Father Bryce’s Message
April 30, 2017
Reflections: Baptized and Anointed
“God raised this Jesus; of this we are all witnesses. Exalted at the right hand of God, he received the promise of the Holy Spirit from the Father and poured him forth, as you see and hear.”
St. Cyril of Jerusalem – First Catechism [4th.c.]
When we were baptized into Christ and clothed ourselves in him, we were transformed into the likeness of the Son of God. Having destined us to be his adopted children, God gave us a likeness to Christ in his glory, and living as we do in communion with Christ, God’s anointed, we ourselves are rightly called “the anointed ones.” When he said: Do not touch my anointed ones, God was speaking of us.
We became “the anointed ones” when we received the sign of the Holy Spirit. Indeed, everything took place in us by means of images, because we ourselves are images of Christ. Christ bathed in the river Jordan, imparting to its waters the fragrance of his divinity, and when he came up from them the Holy Spirit descended upon him, like resting upon like.
So we also, after coming up from the sacred waters of baptism, were anointed with the chrism which signifies the Holy Spirit, by whom Christ was anointed and of whom blessed Isaiah prophesied in the name of the Lord: The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me. He has sent me to preach good news to the poor.
Christ’s anointing was not by human hands, nor was it with ordinary oil. On the contrary, having destined him to be the Savior of the whole world, the Father himself anointed him with the Holy Spirit. The words of Peter bear witness to this: Jesus of Nazareth, whom God anointed with the Holy Spirit. And David the prophet proclaimed: Your throne, O God, shall endure for ever; your royal scepter is a scepter of justice. You have loved righteousness and hated iniquity; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness above all your fellows.
April 23, 2017
Reflections: For these things I am grateful…
“Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”
For this I am most grateful: For the gift of Jesus and His Church.
For the gift of Holy Week in which the Church contemplates and celebrates the mystery of the forgiveness of sins. We had our Penance Vigil on Tuesday.
For Holy Thursday’s celebration of the gift of the Eucharist in which Jesus incorporates us into Himself. He gives us His body and His blood for nourishment of our body and soul.
For Good Friday’s reminder of the enormous price Jesus paid to ransom us from death’s apparent hopelessness. He stamped on our souls the reason for our existence. He gives us His Spirit so that we can grow in our trust in His promises of Eternal Life. He gives us His
Spirit so that we can grow in our ability to give of ourselves to His brothers and sisters and begin to grasp His love for us.
For Holy Saturday and its subtle and somber reminder of Jesus’ separation from the Father in ‘Sheol,’ the capstone of his redemptive suffering.
For Easter – the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead. “God’s most marvelous work” [St. Augustine] seeing Jesus made Mary Magdalene remarkably happy. Seeing Jesus made Peter and the Apostles pillars of faith and true Christians – witnesses to and of the Risen Lord!
For St. Bede Parish and all of you who shared in our celebration of Jesus’ passion, death and resurrection. For Sr. Mary Elizabeth’s tireless concern for all the details. For Deacon Rick’s diaconal service in the liturgies. For Jennifer Gorske, Gerard Rohlf, Carla La Rocca
DiDonato and our tremendous Choir, our Servers, Lectors, Eucharistic Ministers and our Ushers.
Thank you God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit!