Holyrood Church 715 West 179 Street, Upper West side Manhattan, USA, 212-923-3770 mzepeda@holyroodsantacruz.org

The Red Corner of Fr. Luis

Belen's Path

Today's Biblical narrative is in the Gospel of Matthew (2: 1) and tells us: After Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the time of King Herod, behold, some magicians from the east came to Jerusalem. On the road to Belen we meet Jesus the Christ.  But also… On that road to Bethlehem we must ask God: That our Church fight firmly and tenaciously against all forms of injustice and oppression, exposing the social mechanisms that generate them.

Be the difference

Today I woke up thinking about what we can learn from the life of Zacchaeus. The Bible says in Luke 19: 3-4: Zacchaeus was trying to see who Jesus was, but he was unable because of the crowd, for he was small in stature. So, he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.
 

How is your trust in God today?

How is your trust in God today? Psalm 56: 3 says: When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.

Trust is a state of mind that takes most of us a significant amount of time to develop but is easily broken with words and actions. With trust being so hard to develop between people, how much harder is it for us to trust in a God we cannot see or touch? 

God uses problems to MATURE US

God uses problems to MATURE US.

 Without a doubt, the truth is that maturity is achieved through the problems solved with responsibility.  Our character is built when we respond correctly to the adversities of life.  Did you know that God is more interested in building character in your life, than in your comfort and convenience?

 The apostle Paul writing to the church in Rome tells them:  And not only that, but we[a] also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope (Romans 5:3-4).

The ghost of discouragement

 

 

In the Gospel of Luke 24 (13-35) we are told; That same day two of them were heading to a town called Emmaus. Emmaus's is a very clear example of the mood of the majority on the day of resurrection. They have lost hope and return to their homes, because their faith was insufficient. They are sad and disenchanted. When, on that terrible Friday, Jesus, instead of

climbing David's throne, was raised on the cross, his disciples felt the collapse of much of their hopes.

 

The Faith

Last night I participated inone of the most painful meetings - emotionally, spiritually and physically -that I have experienced in my life as a priest. And I've been through many. I realized the pain that I have caused in some people and what they have caused me. But this experience that also had its positive actions reminded me of a Biblical scripture which I learned when I was only 6 years old: And my righteous ones will live by faith. (Hebrews 10:38)

 

The Repetance

Tomorrow it is our Second Sunday of Advent and during the sermon we will make a reflection and I will be arguing that in order to unite opposite people, true repentance is needed if we want to get along. I am in search of that true repentance; what about you?

The Golden Rule

The Golden Rule is the ethical principle of treating other people as one's self would prefer to be treated. One of Jesus' most famous and impactful teachings, the Golden Rule can be found in the Bible verses Matthew 7:12 and Luke 6:31. What Jesus is demanding of us is that we be kind people. Kindness is fundamental to the human existence. This is so powerful that someone in some place said in one occasion that kindness is a language that deaf can hear and the blind can see.
 

Salm 121

Last night a friend asked me the following question: where does your help come from when things go wrong? Immediately Psalm 121(verses 1-2) came to my mind: I lift up my eyes to the mountains- where does my help come from? My help comes from God, the Maker of heaven and earth.  

 

The Love

The biblical reflection for today comes from I John 4:18: There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
 
According to the verse, what is the source of that person’s fear? What is the single thing that frightens them? They fear being "punished". Why is this one person afraid he or she will be punished? Again, the verse tells us the answer. The person knows punishment is coming because they are "not perfected in love."
 

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