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December 2021

The Epiphany of the Lord

January 2, 2022

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Epiphany
 

Are we willing to travel in life to meet the Lord,

not only in times that are good and great, 

but also in times when the journey of life is very, very difficult?

 

3wisemen-old
 

 The readings for this Epiphany are for all of us who, at times, have found ourselves on our life's journey in darkness,  in confusion,  in doubt, in frustration.

 

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The first reading was addressed to the Hebrew people who were in the Exile of Babylon.  They, too, were struggling and faced with difficulties. The prophet gave them courage when their lives seemed meaningless and hopeless.

 

 

 

 

The Epiphany of the Lord

 

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At times it is so easy to give up and not continue our journey.  

Our journey can be difficult as life was for St. Paul who wrote to the Ephesians while he was in prison in Rome awaiting death.

 

The Ephesians were mostly Gentiles, those who the Jews considered as not chosen by God.  

Paul encouraged them to continue the journey in spite of the difficulties, and he reminded them that they had been chosen by God as are we by our Baptism.

 

 

Gospelmatthew

In the Gospel of Matthew we meet the three Magi.  They were pagans and did not even worship or know about the God of the Hebrews, yet they were inspired to make a very difficult journey to find the Lord.

  

 


Lord give us the grace and courage given to the Magi so that we can too

can make our our way on the journey in our life and find you and the Eternal Life that you give.

Unknown

 

No matter how often we may struggle on our journey, may the Magi give us the hope that shows you, God, are for all people, even for us in our moments of failure,fear, sin, and doubt.

 


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 Our life's daily journey will lead us to  Christ and his gift of Eternal Life.

May we never give up, just as the Magi never gave up.

Alleluia

 

Light of JC

 

 

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Feast of the Holy Family Cycle A

December 26, 2021

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Photo Dec 22, 2 00 27 PMReadings

 

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The author of this book in the Hebrew Scriptures, the Old Testament, lived in the second century before Christ and was a pius Jew who was trying to show his people, in spite of all their trials, tribulations, doubts, fears, etc., how they were to live. It can and does help us to direct our lives today.  

As we listen to the words proclaimed today, we need to pray for the courage to, once again, not get defensive and say these words don't apply to me in our world today. But they are words that can call each us to look at ourselves even more deeply, and then call us to conversion, especially if the words are difficult for us to hear.

Familyproblems

Family-Conflict-

Conflict-familyboy

For sure, all families have trials and difficulties and we can often, when in the midst of these problems ask, why us, Lord.

Why

 

 How can we possible respect each other in these situations?

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While Paul was in prison in Rome, he hears that the faith of the Colossians, in the midst of trials and difficulties, was being threatened, and he writes this letter to them, giving them some practical help when their faith was under attack.  

Paul prison

Early Christians experienced their community as family. They needed each other.

Often it is in the family where we need to pray to be able to put Paul's words into action. He writes about having compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, bearing with one another, forgiving one another, etc; they are easy to talk about, but at times difficult to put into action in our own families. Families are not just where we grew up, but they can also be the family of our neighborhood, our family at work, our family of friends, etc. Yet these qualities that Paul writes about are exactly the qualities God has toward us at those times when we fail, when we are not the presence of Christ that we are called to be; in other words, the times when we sin.

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Sirach, as we hear in the first reading says...

The family is the place where we can learn of these qualities of God, these qualities that Paul speaks in his letter to the Colossians. But as the Colossians were under attack, so are we in the modern world. The family is no longer seen as the very necessary place to discover God and for God to work in us. It is in the family where we can truly see ourselves, especially our failures, our sins, for which we need to pray for conversion to love the enemy even when at times it is a family member.

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Yet we see more and more that the world says that today a strong family is the place to teach us all those qualities which St. Paul wrote about.

The world seems to indicate that both parents need to work so there will be more money, more security, etc. for the family.  Trust money, not God.

Or it says for the family members to break up and someone leave when the going gets rough.

It takes real courage to put the family first and to see it as the place God's work begins in each of us, love and conversion.

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We love to think that there were not problems and difficulties in the Holy Family. 

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Photo Dec 22, 3 45 18 PMImagine, the Holy Family beginning to live their lives, and then Joseph is told to flee, to a country some 300 miles away, so the Christ child will not be killed.

Pack up quickly and leave.  Leave your way of making a living, your traditions and language, your relatives, friends, and neighbors, etc..

And Joseph trusts and the Holy Family leaves their security and flees.  Wow!

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And we think we have problems,

 in the family or individually!

 

This gospel helps us to see that even the Holy Family, even holy Joseph and Mary, had to face great struggles...but they trusted God.  

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Do we really think that as Christians we will not have problems, difficulties, and struggles.  Difficulties can certainly show and teach us how much we trust God.  

And if we discover that we have very little trust, then we know what we need to pray for, for ourselves.  

Convert me Lord so that I will trust all that comes my way.  Give me the grace to have the same trust that was in the Holy Family, everyday, in every situation and with all the people in my life.

 

Change my heart

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Christmas Readings Cycle C

December 25, 2021

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Christ-is-born

 

 

 

     Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers when you celebrate Christmas.  

    Know that you will be in mine daily, especially during this Christmas Season.  

    Pray that we all continue to wait and watch for the Lord daily.  

    Pray that we can find Him in the least expected places; even in the stables of our lives, which are often the places     we don't want to go.

Courage!

He is waiting.  

Alleluia!

