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Lenten Reflections

List of 49 items.

  • April 22 (Closing Reflection) - By Principal Chris Fay

    Closing Reflection
     
    It is written in the Gospel of Luke, “At daybreak on the first day of the week, the women took the spices and went to the tomb” (Luke, 24:1). Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary, the mother of James discover the stone was rolled away from the entrance to Jesus’ tomb. The women quickly share their observation with the apostles and, eventually, they are all amazed as to what has transpired…They quickly realize that Christ is Risen!
    I hope that our Lenten Reflection series has been a “daybreak” moment for you. I know that my own faith and Lenten journey has been deepened by the reflections of many of our writers. Just as these women will no longer live in the darkness of Good Friday, it is my prayer for our community that we will live in the light and hope of Jesus’ resurrection. May God bless you and your family this Easter season and live, Jesus, in our hearts, forever!
     
    Chris Fay
    CBHS Principal
  • April 21 (Easter Sunday) - By Msgr. John McArthur '66

    Colossians 3:1-4
     
    Brothers and sisters:
    If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above,
    where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.
    Think of what is above, not of what is on earth.
    For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
    When Christ your life appears,
    then you too will appear with him in glory.
    ______________________________________________________
     
    Reflection
     
    When I was growing up, my parents would take the whole family on vacations. My father, mother, sister and two brothers and I would set off in the car for the journey to our destination. That place was usually Nashville to visit my aunt and 9 cousins. It was always fun. They had a huge three-story wooden house whose backyard extended into Centennial Park. There was never an end to the food on the table.

    Our other destination was a house on Mobile Bay in Point Clear, Alabama. Our front yard was the Bay. We couldn’t wait to have all day swimming and some boating. These were days before the interstate system made driving faster and easier. Often, I or my siblings would cry out, “how much longer?” Sometimes a fight or an argument broke out which led to the threat of my father turning the car around and heading back to Memphis. Yet we also stopped at restaurants and played games. This made the journey fun and drew us all closer. Once we arrived, the misery of the drive was forgotten, and we realized it had been necessary to reach our goal. We learned like St. Paul to keep our eyes on the goal. Life is a journey. It’s fun, exciting, sad and frustrating. Sometimes we wonder, “Are we almost there?” The anticipation and problems of life make us want the journey to end. The celebration of Easter reminds us that the glory of Eternal Life makes whatever happens on the journey worthwhile. Having my family with me in the car eased the discomfort of a long drive. Jesus promises us that He is with us at all times. Christ knew that the journey was going to be painful, but He moved forward because He predicted and knew about the rejection and death but also He would be raised. At the Transfiguration He showed the apostles the Happy Ending. Yet to get there they and He would continue the journey to Jerusalem and Calvary. Enjoy the journey, share your life with your domestic and church family. Make a difference in others’ lives. Know the sacrifices and pains of life will be worth it once you reach the destination. You will see the face of God and be fulfilled eternally.

    Happy and Blessed Easter!

    Monsignor John McArthur ‘66
    CBHS Chaplain
  • April 20 (Holy Saturday) - By Fr. Robert Marshall '77

    Isaiah 55:1-11
     
    Thus says the LORD:
    All you who are thirsty,
    come to the water!
    You who have no money,
    come, receive grain and eat;
    come, without paying and without cost,
    drink wine and milk!
    Why spend your money for what is not bread,
    your wages for what fails to satisfy?
    Heed me, and you shall eat well,
    you shall delight in rich fare.
    Come to me heedfully,
    listen, that you may have life.
    I will renew with you the everlasting covenant,
    the benefits assured to David.
    As I made him a witness to the peoples,
    a leader and commander of nations,
    so shall you summon a nation you knew not,
    and nations that knew you not shall run to you,
    because of the LORD, your God,
    the Holy One of Israel, who has glorified you.

    Seek the LORD while he may be found,
    call him while he is near.
    Let the scoundrel forsake his way,
    and the wicked man his thoughts;
    let him turn to the LORD for mercy;
    to our God, who is generous in forgiving.
    For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    nor are your ways my ways, says the LORD.
    As high as the heavens are above the earth,
    so high are my ways above your ways
    and my thoughts above your thoughts.

    For 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;
    my word shall not return to me void,
    but shall do my will,
    achieving the end for which I sent it.
    ______________________________________________________
     
    Reflection
     
    After the joy of Thursday’s Last Supper was shattered by the brutality of the crucifixion, Holy Saturday was a day of profound silence for the disciples of Jesus. They spent that Sabbath Day huddled in the Upper Room – trying to make sense of the events that had surrounded them. Less than a week earlier, their teacher and Lord had been welcomed into Jerusalem as a conquering hero accompanied by palm branches and shouts of “Hosanna to the Son of David!” Yet on that Good Friday, their same teacher and Lord was jeered out of town crowned with thorns and carrying a cross, the instrument of his execution. What were they to do? Had the past three years been a waste? Were they now supposed to return to their former way of life? Where was the meaning in this?
     
    As they pondered the life and death of Jesus, the disciples undoubtedly turned to prayer, to reflecting upon the Scriptures that had nurtured them throughout their lives. Where was God in the midst of this suffering, in the midst of this heartache and tragedy? Where had He been when Israel was suffering, when the chosen people were enslaved or exiled?
     
    For the Church, this quiet Holy Saturday concludes after sundown with the great Easter Vigil, where the people of God are invited once again to listen to the stories of God’s presence and His decisive action throughout salvation history. We hear again the story of creation. We reflect upon the faith of Abraham as he is asked to sacrifice his son. We remember how God delivered the people of Israel out of Egypt by parting the waters of the Red Sea. And we listen to the prophets – Isaiah, Baruch and Ezekiel – who called Israel out of sin and despair and into hope.
     
    This reading from the Isaiah reaches out to us in times of confusion and doubt, in times of sadness and want. Through the words of the prophet, the Lord cries out to us when we are thirsty and hungry, when the false promises of the world have left us unsatisfied. Come to the water! Come, receive grain and eat! Come in the midst of your suffering and remember that God will never forsake you! Seek the Lord while he may be found! In good times and in bad, God reminds us that He has a different perspective. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord. As high as the heavens are above the earth, so high are my ways above your ways and my thoughts above your thoughts.” Whenever we are tempted to give up, whenever we wear ourselves out trying to solve the world’s problems on our own, whenever we try desperately to control a situation over which we have no control, may we hear again this passage from Isaiah.“Heed me, and you shall eat well, you shall delight in rich fare. Come to me heedfully, listen, that you may have life.”
     
     
    Father Robert W. Marshall, Jr. ‘77
    Pastor, Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception
  • April 19 (Good Friday) - By Br. Matthew Kotek, FSC

    Hebrews 4:14-16: 5:7-9
     
    Brothers and sisters:
    Since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens,
    Jesus, the Son of God,
    let us hold fast to our confession.
    For we do not have a high priest
    who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses,
    but one who has similarly been tested in every way,
    yet without sin.
    So let us confidently approach the throne of grace
    to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help.

    In the days when Christ was in the flesh,
    he offered prayers and supplications with loud cries and tears
    to the one who was able to save him from death,
    and he was heard because of his reverence.
    Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered;
    and when he was made perfect,
    he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.
    ______________________________________________________
     
    Reflection
     
    The season of Lent gives us an opportunity to reflect on Jesus’ continued presence in our lives and His ability to sympathize with our weakness due to his own suffering and passion. During the season of Lent at CBHS, we begin with the Ash Wednesday Mass where the ashes are given to the boys by their peers--a symbol of our unity in our acceptance of our human weakness, not only by those who receive the ashes, but also by those who give them. Secondly, at our Reconciliation service in the middle of the Lenten season, the boys have the opportunity to reconcile with their peers, with God, and with themselves. Finally, the Stations of the Cross, reenacted by our own Student Ministry Team, symbolize the painful journey of Jesus from Pilate to Calvary, the place of crucifixion. As we draw closer to the Resurrection of Jesus, we are continually reminded that our high priest is indeed with us in our suffering and weakness and soon in our own resurrection.

    Br. Matthew Kotek, FSC
    CBHS Faculty
  • April 18 - By Whitney Shelton

    Exodus 12:1-8, 11-14
     
    The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt,
    "This month shall stand at the head of your calendar;
    you shall reckon it the first month of the year.
    Tell the whole community of Israel:
    On the tenth of this month every one of your families
    must procure for itself a lamb, one apiece for each household.
    If a family is too small for a whole lamb,
    it shall join the nearest household in procuring one
    and shall share in the lamb
    in proportion to the number of persons who partake of it.
    The lamb must be a year-old male and without blemish.
    You may take it from either the sheep or the goats.
    You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month,
    and then, with the whole assembly of Israel present,
    it shall be slaughtered during the evening twilight.
    They shall take some of its blood
    and apply it to the two doorposts and the lintel
    of every house in which they partake of the lamb.
    That same night they shall eat its roasted flesh
    with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.

    "This is how you are to eat it:
    with your loins girt, sandals on your feet and your staff in hand,
    you shall eat like those who are in flight.
    It is the Passover of the LORD.
    For on this same night I will go through Egypt,
    striking down every firstborn of the land, both man and beast,
    and executing judgment on all the gods of Egypt—I, the LORD!
    But the blood will mark the houses where you are.
    Seeing the blood, I will pass over you;
    thus, when I strike the land of Egypt,
    no destructive blow will come upon you.

    "This day shall be a memorial feast for you,
    which all your generations shall celebrate
    with pilgrimage to the LORD, as a perpetual institution."
     
     
    ______________________________________________________
     
    Reflection
     
    My biggest takeaway from reading this passage is the line, “If a family is too small for a whole lamb, it shall join the nearest household in procuring one and shall share in the lamb in proportion to the number of persons who partake of it.” When I started at CBHS in 2011, I was a new teacher with a single year of experience at a small charter school. I was overwhelmed with support and encouragement from a faculty and staff of people I did not know who gave their time to help me.

    Shortly after I began working here, I injured my shoulder and needed surgery over fall break. When I returned, I was in a sling for 6 weeks. Frank Olita, a man I had met just a few months prior, saw me struggling to get out of my car one morning. Without hesitation, he gave me his phone number and told me to text him when I parked. Every morning, for 6 weeks, he would meet me at my car before school to help me carry my bags in. The line about families joining together reminded me of Frank. He took me in like he had known me for years and treated me like family. I have felt this kind of support from so many of my coworkers over the years. I have grown as a teacher, coworker, friend, and person because of my family here at CBHS.
     
    Whitney Shelton
    CBHS Faculty
  • April 17 - By Jimmy Garbuzinski '79

    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, My 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."
     
    ______________________________________________________
     
    Reflection
     
    As I reflected on today’s Gospel and the disciple Judas’s behavior the two words that came to mind were “Forgiveness” and “Loyalty”. Eleven of the Twelve disciples chose to be “Loyal” to Jesus and his teachings instead of choosing a life of greed and disloyalty. Today’s world offers us many daily challenges and tempts us to make the wrong choices and be disloyal. Jesus has always given us the Free Will to make choices and ask for forgiveness. Even though Jesus told Judas “woe to that man by whom the son of man is betrayed” we know that he eventually forgave Judas. A cornerstone of our faith is that we must forgive the people who have sinned against us so that we also may have our sins forgiven. There is an old saying “No one needs our love and prayers more than someone who does not deserve them”. As Lent draws to a close, we must put Jesus first in our lives, pray for those who do not deserve it and remain “Loyal” to Our Lord and Savior. Happy Easter to everyone.
     
    Jimmy Garbuzinski
    CBHS Class of 1979
  • April 16 - By Jake Garbuzinski ‘10

    John 13:21-33, 36-38
     
    Reclining at table with his disciples, Jesus was deeply troubled and testified,
    "Amen, amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me."
    The disciples looked at one another, at a loss as to whom he meant.
    One of his disciples, the one whom Jesus loved,
    was reclining at Jesus' side.
    So Simon Peter nodded to him to find out whom he meant.
    He leaned back against Jesus' chest and said to him,
    "Master, who is it?"
    Jesus answered,
    "It is the one to whom I hand the morsel after I have dipped it."
    So he dipped the morsel and took it and handed it to Judas,
    son of Simon the Iscariot.
    After Judas took the morsel, Satan entered him.
    So Jesus said to him, "What you are going to do, do quickly."
    Now none of those reclining at table realized why he said this to him.
    Some thought that since Judas kept the money bag, Jesus had told him,
    "Buy what we need for the feast,"
    or to give something to the poor.
    So Judas took the morsel and left at once. And it was night.

