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February 2022

January 2022

Fifth Sunday Ordinary Time Cycle C

February 6, 2022

Review the Readings

Listen to the Readings

 

 

 

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In every situation whether pleasant or unpleasant God is looking for someone to send and make Him present in the world.

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Whom should I send?

 Will you be the one to answer  today and everyday?

 

 

 

 

Photo Feb 01, 2 39 43 PMThe prophet Isaiah lived during the time of many difficulties for the chosen people.

They turned to the gods of the pagan people who were in the majority and were living around them.  They had turned away from God.

God was looking for a mouthpiece that He could use to bring the people back to Him.

 
Isaiah has a vision which we hear about in the reading.  Isaiah answers God's  call.

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  I think we know that life was not easy for Isaiah. Yet he became the mouthpiece of God.

 

 

Photo Feb 01, 2 49 04 PMSt. Paul in his letter to the Corinthians is reminding them of the faith that he taught them some five years earlier. Needless to say the Corinthians were in the minority of the people living around them and they were being influenced by the pagans. 

 

As we listen to the reading of this letter, it can be a reminder for each of us.  It is so easy to forget that our baptism has called each of us, just as surely as He called St. Paul and Isaiah and all the baptized. It is important to realize that God is not necessarily calling us to take Him to a far-far off land, but to make him present in our every day situations. Our actions, and not just our words, can really make God present in a world that basically does not know Him.

 

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Things such as compassion, forgiveness, patience, mercy,  listening, helping, etc. all make God present in the world.


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God often does not call the strong, but the weak, the ones with difficulties and problems. St. Paul certainly fits into that situation.  He knows he was so against the Church in the beginning.

 
That can give each of us hope because God has certainly called each of us.

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In the Gospel we hear about the calling of the first four apostles, Peter, Andrew, James, and John. They were not the smartest or necessarily the brightest. And yet they were somehow able to leave their livelihood and respond to the Lord's calling, even in their weaknesses.  Let us pray for that same grace everyday.

So, it is back to us in everyday situation and everyday to answer..

HereamI
.

And always, if we discover we failed to answer the call "Send me", in a particular difficult situation, then we have discovered something about ourselves just as Peter did in the Gospel.

Photo Feb 01, 2 57 58 PMThen we need to pray for a little more conversion, so that in the next situation we can truly say...

 

 

Use-me
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Fourth Sunday Ordinary Time Cycle C

January 30, 2022

 

Review the Readings 

Listen to the Readings

 

What Is The Love

That Makes God Present

In Our World Today???

 

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Photo Jan 24, 1 28 03 PM

Paul writes his first letter to the Corinthians, who are struggling, as a new Christian community faced with many difficulties and sufferings.  He writes to them about the gift of love, Christian Love.

 

 

 

 

 

 

For most of us, when we think about love, we think about fond feelings for another, or sexual love, or the affection we have for another person.

 
Yet what Paul was writing about was love as that ability to go out of the way for the other, even for the enemy. 

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 Who is the enemy?

The enemy is the person who gives us difficulty, the person who needs help, the person who is waiting for our compassion, our mercy, our forgiveness.  The love of the enemy makes God present in the world. Certainly, Jeremiah, St. Paul and others gave their lives in loving the enemy, the ones who did not understand them, the ones who would kill them.

Our Baptism shows that each of us were called by God to make this love present in the world.  Certainly, at times, we fail.  But we get up again and again and continue to ask God for the grace to love even the enemy, the difficult one, the one we don't even know, etc.

 

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We all know that Jeremiah was called in his youth to be a prophet. He lived in a very trying time that was probably one of the most turbulent times in Jewish history, approximately 600 to 552 B. C.

 
The people had admired the pagan nations with their pagan gods and often had turned to these pagan gods and had abandoned God. Jeremiah was called by God to do what seemed like an impossible task, calling the people back to God.

 
It would be nice to think that Jeremiah was a success in making God present for others, but the fact is that eventually he ended up pretty much a failure.  He saw the people taken into the Exile in Babylon and he probably was murdered  And, for sure, like us, he was frustrated at times.  Yet in spite of his doubts in his fears he did not give up, but continued to make God present for others.

 

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Our calling in baptism is never a matter of success or failure as far as making God present for others. Our baptism calls us to love the other even the enemy, even the one who gives his difficulty and persecutes us, even the one who does not understand this. We are called to make love present, even love to the enemy.


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The Gospel story is one that finds Jesus in his own native town of Nazareth, proclaiming the Word in his synagogue. His friends and neighbors are amazed at what He says.  You would think that his friends would listen to him.

