Pope Francis said: “There is much that we can do to benefit the poor, the needy and those who suffer, and to favor justice, promote reconciliation and build peace. But before all else we need to keep alive in our world the thirst for the absolute, and to counter the dominance of a one-dimensional vision of the human person, a vision which reduces human beings to what they produce and to what they consume: this is one of the most insidious temptations of our time.”
HOLY THURSDAY, is a day very dear to those who love the Mass and the most blessed Sacrament, for it is the day that Jesus gave us these great Gifts.
In the Mass of the Lord’s Supper celebrated in our parish, we remember and make present that Last Supper which Jesus shared with his disciples. We are in the upper room with Jesus and the Apostles and do what they did. Through the ritual of washing the feet (Jn 13:1) of 12 parishioners, we unite in service to one another. Through our celebration of this first Mass (Mt 26:26), we unite ourselves to Jesus and receive his Body and Blood as if for the first time. At this Eucharist, we especially thank God for his gift of the sacred priesthood.
After the Last Supper (which was the first Mass) the apostles and Jesus made a short journey across the Kidron Valley to the Garden where he asks them to pray and he experiences his agony (cf Mt 26:30). We too will process in Church with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament to the altar of repose. The liturgy ends in silence. It is an ancient custom to spend an hour before the reposed Blessed Sacrament tonight. We are with Jesus in the Garden and pray as he goes through his agony. Our parish church will remain open until midnight. It was near Midnight that Jesus was betrayed by Judas, was arrested and taken to the house of the High Priest (cf Mt. 26:47).
Msgr. Douglas A. Raun
St. Thomas Aquinas Parish
Rio Rancho, NM
I counted stars today.
As prophets and dreamers,
Glimpsing God through the darkness,
My wonder soared.
I, too, beheld
The promise of eternity,
Stretched across the eons.
Mere points of light
In a midnight sky,
Announcing Truth veiled in mystery,
Of things hidden and unseen,
Of ages long past and yet to be.
Who with me
Knows that there is more,
Lanterns hung in the heavens
Make of me their lampstand,
That Eternal Light
Might shine more brightly,
Giving voice to creation.
No dumb marvel,
Rather angelic themes,
To sing high praises
In celestial chants,
For all who turn their gaze
And loosing count,
Copyright 2012 Joann Nelander
Blood Moon: Should we separate scientific and spiritual interpretation?
Happy Passover. Also, happy Blood Moon lunar eclipse day! The first in a set of four consecutive total “blood moon” eclipses visible from the United States. Don’t worry, a blood moon eclipse is fairly normal from a scientific standpoint. View the story below from USA Today to see all the buzz about this particular set of events:
I am bringing this blood moon topic up in my blog in order to address an issue I see recurring throughout the media, science, and even religious or spiritual conversation. Often these topics are brought up this way:
“such and such pastor/spiritual leader/religious enthusiast said this..”
“but SCIENTISTS disagree saying this….”
Is this how we should come at these topics? I don’t think so. To me, science should explain phenomena. How often do blood moons occur? Can we predict them? What is the astronomical significance if there is any?
Science does not explain causation, purpose, or belief. Yes, there will be a blood moon tonight. Yes, it coincides with Passover. Scientists (and others) should not belittle any religious or spiritual significance to the interesting correlation between the two. Perhaps a scientist is atheist/agnostic/non-Judeo-Christian. His or her INTERPRETATION of these events would be thus:
“These events may be happening at the same time, but this is merely coincidence and means nothing”
OK, but a Jewish or Christian person might INTERPRET it this way:
“These correlating events have spiritual meaning to me. God allowed for this to happen as a reminder to us to look to Him in these times.”
My point is that scientific explanation does not need produce an interpretation that is purely void of God or spirituality. Who is the scientist to say there is no God, or that God didn’t know about this simply because we can explain astronomical phenomena? Explanation is not causation and does not eliminate the possibility of a being who understood or allowed these things to happen.
Interpretation of scientific events CAN have spiritual meaning to individuals. Scientists, can’t you allow for this type of thinking? Oh no, you can’t. That’s why I am a scientist who hides her opinions in an anonymous blog.