    When he had left, Jesus said,
    "Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him.
    If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself,
    and he will glorify him at once.
    My children, I will be with you only a little while longer.
    You will look for me, and as I told the Jews,
    'Where I go you cannot come,' so now I say it to you."

    Simon Peter said to him, "Master, where are you going?"
    Jesus answered him,
    "Where I am going, you cannot follow me now,
    though you will follow later."
    Peter said to him,
    "Master, why can I not follow you now?
    I will lay down my life for you."
    Jesus answered, "Will you lay down your life for me?
    Amen, amen, I say to you, the cock will not crow
    before you deny me three times."
    ______________________________________________________
     
    Reflection
     
    As I read this passage, I try to put myself into Peter and the disciples’ shoes. Jesus says to Peter and the disciples, “"Where I am going, you cannot follow me now, though you will follow later." It must have been shocking and confusing to Peter and the rest of the disciples to hear these words. They had done nothing but try, to the best of their ability, to follow everything Jesus asked of them. Peter even says to Jesus, “Master, why can I not follow you now? I will lay down my life for you." Peter is willing to give up everything, including his own life, so that Jesus may continue to spread his word.
    Obviously Peter was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for Jesus, but what are we willing to sacrifice daily to help spread the word of Jesus Christ. I know we all try to “sacrifice” something for Lent; whether that be sweets or fast food or a few other things. This is a great example of making a conscience effort of the much larger sacrifice Jesus made for each one of us. During this week before Easter Sunday, I challenge you to sacrifice or do a little more. Buy the homeless man on the corner a cup of coffee on a chilly morning, hold the door open for a few extra people at the grocery store tonight, even say a small prayer for your co-worker who you know is struggling right now. Peter was willing to give up everything, what are we willing to do in our daily life to honor and glorify Jesus?
     
    Jake Garbuzinski ‘10
    Director of Annual Fund and Alumni
  • April 15 - By Nancy Lanigan

    John 12:1-11
     
    Six days before Passover Jesus came to Bethany,
    where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead.
    They gave a dinner for him there, and Martha served,
    while Lazarus was one of those reclining at table with him.
    Mary took a liter of costly perfumed oil
    made from genuine aromatic nard
    and anointed the feet of Jesus and dried them with her hair;
    the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.
    Then Judas the Iscariot, one of his disciples,
    and the one who would betray him, said,
    "Why was this oil not sold for three hundred days' wages
    and given to the poor?"
    He said this not because he cared about the poor
    but because he was a thief and held the money bag
    and used to steal the contributions.
    So Jesus said, "Leave her alone.
    Let her keep this for the day of my burial.
    You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me."

    The large crowd of the Jews found out that he was there and came,
    not only because of him, but also to see Lazarus,
    whom he had raised from the dead.
    And the chief priests plotted to kill Lazarus too,
    because many of the Jews were turning away
    and believing in Jesus because of him.
    ______________________________________________________
     
    Reflection
     
    Some years ago, I chaperoned a Day of Service where CBHS students spent the day serving in various pockets of poverty in our community. As we were wrapping up the day and preparing to return to the campus, I asked one student, “Did you have a good day?”
     I’ve always remembered his response….
    “You know, Mrs. Lanigan, I appreciate you asking, but really, shouldn’t we be worried if those we served today will have a good day tomorrow when we’re gone?”
     
    I’ve thought about this student’s concern and love for those he had met and served and wondered if Jesus had similar thoughts during the meal with his friends at Bethany. What would become of the poor if left to the Judases of the world?
     
    The second LaSallian principle is “Faith in the Presence of God.” We believe in the living presence of God in our students, our community and our world. Love of God then extends to love of God’s creation, and especially our brothers and sisters of our world. We serve others because we see God in them and wish to serve God as Mary of Bethany did.
     
    We are at the beginning of Holy Week during which we will ponder and reflect on the final journey of Jesus. Most of the people Jesus encountered on that final journey were hostile to him. Yet, from Mary, Jesus experienced great kindness. What Mary did for Jesus we are called to do for each other.
     
    May God bless us all as we enter, with Him, into Holy Week.
     
    Nancy Lanigan
    CBHS Director of Community
    Engagement and Stewardship
  • April 14 - By Angie Garbuzinski

    Philippians 2:6-11
     
    Christ Jesus, though he was in the form of God,
    did not regard equality with God
    something to be grasped.
    Rather, he emptied himself,
    taking the form of a slave,
    coming in human likeness;
    and found human in appearance,
    he humbled himself,
    becoming obedient to the point of death,
    even death on a cross.
    Because of this, God greatly exalted him
    and bestowed on him the name
    which is above every name,
    that at the name of Jesus
    every knee should bend,
    of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
    and every tongue confess that
    Jesus Christ is Lord,
    to the glory of God the Father.
    ______________________________________________________
     
    Reflection
     
    When pondering this beautiful reading that is filled with poignant imagery, a phrase I like to say to myself came to mind. As a full-time employee, wife, mother of three, grandmother of seven, and blessed to still have my parents living, I often find myself being pulled in many directions trying to fulfill the needs of all those to whom God has entrusted me. That’s when I say, “Love doesn’t count the cost, love just does.” And then I proceed to do what I can for those who need me, albeit with my share of grumbling and “woe is me”.

    Further reflecting on this reading, the words “Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave”, resonated in my mind and pierced my conscience. Jesus, in his complete and total love for me, gave me everything He had, undeserving though I am, without a grumble or complaint. Rather, He was humble and obedient unto death to God’s will for Him. I was struck by the profound truth that only by humbly spiritually prostrating myself before the cross gazing upon the tortured body and face in agony of my dear Lord, would I be able to empty myself of all my petty complaints, excessive ego, addiction to comfort and spiritual sloth, to name just a few of my many shortcomings, only then could I take up my cross, tiny though it is, and strive to imitate Jesus by being a servant of others through obedience to our Lord’s selfless example. It is only by the act of emptying can my heart and soul be filled with all the graces God wants to give me to help me fulfill this “servant” duty.

    All these graces are there for us to attain at any time, but especially during this Lenten season and particularly during Holy Week. All we need is the courage to become humble, empty ourselves and ask for the grace to do so, even when it is difficult and challenging. I pray that God will continue to have patience with me and give me courage.

    No, love doesn’t count the cost, love just does. And He, who is Love, did.
     
    Angie Garbuzinski
    CBHS Parent
  • April 13 - By Tim Neuman

    Ezekiel 37:21-28
     
    Thus says the Lord GOD:
    I will take the children of Israel from among the nations
    to which they have come,
    and gather them from all sides to bring them back to their land.
    I will make them one nation upon the land,
    in the mountains of Israel,
    and there shall be one prince for them all.
    Never again shall they be two nations,
    and never again shall they be divided into two kingdoms.

    No longer shall they defile themselves with their idols,
    their abominations, and all their transgressions.
    I will deliver them from all their sins of apostasy,
    and cleanse them so that they may be my people
    and I may be their God.
    My servant David shall be prince over them,
    and there shall be one shepherd for them all;
    they shall live by my statutes and carefully observe my decrees.
    They shall live on the land that I gave to my servant Jacob,
    the land where their fathers lived;
    they shall live on it forever,
    they, and their children, and their children's children,
    with my servant David their prince forever.
    I will make with them a covenant of peace;
    it shall be an everlasting covenant with them,
    and I will multiply them, and put my sanctuary among them forever.
    My dwelling shall be with them;
    I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
    Thus the nations shall know that it is I, the LORD,
    who make Israel holy,
    when my sanctuary shall be set up among them forever.
    ______________________________________________________
     
    Reflection
     
    One of the first questions I ask myself before I go to sleep is, “What is the plan for tomorrow?” As a teacher, I am always laying out plans- plans for each of my classes, plans for how long each unit of study will take, plans for how much time is needed to prepare this lesson, plans for when to assign essays, tests and homework, and plans for how much time is needed to grade essays, tests or homework. As a coach, I am given a practice plan, and I must plan the drills for the players in my position group. Once those plans are made, I ask my wife what plans we have as a family- get togethers for birthdays and other family events, events for the kids, doctors’ appointments, runs to the grocery store and other errands, chores around the house, et al. Even the Gospel reading for today refers to the Sanhedrin’s plans to kill Jesus. Our lives revolve around making plans.
     
    A question people may hear frequently is, “What is God’s plan?” As we see in Ezekiel, God has made grand plans for his people. He lays out for us exactly where He wants us to live, how He wants us to live, and most importantly, who He wants our God to be. During Lent, we take comfort and we celebrate the fact that Jesus’ death on the cross is the fulfillment of God’s grand plan. All the other plans we make are miniscule in relation to God’s ultimate plan for each of us.
     
    When I was a high school student-athlete, I would frequently get ahead of myself and ask my coaches about opponents that were two or three games away. To get me to focus more on the immediate future, my coach would tell me “Participate, don’t anticipate.” I apply those words to today’s readings. I trust God’s plan and know that it has already been fulfilled. This faith allows me the freedom to participate in daily life and dwell more in the moment with God, rather than having to worry about what comes next. I hope this Lent provides each of you a chance to participate in your relationship with God and to set aside any anxiety about what lies ahead. God has it covered!
     
    Tim Neuman
    CBHS Faculty
  • April 12 - By Dr. Janet Hill

    Jeremiah 20:10-13
     
    I hear the whisperings of many:
    "Terror on every side!
    Denounce! let us denounce him!"
    All those who were my friends
    are on the watch for any misstep of mine.
    "Perhaps he will be trapped; then we can prevail,
    and take our vengeance on him."
    But the LORD is with me, like a mighty champion:
    my persecutors will stumble, they will not triumph.
    In their failure they will be put to utter shame,
    to lasting, unforgettable confusion.
    O LORD of hosts, you who test the just,
    who probe mind and heart,
    Let me witness the vengeance you take on them,
    for to you I have entrusted my cause.
    Sing to the LORD,
    praise the LORD,
    For he has rescued the life of the poor
    from the power of the wicked
    ! 
    ______________________________________________________
     
    Reflection
     
    “Danger, danger!” Today’s Reading reminds me of the ever-cautious robot from Lost in Space, who frequently warns Will Robinson of impending peril. I have a similar robot that lives in my head, often alerting me to potential difficulties. Its warning usually triggers a sequence of behaviors in which I tighten my grip on life’s steering wheel and try to head off negative events—not only for myself but for others as well. While I tend to view my cautiousness and attempts to control as prudent behavior, today’s reading from Jeremiah causes me to pause and reflect. As Jeremiah hears the whisperings of many to “denounce,” perhaps my warning voice is calling me to denounce God’s power and ultimate sovereignty. Perhaps my reluctance to “let go and let God” is a vote of “no confidence” for Him.
     
    Over and over, I’ve found that when I relinquish control to God and forego the desire to protect myself and others – when I take all things to Him in prayer -- God provides an outcome far superior to anything I could imagine. The struggles I would choose to avoid have served a purpose greater than anything I could map out. When I acknowledge my powerlessness and hand the steering wheel to Him, the leap of faith is rewarded with the peace that “surpasses all understanding.” Perhaps this Lent I can permanently reprogram the robot in my head, replacing its warning message with one of courage and triumph, echoing Jeremiah as he proclaims, “the LORD is with me, like a mighty champion” … to Him “I have entrusted my cause.”
     
    Janet H. Hill, Ph.D.
    CBHS Director of Counseling
  • April 11 - By Ken Coward

    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."
     
    ______________________________________________________
     
    Reflection
     
    As I began to focus on today’s reading, the name Abraham leapt off the page at me. The name directed my thoughts to my Honors World History class. A few weeks ago, we delved into the histories of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. In our quest for knowledge, we deciphered a multitude of similarities amongst these three faiths. A critical part of their enduring understanding was the significance of Abraham’s covenant with God for each of these “People of the Book.”
     
