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Pentecost Sunday Cycle A B & C

May 23, 2021

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  Pentecost sunday label

 

For some fifty days we have been daily celebrating the Resurrection of the Lord, Easter.  In spite of our times of spiritual failure, the Lord has shone us that death, sin, has been overcome.  There is always a way to find forgiveness and to once again move toward the gift given freely to us, eternal life.  So, why wouldn't we celebrate for some fifty days? 

Alleluia, Christ is Risen.  

Pentecost will end this season of Easter as the Paschal candle, the sign of the Resurrected Christ, is removed from its place in the sanctuary, and on Monday we begin the season of Ordinary Time.

  

 

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The first reading tells of the Holy Spirit coming in a mighty wind from heaven and then tongues of fire that  would change the lives of those in the room when it happened.

 

The Apostles did not really understanding what had happened to Jesus. In spite of all they heard, experienced or been told, they were filled with doubt and fear.

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The rough times in our lives that cause doubt and fear can seem like a strong wind,  and often it is only in retrospect that we recognize God, the Holy Spirit was working in our lives.

 

The psalm that we sing on this Sunday reminds us to always ask for the Holy Spirit, especially in those times when we doubt what God is allowing in our lives

Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.

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Come Holy Spirit

The words of this chant can be prayed over and over as a way asking for the Holy Spirit.

 

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In the second reading, Paul writes to the Corinthian community and tells them that they all have received gifts from the Holy Spirit and they are to use them to make God present in the world.  

Each and everyone of us has been given gifts to use to make God present, but how hard it seems at times to see our gifts.  They can be the most simple things like patience, forgiveness, compassion, a willingness to listen, a word of support, a smile and a "hello" even to a stranger, going out of our way for the other, even when it is not convenient, etc.

But we often think to receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit is something spectacular.

Rarely, does God let us see the gifts we possess. And sometimes we even don't believe we have any of the gifts of the Spirit. What a lie.

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Recognize that Jesus comes to us often, saying, " Peace be with you."

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We hear this in the Gospel, and also that we are being sent into the world everyday and in every situation to make the mercy of God present to all we encounter.  Even in the most trying time and situation, we can pray that we will recognize Jesus is with us, giving us peace and the promise of the Holy Spirit, but like those in the the readings, we must wait. 

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Let's hope this Pentecost will be, for each of us, a time to see the Holy Spirit inspiring us in all the events in our lives.

The Spirit is there even showing us our sins and giving us courage, time after time, to seek God's mercy and forgiveness, which will always be there.

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Here are the words to the Sequence we will hear before the reading of the Gospel.  They can be another source of courage for each of us.

Sequence – Veni, Sancte Spiritus

Come, Holy Spirit, come!
And from your celestial home
Shed a ray of light divine!

Come, Father of the poor!
Come, source of all our store!
Come, within our bosoms shine.

You, of comforters the best;
You, the soul’s most welcome guest;
Sweet refreshment here below;

In our labor, rest most sweet;
Grateful coolness in the heat;
Solace in the midst of woe.

O most blessed Light divine,
Shine within these hearts of yours,
And our inmost being fill!

Where you are not, we have naught,
Nothing good in deed or thought,
Nothing free from taint of ill.

Heal our wounds, our strength renew;
On our dryness pour your dew;
Wash the stains of guilt away:

Bend the stubborn heart and will;
Melt the frozen, warm the chill;
Guide the steps that go astray.

On the faithful, who adore
And confess you, evermore
In your seven fold gift descend;

Give them virtue’s sure reward;
Give them your salvation, Lord;
Give them joys that never end. Amen.
Alleluia.

 

 

Pentecost will end this season of Easter as the Paschal candle, the sign of the Resurrected Christ, is removed from its place in the sanctuary, and on Monday we begin the season of Ordinary Time.

 

Ordinary time

 

 

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32nd Sunday Ordinary Time Cycle A

November 8, 2020

Thirty Second Sunday Cycle A

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10 Virgins be ready

For each of us......Do you have enough Oil

 

 

 

 

Photo Feb 09, 3 21 08 PMThis book of Wisdom was written in about the year 150 B.C. by devout Jew in Egypt.  He was attempting to educate his fellow Jews in their own philosophy and not the philosophy of the Greeks that was influencing them.    

