Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Into the Desert

They traveled from Mount Hor along the route to the Red Sea, to go around Edom. But the people grew impatient on the way; they spoke against God and against Moses, and said, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!” Then the Lord sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died.  The people came to Moses and said, “We sinned when we spoke against the Lord and against you. Pray that the Lord will take the snakes away from us.” So Moses prayed for the people. The Lord said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.” So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, they lived. (Numbers 21: 4-9)

Moses and the Bronze Serpent
This reading recounts the story of our ancestors' pilgrimage through the desert. They were worn out by the long journey under the burning heat of the sun. They grumbled about what God had done for them and were not sure they wanted to trust Him in the days ahead. Once the novelty of eating the bread of angels wore off, they became bored with the manna that God graciously provided them each day. Like our ancestors in the faith, we tend to grow tired of our faith journey. We lose our enthusiasm for the kingdom, and the Gospel no longer fills us with joy. Because of the humdrum of day-to-day living, we no longer have a burning desire to press on to make our own that for which Christ has made us His own. Now is a time of grace for us. Today we are given an opportunity catch a second wind and recommit ourselves to the journey.

Christ of Saint John of the Cross by Salvador Dali (1951)

During moments of boredom, doubt and even despair, we find ourselves wandering aimlessly in the valley of darkness and death. Here, in the hour of greatest distress, The Lord grants us the grace to call out to Him that He might heal us. Impaled upon the cross, Christ calls to all who are groveling in the dust. He encourages us to lift up our heads and allow ourselves to be drawn to Him. Christ became the Lamb that died so that we might live as children of Light. Just as the bronze serpent raised up on a staff became an instrument of life for the Hebrews, so too Christ raised up on the cross became the instrument of life for us. When commenting on the bronze serpent, the rabbis observe that it was not the sight of the bronze serpent that cured those who were stricken, but the act of looking up towards the uplifted serpent that opened each individual to the healing power of God.

When  we approach the altar to receive Holy Communion, let us look upon the Lamb Who did not know sin but made Himself to be sin so that we who are sinners might be made holy. Let us humbly acknowledge our sinfulness and open our hearts to receive the gifts God offers us so that we might walk in the Light of Life as Children of God and heirs of the heavenly kingdom. May He who conquered sin and death set us free from our sins and the effects that they have on our lives. When the Lord returns on glory, may He bring us all together into everlasting life.

--Father Jerome Machar, OSCO

Meditation on the Cross of Christ

We adore you O Christ and we praise You because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world. The readings of Good Friday's liturgy tell us of the life-consuming love of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. Through them we are given an opportunity to ponder the scandal of the Cross. Through them, we recall the day when the human race renounced its Savior and condemned the immortal Son of God to an ignominious death. The Master of the Universe allowed himself to be stripped of all dignity and respect. He who was shown no compassion was moved by compassion and love for the human race. He who was lifted up on the cross chose to lay down His life to redeem us from our bondage to sin and death. By His death on the cross Christ has conquered death and granted eternal life to all who were consigned to the land of great darkness and gloom. The people who dwelt in darkness were bathed in the light of life that radiated from the wood of Christ's blood-stained cross. By means of the cross and His glorious wounds our divine Master brought newness of life to all the children of Adam and Eve.

We venerate your cross, O Lord, and we glorify Your resurrection. Through the cross you have brought joy to the whole world.   On Good Fridaythe cross of Christ is presented to us to refresh our souls and to renew our hope. The cross teaches us that through humiliation, rejection and suffering we shall see the fulfillment of our hopes. Having toiled and endured the heat of the day, we are invited to sit in the shade of the life-giving Cross and there find comfort, refreshment and rejuvenation. Christ, who suffered for us and died on the cross, invites us to lay our burdens down and to drink deeply from springs of salvation. He stretches out His nail-pierced hands and gathers us close to His heart so He can carry us into the presence of the Eternal Father. By His sufferings and fidelity unto death Christ has purchased us and made of us a priestly people for the worship of His Father.

