Welcome..Hope this is of help and inspiration for you...Fr. Doug

Pentecost Sunday Cycle A B & C

June 5, 2022

Mass Readings Sunday

Listen to the Readings

  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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The Ascension of The Lord Cycle C

May 29, 2022

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Review the Readings

Listen to the Readings

 

 

 

We all know the story of the Ascension.

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This, once again, gives us the opportunity to reflect on how we use this event in each of our own lives. How do we apply this event to ourselves?


What meaning does it have for us, today?


Before ascending, Jesus talks to his followers, assuring them that all that has happened to Him, his suffering, his death, his resurrection, has been a part of God's plan of salvation for all.

 
They are told by Him. shortly before he ascends out of their sight into heaven, that they are to be witnesses to all the things they have experienced.

Jesus speaks



Jesus promises to send from the Father, the Promise, the Holy Spirit. 

Holy spirit


That same promise is made to each of us, so that we too, can daily receive the Spirit and  become witnesses of the mercy and love of God.

We too, will have to have struggles, disappointments, hardships. But like  Jesus, these are all a part of the plan to get us to eternal life.


Ephsaians

 He writes this letter to the Ephesian converts so that they can have a deeper understanding and insight into the great mercy and love of God.

 

 

 

 

 

Paul Letter
This letter is also for each of us, individually, so that we come to see,  again, how deeply God  loves us.


Paul prays that the converted Ephesians may come to be even more enlightened.
That same prayer is for each of us, so that our hearts and our eyes can be enlightened to be able to really understand the great love and mercy that God has for us, time after time.

 
If we stop and think about it, we really, at times as individuals, and at times as the human race, do  not deserve to be given eternal life.


Humanity makes tremendous mistakes, and yet, we are promised the opportunity to have eternal life because of the great love and mercy of God who sent his son to suffer and die for us and all of humanity.

Do we realize that death here on the earth should be the end for each of us, but, in God's great love and mercy for the human race, He has given us the opportunity of one day, at the end of our earthly life, to follow the Ascension of Jesus and to live with God, eternally in great peace.


The only thing that could stop us from receiving or entering into eternal life is ourselves. God has prepared everything, so that we can enter eternal life.

Jesus hand

Do we recognize the great gift that God  gives us every single day?

We have the opportunity to convert, to ask for forgiveness, to reconcile, and to once again draw closer to  eternal life.

 
We have this opportunity day after day.


Acts


In the first reading, the disciples are reminded of all that Jesus had done and how that can now lead each of us to eternal life. In a sense, that same event is repeated for us as we listen to the reading. Every single time we reviewed these readings, we once again are able to be a part of that event of the Ascension of Jesus. We see His great love and mercy time after time.

 

 

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The disciples, watching the Ascension, are asked, why are they just standing there and just looking up?

 

What about us today???

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That same question is asked of  us everyday.

We know what Jesus has called us to, to love, to forgive even to the enemy,  but sometimes we just stand there looking up wondering when God will solve the difficulty, the problem, or the situation.

 
Each of us knows that through our baptism we have been called to act, to make God present and not to just stand there, looking up. We are to make Christ known in the world for all people, friend and foe alike.

 

Let us ask for the courage to do that, so we too may enter; may one day follow Jesus into His Ascension, into our own eternal life.

 

 

Ascend

Alleluia!

Christ is Risen

 

Alleluia Christ is truly Risen

Alleluia

 

 

.

 


Sixth Sunday of Easter Cycle C

May 26, 2022

Cycle C

 

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Review the Readings

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We spend a lot of time during our lives waiting, waiting for..

 

More money

a new home

a new career

a new car

a better job, etc.

 

But perhaps all of the above really just indicates we are really just waiting for an inner peace,  joy, happiness that will last; which only God can give.

 

We know that the disciples of Jesus and the apostles at times where waiting to find out if He was the promised one, the Messiah.

  LastSupper

John Gospel

 

The Gospel reading continues with Jesus speaking to the apostles at the Last Supper. He tells them that he will be leaving soon and instead of being saddened by this they should rejoice. It is by his resurrection that they will be justified.

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Jesus knows the struggles that they will go through after his death crucifixion and resurrection. And they're waiting to see if all they had heard was true.

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Jesus at the Last Supper tells them that He will send them the Spirit.

