Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Words of Eternal Life: 21st Sunday of Ordinary Time (Cycle B)

    As I was reflecting on today’s Gospel it occurred to me that  there is a lot of truth on that old saying “The more things change the more they stay the same”....  For the last 4 weeks we have followed the Lord as he presented to his disciples the teaching, we all know today as “The Real Presence”. The belief that when we receive the Eucharist we are been fed with the true resurrected body, blood, soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ. During this time, I’m sure, you have heard either Deacon Cliff, Fr. Mike, Fr. Kurt or myself preaching about this great mystery of our faith. So today I decided to do something different, I decided not to focus as much on what Jesus said but on the reaction His teachings had on the people who were listening.
   The reading says that: “Many of Jesus’ disciples who were listening said, “This saying is hard; who can accept it?”  and that “as a result of this, many of his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him”
   To me these passages are of great importance, because they show that from the beginnings the teachings of The Church have been found challenging and difficult to accept. Like I said at the beginning things have not changed much. Even after 2000  years of reflection and divine inspiration from the Holy Spirit I would venture to say that the majority of Catholics  still find some of the teachings of our church hard.
   Now I want to make something clear: I'm not talking about things like “Why do I have to confess my sins to a priest?” or “Why do I have to hold fast at least one hour before receiving communion?”...these are the easy ones!
    Where I want to focus today is in the teachings which are as challenging to us as the words “Eat my flesh and drink my blood blood” were to the people listening to the Lord. If you think about it this is the nature of all religious truth. Religious truth should challenge us and force us into a decision of what kind of person, what kind of disciple we are going to be.
     For some, the teaching that life is sacred and that unborn children should be protected even in the most difficult and heart wrenching cases, is a hard teaching! For others, the teaching that Marriage is an institution not defined or created by the state but by God and that it belongs to the order of nature which is one man and one woman is a hard teaching. For some others ,the teaching that illegal immigrants in our communities should be allowed access to basic social help and that we are called to treat them as if they were our own brothers and sisters is also a hard teaching. Even others, find that the teaching that in our country there is no social justification for the death penalty and that we should work towards eradication this law from all 50 states is a hard teaching! I can go on but I think you might be getting the picture by now. These teachings are not republican, or democrat, they are not conservative or liberal, they are the truth, and it is up to us to surrender our conscience and will to them or to abandon the truth of the Gospel.
    For some people been a Christian might seem easy, all you have to do is love God, love your neighbor like yourself. But this is not what Christianity is all about! Been a true believer requires an act of the will, and a complete surrender to a truth which does not come from any civil state or any sociological study or laboratory but out of the Word Made Flesh, and the Church He gave His authority to teach and guide His disciples.
   There is another part of today’s gospel I would like to share with you. Let me read it: “Jesus then said to the Twelve, “Do you also want to leave?” Simon Peter answered him, “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe
and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.”
  Here we see an example to follow: complete religious surrender when confronted with the Truth. Notice that Peter doesn’t say “Master don’t worry because we agree and understand everything you are saying” but “ Master, we are convinced you are the Holy One from God, Your words are words of eternal life”. We might not agree or even understand why you are saying what you are saying, but we believe that when it comes to decide between what you are saying and what my mind is telling me...you have the words of eternal life”.  I would like to finish today with a piece of advice I give all my CCD and RCIA students: it is OK to struggle with some of the teachings of the Church, this is a sign of a healthy faith, but when it comes to make a decision, when it comes to making a stand and surrendering our will to what is true, we should always side with Jesus and his Church or we might run the danger of ending up like the other disciples in today’s gospel, the ones who abandoned the company of the Lord and returned to their old way of life. God bless you all my brothers and sisters.


