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A Journey to the River Jordan – With Jesus and John the Baptist

Come on a journey with Mary Jane Fox to the sacred site of the Baptism of Jesus, the River Jordan! Fr. Alex Kratz, OFM, Co-Founder & Spiritual Director of Terra Sancta Ministries joins Mary Jane Fox on this week’s spiritual pilgrimage. Listen in, as they discuss the area marked at the River Jordan where John the Baptist was baptizing people in preparation for the coming of the Messiah.

During our journey, you will hear about:

  • Jesus’ baptism by John the Baptist
  • What is the connection between John the Baptist & Jesus?
  • Why is Baptism so important?
  • Much More!

We are so grateful to this month’s sponsors, Francisco & Sherry Beatty, who made this podcast episode possible.

For more information about Fr. Alex Kratz, Terra Sancta Ministry and Shrine, click here.


Listen to this program now:


Jewel for the Journey

“Every baptized person should consider that it is in the womb of the Church where he is transformed from a child of Adam to a child of God.” – St. Vincent Ferrer


A Closer Look at the Jordan River:


Where is the Jordan River?

Meet the Master

Why Did Jesus Say He Came? | Meet the Master

Welcome to Meet the Master; a monthly series by Pilgrim Center of Hope for one and all to encounter Jesus in his words and actions, all for reflection, learning, and inspiration.

The theme for this Meet the Master audio retreat is to encounter Jesus of Nazareth in Scripture and answer the question: “Why did Jesus say he came?” Our Host, Angela Sealana, Pilgrim Center of Hope’s Media Coordinator leads us all on a journey through Scripture, to reflect on this very question.

Meet the Master is a monthly audio retreat from Pilgrim Center of Hope, bringing you into an encounter with Jesus every first Friday.

Presenter: Angela Sealana

To Participate: Tune in to our podcast of the same name, on the first Friday of every month. The audio will be here for you to listen along or you can subscribe to Meet the Master on Apple Podcast, Spotify, Google Podcast, Amazon Music, or YouTube (audio only). Please leave a comment on the YouTube video or Facebook post that corresponds to this episode or you can send us an email at ministry@pilgrimcenterofhope.org.

Cost: Pilgrim Center of Hope is a non-profit evangelization ministry, sustained only by donations. While there is no required fee for our content, please consider donating a one-time gift or showing your support with a monthly donation. Every bit helps this mission of hope to continue. Thank you!

We especially would like to thank, the family of Michele Maxwell (Marian Center of San Antonio), for sponsoring this episode of Meet the Master! Pilgrim Center of Hope is grateful for all our Missionary of Hope supporters who make possible everything we do.


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A Journey to the Milk Grotto

Looking for information about our Radio Encore Broadcast of A Journey to the Milk Grotto?

Podcast Episode

Come along with Mary Jane Fox on this week’s spiritual pilgrimage to Milk Grotto, not far from the Church of the Nativity and Manger Square in Bethlehem! According to Tradition, the Holy Family took refuge in this grotto on their way to Egypt as they were fleeing the Slaughter of the Innocents. Listen in, as Mary Jane shares why the Milk Grotto is a pilgrim destination, especially for new mothers and women who are trying to conceive.

During our journey, you will hear about:

  • Why is this place called the Milk Grotto?
  • What is it like inside?
  • Learn the prayer shared by the Franciscan Friars, to all who visit the Milk Grotto to pray for Mary’s help.
  • Much more!


Listen to this program on our podcast feeds starting Thursday, Dec. 30, on any of the following podcast services:

Listen on Apple Podcasts Listen on Spotify  Listen on Google Podcasts Listen on Breaker Subscribe via RSS Feed


Jewel for the Journey

Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4)


A Closer Look at the Milk Grotto


Where is the Chapel of the Milk Grotto?

Meet the Master

Being Open to Receive Jesus | Meet the Master

You are invited to spend some time with Pilgrim Center of Hope and reflect on being open to receiving Jesus!

