Fourth Sunday Ordinary Time Cycle C

January 30, 2022

 

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What Is The Love

That Makes God Present

In Our World Today???

 

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Paul writes his first letter to the Corinthians, who are struggling, as a new Christian community faced with many difficulties and sufferings.  He writes to them about the gift of love, Christian Love.

 

 

 

 

 

 

For most of us, when we think about love, we think about fond feelings for another, or sexual love, or the affection we have for another person.

 
Yet what Paul was writing about was love as that ability to go out of the way for the other, even for the enemy. 

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 Who is the enemy?

The enemy is the person who gives us difficulty, the person who needs help, the person who is waiting for our compassion, our mercy, our forgiveness.  The love of the enemy makes God present in the world. Certainly, Jeremiah, St. Paul and others gave their lives in loving the enemy, the ones who did not understand them, the ones who would kill them.

Our Baptism shows that each of us were called by God to make this love present in the world.  Certainly, at times, we fail.  But we get up again and again and continue to ask God for the grace to love even the enemy, the difficult one, the one we don't even know, etc.

 

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We all know that Jeremiah was called in his youth to be a prophet. He lived in a very trying time that was probably one of the most turbulent times in Jewish history, approximately 600 to 552 B. C.

 
The people had admired the pagan nations with their pagan gods and often had turned to these pagan gods and had abandoned God. Jeremiah was called by God to do what seemed like an impossible task, calling the people back to God.

 
It would be nice to think that Jeremiah was a success in making God present for others, but the fact is that eventually he ended up pretty much a failure.  He saw the people taken into the Exile in Babylon and he probably was murdered  And, for sure, like us, he was frustrated at times.  Yet in spite of his doubts in his fears he did not give up, but continued to make God present for others.

 

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Our calling in baptism is never a matter of success or failure as far as making God present for others. Our baptism calls us to love the other even the enemy, even the one who gives his difficulty and persecutes us, even the one who does not understand this. We are called to make love present, even love to the enemy.


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The Gospel story is one that finds Jesus in his own native town of Nazareth, proclaiming the Word in his synagogue. His friends and neighbors are amazed at what He says.  You would think that his friends would listen to him.

 

 

 

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But they attempt to kill Him.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Throw down


He walks away, unharmed.  Jesus is willing to show love, even to those friends and neighbors who were trying to kill Him.  The same can even happen to us.  To have this love means to always pray for the gift to love the enemy in any situation.

 

This Sunday gives us a chance to look at ourselves spiritually. Do we only love those who love us?

Perhaps this Sunday the Lord is calling us to take a look at the ones who give us difficulty in our own lives, the ones who causes problems, or even the ones that we tend to ignore.  

These are all the enemy which we are called to love.

God truly has called us, just as he called Jeremiah and St. Paul.

We have been called in our baptism to make God present through making unconditional love present in our world,  and we have to pray like crazy for the gift, the grace to love in that way, because our society says you only love the person who loves you. And further the world teaches us that to love the enemy is stupid and foolish. 

Are we willing to pray for ourselves especially when we know we are to love the one who is difficult, who is unknown to us, who is strange, who is the enemy, et.?




Third Sunday Ordinary Time Cycle C

 

January 23, 2022

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   Scroll1

 Will we listen???

 

Read Isaiah

Jesus, in the Gospel has just returned to Nazareth  to his synagogue, after forty days and nights fasting in the desert. He is asked to proclaim the Word of God.  He is handed a scroll and unrolls it to the prophet Isaiah and reads, knowing that this is how God will speak to his people.  

Will they listen?  

Will we listen?

 

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This event in the Gospel of Luke is much like the first reading.  God's people have returned from their suffering in their Babylonian exile.  The priest, Ezra, a descendant of Aaron, proclaims from the Book of the Law.

The people, after having been through so much in their exile, are ready and willing to stand and listen for a long period of time, to what the covenant was that God had made with them, and they now know that God does not abandon them.  They willing say yes and renew their covenant with God  and their wanting to follow only the one true God.

 

Gospel-according-to-luke-header

 

Jesus, in the gospel for this Sunday, does the same as Ezra did, as He proclaims from Isaiah.

