sin but He chose to forgive the scribes and Pharisees and let them walk away on their own accord, having taught them a valuable lesson in the process.  As we encounter the tests of our daily lives, rather it being from a child, coworker, spouse or even something as simple as an angry driver, I hope we remember not just to forgive but the power of a calm, collected response and its ability to teach and better those around us.      
 
John Pontius
CBHS Class of 2000 



SUNDAY, APRIL 2

John 11:3-7, 17, 20-27, 33B-45

The sisters of Lazarus sent word to Jesus, saying, 
"Master, the one you love is ill."
When Jesus heard this he said,
"This illness is not to end in death, 
but is for the glory of God, 
that the Son of God may be glorified through it."
Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.
So when he heard that he was ill, 
he remained for two days in the place where he was.
Then after this he said to his disciples, 
"Let us go back to Judea."
When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus 
had already been in the tomb for four days.
When Martha heard that Jesus was coming,
she went to meet him; 
but Mary sat at home.
Martha said to Jesus, 
"Lord, if you had been here,
my brother would not have died.
But even now I know that whatever you ask of God,
God will give you."
Jesus said to her,
"Your brother will rise."
Martha said,
"I know he will rise,
in the resurrection on the last day."
Jesus told her,
"I am the resurrection and the life; 
whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, 
and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.
Do you believe this?"
She said to him, "Yes, Lord.
I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God,
the one who is coming into the world."
He became perturbed and deeply troubled, and said, 
"Where have you laid him?"
They said to him, "Sir, come and see."
And Jesus wept.
So the Jews said, "See how he loved him."
But some of them said, 
"Could not the one who opened the eyes of the blind man 
have done something so that this man would not have died?"
So Jesus, perturbed again, came to the tomb.
It was a cave, and a stone lay across it.
Jesus said, "Take away the stone."
Martha, the dead man's sister, said to him, 
"Lord, by now there will be a stench; 
he has been dead for four days."
Jesus said to her,
"Did I not tell you that if you believe 
you will see the glory of God?"
So they took away the stone.
And Jesus raised his eyes and said, 
"Father, I thank you for hearing me.
I know that you always hear me; 
but because of the crowd here I have said this, 
that they may believe that you sent me."
And when he had said this,
He cried out in a loud voice, 
"Lazarus, come out!"
The dead man came out,
tied hand and foot with burial bands, 
and his face was wrapped in a cloth.
So Jesus said to them,
"Untie him and let him go."
Now many of the Jews who had come to Mary
and seen what he had done began to believe in him.

 ______________________________________________________________________
  
  Reflection  
 
How many times have we wished to have someone raised from the dead? Whether it is a family member, friend, or some other loved one, how often have we wished that we could have more time with that person?  We think, “If only I had said...” or “If only I had done...” this or that with this person. What kind of difference in our lives would there have been if I could have done or said something? Is this what this gospel story tells us to think about? Should we make a difference in someone’s life before it’s too late? 
 
Or does the death of Lazarus represent our own death to God because of our own selfishness or self-absorption? Is God calling us back if we just listen like Lazarus coming back to life at the call of Jesus? Is the sorrow that Lazarus’ family and friends experience from his death the same sorrow our family and friends experience when we don’t have time for them? 
 
What about just having faith in Jesus? Isn’t that what He asked Martha to have? She believes that if Jesus had been there, Lazarus would not have died because Jesus could have called on God to prevent it. She wasn’t so sure that Lazarus could be raised from the dead. Instead of Jesus raising the dead, the people thought Jesus would have prevented his death from happening. It takes a “perturbed” Jesus who goes to the tomb and calls on his Father to raise Lazarus so the people may believe that God sent Jesus to them.  Lazarus’ resurrection caused many people to come to believe in Jesus because of what He had done. Can we, unlike Martha and the other people around at the time of Lazarus’ death believe in Jesus without witnessing a miracle? Jesus often decries the lack of faith we have. This incident is another example of that. We don’t have Jesus in our physical presence to perform miracles and help our unbelief. This doesn’t mean we don’t have miracles happening in our midst. We are always called to have a deeper and more meaningful relationship with our God. Jesus helped those who followed Him when He was alive to that deeper relationship. We must now do it on our own by reading and praying to God and reflecting on what we read and experience, even if we never see a miracle first hand as those did who witnessed Lazarus’ rising back to life firsthand. What better time than Lent to start or continue working on that relationship.

Br. Michael Fugger, FSC
CBHS Faculty

SATURDAY, APRIL 1

John 7:40-53

Some in the crowd who heard these words of Jesus said,
"This is truly the Prophet."
Others said, "This is the Christ."
But others said, "The Christ will not come from Galilee, will he?
Does not Scripture say that the Christ will be of David's family
and come from Bethlehem, the village where David lived?"
So a division occurred in the crowd because of him.
Some of them even wanted to arrest him,
but no one laid hands on him.
So the guards went to the chief priests and Pharisees,
who asked them, "Why did you not bring him?"
The guards answered, "Never before has anyone spoken like this man."
So the Pharisees answered them, "Have you also been deceived?
Have any of the authorities or the Pharisees believed in him?
But this crowd, which does not know the law, is accursed."
Nicodemus, one of their members who had come to him earlier, said to them, 
"Does our law condemn a man before it first hears him
and finds out what he is doing?"
They answered and said to him,
"You are not from Galilee also, are you?
Look and see that no prophet arises from Galilee."
Then each went to his own house.
 ______________________________________________________________________
  
  Reflection  

As I reflect upon the Gospel reading for today, I am reminded that, even as Jesus spoke to them in the temple, many people did not recognize Him as Messiah.  He spoke with the authority of a prophet, but He did not meet their expectations.  He was from Galilee - the “wrong side of the tracks.”  He was a carpenter, not a great king.  He criticized the Pharisees and chief priests.  The people were divided.  They were not sure what to do - follow Him or arrest and kill Him? 
 
Are things really much different today?  People are still divided.  Many still do not recognize Jesus as the Christ.  Many are not sure what to do about Him.  So what has changed since the day of our reading?   For me, the answer to that question lies in Easter - the Resurrection of Christ.  Jesus conquered death that first Easter morning.  He arose and He is alive today.  We may choose to follow Him or not, but we may no longer choose his death.  He lives.  What a wonderful and magnificent joy we are offered when we choose to follow Him.  Let us share that joy with the world.  Live Jesus in our hearts, forever.

Howard Carman
CBHS Class of 1977
 


FRIDAY, MARCH 31


John 7:1-2, 10, 25-30
 
Jesus moved about within Galilee;
he did not wish to travel in Judea,
because the Jews were trying to kill him.
But the Jewish feast of Tabernacles was near.

But when his brothers had gone up to the feast,
he himself also went up, not openly but as it were in secret.

Some of the inhabitants of Jerusalem said,
"Is he not the one they are trying to kill?
And look, he is speaking openly and they say nothing to him.
Could the authorities have realized that he is the Christ?
But we know where he is from.
When the Christ comes, no one will know where he is from."
So Jesus cried out in the temple area as he was teaching and said,
"You know me and also know where I am from.
Yet I did not come on my own,
but the one who sent me, whom you do not know, is true.
I know him, because I am from him, and he sent me."
So they tried to arrest him,
but no one laid a hand upon him,
because his hour had not yet come.

 ______________________________________________________________________
  
  Reflection  
 
In today’s world of political punditry, media bias, and “fake news”, it is easy to question the stories we see and hear in the news.  Instead of trusting a secondary news source or someone’s social media post, I often find myself tracking down the primary source of a story and relying on my own interpretation. 
 
The people of Judea doubted that Jesus was the Son of God.  The Pharisees had condemned him and told the people that he could not be the Messiah.  Because he was born in Galilee, surely he couldn’t be the Christ.  “When the Christ comes, no one will know where he is from.”  But Jesus revealed who he was and where he truly was from to the people.  "I know him, because I am from him, and he sent me."  And while the Pharisees tried to arrest him, they were unable to, because it was not a part of God’s plan.
 
Many Christians struggle with their faith, especially during trying times.  In difficult times, we still believe in God, and we know that he sent his Son to die for our sins, but as humans we still may struggle to understand God’s will.  If we want to truly know and understand God’s will, we must go straight to the source, through prayer and scripture.
 
Scott Petrowski
CBHS Class of 2007


THURSDAY, MARCH 30

Exodus 32:7-14

The LORD said to Moses,
"Go down at once to your people
whom you brought out of the land of Egypt,
for they have become depraved.
They have soon turned aside from the way I pointed out to them,
making for themselves a molten calf and worshiping it,
sacrificing to it and crying out,
'This is your God, O Israel,
who brought you out of the land of Egypt!'"
The LORD said to Moses,
"I see how stiff-necked this people is.
Let me alone, then,
that my wrath may blaze up against them to consume them.
Then I will make of you a great nation."

