Religion

Feast of the Holy Family Cycle A

December 26, 2021

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Photo Dec 22, 2 00 27 PMReadings

 

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The author of this book in the Hebrew Scriptures, the Old Testament, lived in the second century before Christ and was a pius Jew who was trying to show his people, in spite of all their trials, tribulations, doubts, fears, etc., 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 to me in our world today. But they are words that can call each us to look at ourselves even more deeply, and then call us to conversion, especially if the words are difficult for us to hear.

Familyproblems

Family-Conflict-

Conflict-familyboy

For sure, all families have trials and difficulties and we can often, when in the midst of these problems ask, why us, Lord.

Why

 

 How can we possible respect each other in these situations?

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

Paul prison

Early Christians experienced their community as family. They needed each other.

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, etc; 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.

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

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, especially our failures, our sins, for which we need to pray for conversion to love the enemy even when at times it is a family member.

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Yet we see more and more that the world says that today a strong family is the place to teach us all those qualities which St. Paul wrote about.

The world seems to indicate that both parents need to work so there will be more money, more security, etc. for the family.  Trust money, not God.

Or it says for the family members to break up and someone leave when the going gets rough.

It takes real courage to put the family first and to see it as the place God's work begins in each of us, love and conversion.

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We love to think that there were not problems and difficulties in the Holy Family. 

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Photo Dec 22, 3 45 18 PMImagine, the Holy Family beginning to live their lives, and then Joseph is told to flee, to a country some 300 miles away, so the Christ child will not be killed.

Pack up quickly and leave.  Leave your way of making a living, your traditions and language, your relatives, friends, and neighbors, etc..

And Joseph trusts and the Holy Family leaves their security and flees.  Wow!

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And we think we have problems,

 in the family or individually!

 

This gospel helps us to see that even the Holy Family, even holy Joseph and Mary, had to face great struggles...but they trusted God.  

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Do we really think that as Christians we will not have problems, difficulties, and struggles.  Difficulties can certainly show and teach us how much we trust God.  

And if we discover that we have very little trust, then we know what we need to pray for, for ourselves.  

Convert me Lord so that I will trust all that comes my way.  Give me the grace to have the same trust that was in the Holy Family, everyday, in every situation and with all the people in my life.

 

Change my heart

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Fourth Sunday of Advent Cycle C

December 19, 2021

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  Adventwreath4

 

During the past three weeks of Advent we have been inspired by the readings to wait and watch for the coming of the Lord everyday.  At times I have not even thought about that until after an event or situation has occurred.  Unfortunately for me, it is always finding the Lord in looking back on my daily experiences. God in His mercy comes again and again.  There is hope as I continue to watch for Him daily.  He will not give up on me and we should never give up on Him.

The readings for this last Sunday of Advent seem to direct us to find the Lord daily in humble and poor situations.  We all know that Christ is present in the poor and the humble.  But, in our culture we don't spend time seeing the value of the humble and the poor, whether that is  people we encounter or in difficult situations in our lives.

 

 

 

 

 

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In the first reading we hear from the prophet Micah.

He preached during the second half of the eighth century B.C.

 

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 He was always preaching against the exploitation by the rich toward the poor.  He calls us to find value in the humble and the poor..  He shows that in the poor, in the humble, is where we can find God. How difficult it is a times to believe that we can encounter the presence of the Lord in the humble and poor or difficult situations.  

 


We live in a world that teaches us that  we can find  peace and happiness in being wealthy and powerful, not in being poor and humble.
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The prophet says that the Messiah will come from a little unimportant village, poor and humble.  But many would have thought that the Messiah will be born in a large city, not in a poor and humble place.  He should be born in a comfortable, hospitable place.  But we know the Christmas Story.  The Lord was born in a stinking, bug infested, hole in the wall; a stable.  Who would think of finding the Lord, the Messiah, in such a place?

 

 

Photo Dec 15, 9 38 04 AMIn the Gospel reading, Mary has just been told by the angel that she would give birth to the Messiah.  Imagine, a virgin, a woman, a humble and poor person would bring the Messiah into the world.  And Mary hears from the angel that and old woman Elizabeth, her relative has conceived.  Humble Mary travels some 50 or 60 miles to be with Elizabeth.  Will she find an experience of God after such a difficult trip?  But again, the experience of God is often where we least think it will be.