 

 

 

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But they attempt to kill Him.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Throw down


He walks away, unharmed.  Jesus is willing to show love, even to those friends and neighbors who were trying to kill Him.  The same can even happen to us.  To have this love means to always pray for the gift to love the enemy in any situation.

 

This Sunday gives us a chance to look at ourselves spiritually. Do we only love those who love us?

Perhaps this Sunday the Lord is calling us to take a look at the ones who give us difficulty in our own lives, the ones who causes problems, or even the ones that we tend to ignore.  

These are all the enemy which we are called to love.

God truly has called us, just as he called Jeremiah and St. Paul.

We have been called in our baptism to make God present through making unconditional love present in our world,  and we have to pray like crazy for the gift, the grace to love in that way, because our society says you only love the person who loves you. And further the world teaches us that to love the enemy is stupid and foolish. 

Are we willing to pray for ourselves especially when we know we are to love the one who is difficult, who is unknown to us, who is strange, who is the enemy, et.?




Third Sunday Ordinary Time Cycle C

 

January 23, 2022

Review the Readings

Listen to the Readings

   Scroll1

 Will we listen???

 

Read Isaiah

Jesus, in the Gospel has just returned to Nazareth  to his synagogue, after forty days and nights fasting in the desert. He is asked to proclaim the Word of God.  He is handed a scroll and unrolls it to the prophet Isaiah and reads, knowing that this is how God will speak to his people.  

Will they listen?  

Will we listen?

 

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This event in the Gospel of Luke is much like the first reading.  God's people have returned from their suffering in their Babylonian exile.  The priest, Ezra, a descendant of Aaron, proclaims from the Book of the Law.

The people, after having been through so much in their exile, are ready and willing to stand and listen for a long period of time, to what the covenant was that God had made with them, and they now know that God does not abandon them.  They willing say yes and renew their covenant with God  and their wanting to follow only the one true God.

 

Gospel-according-to-luke-header

 

Jesus, in the gospel for this Sunday, does the same as Ezra did, as He proclaims from Isaiah.

 

Something similar happen at each Eucharist when the Word of God is proclaimed. We too are asked to listen to the scriptures that are proclaimed so that God can speak to us as a community and individually.  That can be a time for us to recognize the presence of Jesus talking to us.  

Are we willing to listen?  

Since Vatican II when the liturgy is in our own native tongue, we have been encouraged to not read along as scripture is proclaimed, unless we have difficulty in hearing.  Allow the spirit to work within us.  

Missal

 

 

That can be a real challenge because we are so used to reading along in a misselette and not really listening. 

 

Give it a try if you can hear and not have to read the Gospel to hear it.

 

 

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We  need to be open to whatever happens in ourselves as we listen.  Even if the scripture does not seem to speak to us that day, it can always be a moment of conversion.  That is the time to pray that our ears be opened.  That is a real gift to know that without the Spirit, we are deaf to what we hear, what we see, what is told to us,  what we experience.

 

 

Psalms

 


Psalm 19 is used as our response and we hear,"Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life."

 

God will not abandon us but continue to influence us to make Himself present for all whom we encounter

 

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St. Paul, in his letter helps them to understand that everyone of them is called to make God present to others, that God has gifted them through their baptism.  That is also true for each of us. We hear the Word, the scripture, and we too are not just to listen but to let it speak and encourage us to make God present for others.  

 

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Gifts such as...mercy, compassion, forgiveness for all, even to the enemy, the one who is difficult, the one who does not believe, etc. are our way of making God present in the world. We become the one body in Christ.

Where ever we find ourselves today, whether in an easy or difficult situation, pray for the gift, the grace, to know that God is speaking to us.  Perhaps it is even a moment of conversion, of seeing ourselves as we are at that moment.  Courage!

Will we listen?

He will speak to us in all the events of our day

Through all the interactions with those we encounter

Will we listen only when things go our way

Think about it this week.

We can learn a lot about what kind of Christian we are as we truly listen.

Courage

And remember God's great mercy if we should discover some things about ourselves we don't like

 

Jejsus reads 1

 

 

 

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Second Sunday Ordinary Time Cycle C

January 16, 2022

Review the Readings

Listen to the Readings

 

 

 

 

 

Exile
 
 
 
Isaaiah
 
When the Jews returned from the Babylonian exile in 538 BC Jerusalem was in ruins.
 
Return to Jer
 
The temple and their houses had been destroyed; desolation was all around them.
 
God has not abandoned them but had sent a prophet to give them strength and courage knowing that God would not abandon them.
 
Remember that the people had abandoned God and that’s why they were in the exile of Babylon.
God you had finally brought them back to their homeland and they were encouraged to take up the work of reconstruction of Jerusalem.
 
Are we like the Jewish people who at times have abandoned God.  Have placed other things to replace God and the call He has given each of us.  To make Him present in the world.
 
