Thirtieth Sunday Cycle B

Thirtieth Sunday Cycle B

October   ,2021









Thirtieth Sunday Cycle B


Are you Blind?


Spiritually Blind?




This Sunday gives us the Gospel story of a blind man, who is sitting by the roadside, begging, when Jesus passes by.


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He recognizes knows that he is blind and has great hope that Jesus will cure his blindness.


Have pity

As Jesus passes by he calls out, "Son of David; have pity on me."

 Jesus stops and heals his blindness.




But what does that Gospel story have to do with us?



Jeremiah also
Often, we can be like the people found in the Hebrew Scriptures that are proclaimed in the first reading.


Remember that both the Northern and the Southern kingdom had abandoned God, and eventually, lost everything, and were taken into exile.



Jeremiah, rather than call them to conversion as he had done in the past,  in this reading, he assures them that God will never abandon them.


Photo Oct 19, 2 28 01 PMJeremiah tells them the reason for the exile is that they had abandoned God; that they were blind. Yet Jeremiah assures them that God does love them, and will care for them in spite of all the things that they had done in their abandonment of God.  





That story is also good for us to hear, especially when we are in that moment of feeling in exile, blind, and so far away from God.  




Will we be able to recognize our own blindness?  

Will we recognize Jesus when He passes by in our lives?  

Will we see the need for ourselves to call out for mercy?




Remember that it took generations for the people of the Old Testament to recognize their blindness.  

Only then were they able to experience God's great love and mercy.

 The same is true for us.




Often we don't recognize our own blindness until things really go downhill  in our struggles; then we begin to see how spiritually blind we  are at that moment.That certainly is the moment to cry out for mercy from God so we can be healed.


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I suspect that for each of us, at one time or another, we have been  able to see

just how spiritually blind we are. 





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The author of the letter that we hear from in the second reading today, reminds us that we have in Christ, the High Priest.  

He is the Son of God who by his human nature has experienced the same struggles and difficulties that we have experienced.





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He is the one who has offered his body and life and gained our salvation.
Whenever we call out for mercy, for healing,






Are we willing to look at your spiritual blindness?

Are we willing to see that at moments we are all spiritually blind.



It can be those moments when we are called to have mercy, compassion, forgiveness, comfort, understanding, and we say...




At that moment we are  blind.


We can give excuses and say that we are only human.  


That is the moment we are spiritually blind and can't even recognize the blindness.


That can be God's gift to us when we see we are spiritually blind.


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That is the moment to pray for our own conversion, so that we will be in a position to call out to the Lord for healing.


How many times will He passed by in our lives, giving us the opportunity to call out and ask for spiritual healing and we do not recognize Him?  





How many times will we fail to look at our own blindness?


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If today you are spiritually blind today, call out to Him.



Video Clip Franciscan Greg Friedman

Twenty Eighth Sunday Cycle B

October 10, 2021

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Book of wisdom
The author of this book says that the gift of wisdom is greater then any of the riches of the world.


King Solomon  preferred  the gift of wisdom to anything that the world could give.

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Although the book of wisdom was written over 2000 years ago, the message is very true for us today as followers of Christ.


Wisdom gift


We all need that gift of wisdom so we can understand that the Lord asks us to bear our crosses, our troubles and trials in this life.




It is so easy in today's world to think that worldly pleasures are what we really need in order  to be truly happy.


Yet our Christianity tells us to embrace our struggles and difficulties as our own cross and that they will lead us to eternal happiness and life.


How hard that can be to believe, for be have been taught to avoid all difficulties at any cost.  What a lie!



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The author wrote this letter to Jewish converts who were well aware of their ancestors history of God leading them out of Egypt and then into the desert journey to the Promised Land.  They often turned away from God.  They did not believe that God  would take care of them. Because of their unbelief they did not enter the Promised Land of Canaan.


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That gift of Wisdom helps us to be realistic with ourselves.  

Are we followers of Christ in our actions or is it just in our words?  

Wisdom helps us to hear at the Word of God so that we are are not fearful of seeing our failures, our sins, our turning from God as we ignore the neighbor, the friend, or even the enemy.


That gift of Wisdom encourages us to ask for forgiveness, not just once, but time after time, again and again.  And when we are sincere we are always shown compassion, mercy, and love.