Behold the wood of the cross on which has hung the salvation of the world. Come let us adore! The cross is the sign that marks all of creation as restored by God’s redeeming love. Our Lord Jesus Christ is indeed the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of all mankind. He endured His passion and death to cleanse us from our sins and to clothe us in the garment of righteousness. Through the mystery of the Incarnation Jesus took to Himself all our grief and all our iniquities. He willingly entered into the depths of our affliction and trouble. Our Lord Jesus Christ yielded up His last breath on the cross and made his soul a free-will offering for our sins. He offered satisfaction for our sins by His sufferings and death, casting them into the abyss never to be seen again. In His humiliation we have been exalted. Through His ultimate act of surrender Jesus offered to the Father the first fruits of the new creation. The Immortal One died so that mortal men live in the light of life. The Holy One of Israel was condemned as a sinner so that the sinful offspring of Adam and Eve might be redeemed. He entered into the Holy of Holies on our behalf, Jesus has become the source of eternal salvation for all who believe in Him. Because He was rejected, we have become “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of His own, so that we might announce the praises of Him who called us out of darkness into His wonderful light” (1 Pet. 2:9).

Lofty tree, bend down your branches, to embrace your sacred load; oh relax the native tension of that all too rigid wood; gently bear the members of your dying king and God. The cross of Christ is a powerful sign of the infinite love and passionate desire God has for us. The apostle Paul wrote these words to the Church at Rome. "God has shown us how much He loves us. It was while we were still sinners that Christ died for us" (Rom. 5:8). At about three o’clock the One who has once offered to satisfy the thirst of all who labored asked for a drink. Scarcely able to lift up His head and with parched lips, He whispered: "I thirst." As the soldier raised the moistened sponge to His lips, Jesus looked into the eyes of His heavenly Father and said, “It is finished!” With those words, He bowed his head and died. The Beloved Son had fulfilled the task for which He was sent. Like a faithful servant returning to his master, Jesus reported his progress: “I have overcome all the difficulties. I have done the job to the best of my ability. It is finished.” According to Jewish tradition, when the priest accepted a sacrificial offering would say to the congregant, “Your offering is accepted; the sacrifice is complete.” Jesus has accomplished all that He had come to do. Sinful humanity had returned to its Maker in total obedience, and the gap that sin caused between God and man was closed. As Jesus’ lifeless body hung on the cross, we can imagine the Father saying to Jesus, “Well done, my good and faithful Son … Come and share your Father’s joy” (Cf. Mat. 25:21). And to the people who looked upon the scene, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased” (Mat. 3:17). The cross tells us that the task for which the Son came into the world is finished.

O faithful cross! O worthy tree! You alone are loftier than all cedars, on you hung the life of the world, on you Christ triumphed, and death conquered death forever.

--Father Jerome Machar, OSCO

How to Be Born Again and What That Means

Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.” Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”  Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” (John 3: 1-8)

Christ talking with Nicodemus at night painted in the style of Crijn Hendricksz. Volmarijn.(1601-1645)
It is often interesting to eavesdrop on a conversation between two deep thinkers. We are given such an opportunity in this gospel reading. Nicodemus is a renowned teacher of the Law and Jesus is the respected prophet. This conversation takes place in hushed whispers and under the cover of night. For this man, it was dangerous to be seen in the company of Jesus. In His preaching, Jesus challenged the value system of the times and strove to redefine the identity of those who belonged to the People of God.

Saint John presents us with this luminous scene that takes place in the shadows of the night. A learned teacher of the Law grapples with the renegade and free-thinking rabbi from Nazareth. The venerable old man, who had dedicated his life to the study of immutable covenant that had been established by the Master of the Universe, finds himself looking into the eyes of God. In this encounter, he sees himself as he really is. The revelation is frightfully humbling. For a moment he knows himself as he is known – filled with faults and prejudices, skills and handicaps, the product of his life experience and family history. In the darkness shone a light of revelation. He knew that the One He offended was the Master of the Universe and that the only way to find a remedy for his iniquity was to surrender to the love and will of God.

