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September 2019

Twenty Sixth Sunday Ordinary Time Cycle C

September 29, 2019

 

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Once again, this Sunday we hear from the Prophet Amos.

He has been sent by God to tell the leaders of Judah that they are more concerned about their own luxurious living style than about their concern for the people they are ruling who are in poverty and in need.

It seems that, again and again,  the Chosen People want to be complacent, forgetting all that God has given them, and so they turn to gathering wealth and power, so that they can be comfortable and complacent, not having anything to worry about.  

 Amos was sent to warn them against this.  They have been called to show concern for the poor and needy and not to just have a selfish attitude about their own comfortable lifestyle.

Lack care

Perhaps this Sunday is a time for each of us to look at our concern for the needy and the poor, and to see if we have a high priority for Christian charity.

 

Where is the concern for others on our list of priorities today?

 Is it more toward the bottom of our list?

 

 God will always put a less fortunate person into our lives.

Poor person 

How do we react when we have an encounter with someone who is in need, whether that be a friend or a person standing on the street corner with a sign.

 

Street man
Do we simply ignore the situation because it make us uncomfortable, and then we become complacent and go on with our own lifestyle, or do we go out of our way to help that person?  

These Sunday reading are  a wake up call for all of us.

It is so easy to become complacent; to want to be able to sit back and relax and enjoy life, but we are called to go out of our way for others, and not to become complacent as did the Chosen People in the Jewish scriptures that Amos was addressing.

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St. Paul's letter to Timothy addresses him as, man of God, encouraging him with things that he needs to reflect upon. 
We can listen carefully because we too, are a people of God through our baptism.

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We, like Timothy, have been called by name and we were anointed to make God present in the world for others, not only by what we say, but also by our actions, by what we do.

St. Paul tells Timothy and us to pursue righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience, and gentleness.

 

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The Gospel reading from Luke encourages us to become aware of the needy, and go out of our way for the less fortunate.  
And not surprisingly, God will always put the less fortunate into each of our lives, giving us a chance to respond in love, patience, charity etc.

 

We hear the story of the rich man and the poor beggar, Lazarus, which we all know very well.  Now the task is to apply it to our lives today.

Lazarus
Let us pray that during this week we may be watchful for the Lazarus that God will put into our lives.

That may be persons in need of having someone to just listen to them, or having someone to be patient with them, or perhaps a person who is in need of mercy or compassion and forgiveness for them.

All of us will encounter Lazarus during the week.

Encounter

Will we recognize that person or simply give some excuse and ignore the situation?

Who cares

Will we simply not pay any attention and be complacent with our own life, or will we hear this call from God to fulfill our baptism to make God present for others in the world?

This can be a good week to make some important spiritual discoveries about ourselves.

 

What will you discover???

 

Discover

 

 

 

 



 

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Twenty Fifth Sunday cycle C

 

 

September 22, 2019

 

 

25th Sunday C

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Amos


Amos lived in the eighth century B.C. He was a shepherd who was called by God to go to Israel and to speak in God's name to the people.

Amos-prophet

 

 

 

 

 


He spoke about the injustices that were done by the upper class against the poor and the helpless.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Every day God puts the poor and the helpless in the our midst.  Do we see the poor in our midst as we go about our daily lives?  It is so easy, yet when we are busy we don't even recognize them, but they are there.

 
It is not just the materially poor people, but it is also the people who are struggling  with loneliness, rejection, and all other kinds of  problems and they pass us many, many times everyday.

Crowd
 

Do we go out of our way to make God present for all we meet throughout the day???

It can be a quick hello, or perhaps a smile or a nod of the head can make God present to those we counter.

 

God is present

 

Have you ever, when driving, just waved at a person walking on the street.  Amazing.  We seldom think about these little things that make God present for others. Of course there all kinds of ways to make God present, but our first step is to begin to recognize the poor we don't even recognize.

 

1-timothy-1

 



Saint Paul writes this letter to Timothy whom he has appointed to take charge of the church in Ephesus.


This letter was written in the year 65 or 66 A.D. and one of the things he tells Timothy is how important it is to pray for all of people.

 

 

 That message is for all of us as we too, for we were called at our Baptism to pray for all. Perhaps on a certain day you might want to  say a silent and quick, God bless you, for every person you encounter.

God bless

So simple but also so difficult to remember to do every now and then.    

This practice can help us to more and more become aware of our call to pray for others.

 

 


Luke

 

 

Shrewd_manager

 

Saint Luke gives us the words of Christ warning those who follow Him not become slaves of earthly things. 

The parable tells us to use money and material goods to also help others.  We might think that only applies to people who are millionaires but that is not true.
It is meant for all of us.


We can spend a lot of our time concerned about worldly goods but a question to ask ourselves is how much time each day do we spend using our material things including money to make God present for others.  It is so easy to be so concerned for our self that we forget that through our baptism we are called to help others .

 

 

Serve

 

 

 

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Twenty Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle C

September 15, 2019

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All of us experience times of being down and out; times that we see our own sinfulness and wonder how God can ever put up with us.

Or how at times we simply  forget about Him altogether and turn to our own pleasures for support and yet God is always there for us.

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The readings for this Sunday help us to reflect on how much God loves us, and how often He is willing, again and again, to call us back to himself.

 
Paul writes two letters to Timothy.  Recall that Timothy was converted to Christianity during St. Paul's first missionary journey approximately

47 A.D.

 

 

Paul encourages Timothy by expressing his own unworthiness to be called by God.