Is your heart open to receiving Jesus? Mary Jane Fox leads us all on a journey through Scripture, to reflect on this very topic. We will focus on Luke 2:10-11, learn about this month’s virtue perseverance, and Mary Jane shares a touching story of how a woman was healed from depression and despair.

Meet the Master is a monthly audio retreat from Pilgrim Center of Hope, bringing you into an encounter with Jesus every first Friday.

Presenter: Mary Jane Fox

To Participate: Tune in to our podcast of the same name, on the first Friday of every month. The audio will be here for you to listen along or you can subscribe to Meet the Master on Apple Podcast, Spotify, Google Podcast, Amazon Music, or YouTube (audio only). Please leave a comment on the YouTube video or Facebook post that corresponds to this episode or you can send us an email at ministry@pilgrimcenterofhope.org.

Cost: Pilgrim Center of Hope is a non-profit evangelization ministry, sustained only by donations. While there is no required fee for our content, please consider donating a one-time gift or showing your support with a monthly donation. Every bit helps this mission of hope to continue. Thank you!


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Reflection Material


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If you have a Google account, subscribe to our YouTube channel! Click the YouTube image above & then click the red “Subscribe” button on our channel. You can use the “bell” icon to choose how often you receive notifications about new videos.

Subscribe and listen to Meet the Master at any of the options below.

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National Shrine of Divine Mercy – Stockbridge, MA

Come on a journey with Angela Sealana to The National Shrine of the Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, MA! To help guide us on our spiritual pilgrimage is the rector of the shrine, Fr. Anthony Gramlich, MIC.

During this spiritual pilgrimage, we will:

  • Address the question of God’s mercy; Does God really forgive me? Why do we often struggle with forgiveness and our relationship with God, and how can we embrace God’s mercy for us and for others?
  • Hear the amazing story of how the message of God’s mercy was given to us in modern times through a very special diary, and the miraculous journey of how it made its way from Poland during World War II all the way to Massachusetts!
  • Learn how the National Shrine of the Divine Mercy came to be established, what it’s like, and what pilgrims can experience there.

For more information on The National Shrine of the Divine Mercy, click here to visit their website.

Featured Images captured from the Official Facebook Page for The National Shrine of the Divine Mercy.


Listen to this program now:


Jewel for the Journey:

ABCs of Divine Mercy: Ask for Mercy, Be Merciful, and Completely trust in Jesus.


A Closer Look at The National Shrine of the Divine Mercy:

Image courtesy of The National Shrine of the Divine Mercy. All rights reserved.


Where is The National Shrine of the Divine Mercy?

Seeing As Jesus Sees

 

One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic. See Nicene Creed. These are the Four Marks of our Church, the body of Christ. I need to ask myself if I truly believe that my Church has these four marks. If the answer is yes, then am I Catholic?

Let me explain. Catholic means universal. It means that the members of the body of Christ come from all races and ethnic groups, and are found everywhere. The Church, that is we, are open to all. Or are we? We know the Church is Catholic, but can a person be catholic? Am I catholic in the way I see others?

Viewing Others Through Filters

Children are born without filters. That is one reason Jesus loved to be around them, see the Gospel of Matthew (19:14). As we develop and mature, however, we acquire filters. By filters, I mean that we start looking at people through our own lenses of bias and prejudice, which come from our immediate families, our coworkers, communities (online and otherwise), nations, and our friends. What sort of filters? These can range anywhere from the color of people’s skin, their education, body type, gender, sexual orientation, possessions, occupations, mental or other disorders or disabilities, and the list goes on. In an examination of conscience, we have to ask ourselves if we are seeing others through our filters, or through the eyes of Jesus.

I carry these filters everywhere I go, and they apply to anything I sense. That means that they apply to everything I see, hear, touch, taste, and smell. Here’s a good test: when I look around during Mass, do I see souls, or do I see people different from me? If people are different from me, am I accepting and open to them, or am I judging them in accordance with my filters? Am I applying my own, unique standards and measurements to them?

