Easter Monday

Matthew 5:22

"But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, 'Raca,' is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell."
 Closing Reflection

Ash Wednesday arrived on Valentine's Day. Easter Sunday coincided with April Fool's Day.

I imagine the apostles appeared to be fools on the days following the resurrection. They were fearful and went into hiding. Even when Jesus was in their presence, some did not recognize him. Time and faith helped them to overcome their withdrawal and the New Testament tells us of their preaching in different lands.

For several years now, many of us have taken the Lenten journey through biblical readings and the personal reflections of members of the CBHS family. The spiritual wisdom was offered from a wide range of individuals, yet we all share our belief in the risen Lord. There were no fools in this group!

The first vow of the Christian Brothers is that of Association. How blessed we are to be "associated" with so many who passionately share our common faith.

Thank you to all who participated----as a writer or reader. Easter was more meaningful because of you!
Br. Chris Englert, FSC
CBHS President

Easter Sunday

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.

"Funny how things have a way of looking so much brighter in the daylight:" Words from a song about how long the night can seem when we go through our dark hells in life. I know this feeling personally, and I have heard it expressed by so many others. Grief, pain, sadness, hurt, worry, loneliness and confusion weigh on our minds so often in life. It seems to be more evident at night when we toss and turn seeking to escape with sleep.

Mary Magdalene came to the tomb of Jesus when it was still dark. She grieved over Jesus and worried about her future. Calvary and the grave site of Jesus reminded her that it would always be night time. All hope was buried in a tomb. She felt helpless and totally lost. Yet when she arrived, she saw that the tomb was empty. The stone was rolled away.

Human nature had been sentenced to death and sin and so many nights of pain. God took pity and became one of us. He embraced our nature in Jesus. Our nature was offered on the cross, and God accepted it as a perfect source of redemption. We too share in the victory of Christ when we believe in him. Yes, we have tough lives, many dark nights, but with the Evangelist John, we can believe. There is a new day. There is hope. There is victory. Today we see the fulfillment of the words Jesus, "I am the Resurrection and the Life. He who lives and believes in me will never die." Morning is coming, and we will experience it in this life and eternally.
Monsignor John McArthur
CBHS Class of 1966

Holy Saturday

Mark 16:1-7

When the sabbath was over, 
Mary Magdalene, Mary, the mother of James, and Salome 
bought spices so that they might go and anoint him.
Very early when the sun had risen,
on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb.
They were saying to one another, 
"Who will roll back the stone for us
from the entrance to the tomb?"
When they looked up,
they saw that the stone had been rolled back;
it was very large.
On entering the tomb they saw a young man
sitting on the right side, clothed in a white robe,
and they were utterly amazed.
He said to them, "Do not be amazed!
You seek Jesus of Nazareth, the crucified.
He has been raised; he is not here.
Behold the place where they laid him.
But go and tell his disciples and Peter, 
'He is going before you to Galilee; 
there you will see him, as he told you.'"

My Jesus is in his tomb today.                              
My Jesus had been physically destroyed.         
My Jesus didn't curse or complain at those
He loved and treated him as dirt. Once even
Good friends, followers who cheered him with
Palms strewn before him, turned on him.
They mocked him. Spit on him. Beat him.
Laid every word of hatred upon him.
Yet, I cry, I cry, I cry, because My Jesus, did it for me.
And his words come, true-
"No greater love does one have, than to
Lay down one's life for one's friends."
Friends!! My Jesus calls us 'friends'.
We don't even deserve being called by our
Jesus, his friends. But he does call us that.
My Jesus was a man. A human being as
You and I, with feelings of body and soul.
It could not have been done any other way.
The Father in Heaven so loved us, that
he gave us his only begotten Son to bring
us back to him so we could be where God
Intended us to be, with our Father Creator.
Should we dwell on this? No! God's gift to
us is too beyond us to understand. That is
what God's love for us is all about.
My Jesus loved. My Jesus only loved. We try!
My Jesus never judged but admonished
in a heartrending caring way.
My Jesus told them and said,
you can destroy my body with hatred
and resentment because of the truth I tell
you about my love for you, in my trying desperately
to change your Godless, disbelieving ego centered lives,
but-I will never give up on you. That is perfect Love.
Yes, that is Love for us to imitate, despite our weaknesses.
With St. John, Jesus's most beloved Apostle, and in his last
Words of the Apocalypse-"Come, Lord Jesus". Amen!!

 Brother Roman Jarosz, FSC

Good Friday

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.
This Lenten season I have been using a passage from St. Paul's first letter to the Corinthians as a reflection for my examination of conscience. In Paul's first letter to the Corinthians (chapter 13) he writes about the virtue of love, "it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things." St. Paul provides a context that can help us all grow more in loving as Christ loves us.

Jesus' death on Good Friday was the ultimate act of love. While being tortured, whipped and crucified he never sought his own interest or became angry with his assailants. He bore all of his pain and suffering because he knew his purpose on Earth. And, Jesus ultimately forgave the men who inflicted such great pain upon him. Good Friday calls us to remember the unconditional love between a Father and Son and their desire to reunite with all of us in Heaven.

As we go through our day on this Good Friday, it is a time to look inward and become conscious of our own failures to love as Christ has loved us and to seek God's forgiveness. God's love is unselfish, patient, unconditional, and worthy of great suffering on our part. Christ's brutal death on the cross must inspire us to forgive past grievances and love one another as he loves us. Let us pray that on Easter Sunday we have grown closer to both God and each other through Christ-like love and can rejoice in the promises of eternal life in Heaven.
Chris Fay
CBHS Principal

Holy Thursday

John 13:1-15

Before the feast of Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come
to pass from this world to the Father.
He loved his own in the world and he loved them to the end.
The devil had already induced Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot, to hand him over.
So, during supper, 
fully aware that the Father had put everything into his power 
and that he had come from God and was returning to God, 
he rose from supper and took off his outer garments.
He took a towel and tied it around his waist.
Then he poured water into a basin 
and began to wash the disciples' feet 
and dry them with the towel around his waist.
He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, 
"Master, are you going to wash my feet?"
Jesus answered and said to him,
"What I am doing, you do not understand now,
but you will understand later."
Peter said to him, "You will never wash my feet."
Jesus answered him, 
"Unless I wash you, you will have no inheritance with me."
Simon Peter said to him, 
"Master, then not only my feet, but my hands and head as well."
Jesus said to him, 
"Whoever has bathed has no need except to have his feet washed,
for he is clean all over; 
so you are clean, but not all."
For he knew who would betray him;
for this reason, he said, "Not all of you are clean."

So when he had washed their feet 
and put his garments back on and reclined at table again, 
he said to them, "Do you realize what I have done for you?
You call me 'teacher' and 'master,' and rightly so, for indeed I am.
If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, 
you ought to wash one another's feet.
I have given you a model to follow, 
so that as I have done for you, you should also do."

"Foot washin Baptists" is a term from the past to describe strict adherents and practitioners of that Christian sect who believed firmly in service of neighbor as taught and practiced by Jesus before he reclined for his last supper before his death.  Christ's last supper with his apostles begins with him, the leader, doing a service to his friends...washing their feet.  Anyone who has cared for the elderly must, from time to time, wash their feet complete with hammer toes, trim their nails, sand the callouses, and rub the feet with some kind of ointment.  It is not a pleasant experience for the person doing the work, but it is very important. 

We prepare for receiving the Body and Blood of Christ at Mass by works of charity.  To some extent, the sin we commit is mitigated by our acts of charity, of love, for our neighbors.  "As I have done to you, so also you do to one another."  Those were Jesus' words to his apostles who wondered what he was doing ...the degrading task of "foot washin."  Now after Jesus' example, no effort for another is degrading.  It is, like new services on our computers, "upgrading."  
Br. Joel William McGraw, FSC
CBHS Class of 1963

Wednesday, March 28

Matthew 26:14-25

One of the Twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, 
went to the chief priests and said,
"What are you willing to give me
if I hand him over to you?"
They paid him thirty pieces of silver,
and from that time on he looked for an opportunity to hand him over.

On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread,
the disciples approached Jesus and said,
"Where do you want us to prepare
for you to eat the Passover?"
He said,
"Go into the city to a certain man and tell him,
'The teacher says, AMy appointed time draws near; 
in your house I shall celebrate the Passover with my disciples."'"
The disciples then did as Jesus had ordered,
and prepared the Passover.

When it was evening,
he reclined at table with the Twelve.
And while they were eating, he said, 
"Amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me."
Deeply distressed at this,
they began to say to him one after another,
"Surely it is not I, Lord?"
He said in reply,
"He who has dipped his hand into the dish with me
is the one who will betray me.
The Son of Man indeed goes, as it is written of him,
but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed.
It would be better for that man if he had never been born."
Then Judas, his betrayer, said in reply,
"Surely it is not I, Rabbi?"
He answered, "You have said so."
This is one of the most remembered Gospel readings in the Bible. There are many elements here. But here, I want to focus on Judas. 
No doubt he is the one who betrayed Jesus. But why? He had free will so what made him do it? It had to be done so Jesus could fulfill his Father's wishes. He had to die to redeem the world and reopen heaven. But why Judas? Most everyone believes it was greed that drove him. Thirty pieces of silver was a lot of money for someone so poor. He also lied to Jesus when he said, "Surely it is not I, Rabbi." 
Greed is what we usually think drove him, but was it the only reason? How about love? No one knows what was in his heart. Did he believe that Jesus is truly the Son of God? Is it possible that he loved his religion more and was trying to save his religion at the expense of Jesus? 
What we do know is that he came to die for our sins and that was about to happen!
John King '66
CBHS Alumni Board

Tuesday, March 27

Isaiah 49:1-6

Hear me, O islands,
listen, O distant peoples.
The LORD called me from birth,
from my mother's womb he gave me my name.
He made of me a sharp-edged sword
and concealed me in the shadow of his arm.
He made me a polished arrow,
in his quiver he hid me.
You are my servant, he said to me,
Israel, through whom I show my glory.

Though I thought I had toiled in vain,
and for nothing, uselessly, spent my strength,
Yet my reward is with the LORD,
my recompense is with my God.
For now the LORD has spoken
who formed me as his servant from the womb,
That Jacob may be brought back to him
and Israel gathered to him;
And I am made glorious in the sight of the LORD,
and my God is now my strength!
It is too little, he says, for you to be my servant,
to raise up the tribes of Jacob,
and restore the survivors of Israel;
I will make you a light to the nations,
that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.

What is my purpose?
I am certain that at one point or another we have all asked ourselves this question. Maybe it came after a significant accomplishment. Or maybe the question surfaced in the midst of a devastating and challenging time in our lives.
Despite striving for and even achieving great professional success, or earning far-reaching honor and respect, or building a family legacy and tremendous wealth, the question might still remain..."Are these achievements alone enough?"
Isaiah tells the world, "The Lord called me from birth...he gave me my name." Like Isaiah, we have each been called and crafted into an instrument with great purpose.