But Moses implored the LORD, his God, saying,
"Why, O LORD, should your wrath blaze up against your own people,
whom you brought out of the land of Egypt
with such great power and with so strong a hand?
Why should the Egyptians say,
'With evil intent he brought them out,
that he might kill them in the mountains
and exterminate them from the face of the earth'?
Let your blazing wrath die down;
relent in punishing your people. 
Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Israel,
and how you swore to them by your own self, saying,
'I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky;
and all this land that I promised,
I will give your descendants as their perpetual heritage.'"
So the LORD relented in the punishment
he had threatened to inflict on his people.
______________________________________________________________________
  
  Reflection  
 
Three lessons from this reading:
 
1.  Do not underestimate the power of intercessory prayer. Pray regularly, especially for others in need. “More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of.” ~ Alfred Lord Tennyson
 
2.  God forgives us. We must forgive others. “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi
 
3.  God changed his mind about punishing the Israelites. To become better, we must be willing to change. “To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.” ~ Winston Churchill  
 
Finally, Saturday, April 1, 2017, would have been Brother Adrian Powers' 100th birthday. I am so very thankful for the profound, positive influence he and the Christian Brothers have had on my life. Be sure to say "thank you" as well.
 
Clement Edward Klank III
CBHS Class of 1985 


WEDNESDAY, MARCH 29

Isaiah 49:8-15


Thus says the LORD:
In a time of favor I answer you,
on the day of salvation I help you;
and I have kept you and given you as a covenant to the people,
To restore the land
and allot the desolate heritages,
Saying to the prisoners: Come out!
To those in darkness: Show yourselves!
Along the ways they shall find pasture,
on every bare height shall their pastures be.
They shall not hunger or thirst,
nor shall the scorching wind or the sun strike them;
For he who pities them leads them
and guides them beside springs of water.
I will cut a road through all my mountains,
and make my highways level.
See, some shall come from afar,
others from the north and the west,
and some from the land of Syene.
Sing out, O heavens, and rejoice, O earth,
break forth into song, you mountains.
For the LORD comforts his people
and shows mercy to his afflicted.
But Zion said, "The LORD has forsaken me;
my Lord has forgotten me."
Can a mother forget her infant,
be without tenderness for the child of her womb?
Even should she forget,
I will never forget you.
 ______________________________________________________________________
  
  Reflection  

Reading this scripture drives me to think about how the Father and His Son are at work all of the time. The Lord does not take days off and He does not rest. He is constantly at work and present in our lives as Christians and even for those who may not know him. We may not know the Lord but He knows us. We may forget Him but He never forgets us as it is mentioned in Isaiah 49:15, “Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb? Even should she forget, I will never forget you”. 

Our God is portrayed as loving us as a mother would. How powerful and how comforting He is for He tells us that He will never forget us nor push us away. Those who do not know God have Him working in their lives even if they have no one else. At my lowest times I know that God is there and He is always present with me. We are his children and we should live in our daily lives as disciples of the Lord that never cast away others but invite them on our spiritual journey and provide the same love and affection that God provides for us every single moment. 

Chris Pratt
CBHS Class of 2017



TUESDAY, MARCH 28

John 5:1-16

There was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
Now there is in Jerusalem at the Sheep Gate
a pool called in Hebrew Bethesda, with five porticoes.
In these lay a large number of ill, blind, lame, and crippled.
One man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years.
When Jesus saw him lying there
and knew that he had been ill for a long time, he said to him,
"Do you want to be well?"
The sick man answered him,
"Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool
when the water is stirred up;
while I am on my way, someone else gets down there before me."
Jesus said to him, "Rise, take up your mat, and walk."
Immediately the man became well, took up his mat, and walked.

Now that day was a sabbath.
So the Jews said to the man who was cured,
"It is the sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to carry your mat." 
He answered them, "The man who made me well told me,
'Take up your mat and walk.'"
They asked him,
"Who is the man who told you, 'Take it up and walk'?"
The man who was healed did not know who it was,
for Jesus had slipped away, since there was a crowd there.
After this Jesus found him in the temple area and said to him,
"Look, you are well; do not sin any more,
so that nothing worse may happen to you."
The man went and told the Jews
that Jesus was the one who had made him well.
Therefore, the Jews began to persecute Jesus
because he did this on a sabbath.
 

 ______________________________________________________________________
  
  Reflection  

The Gospel today is yet another great example of God's mercy and the healing power of prayer.  Jesus asks the ill man, "Do you want to be well?"  We all want to be "well."  All of us at some point need God's help.  Whether a parent, a student or a teacher, we all need God's mercy and forgiveness and help.
 
As the sick man told Jesus, no one would help him.  But Jesus did help him by simply telling the man to rise, take up his mat and walk.   Yet another of the many times where God shows his willingness to help if only we ask for it.
 
Also, in this Gospel,  is a great example of humility.  The story tells us that Jesus had slipped away.  He did not want any recognition for what he did.  I think that humility is an important part of all of our lives.  Be humble.  Be humble with our achievements and in our successes.  Never take our possessions or accomplishments for granted.  Everything we have is through the grace of God.
 
Never hesitate to ask God for help.  He is there waiting for us.

George Pratt '65
CBHS Dean of Students


MONDAY, MARCH 27

John 4:43-54

At that time Jesus left [Samaria] for Galilee.
For Jesus himself testified
that a prophet has no honor in his native place.
When he came into Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him,
since they had seen all he had done in Jerusalem at the feast;
for they themselves had gone to the feast.
Then he returned to Cana in Galilee,
where he had made the water wine.
Now there was a royal official whose son was ill in Capernaum.
When he heard that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judea,
he went to him and asked him to come down
and heal his son, who was near death.
Jesus said to him,
"Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will not believe."
The royal official said to him,
"Sir, come down before my child dies."
Jesus said to him, "You may go; your son will live."
The man believed what Jesus said to him and left.
While the man was on his way back,
his slaves met him and told him that his boy would live.
He asked them when he began to recover.
They told him,
"The fever left him yesterday, about one in the afternoon."
The father realized that just at that time Jesus had said to him,
"Your son will live,"
and he and his whole household came to believe.
Now this was the second sign Jesus did
when he came to Galilee from Judea.

 ______________________________________________________________________
  
  Reflection  

At the risk of sounding cliché, I read this and I have to ask... "Who among us would have this trust?"

I am not questioning your faith in Jesus Christ. I am just reading this Gospel in a modern day context. Jesus says "You may go: your son will live." How much different would this encounter be today? We have all seen the headlines about today's society being one of instant gratification. I'm not going to talk about gratification, but about the instant access to information. Would the official immediately call home to Capernaum? Or maybe just send a text? Maybe the son has already updated his Facebook status from "sick" to "feeling better."

I was talking with a group of friends the other day, and we noted we can't even make plans for dinner without a massive chain of text messages and constant updates from the one guy running just a few minutes late. My generation lives through our phones, and I'm guilty of it just as much as the next guy. I can't imagine traveling from Capernaum to Galilee simply in the hopes of encountering Jesus, and then turning around after only a sentence. Can you imagine an entire day's walk back, with no confirmation that anything actually happened?

I'm not going to suggest we ditch our phones and technology, in the idea that it will allow us to better practice our faith. They are amazing tools, and I don't expect them to go away anytime soon. But I see the Lenten season as the time to make small changes to better ourselves daily. One possible change going forward is to put the phone in your pocket and be present in the moment. Again, my generation and I have a habit of using texts, snapchats, twitter, instagram, and other social media, all while ignoring the people we are actually spending time with. Let's put the phone's away, and celebrate the people around us.
 
Zach Johnson
CBHS Class of 2010 


SUNDAY, MARCH 26

Ephesians 5:8-14

Brothers and sisters:
You were once darkness, 
but now you are light in the Lord.
Live as children of light, 
for light produces every kind of goodness 
and righteousness and truth.
Try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.
Take no part in the fruitless works of darkness; 
rather expose them, for it is shameful even to mention 
the things done by them in secret; 
but everything exposed by the light becomes visible, 
for everything that becomes visible is light.
Therefore, it says:
"Awake, O sleeper,
and arise from the dead,
and Christ will give you light."
 
 ______________________________________________________________________
  
  Reflection  

I believe we all understand the difference between light and darkness, both of which cause a blindness of sorts.  We experience “blindness” when turning off a light in a darkened space. Our eyes adjust to what little light might be coming through a window or door crack, enough to be able to maneuver around if necessary. Or the “blindness” when stepping out of a dark place into light. It takes a while for our eyes to adjust and really see what is around us. In the same way, it takes time for our spiritual eyes to adjust to the light of God’s action in our lives. The adjustment will need a response of patience and persistence from us to gain insight into what it means in today’s words of Scripture from St.Paul to “live as children of light” producing “every kind of goodness and righteousness and truth”. God’s grace is enough though! We need nothing more! “Christ, be our light! Shine in our hearts. Shine through the darkness. Christ, be our light! Shine in your church gathered today.”  (refrain from the hymn: “Christ, Be Our Light”)

Brother Phil Jones, FSC
CBHS Faculty



SATURDAY, MARCH 25

Luke 1: 26-38
 
The angel Gabriel was sent from God
to a town of Galilee called Nazareth,
to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph,
of the house of David,
and the virgin's name was Mary.
And coming to her, he said,
"Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you."
But she was greatly troubled at what was said
and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.
Then the angel said to her,
"Do not be afraid, Mary,
for you have found favor with God.
Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son,
and you shall name him Jesus.
He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High,
and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father,
and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever,
and of his Kingdom there will be no end."
But Mary said to the angel,
"How can this be,
since I have no relations with a man?"
And the angel said to her in reply,
"The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.
Therefore the child to be born
will be called holy, the Son of God.
And behold, Elizabeth, your relative,
has also conceived a son in her old age,
and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren;
for nothing will be impossible for God."
Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word."
Then the angel departed from her.

