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Do not be afraid. Just have faith. Mark 5:36

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FRIDAY, DECEMBER 31, 2010


The last gasp of 2010 leaves us joyfully praising God this Christmas season.

The season’s Scripture readings are a clear reminder that Jesus is in our midst and remains with us. The steady stream of ancestors who preceded us in faith is our reminder to focus on what is real in our lives. As we prepare for the round of New Year celebrations, I pray the Christ may be the light that guides us into this New Year and throughout the year.

We don't need to look far to see the need for Christian WITNESS. And to witness, we must learn to grow in our ability to love as Christ commanded us. To love well we must sit at the feet of Him who is Love and discover over and over what it means to love as Our Father has loved us.


Pray. Pray for Christian Unity. And in mid January, beginning the 18th, we do have a day and week to celebrate and pray for Unity among Christians.


Begin the New Year well.

Seek God's grace.

Live to know God.

Deacon


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THURSDAY, DECEMBER 30, 2010


Ephesians 5:8-10

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light, for light produces every kind of goodness and righteousness and truth. Try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.

What better way to make plans for today, if not the New Year, than to live as children of light. Regardless of where you are now. No matter what the past 360 plus days have wrought, bought or brought. Forget what the years even before then had burdened or hammered you with. That darkness, that pain, that baggage can be forgotten and gone.

Living in the light gives you a better opportunity to see where you are going. And given the choice, would you prefer to be blinded by the light as Paul was and have your faith restored, in the fullness of His Light? Or would it be behind door number #2, a life in stages of darkness that get only deeper and darker till such time that all around is charcoal black, charred from the fires of life’s hell here on earth? Oh, you can go ahead and say that life is not like that… not yet anyway. Especially if you are behind that second door. If so, it is only a matter of time till the gray, dull, fog lifts and the darkness begins where the fog left off.

It doesn’t have to be that way. Instead of looking at life through the opacity of fog-lenses, there is far more, obviously, to be seen without them. Every day, we are given that gift of free will to see the life He has for us-in the choices we make in the simplest acts to those that are beyond our comprehension.From having the grace and wisdom to remain silent when our brain and lips are straining to do otherwise. From turning away from the best opportunity of a lifetime to gain an advantage at the expense of someone else’s mistake and misfortune then putting back in place the error they made. From offering an apology, seeking forgiveness and being the first to start healing the wounds in a hurt relationship, regardless of the cost. From the darkness to light…

Those are just some of the ways of putting yourself in a better position to do what He has called you to do. Be prepared to answer those that He has planned for you.

Try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.


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WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 29, 2010


Luke 2:22-35

When the days were completed for their purification according to the law of Moses, they took him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, just as it is written in the law of the Lord, "Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord," and to offer the sacrifice of "a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons," in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord.

Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, awaiting the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Messiah of the Lord.

He came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform the custom of the law in regard to him, he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying:

"Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you prepared in sight of all the peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel."

The child's father and mother were amazed at what was said about him; and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, "Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted (and you yourself a sword will pierce) so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed."

Simeon knew when he saw the Christ Child. The Holy Spirit was certainly upon him. He knew who he saw and what He was to bring to the world; that this Child-King would be the fulfillment of prophesies and the fullness of light not just for those who came to see or those near or those even who came to believe. He came to save the world.

If Simeon saw that then, what can we see now? How can we continue to open the world to the recognition of Jesus Christ? If He is our light and hope, can He not be for others? The Holy Spirit can and will be with us as we allow Him to be, just as He was with Simeon. That is His promise. And we should promise to carry forth the faith, hope and love He brought to us. Through our trust in knowing that He will be with us as we give our lives over to Him, others will come to know Him through us and we will come to know our own salvation.

For me, and for those that care to admit it, it is true that we may not be nearly as ‘righteous and devout’ as Simeon. Yet is also true that God is not quite done with us, either. He has called us His and we can respond to that call be following His will for us. Let us all go that way as Simeon did in trust and peace and serve Him.


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TUESDAY, DECEMBER 28, 2010


John 16:20-24

Amen, amen, I say to you, you will weep and mourn, while the world rejoices; you will grieve, but your grief will become joy. When a woman is in labor, she is in anguish because her hour has arrived; but when she has given birth to a child, she no longer remembers the pain because of her joy that a child has been born into the world.

So you also are now in anguish. But I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you. On that day you will not question me about anything. Amen, amen, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you.

Until now you have not asked anything in my name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete.

The amount of joy we allow ourselves to let into our lives is up to us.

For the most part, when asked how we are doing, we (okay, some us do anyway) say that we are doing 'just fine', 'okay', 'doing great', or some other response that is neither fully true or even indicative of our actual state. We try to bear up, stay the course, or sometimes just muddle through the current set of minutes, hours, days and weeks. This is our set of circumstances to handle... and excuse us for not enjoying it too much, thankyouverymuch.

For sure there will be sorrow. There will be grief, pain and suffering. Some that we may soon come to grips with. Some that will be greater than others and through prayer and God’s grace, it too shall ultimately pass.

And then, as it is written in John, our hearts will rejoice and joy will be ours again. He promises that whatever we ask in His Father’s name, it will be given to us. How joyous will our faith be as we put our trust in Him? To know that through all the trials, through all the blessings, through all the ups and downs in our lives, there is nothing that can take His Love and His joy from us.

It’s not up to Him. It’s up to us. It’s up to us to give up whatever is holding us back from knowing more fully the wonder and glory of God’s Love. As a mother giving birth, the physical pain gives way to the emotional, as well as spiritual, joy of the birth of her child. Let the surrender of our lives and the forgiveness of our sins give way to a rebirth of our own spiritual joy that comes from putting our trust in Him.


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MONDAY, DECEMBER 27, 2010


1 John 1:1-4

Beloved:
What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we looked upon
and touched with our hands concerns the Word of life, for the life was made visible. We have seen it and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was made visible to us what we have seen and heard we proclaim now to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; for our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.
We are writing this so that our joy may be complete.

Not that we have seen Him with our own eyes yet we have seen the results of His great works and we are here to carry it forth. And to those great works we too can testify to them and continue to lead others to salvation as did John and the apostles.