We learn from this reading though that simply acting as the sharp-edged sword or the polished arrow alone is not enough. Rather, we are compelled to brandish the instrument in service of something far greater in order to achieve reward and glory, the pinnacle of which is being "a light to the nations."
The Lasallian tradition calls us all to acknowledge the importance of service as we become responsible citizens in the global community. During this Lenten season, let us all heed the call to serve-and through this service may we each find purpose and be examples to those still searching for answers.
Marc Walker
CBHS Class of 2002

Monday, March 26

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.

Here we go... the start of Holy Week, the conclusion of Lent and the culmination of our Christian Faith:  the torture, suffering, death, descent and RESURRECTION of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Yes, we know how it ends, and Christ even tells us that the battle for Salvation has been won by him.  Yet, for some reason we still face pain, anxiety, struggle and uncertainty every day.  We are weak humans.  Even Peter himself... who saw firsthand the many incredible miracles of Jesus, had his moments of anxiety, fear and doubt and denied knowing Christ three times.  We are in need of a Savior and Mercy.
As we begin this Most Holy of Weeks, we are encouraged through the Prophet Isaiah to be battle ready and fight for Christ to the end... He has called us for the victory of justice!  He is holding our hand throughout!  He has formed us, established a covenant with us, and established us as a light for the nations!!
But "who" is "WE" and "US"?  We can find the "WE and US" in the Lasallian Core Values (see www.cbhs.org/about-us/lasallian-philosophy).   In particular, today, the Core Value of "Inclusive Community:  We value diversity in all its forms and welcome boys of all creeds from across the Mid-South".
It is no wonder that St. John Baptist De La Salle founded the Order of the Brothers of the Christian Schools with this pillar in mind.  As a scholar of the faith, words from the Prophet Isaiah certainly formed his conscience as he established schools in the 1600's to educate young men, regardless of socio-economic background.
WE are the blind, WE are prisoners in confinement, and WE are living in dungeons - and in darkness.  Blind, imprisoned, in dungeons and in darkness...  all metaphors for sin, spiritual poverty, separation, spiritual sickness - He calls all of us into HIS Inclusive Community of the Heavenly Banquet.  BUT... He wants ALL of US!  Not part of us.  
HIS most inclusive gifts are HIS gifts of Mercy and Love:  Mercy - obtained in the Sacrament of Confession.  Love - His Body and Blood Shared in the True Presence of the Eucharist.
It's not too late... give HIM all of YOU so that WE may join as ONE.  If you haven't done so already this Lent, take the time to examine your conscience and make a good and thorough confession to fully receive HIS MERCY... and prepare to rejoice in HIS RESURRECTION this Easter Sunday!

Steve Fracchia
CBHS Class of 1986

Sunday, March 25

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.

The prophet Isaiah lived (approximately 760-680 B.C), at a time of great turmoil in Israel. Shortly after the death of King Solomon in 922 B.C., the Jewish kingdom had divided into two kingdoms, Israel in the north and Judah in the south. The Assyrians conquered Israel in 722 B.C. and began relocating many of the Jews to other parts of their kingdom. Furthermore, the people of Judah threatened with Assyrian invasion had turned to Paganism and away from God. Isaiah, whose name means "salvation of Yahweh," began actively preaching a message of redemption to the Jewish people as a young man.
His message was simple, "God has not abandoned you, you have abandoned him". Though some welcomed this, many rejected it and the messenger as well. It is in this context, that we understand what Isaiah is talking about in this reading. His preaching of repentance and a return to God made him a target of  those, who for a variety of reasons, didn't want to change.
Like the people of Israel, we sometimes turn from God and reject what he would have us do through our sin. But, like Isaiah, God  calls us all to use our gifts from him to make ourselves his messengers to others who are in in need, both spiritually and physically. A wonderful guide for us all who aspire to this in our lives, are the Five Core Principles of Lasallian Education. 
Like Isaiah, you will interact with some who might reject who you are and criticize how you are trying to live your life. But like Isaiah, you will not be ashamed, God will help you, and the world will be a better place because of you.
Fred Freres
CBHS Retired Faculty

Saturday, March 24

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?"

It has been said that the Spiritual Life - or Christian way- is simply and completely the Imitation of Jesus Christ. That is, we want to live, act, and be as Christ. But before we imitate Christ, we have to know who he is. St. Francis of Assisi summed up this pursuit/ journey by asking “Who are you, my God, and who am I?” We do well to ask these questions to God in our prayer today.

The Gospel places us directly before the last week of Jesus’ public life. He has just raised Lazarus from the dead- a foreshadowing of his being the Resurrection and the Life- and will soon enter into Jerusalem to accomplish the Mission for which he was sent. The sign of Lazarus caused a great stir: “many [came to]... believe in him” and others began to take “counsel about how to put him to death.” And so, against staunch opposition and before he offered himself as a sacrifice for each and every human, what does Jesus do? John writes that he “left for the region near the desert... and there he remained with his disciples.”

Jesus often takes time aside to go into the “desert” and be alone with God, especially before key moments in his Life- the forty days spent in the desert before starting his public ministry, the Garden of Gethsemane before his arrest and Crucifixion. Following his example, we do well to spend time with God in moments of fear or uncertainty- two particular instances during which we might forget to acknowledge that God is with us and loves us immensely. In whatever I am struggling with today, have I related it to God? Do I trust that he is always with me, even until the end of the age? In this, we recall who we are at our foundation and core: Beloved Sons and Daughters of God.
William Douglas
CBHS Class of 2014

Friday, March 23

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.

I love this Gospel because it shows Jesus doing "good works" even though he knows he will be persecuted.  How much he endured to show us his love and teach us how to live a life that would earn us an eternity in paradise.  His love was so great he gave his life for us.  He suffered in agony, praying afraid and alone in the garden, "Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me.  Nonetheless, not my will, but yours, be done."(Luke 22:42)  He chose to follow through and die for us!   My friends, you will never see a greater love than his!  I find it ironic that Lent started on Valentine's Day this year, a day associated with love, when it is a time that leads to when Jesus gave his life as the ultimate sign of his love for us.

Let us remember to honor that love. To love as he loved. Not just the people who are easy to love but those who are hard or make it difficult to love them.  For they are the ones who need our love and prayers the most.
Pray for one another and God Bless you.
Lori Glasscock
CBHS Parent

Thursday, March 22

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."

The first reading for today is from Genesis. God speaks to Abram, establishes an everlasting covenant, and promises Abraham a son.
In today's gospel reading, Jesus challenges the Jewish elders understanding of Abraham and God's promise. Jesus claims to be the fulfillment of God's promise, but not the fulfillment the elders were expecting.
As I reflect on these readings I wonder how to integrate the richness of the Christian message with a modern scientific understanding. This is prompted by the fact that many raised in Christian families are unpersuaded by the message and seek answers elsewhere.
I wanted to share three sources which I have found helpful and challenging.
First, Fr. David Knight is a retired priest, now living at the Poor Clare Monastery in Frayser. He writes about a specific plan for growth in daily spiritual life. His website: Immersedinchrist.org lists his many short practical books and has a link to a daily blog, with reflections on the daily readings. His reflections are "immersed" in Scripture. I think he is able to address and correct some distortions in Catholic thought of the recent past.
Second, Fr. Richard Rohr, a Franciscan has the website cac.org (Center for Action and Contemplation). There one can sign up for daily messages. These are not linked to daily readings but to many traditional texts and to recent writers attempting to renew Christian contemplative practices and relate it to scientific understanding.
Third and finally, Fr. Thomas Keating can be found at ContemplativeOutreach.org. He is now is his eighties. He has been Abbot of two Cistercian monasteries and lives now at Snowmass Colorado He is one of the leaders in recovering the Christian contemplative tradition. No daily blog here but a profound reinterpretation of traditional Christian teachings in language of developmental psychology. I am appreciative of the inclusivity of his teachings: Catholic, other Christians, non-Christians.  
As each of us continues on our journey, it would be interesting to me to learn what others find helpful in our challenging times.
Joseph Weems
CBHS Class of 1958

Wednesday, March 21

John 8:31-42

Jesus said to those Jews who believed in him,
"If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples,
and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
They answered him, "We are descendants of Abraham
and have never been enslaved to anyone. 
How can you say, 'You will become free'?"
Jesus answered them, "Amen, amen, I say to you,
everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin.
A slave does not remain in a household forever,
but a son always remains. 
So if the Son frees you, then you will truly be free.
I know that you are descendants of Abraham.
But you are trying to kill me,
because my word has no room among you. 
I tell you what I have seen in the Father's presence;
then do what you have heard from the Father."

They answered and said to him, "Our father is Abraham." 
Jesus said to them, "If you were Abraham's children,
you would be doing the works of Abraham. 
But now you are trying to kill me,
a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God;
Abraham did not do this.
You are doing the works of your father!"
So they said to him, "We were not born of fornication. 
We have one Father, God." 
Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love me,
for I came from God and am here;
I did not come on my own, but he sent me."
What strikes me about this passage are the many different if-clauses Jesus weaves together to construct his difficult theological argument. There is, foremost, Jesus’ well-known promise that if we remain in his word, we shall know the truth and the truth shall set us free. There is also his clarification that if the son frees us, then we will truly be free. These eloquent promises of freedom are now so familiar that they have arguably come to overshadow the conditions for their fulfillment. But what exactly does it mean to remain in Jesus’ word? How are we to interpret this interesting turn-of-phrase?
We gain some insight by looking at the two other if-clauses Jesus uses to goad his interlocutors out of their complacent thinking. When they meet his promises with resistance disguised as confusion -- what could you possibly mean by ‘set us free?’ We are children of Abraham, after all, and have thus never been enslaved -- Jesus responds that if you were truly Abraham’s children, if God were your father, as you profess, you could not be acting as you are now. On a basic reading, Jesus seems to be observing a discrepancy between their words and deeds. But his rebuttals require some further interpretation because earlier Jesus has acknowledged that his interlocutors are indeed children of Abraham, perhaps in some basic sense of birthright. I take Jesus’ point to be that while the question, “Are you children of Abraham?,” must be in some sense a conditional matter of inheritance, it cannot be merely be so. Being a child of God must be conditional in another, more active sense. It requires continually and discernibly acting in accordance with God’s will. The crowd understands themselves to “remain” children of Abraham in a more passive sense, and this allows them to assume that their present actions must, as a matter of course, reflect Abraham's will. But Jesus suggests that this kind of complacency is not only disingenuous (they are really serving not God but themselves) but itself a kind of slavery (by serving themselves, they are in fact serving their “father the devil” [John 8:44]). To be truly free, Jesus suggests, we must "remain" servants of God’s will in an active sense: somewhat paradoxically, we must work to distinguish our own will from his before we can truly subordinate our will to his. This reading suggests that to “remain in” Jesus’ word would similarly require not simply reciting its most familiar and comfortable lines but actively listening for and adjusting to what is unfamiliar and unsettling in it. Indeed, Jesus seems to regard his own continual submission to God’s will as the only thing that guarantees his word to be the truth. As Jesus says, “I did not come on my own, but he sent me.”
Lord, help us remain in Jesus’ word, help us continually and actively open ourselves up to its unsettling but ultimately liberating truth, and help us reject the complacency that threatens to close us off from that truth and enslave us in our own narrow interests.
Adam Sneed
CBHS Class of 2003

tuesday, march 20

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.

