Holy Spirit Conference Mass Celebrants
Saturday, September 16, 2023
Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption, San Francisco, CA
Left to Right:
Deacon Ernie von Emster: Assisting
Fr. Armando Lopez
Fr. Ray Reyes: Main Celebrant
Fr. Andrew Ibegbulem, OSA
Fr. Ken Barker
September 1, 2023 1st Friday Mass Livestream from Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Redwood City, CA
REFLECTION FOR THURSDAY,
SEPTEMBER 28, 2023
By Fr. Andrew Ibegbulem, OSA
THE HAUNTING CONSCIENCE & CURIOSITY OF HEROD
Herod the tetrarch heard about all that was happening, and he was greatly perplexed because some were saying, "John has been raised from the dead"; others were saying, "Elijah has appeared"; still others, "One of the ancient prophets has arisen." Lk. 9:7-8
Our gospel reference formed part of Herod's expression of fear that Jesus was the reincarnation of John the Baptist whom he had unjustly killed. Herod had haunting conscience after realizing the heinousness of his crimes of an illicit and immoral relationship with his niece and sister-in-law, Herodias, and his cooperation in the murder of John the Baptist.
His discomfort led him, not to repentance, but to the fear that John had come back from the dead to punish him, a fear that might have prompted Herod's wish to see Jesus in person. His wish was finally realized when Jesus was dragged to him during Jesus' trial before Pilate. But Jesus did not yield to Herod's demand for a miracle and kept silence.
Try to imagine what would have happened if Herod would have traveled to where Jesus was preaching to listen to Him with an open heart. If he would have done that, and truly listened, Herod would have received one of the greatest gifts imaginable. He would have received the gift of faith and conversion and would have begun down the road toward eternal salvation.
But Herod was living an immoral life. He was known to be a cruel leader and an unrepentant adulterer. He loved his power and was quite jealous of it. Herod most likely knew, at least in the back of his mind, that if he were to listen to Jesus, he would have to change. And he most likely didn't want to change.
As Christians, we need to keep our conscience clean by repenting of our sins daily and by being reconciled with God and His Church in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Otherwise, our sins will haunt us, making our lives miserable. We can easily dismiss various communications and invitations from Jesus, because deep within us we do not want to change.
Reflect, today on Herod's haunting conscience and his curiosity about Jesus. Ponder on the fact that Herod never went to Jesus to listen to Him. As you consider Herod's obstinacy, use it as an examination of your own life. Where you see any small reflection of obstinacy, haunting conscience, fear of change or a closed heart, seek to remedy that by turning to Jesus telling Him you are open to all He wishes. Do not fear the change Jesus wants of you. Embracing that change will land you on the quick and narrow road toward true holiness of life and peace of mind.
Lord Jesus, You call to me day and night, inviting me to change as I listen to Your holy Word. I thank You for these constant promptings of grace and commit myself to remain open to all that You ask of me. I choose You, my Lord. And as I turn to You, I pray that I will have the courage I need to respond wholeheartedly to Your call. Jesus, I trust in You.
Saint of the Day
As a lay organization, the mission of the Charismatic Renewal is:
- To help all people come to know the love of God in their lives as demonstrated through our Lord, Jesus Christ.
- To help our brothers and sisters respond to God's love by loving God in return through a commitment to serve Christ and His Church.
- To assist them to listen and follow the movement of the Holy Spirit at work in their lives.
- To help our brothers and sisters recognize the ministry that God has called them to, and accept the gifts that God desires to bestow upon them for His work in our Church and in our world.
- To lead them to a New Life offered to us by the Holy Spirit.