 

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I continue to be amazed that it is in the humble and  in the lowly people and situations where we find the Lord.
Again and again scripture shows us this. It is not in the rich and powerful, in the expected,  but in the humble, the lowly and often the unexpected where we will experience God.  Sometimes this seems so contrary to what the world view presents to us.  

 

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The second reading, a letter written to the Jewish converts to Christianity, to confirm for them that Christ fulfilled the Old Testament and that Jesus was the Messiah.

 

 


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 Again Jesus is the humble one; the one obedient to God.

  He truly has come to do God's will, even to face persecutions, sufferings, and death.

 

For each of us are we willing to do the will of God. That means to humble ourselves and to accept whatever lies before us. But how difficult that is in the world that says no to this line of thought.  It says to us that you are to be right, you're not to suffer, you're to be wealthy, powerful, etc.

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Perhaps as we now come close to the end of Advent 2021, we can ask for the grace not to be so scandalized when things don't go our way or when, for a while, life can be difficult. 

 

 

Where will you find the Lord in your life today?  

Watch for Him!

 

 

 

 

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Advent First Sunday Cycle C

 

November 28, 2021

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Photo Nov 23, 7 10 42 PMAdvent is that time we prepare for the coming of Christ. That coming will  happen everyday, and for sure, at our death, but often we don't give that much thought.  So, this is the time to, once again, focus on the coming of Christ in our lives.  What keeps us from recognizing Christ every day?

The readings can remind us to take this time, before the celebration of His birth, to reflect on where we are in seeing Christ daily.

God loves us and always has great mercy and compassion when we turn to Him.  

Advent can be that period of time we are called to look deep within, and see where we are spiritually.  

It is so easy to simply reject this and say, "Well, maybe next Advent."  

Will we have a next Advent?

 

 

Photo Nov 23, 6 53 12 PMIn the first reading Jeremiah has already spoken again and again warning the kings and the people that they have placed too much worship, attention, on political and worldly things.  The reading we hear today was written after all the warnings, and at the time when Jerusalem had been destroyed and the people taken into the captivity of Babylon (about 587 B.C.).  Things could not have been worse.  Yet, Jeremiah gives words of encouragement.  In spite of their lack of faith in God and placing their faith in worldly things, God did never abandon them.

The daily coming of Jesus is where we experience God's mercy and love.  Yet we can be like the people Jeremiah was addressing who simply would not listen until they were taken into exile and had to face all the devastating experiences that came.  

Photo Nov 23, 6 49 37 PMAdvent Wreath First Sunday of Advent

 

That same not willing to listen can also happen to us, especially when all is going pretty well in our lives.  That is one reason Advent is so important for us so, we can experience the coming of the Christ not just at the celebration of His Birth, or at our own death, but every day.

Maybe the question becomes how can we experience Him daily?  

The starting point is to look at our own lives.  

Are we like the people in the first reading putting too much trust in this world.  

Are we believing that we will not die tomorrow?

 

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In the Gospel reading we hear  Jesus say,

"Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life, and that day catch you by surprise like a trap."  

 In other words, we won't experience the daily coming of Christ from our thinking that the world and its trapping will lead to the kingdom and to the experience of the coming of Christ.  

Will we listen this Advent?

 

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So, how then can we experience the daily coming of Jesus, now, at his birth, at the end of our lives, and at the end of time?

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The second reading gives us a hint as to the answer.  

The author, around 50 A. D., encourages the Thessalonians to continue to strive to love all.  That must have been a real challenge to those new Christians who we so persecuted and had experienced, like us, the ups and downs in life.  

Photo Nov 23, 7 04 08 PMBut to experience the coming of Christ we, like the Thessalonian, must pray for the courage to look deep within and see, do we love?  Even the difficult person?  Even the enemy?  Even the one we disagree with?  Even the one who will not listen to us?  In other words, love to the enemy.

 

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This can be a difficult challenge for each of us.  It is so easy not to look within and to make excuses as to why we don't love as Jesus has shown us.  