After they had escaped from Egypt and spent a while in the desert the Israelites complained about their situation to God saying: "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!"

The people of Israel had become discontent with what was provided to them by God. They blamed God and Moses for their struggles living in the desert. They had forgotten that he was the reason that they escaped slavery in Egypt. We are all the discontent people of Israel at certain times in our lives. We can become so caught up in our everyday struggles and blinded by our material worries that we forget about everything that God has provided for us. God has given us so many gifts and even if we face hardships in our lives we are still extremely blessed. Today, take a few moments to reflect on everything that you are grateful for and thank God.
Sean Dolan
CBHS Class of 2018

monday, march 19

Matthew 1:16, 18-21, 24A

Jacob was the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary.
Of her was born Jesus who is called the Christ.

Now this is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about.
When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph,
but before they lived together,
she was found with child through the Holy Spirit.
Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man,
yet unwilling to expose her to shame,
decided to divorce her quietly.
Such was his intention when, behold,
the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said,
"Joseph, son of David,
do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home.
For it is through the Holy Spirit
that this child has been conceived in her.
She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus,
because he will save his people from their sins."
When Joseph awoke,
he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him
and took his wife into his home.

This passage from Matthew touches several significant aspects of our personal lives.  Marriage, having children, social acceptance, and faith are all addressed in this short passage.  These are all things that many of us deal with on a regular basis in our own lives.  It doesn't get much more personal than discussing your marriage, children, family or faith with another person especially if the issues aren't socially popular or acceptable.  

We all face these tough decisions daily.  No one is perfect including Joseph whose struggle is clear in this Gospel.  Like Joseph, we all hope to have God guide us to follow the right path and make the right decisions even when the world and our gut may be telling us to do something else.  Although we don't always make the right decisions in our own lives, as Christians, I think we can celebrate the fact that Joseph ended up making the right decision for all of us.  

Matt Garibaldi '99
CBHS Alumni Board President

sunday, march 18

Jeremiah 31:31-34

The days are coming, says the LORD, 
when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel 
and the house of Judah.
It will not be like the covenant I made with their fathers
the day I took them by the hand 
to lead them forth from the land of Egypt; 
for they broke my covenant, 
and I had to show myself their master, says the LORD.
But this is the covenant that I will make 
with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD.
I will place my law within them and write it upon their hearts; 
I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
No longer will they have need to teach their friends and relatives
how to know the LORD.
All, from least to greatest, shall know me, says the LORD, 
for I will forgive their evildoing and remember their sin no more.

Jeremiah was on to something.
As a prophet, he was a mouthpiece for God. Like us today, sometimes the Israelites needed to be reminded about the kind of people God was calling them to be. They had to be urged and cajoled. The Israelites were used to God telling them, mostly, what not to do. Look at the ten commandments. Depending on the list, eight of the ten have “thou shall not” as a component. God had to let them know who was Boss because they broke His covenant. God spent a lot of time telling them what to do and not to do. Sometimes our lives can be like that when so often we hear imperative sentences, telling us what to do:
“Get that report finished before leaving today.”
“Pick up the kids on your way home.”
“Get to your room and finish that homework.”
Does all of this keep us from hearing the prophets in our time? Can we not hear God calling us because our lives are so noisy, filled with orders and requests, tweets and texts? Like Jeremiah telling the Israelites, we need to change from people who are always being told what to do, and turn into people who act because we reflect and know what we should do without being told. God is weaning the Israelites away from being ordered around to a people who will do what is right because they know it is right without being told. God is not going to lead each of us around our entire life; at some point we need to accept responsibility and become self-actualized. The manna in the desert eventually stopped appearing. Jesus ascended into heaven and left his followers alone. Children grow up and leave home. When events like this happen, however, we are never really left alone. God is always present, listening. Are we listening too, waiting for God to write His word upon our hearts?
Take some time for yourself this Lent and start listening to God and become the person he calls each of us to be. Then, continue this listening. Always. Do without being told. Forgive when wronged. Know the Lord.
Like the Israelites, we have been prepared. If we take time to listen to our modern day prophets, we too, then, will be on to something. 

Br. Michael Fugger, FSC
CBHS Faculty

saturday, march 17

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.
Imagine standing in a crowd, and Jesus appears and begins to speak. Would we recognize Jesus and listen to his teachings? In today's Gospel, the crowd did not recognize Jesus. Instead of learning from his every word, they argued and became divisive and focused on whether he came from Bethlehem or Galilee. Nicodemus asked, "Does our law condemn a man before it first hears him and finds out what he is doing?"
Every day in our community, as we leave our homes and neighborhoods in the comfort of our cars, we pass by homeless men or women, and I am reminded of Hebrews 13:2: "Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing, some people have entertained angels without knowing it." Similarly, Matthew 25:40 states, "...whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me." The Gospel, as well as these passages, reminds us that we are God's hands on earth and here to help one another on the journey.
Do we form opinions of individuals who don't look like us or dress like us or form judgments based on where people come from? What a difference we could make if each of us decides today to perform random acts of kindness, to volunteer at a homeless shelter or soup kitchen, to donate to a homeless person or to pray for those less fortunate. By doing so, we recognize that we are all children of God, more similar than different, and in so doing, we recognize Jesus and hopefully others recognize Christ's light in us by how we live and treat one another.

Monique Beals
CBHS Parent

friday, march 16

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.

In this passage from John Jesus is looked upon and gossiped about. “He’s the one they are seeking they said?” “The one that proclaims to be the son of God?” “The one that they want to kill?” And in such a way only Christ does he turns to the crowd and says, “Yes I am who you whisper about.” “You know where I am from and who I am”. 

God created us in his image as perfectly imperfect people that are all so unique and at the same time all the same.  In this Lenten season remember that God wants you to be the best version of you and to shut out the rumors!! Truly rejoice that as Jesus stood among this crowd and told them I am who I am. He was to be arrested but NO ONE dared touch him. His time had not yet come. Some of us are waiting to for our time to come whether that be a new job with better hours or better pay. Others are wanting a family member to stop hurting from a sickness caused by a cancer or trauma. And some of simple want peace in our lives and country.  

As Christ stood up to that crowd without fear so should we as we await for his return stand and not be afraid to be who we are and be what Christ wants us to be.

Carson Krueger
CBHS Class of 2012

thursday, march 15

John 5:31-47

Jesus said to the Jews: 
"If I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is not true.
But there is another who testifies on my behalf,
and I know that the testimony he gives on my behalf is true.
You sent emissaries to John, and he testified to the truth.
I do not accept human testimony,
but I say this so that you may be saved.
He was a burning and shining lamp,
and for a while you were content to rejoice in his light.
But I have testimony greater than John's.
The works that the Father gave me to accomplish,
these works that I perform testify on my behalf
that the Father has sent me.
Moreover, the Father who sent me has testified on my behalf.
But you have never heard his voice nor seen his form,
and you do not have his word remaining in you,
because you do not believe in the one whom he has sent.
You search the Scriptures,
because you think you have eternal life through them;
even they testify on my behalf.
But you do not want to come to me to have life.

"I do not accept human praise;
moreover, I know that you do not have the love of God in you. 
I came in the name of my Father,
but you do not accept me;
yet if another comes in his own name,
you will accept him.
How can you believe, when you accept praise from one another
and do not seek the praise that comes from the only God?
Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father:
the one who will accuse you is Moses,
in whom you have placed your hope.
For if you had believed Moses,
you would have believed me,
because he wrote about me. 
But if you do not believe his writings,
how will you believe my words?"

I think this Gospel of John is applicable in today’s world and always will be.  Jesus says he won’t testify on his own behalf.  “My testimony is not true?”  I think what he means is his testimony would only be his and others’ perception of what is true.  Honest testimony is what Jesus sought.  Sometimes we perceive that there is no other correct thinking than our own.  We hope and assume that others see the truth in us.   

Do we not all wish we had an emissary to stand up for us to speak what we know to be true? 

What does Jesus mean when he says he doesn’t accept human testimony?  No one can say for sure but he probably means don’t toot your own horn but be humble.  Truth comes from a much greater source than we are humanly capable of.

We should be the shining lamp and example for those we encounter in our lives. Rejoice in Jesus’ letting us know how to be the best that we can be.  Rejoice in the light of truths.  Jesus son of God and made man was given a job to do by his father.  Once doing so he felt like he had obeyed his father.  This was his testimony by his actions and carried out with divine intervention.  Jesus was saying that he tries to practice what he was told by his father to be a perfect imperfect man.  He had to die to help us attain eternal life.   

Jesus must have been very frustrated because we see here that he continues to say that his testimony was not believed which he related to us through the intangible form of God his father.  Jesus was human and felt judged and his actions and proclamations weren’t accepted by all.    We mortals do feel the need for acceptance as Jesus did thus proving his humanity.  He did not seek praise.  I think he wanted us to do what we think is best for others without accolades.  

He mentions Moses and should we have believed in Moses all would believe in Jesus.  We associate Moses with our ten commandments inspired by God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  If we uphold these are we perfect in God’s eyes?  He knows it’s our rule book to attempt to achieve eternal life but who is perfect? None of us and that is why we have the sacrament of reconciliation to help us toward what we profess and are bound.   Happy Easter!

Warren Johnson
CBHS Class of 1975

wednesday, march 14

John 5:17-30

Jesus answered the Jews: 
"My Father is at work until now, so I am at work."
For this reason they tried all the more to kill him,
because he not only broke the sabbath
but he also called God his own father, making himself equal to God.

Jesus answered and said to them,
"Amen, amen, I say to you, the Son cannot do anything on his own,
but only what he sees the Father doing;
for what he does, the Son will do also.
For the Father loves the Son
and shows him everything that he himself does,
and he will show him greater works than these,
so that you may be amazed.
For just as the Father raises the dead and gives life,
so also does the Son give life to whomever he wishes.
Nor does the Father judge anyone,
but he has given all judgment to the Son,
so that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father.
Whoever does not honor the Son
does not honor the Father who sent him.
Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever hears my word
and believes in the one who sent me
has eternal life and will not come to condemnation,
but has passed from death to life.
Amen, amen, I say to you, the hour is coming and is now here
when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God,
and those who hear will live.
For just as the Father has life in himself,
so also he gave to the Son the possession of life in himself.
And he gave him power to exercise judgment,
because he is the Son of Man.
Do not be amazed at this,
because the hour is coming in which all who are in the tombs
will hear his voice and will come out,
those who have done good deeds
to the resurrection of life,
but those who have done wicked deeds
to the resurrection of condemnation.

"I cannot do anything on my own;
I judge as I hear, and my judgment is just,
because I do not seek my own will
but the will of the one who sent me."

In high school, I learned that people are always watching our actions. We may not even be aware of it, but our actions are always being judged by other people. This lesson was made apparent towards the end of senior year when my English teacher told me that a student in her freshmen class wrote a paper identifying me as his hero. I was not even aware that one day early in the year I had asked him how his year was starting out and how his freshmen football season was going. From that moment on, he watched me. He chose me as his hero because of the example I set through my actions.

