Feast of the Holy Family

December 29, 2019

Review the Readings


The Celebrant has the choice of many readings. 

My reflections are on the readings I used.


Holy family2



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 God works in each of us though our families.


SirachThe author of this book in the Bible lived in the second century before Christ and was a pious Jew who was trying to show his people 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 in our world today.  But they are words that can call us to look at ourselves deeply and  call us to conversion, especially if the words are difficult for us to hear.





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






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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; 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.  

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

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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.



Yet we see more and more that the world says that the family is really not necessary to teach us all those qualities that Paul in his letter wrote about.  The world seems to indicate to us that both parents need to work so there will be more money, more security, etc. for the family.   It takes real courage to put the family first and to see it as the place begins God's work begins in each of us.




We can learn that our families are important to each of us.  It is there where our faith can begin.  It is there that we can see where the qualities of Jesus begin and develop in each of us.  

Of course, the world challenges this.  


Where are we in all your different types of family?  Where are we with our parents, with our sibling, with all the different people we know or deal with?

They can show us out in ability to love when they are not as we wish.  What a blessing.

We are called to pray for our own conversion, so we can forgive and have mercy and compassion.  

Don't listen to the evil one who always says that the other person is at fault, and that that person needs to come to me first to admit fault.  What a lie. 


There can always be a need for us to pray for ourselves to have...






the ability to bear with one another,

to forgive one another;

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It all starts in the family and continues to grow in us as we encounter other people in our lives.  We are called to make God present for others.  That is the special call we received at Baptism.  And, if at times we fail; then God's mercy and compassion are there for us and we begin again.  Don't give up.  It is our way to eternal life!



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31st Sunday Ordinary Time Cycle A

November 5, 2017

31 Sunday


Review the Readings

Listen to the Readings



Below is an audio clip which I hope will be of help.  Simply click on it. 

Audio Clip by Fr. Doug click on following.....   Download 31 Sunday


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 Malachi ...The First Reading... was considered the last of the Prophets in the Hebrew Scripture, e.g. Old Testament


God's Chosen People were released from their exile in Babylon in 538 BC and rebuilt the temple in Jerusalem in 515 BC. Slowly they have turned away from God.  Only a small remnant remains faithful. Even the priests have not done what they were called to do; to help the people turn to God.  So, Malachi, around 450 BC, preaches to them.  We hear his words in the first reading.  

Remember that each of us in our baptism were annointed to be prophet, priest, and king.  We too were called to make God present for others.







In the Gospel  we hear a similar message to Malachai's, as Jesus addresses the Pharisees.  

They are considered learned, chosen, religious leaders.  But they have let their pride get the better of them.  They like being chosen, being important, being leaders.




If we stop and think about this is our own lives;  isn't it easy, especially for us who are practicing Catholics, who go to Mass regularly, who volunteer, who do all things right, etc., to judge those who struggle with their faith.


It is so easy to think that I have faith because I have done all the right things.  

This was the Pharisees and that same mentality can be alive in each of us now and then.

Jesus pharisees
When Jesus confronted the Pharisees it was to help them see their pride, their sins, but they refused for they thought that they were holy and wise and more learned than others in the law.  They would not convert.

For me, the blessing is to be able, through this Word, to see that at times, I too am filled with pride.  That at times, I fail to make God present to others through my compassion, my mercy, my forgiveness.  

Please God, convert me;  change my heart.



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Once again, St Paul addresses this Christian Community and praises them that they have been faithful to the message they had received.  I am sure they too had difficulties.  That they too had sinned.  

But they continue to make God present for other.  They never gave up.




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When we were baptized we were called and in spite of our pride, our sins, our failures, we are to make God present in the world for others.  

The Thessalonians did not give up and neither should we, even in our darkest moments.

Let us not be afraid of our failures, our sins, but when we see them, pray for God to change our heart; to convert us.  

Let us continue to pray that in spite of all, we will fulfill our call at baptism to be prophet, priest, and king; to make God present in the world for all we meet.




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