Sunday, August 9, 2015

Bread of Life - 15th Sunday Ordinary time (Cycle B)

    In today’s mass readings once again we find ourselves, in the 6th chapter of the Gospel of John; And I say once again because for the next few week the gospel reading is taken from this  important chapter of the Bible; important because it contains what is also known as the “Bread of Life Discourse”.  The one place in the bible in which Jesus explains in his own words the mystery of the Eucharist. In other words today there is going to be a lot of talk about eating bread, so, If you are following a low carb. diet, I apologize.
    As I was reflecting on this chapter of the bible, I found myself wondering about something I have asked myself many times: Who was the first person ever to figure that if you take a grain like wheat and grind it into a fine powder, and then add some milk and some yeast (of all things!), and then let it rise, and then you punch it and stretch it, and then you let it sit again and rise again, and then you punch it and stretch it again, and then you place it in a mold and let it rise again, and then you put it in an oven and bake it...You would actually get a loaf of bread.
    What I’m trying to say is that a making bread is not easy. This is quite a process to just figure out by accident. And yet if you think about it… every society in the world from the most advanced to the most primitive, have figured out a way of making their own version of bread. The steps and ingredients might be different but the results are almost always the same. It is as if making bread is a human universal.
  I would venture to say that this interesting fact about bread is not an accident. It explains why God, who as a pure spirit became a man, when it was time to return to his heavenly glory, and desiring to remain in a physical form here on earth, chose the one form of life giving food which is universal: bread. Not only this but, he made sure that his presence would remain throughout all of time, by giving priests the power to transform a regular piece of bread into his body, blood, soul and divinity for us the feed at every mass.
  In fact if you think about it a little more and you look at the steps you follow to make bread. They in themselves are a lesson, signs of the mystery which is the incarnation, life, death and resurrection of our Lord. The wheat which has to be transformed from beautiful wheat stalks into a fine powder, reminds us of how God in all his glory and beauty took our lowly human nature, which literally comes from the dust of the earth. The yeast which needs to be added to this flour in order to make it rise points to the divinity of the Lord who by assuming our lowly state, made our own human nature capable of rising to a point in which we can touching divinity. All the punching and knotting are the grim reminders of what he had to suffer on the Cross so that we could be saved from the brokenness of sin. And the final result, that loaf of steaming, golden fresh bread reminds us of community, of love, of one family sharing life giving nourishment.
   In today’s Gospel our Lord declares that he is the Bread of Life and that whoever eats of this bread will never hunger. With these words he takes advantage of the universality of bread, so that every  men, woman and child who ever lived, including you and me could know precisely what he is talking about.
   My brothers and sisters If today I could place an image in your mind it would be this: Jesus looking into our eyes and telling us, he is the only one that can satisfy all the hungers of your heart... this is the message of today’s Gospel, the message of the Eucharist, the message we will hear about again and again in the next few weeks as we continue reading from this chapter of the Book of John. So  As we revisit this most important teaching of our faith,  it is my prayer that we all have a renewed encounter with the bread of life who came down from heaven to feed us so that we would never ever hunger for anything else again. Blessed be Jesus, in the most holy sacrament of The Eucharist. Amen.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Why is There Religion? 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle B

   A couple of weekends ago one of our very inquisitive teens stopped me after mass to ask a question. Normally when this happens with an adult I get one of the easy ones, you know like “Why do the church hates Gay people?” or “Why are women second class citizens in the Church?”. But, the hard questions, the ones that require careful consideration, always come from our youth, so with a little bit of fear I answered “Sure… what’s in your mind?” to which he simply said “why is there religion in the world?”
   Now you might think that this is a pretty simple question but if you think about it, this is in fact one of the great questions of our times! Let me show you, if we were to look at the most popular beliefs systems in our culture today, we would find two extreme views, in one end stand those who do not believe in God and at the other those who claim they believe in “something”, and like to call themselves“spiritual but not religious”.
   How many times have we heard the first group say “If religion is the cause of so much pain, destruction and death?...Why is there religion?”. On the other hand how many times have we hear believers say “If all there is, is just Jesus and me, if we are OK with just been spiritual...Why is there religion?”
   Now in case you are wondering what my answer was, after frantically searching my memory banks, this is what I said: “The reason why religion exists is because some people are given faith by God, you see religion is just an expression, our reaction to this faith. At its core religion is how we respond to God’s desire to have a relationship with us”.
    For Catholic’s everything we do and how we do it, from the sign of the cross to the way we receive communion is an external sign of our faith. The more faith we have the more significant these simple actions become because by doing them we come closer to God. The collection of all these little acts, the prayers, the liturgies, the songs, the crucifixes around our necks, the statues of Mary and the saints in our Sanctuaries are expressions of our faith. The more we embrace these the deeper we enter into our faith.
     In today’s reading Jesus asks two questions to His disciples, do you remember what these were? “Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?”.  It struck me that these two questions could be asked from each one of us, every time we shy away from showing our Catholic identity, or fail to embrace our faith publicly. Sometimes we do not like to speak about religion in fact  if you are like me who works for the U.S. Government speaking about religion or even showing your Catholic identity could be a cause for derision and even persecution. Many times like the apostles in today’s reading we let fear of retribution or loss of status in the eyes of those around us control our actions.  But these are the moments in which we should remember these two questions “Why are we afraid? Haven’t we received faith from God?”
   Why is there religion? Because as long as there are  believers in the world,men and women, who are opened to the gift of faith that comes from God, and they allow this gift to inform the way in which they think, feel and act, there will be a Catholic religion, a Christian Church, a church of Jesus Christ to serve as a witness to the truth of the Gospel.  Amen?
Now faith is a funny thing, it is not something we generate, but a gift from God. God gives us faith so that we can develop a desire to know Him. Of course we have the choice of embracing this faith or just ignoring this call. When we say that someone is “Very religious” or that someone is a “Holy Person” what we are saying is that someone has reacted in a positive way to this mysterious gift of faith we receive from God. I guess what I’m trying to say is that Religion is what others see when we engage our faith; the more we embrace this gift from God the more religious we become and the more others experience our religion.