 

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Perhaps, this is why the Church encourages us to use the sacrament of Penance, Reconciliation, during this time of Advent.  

Pray, with courage, to see ourselves as we really are, (our inability at times to love), and to turn to God who is waiting to fill us with his mercy and compassion.

 

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Christ the King Cycle B

November 21, 2021

 

 

 

This is...the Last Sunday of the Liturgical Year B

Next comes Advent Week One the start of Liturgical Year C (Nov 30th)

Christ the King Cycle B 

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The first reading was written some two centuries before Christ.  It was a time when earthly kingdoms were trying to destroy the religion of the Jews.  The prophecy gave them hope and assures them that a king and kingdom will come that is for all people  and will last forever.
It is good news for us too, especially when we feel judged, persecuted, or misunderstood because of our making Christ present for others we meet. 

 

 

 

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The second reading was written in Greek and is dates 165 AD.  It was given the Greek word, Apocalpse, which means the uncovering or revelation.  

 In the reading, we hear that Jesus is the one who is the king that was predicted to come, and to establish a kingdom for all people, Jew and Gentile alike. We know that He will come at the end of time, but He also comes everyday in our present lives.  He is in the people we encounter today; in the troubled, the poor, the distressed, the hungry, the one by the side of the road with a sign, etc. 

 

 

 

 

 

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The words from this Gospel reading, we are given the event in which Jesus claims that He is the king.  The king of a new and everlasting kingdom.

Each of us through, our Baptism, were anointed to be prophet, priest and king.  We were chosen by God and, were made a part of that kingdom.

The kingdom of Christ was not to make us healthy, happy, or prosperous in this world but to bring us and others to the eternal life and true happiness.

 

 

 

 

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Jesus gives us, through his life the model of king and kingdom builder.  

He shows us that we are to make Jesus the king present in the world today.  We do this by doing what Christ did for us. 

compassion

mercy

forgiveness

love

etc.

 

Each of us are to make the kingdom present today by our compassion, mercy, forgiveness, love, etc. for all people.  That means to both friend and foe, to both the deserving and to the non deserving.

Kingdom within
We all have a part in making the kingdom of eternal life present.  The kingdom is now and we are to make it present daily through our lives.  

 

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He was the beginning of the kingdom and is a part of it everyday through his presence in his followers, us, the baptized that have been called and chosen for this mission.  

 

So, there is good reason to look at our own failures, our sins.  Those are the moments that we say, "no", to our part of His kingdom, and our part in making His Kingdom present.  Our sins, when we clearly see them, allow us to experience  the qualities of Jesus as King.  This happens when we experience God's mercy, compassion, and love.  We can then continue to grow in being able to do the same for others and thus continue leading others to the kingdom.

Godshands

Alleluia

 


Thirty Third Sunday Cycle B

November 14, 2021

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When we hear the words, The end is near, we think first of all of some crazy person on a street corner.

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But, the reality is that we are coming to the end of the liturgical year. The current liturgical year, Cycle B, is ending after next Sunday, and we will begin Advent, in the liturgical year Cycle C.  

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Who knows who will not be here for the whole of the coming liturgical year.  

The end of life here on earth will end for some of us this coming liturgical year.

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This Sunday's readings help us to reflect on...

 The end is near


We all have a tendency to not want to think about those words. But for each of us they are a truth. We experience that when each day ends,  a new day begins..

The end of our current liturgical year cycle B will be ending after next Sunday, the celebration of Christ the King.  That celebration will help each of us to look at the fact that...

The end is near...

has been conquered by Christ the King.  

Christ King
We have all been given a way to eternal life where there is no end.

 

So, now without fear, we can look at this Sunday's readings, and reflect on our own life to see if we are  ready to accept the kingdom Christ has prepared for us?

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In the first reading from the book of Daniel, which, by the way, was not named after the author, who is unknown, but after one of the principal participants, who is described as living in Babylon during the last years of the Babylonian empire.

 
This reading is a chance for each of us, to once again, think about the end of our life here on earth, and the beginning of our gift of eternal life that is waiting for us.

 

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We hear in the Gospel  Jesus telling that the earth will end. 