 ______________________________________________________________________
  
  Reflection 
 
Whenever I hear this Gospel, it reminds me of A Charlie Brown Christmas and the wonderful part of the show where Linus reads this passage during the rehearsal for the Christmas play.  It probably sounds silly but it warms my heart and gives me hope to hear it each year, and lately the show and this Gospel reading took on new meaning for me. 

I recently read that the show that has become a holiday classic almost did not make it on the air. It turns out that in 1965, the executives at CBS and even some of the production team thought that Charles Schulz’s story of an underdog sticking to his principles in the face of constant bullying would not make for good TV.  There were concerns about everything from the music, the decision to use untrained children instead of professional adult voice actors, the pacing of the story, and especially the inclusion of Luke’s Gospel. Well, we all know that they couldn’t have been more wrong!  When the show first aired, half of all American TV viewers tuned in and the show won an Emmy and a Peabody Award. 

But it’s not the number of viewers or the awards that resonate with me, it is the fact that Charles Schulz stuck to his principles and insisted that the show be made in a way that he knew was right.  Today’s Gospel reading is the beginning of the story of another underdog who stuck to His principles despite constant bullying and I hope that one lesson we can all take from this Gospel and from Charles Schulz is that being right isn’t always easy, but it’s worth it.

Sean Healy
CBHS Class of 1984 


FRIDAY, MARCH 24

Mark 12:28-34

One of the scribes came to Jesus and asked him,
"Which is the first of all the commandments?"
Jesus replied, "The first is this:
Hear, O Israel!
The Lord our God is Lord alone!
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, 
with all your soul, 
with all your mind, 
and with all your strength.
The second is this:
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
There is no other commandment greater than these."
The scribe said to him, "Well said, teacher.
You are right in saying,
He is One and there is no other than he.
And to love him with all your heart,
with all your understanding, 
with all your strength,
and to love your neighbor as yourself
is worth more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices."
And when Jesus saw that he answered with understanding,
he said to him,
"You are not far from the Kingdom of God."
And no one dared to ask him any more questions.

 ______________________________________________________________________
  
  Reflection  

If you’ve ever spent some time pondering a new subject or topic, you may have run across the series of books with the topic listed followed by, “For Dummies”-i.e., “Computer Programing for Dummies", "French for Dummies,” etc. The books take a topic and break it down to the simplest of forms for the reader to understand. I couldn’t help but think of that as I read today's Gospel Reading. Rather than go into a long and detailed explanation, Jesus went to the heart of his Father’s message for us.

When the Pharisee challenged Jesus by asking which command was the greatest, Jesus did not rebuke him or become indignant. Instead, Jesus answered his question directly because his question was of the utmost importance.

If the Law tells us who God is, then the greatest command is going to describe God best. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”

If the Law tells us what God wants from us, then the greatest command is going to best describe what it is that we can do to please God. So Jesus appreciated the question and answered it by showing both the heart of God and what he wants from us. “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Here before the Pharisee was God himself, answering his question about the Law, the most fundamental and foundational thing in this man’s life. God boiled down his love to the simplest form so that we may easily understand what He wants from us... a sacrificial love of one’s whole being that pours itself out for others, and all for the sake of magnifying his great name.

May we all follow these simple commands in our lives.

Nancy Lanigan
CBHS Faculty 


THURSDAY, MARCH 23

Jeremiah 7:23-28

Thus says the LORD: 
This is what I commanded my people:
Listen to my voice;
then I will be your God and you shall be my people.
Walk in all the ways that I command you,
so that you may prosper.
But they obeyed not, nor did they pay heed.
They walked in the hardness of their evil hearts
and turned their backs, not their faces, to me.
From the day that your fathers left the land of Egypt even to this day,
I have sent you untiringly all my servants the prophets.
Yet they have not obeyed me nor paid heed;
they have stiffened their necks and done worse than their fathers.
When you speak all these words to them,
they will not listen to you either;
when you call to them, they will not answer you.
Say to them:
This is the nation that does not listen
to the voice of the LORD, its God,
or take correction.
Faithfulness has disappeared;
the word itself is banished from their speech.

 ______________________________________________________________________
  
  Reflection  

Through the beginning of this reading, God shows His love for His people by issuing a command:   listen to His voice, follow His commands, and He will be their God and they will prosper.  This is a wonderful opportunity given to us from our God, but do we truly take advantage of this gift?  The lack of response from God's chosen people is troubling and should make us take a closer look at how we follow His commands in our day to day lives.  
 
We all fall short of following God's law - no one is capable of living without sin or maintaining perfect obedience to God's daily call.  God expects our obedience to His laws and His rule.  Thankfully, He knows that we are not perfect but this does not excuse us from striving to follow His law.   Because of his mercy and love for us, God sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to fulfill His law and bring new life to us.  Jesus tells us that we should not abandon even the smallest part of God's law; yet in our inevitable failures, we are still forgiven by Jesus. 
 
Following God's law and using it for encouragement and growth rather than condemnation allows us to live in peace and harmony with one another.  God and His laws are full of love and mercy.  Through following His law to the best of our abilities, we come to live in joy and love with one another.  Within this love - born of obedience, respect, and faith, lies the true message of Christianity.  
 
As parents, we give our children rules or "laws" to follow.  We do not do this to condemn our children or to set them up for failure.  We do this because we love them and want them to succeed and prosper.   Similarly, God did not send Jesus to condemn us for not following His law.  He did so to fulfill the law and to save the whole world.  The reality of our human condition is that sin and falling short of perfection leads us all to an understanding that forgiveness is not only possible but also a large part of the Christian experience. 
 
We must challenge ourselves every day to follow God's law.  We must take a closer look at ourselves, not others, and how we conduct our lives.  Do we listen to God?  How well do we carry out God's will?  Do we include God in our daily thoughts, situations, and decisions?  Although following God's commands can be challenging, His promise to us for living His law will fulfill the law's promise of being one with God forever in eternity.

Meredith & Taz Tyrone
CBHS Parents


WEDNESDAY, MARCH 22

Matthew 5:17-19

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets.
I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.
Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away,
not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter
will pass from the law,
until all things have taken place.
Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments
and teaches others to do so
will be called least in the Kingdom of heaven.
But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments
will be called greatest in the Kingdom of heaven."

 ______________________________________________________________________
  
  Reflection  
 
Today’s Gospel really speaks to me as high school teenager always looking to what is next. Jesus highlights important aspects of our lives on earth in order to live with Him in the kingdom of heaven. He simply lays out our paths to eternal life with Him. Obeying His teachings is our path to salvation. I hear that phrase over and over again, but most of the time, it is exactly what I need to hear. When getting caught up in the chaotic rush of life, it is important to remind yourself what is important. Everything good comes through God and that is something I constantly need to remind myself of. In my prayers, I thank God for what I have and all my gifts, but the best way for me, and all of us, to serve the Lord is through our actions and words.
 
                        “But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments
                        will be called greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.”
 
Think about that for a moment. It’s so plain and simple yet we struggle to put God first in our lives. Daily reminders I leave for myself help to keep me in the right place. Developing good habits and not being afraid to exit my comfort zone lead me to a closer relationship with God. Jesus wants us to join Him in the kingdom of heaven, so He gives it to us straight. We must authentically live out our faith and enter God’s commandments fully and wholeheartedly to follow the path Jesus has set for us.
 
John Harkins
CBHS Class of 2017 


TUESDAY, MARCH 21

Daniel 3:25, 34-43 

Azariah stood up in the fire and prayed aloud:
"For your name's sake, O Lord, do not deliver us up forever,
or make void your covenant.
Do not take away your mercy from us,
for the sake of Abraham, your beloved,
Isaac your servant, and Israel your holy one,
To whom you promised to multiply their offspring
like the stars of heaven,
or the sand on the shore of the sea.
For we are reduced, O Lord, beyond any other nation,
brought low everywhere in the world this day
because of our sins.
We have in our day no prince, prophet, or leader,
no burnt offering, sacrifice, oblation, or incense,
no place to offer first fruits, to find favor with you.
But with contrite heart and humble spirit
let us be received;
As though it were burnt offerings of rams and bullocks,
or thousands of fat lambs,
So let our sacrifice be in your presence today
as we follow you unreservedly;
for those who trust in you cannot be put to shame.
And now we follow you with our whole heart,
we fear you and we pray to you.
Do not let us be put to shame,
but deal with us in your kindness and great mercy.
Deliver us by your wonders,
and bring glory to your name, O Lord."
 ______________________________________________________________________
  
  Reflection  

I am extremely moved by the powerful message in today's reading.  This passage is one of the earnest, heartfelt pleas to God made by Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego, asking God to deliver them from King Nebuchadnezzar's fiery furnace.  God did have mercy on them, but God did not spare these three because of some great "prince, prophet, or leader"; nor did God spare them because of some "burnt offering, sacrifice, oblation, or incense."  God spared them because of their steadfast faith, and because they offered themselves "with contrite heart and humble spirit." 

