Mass Times

Saturday 5:30 p.m. 

Sunday 9:00 a.m. & 11:00 a.m.

Week Day Mass 9:00 a.m.

Monday to Thursday

Confession

Saturdays 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

or By Appointment

 

Sunday
Oct132019

The 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time Homily-Fr. Andrew Lee

Since I received the denial letter, I have closed and packed my stuff. I found some pictures and documents that reminded me of the last 7-year life in Alaska. I have recalled what I have done in the most beautiful land on earth. Looking back on my 7-year mission here, I am 100 percent sure that I am grateful. I have a lot of good memories: the most sacred duty, sacramental administration, youth retreat, precious time with you all, flying, fishing, hiking, boating, and so on. I have had joy, fun, anger, love, happiness, danger, sorrow, awe, and so on. God brought me to Alaska, gave me enough, I think more than I should have, and I am grateful for that. Alaska has become my best memorable place on my mission journey because God has been with me and you have been with me.

I had a lot of good memories here. I had fun when I first got on a small plane that Fr. Scott Garrett had in Wasilla. I lived in Big Lake and he flew to the airport beside the Church in Big Lake. I got on the plane. I had never been on that small plane. We flew to Talkeetna, Trapper Creek, Wasilla, Palmer, and came back to Big Lake. The flight was awesome and the nature in Alaska was so beautiful. Everything was perfect until Fr. Scott said, “I had to practice how to land and take off a couple of times before I put you in the plane because I haven’t flown for a long time.” I didn’t know he had flown only for 800 hours. I didn’t know it was scary. After the flight, some people said, “please don’t jump into the plane whose pilot flew less than 3,000 hours. Wow. I didn’t know that. I will never do that again. But it was fun. It is an Alaskan experience.

Fishing is one of the Alaskan activities. I remember when I first got a King Salmon. It was a King season. A parishioner in Wasilla had pressed me many times to go King Salmon fishing. After several excuses, finally, I said, “Okay, I’ll go with you.” He said, “Great. I will pick you up 3 o’clock in the morning.” I said to myself, “3 o’clock in the morning? I have to get up 2:30 to go fishing. Do people get up that early in the morning for fishing?” It was 5:30 am when we got to Deshka River and 6 am when we started to fish. I was sitting in a small boat for about 5-6 hours. I was so tired. My back hurt, my arms sored, and my stomach growled. It was a work. I didn’t understand why Alaskan people had fun when they did work like fishing. It is a work. I got one King. It was about 15 pounds. I thought mine was the biggest in the world. I was happy about my fish until my friend showed me a picture of his King. It was about 50 pounds. It was a work. This is the first King Salmon fishing experience.

I have several sad experiences. Some people have gone to see God like Sr. Loretta and people I have loved. Some people have left the state. Some people moved out of the country. I have heard a lot of people’s life issues and their crosses. I have saddened by how much they suffered from their family issues, health issues, relationships challenges, psychological, spiritual, mental challenges and so on. I have tried to walk with them sharing their burdens with them. I can’t forget some people’s poignant pains from their hardships.

But I am grateful to get to know more God through His people, their openness to God’s grace and help, and their hope to see God’s Kingdom on earth. I am grateful to you all for becoming my wonderful companions on my mission journey. Gratitude is the best expression of my 7-year mission in Alaska.

Today’s Gospel account also presents to us one of the lepers’ gratitude as a precondition of salvation. The ten lepers are cleansed by Jesus’ compassionate act of healing. Standing a distance from Jesus and His disciples, they shout, “Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!” And Jesus heals them when they are on the way to show themselves to the priests. But one of them, after realizing he is clean, comes back to Jesus and gives thanks to Him. What does Jesus say about this gratitude? “Stand up and go; your faith has saved you.” His gratitude brings him to salvation. And in the first reading, the prophet Elisha’s word of command to Naaman to immerse himself seven times into the River Jordan carried the healing power of God. In obedience to the prophetic word, Naaman was healed of leprosy. And the general Naaman returned to thank God and the prophet, but Elisha would accept no monetary reward. Naaman’s gratitude leads to faith. He became a believer of God. “I will no longer offer holocaust or sacrifice to any other god except to the Lord.” The two lepers in today’s Gospel and the first reading, show their gratitude and lead to the solid faith in God. It is true that gratitude is the precondition of salvation.

