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November 2019

First Sunday of Advent Cycle A

December 1, 2019

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This First Sunday of Advent begins a new Church Year for us.  

We have left cycle C and now we begin cycle A.


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When we think about Advent  we usually think just about preparing for Christmas.  

I would suggest that we also think about Advent as a time for preparing and watching for the coming of the Lord every single day and in every situation both delightful and also difficult.

The readings of each Sunday of this season of Advent can help us to become more alert to watching and waiting for the Lord every day in our lives.




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 In the second reading Paul wrote his letter in about 58 A.D..

He writes it to this Christian community in Rome because he has concern for them. He encourages them to wake up and to once again understand what it means that God has called them to make Him present in the world. 

Photo Nov 21, 7 56 54 PMThat call is also for each of us to wake up.

That probably means that during this season we are to take a good look at ourselves spiritually.


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In the Gospel reading Jesus tells his disciples to wake up and watch, for He will come at a time that is not expected.




Advent can become that time that we wait and watch for Christ, not just at the end of time, not just coming in our celebrations of Christmas Day, but watching for Him in every single situation and in every person we encounter daily. It may be in that moment when we are faced with our own failure, our own lack of charity, patience, or compassion.  That moment when we have not done what God called us to do since His call to us at our Baptism. To see our failures can be very difficult but is a real gift from the presence of the merciful Lord.

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In the first reading Isiah the prophet  gives us the story of Noah, to show how most of the people in that time had no idea of what was going on because of their sinfulness. They had not recognized God in their daily lives, but had turned to other things to worship in their lives .  They had turned to idols or pagan gods.

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We are to wait and watch for the Lord, not only in situations that are happy and joyful, but also in those situations that are difficult and trying.



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This reading took place when the northern kingdom of Israel had been overcome by the Assyrians, and now Isaiah foretells the coming doom for Judah, the southern kingdom; they would be taken into Exile in Babylon.  He was not just a prophet of doom, but was to give the people hope for what was to come; that God would not desert the human race, but that God would fulfill his promise of the Messiah in the years ahead.  He gave the people hope for the future.


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The mercy of God can give each of us hope for the future of eternal life.



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We need to continually look for His presence in the people that we enjoy being with and also in the people that give us difficulties. Advent is that time when we can really concentrate on waiting and watching for the Lord;   

During this season of Advent we may discover, in ourselves, that we often miss His coming.

But even in those times, He will not abandon us.


How many times, each day, do we miss His coming?


Watch for Him


This Season 




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First Sunday of Advent Wreathe



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Christ the King -Cycle C -34th Sunday Ordinary Time

November 24, 2019

The last Sunday of the Church calendar

in Ordinary Time

Advent  Cycle A  begins next Sunday, December 1st





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As background to the first reading, remember that Saul was the first king of the Jews, but because he had not followed the laws of God, his kingship would not pass on to his ancestors.  At Saul's death, David was chosen by the people to replace him, and they anointed him as king over all of Israel and that kingship would be passed on to his future generations.

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  It is interesting that David was  a sinner and at times turned from the laws of God.  Yet, imperfect as he was, he was still given the kingship which would be passed on to his ancestors, and ultimately to Jesus. 




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The Gospel shows us Christ as universal King, but in a way that can shock us, as it did his first disciples. They were sure that the messiah would be a political king, so they could not believe that Jesus was going to Jerusalem to die.


King Throne

We see that Jesus is a different type of king from our usual image of what a king is.  In all the folk tales we have heard since our childhood, a king is popular, rich, powerful, has beautiful robes, a golden crown, etc.






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Now we are given a different picture of Jesus as king, with the sign hanging over his head, King of the Jews.



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This was a king who was to be abandoned by his disciples and his closest friends.  He was to be rejected.  He was poor materially. He was to die among gangsters and criminals.  




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 Could this possibly be a king? 



 The answer is Yes.


Kingdom of god


And He has established his Kingdom which all of us are called by our Baptism to be a part, in this life and in the eternal life to come.


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We too, like Jesus our King, will face rejections, difficulties, sufferings, betrayals, etc. These are a part of our journey to the eternal kingdom.











Photo Nov 12, 1 28 45 PMThe second reading lets us know that we too, as was the Christian community of the Colossians, were called to his kingdom.  Paul writes his letter to them, to give them courage to continue in spite of all the difficulties, betrayals, sufferings, etc. they were experiencing.  We too need that reminder to continue our journey in spite of all the problems that can occur.  At our Baptism, we were called by God to be a part of his kingdom; we were  anointed then to be prophet, priest, and KING.  We are a part of the kingship of Christ.



 Imagine, the way to the king and the kingdom is to share in what Jesus went through,  and also it is the way we lead others to the king and his eternal Kingdom. 


We are...