At the end of my homily I added these words:

My intention was to finish today right here, but then I caught myself watching the court proceeding of the poor soul who murdered the 9 people in a Charleston, South Carolina church. I was very moved as one by one the relatives of each of the murdered people forgave the assailant. Why is there religion? Because religion helps us reach down into the better corners of our souls, and gives us strengthen to live the way Jesus lived. God bless you all.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

What really happened on the day the sun stood still?: Joshua 10 revisited.

  June 21, the longest day of the year or summer solstice, is right around the corner. In order to mark this astronomically important event I decided to take a look the longest day ever recorded in history, which appears in the 10th chapter of the book of Joshua.

12 On the day the Lord gave the Amorites over to Israel, Joshua said to the Lord in the presence of Israel:
“Sun, stand still over Gibeon,
    and you, moon, over the Valley of Aijalon.”
13 So the sun stood still,
    and the moon stopped,
    till the nation avenged itself on its enemies,
as it is written in the Book of Jashar.
The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day. 14 There has never been a day like it before or since, a day when the Lord listened to a human being. Surely the Lord was fighting for Israel!
  Before we can move ahead with this passage some background information would be helpful. The book of Joshua records the conquest wars fought by the armies of Israel under the leadership of a man called  Joshua. These wars were fought in Canaan, what we call today Syria and the “holy land”. When these wars were started, the armies of Israel were nothing more that a rag tag group of warriors, but with the help of Yahweh, and Joshua’s leadership, this group of warriors were able defeat, time and time again, the armies of much bigger and older cultures. One of the cities in Canaan, Gibeon, made an alliance with Joshua. Five other surrounding cities were not happy with this arrangement and decided to join forces and attack Gibeon. When this lone friend of Israel's heard of the approaching armies, they called on Joshua to honor their alliance and help them defend their city. We take the story right at the moment in which Joshua is departing with his army to defend Gibeon.
  This story has been used to make an argument against the Bible as the word of God. It is an argument which goes like this: how can a book supposedly inspired by God, get the way the universe works so wrong? We are talking about how Joshua asked God to “stand still the sun”; you see in Joshua’s mind the Sun moved across the sky, East to West every day, although we know this is not the case. How can the book of Joshua make such a horrendous mistake about the way the universe works?  The problem with this question is that makes invalid assumptions about the book of Joshua; that is that the primary intention of the author was to present how the universe worked that day.
  This book of the Old Testament is just an historical account of how Joshua and his small band of warriors, time and time again defeated much larger armies, until they gained control of all the land of Canaan. It presents what Joshua did and how God helped him. This book is not a cosmology treaty. It tries to put into context events which were out of the ordinary and that were not understood by the writers. What we read in it is basically the authors' attempt at describing a miraculous event using their understanding of the way their universe behaved.
 So the question is then... what happened that day, which caused Joshua to ask for God to “stop the movement of the sun” and what happened that day to make Joshua and his men believe that God had answered their prayers. Lets take a closer look at the reading and see if we can find answers
to these questions.
  Now keep in mind that, there are a lot of things happening in this reading, there is a lot of movement and action, so I’ll try to briefly point the important details that might pass unnoticed. The first few verses tell us that after receiving the request for help from Giveon, the Lord assured Joshua that he will defeat his enemies. Now keep in mind, Joshua was confronting the armies of five whole cities, so most likely this army was much larger than Joshua’s little band of warriors; so Israel’s warriors marched all night. From a previous verse we know they started this march in Gilgal, so the distance Joshua and his men had to walk at night was about 18 miles, which in the mountainous terrain of their march, could be accomplished in about 8 hours. This means that there is a very strong possibility that the surprise attack to defend
Gibeon started under the darkness of the early morning. Joshua’s element of surprise threw his enemies in disarray and caused them to flee all the way down to Azeka and Mechadda, through the pass of
Beth Horon, a trip of about 20 miles. It was during this retreat, according to the story that “God sent great hailstones” which killed most of the enemies of Joshua, and reduced the number of his enemies to a more “manageable” size. The reading implies that Joshua engaged his enemies after the hailstorm
