Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Christ’

Key Takeaway In This Sunday’s (September 27, 2015) Gospel: Temptations To Sin, Mk 9:38-43, 45 47-48

The word of God this Sunday is focused on the 10423349_1155514751131698_5245816457681358538_nopenness and respect for those who are different.

Pope Francis’ speech yesterday before Philadelphia’s iconic Independence Hall echoed that thought, when he gave a ringing endorsement of RELIGIOUS FREEDOM.

According to a CNN report, he urged his American hosts to avoid a “superficial quest for unity.”Addressing a predominantly immigrant crowd, he said, “In this witness, which frequently encounters powerful resistance you remind American democracy of the ideals for which it was founded, and that society is weakened whenever and wherever injustice prevails.”

Drawing cheers from the large crowd, where many of the faithful waved flags from countries such as Costa Rica and Mexico, the Argentine-born Francis encouraged his diverse flock to “never be ashamed of your traditions.”

“Do not forget the lessons you learned from your elders,” he stated, “which are something you can bring to enrich the life of this American land.

“Pope Francis made his remarks from the same lectern Abraham Lincoln used to give the Gettysburg Address, a fitting setting for a speech stressing freedom. He declared, however, that the rights of the faithful should extend well beyond the sanctuary door.”Religious freedom certainly means the right to worship God, individually and in community, as our consciences dictate,” he averred.

“But religious liberty, by its nature, transcends places of worship and the private sphere of individuals and families.”Pope Francis was most animated and drew the loudest response when he addressed the immigrants, greeting them with “particular affection.”

“Do not be discouraged by whatever challenges and hardships you face,” he said, to loud cheers. “I ask you not to forget that, like those who came here before you, you bring many gifts to your new nation.”

OUR PRAYER:

O God our Creator, we ask you to bless us in our vigilance for the gift of religious liberty. Give us the strength of mind and heart to readily defend our freedoms when they are threatened; give us courage in making our voices heard on behalf of the rights of your Church and the freedom of conscience of all people of faith. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Key Takeaway In This Sunday’s (September 13, 2015) Gospel:

ua2q6swmdq8

Peter’s Confession About Jesus – Mk 8:27-35

“Who do you say that I am?” — Mark 8.29

Today’s Gospel reminds us of the hugely successful 1971 Stephen Schwartz and John-Michael Tebelak rock opera GODSPELL based on the Gospel according to St. Matthew, which deals with the last days of Jesus, and includes dramatized versions of several well-known parables.

And yet it is something more – a religious experience, a demonstration of joy, and a celebration of the family of man. This immensely successful rock opera needs little introduction, but when it was first produced on Broadway in 1971 it broke new ground in its stage treatment of the historical Jesus Christ.

The third song in the musical, “Day by Day” — a prayer ascribed to the 13th English Bishop Saint Richard of Chichester — particularly captures people’s imagination. It summarizes our plea to see, love and follow God more openly. The lyrics of the haunting melodic number reads:

“Day by day, oh, dear Lord, three things I pray
To see thee more clearly
Love thee more dearly
Follow thee more nearly, day by day
Day by day, day by day
Oh, dear Lord, three things I pray
To see thee more clearly
Love thee more dearly
Follow thee more nearly, day by day.

”The song spent 14 weeks on the “Billboard Hot 100,” peaking at the number 13 position on July 29, 1972. “Billboard “ ranked it as the No. 90 song for 1972.

But more than its enormous commercial success it becomes a great “aide memoire” for people to be more generous, to give food to those who are hungry, to provide home for the homeless or the refugees (a very relevant concern today given the Syrian refugees seeking a safer haven), to die so others may live, and “to lose good things, to get better.”

A tough call indeed, but the only way we can share in this life is by seeing, loving and following Jesus and taking up our own cross so that death leads to life. The challenge of this Sunday’s Gospel is the challenge of the cross: to see that glory in our everyday lives. As the “Living Liturgy” states, “Good surrounds all of us; the cross invites us to see that good—out of pain and poverty can come a new life that has value, meaning, and purpose for self and others.”

