April 2, 2017

Announcements

•Students will be dismissed for Easter break on Good Friday (April 14), after the service in the church, around 4:30 PM.  Parents are welcome to attend the service, which begins at 2:00 PM.
•Bishop Kevin Van will bestow the sacrament of Confirmation on our students on Monday, May 1, at 6:30 PM, in the abbey church.  All are welcome to attend; a modest reception will follow.
•On Sunday, May 7, we will have our annual Spring Concert, at 7:00 PM, in the Perpetual Help room.  All are welcome to attend.
•Sunday, May 21, is the Spring Sports Awards Ceremony, at 7:00 PM, in the Perpetual Help Room.  All are welcome to attend.
•Monday, May 29, is the school’s Graduation, at 7:00 PM, in the abbey courtyard.  A reception will follow.  All students are required to attend and should arrive by 6:30 PM.

Athletics

•Congratulations to our baseball team on their recent victories
•The next baseball games are:  April 4 (Tuesday) and 3:30 PM, at St. Michael's; and April 7 (Friday) at 6:00 PM, at Bonita High School [3102 D St, La Verne, CA 91750].

 

Sermon by a Norbertine Priest

We just heard how our Lord raised Lazarus who had been in the tomb for four days—an amazing miracle! On another occasion He gave sight to a man blind from birth.  On another occasion He fed thousands with a few loaves and fishes—and countless other miracles.  Our Lord Himself, after dying on the Cross, gloriously rose on Easter morning; and for the next 2000 years the God Who entered our world through a miraculous birth would continue and still continues to work miracles for sinful man.  And yet, as Scripture says, the fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”

St. Thomas Aquinas teaches us that there are two reasons why God works miracles:  first, to confirm the supernatural doctrine that He teaches us; and second, to make known His presence in the person performing the miracle.  And theologians often call miracles “motives of credibility.”  In other words, the reason God performs miracles is to move us towards belief, to motivate us to trust that if He could perform such an amazing works, then His teaching must be true.  The ultimate goal in all of this, or course, is to lead one to the true Faith and bring them to salvation.  Though you will not believe Me, Christ once said, believe the works, and again, The works which the Father has given Me give testimony to Me.  So, whether we are speaking about the miracles which our Lord Himself performed while He lived among us or those which He continues to work now through His saints, the chief motive for such marvels is always the salvation of souls. 

How merciful our good Lord is! As if His coming as man, His teachings, His Passion Death and Resurrection, His gift of the Church and the sending of the Holy Spirit were not enough, He continues to do all possible—indeed even the seemingly impossible—in order to win souls.  Bleeding Hosts, stigmatas, miraculous healings—knowing man’s stubbornness of heart and his appetite for the astonishing, our Lord so often gives us more than we deserve in order to bring us to conversion.  His boundless mercy moves Him to perform the greatest miracles for the salvation of even just one soul.  And the miracles just keep on coming.  Just consider two miracles we have right before our eyes—permanently right before our eyes which anyone can go and see:  the Shroud of Turin and the tilma of Our Lady of Guadalupe. 

The Shroud of Turin is a 14 feet long and 3 ½ feet wide piece of linen on which the image of our Savior was miraculously imprinted at the very moment of His Resurrection:  His entire body, both front and back.  It’s the greatest relic there is, one which has marveled, perplexed and even converted many scientists and scholars over the years.  It’s still among us today in the city of Turin, Italy. 

The tilma of Our Lady of Guadalupe is a cloth made of cactus fibers on which the image of our Blessed Mother was imprinted in the year 1531 in Mexico.  This miraculous image also has continued to be the cause of much wonder and conversion—like the conversion of most of Mexico.  Anyone who wants, can go to Mexico City and see it.  

These are just two of thousands of examples which could be called forth from various times and places.  And if you’re still tempted to think that God no longer performs such wondrous deeds for His people, that these are just old Medieval legends, consider the fact that the Church still usually requires bona fide miracles before beatifying and canonizing her saints—miracles which must pass the rigorous examinations of doctors and scientists.  And just look at how many beatifications and canonizations have taken place in the past 25 years alone! Remember, just because the miracles are not reported by the LA Times does not mean that they never happened.

“But isn’t better to believe,” one might asked, “without the aid of miracles?” The answer is yes.  It is certainly more meritorious to accept all that Christ and His Church teach us without the requirement of a miracle.  We should never demand that God perform some supernatural acrobat as a precondition for our belief in Him; and yet praying for miracles, especially in order that others might be converted by them, is a good thing, since it is better to believe with the help of miracles than not to believe at all.  

It was said in today’s Gospel after Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead:  Many of the Jews who had come to Mary and seen what Christ had done began to believe in Him.  And once again our Lord wants us to keep this miracle—the raising of Lazarus from the dead—and all of His miracles in mind when we consider Him in the coming days in His sorrowful Passion and Death.  If we are tempted to see in all of this only the weakness of the humanity which He assumed, He wants us to consider as well His divinity by which He shows us His power and might.  And if, when the Passion and Death are over and Easter morning comes, and we are tempted to think that He could not really have risen from the dead as the Gospels tell us, consider the raising of Lazarus, any other of His miracles, or consider the countless miracles He has performed over and over again, many of which can still be observed in our day, and then do not doubt but believe that He is truly risen.

Prayer Requests

•For Craig Kennedy who was just diagnosed with terminal cancer.
•For all the benefactors of St. Michael’s Preparatory School, living and deceased.
•For all the students and families of St. Michael’s Preparatory School.
•For all faculty and staff of St. Michael’s Preparatory School.