St. Paul knows well his past sins, and also his present weaknesses, his doubts and fears; yet he realizes how much God loves him and has called him. God  had also called Timothy, and He has called each of us by name at our Baptism.

It is amazing, as Paul points out, that even in those times when we forget God, God will never forget us.

 

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In the first reading, Moses has spent forty days on top of Mount Sinai, receiving the Ten Commandments.  We all know the story about how the Chosen People  became unfaithful as they waited for Moses to return.  So they turned to idols, to paganism to replace God.

 

 

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God tells Moses what the people have done, and that He will destroy the Chosen People and start the whole thing over again.

But Moses intervened for the people, and God says that He will not destroyed the people.

There has always been someone to intercede or pray for us to God, especially in the moments when we have failed God's calling to us.

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We relive that same story of turning from God to idols again and again when we
 turn to our pleasures,  our idols and abandon God, but God has sent his son, Jesus, as the new Moses to intercede for us, so that our sins, our waywardness, can be forgiven, and we are called back to God, moments to rejoice.

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The Gospel reading gives us three parables about rejoicing when that which was lost is found.

 

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We have the parable of the lost sheep,

 

 

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The parable of the woman who has lost a coin and finds it.

 

 

 

 

 

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And the parable of the prodigal son which we all know. 

 

 

 

Propet priest king
At our baptism we were anointed to be prophet, priest, and king.

We are to make sacrifice for others, we are to pray for others, and we are to rejoice when people find their way to God.

 

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As Jesus always went out to the sinners, we too are called to go out of our way for sinners, for those that society or even ourselves reject.

It's interesting to note that the Pharisees were scandalized by Jesus because He associated with unclean people, sinners, tax collectors, prostitutes, etc.


The Pharisees used to gather their robes tightly around themselves when they were in crowds of people, so that they would not accidentally touch a sinner, an unclean person, and be made unclean.

 

 

 

 

Wated jesus

Perhaps a good question to ask ourselves when we are around people that society sees as unclean or sinful is...

...Are we like the Pharisee, or are we like Christ, who associated with the rejects?

 

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This coming week can  be a time that we rejoice because God calls us back and asks once again to make Christ present to others.


Are we willing to go out of our way for others?

Are we willing to sacrifice, to give some of our time, our energy, our money, our mercy and compassion, our listening ear, etc. for others?

 

 

 

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Twenty Third Sunday Ordinary Time Cycle C

September 8, 2019

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The Book of Wisdom was the last book of the Old Testament that was written in Greek, by a pious Jew, who lived in Egypt during the first century B.C.


It was written to help those Jews who were  facing opposition to their faith by the pagans surrounding them  in Egypt.

They were questioning how God worked and why He was allowing the difficult things happening to them.


There have been times, in most of our lives, when we too questioned  the way that God works.

Why God

We may question why God allows certain things to happen in our lives.  The author of this Old Testament reading gives and indication as to what the reason might be.  He tells them that just as it is difficult to understand some of the laws of nature, so also the things of a loving, merciful God were beyond their comprehension.

 

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The Gospel reading can be a real challenge for each of us as we try to understand what is being asked of us. It is the opposite of how the world seems to think.


As great multitudes accompanied Jesus, He says many things that are difficult for them and for us.

 

  Luke 14

Our reactions to all that Jesus says in the Gospel are a real challenge.

  Carry cross

To be able to accept the difficulties in our lives, that is the cross that the Lord presents to us, is a real struggle at times. We may even ask the question as to why God allows suffering, problems, and difficulties in our lives.

 

 

 

Photo Aug 28, 2 09 23 PMAgain, as in the first reading, things will happen that we do not comprehend or understand, but we do see through Jesus Christ, that  those moments are a part of our journey that leads to eternal life.

 

 

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In some ways it makes no sense, yet through the invitation of Jesus to follow Him, his example,  we come to know  that these questions and struggles are a part of our way to eternal life.

 

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It really comes down to discovering in ourselves, if we are ready to put Jesus first in everything and to renounce all that gets in the way of being his disciple.


We may also find things in our lives that we are not willing to let go of.

 

 

Photo Aug 28, 3 19 59 PMWhen we make those discoveries, our prayer needs to become, help me Lord to let go of those things which have become idols or gods in my own life, as we journey to eternity.

When we hang on to these things so tightly, we often leave no room for the presence of Jesus Christ, as He calls us to follow Him, alone.

 

 

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St. Paul writes this letter while he is imprisoned in Rome. It is the shortest of his letters and at the same time the most personal and touching. 

 

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Paul sees the need for the slave, Onesimus, who has been with him and served him  in his imprisonment, to return to his owner Philemon, and his need to reconcile. We are not told what the difficulty was between Philemon and Onesimus, but reconciliation was needed between these two Christians.

 


In our own lives, sometimes reconciliation is extremely difficult, because we feel that we are not the problem, but that the other person is, and to be called to reconciliation makes no sense at all. We may even think, "I am not giving my life for that person.  They need to come to me first!"

 

Photo Aug 28, 3 33 27 PM Yet we've heard in these readings the need to renounce everything and that includes our own ideas, and to be willing to go out to the other even, to the one with whom we have difficulties.

 

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The readings from this Sunday seem to all point out, that often times, God places before us, things that do not make sense in our mentality, but God knows well, that these are the things that leads us to eternal life.  So again and again, in every difficult situation, Jesus invites us to eternal life and to pick up the cross and follow, which is the only way to eternal peace.

 

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Everyday He is inviting us to travel to eternal life!



Come follow me 

 

What is your response today

to His invitation?

 


 


 

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