During this Lenten season, my prayer is that I can emulate the example set by these three men.  I pray I can acknowledge my own failures, and ask God for His mercy and compassion with a contrite heart, while understanding that His forgiveness is an amazing gift that can only be achieved via a truly repentant heart.  And similarly, I pray for the strength to forgive freely as Jesus has taught us.  I find that it is often times easier to ask for forgiveness than it is to forgive and let go of anger or frustration when I feel I've been wronged.  But if I'm not willing to forgive, then I am not humble in spirit and worthy of God's mercy like these three men.  May we all experience the gift of God's mercy this Lenten season, and also share it with anyone we come in contact with.

Bobby Daush
CBHS Class of 2002 


MONDAY, MARCH 20

2 Samuel 7:4-5A, 12-14A, 16

The LORD spoke to Nathan and said:
"Go, tell my servant David,
'When your time comes and you rest with your ancestors,
I will raise up your heir after you, sprung from your loins,
and I will make his kingdom firm.
It is he who shall build a house for my name.
And I will make his royal throne firm forever.
I will be a father to him,
and he shall be a son to me.
Your house and your kingdom shall endure forever before me;
your throne shall stand firm forever.'"

 ______________________________________________________________________
  
  Reflection  

The first reading today highlights God’s promise to David that the Messiah will come from his lineage. It is because of St. Joseph’s willingness to take a pregnant Mary into his home that that promise was fulfilled. How incredible is the Gospel reading today! At first look we see a simple, hardworking, and righteous man “unwilling to expose Mary to shame” come to terms with marrying her. After more contemplation, though, we understand how important it was for us that Joseph say yes. It is because of St. Joseph that Jesus is from the line of David. Had he not adopted Jesus, God’s promise to David would not have been fulfilled.

I have heard a lecture before that suggested two possible interpretations of St. Joseph’s initial reservations: the first being that he did not want to be married to a woman who was pregnant with a child that was not his; but the second being that he actually believed everything Mary told him, and he did not think himself worthy to be the foster father of God himself. His is a noble lineage, yes, but it is certainly one with some major skeletons.

How often do we turn away the opportunity for closeness to God because we are too ashamed of our history? St. Joseph’s ‘yes’ to God and to Mary shows us an example of humble obedience. We should not be afraid to let Jesus, the Son of God, into our lives, no matter how unworthy we think ourselves to be.

St. Joseph, pray for us!

Mary Delgado
CBHS Faculty


SUNDAY, MARCH 19

Exodus17:3-7

In those days, in their thirst for water,
the people grumbled against Moses,
saying, "Why did you ever make us leave Egypt?
Was it just to have us die here of thirst 
with our children and our livestock?"
So Moses cried out to the LORD, 
"What shall I do with this people?
a little more and they will stone me!"
The LORD answered Moses,
"Go over there in front of the people, 
along with some of the elders of Israel, 
holding in your hand, as you go, 
the staff with which you struck the river.
I will be standing there in front of you on the rock in Horeb.
Strike the rock, and the water will flow from it 
for the people to drink."
This Moses did, in the presence of the elders of Israel.
The place was called Massah and Meribah, 
because the Israelites quarreled there
and tested the LORD, saying,
"Is the LORD in our midst or not?"
 ______________________________________________________________________
  
  Reflection  

Who among us in the past few years has not uttered the sentiments in the last line of this reading?  “Is the Lord in our midst or not?”  Sometimes it doesn’t feel like it.  As the world’s values stray away from what we know to be the truth, the evil one would have us quarrel and test God as the Israelites did.

I too complain and grumble when things don’t “go my way” or follow the path that I see as best.  In doing this, I block the unconditional love and grace God gives me to surrender to His plan!  God’s plan for life, including the crosses to bear, will always lead me towards Him, never away.  The kicker is my willingness to follow His path for me no matter where it leads.  Even if it means 40 years in the desert, trusting in His will and praying for and following His guidance will lead, even me, to the promise land.

God’s love is not earned; I cannot and need not try.  I simply must love Him back enough to follow.  Opening myself up to that love allows me to feel His plan leading me along, and even see Him, in the eyes of my family, friends, co-workers, the teller at the bank, checkout person in the store and the strangers I encounter every day.  He is standing right before me, just as he stood on the rock in Horeb, near Moses. 

So the answer to the question is a resounding, yes!
 
Deacon David Dierkes 
CBHS Class of 1974 

SATURDAY, MARCH 18

Luke 15:1-3, 11-32


Tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to Jesus,
but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying,
"This man welcomes sinners and eats with them."
So to them Jesus addressed this parable.
"A man had two sons, and the younger son said to his father,
'Father, give me the share of your estate that should come to me.'
So the father divided the property between them.
After a few days, the younger son collected all his belongings
and set off to a distant country
where he squandered his inheritance on a life of dissipation.
When he had freely spent everything,
a severe famine struck that country,
and he found himself in dire need.
So he hired himself out to one of the local citizens
who sent him to his farm to tend the swine.
And he longed to eat his fill of the pods on which the swine fed,
but nobody gave him any.
Coming to his senses he thought,
'How many of my father's hired workers
have more than enough food to eat,
but here am I, dying from hunger.
I shall get up and go to my father and I shall say to him,
"Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.
I no longer deserve to be called your son;
treat me as you would treat one of your hired workers."'
So he got up and went back to his father.
While he was still a long way off,
his father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion.
He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him.
His son said to him,
'Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you;
I no longer deserve to be called your son.'
But his father ordered his servants,
'Quickly, bring the finest robe and put it on him;
put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.
Take the fattened calf and slaughter it.
Then let us celebrate with a feast,
because this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again;
he was lost, and has been found.'
Then the celebration began.
Now the older son had been out in the field
and, on his way back, as he neared the house,
he heard the sound of music and dancing.
He called one of the servants and asked what this might mean.
The servant said to him,
'Your brother has returned
and your father has slaughtered the fattened calf
because he has him back safe and sound.'
He became angry,
and when he refused to enter the house,
his father came out and pleaded with him.
He said to his father in reply,
'Look, all these years I served you
and not once did I disobey your orders;
yet you never gave me even a young goat to feast on with my friends.
But when your son returns
who swallowed up your property with prostitutes,
for him you slaughter the fattened calf.'
He said to him,
'My son, you are here with me always;
everything I have is yours.
But now we must celebrate and rejoice,
because your brother was dead and has come to life again;
he was lost and has been found.'"
 ______________________________________________________________________
  
  Reflection 
 
In the Gospel reading today we hear one of the most popular parables of Jesus, The Prodigal Son.  This parable is so well-known because it holds a message of love and forgiveness; two things we all need more of these days.  This parable is relatively simple to understand; however, it has a deep meaning that allows us to contemplate our relationship with God and others.  God is always waiting for us to come back to him.  I was reading a book recently called "Have a Little Faith" by Mitch Albom.  In this book, Albom states, “Adam hid in the Garden of Eden. Moses tried to substitute his brother. Jonah jumped a boat and was swallowed by a whale...Man likes to run from God. It's a tradition.”  We try to run from God.  Maybe we think he cannot forgive us or maybe that even though he can, we don’t deserve it.  Jesus tells us in this Gospel that these thoughts are not true.  In fact, Jesus challenges us to forgive as perfectly as He does.  Not only is this Gospel about God being able to forgive us, but it is also about us learning to forgive one another.  Through forgiveness there can be love, and through love there can be peace.  In the end, peace and love are what all of us need.  These things: peace, comfort, forgiveness, and especially love are the things that make us truly happy, and that’s what we must learn to strive for.  

