Ongoing Weekly Series – A Reflection on the Beatitudes

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God”

This Beatitude speaks of those whose hearts are simple, pure and undefiled, for a heart capable of love admits nothing that might harm, weaken or endanger that love. The Bible uses the heart to describe our real intentions, the things we truly seek and desire, apart from all appearances. “Man sees the appearance, but the Lord looks into the heart” (1Sam 16:7). God wants to speak to our hearts (cf. Hos 2:16); there he desires to write his law (cf. Jer 31:33). In a word, he wants to give us a new heart (cf. Ezek36:26).

“Guard your heart with all vigilance” (Prov 4:23). Nothing stained by falsehood has any real worth in the Lord’s eyes. He “flees from deceit, and rises and departs from foolish thoughts” (Wis 1:5). The Father, “who sees in secret” (Mt 6:6), recognizes what is impure and insincere, mere display or appearance, as does the Son, who knows “what is in man” (cf. Jn 2:25).

Certainly there can be no love without works of love, but this Beatitude reminds us that the Lord expects a commitment to our brothers and sisters that comes from the heart. For “if I give away all I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have no love, I gain nothing” (1 Cor 13:3). In Matthew’s Gospel too, we see that what proceeds from the heart is what defiles a person (cf. 15:18), for from the heart come murder, theft, false witness, and other evil deeds (cf. 15:19). From the heart’s intentions come the desires and the deepest decisions that determine our actions.

A heart that loves God and neighbour (cf. Mt 22:36-40), genuinely and not merely in words, is a pure heart; it can see God. In his hymn to charity, Saint Paul says that “now we see in a mirror, dimly” (1 Cor 13:12), but to the extent that truth and love prevail, we will then be able to see “face to face”. Jesus promises that those who are pure in heart “will see God”.

Keeping a heart free of all that tarnishes love: that is holiness.

 

Ongoing Weekly Series – A Reflection on the Beatitudes


“Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy”

Mercy has two aspects. It involves giving, helping and serving others, but it also includes    forgiveness and understanding. Matthew sums it up in one golden rule: “In everything, do to others as you would have them do to you” (7:12). The Catechism reminds us that this law is to be applied “in every case”, especially when we are “confronted by situations that make moral judgments less assured and decision difficult”.

Giving and forgiving means reproducing in our lives some small measure of God’s perfection, which gives and forgives superabundantly. For this reason, in the Gospel of Luke we do not hear the words, “Be perfect” (Mt 5:48), but rather, “Be merciful, even as your Father is       merciful. Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you” (6:36-38). Luke then adds something not to be overlooked: “The measure you give will be the measure you get back” (6:38). The yardstick we use for understanding and forgiving others will measure the forgiveness we receive. The yardstick we use for giving will measure what we receive.         We should never forget this.

Jesus does not say, “Blessed are those who plot revenge”. He calls “blessed” those who       forgive and do so “seventy times seven” (Mt 18:22). We need to think of ourselves as an army of the forgiven. All of us have been looked upon with divine compassion. If we approach the Lord with sincerity and listen carefully, there may well be times when we hear his reproach: “Should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?” (Mt 18:33).

Seeing and acting with mercy: that is holiness.

 

Ongoing Weekly Series – A Reflection on the Beatitudes

Ongoing Weekly Series – A Reflection on the Beatitudes

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled”

Hunger and thirst are intense experiences, since they involve basic needs and our instinct for survival. There are those who desire justice and yearn for righteousness with similar intensity. Jesus says that they will be satisfied, for sooner or later justice will come. We can cooperate to make that possible, even if we may not always see the fruit of our efforts.

Jesus offers a justice other than that of the world, so often marred by petty interests and        manipulated in various ways. Experience shows how easy it is to become mired in corruption, ensnared in the daily politics of quid pro quo, where everything becomes business. How many people suffer injustice, standing by powerlessly while others divvy up the good things of this life. Some give up fighting for real justice and opt to follow in the train of the winners. This has nothing to do with the hunger and thirst for justice that Jesus praises.

True justice comes about in people’s lives when they themselves are just in their decisions; it is expressed in their pursuit of justice for the poor and the weak. While it is true that the word “justice” can be a synonym for faithfulness to God’s will in every aspect of our life, if we give the word too general a meaning, we forget that it is shown especially in justice towards those who are most vulnerable: “Seek justice, correct oppression; defend the fatherless, plead for the widow” (Is 1:17).

Hungering and thirsting for righteousness: that is holiness.         Gaudete Et Exsultate

 

Learning about the Priesthood

Date/Time
Date(s) – 11/03/2018
8:30 am – 3:30 pm

 

On Saturday, November 3, 2018, the Diocese of San Diego is hosting an Explorer Day for those men who are interested in exploring a possible vocation to the priesthood. The event will be held at St. Francis Center on the campus of the University of San Diego from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. 

If living a life of service for Christ and the    people of God is for you, take  advantage of the opportunity to attend this upcoming Explorer Day.  Pick up an application at your parish      office or call Fr. Lauro Minimo at St. Francis Center at (619) 291-7446.

 

Ongoing Weekly Series – A Reflection on the Beatitudes

Ongoing Weekly Series – A Reflection on the Beatitudes

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted”

The world tells us exactly the opposite: entertainment, pleasure, diversion and escape make for the good life. The worldly person ignores problems of sickness or sorrow in the family or all around him; he averts his gaze. The world has no desire to mourn; it would rather disregard painful situations, cover them up or hide them. Much energy is expended on fleeing from situations of suffering in the belief that reality can be concealed. But the cross can never be absent.