Eucharist is from a Greek word of thanksgiving. We offer our thanksgiving to God and God gives us life through this Eucharist. This is the exact same structure of today’s Gospel and the first reading. We are healed, cleansed, touched, consoled, and transformed through God’s love and return to God to give thanks in faith and God gives us everlasting life at the Eucharistic table. We encounter God through thanksgiving. We lift ourselves up to God through the Eucharist. God brings us to Eternal Thanksgiving. This is how we grow. This is how we dwell within God.

I was given missions and sent to Alaska by God about 7 years ago. And God who gave me this wonderful opportunity to experience joy, love, happiness and share sorrow, sadness, worries with Alaskan people, is now about to take me to somewhere He also needs me. This is another mission given to me. I believe I will grow in faith and love through this new mission. I return to God later and say, “Thank you.” Thanksgiving is a basic expression of love to God. You are all invited to this wonderful love. You are the expression of God’s thanksgiving. Let us share this love with one another until we meet again.

Sunday
Sep292019

26th Sunday in Ordinary Time - Woe to you Complacent Catholics!

Fr. Andrew asked me to preach about Stewardship this weekend; Bishop Andrew asked us to preach about Domestic Violence Awareness this weekend; and of course the Church demands that I preach on the readings - I better talk fast!  I would like to cover all three subjects using the theme of “Complacency”.

As you entered the church, did you notice all the displays of the ministries of the parish?  As you depart, will you sign up for any, or complacently just leave it for someone else to do.  A parish such as Holy Cross depends on everyone pulling their weight, that’s what good stewardship is.  We continue to pray that Fr. Andrew’s immigration situation will be resolved quickly, but we may be headed for another period without a resident priest.  We have been here before, unfortunately, but fortunately we pulled together and made it work.  Do not be complacent in your response to this call to stewardship.  (Block the side door, so you have to pass the exhibits.)

Domestic violence has crept into our society, also due to complacency.  “What goes on behind closed doors is none of our business”, we reason.  We can no longer have such a complacent attitude toward such suffering.  Take the NFL for example.  We hear of a lot of reports of the players being violent with their spouse or girlfriend, and some of us think, “It’s a violent sport, is it surprising that he takes the violence home with him?”  We have to stop thinking that way.  The Patriots, and this is not an endorsement of the team, recently released a player accused of domestic abuse and other violent crimes.  It was the third team in less than a year to release him for his off-the-field actions.  But I understand that three other teams are looking to pick him up, and one probably will - will they never learn that a complacent attitude solves nothing?  We pray that all homes will be places of safety for the spouses and the children.

The first reading, from the Book of the Prophet Amos, provides us with our theme today, where we heard, “Thus says the LORD the God of hosts: Woe to the complacent in Zion!”  “Woe” is a dreadfully powerful word that makes me think of doom & gloom, & punishment.  St. Luke’s Gospel uses the word “woe” thirteen times, more than any other book of the Bible.  He does it, I believe, to shake us up - especially since the word often comes from the mouth of Jesus.  In the Sermon on the Plain version of the Beatitudes, in Luke chapter 6, we hear Jesus speak of 4 Blessings and 4 Woes.  It is the first of each of these that is important to us today:

  • Blessed are you who are poor, for the kingdom of God is yours.
  • But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation.

Fast forward to chapter 16 of Luke’s Gospel where we find today’s reading.  The story of Lazarus at the gate is a practical example of the Blessed & Woe couplet I just quoted.  Lazarus is the poor person suffering right outside the door of the rich man.  It is not the difference in wealth alone that brings about the disparity of their eternal rewards, it is, in my opinion, the complacency with which the rich man lived his life while ignoring the plight of the poor man whom he probably passed (& ignored) every day.  The Sermon on the Plain is fulfilled in this story: Lazarus having suffered poverty all his life is in the kingdom of God, where he is in the “bosom of Abraham”, while the unnamed rich man is “suffering the torment (of) flames” since he had “received (his) consolation” in life.

And what of the rich man’s five brothers?  They too are living the same complacent lifestyle, ignoring the world around them.  We, in many ways, can be likened to those five siblings.  We, like them, are often “fat, dumb and happy” as we ignore the changing society around us.  But St. Paul tells us to “pursue righteousness”.  Will we ever wake up and follow the teachings of the One who rose from the dead, and the teachings of His Church?  The Catholic Church is very specific in its teachings, especially about the sanctity of life and the sanctity of marriage. 