 

 

It is a good reminder for me as to how easy it is to turn to the world philosophy of today that says the way to happiness is...

 

Money

Fame

Power

Education

Hot Car

Possessions

Great clothing

etc. 

 

There is nothing wrong with these, but when they become the whole purpose of my life, they can become idols that help me to escape from my problems, my struggles, my cross.

I know that in times of difficulty, of doubt, I need to pray for the gift of wisdom.  To be able to discern and not escape the problems,  my cross.  Many times my struggles, my cross,  are a way of growing spiritually and if I am not careful I will do almost anything to escape and to miss the opportunity to grow spiritually.

 


Matthew 25

 

 

 

In the Gospel of this Sunday .we hear the story of the ten virgins.  

 

 

 

 

 

I know that for me in all my daily experiences I have the opportunity to store up oil so I am ready when the bridegroom comes.  

This is not just at the end of my life, but it is every day.

 

Will I have enough oil when He comes inviting me to enter the wedding feast, to experience the kingdom right now?

Oil-lamp

 

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In Paul's letter we hear of the concern many had wondering what would happen for those who had died before the coming of Jesus, which they believed was just around the corner.

 

 

 

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I have come to understand, that for me, it is not to wait to experience Jesus at the end of my life, or at the end of time, but to realized that He comes every day and that I need the gift of wisdom to be able to recognize Him in all the situations of my life, especially those situations which seem difficult and call me to conversion; those times I complain and doubt.  These are always gift of the presence of the Lord showing me who I am spiritually and giving me more oil for my lamp.

 

 Getting Oil...

 

Do I reflect the mercy, compassion, forgiveness, and love of the Christ I have been called by my baptism
to make present in the world?  

Or do I put me first and the other last or second?

 

Now is the time to get oil for my lamp so I am ready.

 

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Click below to view video clip

Video Clip ...Fr. Greg Friedman Franciscan...Background on the readings 

 

 

 

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Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle A

 

October 25, 2020 

Cycle A

 

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Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time2

 

 

Exodus

 

We all know the story of how God brought the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt.

 

 

 

 

How He made a pact with them on Mount Sinai and promised to bring them to the Promised Land.  

They in turn were to fulfill the rules or laws God gave them  as His People.  

 

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The first reading gives a brief description of two of these  laws.

 

   

Photo Oct 17, 1 03 31 PMRemember that widows and orphans were the poorest of the poor.  For a wife to have lost her husband and to have no son to care for her, meant she was on the streets with nothing.  

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And for children to loose their dad meant they too were on the streets; they were orphans with nothing. 

 

 

 

The truth is that the way to love God above all else is to help those who have nothing, even the alien, the stranger, the impossible person, the one who bugs us.



Jesus says the same in the Gospel for this Sunday.

Matthew Gospel

 

 So, we need to ask ourselves...

Who in your life is the alien?  

Who in your life is the widow or the orphan?

 

Perhaps they are the spiritual widows and orphans

Widows

It is so easy to not recognize either of them  in our own lives.  

Look for them because they are all around us.

The person that at times we do not like.  

The person that causes us difficulties.

The person we don't agree with.

The person we don't want to go out of my way for.

The person with a sign as we leave the freeway.

Etc. 

Does God really want me to treat them as I treat myself? 

Does God really expect me to go out of my way or to love them?

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Deep down we really do know the answer to those questions

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Christ found the widow and the orphan in all he encountered, even the enemy; even the ones who caused Him pain and death. 

 

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 At our baptism we were each called by God to be the body of Christ present in the today's world.

We are to make Christ present to all we encounter in the world, and that means we need to continue to pray to fulfill being able to love God above all else; more than our possessions, our money, our vacation, our car, our home, etc. and to love the other, our spiritual orphans and widows, in other words to love all we encounter.

 

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In Paul's letter, he praises the Thessalonians that they received the Good News and turned from their idols.

 

 

The Thessalonian Christian Community  had begun to fulfill what Jesus was talking about, as we hear in the Gospel reading of this day.. 

 

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At times, if we are honest with ourselves, we neither love God above all, nor do we love others as ourselves.

It is important not to escape recognizing this.  