In today's Gospel, Jesus reminds us of the importance of relying on God for guidance as to the right way of living. He tells the Jews that "the Son cannot do anything on his own, but only what he sees the Father doing; for what he does, the Son will also do." Jesus, as the Son of God, reflects the example set by God the Father and, therefore, sets the example for the rest of humanity - His brothers and sisters. Jesus reminds us that "..whoever hears my word and believes in the one who sent me has eternal life and will not come to condemnation, but has passed from death to life."

In much the same way, Fathers (and Mothers) set examples for their children; older siblings set examples for younger siblings. So God sets the example for Jesus, Jesus sets the example for Fathers and Mothers, who set the example for children. What example are you setting for those who follow you? Are we living a life that follows the expectations that Jesus and God set for us?

During this Lent, let us reacquaint ourselves with Jesus' word and example. By following his example at all times, we honor God through our lives and actions, and we teach our children to do the same. We must never fall lax in following this standard of living since we don't know when "the hour is coming" when we will be called home to Heaven. "Preach the Gospel at all times, and if necessary, use words." ~ St Francis of Assisi.
From a very early age, I have wanted to be the hero. I admire real life people who master their own fears and are able to act to help a fellow human being. Whether it is standing up to bullies or saving someone's life, we all love heroes!

Tim Neuman
CBHS Faculty

tuesday, march 13

Ezekiel 47:1-9, 12

The angel brought me, Ezekiel,
back to the entrance of the temple of the LORD,
and I saw water flowing out
from beneath the threshold of the temple toward the east,
for the façade of the temple was toward the east;
the water flowed down from the right side of the temple,
south of the altar.
He led me outside by the north gate,
and around to the outer gate facing the east,
where I saw water trickling from the right side.
Then when he had walked off to the east
with a measuring cord in his hand,
he measured off a thousand cubits
and had me wade through the water, 
which was ankle-deep.
He measured off another thousand
and once more had me wade through the water,
which was now knee-deep.
Again he measured off a thousand and had me wade;
the water was up to my waist.
Once more he measured off a thousand,
but there was now a river through which I could not wade;
for the water had risen so high it had become a river
that could not be crossed except by swimming.
He asked me, "Have you seen this, son of man?"
Then he brought me to the bank of the river, where he had me sit.
Along the bank of the river I saw very many trees on both sides.
He said to me,
"This water flows into the eastern district down upon the Arabah,
and empties into the sea, the salt waters, which it makes fresh. 
Wherever the river flows,
every sort of living creature that can multiply shall live,
and there shall be abundant fish,
for wherever this water comes the sea shall be made fresh.
Along both banks of the river, fruit trees of every kind shall grow;
their leaves shall not fade, nor their fruit fail.
Every month they shall bear fresh fruit,
for they shall be watered by the flow from the sanctuary.
Their fruit shall serve for food, and their leaves for medicine."

I can't swim.
Seriously, I tried. I took lessons for a summer, but I never got into it. I can float, and I'm going to trust that ability will save my life if necessary. I also don't go to the beach much.
But I still have to see water every day. I drink it, I wash my hands, I see it rain outside. I can't avoid water as hard as I try, even at church: God uses water-to purify, anoint, and even to challenge. In the first reading from Ezekiel, an angel leads Ezekiel into the water. At first, Ezekiel can manage the depth, but as he wades, the water becomes too deep to cross. Ezekiel reached the point that many of us feel we have reached, where the water is too high, and we can't swim. We float by, hoping to appear to our friends and parents that everything is okay, that we have our life under control. But the truth is: we don't. We can't; it's not our life to control.
God has a slick little habit of giving us more than we have ever handled before and expecting us to succeed, but as any decent swim instructor, God will always be there to pull us up from the deep end if we ask him. But sometimes the deep end is where we are most needed.
The water flowing from the temple nourishes; it heals, it sustains. And the current in our lives-whether it be family difficulty, schoolwork, personal issues-nourishes, sustains, and heals us. If we ask God for the courage to swim, we will not drown. We will be a force for the good God sent us here to achieve.

Daniel Ward
CBHS Class of 2018

monday, march 12

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.

In this Gospel Jesus arrives in Galilee from Judea. He was welcomed by many Galileans who had seen what he had done in Jerusalem at the feast. They had also heard that he had turned water into wine in Cana.

A royal official with a deathly ill son in Capernaum traveled to see Jesus and ask for his help in healing his son. Upon seeing Jesus he asked him to come 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 Jesus “ Sir, come down before my son dies.” Jesus then said to him “You may go, your son will live.” When the man heard this he believed him and left to see his son. When he arrived he saw that his son’s fever had broken and he had been healed. When the man came to understand this he and his entire family came to believe in Jesus.

It is very easy to believe in God and be a good person when we are in a difficult situation. It could be because of the death of a loved one or an important test or sporting event. It is easy to know we need God during these times in our life when we are most vulnerable. However, it is much harder to acknowledge our need for God when times are easy.

This Lenten season gives us an opportunity to reflect on God’s presence. How can we believe and keep God in our hearts not just in times of crisis or during lent? How can we actively pursue to be a better Christian and person?

Sam Barnett
CBHS Class of 2019

sunday, march 11

John 3:14-21

Jesus said to Nicodemus:
"Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, 
so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 
so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life."

For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, 
so that everyone who believes in him might not perish 
but might have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, 
but that the world might be saved through him.
Whoever believes in him will not be condemned, 
but whoever does not believe has already been condemned, 
because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
And this is the verdict,
that the light came into the world, 
but people preferred darkness to light,
because their works were evil.
For everyone who does wicked things hates the light
and does not come toward the light, 
so that his works might not be exposed.
But whoever lives the truth comes to the light, 
so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God.

Whenever I read the words "For God so loved the world . . ." I am taken back to a time several years ago. I know John 3:16 is a mini Gospel in itself. I know it is one of the most frequently known, quoted, and shared passages in all of scripture. It can be found on signs at nationally televised football games, on bumper stickers, on church signs, even spray painted on highway overpasses. It has been said "familiarity breeds contempt" and I believe that sometimes things become so familiar we tend to overlook the original, powerful message.

God loves us regardless of where we fall in the strata of life. Our race, religion, financial situations, religious preferences, political leanings, educational accomplishments, sins and shortcomings do not matter to him. God loves us without measure and wants to save us. Sometimes that means saving us from ourselves . . . .

I used to believe that I was a "good" Christian. I said my prayers every day, I went to Mass several times a week, I gave what I could of my time, talents and treasure. I talked to (not with) God throughout the day. I did not, however, listen to God's messages to me. This was powerfully brought to my attention late one night. During a retreat, the spiritual director said that God speaks to us in many ways so to pay attention to everything that happens. That night I had a dream that God was calling me to the prayer garden. I went there and in the stillness of that night I heard God speak to me. He said, "Gerry, let me love you." I knew then that I had just been going through the motions of prayer. Maybe I was afraid of what God would say. I now knew God loved me and had tried to tell me that in so many ways. He finally got my attention! "God so loved the world" and continues to love each of us and wants to tell us . . if only we will listen.

Gerry Taulman
CBHS Faculty

saturday, march 10

Hosea 6:1-6

"Come, let us return to the LORD,
it is he who has rent, but he will heal us;
he has struck us, but he will bind our wounds.
He will revive us after two days;
on the third day he will raise us up,
to live in his presence.
Let us know, let us strive to know the LORD;
as certain as the dawn is his coming,
and his judgment shines forth like the light of day!
He will come to us like the rain,
like spring rain that waters the earth.

What can I do with you, Ephraim?
What can I do with you, Judah?
Your piety is like a morning cloud,
like the dew that early passes away.
For this reason I smote them through the prophets,
I slew them by the words of my mouth;
For it is love that I desire, not sacrifice,
and knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings."

Wow. What healing words from our 1st reading today! Who among us has not needed healing at one time or another in our lives? Whether it is spiritual healing, emotional healing, or physical healing, we have one supreme place to look. In fact, we are invited to do so: "Come, let us return to the LORD...he will heal us." Unfortunately, we often turn to the wrong places in search of feeling better. We do this in different ways, constantly looking for the one thing that will heal our ailments. Thankfully the LORD is ever patient with us, and asks us to join him over and over. We are promised that he "will raise us up, to live in his presence."   These are humbling words. We all make mistakes in our daily lives, and yet Jesus is lovingly offering a place for us.  

In order to be truly healed, we must KNOW the LORD. We are specifically told, "Let us strive to know the LORD." So how do we get to know the LORD? To know the LORD we must spend time with him. We must study his words. We need to look for him in all parts of our day, look for him in all the people we meet. He is always there, waiting for us with open arms!

Recall the beautiful words given to us by Saint Teresa of Calcutta (Mother Teresa) - "Seek the face of God in everything, everyone, all the time, and his hand in every happening." How about that for a Lenten goal?
During this Lenten season, let us pray for all those in need of healing. Let us pray that we will come to know the Lord better in these weeks leading to Easter. And let us say a prayer of THANKSGIVING for such a forgiving, loving Lord.

Bill Sublette, CBHS Class of 1989
Natasha Sublette, CBHS Assistant Director of Admission
CBHS Parents

Friday, March 9

Hosea 14:2-10

Thus says the LORD:
Return, O Israel, to the LORD, your God;
you have collapsed through your guilt.
Take with you words,
and return to the LORD;
Say to him, "Forgive all iniquity,
and receive what is good, that we may render
as offerings the bullocks from our stalls.
Assyria will not save us,
nor shall we have horses to mount;
We shall say no more, 'Our god,'
to the work of our hands;
for in you the orphan finds compassion."

I will heal their defection, says the LORD,
I will love them freely;
for my wrath is turned away from them.
I will be like the dew for Israel:
he shall blossom like the lily;
He shall strike root like the Lebanon cedar,
and put forth his shoots.
His splendor shall be like the olive tree
and his fragrance like the Lebanon cedar.
Again they shall dwell in his shade
and raise grain;
They shall blossom like the vine,
and his fame shall be like the wine of Lebanon.

Ephraim! What more has he to do with idols?
I have humbled him, but I will prosper him.
"I am like a verdant cypress tree"- 
Because of me you bear fruit!

Let him who is wise understand these things;
let him who is prudent know them.
Straight are the paths of the LORD,
in them the just walk,
but sinners stumble in them.
Most of us at one time or another have witnessed a homecoming.  Perhaps it’s the joyous reunion in an airport of a service member returning home to greet his family after an arduous tour of duty.  Maybe it’s a family reunion filled with warm greetings and shared memories.  One of my personal favorites is the CBHS Young Alumni luncheon held every December - I love to watch the young men’s faces light up as they greet a friend or a favorite teacher as they return to CBHS after their first semester away at college.

The opening line in today’s first reading, “Thus says the LORD:  Return, O Israel, to the LORD, your God” is our homecoming invitation from the Lord.  Our experience of God’s love for us assures us that we need not live in our past, nor be fearful of the future.  We only must come back to the Lord our God.  These are the words of Hosea, “Israel, come back to the Lord your God.