We believe that life is to be protected from conception to natural death.  But our beliefs are being challenged at both ends of the spectrum.  Do we stand up for life?  (Do we “Compete for our faith”, as St. Paul says?)  Or do we complacently go along with society’s trends?  Concern for the killing of the unborn has weighed heavily on my heart for a long time, as you well know.  Many years ago I wrote a letter to Cardinal O’Connor of NY, the head of the USCCB’s pro-life committee, expressing my concern.  I recently found his response from over 20 years ago, where he thought we had “turned the corner” on abortion.  If only that had been true.  On the contrary we have stood by while this threat to the life of the unborn has gone from “safe and rare” to where many states now support infanticide.  Millions of baby deaths is not “rare”!  Neither is it safe - 437 women died from 1973 to 2014 (the last statistic I could find) “due to abortion complications”.  In the news today, 9 people have died from vaping and they want to ban it.  Why wasn't legal abortion banned over the deaths of 437 women?

Marriage between one man and one woman for life is the Catholic belief.  Not so in society.  They told us not to be concerned, to complacently accept their view - after all how could 2 men or 2 women marrying effect our belief?  But every day you read about another lawsuit against a Catholic Church or school or hospital for dismissing an employee for flagrantly violating the Church’s teachings.  And in the local news last week, during a mandatory Equal Opportunity Training session at JBER, the Alaska Family Council, a Christian pro-family organization, was labelled as a “hate group” because they oppose so-called same sex marriage.

Lastly, Archbishop Etienne, newly installed as the A/B of Seattle, has a problem on his hands on the death end of the spectrum of life.  A man recently committed suicide, “assisted suicide” they call it, after having a suicide party, and receiving the blessing of a Catholic priest.  As the story goes, the priest was unaware of the man’s intentions when parishioners, who knew his intent, asked the young visiting priest to bless the man after Mass.  I believe the Catholic parishioners were complicit in the man’s death by suicide due to their complacency. 

If the prophet Amos was alive today he would probably be saying, “Thus says the LORD the God of hosts: Woe to the complacent in America!”; Woe to the complacent in Alaska; and saddest of all Woe to Catholics complacent in the practice of their faith!

Monday
Sep232019

The 25th Sunday in Ordinary time Homily-Fr. Andrew Lee

The parable in today’s Gospel, so called “The Dishonest Steward,” or “The Unjust Steward,” is one of the most puzzling of all the stories of Jesus, which is hard to understand. It is because it seems that Jesus compliments the dishonesty and encourages the audience to be deceptive. The steward is unrighteous obviously. He misuses and squanders his master’s property to take an advantage before he loses his job. After he hears his master’s dismissal notice, he accesses to get the famers’ annual rent contracts, summons a famer and gives him the 50 percent cut of the annual income and the wheat grower 20 percent discount. But this deceiving and clever action is complimented by the master. Why does Jesus bring this parable? What does Jesus want to teach us through this parable?

What Jesus points out in the parable is obviously how to use wealth, presented as the opposite position of God at the end of the Gospel. “No servant can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and mammon.” The unjust steward in today’s Gospel is dealing with wealth in an unrighteous way. How to handle wealth that is also a gift from God, is the main theme in today’s Gospel. Therefore, if we place our wealth prior to God, it competes with God and finally we end up choosing between them. But if we use our wealth wisely, I mean in a very spiritual way, it becomes a help to lead us to God. Jesus wants us to become the prudent and faithful stewards who know how to use God’s gift, wealth.

When it comes to the way to use wealth, the Catholic Church is a worldwide organization in helping the poor and improving the social welfare. Our Catholic family’s commitment to the poor is greater than any other comparable organization. Outside the United Nations and governments, Catholicism is the world’s largest provider of education, health care, welfare, personal assistance, and the third world development.