It is a part of human nature to size people up as soon as I hear or see them. Haven’t you ever heard a person on the phone and immediately imagined what they look like? Then, when you actually meet or see them, their actual appearance is much different from what you had imagined. It’s the same with souls. Our outer appearances and conduct may hold SOME clues to what our souls really are like, but the real truth may be far from our guesses. Think of people you have encountered whose hidden stories have caused you to feel compassion and understanding, now that you know what they went through? That is why only God can judge another person. Only He knows what sort of childhood or other experiences that person has gone through, and what sorts of inner struggles and obstacles that person has had to overcome. It’s possible that at the very moment a person needs a boost up the mountain of life, our filters cause us to show them an attitude, or look, or to speak a word, that can throw them back down, perhaps never to get up again.

What Did Jesus Do?

When Jesus associated with tax collectors and sinners, he was reaching out with God’s love to all children of God. He even tried to reach the Pharisees and Sadducees, in spite of their open hostility towards him. If Jesus had had filters in operation, the extent of his reach would have been limited or curtailed. Therefore, the reach of his love and mercy would have been limited.

Encouragement for Your Journey

It is difficult for any of us to identify, overcome and deconstruct the many filters within us. If you find yourself wincing, frowning, or in any way negatively reacting to a person, you must ask yourself why you are doing so. If you look at a person and you already know the kind of person they are, this might give you an idea of the kind of filter you are using.

We can look to the lives of the Saints, each of whom had their own filters in place that they had to locate and eliminate in order to progress on their spiritual journey. The more they conquered their negative filters, the more aligned they became with Jesus. And after all, isn’t that our ultimate goal?

So when the next time we’re at church, work, the grocery store, a concert, movie, party, or seminar, ask yourself whether you are looking at others the way Jesus would look at that person. Then we can imitate our Lord in opening our hearts to that person, so that Jesus’ love, kindness, and mercy can flow from Jesus, through you, to the person Jesus loves as much as he loves you.


Victor Negrón is a husband, father, grandfather, practicing lawyer, former judge, past-President of the San Antonio Catholic Lawyers Guild, lay evangelist, Board Member of Pilgrim Center of Hope and A Woman’s Haven. Judge Negrón became Board Certified in Family Law in 1987. As a lay evangelist, Victor has served as a leader for Eucharistic Adoration of San Antonio, Inc., and has been involved with Pilgrim Center of Hope’s evangelizing activities since its early years – formerly as emcee for the Catholic Men’s Conference, and currently as a member of the PCH Board of Directors.

Answering Christ’s call, Pilgrim Center of Hope guides people to encounter Him so as to live in hope, as pilgrims in daily life. See what’s happening & let us journey with you! Visit PilgrimCenterOfHope.org.

Who Do You Say I Am? | Journey with Jesus

Meet the Master

Our Identity in Christ | Meet the Master

You are invited to spend some time with Pilgrim Center of Hope and reflect on our identity in Christ!

Have you ever asked yourself, “who am I?” This is one of life’s common and complicated questions. In Baptism we are brought into the family of God as a child of God, and given a gift of the Holy Spirit. This makes up part of our identity as a child of God! Mary Jane unpacks this topic and invites us to ponder Psalm 139:13-16, which speaks about our uniqueness!

Also, Mary Jane also takes a dive into this month’s virtue,  patience. This is a virtue that can perhaps save our lives because it helps us from responding to situations that may result in calamity or worse.

Meet the Master is a monthly audio retreat from Pilgrim Center of Hope, bringing you into an encounter with Jesus every first Friday.

Presenter: Mary Jane Fox

To Participate: Tune in to our podcast of the same name, on the first Friday of every month. The audio will be here for you to listen along or you can subscribe to Meet the Master on Apple Podcast, Spotify, Google Podcast, Amazon Music, or YouTube (audio only). Please leave a comment on the YouTube video or Facebook post that corresponds to this episode or you can send us an email at ministry@pilgrimcenterofhope.org.

Cost: Pilgrim Center of Hope is a non-profit evangelization ministry, sustained only by donations. While there is no required fee for our content, please consider donating a one-time gift or showing your support with a monthly donation. Every bit helps this mission of hope to continue. Thank you!


Podcast Episode


Reflection Material


Your Feedback

5 + 2 = ?