which means that Joshua's army had to march 20 miles after an 18 miles overnight trip. That is 38 miles! Which, by the way would place the final battle in the late afternoon. It is at this time which Joshua makes his prayer to God to stand the Sun still so he can finish what we would call in modern times a "mop up" operation. Now lets do an assessment of Joshua and his army here, they have walked all night, they attacked early in the morning and now after another 8-10 hours of marching they find themselves battling their enemies again. They were tired, hungry and most likely they were operating on pure adrenaline but more importantly...They wanted to finish the job started so many hours ago.
  It being the late afternoon, Joshua realized he was running out of daylight so in his mind, the Sun needed to be stopped in order to make this day longer and finish disposing of his enemies. Many years ago I worked with a brilliant mathematician, who told me that he had lost his faith because of this story, he reasoned that if God were to stop the earth rotation, everything that is not literary nailed to the ground would come out flying because of the change on rotational speed; not to mention the catastrophic effect in plate tectonics, and ocean tides. My friend's literal interpretation of this story he could not conceive of a God so powerful that he would take into consideration all the effects of stopping the earth rotation. At the end of the day, this interpretation could only be applied to a less than infinitely powerful being.
  Another mistake my friend made was that he limited himself to just ONE potential explanation, the most literal of all. But, the thing is... there are other explanations that could cause Joshua and his men to think that the day was longer than normal and that the Sun stood in the middle of the sky, these are the ones I would like to explore.
  Since Joshua was asking the wrong thing God acted in a way that might have looked as if that the Sun had stopped in the western sky.  Some people have speculated that, since the sun was in the West, perhaps there was some type of meteorological phenomena which reflected the light of the sun after it had set, something like Sun Dogs or a phenomenon know as “noctilucent” or “polar mesospheric” clouds. Which might be related to the strange “hailstone” storm which killed many that day. Others have speculated that perhaps a meteor appeared bright as the sun before it disintegrated in the atmosphere.
    To me some of the most interesting theories have to do with “time” itself. One of these goes like this: Since we know now (Thanks to Albert Einstein) that time is not constant, an all powerful God would have the power of locally “slowing down time” making it seem as if everything moving outside of this
bubble is moving slowly.* So the Sun would appear as if it was standing in the sky.
  Another theory I find interesting is based on “Time perception”. There is a well known psychological phenomenon in which a person in a high level of stress becomes so focused that it looks as if time has slowed down around them. With Joshua and his men having been for such a long time in a high level of stress, it is possible that they lost track of time itself (After all, in the times of Joshua there was not reliable way of measuring time) so after repeated cases of feeling time slowing down they might have thought the day was much longer and in their minds the only way this could be possible was by divine intervention.
   Now I would be remiss if I were not to mention another interpretation based on the type of language used by writers of this book. Looking at the text we can see that the story changes "styles" when quoting Joshua’s prayer, also after this quote, the reading mentions the Book of Jashar, which scholars believe was a book of poems and songs about great Jewish heroes of this time (a book now lost). Because of these some scholars believe that this event never really happened and it is just a poetic way of saying that on a long day of fighting a superior enemy, God was helping the armies of Joshua to such a degree that “The sun and the moon stopped” to bring Israel victory.
    Of course we can speculate more but the reality is that we will never know what happened that day, only that it felt as if "The sun stood in the sky" for a whole day.  Like I mentioned before, some people have used this story to point out that the Bible is not reliable because it makes an error in the assumption that the sun rotates around the earth;  but this story is not about celestial mechanics but about how God responded to Joshua’s prayer. Even when He was asking for the wrong thing God graciously responded to his prayer.This in it self should be a source if great consolation, for how many times we have found ourselves asking God for the wrong thing, without knowing or understanding what we were talking about? God's eternal mercy is manifested on these moments, we might not have any idea what is he doing but we can be sure that he is making the universe work in the most beneficial way for all of His children.

