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November 2020

Second Sunday of Advent Cycle B

December 6, 2020

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Photo Nov 27, 1 07 03 PMIn the first reading the Jews had been in exile in Babylon because of their turning away from God, their sins, and the end of their Babylonian exile was near. The pagan king Cyrus would free them.




Free from babylon



Isaiah gave them, while they were still in exile, the words we hear in this reading...



Comfort, give comfort to my people,
says your God.
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her
that her service is at an end,
her guilt is expiated;
indeed, she has received from the hand of the LORD
double for all her sins.


What good news.

The Jews would return back to Jerusalem.  This was a second Exodus for them, and God, once again, showed them that He was the loving father who cared for them.


Those words of Isaiah can also help us when we find ourselves in Exile.


Our Exile happens when we are in the midst of our struggles, depressions, disappointments, or difficulties.  It happens when we doubt that God knows what He is doing in our lives, or when we cease trusting in God's timing, in other words, when we sin.  These times are a period of exile for us.

Jesus Christ, by his death and resurrection, brings us hope when we recognize our sins, which can be very hard to do, our exile.

The words of Isaiah can give us courage...


Like a shepherd he feeds his flock;
in his arms he gathers the lambs,
carrying them in his bosom,
and leading the ewes with care.


We know that God, in his plan, has called each of us to make Him present in our world today...


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When we struggle, the words of  this second letter of Peter can help...

 ...The Lord does not delay his promise, as some regard “delay,”but he is patient with you, not wishing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.




God gives us this time of Advent so we can reflect on our lives and enter into conversion for our failings, our sins, and then experience His great love, mercy, and compassion.



Sometimes it can be so difficult to wait for the Lord and to believe in His timing. 


His timing can be different from ours. That is one of the lessons we can learn from Advent.


Are we willing to wait?

Are we willing to watch?


...or do we still think that God should time things as we want?.


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In this reading, God sent St. John the Baptist as a messenger, preparing the way for Christ.   Every day God sends us to prepare the way so that we can welcome Christ into our lives.


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Remember that means we have to go into the wilderness, into the dryness or the failures of lives.  

Often it is a strange person like John the Baptist, who dressed strangely and ate strange things, that can lead us to conversion; can lead us to seeing our sins, our lack of compassion and mercy to those that we disagree or struggle with.

We usually try to avoid going into this wilderness.  But that is exactly where we must go to find God's call to conversion and to experience His mercy and love.  

Are we willing to look at those moments of difficulties, doubts, and frustrations, which are a form of our going into the wilderness?

Are we willing to go there?

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Each of us, at our baptism, were called to be messengers from God, and to prepare the way for the daily coming of Christ into our world.

Are we willing to do this by having mercy, compassion, and forgiveness to all, even to the enemy?











...and we will make discoveries about ourselves 





First Sunday of Advent Cycle B

November 29, 2020


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Video Clip Fr. Greg Friedman Franciscan


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Advent is, once again, a time for us to prepare for the coming of Christ.  

It is a time to focus on His Coming everyday of our lives, and not just at our death.  

 This Sunday's readings remind us to take the time of Advent to reflect on His daily coming. 


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So, we wait and we watch everyday for the presence of Christ in our lives.


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Isaiah reminds the people of his time what happened to the Northern Kingdom- Israel.  They were taken into exile in 722 BC because of their infidelity to God.  They had turned to pagan gods.  

The same was  happening in the Southern Kingdom- Judah.  




Isaiah hoped that Judah would return to God and avoid disaster.  But in spite of his warning, they did not change and eventually they too lost everything and were taken into exile.



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Isaiah still gave them hope that God would never abandon them in spite of their unfaithfulness.


Photo Nov 21, 7 31 12 AMWe hear in the reading  the prayer that he made to God.







We know that in all that happens, God is in charge; yet He gives us freedom to do as we want and sometimes that is where we can get into trouble and sin.  