OUR PRAYER:

Lord, teach me to be generous. Teach me to serve you as you deserve; to give and not to count the cost, to fight and not to heed the wounds, to toil and not to seek for rest, to labor and not to ask for reward, save that of knowing that I do your will. Amen.

(St. Ignatius de Loyola)

Read Full Post »

Sunday’s (June 21, 2015) Gospel: The Calming Of A Storm At Sea – Mk 4:35-41

“WHO THEN IS THIS WHOM EVEN THE WIND AND SEA OBEY?”

In this Sunday’s Gospel Jesus established that He is the Master of all Creation; that He is the Almighty One, and only the Almighty One can demand creation to follow His every command.

QUIET! BE STILL!

These three small but powerful words clearly bring to our attention that even if we may think that God is asleep or lacking in concentration to our predicament, all we need do is holler and He will be there. Our call should not be one of skepticism or fright: As He asked His disciples, “Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?” Our tonality, as we “shout out” should always have the confidence and the belief that He is there to help us and bring us to a state of calm.

WHAT? WE WORRY?

Setting up conditional happiness, success or other outcomes leads to ever-increasing negative feelings. But setting up dual happiness — happiness for both now and later — allows for good moments at any time. Dr. Spencer Johnson, best-selling co-author of “The One Minute Manager,” has advised people to live in the present without allowing negative attitudes to fester.

A setback is only one moment in time. It ends. The next moment is up to you. “Make that next moment one of learning and the growth will happen by and of itself. Before we know it, we will be where we wanted to be from the start,” Johnson emphasized.

Living, especially during these days, involves two areas: the things we can control and the things we can’t. Don’t worry about what we can’t control.

WORRYING IS A TOTAL WASTE OF ENERGY.

Train our focus on the future. It is something we can have power over. But don’t fret about it either. Move it. Manage it. What about the present? It’s in our hands. Live it the way we want to live it. Bring it to where we will be happiest even in challenging times such as today. Stay focused on what we want to happen, and we will attract exactly what we want.

Goals can be set. Positive experiences can be sought. Good news can be created. We just have to focus unfailingly on the picture, and to have trust in God. Happiness, after all, consists in getting what we desire and desiring what we have.

Let us avoid spending so much time worrying about the future, and learn to “be still” — to WAIT ON THE FATHER, OUR LORD. Why be terrified when we believe that God is by our side. As we weather the storms of our lives we must patiently and graciously wait for the Lord, and find the markers of the direction that He wants us to take — the path that can bring stillness and serenity to our souls.

OUR PRAYER:

Dear Lord, be with us in our journey, teach us to how to be quiet and to be still. Hold our hands when we are fearful; Fortify our trust in Your care. May You reinforce us with the wisdom to make the right decisions every time. Thank you for your unending presence and undying love. Amen.

Read Full Post »

Key Takeaway In This Sunday’s (June 14, 2014) Gospel: Parables Of The Seed – Mk 4:26 -34

“This is how it is with the reign of God. A farmer scatters seed on the ground, goes to bed, and gets up day after day. Through it all the seed sprouts and grows without the farmer knowing how it happens. The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head.” (Mark 4.26-28)

This Sunday’s Gospel is made up of two short parables that use the everyday occurrences in the lives of people.

Both narratives mirror people’s familiarity in planting seeds, and how the seeds develop into full-grown plants, but to us how a seed becomes a mature plant continues to be a mystery.

An acorn grows to a full oak tree because somebody waters, fertilizes, and nurtures it with love and care.

The Gospel also reminds us of the “WOMB TO TOMB” or “CRADLE TO GRAVE ” concept —- the cycle of life. How we take care of others, or how we are taken care of by others — in every stage of life — defines how we turn out as people.

Sowing, growing and developing a seed, just like giving birth to, nurturing and improving a human being is a test of our patience, love, hope and faith. The patience in how we give nutrients to those we care for so they may grow big, healthy and strong; the love to make them robust and compassionate, so they in turn may be able to extend the love and care to others; the faith that they will develop and expand to become something that is enormously noble and inclusive to showcase God’s great work in them, and the hope that everything will turn out right.