It is important not to make excuses.  

 

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The truth is that we are called to love God above all and we do this by loving the other.  

The two go together.

When we discover we can't do this or we won't do this, we can ask God to continue to work on us and change our hearts but...

Excuses

But if we make excuses, or say that it is impossible; then we will never let God into our hearts and change us.

The first step, is not to panic, but to ask for the grace to change, and  to never, never, give up.

Keep-calm-and-never-give-up-1482

 

Never-give-up

 

 

START AGAIN

 

God will never give up on us!

He calls us again and again!

The devil, the evil one,  always tries to convince us

that we will never change!

 

What a lie!

 

 

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The Exultation of the Holy Cross

 

September 14, 2014

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This celebration always takes place yearly on September 14th; when Sunday falls on September 14, the Sunday Eucharist (Mass) celebration is that of the Exultation of the Holy Cross.

 

 

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We all know the story of Moses leading the people out of their slavery in Egypt.

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And now in this first reading, we hear of God's people complaining to Moses and asking why in the world they were brought out of Egypt to die in the desert.


When the going in the desert got rough for the people they began to deny that God would take care of them.

I-Dont-Trust-God

Isn't that also true with us, when the going gets rough with struggles, sufferings, disappointments, challenges etc.  Then sometimes we don't trust what God is doing in our lives.

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To help God's complaining people on their journey from slavery in Egypt,  to convert and come to their senses, God allows them to be bitten and die.  Now they are terrified and go to Moses since they have converted a little and want to return to God.

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A cartoon but it says a lot...

God tells Moses to mount the very thing that caused their death and so much fear, the serpent, on a pole and have the people look at it and they would not die.

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Amazing isn't it.


The very thing that they were so fearful of, becomes the very object of their healing, their escape from death.

 

Photo Sep 03, 2 32 39 PMPaul writes his letter to a Christian community who know well that the cross is a sign to be feared, it is a sign of execution, painful execution,  death.The cross was something that all were afraid of.

 

However, in this letter,  St. Paul give us the image of Christ who was not afraid to undergo even death on the cross.  Christ takes on what seems like weakness and rejection of our world, knowing that they lead to eternal life for all.

We, at our Baptism were to be the presence of Christ in the world. We are to pick up our cross daily and follow the Lord.

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Saint John tells us that it is the cross, the suffering, struggles, and death that can lead us to eternal life.

 

 

Our struggles and difficulties can seem like a death that will end our happiness and our life.


We often reject our struggles and difficulties, our cross, thinking that nothing can come from it.

 

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But we are shown through Jesus Christ, that our struggles, our crosses, are the way to internal life for us and for others.

What is your cross today?

 

Are we willing to see that our cross leads us to our healing just as the serpent mounted on a pole did in the first reading?

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Or do we stick with the teachings of the world that teaches us to reject our cross, our sufferings and difficulties.

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We know that we never ask or search for more struggles, more difficulties, e.g our cross.  But without asking struggles and difficulties will always be a part of our Christian lives.

 

Every day we need to be able to identify the cross the Lord has asked us to carry and to follow him on that day.

Our prayer should be, "Lord Give me courage and help me to carry my cross today".

 

Here is the ending of a letter that I receive this week from a friend with many, many struggles.  It gave me courage to carry my daily cross once again. I hope it is a help for you also.

She has been battling with MS for many years, her husband has Alheimer's disease and is in an institution and has recently fallen and injured himself...Can it get any worse!

 

...I'll close by saying it has been a good life, Father.  The pain, loss of health, and heartache brought me to my knees, and caused me to run, to limp, to Jesus. I have fallen deeply in love with Him with every setback. At Christmas mass many years ago, in your homily you said, "You find Jesus in the mess." The mess you referred to was the dirty stable.  I find Jesus quickly now in my messes. I am experienced, and know what to do. If you go deeply enough into the mess, you will find beauty.  It's not possible to explain.  Grace is a mysterious thing.

 

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Another reflection video clip..Click here

 

 


The Baptism of the Lord Cycle C

January 13, 2013

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 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"

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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.

 

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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 ife.  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 from being vulnerable.  What about you?

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

  To listen to that podcast, click on the link below.

On Being Podcast on Vulnerability


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