 

Something similar happen at each Eucharist when the Word of God is proclaimed. We too are asked to listen to the scriptures that are proclaimed so that God can speak to us as a community and individually.  That can be a time for us to recognize the presence of Jesus talking to us.  

Are we willing to listen?  

Since Vatican II when the liturgy is in our own native tongue, we have been encouraged to not read along as scripture is proclaimed, unless we have difficulty in hearing.  Allow the spirit to work within us.  

Missal

 

 

That can be a real challenge because we are so used to reading along in a misselette and not really listening. 

 

Give it a try if you can hear and not have to read the Gospel to hear it.

 

 

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We  need to be open to whatever happens in ourselves as we listen.  Even if the scripture does not seem to speak to us that day, it can always be a moment of conversion.  That is the time to pray that our ears be opened.  That is a real gift to know that without the Spirit, we are deaf to what we hear, what we see, what is told to us,  what we experience.

 

 

Psalms

 


Psalm 19 is used as our response and we hear,"Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life."

 

God will not abandon us but continue to influence us to make Himself present for all whom we encounter

 

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St. Paul, in his letter helps them to understand that everyone of them is called to make God present to others, that God has gifted them through their baptism.  That is also true for each of us. We hear the Word, the scripture, and we too are not just to listen but to let it speak and encourage us to make God present for others.  

 

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Gifts such as...mercy, compassion, forgiveness for all, even to the enemy, the one who is difficult, the one who does not believe, etc. are our way of making God present in the world. We become the one body in Christ.

Where ever we find ourselves today, whether in an easy or difficult situation, pray for the gift, the grace, to know that God is speaking to us.  Perhaps it is even a moment of conversion, of seeing ourselves as we are at that moment.  Courage!

Will we listen?

He will speak to us in all the events of our day

Through all the interactions with those we encounter

Will we listen only when things go our way

Think about it this week.

We can learn a lot about what kind of Christian we are as we truly listen.

Courage

And remember God's great mercy if we should discover some things about ourselves we don't like

 

Jejsus reads 1

 

 

 

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Second Sunday Ordinary Time Cycle C

January 16, 2022

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Exile
 
 
 
Isaaiah
 
When the Jews returned from the Babylonian exile in 538 BC Jerusalem was in ruins.
 
Return to Jer
 
The temple and their houses had been destroyed; desolation was all around them.
 
God has not abandoned them but had sent a prophet to give them strength and courage knowing that God would not abandon them.
 
Remember that the people had abandoned God and that’s why they were in the exile of Babylon.
God you had finally brought them back to their homeland and they were encouraged to take up the work of reconstruction of Jerusalem.
 
Are we like the Jewish people who at times have abandoned God.  Have placed other things to replace God and the call He has given each of us.  To make Him present in the world.
 
 
Corinthians
Saint Paul came to preach to the people of Corinth 50 AD and many converted.
He wrote his letter to then to remind them of the gifts they had been given.  Gifts that would allow them to make God present to others in the world.
Amazing how good God is even when these newly converted even at times grew week and returned to there old ways; they failed.
 
God still showed his mercy.
 
That same great news for us even when we fail as Christians to have mercy, patience, forgiveness even to the enemy so make God present in the world.
 
Jphn
 
Cana
At the wedding feast God saves embarrassment to the groom.
 
Again we see God‘s great love and mercy for each of us.
 
All the events, both good and difficult to accept are gifts from our loving and merciful God. He is the only one who knows what we really need to continue our daily journey to eternal life.
 
Let us pray for the gift to trust our God in all situations
 
Trustin-God-when-its-difficult
 
God will never abandon us as He never abandoned the ancient people in the past.  Perhaps situations will arise where God's gift to us is to see how little we really trust when the going gets rough. 
 
Imagine loosing every thing as in the reading from Isaiah and coming to trust God and to go on.
 
Never forget God's love for each of us with that same
mercy, patience, forgiveness that we are to share with all we meet.
Courage.
 
