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AFRAIDNOT

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

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Offer It Up June 30th

Happy Birthday Patty!


2 Corinthians 6:1-10
Brothers and sisters:
As your fellow workers, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain.
For he says:

In an acceptable time I heard you, and on the day of salvation I helped you.

Behold, now is a very acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.
We cause no one to stumble in anything, in order that no fault may be found with our ministry;
on the contrary, in everything we commend ourselves as ministers of God, through much endurance,
in afflictions, hardships, constraints, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, vigils, fasts; by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, in the Holy Spirit, in unfeigned love, in truthful speech, in the power of God;
with weapons of righteousness at the right and at the left; through glory and dishonor, insult and praise.
We are treated as deceivers and yet are truthful;
as unrecognized and yet acknowledged; as dying and behold we live;
as chastised and yet not put to death; as sorrowful yet always rejoicing;
as poor yet enriching many; as having nothing and yet possessing all things.

There are people in the world who move along in spite of what gets in their way. They move along even as things or other people may cause them to stumble or they are dismissed for not being ‘up to par’ or ‘up to speed’ with the rest of the world.

As in the reading from 2 Corinthians above, they get the treatment as if they were second hand believers, if you will. Maybe you know some people like that—might be that you are one—one that catches the heat for being truthful when it would be easier and quite the popular thing to do to go to the ditch and be untruthful. Yup, let’s call it like it is—live in a lie.

Nevertheless, you step up and step out. You would rather die fighting in the streets than live a lie in the ditch. Through the insults and pain, you rise above the onslaught and, with the Holy Spirit, the Grace of God embraces you and protects you. You are His and in His peace.

A Birthday Note... the last one for June

Today is my sister’s birthday. She has lived her life much like these verses from 2 Corinthians.

...With knowledge and patience, she has held her family strong through much endurance in afflictions and hardships.

...With kindness and in the Holy Spirit, they have held firmly in the power of God.

...As in truthful speech as a minister of God, she has shared forever with us all her unfeigned love.

In sum, Patty would be one to die in the streets for God’s love.

Happy Birthday, older sister. You are indeed His and are in His Peace.


Offer It Up June 29th


Matthew 8:26

Why are you terrified, O you of little faith?

It is difficult for us at times to totally trust in the Lord. In times of great trial, such as losing a job, or experiencing a death in the family, we find ourselves disoriented. We are afraid of change, the future, and what it might bring. We grieve at our loss. Our hearts are greatly troubled, and yet many times we do not seek the Lord. And if we do, it is sometimes as a last resort.

The challenge before us is one of faith and trust. We must trust in God and know that He is with us. He knows our hearts and every detail of our lives. The trials that we experience in our lives serve to strengthen us, and gain for us graces and merit.

Through our perseverance, we continually grow in grace, love, and merit. In faith, we continue to work toward the ultimate goal of eternal salvation. We can only imagine the great splendor of the kingdom of heaven. Through the tiny glimpses we receive in special moments of our lives, we have so much to hope for.


Steve Shawl daily-mediations.org


Offer It Up June 28th


Mark 9: 6-37

And he took a child, and put him in the midst of them; and taking him in his arms, he said to them: “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me; and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me.”

A mother and son were in their mini-van, on their way to an appointment. As mothers do with children in tow, this mom was well aware of her immediate surroundings, including that most immediate and dear, the voice of her four-year old son.

"What did you say, Jack?", she asked to the back, as Jack was in his car seat. She thought he was either asking a question, singing or just making a comment about the outside world as he had been known to do.

No response.

She adjusted the rearview mirror a bit to see if he was okay-no problem there; Jack was fine and yes, he was still talking. So she asked again, "Jack, who you talking to, buddy?"

Still, Jack held his own and went about his own conversation.

The mother, along with her husband and their daugther, had seen and heard these little dialogues before but none quite like this. Besides, Jack had pretty much always talked his way to a stop before they carried on to this length. This one was pressing her limits.

"Jack-"and before she could get another syllable of his full name out, that worldly popular tactic mothers use when they want children to know that trouble of some sort could be headed their way, Jack stopped her--and the mini-van--with this to say.

"I wasn't talking to you. I was talking to Jesus.

Now I am talking to you both."

True story. Jack's mother told me this just a few days ago. Who are we to say Jack wasn't having a nice one-on-one with His Savior? Who again are we to say that our Savior didn't take a ride in that mini-van that day? Or any other day?