It is important to note that Jesus does not chide this noble teacher of the Law for coming to Him stealthily. Rather, he bade him a warm welcome and offered him a heartfelt greeting of peace. That he came was more important to Jesus than how he came. Nicodemus sought Jesus out to discuss issues that concerned his soul. He felt trapped and did not know how to live differently. The Lord understood his dilemma. It was in this context that Jesus spoke of the necessity or regeneration or of being born again.

Birth is the beginning of life; to be born again, is to begin to live anew, as those who have lived much amiss, or to little purpose. We must have a new nature, new principles, new affections, and new aims. No stronger expression could have been chosen to signify a great and most remarkable change of state and character. We must be entirely different from what we were before, as that which begins to be at any time, is not, and cannot be the same with that which was before. Nicodemus heard the words Jesus spoke but he couldn't wrap his brain around them.

Saint Augustine also wrestled with this notion. "Urged to reflect upon myself, I entered under your guidance into the inmost depth of my soul. I was able to do so because you were my helper. On entering into myself I saw, as it were with the eye of the soul, what was beyond the eye of the soul, beyond my spirit: your immutable light. It was not the ordinary light perceptible to all flesh, nor was it merely something of greater magnitude but still essentially akin, shining more clearly and diffusing itself everywhere by its intensity. No, it was something entirely distinct, something altogether different from all these things; and it did not rest above my mind as oil on the surface of water, nor was it above me as heaven is above the earth. This light was above me because it had made me; I was below it because I was created by it. He who has come to know the truth knows this light" (The Confessions).

Today Jesus invites each of us into a new world, the world that is above, a world infused with the Spirit of God. It won’t be the same. It will be liberating and transformative. A new way of living, even. But that also means an unknown way of living. And a way of living that will be strange, unfamiliar, and perhaps even dangerous. God desires to do something in us and for us that we cannot do for ourselves. Those who accept this invitation and act upon it can be partakers of the new creation. In bringing about the promised regeneration, God fills each believer with the life-creating Spirit. The Spirit that God breathes upon each believer brings him or her newness of life in Christ. It is my prayer that each of us hear the words of the Psalmist echo in our hearts: "You are my beloved child. This day I have begotten you" (Ps. 2: 7).

--Father Jerome Machar, OSCO

Divine Mercy Sunday, Saint Thomas Sunday,Whit Sunday

Divine Mercy Image of Jesus

In the West, the Sunday after Easter has been designated "Divine Mercy Sunday." In the East, it is called Saint Thomas Sunday. And for those old enough to remember, it had been called “Whit Sunday." This older title associated today with the Christian Initiation Rites of Holy Saturday. The newer name associates today with on-going conversion effected by the sacrament of penance. Through Baptism, we are called to newness of life in Christ. Through Penance we are enabled to reaffirm our union with Christ after personal sin and weaknesses have weakened that bond. Before proceeding, it might be helpful to recall Jesus’ comment to Peter at the Last Supper: "Simon, Simon, behold Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat, but I have prayed that your own faith may not fail; and once you have turned back, you must strengthen your brothers" (Lk. 22:31-32). The mystery of divine love is that the Lord does not abandon us if we fall. It is at these moments that He prays for us and grants us the grace to turn back. In Christ, God stretches out a loving hand and if we grasp it, we can be forgiven and reconciled with the Body of Christ.

Through the mystery of the Incarnation Jesus (like the prodigal son) wandered far from His heavenly home to search out and find those who had strayed from the path of righteousness. Not only did He look for the lost, but he also befriended them. Not only did He befriend them, but He also was numbered among them. He identified with the lost so totally that He was condemned to the shameful death of crucifixion. It was by being lifted up on the cross that He conquered sin and death for ever. After the Resurrectionl, Jesus tells His disciples “As the Father has sent Me, so I also send you.” Jesus commissioned His followers to share with all the members of the human race the good news that all can be enjoy the newness of life that the resurrection brings.