  That same Spirit comes for us everyday. 

Are we willing to pray for the Spirit? 

Are we willing to wait for the Spirit? 

Are we listening for the soft and gentle voice of the Spirit? 

Or do we think we know better, or that the ideas of the world know better?

Or we want an answer right now!

 

 

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The first reading certainly shows us that the Holy Spirit is working.

This reading is about to the first Council at Jerusalem. We need to remember that the first Christians were mostly from the Jewish religion and so those Christians came into the Church with all their Jewish traditions. And as pagans, Gentiles, came into the Church, the question was- should they have to follow the Jewish traditions?

 

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The apostles and the elders were called to the First Council of Jerusalem, to pray for the Holy Spirit, and to make a decision on what should be done.

It's important to remember that those in attendance were mostly those who were of Jewish traditions; they had grown up in Jewish traditions. How would it be possible for pagans coming into Christianity not to followed the Jewish traditions?

 Yet we know that the Council decided, that Gentiles coming into the church, did not have to follow the custom of circumcision; that was a big step for the Church.

 

 

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It certainly showed that Jesus did send the Spirit and He continues to do so even to this day.

At times, we can be like the Jews with our old traditions, and we can find it difficult when there is a suggestion for a change from the old ways.

Are we willing to wait for the Spirit to come and speak to us?  That Spirit that wants to show us the journey to eternal peace, a way which the world does not understand at all. 

 

 

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For the past five or six Sundays, we have listen to  readings from the Book of Revelation by St. John.

It has given us a description of what each of us is waiting for, eternal life-heaven.True, the language can be confusing, but it does paint a picture of a new world with the Lord.  Each of the readings has given us an abstract description of heaven.

 

We all know that it's impossible to describe our heaven that is waiting for us, but Revelations does give us a picture of a place of holiness and peace. It is something that each of us should be waiting and striving for in our daily lives.

The question we may want to ask ourselves this week is....... Are we journeying and waiting  for eternal life, or are we journeying and waiting for the material pleasures of the world today.

 

What are we waiting for?

 

 

 

 

 

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Fifth Sunday of Easter Cycle C

May 15, 2022

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Acts ap

 


 In this reading Paul is on his first missionary journey that lasted about 2 1/2 years. Paul, with his travel companion Barnabas, had such love for the people and situations they found as they traveled  that they were willing to endure it all.  Apart from the sea journey, Paul traveled on foot some 600 miles over mountains and difficult terrain.  Both endured many difficult situations.

They were so strong in their experience of Jesus Christ  that they were willing to put others first so that the people would hear the word of God.

 

We can find ourselves in a similar situation when we are called to put others first so that they can experience the love of God through us as did Paul and Barnabas.  

Are we willing to go out of our way for the other; even for the difficult one? 


Do our actions give reason for others to think that God does exists?

 

Revelation

 

St John saw a new heaven and a new earth, the future place where all will be happiness and peace.

We are given a brief view of heaven, a place where we will be free from everything that makes our earthly life difficult.

 

 

 

 

We should not worry so much as what heaven is like, but does our life reflect the fact that we love God and show it in our daily lives by our words and actions so we will one day experience this new place where all will be made new.

John

 

 

In this reading, which is part of Jesus last discourse to his apostles at the  Last Supper, He spells it out....

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That's a challenge for each of us as we look at our own lives and see if we love the other as Christ loved us.

 

Love



We may even discover we only do that when it is convenient, or when we have the time, or when we are in the mood.

That could be the time to pray for our own conversion so that the next time we deal with a difficult person or a difficult situation we can go out of our way for that person.





We have the power to make the love of God present in the world today.

Use that power...

 

 

Actions

 

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Fourth Sunday of Easter Cycle C

May 8,  2022   Cycle C

 

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Good Shephard Sunday

 


Fourth Sunday of Easter Cycle C

 

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In the Gospel that we hear today, Jesus is in the temple area talking on the feast of the dedication, the annual commemoration of the restoration of the Temple made by the Maccabees in 165BC.  

Perhaps today and the week ahead is a good time to reflect on His words ...

 Will we hear His voice in the days ahead???

Or to reflect on...

                                            What voice do we hear when things don't go our way?

 

 

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In the first reading, St. Paul, along with Barnabas, are on their first missionary trip.
They are rejected by some of the Jews and St. Paul says it's time to turn to the Gentiles, the pagans, the non Jews, who will hear the voice of God.