Fr. Doug

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Fourth Sunday of Advent Cycle C

December 19, 2021

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  Adventwreath4

 

During the past three weeks of Advent we have been inspired by the readings to wait and watch for the coming of the Lord everyday.  At times I have not even thought about that until after an event or situation has occurred.  Unfortunately for me, it is always finding the Lord in looking back on my daily experiences. God in His mercy comes again and again.  There is hope as I continue to watch for Him daily.  He will not give up on me and we should never give up on Him.

The readings for this last Sunday of Advent seem to direct us to find the Lord daily in humble and poor situations.  We all know that Christ is present in the poor and the humble.  But, in our culture we don't spend time seeing the value of the humble and the poor, whether that is  people we encounter or in difficult situations in our lives.

 

 

 

 

 

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In the first reading we hear from the prophet Micah.

He preached during the second half of the eighth century B.C.

 

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 He was always preaching against the exploitation by the rich toward the poor.  He calls us to find value in the humble and the poor..  He shows that in the poor, in the humble, is where we can find God. How difficult it is a times to believe that we can encounter the presence of the Lord in the humble and poor or difficult situations.  

 


We live in a world that teaches us that  we can find  peace and happiness in being wealthy and powerful, not in being poor and humble.
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The prophet says that the Messiah will come from a little unimportant village, poor and humble.  But many would have thought that the Messiah will be born in a large city, not in a poor and humble place.  He should be born in a comfortable, hospitable place.  But we know the Christmas Story.  The Lord was born in a stinking, bug infested, hole in the wall; a stable.  Who would think of finding the Lord, the Messiah, in such a place?

 

 

Photo Dec 15, 9 38 04 AMIn the Gospel reading, Mary has just been told by the angel that she would give birth to the Messiah.  Imagine, a virgin, a woman, a humble and poor person would bring the Messiah into the world.  And Mary hears from the angel that and old woman Elizabeth, her relative has conceived.  Humble Mary travels some 50 or 60 miles to be with Elizabeth.  Will she find an experience of God after such a difficult trip?  But again, the experience of God is often where we least think it will be.

 

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I continue to be amazed that it is in the humble and  in the lowly people and situations where we find the Lord.
Again and again scripture shows us this. It is not in the rich and powerful, in the expected,  but in the humble, the lowly and often the unexpected where we will experience God.  Sometimes this seems so contrary to what the world view presents to us.  

 

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The second reading, a letter written to the Jewish converts to Christianity, to confirm for them that Christ fulfilled the Old Testament and that Jesus was the Messiah.

 

 


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 Again Jesus is the humble one; the one obedient to God.

  He truly has come to do God's will, even to face persecutions, sufferings, and death.

 

For each of us are we willing to do the will of God. That means to humble ourselves and to accept whatever lies before us. But how difficult that is in the world that says no to this line of thought.  It says to us that you are to be right, you're not to suffer, you're to be wealthy, powerful, etc.

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Perhaps as we now come close to the end of Advent 2021, we can ask for the grace not to be so scandalized when things don't go our way or when, for a while, life can be difficult. 

 

 

Where will you find the Lord in your life today?  

Watch for Him!

 

 

 

 

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Third Sunday of Advent - Gaudete Sunday Cycle C

December 12, 2021

 

 

Why the option of PINK or ROSE vestments

for this Sunday's Mass

 Click here to answer

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Photo Dec 08, 2 18 54 PM Zephaniah was a prophet who preached to God's people of Judah and Jerusalem during the second half of the seventh century B.C.

During that time they had turned to worshiping pagan idols even in the holy city of Jerusalem.

However in spite of the people turning from God and turning to pagan idols.

Zephaniah gave them hope and courage that God would not abandon them.

Let us always pray that we do not turn to our idols such as power, material possessions, fame, etc.

However there may be times in our own lives when we turn to these pagan idols, thinking that they will give us the happiness that only God promises each of us.  

When, for all of us, we find ourselves in that place, it is time to  reflect on these words of Zephaniah.  When we are honest with ourselves, God will not abandon us.  


We can  pray for a change of heart that we turn from any idols when they tantalize us to think they will give us the peace and happiness that only God can provide.

 

PhilipSaint Paul was writing from prison where he was in chains because of this message of God that he preached.

Even there he encouraged his new converts to Christianity  to rejoice.

To rejoice even when they were persecuted for their Christian beliefs.

 

 

We all know that there will be trials and tribulations in our lives; we know that we are to pick up our cross and follow the Lord.

Paul encourages all of us to rejoice even in the moment of bearing our Cross, our trials, difficulties, and sufferings.

It is known that when St. Francis of Assisi would see a brother downcast he would tell him that he needed to go to confession for in their poverty they should be able to REJOICE.


If we find that at moments we failed to rejoice, then let us pray for our own conversion and change of heart.


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In the Gospel we hear the text collectors and sinners asking John the Baptist what they should do.
They clearly knew that they were sinners and needed the Messiah.  They were able to look deep within themselves and see their sinfulness.

We need to remember that all of us, to a greater or lesser degree, are like the tax collectors and sinners.

We all sin.


Are we willing to look at our sinfulness and to ask for the Messiah?


When we fully realize that the Messiah comes to take away our sinfulness and to give us compassion and forgiveness we can truly rejoice.  But if we never want to admit or see our sinfulness, our unfaithfulness, then there is never a chance to experience the forgiveness of God and to REJOICE.


Jesus comes constantly for each of us, in those moments when we recognize our own unfaithfulness, our sinfulness, so...

 

...Gaudete...which translated  is...

 

...Rejoice