Who are we to say, likewise, that we all shouldn't have more one-on-one's with Him?

I don't about you guys, but I'm riding with Jack.


Offer It Up June 27th


Luke 13:31-35

At that time some Pharisees came to him and said, "Go away, leave this area because Herod wants to kill you." He replied, "Go and tell that fox, 'Behold, I cast out demons and I perform healings today and tomorrow, and on the third day I accomplish my purpose. Yet I must continue on my way today, tomorrow, and the following day, for it is impossible that a prophet should die outside of Jerusalem.'

"Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how many times I yearned to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were unwilling!

Behold, your house will be abandoned. (But) I tell you, you will not see me until (the time comes when) you say, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.'"

A frustrated Illinois state official named James Shields once challenged Abraham Lincoln to a duel. Lincoln had criticized Shields in a local newspaper, and the latter felt he had to defend his honor. Having the right to choose the dueling weapons, Lincoln called for cavalry swords thinking he might intimidate his diminutive opponent before the duel began. Besides, Lincoln knew that there was less possibility of either being killed with sabers than with pistols. The strategy worked. When Shields realized that he had little chance of prevailing over the six foot four inch Lincoln, he accepted the future president’s explanation that the criticism was never meant to defame the state official’s character.

In today’s gospel Jesus is challenged to a duel of sorts. The Pharisees tell Jesus that Herod wants to kill him. No doubt Herod resents Jesus because he, like John the Baptist, preaches repentance and reform. We can easily imagine that Jesus would like to confront Herod. John was Jesus’ kinsman and probable mentor whom Herod has murdered with impunity. Evidently Jesus does not fear Herod since he mentions that he will accomplish his purpose. But, unlike Lincoln, he does not allow himself to be embroiled in a duel. His rule is always to do his Father’s will and not his own. Jesus knows that God is leading him away from Herod’s territory to Jerusalem where he will give his life for the world’s salvation.

Abraham Lincoln shows us how to use our wits to save face and perhaps life when challenged. But Jesus gives a more valuable lesson. He exemplifies subservience to God’s will as we face life’s challenges. No matter how great our desire to react, no matter how much of our ego or self-image is on line, we must follow the Lord’s, not our own, will. More than that even, Jesus’ action in this passage points to God’s love for us. He leads His son into the hands of his worse enemies so that we might inherit eternal life.


Offer It Up June 26th


Romans 7:15-25

15 I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree that the law is good. 17 So then it is no longer I that do it, but sin which dwells within me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot do it. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I that do it, but sin which dwells within me. 21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. 22For I delight in the law of God, in my inmost self, 23 but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin which dwells in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I of myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.

Sometimes, people get to a point in their lives of finding ways to be hard on themselves for things they have done in the past. Looking back, they realize that maybe they should not have been the sinner they were. And instead of seeking forgiveness and reconciliation, they take on that past as if it were permanent baggage. After a while, they see how well that really is working for them—haven’t we all?—and then through some revelation, they look for a reason for God to change things… they look for a reason for God to change things.

God doesn't change. He’s God. He’s made that clear. He wants us to do the changing. That is why He has given us free will. And even though we continue to pray and nothing seems or 'no things seem' to be happening, things are indeed happening. We are still living and breathing. There are those that still talk to us and love us and hold us dear. Cars still start and air conditioners still work and we have food on the table and we may not have a speeding ticket recently when we know for sure we should have had one.

Looking in the rear view mirror at your ‘40 years of wilderness’ or the other things from your past can be good for something. You can look at it and see and know where your faith has brought you. Or you can look at it and say ‘ain’t it awful… poor me.’

Pity, party of one, your table is ready.

God's will is to follow God's way.
God's way is then equal to God's will.
Which makes God's way, God's will.
And since that is true, if we do live God's way, we know then that God will.


Offer It Up June 25th


John 6:51

I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.

Living bread from heaven.

Who does not long to taste even the smallest morsel of this bread? We may call it by different names, but we all know the hunger. During those times when we feel that every door slams in our face, or when we don’t know where the desperately needed money will come from, or when exhaustion from our relentless daily routine threatens to overwhelm us, the promise of living bread from heaven fills our imagination.