Jesus Christ is King

We see His great mercy as He tells the repentant criminal crucified with Him, that he will soon be in the kingdom of God.


We too are called to that kingship and kingdom.




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by Fr. Greg Friedman


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Thirty Third Sunday Ordinary Time Cycle C

November 17, 2019


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"By your endurance (perseverance) you will gain your lives."



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Have you given up on looking at your spiritual life?
Have you even stopped thinking about it on a daily basis?



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Many of the people in the first reading, having returned from exile in 450 BC,  failed to see what God had done for them.

They were abandoning their believe in God.  They just wanted to live the good life.  The prophet tells them the end will come.  Return to God.


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The prophet Malachi was encouraging them to not forget how God had forgiven them and taken them out of the Exile in Babylon, and brought them back to Jerusalem. 






Saint Paul was addressing   the same problem in the Christian Community to which he wrote .  Some were forgetting what God had call them to through their Baptism.  They were not to just sit around, as some had done, but they were to make God present in the world by their lives and actions.



At times we can see our own exile of our sins, of our dysfunctions, of our addictions and just plain give up or even worse, just ignore them.

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God wants to feed us with his forgiveness, but we do have to work at continually looking deeply at ourselves, at our failures to fulfill the call we were given at our Baptism to make God present, and that can be very hard work. We may even get lazy and falsely believe that we do not sin or we do not sin very big.  What a deception!

 Just think about the following...

Love the other as yourself, every person as yourself.


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Sin is always a tragedy and we do sin. God, again today, will bring us out of our exile, our sins. That is what Christ is about, again and again, day after day.

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But we do have to look deeply at our spiritual self and not be scandalized by what we see. We will do this again and again until we die.  Don't give up.  The force of evil will always hint at us to give this up.  

Don't listen to that voice.


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Remember God does not give up on us. 


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 The last line of the Gospel this Sunday says...

"By your endurance, perseverance,

you will gain your lives."


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Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle C

November 10, 2019


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Often times we and those around us live in the world as if this is all there is, and yet this Sunday's  readings bring us a message that we all know but of which we need to be reminded.

There is an eternal life



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The first reading from Maccabees it's about a mother and her seven sons who are Jewish and are being persecuted by the king. They are being force to break the laws that God had given them and that was to break from their laws and traditions.  One was to be forced to eat pork.


The seven sons and the mother give witness to their belief.  They knew that death was not the end and they were not afraid to die.

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You and I face a kind of death everyday, not necessarily physical death, but a mental or kind of psychological death.

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The times that bring us face to face with a kind of mental or psychological death can be those times that we are rejected, those times our ideas are not accepted, those times that we feel lonely, those times that we feel unloved, those times that we feel persecuted, and the list could go on and on.

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These are all moments that we are called to face death and to realize that those things  are a part of our journey to the real lasting life.

But we live in a world that seems to react as if we must always have our way and feel great and never suffer because this life is all there is.

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But we know better and today's readings are a good reminder for us.



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In the Gospel Jesus reassures us that there is an afterlife; that there is a resurrection.  



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Jesus in this life shows us that this is not all there is; that there is an eternal life which is the our final home; that we are called to journey to, while here on earth.




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We hear from Paul's letter.  We know that this community of the Thessalonians, this Christian community of the Thessalonians, was certainly under a great amount of persecution and rejection.  It would have been so easy for them to think that if this is all there is then why are we putting up with these problems and persecutions and even physical death.  Let's just get all the gusto and enjoyment now while we can.  

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We can find ourselves in the same mind set, especially when we may think, why me, Lord?

But they know through Paul's preaching, that it was not the end, that there was a life waiting as they made their journey toward eternal life.  Saint Paul is  aware of, not only his own struggles, but also those of his young Thessalonian community, living in the midst of the majority of people who did not believe.

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In his letter he reminds them that they have been called by God to make God present in the world by their lives.  That is also true for us.

He tells them that the Lord is faithful and will certainly guard and strengthen them, even in those moments when they feel like is this all there is.  That is also true for us.

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He reminds them that God is encouraging them and giving them the strength to continue on their journey which will always have struggles and disappointments, but it is part of the journey home.  Paul knows that God will give them endurance,  just as he was given endurance in all his sufferings, rejections, imprisonment, etc.

St paul in prison

Perhaps it's time for us to look at our own lives. Are we caught up in this idea that this is all there is so let's just go on living our life with no concern of what God has called us to through our baptism.


Photo Nov 02, 11 14 51 AMEvery day, when faced with psychological death, we are called to make God present in the world through our mercy, compassion, patience, love to the enemy, forgiveness, etc.

When we find ourselves in those moments when we are  thinking that we have to get everything in this life because that's all there is... let us pray for our own conversion, so that we more and more realize that the problems and struggles, as well as the wonderful times are all part of traveling to eternal life.


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Be not Afraid

Go out of your way for someone today.