One of the biggest errors we can make so easily is not to look at our sins, or to believe that we don't sin.

The danger becomes that we fool ourselves and do not seek the forgiveness of God, the compassion of God, or the mercy of God.


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We hear the story of the rich man who came to Jesus and asked him  what do I have to do to have you eternal life?

Jesus told him to sell his riches and to follow the Lord and he finds that impossible to do.



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For each of us also have riches, not just material wealth and possessions, but our own mind set.

Are we willing to go out for the other person even when it's not convenient.

Are we willing to give forgiveness even to the one who does not deserve it.


Are we willing to give away our riches of leisure time,

Are we willing to give away our daily plans and help the other person...even when it is inconvenient?








Video on the Gospel...Fr. Greg Friedman Franciscan





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Twenty Sixth Sunday Ordinary Time Cycle B

September 26, 2021



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God works





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From this Old Testament reading, we can see how generous God is with his gifts.  He is so loving to the human race that He shares his gift, the spirit he gave to Moses and  also gives it to others for the good of the people




 God continued to guide and provide both spiritually and materially for His People following Moses to the Promised Land.  



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In the Gospel we hear a similar story of God's gift of healing, given to the Apostles and to one who did not follow Christ.  

Some complain to the Lord to stop that person.

 Through the response of the Lord they came to understand that God could work in many ways, even through those who were not followers of Christ.


God loves us so much that He gives his gifts to many for the sake of all humans.  



At our baptism we were called and gifted to be prophet, priest, and King.

As prophets we are to make God present in the world today.


We do this by the mercy, compassion and forgiveness that we have toward all people we encounter, even the enemy.


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In his letter, St. James points out how easy it is for the desire for material wealth, possessions, etc. to turn us away from our gift and call to make Christ present in the world.

 God will place people in our path this coming week so that we can clearly see ourselves.

 We will have to make a choice.  






Do we go out of my way for the other


Do we place our own needs first?



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We may, at times, discover that we place our own needs first and to see that itself is a gift from God.

Then we know that we need to again pray for our own conversion.



Take some time this week to examine yourself. 





How often did you place yourself,

your ideas, your talent, your ways,

your wants, your time, your money, your knowledge,

your judgement, your feelings,  etc. first?



Video reflection by Fr. Greg Friedman Franciscan



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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.



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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Celebrated the Ascension on Sunday May 16, 2021


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As we look at the readings for the Ascension, let's try to place ourselves in the mindset of the Apostles. They do not understand why Jesus has to suffer and die. That is not what they expected the Messiah to have to go through. The Messiah was to take away all their worldly problems, solve all the political problems of that day; to rid them of the Roman control and to become a political leader.
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I find myself, at times, in the same mindset, especially when God does not work in my life as I think He should. No more problems, no more conflicts, no more...etc.


Acts 1 1-11

This first reading was  to remind those early Christians of the promise of the Holy Spirit, who would  give strength and courage.  

Why do we fear?

Why do we doubt?


It is so easy to forget, or to not believe, that we  too, have been given that same promise.  

So we can, at times, just wait around for God to work as we expect Him to act.

A good reminder for us are the words of the angel to those watching the Ascension of Jesus,

"Why do you stand there looking up?"


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Don't we do the same thing when we find life difficult, and when God does not seem to work in the way we expected?


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Paul's letter is his prayer for the early Christians; that they would become more  open to how God works, even in suffering and persecution.  You

That prayer is also for each of us, especially when life presents us with people and situations that are difficult and are not what we expected.  

So again...

Why do we fear?

Why do we doubt?



Mark 16:15-20
The Gospel let's the Apostles and us know that we have been sent to make Christ present in the world, to bring...

...His mercy,

...His compassion,

...His patience,

...His understanding all, even to the enemy.


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Why do we, at times, doubt?


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"I am with you always," He says.


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Alleluia, Christ is Risen!


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Go into the world of our daily life!

Make Christ present!


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Fifth Sunday of Easter Cycle B

May 2, 2021

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Fifth Sunday of Easter Cycle B


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Acts 8:26-31
This reading deals with Saul, later to take the name of Paul, and his trip to Jerusalem several years after the death of Jesus Christ.



We have all heard the story about the conversion of Saul on the road to Damascus.  



It is important to remember that, as a youth, Saul (Paul) studied Mosaic law and he did become a rabbi.