 
We are on our way to eternal life and God is with us all the way even in our most difficult times
Courage
 
 
 

The Baptism of the Lord Cycle C

January 9, 2022

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 Please note that the first and second reading have 2 options which the presider may select.  Photo Dec 29, 9 19 56 AM
This past week has been our last week liturgically of the Christmas Season.  One of the reason that the season lasts so long is so that we can celebrate the different showings or manifestations of the Lord. .



Shepherds
For sure we celebrated his birth and the showing or manifestation of Jesus to the Shepherds, to the poor 

 

 

 

 

Wisemen
 

Then last week we had the manifestation of Jesus to the Magi, the pagan population, the non believers  



 

 

This Sunday we experience the manifestation of Jesus at His Baptism by John as the one in whom ..."the Father is well pleased"

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Both options for the first reading are from Isaiah.  Again they show a God who has great concern and compassion for His People.  Readings like this can certainly help us in those times of difficulty, just as they did for the Israelites in the slavery of Babylon for whom they were written.  God did not abandon them and He will not abandon us, never.  It can be us who abandon God.  But He is always there to welcome us back.

Jesus has come into the world to save all humanity, pagans, non believers, sinner, saints, everyone.   This liturgical season of Christmas has been the time we have reflected on how great is God's compassion and mercy on all of us, saint or sinner; non believer or believer.

 

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Again, in both options for the second reading, we hear of God's great love for each of us.  We hear that God is there for all.  Wow!  What mercy and what patience and compassion!  We are given chance after chance to find the way to eternal life.

Baptism jESUS

Finally, we hear in the Gospel the Baptism of Jesus by John.  Jesus comes to show humanity the way to eternal life.  He takes on our condition, our pain and suffering, our ups and downs, to show us the way to eternal life.  He makes Himself "vulnerable'.

This past week I came across a podcast from On Being with Krista Tippett that speaks about current research that says how important being vulnerable is, because it is where real growth can happen in each of us as humans.  I almost always run away from being vulnerable.  What about you?

 Certainly Jesus  constantly made Himself vulnerable in taking on the human condition.  He did not escape rejections, abandonments, persuasions, sufferings, etc.

 

 

Imagine, Jesus was willing to take on the vulnerability of being human to gain salvation for each of us.  Was that what made His Father so pleased with Him.

 “You are my beloved Son;
with you I am well pleased.

BelovedSon
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My Personal Comment

Being vulnerable is what I escape from, almost always.  

I think Jesus is showing me the way to my spiritual growth.  

I will need to pray for the will to be more vulnerable.

 

 

What do you think?

If you wish....email me

vicardoug@yahoo.com

Thanks for your prayers and support!

 

Below is Something Extra

...that I came across that had  meaning for  me.

I know that Jesus came for everyone. But there is a difference between knowing something as a fact and knowing it in a way that really hits home.

God loves the loser, the nerd, even the person in the 10 items or less checkout line with 25 item. God loves the driver who did not single a left turn. Jesus loves people who have attitude, people who don't have a kind word for anyone or anything. Jesus came for this person, and would would come if this were the only person in the world.

I can include myself in the " everyone" for whom Jesus came. That's not always easy because lots of times I think of myself as the nerd or the loser.

But Jesus came for me. My job is to believe it.

Taken from THE LITTLE BLUE BOOK
Advent & Christmas Seasons
2012-2013


The Epiphany of the Lord

January 2, 2022

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Epiphany
 

Are we willing to travel in life to meet the Lord,

not only in times that are good and great, 

but also in times when the journey of life is very, very difficult?

 

3wisemen-old
 

 The readings for this Epiphany are for all of us who, at times, have found ourselves on our life's journey in darkness,  in confusion,  in doubt, in frustration.

 

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The first reading was addressed to the Hebrew people who were in the Exile of Babylon.  They, too, were struggling and faced with difficulties. The prophet gave them courage when their lives seemed meaningless and hopeless.

 

 

 

 

The Epiphany of the Lord

 

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At times it is so easy to give up and not continue our journey.  

Our journey can be difficult as life was for St. Paul who wrote to the Ephesians while he was in prison in Rome awaiting death.

 

The Ephesians were mostly Gentiles, those who the Jews considered as not chosen by God.  

Paul encouraged them to continue the journey in spite of the difficulties, and he reminded them that they had been chosen by God as are we by our Baptism.

