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October 2021

Thirty First Sunday Cycle B

October 31, 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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Thirtieth Sunday Cycle B

Thirtieth Sunday Cycle B

October   24,2021


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Thirtieth Sunday Cycle B


Are you Blind?


Spiritually Blind?




This Sunday gives us the Gospel story of a blind man, who is sitting by the roadside, begging, when Jesus passes by.


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He recognizes knows that he is blind and has great hope that Jesus will cure his blindness.


Have pity

As Jesus passes by he calls out, "Son of David; have pity on me."

 Jesus stops and heals his blindness.



But what does that Gospel story have to do with us?

Jeremiah also
Often, we can be like the people found in the Hebrew Scriptures that are proclaimed in the first reading.


Remember that both the Northern and the Southern kingdom had abandoned God, and eventually, lost everything, and were taken into exile.


Jeremiah, rather than call them to conversion as he had done in the past,  in this reading, he assures them that God will never abandon them.

Photo Oct 19, 2 28 01 PMJeremiah tells them the reason for the exile is that they had abandoned God; that they were blind. Yet Jeremiah assures them that God does love them, and will care for them in spite of all the things that they had done in their abandonment of God.  




That story is also good for us to hear, especially when we are in that moment of feeling in exile, blind, and so far away from God.  



Will we be able to recognize our own blindness?  

Will we recognize Jesus when He passes by in our lives?  

Will we see the need for ourselves to call out for mercy?



Remember that it took generations for the people of the Old Testament to recognize their blindness.  

Only then were they able to experience God's great love and mercy.

 The same is true for us.


Often we don't recognize our own blindness until things really go downhill  in our struggles; then we begin to see how spiritually blind we  are at that moment.That certainly is the moment to cry out for mercy from God so we can be healed.

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I suspect that for each of us, at one time or another, we have been  able to see

just how spiritually blind we are. 



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The author of the letter that we hear from in the second reading today, reminds us that we have in Christ, the High Priest.  

He is the Son of God who by his human nature has experienced the same struggles and difficulties that we have experienced.


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He is the one who has offered his body and life and gained our salvation.
Whenever we call out for mercy, for healing,





Are we willing to look at your spiritual blindness?

Are we willing to see that at moments we are all spiritually blind.

It can be those moments when we are called to have mercy, compassion, forgiveness, comfort, understanding, and we say...


At that moment we are  blind. 

We can give excuses and say that we are only human.  

That is the moment we are spiritually blind and can't even recognize the blindness.

That can be God's gift to us when we see we are spiritually blind.


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That is the moment to pray for our own conversion, so that we will be in a position to call out to the Lord for healing.

How many times will He passed by in our lives, giving us the opportunity to call out and ask for spiritual healing and we do not recognize Him?  



How many times will we fail to look at our own blindness?


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If today you are spiritually blind today, call out to Him.