May your Lenten journey end with a joyous homecoming on Easter morning.  

Nancy Lanigan
CBHS Director of Community Engagement 
and Stewardship

thursday, march 8

Luke 11:14-23

Jesus was driving out a demon that was mute,
and when the demon had gone out,
the mute man spoke and the crowds were amazed.
Some of them said, "By the power of Beelzebul, the prince of demons,
he drives out demons."
Others, to test him, asked him for a sign from heaven.
But he knew their thoughts and said to them,
"Every kingdom divided against itself will be laid waste
and house will fall against house.
And if Satan is divided against himself, 
how will his kingdom stand?
For you say that it is by Beelzebul that I drive out demons.
If I, then, drive out demons by Beelzebul,
by whom do your own people drive them out?
Therefore they will be your judges.
But if it is by the finger of God that I drive out demons,
then the Kingdom of God has come upon you.
When a strong man fully armed guards his palace,
his possessions are safe.
But when one stronger than he attacks and overcomes him,
he takes away the armor on which he relied
and distributes the spoils.
Whoever is not with me is against me,
and whoever does not gather with me scatters."

This year my wrestling team and I accomplished a lifelong dream for most of us, winning a state title. It wasn't easy; it took countless hours of pain and sacrifice, but we did it. We pressed on through adversity which would break most men, not for personal glory, but rather not to let our brothers who had suffered with us down. We did it to honor the sacrifices of the men who came before us and laid the foundation for our success with their heart and fortitude. In the fires of our training and competition, we formed a deep brotherhood and bond that no one besides us can really understand. We wrestled for the brotherhood, not for meaningless accolades. We were a collection of young men who became united as brothers to accomplish a dream. 

What we did is what today's Gospel is trying to get through to us. When Jesus says "Every kingdom divided against itself will be laid waste and house will fall against house," he says that no matter how great a group or team is, unless they embrace the virtues of humility and sacrifice to become a true team, they will never reach their full potential. This can be seen countless times in both sport and everyday life. On our wrestling team, several people dropped weight classes to give us better match ups. Our senior captain Grayson Walthall broke his nose in the first tournament of the season yet never missed a practice. We all followed the message of sacrifice illustrated in the Gospel and the Lenten Season as a whole. 

It is important that in this Lenten Season we remember not only the ultimate sacrifice paid by Jesus Christ on the cross for our sins but also the everyday sacrifices our families make for us. The hardships they endure so that we don't. Take a moment today and embrace the virtue of humility and say thank you to everyone who sacrifices for you today. 

Jake Spiva 
CBHS Class of 2018

wednesday, march 7

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."

It seems like there is always someone willing to offer you the easy path but in today's Gospel, Jesus makes it clear that this is not his intention. Jesus did not come to show us a simpler path to heaven. Jesus makes it clear that only by following God's laws can we get to heaven. But Jesus goes further by saying he is the fulfillment of God's laws. In other words, Jesus is not just talking about following the letter of the law - he wants us to follow the spirit of the law.

Sometimes, especially during Lent, it's easy to get wrapped up in the rituals of religion without stopping to think about the meaning. Being a Catholic is more than just eating fish on Fridays and going to church on Sunday and celebrating Lent is more than just giving up chocolate or putting ashes on our foreheads. Being a Catholic is about trying every day to live by the example that Jesus gave us and celebrating Lent is about challenging ourselves to be an example to others.

Today's Gospel is a reminder that Jesus wants us to think about what it means to be a Catholic rather than just going through the motions. To love my neighbor as myself sounds easy enough, but what if my neighbor thinks or looks or acts different from me? Lent is an opportunity to remember that the example Jesus provided us is not always easy but his love represents the fulfillment of God's laws and the path to the Kingdom of heaven.

Jay Shields
CBHS Class of 1990
Alumni Club of Atlanta

Tuesday, March 6

Matthew 18:21-35

Peter approached Jesus and asked him,
"Lord, if my brother sins against me,
how often must I forgive him?
As many as seven times?"
Jesus answered, "I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times.
That is why the Kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king
who decided to settle accounts with his servants.
When he began the accounting,
a debtor was brought before him who owed him a huge amount.
Since he had no way of paying it back,
his master ordered him to be sold,
along with his wife, his children, and all his property,
in payment of the debt.
At that, the servant fell down, did him homage, and said,
'Be patient with me, and I will pay you back in full.'
Moved with compassion the master of that servant
let him go and forgave him the loan.
When that servant had left, he found one of his fellow servants
who owed him a much smaller amount.
He seized him and started to choke him, demanding,
'Pay back what you owe.'
Falling to his knees, his fellow servant begged him,
'Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.'
But he refused.
Instead, he had him put in prison
until he paid back the debt.
Now when his fellow servants saw what had happened,
they were deeply disturbed, and went to their master
and reported the whole affair.
His master summoned him and said to him, 'You wicked servant!
I forgave you your entire debt because you begged me to.
Should you not have had pity on your fellow servant,
as I had pity on you?'
Then in anger his master handed him over to the torturers
until he should pay back the whole debt.
So will my heavenly Father do to you,
unless each of you forgives your brother from your heart."


Forgiveness is a tough pill to swallow.
In today's gospel reading, the master forgives a rather large debt of his servant but that same servant turns to a fellow servant and demands a smaller debt be paid to him. Instead of forgiving the debt like his master did for him, he throws the fellow servant in jail. 
Hate, anger and selfishness leave no room for forgiveness. As long as we carry these feelings with us, forgiveness is unable to be accomplished. There is no room for love in a persons' heart where hate, anger and selfishness exist. In order to forgive we must make room for love for it is the root of forgiveness such as the master showed mercy and forgiveness to the servant. 
God, our master, loves us daily and forgives us daily unconditionally.  He asks us to do the same daily for others and even gives us the words in his prayer : "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us". When we say the Lord's prayer, do we mean it?  Do we exemplify compassion and forgiveness to others? Do we hold hateful burdens in our heart and block out love and thereby hinder ourselves from peace?
The lack of forgiveness breads hate, anger, and selfishness and therefore no peace. Love is the root of forgiveness and with forgiveness there is peace.  Show your love of Christ through the forgiveness of others and Christ will show you a life that exponentially will be filled with his mercy and his graces.
Jonathan Lyons '93
 CBHS Alumni Board


Luke 4:24-30

Jesus said to the people in the synagogue at Nazareth:
"Amen, I say to you,
no prophet is accepted in his own native place.
Indeed, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel
in the days of Elijah
when the sky was closed for three and a half years
and a severe famine spread over the entire land.
It was to none of these that Elijah was sent,
but only to a widow in Zarephath in the land of Sidon.
Again, there were many lepers in Israel
during the time of Elisha the prophet;
yet not one of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian."
When the people in the synagogue heard this,
they were all filled with fury.
They rose up, drove him out of the town,
and led him to the brow of the hill
on which their town had been built, 
to hurl him down headlong.
But he passed through the midst of them and went away.

In this Gospel, Jesus is addressing his mission to the people of Nazareth. When Jesus says, "no prophet is accepted in his own native place," he is referencing himself, the people of Nazareth are jealous of the miracles that Jesus has performed. Jesus is attempting to reveal to them that he is the Messiah. Also, in this line he is prophesizing what his native people will do to him at the end of the Gospel. The people reject Jesus because earlier in Luke Chapter Four, they realize he is the son of Joseph. A son of a carpenter a prophet? Upon realizing this they did not believe he is a prophet, nor worthy to be one.

Jesus then references two Old Testament prophets, Elijah and Elisha. In the story of Elijah, God sends him to save Zarephath whom was a Gentile widow. Then in the story of Elisha, God sends him to cleanse Naaman the Syrian whom was a pagan and Syrian general. This angered the Jews, they felt that they were the ones whom should be saved over these sinners. The Jews are also angered because they feel that God is bestowing his mercy on other religions.

To me, the purpose of mentioning these two stories was to show God's mission. God sends prophets to save the wicked, the non-believers, and the ones with little faith. I feel this Gospel teaches us as followers of Christ to go out and spread his word and save those who have gone astray. Whether or not we know it, we are challenged by God every day to go out to be disciples and bring more followers to him.
Luke Drewry
CBHS Class of 2018


John 2:13-25

Since the Passover of the Jews was near,
Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
He found in the temple area those who sold oxen, sheep, and doves, 
as well as the money changers seated there.
He made a whip out of cords
and drove them all out of the temple area, with the sheep and oxen, 
and spilled the coins of the money changers
and overturned their tables, 
and to those who sold doves he said,
"Take these out of here, 
and stop making my Father's house a marketplace."
His disciples recalled the words of Scripture, 
Zeal for your house will consume me.
At this the Jews answered and said to him,
"What sign can you show us for doing this?"
Jesus answered and said to them, 
"Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up."
The Jews said, 
"This temple has been under construction for forty-six years, 
and you will raise it up in three days?"
But he was speaking about the temple of his body.
Therefore, when he was raised from the dead, 
his disciples remembered that he had said this, 
and they came to believe the Scripture 
and the word Jesus had spoken.

While he was in Jerusalem for the feast of Passover, 
many began to believe in his name 
when they saw the signs he was doing.
But Jesus would not trust himself to them because he knew them all, 
and did not need anyone to testify about human nature.
He himself understood it well.

This Gospel is one of the few examples of Jesus losing his temper. He demonstrates a passionate anger as he drives out the money changers and overturns their tables. This passion and zeal for his father and his father's house is one we should emulate.
Throughout the school year, the students at CBHS discuss a series of ten virtues that make up the Brothers' Way-the ideals Brothers' Boys are expected to embody. During the month of March, we focus on the virtue of zeal, encouraging students, faculty, staff, parents to do all things in life with a genuine passion.
In today's Gospel, Jesus' zeal is evident. He has so much love and devotion for his father that he cannot bear to see his house abused and misused. Seeing that passionate commitment to his father is inspiring. It should cause us all to pause and question ourselves-about what in our lives do we demonstrate that same zeal? What inspires in us the same fervor? Is it our faith? Our love for Jesus? The Church? The Eucharist? Or do we devote our passion to more earthly concerns?
Throughout this Lenten season, hopefully we can find that same passion and zeal for our Heavenly Father that Jesus demonstrates in this Gospel so that our hearts fervently await Christ's Resurrection on Easter.

Lindsey Neuman
CBHS Faculty


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.'"

Of the many parables that Jesus taught, only a few have been given names.  Today's gospel is well known as the story of the Prodigal Son.  The story is so compelling that even secular writers refer to it.  But maybe, if we look a little closer, we should rename it as the Prodigal Father.  The word "prodigal" can mean "spending recklessly," but it can also mean "giving on a lavish scale."  Certainly this prodigal son had spent his inheritance (to which he was not even entitled) recklessly and then, in shame, returned looking for comfort and mercy.  Even at a distance, this "lavishly giving" father rejoiced at the sight of his lost son and welcomed him home in grand style, forgiving and forgetting all the injustices of the past.  Is that not what we all want from our heavenly "Prodigal Father"?  

