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August 2021

Twenty Second Sunday Cycle B

August 29, 2021

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22nd sunday




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Which means...

Pay Attention Israel

Listen Israel

Heed Israel


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Moses addresses the people shortly before they will enter the Promised Land, and he asks them to Listen Israel, hear this Israel... 




Now, Israel, hear the statutes and decrees
which I am teaching you to observe,
that you may live, and may enter in and take possession of the land
which the LORD, the God of your fathers, is giving you.


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He asks them to remember the Covenant God had made with them.  They are to follow what God has given them and to be faithful to His laws which will bring them to the Promised Land.  As they follow them, they will be a witnesses to the pagans that will be living all around them in this land of Canaan, which they are about to enter.


These readings are also a wake up call for us.  

Wake up!  


Take heed!  


We are reminded of our call at our Baptism.  

God made a covenant with each of us.  

Sometime we get confused as to what God is asking of us.  


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St. Mark tells us about the difficulties the Scribes and Pharisees had with Jesus.  





For the Scribes and Pharisees it was important to carry out every detail of the law and all of the human traditions that had developed.  

They would not relate to those who did not follow the law and they would not associate with them, as they were considered unclean.  



Photo Aug 24, 8 46 33 AMSo it is no wonder that they could not relate to Jesus and his disciples, who did not follow all of the human traditions.  

They could not, or would not understand how any holy person, like themselves, could be among those whom they considered sinners, like the tax collectors, the prostitutes, etc.


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The part of the letter of St. James, (apostle, cousin of Jesus, bishop of Jerusalem), that we hear at Mass today gives us a hint at what we are to do as called by God and promised eternal life.





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Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this:
to care for orphans and widows in their affliction
and to keep oneself unstained by the world.


The orphans and the widows were the ones on the streets with nothing

They were the poor of the poor

The rejects


This part of the letter states clearly what we are to do; what we are to pray for, for ourselves.

To love God above all and to love the neighbor


Now is a good time to look at ourselves.  

What things do we put before our love for God;  

could those things be...

...material things,

...our private time,

...our wanting things to go our way,

...our unwillingness to forgive, or to have compassion?  



The Lord will help us to see if we love our neighbor in the week ahead.  The neighbor is any person God allows in our life, even the person who is difficult or the person who we, like those the Scribes and Pharisees ,think unclean. or below us.



I know that as I prepared these remarks on these scriptures, I had to look back and remember the times this week that I did not go out of my way for the people God allowed in my life, and at the times I thought I was right.  

But God has given me the gift of conversion; to see that I have not put God above all and I did not go out of my way for my neighbor. Seeing the past events and my failure this week was a real gift from God.  

Or as St. James said...

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To see ourselves as we truly are, is a gift, and we need to pray often to receive that gift.  

It is so easy to justify ourselves, as did the Scribes and Pharisees.  

But to see ourselves, as we truly are at times, is a perfect gift from God.  

Wait for that gift.  

It is the moment in which we too can experience God's great mercy, compassion, forgiveness and love for us as sinner.

Love god others




Twenty First Sunday Cycle B

August 22, 2021

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The above question is asked of each of us every day. The readings for this Sunday will help us to see that we are called to answer the above question in every situation that God allows in our lives.



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This first reading takes place when Joshua has succeed Moses as the leader of the Israelites.  So much time has past since they left the slavery of Egypt and it is possible that some of the twelve tribes had never been in Egypt and taken part in the covenant God had made with them at Sinai.



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So, Joshua calls the people together and asks them to make their commitment to God once again. We were given that covenant from God at our baptism.  We were chosen or called and God gave us the gift of eternal life in His commitment to us.  

So, that same question that Joshua asked of the people is something for us to reflect on in every situation of our lives.  


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It is so easy for us to say that, of course, we choose to serve the Lord.  But sometimes we  need to asked for the grace to serve.  

Serving the Lord is easy when all goes as we plan, but when we meet with struggle, it is so easy to say that I find it easier to serve myself.

 We will not show mercy, compassion, forgiveness, patience, a listening ear, go out of our way, especially for the demanding or difficult person or situation.  

That is the moment we need to pray for conversion, to see that we do not serve the Lord and that we need a change of heart to fulfill the baptismal promises and convenant we made with God when He chose or called us.

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In the second reading what we hear from Saint Paul who writes from his prison cell, and it can help us to comprehend how we are to serve the Lord.


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Some of us may have a struggle with which ever of the two readings from the Ephesians are proclaimed this Sunday, there is a choice.  

We may not like the words...  

Be subordinate to one another out of reverence for Christ.  


 But that is what we are all called to do, just as Christ did.  

We might want to think that is not really what Christ meant.



In looking attoday's Gospel from John  the people were having the same problem with what Jesus had said and many left and no longer followed or believed that He was the Messiah.


Photo Aug 17, 2 34 47 PMLet us hope that in situations that are difficult we will answer as Saint Peter did.

Peter will follow the Lord because he knows Christ has the words of eternal life.  

We too are called and reminded, once again, that we are to follow Christ and that means to give our lives, our time, our listening ear, our compassion, our mercy, our forgiveness, etc. as Christ did because we know that is the way we serve the Lord and find eternal life.


And when we may fail to serve the Lord by serving others, we pray to recommit our selves as did the Israelites  in the first reading. 


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This week we will be given

many opportunities to answer...




which is usually more convenient



which can be most inconvenient



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Nineteenth Sunday Ordinary Time Cycle B


19th Sunday

August 8, 2021


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In this reading we find that Elijah is despondent because in spite of his preaching Israel is still full of sin and pagan practices.  He wants to give up.
We hear how God feeds Elijah and gives him the strength and courage to carry on with his mission to prophesy to Israel.
In those moments when we find ourselves down and depressed is the time to remember Elijah and in his most desperate time how he was fed by God and was able to carry on his mission.
The same is true for each of us because in our baptism we were anointed and called to be Priest, Prophet, and King.
We too are to make God present in the world not only by our words and especially by our actions.
God will always feed us to and give us the courage to carry on. even in the darkest of times.
Eph 22
Saint Paul writes this letter to the Ephesians who are struggling with all kinds of problems and he encourages them to remember that like Christ, they are called to love.
That message is certainly for us too when we are struggling with people.
We too need to pray for the courage to love even the most difficult person, and even the enemy.
God will feed us to enable us to carry on our mission to make God present in the world... Don't try to outguess God as to how He will feed you.  Just know He will and probably in the way you may not have thought.  
Jphn bread life
Jesus told the crowd that was around him that he was the bread; that had come down from heaven.
The crowd is disturbed by this because they cannot believe that he came down from heaven when they knew that he came from Nazareth and was the son of Joseph and Mary.
Each of us has been given in our baptism the gift of faith.
We are to make God present in the world by our words and especially by our actions just as Jesus did.
We are to make God present by our understanding, patience, forgiveness, and love even to the enemy, to the one who gives us difficulties and problems.
There will be times,  like Elijah and Saint Paul, with all their problems and difficulties. that we too will need to pray to be fed.  The gift of the Eucharist, the gift of Jesus himself feeding us, dwelling in us, so that we  will carry on our mission making God present in the world by our words and actions.
Video is from 2018  Nineteenth Sunday and is also for 2021


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