When I was in Mozambique, Africa, I had a pastoral experience for about several weeks in a big parish. It was a big parish ministered by a Portuguese priest. I don’t remember how many residents there were in the town. The parish was located in the center of the town. The parish almost had everything. It owned a school, K through 12, two dormitories for boys and girls, a hospital, a mill, a gas station, a carpenter’s shop, a welding place, and so on. The parish was hiring hundreds of employees. The parish property was huge and always filled with people and people relied significantly upon the parish. Basically, the Catholic Church was in charge of the residents’ health care, food, transportation, education, and so on. After I got my pastoral period finished, I wondered how the pastor ran and supported the parish financially. I guessed it cost a lot. The pastor said, “I ask for an annual grant from some European non-government organizations. But a main sponsor is the Catholic Church of Europe. The Catholic Church has been a great help to the African Church.”

Likewise, the Catholic Church has the largest amount of resources among other organizations. I have seen a lot of missionaries, nuns and monks around the world, Africa, Asia, South America, and Europe, who dedicate themselves to the help of the homeless, the poor, the orphans, the widows, the sick and so on, by using their own resources. From the earliest Christians to this very day, a lot of Catholics have loved and served the poor and the vulnerable. When it comes to using materials, the Church is the largest help around the world. The Church has been God’s steward throughout history. About two weeks ago, Fr. Cao came and opened our eyes to see the need of the world. Probably many of you made a pledge. We are asked to share what we have and reach out to the poor of the world. This is how the Catholics deal with wealth.

Then we ask, what is the asset of the Church? You are the very asset of God’s wealth. Each of you are the greatest asset of the Church, Christ’s faithful people who witness to Jesus’ Paschal Mystery and know how to use the Church’s resources. Your commitment to make the world a better place and bring God’s Kingdom to the world should never be underestimated and undervalued. You are called to live out generosity and goodness that Jesus calls you to in today’s Gospel. Jesus urges us to be more prudent and wiser than the children of the world who know how to use wealth in an unrighteous way. We, as God’s faithful stewards, have to know how to use God’s gifts. Otherwise, we are like the children of the world.

God in today’s first reading chastises the children of the world who cheat the widow and the poor. They don’t show their generosity and goodness as God’s faithful servants and stewards: “Hear this, you who trample upon the needy and destroy the poor of the land!...the Lord has sworn by the pride of Jacob: Never will I forget a thing they have done.”

God has given us abundant blessings. We receive it for free and enjoy the gift with no cost. We need to give it back by showing our generosity and goodness and acting as children of God who are much smarter and wiser than the children of the world. This is what we call “justice as virtue of religion.” Justice is the moral virtue that consists in the constant and firm will to give their due to God and neighbor (CCC 1807). Therefore, we are called to equip ourselves with justice toward God. Because of who God is and what he has done and can do for us, we owe him thanksgiving for blessings received. Based on this gratitude, we should become prudent stewards. We should give our talents and treasure back to God and share it with our neighbors. This is how we practice justice and become children of the light.

Monday
Sep162019

The Exaltation of The Holy Cross - Deacon Bill Tunilla

Today we celebrate the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross also known as the Triumph of the Cross.  This feast celebrates the discovery of the True Cross, the Restoration of the true cross and the dedication of the churches built by Constantine over the holy sites.   This feast is not only celebrated by Roman Catholics around the world but by the Orthodox and Eastern Rite churches and of course it is a very special day here at Holy Cross for it is our parish feast day!    

It is said that as St. Helena neared the end of her life, she traveled to Jerusalem to locate the true cross and found it with two other crosses under the pagan temple of Venus in Jerusalem.  To commemorate the finding of the Holy Cross, her son, Constantine, a convert, built two Churches "Anastasis" and "Golgotha," upon Calvary to protect the Holy Cross and the holy sites including Christ’s tomb.

The Cross did not rest for long though as in 614, Chosroes II, the King of Persia, invaded and took the True Cross to Persia.  It did not stay there very long for the Emperor Heraclius recaptured the True Cross and brought it back to Jerusalem in 629. Story has it he was not able to carry the cross until he stripped down from his kingly garments and was clothed in sackcloth and barefoot as a pertinent.

On September 14, the Sacred Cross was restored to its place in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem and to commemorate this victory, in the seventh century A.D., the Church of Rome adopted the "Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross" on September 14.  Today relics exist throughout the world and in fact we have one here in the processional cross we carry in and out of Mass each Sunday.

From the history of the cross we can see just how important this Cross has been throughout the ages.  No cost was too great of a sacrifice to find it, fight for what it stood for or to preserve it.  Even the Persians saw it as a remarkable treasure, taking it as a conquered trophy.