Modern society has lost its moral compass. For this reason, people are confused about life and values. Because our value system is disordered, we have become blind and deaf to the needs of the poor and marginalized. People have become like the people of Nineveh, not knowing their left hand from their right (CF. Jon 4:11). Whether we like it or not, this is the world into which the Risen Lord has sent us. He has sent us into this confused and conflicted world, not to condemn it but to bring it peace, pardon, righteousness and reconciliation. We are called to be ministers of Light and Life, inviting people to enter into communion with the Bread of Life and the Living Word. This communion in the Body of Christ requires a public demonstration of fidelity to the Risen Lord. As Christ came out of the tomb, believers must come out of hiding. As Jesus breathed the Holy Spirit upon the apostles, believers must speak the Gospel of Life in a culture trapped in death. As Jesus showed the apostles His wounds, believers must be willing to endure persecution so as to make manifest Christ's victory over sin and death.

Christ rose from the dead to show the victory of mercy over condemnation. Christ stands in our midst today as a sign of the Father's love. God so loved the world that He allowed His Beloved Son to be rejected as a sinner so that we sinners might come to know election as the children of God. The First Letter of Peter states it well. "Although you have not seen him you love him; even though you do not see him now yet believe in him, you rejoice with an indescribable joy that has been touched with glory, as you attain the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls." The boundless mercy that God offers us in Christ is the cause of our joy. In a world that condemns us for being confused and irresponsible, God offers forgiveness and re-creation. God offers us newness of life in Christ. In the resurrection of Christ, God is glorified because the glory of God consists in the renewal of all creation in the Son. God made us “to be His sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of His will, to the praise of His glorious grace,”(Eph. 1:5-6) for as St Irenaeus states; “the glory of God is man fully alive; moreover man’s life is the vision of god: if God’s revelation through creation has already obtained life for all the beings that dwell on earth, how much more will the Word’s manifestation of the Father obtain life for those who see God.”

The glory of God is man fully alive and free from the bondage of sin. By the power of the resurrection, Christ has given each and every one of us grace to repent of our sins and to be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect (CF. Mat. 5:48). The celebration of Divine Mercy is very closely related to the reception of the sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation. I found this reflection of Fr. Pat Malone, S.J. of Creighton University rather helpful. “The sacrament of Reconciliation is not to wipe away our faults. It is to make us more loving . . . It is to show we believe that the wrongs we have done can bury us in shame, but we choose another option; they will make us more honest to ourselves and more humble to those around us.” No one need die in their sin. Everyone is given the chance to start afresh in Christ. Forgiveness is given to us freely for the asking. That which we have received as a gift we should give as a gift, also.

Jesus guides Thomas as he puts his finger into the side of the risen Christ.

The author of Genesis tells us that it was on the first day of creation that God called forth light to give meaning and form to the cosmic chaos. Similarly, it was on the first day of the re-creation that Christ shined the light of life on people who dwelt in the land of darkness and gloom. Discouraged and disillusioned by the death of the Master, Thomas chose to separate himself from the community of the apostles. Having been confined to the domain of death, Jesus understood the apostle's darkness and doubt. Jesus was willing to accommodate Himself to Thomas rather than leave him in his doubt and confusion. As a sojourner and companion on the journey, Jesus addressed Thomas by name and spoke to him man-to-man. He who had been ridiculed by sinners spoke honestly and lovingly to this wayward disciple. This humble recognition of his sin allowed Thomas to find himself in the sacred wounds of Christ. Soon we shall enter into a most sacred encounter with the risen Lord. As we gaze upon the body and blood of Christ, it is my prayer that each of us discover our true selves in His sacred wounds.