We too have heard The Word and The Word has given us faith. Our faith is made visible in the works we do for others through Jesus Christ. He has called us all to be those witnesses just as He called John, Peter and Mary Magdalene. As they lived, they witnessed to the power of His works and His Love. What’s to keep us from doing the same?

Two thousand years later, God will use us just as He used them. We may not be where we want to be just yet, but neither were any of the disciples when they were first called either. Put yourself in a better position to do what He wants You to do. Do those things that make you ‘better’ at what you believe. Do so many that you don’t have the time or inclination to do those that keep you from what you believe. Soon enough, you’ll realize that you’ve become what you have set out to be…


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SUNDAY, DECEMBER 26, 2010


Hebrews 11:1

Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen.

It’s the stuff that miracles are made of and to be there to see it happen is to see the triumph of one’s faith. This is an incident that occurred this year at our parish. God will do whatever it takes to bring whoever He needs to wherever He needs them to be.

Feats of Faith No. 1: On Wednesday, a week and a half before Christmas, the phone rings in the office and the women on the other end asks the volunteer if we would need some additional gifts as she had some left over. There were a dozen or so various toys and dolls that she did bring in yet with all the Christmas angels assigned and spoken for, we would be ready to add them to families that may need additional support.

So now comes the Religious Formation director with this bit of information-on the same day without knowledge of the toys being delivered. She shares with me that a single mother had just told her deaf five year old daughter the night before that she and her three month old brother would be sharing only love this Christmas. Due to fewer hours at work and the strains of single-parenthood, Santa could only bring them love this year. The little girl signed back to her: ‘That’s okay, Mommy. That’s all we need.’ From the hearts and minds of babes.

It would be a great story to say that all the toys were a perfect match for both the kids. No, they weren’t, but enough were so that they had something Christmas morning. But the story doesn’t end quite yet. The volunteer who took the call also took it upon herself to take the message to her women’s group which then added more to this triumph of faith. More gifts and clothes and food were delivered to the family. The children and their mother were blessed by the works of those who put their faith into action. And we are all covered in the blessings of the One Who sent Him.


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SATURDAY, DECEMBER 25, 2010

CHRISTMAS-THE BIRTH OF

OUR SAVIOR


Luke 2:15-20

When the angels went away from them to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go, then, to Bethlehem to see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.”
So they went in haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger.
When they saw this, they made known the message that had been told them about this child.
All who heard it were amazed by what had been told them by the shepherds.
And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, just as it had been told to them.

Celebrate the Glory!

Celebrate the Power!

Celebrate the Grace!

Celebrate the Majesty!

Celebrate our new Creation of Eternal Life!


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FRIDAY, DECEMBER 24, 2010


Luke 1:67-79

Zechariah his father, filled with the Holy Spirit, prophesied, saying:

“Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; for he has come to his people and set them free.
He has raised up for us a mighty Savior, born of the house of his servant David.
Through his prophets he promised of old that he would save us from our enemies, from the hands of all who hate us.
He promised to show mercy to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant.
This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham: to set us free from the hand of our enemies,
free to worship him without fear, holy and righteous in his sight all the days of our life.
You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High, for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way,
to give his people knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of their sins.
In the tender compassion of our God the dawn from on high shall break upon us, to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, and to guide our feet into the way of peace.”

We have spent much time in the shadows for the last number of weeks, preparing ourselves for the arrival of Emmanuel, ‘God with us’, the Great Light. His birth brings us closer to Him and being closer lets us, if even for a little while, live then as He would call us. Though we expect it and we’ve done it before, we still strive to put ourselves in a position to live a life more as He would have us live than as we would like.

The dawn will soon break upon us and may we all still choose to live more in His Light. Let us share the Good News of our faith with all we meet so as we move in our journey closer to Him, we may bring them closer with us.

May this day and this Christmas find us all in His grace and mercy and peace.


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THURSDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2010


In a few days all our Advent preparations will blossom forth in the celebrations of Christ with us. The wonder of the incarnation needs to be pondered as Mary herself pondered the events as they unfolded. She is the model we too may strive to emulate, knowing that her yes began this entire communion called Church. Peter may be the first head of the institutional Church, but it is in and through Mary that the Church first was formed. It was Mary's yes, and the resultant enfleshment of God that led to the first formations of Church.


The daily prayers and Scripture selections for the Chuch as we near Christmas, remind us of Mary's position and her role in the plan of Salvation. As we celebrate this Holy Season Mary is beside her Son, always fulfilling her role as Mother of God and our Mother. Mary longs for us to win the prize. As our Mother she is always ready to help us to become holy persons, disciples of the Lord Jesus.

Friday, the eve of Christmas, provides us with plenty of opportunities to come together and worship. It is a great time for parents to bring children to the manger and allow them to experience Jesus.
The scene, the Holy Family, provides us with opportunities to share with children the story of Christmas, and witness to God's total love for all and for each one of His creatures, His beloved children.
How to celebrate Christian? See Christ first in the Christian family gathered at Eucharist becoming one as each shares in the body of Christ. See Christ in all the moments of family, friends, and even strangers who are sometimes lonely, feeling unloved. Let the Love in you that is Christ radiate out to the world around you.


Merry Christmas, Buon Natale, Feliz Navidad, Joyeux Noel, Mele Kalikimaka,

May the Christ Child bring the realization of peace to all.

Deacon


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WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 22, 2010


Luke 1:46-56

Mary said:

“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior.
for he has looked upon his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm, and has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he remembered his promise of mercy, the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children forever.”

My soul magnifies the Lord!

As we approach the great mystery Feast of the Incarnation, we too are called to say with Mary, my soul magnifies the Lord. We reflect her Magnificat and perhaps we can come to realize that when we live with Our Blessed Lord as the center of our lives, we really do magnify the Lord. It is not that our accomplishments add to the wonder of the wonder of God, but that our response like Mary’s is our own addition of light to the glory of God. Perhaps an example is the Easter vigil as the light of Christ is magnified when each candle is lit as the light of Christ brightens the dark place of worship. Similarly, when we live seeking to respond to the call to holiness, we bring light into a darkened world because in doing the Father's will, in seeking to love as God loves, we become ‘reflectors’ of the glorious light of God.