We know, too, that he persecuted the early Christians, and thought that Christianity needed to be overcome.



He began preaching Christianity after his conversion, and finally went to Jerusalem to join up with the disciples.
Needless to say, the disciples of Christ were all afraid of him because of his persecution of Christians in the beginning, before his conversion.

This certainly is a story of conversion, and also a story of how God can work in each of our lives today.  At times we may think it is impossible for us to change, and that's exactly what they thought of St. Paul.


All of us can have sins and failures in our lives, and we may even get to the point of thinking that we will never change, never convert.

But the story of Saint Paul is also a story for each of us to give us courage.  We all know that nothing is impossible with God.


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This letter, written to the early Christian communities gives us, today, the same message... that our Christian faith is not just not just in our words, but is must be also in our actions.







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Are we able to love the one who is difficult or seems impossible to deal with, in other words, the enemy?



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The gospel reading is an excerpt from the farewell address that Jesus delivered at the Last Supper on the eve before his death.
His words were to encourage and help them to persevere after his Passion and Death.

He encouraged them to stay close to his teachings, and in effect to stay close to him.




That same message is for each of us, especially in those moments that we are taking in with the ways of the world, which say that the most important thing is to think of ourselves first.


However, we all know that the message of Jesus Christ is to love the others as ourselves, which is not the message of the today's world.

Jesus gave his disciples the image of the need to stay connected to Him and to his teachings.  He is the vine and we the branches.



Jesus was willing to give his life for the other, and that same call comes for each of us every day, even when we are dealing with difficult or even impossible people.

We are called to love the other with our patience, our understanding, our compassion, our forgiveness, even to the enemy.



Love enemy

This is a good time for each of us to look and see in the events that happen today; are we staying connected to the vine with our love for the other or have we separated ourselves and are only thinking of ourselves first?

For sure, there will be moments we fail at this, but that is not the time to give up.  It is a time to pray for our own conversion, our own wake up call.


Fifth Sunday of Easter Cycle B




Video Clip on the Gospel...Fr. Greg Friedman...Franciscan


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Second Sunday of Advent Cycle B

December 6, 2020

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Photo Nov 27, 1 07 03 PMIn the first reading the Jews had been in exile in Babylon because of their turning away from God, their sins, and the end of their Babylonian exile was near. The pagan king Cyrus would free them.




Free from babylon



Isaiah gave them, while they were still in exile, the words we hear in this reading...



Comfort, give comfort to my people,
says your God.
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her
that her service is at an end,
her guilt is expiated;
indeed, she has received from the hand of the LORD
double for all her sins.


What good news.

The Jews would return back to Jerusalem.  This was a second Exodus for them, and God, once again, showed them that He was the loving father who cared for them.


Those words of Isaiah can also help us when we find ourselves in Exile.


Our Exile happens when we are in the midst of our struggles, depressions, disappointments, or difficulties.  It happens when we doubt that God knows what He is doing in our lives, or when we cease trusting in God's timing, in other words, when we sin.  These times are a period of exile for us.

Jesus Christ, by his death and resurrection, brings us hope when we recognize our sins, which can be very hard to do, our exile.

The words of Isaiah can give us courage...


Like a shepherd he feeds his flock;
in his arms he gathers the lambs,
carrying them in his bosom,
and leading the ewes with care.


We know that God, in his plan, has called each of us to make Him present in our world today...


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When we struggle, the words of  this second letter of Peter can help...

 ...The Lord does not delay his promise, as some regard “delay,”but he is patient with you, not wishing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.




God gives us this time of Advent so we can reflect on our lives and enter into conversion for our failings, our sins, and then experience His great love, mercy, and compassion.



Sometimes it can be so difficult to wait for the Lord and to believe in His timing. 


His timing can be different from ours. That is one of the lessons we can learn from Advent.


Are we willing to wait?

Are we willing to watch?


...or do we still think that God should time things as we want?.


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In this reading, God sent St. John the Baptist as a messenger, preparing the way for Christ.   Every day God sends us to prepare the way so that we can welcome Christ into our lives.


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Remember that means we have to go into the wilderness, into the dryness or the failures of lives.  

Often it is a strange person like John the Baptist, who dressed strangely and ate strange things, that can lead us to conversion; can lead us to seeing our sins, our lack of compassion and mercy to those that we disagree or struggle with.

