Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ


“Corpus Christi” Bulletin cover for June 18. Painting by: Ronald Raab, CSC

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Dear Believers in Christ Jesus,

Today we celebrate a feast that focuses on what we do as Christians every day, the belief in the Eucharist. This feast becomes a treasured moment when we truly reflect on Christ’s real and continuing presence among us. We are not alone in our faith, but sustained in the reality of Christ’s presence in His Body and Blood.

The gospel today, John 6:51-58, offers us the invitation to follow Jesus, not only on earth, but also toward the gift of eternal life. We are bonded in Jesus’ life through the celebration of the Eucharist. We shall be united with Christ for all eternity as we remember him on earth.

This feast now culminates the series of celebrations before we enter into Ordinary Time. Pentecost, The Trinity and Corpus Christi all remind us of our renewed faith in Lent and Easter. Today, we are aware that we belong to Christ, our true identity.

We celebrate the Eucharist daily as a reminder of our connection to Jesus’ passion, death and resurrection. This is the core of our faith. The Eucharist feeds us in our weariness, in our hunger for justice, hope and security in the world. The Eucharist changes our hearts and attitudes, our perspectives and our identities. We are loved and the depth of that love takes us a lifetime to ponder and to live in our world.

The Eucharist brings to humanity much mystery. The mystery is God’s enduring love for his people. We worship God in the Eucharist. However, we also break open the hardships, misfortunes and apathy that we experience living here on earth. Why is humanity so important within the Eucharist? This is where the mystery lies. God’s unique love for us must be given a home, a resting place within the human soul. We cannot believe in God in the abstract. We must be able to find God’s love in human transformation.

When we discard human need of the Eucharist, we disembody God’s love. We are to become what we eat. We are to live in our world in fidelity and trust. We must find the mystery within our human hunger and discover God who feeds us. We must scrape injustice from our world and let God into all human suffering. The Body of Christ is not a static notion and not just a host we adore, but the reality that we are called to bring such love in our world and relationships.

Today, many people of our young generation do not believe in the Real Presence of Christ. Some have a difficulty because they do not see us older folks believing and living out such a reality in the world. We must practice what we preach, believe what we profess and live what we celebrate. The Eucharist is grounded in deep human need and longing. This is where the mystery lives.

How can you pray in your personal prayer the deep meaning of the Eucharist? What does it mean for you to live the Eucharist in the world?

Blessings in the Body of Christ,

Fr. Ron

Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ


“Body and Blood of Christ Jesus” Painting by: Ronald Raab, CSC

Sequence — Lauda Sion

Laud, O Zion, your salvation,
Laud with hymns of exultation,
Christ, your king and shepherd true:

Bring him all the praise you know,
He is more than you bestow.
Never can you reach his due.

Special theme for glad thanksgiving
Is the quick’ning and the living
Bread today before you set:

From his hands of old partaken,
As we know, by faith unshaken,
Where the Twelve at supper met.

Full and clear ring out your chanting,
Joy nor sweetest grace be wanting,
From your heart let praises burst:

For today the feast is holden,
When the institution olden
Of that supper was rehearsed.

Here the new law’s new oblation,
By the new king’s revelation,
Ends the form of ancient rite:

Now the new the old effaces,
Truth away the shadow chases,
Light dispels the gloom of night.

What he did at supper seated,
Christ ordained to be repeated,
His memorial ne’er to cease:

And his rule for guidance taking,
Bread and wine we hallow, making
Thus our sacrifice of peace.

This the truth each Christian learns,
Bread into his flesh he turns,
To his precious blood the wine:

Sight has fail’d, nor thought conceives,
But a dauntless faith believes,
Resting on a pow’r divine.

Here beneath these signs are hidden
Priceless things to sense forbidden;
Signs, not things are all we see:

Blood is poured and flesh is broken,
Yet in either wondrous token
Christ entire we know to be.

Whoso of this food partakes,
Does not rend the Lord nor breaks;
Christ is whole to all that taste:

Thousands are, as one, receivers,
One, as thousands of believers,
Eats of him who cannot waste.

Bad and good the feast are sharing,
Of what divers dooms preparing,
Endless death, or endless life.

Life to these, to those damnation,
See how like participation
Is with unlike issues rife.

When the sacrament is broken,
Doubt not, but believe ’tis spoken,
That each sever’d outward token
doth the very whole contain.

Nought the precious gift divides,
Breaking but the sign betides
Jesus still the same abides,
still unbroken does remain.

The Solemnity of The Most Holy Trinity

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“The Most Holy Trinity” Painting by: Ronald Raab, CSC

Dear Believers,

The Church celebrates The Most Holy Trinity, the foundation of the relationship among the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This feast at first glance seems abstract, yet this is the foundation on which we build our lives, our faith and the Church.

In today’s gospel, John 3:16-18, we hear again that God loves us from the beginning of the world. We are created in love in order to love. During these past months, we have celebrated the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Last week, we ended the Easter season with Pentecost. This feast summarizes what we have been living and celebrating.

Our sacramental lives celebrate the Trinity. We are all baptized in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Our lives of faith come from this foundation of love from the Father. We are recreated and born again in Jesus’ resurrection. We are also given ongoing hope and purpose relying on the Holy Spirit.

This concept of faith is lived out in our daily lives. When we enter our church buildings and dip our fingers into holy water and bless ourselves, we are living out the meaning of the Trinity. When we begin a meal prayer or receive absolution in the confessional, we receive the blessing of the Trinity. When we pray the Liturgy of the Hours or even the Rosary in the privacy of our home, we are connected to the life-giving action of the Trinity.