Christmas—what exactly are we celebrating? As we experience the gift of life, are we aware of "God with Us"? Sometimes the demands we place on one another in life create clouds of doubt. We become so enamored of the gifts that we are blind to the giver. Human endeavors lead to discoveries that astound us and we forget somehow that all is gift and that in His love for us God like a loving Father, takes delight in watching us discover the wonders that He has done. Go to the farthest bounds of the Universe, enter into the tiniest particles of the matter of creation, each discovery, each human achievement is a revelation of the wonders of God's creative love.

At this moment and in each moment of our drawing breath, God is continuing to create and in marvelous unbelievable wonder, he draws us into the act of creating. In a sense, we become co-creators. As we celebrate Christmas with our families, let the wonder of God's love flood our lives. May all of us discover in new and more profound ways, Emmanuel "God with Us".

Be not afraid.

Proclaim His name.

Deacon


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TUESDAY, DECEMBER 21, 2010


Five, four days till Christmas. We are in the final days of Advent, wonderful days to spend time in conversation with Mary, Joseph and Jesus. There are so many books on how to meditate, how to pray and it is really seems more difficult finding a quiet moment, entering into God's presence and conversing with Him.

Because of our humanity, it seems to me it is easier to enter into conversation with Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Can you imagine yourself sitting in Mary's home with Joseph and Jesus present? What would the conversation be like for you? What would you want to discuss with them? Would you want their advice on any matters that are affecting your life at this moment, at this kairos time of your life?


Mary could be a great teacher on faith, and how to say yes to Love.

Joseph— wise, compassionate, loving—could respond to us in our failures to love as we should.
Jesus the constant revelation of all that God longs to present to us in love.
God, Our Father, who is love.

God who is complete in Himself who needs NOTHING from us and who only gives His unfathomable love.

During this week as we acknowledge our weaknesses and even our sinfulness, we also want to enter into His rest and be surprised by Joy as we receive the gift of His mercy in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. My prayer for all of you who read this is that you may experience absolute JOY this Christmas Season. Joy that presents you with new depths of understanding of how wonderful you are and how loved you are by the God who sustains your life.

May all of us see in one another this Christmas and always the Light of God's love and mercy.

Deacon


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MONDAY, DECEMBER 20, 2010


Judith 8:24-25

Therefore, my brothers, let us set an example for our kinsmen. Their lives depend on us, and the defense of the sanctuary, the temple, and the altar rests with us.

Besides all this, we should be grateful to the Lord our God, for putting us to the test, as he did our forefathers.

What are we called to do as believers? What is just one thing we as Christians can do to express what we have come to know as our faith? The answer is right there in Judith. Set an example for kinsmen-for others, for the world-so that they too may see the depth of our faith. Yes, the trials will happen. And they too will pass. Others will see that you have made it through them and they too will be stronger for your faith, just as you have become. All because you believe.

Through witness, through service, through prayer, and through sacrifice and love we can all impact those around us, some with a little nudge, some with a more profound transformation. As we live and follow Christ’s teachings, we put ourselves in a position to become even more like Him. No, not to walk on water or raise the dead. But with prayer, sacrifice and love, our actions can bring about change and those changes can bring about the miracles that He shares with us. They happen every day.

As they do, we become ever thankful for all the more gifts and blessings we find He has given us. He has given us all of what we know in scripture as gift. It is our responsibility to grow and mature in our faith-this gift-as best as we can and in all ways we can. Not just to leave it in the pews on a Saturday or Sunday… worse yet, on Christmas or Easter. Materially, we may not have as much as some but we certainly have a lot more than others. But, in the grand scheme of His plan, I am not so sure that’s the way He’s keeping score. Faithfully, we can live as if He has graced us with enough faith for today and pray that His will be done so that we have even more for tomorrow.


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SUNDAY, DECEMBER 19, 2010


St. Augustine's

Prayer to the Holy Spirit

Breathe in me,

O Holy Spirit,

that my thoughts may all be holy.

Act in me,

O Holy Spirit,

that my work, too, may be holy.

Draw my heart,

O Holy Spirit,

that I love but what is holy.

Strengthen me,

O Holy Spirit,

to defend all that is holy.

Guard me,

then, O Holy Spirit,

that I always may be holy.

Amen.


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SATURDAY, DECEMBER 18, 2010


The Lord is near.

Come let us worship Him.

Each day we begin our morning prayer with awareness that the Lord is near. Christmas liturgies bring us to the altar of God rejoicing that Jesus came to ‘pitch His tent’ among men, and truly to keep in mind that He will come again. Truly, in faith we look forward to see the Lord when he comes again.

We long for God.

Like Saint Augustine, we realize our hearts are restless until they find their rest in God.

Like Saint Paul, we long to be with the Lord yet we work diligently proclaiming the Good News of God's plan of salvation in Jesus Christ Our Lord.

Christmas is a time to celebrate the wonder of the mystery of Christ incarnate. God in human form, the Creator becoming one with His creatures. Perhaps there are some who are hesitant to think this way, much less believe. There are those voices crying convince the world that Christianity is a foolish myth, pious pap intended to sooth the cares of foolish persons. We will pray for them. Through God's gift of faith, through our experience of the Risen Lord we know that Jesus sits at the right hand of God the Father. King of kings and Ruler of the Universe.

This next week, as we pray with the entire Church opening our minds and hearts to God's grace, may we come to a more profound understanding of His love and be transformed by His grace into people on fire proclaiming by the witness of our lives, Jesus Christ is Lord.

Deacon


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fRiDAY, DECEMBER 17, 2010


We are well into Advent and today, we enter into the final weekend leading to the celebration of Christmas. We pray these days the O antiphons, entering into the prayer of the Universal Church, as we immerse ourselves in the mystery of God incarnate. Mary, our Mother in faith, the Mother of God, is always with us to guide us and lead us to her Son and into a deeper understanding of the mysteries of faith.


Like Mary, we ponder all that God reveals to us in the course of our lives, in Scripture and in the teachings of our Shepherds, and in the daily events where God (if we are awake) reveals Himself to us through those with whom we share life and breath and wonder.

Today, spend some time with the Lord. Talk to Him, let your prayer be a conversation, an outpouring of love, know that is what the Lord longs to do, pour out His love. And, can we doubt love seeks love in return?


