Saturday, September 22, 2018

25th Sunday OT @ St. Apollinaris Parish

HOMILY - TWENTY-FIFTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
SEPTEMBER 22/23, 2018
4:30 PM (SAT), 7:30AM, 9:00 AM ORDINARY FORM (ENGLISH) MASSES



Human relationships are complicated.

Social scientists tell us that all human beings need to feel love and acceptance.

All human societies demonstrate social exchange – in the form of business relationships or aspects of interpersonal exchange.

Human beings are also influenced by their peer group – that is, relationships develop ones sense of self and influence behaviors.



Positive relationships are described by psychologists as flourishing, budding, blooming, or blossoming – indicating that they are not only happy, but also show characteristics of growth, intimacy, and resilience.

Pathological or negative relationships, on the other hand, do quite the opposite. There are abusive relationships – on all levels of interaction. Dysfunctional relationships can foster co-dependency. And supposedly narcissists seek to distance themselves from intimate relationships, maintaining only superficial, self-serving contact with others.



A word which was added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2010 which describes an uneasy middle-ground relationship is “frenemy.” “Frenemy” is an oxymoronic portmanteau of the words “friend” and “enemy” joined into a single concept.

It could be described as the person you love to hate or someone who pretends to be a friend so they can betray you at a later time.



Although it was only officially added to the Oxford English Dictionary eight years ago, its earliest use was in 1953 in an article by the gossip columnist Walter Winchell in the Nevada State Journal. The title of the article was “Howz about calling the Russians our Frienemies?” Yet nearly 60 years later, it still seems to be a neologism – a newly coined word.

Today is the 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time.

Saint James, in the second reading, provides us with a stern talking-to regarding how “jealousy … selfish ambition … [and] disorder” in our human relationships can impede our most important relationship – that is, our relationship with God almighty.

The reading from the Book of Wisdom shows that what James encountered is not unique to the first century. Written toward the end of the Classical Age, today’s first reading from Wisdom plays out the thinking and the efforts of the wicked who seek to undermine the righteous.

Sort of lends an ancient air to the early 19th century expression of “[darned] if you do, [darned] if you don’t.

Even among the disciples there were thoughts of competition. Jesus is trying to explain the mystery of the Cross, and they’re picking out carpet patterns, and arguing about who gets the corner office in the New Jerusalem.



Our Lord’s tells them:
If anyone wishes to be first,
he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.
And then uses a child as a brilliant example of this.

In traditional legal doctrine, children under the age of 7 are considered to be legally incapable of committing a crime. Similarly, in Church Law, a child older than 7 is considered to be of the “age of reason.

Jesus isn’t lionizing childishness – but rather, lifting up the example of simplicity and purity of heart. An openness and willingness to love our neighbor as ourselves. After first loving God with all our heart, all our mind, all our soul. Solely for God’s sake, and love of God alone – without any thought of self.



As we approach this altar to receive the Sacred Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ – let us pray that the graces we receive in this Most Blessed Sacrament may change us – heal us – transform us into a living icon of God as fully active members of Christ’s body. May the Holy Spirit energize us to live lives worthy of our calling – so we might be vehicles of evangelization in the world.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

24th Sunday OT @ St. Apollinaris

HOMILY - TWENTY-FOURTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
SEPTEMBER 16, 2018
7:30AM, 5:30 PM ORDINARY FORM (ENGLISH) MASSES


Tuesday, March 22, 2016 on Hoyt Street, in Saginaw, Michigan, the priests were lining up on the sidewalk outside the Cathedral for the annual Chrism Mass. It was Holy Week. We were vested in a variety of albs – the white robe worn by clergy, acolytes, and altar servers. We all wore off-white stoles from the vestment sets designed during the 1970s that were stored in the closets.

Shortly before the procession was to start, walking across the street was what looked like … Jesus. A man, barefoot, with long hair and a beard; wearing a white robe, a blanket, carrying a Bible, and a Rosary.

He tried to enter the Cathedral, but security teams were on guard against anything out of the ordinary. And after a brief encounter with security, he was escorted off the property.