Our body, mind, and spirit go in search of the only thing that will satisfy us: God. The body of Christ, which we receive in the Eucharist, is the life-giving bread that gives us strength to us who partake of it and, through us, is life for the world. What an awesome yet humbling responsibility! We become what we eat! By consuming the Living Bread, we too become living bread. God feeds the world through us.

www.loyolapress.com/3-minute-retreats-daily-online-prayer.htm


Offer It Up June 34th

Happy Birthday Katie!


If you might indulge me a bit for a father’s letter to his daughter on the celebration of her 20th birthday. Thank you and God bless you always.

Jeremiah 1:5

Before I made you in your mother's womb, I chose you.

Before you were born, I set you apart for a special work.

Katie-
It is not often enough that I tell you how much I love you and how awesome you are… how unbelievably blessed and thankful and glad I am that God brought you into our lives. I want you to know—always know—just how much you do mean to me and how big a part of my life you are and continue to be, with more love every day.

My heart would not be nearly as large and as full of love if it were not for June 24th, 1989, and all the abcd’s, first steps, first words, warm hugs, night prayers, turn-up dresses, June 34ths, Grandpa’s sugars, markers on the doors, o rudy-tooti-fruti, Mac and cheese, First Communion, spelling bees, grab machines, Circle K’s, basketball games, cheerleading, volleyball, sno-balls, altar serving, Disney World, Fain Pool, baby sitting, Sonic on the way to school, driver’s permit, driver’s license, ugly blue fences, graduation, college and now twenty years—twenty years of love and life and laughter, you still are filling my heart with more love than you’ll ever know.

All these things you are to me and Mom, Jason and Jeffrey, are so much a part of whoyou are—the gifts that God has shared with you and that you share with us. That’s what we love so much about you and that is the love God has for you and for us—love for all time. Like His love for us, my love for you will never stop.

Every day is the right day to tell you this, not just on special days like birthdays. And if a day goes by that I don’t say it or miss telling you, with all my heart, with all my soul, I want you to know this: I love you and always will no matter what, Katie Lee Katherine Lee Bindel Katie Paul Bindel—you will always be my baby girl.

I love you immensely-

Dad


Offer It Up June 23rd


Ordinary time.

Easter season is over, Pentecost, Trinity Sunday, and Corpus Christi are all wonderful feasts that lead us back to Ordinary time, a time really not so ordinary. Paul in Sunday's reading from 2 Corinthians reminds us that the love of Christ impels us, thrusts us into life as those who represent Jesus in our world today.

I think it is really fitting that before we return to the season called ordinary time we celebrate the feast of Corpus Christi and are reminded that Jesus Christ is with us always. Just as in Sunday’s Gospel the confident peaceful Christ demonstrated total trust in the Father, asleep in the stern of the boat, so now he is with the Church.

Are we in awe at his presence? This Jesus, whom the seas and the winds obeyed, comes to us in a way that is truly awesome. He has empowered men to invoke the Holy Spirit to transform ordinary bread and wine into the body and blood of Jesus the Christ. We in partaking of this very body and blood become one with Him. We are made new, to paraphrase Saint Paul. We are now to present to our world in all our interactions the face of Christ, the love of the Father, the peace of the Kingdom. Can we accept this challenge to be Christ in action?


Prayer becomes a necessity for each of us. Many of the saints have left us words of wisdom from their experience. Jesus himself left us a model for prayer in the content reference to His times of prayer, conversations with God the Father.


In order to live as the redeemed, we are to be in touch with the Trinity. In touch with love, living in the eternal presence.

May each breath of life become prayer.

Deacon


Offer It Up June 22nd


NOT YET

Genesis 12:7, 9

"To your descendants I will give this land...Then Abram journeyed on."

As Abram passed through the land of Canaan, God promised him that his descendants would inherit that land. However, the Canaanites were still living in the land at the time (Gn 12:6). Abram then continued his journey south many miles more to the desert of the Negeb. Abram got the promise but no land yet.

Joshua led the Israelites into the promised land, but they didn't possess it right away. God told them they wouldn't occupy the land in one year; they were not numerous enough. God displaced the peoples who resided there by sending hornets to drive them out, little by little. Otherwise, the Lord said, the added responsibilities would prove too much for them (see Ex 23:28-30; Dt 7:22). So God allowed the Canaanites to stay awhile, to maintain and upgrade the land and dwellings until the time the Israelites could take over.