Subscribe & Stay Up-to-Date

 

YouTube

If you have a Google account, subscribe to our YouTube channel! Click the YouTube image above & then click the red “Subscribe” button on our channel. You can use the “bell” icon to choose how often you receive notifications about new videos.

Subscribe and listen to Meet the Master at any of the options below.

Listen on Apple PodcastsListen on Spotify  Listen on Google Podcasts  Subscribe via RSS Feed

The Ultimate Representation of Jesus’ Love | Meet Mary

We especially thank Michele Maxwell (Marian Center of San Antonio) for sponsoring this episode of Meet Mary! Pilgrim Center of Hope is grateful for all our Missionary of Hope supporters who make possible everything we do.

How to Bring Light to the Darkness

Several months ago while watching an episode of a streaming show that boasts a very talented cast and an intriguing storyline, I told my husband I could not watch the series anymore. I felt sick to my stomach and my husband said he felt the same. It was not because the show was violent or gruesome.

The reason is because in none of the characters was there a redeeming quality to be found. None of them was striving to be a better, kinder person. No one was concerned for the interest of another. Each character lived his or her life with the belief that ‘looking out for myself’ is the only good worth choosing. It made me wonder if this is what hell is like.

Last week, I decided to finish the season and watch the last two episodes. Each character received the sad consequences of his or her many selfish choices. For one this meant suicide. For the others, it was the realization of how the choices they made played a part. The final episode ended with each character facing the reality of death. Not a ray of hope could be found as the show faded into dark.

In none of the episodes did any character speak of faith in God or have anyone in their life who did. The name of our Lord Jesus Christ was spoken often but only in vain to curse their circumstances and each other. Though I highly doubt I will tune in again, I am grateful that I finished the season because it helped me to see the vital importance of bringing the light of Jesus Christ as hope in the lives of others.

Bring Light In A Creative Way

I know sharing our faith with someone can be difficult. A family member of mine with little to no faith often took our Lord’s name in vain. I lacked the courage to confront him about it, so I chose another tactic. I would tag on “Our Lord and Savior” to his, “Jesus Christ!” The first time he looked at me strangely and I said, “I am turning your curse into a blessing.” He smiled at this, but he never stopped. Neither did I. This man died a few years ago after a bout of cancer. This tiny light of Jesus I brought to this man gives me hope that when he encountered Jesus at his death, he knew exactly what to say, “Our Lord and Savior!” I pray he did.

Jesus’ Demand

In Jesus’ revelations to St. Faustina which she recorded in her diary of Divine Mercy (742), He told her,

“I demand from you deeds of mercy which are to arise out of love for me. You are to show mercy to your neighbor always and everywhere. You must not shrink from this or try and excuse yourself from it. I am giving your three ways of exercising mercy toward your neighbor: the first by deed, the second by word, the third by prayer.”

Be A Light In A Dark World

When we step out in faith, expect to be rejected. This should not stop us. In Scripture, we read of many times Jesus was rejected, and most sadly, by His own family and neighbors (Luke 4:14-30). Our Lord Jesus continues to be rejected by those who do not know His Goodness and Love. With more and more people lacking faith, it could just be that the only light of Jesus Christ in a group of people is you. Let us not shrink from these opportunities or excuse ourselves.

When you know you should bring His Light, but are afraid, ask the Holy Spirit for courage and find peace in the knowledge His Mercy flows through us regardless of the response. You will feel uncomfortable and that is normal. Do it anyway. As our world is quickly moving from fading to tumbling into darkness, bring the light of Jesus Christ to everywhere you go. Be the ray hope this world so desperately needs.


Nan Balfour is a grateful Catholic whose greatest desire is to make our Lord Jesus more loved. She seeks to accomplish this through her vocation to womanhood, marriage, motherhood, and as a writer, speaker and events coordinator for Pilgrim Center of Hope.

Answering Christ’s call, Pilgrim Center of Hope guides people to encounter Him so as to live in hope, as pilgrims in daily life. See what’s happening & let us journey with you! Visit PilgrimCenterOfHope.org.