--Father Jerome Machar, OSCO

Blocking Jesus

1 And when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. 2 And very early on the first day of the week they went to the tomb when the sun had risen. 3 And they were saying to one another, "Who will roll away the stone for us from the door of the tomb?" 4 And looking up, they saw that the stone was rolled back; -- it was very large. 5 And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe; and they were amazed. 6 And he said to them, "Do not be amazed; you seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen, he is not here; see the place where they  laid him. 7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him, as he told you." 

8 And they went out and fled from the tomb; for trembling and astonishment had come upon them; and they said nothing to any one, for they were afraid. 9 Now when he rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons. 10 She went and told those who had been with him, as they mourned and wept. 11 But when they heard that he was alive and had been seen by her, they would not believe it. 12 After this he appeared in another form to two of them, as they were walking into the country. 13 And they went back and told the rest, but they did not believe them. (Mark 16: 1-13)

Mary Magdalene at the tomb of Christ hears Jesus call her by name.

Saint Mark summarizes the events of Easter Sunday. He reports how the grieving apostles refused to believe the eyewitness accounts of those who encountered the risen Lord. Evidently, Thomas was not the only doubter in the crowd. According to Saint Mark’s account, they not only rejected the report of Mary Magdalene but also that of the disciples who returned from Emmaus. Their grief and disappointment at the death of Jesus blocked their ability to receive the message of hope. Theirs was not a simple and passive lack of faith. Rather, theirs was an outright denial of the good news announced by the witnesses the risen Lord had sent them. Their sentiments will be verbalized by Thomas, “Unless I see the marks of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nail marks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe” (Jn. 20:25). They chose to remain in their grief rather than accept the possibility that Jesus actually did rise from His tomb.

We are not that different from that group of fearful and confused apostles. Like them, we are locked within the walls of our defense mechanisms. We don't trust ourselves. We don't trust other people. We are not sure if we can trust God. It is easier for us to remain in our anxiety and doubt than to allow the risen Christ to be part of our lives. By trying to stay within what we have grown accustomed to we actually impede our ability to be the men and women God created us to be. The more we try to justify our choices, the deeper we sink into the abyss, an abyss that Christ overcame by His resurrection from the dead. As in the case of Saint Peter, the Lord is ready and willing to grab hold of us as soon as we cry for help. Remember the account of Jesus walking on the water. As the waters rise over Peter's head, Jesus stretches out His arm and says, "Don’t panic. I'm here!"

This Gospel account tells the story of how the apostles were called out of their darkness into the light of resurrection joy. The sealed and guarded tomb could not confine the Risen Lord. Having risen from the dead, Jesus would not permit locked doors to confine His disciples. Because they saw fit to reject the messengers He had sent them, Jesus saw fit to rebuke them for refusing to trust in His word.

We may be more like the disciples than we would like to admit. We tend to be selective when it comes to listening to the messengers God sends us. We shut out any challenge to enter more deeply into the mysteries of faith. Like the disciples we want to keep our expressions of faith closeted away so as to be polite and nice in the midst of a society that has lost its moral compass. Christ exposed Himself to the torment inflicted upon him by the culture of death. Upon the altar of the cross He conquered sin and death. With His dying breath He gave the victory shout of the Kingdom of Life. The tomb burst open because death no longer had any hold on Him. Now, He calls us to throw off the chains that once bound us and to come forth from our captivity so as to walk in the Light. Christ is risen from the dead. By death He trampled death and to those in the grave He granted life.

--Fr. Jerome Machar, OSCO

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Prayer for Easter by Saint Anthony of Padua

O eyes of our loved one,
closed in the sleep of death!
O face,
on whom the angels longed to gaze,
now become pale.
O lips,
which like a honeycomb exuded words of eternal life,
now become livid.
O head,
before which the angels trembled,
now hanging limp.
Of those hands and whose touch
leprosy was cured,
life was restored,
eyesight was recovered,
devils were put to flight,
bread was multiplied –
are now pierced with nails and
stained with the precious blood!