A person who sees things as they truly are and sympathizes with pain and sorrow is capable of touching life’s depths and finding authentic happiness. He or she is consoled, not by the world but by Jesus. Such persons are unafraid to share in the suffering of others; they do not flee from painful situations. They discover the meaning of life by coming to the aid of those who suffer, understanding their anguish and bringing relief. They sense that the other is flesh of our flesh, and are not afraid to draw near, even to touch their wounds. They feel compassion for others in such a way that all distance vanishes. In this way they can embrace Saint Paul’s exhortation: “Weep with those who weep” (Rom 12:15).

Knowing how to mourn with others: that is holiness.                 Gaudete Et Exsultate

 

Ongoing Weekly Series – A Reflection on the Beatitudes

Ongoing Weekly Series – A Reflection on the Beatitudes

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled”

Hunger and thirst are intense experiences, since they involve basic needs and our instinct for survival. There are those who desire justice and yearn for righteousness with similar intensity. Jesus says that they will be satisfied, for sooner or later justice will come. We can cooperate to make that possible, even if we may not always see the fruit of our efforts.

Jesus offers a justice other than that of the world, so often marred by petty interests and        manipulated in various ways. Experience shows how easy it is to become mired in corruption, ensnared in the daily politics of quid pro quo, where everything becomes business. How many people suffer injustice, standing by powerlessly while others divvy up the good things of this life. Some give up fighting for real justice and opt to follow in the train of the winners. This has nothing to do with the hunger and thirst for justice that Jesus praises.

True justice comes about in people’s lives when they themselves are just in their decisions; it is expressed in their pursuit of justice for the poor and the weak. While it is true that the word “justice” can be a synonym for faithfulness to God’s will in every aspect of our life, if we give the word too general a meaning, we forget that it is shown especially in justice towards those who are most vulnerable: “Seek justice, correct oppression; defend the fatherless, plead for the widow” (Is 1:17).

Hungering and thirsting for righteousness: that is holiness.         Gaudete Et Exsultate

 

Knight’s of Columbus Membership Drive

The Knights of Columbus of St. Mark’s will be holding a membership drive October 21 & 22 after the 4:30 pm Saturday mass and the 7:30am, 9am, 10:30 (Mission) 10:45 and 12:30 (Spanish) masses.

SEcond Part of the Ongoing Weekly Series – A Reflection on the Beatitudes

 

“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth”

These are strong words in a world that from the beginning has been a place of conflict, disputes and enmity on all sides, where we constantly pigeonhole others on the basis of their ideas, their customs and even their way of speaking or dressing. Ultimately, it is the reign of pride and vanity, where each person thinks he or she has the right to dominate others. Nonetheless, impossible as it may seem, Jesus proposes a different way of doing things: the way of meekness. This is what we see him doing with his disciples. It is what we contemplate on his entrance to Jerusalem: “Behold, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey” (Mt 21:5; Zech 9:9).

Christ says: “Learn from me; for I am gentle and humble of heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Mt 11:29). If we are constantly upset and impatient with others, we will end up drained and weary. But if we regard the faults and limitations of others with tenderness and meekness, without an air of superiority, we can actually help them and stop wasting our energy on useless complaining. Saint Thérèse of Lisieux tells us that “perfect charity consists in putting up with others’ mistakes, and not being scandalized by their faults”.

Paul speaks of meekness as one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit (cf. Gal 5:23). He suggests that, if a wrongful action of one of our brothers or sisters troubles us, we should try to correct them, but “with a spirit of meekness”, since “you too could be tempted” (Gal6:1). Even when we defend our faith and convictions, we are to do so “with meekness” (cf. 1 Pet 3:16). Our enemies too are to be treated “with meekness” (2 Tim 2:25). In the Church we have often erred by not embracing this demand of God’s word.

Meekness is yet another expression of the interior poverty of those who put their trust in God alone. Indeed, in the Bible the same word – anawim – usually refers both to the poor and to the meek. Someone might object: “If I am that meek, they will think that I am an idiot, a fool or a weakling”. At times they may, but so be it. It is always better to be meek, for then our deepest desires will be fulfilled. The meek “shall inherit the earth”, for they will see God’s promises accomplished in their lives. In every situation, the meek put their hope in the Lord, and those who hope for him shall possess the land… and enjoy the fullness of peace (cf. Ps37:9.11). For his part, the Lord trusts in them: “This is the one to whom I will look, to the humble and contrite in spirit, who trembles at my word” (Is 66:2).

Reacting with meekness and humility: that is holiness.                                                Gaudete Et Exsultate

 

Bishop Mc Elroy’s Comments and Planned Meetings

BISHOP MCELROY COMMENTS & PLANNED MEETINGS

 

Message from Bishop Robert W. McElroy

To the San Diego Catholic Community

The horrific stories coming out of Pennsylvania this week about the abuse of minors by priests are sickening. These are acts which rob the souls and violate the bodies of the innocent in the most brutal way imaginable. Their evil is compounded by the complicity of the leadership of the Church, which magnified abuse in so many instances by placing fear of scandal and a clerical culture above the foundational need to protect minors at all costs.

It doesn’t matter that the events took place in Pennsylvania and not California, it only matters that as many as 1,000 children—maybe more—were raped, abused and brutalized by members of clergy and we, as priests and bishops, didn’t do enough to stop it.

This is a profound moment in the life of the Church.

Below is a letter I sent to every priest, deacon and staff member at the Diocese. I’m sharing this because it’s critically important and because you need to know that any words you hear are being backed-up by action.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 +Bp. McElroy

Click here to read letter:  Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report – Aug 24