“PATIENCE is the art of caring slowly,” John Ciardi said. It can’t be acquired overnight. We need time and the willpower to make it grow. Patience is genius. As Gorge-Louis Leclerc de Buffon declared, “Never think that God’s delays are God’s denials. Hold on … hold fast … hold out.” Our authentic blessings often manifest to us in the form of hurts, defeats and disappointments, but if we have patience we will see these in proper perspectives.

God understands our hurts, defeats and disappointments. He loves us dearly. He is always present to hearten our hearts and help us appreciate that He’s enough for all of our needs. When we accept this LOVE as an unqualified reality in our life, our worrying will stop.

“FAITH is to believe what we do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what we believe,” Saint Augustine proclaimed, and quickly added, “Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on us.” Thus, our sowing, nurturing — from birth to death — must be guided with an unquestionable trust in Him.

When we have HOPE, we can make the present moment less hard to carry, because we trust that tomorrow will be an improved version of today. Bill Keane stated, “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift of God, which is why we call it the present.”

OUR PRAYER:

Dear Lord, may we constantly have an ample supply of patience, love, faith and hope that we may be able to understand Your mysterious ways, as we help in sowing, nurturing and expanding the seed of Your affection and compassion. Amen.

Read Full Post »

The Lord is faithful to all his promises
and loving toward all he has made.

Psalm 145:13

FROM THE FATHER’S HEART
My child, because you are anxious about so many things, I want you to look to My Word for assurance. Remember how I fulfilled every promise I made. Look at My servants Abraham, Isaac, Ruth, David, and a host of mighty men and women throughout Scripture. I love you, too, just as I loved them. As I was faithful to My covenant with them, so I will be faithful to you. I always keep My Word.

A GRATEFUL RESPONSE
As I look back over my life, Lord, I see the tracks of Your faithfulness. Sometimes carrying me, sometimes walking beside me, You are always the same. Time after time, even when I fail You, Lord, Your promises remain. You are always true to Your Word. Great is Your faithfulness.

SIMPLE TRUTH

It is impossible for God to break His promises. He and His Word are the same.

Read Full Post »

O Thou whose glory fills the heavens,
Whose bounty clothes the earth,
To Thee a poem of thanks we raise
For blessings from our birth.
For that untiring love Thou dost,
From day to day renew,
O may it on our hearts descend
Like heaven-distilled dew.
For mercy great, unending still,
Which gave up to the grave
Thine only Son, the Sinless One,
Our sinful souls to save.
While entering on another year
Our cares on Thee we cast,
Beseeching aid in days to come
Which cheered us through the past.
That still the freedom may be ours
To kneel down in Thy sight,
And worship Thee at shut of day,
And in the morning light.
That from temptation’s fatal paths
Thou turn our steps away;
And keep us from unholy thoughts
That lead the mind astray.
No more may lust of worldly wealth
Command thoughts that are thine;
Nor may we envy other’s lot,
Or at our own repine.
Than all the riches earth can boast
Or gems beneath the sea,
We know the pious, humble heart,
More precious is to Thee.
How needful, then, to train our thoughts,
And fan the heavenly flame
Of faith, in the believing heart,
Triumphing o’er sin and shame
And holding by the Word, thou hast
For grace and guidance given,
Pass trough this world in holy fear,
True candidates for heaven.

Read Full Post »


Holy Creator of Trees,
bless with your abundant grace
this our Christmas tree as a symbol of joy.
May its evergreen branches be a sign
of your never-fading promises.
May its colorful lights and ornaments call us
to decorate with love our home and our world.
May the gifts that surround this tree
be symbols of the gifts we have received
from the Tree of Christ’s Cross.
Holy Christmas tree within our home,
may Joy and Peace come and nest
in your branches and in our hearts.

Amen.

– Author Unkown

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »