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September 2020

Twenty Seventh Sunday Cycle A

October 4, 2020

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We are the vineyard of the Lord





 In the first reading the prophet addressed God's chosen people and reminded them of God's concern and love for them.  He used the image of the care an owner gave to his vineyard.



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Isaiah reminded them of all that God had done for them in their history. 

He brought them out of the slavery of Egypt.

 He provided for them in the desert.  

He brought them out of the exile of Babylon...

...and the list could go on.  

You would think they would get the message, but they did not.  They often forgot about God.  Don't we at times do the same?


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They and us are the vineyard of the Lord as we respond in the Responsorial Palm. 

The vineyard of the Lord is the house of Israel.


Vine yard

Yet they have not produced good grapes.


We have to take that same message to ourselves.  God has prepared everything for us so that we, as the vineyard of the Lord, will produce good grapes.



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Every day He comes looking for our produce.


What will He find, good grapes or wild, sour, good for nothing grapes?






He comes expecting to find us filled with mercy

He comes expecting to find us filled with compassion

He comes expecting to find us filled with forgiveness

He comes expecting to find us filled with patience


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It is important for us to not escape what these readings are calling us to.  We need, once again, to look deep inside ourselves, and that can be so hard to do.  We often try to escape the reality of who we are.



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St. Paul, in his letter, gives some sound advice.  If we see we did not produce in a particular incident, not to panic.  We need to see this in oneself as a gift.  Paul says it is the time to petition God, to pray to be able next time to produce good grapes.  

We will have opportunity to produce again and again this coming week.  Now is the time to pray to produce mercy, forgiveness, patience, compassion, etc.  These are some of the good grapes God is looking for. We are to make these good grapes present to all we meet this week, even to those who don't deserve them.  


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The Scribes and Pharisees rejected these ideas, and Jesus, as we hear in the Gospel,  says to them ... 

Therefore, I say to you,
the kingdom of God will be taken away from you
and given to a people that will produce its fruit."


 We are given chance after chance this week to produce good fruit.  God will never give up on us.  If in some situations we fail, see that as fertilizer and gift and then pick ourselves up and start once again.


It's time once again to produce this week!




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Twenty Sixth Sunday Cycle A


September 27, 2020


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The Jews, in both the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) and in the New Testament, believed that the sins of their parents and their ancestors were passed on to the children.  Such things as blindness, deformities, illness and disease, were the result of  the sins even of their ancestors.  So it was easy to blame someone else for their problems and difficulties, their sins.  



Ezekiel, in the first reading, let the people know that each person was responsible for their own sins.


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It is so easy, for us today, to blame our sins on someone else.  It was the devil that made me do it; it was because I didn't feel good; it was that person who no one will put up with; it is just because that is how my parents raised me...and the list could go on and on.

We just don't want to admit that we are responsible for our sins; someone else caused me to sin.  In fact, we can be in a place where we think we don't sin.  That is always the trick of the devil...He tells us we don't really sin big, we just have a few little sins.  What a lie!


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If we cannot see our own sin, then how can we be sorry and seek forgiveness.  Why then do we really need God?


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The prophet was trying to help the Jews see their own failures and ask for forgiveness.





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Saint Paul, in his letter, gave advice as to how to look at themselves and to truthfully see if they are carrying out what their baptism had called them to. 

It is a real gift from God to be able to look deeply at ourselves and to see our failures, our sins, and not to blame someone else or some event as an excuse for our own failures.


 Seeing our sins is where we can find the great mercy and compassion of God.


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 In the Gospel we hear the story of the the two brothers who were asked to work.  One said yes and then did not go to work.  The other said that he would not work in the vineyard.




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That brother converted and although he had said he would not work now saw his disobedience and he went to work in the vineyard.  He saw his sin and repented.





Jesus tells the Scribes and Pharisees, those who considered themselves holy and without sin, that tax collectors and prostitutes, were entering the kingdom of God before them.


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Tax collector and prostitutes knew their sins and were seeking the mercy of God.


Recently, in his homily, Pope Francis said that it is precisely in one's sins where we meet Jesus.
He said that in recognizing our sins, we are able to experience Christ's loving forgiveness. 
"This is why the ability to acknowledge our own sins, to acknowledge our misery, to acknowledge what we are and what we are capable of doing or have done is the very door that opens us to the Lord’s caress, His forgiveness, to His Word 'Go in peace, your faith has saved you!".  
The Pope concluded his homily saying that those who feel themselves sinners open their hearts in confession and experience the mercy of God. 