We usually try to avoid going into this wilderness.  But that is exactly where we must go to find God's call to conversion and to experience His mercy and love.  

Are we willing to look at those moments of difficulties, doubts, and frustrations, which are a form of our going into the wilderness?

Are we willing to go there?

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Each of us, at our baptism, were called to be messengers from God, and to prepare the way for the daily coming of Christ into our world.

Are we willing to do this by having mercy, compassion, and forgiveness to all, even to the enemy?











...and we will make discoveries about ourselves 





First Sunday of Advent Cycle B

November 29, 2020


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Video Clip Fr. Greg Friedman Franciscan


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Advent is, once again, a time for us to prepare for the coming of Christ.  

It is a time to focus on His Coming everyday of our lives, and not just at our death.  

 This Sunday's readings remind us to take the time of Advent to reflect on His daily coming. 


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So, we wait and we watch everyday for the presence of Christ in our lives.


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Isaiah reminds the people of his time what happened to the Northern Kingdom- Israel.  They were taken into exile in 722 BC because of their infidelity to God.  They had turned to pagan gods.  

The same was  happening in the Southern Kingdom- Judah.  




Isaiah hoped that Judah would return to God and avoid disaster.  But in spite of his warning, they did not change and eventually they too lost everything and were taken into exile.



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Isaiah still gave them hope that God would never abandon them in spite of their unfaithfulness.


Photo Nov 21, 7 31 12 AMWe hear in the reading  the prayer that he made to God.







We know that in all that happens, God is in charge; yet He gives us freedom to do as we want and sometimes that is where we can get into trouble and sin.  

We do need a times to prepare for His daily coming and make what Isaiah said in his prayer..."You are the potter", true in our lives.

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 God never abandoned his people and He will never abandon us.



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St. Paul wrote to the community at Corinth which he was with from 50-52 AD.  He had heard that they were having problems.  He reminded them of what they have been given and that God would always  sustain them to the end.


That is especially good news for each of us during those  times when when we are in great stress or difficulties.  

God has chosen us and called us by name, as were the Corinthians.  

God will not abandon us.


There is always the temptation to hide or to turn away or to even escape from the problems, the stresses, in our lives.



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 Paul encouraged the Corinthians,  when they were faced with doubts and fears.  

Christ had not abandoned them, and we need to remember that Christ called each of us in our Baptism and is always with us, always.  

But do we recognize Him???







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In the gospel we hear we are to wait and watch; we do not know when the Lord will come, but the fact is that He comes everyday and many times we just do not recognize Him.  

He may come in the moment we are not expecting Him.  

He may come in the poor or difficult person.

He may come in the enemy.

He may come in the demands of another person. 

He may come in the situation that is difficult for us.

He may come in our loneliness.  




It is almost always difficult for us to wait, especially when we struggle or suffer.

Isn't that true of our world today; we cannot wait?

 We want everything now, instantly.  

We do not want a period of Advent, a period of waiting and watching.

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The gift of Advent becomes a time of daily waiting and watching for the Lord.  It is  a time of looking deep within ourselves to see what prevents us from everyday recognizing the Lord; or perhaps discovering that we are not willing to wait and watch.  

Perhaps we really don't believe that God will not abandon us in our daily struggles.

We want the joys of Christmas now without any struggles or difficulties.

Perhaps this Advent we will be inspired to hold off on the Christmas decorations until the end of our waiting and watching, the end of our Advent. 

Advent can become a time of great growth in seeing our selves as the Lord God sees us so that we can know his great compassion, mercy and love for us, even in our failures





Come Lord Jesus



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Twentieth Sunday Cycle A

August 16, 2020


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Sometimes it is so easy to judge other people who seem below us; those who don't have the same morals as we might have.









Down-but-not-outThere can be those times when we see our own failure, our own sin, that seems to devastate us because we have always believe we would never 
seriously sin .


This Sunday's readings can help us to recognize God's great love and mercy for all people, chosen or not chosen, good and bad.


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Isiah the Prophet

In the first reading, the prophet reminds the people of their ancestors being brought out of slavery in Egypt, long ago, and  then God  brought them out of their own exile in Babylon; 538BC.

They are being reminded that God comes for the foreigner, which they had also been because of their exile, their turning from God.




