Kargador at Dawn

Kargador at Dawn
Work in the Vineyard

Thursday, March 31, 2016

The Risen Lord is our Redeemer


Faith isn’t meant to do that. Jesus doesn’t grant special exemptions to his friends, no more than God granted special exemptions to Jesus. We see this everywhere in the Gospels, though most clearly in Jesus’ resurrection.
To understand this, it’s helpful to compare Jesus’ resurrection to what Jesus himself does in raising Lazarus from the dead.
We are all familiar with the story of Lazarus. Jesus’ friend has died, and his sisters in turn ask him the question: “Why?”  Why, since you loved this man, did you not come to save him from death?
Why is it that God invariably seems absent when bad things happen to good people? Why doesn’t God rescue his loved ones and save them from pain and death?
The answer to that question teaches a very important lesson about Jesus, God, and faith, namely, that God is not a God who ordinarily rescues us, but is rather a God who redeems us. God doesn’t ordinarily intervene to save us from humiliation, pain, and death; rather he redeems humiliation, pain, and death after the fact.
Jesus treats Lazarus exactly the same way as God, the Father, treats Jesus: Jesus is deeply and intimately loved by his Father and yet his Father doesn’t rescue him from humiliation, pain, and death. In his lowest hour, when he is humiliated, suffering, and dying on the cross, Jesus is jeered by the crowd with the challenge: “If God is your father, let him rescue you!” But there’s no rescue.  Instead Jesus dies inside the humiliation and pain. God raises him up only after his death.
Jesus never promised us rescue, exemptions, immunity from cancer, or escape from death. He promised rather that, in the end, there will be redemption, vindication, immunity from suffering, and eternal life. But that’s in the end; meantime, in the early and intermediate chapters of our lives, there will be the same kinds of humiliation, pain, and death that everyone else suffers.
This is one of the key revelations inside the resurrection: We have a redeeming, not a rescuing, God.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Badaliyya post Easter 2016

Badaliyya Philippines
March 30, 2016

Dear Friends,

During the Octave of Easter and on the 2nd Sunday after Easter which id the Divine Mercy Sunday, we will  offer our Badaliyya Prayer on Sunday, April 03, 2016 at 3pm in the small chapel of OMI Bolduc Home. Please join us in person or in spirit as we pray for peace and reconciliation in the Middle East, Southern Philippines, Pakistan and Afghanistan and especially in the Holy Land.

Continuing to reflect on the call to “substitutionary prayer” we can follow Fr. Louis Massignon’s own suggestion to turn to Blessed Charles de Foucauld and Saint Francis for inspiration and enlightenment.

At Tamanrasset in the southern Algerian desert Fr. De Foucauld realized that he needed to know and understand the Touareg people in order to truly live with them. In fact he wanted to assimilate himself into their way of life, in a sense to “become Touareg”. Not only did he allow himself to eat what those to whom he dedicated his life ate but he learned their language as intimately as they knew it, as well as their history, traditions, folklore, poetry and beliefs. ”To make oneself understand is the beginning of everything, in order to do something good”, he wrote. “It isn’t enough to pray for the salvation of others, nor even to lovingly give oneself to them, but to offer oneself body and soul for their souls”.

“This is how Fr. De Foucauld saw the sacrifice of Jesus at Golgotha; Christ so loved humanity that he offered himself as a voluntary victim for the expiation of the sin of the world. “There is no greater proof of love than to give one’s life for those we love”, He told the apostles at the Last Supper. Substituting himself for humanity, past, present and future, He had reconciled them to God for eternity. Yet the Passion of Christ, the mystery of the economy of Salvation, consumed and carried out once and for all, will last until the end of human history. Thus, if we truly love, only one way offers itself to us: to participate in His redemptive work and accept the sacrifice of ourselves”.

“Brother Charles’ impeccable logic brought him to this conclusion before which all human reason either resists or gives way; Before God, Christians must substitute themselves for others and take the burden of their sin or their blindness onto their own shoulders in order to participate in the liberation of captive souls...”

Brother Charles’ writings are filled with the theology of his time and yet his message remains profoundly revolutionary. By choosing to live as he did he defined and witnessed to a new attitude for Christians in the world. He defined lay Christians as apostles of Christ and demonstrated how they were to be shining witnesses to the Gospel message. He was a pioneer who planted the seeds for a transformation of monastic life as well as lay participation, by remaining paradoxically entirely faithful to the tradition and the Gospel message.

It is clear that Brother Charles’ life and witness will challenge those who enter into the Badaliyya prayer, and in creating this prayer in 1934 Louis Massignon was presenting a way to rise to that challenge. Our time and our world is both radically different and yet sadly the same. May these reflections serve to aid our prayer together and help us to open our hearts and minds to truly understand those of other faiths, traditions and cultures. May we be guided in planting our own seeds of hope in the world.

The first Friday falls on April 1st, 2016 for those who are joining in the day of fast and prayer for World Peace with the Union of Charles de Foucauld. This prayer Union of priests, religious, lay persons, men and women, married and single was envisioned by Brother Charles while he served His God in the desert of Algeria devoting his life to the Muslim Berber Touareg people.

Pax et Bonum

Fr. Eliseo R. Mercado, OMI

Monday, March 28, 2016

2nd Sunday of Easter (C)

Short Reflection for the 2nd Easter Sunday (C): Divine Mercy Sunday

Reading: Acts 5: 12-16; Revelation 1:9-11. 12-13. 17-19; John 20: 19-31

Selected Passage:  Jesus said to him (Thomas), "Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed." (John 20:29)

Reflection:  Do we need to put our fingers into his wounds in order to believe?  Jesus is, truly, RISEN!  We believe, because the testimonies of his disciples are trustworthy. They saw and experienced the Risen Lord. 