How can we demonstrate our love for God? Love those who are with you this moment and all the moments of your life. The Divine Lover longs to teach us how to love. With each breath we are almost imperceptibly, (if we consciously give ourselves to the task), learning to love. Hopefully we are living a life of being converted moment by moment, growing in holiness.

In the course of our journey of faith may we discover after a lifetime of inching forward we will joyfully discover God has lifted us up to Glory. May this day bring us closer to being all we were created to be. May we be able to answer Jesus question to us as well as the Pharisees, ‘What did you go out in the desert to see?’ May we be humble enough to seek with sincere hearts, willing to be surprised by JOY!

Deacon


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THURSDAY, DECEMBER 16, 2010


Matthew 21:28-32

Jesus said to the chief priests and the elders of the people: “What is your opinion?
A man had two sons. He came to the first and said, ‘Son, go out and work in the vineyard today.’
The son said in reply, ‘I will not,’ but afterwards he changed his mind and went.
The man came to the other son and gave the same order.
He said in reply, ‘Yes, sir,’ but did not go.
Which of the two did his father’s will?”
They answered, “The first.”
Jesus said to them, “Amen, I say to you, tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the Kingdom of God before you. When John came to you in the way of righteousness, you did not believe him; but tax collectors and prostitutes did. Yet even when you saw that, you did not later change your minds and believe him.”

Every day we have, we should consider it an opportunity to do His will, to do better than what we had been doing before. There are those day that begin with intentions that we fully intend to do, yet those some things end up by the wayside as we go about our own way and do so many others. We do things by the moment, on impulse—our own way of thinking, not necessarily by what God had planned.

No, I don’t want to go that way, even if it’s supposed to be the right way.

I can do this myself, noIdon’tneedorwantyourhelpthankyouverymuch.

No, really, I’m okay. Really. I AM FINE.

Guilty as charged.

To paraphrase a line from an old friend, ‘you might want to rethink your position on that one, Bindel.’ If you’re in similar straits, finding yourself in predicaments as such far too often to admit, for sure it’s time we take a better look at ourselves and see what it is that is driving our plans, our choices—our will.

In Matthew’s gospel, one son had such a ‘rethinking’ moment. Even though he said he wasn’t going to the vineyard, he thought about all he had at his disposal. All he had been given. All that he had as gift. All the care and Love that was shared with him just by being his son.

How much clearer can it be? Our redemption is up to us. To make our own ‘earthly’ choices or to follow His will for us? As we have cleared the midway point of Advent, let’s clear our hearts and minds of all that keeps us from doing what He calls us to do. It might be then we’ll have less rethinking to do and more time to hear Him the first time.


OFFER IT UP!

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2010

Happy Birthday jackson!


Yesterday was the memorial of St. John of the Cross. We remember the saints as they are the models of faith from whom we gather pearls of wisdom that can lead us to a deeper life with God.


As such, the Church reminds us of the 16th century Mystical Doctor of the Church John of the Cross. John left us some sublime treatises on the Love of God, particularly in his writings of the Dark Night of the Soul. From there, John leads us to seek to understand the wonder of God's tremendous love for us, seen in brief human life of the Son of God, His wondrous deeds, His Passion, Death and Resurrection and Ascension.


John teaches that for us to enter into the suffering of Christ, we must be willing to take up the cross and become more like Jesus. It is dying to self and to selfishness that enables us to enter into the mystery of God's life. As we come to that final week of Advent and open our hearts to Christ incarnate, may we find time each day to converse with the Lord in heart to heart conversation.

God enable me to truly be open in mind and heart to Your presence, Your creating new life each moment, Your sustaining your Church. Grant me wisdom, O God, to enable me to follow Your will in all circumstances and to see in all men and women the wonder of You.

Deacon


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TUESDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2010


A little late this Advent Monday… now on Tuesday.

Yesterday was the memorial of the Feast of Saint Lucy. It was also cause for celebrating the 48th anniversary of one of my sons' birth. And also the anniversary of one granddaughter who is now a teenager. God is so great. So much to give thanks for. Life continues to blossom with each moment.

And, again we prepare to celebrate Christ with us.

Jesus, Emmanuel.

With all the lines for the "holiday" celebrations, where is the line that leads to celebrating why we have this season? Isn't a little unusual that so many desire to party and celebrate while insisting that we do away with the myth of Christianity? Rampant consumerism is needed to bolster the economy yet it enriches those who are already living lives of excess. In the meantime, it seems they would like us to disappear and not mention Jesus.

Wake up Christians! Arise from sleep! Rejoice, Sing praise to the Lord! Acclaim His name!
Teach us Your ways O Lord! We sing the praises with the Psalmist. May we find time each day from now until Christmas day to spend time with the Lord, seeking to hear His voice, His call, His Truth.

Twelve days and we begin the Christmas Season. Prepare now to live out the entire Christmas season from December 25th to the Baptism of the Lord which is on January 9th, 2011. Families gather together—share with one another the wonders of this season. Tell the Christmas story to all children young and old. Pray together realizing in faith the family that prays together stays together. We are in the midst of a great season of hope. We once again immerse ourselves in the Good News that God came to dwell with us, the revelation of the love that is beyond our understanding which will lead us to the great mystery of salvation, the passion and death, and resurrection of Jesus.

Let our every breath be the prayer, Come, Lord Jesus.

Deacon


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MONDAY, DECEMBER 13, 2010

happy birthday jessica!


Matthew 25:1-5a, 6-9a, 10-13

Jesus spoke this parable to his disciples: ‘The kingdom of Heaven will be like this: Ten wedding attendants took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were sensible: the foolish ones, though they took their lamps, took no oil with them, whereas the sensible ones took flasks of oil as well as their lamps.
The bridegroom was late. At midnight there was a cry, “Look! The bridegroom! Go out and meet him.” Then all those wedding attendants woke up and trimmed their lamps, and the foolish ones said to the sensible ones, “Give us some of your oil: our lamps are going out.” But they replied, “There may not be enough for us and for you.”
They had gone off to buy it when the bridegroom arrived. Those who were ready went in with him to the wedding hall and the door was closed. The other attendants arrived later. “Lord, Lord,” they said, “open the door for us.” But he replied, “In truth I tell you, I do not know you.” So stay awake, because you do not know either the day or the hour.’

