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February 2011

8th Sunday Cycle A

Click on the following link to review the readings    http://www.usccb.org/nab/022711.shtml

 

 God is Love sign

 

 

Let's take a look at the second reading in which Paul writes to a Christian community in Corinth, who is filled with division.  Some were taught by Paul.  And when he left Apollos, a really great public speaker took over, and then Cephas.  So depending on who taught at the time time you heard the message of salvation, that person became the only one you would follow or listen to.  And division took place.  Paul says clearly it is not the messenger but the message.  Don't judge. No matter who delivers the message of salvation, mercy, forgiveness, compassion, God is at work.  That is certainly true in the first reading from Isaiah. 

 

  

He speaks to a people in exile in Babylon, who have lost everything, even their feeling that God is with them.  They feel completely abandoned.  Are there not times we too, can feel that abandonment and we too ask, "God where are you?  Don't you care about what is happening to me?"

 

 

 

HAND2 

Even if a mother forgets , I will never forget you

 

 

 

The responsorial Psalm 62 gives us the advice to rest in God.  In every situation in our life we need to pray to be able to rest God.  Even in the times that are so difficult and we feel abandoned as did the people in Exile in the first reading, we need to pray that we can trust God, rest in God. 

Take a look at that Psalm again.

Only in God is my soul at rest;
from him comes my salvation.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
my stronghold; I shall not be disturbed at all.

Only in God be at rest, my soul,
for from him comes my hope.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
my stronghold; I shall not be disturbed.

With God is my safety and my glory,
he is the rock of my strength; my refuge is in God.
Trust in him at all times, O my people!
Pour out your hearts before him.

  

Some time all we can do is continue to pray for ourselves to be able to trust this love of God and not give in to the temptations that surround us. 

 

 

 I think that is what the Gospel reading of today is all about.  Jesus continues his Sermon on the Mount which we have heard the past few Sundays.  In times of difficulty and feelings of abandonment it is so easy to turn to things of the world that will, for the moment, take the pain away; give us a way to temporarily escape the cross, the struggle, the doubts, the fears, etc.  We end up abusing things so we can escape the cross.  Things like buying, using drugs, or alchohol etc.  The list can go on and on and we can each make our own list of how we escape the difficulties of life and not trust in the great love God has for each of us. 

 

It is so easy for me in retirement boredom to not trust that God knows what He is doing in my life now.  But the struggles are the way to eternal life.  Christ knew the great love His Father had for Him and all and gave Himself up to death.  Lord, help me to follow Christ and to know your great love even in time of difficulty. 

Gods-love

 Isaiah gives hope.  God will never abandon us, never.


7th Sunday Cycle A

Click on the following link to review the readings for this Sunday

http://www.usccb.org/nab/022011.shtml

 

What is holiness?

 

 

 

LoveEnemy 

 

 

In the first reading written after the Exile in Babylon (500) BC, the people are asked to reflect on what it is to be holy.  While in exile, many had given up on God and had taken on the gods of the pagans. 

They are now told that Moses said they are called to be holy as God is holy; to love the neighbor.

St. Paul writes to the community in Corinth where many divisions and conflicts are taking place.  He reminds them that in Baptism they were made temples or dwelling places for God.  As the dwelling place of God they were to make God present in the world. 

The same is for each of us as baptized and chosen by God.

But how do we make God present in our world today?

In the Gospel we are given the answer. 

Love the other, even the enemy.

That may seem impossible. 

The love Jesus is talking about is wishing the well being of the other, even the one who hurts us.   It is an unconditional wish for the well being of the other, no matter what they have done.  It means being the first to forgive and forget even before the other apologizes.  This is really the love of God. 

In conflicts in our lives, we can often see we do not have that love.  That too is a gift; to be able to see we need to continue to pray for that gift of love, even to the enemy.


Sxth Sunday Cycle A

Click on the following link to look over the readings for this Sunday before going on.

http://www.usccb.org/nab/021311.shtml

 

Ten-Commandments3[1] 

Ten-commandments[1] 

It is so easy to read these Commandments and not really apply them to ourselves.

1st Reading

Sirach communicates to a people living in Egypy some 130 years or so before Christ.  Many have lost all their heritage, their language (Hebrew) and their faith.  He encourages the people to use their free will.  God does not force anyone.  We can just look at the history of the Old Testament, of God's Chosen People and see that He leaves them free.

Is that not also true of us?

  We are given the freedom to follow God or to follow the gods of our lives; money, power, security, good health, popularity, etc.  We are given a choice. 

2nd Reading

Paul writes to his Christian Community living in the midst of pagans, of non believers.  He reinforces that you will not find the peace you want in the gods around you, but in the Wisdom of God which the world does not understand or seek.

Gospel

Matthew writes of a Jesus who gives some input into how to look at the Commandments as a way to the peace that we all long for.  Are we willing to listen?  Or like the scribes and Pharisees, will we close our ears?

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I know for me, I need to continually pray that I can listen to God, especially in going out of my way for others, as was so strongly suggested to me in last Sunday's readings.  

Have a good week.  Prayers always.


5th Sunday Cycle A

Were you light for someone today?

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Did you give meaning to someones life  today? 

 

Before going click the following link and review the readings for this Sunday  http://www.usccb.org/nab/020611.shtml

 

Isaiah talks about going out of our way for others.  I think he clearly understands that if we truly love God, then we are called to show this by going out of our way for others.  We all know how difficult that can be.

Paul write to the Corinthian community and verifies for them that it is only through the grace of God that they are called.  At our Baptism we were called to make Christ present by going out of our way for others.  When we see that we have not gone out of our way for someone, it is important not to justify our self, but to pray for  our self.  "Lord, help me, with your grace, to go out of my way next time.

Matthew gives us a continuation of the Sermon on the Mount that we heard last week.  Christians are called to go out of ther way for others; to be salt, to be light.  Salt brings out the taste of food.  We are to be spiritual salt to bring out the love of God for all people. 

At our baptism we were given a candle and told to be light for the world.  We can only do this through God's grace.  When we fail, do we pray for God's grace or do we simply excuse our self and say that no one can be salt or light in this situation?Salt-and-light-1[1]