I turned to the priest next to me and stage-whispered, “Gee! I guess Jesus isn’t welcome here anymore.”


That man is Carl James Joseph, who since 1991 has travelled through 47 states and 20 countries spreading the Gospel, and living a life of radical simplicity. He is from Toledo, Ohio; graduated from high school in 1979; and has never married. 

A documentary film was made about him in 2007; it’s titled “The Jesus Guy,” and it’s earned 3.5 stars in customer reviews on Amazon Prime Video.

If you ask him his name, he tells you it’s “What’s your name?” Seeming to answer a question with a question. Perhaps it’s because, what he’s doing isn’t about himself … but about something … and Someone … bigger.

Today is the 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time.

The first reading from Isaiah chapter 50 is what is one of the “Suffering Servant Songs” – which Christians apply as a prophetic description of Jesus during His passion. 

This correlates with the Gospel passage from St. Mark – Jesus asks the disciples, “But who do you say that I am?” 

St. Peter gets the answer right, but he misses the mark on how this will all be worked out. 


The Gospel ends with Our Lord admonishing the disciples saying:
Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. 
And in a truly Incarnational approach to Christian living, St. James in his letter reminds us that our Faith requires action when he says: “faith … is dead … if it does not have works.

In our own day and age, I believe we all struggle with these same things. Who is Jesus? Who do we say that He is? How does my faith affect my thoughts … my words … my actions?


And perhaps even more so, Who are we? How does my Faith affect who I am? How is Jesus part of my life? Is He welcome in my home? My heart? My workplace? My prayer life? My church?

A living Faith is filled with the power of the Holy Spirit – dynamic, active, moving. 

A living Faith means taking up the cross – every day – and that can be messy … violent … brutal.


As we approach this altar to receive the Sacred Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ; let us pray for the courage to take up our crosses … in Faith, in Hope, and in Love. Let us welcome Christ into our lives, and in our hearts, and in our homes … no matter the cost … let us resolve to follow Him … wherever He may lead us.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

22nd Sunday of OT @ St. Apollinaris

HOMILY - TWENTY-SECOND SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
SEPTEMBER 2, 2018
9:00AM, 5:30 PM ORDINARY FORM (ENGLISH) MASSES



“You can’t judge a book by its cover,” is an idiom with origins in the mid 19th century. It is a metaphor which admonishes the listener to go beyond an external appearance to understand what lies beneath … to question first impressions, and to seek more information regarding an individual, or a thing.

Today is the 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time.


In the Gospel, Jesus is confronted with the Pharisees who ask why his disciples do not follow the traditions of their elders.

What is going on here is that the Law of Moses, which is enumerated first in Exodus, and then in Deuteronomy – where today’s first reading is taken from. The Pharisees took this Law, and wrote their own laws in order to build a hedge or a wall around the Law. Subsequent generations added more laws – or more walls – until there were 613 additional rules (365 negative admonitions … or “thou shalt not’s”, and 288 positive admonitions … or “thou shalt’s”).


The emphasis was on the outside – with little understanding of what was going on inside.

Jesus breaks through the wall and indicates that too much effort has been going into external appearances and that the original purpose of the Law – to help the People of Israel grow in holiness – has been obscured if not entirely lost.

The reading we hear today is a bit of a cut-and-past of the 7th Chapter of St. Mark. In the full text, we can hear the Pharisees accusations and condemnations against Jesus and his followers, followed by Jesus’ declaration of the purpose of the Law, and his explanation to His disciples.

While we get all four points in the edited version, there is something to be said for reading the entire text.

Jesus points out that cleanliness and uncleanliness are not brought about by arbitrary external works, but rather by what is within a person – what is in their hearts. And that the Law was meant to draw the hearts of the Israelites to God.

At the time of Moses, the pagan rites were arbitrary acts meant to control the weather or the harvest – random things that are not able to be controlled. Moses’ words speak of “wisdom and intelligence,” and again, these are internal attributes of individual, which were meant to bring about a change in the hearts and minds of the Israelites.


St. James repeats a similar theme in telling his listeners – and us as well – to welcome God’s word which is planted in us and allow it to save us. But rather than a passive hearing, St. James pushes us to go further and to be “doers of the word” and to perform works of mercy.