Don’t you sometimes just get so tired of the ‘waiting’ we get to do? You just sit there and nothing happens? It’s as if the world around is oblivious to your condition and all else that matters, matters to others. The doctor’s office. At the restaurant. Waiting to get the car tags renewed. Even driving and having to wait at a red light of all places—and so it goes. On and on… and on. What to do? What to do with all this time?

As the bridegroom was late, he caused some more waiting. The wedding attendants—some wise, some not so high on the lumen scale—were in position to welcome him with their lighted lamps. To some, the longer they waited, the clearer it became to them that they were going to need more of something they didn’t have. What were they going to do then with the time they had?

‘Our lamps are going out… can you spare some oil?’

‘Sorry, we have only enough for us.’

‘’Uh, this can’t be good…’

Maybe they should have been better prepared. Maybe with more oil, they would have been invited to the wedding and the banquet. They would have been ready for his arrival. They would have been more prepared to ‘stay awake,’ maybe to spend more time doing those things to be better prepared. And maybe, if we looked at our waiting a little differently than we do now, we too would be more sensible than not, doing things to be better prepared.

If we looked at the oil as something like our prayer life and had more of it around to keep our own lamps burning, if you will, think of the difference it would make. And if we would look at all this waiting as time to prepare the way for the banquet that we will someday attend, bringing a bit more oil to keep our lamps lit along the way. Not just to light them once or twice or even three times a week. Maybe, just maybe, as we would have waited and prepared-stayed awake, even-a little longer in prayer, the door to His banquet will be open for us as our Lord will say, ‘Come in. Welcome Home.’


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SUNDAY, DECEMBER 12, 2010


Really… what if he said he had wanted to think it over?

John 5:5-8

One man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years.

When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been ill for a long time, he said to him, "Do you want to be well?"

The sick man answered him, "Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; while I am on my way, someone else gets down there before me."

Jesus said to him, "Rise, take up your mat, and walk."

The Healing Touch of Christ
Three guys were fishing on a lake one day, when Jesus walked across the water and joined them in the boat. When the three astonished men had settled down enough to speak, the first guy asked humbly, "Jesus, I've suffered from back pain ever since I took shrapnel in the Viet Nam war. Could you help me?"

"Of course my son," Jesus said. When Jesus touched the man's back, the man felt relief for the first time in years. The second man, who wore very thick glasses and had a hard time reading and driving, asked if Jesus could do anything about his eyesight. Jesus smiled, removed the man's glasses and tossed them in the lake. When the glasses hit the water, the man's eyes cleared and he could see everything distinctly.

When Jesus turned to heal the third man, the guy put his hands up and cried defensively, "Don't touch me! I'm on long-term disability."

Aren’t we all sometimes like this guy? No, God, I don’t need Your help right now. I have this covered on my own, even if I am a bit incapacitated. Now if You would just step aside and let me…

We act as if we really are bigger and better than what He has planned for us.

If we only would just do as He says…

John 5:14

After this Jesus found him in the temple area and said to him, "Look, you are well; do not sin anymore, so that nothing worse may happen to you."


Offer it UP!

SATURDAY, december 11, 2010


Advent hope increases as we prepare once again to celebrate Christ with Us! We prepare for celebrating His having come to us as one of us. And we look forward to when He will come again in Glory. Isaiah is one of our guides during our advent meditations, and today we listen to the voice of God speaking to us through the prophet:

Isaiah 48:17-19

Thus says the Lord, your redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:

I, the Lord, your God, teach you what is for your good, and lead you on the way you should go. If you would hearken to my commandments, your prosperity would be like a river and your vindication like the waves of the sea;
Your descendants would be like the sand, and those born of your stock like grains, Their name never cut off or blotted from my presence.

Today is perhaps a good day to set aside sufficient time to rest in the Lord and allow Him to teach us what is good. Make time in your busy Advent schedule to simply sit at the feet of the Master and listen to Him. It may require some effort, but can we not realize that He calls us to Himself and longs for us to hearken to His voice and to respond to his love.

To truly and in deep faith come to the full realization that He is The Good Shepherd who longs to lead us to green pastures, and guide us to the Glory of life in the Divine. Do It! Spend an hour today "wasting time at the feet of the Lord"

Marana tha! Come Lord Jesus.

Deacon


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FRIDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2010


Philippians 3:13,14

But this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark

Forgive and forget – easier said than done, I know. I’ve heard a couple of different schools of thought on how we go about forgiving someone. One school of thought says that it is not possible to forgive someone if they haven’t admitted or realized they did something that needs to be forgiven.In other words, how do you forgive someone if they haven’t asked to be forgiven?The other school of thought says that you forgive as many times as it takes and then some even if the one you forgive doesn’t really get it.

I guess I would argue that forgiveness is not that black and white. If you hold on to your anger or frustration at someone because they haven’t realized yet that they’ve wronged you, then isn’t that kind of like holding a grudge? And if you just keep hearing “I’m sorry” from someone only to see them do the same thing over and over, isn’t that kind of like allowing yourself to be a punching bag?

So which is it? Well, Jesus died for our sins before we even knew we would be around to commit those sins. Why? Because He loves us and wants the best for us. Just think, forgiveness is always there just waiting in the wings. We do have to acknowledge the sin or the hurt we’ve caused for forgiveness to truly take hold, but it is there. So I guess I would argue that it takes both schools of thought to achieve true forgiveness and for the forgetfulness to take hold. There needs to be an acknowledgement of wrongdoing for forgiveness to have its full effect AND it may be necessary to go through this process more than once before the forgetting kicks in. In order to wipe the slate clean and forget, you have to move beyond the anger and frustration and truly “press toward the mark…”

And when ye stand praying forgive, if you have aught against any:
that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you
your trespasses. Mark 11:25


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THURSDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2010


Yesterday, we offered and celebrated Mass on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Mary, the woman of faith who full of grace, was privileged to be the Mother of God. Can we even begin to understand the wonder of such faith? To love God so totally selflessly that she was able to bear the God-Man in her being and give birth to Jesus the Christ.
As we look to Mary perhaps slowly it begins to dawn on us that we too are called to "give birth" to the Christ. As we journey through life and come to the table of the Lord, the table of His word, the table of the Bread of Life, as we are filled with his love, with his grace, we are to say with Mary-‘Be it done to me according to your Word.’