Video Clip Franciscan Greg Friedman

Tommy death
Father John Powell, a professor at Loyola University in Chicago , writes about a student in his Theology of Faith class named Tommy: "Some twelve years ago, I stood watching my university students file into the classroom for our first session in the Theology of Faith. That was the day I first saw Tommy. My eyes and my mind both blinked. He was combing his long flaxen hair, which hung six inches below his shoulders.
It was the first time I had ever seen a boy with hair that long. I guess it was just coming into fashion then. I know in my mind that it isn't what's on your head but what's in it that counts; but on that day I was unprepared and my emotions flipped. Immediately I filed Tommy under 'S' for strange..
Very strange, Tommy turned out to be the 'atheist in residence' in my Theology of Faith course. He constantly objected to, smirked at, or whined about the possibility of an unconditionally loving Father/God.
We lived with each other in relative peace for one semester, although I admit he was for me at times a serious pain in the back pew.
When he came up at the end of the course to turn in his final exam, he asked in a cynical tone, 'Do you think I'll ever find God?'
I decided instantly on a little shock therapy. 'No!' I said very emphatically.
'Why not,' he responded, 'I thought that was the product you were pushing.'
I let him get five steps from the classroom door and then called out, 'Tommy! I don't think you'll ever find Him, but I am absolutely certain that He will find you!'
He shrugged a little and left my class and my life. I felt slightly disappointed at the thought that he had missed my clever line – "He will find you!" At least I thought it was clever.
Later I heard that Tommy had graduated, and I was duly grateful.
Then a sad report came. I heard that Tommy had terminal cancer. Before I could search him out, he came to see me. When he walked into my office, his body was very badly wasted and the long hair had all fallen out as a result of hemotherapy. But his eyes were bright and his voice was firm, for the first time, I believe.
'Tommy, I've thought about you so often; I hear you are sick,' I blurted out.
'Oh, yes, very sick. I have cancer in both lungs. It's a matter of weeks...'
'Can you talk about it, Tom?' I asked.
'Sure, what would you like to know?' he replied.
'What's it like to be only twenty-four and dying?
'Well, it could be worse.
'Like what?
'Well, like being fifty and having no values or ideals, like being fifty and thinking that booze, seducing women, and making money are the real biggies in life.
I began to look through my mental file cabinet under 'S' where I had filed Tommy as strange. (It seems as though the very body I try to reject by classification, God sends back into my life to educate me.)
'But what I really came to see you about,' Tom said, 'is something you said to me on the last day of class.' (He remembered!) He continued, 'I asked you if you thought I would ever find God and you said, 'No!' which surprised me Then you said, 'But He will find you..' I thought about that a lot, even though my search for God was hardly intense
at that time. (My clever line. He thought about that a lot!) 'But when the doctors removed a lump from my groin and told me that it was malignant, that's when I got serious about locating God. And when the malignancy spread into my vital organs, I really began banging bloody fists against the bronze doors of heaven..
"But God did not come out. In fact , nothing happened. Did you ever try anything for a long time with great effort and with no success? You get psychologically glutted, fed up with trying. And then you quit 'Well, one day I woke up, and instead of throwing a few more futile appeals over that high brick wall to a God who may be or may not be there, I just quit. I decided that I didn't really care about God, about an afterlife, or anything like that. I decided to spend what time I had left doing something more profitable.
I thought about you and your class and I remembered something else you had said: 'The essential sadness is to go through life without loving. But it would be almost equally sad to go through life and leave this world without ever telling those you loved that you had loved them.''
'So, I began with the hardest one, my Dad. He was reading the newspaper when I approached him.
'Dad. 'Yes, what?' he asked without lowering the newspaper.
'Dad, I would like to talk with you.
' 'Well, talk.
'I mean. It's really important. The newspaper came down three slow inches
'What is it?'
'Dad, I love you, I just wanted you to know that.'
Tom smiled at me and said it with obvious satisfaction, as though he felt a warm and secret joy flowing inside of him.
'The newspaper fluttered to the floor. Then my father did two things I could never remember him ever doing before. He cried and he hugged me.
We talked all night, even though he had to go to work the next morning. It felt so good to be close to my father, to see his tears, to feel his hug, to hear him say that he loved me.'
'It was easier with my mother and little brother. They cried with me, too, and we hugged each other, and started saying real nice things to each other. We shared the things we had been keeping secret for so many years. 'I was only sorry about one thing --- that I had waited so long. Here I was, just beginning to open up to all the people I had actually been close to.
'Then, one day I turned around and God was there. He didn't come to me when I pleaded with Him. I guess I was like an animal trainer holding out a hoop, 'C'mon, jump through. C'mon, I'll give you three days, three weeks.'' 'Apparently God does things in His own way and at His own hour. But the important thing is that He was there. He found me! You were right. He found me even after I stopped looking for Him.'
'Tommy,' I practically gasped, 'I think you are saying something very important and much more universal than you realize. To me, at least, you are saying that the surest way to find God is not to make Him a private possession, a problem solver, or an instant consolation in time of need, but rather by opening to love.
You know, the Apostle John said that. He said: 'God is love, and anyone who lives in love is living with God and God is living in him.'
Tom, could I ask you a favor?
You know, when I had you in class you were a real pain. But (laughingly) you can make it all up to me now. Would you come into my present Theology of Faith course and tell them what you have just told me? If I told them the same thing it would not be half as effective as if you were to tell it.
'Oooh.. I was ready for you, but I don't know if I'm ready for your class.'
'Tom, think about it. If and when you are ready, give me a call.'
In a few days Tom called, said he was ready for the class, that he wanted to do that for God and for me. So we scheduled a date.
However, he never made it. He had another appointment, far more important than the one with me and my class. Of course, his life was not really ended by his death, only changed. He made the great step from faith into vision. He found a life far more beautiful than the eye of man has ever seen or the ear of man has ever heard or the mind of man has ever
Before he died, we talked one last time. 'I'm not going to make it to your class,' he said.
'I know, Tom.'
'Will you tell them for me? Will you tell the whole world for me?'
'I will, Tom. I'll tell them. I'll do my best.'
So, to all of you who have been kind enough to read this simple story about God's love, thank you for listening. And to you, Tommy, somewhere in the sunlit, verdant hills of heaven --- I told them, Tommy, as best I could.
If this story means anything to you, please pass it on to a friend or two. It is a true story and is not enhanced for publicity purposes.
With thanks,
Rev. John Powell,
Loyola University, Chicago. USA

Twenty-Ninth Sunday Ordinary Time Cycle B

October 17, 2021


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Is there any value in suffering?