We do need a times to prepare for His daily coming and make what Isaiah said in his prayer..."You are the potter", true in our lives.

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 God never abandoned his people and He will never abandon us.



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St. Paul wrote to the community at Corinth which he was with from 50-52 AD.  He had heard that they were having problems.  He reminded them of what they have been given and that God would always  sustain them to the end.


That is especially good news for each of us during those  times when when we are in great stress or difficulties.  

God has chosen us and called us by name, as were the Corinthians.  

God will not abandon us.


There is always the temptation to hide or to turn away or to even escape from the problems, the stresses, in our lives.



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 Paul encouraged the Corinthians,  when they were faced with doubts and fears.  

Christ had not abandoned them, and we need to remember that Christ called each of us in our Baptism and is always with us, always.  

But do we recognize Him???







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In the gospel we hear we are to wait and watch; we do not know when the Lord will come, but the fact is that He comes everyday and many times we just do not recognize Him.  

He may come in the moment we are not expecting Him.  

He may come in the poor or difficult person.

He may come in the enemy.

He may come in the demands of another person. 

He may come in the situation that is difficult for us.

He may come in our loneliness.  




It is almost always difficult for us to wait, especially when we struggle or suffer.

Isn't that true of our world today; we cannot wait?

 We want everything now, instantly.  

We do not want a period of Advent, a period of waiting and watching.

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The gift of Advent becomes a time of daily waiting and watching for the Lord.  It is  a time of looking deep within ourselves to see what prevents us from everyday recognizing the Lord; or perhaps discovering that we are not willing to wait and watch.  

Perhaps we really don't believe that God will not abandon us in our daily struggles.

We want the joys of Christmas now without any struggles or difficulties.

Perhaps this Advent we will be inspired to hold off on the Christmas decorations until the end of our waiting and watching, the end of our Advent. 

Advent can become a time of great growth in seeing our selves as the Lord God sees us so that we can know his great compassion, mercy and love for us, even in our failures





Come Lord Jesus



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Christ the King Cycle A

This is...the Last Sunday of the Liturgical Year A

Next comes Advent Week One the start of Liturgical Year B (Nov 30th)

November 22, 2020

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What is your image of a King?


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Today's readings can help us understand what Christ the King is all about.  

He is a king in ways that are different from the type of king that we heard about as children in the different folk tales that were told.  

We were told about worldly kings with  beautiful castles,  beautiful wives, with lots of money, etc. Kings were always dressed in gold and crowned with jewels.  Stories of worldly kings are very different from Christ as King.




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In the first reading, the Israelites were in captivity in Babylon.

Their leaders, (their shepherds) and many of the people had turned to other gods.


God has allowed them to be taken into exile in hopes they would find conversion and return to God.  However, God would never abandoned them.  





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  God allowed his prophet Ezekiel to be taken into exile with them.  Ezekiel gave the people hope and courage.  





At times when we have become discouraged,  like the Israelites in Babylon who have lost everything, we can  find hope in what this prophet told them.  


They were told that God would again be their  leader, their shepherd.  He would always care for them.  He would never abandon them.


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The Gospel reading helps us to understand what the kingship of Christ, which we too were called to in our baptism, is all about.  




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For sure God will shepherd us, but that also means that we need to follow.

 How are we called to follow?

How are we to share in the kingship of Christ that was given to us at our baptism when we were anointed, called to be... prophet, priest, and king.


In sharing the Kingship of Christ we are to be prophet, making God present for others.  


We are to be priests, making sacrifices for others so that they too can find God in their lives.

We are called to be king, but not as the world understands kings, but as Christ has shown himself as king.


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Christ the King was willing to be the the least.  

Are we willing to be the least or do we think, as a worldly king, that we should be first?   

Again and again Christ shows us what his kingship is all about.  

Christ is King...

.. not taking the first place, but in taking the last place

...not in trying to get rid of the enemy but in loving the enemy

...not in holding judgement on those who make life difficult, but in loving and always forgiving them.



