ENCOUNTER WITH CHRIST
our hearts for Lent at this spiritual Encounter with Christ
Cursillo Movement's 8th
Annual Encounter With Christ
was held on Saturday, February
25, 2017 at Mary, Mother of God Parish, Hillsborough, NJ 08844.
Reconciled to God
This special event occurred just four days prior to Ash Wednesday, the
beginning of Lent, 2017. To prepare us for the coming of Easter, the
theme of the Encounter was Bishop
James Checchio's Episcopal Motto, "Be Reconciled to God"
(2 Corinthians 5:20). Bishop James has chosen this
passage from the writings of Saint Paul as his motto and episcopal
Sudano, CFR of the Franciscan
Friars of the Renewal (St. Joseph Friary, New York,
NY) and Deacon Sal Bonfiglio, OFS (Secular Franciscan Order) were our
Sal Bonfiglio reminded us of the context of this theme, found in St. Paul's 2nd Letter to the Corinthians (5:14-21).
are ambassadors for Christ. Jesus
wants us to be reconciled to God so that we can help OTHERS to reconcile to God... we need to help each other get to heaven. And
God wants to work through us to do this.
Sal spoke of the world we live in today. "Just
because it's legal doesn't mean it's suitable," he reminded us.
Such as what's on TV. We
have become so conditioned to accepting the immoral.
But God's morality has not changed. So be mindful of what
you're watching on TV or viewing on the
Internet. "We were created to have an
insatiable desire for God, but if we become distracted we develop insatiable
desires for immoral things. Satan
loves that," said Dcn. Sal. "Our immoral thoughts and
actions strengthen the power of evil."
be reconciled to God is to trust in Jesus. We
need to ask ourselves, "Is what I'm thinking or doing glorify God?"
If not, don't do it. We
need to ask ourselves, "How does Jesus live in me?
How do I become like Jesus?"
is an element like helium", according to Fr. Glenn Sudano.
"Sin is like lead; grace is helium." When we empty ourselves,
we can be filled with divine grace. He
urged us to take this time during Lent to look at life in a different manner.
How we see things in life is important. If we look at only one aspect
instead of the whole situation, we will only see partially.
When King David faced Goliath in battle, he wasn't focused on the giant
in front of him. He looked beyond,
confident in knowing that God was there to help him win the battle, even against
all logic. When we have faith,
nothing will crush us. We need to look beyond
our problems to see the Lord who saves us.
is the time to change our perspective... how we look at ourselves, our world,
and the church. We need to remain in a state of grace to protect ourselves from
evil. "When you have the light inside, evil won't come near you," said Fr.
Glenn. "They are attracted to
darkness." Evil can approach
you in the
simplest ways... it slips in through the darkness. Therefore, we need to hold
no hatred toward anyone. We have to
create an environment within ourselves, our home, and our environment which
deters the enemy. Fr.
Glenn reminds us that the best
protection is confession, daily prayers and devotionals. Have your home blessed.
Spend time reading the Word of God, go to Mass, receive the Eucharist.
Jesus's time, the ones who stayed home didn't get healed," said Fr. Glenn.
"We keep expecting God to make house calls, but it doesn't work that way.
God is God, we are not." He
reveals Himself to us. So we need to
continue listening to His voice and continue uniting ourselves with His Body,
"not a mind meld, but a physical, touchable encounter with Christ in the
the Cursillo Encounter with Christ, six priests were available for the Sacrament
of Reconciliation. Most everyone took these inspiring talks to heart and
approached their confessors, unburdening their sins and seeking absolution and
forgiveness. The event concluded
with a joyful celebration of the Mass. Fr. Glenn said that many people say they
feel better after going to confession.
"But you don't just FEEL
he told us, "you ARE better".
reminded of my bible studies of Luke, the Gospel of Mercy. Following are
just two examples of miracle healings and the mercy of Christ:
a woman who had a hemorrhage for twelve years, and could not be healed by
anyone, came up behind Him
and touched the fringe of His cloak, and immediately her hemorrhage stopped.
And Jesus said, "Who
is the one who touched Me?" And while they
were all denying it, Peter said, "Master, the people are crowding and pressing
in on You." But Jesus
said, "Someone did touch Me, for I was aware that
power had gone out of Me." When
the woman saw that she had not escaped notice, she came trembling and fell down
before Him, and declared in the presence of all the people the reason why she
had touched Him, and how she had been immediately healed.
He said to her, "Daughter, your faith
has made you
well; go in peace."
certain creditor had two debtors; one owed five hundred denarii, and the other
fifty. When they could not
pay, he canceled the debts for both of them. Now which of them will love him
more?" Simon answered, "I suppose the one for whom he canceled the greater
debt." And Jesus said
to him, "You have judged
turning toward the woman, he said to Simon, "Do you see this woman? I entered
your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has bathed my feet with
her tears and dried them with her hair. You
gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not stopped kissing my
feet. You did not anoint
my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. Therefore,
I tell you, her sins, which were many, have been forgiven; hence she has shown
great love. But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little." Then
he said to her, "Your sins are
those who were at the table with him began to say among themselves, "Who is
this who even forgives sins?"
he said to the woman,
"Your faith has saved you;
go in peace."
you can see by the Scriptures above, when people approached Jesus, desiring to
be healed, He not only healed them... he forgave them for their sins.
is more important to you? Healing of
your body, or spiritual healing?
know what I choose...
a reminder, in case it's been a while since you've gone to confession. When you
finish your confession, you will be asked to say a prayer called the Act of
When you are finished, the priest will conclude with the following prayer:
the Father of mercies, through the death and resurrection of his Son has
reconciled the world to himself and sent the Holy Spirit among us for the
forgiveness of sins; through the ministry of the Church may God give you pardon
and peace, and I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, and of
the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.