Sam Nieman
CBHS Class of 2017


FRIDAY, MARCH 17

Matthew 21:33-43, 45-46
Jesus said to the chief priests and the elders of the people: 

"Hear another parable.
There was a landowner who planted a vineyard,
put a hedge around it,
dug a wine press in it, and built a tower.
Then he leased it to tenants and went on a journey.
When vintage time drew near,
he sent his servants to the tenants to obtain his produce.
But the tenants seized the servants and one they beat,
another they killed, and a third they stoned.
Again he sent other servants, more numerous than the first ones,
but they treated them in the same way.
Finally, he sent his son to them,
thinking, 'They will respect my son.'
But when the tenants saw the son, they said to one another,
'This is the heir.
Come, let us kill him and acquire his inheritance.'
They seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him.
What will the owner of the vineyard do to those tenants when he comes?"
They answered him,
"He will put those wretched men to a wretched death
and lease his vineyard to other tenants
who will give him the produce at the proper times."
Jesus said to them, "Did you never read in the Scriptures:
The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
by the Lord has this been done,
and it is wonderful in our eyes?
Therefore, I say to you,
the Kingdom of God will be taken away from you
and given to a people that will produce its fruit."
When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables,
they knew that he was speaking about them.
And although they were attempting to arrest him,
they feared the crowds, for they regarded him as a prophet.
______________________________________________________________________
 

  Reflection  

I remember when I first heard this parable as a child, it made no sense to me.  Albert Einstein is credited with saying "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."  The vineyard owner's actions in this parable would certainly fit this definition of insanity.  Even though the tenants had already proven themselves murderers and thieves, the landowner "doubled down" on his bet and sent increasingly important representatives in the hope that the tenants would have a change of heart and respect his authority.  The vineyard owner finally sent his own son and the entirely predictable outcome occurred.

I soon realized the parable was referring to God, the prophets, and Jesus.  However, that narrative was even more illogical to me.  Why would an all-powerful God sacrifice his only Son for a human race that had constantly rejected His will at every turn? I would have destroyed the human race and started over, or mercilessly punished humanity until it conformed to my will. Thank God I am not God!

This parable serves to remind me that God's ways are not our own. His plan for our salvation through Jesus is so much more beautiful, merciful, poetic, and even illogical than anything humans could come up with.  I pray that I may be open to God's will in my life, especially when it seems to make no sense to my feeble human brain.  His mercy and love endures forever through the life, death, and resurrection of His Son, Jesus! 

Marcello Donato

CBHS Class of 1994 

THURSDAY, MARCH 16

Luke16:19-31


Jesus said to the Pharisees:
"There was a rich man who dressed in purple garments and fine linen
and dined sumptuously each day.
And lying at his door was a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores,
who would gladly have eaten his fill of the scraps
that fell from the rich man's table.
Dogs even used to come and lick his sores.
When the poor man died,
he was carried away by angels to the bosom of Abraham.
The rich man also died and was buried,
and from the netherworld, where he was in torment,
he raised his eyes and saw Abraham far off
and Lazarus at his side.
And he cried out, 'Father Abraham, have pity on me.
Send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue,
for I am suffering torment in these flames.'
Abraham replied, 'My child,
remember that you received what was good during your lifetime
while Lazarus likewise received what was bad;
but now he is comforted here, whereas you are tormented.
Moreover, between us and you a great chasm is established
to prevent anyone from crossing
who might wish to go from our side to yours
or from your side to ours.'
He said, 'Then I beg you, father, send him
to my father's house,
for I have five brothers, so that he may warn them,
lest they too come to this place of torment.'
But Abraham replied, 'They have Moses and the prophets.
Let them listen to them.'
He said, 'Oh no, father Abraham,
but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.'
Then Abraham said,
'If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets,
neither will they be persuaded
if someone should rise from the dead.'"
 ______________________________________________________________________
  
  Reflection  

This Gospel passage perfectly describes how we will be judged once in the Kingdom of God at the end of time. Some people with many rich gifts and blessings may prosper on earth while others without many possessions may struggle on earth. At the end of time, we will not be judged on the amount of belongings we have, but by how we spent our time and effort helping our fellow brothers. In this parable, Lazarus suffered temporary pain, but he was rewarded with the amazing gift of everlasting life with God. The rich man’s life on earth seemed to be fulfilling to him, but his selfishness doomed his chances of reaching Heaven.

As a senior at Christian Brothers High School, I am blessed with plentiful opportunities to serve the less fortunate through mission collections and performing service hours. In my four years at CBHS, I have learned the importance of respect and service which will help me for the rest of my life. 
Because all humans are made in the image and likeness of God, we should help and respect each other as we all try to reach the final goal, eternal life. 

Nick Morris
CBHS Class of 2017


WEDNESDAY, MARCH 15

Matthew 20:17-28


As Jesus was going up to Jerusalem,
he took the Twelve disciples aside by themselves,
and said to them on the way,
"Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem,
and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests
and the scribes,
and they will condemn him to death,
and hand him over to the Gentiles
to be mocked and scourged and crucified,
and he will be raised on the third day."

Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee approached Jesus with her sons
and did him homage, wishing to ask him for something.
He said to her, "What do you wish?"
She answered him,
"Command that these two sons of mine sit,
one at your right and the other at your left, in your kingdom."
Jesus said in reply,
"You do not know what you are asking.
Can you drink the chalice that I am going to drink?"
They said to him, "We can."
He replied,
"My chalice you will indeed drink,
but to sit at my right and at my left,
this is not mine to give
but is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father."
When the ten heard this,
they became indignant at the two brothers.
But Jesus summoned them and said,
"You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them,
and the great ones make their authority over them felt.
But it shall not be so among you.
Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant;
whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave.
Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve
and to give his life as a ransom for many."
 
 ______________________________________________________________________
  
  Reflection   
 
Who are the best of the Twelve Apostles? If one would ask Salome, the mother of James and John, I believe she would think her sons were in the way that she sought to secure special favors with the Lord.
 
Was she willing to offer up her two sons to become martyrs as the Lord was predicting? Or was she just trying to fulfill selfish requests of power, might, and prestige for them in the afterlife. She was thinking of life in heaven in ways that one thinks of life on earth.
 
In telling her that only the Father can grant the request, our Lord is trying to explain that the kingdom of heaven is different. Riches in heaven will be granted to those who deserve them, namely those who follow Jesus. And, yet, we think often think ourselves as better than others. But, we must learn that true liberation and true freedom comes through following the Son of Man.
 
True greatness, true freedom is not acquired through special treatment or promises but with a complete emptying of ourselves in front of God. We must trust in the Lord - in all that we do. At work. With our colleagues. At home. With our spouse. With our parents. With our children. And even with our enemies. God honors service over power. Raising one’s children, doing one’s duty, toiling through labor, and remaining faithful throughout honors God.
 
This is often difficult to follow. But, we must. Through his suffering, death, and Resurrection, Jesus has atoned for our sins. Therefore, to be truly free, we must follow Him and we can only achieve true greatness by serving others, not ourselves. Let us all strive during the season of Lent to prepare ourselves spiritually to meet the Risen Christ.


John Morris
CBHS Faculty


TUESDAY, MARCH 14

Matthew 23:1-12

Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, saying,

"The scribes and the Pharisees

have taken their seat on the chair of Moses.

Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you,

but do not follow their example.

For they preach but they do not practice.

They tie up heavy burdens hard to carry

and lay them on people's shoulders,

but they will not lift a finger to move them.

All their works are performed to be seen.

They widen their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels.

They love places of honor at banquets, seats of honor in synagogues,

greetings in marketplaces, and the salutation 'Rabbi.'

As for you, do not be called 'Rabbi.'

You have but one teacher, and you are all brothers.

Call no one on earth your father;

you have but one Father in heaven.

Do not be called 'Master';

you have but one master, the Christ.

The greatest among you must be your servant.

Whoever exalts himself will be humbled;

but whoever humbles himself will be exalted."

______________________________________________________________________
 

  Reflection  

In today’s Gospel, Jesus brings two themes front and center; practice what you preach and don’t toot your own horn.  Every time I hear or read this particular passage from Matthew it reminds me of my father, Joe Costa.

My father would be considered to be a successful man, yet he was a very humble man.  Through hard work and perseverance, he built a successful business. Despite his success, he never forgot his simple childhood.  Joseph Gregory Costa was first generation Italian-American born to immigrant parents in Philadelphia, PA.  He put himself through Catholic high school, St. Joe’s Prep in Philadelphia, and then worked his way through Drexel University.  He attained more and achieved more than he ever imagined.  He truly believed that God had blessed him, and he never hesitated to share his good fortune with others.  

In today’s Gospel, Jesus said, "For they preach, but they do not practice."  Unlike that line, my father lived his faith with his deeds, not his words.

I had the good fortune of working for my dad in our family business, so I spent many days with him and observed him in many different circumstances.  During those 20+ years, I learned many lessons. One afternoon as we arrived at our favorite restaurant for lunch, a disheveled, down on his luck man stopped us in the parking lot.  He told us that his car had broken down, and that he needed to get his family to Nashville.  The man promised that if he could borrow twenty dollars, once he got to Nashville he would immediately mail the money back to my father.  Not missing a beat, dad reached into his pocket and gave the man the money.  The man thanked him and quickly moved on. 

With more than a little sarcasm, I said, “Dad you know that was a con job, that guy was lying to you.”  My father looked at me and said, “What if he wasn’t lying?”

It has been more than a dozen years since that day, and I still remember almost every word of his interaction with the man headed to Nashville, who forgot to get my father’s address.  Nevertheless, that day cemented my appreciation of my father’s relationship with God and the Church.  He was always willing to give his time, talent and treasure.  He didn’t do it for the awards, the praise or the gratitude.  He did it because that is what he believed.  As in Luke 6:38, “Give and it will be given to you”, my father always practiced what he preached.

