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July 2015

Eighteenth Sunday Ordinary Time Cycle B

August 2, 2015

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Photo Jul 27, 2 58 54 PM
How does God feed you?

Do you ever complain to God that He is not feeding you with the right food.

All the events, people, and situation that come into our life can be God feeding us.

Even the difficult people and situation can be God feeding us

Do you ever complain to God?



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As we know, the Book of Exodus from the Old Testament (the Hebrew Scriptures) is about God's people being liberated from their slavery in Egypt.  We all know the story.



Man exodusThe reading picks up when the people had run out of the food that they took with them when they left Egypt.  Upon being liberated they were thankful to God, but now that there is no food they do not trust God.  They think that He will not care for them; that He will let them starve.



It would seem that God would give up on His People after all their complaining and mistrusting.  But no, He has great mercy and compassion on them again and again.  The same is true for us today.  

In spite of our complaining in situations with difficult people or events, or confrontations, God is only trying to feed us; to help us grow spiritually and He will not give up on us.


Photo Jul 27, 2 55 55 PMGod provides manna

Eventually they complain


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God provides meat (quail)

Eventually they complain

"We should never have left Egypt, at least we had decent food."


Sometimes when things don't turn out as we wish, we too can forget that God loves us; that He has called us through our Baptism and He will never give up on us.


John gospel


Photo Jul 27, 3 20 35 PMIn the Gospel we are once again reassured that God will feed us.  At times, we can be like the people in the Hebrew Scriptures and complain that we don't like the food with which God feeds us.  




But then we have the Celebration of the Eucharist where we are feed with the Scripture (the Word of God), the Homily or Sermon, the presence of Jesus in the people around us, the sacred music, and ultimately, and most perfectly, the Body and Blood of Jesus.


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Saint Paul reminded the Ephesians, that through their Baptism, they had been called by God to make Him present to others in the world.


Photo Jul 27, 3 12 11 PMThey were no longer to live as Gentiles with pagan gods, but as the presence of Christ (Christian).  That call is also for each of us.  

We can look back on the history of all Christians, past to present, and see that in spite of the struggles and difficulties, God has provided for them; had given them food that  helped them choose eternal life.  

The same is true for each of us today.  

But we can be like the Gentiles and turn to other pagan gods; money, power, possessions, etc.

These are not bad until we turn them into pagan gods and think that they will make us happy and bring us happiness, eternal life.  But they won't and they never really satisfy us for long.



The real food that lasts and leads to eternal happiness, eternal peace, eternal life is....


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Prayer Time

O Lord, 
help me to carry You in my very being, 
both in my mind and heart, and in my body.

Come to me in the Eucharist and strengthen me. 
Cleanse me, and mend me. 

Give me the right actions and words 
to spread the truth and healing and joy 
that is Your Gospel.

And thank you, Lord, for making me 
a weak little "earthen vessel," 
so that Your message and Your power 
will shine through me.
In Your name, I pray, 
and I give unto You my trust, Lord Jesus. Amen.

  Jesus baby


Seventeenth Sunday Ordinary Time Cycle B

July 26,2012

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What would you do with twenty loaves of bread?
Put them in the freezer?
Give them out to the poor?
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In the the first reading we hear of an event in the life of the prophet Elisha.
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 Remember that he was called to be a prophet through Elijah.  He was a prophet during the second half of the second half of the ninth century before Christ.  When he receives twenty barley loaves he says that they should be given out to the one hundred or so people around him.  And of course, the one who brought the loaves to Elisa, knew that twenty loaves could not feed one hundred or more people. However, the loaves are given out and after they had eaten there were leftovers.  
It is similar to the event of the feeding of some five thousand or more that we will hear about in this Sunday's gospel reading.
Photo Jul 23, 9 26 32 AM

Photo Jul 23, 9 27 17 AMWe all know the story of how Jesus tells Philip to buy food to feed the crowd, and of course, Philip knows that is impossible.  Then, Andrew the brother of Simon Peter, says that there is a young boy who had a few fish and some barley loaves, but this is not going to feed this huge crowd.  And we all know what happens.
Everyday Jesus tells us to feed others, even the person or people that may make us feel uncomfortable.  
How can I possible feed this one in need?  
It is the same feeling that Philip must have had when told by Jesus to go and buy food for the crowd.  Impossible!!!
Jesus Philip

Yet, for sure, we have been called by God though our Baptism to feed the person or the people that we encounter today, even when that will seem impossible.
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Saint Paul, in the part of the letter that we hear this Sunday, gives some hint of how to feed the other.  He tells the Ephesians that through their baptism they have been called.  They are to live in humility and gentleness and to feed other with that same spirit.  When we encounter that difficult person are we humble and filled with gentleness, patience, and compassion, or do we simple not get involved because we know the situation is impossible?  Paul reminds the Ephesians and us, that Baptism was a call to go out to all; to feed all that we encounter.