It is a good reminder for us that God comes for all people, faithful and, unfaithful.

Deadly sin


God is always there for us, whether we are doing the right things, or  whether in those moments when we see our failures and sin, sometimes even great sins.  



God always comes for us, when we feel close to Him, and even when we feel  so far away from Him.




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Paul, a good Jew,  in his letter addressed the Gentiles, those who were considered dirty, not chosen by God and far away from God.


He reminds them that God has called them, Roman Gentiles, to eternal life.

Paul recognizes that God comes for all and, Paul has turned to the Gentiles because he has been rejected by his own, the Jews.


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The amazing thing that we will hear again in the Gospel is that Jesus goes out of his way for a Gentile, a Gentile woman who has asked Jesus to help for her daughter who has been severely affected by a demon.


Jesus let's her know that He has come for the lost sheep of Israel.  She will not give up and, needless to say, Jesus heals the possessed daughter.


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That Gospel can certainly gives hope for each of us when, in those moments we feel so out of touch with God because of our own failures or our own sins.  But, God will never abandon us.



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These readings might also help us not to judge others because God comes for all people, for those who we perceive as good and those that we may perceive as evil or a far away from God.






God may be getting us ready to see if we judge, if we are willing to go out of our way for a person who is placed into our lives this week..




Will it be someone with whom we struggle?

The Working Poor






Will it be a stranger?









Will it be someone who smells and is not at all clean?








Will it be a person asking for help; perhaps even holding a cardboard sign at the freeway off ramp?







Or will it be a friend or relative who needs help or advice or maybe just a phone call to say hello?



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Who will God send you???


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Shocking...but it does make a point!!!



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Fifth Sunday of Easter cycle A

May 10, 2020

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Christ cornerstone


In our Baptism we were called by God to make Christ, the cornerstone, present to all we meet and experience, both those people we enjoy, and those that we find difficult.  


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The first reading tells us of the struggles the early Christians were having over the importance of service.  

The decision was made to select men to be deacons. They were selected to help with the mission of the Church in making Christ present to others. This mission, from the very beginning, was the need of service to others.  Service was always the call for all Christians.  We can see this in the choosing of the 7 Deacons.



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The First Seven Deacons



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In the second reading, we hear that Christ is the cornerstone and that we were called by God to be a part of making Christ present in the world of today.

We can look at our own lives and see that, like the first Deacons of the Church, we too are called to serve others.  Everyday we have the opportunity to go out of our way for other people, to make Christ present by service.

I can clearly remember when I was ordained as a transitional deacon, what a privilege it was to serve the food to my seminarian bothers. What a joy to clear the tables and to do the dishes. But then as time went on, service became a hard and unpleasant task, especially when I had so many other things to do for myself.  


What happened to service to the others as a way to make Christ present?


We can see the example of the life of Christ, as the cornerstone, showing us that service to others is what He did and what we are to do.



It might mean serving... listening to others, especially to those who, at times, may try our patience. having compassion and mercy, even to those who do not deserve it. taking the time to pray for others, that God bless them and give them everything that will lead them to eternal life.


It is so easy to forget this call of service when we become so focused on our own lives.  

We can, so easily, fail to see how importance service is as a big part of our mission as Christians.


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In the Gospel, John tells of Jesus talking to the Apostles at the Last Supper.

They still have not realized how the Messiah works or what they are called to do.  They are still too into themselves.

They believe He will overcome all the worldly problems.

He will be a political leader, etc.



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It was not until after the Resurrection that they would begin to understand that it was in Christ serving  others, his suffering, death, and Resurrection, that would overcome sin and death, and that was what they were called to do.

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Christ was the cornerstone, the servant of all, and this was His mission of which we too are a part. 

Alleluia Christ is Risen.


Though our Baptism, we are to make Christ present to others, certainly with prayer and words, but also in service.


This week take a look at all the opportunities we will have to serve, especially in things we don't want to do or times we are too busy to go out of your way for those that come into your lives.


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Christ has shown us that what appears to the world as failure, service to others, makes Christ,  the Cornerstone of salvation present.



There will be times we will fail in serving others, in praying for others, etc.

But the important thing is that we recognize our failures, our sins.

Christ, again and again, gives us the courage to pick ourselves up and begin again.

Don't give up.

Start again and again until our death.


Christ is truly Risen, Alleluia


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