St. Paul never gives up proclaiming the message of Jesus Christ, mercy and love to all, even to the enemy, and to the ones who do not believe.

St. Paul received his Mission from Jesus Christ when he was knocked off his horse and experienced quite a conversion.

  Convert paul

Each of us were called to conversion by Christ at our baptism. We, like Paul and Barnabas, are to make Christ present for others, so that they too can hear the voice of the Lord and follow.

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St_paul_lightbox
Saint Paul was able to hear the voice of the Lord and to follow, not just when times were easy and good, but also in times that were very difficult and frustrating.

When things are going well for us, how easy it is to follow the Lord or to not even to think about the Lord. 

 
But to hear the voice of the Lord and to follow Him when things are difficult and frustrating seems almost impossible.



But we certainly have the example of St. Paul and other saints who have given witness in times that were easy and times that were a real struggle with doubt and fear.  They have shown us that following Christ in good times and bad is the way to eternal life.

 

Photo Apr 13, 2 45 17 PMIn the second reading, we get a picture of what heaven is like, filled with people who have struggled, have been martyred, and are now in heaven, are rejoicing around the lamb, Christ, the one who sacrificed himself, so that all of us have the opportunity to inherit eternal life. Following Christ will mean for each of us times of struggle and difficulty.

 

This coming week we will all have many opportunities to follow Christ, and to hear his voice.

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The question is when times are difficult or stressful will we hear his voice?

 

Will we follow him even in those times that are difficult; the times we are called to pick up the cross and follow him?

Will we hear his voice?

And if we fail at times, then we have learned even more about ourselves and our own spiritual weaknesses.  That is the time, not to give up, but once again to turn to the Lord for forgiveness and to then continue the journey that the Lord has called us to take.

John-10-27

 

 

 

Mercy

Patience,

Forgiveness,

Compassion

Understanding

Etc.

To all, even the enemy

 

Click here to listen to the Homily I gave on this Sunday at St. Angela Merici in 2010

 

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Third Sunday of Easter Cycle C

May 1, 2022

Third Sunday of Easter

Cycle C

Review the Readings

Listen to the Readings

 

 

 

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In the Gospel reading we hear that Jesus, after his resurrection, is preparing a meal for the apostles.

Photo Apr 07, 7 45 46 AMAt first they do not recognize Him.

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But then they do and Peter, out in a boat fishing with the others, jumps into the water and swims to the Lord.

 

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Jesus tells that tells them all to... "Come follow me and feed my sheep."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At our baptism we were each called to follow Him and to feed his sheep.   But how???

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Each day, in whatever situation we find ourselves, it's important to think about this call that we were given at our baptism.

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We, unlike the apostles in the first reading, are probably not called to go into the temple area, the street corners and boldly preach.

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But in our every day life we are called to preach and to feed his sheep.  That may mean to pray for the gift of patience, mercy, compassion, understanding, forgiveness,etc. toward all people, both deserving and undeserving, friend or enemy.

 

 

 

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Here is a  little background to the first reading.

 

 

 

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The apostles had been arrested and put in prison because they had been  told not to preach about Jesus...

  

...but they continued to preach about Jesus.


Then during the night and angel releases them...

 

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and, not surprisingly, they immediately go back into the temple area and begin preaching Jesus Christ.

 

 

 

 

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We too need to pray for the gift to preach Jesus Christ and not to give up even when we are held captive by what our society basically says, if you want to be accepted and not considered foolish, do not talk about Jesus or God, but about more important day to day things.

 
Society also seems says to have mercy, compassion, etc. etc. only to those who deserve it.

 

When no one else will feed his sheep, do we have compassion?  

 

When no one else will have mercy, do we have mercy?

 

When the world tells us not to forgive, do we forgive?

 

When the world tells us not to love the enemy,

the one who gives us stress and problems, do we pray to love even the enemy?

 

When the world says put yourself first,

do we say no I'm putting the other person first?

 

These are some of the ways we are to preach, by not only our words but our actions, about Jesus and his Kingdom.

 

Revelation-seal

In the second reading from the book of Revelation, Saint John has a vision of heaven.

He sees Jesus as the Paschal lamb in heaven, being adored by and worship by all the people and angels because they all understand what he has done in freeing humanity and giving all the opportunity of eternal life.