In the last line of today’s Gospel, Jesus said, “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled; but whoever humbles himself will be exalted."  To my knowledge, my father never told anyone about that day with the traveler to Nashville.  You see my Dad didn’t like tooting his own horn; he knew only God needed to know.

Greg Costa

CBHS Class of 1977

MONDAY, MARCH 13

Luke 6:36-38

Jesus said to his disciples:

"Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

"Stop judging and you will not be judged.

Stop condemning and you will not be condemned.

Forgive and you will be forgiven.

Give and gifts will be given to you;

a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing,

will be poured into your lap.

For the measure with which you measure

will in return be measured out to you."

______________________________________________________________________
 

  Reflection  

It is always amazing to me that the teachings of Christ over 2000 years ago are still prevalent in today's culture.  

In reading this passage from Luke it makes me remember what my mother always told me,"Treat everyone the way you want to be treated" and what my wife has always reminded me, "Give to give and expect nothing in return." God is so gracious with His unconditional love for us and has given to us in abundance even though we are all broken.  

In reflecting on this passage I ask myself, "Am I a net giver or a net taker?  Do I pour into others in order to see them flourish?  Am I humble in my daily life by letting others shine and myself fall into the background? Do I pick others up when they are down or the butt of the joke or do I just join along?"

Life is not easy but faith in God is free.  He gives us this to use and to follow his way and not ours. He does not judge us so we are not to judge others.  To whom much is given much is expected, and in authentically giving  our hearts, service and treasures, we are able to receive His grace. 

Jonathan Lyons

CBHS Class of 1993 

SUNDAY, MARCH 12

Sunday, March 12
Matthew  17:1-9


Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, 
and led them up a high mountain by themselves.
And he was transfigured before them; 
his face shone like the sun 
and his clothes became white as light.
And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them,
conversing with him.
Then Peter said to Jesus in reply, 
"Lord, it is good that we are here.
If you wish, I will make three tents here, 
one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah."
While he was still speaking, behold,
a bright cloud cast a shadow over them, 
then from the cloud came a voice that said, 
"This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased;
listen to him."
When the disciples heard this, they fell prostrate
and were very much afraid.
But Jesus came and touched them, saying,
"Rise, and do not be afraid."
And when the disciples raised their eyes, 
they saw no one else but Jesus alone.
As they were coming down from the mountain,
Jesus charged them,
"Do not tell the vision to anyone 
until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead."
 ______________________________________________________________________
  
  Reflection  
 
Sr. Teresa of Calcutta once said, “Just show up and things will happen.”
 
Jesus showed up at Mount Tabor and look what happened.  Peter, John, and James also showed up.  These three members of Jesus’ inner circle went on to make things happen.  Peter- the first pope of the Catholic Church.  John- at the foot of the cross during the crucifixion of Jesus and made the guardian of Mary.  James- the first apostle to die for Jesus.
 
Jesus showed up and was transfigured.  Moses and Elijah showed up as well.  They were conversing with Jesus in preparation for his departure and destiny, namely, his crucifixion and resurrection.  Elijah is considered the boldest of God’s prophets.  Moses is the most important prophet of Judaism as well as being an important prophet in Christianity and Islam.  Elijah and Moses were still making things happen because they showed up when God asked them to.
 
The last to show up was God Himself.  He says to the disciples, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him." Because He showed up, He identified Jesus as His son. 
 
Because Peter, James, and John showed up, they not only witnessed the transfiguration of Christ and the appearance of Elijah and Moses; they also heard the voice of God.
 
Because they showed up, they were told by Jesus of His death and resurrection.  I’m pretty sure they did not fully understand but would sooner than later.
 
Next time we have the chance to be a part of something good or have the opportunity to help someone, maybe we should show up and make things happen.

Didier Aur 
CBHS Class of 1979


SATURDAY, MARCH 11

Saturday, March 11
Deuteronomy 26: 16-19
 
Moses spoke to the people, saying:
"This day the LORD, your God,
commands you to observe these statutes and decrees.
Be careful, then,
to observe them with all your heart and with all your soul.
Today you are making this agreement with the LORD:
he is to be your God and you are to walk in his ways
and observe his statutes, commandments and decrees,
and to hearken to his voice.
And today the LORD is making this agreement with you:
you are to be a people peculiarly his own, as he promised you;
and provided you keep all his commandments,
he will then raise you high in praise and renown and glory
above all other nations he has made,
and you will be a people sacred to the LORD, your God,
as he promised."
 
 
 ______________________________________________________________________
  
  Reflection  

“Today you are making this agreement with the Lord... And today the Lord is making this agreement with you.”  The word “agreement” jumped out at me after reading this passage given to us by Moses.  In my world, the word “agreement” is usually contractual, often arranged after deliberation, negotiation and careful consideration between two parties. 
 
However, when I looked “agreement” up in the dictionary, the first narrative used to define the word is “harmony of opinion.”  Replace the word “agreement” in the passage above with the phrase “harmony of opinion”.  “Today you are making this harmony of opinion with the LORD and today the LORD is making this harmony of opinion with you.”  Harmony, to me, inspires feelings of peace, connectivity and meaning. 

In this “harmony of opinion”, our relationship with God promises that we will be rewarded for listening to His voice, following His laws and harkening to the teachings of the prophets.  It is often said that what you put out into the universe will return to you.  If you are kind, you will be rewarded with kindness, if you are generous, you will be blessed with riches, if you love, you will be loved.  How much more freedom, peace and meaning would we find if we made a stronger effort to have the discipline and courage needed to make our daily decisions based on the teachings of the Old and New Testament?  How much more would be returned to us if we tried harder to listen to the Voice that speaks not just to our minds, but through our hearts?

Peace, health and happiness to you and your families this Easter season.
 
 
Ken Kimble
CBHS Class of 1992

FRIDAY, MARCH 10

Matthew 5:20-26

Jesus said to his disciples: 
"I tell you, 
unless your righteousness surpasses that
of the scribes and Pharisees,
you will not enter into the Kingdom of heaven.

"You have heard that it was said to your ancestors,
You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment.
But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother
will be liable to judgment,
and whoever says to his brother, Raqa, 
will be answerable to the Sanhedrin,
and whoever says, 'You fool,' will be liable to fiery Gehenna.
Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar,
and there recall that your brother
has anything against you,
leave your gift there at the altar,
go first and be reconciled with your brother,
and then come and offer your gift.
Settle with your opponent quickly while on the way to court.
Otherwise your opponent will hand you over to the judge,
and the judge will hand you over to the guard,
and you will be thrown into prison.
Amen, I say to you,
you will not be released until you have paid the last penny." 

______________________________________________________________________
 

  Reflection  

This passage is from the Sermon on the Mount and discusses the importance of repentance and the assurance of God’s forgiveness.  Jesus teaches us that observing the law like the scribes and Pharisees is not enough.  If we have anger in our hearts and hold grudges against others, either outwardly or in thought alone, we must genuinely make peace with ourselves, with God, and with the people we have mistreated before approaching the altar.  In the end, it’s all about relationships.

This is reminiscent of when we pray the Our Father during mass and say, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us...”  Admittedly, many times I have said these words without thinking about what they really mean.  Among the constant distractions by which we’re surrounded, how many of you can say the same?  Following the Our Father, we share a sign of peace with our families and other members of the congregation around us.  This gesture is also often done in an automatic and mechanical way, but it’s designed to be a meaningful symbol of harmony and reconciliation with one another before we receive the Eucharist together.  I believe this is the essence of Jesus’ message in this Gospel reading.

Going forward - and especially this Lenten season - I am going to be intentionally conscious of the words I pray and truly take them to heart.  I hope you’ll join me.

Clay Tidwell, Jr.

CBHS Class of 1996

THURSDAY, MARCH 9

Matthew 7:7-12

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Ask and it will be given to you;
seek and you will find;
knock and the door will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds;
and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. 
Which one of you would hand his son a stone
when he asked for a loaf of bread,
or a snake when he asked for a fish?
If you then, who are wicked,
know how to give good gifts to your children,
how much more will your heavenly Father give good things
to those who ask him.
"Do to others whatever you would have them do to you. 
This is the law and the prophets."

 ______________________________________________________________________
  
  Reflection  

I am a chocoholic and my primary addiction is to M & M’s.  Years ago, I was a member of a religious community who lived poverty in a radical way.  We depended on God’s providence for all our needs.   We relied on the generosity of others for our sustenance. We did not always get what we wanted, but our basic needs were always met.  

On one occasion I was having a craving for M & M’s.  In a very brief communication with God I mentioned to Him that some M & M’s sure would taste great about now.  A few minutes later the doorbell rang.  When I answered the door, I was surprised to see a man I had never met standing there holding a three-pound bag of M & M’s.  Before I could even introduce myself, he said, “I just thought I would bring some sweets to the sweet Sisters,” and he handed me the bag, turned, and was gone!  