 

 

Gospelmatthew

In the Gospel of Matthew we meet the three Magi.  They were pagans and did not even worship or know about the God of the Hebrews, yet they were inspired to make a very difficult journey to find the Lord.

  

 


Lord give us the grace and courage given to the Magi so that we can too

can make our our way on the journey in our life and find you and the Eternal Life that you give.

Unknown

 

No matter how often we may struggle on our journey, may the Magi give us the hope that shows you, God, are for all people, even for us in our moments of failure,fear, sin, and doubt.

 


Adoration-of-the-Magi

 Our life's daily journey will lead us to  Christ and his gift of Eternal Life.

May we never give up, just as the Magi never gave up.

Alleluia

 

Light of JC

 

 

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Feast of the Holy Family Cycle A

December 26, 2021

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Photo Dec 22, 2 00 27 PMReadings

 

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The author of this book in the Hebrew Scriptures, the Old Testament, lived in the second century before Christ and was a pius Jew who was trying to show his people, in spite of all their trials, tribulations, doubts, fears, etc., how they were to live. It can and does help us to direct our lives today.  

As we listen to the words proclaimed today, we need to pray for the courage to, once again, not get defensive and say these words don't apply to me in our world today. But they are words that can call each us to look at ourselves even more deeply, and then call us to conversion, especially if the words are difficult for us to hear.

Familyproblems

Family-Conflict-

Conflict-familyboy

For sure, all families have trials and difficulties and we can often, when in the midst of these problems ask, why us, Lord.

Why

 

 How can we possible respect each other in these situations?

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While Paul was in prison in Rome, he hears that the faith of the Colossians, in the midst of trials and difficulties, was being threatened, and he writes this letter to them, giving them some practical help when their faith was under attack.  

Paul prison

Early Christians experienced their community as family. They needed each other.

Often it is in the family where we need to pray to be able to put Paul's words into action. He writes about having compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, bearing with one another, forgiving one another, etc; they are easy to talk about, but at times difficult to put into action in our own families. Families are not just where we grew up, but they can also be the family of our neighborhood, our family at work, our family of friends, etc. Yet these qualities that Paul writes about are exactly the qualities God has toward us at those times when we fail, when we are not the presence of Christ that we are called to be; in other words, the times when we sin.

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Sirach, as we hear in the first reading says...

The family is the place where we can learn of these qualities of God, these qualities that Paul speaks in his letter to the Colossians. But as the Colossians were under attack, so are we in the modern world. The family is no longer seen as the very necessary place to discover God and for God to work in us. It is in the family where we can truly see ourselves, especially our failures, our sins, for which we need to pray for conversion to love the enemy even when at times it is a family member.

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Yet we see more and more that the world says that today a strong family is the place to teach us all those qualities which St. Paul wrote about.

The world seems to indicate that both parents need to work so there will be more money, more security, etc. for the family.  Trust money, not God.

Or it says for the family members to break up and someone leave when the going gets rough.

It takes real courage to put the family first and to see it as the place God's work begins in each of us, love and conversion.

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We love to think that there were not problems and difficulties in the Holy Family. 

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Photo Dec 22, 3 45 18 PMImagine, the Holy Family beginning to live their lives, and then Joseph is told to flee, to a country some 300 miles away, so the Christ child will not be killed.

Pack up quickly and leave.  Leave your way of making a living, your traditions and language, your relatives, friends, and neighbors, etc..

And Joseph trusts and the Holy Family leaves their security and flees.  Wow!

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And we think we have problems,

 in the family or individually!

 

This gospel helps us to see that even the Holy Family, even holy Joseph and Mary, had to face great struggles...but they trusted God.  

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Do we really think that as Christians we will not have problems, difficulties, and struggles.  Difficulties can certainly show and teach us how much we trust God.  

And if we discover that we have very little trust, then we know what we need to pray for, for ourselves.  

Convert me Lord so that I will trust all that comes my way.  Give me the grace to have the same trust that was in the Holy Family, everyday, in every situation and with all the people in my life.

 

Change my heart

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Christmas Readings Cycle C

December 25, 2021

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Christ-is-born

 

 

 

     Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers when you celebrate Christmas.  