We live with courage under the banner of the Trinity as we mark our human bodies Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Living our faith daily in the events of turmoil, misunderstandings, hopelessness and ill health, we take action in the Holy Trinity. We summon the force of God’s love, compassion and hope when we believe, actively pray, and publicly witness the mark of the Trinity, not only on our bodies, but also within our human hearts and actions. Summoning the Trinity on our human bodies as we enter the church door is an act of defiance against despair. God’s love is manifest when we take this courageous step to admit our faith and live it with intention.

Here are some questions to ponder on this Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity:

Take a moment to reflect on how you begin your prayer. Do you mark your body with the Sign of the Cross? What does that action mean to you? Can you take some time this week to simply use that action for your prayer? If you pray from this sign, it might be the only prayer you really need.

Take some prayer time to reflect on how you bless others. When you tuck in your children at bedtime, do you bless them with the Sign of the Cross? What does this mean when you entrust your children with this sign of love? This is the Holy Trinity in action.

Blessings to you all— Father, Son and Holy Spirit

Fr. Ron

On the Margins: John 3:16-18


On the Margins from Mater Dei Radio, Portland, OR

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The Holy Trinity

Gospel JN 3:16-18

God so loved the world that he gave his only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him might not perish
but might have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world,
but that the world might be saved through him.
Whoever believes in him will not be condemned,
but whoever does not believe has already been condemned,
because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.

Pentecost 2017


“Pentecost 2017” Painting by: Ronald Raab, CSC

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Dear Followers of the Risen Christ,

Today the Church celebrates Pentecost! This is the birthday of the Church, our foundation in the Holy Spirit. Today, we invigorate our lives, confess our faith, and realize our role to spread the Good News in our world. Pentecost is not just a celebration of the past, but also an enlightenment of God’s activity within our human lives.

Today’s gospel, John 20:19-23, is a familiar passage in this Easter season. We proclaimed this text on the Second Sunday of Easter. In John’s gospel, Pentecost happened in the first week after the Resurrection.

Jesus appears behind closed doors. This revelation speaks to us in our weariness and tightness of heart and attitude. There is nothing that will keep the Holy Spirit from our lives— no hardship or discomfort, no sin or doubt, no insecurity or suffering. Today, we are challenged again that all our hearts be open to receive this new life.

The first words from Jesus after his Resurrection were, “Peace be with you.” This is not a throwaway line. This is the truth of Jesus’ presence and his overwhelming life of peace, harmony and forgiveness. Jesus’ greeting of peace is a very commonplace expression in many languages. Jesus is really saying, “Hello.” This is an everyday expression and yet it speaks to the core of how we long for the everyday presence of Jesus Christ.

Jesus breathes on his disciples. The Holy Spirit does not fade into the wind. The Spirit is with us forever. So often in baptism, we live as if the Holy Spirit was given to us once upon a time and fades with our disinterest over time. The Holy Spirit does not leave us! The Holy Spirit’s power, love and consolation are still deep within our lives and hearts. Once we are given such power, it does not fade or get washed away in memory, time or adulthood.

Today is the day we all need to ask for what we need in life. Life is tough; anguish is real; and the threats of violence, hunger, and war are in the air. We are challenged to pray this Pentecost Day! Pray for your own needs and the needs of your family. Pray for what the world needs and desires. Pray for our Church and our local community. Pray for our future and the hope that peace can really find a home on earth. Pray for everything! We do this because on this Solemnity of Pentecost, who knows how the Holy Spirit will transform the world. Only the Holy Spirit knows for sure.

Here are some questions to consider this week:

How can you revive your prayer and relationship with the Holy Spirit? What is the Holy Spirit calling you to pray for in your life and in our world this week? How is the Holy Spirit challenging you to serve, love and work in the world? How can you practically embrace the Holy Spirit in your life today/

Happy Pentecost,

Fr. Ron

Pentecost 2017: Sequence and Painting


Pentecost 2017, Painting by: Ronald Raab, CSC

Sequence — Veni, Sancte Spiritus

Come, Holy Spirit, come!
And from your celestial home
Shed a ray of light divine!
Come, Father of the poor!
Come, source of all our store!
Come, within our bosoms shine.
You, of comforters the best;
You, the soul’s most welcome guest;
Sweet refreshment here below;
In our labor, rest most sweet;
Grateful coolness in the heat;
Solace in the midst of woe.
O most blessed Light divine,
Shine within these hearts of yours,
And our inmost being fill!
Where you are not, we have naught,
Nothing good in deed or thought,
Nothing free from taint of ill.
Heal our wounds, our strength renew;
On our dryness pour your dew;
Wash the stains of guilt away:
Bend the stubborn heart and will;
Melt the frozen, warm the chill;
Guide the steps that go astray.
On the faithful, who adore
And confess you, evermore
In your sevenfold gift descend;
Give them virtue’s sure reward;
Give them your salvation, Lord;
Give them joys that never end. Amen.

Bishop-Elect William Wack, CSC


(Left) Bishop-Elect Bill Wack,CSC

Click here for the article from Catholic News Service

Click here for the article from Diocese of Austin

Bill Wack, CSC is a former associate pastor here in Colorado Springs, CO in the Tri-Community of Sacred Heart Church in Old Colorado City, Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Manitou Springs and Holy Rosary Chapel in Cascade, CO.

Please pray for Bill, a wonderful priest and gentle servant.