Abram and Joshua both experienced delays. As Joshua discovered, sometimes a delay is a result of God's kindness. As Abram learned, sometimes a delay is for the benefit of others, not us, and we are to patiently bear it so others we may never even meet can be blessed through us (Gn 12:2-3).

Is there a delay in your life that you can't understand? Allow God to use it to work all things to the good (Rm 8:28).

one bread, one body/presentation ministries.com


Offer It UpJune 21st

Happy Father's Day!


According to the calendar, Summer officially begins today with the arrival of the Summer Solstice, at least here in the Northern Hemisphere.. The longest day of the year, it is often times well into the hottest time of the year as well. As if some of us need a reminder to let us know that it’s going to be hot and that for all intents and understanding, it will remain that way, oh for the next 1,000 days at least… or so it may seem.

But, wouldn’t you know it? This same thing happened last year. And the year before. And if you were to check your calendars and the meteorological archives, you would find that it has happened this way for quite some time. And that longest day of the year turned to the next day, then the next… and pretty soon, those ‘thousand days’ had passed and we had found something else to bide our time with.

We’ve all had those longest days in our lives when we thought they would never end—or maybe we had hoped that it would have been the end. The longer you live, the more likely you are to experience them. Some of us have had enough to fill an entire calendar with our own summer solstice-type days. And a lot more of us have found that there is a way to get through those days. We didn’t have to do it on our own, either, as much as we thought we could and should. And as difficult as it was, (and is), we still don’t have to do it on our own nor will we ever. No matter how long or how hot it may get.

Matthew 11:29-30

Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.



Offer It Up June 20th


Philippians 1:27-30

Only, live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel ofChrist, so that, whether I come and see you or am absent and hear about you, I will know that you are standing firm in one spirit, striving side by side with one mind for the faith of the gospel, and are in no way intimidated by your opponents. For them this is evidence of their destruction, but of your salvation. And this is God’s doing. For he has graciously granted you the privilege not only of believing in Christ, but of suffering for him as well—since you are having the same struggle that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.

So I was at this meeting with some guys the other night, and we were talking about where we were, along our walks of faith. We were all believers in this group, no doubt, and all have for sure have been inand out of God’s graces often enough to realize His amazing love and mercy.

I had happened to make this point that had it not been for the immediacy of His grace and mercy those several months ago, I would not have been in a position to share with them that night or, for this matter, share with you on this page, my own walk and growth in my faith. Another spoke up and acknowledged that he understood where I was on my walk and that he also had made some changes in his life, led to them by God’s will. He also added that as much as he had changed, he was not at a point on his path that I was as we all move on God’s way as we feel God’s will. Just as he has given us that gift of free will so that we may choose to do so—nnnnnothing wrong with that at all, either.

We, as disciples, meet others where they are, not where we are or want them to be or even think they should be. Leave that to God. Let Him continue to use us as His instruments, His donkeys, His vessels, to carry The Word out. And as we do, let us do so with a fullness of gladness and joy so that we too can move along our own walk of faith. db


Offer It Up June 19th

Happy Birthday Michael (okay, so it is a bit belatedly)


Ephesians 1:1-12

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,

To the saints who are in Ephesus and are faithful in Christ Jesus:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Spiritual Blessings in Christ

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love. He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and insight he has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ, as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. In Christ we have also obtained an inheritance, having been destined according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to his counsel and will, so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, might live for the praise of his glory.

Have you ever noticed how some people in various professions and career fields approach their work? They could be in any trade or field—doctors, carpenters, plumbers, lawyers, masons, professors or anyone. Some attack their jobs with passion and enthusiasm while others look at what they do as drudgery, a work life filled with mundanity. So what do you think the difference might be?

Oh, this is just way to easy to call.

Who do you think is building their life? Who do you think is putting the pieces in place as they go about their journeys? The one that goes about their job as just that, ‘a job’, how much emptiness do you think might be in their lives? A bit of pain from time to time as well.

Going the way of the other, how much fullness would you expect to be in their lives? The choices they are making, how are they going about making them? Yup, through a prayerful way, seeking first to do His will rather than the will of the self. Their lives are built on firmer earth, with bricks instead of straw. And with an open heart for his fellow man.

Obviously, even the most faith-filled believers have their days when they may hear no guidance or feel the loneliness and emptiness of sin. For them and for those that have not yet made that choice to follow Him, it is still a matter of prayer along with reconciliation and forgiveness. Through these steps, toward the receiving the Holy Eucharist, one can open themselves up to a greater community of believers, loving as God intended us to love.