    Know that you will be in mine daily, especially during this Christmas Season.  

    Pray that we all continue to wait and watch for the Lord daily.  

    Pray that we can find Him in the least expected places; even in the stables of our lives, which are often the places     we don't want to go.

Courage!

He is waiting.  

Alleluia!

Fr. Doug

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Fourth Sunday of Advent Cycle C

December 19, 2021

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  Adventwreath4

 

During the past three weeks of Advent we have been inspired by the readings to wait and watch for the coming of the Lord everyday.  At times I have not even thought about that until after an event or situation has occurred.  Unfortunately for me, it is always finding the Lord in looking back on my daily experiences. God in His mercy comes again and again.  There is hope as I continue to watch for Him daily.  He will not give up on me and we should never give up on Him.

The readings for this last Sunday of Advent seem to direct us to find the Lord daily in humble and poor situations.  We all know that Christ is present in the poor and the humble.  But, in our culture we don't spend time seeing the value of the humble and the poor, whether that is  people we encounter or in difficult situations in our lives.

 

 

 

 

 

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In the first reading we hear from the prophet Micah.

He preached during the second half of the eighth century B.C.

 

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 He was always preaching against the exploitation by the rich toward the poor.  He calls us to find value in the humble and the poor..  He shows that in the poor, in the humble, is where we can find God. How difficult it is a times to believe that we can encounter the presence of the Lord in the humble and poor or difficult situations.  

 


We live in a world that teaches us that  we can find  peace and happiness in being wealthy and powerful, not in being poor and humble.
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The prophet says that the Messiah will come from a little unimportant village, poor and humble.  But many would have thought that the Messiah will be born in a large city, not in a poor and humble place.  He should be born in a comfortable, hospitable place.  But we know the Christmas Story.  The Lord was born in a stinking, bug infested, hole in the wall; a stable.  Who would think of finding the Lord, the Messiah, in such a place?

 

 

Photo Dec 15, 9 38 04 AMIn the Gospel reading, Mary has just been told by the angel that she would give birth to the Messiah.  Imagine, a virgin, a woman, a humble and poor person would bring the Messiah into the world.  And Mary hears from the angel that and old woman Elizabeth, her relative has conceived.  Humble Mary travels some 50 or 60 miles to be with Elizabeth.  Will she find an experience of God after such a difficult trip?  But again, the experience of God is often where we least think it will be.

 

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I continue to be amazed that it is in the humble and  in the lowly people and situations where we find the Lord.
Again and again scripture shows us this. It is not in the rich and powerful, in the expected,  but in the humble, the lowly and often the unexpected where we will experience God.  Sometimes this seems so contrary to what the world view presents to us.  

 

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The second reading, a letter written to the Jewish converts to Christianity, to confirm for them that Christ fulfilled the Old Testament and that Jesus was the Messiah.

 

 


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 Again Jesus is the humble one; the one obedient to God.

  He truly has come to do God's will, even to face persecutions, sufferings, and death.

 

For each of us are we willing to do the will of God. That means to humble ourselves and to accept whatever lies before us. But how difficult that is in the world that says no to this line of thought.  It says to us that you are to be right, you're not to suffer, you're to be wealthy, powerful, etc.

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Perhaps as we now come close to the end of Advent 2021, we can ask for the grace not to be so scandalized when things don't go our way or when, for a while, life can be difficult. 

 

 

Where will you find the Lord in your life today?  

Watch for Him!

 

 

 

 

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Third Sunday of Advent - Gaudete Sunday Cycle C

December 12, 2021

 

 

Why the option of PINK or ROSE vestments

for this Sunday's Mass

 Click here to answer

Photo Dec 02, 2 38 02 PM

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Photo Dec 08, 2 18 54 PM Zephaniah was a prophet who preached to God's people of Judah and Jerusalem during the second half of the seventh century B.C.

During that time they had turned to worshiping pagan idols even in the holy city of Jerusalem.

However in spite of the people turning from God and turning to pagan idols.

Zephaniah gave them hope and courage that God would not abandon them.

Let us always pray that we do not turn to our idols such as power, material possessions, fame, etc.