O, the compassion of divine clemency!
O, the patience of the Father’s goodness!
O, the profound and inscrutable mystery of the divine will!
Father, you have seen your only son, equal to you,
bound like a criminal to a pillar
and scourged like a murderer.
How could you have borne this?
We thank you, Holy Father,
because the sufferings and scourges of
your beloved Son
have freed us from the shackles of sin
and from the power of evil. To you be glory for all ages. Amen.
   Saint Anthony of Padua (taken from two of his sermons)

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Last Words of Christ from the Cross

The Church begins the Palm Sunday Mass with a procession of Palms. The singing and the reading of the Gospel bring us jubilantly into the Church, and then we read the Passion of Christ. And we feel the full thrust of Christ’s sufferings. The Church does this because it wants us to enter into the experience of the apostles who were at first elated by Christ’s entry into Jerusalem and then struck to despair by His crucifixion.

All four Gospels mention the crucifixion of Christ. Matthew and Mark’s Gospels are practically the same in the crucifixion accounts. Let us compare the words of Christ in the Gospels.

St. Luke talks about Christ as being the great advocate before the Father. The first words that Jesus spoke from the cross in Luke’s gospel are, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Here Jesus is advocating for those who crucified him. His second words in St. Luke’s Gospel are to the repentant thief. “This day you will be with me in paradise.” Luke is showing that Jesus did not come just for the faithful but for the outcasts as well. The first one to go to heaven after Jesus’ death was a thief. The last words that Jesus speaks in St. Luke’s Gospel are, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” Jesus is offering himself to the very mercy of God. He goes to the Father to plead for humanity.

In John’s gospel, we hear three other utterances of Christ. John talks about us being adopted children of God and about being in the family of God. The first words that Jesus speaks in John’s account of the crucifixion are to Mary and to the disciple John. “Woman, behold thy son.” And “Behold thy mother.” Jesus is saying, “I give you my Mother. I am going to my Father. We are a family. You are part of that family. The one who sees me sees the Father. Now I am giving you my Mother.” Jesus’ second words are, “I thirst.” This statement brings us back to Jesus speaking to the Samaritan woman at the well where he says to her that he is thirsty and asks for a drink. She says to him, “Why are you asking me for a drink? You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan. You should not even be talking to me.” But Jesus makes her realize that she is the one who is thirsty, she is thirsty for God. Now Jesus on the cross is thirsting for souls. He wants us to understand that if we go to him we will never be thirsty again. The final words of Jesus in the Gospel of St. John are, “It is consummated.” It is accomplished. Our salvation is accomplished. Now the world knows that God loves it unto death. God gave himself totally. He handed himself to the Father and accomplished what he had been sent to do. Jesus poured out on us the love of God.

In Matthew and Mark’s Gospel account of the crucifixion Jesus says only one sentence. But what a sentence it is. “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Jesus wants us to listen carefully and to think about what he is saying. He wants us to realize how close God has come to us. Here he is speaking as one of us. Having borne our guilt and shame. he cries out as one of us, for he knows our suffering, our pain, and he shows us the empathy of God for us. This cry is a cry of humanity. It is the voice of every human being from Adam and Eve down to our times, a beautiful cry to the Father that draws the Father close to us. God heard that cry and made the Word flesh. Bible scholars tell us that Jesus, by speaking the first words of Psalm 22, was in fact speaking the entire Psalm to the people who were listening. The Psalm is a prophecy about the suffering Messiah and ends with his eventual glory. Matthew foretells this glory when he indicates that, after Jesus gave his spirit back to God, “the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom, and the earth quaked, and the rocks were rent.” God came close to us and now there is no curtain veil between us and God. God’s mercy entered the human race and peace was made with it through the scapegoat of Christ; the veil in the temple is torn in two because God has not abandoned his people who betrayed them. God has come to them through the veil.

So let us pick up our cross and follow Christ, remembering his words from the cross. Let us follow him to our Father’s house where he is, where he has redeemed us and sanctified us and where we will live forever.

Transcribed as closely as possible from a homily by Father David Engo, FFM