....................................................................................................................

A Birthday Note…

My brother Michael celebrated his birthday in grand style last weekend… with a party of some 135 people.He and his loving wife Cyndi hosted a family reunion for our mother and her sisters. The reunion itself was a phenomenal success. God was certainly evident throughout the family and friends in attendance.

Most impressive, though were the host and hostess. For months, and at least steadily over the last six anyway, they have been putting into place the arrangements--the menu, the hotels, the entertainment—even their home—as the center of the gathering. For sure, they had some help yet it was their hearts and souls that drove the planning and, ultimately, the awesome success.

They did this with love and humbles hearts, without so much as a thought to the cost so that everyone that was there had a grand time. A ten-foot by twenty-two foot water slide for the kids, a three-foot high, twelve foot diameter swimming pool, tents, food, games, drinks… they did it all just right.

They didn’t have to-they wanted to.

They gave with no consideration toward what was to be gained.

Thank you Michael and Cyndi for your Godly kindness and generosity.

And Happy Birthday, again, younger brother. May God continue to bless you and yours as much as He has blessed us with your life and your gifts. Your love, heart, and character was never more evident in the gifts God has given you than it was throughout the reunion.


Offer It Up June 18th


Matthew 20:8-14

So when evening had come, the owner of the vineyard said to his servant, ‘Call the laborers and give them their wages, beginning with the last to the first.’And when those came who were hired about the eleventh hour, they each received a denarius.But when the first came they supposed that they would receive more; and they likewise received each a denarius.And when they had received it, they complained against the landowner, saying, ‘These last men have worked only one hour, and you made them equal to us who have borne the burden and the heat of the day.’But he answered one of them and said, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong.Did you not agree with me for a denarius?Take what is yours and go your way, I wish to give to this last man the same as to you.’

Do you ever wonder how you ended up where you are right now?Sometimes we strive to follow God’s will only to find out that we are not where we think we should be.We think we have worked hard for a long time to be an honest, upright person; a person of integrity; a person that can be trusted; a person after God’s own heart.So, how do we then end up looking back with regret or dismay that life did not work out the way we thought it should?

I think we have to consider the word ‘entitlement.’Even when we strive to live our lives as God would intend doesn’t mean that we are entitled to something more or better than the next person.Should we be entitled to more of a good thing just because we received God’s grace to live an honorable life?

Living an honorable life is a blessing.It doesn’t matter at what point in time we receive God’s grace.And it doesn’t matter if living a life of integrity does not end the way we think it should.What matters is that we are grateful that God’s grace is there for us to receive.God does not want us to receive His grace and try to manipulate it into our vision of a perfect life.God really wants us to take it and go our own way, which means we never know what might be waiting for us around the next bend. submitted by l.g. boyd

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Offer It Up June 17th


How different is it for us to experience Jesus' sermon on the mount in Matthew's Gospel than it was for those who heard his words from the Master's own lips?
How many times in our own lives have we read or heard the words of the Sermon on the Mount and taken and pondered them in our hearts and minds?
Recently, as we celebrated Eucharist and we were again to hear ‘be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect’, I was reminded again how in the course of a lifetime I have reflected, discussed...heard from others how impossible this seems.

Be perfect. What is Jesus saying to us to his disciples? Would he call us to strive for the impossible?

When he was asked, "Lord, teach us to pray" we are all familiar with the prayer Jesus taught. Amazingly, we can call God Our Father. He who is in heaven, who is over all and whom we are told to honor to hold his Name in awesome holiness—we call him Father. We are to seek his reign over us, thy kingdom come and your will be what is our fulfillment, here, now, this present moment in this circumstance on the earth as completely as it is in heaven. Daily we are to seek our sustenance, the bread of life, and ah—forgive us our trespasses, when we fail lift us up, just as we forgive and lift up those who offend us, who create enmity. Don't put us to the test, keep us from the evil one.

Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect. How can I be perfect as our heavenly Father? Do I know Him well enough to live His perfect will? How can I know Him unless I pray as Jesus taught me to pray? How can I know him if the majority of my life is spent seek to gratify the self and it desires?


To seek him is the desire of life. He is present all ways. His creating hand can be seen in all that has life. When we are reminded that we are to love even our enemies it challenges us to see with God's eyes. And, it seems to me this is where we find our challenge. For how can we see with God's eyes if we do not plead with Him, trying to become a person fully alive, fully attuned to the Spirit within us, so that every breath is a prayer of gratitude for all that we have and are.