In that, the grace from God that fills us … should motivate us to live out a life worthy of the Gospel

The news continues regarding the scandal in the Church. And I spoke about it last week. This week, I want to encourage you to not put your faith in wicked and sinful men who seek to honor God with their lips, but their hearts and actions are far from God. 

There is a battle going on for the soul of the Church – and in that, for your soul as well. 


We must trust God, whom St. James calls “the Father of Lights”, and welcome the light being shined upon the darkness of this scandal. This must be confronted head on with transparency, humility, and above all truth. For truth is not an opinion – Truth is a Person – Jesus Christ Himself has told us that He is the Way, and the Truth, and the Life.

We must speak the truth in charity, and move to clean the house of the Church – which requires opening up the windows and closets and cupboards, and getting to work removing the rot, and muck, and filth that has accumulated over time. Reparation calls us to fix what we didn’t break; and to repair what we haven’t damaged. This is Our Lady’s call to us from Fatima. 


Our job is to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus Christ – who is Our Salvation and Our Hope.

As we approach this altar to receive the Sacred Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, let us beg for the infinite graces of so Blessed a Sacrament. And let us work and pray for the coming of God’s Kingdom … and for the Triumph of Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

14th Sunday after Pentecost @ Holy Family Rutherford

HOMILY - FOURTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST
AUGUST 26, 2018
12:00 NOON EXTRAORDINARY FORM (LATIN) MASS

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.



Todays Gospel give us a simple admonition. Easy to say, yet perhaps more difficult to implement.
St. Paul tells us the Fruits of the Holy Ghost.
charity, joy, peace, patience, benignity, goodness, longanimity, 
mildness, faith, modesty, continency, chastity
Yet prior to this enumerates seventeen “works of the flesh” which snuff out the spark of the Holy Ghost within us; and encourages us to crucify the flesh and snuff out vice and concupiscence.



In other news, the Church is receiving a black eye for the actions of a few … well, let’s just call it what it is … criminal idiots. The abuse scandal is back in the press, and this time its at the top of the hierarchy.

My personal take on this, is that is comes from what Pope St. John Paul II called “the mystery of iniquity.

I guess the official response appears to be to point out that it was “sinful,” and that . . . well . . . we’re all sinners. Sure. Whatever.

It is indeed sinful. But it is also horrific, corrupt, reprehensible, and criminal. And while we all may be sinners, I hope that we aren’t all horrific, corrupt, reprehensible, criminal sinners.



At it’s root, it involves entitlement. A person thinking they can do whatever they want despite the appropriate moral and legal boundaries that help us live in a civilized society.

It also involves exploitation. We’re seeing exploitation of children, people, assets, power, and just about anything and everything that there is that can be exploited.

The worst part, is that these people are priests, bishops, archbishops, and cardinals.

Priests take vows, but the vow that’s being broken isn’t only chaste celibacy … rather, priests also promise to celebrate “the mysteries of Christ faithfully and religiously” as well as to “hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience” … to care for “the Lord’s flock,” to sanctify “Christ’s people,” and to unite ourselves “to Christ the High Priest . . . [in offering] to the Father . . . a perfect sacrifice.



On May 18, 1986, Pope St. John Paul II uses the phrase “mystery of iniquity” three times in his Encyclical “Dominum et Vivificantem: On the Holy Spirit in the Life of the Church and the World.

In the first mention, he points out that sin is more than breaking a rule. Sin reveals “the evil that sin contains.” That is, evil is real. And sin is evil. Second, he points out that sin is opposed, not by a stasis of not sinning or avoiding sin, but by embracing piety and holiness; to love God to the point of forgetting oneself. And finally, he points out that the end-game is conversion, in which we are to destroy “every fetter by which sin binds [us] to the whole of the mystery of iniquity.



In the Gospel, Our Blessed Lord tells us:
No man can serve two masters. 
For either he will hate the one, and love the other: 
or he will sustain the one, and despise the other. 
You cannot serve God and mammon.
And that is the choice we all must make each and every day. Whom will we serve?