For Mary, she was impregnated and given the task and privilege of parenting Jesus in his humanity. As he grew in knowledge and wisdom, we must ponder the role of Mary in those hidden years of the life of Jesus. As we do, we may discover in our prayerful reflecting the voice of God speaking to our hearts and souls.


For Mary the angel Gabriel came. For us, Jesus has come and comes to us in Eucharistic love and mystery. When I fail to hear his call is it for lack of faith? Have I become too 'sophisticated', too worldly, too in love with creation rather than the Creator?


We modern Christians seem too frequently intent on satisfying our own wants, our own egos. We are in a spiritual battle with those gifted people whom God allows to discover the wonders of the created world, and too often through these discoveries we deny the Creator. We are awed with the wonders of the universe; we are awed also with discoveries that lead us into the wonders of the world in tiny particles, atoms and other minute matter and the orderliness of its arrangement and motion.
As we prepare for the celebration of Christmas, for the wonder of the incarnation, may God grace us and inspire us through the Holy Spirit to Sing Praise to the Creator, and not be afraid to demonstrate our faith shouting for joy.


May the Babe in the manger at Christmas be the light of our lives!

Deacon


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WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 8, 2010


Ephesians 1:3-6, 11-12

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens, as he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and without blemish before him.
In love he destined us for adoption to himself through Jesus Christ, in accord with the favor of his will, for the praise of the glory of his grace that he granted us in the beloved.

In him we were also chosen, destined in accord with the purpose of the One who accomplishes all things according to the intention of his will, so that we might exist for the praise of his glory, we who first hoped in Christ.

Maybe you have less time to think about these things or maybe these things just seem to take up more of my time than they should because… well, they just do lately but to think that God put into action all of our lives before the foundation of the world is huge! We are loved so much by Him, He sent His Son born of the Virgin Mary so that we could have a life of mercy and grace.

Unbelievable? Normally, yes. With God, no. We know that all things are possible.

He did so for us just as He did so for Mary who was conceived immaculately—that is without sin—so that she would be born to carry the Savior of the World. What better way to bring in the King of Kings. Unblemished. Full of Grace. The LORD God was and is with her.

He is with us too. Just as Mary said ‘Yes’, we can too reply and accept His will for us. Or not. Either way, it won’t be easy. The payoff though for being as He calls us to be is far greater than the alternative.


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TUESDAY, DECEMBER 7, 2010

Happy Birthday theresa!


Matthew 18:12-14

Jesus said to his disciples:
“What is your opinion? If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray, will he not leave the ninety-nine in the hills and go in search of the stray?
And if he finds it, amen, I say to you, he rejoices more over it than over the ninety-nine that did not stray.
In just the same way, it is not the will of your heavenly Father that one of these little ones be lost.”

I hope your Advent time is filled with grace as we await the coming of Christ.

This second week of Advent we are reminded by Isaiah and by the Lord Himself that God is the Good Shepherd. What is your image of the Good Shepherd? Do you take time to sit in silent reflection and meet him in your mental images noticing how he gently guides and protects his flock? There are those who are not willing to be compared to sheep. Yet, with honesty, sincerity and humility, we are certainly to be often compared with sheep. We are in need of the care of a good shepherd who will guide us along safe paths, teaching us to avoid the pitfalls of evil spirits who are determined to lead us astray.

God speaks to us daily in His word if we listen. Listening in this case requires we enter into the Scriptures and in reading, we listen for God's voice. Lectio Divina. It is a term that means that one takes to slowly reading a passage from Scripture and allowing the voice of God to penetrate our minds and hearts. Then reflecting on what you just read. Then doing it again. And possibly again after additional reflection.

Do we have a myriad of other things to keep us from this? Is it, this myriad, our most important focus on what this passing life has to offer? Indeed, many are in need of learning to focus on the ultimate destiny of our lives.

God is calling you, me, all of his children into a relationship.

Into love.

Into life forever.

Amen.

Deacon


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MONDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2010


Advent Hope!

During these days of preparation, as we listen and reflect on the readings from Isaiah perhaps we can enter into wonder. God's transcendence is almost beyond any imagining. We are reminded of his generosity, his mercy, his love for all of us and each of us. As we walk through the Gospel of Matthew we encounter Jesus in His incarnate life and in faith are present as he heals, loves, forgives and proclaims the abundant love of Our Father. As each day you rise to life isn't appropriate to recognize and give thanks to our God for his countless blessings.

Perhaps some days one doesn't "feel" especially blessed. But we must ask—is it that God has moved from our lives or that we simply become so self-absorbed, we may be like spoiled children? What does it mean today for me that Jesus speaks of building my house on a firm foundation and not on shifting sand? As I look ahead toward Christmas, I see that the goal remains always the same. Christmas in time, is another opportunity to prepare for that ultimate moment when I truly meet the Lord face to face. However, as long as I have life and breath I must proclaim the Lord till He comes!
The mystery of the Incarnation looms large as it does every year at this time. Christ with us. For the apostles two thousand years ago, they walked and talked with Jesus, they were witnesses to the wonders performed and mourned the death of the Lord and finally rejoiced as they came to the realization of what He had done as they experienced the Risen Lord.

We on the other hand, walk in faith. But, no less than the apostles are we blessed. Blessed are those who have not seen yet believe. In faith, we are privileged to have the Lord with us daily in the Eucharist and in each other, the Body of Christ. Yet, it seems so many do not believe that the Lord is truly present as He said. We take pride in human accomplishments in a way that removes the need to give thanks to the Creator for all we discover in His wonderful creation. What do we have in the way of the world that has not been gift? Even the breath that we enjoy moment by moment is pure gift. How quickly it is taken. The moment comes like a thief in the night. To be aware of this is sometimes fear-filled, but what we need to cultivate is trust. With each breath we CAN learn to say Jesus, I trust in you. Simple prayer that develops our trust muscles in our spiritual attitude. Learning to trust that Jesus can lead us deeper into the mystery of learning to love, learning to draw close to being perfect as our heavenly father is perfect.

In our efforts to grow in holiness can we not dump from lives the myriad distractions, inconsequent concerns that lead us to commit sin? We can if we are open to God's grace which as Paul writes is sufficient.


Jesus, as I breathe this day the prayer of trusting in you. Increase in me the desire to serve you by serving those you place in my life this day and every day. Help me to learn to die to self and seek only to do the will of Our Father.