Words fail to convey what can be if we enter fully into God's presence. It is the journey of a lifetime. It happens breath by breath and in imperceptible movements as we draw closer to the divine one who beckons us. John reminds us that we are God's children NOW. What we will later be we don't know, except that when we finally see God face to face it will be beyond our ability to imagine. It is enough to know.

We are God's children now. Citizens of the Kingdom. For you, for me, each day is an opportunity to exercise faith and in doing so to deepen our understanding of the wonder of God's love. As we do falter and fall along the way, may we always have the strength to rise and repent and return to the task at hand, seeking to live for the Glory of God.

Deacon

AMDG.Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam. To the greater Glory of God.


Offer It Up June 16th


Mark 14:22-25

While they were eating, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, gave it to them, and said,
"Take it; this is my body."
Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, and they all drank from it.
He said to them,
"This is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed for many.
Amen, I say to you, I shall not drink again the fruit of the vine until the day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God."

Last Sunday, Catholics celebrated the very special feast on the Church's calendar, Corpus Christ—The Body of Christ. For me this is truly a time to celebrate the meaning of the Body of Christ. Despite the wonder and miracle of Christ present in the forms of bread and wine, I reflect on the fullness of what Corpus Christi means. As we so often hear and say that the Church is the body of Christ, we must, it seems to me, reflect on the wonder of the make-up of the body of Christ, the Church, in the world today.

Countless Catholic Christians come to receive Christ in Eucharistic celebrations, each taking to themselves the person of Christ who comes as food for the journey. We listen to His Word, we unite ourselves to Him in this intimate relationship and are we consumed as we consume this sacred food, this sacrifice of love beyond all telling. With each breath I am lost in wonder at the unimaginable love of God for each of His creatures. We have been created for life with Him, life that mirrors His own passionate love for each of us.

My prayer as I face my own limitations and unfaithfulness is that grace will continue to be poured out, that I may find my way to grow in love, to learn to live and forgive in all circumstances.

In the Gospel we are exhorted to turn the other check. I can find a million excuses to avoid this exhortation, but they all seem so shallow as I stand beneath the cross of Jesus the Christ and am covered with his blood.

May God who is rich in Mercy teach us His way that leads to life forever.

Why Catholic? Corpus Christi.

Deacon


Offer It Up June 15th

Happy Birthday Sam!


Romans 16:17-20

I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who create dissensions and obstacles, in opposition to the teaching that you learned; avoid them.

For such people do not serve our Lord Christ but their own appetites, and by fair and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the innocent.

For while your obedience is known to all, so that I rejoice over you, I want you to be wise as to what is good, and simple as to what is evil; then the God of peace will quickly crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.

Our accountability comes to us from the sacrifice God's Son made for us. We are accountable to pray and in so doing, to offer our own lives in trust and surrender and honor in forgiveness and mercy for that sacrifice. We do so in faith and belief, living our lives as He commanded us. Living life in His Way and Light, He will do for us exactly what we need. Let God be accountable for the others. I don't think He needs our help doing that-He's got a better view any way.

When we see our life full of hassles, full of more than hassles—trials, pain, sorrow, illness and suffering, there will be an end and purpose for it all. Scripture is full of these truths:

He finally said enough to Job.
He finally said enough to Tobit.
He finally said enough to Moses.
He finally said enough to His only Son.

We never know what we don’t know until we found out how much we haven't learned yet. As we keep learning, He will again say to us, okay, that's enough for today.

And someday, it will be enough to call us home. db



A Birthday Note...

A very wonderful woman and very dear woman in our lives just celebrated another anniversary of the year of her birth... She is very good at keeping secrets and just how many times she has celebrated this anniversary we will leave to her and God.

Have ever been one to think of people in your life and the roles they fill and have filled? Sure, family and friends are supposed to fill the roles we understand those roles to be and often set them to be. Comparatively, if you were to ever really look into those roles in depth, I am sure you would find no one who fills their's of a mother-in-law much like mine fills hers.

First, to bear and give birth and raise such a wonderful woman for my wife.

Secondly, to be the loving and caring grandmother, care-giver, friend and disciplinarian to our children as they grew.

Thirdly, to be the understanding, guiding and forgiving influence for those same children, (and their parents), as they and we all matured.