 

 

 

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But we do not need to be filled with fear.

 

 

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In the second reading the author of this letter, tells us that Jesus is the high priest.

Remember, that for Jews in the time of Jesus, the high priest had to offer sacrifice in the temple for his sins and the sins of all the people. And this needed to be repeated, year after year.

 

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However we have Jesus Christ as our high priest, who made the one sacrifice that has paid the price for our eternal salvation.

 

 

 

 

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 So what are we afraid of?

 

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 These readings are wonderful in helping each of us to realize that not only The end is near...

 

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but also that  The end is near which leads us to the eternal life and the  eternal peace that we have each been searching for all our lives, often thinking we could find it now with our material things, power, possessions, money, etc.

 

We will finally have that peace in the kingdom of God for all eternity.

 

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Wow!

What great hope we have!

The end is really the beginning

Think of all we have learned through the endings in our life thus far.

The best is yet ahead

Alleluia




Thirty Second Sunday Cycle B

 

November 7, 2021

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Images

 

Do you???



It is always important to remember that many of the stories that were told in the Bible were written to help people look at their lives and see where they were spiritually.  

It is called conversion.  

The same is true in our time, and the important thing, as we hear the readings, is that we not get defensive and give excuses as to why we can't do what is being asked of us.  

If we find ourselves in that position, it is the moment to pray for the grace to change,

and to fulfill what our Baptism has called each of us to.

 

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 In this first reading, we meet the prophet Elijah who preached in the northern kingdom from the year 908 until 850 B.C. 

 

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Elijah enters the city as a stranger and sees the widow. He asks her for a cup of water. She leaves everything and goes and gets him a cup of water.

 

I know that for me, when I am doing things that seem important as the widow was doing, it is almost impossible to drop everything and go out of my way for the other.  That is the moment I need to pray for a change of heart.  Help me, Lord, to be open to be ready to help others even when it seems inconvenient 

 

Then after getting the cup of water, Elijah then makes another request of her for some food.

She is at her wits end because she is almost out of the last amount of food which she intends to feed to herself and her son, and then they will die.

 

Widow Food

The story illustrates how this poor widow was willing to go out of her way and help the stranger.

 However she decides to do what  Elijah asks and prepares a meal for him.

 

 

 

Each of us need to ask ourselves...

Are we willing to go out of our way and to help the other?

 

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Gospel_of_mark

 

 

In this Gospel we hear the story of the widow who comes to the temple and offers the last amount of money that she has.

 

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Photo Nov 02, 2 19 00 PMIn the second reading we hear the story of Jesus as high priest. 

This letter was written to Jewish Christians who were used to the tradition of the high priest going to the temple year after year and offering sacrifice for his sins and for the sins of all the Jewish people.

Paul tells the story of how Christ, as high priest ,died once and for all, for the forgiveness of sin. There was no longer need to go and offer sacrifice again and again and again, as was done in the past tradition.

For each of us, in our baptism, we were called by God to be prophet, priest, and king.  As priest, we are called to sacrifice, to go out of our way for the other, as Christ did.  He was willing to give his sufferings and his life for each of us, so that we could find eternal life.

 

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Every day we need to pray for that grace, for that gift, to be able to go out of our way for other, even when it's inconvenient, even when we have other things to do.

 We may discover that at times...


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The gift of that discovery in ourselves, is that we now know what to pray for.  

 

Give me the grace to...

 

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Thirtieth Sunday Cycle B

Thirtieth Sunday Cycle B

October   24,2021

  

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  30Sunday

 

Thirtieth Sunday Cycle B

 

Are you Blind?

 

Spiritually Blind?

 

Mark

 

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.  

Images

 

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?

The-women-of-midian-led-captive-by-the-hebrews-1900

 

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,

 

 

 

But......

.
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...

 No

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

 

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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.

 

 

Cross

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?

 

 

 

Helping_others-879895

 

 

 

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

Fr.-Greg-Friedman-OFM

 

 

 

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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

 

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Moses-leading-israelites

 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.  



Prophet-Priest-King

 

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

or

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. 

 

FBN-MeFirst-Logo

 

 

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

Review the Readings

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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