 

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Let us pray that we too, come to understand, as did the Apostles, the great gift that God has given us.

Let us be willing to always...

Come follow me!

Feed my sheep!

 

In the days ahead this week, God will give all of us an opportunity, many times, to go out of our way for the other.

Watch and see!

Sometimes we will succeed and other times we may fail, but God is always full of mercy and calls us to start over again and again.

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Second Sunday of Easter cycle B also Devine Mercy Sunday

 

April 24,2022

 

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Fr. Greg Friedman...Background on this Sunday

 

 

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Remarks of Fr. Doug

The eight days after Easter  are liturgically all treated as if they were Easter, so we have the Octave of Easter.  The celebration is so important that for eight days were are reminded of the importance of the Resurrection of Christ.  In fact, for 50 days we will be in the liturgical season of Easter.  Everyday we are to go to the Galilee of our lives to experience the Resurrected Lord.  We are like the disciples who often do not recognize the Risen Lord when He appears to us each day.  

Have you experience the resurrected Lord today?  

Keep your eyes opened.  

Often it is in retrospect that we know He was appearing to us.

 

 

Easter Second Sun
Click here for more on History of Devine Mercy

 

Photo Apr 09, 10 12 32 AM The first reading is taken from a book that gives us an early history of the primitive Church between the years of the Ascension of Christ until 63 A.D. or about some 30 years.  

 

 

 

 

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This first Christian Community was in Jerusalem and they share everything in common.  We can look at that lifestyle and say that it is impossible for us.  We can even doubt such can happen today.    The point is to take a look at our lives.  

 

Do we  share?

Are we willing to go out of our way for the other person?  

Are we willing to give up and share some of our time, or our idea of how things should be, or our idea of how others others should act?

 

We, ourselves, can have lots of opportunities to share.  We may even discover that we are more selfish than we thought.  

 

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Watch and see this week at how many opportunities we will have to reach out to the other and share.

Are we willing to listen to a person who is difficult or at times is even boring?

 

Sharing things is important, but we will also have a lot more opportunities to share ourselves by being present or attentive to the other.  

 

The early Christian community discovered that sharing is a way of experiencing the Risen Christ.

 

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  It is thought that John wrote this letter to the Churches of Asia Minor between the years of 90 and 100 A.D.  It called them to realized that their faith received at Baptism had the power to overcome the ideas of the world.  That is certainly true today.  The world idea is not so much in sharing, but in getting all we can get for ourselves.  

 

All of the readings help us to realized that we can really be caught up in the ideas of today's world.  Going out of our way for others can be a way of experiencing the Risen Lord. 

 

Photo Apr 07, 8 34 18 AMThe Gospel we hear is that of the doubting Thomas.  We live in a world where we are surrounded by doubters. They can have such an influence on each of us. Thomas had left the group and it was only when he returned that in spite of his doubts, he experienced the Risen Lord.

 

 

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Perhaps we need to listen to that inner voice that calls us to return to what we have run from.  

Perhaps, like Tomas, that may where we will  experience the Lord.

 

 

 

 

Thomas

 

 


My lord

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alleluia, Christ is Risen

 

Alleluia, Indeed,Christ is  Risen

 

 

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Holy Saturday Easter Vigil

Easter Sunday The Resurrection of the Lord
Holy Saturday At the Easter Vigil in the Holy Night of Easter

Saturday April 16, 2022

 

Review the ReadingsReadings Saturday Easter Vigil

Listen to the Readings Easter Vigil

 

Sunday April 17, 2017

Review the Easter Sunday Readings

Listen to the Readings Easter Sunday

 

 

Easter Vigil Service Easter Saturday Nigh Reflection

During tonight’s Easter Vigil, we sit in darkness.

 

Holy Saturday Easter Vigil

 

As Christ is in descent, we too are in limbo. In silence, we wait for the coming of our Lord. We wait for the Lumen Christi (Light of Christ), where together, from a single flame, we can be light unto the world. 

 

Holy Saturday Easter Vigil

 

Our mysteries of Holy Week reflection continues. Today, we are the seeds under the earth, in darkness; but experiencing movement towards new life. Our commitment is about to burst forth; yet is still unseen. These paradoxical moments unite us to Christ where we witness death and life; co-eternal in the heart of Christ.