However there may be times in our own lives when we turn to these pagan idols, thinking that they will give us the happiness that only God promises each of us.  

When, for all of us, we find ourselves in that place, it is time to  reflect on these words of Zephaniah.  When we are honest with ourselves, God will not abandon us.  


We can  pray for a change of heart that we turn from any idols when they tantalize us to think they will give us the peace and happiness that only God can provide.

 

PhilipSaint Paul was writing from prison where he was in chains because of this message of God that he preached.

Even there he encouraged his new converts to Christianity  to rejoice.

To rejoice even when they were persecuted for their Christian beliefs.

 

 

We all know that there will be trials and tribulations in our lives; we know that we are to pick up our cross and follow the Lord.

Paul encourages all of us to rejoice even in the moment of bearing our Cross, our trials, difficulties, and sufferings.

It is known that when St. Francis of Assisi would see a brother downcast he would tell him that he needed to go to confession for in their poverty they should be able to REJOICE.


If we find that at moments we failed to rejoice, then let us pray for our own conversion and change of heart.


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In the Gospel we hear the text collectors and sinners asking John the Baptist what they should do.
They clearly knew that they were sinners and needed the Messiah.  They were able to look deep within themselves and see their sinfulness.

We need to remember that all of us, to a greater or lesser degree, are like the tax collectors and sinners.

We all sin.


Are we willing to look at our sinfulness and to ask for the Messiah?


When we fully realize that the Messiah comes to take away our sinfulness and to give us compassion and forgiveness we can truly rejoice.  But if we never want to admit or see our sinfulness, our unfaithfulness, then there is never a chance to experience the forgiveness of God and to REJOICE.


Jesus comes constantly for each of us, in those moments when we recognize our own unfaithfulness, our sinfulness, so...

 

...Gaudete...which translated  is...

 

...Rejoice


Second Sunday of Advent Cycle C

 

December 5, 2021

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Photo Dec 01, 10 04 53 AM


We continue our Advent journey of waiting and watching daily for the Lord.  

Sometimes that is easy and other times that is very difficult, and we can even, at moments, forget all about Advent and the mission of looking for Jesus in our everyday experiences including everyone we meet.  

Yet, He comes and He will continue to come.

 

Recall.....The destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple of God...and the people ...taken into the Exile in pagan Babylon

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For all of us there have been or will be the experiences of seemingly losing everything, whether that is through a natural disaster, an illness or disease, an ending relationship, or even having to face our own death.  

Where is the courage to go on and to not give up hope?

 

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Baruch was the scribe for the prophet Jeremiah, and had experienced the destruction of the Holy City Jerusalem, and what seemed like the end of the Jewish people and the promise of a Messiah.

The first reading on this Sunday is from the prophet Baruch; he writes...

 

...take off your robe of mourning and misery;

put on the splendor of glory from God forever:

 

 

 

  

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In spite of all the unfaithfulness and of all the disasters, past and present, God will not abandon his people.  We too, are a part of his Chosen People through our Baptism.

We believe that when scripture is proclaimed, God is speaking to us individually and as a whole.  

 

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As in the past, these words from Baruch can give each of us courage to continue to wait and watch for the coming of the Lord daily in spite of all that we go through.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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In the Gospel we hear... Prepare

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We are once again assured that in our difficulties, our high mountains and low valleys, God will make a way.  We will daily experience the coming of the Messiah.  So, with great hope, we pray for the grace to trust that God will again fulfill his covenant with each of us.

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In the second reading, Paul writes to the small group of newly baptized Jewish Christians and continues to offer them hope in the midst of all their ups and downs, persecutions and sufferings.  

 

 

 

 

 

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He encourages them to continue the way of love for all and watch for the coming of the Lord.  Today we know that the coming is everyday, at our death, and at the end of time.

Wherever we find ourselves this week, let these sacred readings give us the courage to continue to wait and watch for the coming of the Lord.

 

 

 

Courage!

 

Photo Dec 01, 10 25 33 AM
Pray for the gift to be able to love all.  

That is preparing the Way.

He is coming daily!!!

Wait and Watch!!!

 

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