* Now this reminds me of an old Start Trek episode titled “Wink of an Eye” in which a group of aliens, existing in a high level of acceleration attempted to take over the Enterprise. While they were moving everyone else appear static.

"Viva Cristo Rey!!"
"Ya Rabbi Yassou!!"

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Books, books and more books!

Just finished three books (not much to do while keeping company with my dad) The first one, a good intro on the Church's historical teaching about Original Sin. However I can not recommend it in good conscience as the premise is: The evolution of the universe contradicts the teaching of the Church, therefore the Church should change their teachings, and by the way, we have the right teaching for this: Process Theology. No space here to be specific, only to say that eventually they are forced to change the historical teaching about the nature of God in order to make it coherent with what (they think) science tells us about the universe. I found this part very narrowly presented, and was surprised about their lack of "theological" originality, as well as their complete disregard of what Cardinal Newman called "development of doctrine".

The second book I finished was a strong philosophical defense of miracles by a physicist. Not enough space here for a full blown review, just that although the tone is a bit to combative for my taste, the author does a great job at answering objections which have been made since the beginning of "The Enlightenment" against the events we call "Miracles". Sometimes verbose, sometimes whiny, but some good information never the less.

The third book I finished, was your basic good guys against bad guys (With a lot of "suspend your reality" in between). I was surprised about how this little book kept my interest all the way to the last few pages. Much fun to read.

Started 4 books (All of my life I've been able to read multiple books at the same time, so this is something quite normal for me). Here they are:
Suicide-Despair-Soul-Recovery-Finding the Light of God. 

The History of the Inquisition: Vol 1,2 & 3 - A series of three books, I hope to finish by the end of the year

Chaos Quarter - A sci-fi novel just for fun.

"Viva Cristo Rey!!"
"Ya Rabbi Yassou!!"

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Metanoia; 3rd Sunday of Easter