    The reading reminds me of our relationship with God. More specifically His blessings and our responsibilities to Him and His Church. We can all identify the blessings God bestows on our lives. We open our arms and accept these blessing daily, especially in times of need. Yet I feel many of us struggle to identify, and act on our obligations to ALL of God’s people. First, I raise my own hand in the admission of my own shortcomings in this part of my life. Some of you may mirror my own personal acknowledgement. If so, don’t view our deficiencies as signs of failure, instead be reminded that none of us are finished products on our life journeys.
     
    We are all expected to develop relationships with God through our individual walks with Him. Just as God graced Abraham as … “the father of a host of nations,” we are all called to lead others. Each of us serve in various leadership roles daily. Regardless of our roles we can express God’s love in a multitude of ways. Our attitudes, sincerity and attempts to spread happiness to others become the best portrayals of the blessings God has bestowed upon us.
     
    Ken Coward
    CBHS Faculty
  • April 10 - By Clay Jones '90

    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."
     
    ______________________________________________________
     
    Reflection
     
    The people did not believe the words of Jesus and puffed out their chest as, “descendants of Abraham.” They were proud and because of their pride they did not listen to what Jesus had to say. Pride can sometimes be a positive thing in our lives, but not if it gets in the way of doing the right thing. All too often, pride sees us acting as the people toward Jesus. It is much better to show humility and allow ourselves to accept Christ in our lives.

    A brief history caveat, Charles Colson was a top Nixon aide, sent to prison in the Watergate scandal. Later, he experienced a conversion. He was deeply affected by this passage from C. S. Lewis’s Mere Christianity: “Pride leads to every other vice; it is the complete anti-God state of mind…As long as you are proud you cannot know God. A proud man is always looking down on things…As long as you are looking down, you cannot see something above you.” After reading that passage, Colson said, “Suddenly I felt naked and unclean…Lewis’s words were describing me.” The truth had set Colson free. Is there anything in my life that tends to enslave me, as pride enslaved Colson?

    “Pride eats up the very possibility of love, contentment, or even common sense.” - C.S. Lewis
     
    Clay Jones
    CBHS Class of 1990
  • April 9 - By Natasha Sublette

    John 8:21-30
     
    Jesus said to the Pharisees:
    "I am going away and you will look for me,
    but you will die in your sin.
    Where I am going you cannot come."
    So the Jews said,
    "He is not going to kill himself, is he,
    because he said, 'Where I am going you cannot come'?"
    He said to them, "You belong to what is below,
    I belong to what is above.
    You belong to this world,
    but I do not belong to this world.
    That is why I told you that you will die in your sins.
    For if you do not believe that I AM,
    you will die in your sins."
    So they said to him, "Who are you?"
    Jesus said to them, "What I told you from the beginning.
    I have much to say about you in condemnation.
    But the one who sent me is true,
    and what I heard from him I tell the world."
    They did not realize that he was speaking to them of the Father.
    So Jesus said to them,
    "When you lift up the Son of Man,
    then you will realize that I AM,
    and that I do nothing on my own,
    but I say only what the Father taught me.
    The one who sent me is with me.
    He has not left me alone,
    because I always do what is pleasing to him."
    Because he spoke this way, many came to believe in him.
    ______________________________________________________
     
    Reflection
     
    Wow, today’s Gospel gives us lots of food for thought. For me, as I am journeying through this Lenten season, two messages give me pause and remind me to be thankful of the gifts given to us by God.

    1.   Jesus says about His Father: “The one who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone…” These words warm my heart and calm my soul. Who among us has ever felt lonely, afraid, sad, or misunderstood? Maybe we have had a time or two in our lives when we felt that there was no one to turn to, or no one who will listen. What a great reminder that just as God was with Jesus, He is also with us. Always. In good times and bad. Happiness and sadness. He is with us in our darkest night and our brightest day. He shares our disappointments, our accomplishments, our highs and lows and everything in between. This is a precious gift! Although we cannot see Him, we know He is with us. Always. I cannot think of a more loving and comforting truth.

    2.    The second part of that same line from Jesus, “because I always do what is pleasing to him”, is what catches my breath. I am quite sure that Jesus had no problem doing “what is pleasing to him”, but we may struggle with this! Do we strive to make sure our thoughts, actions, and words are “pleasing to him”? As I ponder the ways I try to please God, and recall the times I haven’t, I remember that Lent is a time of repentance. We are asked to examine our conscience, confess our sins, turn away from wrongdoing, and start anew. Thank heavens our God is forgiving. Another precious gift that has been given to us! God knows us inside and out. He loves us despite our sins. How humbling!

    During this Lenten season, join me in praying for all those who are lonely and afraid, who may be sad and suffering, who need to feel the comfort of God’s loving arms. Let us know that God is always with us. Join me in praying to always strive to do what is pleasing to God. Let us remember the healing power of Reconciliation, and to forgive others as we have been forgiven. And last but not least, join me in thanking God for all of our many blessings!

    Natasha Sublette
    CBHS Assistant Director of Admission
  • April 8 - By Louis J. Montesi III '08

    Deuteronomy 13:1-9, 15-17, 19-30, 33-62
     
    In Babylon there lived a man named Joakim,
    who married a very beautiful and God-fearing woman, Susanna,
    the daughter of Hilkiah;
    her pious parents had trained their daughter
    according to the law of Moses.
    Joakim was very rich;
    he had a garden near his house,
    and the Jews had recourse to him often
    because he was the most respected of them all.

    That year, two elders of the people were appointed judges,
    of whom the Lord said, "Wickedness has come out of Babylon:
    from the elders who were to govern the people as judges."
    These men, to whom all brought their cases,
    frequented the house of Joakim.
    When the people left at noon,
    Susanna used to enter her husband's garden for a walk.
    When the old men saw her enter every day for her walk,
    they began to lust for her.
    They suppressed their consciences;
    they would not allow their eyes to look to heaven,
    and did not keep in mind just judgments.

    One day, while they were waiting for the right moment,
    she entered the garden as usual, with two maids only.
    She decided to bathe, for the weather was warm.
    Nobody else was there except the two elders,
    who had hidden themselves and were watching her.
    "Bring me oil and soap," she said to the maids,
    "and shut the garden doors while I bathe."

    As soon as the maids had left,
    the two old men got up and hurried to her.
    "Look," they said, "the garden doors are shut, and no one can see us;
    give in to our desire, and lie with us.
    If you refuse, we will testify against you
    that you dismissed your maids because a young man was here with you."

    "I am completely trapped," Susanna groaned.
    "If I yield, it will be my death;
    if I refuse, I cannot escape your power.
    Yet it is better for me to fall into your power without guilt
    than to sin before the Lord."
    Then Susanna shrieked, and the old men also shouted at her,
    as one of them ran to open the garden doors.
    When the people in the house heard the cries from the garden,
    they rushed in by the side gate to see what had happened to her.
    At the accusations by the old men,
    the servants felt very much ashamed,
    for never had any such thing been said about Susanna.

    When the people came to her husband Joakim the next day,
    the two wicked elders also came,
    fully determined to put Susanna to death.
    Before all the people they ordered:
    "Send for Susanna, the daughter of Hilkiah,
    the wife of Joakim."
    When she was sent for,
    she came with her parents, children and all her relatives.
    All her relatives and the onlookers were weeping.

    In the midst of the people the two elders rose up
    and laid their hands on her head.
    Through tears she looked up to heaven,
    for she trusted in the Lord wholeheartedly.
    The elders made this accusation:
    "As we were walking in the garden alone,
    this woman entered with two girls
    and shut the doors of the garden, dismissing the girls.
    A young man, who was hidden there, came and lay with her.
    When we, in a corner of the garden, saw this crime,
    we ran toward them.
    We saw them lying together,
    but the man we could not hold, because he was stronger than we;
    he opened the doors and ran off.
    Then we seized her and asked who the young man was,
    but she refused to tell us.
    We testify to this."
    The assembly believed them,
    since they were elders and judges of the people,
    and they condemned her to death.

    But Susanna cried aloud:
    "O eternal God, you know what is hidden
    and are aware of all things before they come to be:
    you know that they have testified falsely against me.
    Here I am about to die,
    though I have done none of the things
    with which these wicked men have charged me."

    The Lord heard her prayer.
    As she was being led to execution,
    God stirred up the holy spirit of a young boy named Daniel,
    and he cried aloud:
    "I will have no part in the death of this woman."
    All the people turned and asked him, "What is this you are saying?"
    He stood in their midst and continued,
    "Are you such fools, O children of Israel!
    To condemn a woman of Israel without examination
    and without clear evidence?
    Return to court, for they have testified falsely against her."

    Then all the people returned in haste.
    To Daniel the elders said,
    "Come, sit with us and inform us,
    since God has given you the prestige of old age."
    But he replied,
    "Separate these two far from each other that I may examine them."

    After they were separated one from the other,
    he called one of them and said:
    "How you have grown evil with age!
    Now have your past sins come to term:
    passing unjust sentences, condemning the innocent,
    and freeing the guilty, although the Lord says,
    'The innocent and the just you shall not put to death.'
    Now, then, if you were a witness,
    tell me under what tree you saw them together."
    "Under a mastic tree," he answered.
    Daniel replied, "Your fine lie has cost you your head,
    for the angel of God shall receive the sentence from him
    and split you in two."
    Putting him to one side, he ordered the other one to be brought.
    Daniel said to him,
    "Offspring of Canaan, not of Judah, beauty has seduced you,
    lust has subverted your conscience.
    This is how you acted with the daughters of Israel,
    and in their fear they yielded to you;
    but a daughter of Judah did not tolerate your wickedness.
    Now, then, tell me under what tree you surprised them together."
    "Under an oak," he said.
    Daniel replied, "Your fine lie has cost you also your head,
    for the angel of God waits with a sword to cut you in two
    so as to make an end of you both."

    The whole assembly cried aloud,
    blessing God who saves those who hope in him.
    They rose up against the two elders,
    for by their own words Daniel had convicted them of perjury.
    According to the law of Moses,
    they inflicted on them
    the penalty they had plotted to impose on their neighbor:
    they put them to death.
    Thus was innocent blood spared that day.
     
    ______________________________________________________
     
    Reflection
     
    I'm sure we have all been in a situation where we were quick to cast judgment upon someone. What's worse is when our judgment is not formed by our own conscience... but by following popular public opinion. And that's exactly what happened in today's reading from the book of Daniel. It's a lengthy reading. Here's a quick summary.
     
    A woman named Susannah is wrongly accused of committing adultery by two elders who had been appointed judges by the people, and just before her execution for said crime, God "stirred up the Holy Spirit" in a young boy named Daniel. Daniel stops her execution, convinces the crowd to let him examine the two elders, and reveals them as conspiring liars. He saves her.
     
    The next time someone improperly judges me, a friend, a stranger, or even the reader of this reflection, I hope that someone is moved by the Holy Spirit (as the boy Daniel was) so that the other will listen and reconsider why he was so quick to judge.
     
    According to the Bible, the Daniel in this story is a different person than the hero for whom the book is named. Whoever this Daniel was, he sounds like an incredible man. Let's all aspire to be more like him: not quick to judge... and willing to be moved by the Holy Spirit.
     
    To all the Brothers' Boys reading this reflection, wherever you are, l hope you keep the peace of Christ with you always.
     
    Louis J. Montesi III
    CBHS Class of 2008
  • April 7 - Fr. Jim Martell

    John 8:1-11
     
    Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.
    But early in the morning he arrived again in the temple area,
    and all the people started coming to him,
    and he sat down and taught them.
    Then the scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman
    who had been caught in adultery
    and made her stand in the middle.
    They said to him,
    “Teacher, this woman was caught
    in the very act of committing adultery.
    Now in the law, Moses commanded us to stone such women.
    So what do you say?”
    They said this to test him,
    so that they could have some charge to bring against him.
    Jesus bent down and began to write on the ground with his finger.
    But when they continued asking him,
    he straightened up and said to them,
    “Let the one among you who is without sin
    be the first to throw a stone at her.”
    Again he bent down and wrote on the ground.
    And in response, they went away one by one,
    beginning with the elders.
    So he was left alone with the woman before him.
    Then Jesus straightened up and said to her,
    “Woman, where are they?
    Has no one condemned you?”
    She replied, “No one, sir.”
    Then Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you.
    Go, and from now on do not sin any more.”
    ______________________________________________________
     
    Reflection
     
    A joke has been told about this story, that when the scribes and Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery to be stoned as law commanded brought to Jesus, Jesus said ”Let anyone who is without sin cast the first stone at her,” there was sudden silence; but then all at once a rock from the crowd sailed by Jesus, and Jesus turned behind him realizing who threw the rock and said, “Mother! Really! I was trying to make a point.” (The Blessed Mother had no sin, even conceived without the original sin.)
     