Mary, be always near to guide me in the right path. Teach me to be bold enough to say and do as you did...Be it done to me according to your word! Grace all those I lift up in prayer this day with all they need to know you and seek to live in love.

Lord, heal those in need of healing. I ask in your name for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit. Alleluia. Amen.

Deacon


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SUNday, december, 5, 2010


Matthew 3:1-12

John the Baptist appeared, preaching in the desert of Judea and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” It was of him that the prophet Isaiah had spoken when he said:

A voice of one crying out in the desert, prepare the way of the Lord,

make straight his paths.


John wore clothing made of camel’s hair and had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. At that time Jerusalem, all Judea, and the whole region around the Jordan were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the Jordan River as they acknowledged their sins.

When he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce good fruit as evidence of your repentance.
And do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’
For I tell you, God can raise up children to Abraham from these stones. Even now the ax lies at the root of the trees. Therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.
I am baptizing you with water, for repentance, but the one who is coming after me is mightier than I.
I am not worthy to carry his sandals.
He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
His winnowing fan is in his hand.
He will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

Whatever he had going on was working. John was making changes in lives in spite of the way he looked and in spite of the way he preached the message—harshly and directly. His message was clear. His message was direct. Those that listened knew of what he spoke. Those that didn’t would soon find out otherwise, pulling no punches with the Pharisees or Sadducees.

Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!

For sure, he was a single voice in the desert, doing all that he could to bring others to Him. And to for those that wanted to come to Him, they had to repent. That was John’s message and those that chose to come to Him and be baptized began their transformation process. They knew they were ready to do what he was calling them to do-they heard something and responded to his call to change their lives. They knew it was time to change. They believed that even though he was baptizing by water, that what will be even greater for them afterward will be what happens to them with the fire of the Holy Spirit.

How about that? How ready are we to begin our own transformation? How soon do we want to start? Sometimes—(why not all the time?)—we need those people like John the Baptist in our lives to pull or push us back to where we were on our journeys. They may not be dressed in camel hair. They may not be eating nature food. They will however be as direct and truthful as he was with those who were called to change their lives. Regardless of who they are, we should all be ready, begin, start again, renew, repent-everyday. Not to get everyone looking over their shoulder but…

His winnowing fan is in His hand.


OFFER IT UP!

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 4, 2010


"Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world....For all that
is in the world,...is not of the Father, but is of the world." 1 John 2:15-16

This is a tough dose of medicine to swallow; to “love not the world, neither the things that are in the world.”At this time of year, when we all tend to focus on shopping and cooking and all things ‘Christmas,’ it is easy to slip into that worldly point of view.

There is nothing wrong with sharing gifts during Christmas because Christmas is when we celebrate the fact that God gave us the best gift – His Son.God’s gift was mindful.Mindful of the fact that we needed a Savior.Mindful of the fact that Jesus would teach us how to live before He sacrificed Himself for us.Mindful of the fact that Jesus would show us how to act with justice, mercy and grace towards others.

So what is mindful gift giving?It means we give from our hearts and we give knowing that it will meet a need.If we’ve had a great year financially, it may even mean giving a gift that is not needed, but satisfies a longing for something that will be used more than once and tossed aside.What’s not mindful gift giving?It is running through the store, fretting because you need to get a gift for someone and have no idea what to get them.So, you pick up the first Christmas sweater you come to that is on sale and don’t even know if they like wearing Christmas sweaters.I will be the first to admit – guilty as charged.

Here’s an idea that you might want to try among friends – with credit for the idea given to my very untraditional, but very thoughtful daughter.Plan a meal or dessert party with a group of friends and let them know they will be offering a gift of service to someone.During the party, each person takes time to write down a service of some sort that they can give away.Usually, it is something the person is good at, has a talent for, or knows that they can fulfill. For example, you might offer to give the gift of a free car wash or you might offer to make a grocery run for someone.If you have talent in the area of cooking or finances, you might offer a gift of a good cooked meal delivered to a person’s home or help in balancing a checkbook.Then, just throw them all in a hat and see who gets what.If it appears your gift could better serve someone else in the group, you can offer to make an exchange.

Remember, Christmas is the time of year we need to focus on what’s really important – our love of our Lord, of our family, and of our friends.What better way to say ‘I love you’ than to be able to say ‘Here, let me help you’ to someone. lgboyd

Psalm 147: 1, 3-4

Praise the LORD, for he is good;
sing praise to our God, for he is gracious;
it is fitting to praise him.

He heals the brokenhearted
and binds up their wounds.
He tells the number of the stars;
he calls each by name.


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FRIDAY, DECEMBER 3, 2010


Matthew 9:27-31

As Jesus passed by, two blind men followed him, crying out, “Son of David, have pity on us!”
When he entered the house, the blind men approached him and Jesus said to them,
“Do you believe that I can do this?”
“Yes, Lord,” they said to him.
Then he touched their eyes and said, “Let it be done for you according to your faith.”

And their eyes were opened.
Jesus warned them sternly, “See that no one knows about this.” But they went out and spread word of him through all that land.

The first week of Advent is at its end. Today is the first Friday of December, the feast of St Francis Xavier. Again, opportunities to exercise spiritually and grow stronger in our determination to become all that God intends us to be.

I wonder how many young Catholics are familiar with first Friday devotions, with the promises of St Mary Alacoque who shared with us the devotion to the Sacred Heart. The promises she revealed had been made known to her that those who, for nine consecutive first Fridays, received Our Lord in Holy Communion and went to confession, would receive special graces to achieve salvation.
We are living in an age where so many devotional practices no longer are part of the religious environment that we once experienced. I wonder. What are the spiritual exercises we have replaced these devotions with?

What is the Lord revealing to each of us in our time? As I rise this day my first thoughts are to give thanks for this new day. I am aware this morning of the privilege of being able to praise God, and to ask Him for the graces necessary to live each moment this day with an awareness of His creative presence. As I seek hopefully to overcome this seasonal illness that has held me captive these last 10 days, I offer up any impatience to the Lord asking His special graces for all those for whom I am called upon to include in my prayer.