Today our liturgy also captures the importance of the cross. In our first reading the mystery of the cross unfolds by referring to the bronze serpent raised up by Moses in the wilderness.  In this reading the Israelites are afflicted with fiery serpents as a punishment for complaining against God and Moses.  When the Israelites have a change of heart and ask Moses to intercede for them, God instructs Moses to make a bronze serpent and affix it to a pole. 

When an Israelite gazed at the symbolic portrayal of sin, the bronze serpent, they were granted healing and life.  This symbolized Christ’s crucifixion which is also found within the conversation Jesus had with Nicodemus in our gospel.

Nicodemus was a Pharisee who had difficulty grasping what Jesus was teaching.  Jesus spoke of spiritual and supernatural things but Nicodemus was thinking of earthly ones.   

Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus begins at the start of chapter 3 in Johns Gospel when Jesus tells him, “Amen, Amen, I say to you, no one can see the kingdom of God with being born from above.”  Nicodemus said to him, “How can a person be born again?  Surely he can’t re-enter his mother womb?”  It’s easy to see how Nicodemus could get confused since the Greek word anothen means born from above and born again.  Jesus was talking about a spiritual re birth and Nicodemus was thinking of a physical one.

Then the conversation picks up a few versus later at the start of today’s Gospel when Jesus tells Nicodemus, “Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert so must the Son of God be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.  This is the first of three occasions in John’s Gospel where Jesus refers to his death on the cross as being lifted up. 

The verb lifted up (hypsoo) has a dual meaning.  It can mean to literally lift up as being physically lifted up off the ground or it can mean lift up in the sense of exalt. Here Jesus is using the word in both senses.  Jesus being lifted up from the ground on the cross will also be the moment of his exaltation as he reveals Gods love for world. 

The lifting up on the Cross and the lifting into glory are interconnected and one could not have happened without the other. For Jesus the Cross was the way to glory; had he refused it, had he evaded it, had he taken steps to escape it, as he might so easily have done, there would have been no glory for Him or for us.

We too have free will and will need to make this choice.  We can choose the easy way and refuse the cross that every Christian is called to bear; but if we do, we too will lose the glory. It is an unalterable law of life that if there is no cross, there is no glory.

 

St. Paul brings the first reading and the gospel together in his letter to the Philippians as he includes an ancient hymn describing how Jesus undid the fatal act of disobedience committed by Adam and Eve who sought equality with God by eating the forbidden fruit.   Through humility and obedience Jesus reversed the fatal act of Adam and Eve and God exalted Jesus and opened to all believers the possibility of salvation.  The cross was no longer just a sign of death but of defeat and victory over death and it opened all of our lives to the possibility of eternal life and glory.

Both historically and symbolically the cross has stood at the very center of our Christian faith.  The Cross was used as an instrument of torture, humiliation and execution reserved by the Romans for the worst criminals.  Yet Christ used the vilest means of death known at his time and turned it into a symbol of the greatest love and hope the world has ever known.

As Catholic Christians we too are born again through the water of our baptism when we are plunged in burial with Him in baptism and raised up with Him into the graces of the resurrection.  It is at our Baptism we are first sealed with the sign of the cross signifying the fullness of redemption and that we belong to Christ. 

It is in between our Baptism and our Death that we chose to pick up our cross and follow Christ or ignore his call.  During our trials and temptations it might be easier to leave our cross and our Baptismal promises on the side of the road and join the world.  But rather………pickup our crosses, pick up the cross of Jesus and be a part of the renewal.  We might be afraid, but each time we as Catholic Christians make the sign of the Holy Cross we will receive strength as did Jesus to endure to the end of our lives.  Our God will calm the storms of life and provide protection for us.

So please join me in making the sign of the cross, In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, and as we give up our entire self to God,  let us remember, “O cross, you are the glorious sign of victory.  Through your power may we share in the triumph of Christ Jesus. Amen

 

Tuesday
Sep032019

Twenty Second Sunday in Ordinary Time - Deacon Bill Finnegan

The theme for today’s readings, at least the reading from Sirach and Luke’s Gospel, is Humility.  That can be seen in the very first line of the first reading and in the parable spoken by Jesus in the Gospel.