Thankfully, in our Christian Brother's family we have all seen living examples of this kind of prodigal mercy. As Brother's boys and as Brother's men, how many times have we seen a Brother Joel or a George Pratt or a Brother Chris or a coach (you fill in the blank) rejoice and smile upon a returning teenage offender or adult former scoundrel who has made his way back to his alma mater?  In these men we have been blessed to see the living examples of what Jesus intended us to learn in his parable: to live and forgive in a like manner.  As we meditate on this reading, let us truly heed the words of the psalmist: "If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts!"

Bill Callahan '72
CBHS Alumni Board


Genesis 37:3-4, 12-13A, 17B-28A

Israel loved Joseph best of all his sons,
for he was the child of his old age;
and he had made him a long tunic.
When his brothers saw that their father loved him best of all his sons,
they hated him so much that they would not even greet him.

One day, when his brothers had gone
to pasture their father's flocks at Shechem,
Israel said to Joseph, 
"Your brothers, you know, are tending our flocks at Shechem.
Get ready; I will send you to them."

So Joseph went after his brothers and caught up with them in Dothan.
They noticed him from a distance,
and before he came up to them, they plotted to kill him.
They said to one another: "Here comes that master dreamer!
Come on, let us kill him and throw him into one of the cisterns here;
we could say that a wild beast devoured him.
We shall then see what comes of his dreams."

When Reuben heard this,
he tried to save him from their hands, saying,
"We must not take his life.
Instead of shedding blood," he continued,
"just throw him into that cistern there in the desert;
but do not kill him outright."
His purpose was to rescue him from their hands
and return him to his father. 
So when Joseph came up to them,
they stripped him of the long tunic he had on;
then they took him and threw him into the cistern,
which was empty and dry.

They then sat down to their meal.
Looking up, they saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead,
their camels laden with gum, balm and resin
to be taken down to Egypt.
Judah said to his brothers:
"What is to be gained by killing our brother and concealing his blood? 
Rather, let us sell him to these Ishmaelites,
instead of doing away with him ourselves.
After all, he is our brother, our own flesh."
His brothers agreed.
They sold Joseph to the Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver.

In this reading, we see Joseph as the subject of scrutiny from his brothers. They were jealous of their father's pure love for him, so they plotted to get rid of him. We as Christians face this same situation daily, just in a different fashion. Many people in the world today do not see following God's laws as important, sometimes even those we might consider brothers. Whether it be on social media, at school, or just out in public; Christians are persecuted for acting out their faith often. We are Joseph in these situations. If we follow what is pure and wholesome, the world wants to drag us away from it. When we accept the love that God our Father gives us, many see us as a threat to their freedom. There seems to be a lack of respect and love for our fellow man, and everyone seems to be at each other's necks waiting to criticize any move another makes.
During this Lenten season, amidst the efforts to give up luxuries, I think that every person should strive to add one action into their daily routine: love. Showing love to another can be as simple as smiling or listening to someone speak their mind. I truly believe that giving a conscious effort to be kind to every person one meets can completely change an attitude.
Working out your differences with others does not require anger. Love your brother today.
Joseph Orgeron 
CBHS Class of 2018


Jeremiah 17:5-10

Thus says the LORD:
Cursed is the man who trusts in human beings,
who seeks his strength in flesh,
whose heart turns away from the LORD.
He is like a barren bush in the desert
that enjoys no change of season,
But stands in a lava waste,
a salt and empty earth.
Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,
whose hope is the LORD.
He is like a tree planted beside the waters
that stretches out its roots to the stream:
It fears not the heat when it comes,
its leaves stay green;
In the year of drought it shows no distress,
but still bears fruit.
More tortuous than all else is the human heart,
beyond remedy; who can understand it?
I, the LORD, alone probe the mind
and test the heart,
To reward everyone according to his ways,
according to the merit of his deeds.

After reading today's passage, January 2018 weather came to mind.  I imagine myself safe in the house. I am warm, comfortable, food and drink, running water, all readily accessible. The catch, I'm stuck in the house.  Stuck due to ice and snow covered streets. Dangerous to drive.
One of winter's dilemmas.  Do you risk it and venture out?  If you do try driving, where do you put your trust?  In your own abilities, in the safety features of your car, in other drivers?  Do you think about the possible risks?  Minor and/or major accidents?
Imagine you are involved in an accident.  Are you angry with the other driver, yourself, a boss that expected you at work? What if you had said many prayers asking God to keep you safe and accident-free. Yet you were still involved in an accident. Would you be mad with God?
God has given us the gift (sometimes burden) of free will.  While we can choose to take risks, we also are given the opportunity, and encouragement, to trust in the Lord.  
When confronted with the unusual, extreme situation, it is not too difficult for me to step back, to say a prayer and  try to trust in God's will.  Quite a bit more challenging, for me, is to open my heart and mind every day and trust I will hear God and my actions will follow the Lord's plan.
Lord, help me to increase my trust that you have a plan for me and that I have the ability to follow that plan.  Amen
David Herig
CBHS Business Manager

Wednesday, February 28

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."



When I reflect on readings like this, I tend to apply the lesson to current situations in my life.  While Jesus' prediction of his passion and resurrection at the beginning of the passage might steal the thunder, the end of the passage stands out to me.  Jesus states that, "whoever desires to be great among you shall be your servant."

Although Jesus was essentially describing to the apostles the path to get heaven, this lesson can be applied to our everyday lives.  Even in my (relatively short) career, I have had multiple managers over the years.  While some have been better than others, the truly great ones in my eyes have been those who have fostered careers and built meaningful relationships with their subordinates.  Selflessly, these individuals took time out of their busy schedules to develop and advance the careers of employees who, like me, probably needed it the most.  This epitomizes Jesus' message that to truly be great, one shall be a servant to others.  From firsthand experience, the individuals who serve others regardless of position, status, or title truly leave an impact on the lives of those they have helped.  

Bruck Brucker

CBHS Class of 2009
Alumni Club of New York

Tuesday, February 27

Isaiah 1:10,16-20

Hear the word of the LORD,
princes of Sodom!
Listen to the instruction of our God,
people of Gomorrah!

Wash yourselves clean!
Put away your misdeeds from before my eyes;
cease doing evil; learn to do good.
Make justice your aim: redress the wronged,
hear the orphan's plea, defend the widow.

Come now, let us set things right,
says the LORD:
Though your sins be like scarlet,
they may become white as snow;
Though they be crimson red,
they may become white as wool.
If you are willing, and obey,
you shall eat the good things of the land;
But if you refuse and resist,
the sword shall consume you:
for the mouth of the LORD has spoken!

In today's first reading, the prophet Isaiah warns us to hear the word and listen to the instructions of God.  He tells us that we must stop doing evil, make justice our aim, and set things right.   The good news is that the prophet also tells us to wash ourselves clean, learn to do good, and that our sins can become white as snow.  This alludes to the fact that we can repent and receive forgiveness and grace in order that we can help spread the gospel message.  He tells us that all of this is possible if we are willing and obey.  However, if we refuse we will be consumed by the sword.

This is all as true today as it was several thousand years ago.  We must turn away from sin, seek justice, and aim to make things right.  To do this, we must be willing to look at our own actions and words and admit how they affect those around us.  In today's gospel, we are warned against acting like the scribes and the Pharisees who attempt to make a show of their faith and point out the wrong doings of others.  If we want to see our world change for the better, we must be willing to be the hands and feet of Christ and obey our Heavenly Father by doing his will.  Too many times, I find myself in prayer asking for what I will and not asking what God's will is for me.  In these times, I am often reminded of Christ's agony in the garden of Gethsemane where even he prayed, "...not my will but yours be done."  Even Christ struggled but he ultimately submitted himself to the will of the Father and what he knew had to happen.  Only when we orient ourselves with God's will can we truly be free to make a difference in our family and our community.  

My prayer for all of us this Lent is that we may seek the will of God in our lives and therefore seek to set things right and spread the good news that Christ died for our sins so that we may live life to the fullest.  May God continue to strengthen and bless you and your families this Lenten Season.
Phillip Norton '90
CBHS Faculty

Monday, February 26

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."
To be good Christians, we must acknowledge our limitations and embrace them. We were created in God's image and likeness; therefore we must rejoice in his glory and uplift our fellow brothers and sisters, not demean them. Despite our differing backgrounds and upbringings, we all share one thing in common: original sin. To seek perfection is to celebrate our imperfections.  As we find ourselves caught up in a fast-paced, highly competitive, and unforgiving world, it's easy for us to find solace in comparing ourselves to those less fortunate or successful. What is success I ask you? In our pursuit of our dreams and happiness, do we abandon our mission as Christians or do we fulfill it? Is our goal to have the most luxurious house on the hill, to be the CEO earning the highest salary, or is it to have the biggest heart with the most room for compassion and empathy? God never intended for us to be perfect. For if we were perfect, then we would have no more room to grow. Our growth as not only Christians, but also parents, mentors, co-workers, and friends is a path to become nearer and nearer to him. The true treasures we receive in life are through our good works in honoring him. As we commit to our roles as shepherds and servants to the Lord, only then will we fully understand the gift of giving. In closing, the most important aspect in the message of the Gospel today is the Golden Rule. We must do unto others as we would want done unto us. Not only is it crucial to spread God's message and glory, it is the passageway to happiness and "success" as his children.
Tom Shivers
CBHS Class of 1972
Alumni Club of Dallas


Sunday, February 25

Genesis 22:1-2, 9A, 10-13, 15-18

God put Abraham to the test.
He called to him, "Abraham!"
"Here I am!" he replied.
Then God said:
"Take your son Isaac, your only one, whom you love, 
and go to the land of Moriah.
There you shall offer him up as a holocaust 
on a height that I will point out to you."

When they came to the place of which God had told him, 
Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it.
Then he reached out and took the knife to slaughter his son.
But the LORD's messenger called to him from heaven, 
"Abraham, Abraham!"
"Here I am!" he answered.
"Do not lay your hand on the boy," said the messenger.
"Do not do the least thing to him.
I know now how devoted you are to God, 
since you did not withhold from me your own beloved son."
As Abraham looked about, 
he spied a ram caught by its horns in the thicket.
So he went and took the ram 
and offered it up as a holocaust in place of his son.

Again the LORD's messenger called to Abraham from heaven and said: 
"I swear by myself, declares the LORD, 
that because you acted as you did 
in not withholding from me your beloved son, 
I will bless you abundantly 
and make your descendants as countless 
as the stars of the sky and the sands of the seashore; 
your descendants shall take possession 
of the gates of their enemies, 
and in your descendants all the nations of the earth
shall find blessing-
all this because you obeyed my command."

Last year I didn't do much during Lent to prepare myself for Easter. I was pregnant, and so I didn't give up any foods, but I also didn't do anything to put myself in a more prayerful and penitent frame of mind. I had plenty of excuses, the main one being that I was just too busy.

I found myself at the beginning of Holy Week, feeling sorry that I had squandered the chance to grow in my relationship with Christ. I prayed a very simple prayer- that God would help me to connect somehow to Christ's passion. I wanted to feel more than I had been feeling during Lent when I ignored spending time with Jesus. In a way I could not have imagined, I got what I asked for. On Holy Thursday, I found out that my son, Marcos, who had been growing in my belly for 18 weeks, no longer had a heartbeat.