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Twenty Fifth Sunday Ordinary Time Cycle A

September 20, 2020

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 The Call to Work



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  Photo Sep 10, 1 30 34 PMIn the first reading, this prophet was with the people in the exile of Babylon.  They were a people in deep despair.  They had lost everything.  They  had given up. 

What is the purpose of going on? 




This prophet gave them courage to seek the Lord.  They were told not to give up, but to seek the Lord in all that had happened to them even this Exile In Babylon

 The prophet told them that God's ways were not always their ways.  That must have been hard to understand.


 This event was to help those in Exile in Babylon to see that they had abandoned God, who always loved them.

 That message is certainly for each of us, especially in those times of wondering, what the heck is God  doing in our lives; or at those times when we don't trust  how God is working in our lives or what He is asking of us..


Ps 144 lord s inear


In Psalm 145, our Sunday Palm, we state that we believe that God is always near to all who call upon Him.

 When we call out to God what do we ask for?  

Are we  asking for the courage to accept what is going on in our lives, or do we only call out to God when we want God to do our will?


If we discover that we want God to do our will, it is time to ask that we place ourselves in the will of God, even when we might think we know best.


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 St. Paul spoke about his call to work for the Lord in his own life.  He had come to know that the Lord called him to make God present for others; just as God has called each of us to do the same.

Paul came to know how difficult that could be. 




Paul-PrisonIn fact, Paul was writing this letter from prison after he had experienced all kinds of difficulties. 

He says he longed to depart this life and be with the Lord, but he knew that the Lord has given him a task, and the struggles and difficulties were a part of how he was to make God present to others. 

 That same story is true for each of us when we are faced with struggles, problems, and difficulties.  



We need to always pray that we can accept whatever work God has placed before us.  Sometimes that means patience, or mercy, or compassion or going out of our way even when we think we don't really have the time. 


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The gospel gives us this parable.

Everyday the Lord sends us out to work in making Him present in the world. 






  For sure, at times, that work will be unpleasant and seem difficult.  But every day, just as God called Paul, God calls us to work in our current situation to make God present for others.


 Sometimes we are ready and willing to work and we go right away to work in the tasks that lay ahead. 

At other times we delay, but let us pray that, as in the Gospel we hear today,  no matter how late we may hear the Lord asking us to work, we will answer with a "Okay, Lord". 


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This coming week when we are faced with struggles, difficult situations, or even people we might not care for, we remember that this is the field, the work, the Lord has called us to at that moment.

 As God is always generous with his mercy toward us; we ask God that we will be generous to all we will encounter this week.

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And let us always remember...
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...That can be for us or for those we encounter .



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Twenty Fourth Sunday Ordinary Time Cycle A


September 13, 2020 



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Awsome Large




     Do I really understand How Awesome God Is???


Sometimes I think I don't even give those words any thought.  I take them for granted.

But to really understand the greatness of God, I have to be willing to look deeply at myself, at my spirit, my whole being.  That can be very hard to do. But to see myself truthfully is where I can experience the Awesomeness of God.





 The readings for this Sunday can certainly help me to look at myself.  But I need to ask for the grace to be open, to be truthful, and that can be very difficult to do.  I want to say that I am only human and that I am better than most. 

But wait a minute!!!

  Body of C large


Sirach Large
In  the first reading, Sirach, a holy Jew, living 200 years before Christ, and loving his people, gives us some insight as to what makes God present to others in the world.  

Again we can escape looking at our self and simply say that I can do some of the things Sirach indicates, but I am only human.  Those last words are an escape from what God has called each of us to in our Baptism.  I know that in order to experience how awesome God is I need to see myself deeply and truthfully.  If I won't do this, then I will never really understand how great God is or for that matter, really need God.





Paul to Romans



St. Paul, in his letter to the Romans that we hear today, tells us once again that through our baptism we are to make God present.  We are the Mystical Body of Christ.  We are to make God present in the world for others through our actions and not just our words.




Forgiving God Large 
To see my failures, my sins, is not something to be afraid to do.  This is where I can truly meet God and His great mercy and compassion.  I need to pray for the grace to do that which is so hard and scary.


In the Gospel reading from Matthew, I can once again look at myself.  I am called to make God present for others by my forgiveness to them.  Or I can once again escape and say that I am only human.  I am called to forgive and to forget.  I can say that I will forgive but I can never forget what you did to me.  In a sense I am like the servant who won't forgive.  But our awesome God forgives and forgets.  As the Body of Christ, my compassion, my mercy, my understanding, my forgiveness, my forgetting, makes God present in the world of today.  When I see I fail at this, then I need to thank God for showing this in me and pray for the grace to make God more perfectly present today through my call by God at my Baptism.



  Jesus forgives 


You are Called



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