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It is important for us is to pray to be able to feed the other, especially the one or ones that make us feel uncomfortable; to feed the other with a smile, a listening ear, a giving of our time, by telling the person they will have our prayers, or a million other ways.
Certainly another important lesson is to discover that we can't feed the other and at times, we don't even want to.  Don't give excuses such as...
They need to care for themselves. I'm not my brother's keeper.  
Ah, but yes we are.
If at times, we discover this feeling in ourselves, pray that God will convert our hardness of heart, and give us the grace to always be ready, in every event and situation, to feed the other.
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Who will the Lord ask you to feed today?


Sixteenth Sunday Ordinary Time Cycle B

July 19, 2015

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Photo Jul 12, 3 23 49 PM

 At times we are the flock in need of a shepherd


At other times we are called to be a shepherd



When we look back to the time of the prophet Jeremiah (627-586 B.C.), we can see that the leaders and the people were depending more on political solutions to their problems than of God and were turning away from Him.



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Jeremiah was called by God to be a prophet, to make God present to others.  He was only 23 when this happened.  He warned the people that they had put other things above and beyond God, the God who had brought their ancestors and themselves out of slavery.  But that was generations in the past and so now this people had begun to take matters into their own hands, and their leaders had put politics above everything else.  



Certainly we can do the same thing.  We can fail to realize that God called each of us at our Baptism.  But for most of us that was so long ago when we were taken out of our slavery that we have forgotten.


Photo Jul 12, 3 10 47 PMJeremiah speaks about the political leaders, the political shepherds of the time, who have not taken care of their flocks.  He predicts the coming of the Masonic Age, when there will be a new  shepherd to care for the flock.  



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We now have that new shepherd, Jesus Christ.  But, are we willing to follow that shepherd?  Or do we, like the leaders Jeremiah was addressing, think we, like them, can solve our problems by ourselves?

This certainly does not mean to just sit back and let the world pass us by.  But it does ask us to look at the events, the encounters, that happen to us each da,y and see where we place God in them.  


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In today's Gospel we hear of a story that really shows the compassion Jesus had for humanity.  He and the Apostles, exhausted from preaching, had gone off to a deserted place to re-energize and rest.  However, the crowds followed.  And rather than turn them away, Jesus shows great compassion for them.  He knows He is to shepherd them, for they have no shepherd.  He will do the same for us.  But He will not force us to turn to Him.


At times He will call us to be a shepherd.  We are make the presence of God known to others through our words and most importantly though our actions.


As we look back of the history of the Hebrew Scriptures, the Old Testament, we can see that even after so many failures from ancient  humanity, God worked.  The Messiah has come and gives humanity a way to eternal life.  That eternal life is not something in the future but begins now, today.


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 Are we willing to turn to the Good Shepherd everyday.  It is so easy to forget that He is always there with His compassion, mercy, and forgiveness.  

Are we willing, at times, to be a shepherd, even in those times when we are exhausted, busy, or just not wanting to help?

 In all events, even in the ones that are so difficult for us, we are being led to life, to eternal life.  He will always welcomes us back when we fail; always.  Will we do the same for others?



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In the part of the letter we hear today,  Saint Paul writes to this Christian community at Ephesus and reminds them of the compassion of Christ.  

Remember. that at that time, Jews would not associate with unclean Gentiles.  An now, in this Christian community, that has all ended.

Jews and Gentiles are one. They are reminded of the great gift of their Baptism that has united them.  

Does our faith unite us to all, even to those that we think are unclean or undesirable?

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God continues to work in our own day to unite us, but, boy, that can be difficult.  

Think of the times you have had to deal with a difficult situation, or a difficult person.  Often we try to solve it without discerning what God wants us to do to become united. It can be so difficult to wait and see how God will work.  We live in an instant world, we want everything now.  "God answer me now", can be  our demand.  We are willing to wait a few hours for God, or even a day or two; but not more than that.  God has all the time He needs to work.


Pray for the courage to wait for God, especially in those times that seem impossible.  

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At times, we are the flock in need of the Shepherd

At times, we are called to be a shepherd for others