#Fr Brendan

Happy Easter! Invitation to Joy

We have completed our 40 days of Lent. We journeyed with Our Lord as He instituted the Holy Eucharist, washed the feet of His disciples, was imprisoned, handed over to Pontius Pilate, was scourged and crucified; we mourned his death on Holy Saturday and today, the Lord is risen from the dead! Now what? As we celebrate the resurrection of Christ, we may feel that we’ve reached the end. There’s joy, relief, it’s over. Yes, the “strife is over,”as we sung last night at the Easter Vigil, but now a new journey begins as we extend an invitation to 50 Days of Joy, what we call the “Easter Season” of the liturgical year.  From the Resurrection to Pentecost, fifty days, we will continue writing and sharing our daily reflections through text messages and social media to keep us all focused on the deep down joy that flows from the overabundant graces of a new life given to us by Christ glorified. We invite you to sign up or continue following us as we go forward together.

by Fr. Brendan

Advent Day 15: Testimony of Light

“A man named John was sent from God.  He came for testimony, to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.”John 1:6-8

The innocence or guilt of people is often decided by someone’s testimony. The most convincing testimony is not given always by experts but by eye witnesses.  I’ve always been inspired by the unique testimony of Moses who spent time with God. There were no eye witnesses to Moses’ encounters with God. To me, the irrefutable evidence that God spoke to Moses is that every time God met with Moses, Moses’ face shone with light. I spend a lot of time trying to find the right words – the most convincing words – to share the light of Christ. Moses reminds me that when I pray, God give sheds his own light on me in a way that people can’t help but see His light and His face.

by Fr. Brendan

 

Advent Day 1: Let There Be Light

day1On the first day of creation, God created light. On this first day of Advent God has spoken words that trouble me for He says “Brendan, let there be light.”  I am startled and stop in my tracks like a scared animal, hoping that the call will pass by like a storm cloud. But God continues, “In creating light, in washing the feet of my disciples, and in everything I have done, I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do. Remember, you are the light of the world so let your light shine before others.” My friends, when you hear your phone ring or vibrate in the morning bringing you these daily Advent reflections, may you hear God calling you: “[your name], let there be light”.  Say it out loud.God brought light to a formless and dark abyss. Find someone in darkness today and share your light with them. You are the light of the world. “[your name], let there be light”. The first day.

by Fr. Brendan

God Did This

shutterstock_112621103It was October 3rd, 1994. I had purchased a one-way ticket from LAX to New Jersey and was sitting on a plane six hours away from beginning a new stage in my life. I was moving from California to New Jersey. After a couple of weeks in New Jersey, I decided to spend the weekend driving up the coast through New York and New England. What I saw truly stopped me in my tracks. I had never seen anything like it before – the splendor of the fall foliage. It was an explosion of colors that was both as entertaining as it was beautiful. Although I was not very close to God at this point in my life, I remember the thought involuntary coming to me: “God did this.” It was obvious. Experiencing this living art of God painted an unforgettable lesson in mind: God is so beautiful. God also displayed his playfulness by making trees rain down iridescent leaves so that God could play with his children as they danced in his leaves as bright colored toys from heaven.

by Fr. Brendan

Intercession and Gratitude

IMG_0714St. Edward the Confessor is a very important place for the Vietnamese Catholic community. Throughout the week, Vietnamese Catholics come and visit the statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe located just outside of Knight Hall. Sometimes one person will arrive,  and other times, a whole bus full of people come and visit, often on Saturdays, to pray and care for the grotto area. If you have prayed there, you have probably noticed that there are over a dozen marble plaques with Vietnamese writing  in the garden in front of Our Lady. There is a strong belief among Vietnamese Catholics in and beyond our diocese that many prayers and miracles have been granted through the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe. When a prayer or miracle has been granted, some of them return to give thanks by placing a plaque at the feet of Mary.  This weekend, we welcome Rev. Vang Cong Trang who represents the Viet Toc Foundation, serving the people in the tribal and highland regions of Vietnam. Please support their work of providing clean water, education, emergency relief, health care, and hope to those living in extreme poverty.

by Fr. Brendan

Imitation

Brendan2We all know that children are natural imitators of what they see and hear. How many times has a parent turned to their child with shock and asked “Where did you hear that?”. This cute picture is of a boy imitating me celebrating Mass as he watches it on our parish website. He was going to church with his family later in the day and wanted some practice. In addition to being cute, the picture reminds me to always speak and act in a way that is worthy of being imitated. Then, I can say with St. Paul “I exhort you, become imitators of me” (1 Cor 4:16). What would someone’s day look and sound like if they imitated you today?

by Fr. Brendan

Behind Locked Doors

shutterstock_384109945Recently, I visited two innocent people who were locked up, not in prison, but in a care-facility. The first visit was to a woman in the behavioral health wing of a hospital. She was receiving psychological help which required her to be in a secured, lock-down environment. My next visit was to a group of elderly who suffer from dementia. I was struck by the fact that in both cases, I needed a code to get in and a code to get out, in order to visit – not criminals – but the sick. Please pray for the sick who live behind locked doors and let’s be good stewards today of our freedom and health by loving God and serving our neighbor with joy and generosity.

by Fr. Brendan

Transformation

Man Walking Towards CrossJoe was living in Texas and I was living in California. Now in his late twenties, he had long ago lost his way in life and gotten himself into some serious trouble. Over the course of several years, he would call me once a month, we would exchange letters regularly, and I went to visit him once. We talked about God, life, and his future. Little by little, I witnessed a transformation within Joe. He came to know – to really know – God. Over time, Joe began to see life in a completely different light. He was happier, at peace, and had found purpose and joy in life. He said that he had never been happier or felt more free in his life. What was so special about this is that Joe was in prison…and yet free at last.

by Fr. Brendan