I never did find out who he was, but I know he was sent by God to a sister who had offered up a very simple request.  God heard and He answered.  It was nothing earth shattering, but that is how God works.   He hears our simplest wants and responds.   God always answers our prayers.  Sometimes the answer is “no”, “not yet”, "I have something better in mind for you” or “yes.” “..how much more will your heavenly Father give good things to those who ask him.”

Then a real miracle happened . . .I shared the M & M’s with the other Sisters!
 
Gerry Taulman

CBHS Faculty

Wednesday, March 8

Luke 11:29-32


While still more people gathered in the crowd, Jesus said to them,
"This generation is an evil generation;
it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it,
except the sign of Jonah. 
Just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites,
so will the Son of Man be to this generation.
At the judgment 
the queen of the south will rise with the men of this generation 
and she will condemn them,
because she came from the ends of the earth
to hear the wisdom of Solomon,
and there is something greater than Solomon here. 
At the judgment the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation
and condemn it,
because at the preaching of Jonah they repented,
and there is something greater than Jonah here."

 ______________________________________________________________________
  
  Reflection  
 
When I read this scripture two thoughts come to mind.  First, this reminds me of how evil the world feels today with the increased terrorism, discrimination, hatred, and total disregard for human life.  This scripture reminds us that God will bring his wrath and judgment on the people that chose evil over love.  Evil WILL NOT triumph.  God and His people will. 
 
Second, this makes me wonder what God would say about our generations of today.  Many people debate which generation is worse or better than the other.  The last season of survivor, “Millennials vs Gen X”, was solely dedicated to this argument.  It seems to me though every generation has its own set of complicated issues to face and evil ways they have turned to.  However, the root of each generation’s issues stemming from Adam and Eve is turning away from God’s directions.  Somewhere along the way we decided to stop listening or even stop communicating to Him, and followed our own path.  This could range from abruptly turning away from God because of an event in our life to a slow turning away from God caused by not keeping Him first in our life.  In either situation, we are not following God’s direction for our life.  This can be a lonely and destructive path, and we miss out on so many of God’s wonderful blessings.  If we continue, consequences will ensue. 

But how great is our God who will show mercy and forgiveness, if we repent.  No matter how far you have turned from Him you have the choice to make things right.  In these times of increasing distractions, worries, and fears to lead us astray, think about what ways great and small you turn from God each day.  For me it is not always spending daily time with Him.  Whatever it is for you take this time to recommit to Him, and seek his guidance in every step of your daily life. 
 
Cindy McRae
CBHS Faculty


Tuesday, March 7

 Isaiah 55:10-11


Thus says the LORD:
Just as from the heavens
the rain and snow come down
And do not return there
till they have watered the earth,
making it fertile and fruitful,
Giving seed to the one who sows
and bread to the one who eats,
So shall my word be
that goes forth from my mouth;
It shall not return to me void,
but shall do my will,
achieving the end for which I sent it.

Matthew 6:7-15

Jesus said to his disciples:
"In praying, do not babble like the pagans,
who think that they will be heard because of their many words.
Do not be like them.
Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

"This is how you are to pray:
Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name,
thy Kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

"If you forgive men their transgressions,
your heavenly Father will forgive you.
But if you do not forgive men,
neither will your Father forgive your transgressions."

 ______________________________________________________________________
  
  Reflection   
 
In the first reading Jesus sends from heaven the rain and snow to water the earth making it fertile and fruitful. I see this as Jesus sending from heaven the corner stones of LOVE -- kindness, mercy, patience and forgiveness to each of us to nourish, make fertile and fruitful our ability to LOVE one another. As Mark Twain wrote, " Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heal that just crushed it. " 

As we mirror and reflect the gift of LOVE that Jesus gave each of us by his death on the cross, that is beautifully expressed in the way Jesus wants us to pray. The Our Father is a prayer of LOVE and forgiveness and it reminds me of my beloved mother, Mary Arnette Canale Tagg, who taught us about LOVE and forgiveness. She used to say the  hardest and toughest LOVE GOD sent us is to " LOVE your enemies". I used to argue with her (I should have known better), "Mother what you are asking is impossible, nobody can LOVE their enemies." I remember vividly her response, "If you have a truthful relationship with Jesus and ask Him to help you, you will get there." Forgiveness is one of the corner stones of LOVE. The only thing God can judge us on is LOVE. As Saint John of the Cross wrote " When the evening of this life comes, we will be judged on LOVE ." 
 
  William T. Tagg
  CBHS Class of 1964


Monday, March 6

Leviticus 19:1-2, 11-18

 
The LORD said to Moses,
"Speak to the whole assembly of the children of Israel and tell them:
Be holy, for I, the LORD, your God, am holy.
You shall not steal.
You shall not lie or speak falsely to one another.
You shall not swear falsely by my name,
thus profaning the name of your God.
I am the LORD.
You shall not defraud or rob your neighbor.
You shall not withhold overnight the wages of your day laborer.
You shall not curse the deaf,
or put a stumbling block in front of the blind,
but you shall fear your God.
I am the LORD.
You shall not act dishonestly in rendering judgment.
Show neither partiality to the weak nor deference to the mighty,
but judge your fellow men justly.
You shall not go about spreading slander among your kin;
nor shall you stand by idly when your neighbor's life is at stake. 
I am the LORD.
You shall not bear hatred for your brother in your heart. 
Though you may have to reprove him,
do not incur sin because of him. 
Take no revenge and cherish no grudge against your fellow countrymen.
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
I am the LORD."
________________________________________________________________

Reflection

To summarize the passage: Don't . . .  Don't . . .  Don't . . . 
Do - "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."
 
Can you count how many times you have heard that statement?  Can you remember the first time you heard it?  If I had to pick the first thing I remember being told, I would have say it was to be nice to others -- a toddler version of love your neighbor as yourself.
 
My mother says one of the first things I learned was that neat red glow on the stove top is painful to touch.  But I honestly don't remember that.  She claims it was painful for her to let me learn that on my own, but that she could only try to protect me so many times.  I don't know if I ever really touched it, or she was just saying I'm stubborn.
 
Lent.  The season to reflect on my faith.  How well am I living my life?  How well am I following the rules God set forth?  Those 10 Commandments, I'd put myself at doing a pretty good job on those.   The don'ts in the passage, I need to work on those.  Plenty of options for sacrifices to choose from for this season.  How about the greatest commandment?  And the second that is like it?
 
As preparation for Easter, I think of how many of God's teachings have I been exposed to and how well am I living them?   What have I done to deserve the greatest gift I've ever been given?  That makes me think of the shortcomings.  Many of these can be traced back to the failure to love my neighbor.  And that is one of the earliest teachings I can remember. 
 
Lord, I pray now asking you to help me learn to love my neighbor as myself.  Help me do this more often so that I may do a better job of loving you with all my heart and soul.  Help me to recognize where and when I can make these sacrifices that will lead me to love myself more, and feel more deserving of joining in the celebration of your great sacrifice.  Amen
 
 
David Herig
CBHS Faculty

 

SUNDAY - 3/5/2017

Sunday, March 5

Romans 5:12-19

Brothers and sisters:
Through one man sin entered the world,
and through sin, death, 
and thus death came to all men, inasmuch as all sinned.

For if, by the transgression of the one, 
death came to reign through that one, 
how much more will those who receive the abundance of grace
and of the gift of justification 
come to reign in life through the one Jesus Christ.
In conclusion, just as through one transgression 
condemnation came upon all, 
so, through one righteous act,
acquittal and life came to all.
For just as through the disobedience of the one man
the many were made sinners, 
so, through the obedience of the one,
the many will be made righteous.

______________________________________________________________________
 

  Reflection   

On this first Sunday of Lent, Jesus is obedient and does not sin when tempted in sharp contrast to Adam and Eve. In our passage from Romans, St. Paul contrasts the bequests of Adam to mankind of transgression, condemnation and death with Jesus's superabundant gifts of righteousness, acquittal and new life.  We need the Season of Lent to keep us faithful to Jesus's path of obedient trust in God's providential core and service to others.

In our reading from Romans, St. Paul writes that Jesus is in fact "the new Adam" the only one who could undo Adam's sin of disobedience through His perfect sacrifice.  Original sin, Paul reminds us, brought condemnation and death to humanity.  Consequently, only through the Blood of Christ and His perfect sacrifice to the will of God, the Father could atonement, forgiveness and eternal life be available to us. 

God does not leave us in our sin.  He never abandons those whom He loves.  Today, St. Paul reminds us that the Father sent His Son to save us.  Jesus's perfect sacrifice on the cross allowed the sin of Adam and Eve to be reversed.  Because of Jesus, we now have the opportunity to know our great dignity as God's beloved sons and daughters.  Baptism permits us to be "plunged into the Paschal Mystery of Christ" that we may inherit the promise of resurrection and eternal life.

During this Lent, 2017, we are tempted not just to keep our Lenten resolutions but to become more willing to follow God and Jesus.  There are so many obstacles in this world - addictions, anger, judgment, suffering, abandonment, sickness and loneliness - which prohibit us from seeing God and follow His Son, Jesus, wherever He leads us?  Have a great Lent!

