Discalced Carmelite Friars

Province of St. Therese

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Here, we feature posts by our Friars and by other contributors from the Carmelite family. Our goal is to provide you with content relevant to Carmelite spirituality and life in the Province of St. Therese.

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Corpus Christi Sunday

Image by James Chan from Pixabay
1st Reading: Genesis 14:18-20
Resp. Psalm Psalm 110:1, 2, 3, 4
2nd Reading: 1st Corinthians 11:23-26
Gospel: Luke 9:11b-17

The Feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ is very important because this is how Jesus chooses to sustain and nourish us spiritually and physically. Our bodies taste bread and wine but our spirits taste the Living God. This is what St Catherine of Siena said.

The Gospel recalls the miracle of the multiplication of loaves and fish. This is the only miracle that is in all four gospels. The Lord knows how important sustenance is and He makes sure that this need is met. Just like the Communion fast that we observe before Mass, our souls are fed first then the body.

St. Luke emphasizes in his gospel, that the Kingdom of God is a great feast. There are foreshadowings of this in the Old Testament, the feeding of the crowds in the New Testament which points towards the great messianic banquet in Heaven. The Last Supper is the first part of this banquet. We are so fortunate that we can participate at this banquet every Sunday and better yet everyday if we so choose. As Archbishop Sheen once said, our heaven or our hell begins here on earth. It is within our grasp to make a decision to keep as close to God as we can - today to ensure that we will be at the second part of the messianic banquet in Heaven.

Written by Fr. Jim Curiel, OCD

Trinity Sunday

1st Reading: Proverbs 8:22-31
Resp. Psalm Psalm 8:4-5, 6-7, 8-9
2nd Reading: Romans 5:1-5
Gospel: John 16:12-15

No one can explain the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity — our minds are too small. However, there are some things that we do know.

God is Love. True love, not just a sentiment or a mere feeling. St Paul explains what love is and is not. We hear this reading very much at weddings. God is the Author of love as it were, so the love we have is just a mirror but still is true. Love is sacrificial in nature, that is, love always seeks the best for others first, according to the Mind of God. We all have this love in us in potentiality and becomes activated when we do what God commands which is always what is best for us.

The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are madly in love with each other. There is no subordination. All are equal. Whenever the Father acts, so does the Son and the Holy Spirit. Whenever the Son acts, so does the Father and the Holy Spirit. Whenever the Holy Spirit acts, so does the Father and the Son.

The point is not to understand but to accept what we can as we continue to live our lives serving Him Who loves us so much.

Written by Fr. Jim Curiel, OCD


Pentecost Sunday

Image by Jeff Jacobs from Pixabay

1st Reading: Acts 2:1-11
Resp. Psalm Psalm 104:1, 24, 29-30, 31, 34
2nd Reading: Romans 8:8-17
Gospel: John 14:15-16, 23b-26

Come Holy Spirit Fill the hearts of your faithful and enkindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your spirit and they shall be created. And you shall renew the face of the earth.

God gives us abilities and things so that we can use them for good. In today's Gospel Jesus gives His Apostles the ability to forgive sins. This is the work of redemption. He died on the cross so that our sins can be forgiven. But this is only in potentiality. Our sins can only be forgiven when we go to the Sacrament of Reconciliation or Confession.

The stain and guilt of Original Sin is taken away when we are Baptized. If we sin afterwards, we must go to Confession. Why would the Lord give His Apostles and their successors this ability if He didn't mean for it to be used?

God does nothing frivolously. Everything He does is for a good purpose. Let us confess our sins regularly and often so that we may be able to accept every gift and grace from our loving Father, and His Son Jesus through the Holy Spirit.

Written by Fr. Jim Curiel, OCD


Ascension Sunday

1st Reading: Acts 1:1­11
Resp. Psalm Psalm 47:2­3, 6­7, 8­9
2nd Reading: Ephesians 1:17­23
Gospel: Mark 16:15­20

Now the disciples will be sent forth: with Jesus's ascent into Heaven and the gift of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, they will be able to carry forth the Great Commission baptizing everyone who wills it and preaching the Gospel.

Jesus never told them to be successes or to convince people. All they had to do was what Jesus said. The Holy Spirit will do the convincing and convicting. The disciples will reap what has been sown by the preaching of the Scriptures. This is still happening today. Very soon all the ends of the Earth will have heard the Scriptures.

When we hear the Scriptures, it causes us to respond, for or against. May we accept the grace of God to always say yes.

Written by Fr. Jim Curiel, OCD

Sixth Sunday of Easter

Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

1st Reading: Acts 15: 1­2, 22­29

Resp. Psalm Psalm 67: 2­3, 5, 6, 8
2nd Reading: Revelation 21:10­14, 22­23
Gospel: John 14:23­29

In the first reading, it was said to the Gentiles converting to Christianity that circumcision was no longer necessary, however being told that it was necessary by those from Judea. The Holy Spirit and the brethren in charge of them decided that only what was necessary should suffice.

This is how God deals with us. He only requires what is necessary for our salvation. This is not the limit, though. As St Teresa noted, He only has few good friends which means that we are the ones who limit our relationships with God, not Him. He wants deep intimate relationships with all of us. This means that we should not limit what He chooses to do for us by holding on to sinful things and ways of living. This means that we should attempt to do His Will with His help no matter what we would rather do. Jesus told St Faustina that what pains Him is that we limit the great graces He wants to bestow on us.

Jesus will continue to give us His peace to us. This is a lasting peace not the mere absence of war or annoyance or a cease fire. The graces we receive through the Sacraments are a testimony to this. If we don't have peace it is because we don't do what God tells us to do. The solution is simple. If we do have peace let's keep on the narrow way.

Written by Fr. Jim Curiel, OCD
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