    We might put ourselves in the crowd ready to throw a stone when we judge others. All of us must fight the inclination to be Judgmental. So often, we attempt to hide our own sins behind the sins of others. We transfer our hatred for ourselves into hatred for others. Have you been aware of some jealousy which prevented you from celebrating the success of someone you know? Have you participated in keeping alive a morsel of destructive gossip? Have you secretly delighted in the misfortune of another? Instead of throwing the first stone, we need to remove sin from our own lives.
     
    The Lord is not concerned about the sin of the woman caught in adultery or the sins we have committed. He is not concerned with which commandments we have broken. He is only concerned about what these sins are doing to us. He sees us as he saw the woman, cowering before him, expecting his judgement, needing his mercy. His mercy is there for us. The only thing he asks us to do is to extend this mercy to others. We need to stop judging others, stop pre-judging whole groups of people, stop using others for our own gain. We need to start defending the poor and stranger among us. We need to pick up those who others have knocked down. We need to be fountains of mercy. We will only fulfil the purpose for our existence if others are able to say, “In you I experience Jesus Christ.”
     
    The Christian does not throw stones. The Christian bathes people with mercy.
     
    Fr. Jim Martell
    Pastor, Church of the Resurrection
  • April 6 - By William Slavney '19

    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.
     
    ______________________________________________________
     
    Reflection
     
    The call to discipleship with Christ in John’s Gospel reminds us of the ongoing challenges of the cross. We must be willing to carry it through to the end. Speaking the truth and representing the truth in today’s world is still a very tall challenge. It is easier to compromise on the truth for our personal security, but such compromise further undermines the integrity of our souls – it really is not worth it. If we rely on faith and we trust in the Lord, the enemy will have no power over us. They will die and their schemes will perish with them. As for me, I will trust in the Lord at all times.
     
    William Slavney
    CBHS Class of 2019
  • April 5 - By Dan Wilson '84

    Wisdom 2:1A, 12-22
     
    The wicked said among themselves,
    thinking not aright:
    "Let us beset the just one, because he is obnoxious to us;
    he sets himself against our doings,
    Reproaches us for transgressions of the law
    and charges us with violations of our training.
    He professes to have knowledge of God
    and styles himself a child of the LORD.
    To us he is the censure of our thoughts;
    merely to see him is a hardship for us,
    Because his life is not like that of others,
    and different are his ways.
    He judges us debased;
    he holds aloof from our paths as from things impure.
    He calls blest the destiny of the just
    and boasts that God is his Father.
    Let us see whether his words be true;
    let us find out what will happen to him.
    For if the just one be the son of God, he will defend him
    and deliver him from the hand of his foes.
    With revilement and torture let us put him to the test
    that we may have proof of his gentleness
    and try his patience.
    Let us condemn him to a shameful death;
    for according to his own words, God will take care of him."
    These were their thoughts, but they erred;
    for their wickedness blinded them,
    and they knew not the hidden counsels of God;
    neither did they count on a recompense of holiness
    nor discern the innocent souls' reward.
     
    ______________________________________________________
     
    Reflection
     
    After reflecting on this reading, it is obvious that these “wicked” people were definitely not happy with Jesus. They wanted to “beset” or threaten persistently the just one because he was calling them out for their transgressions. Jesus was viewed as an expression of sincere disapproval of their thoughts. Also, they didn’t understand Jesus “because his life is not like that of others, and different are his ways.” They didn’t like the fact that Jesus judged them nor the fact that He claimed to be the Son of God. So, during this Lenten Season they help show us a preview for what ultimately will be the Passion and Crucifixion of Jesus.

    This reading is a reminder of those who shouted out “crucify him” and taunted Jesus to have his Father come save Him. It also brings to mind the fruits of the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary – sorrow for sin, purity, courage, patience and perseverance. Finally, these evil individuals were blinded by their wickedness. They could not know the “counsels of God” nor could they recognize the ultimate reward of the innocent souls. If we simply follow God’s two basic commandments, love God with all our hearts, minds and souls as well as love our neighbors as ourselves we will each be able to share in God’s ultimate reward. The remainder of this Lenten season is a perfect opportunity to take an individual spiritual inventory and to remember the unending love which God our Father has for each of us, striving for God’s ultimate reward He wants to bestow upon every one of us.

    Dan Wilson ‘84
    CBHS Parent
  • April 4 - By Scott Sneed '79

    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?"
    ______________________________________________________
     
    Reflection
     
    Jesus asks the Jews to realize the most important word, witness and testimony starts with God. God prophesied the coming of Jesus. “Lord himself will give you this sign: the virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14). The Father brings Jesus among the people to perform works as testimonial that the Messiah is before them. There are several reasons that many of the Jews denied Jesus as Savior. One is obvious in our world today; many like the way the world is and would rather discourage the belief that the Holy Spirit is amongst us. The irony is that the scribes and Pharisees taught and preached scripture for eternal life. Jesus reminds them that Moses “in whom you have placed your hope” wrote “the Lord said to me, I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their kinsmen, and will put my words into his mouth; he shall tell them all that I command him” (Deuteronomy 18:17-18). The problem is that they chose not to see that eternal life is only found through Jesus Christ.
     
    Scott Sneed
    CBHS Class of 1979
  • April 3 - By Jay Schaffler '20

    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."
     
    ______________________________________________________
     
    Reflection
     
    Recently, I went on a family fishing trip to Arkansas. I was already used to fishing with a normal rod and bait, but the fish were too clever to bite a flashy lure. My dad then decided to show me how to fly fish so that we could start catching the trout.
     
    I had a hard time learning the complex techniques that seemed so easy for my father. I made so many mistakes- including holding the rod upside down- that learning seemed hopeless, so I took a step back. As I reeled in my line to start over, I watched my dad patiently and carefully swing the rod and listened to the advice he had for me. I focused and tried again with much more success than before.
     
    Becoming distracted by our failures can be easy for us, but God is always there to give us advice if we are patient enough to listen. In the gospel, Jesus tells us that His own Father is His example; He offers us total salvation if we follow Jesus’ example on Earth. Even if it is difficult to admit, most of us automatically behave like the people we most admire. Lent is the perfect season to take a step back, build our relationship with God through prayer, and trust in God’s love and plan for each of us.
     
    Jay Schaffler
    CBHS Class of 2020
  • April 2 - By Ben Maxwell '08

    John 5:1-16
     
    There was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
    Now there is in Jerusalem at the Sheep Gate
    a pool called in Hebrew Bethesda, with five porticoes.
    In these lay a large number of ill, blind, lame, and crippled.
    One man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years.
    When Jesus saw him lying there
    and knew that he had been ill for a long time, he said to him,
    "Do you want to be well?"
    The sick man answered him,
    "Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool
    when the water is stirred up;
    while I am on my way, someone else gets down there before me."
    Jesus said to him, "Rise, take up your mat, and walk."
    Immediately the man became well, took up his mat, and walked.

    Now that day was a sabbath.
    So the Jews said to the man who was cured,
    "It is the sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to carry your mat."
    He answered them, "The man who made me well told me,
    'Take up your mat and walk.'"
    They asked him,
    "Who is the man who told you, 'Take it up and walk'?"
    The man who was healed did not know who it was,
    for Jesus had slipped away, since there was a crowd there.
    After this Jesus found him in the temple area and said to him,
    "Look, you are well; do not sin any more,
    so that nothing worse may happen to you."
    The man went and told the Jews
    that Jesus was the one who had made him well.
    Therefore, the Jews began to persecute Jesus
    because he did this on a sabbath
    .
     
    ______________________________________________________
     
    Reflection
     
    The Healing at the Pool of Bethesda on the Sabbath! What a passage from John’s Gospel. In writing this reflection I went from being confused to frustrated to confused again, before finally feeling like I was getting somewhere. Brother Joel keeps giving me all the hard ones, I said to myself. 
     
    But Perhaps the struggle to find meaning in this Gospel from John is partly the point of it. If you reflect on the messages hidden in this text, you may find you’re asking yourself some tough questions.
     
    In first reading this passage I found myself reflecting on the healing powers of Jesus. “Rise, take up your mat, and walk,” said Jesus to the man who’d lain “invalid” for thirty-eight years. The man, like many of us unworthy sinners, did not deserve Jesus’ healing (and it didn’t occur to me until later that he probably didn’t want it, either).
     
    Nonetheless, a few words are said and Jesus, in true Jesus-fashion, heals the man and slips away unnoticed from the crowd. “How typical of Jesus to heal an underserving man of his illnesses,” I thought. “God is Good, Jesus heals, and humans are wretched,” I thought. “I’m ready to write my reflection on this story of healing,” I thought.
     
    It wasn’t until I reread John’s Gospel a few times over, and even phoned a fellow brother, that I really began to see the forest through the trees. “This isn’t just a story about healing. It’s also a story about God’s grace. A story about repenting and turning away from sin,” I thought.
     
    Isn’t it interesting that when Jesus asked, ’Do you want to be well,’ the invalid man didn’t seem joyous or excited at the prospect of being healed? I wonder how could this man be so ungrateful that he didn’t catch the name of or thank his miraculous healer? Furthermore, who could tattle on a man who just cured you of your multiple illnesses? The answer, I tell you, is that this man did not want to be healed.
     
    So, I ask you - DO PEOPLE WANT TO BE WELL?
     
    The answer, for most of us, is that we do not want to be sick, but, we also, through Christ, do not want to be fully healed of our afflictions. We would need to completely let go of our ego for that and that is the last thing we want to discard. That is Jesus asking for too much.
     
    Use this Lenten season to ponder the tough questions to strengthen your faith in Christ. Think about everything you are grateful for, and everything you would like to be healed of, and ask yourself the question “Am I ready to be healed?” Think about the message in John’s Gospel. Look inward at what you really want to be healed of and, in faith, surrender to Christ (jump into the pool of Bethesda, don’t wait for someone else to dip you in).
     
    Ben Maxwell
    CBHS Class of 2008
  • April 1 - By Charles Patterson '19

    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.
     
    ______________________________________________________
     
    Reflection
     
    This message from John’s gospel is powerful. As we go through our journeys with Christ, faith is very essential. Faith eliminates all doubt. Personally, my faith in God has helped me come a long way. If it weren’t for Christ, I would not be here today. Similarly, to the boy in the Scripture reading, God saved me from dying. On February 16, 2001, my mother, pregnant with me, was involved in a tragic car accident. As a result of the accident, she was knocked unconscious. I also had been knocked away from her placenta. This means that I had little to no oxygen flow to my brain, causing me to have a stroke. Doctors had to perform emergency surgery to save my life. After this surgery was performed, I have been told that many doctors didn’t believe I would make it. The doctors thought that I would be nothing more than a vegetable. These people told my parents that I would never have the activities of my limbs. They also told my parents to not become attached to me. According to them, the chances that I would live past my third birthday were very unlikely. When I learned all of this, I became grateful that my parents chose to have faith. Sometimes, some parents give up on children with minor special needs. However, my parents chose to believe in God’s power. They raised me to believe that nothing is too hard for God. He can turn what we perceive as being impossible and make it possible.

    Today, God has enabled me to go above expectations. He blessed me to come to Christian Brothers High School, where I knew no one, and I’ve found a home and been able to shine. Since transferring here my sophomore year, God has opened many doors, including an opportunity to attend college next year. In conclusion, I would like to say if you trust God, he will do miraculous things.
     
    Charles Patterson
    CBHS Class of 2019
  • March 31 - By Diana Harviel

     
     
    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.’”
     