Certainly not the horrific, corrupt, criminal sinners … the entitled idiots who have exploited the treasures of our Faith.



Rather, Our Lord also tells us:
Seek ye therefore first the kingdom of God, and his justice, 
and all these things shall be added unto you. 
Let us choose to serve Christ . . . and Christ alone. He Who came to us in the Magnum Mysterium – the Great Mystery – of His incarnation, and He Who left us the “mystírio ton mystiríon” – the Sacrament of Sacraments – the Most Blessed Sacrament – His Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity.



Pray for me, as I pray for you. And let us resolve to sever every connection which would bind us to the mystery of iniquity. And let us continue to choose Christ . . . embracing the Great Mystery . . . and despite the darkness of sin . . . let us bring that light of Christ to the World.
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

21st Sunday OT @ St. Apollinaris

HOMILY - TWENTY-FIRST SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
AUGUST 25/26, 2018
4:30 PM (SAT), 7:30 AM, 9:00 AM ORDINARY FORM (ENGLISH) MASSES



Mystery fiction is a genre of writing that revolves around a death or crime that is to be solved. The suspects are all known, and each has a motive and an opportunity to have committed the crime. The protagonist is usually a detective who over the course of the story ends up solving the mystery by logical deduction from the same facts revealed to the reader.

Mystery fiction is a relatively new form of writing – arising in the early 19th century with such notable works as, The Murders in the Rue Morgue by Edgar Allan Poe, Sir Arthur Conan Doyles’ Sherlock Holmes stories; as well as stories by Agatha Christi, and the children’s books Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys in the early 20th century.



Theorists consider that mystery fiction didn’t necessarily exist before the early 1800s due to the general absence of police forces and the development of criminal science or criminology. In the latter half of the 20th century the genre of mystery fiction moved to pulp magazines, board games, movies, radio, and television.

Mystery fiction began with the simple “who done it” style and has spawned many other forms of fiction such as legal thrillers, police procedurals, medical thrillers, among many others.



Today is the Twenty First Sunday in Ordinary Time.

St. Paul gives us a solid summary point at the end of the fifth chapter of his Letter to the Ephesians, in talking about husband and wife he says:
This is a great mystery,
but I speak in reference to Christ and the church.
Sadly, the preceding text has been used to subjugate wives to husbands – which I must say is a blatant misreading of the text which begins:
Be subordinate to one another out of reverence for Christ.
That is, there is a mutuality at work here. In my own reading of this text, the husband is to follow the example of Christ – which if you look around at the 14 Stations of the Cross, means a lot of self-sacrifice, suffering, and pain.



So, guys, before you start demanding subordination from your spouse – man up and start your own solitary and bloody journey to Calvary.

In other news, the Church is receiving a black eye for the actions of a few … well, let’s just call it what it is … criminal idiots. The abuse scandal is back in the press, and this time its at the top of the hierarchy.



My personal take on this – and please, show me I’m wrong – is that is comes from what Pope St. John Paul II called “the mystery of iniquity.

I guess the official response appears to be to point out that it was “sinful,” and that we’re all sinners.

Sure. Whatever.

It is indeed sinful. But it is also horrific, corrupt, and criminal. And while we all may be sinners, I hope that we aren’t all horrific, corrupt, criminal sinners.



At it’s root, it involves entitlement. A person thinking they can do whatever they want despite the appropriate moral and legal boundaries that help us live in a civilized society.

It also involves exploitation. We’re seeing exploitation of children, people, assets, power, and just about anything and everything that there is that can be exploited.

The worst part, is that these people are priests, bishops, archbishops, and cardinals.



Priests take vows, but the vow that’s being broken isn’t only chaste celibacy … rather, priests also promise to celebrate “the mysteries of Christ faithfully and religiously” as well as to “hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience” … to care for “the Lord’s flock,” to sanctify “Christ’s people,” and to unite ourselves “to Christ the High Priest . . . [in offering] to the Father . . . a perfect sacrifice.

On May 18, 1986, Pope St. John Paul II uses the phrase “mystery of iniquity” three times in his Encyclical “Dominum et Vivificantem: On the Holy Spirit in the Life of the Church and the World.