 
Corinthians
Saint Paul came to preach to the people of Corinth 50 AD and many converted.
He wrote his letter to then to remind them of the gifts they had been given.  Gifts that would allow them to make God present to others in the world.
Amazing how good God is even when these newly converted even at times grew week and returned to there old ways; they failed.
 
God still showed his mercy.
 
That same great news for us even when we fail as Christians to have mercy, patience, forgiveness even to the enemy so make God present in the world.
 
Jphn
 
Cana
At the wedding feast God saves embarrassment to the groom.
 
Again we see God‘s great love and mercy for each of us.
 
All the events, both good and difficult to accept are gifts from our loving and merciful God. He is the only one who knows what we really need to continue our daily journey to eternal life.
 
Let us pray for the gift to trust our God in all situations
 
Trustin-God-when-its-difficult
 
God will never abandon us as He never abandoned the ancient people in the past.  Perhaps situations will arise where God's gift to us is to see how little we really trust when the going gets rough. 
 
Imagine loosing every thing as in the reading from Isaiah and coming to trust God and to go on.
 
Never forget God's love for each of us with that same
mercy, patience, forgiveness that we are to share with all we meet.
Courage.
 
 
We are on our way to eternal life and God is with us all the way even in our most difficult times
Courage
 
 
 

The Baptism of the Lord Cycle C

January 9, 2022

Review the Readings

Listen to the Readings

 Please note that the first and second reading have 2 options which the presider may select.  Photo Dec 29, 9 19 56 AM
This past week has been our last week liturgically of the Christmas Season.  One of the reason that the season lasts so long is so that we can celebrate the different showings or manifestations of the Lord. .



Shepherds
For sure we celebrated his birth and the showing or manifestation of Jesus to the Shepherds, to the poor 

 

 

 

 

Wisemen
 

Then last week we had the manifestation of Jesus to the Magi, the pagan population, the non believers  



 

 

This Sunday we experience the manifestation of Jesus at His Baptism by John as the one in whom ..."the Father is well pleased"

Photo Dec 29, 9 13 05 AM
Both options for the first reading are from Isaiah.  Again they show a God who has great concern and compassion for His People.  Readings like this can certainly help us in those times of difficulty, just as they did for the Israelites in the slavery of Babylon for whom they were written.  God did not abandon them and He will not abandon us, never.  It can be us who abandon God.  But He is always there to welcome us back.

Jesus has come into the world to save all humanity, pagans, non believers, sinner, saints, everyone.   This liturgical season of Christmas has been the time we have reflected on how great is God's compassion and mercy on all of us, saint or sinner; non believer or believer.

 

Photo Dec 29, 9 14 56 AM Acts

Again, in both options for the second reading, we hear of God's great love for each of us.  We hear that God is there for all.  Wow!  What mercy and what patience and compassion!  We are given chance after chance to find the way to eternal life.

Baptism jESUS

Finally, we hear in the Gospel the Baptism of Jesus by John.  Jesus comes to show humanity the way to eternal life.  He takes on our condition, our pain and suffering, our ups and downs, to show us the way to eternal life.  He makes Himself "vulnerable'.

This past week I came across a podcast from On Being with Krista Tippett that speaks about current research that says how important being vulnerable is, because it is where real growth can happen in each of us as humans.  I almost always run away from being vulnerable.  What about you?

 Certainly Jesus  constantly made Himself vulnerable in taking on the human condition.  He did not escape rejections, abandonments, persuasions, sufferings, etc.

 

 

Imagine, Jesus was willing to take on the vulnerability of being human to gain salvation for each of us.  Was that what made His Father so pleased with Him.

 “You are my beloved Son;
with you I am well pleased.

BelovedSon
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My Personal Comment

Being vulnerable is what I escape from, almost always.  

I think Jesus is showing me the way to my spiritual growth.  

I will need to pray for the will to be more vulnerable.

 

 

What do you think?

If you wish....email me

vicardoug@yahoo.com

Thanks for your prayers and support!

 

Below is Something Extra

...that I came across that had  meaning for  me.

I know that Jesus came for everyone. But there is a difference between knowing something as a fact and knowing it in a way that really hits home.

God loves the loser, the nerd, even the person in the 10 items or less checkout line with 25 item. God loves the driver who did not single a left turn. Jesus loves people who have attitude, people who don't have a kind word for anyone or anything. Jesus came for this person, and would would come if this were the only person in the world.

I can include myself in the " everyone" for whom Jesus came. That's not always easy because lots of times I think of myself as the nerd or the loser.

But Jesus came for me. My job is to believe it.

Taken from THE LITTLE BLUE BOOK
Advent & Christmas Seasons
2012-2013