 

Holy Saturday Easter Vigil

Holy Saturday Easter Vigil

Holy Saturday Easter Vigil

Holy Saturday Easter Vigil


Palm Sunday....Passion Sunday Cycle C

 April 10, 2022

 

Holy Week Begins with...

image from images.search.yahoo.com

 

April 10, 2022

Review to the Readings

Listen to the Readings

 

 

 

 

 

Jesus_on_Donkey_PalmSundayCrowd

 

It is important that as we take part in the journey through Holy Week, starting today, that we not only see the great love God has for each of us that is shown for all the sufferings, the rejections, the persecutions, Christ was willing to go through for us.  It is also a time to recognize that we are all a part of His Passion as we go through life with our own sufferings, with our own Crosses.  Do we embrace the Cross, the sufferings etc?  If not, then  we pray for ourselves to have the grace and courage to follow Christ on our own life's journey to Calvary which is the way to eternal life.  Courage.  Our Baptism is God's call to us to make Christ present in the world, especially in our actions.

 

 

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The first reading gives us a description of the Suffering Servant.  A description which the early Christian saw as fufilled by Christ.  We too are called to be a part of that description.  We too are called to make God present in the world by being a part of the Suffering Servant.  

 

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Again and again, in every difficult situation which we want to reject, we need to reflect on this image which our Baptism has called us to make present in the world today. We too are a part of the sufferings of Christ that brings salvation to the world today.

 

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In the letter to the Philippians we hear that just as Paul tell these Christians that they should have the same attitude as Christ.  That goes for us today also. 

 

 



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 Are we willing to have humility and take on the crosses that will comes to each of us.  Or do we reject our sufferings, our rejections?  If you do, that it is time to pray as Jesus did in the Mount of Olives.

 

Jesus_at_Prayer

“Father, if you are willing, 
take this cup away from me; 
still, not my will but yours be done.” 

 

 

 

Photo Mar 17, 12 59 48 PMThis year as we hear the account of the Passion of Christ let us find ourselves in this proclamation.  Most of us don't like to be in the crowd that condemns Christ, but the truth is that at times we are.  Yet He has become the Suffering Servant so that each of us can receive the mercy, compassion, and forgiveness of God again and again.  But, we do need to come to him, recognizing our failures, our sin.

 Audio of my informal notes 

 

 

 

 


Fifth Sunday of Lent Cycle C

April 3, 2022

Cycle C

Review the Readings

 
 
 
 
Bk isaiah
 
 
 Isaiah preached to the Jewish exiles in Babylon to give them hope that God would not abandon them. 
He reminded them that God would do that for them exactly what he had done for their ancestors who were in slavery in Egypt;  how he lead them out of their slavery through the Red Sea, destroyed their enemy and then even  took care of them during their journey in the desert.  God was there in difficult times.
 
 
In our difficult times this  reading can gives us encouragement, knowing that God will not abandon us no matter what our situation is.
 
We need to remember that we are on a  journey to the promised eternal life and that journey includes problems and difficulties.
Trust God
 
It is so easy to ask God to take away all the problems, all the difficulties.   We do not trust God, and we fail to see that these are the very situations which help us to see if we trust God or not.
 
 
 
Philipians 3
 
 
We know that Saint Paul suffered many hardships and difficulties and that he truly carried the crosses in his life. He truly believed that they were part of the journey for him to eternal life.
 
We live in a world that wants to teach us that we should never have any serious problems or difficulties.
Yet we know that problems and difficulties will happen to all people, but as Christians we know that they are a part of our journey to eternal life.
 
 
This Gospel  story of the merciful forgiveness for an adulterous woman by Jesus Christ can give us courage when we see our own failures, our own sinfulness.
 
 
Adulteress woman Jesus
God's love, mercy, and forgiveness is always there for us, but the difficulty is that often we are not willing to admit our failures, our sins, and then we will not experience God's forgiveness.
 
Adultry Jesus forgives
 
Lent has been a time when we, through prayer, fasting, alms giving,etc. we have had the opportunity to see our own sinfulness. 
 
Hopefully we have been able to see the times that we were uncharitable, judgmental, impatience, selfish, etc.
 
 
If there are souls in hell it is not because of their sins,
but of their pride in their refusing to see their own sins
and not being able to ask God for forgiveness.