In the first mention, he points out that sin is more than breaking a rule. Sin reveals “the evil that sin contains.” That is, evil is real. And sin is evil. Second, he points out that sin is opposed, not by a stasis of not sinning or avoiding sin, but by embracing piety and holiness; to love God to the point of forgetting oneself. And finally, he points out that the end-game is conversion, in which we are to destroy “every fetter by which sin binds [us] to the whole of the mystery of iniquity.



In the middle of the First Reading, Joshua proclaims:
As for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.
And that is the choice we all must make each and every day. Whom will we serve?

Certainly not the horrific, corrupt, criminal sinners … the entitled idiots who have exploited the treasures of our Faith.



Let us choose to serve Christ . . . and Christ alone. He Who came to us in the Magnum Mysterium – the Great Mystery – of His incarnation, and He Who left us the “mystírio ton mystiríon” – the Sacrament of Sacraments – the Most Blessed Sacrament – His Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity.
Pray for me, as I pray for you. And let us resolve to sever every connection which would bind us to the mystery of iniquity. And let us continue to choose Christ . . . embracing the Great Mystery . . . and despite the darkness of sin . . . let us bring that light of Christ to the World.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

17th Sunday OT @ St. Apollinaris

HOMILY - SEVENTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
JULY 29, 2018
7:30 AM, 5:30 PM ORDINARY FORM (ENGLISH) MASSES



Joseph Lowthian Hudson (or J. L. Hudson) was born in England in 1846. His family emigrated to Canada in 1855, and to Michigan in 1860.

Aside from providing the seed capital for the car company that bore his name in 1909, he is perhaps most well-remembered in the Detroit area for his retail department store.



Founded in 1881, eighty years later it was the #2 department store in the U.S. and boasted the tallest department store building – a 25 story building, covering an entire city block.

It was responsible for a Thanksgiving Day parade, and a July 4th Freedom Festival and fireworks display.

The auto company was absorbed into what became American Motors Corporation in 1959. By the time the store was 100 years old, it was in heavy decline, and twenty years later was bought out by what became Target Corporation.



The parade and festival are still around, but now under the control of an events management corporation

For myself, growing up in Detroit, Hudson’s is a series of memories spanning from my earliest childhood into adulthood.



As a young man, I utilized their gift wrapping service – watching the young ladies who could not only quickly wrap a box, but do it perfectly – or at least, so it seemed to me. I remember asking questions while they worked, and being shown – over and over – how they did it.

I’m not sure I ever mastered the fine art of gift wrapping, but I did gain at least some knowledge of it.



Today is the 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time. And today we begin the first part of the sixth chapter of St. John’s Gospel – which we will hear over the next several weeks.

The First Reading gives us a glimpse of the end of the 4th chapter of Second Kings. The prophet Elisha – the successor of Elijah the prophet – shows God’s power, mercy, and grace in the lives of the people.

What we hear today, is the fourth and last miracle of grace done by the prophet Elisha – the multiplication of bread. Demonstrating that grace satisfies our needs.



The three other episodes show us also that grace redeems, grace gives life, and grace heals.
In the Old Testament, God chose to work through prophets, patriarchs, and judges. And so, the action of grace – the gift of God – is given through the prophet himself.

Elisha is remarkable in that before his master Elijah was taken into heaven, Elisha was given one request; in which he asked for the gift of a double portion of the spirit of Elijah.

St. Paul speaks to us of unity – our call to live as the One Body of Christ. Now unity is not uniformity. Rather we are united by living a life of moderation but united in the Holy Spirit – through those gifts and fruits of the Spirit – and in peace and in charity.



This chapter of the Letter to the Ephesians begins by speaking of the grace of unity, moving on to the ground (or foundation) of unity, and then in the remainder of the chapter – which we did not hear today – St. Paul finishes by explaining the gifts of unity, and how the Church grows in unity through these gifts..

Finally, we begin today the sixth chapter of St. John’s Gospel – the Bread of Life Discourse. The story commences with the feeding of the multitude.