    ______________________________________________________
     
    Reflection
     
    Siblings who grow up together are always competitive, to some degree.
    In this parable, the younger brother left on his own accord, with his share of his father’s estate, in search of the good life. His brother, however, remained with his father and worked in the fields. When the younger brother returned after squandering his inheritance, he was welcomed by his father with a feast, regal robe, sandals and a gold ring. The older brother questioned his father as how this could happen since all along he had been the faithful, dutiful son.
     
    I grew up with one older brother who was “the boy next door”, and sometimes I wished that he had lived next door! There I go, see that sibling rivalry does exist. Of course, my parents never showed partiality but in my mind it existed, so that was all that mattered. When you are a teenager, “YOU” are all that matters!
     
    My parents brought my brother a red sports car with a sunroof. It was a “babe chick car,” at least that’s what my girlfriends called it. This car might as well have been the “gold ring” in the Gospel. I was the one at home after my brother left for college, kept up my grades and curfews, cleaned my room, did chores around the house, where was my red car??? When my brother would return from college, he was welcomed, not with the fattened calf, but probably a feast from the Commissary. Yes, there was a small bit of envy because I had been there all along, he was the one that went away.
     
    It was not until I matured in my years and faith that I came to know that the “red car” was just that, it was just a car. It in no way showed favoritism over one for another. It’s not about things anyway, because in my maturity I have found out that I can serve God best in this world by reflecting in it the light of another world.
     
    Diana Harviel
    CBHS Parent
  • March 30 - By Gene Mangiante III '98

    Luke 18:9-14
     
    Jesus addressed this parable
    to those who were convinced of their own righteousness
    and despised everyone else.
    "Two people went up to the temple area to pray;
    one was a Pharisee and the other was a tax collector.
    The Pharisee took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself,
    'O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity —
    greedy, dishonest, adulterous — or even like this tax collector.
    I fast twice a week,
    and I pay tithes on my whole income.'
    But the tax collector stood off at a distance
    and would not even raise his eyes to heaven
    but beat his breast and prayed,
    'O God, be merciful to me a sinner.'
    I tell you, the latter went home justified, not the former;
    for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled,
    and the one who humbles himself will be exalted."
     
    ______________________________________________________
     
    Reflection
     
    I can’t help but laugh when meditating upon today’s Gospel.
     
    O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity.
     
    This Gospel is tailor-made for a sinner just like me. Doesn’t it feel good to point out other people’s sins? It happens to me more than I care to admit. The deadly sin of pride makes us believe we are better than others, while ignoring our own faults. This usually hits close to home - those in your own family, your workplace, your volunteer groups, and even your parish.
     
    One of my favorite sayings is “Don’t judge others because they sin differently than you.”
    It can happen to even the righteous among us - the daily mass attendee, the frequent confessor, the weekly adorer, or the regular prayer group attendee.
     
    There is hope! Our Heavenly Father’s mercy is like the Mighty Mississippi River – constantly flowing. Our sins are but a small medicine dropper of water into that same river of mercy. Perhaps this Lent we’ll all find a little more change in our own hearts...and keep it that way.
     
    Gene Mangiante III
    CBHS Class of 1998
  • March 29 - By John Goode '07

    Mark 12:28-34
     
    One of the scribes came to Jesus and asked him,
    "Which is the first of all the commandments?"
    Jesus replied, "The first is this:
    Hear, O Israel!
    The Lord our God is Lord alone!
    You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
    with all your soul,
    with all your mind,
    and with all your strength.

    The second is this:
    You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
    There is no other commandment greater than these."
    The scribe said to him, "Well said, teacher.
    You are right in saying,
    He is One and there is no other than he.
    And to love him with all your heart,
    with all your understanding,
    with all your strength,
    and to love your neighbor as yourself

    is worth more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices."
    And when Jesus saw that he answered with understanding,
    he said to him,
    "You are not far from the Kingdom of God."
    And no one dared to ask him any more questions.
    ______________________________________________________
     
    Reflection
     
    As I read and reread this reading from Mark, I kept seeing the parallels between what Jesus is telling the scribe and two statements that are at the core of being an alumnus of CBHS. 

    Jesus says that the first commandment is that Our God is Lord alone and we must love him with all our soul and strength, but also our mind. Every alumnus has stood at the beginning of class and our teacher has said,” Let us remember that we are in the Holy presence of God.” The Brothers made sure that we started everything with this at the forefront of our minds. 

    Secondly, Jesus says that we must love our neighbor as ourselves. If this doesn’t sum up what being a Brothers’ Boy is, then I don’t know what does. The bond we share as alumni spans time, race, religion, etc. and the love and support we have for one another is what makes being an alumnus so special. We are all Brothers for Life
     
    John Goode
    CBHS Class of 2007
  • March 28 - By Fr. Tom Condon, OP '71

    Jeremiah 7:23-28
     
    Thus says the LORD:
    This is what I commanded my people:
    Listen to my voice;
    then I will be your God and you shall be my people.
    Walk in all the ways that I command you,
    so that you may prosper.

    But they obeyed not, nor did they pay heed.
    They walked in the hardness of their evil hearts
    and turned their backs, not their faces, to me.
    From the day that your fathers left the land of Egypt even to this day,
    I have sent you untiringly all my servants the prophets.
    Yet they have not obeyed me nor paid heed;
    they have stiffened their necks and done worse than their fathers.
    When you speak all these words to them,
    they will not listen to you either;
    when you call to them, they will not answer you.
    Say to them:
    This is the nation that does not listen
    to the voice of the LORD, its God,
    or take correction.
    Faithfulness has disappeared;
    the word itself is banished from their speech.
     
    ______________________________________________________
     
    Reflection
     
    Our first reading from the Prophet Jeremiah begins with two simple commands to God’s people: Listen to God’s voice and walk in God’s ways.

    Let’s focus on the first command. Listening to the voice of God is a major element of the great Shema, the ancient command of God to Israel: “Hear, O Israel!”

    People often say they don’t have time to listen to God. There are so many things that command our attention today. It’s become common to observe people listening to devices all day: at the gym, walking down the street, in grocery stores, cars, offices, airports. We listen to music, to podcasts, to our family members and friends. How often do we listen to God? When do we turn off those phones and devices?

    Why should we listen to God? Jeremiah says: “Then I will be your God and you will be my people.” God wants to be in relationship with us. God is not indifferent to us, like the recorded voices we hear all day. They go on whether anyone is listening or not. God cares for us so much that he sent his Son to live among us and show us the way to salvation. As St. Peter says to Jesus “You alone have the words of eternal life.”

    We’re about halfway through Lent now. Have we made an effort to listen to the voice of God, so far? Turn off the devices for a few minutes in the early morning, at lunch time, or before going to bed. Be quiet. Pray. Read Scripture. Talk to God like you would talk to a friend. Open your heart to him. Then you will walk in his ways.

    Reflect on today’s Responsorial Psalm: “If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.”

    Fr. Tom Condon, OP
    CBHS Class of 1971
  • March 27 - By Lori Glasscock

    Deuteronomy 4:1, 5-9
     
    Moses spoke to the people and said:
    "Now, Israel, hear the statutes and decrees
    which I am teaching you to observe,
    that you may live, and may enter in and take possession of the land
    which the LORD, the God of your fathers, is giving you.
    Therefore, I teach you the statutes and decrees
    as the LORD, my God, has commanded me,
    that you may observe them in the land you are entering to occupy.
    Observe them carefully,
    for thus will you give evidence
    of your wisdom and intelligence to the nations,
    who will hear of all these statutes and say,
    'This great nation is truly a wise and intelligent people.'
    For what great nation is there
    that has gods so close to it as the LORD, our God, is to us
    whenever we call upon him?
    Or what great nation has statutes and decrees
    that are as just as this whole law
    which I am setting before you today?

    "However, take care and be earnestly on your guard
    not to forget the things which your own eyes have seen,
    nor let them slip from your memory as long as you live,
    but teach them to your children and to your children's children."
     
    ______________________________________________________
     
    Reflection
     
    I have read this once, twice, three times. After the first time I prayed for inspiration. Hopefully, you feel I have found it.
     
    As I read this passage, I hear two messages. First, Moses warns Israel that they must follow the laws given to them to enter the Promised land. They are told to teach them to their children and their children’s children. HMMMMM?...... Turn on the news. I think it’s fair to say we need to work on that. Obedience! If we all followed the law of our Father, what a different world we would have! I cannot recall the priest I heard speak about two years ago that warned us about the dangers of relativism, but it stuck. I really like that term. It just fits! So often we try to make everything follow this “modern” world. We are busy, we make excuses, we just accept that this is just how it is. It’s all relative. Somehow the message of follow God’s law and pass it down to future generations got lost. Lent is a perfect time to take a minute to sit and reflect on those original rules we were given. The 10 Commandments! Take time to be honest with ourselves and ask for forgiveness so we may be forgiven and be allowed into our Promised land. The Kingdom of Heaven. We need to teach our future generations that just because everyone does something it doesn’t make it right.
     
    Which leads me to my second message. These rules we are given are a gift. Like most children, it is not fun to follow the rules and be obedient. But it is necessary. Because we are older and wiser and know the dangers, we teach them to our children. Therefore, God, our Father, is teaching them to us. He wants us safe and in Heaven with Him! But “for what great nation is there that has gods so close to it as the LORD, our God, is to us whenever we call upon him?” (Deuteronomy 7). But first we have to call upon Him. We have to obey. "However, take care and be earnestly on your guard not to forget the things which your own eyes have seen,
    nor let them slip from your memory as long as you live” (Deuteronomy 9)
     
    God bless you and guide you during this time of Lent and always. May He grant you much wisdom. And may you be obedient to Him.
     
    Lori Glasscock
    CBHS Parent
  • March 26 - By Bruck Brucker '09

    Matthew 8:21-35
     
    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."
     
    ______________________________________________________
     
    Reflection
     
    It is fitting that this reading starts with Peter asking Jesus how any times he should forgive his brother. I can almost picture this exact lesson being taught in Mr. Mark Bray’s religion class (maybe with a slightly different story). I don’t find the message in this reading too difficult to comprehend. It is relatively straightforward – forgive your brother for everything and without a question. In addition, no one thing is unworthy of being forgiven and no one is exempt from forgiveness. The passage is clear for the most part, but I think the difficulty here is implementing this message. Day to day, I doubt most of us would have much trouble finding someone who wronged us. While it’s not intuitive, in some situations I feel like it’s almost easier to forgive the larger things in life than the smaller things. However, Jesus’ message goes far beyond that – Jesus urges us to forgive those who have wronged us for everything, small or large. I’ve had mixed emotions when forgiving my brothers (and sisters) in my life, but what I can promise is that my relationship with those people have grown.
     
    Bruck Brucker
    CBHS Class of 2009
  • March 25 - By Alan Black '20

    Luke 1:26-38
     
    The angel Gabriel was sent from God
    to a town of Galilee called Nazareth,
    to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph,
    of the house of David,
    and the virgin's name was Mary.
    And coming to her, he said,
    "Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you."
    But she was greatly troubled at what was said
    and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.
    Then the angel said to her,
    "Do not be afraid, Mary,
    for you have found favor with God.
    Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son,
    and you shall name him Jesus.
    He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High,
    and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father,
    and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever,
    and of his Kingdom there will be no end."
    But Mary said to the angel,
    "How can this be,
    since I have no relations with a man?"
    And the angel said to her in reply,
    "The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
    and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.
    Therefore the child to be born
    will be called holy, the Son of God.
    And behold, Elizabeth, your relative,
    has also conceived a son in her old age,
    and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren;
    for nothing will be impossible for God."
    Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
    May it be done to me according to your word."
    Then the angel departed from her.
     
    ______________________________________________________
     
    Reflection
     
    Lent is a time of prayer, repentance, denial of ego, and total submission to God’s will. It is passages such as this gospel that remind us that the spirit of the Lenten season is strengthening our relationship with God and submitting ourselves to his divine plan for us. In the Gospel, Mary puts aside her own Earthly will and allows God to take control in her life. When the angel Gabriel comes to bear the message that Mary will carry a child, she exclaims that she is the servant of the Lord and agrees to bear the child Jesus. During the season of Lent, we are challenged to take on something new, to give something up, and to fast and abstain from meat on certain days as a reminder that we must turn ourselves fully over to God in the same way that Mary made sacrifices and set aside her own will in order to fulfill the will of God.
     