Father Bill Burke
 CBHS Class of 1967

St. John Baptist de la Salle, pray for us
Live Jesus in our hearts, forever

SATURDAY - 3/4/2017

Saturday March 4
Luke 5:27-32

Jesus saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at the customs post.
He said to him, "Follow me."
And leaving everything behind, he got up and followed him.
Then Levi gave a great banquet for him in his house,
and a large crowd of tax collectors
and others were at table with them.
The Pharisees and their scribes complained to his disciples, saying,
"Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?"
Jesus said to them in reply,
"Those who are healthy do not need a physician, but the sick do.
I have not come to call the righteous to repentance but sinners."

 ______________________________________________________________________
  
  Reflection  

 
Jesus states, "I have not come to call the righteous to repentance but sinners." These words are so reassuring to me especially during the season of Lent. As we spend these forty days examining our lives and preparing ourselves for Jesus's death and resurrection, I always find myself lacking and not worthy of Jesus's sacrifice. Then the words of this Gospel remind me that Jesus came for people like me-imperfect sinners. He came to bring his love and compassion to us and show us that we are worthy of his love. He will forgive our sins and help us become more righteous if we only ask and follow him. This is the greatest news-to know that Jesus loves us unconditionally even though we have faults-He sees the good in us and wants to lead us to righteousness with Him. 

Lindsey Haaga Neuman
CBHS Faculty


FRIDAY - 3/3/2017

Friday, March 3
Isaiah 58:1-9A

Thus says the Lord GOD:
Cry out full-throated and unsparingly,
lift up your voice like a trumpet blast; 
Tell my people their wickedness,
and the house of Jacob their sins. 
They seek me day after day,
and desire to know my ways,
Like a nation that has done what is just
and not abandoned the law of their God;
They ask me to declare what is due them,
pleased to gain access to God.
"Why do we fast, and you do not see it?
afflict ourselves, and you take no note of it?"
Lo, on your fast day you carry out your own pursuits,
and drive all your laborers.
Yes, your fast ends in quarreling and fighting,
striking with wicked claw.
Would that today you might fast
so as to make your voice heard on high!
Is this the manner of fasting I wish,
of keeping a day of penance:
That a man bow his head like a reed
and lie in sackcloth and ashes?
Do you call this a fast,
a day acceptable to the LORD?
This, rather, is the fasting that I wish:
releasing those bound unjustly,
untying the thongs of the yoke;
Setting free the oppressed,
breaking every yoke;
Sharing your bread with the hungry,
sheltering the oppressed and the homeless;
Clothing the naked when you see them,
and not turning your back on your own.
Then your light shall break forth like the dawn,
and your wound shall quickly be healed;
Your vindication shall go before you,
and the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard.
Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer,
you shall cry for help, and he will say: Here I am!

 ______________________________________________________________________
  
  Reflection  

 
Isaiah's prophetic words in today's Old Testament reading are a rich blessing to us as we begin our Lenten journey.  We learn the purpose of our fasting from God's perspective which should offer us great encouragement and an even deeper purpose in how we approach fasting.  Clearly, the end-game of fasting is not simply about self-denial or a demonstration of piety.  Rather, God speaks through Isaiah to stress that He intends for our fasting and sacrifice to result in a disposition of deep, intentional care for others - extending mercy, showing compassion, offering forgiveness, and providing for others' needs.  

Those types of actions are so important to our Christian mission and communion with God that the Church has formally defined them (Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy) and calls us to make them a hallmark of our spiritual journey.  While we would all agree with the importance of these charitable acts, it can often be difficult to change longstanding habits or interrupt the demands of our daily lives to put this into action.  This is where the purpose of self-denial and fasting becomes so powerful.  It enables us to intentionally create the space in our lives to recalibrate our passions and desires toward how we treat others and direct our actions. 

Christ's forty-day fast in the desert immediately preceded the inception of His public ministry to prepare Him for the selflessness that would be required to instruct His disciples, tirelessly preach and heal, and face an unfathomable Passion.  Similarly, making sacrifices enable us to form a holy disposition of heart and mind that directs how we approach others' needs.  What does this look like?  Maybe it's skipping a round of golf to help a neighbor with a home repair, taking a co-worker to lunch who is struggling with a project, or passing on happy-hour to go to adoration and pray for someone while in the midst of Christ's real presence.   Perhaps these are some things we could do a little more often this Lent.  In doing so, we unite ourselves to Christ's mission and "Light will break forth like the dawn, and your wound shall quickly be healed."
 
Aaron Ranson
 CBHS Class of 1997


THURSDAY - 3/2/2017

Thursday March 2
Luke 9:22-25

Jesus said to his disciples:
"The Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected
by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes,
and be killed and on the third day be raised."

Then he said to all,
"If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself
and take up his cross daily and follow me.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.
What profit is there for one to gain the whole world
yet lose or forfeit himself?"
 ______________________________________________________________________
  
  Reflection  

In the fall of 1969, I had the great good fortune to be placed in the sophomore religion class of one of the newest members of the CBHS faculty, one Br. Joel McGraw. I remember, like it was just yesterday, these words of Br. Joel's: "Gentleman, dare to be different".  Not a day has passed since then that those words don't echo in my mind and spirit.

In today's Gospel, Jesus tells his disciples of his impending sufferings and death.  In our modern world, those are not the words that we want to hear from our spiritual leader.  We would like a more positive spin.  But Jesus is not of this world and he dares to be different. Rather than always seeking the easy way out and immediate pleasure in this world now, He tells us that we must suffer in the here and now and look forward to our true reward in heaven later.  That does not mean we must go around down-trodden and wearing ashes all the time, but it does mean that we must be open to sufferings now that will transform us with the hope of eternal rewards later.  In our modern world, this is truly counter cultural. So for today, let us accept our sufferings and "losses" as Jesus did, knowing as C.S. Lewis said, "There are far better things ahead than what we leave behind".

Bill Callahan 
CBHS Class of 1972
 


ASH WEDNESDAY - 3/1/2017

Ash Wednesday, March 1
 Psalm 51:3-4, 5-6, 12-13, 17

R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness;
in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense.
Thoroughly wash me from my guilt
and of my sin cleanse me.
R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
For I acknowledge my offense,
and my sin is before me always:
"Against you only have I sinned,
and done what is evil in your sight."
R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
A clean heart create for me, O God,
and a steadfast spirit renew within me.
Cast me not out from your presence,
and your Holy Spirit take not from me.
R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
Give me back the joy of your salvation,
and a willing spirit sustain in me.
O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.
R. Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.

______________________________________________________

Reflection

The Responsorial Psalm for Mass on Ash Wednesday is Psalm 51 with its famous line, "Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned."  It is a perfect mantra for the first day of the Lenten season wherein we reflect on the countless ways we have put ourselves first and God and others way down the list, if not last, of our concerns.  And that putting ourselves first and others and God last is the core of every sin...the ultimate lie, the ultimate falsehood.  Our "original sin" is that lie, that falsehood...that we are the center of the universe, the center of concern.  It is the polar opposite of love which puts God and others first.  And by putting God and others first...we find love and we find joy and fulfillment in life.  Each of the forty days of Lent we have the opportunity to accept the mercy of God, the love of God, to turn from ourselves and turn to others...and ultimately to God.
 
Prayer:  God of mercy, God of love, God of forgiveness, bless us this holy Lent of forty days with the grace of knowing the ways we are selfish.  And one by one may we turn from them and turn to love, turn to others, turn to You, Your Son Jesus Who died and rose for us, and to Your Holy Spirit that binds us all as brothers and sisters of one another. 
Amen!
 
Br. Joel William McGraw, FSC
CBHS Class of 1963

LENTEN REFLECTIONS 2017

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Lenten Reflection Series Introduction

 

"I have a dogmatic certainty: God is in every person's life. God is in everyone's life. Even if the life of a person has been a disaster, even if it is destroyed by vices, drugs or anything else - God is in this person's life. You can -- you must -- try to seek God in every human life."

                                          - Pope Francis

"Each vocation arises from the mystery of the unique encounter between God and the person who is called."

                                        - St. John Baptist De LaSalle

Like many other large cities around the world, Memphis has its share of panhandlers. Madison Ave. and I-240, Highland and Sam Cooper, certain gas stations, stores and a slew of other locations are regular "hangouts" for them. The public is discouraged from giving them money and we are encouraged to make donations to charitable organizations who work with the homeless.

 

Yet, I've been taught to see Christ in everyone and that passage from the gospel of Matthew "haunts" me each time I encounter someone asking for money:

Then they will answer and say, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?' He will answer them, 'Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.' And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."

St. John Baptist De LaSalle never claimed to hear voices from heaven but rather searched for God's will by examining his experiences and the needs of the people. His spiritual life was an ongoing journey and, like each of us, he occasionally struggled to discern God's will.

Over the next 40 days, we will follow the journeys of alumni, faculty, students and friends. Their struggles, insights, and faith can be sources of support and inspiration as we examine our own lives in preparation for Easter Sunday.

 
Br. Chris Englert, FSC
President, Christian Brothers High School