 I can’t help it but every three years when these readings come around, the song from Mac Davis pops into my head and won’t go away.  It makes it difficult to write a homily, when all you can think of is, “Lord, it’s hard to be humble, when you’re perfect in every way.”  The song is from 1980, so most of you have never even heard of it.  (You may want to google it.)  This year I have a different take on the not-so-humble lyrics of the country song.

 I’ve always looked at as a braggadocios song by whomever was singing it - bragging to God about how perfect that person was - thus singing, “Lord, it’s hard [for me] to be humble, when [I am] perfect in every way.”  This year, however, it struck me that perhaps this is really a song of praise for the perfection of God, the Son.  Listen to the words with this new interpretation in mind (and I guess I should be singing them to you), “Lord, it’s hard [for You, Lord] to be humble, when YOU LORD ARE perfect in every way.”

 It is Jesus who is perfect in every way, as we all believe.  Thus the singer is saying that it therefore must be hard for Jesus to be humble.  But we know the opposite to be true.  Jesus, in all His perfection, is also the epitome of humility.  Consider St. Paul’s Letter to the Philippians, chapter 2, where we read:

Rather, He emptied himself, taking the form of a slave,

coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance,

He humbled himself, becoming obedient to death,

even death on a cross.

 The Crucifix, those “two interesting pieces of wood” that I preached about a month ago, and the other Deacon Bill referenced two weeks ago, that Crucifix is the ultimate symbol of humility.  How can we gaze on Christ, Crucified, with any arrogance in our hearts?

The first reading begins with the words, “My child, conduct your affairs with humility, and you will be loved more than a giver of gifts.”  Everybody loves “giver of gifts”, and to be loved more than that is special.  The Book of Sirach, which is not in the Protestant Bible, is also known as the Wisdom of Sirach, and this is an example of such wisdom.  The reading continues, “Humble yourself the more, the greater you are, and you will find favor with God.”  Again, a great piece of wisdom and a great promise.  This is a tough one, however, because if you are thinking that you are so great, the harder it will be to be humble, but that is what you are called upon to be.  On Catholic radio I heard, “If you think you are not conceited, then you really are.”  And I should confess here, humility is not my strong suit.  So the wisdom of Ben Sira, the author, is aimed directly at me - and maybe some of you.

A commentary on the Gospel of Luke indicates that whenever Jesus is interacting with the Pharisees, there is going to be trouble.  Additionally when Jesus is doing something on the Sabbath, or preaching about the Sabbath, there is going to be trouble.  Today we have Jesus not only interacting with the Pharisees, but dining on the Sabbath in the home of a leading Pharisee - looks like big trouble can be expected.

When Jesus arrived at the Pharisee’s home, presumably alone - without any of his followers - the reading says the other guests, more pharisees and lawyers, were “observing Him carefully”.  They want to see what He will do on the Sabbath, that they can hold against Him.  The reading implies that Jesus was also watching them very closely and noticing how filled up with himself each of them was as they all sought the places of honor at the table.  The trouble, that I mentioned, comes when Jesus chastises each of the guests, by way of a parable, for their lack of humility.  Jesus would have no such problem in your typical Catholic Church on the Sabbath = Sunday.  Catholics tend to fill up the church from the back, but not necessarily out of humility.

I came across an interesting instruction from The Didascalia of the Apostles, a document from the 3rd Century, concerning a person’s place in the congregation.  It states:

As regards the deacons, let one of them stand continually near the offerings for the Eucharist, and let another stand outside near the door and pay attention to those

who enter.  …  If anyone finds himself in a place not his own, let the deacon who

is inside take him, make him get up, and lead him to his proper place.

This, of course, is no longer the practice.  Can you imagine Deacon Bill & I coming down and rearranging everybody according to their importance?  In some sense, the real message of today’s readings is that no one is more important than anyone else here at the at the Table of the Lord.  In all humility, we are all equal before God.  So I repeat my question, “How can we gaze on Christ, Crucified, with any arrogance in our hearts?”  We are called to be humble before the Lord Jesus, just as He was humble before His/Our Father, so that we too may find favor before God.  “Lord, it is hard to be humble”, but that Lord is what You expect each of us to be, everyday.  This week, and for as long as the words of the song stay on your mind, I ask that each of you Pray for the Gift of Humility as you strive to be prefect in every way.