Faith. In today's gospel selection from Matthew Jesus heals the blind saying let it be accomplished according to your faith. The gift of faith—truly it is a gift from the Lord of Lords. I reflect on how poorly I have done in life to nurture and exercise the gift that God has given me. How many times could I have proclaimed the Good News and for whatever reason been reticent. The love of God for me, for all of us, is beyond comprehension. It too often is determined too good to be true, and yet the evidence in each of lives, if we are alert to it, clearly reveals to us the wonder of that love.

What is the Lord whispering to your heart this day? As you prepare this Advent for celebrating the Incarnation and deepening your relationship with Our Lord what will your focus be today to meet Him and allow Him to transform those areas of your life that are in need of attention? Where your treasure is...there is your heart. What is it, who is it you value more than life itself?

O Lord, I long for you yearning to know you and be one with you. You know how quickly I can be distracted and immerse myself in pursuits that are empty and often foolish. Too soon in my distractions I forget all that you have done to reveal the awesomeness of the Father's love for me, for all men and women who share life and breath. Grant, O Lord, the graces to be a shining icon of your love that I may love you more faithfully and be a light for any who are placed in my life's journey. Come, Lord Jesus. Let the light of your love fill us all with JOY as we trust in you!

Deacon


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THURSDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2010


Matthew 15:29-37

Jesus walked by the Sea of Galilee, went up on the mountain, and sat down there. Great crowds came to him, having with them the lame, the blind, the deformed, the mute, and many others.
They placed them at his feet, and he cured them. The crowds were amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the deformed made whole, the lame walking, and the blind able to see, and they glorified the God of Israel.

Jesus summoned his disciples and said, “My heart is moved with pity for the crowd, for they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, for fear they may collapse on the way.”
The disciples said to him, “Where could we ever get enough bread in this deserted place to satisfy such a crowd?”
Jesus said to them, “How many loaves do you have?”
“Seven,” they replied, “and a few fish.”
He ordered the crowd to sit down on the ground. Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, gave thanks, broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, who in turn gave them to the crowds. They all ate and were satisfied. They picked up the fragments left over–seven baskets full.

As we continue our Advent journey, in Matthew's Gospel we are with the Lord Jesus on the mountain in Galilee. We are privileged to see the healing power of God as the blind now see, the lame are walking, the mute speaking, the deformed running and jumping in joy. All hang on the words of the Master and give thanks for the Glory of God being revealed. Then Jesus asks us to feed the hungry crowd. With the apostles we look anxiously at the few loaves and the few fish we have and cannot imagine feeding this hungry throng.

The thought flitters through our minds, why can't they just disperse and get food for themselves? Someone is bold enough to point this out to the Master, and he insists we bring him the little food we have. He blessed the food, breaks the bread and bids us feed the crowds. We begin and lo and behold there is more than enough, how we still don't know how, but He did it. And when all had their fill, we picked up seven baskets full of the leftovers. Is there anyone as gracious, generous or more powerful than our God?

The gospel account is a reminder of our own blessedness. There are always leftovers. Each day the amount of food leftover in restaurants would likely astound us if we bothered to take notice. Laws are in place to prevent even sharing with the poor and unfortunate in the name of preventing illness, protecting these food businesses from litigation should some circumstance present itself.

Saint Paul has much to say about the law and sin. Perhaps this Advent season we can all reflect on our attitudes toward all that God has given us and how well we manage to care for His gifts.

O God, give me a heart molded into the image of your Son Jesus. Grant O Lord the wisdom, courage, and humility to set my entire being afire with desire to serve you.
Help me to transform my life and with each breath proclaim by my life your presence. Grant that I may empty myself completely and use the gifts of this life to do what you intended me to do to build your kingdom. When my journey in this brief life of time is ended may I find enter with all by brothers and sisters into the life you have prepared for us in eternity.

Glory be to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning is now and will be forever.

Amen.

Alleluia.

Deacon


Offer It Up!

WEDNESDAY, December 1, 2010

Happy birthday Jim!


Psalm 19:8-11

The law of the LORD is perfect, refreshing the soul. The decree of the LORD is trustworthy, giving wisdom to the simple.

The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart. The command of the LORD is clear, enlightening the eye.

The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever. The statutes of the LORD are true, all of them just;

They are more precious than gold, than a heap of purest gold; Sweeter also than syrup or honey from the comb.

It is hard to grasp how our Lord can be all of those things described in this Psalm – perfect, trustworthy, right, clear, pure, true, more precious than gold. It’s not hard to think about these things individually–we can all be seen as trustworthy and true from time to time. But, He is all of those things, ALL of the time. It helps to have a mental picture of something that is hard to grasp. In reading this Psalm, here are the pictures that come to my mind (could be a scary thing to share this with you):

Perfect: What comes to mind when you think of perfection? For me, a piece of 7-layer dark chocolate cake after a good dinner or a bowl of fresh fruit on a hot day.Or in non-food terms, a beautiful sunset on a clear day or a roaring fire in the fireplace on a cold, cloudy day.

Trustworthy: There must be at least one person in your life that you find trustworthy. For me, it is a friend that I can call on and know that I will get an answer every time. I don’t always like the answer I get, but the answers keep me on the right path.

Right: Here, it means that which is just, honorable, moral, ethical. This can be a hard one because our society finds so many nooks and crannies to put these things into–but I see someone who goes the extra mile to return a lost wallet.

Clear:Okay–I will give myself away here–clean windows come to mind first; none of those filmy water spots to get in the way of the view outside.

Pure: What is more pure than a newborn baby? Now, picture a soon-to-be mother in a rocking chair singing and reading to her not yet born baby. Pure love, pure joy, pure anticipation of something very special to come.

True:This is another one that society likes to bend and twist into different forms.For me, it is like putting a jigsaw puzzle together–all of the pieces fit, even if it doesn’t look like it at first.

More precious than gold: So, if you had to choose between grabbing a heap of gold laying in the street for the taking or holding your children by the hand and steering them around the riot of people grabbing for the gold, what would you do?

That is how much the Lord loves us; He ignores the gold, grabs our hand and steers us out of danger with His law, His precepts, His commands, His statutes. His love is more pure than that of a mother with a newborn baby and more satisfying than a gigantic piece of chocolate cake. His plan for us is clearer than the cleanest window and when we follow it, the path fits tighter than the best jigsaw puzzle. He is all of those things, ALL the time.

lgboyd