    Alan Black
    CBHS Class of 2020
  • March 24 - By Dr. Jamie Brummer

    Luke 13:1-9
     
    Some people told Jesus about the Galileans
    whose blood Pilate had mingled with the blood of their sacrifices.
    Jesus said to them in reply,
    "Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way
    they were greater sinners than all other Galileans?
    By no means!
    But I tell you, if you do not repent,
    you will all perish as they did!
    Or those eighteen people who were killed
    when the tower at Siloam fell on them—
    do you think they were more guilty
    than everyone else who lived in Jerusalem?
    By no means!
    But I tell you, if you do not repent,
    you will all perish as they did!"

    And he told them this parable:
    "There once was a person who had a fig tree planted in his orchard,
    and when he came in search of fruit on it but found none,
    he said to the gardener,
    'For three years now I have come in search of fruit on this fig tree
    but have found none.
    So cut it down.
    Why should it exhaust the soil?'
    He said to him in reply,
    'Sir, leave it for this year also,
    and I shall cultivate the ground around it and fertilize it;
    it may bear fruit in the future.
    If not you can cut it down.'"
    ______________________________________________________
     
    Reflection
     
    Think of the last time you went “in search of fruit but found none.” When your professional, personal, and even spiritual aspirations have come up empty. When you’ve placed your faith or trust in someone or something and been bitterly disappointed. We’ve all had experiences like these, experiences which can frustrate us and threaten to transform us into cynics.

    At the same time, most of us would have to admit there have been times when others have come to us in search of fruit – friendship, or kindness, understanding, or patience – only to leave empty-handed as well. Times when our self-absorption has created barrenness instead of bounty. Times, perhaps, when the cellphones in our hands have been more important than the people right in front of us.

    When I experience these situations (or contribute to them), it helps to remember the Parable of the Barren Fig Tree. The owner of the tree has reached the end of his patience and is ready to cut his losses. “Cut it down,” he tells the gardener, and not without justification; the tree has been fruitless for years.

    The gardener, however, sees hope. He asks for another chance and he commits himself to cultivating and nurturing the tree for another year. We should thank God for that gardener (Jesus) every day. For without that hope, that patience, that second-chance even when we most certainly don’t deserve it, who among us wouldn’t have been “cut down” long ago.
     
    Jamie Brummer
    CBHS Faculty
  • March 23 - By Fr. Bill Parham '67

    Jeremiah 7:23-28
     
    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.'"
     
    ______________________________________________________
     
    Reflection
     
    It is often a shock for people to realize what is the most important one word in the Bible, especially in the Old Testament. The word is “RETURN” and other verbal forms and derivatives of “TURN.” It appears at least 1003 times (by my count) and LOVE appears 410 times. This tells us a lot. In Hebrew the word for “return” is “Teshuva” —תשובה. (Please don’t panic when you see some Hebrew words and scholarship). In fact, the ancient Rabbis maintained that the second thing God created after His “Word” (The Torah תורה—which is also the “Covenant relationship) was “Return.”

    The next word that is closely related to it is “RESTORE/REPAIR.” The Hebrew word for that is “Tikkun”—תיקון. The whole plan of God is to return home to us and restore/repair a broken universe and humanity to its original wonder and love. The Hebrew expression in the Old Testament to “restore/repair the universe/humanity is “Tikkun ha Olam”—תיקון ה עולם. This famous parable of Jesus in Luke 15 is a powerful example. First of all, Jesus never gave a parable called the “Prodigal Son.” That is an artificial editor’s note above passages so you can find it. He gave a parable about a man who had two sons, and the one who stayed home was a pain in the neck (but that is for another exposition in the interpretation of Scripture). The whole dynamic of revealing the emotions of God is about a father who waits for someone to “return” and one who realized that his real life is found in “return.” Notice that the Father “restores” him. In the second part, another son will not “return” because he is afraid of music and celebration. The Father “turns” to him to beg him to “return” and rejoice in the gift of “restoration.” As Christians, we believe that in the Incarnation that God “returned” to us and made His home among. God just didn’t “turn” to us. He “turned” INTO one of us. Have you ever noticed that most crucifixes show the head of Christ turned to His right (our left)? It is because he was talking to someone before He died in the Gospel of Luke and He responded to a broken, crucified man who said “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus “turns” and “restores” the most broken example among us. He was not afraid to turn to us. We need not be afraid to turn to Him.

    In His Peace, 
    Very Rev. Dm. William J. Parham, KCHS
    CBHS Class of 1967
  • March 22 - By Will Zoccola '77

    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.
     
    ______________________________________________________
     
    Reflection
     
    Envy. Jealousy. Greed. These are the words that come to mind in today’s Reading. Joseph’s brothers envied the special affection their father had for their brother. They were jealous of his place among the siblings. They were consumed with taking from Joseph for themselves.
     
    If one thinks about today’s society, these three vices unfortunately are too often prevalent. Whether it be conveyed through social media, in politics or even in old fashioned newspapers, the conversational tone is depressing. It is prevalent in all generations, young and old, Baby Boomers, Millennials, Generation X, and Generation Z. I think it can all be summed up with the statement, “It’s all about me.”
     
    God clearly calls us to live our life for others. Our spirit soars when we are not envious of what others have but thankful for what we do have. We are better off not being jealous of others but grateful for our own success. Life is more satisfying when we strive to be our best and not compare ourselves with others.
     
    Let us be thankful to God for the riches He has bestowed upon us and on others.
     
    Will Zoccola ‘77
    CBHS Hall of Fame President
  • March 21 - By Steve Marking '93

    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.
     
    ______________________________________________________
     
    Reflection
    As a history teacher, I like to study the events going on which influenced the various books of the Old Testament. Jeremiah lived in the 600's B.C. at a time where the Kingdom of Judah was collapsing. According to Jeremiah, the Jewish people had fallen away from God’s teachings and this was leading Judah down a dark road. Jeremiah predicts devastating consequences, many of which came true such as the Babylonian Captivity and the destruction of the Temple.

    In the reading, Jeremiah instructs the people of Judah, and us today, to trust and to place our hope in the Lord. He reminds us that if we focus on human beings and human interests life will be miserable. What are these human interests that can destroy who we are? How do we keep those in check in a time of increased greed and status as seen on so many social media sites? How do we relax and trust in God daily and fill our cups of for the inevitable trouble that is coming our way? We all have to figure out how we individually trust God and fill our cups. And when we do, blessings will abound.

    Stephen Marking ‘93
    CBHS Faculty and Parent
  • March 20 - By Brad Luckett '08

    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."
     
     
    ______________________________________________________
     
    Reflection
     
    Reading this passage reminds me that God will often invert our expectations for our good. Many times, we simply can’t fathom how something could be “good” or work out in our favor, only seeing the benefits played out in hindsight (or perhaps eternity).

    The Israelites were expecting a Messiah in the form of a warrior king, one to literally break shackles, a “superhuman” type being that could slay their enemies and rule the land with perfect sovereignty. Instead, Jesus subverts the need for honor and glory and teaches Servant Leadership. He was not the type of Messiah people were expecting, but the type we needed; not here to break physical shackles so much as the metaphorical shackles binding us to sin.

    Servant Leadership is synonymous with our Lasallian charism here at CBHS. Through their Religion/Ethics courses, roles in various organizations, clubs, sports, and the completion of Service Hours, our boys are required to learn and experience the idea of Servant Leadership first hand. Hopefully, they learn that being a great leader is not about how many people serve you (or work for you), but how well you serve others. Just as it was in Jesus’s time, this type of leader (a servant leader) is contrary to what society often tells us a good leader is, and how often is the right thing contrary to what society tells us? Probably too often.

    It’s important to remember in this Lenten Season that God is in the business of inverting expectations – we don’t always get exactly what we want, but often, it’s exactly what we need.

    Brad Luckett ‘08
    CBHS Faculty
  • March 19 - By Gerry Taulman

    Romans 4:13, 16-18, 22
     
     
    Brothers and sisters:
    It was not through the law
    that the promise was made to Abraham and his descendants
    that he would inherit the world,
    but through the righteousness that comes from faith.
    For this reason, it depends on faith,
    so that it may be a gift,
    and the promise may be guaranteed to all his descendants,
    not to those who only adhere to the law
    but to those who follow the faith of Abraham,
    who is the father of all of us, as it is written,
    I have made you father of many nations.
    He is our father in the sight of God,
    in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead
    and calls into being what does not exist.
    He believed, hoping against hope,
    that he would become the father of many nations,
    according to what was said, Thus shall your descendants be.
    That is why it was credited to him as righteousness.
     
    ______________________________________________________
     
    Reflection
     
    I attended a Catholic grade school when I was a child. The Sisters told us that God our Father was loving, kind, always present in our lives and would never abandon us. I truly wanted to believe this, but it was not my experience. I felt that the only father I knew didn’t love us, didn’t care about us and had most certainly abandoned us, my twin sister and me, when we were only six days old. Mother was left to raise us on her own.

    I struggled with this image of God as Father as I grew up. I prayed to Jesus and the Holy Spirit, but I avoided praying to the Father. My Junior year in college was especially difficult. I found myself in the hospital on Christmas Eve. I was lonely and depressed. I remember telling God that I could really use His help and I was finally open to His presence. Almost immediately I was filled with an overwhelming sense of love, warmth and caring. I was in the presence of God my Father and He had never abandoned me but had kept a careful watch over me. The word “Father” lost its negative connotation.

    St. Paul reminds us that Abraham is our “Father in the sight of God,” and that he would inherit the world (with his descendants) through the righteousness that comes from faith. Lent provides us with the opportunity to explore the foundations of our own faith. How are we being faithful? When God our Father looks at our faith, does He see righteousness leading to goodness, virtue, integrity, honesty, purity or piety? Or does He see the struggle, loneliness, hopelessness and despair that we sometimes create for ourselves? As a loving Father He sees all of it, both the good and the messy. Abraham believed, hoping against hope. Perhaps, we too, in our belief, can hope against hope, that God our Father sees and hears us, his children, and tenderly encourages us to rest in His loving presence.
     
    Gerry Taulman
    CBHS Faculty
  • March 18 - By J. Vincent Robinson, Sr. '71

    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."
     
    ______________________________________________________
     
    Reflection
     
    The Gospels of Luke are as appropriate a teaching aid today as they were during the Hellenistic period. During this period political unrest was rampant as empires were being split and the Roman empire was expanding rapidly. It was a period of government centralization and writings about Christianity could be considered revolutionary by those in power.

    Luke, educated as a physician, was respected as someone whose writings were viewed as reliable. Just think albeit fake news, Jesus was executed as someone who was a criminal and alleged to have caused the destruction of Jerusalem. Imagine what an uphill battle Luke had convincing people that Jesus was compassionate, and His teachings of Christian beliefs and actions were compatible with being good citizens.

    Today in our society the term fake news is used more times than someone saying, “thank you”. Our country and really the world are crippled by “TMI” a/k/a too much information. The digital age has crowded our smart devices and we immediately form opinions and are quick to judge. I’m guilty as anyone just ask our former President, Brother Chris, who has followed my FB page and my political views.

    Further if I had to guess, Brother Chris influenced the administration to request that I reflect on this Gospel. Quoting Gary Cooper in the movie Sargent York, “the Lord sure do move in mysterious ways”.

    Suffice it to say Lent couldn’t have arrived soon enough. I will work on not judging, not condemning and hopefully being more forgiving. Let’s just say I am a work in progress this season of Lent.
     
    J. Vincent Robinson, Sr.
    CBHS Class of 1971
  • March 17 - By Lindsey Neuman

    Luke 9:28B-36
     
     
    Jesus took Peter, John, and James
    and went up the mountain to pray.
    While he was praying his face changed in appearance
    and his clothing became dazzling white.
    And behold, two men were conversing with him, Moses and Elijah,
    who appeared in glory and spoke of his exodus
    that he was going to accomplish in Jerusalem.
    Peter and his companions had been overcome by sleep,
    but becoming fully awake,
    they saw his glory and the two men standing with him.
    As they were about to part from him, Peter said to Jesus,
    "Master, it is good that we are here;
    let us make three tents,
    one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah."
    But he did not know what he was saying.
    While he was still speaking,
    a cloud came and cast a shadow over them,
    and they became frightened when they entered the cloud.
    Then from the cloud came a voice that said,
    "This is my chosen Son; listen to him."
    After the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone.
    They fell silent and did not at that time
    tell anyone what they had seen.
     
