Dec 26 2012

Christmas reflection: Feast of The Holy Family

Father Mark LaneEvery Wednesday during the Christmas season, we will post a reflection. We hope these reflections help you on your own journey during this time.

This weekís reflection is offered by Father Mark Lane, CFCA preacher.

“And over all these put on love, that is, the bond of perfection.” (Colossians 3:14)

A child causing parents anxiety is nothing new, and Jesusí role in this highly developed narrative is no exception.

His rather pious answer would seem somewhat impertinent if we were dealing with a straightforward recounting of an historical fact.

In todayís Gospel for the Feast of The Holy Family, Luke narrates this story to point to Jesusí uniqueness and to give content to the otherwise gapping lacuna that is the so-called lost-years of Jesusí life: the 30-year period from infancy to the beginning of his public ministry.

As with many conversations, it is not only what is said that is informative ó silence is important. Jesus matured in the obscurity of those lost 30 years. Read more

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Dec 19 2012

Advent reflection: Christmas on the practical, everyday level

Father Mark LaneEvery Wednesday during the Advent season, we will post a reflection in hopes that it may help you on your own journey through Advent. This weekís reflection is offered by Father Mark Lane, CFCA preacher.

“Ö Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.” (Luke 1:45)

When my oldest sister was expecting her first child, I called her close to the end of her last trimester because I had just eaten something that had given me such a pain in the stomach, and I was feeling a deeper sympathy for her situation.

My brother-in-law answered the phone to say she had gone into labor. Read more

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Dec 5 2012

Advent reflection: ‘For it is in giving that we receive’

Father Mark LaneEvery Wednesday during the Advent season, we will post a reflection in hopes that it may help you on your own journey through Advent. This weekís reflection is offered by Father Mark Lane, CFCA preacher.

“Ö I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work in you will continue to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus. Ö” (Phil 1:6)

Sometimes it is the simplest and most obvious detail that is the most revealing.

When God comes into this world it is among the ordinary people of a not so remarkable period in history and in a corner of the world far from the center of prominence.

Luke, in the Gospel reading for the Second Sunday of Advent,, tries to give Jesus’advent an historical grandeur that the raw facts do not exactly bare out.

John the Baptist is indeed an exotic character, but his ministry is mainly in the desert, far from the center of things in Jerusalem. Read more

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Nov 19 2012

Mark Lane: ‘The more we give, the more we create space to receive’

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Father Mark LaneWe recently heard from Father Mark Lane, a CFCA preacher, who lives in the Brooklyn area and witnessed the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. He provides us this update from the road, as well as pictures of the storm’s damage taken by Gerri Hernandez, who gave us permission to share them. (You can see more pictures at this Facebook photo album.)

Two weeks out from Sandy I was at St. Rosalie Parish in Hampton Bays, Long Island, New York.

I was initially a little apprehensive about the appeal, given all that the area has been through with Superstorm Sandy.

Some people were still without power. The parish was a center for aid and relief for the diocese, and there were two appeals for detailed aid during each of the Masses.

I took courage, though, from the pastor ñ a newly ordained ex-IBM marketing executive who was hospitable and supportive ñ and from the first Scripture reading. Elijah asked the widow for food despite knowing that she and her son had only enough for a last meal.

Why? Because he is oblivious to her situation? Egocentric?

I think the key is in the Gospel where Jesus points out the difference between the scribes and rich who give from their surplus and the widow who gives all she has to live on.

The giving Jesus commends to his disciples (and which he will himself live) is total. The more we give, the more we create space to receive. The more we pour ourselves out, the more the Spirit flows in. Read more

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Nov 1 2012

CFCA preacher sees devastation from Superstorm Sandy

Father Mark LaneFather Mark Lane, a CFCA preacher, lives in the Brooklyn area and witnessed the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. Here is a recent email from him:

Slowly the enormity of the devastation and disruption is dawning on many of us. Every hour seems to bring new images and stories of the force of Sandy and her aftermath.

I say “slowly dawning on us” because some of us at first survived with little or no problem.

The Oratory Church of Saint Boniface where I live in downtown Brooklyn, just across from Wall Street in lower Manhattan, was relatively unaffected. We did not lose power, and we had no flooding.

We did feel the force of the wind. We watched trees stripped of the last of their leaves, and some branches and awnings and debris blow past our windows in a mad and scary parade.

‘The full impact’

We woke thinking that the storm had passed without too much damage. But hour by hour, day by day, we see more and more the full impact.

Little food is now on the shelves in supermarkets, people are still walking about in a daze or trying to get around without public transport, and now we still have limited bus and subway service. What is available is extremely crowded.

The traffic is backed up for miles, seemingly everywhere, sirens and horns are blasting from morning to night. We live near approaches to the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges, and they are jammed with traffic that barely seems to move.

Usually the view from our area of Brooklyn is of the island of Manhattan. It is at night lit up like a Christmas tree – a beautiful sight twinkling on the waters of the East River that divides us – but the whole lower half of the city is now eerily dark. No power, no water, no phones …. everyone there is fleeing uptown to eat, wash and recuperate. Read more

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Mar 14 2012

Lenten reflection: Moving to meaningful, life-saving action

CFCA preacher Mark LaneEvery Wednesday throughout Lent we will post a reflection on the upcoming Sunday readings. We hope these help you on your own Lenten journey. This week’s reflection was written by CFCA preacher Father Mark Lane, C.O.

There is a powerful message in the Gospel for the Fourth Sunday of Lent. God sent his son into the world not to condemn it, but that the world might be saved through him.

The point of our faith is to help people, to save them. It is a point I find easy to forget, especially when I am caught behind someone at the supermarket check-out or the door bell rings when I am watching my favorite TV show!

Again and again Jesus teaches mercy, acceptance and inclusion, especially for the outcasts and those called sinners.

Who cannot be humbled by the incarnate son of God who steps in between the woman caught in adultery and the stones of her righteous neighbors? How disarmingly simple and clear are his words to her when they drop their stones and walk away: “Is there anyone left to condemn you?” Read more

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