In a very special way, the Divine Mercy Sunday invites us all to face and embrace the difficulties and pains of life with confidence. God’s mercy endures forever!   www.badaliyya.blogspot.com

Tuesday, March 08, 2016


by Dorothy Buck

The Italian Franciscan, Giulio Bassetti-Sani wrote,"In the many years which followed his conversion, Massignon sought not only to live ‘as a guest and hostage' himself within the Islamic community, but also to invite other Christians to join hm in ‘spiritually' participating in the life of the family of the descendants of Ishmael, following the example of St. Francis and Charles de Foucauld. He had the sublime example of the holy martyr of islam, ibn Mansur al-Hallaj, always before him becuase it represented for him a genuine triumph of Christ's grace within Islam, and thus he re-lived, profoundly Christianized and ‘internalized' the true and authentic spiritual values of Islam. ....In genuine Pauline fashion he invited members of the Badaliya movement to become ‘Muslims to the Muslims'.... "

Each of the five pillars of Islam became a way for Massignon to "internalize" aspects of Islam and join with his Muslim friends as a Christian. Prayer, or Salat, is an essential practice five times a day in Islam and perhaps it is there that we can begin our New Year of Badaliya.Our understanding of Intercessory prayer and its relationship to Badaliya (substitution) or abdal in Islam has been a challenge for us from the beginning of our establishing the Badaliya for our time in the USA. Perhaps St. Paul can help us as we struggle to grasp the meaning of Louis Massignon's intense understanding of this call to prayer: "I became all things to all men, in order that I might at least save some".(1 Cor.9:19-22) Massignon wrote: "It is necessary for us to become one with our real brothers just as Christ became one with the Cross. This is the arduous task of the Church for all eternity".

Dhikr Prayer


Dhikr is an Arabic word for remembrance. In the “tariqa” (the way) movement, Dhikr developed into a form of prayer… It is a prayer of the heart… following three simple steps:

1.Write in one’s heart a certain passage of the Holy Writ…
2.Make the same passage ever present in one’s lips. 
3.Then wait for God’s disclosure on the meaning of the passage…that interprets one’s life NOW…!

It takes a week of remembering (dhikr)…or even more days to relish the beauty of this method…

5th Sunday of Lent (C)

Short Reflection for the 5th Sunday in Lent (C) – The Samaritan Woman at the Well
Readings: Isaiah 43: 16-21; Philippians 3: 8-14; John 8: 1-11

Selected Passage:  “Then Jesus straightened up and said to her, ‘Woman, where are they?  Has no one condemned you?’  She replied, ‘No one, sir.’  Then Jesus said, ‘neither do I condemn you. Go, (and) from now on do not sin anymore.’” (John 8: 10-11)

Reflection:  The gospel tells us that God does not condemn us.  In fact, he gives us the grace not only to free us from our past but the opportunity to begin life anew. Such is the LOVE of God that he offered his only begotten Son that we may have new LIFE and life to the full.  Quoting St. Paul in the 2nd reading: ‘one thing I do, forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead…’

Thursday, March 03, 2016

The Prodigal Son's Brother


Interestingly, in a curious omission, when Jesus quotes this text to define his own ministry, he leaves out the part about vengeance (Luke 4:18).
There are too many of us in the church and the world today, who have the same burning need. We want to see misfortune fall upon the wicked. It is not enough that eventually the good should have their day. The bad must be positively punished.
To my mind, this desire for justice (as we call it) is, at its root, unhealthy and speaks volumes about the bitterness within our own lives. All these worries that somebody might be getting away with something and all these wishes that God better be an exacting judge, suggest that we, like the older brother of the prodigal son, might be doing things right, but real love, forgiveness and celebration have long gone out of our hearts.
In the end, it is because we are wounded and bitter that we worry about God's justice, worry that it might be too lenient, worry that the bad will not be fully punished, worry that there might not be a hell.
But we should worry less about those things and more about our own incapacity to forgive, to let go of our own hurts, to take delight in life, to give others the sheer gaze of admiration, to celebrate and to truly join in the dance. To be fit for heaven we must let go of our bitterness.
Like the older brother, our problem is ultimately not the excessive love that is seemingly shown someone else. Our problem is that we have never fully heard or understood God's words: "My child, you have always been with me and all I have is yours, but we, you and I, should be happy and dance because your younger brother who was dead has come back to life!"

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

4th Sunday in Lent (C)

Short Reflection for the 4th Sunday in Lent (C) – The Prodigal Son

Readings: Joshua 5: 9. 10-12; 2 Corinthians 5: 17-23; Luke 15: 1-3. 11-32

Selected Passage:  “Coming to his senses he thought, 'How many of my father's hired workers have more than enough food to eat, but here am I, dying from hunger. I shall get up and go to my father and I shall say to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.  I no longer deserve to be called your son; treat me as you would treat one of your hired workers.’” (Luke 15: 17-19)

Reflection:  The season of Lent is an invitation to come back to our senses.  Like the Prodigal Son, we need only to recognize our sins and go back to the Father.  The compassion of the Father knows NO end. He is there waiting for us with neither condemnation nor judgment. He is merciful and full of compassion with NO recriminations and instead he prepares a banquet on our return home. www.badaliyya.blogspot.com