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St. Paul writes his letter to a community that has turned to the Greek philosophy of the time.  That philosophy of Plato said that humans were created as pure spirit and the body was a punishment.  One day, when sin would be overcome humans would return to being a pure spirit.

 Paul says no to that philosophy.  


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Christ as king has conquered death and sin. He is risen and we too, at the end of time, will be given back our bodies.  

We will be body and spirit united in the eternal Kingship of Christ. .




Christ in His kingship, calls us back to Himself and His kingdom again and again.   

The key for us is to recognize the times when we fail the call to Kingship, when we sin.


The times we don't go out of our way

...for the least,

...for the person who is struggling,

...for the person who is difficult,

...for the person who has an unpleasant personality,

...for the person we don't understand,

...for the person who is unfair and even unjust,


and the list could go on and on.


Those are the moments when we are in exile due to our failure, our sin.  

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Yet, as in the first reading, the King comes always to rescue us with forgiveness, compassion, and mercy, so that we can return to His Kingship.

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Now is the time to pray to always return to our call of

Christ the King...


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 Answer that call with courage!

    You were anointed to be Prophet, Priest, and King.



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Thirty-third Sunday Cycle A



November 15, 2020

Cycle A 


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This book of  the Hebrew Scriptures, the Old Testament, is a collection of wisdom writings and oral traditions that were put together sometime after 500 B.C.


It addresses what the good wife is and does.

At the time when this book was written,  women had no rights.  Yet these verses clearly state what the great value of a good wife and mother without rights was, even back then. It show how the wife made God present to others.

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For all of us, women and men alike, married or not, the good wife speaks to what the Christian is called to be and do.  

Our Baptism gave us the mission of being servant (The original translation of that word for servant was slave.)

Don't we often reject being a slave as a part of our Christian life.  We may well be servant (slave) when we want, but not when it is inconvenient or unfair or unjust.  


When we see that we fail in certain situations to make God present, it becomes a time to ask God for the will and the ability to be servant.  

His mercy is always there for us.  And so be begin again, never giving up just as God will never give up on us.


God created each of us with exactly what we need so that we can bring God to others.  

We are to take what we were given and give it to others, even to the enemy.  

We were given and are to invest mercy, forgiveness, compassion, love of the enemy, etc.

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For most of us, we know that this is our call from Christ, yet do we try to invest what God has freely give us what we are to give to others?



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Or do we simply bury our gifts into the ground and hope that the gift of mercy, compassion, etc. that God has given us and asked us to invest in others, is not really what God wants; so we keep these gifts to ourselves alone because it seems so difficult and unfair to give them to others, especially to those whom we deem as undeserving.


The message is that we are to give what we have been given.






In Paul's letter, he writes that this Christian community, called by God in their baptism, as we were, to be children of the light and make God present in the world.  

That can mean that things may not always go the way we want.

It may even mean that at times we will fail, but we can begin again and again.  



The Thessalonians were concerned with when the Lord would return and we can have the same concern.

 We may think that his coming will not happen till the end of the world, and that is true.  

But do we always recognize that He also comes everyday in our lives, and at the times we don't even recognize him?






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He is in the person who bugs us, in the events and situations that do not please us.  

Do we recognize Him?



St. Paul says that He will come at the least expected time and that can be everyday, and even at a time when we are in a bad mood.


 That is the exact time we are to invest; patience, mercy, understanding, compassion, love, etc.


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We need to continue to reflect on what God has given us and asks us to invest, so that those we meet will also find the presence of God through  our lives.



The important thing is that we give what we were given, mercy, forgiveness, compassion, love, etc.

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Isn't that what the theme of the Gospel we hear this Sunday is all about?  







The opportunity to share our gifts from God with others,

will be given to us in the week ahead.  


Be alert!!!




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Video Clip Franciscan Greg Friedman click here


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