When confronted with this monumental need, the disciples take three very human approaches to dealing with it. Their initial response is that Our Lord should send the crowd away. Phillip chimes in about the financial requirements – taking a pessimistic view of what is needed. Andrew evaluates the present situation – what was available – but he sees no use in even trying.

Jesus proposes a fourth way. He gives thanks. And in that act of thanksgiving, he takes, blesses, breaks, and gives the bread and fish to the multitude.

That act of thanksgiving – in Greek εὐχαριστήσας (eucharistesas) where we get the word “Eucharist” – is the moment of overwhelming grace. When God receives the little we bring and brings it to perfection … fulfillment … multiplies it – beyond our own limited expectations.
We have four options, too, on how we respond to God’s gift of grace.



We can turn it away. We can overestimate its cost. We can underestimate its value.

Or we can – in a moment of thanksgiving – give ourselves completely over to it. Allowing ourselves to be taken, blessed, broken, and given – according to God’s will and God’s plan for us.

As we approach this altar to receive the Sacred Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ … let us immerse ourselves in the infinite and manifold graces of this most Blessed Sacrament of the altar. Let us offer ourselves in thanksgiving – as a Eucharistic sacrifice – with Christ … and receive the gifts of grace that God desires for us … in unity … in peace … and in love.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

16th Sunday OT @ St. Helena

HOMILY - SIXTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
JULY 21 / 22, 2018
5:00 PM (SAT), 8:00 AM (ST. HELENA) ORDINARY FORM (ENGLISH) MASSES



Rear Admiral Alan B. Shepherd was the first American in space, and the fifth man to set foot on the moon. Not only the fifth man on the moon, but also the oldest, and the earliest born.

He was born in 1923, in Derry, New Hampshire; and died in Pebble Beach in 1998 – at the age of 74.
He served in the US Navy during World War II, and was one of the first astronauts, being chosen as one of the Mercury 7 in 1959.

His first space flight was May 5, 1961. The one obvious malfunction was that there was no provision for … well … using the bathroom. Nature called during the flight, and Shepherd’s space suit suffered a couple of non-fatal electrical shorts.

Three months short of 10 years later, he was on the moon – and is famous for hitting two golf balls … the second one (he claims) flew for “miles and miles.



Today is the 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time.

And besides the first reading which speaks of the failure of human leaders to properly shepherd the people of Israel – and God’s promise to appoint a shepherd Himself … and the Gospel, where St. Mark indicates Our Lord’s pity for the people who were “like sheep without a shepherd;” and the Responsorial from Psalm 23 … what do shepherds have to do with today’s readings?

Not much.

Neither is there much connection with astronaut Alan Shepherd.

Rather, today’s Gospel is a prelude to the next month’s worth of Gospel readings on the Bread of Life discourse.



Over the next several weeks, we will shift gears from Mark’s Gospel – which brings us to the point just before Jesus feeds the multitude – to John’s Gospel … Chapter 6 … which is the theology of the Most Holy Eucharist … right from the Savior’s mouth.

St. Paul gives us a theological foreshadowing of this. Telling the Ephesians, and us as well that “the blood of Christ” has brought us near to God, has broken down our divisions, and established peace.
We are “reconcile[d]” with God “through the cross . . . through [Christ] . . . in one Spirit to [God] the Father.



This word – “reconciliation” comes from a Greek word (apokatallassō) that literally means to reverse a separation through a transformation.

This is the point of the Sacraments. Baptism changes us from strangers to God into members of His family. Confirmation moves us from spiritual infancy into spiritual maturity.

We are fed by the Eucharist – which is the whole point of the Mass – and our celebration of the Eucharist at the altar.



Every Mass, we hear this proclaimed at the end of each Eucharistic Prayer: “Through him, and with him, and in him . . .

And the graces we receive are the power of God which brings about the reversal of whatever separates us from God . . . so that we may be transformed by His most powerful grace.

As we approach this altar to receive the Sacred Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, let us pray that we might be immersed in that transforming grace … that removes whatever separates us from our divine inheritance. And that “through . . . with . . . and in” Christ Jesus, we might be raised up as God’s daughters and sons, redeemed in Christ, and filled with the Holy Spirit.