    ______________________________________________________
     
    Reflection
     
    When reading today’s Gospel, these lines stood out to me: “Peter and his companions had been overcome by sleep, but becoming fully awake, they saw [Christ’s] glory and the two men standing with him.” As a mother of two young children and working full time, many days I find myself rushing from one task to another struggling to keep up at work and home with all the many to-do lists. After work, I’m consumed with household chores, and it isn’t until I’m rocking one of my babies to sleep that I finally pause to take in the beauty of the day. As I soak up the precious moments I have with my little ones, I, like Peter, James, and John, see the transfigured Christ—I see how Christ has worked through my day and my life to bring love and joy into every aspect of it. However, also like Peter and his companions, I’m not always fully awake to see Jesus in His glory all the time. This Lenten season I hope to pause more often to see Jesus dazzling all around me in my daily routine. I hope to stop in the busyness of life to listen to Him—to allow myself to be transfigured by Christ’s presence daily. I hope this Lenten season is an opportunity for us to witness more of Christ’s love in our lives.
     
    Lindsey Neuman
    CBHS Director of Mission and Ministry
  • March 16 - By Msgr. Peter Buchignani '58

     
    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."
     
    ______________________________________________________
     
    Reflection
     
    I would like to believe that the word LOVE is the most important word in any human language. Jesus had more to say about love than any other subject. Love is something we all desire. Yet do we comprehend what the word LOVE truly means. When Jesus says, “you have heard that it was said…’, He is saying: “You have been taught … but what I tell you is” and then He expands the meaning and scope of love. He expands the meaning of neighbor. He basically teaches that love cannot be limited to just a few persons. We are to love all people without exception even our enemies. While love can cause certain feelings within us, genuine love is not determined by how we feel but rather by how we see and act toward others even those who hurt us or those we do not like.
     
    People often confuse LOVE and LIKE. We do not have to like certain individuals but have to love them. Isn’t that what Jesus showed us when hanging on the cross in tremendous pain? He prayed, “Father, forgive them, they are not aware of what they are doing”. Even though we may not like some people, we can still love them as Christ commands. What then is scriptural love? It consists in this: You do not wish anyone evil. You truly desire that all be saved. And lastly, you are willing to help anyone in genuine need such as lacking the essential goods of life: food, clothing, etc. A good way to measure whether or not I love someone as Jesus teaches is if I am willing to pray for that person. If I refuse to pray for a particular person for any reason whatever, then I do not love as Jesus commanded. If I say I hate someone yet sincerely pray for that person, then I am not hating but rather expressing dislike. I am loving that person in spite of my negative feelings. We are to try and see all people as God see them. When I look upon the crucifix, I must remind myself that Jesus died not only to save me but to save all people even those I do not like or think unworthy of salvation. Jesus’ teaching on LOVE: so easy to understand… yet so hard to live.
     
     
    Msgr. Peter Buchignani
    CBHS Class of 1958
  • March 15 - By Fr. Bill Burke '67

     
    Matthew 5:20-26
     
    Jesus said to his disciples:
    "I tell you,
    unless your righteousness surpasses that
    of the scribes and Pharisees,
    you will not enter into the Kingdom of heaven.

    "You have heard that it was said to your ancestors,
    You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment.
    But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother
    will be liable to judgment,
    and whoever says to his brother, Raqa,
    will be answerable to the Sanhedrin,
    and whoever says, 'You fool,' will be liable to fiery Gehenna.
    Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar,
    and there recall that your brother
    has anything against you,
    leave your gift there at the altar,
    go first and be reconciled with your brother,
    and then come and offer your gift.
    Settle with your opponent quickly while on the way to court.
    Otherwise your opponent will hand you over to the judge,
    and the judge will hand you over to the guard,
    and you will be thrown into prison.
    Amen, I say to you,
    you will not be released until you have paid the last penny."
     
    ______________________________________________________
     
    Reflection
     
    Some of Jesus’ most difficult teachings are found in the Sermon on the Mount (Mt 5-7). I find it particularly difficult to put our passage today into practice: “if you bring your gift to the altar and there recall your sister/brother has anything against you, leave your gift there at the altar, go first and be reconciled with your sister/brother and then come and offer your gift”.

    Reconciliation – Forgiveness – Humility

    All three are necessary to do what Jesus asks. Remember it is not that you have something against someone but that your sister/brother has something against you. I find this to be more difficult!

    Jesus could not be clearer: angry and hateful words, if left unchecked, have a devastating and sometimes deadly effect on others. Words can harm others and God will not judge us kindly. Sometimes we think too much about what is wrong with them and how they must change. This is a form of hate.

    We all need to take Jesus’ warning about anger seriously. We can bind people in darkness when we let our anger harden into bitterness and resentment. The only way out is to forgive. Can we take a step back? Pause and say something nice and kind. Redirect our anger and be reconciled. Build a world that cares for one another with sisterly/brotherly love that benefits the Kingdom of God.

    Let us thank God that we have Jesus whose love and mercy has the power to melt our hearts so that we can forgive. Genuine, heartfelt forgiveness may not happen all at once. However, God’s mercy always prevails. If we continue to pray for the grace to forgive, eventually forgiveness will win. Then we can “be reconciled with others and come offer our gift to God at the altar”.
     
    Fr. Bill Burke
    CBHS Class of 1967
  • March 14 - By William Mangin '20

     
    Esther C:12, 14-16, 23-25
     
    Queen Esther, seized with mortal anguish,
    had recourse to the LORD.
    She lay prostrate upon the ground, together with her handmaids,
    from morning until evening, and said:
    "God of Abraham, God of Isaac, and God of Jacob, blessed are you.
    Help me, who am alone and have no help but you,
    for I am taking my life in my hand.
    As a child I used to hear from the books of my forefathers
    that you, O LORD, always free those who are pleasing to you.
    Now help me, who am alone and have no one but you,
    O LORD, my God.

    "And now, come to help me, an orphan.
    Put in my mouth persuasive words in the presence of the lion
    and turn his heart to hatred for our enemy,
    so that he and those who are in league with him may perish.
    Save us from the hand of our enemies;
    turn our mourning into gladness
    and our sorrows into wholeness."
     
    ______________________________________________________
     
    Reflection
     
    We all center our lives around our wants because they make us happier. It is human nature to desire money, love, or even Memphis Grizzlies tickets. Esther was a woman, however, that desired more than just her own well-being. In the scriptures, she was more worried about her people being murdered by the evil Haman than her own life.

    Selflessness is a great characteristic to have because it humbles us and brings us closer to God. In this Lenten season, we reflect every day about the sacrifices that God made for us. Now, we will probably never be in the danger of being murdered in Persia anytime soon, but the idea that we should always help others is the foundation of our faith.

    But we can never do this alone. At Mass every week, we recite our petitions to God because we know that he can accomplish more than us. Esther gave her petitions to God, and because of continuous prayer, her people were saved. With God, anything is possible, and if society can learn to rely on God rather than others, we will be satisfied.

    William Mangin
    CBHS Class of 2020
     
  • March 13 - By Lauren Volpe

    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."
    ______________________________________________________
     
    Reflection
     
    The first sentences that Jesus spoke in this passage from Luke immediately made me think of the times we are living in now, “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.” There is so much evil surrounding us, especially in our own country right now. Everywhere we turn, we are bombarded with immorality in society and are made to feel that we have no right to battle these injustices. But we must remember to look to Jesus as our sign of who has come to save our generation and others who have come before and after us. With Jesus’ help, we have the strength to stand up to the evil we see in society. With God on our side, we will always overcome.

    Lauren Volpe
    CBHS Director of Admissions
  • March 12 - By Gene Podesta '75

     
    Matthew 6:7 -15
     
    Jesus said to his disciples:
    "In praying, do not babble like the pagans,
    who think that they will be heard because of their many words.
    Do not be like them.
    Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

    "This is how you are to pray:

    Our Father who art in heaven,
    hallowed be thy name,
    thy Kingdom come,
    thy will be done,
    on earth as it is in heaven.
    Give us this day our daily bread;
    and forgive us our trespasses,
    as we forgive those who trespass against us;
    and lead us not into temptation,
    but deliver us from evil.

    "If you forgive men their transgressions,
    your heavenly Father will forgive you.
    But if you do not forgive men,
    neither will your Father forgive your transgressions."
     
    ______________________________________________________
     
    Reflection
     
    Today’s Gospel reading is one of two places in the New Testament where Jesus gives us the Lord’s Prayer, the other being from St. Luke’s Gospel (Lk. 11:1). All of us know this prayer by heart, and this familiarity often breeds contempt. How many times have I recited these words, engrained in me since early childhood, without pausing to reflect on their divine authorship and profound beauty?
     
    One reason for this familiarity is that, as Catholics, we recite this prayer every Sunday at Mass. Before we do, the priest says, “At the Savior’s command informed by divine teaching, we dare to say ....” Why do we “dare” to repeat the words that Jesus taught us? I think the answer lies in the first two words of the prayer, “Our Father.” We “dare” to address the all-powerful Creator of the universe as “Our Father.” Yet we do so with confidence because we know, through the blood of Jesus Christ, that God’s love for us is both limitless and unconditional. It is because of this divine love, revealed to us most fully through Christ’s life, death and resurrection, that we know God as our loving Father and we are his beloved children. As the Apostle John wrote, “See what love the Father has given us that we should be called the children of God; and so we are.” (1 Jn. 3:1).

    Gene Podesta
    CBHS Class of 1975
     
  • March 11 - By Thomas McDaniel

    Monday, March 11
    Leviticus 19:1-2; 11-18
     
    The LORD said to Moses,
    "Speak to the whole assembly of the children of Israel and tell them:
    Be holy, for I, the LORD, your God, am holy.

    "You shall not steal.
    You shall not lie or speak falsely to one another.
    You shall not swear falsely by my name,
    thus profaning the name of your God.
    I am the LORD.

    "You shall not defraud or rob your neighbor.
    You shall not withhold overnight the wages of your day laborer.
    You shall not curse the deaf,
    or put a stumbling block in front of the blind,
    but you shall fear your God.
    I am the LORD.

    "You shall not act dishonestly in rendering judgment.
    Show neither partiality to the weak nor deference to the mighty,
    but judge your fellow men justly.
    You shall not go about spreading slander among your kin;
    nor shall you stand by idly when your neighbor's life is at stake. 
    I am the LORD.

    "You shall not bear hatred for your brother in your heart. 
    Though you may have to reprove him,
    do not incur sin because of him. 
    Take no revenge and cherish no grudge against your fellow countrymen.
    You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
    I am the LORD."
     
    ______________________________________________________
     
    Reflection
     
    When reading the passage, the introductory command from God to Moses (and all of us) seems incredibly simple, but overwhelmingly powerful. Many times, life and the daily challenges each of us face can consume our mind filling it with negativity, despair, and encompassing sin. However, God merely reminds us to be holy. To keep it simple, model his walk in the best of your abilities and respect the rules that he has given us while following these appropriately.
     
    In the verses that follow, we are instructed on a variety of common duties which many are inclined to. Conversely, keep good spirit and exhibit kindness. In addition, one should challenge a “neighbor” that has offended with compassion. Unfortunately, the act of remonstrating with the offender is an act that cannot be seen regularly. Helping your neighbor in a time of struggle can be difficult and uncomfortable; however, if we truly love him/her, there are situations where it is necessary. The path of indifference is easy to follow. Be willing to challenge and support someone in moments of weakness. Have the strength and courage to be holy. Show love to everyone you encounter. God provided us the rules, but we must be willing to follow.