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The author calls the future messiah The Suffering Servant of God.




Photo Oct 07, 12 44 09 PMHe tells us that the Servant of God will suffer and offer himself as sin sacrifice for all people.

From our perspective in time, we know that this was fulfilled by Jesus, His passion and death.


Sometimes we can fail to understand God's infinite love for each of us.

A love so strong that he was willing to sacrifice his son.

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As all human beings and as followers of Christ, we too will face struggles and difficulties in our own lives.  

But does God know or care that we suffer in this life?

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In this letter from Hebrews we are told, once again, of the price that Christ paid for our salvation.



Jesus is well aware of our weaknesses and sufferings, our difficulties, struggles, pains, frustrations, etc.

He too went through all of them and he truly understands what we are going through.

As Christians we have been given the grace, the gift, to know that our sufferings are a part of our life here on earth that will lead us and others to eternal life.  

We know exactly how much Jesus did for us in order to win our place in heaven.


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Jesus had just given the apostles his third prediction of his suffering and death that  awaited him in Jerusalem, but that message fell on deaf ears. They could not see how suffering could possibly a part of his establishing His Kingdom.  They were sure like, the Jews of the time, that the kingdom that God would be here on earth and all problems, all political problems, etc. would be done away with.  Aren't like that too.  God is suppose to take away all my problems and sufferings. 

James and john

Jesus tells James and John that they will be in his kingdom and that they too will share in the suffering that he was to take on.

The same will be true for each of us.

In our world of today there is no place or value for suffering.  We do not ask for suffering, but we know that in all of our lives it will come.


Are we like the world, thinking that there is no value in suffering?  

Or do we see that we too have been called to enter into the suffering of this world as a part of our lives that leads us and others to everlasting life? 


We never ask or pray for suffering but for the courage if and when it comes.






For video clip below 

Video Clip Franciscan Greg Fieldman



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Twenty Eighth Sunday Cycle B

October 10, 2021

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Book of wisdom
The author of this book says that the gift of wisdom is greater then any of the riches of the world.


King Solomon  preferred  the gift of wisdom to anything that the world could give.

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Although the book of wisdom was written over 2000 years ago, the message is very true for us today as followers of Christ.


Wisdom gift


We all need that gift of wisdom so we can understand that the Lord asks us to bear our crosses, our troubles and trials in this life.




It is so easy in today's world to think that worldly pleasures are what we really need in order  to be truly happy.


Yet our Christianity tells us to embrace our struggles and difficulties as our own cross and that they will lead us to eternal happiness and life.


How hard that can be to believe, for be have been taught to avoid all difficulties at any cost.  What a lie!



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The author wrote this letter to Jewish converts who were well aware of their ancestors history of God leading them out of Egypt and then into the desert journey to the Promised Land.  They often turned away from God.  They did not believe that God  would take care of them. Because of their unbelief they did not enter the Promised Land of Canaan.


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That gift of Wisdom helps us to be realistic with ourselves.  

Are we followers of Christ in our actions or is it just in our words?  

Wisdom helps us to hear at the Word of God so that we are are not fearful of seeing our failures, our sins, our turning from God as we ignore the neighbor, the friend, or even the enemy.


That gift of Wisdom encourages us to ask for forgiveness, not just once, but time after time, again and again.  And when we are sincere we are always shown compassion, mercy, and love.


One of the biggest errors we can make so easily is not to look at our sins, or to believe that we don't sin.

The danger becomes that we fool ourselves and do not seek the forgiveness of God, the compassion of God, or the mercy of God.


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We hear the story of the rich man who came to Jesus and asked him  what do I have to do to have you eternal life?

Jesus told him to sell his riches and to follow the Lord and he finds that impossible to do.



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For each of us also have riches, not just material wealth and possessions, but our own mind set.

Are we willing to go out for the other person even when it's not convenient.

Are we willing to give forgiveness even to the one who does not deserve it.


Are we willing to give away our riches of leisure time,

Are we willing to give away our daily plans and help the other person...even when it is inconvenient?








Video on the Gospel...Fr. Greg Friedman Franciscan





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