I read about Abraham, and I know first-hand how devastated he was to think about giving up his child. I've been there. He wanted and waited so long for his son, Isaac. How agonizing to be asked to give your child back! How deeply committed must Abraham have been to be willing to do so! But also, how deeply committed must God be to us to hand his Son over in death for our salvation!

I learned in a very personal way about Christ's suffering and death last year. And I fully understand Paul's words to the Romans, "He who did not spare his own son but handed him over for us all, how will he not also give us everything else along with him?" God has promised us an eternity in paradise with Him, and Christ's death opened the gates to heaven for us. Death is necessary. Precious in the eyes of the Lord is the death of his faithful ones. 

Mary Delgado
CBHS Faculty

Saturday, February 24

Matthew 5:43-48

Jesus said to his disciples:
"You have heard that it was said,
You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.
But I say to you, love your enemies,
and pray for those who persecute you,
that you may be children of your heavenly Father,
for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good,
and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.
For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have?
Do not the tax collectors do the same?
And if you greet your brothers and sisters only,
what is unusual about that?
Do not the pagans do the same?
So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect."

As a teacher, I often have the opportunity to remind my students of the truth in this passage. Although they may not have true "enemies" in the sense Jesus meant, we all have to deal with difficult people from time to time. It is easy to retaliate when someone makes a careless or premeditated comment, when someone hurts us, or even when someone simply annoys us.

My biggest challenge in this area often comes when I am driving. People weaving in and out of traffic, honking their horns in extreme impatience, and generally acting in selfish and obnoxious ways, leave me wanting to get back at them in some way. The worst place for this in my daily drive is turning from Farm Road onto Walnut Grove; there is a long turning lane so people can turn right and merge onto Walnut Grove. Depending on the traffic flow at the moment, this merging is either smooth and easy or downright harrowing. One morning I pulled up to the light, and before I could even look to gauge the traffic, the monstrous F150 behind me started honking. And honking. And honking. I felt more and more anxious as he laid on the horn, even honking out an obnoxious rhythm, especially since the traffic was heavy at the moment and there were no openings into which I felt it was safe to merge. Eventually, of course, I was able to pull out, and he immediately swerved around me, pulled in front of me, and slowed down. Was this my enemy? It certainly felt like he was.

So where is the virtue in praying for such a person instead of yelling and retaliating in some other way? So that we can be "children of our heavenly Father;" so that we can strive to be "perfect, just as our heavenly Father is perfect." We all encounter difficult people throughout our lives, and perhaps praying for them will have little or no impact on their behavior. But it will change our hearts, and prepare us for our eternity.

Cathlyn Tsirgiotis 
CBHS Faculty

Friday, February 23

Ezekiel 18:21-28

Thus says the Lord GOD:
If the wicked man turns away from all the sins he committed, 
if he keeps all my statutes and does what is right and just,
he shall surely live, he shall not die. 
None of the crimes he committed shall be remembered against him;
he shall live because of the virtue he has practiced. 
Do I indeed derive any pleasure from the death of the wicked?
says the Lord GOD. 
Do I not rather rejoice when he turns from his evil way
that he may live?

And if the virtuous man turns from the path of virtue to do evil,
the same kind of abominable things that the wicked man does,
can he do this and still live?
None of his virtuous deeds shall be remembered,
because he has broken faith and committed sin;
because of this, he shall die. 
You say, "The LORD's way is not fair!" 
Hear now, house of Israel:
Is it my way that is unfair, or rather, are not your ways unfair?
When someone virtuous turns away from virtue to commit iniquity, and dies,
it is because of the iniquity he committed that he must die.
But if the wicked, turning from the wickedness he has committed,
does what is right and just,
he shall preserve his life;
since he has turned away from all the sins that he committed, 
he shall surely live, he shall not die.



What wonderful and encouraging words from the Prophet Ezekiel. If we turn away from sin, we shall not die. No matter how many acts of evil or wickedness that each of us has committed in his life, we can turn away RIGHT NOW and begin to practice virtue and we will live. What inspiration, what hope for all of us who have sinned and fallen short!

Isn’t that the beauty of the Church’s Sacrament of Penance/Reconciliation? With true repentance, all past sins are forgiven. We are given a new slate. The window to our soul has been cleansed. It allows us to see more clearly -- what is True, what is Good, what is Beautiful.

My father used to write letters to me and my siblings while we were away at college. He always concluded with the following admonition, “Remember the three P’s: Prayer, Persistence, and Patience.”

And these have stuck with me throughout my life. Pray as if everything depends upon God. Persist as if everything depends upon you. Practice patience because all things will come in due time. Maybe not our time, and maybe not what we think we desire, but all things will conform to his will.

And that takes us back to the understanding of the soul and why turning away from wickedness -- towards what’s right and just -- is so important. The old saying, “Practice what you preach” is wise. As one practices virtue - moral excellence - one slowly turns away from sin and wickedness and becomes more virtuous. Leave your sinful ways and LIVE. Be merciful and you shall LIVE. There shall be much rejoicing in Heaven.

As I continue to practice the three P’s, may each of us, in our own ways, do what is right and just, thus ensuring we reach the kingdom of Heaven.

John Morris

CBHS Director of Marketing and Communications

Thursday, February 22

1 Peter 5:1-4

I exhort the presbyters among you,
as a fellow presbyter and witness to the sufferings of Christ
and one who has a share in the glory to be revealed.
Tend the flock of God in your midst,
overseeing not by constraint but willingly,
as God would have it, not for shameful profit but eagerly.
Do not lord it over those assigned to you,
but be examples to the flock.
And when the chief Shepherd is revealed,
you will receive the unfading crown of glory.

February 22 marks the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter, the apostolic father of the Church.  In today's first reading, Peter shows us why Jesus chose him to lead the early Christians.  Peter embodies what it means to be a leader in Christ.
To start, even though Peter is the leader among the elders, he is not commanding or domineering; rather, he is encouraging the others to continue spreading the word of God.  He acknowledges that he is no different or better than those he is guiding.  Next, Peter tells the chief priests to remember why they became leaders in the Church.  It was not for their personal gain, but for positively influencing the lives of those around them.  Lastly, Peter reminds the elders that leading by speech alone is not sufficient.  They must be constant examples of God's mercy and love in all that they do.
Let us pray to follow in Peter's footsteps.  May we become the best version of ourselves in every aspect of life, so that we may help others to do the same.  Help us be leaders who encourage and set an example in both our words and actions.  For if we do this, we will be together with God and receive the unfading crown of glory.
Matt Orians
 CBHS Class of 2012
Alumni Club of Dallas

Wednesday, February 21

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."


Jesus said to them: "This generation is an evil generation; it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it."

Over the years I have observed one thing repeatedly - that signs are everywhere! God has actually given us plenty of signs.

Our culture bombards us with the message that we are the centers of our universe. Scripture tries to tell us the fallacy of that cultural message. But there are so many pulls and tugs; so many things that can grab and hold us. Every day the cacophony of noise tells us that "we deserve" to have this or get that. And we fall into the rat-race of chasing the "good life" - as defined by our culture - day after day.  

I believe part of the reason for this is tied to volume level. In 1Kings 19, "The Lord said: 'Go stand on the mountain before the Lord; the Lord will pass by'." The passage then says that the Lord was not in the wind, not in the earthquake and not in the fire. But, "After the fire, there was a tiny whispering sound. When he heard this, Elijah hid his face in his cloak."

In our instant-gratification society, our senses are constantly bombarded with stimulation from every corner. With that constant barrage, we become numb so that even an earthquake might not impress us.

God does not force himself on us. He does not demand our attention. He has given us free will. And he respects that free will. So, he offers us "the better portion" by this tiny whisper in our hearts. It's sad that the noise of our daily lives so often drowns out God's voice. If we are not tuned to that quiet sound; if we do not set aside time to be alone with God in prayer so that we can learn to hear his voice, it becomes so easy to ignore the tugging at our heart.

Then the passage says: "Just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be to this generation. But, there is something greater than Solomon and Jonah here." Jesus is more than Solomon and Jonah. God gave us a huge sign and our response is shown later in Luke's gospel:
"If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone should rise from the dead." (Luke 16:31)

Take a few minutes each day to listen to the whisper of God's voice speaking in your heart!

Don Whittington
 CBHS Faculty

Tuesday, February 20

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.

Today's reflection reminds me that God has a mission for all our lives and is willing to help us through. God has bestowed upon us Brothers Boys many blessings in life and I believe it is our duty to seek out his will through reflection and meditation. He says, "So shall my word be...it shall not return to me void but shall do my will" meaning once the Lord has put a calling on your life you have to seek it out and ensure to best of your ability it is accomplished.

As a young alumnus of CBHS I have recently found the calling God has put on my life and I am vigorously pursuing it every day. This reflection also lets us know that the Lord will help move us through tough times, ensuring we don't backtrack as we figure out our mission in life "just as from the heavens the rain and snow come down and do not return there till they have watered the earth." I wish all CBHS alumni young and old success in their future endeavors and hope today's reflection will help you through your life's journey. 

Caylon Thomas
CBHS Class of 2011

Monday, February 19

Matthew 25:31-46

Jesus said to his disciples:
"When the Son of Man comes in his glory,
and all the angels with him,
he will sit upon his glorious throne,
and all the nations will be assembled before him. 
And he will separate them one from another,
as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
Then the king will say to those on his right,
'Come, you who are blessed by my Father.
Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
For I was hungry and you gave me food,
I was thirsty and you gave me drink,
a stranger and you welcomed me,
naked and you clothed me,
ill and you cared for me,
in prison and you visited me.'
Then the righteous will answer him and say,
'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you,
or thirsty and give you drink?
When did we see you a stranger and welcome you,
or naked and clothe you? 
When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?'
And the king will say to them in reply,
'Amen, I say to you, whatever you did
for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.'
Then he will say to those on his left,
'Depart from me, you accursed,
into the eternal fire prepared for the Devil and his angels.
For I was hungry and you gave me no food,
I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,
a stranger and you gave me no welcome,
naked and you gave me no clothing,
ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.'
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."

Each year at CBHS, our students earn direct service hours, and specifically during the month of January, we focus as a school community on the virtue of service.  Why do we place such an emphasis on concern for the poor and social justice?  Today's reading shows us a poignant answer to this question, as Christ reminds us that when we serve our fellow man, we serve him.

If you were to ask me, "Shawn, do you do enough to help those in need?", I'm sure I could find some ways to rationalize my answer.  Maybe I'd say, "Yeah.  I give at church.  I try to go to the faculty day of service.  Oh, I teach kids each day too... that's definitely an act of service!"  I'd probably smile, and with good humor and conviction, I'd let that be that, hoping that the conversation would turn to more comfortable, if less challenging, topics.  However, after thinking about this passage from today's Gospel reading, I'm left feeling a little guilty.  Look at all this nice stuff I have.  My family and I live such comfortable lives!  When is the last time I really went out of my way to help someone who obviously needed it?  I wonder if Jesus wants his followers to feel this way about their current stations in life.  Maybe so, or perhaps instead of guilt, he intends this story to inspire action.  (Most of his parables do just that.)  A commonly used expression comes to mind: "Live simply so that others can simply live."  Certainly, this is action that we all can take to.