   I think it is fair to say that this past week we had a fantastic Parish Mission with Fr Leo Patalinghug. How many of you got to see him? All 3 days? Personally it was great to see this sanctuary filled to capacity for such an event! If you missed these evenings, do not despair, because for the last few days I have been trying really hard to come out with a way to share the message of these 3 days and I think I figure a way to do this. Sadly, if I want to keep my homily under 10 minutes, unlike Fr leo, I will not be able to show my own cooking skills…  If I were to compress Fr Leo’s  message into one easily digestible idea, believe or not, I can do this with just one word “metanoia”.
    Now this Greek word is not an easy word to translate into English. In today's readings this word is translated as “repent!” or “repentance” In fact, it is no accident that we hear this word twice in today’s readings, since it is a word used often by the Lord and the apostles.
     Now, we know that “repentance” is an action we take after  we have already done something wrong. It is the result of regret and guilt, and it involves our commitment to do something to repair the damage we have done. However this is not what Metanoia actually means. In fact this is not one word but a combination of two words; the first, “meta”  is the name of the markers used in a racetrack to indicate where the runners had to turn, and “noia” which means to have mental knowledge (noia-Know), so this word literally means “To know where are we supposed to turn”.
  So when in today’s two readings St Peter says “Repent that your sins may be forgiven” and the the Lord says in the Gospel “repentance would be preached in his name” they are not talking about feeling sorry for our sins but they are encouraging us to open our eyes and realize we need to turn our way of live around, from what was before into completely new direction.
  If you think about it, this is the same message Fr Leo brought to St Michael’s this past week. The first night he spoke specifically to our young people. He talked about how easy it is to sin and how difficult is to be good, and he demonstrated how in a group once one member decides to turn around and do good, this decision affects the whole group. All it takes is for one person to engage in this reorientation of one's life.
   The second night he dedicated to our Blessed Mother. He used her as an example of faith and trust. Turning around our lives will always be a scary process, because we really have no idea where the Lord is going to take us. Mary could not have known how much her life would change after finding herself as an unwed-mother and later as Simeon told her that “a sword would pierce her heart”. As scary of these things sound, she trusted God’s word, and always was open to God’s plan for her.
  On the third night Fr Leo showed us how we do not have to turn around our lives alone, how we have the sacraments especially reconciliation and the Eucharist to support us and guide us in this process.
    I’m telling you my brothers and sisters these 3 days were a fantastic opportunity for us experience “metanoia” in the way the Lord wants us too. Now there is one thing which I feel Father Leo left unsaid. How do we know if we are going the right way? After all change for the sake of change is never good. The worst think it could happen is that we decide to reorient our lives into a direction which is not what the Good Lord wants for us. Well I think this is where today’s second reading comes into play.  In this reading we hear St John telling “His children” that they have an advocate in Jesus who died on the cross for the sins of the whole world. But then he gives us the key to help us determine if we need to turn around our lives into a new direction he said: “The way we may be sure that we know him is to keep his commandments.” and then he goes further. he says “ Those who say, “I know him,” but do not keep his commandments are liars, and the truth is not in them.”
   Metanoia could be a scary thing, it is very easy to fool ourselves by thinking that we do not have to reorient our lives, it is very easy to lie to ourselves and to others making them and us think that we are OK. But the key is to make sure we are following Jesus commandments. And what is the easiest way to do this? By engaging in what the Church calls and “examination of conscience”.
   Now I have no time to tell you how to do a good examination of conscience, but there are some good resources online to guide you on this, and you can always make an appointment with a priest and he will help you. The point is, we all need to do this periodically if we want to follow the message of metanoia, of transformation and reorientation of our lives.
  I think last week’s mission was a complete success, but now it is up to us to built on what Father Leo accomplished, to take a good look at our lives and re-orient our whole being. Because when we do this, to use again the words of St John in the second reading “the love of God will be truly perfected in us.” God bless you.

Palm Sunday

    A few weeks ago I got a very strange text message from one of my daughters. She wanted me to tell her what color was the dress in a picture she was sending me; Maybe you know the picture and the dress I’m talking about. … and perhaps your own family like mine spend a couple of days arguing about “It is white and Gold...No it is Blue and black!”. The thing is...Regardless of what color this dress was, every one who saw it saw something completely different although they were all looking at the same picture of the same dress.
  Just now as we do every year, we heard the passion story as it was told by the Gospel of St Mark. I would venture to say that, today, like when that white and gold and blue and black dress almost break the Internet, each one of us heard a different story. For some this was the same long, boring story we have to endure every Palm Sunday. For others this story brought to mind images from the many movies they have seem about the passion of our Lord. Perhaps;  others, when they heard these words, might have remembered images of long gone Palm Sundays, from a time in which Churches presented Passion Plays with real Romans costumes and a real Cross.
  Regardless of what was our reaction to this long reading, today I would like to issue a challenge to all of you: Do you think you are brave and strong enough to, during this Holy week, especially during Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday, to voluntarily forget all those tired images we recycle every year, and really pay attention to what will be happening  these days?  How about if we make a effort, this year to really enter into this story with all of our senses, all of our mind, all of our heart? Starting today lets really make an effort to hear the readings, to smell the incense, to see the fire in the candles and tapers, to really taste the wine and the bread. Let us make a conscientious effort to live these days like Jesus and the apostles lived then. Who knows, maybe we will discover new meanings for the institution of the Eucharist on Holy Thursday, for Jesus death on the Cross Holy Friday, for the new birth of baptism by those joining the Christian Church on Holy Saturday, for Jesus resurrection on Easter morning.
   If there is one thing that, sometimes white and gold, sometimes blue and black, dress proved is that usually we settle for the first thing our senses perceive and end up seen what we want to see. How about if this week we force ourselves not to settle, and make an effort to discover the true meaning of Holy Week?  Again I challenge you… are you strong enough?