    Thomas McDaniel
    CBHS Faculty
  • March 10 - Br. Mark Engelmeyer, FSC

     
     
    Luke 4:1 -13

     
    Filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus returned from the Jordan
    and was led by the Spirit into the desert for forty days,
    to be tempted by the devil.
    He ate nothing during those days,
    and when they were over he was hungry.
    The devil said to him,
    "If you are the Son of God,
    command this stone to become bread."
    Jesus answered him,
    "It is written, One does not live on bread alone."
    Then he took him up and showed him
    all the kingdoms of the world in a single instant.
    The devil said to him,
    "I shall give to you all this power and glory;
    for it has been handed over to me,
    and I may give it to whomever I wish.
    All this will be yours, if you worship me."
    Jesus said to him in reply,
    "It is written:
    You shall worship the Lord, your God,
    and him alone shall you serve."

    Then he led him to Jerusalem,
    made him stand on the parapet of the temple, and said to him,
    "If you are the Son of God,
    throw yourself down from here, for it is written:
    He will command his angels concerning you, to guard you,
    and:
    With their hands they will support you,
    lest you dash your foot against a stone."

    Jesus said to him in reply,
    "It also says,
    You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test."
    When the devil had finished every temptation,
    he departed from him for a time.
     
    ______________________________________________________
     
    Reflection
     
    Can the devil really be that foolish? What makes the devil think that he can tempt Jesus into sin? Our Lord resisted the temptations, and Lent is our opportunity to participate in Jesus’ life during these 40 days of trial and temptation. During Lent, we are especially called to embrace prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. These three pillars of Lent are not only the remedy to the three temptations that Our Lord encountered, but they are also our strength when we face temptation.

    We are called to deny ourselves through fasting, and we look to Jesus who did not turn stones into bread. Our Lord loves us, and while we abstain from “bread” that perishes, He calls us to desire and receive the Eucharist, for he who eats the Bread of Life will not hunger.

    Jesus is offered all the kingdoms of the world, and the devil’s price was that Our Lord worship him. Our Lord does not need all the kingdoms of the earth because He has a kingdom, the Church, and He invites us to pray and worship Him in His kingdom.

    Jesus does not throw Himself from the Temple, but He throws Himself upon us in the Sacraments. We follow Our Lord’s example with almsgiving where we give ourselves in time, treasure, and talent.

    Looking at the three temptations and the Lenten pillars, it is seen that Our Lord is inviting us to participate more frequently at Mass. At Mass, we worship Our Lord and receive Him in the Eucharist, and after receiving Him in this Sacrament, we are truly able to give of ourselves to those in need. Jesus shows us that the Mass is our remedy for when we are facing temptations and trials.

    Br. Mark Engelmeyer, FSC
    CBHS Faculty

  • March 9 - By John Morris

    Isaiah 58:9B-14
     
    Thus says the LORD:
    If you remove from your midst oppression,
    false accusation and malicious speech;
    If you bestow your bread on the hungry
    and satisfy the afflicted;
    Then light shall rise for you in the darkness,
    and the gloom shall become for you like midday;
    Then the LORD will guide you always
    and give you plenty even on the parched land.
    He will renew your strength,
    and you shall be like a watered garden,
    like a spring whose water never fails.
    The ancient ruins shall be rebuilt for your sake,
    and the foundations from ages past you shall raise up;
    "Repairer of the breach," they shall call you,
    "Restorer of ruined homesteads."

    If you hold back your foot on the sabbath
    from following your own pursuits on my holy day;
    If you call the sabbath a delight,
    and the LORD's holy day honorable;
    If you honor it by not following your ways,
    seeking your own interests, or speaking with malice.
    Then you shall delight in the LORD,
    and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth;
    I will nourish you with the heritage of Jacob, your father,
    for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.
     
    ______________________________________________________
     
    Reflection
     
    Bishop Fulton J. Sheen, in his classic, Life of Christ, spoke of the ceaseless working of the Father in the spiritual realm following the six days of creation and the Son’s work in engaging in works of mercy as being equal to the Father. The Sabbath isn’t just a day that follows the previous six; it has a profound purpose, both physically and spiritually. It is necessary for man to rest and sanctify because work tires. Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.

    Growing up, my brothers and sisters and I often looked forward to Sunday, the Sabbath, for “selfish” reasons. We attended school all week long. And then my mother made us clean the inside of the house on Friday afternoons, after a week of school. Then my father would wake us early on Saturday, telling us that we were working for him outside. Thus, we were always working in the yard, or cleaning the garage, or one of dozens of other chores to keep us busy.

    However, on Sundays following morning Mass, we would never have to an ounce of servile work. We would read, or play outside, or play sports and other games. It was a wonderful feeling of relief that we could enjoy rest and relaxation. (We weren’t exempt from doing our school homework, however!) My siblings and I would half-jokingly say that even if my father ordered us to do work, we would have to refuse because the Lord’s Commandments took precedence over my dad’s.

    As I grew older and hopefully wiser, I began to understand the spiritual reasons for resting on the Sabbath. Thus, when Isaiah calls the Sabbath “a delight”, and when he speaks of renewal, water, repairs, and restoration, he foretells of the work of Jesus and his works of mercy, which helps right the ship, reorients the mind, and redirects the heart towards God.

    And my children appreciate not having to do any work on Sunday, too!
     
    John Morris
    CBHS Director of Communications
  • March 8 - By Anne Pratt

    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!
     
    ______________________________________________________
     
    Reflection
     
    Jesus was asked why he was not pleased with his people for doing what they thought was just and following what they believed was His law. "Why do we fast, and you do not see it? Afflict ourselves, and you take no note of it?" He answers simply that on the day you fast, you still go about your daily pursuits and still disregard those around you who are struggling every day. What we would call a day of penance, is another man's daily life. Will our one day of penance and fasting change that daily burden for them?
     
    Jesus then instructs us that his idea of fasting is rather to give TO than to give UP-- share our blessings, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, comfort those in need. In other words, give of yourself. That is the purest and greatest gift we have to share. It is the definition of love. By putting yourself aside, you are in a sense fasting of your own needs and recognizing the needs of another. God gave his only son to humanity to show His love, but also to let us know that sacrifice for others is what helps us find our way to him.
     
    During our Lenten journey we are called upon to contemplate how giving something of ourselves-some of our blessings-- can actually give one of our fellow humans a blessing they need in their life. God loves a cheerful giver and He does not ask us to make sacrifices "that make a man lie in sackcloth and ashes". Rather, He asks us to take positive steps to make another man's life a little brighter. By giving to another, "your light will break thru like the dawn". Where that light shines, the glory of the Lord will follow.
     
    Anne Pratt
    Widow of the late George Pratt ‘65
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  • March 7 - By Jonathan Lyons '93

    Luke 9:22 -25
     
    Jesus said to his disciples:
    "The Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected
    by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes,
    and be killed and on the third day be raised."

    Then he said to all,
    "If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself
    and take up his cross daily and follow me.
    For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
    but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.
    What profit is there for one to gain the whole world
    yet lose or forfeit himself?"
     
    ______________________________________________________
     
    Reflection
     
    In the Gospel reading today, Jesus tells the disciples that he will suffer greatly and not be accepted by the world in which they live. He also goes as far as to say that he will be killed because of it. He then asks them to drop the things of this world and to follow Him daily in “the spirit”... to not live “in the world “ but to live “in the spirit.”

    We live in a world of instant gratification ...always wanting to be accepted by others (As the world views acceptance). One would say that most of the time we live “in the world”.

    Our daily lives are filled with us trying to control our daily outcomes. Our daily lives are filled with us trying to control those around us to accept us. Because of this, we tend to follow the crowd, take the easy way out, work constantly to get the big deal, worry over simple things that in the end are out of our control. Jesus is asking us as people and as parents not to quit working or loving, or enjoying our lives, but to do these things in his name ... “in the spirit”. To drop our worries, to give our daily lives and all of the ups and downs that come along with them (the cross) to him and to relinquish our control.

    Maybe the result of living in the spirit is that we aren’t the coolest or most popular parents or people. Maybe we have to change our habits and get uncomfortable. Maybe this means that we accept others and are inclusive to all. Maybe this means that we have to truly humble ourselves daily before God and follow Him in all things and the result will be that we will be with Him when the Kingdom of heaven is at hand. Maybe in the world’s eyes we won’t be seen as the most popular, but in the eyes of the one that matters most we will be seen as the true winners or profiteers. Our job on this earth is to follow God and to get ourselves and others to heaven. 
     
    Jonathan Lyons ‘93
    CBHS Alumni Board President
  • March 6 (Ash Wednesday) - By Brother Joel William McGraw, FSC, '63

    Ash Wednesday, March 6
    Corinthians 5:20 - 6:2
     
    Brothers and sisters:
    We are ambassadors for Christ,
    as if God were appealing through us.
    We implore you on behalf of Christ,
    be reconciled to God.
    For our sake he made him to be sin who did not know sin, 
    so that we might become the righteousness of God in him.

    Working together, then,
    we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain.
    For he says:

    In an acceptable time I heard you,
    and on the day of salvation I helped you.

    Behold, now is a very acceptable time;
    behold, now is the day of salvation.
     
    ______________________________________________________
     
    Reflection
     
    CBHS graduates from the Parkway all remember Franciscan Father Francis Habig, OFM..."Father Frankie".  He celebrated Mass for the Brothers at 6:00 in the morning and on school mornings, got some breakfast afterwards and returned to the chapel sacristy, north side, and parked himself on a chair with a confessional screen next to it and he would hear the confessions of collegians and high schoolers until 8:30 when the first period began.  
     
    His universal penance of five Our Fathers, five Hail Marys and five Glory be's..."a special penance from the Pope"... was doled out to all penitents, regardless of the enormity or simplicity of the sins confessed.  His pastoral approach to the Sacrament of Reconciliation might have been challenged by theologians and liturgists, but his being an ambassador of the loving and forgiving Christ to countless teenage boys could not be challenged.  He took the fear of Confession away from the boys and delivered to them somewhat painlessly the mercy and love and forgiveness of Christ.  He helped us be reconciled with ourselves, with God and with our neighbors...the three persons from whom we become estranged when we sin.  The priest in Reconciliation is not a judge, is not an arbiter, is not a scolder, not a perfectly sinless man.  The priest represents Christ and all people and listens to us, gives us encouragement and direction, and hands over freely to us the absolution of our sins.  We are thus reconciled with God, with our neighbors and with ourselves.  And when we stumble again...the Father Frankies in our lives are there once again to help us be reconciled, if we but ask.   That's quite a good deal!
     
    Loving and forgiving Christ, bestow Your grace, Your life, on us this Lent to go to the Sacrament of Reconciliation and confess our sins, do penance and start again our journey to You in heaven alongside our brothers and sisters.  Thank You, loving and forgiving Jesus, for this wonderful free gift.  Amen!
      
    Br. Joel William McGraw, FSC
    CBHS Class of 1963
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  • March 4 (Introduction) - By Principal Chris Fay

    Let us remember, that we are in the holy presence of God.
     
    On behalf of our faculty, staff, students, and the Brothers, I invite you to join us on this Lenten journey of reflection and wisdom.  I am especially grateful to the many people who accepted our invitation to contribute to our Lenten reflection series. It is my prayer that this series is a formative experience for all who participate over the next 40 days.
     
    While we are accustomed to fasting, prayer and abstinence during the Lenten season, I invite you to really let “it” go over the next 40 days.  We all have “its” in our lives that we desperately hold tightly with clenched fists, such as a child clinging to his or her favorite toy.  We can let go of guilt, anxieties, fears, jealousy, envy of others and all that we try to control in our lives.  Join me in having a deeper trust in God’s holy presence and allow Him to work through us this Lent.  I share the prayer below with you and I wish you a holy Lenten season.  May we all open our hearts and hands to serve others.
     
     
    Dear God, 

    I am so afraid to open my clenched fists! 
    Who will I be when I have nothing left to hold on to? 
    Who will I be when I stand before you with empty hands? 
    Please help me to gradually open my hands
    and to discover that I am not what I own, 
    but what you want to give me. 
    And what you want to give me is love—
    unconditional, everlasting love.   (From Henri Nouwen)


    Amen.
     
    Live, Jesus, in our hearts, forever!
     
    Chris Fay
    CBHS Principal

Lenten Reflections