During this season of Lent, let's all look for those opportunities to see Christ in our fellow man.  From the guy with the cardboard sign at the intersection to the lady who brings 40 items to the express lane in Kroger, to the child who just wants someone to listen, let's take opportunities as they come to be men and women of action.  Only then can we look forward, with confidence, to the day when God says to us, "Well done, good and faithful servant."

Shawn Morgan '02
 CBHS Faculty

Sunday, February 18

Mark 1:12-15

The Spirit drove Jesus out into the desert, 
and he remained in the desert for forty days,
tempted by Satan.
He was among wild beasts,
and the angels ministered to him.

After John had been arrested, 
Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God:
"This is the time of fulfillment.
The kingdom of God is at hand.
Repent, and believe in the gospel."

I am from a BIG Catholic family. Each year brings babies and baptisms. I have been to a lot of baptisms, but it hit me like a ton of bricks when I stood by the baptismal font with my wife holding our precious child. We stated our intentions and recited the Apostle's Creed. Holding a candle, we promised that we would bring him up in the faith and keep the light of Christ alive in his heart.

Today's Gospel illuminates the purpose of baptism. Jesus has just been baptized when the Spirit leads him out to the desert. There Jesus prepares for ministry with fasting and prayer, he also contends with the wild beasts and with the demons who test him. Inspired by the Spirit, Jesus goes there to detach from comforts, find union with the Father to accomplish his vocation.  When my son was being baptized, I couldn't help but think about the years to come. I thought about how I hope he will be strong when life is hard, even when I am not around to encourage him. I want my son to be led by the Spirit, to contend well in the desert, and come out proclaiming the Gospel. My prayer today is that in the darkness we all keep the light of Christ burning. When the dawn breaks on Easter Morning we may rise and say, "The Kingdom of God is at hand!"  

John Michael Simpson
CBHS Faculty

Saturday, February 17

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."
Today's Gospel reading illustrates God's boundless mercy and poignantly speaks to how God calls us to seek others regardless of their shortcomings. 
During Jesus time, Jewish tax collectors were despised for working on behalf of the Roman authorities to collect taxes from their fellow Israelites. They were considered the worst of sinners and traitors for willingly taking on this task.  Yet Jesus does the unthinkable by calling Levi, a tax collector, to follow him.  To the even greater bewilderment of the Pharisees, Jesus dines with Levi and a large group of his tax collector friends. 
Similar to many of his dealings with the Pharisees, Jesus goes scandalously against the grain of Jewish culture to demonstrate that no one, regardless of their sin, is beyond God's calling, mercy and redemption.  This is joyful news for all of us.  We can relate to Levi and the fellow tax collectors, as sin is a reality in each of our lives.  In some cases, we may have discouraging patterns of sin that we constantly struggle to overcome.  Despite these weaknesses and shortcomings, our loving Father repeatedly calls us back to a deep, abiding relationship with him. We can experience this so tangibly in the beautiful sacrament of Confession where God draws us back into union with him, pouring out abounding love, forgiveness, and mercy.  There are no restrictions to his forgiveness when we bring a genuine, contrite heart to him and repent. 
The grace we receive in Confession is vital to our healing, growth in holiness, and strength to continue in our journey to grow closer to the Lord.  We should also take note that despite his past as a tax collector, Levi demonstrates a critical building block in our faith - the willingness to leave everything behind to follow the Lord.  We all grapple with this daily yet our relationship with Christ, and ultimate freedom, relies on letting go of our attachments and giving our whole heart to God.
This Gospel reading also presents a charge for us to invoke the same compassion and charity that Jesus did.  We encounter people every day who may be considered outcasts, unpopular, or unappealing to associate with.  If we don't see past their shortcomings as Jesus did with Levi and help draw them to God's love and compassion, who will?
Aaron Ranson 
CBHS Class of 1997
Alumni Club of Washington D.C.


Friday, February 16

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!


Today's reading doesn't pull any punches. God, speaking through his prophet Isaiah (in full-throated Old Testament fashion), immediately takes us to task for our hypocrisy and selfishness. We are admonished for demanding our due from the LORD even as we are consumed by "our own pursuits." The entire first half of the passage reads like a shamefully familiar catalogue of human weakness and failing which inevitably "ends in quarreling and fighting, striking with wicked claw." Our selfish behaviors dehumanize us, and we turn away from the love and light of God. 

Finally, in complete exasperation God demands: is this "acceptable to the LORD?" Of course not. The disease of selfishness to which we are all so susceptible will eventually destroy us. We will continue to build walls of darkness and isolation until we are totally cut off. It seems hopeless. How can we ever find our way back to the light? 

Suddenly, the tone and tenor of the passage change dramatically, and God shows us the way out. In fact, God takes pains to lay it out for us as simply and directly as possible:
• Release those bound unjustly
• Share your bread with the hungry
• Shelter the oppressed and the homeless
• Clothe the naked
• Stop turning your back on your own
No theological abstractions here or esoteric mysteries-instead, we are presented with a menu of personal and practical actions we can all take; actions which put others before ourselves. And when we choose to devote ourselves to others, especially the downtrodden and forgotten, then our "light shall break forth like the dawn" and our wounded souls "shall quickly be healed" and the LORD will remind us of what we should have known all along. He will say, "Here I am!".

Jamie Brummer Ph.D.
CBHS Associate Principal for Instruction

Thursday, February 15

Deuteronomy 30:15-20

Moses said to the people:
"Today I have set before you
life and prosperity, death and doom.
If you obey the commandments of the LORD, your God,
which I enjoin on you today,
loving him, and walking in his ways,
and keeping his commandments, statutes and decrees,
you will live and grow numerous,
and the LORD, your God,
will bless you in the land you are entering to occupy.
If, however, you turn away your hearts and will not listen,
but are led astray and adore and serve other gods,
I tell you now that you will certainly perish;
you will not have a long life
on the land that you are crossing the Jordan to enter and occupy.
I call heaven and earth today to witness against you:
I have set before you life and death,
the blessing and the curse.
Choose life, then,
that you and your descendants may live, by loving the LORD, your God,
heeding his voice, and holding fast to him.
For that will mean life for you,
a long life for you to live on the land that the LORD swore
he would give to your fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob."

I am constantly searching for ways to strengthen my faith and my moral compass. You live your life according to your inner compass, regardless of the faith you claim or whether you argue "Secular" on this issue and "Non-Secular" on that one. Your Moral Compass is innate in you and it's constantly molded over time. 

So I turn to catchy sayings, one-liners, mottos and scripture to shape my thinking and help me stay on the good path. I especially love scripture that is short and simple, yet you know in your bones it's true. 

This passage is a beautiful reminder of the undying love God has for each of us. He has blessed us all with the gift of life, but we are charged with choosing how to live it. 

When Moses said "Today I have set before you life and prosperity, and death and doom" this made a light bulb go off in my head. To me, the biggest "choice" in life is choosing how to spend the energy and spirit God consecrated into your body. Everyone, like it or not, will spend that energy. You're either going to spend it putting off positive energy into the universe, or the other option is on the negative side of things. Which way do you lean?

"Choose life, then, that you and your descendants may live, by loving the LORD, your God, heeding his voice, and holding fast to him.
For that will mean life for you, a long life for you to live on the land that the LORD swore he would give to your fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob."

Will you spend your life focusing on things that are positive, good and wholesome? Or will you spend yours on the negative, materialistic behaviors? The answer to me has become pretty simple; focus on the positive, asking God for help and praying to him along the way, and the positive will usually win out.

Ben Maxwell
CBHS Class of 2008
Alumni Club of Nashville

Ash Wednesday, February 14

 Joel 2:12-18

Even now, says the LORD,
return to me with your whole heart,
with fasting, and weeping, and mourning;
Rend your hearts, not your garments,
and return to the LORD, your God.
For gracious and merciful is he,
slow to anger, rich in kindness,
and relenting in punishment.
Perhaps he will again relent
and leave behind him a blessing,
Offerings and libations
for the LORD, your God.
Blow the trumpet in Zion!
proclaim a fast,
call an assembly;
Gather the people,
notify the congregation;
Assemble the elders,
gather the children
and the infants at the breast;
Let the bridegroom quit his room
and the bride her chamber.
Between the porch and the altar
let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep,
And say, "Spare, O LORD, your people,
and make not your heritage a reproach,
with the nations ruling over them!
Why should they say among the peoples,
'Where is their God?'"
Then the LORD was stirred to concern for his land
and took pity on his people.
Brother Adrian's niece Ramona would visit the Brothers in Memphis.  Ramona lived in Brother Adrian's hometown, Ossian, Iowa and she would bring with her a tub of "freshly rendered lard" with which to make pie crust to encase strawberries and rhubarb grown  in her garden.  A hog butchering plant was not far from Ramona's home and she was able to procure "freshly rendered lard" with ease.  The fat from the hog had been boiled down and "rendered" to use in cooking.  And boy what scrumptious pie crust was the result of Ramona's expert use of that lard and flour and water.  Maybe not the most heart-healthy crust...but definitely the most delicious!
Ash Wednesday's first reading starts right away with directing us to rend our hearts, not our garments.  Like that hog fat, we are directed to "boil down" the fatty elements in our hearts...the anger, envy, gluttony, greed, lust, pride and sloth and render from that boiling the healthy elements of patience, contentment, moderation, generosity, chastity, humility and zeal.  Rather than tearing up and shredding the sinful ingredients of our daily lives, during Lent we can practice the virtues of patience, contentment, moderation, generosity, chastity, humility and zeal.  These are the holy spirits that can fill our hearts and push away the evil spirits of anger, envy, gluttony, greed, lust, pride and sloth.  We can then feast on the delicious pie of mercy, joy and love in our daily lives, this pie of spiritual health.  Taste and see how good the Lord is!
Br. Joel William McGraw, FSC
CBHS Class of 1963



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

ThIs year, Ash Wednesday coincides with Valentine’s Day.
Celebrating the relationship with a "significant other" on a day of fasting, abstinence, and penance might send the wrong signal as an expression of love.
However, both Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day are opportunities for personal reflection.  During Lent, 40 days of religious introspection leads up to the Resurrection---a life of everlasting hope and promise. February 14 provides an amplified opportunity to celebrate those who are special in our lives.   It is not about the card, dinner, or flowers; rather it is the reminder of the commitment which love requires.

This is my first Valentine’s Day without either parent, but I will still think of them and treasure the love they gave to my siblings and myself.  And as I spiritually prepare for Easter Sunday, I celebrate their own resurrection and the joy they are mysteriously sharing today.

As we journey through Lent together, we are given the opportunity to reflect on the things that are important to us----our faith, our actions, and our friends.  Thank you to those who have taken the opportunity to share your personal journey---including the joys and challenges which give vitality to our faith.

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