Fourth, but in no way the least, her faith and love of God is immeasurably deep and it has shown brightly.

That same conviction and commitment continues to be a beacon of hope and love for not just her family but for all who have come to know her as Mom, Sam, Nonny, Frenchy, or even Lorraine.

Happy Birthday, Lorraine Ethel French Maynor. God loves you and so do we.


Offer It Up June 14th


Matthew 7:6, 12-14

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Do not give dogs what is holy; and do not throw your pearls in front of pigs, or they may trample them and then turn on you and tear you to pieces.
‘So always treat others as you would like them to treat you; that is the Law and the Prophets.
‘Enter by the narrow gate, since the road that leads to destruction is wide and spacious, and many take it; but it is a narrow gate and a hard road that leads to life, and only a few find it.’

Sometimes our actions and words can be quite hurtful to others. Would we like it if such things were to happen to us? We thus need to be more tactful and loving towards others. However, doing good deeds are never easy. Indeed at times, it is easier to yield to temptation and sin, rather than to love. In taking this hard and narrow road, we will ultimately find love and joy at the end; for the path of goodness is the path of God; and He never forgets those who are faithful to His Will.

“Do to others as you would want them to do to you.” The famous Golden Rule, found in many cultures. Notice that it does not say: “Do to others as they do to you.” Rather it is to be linked to the words of Jesus the other way about not returning violence with violence.

The Way of the Gospel is a guaranteed road to fulfillment, peace and happiness but it is challenging. The wide road where one does anything one likes is very attractive and would seem to be a recipe for fulfillment but experience shows that it can lead only to disillusionment and deep unhappiness.

Jesuits of Singapore jesuits.org.sg


Offer It Up June 13th


Mark 6:10-12

He said to them, "Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave from there.

Whatever place does not welcome you or listen to you, leave there and shake the dust off your feet in testimony against them."

So they went off and preached repentance.

Do you remember the part in Forest Gump… ‘You can tell a lot about people by the shoes they wear…. Where they going… where they been’.

Well, our own journeys in faith are not so much about our shoes but we could very well tell a bit about our journeys by the dust we have kicked up and off—and let settle—around us. Graciously and with the mercy of God, our faith is not bound just to a pair of shoes and where that faith has been and where it is going.

Our most immediate experiences of our faith—what we believe in and what God is to us—are our own lives. Though the Gospels were written thousands of years ago, they were not written in stone. God wrote them for us today and about His unique love for us, each of us.

How we share this faith obviously is up to us. It is significant, perhaps the most significant part of what we do in our walk. As disciples, we are called to share, to lead and to bring The Word. We do that with the gifts we have been given, as appreciation for all God has done, does, and will do for us.

Your life may or may not have been a bowl of cherries. You may have suffered more. You may have suffered not much at all. Your faith may have been instilled in you early and formed all the days of your life. Or it may have been a faith life of ‘fox-hole religion’, crying out to God only in times of the most dire of needs, if you cried out to Him at all.

The point is, God knows where you are with your faith and, really, there is no reason, no sense, and no cause for anyone to try to justify it or rationalize it or put it in a box so that you can store it. You cannot have too much faith.

Let God do what God does and let Him get your faith dusted off, wherever it is that

He leads you. db


Offer It Up June 12th

Happy Birthday Marlene!


(II Corinthians 6:1-10; Matthew 5:38-42)

Twenty-five years ago, Geraldine Ferraro, the Democratic candidate for vice-president, stated in a televised debate that when someone offends her, she does not get angry, she gets even. Of course, this is not the attitude that Jesus wants us to cultivate. In today’s gospel he tells us explicitly not to offer any resistance to one who does evil.

Jesus’ command is a super-tall order. Many insist with good reason that he is using hyperbolic language. This means that Jesus exaggerates the obligation of his followers in order to move them from the natural disposition of taking revenge. In other words, we do not have to submit completely to the unjust actions of persecutors but we should be forbearing in our response to them.


Forbearance is hardly a virtue of our time. People today either try to get even when they are offended or they sulk in bitterness. Forbearance inclines us to tolerance of others’ faults and a willingness to forgive their offenses against us. In these ways we mirror the Father’s patience with all the world’s sins, including our own.
Fr. Carmen Mele, Homilettes


Offer It Up June 11th

Happy Birthday Mary K.!


A man was exploring caves by the seashore. In one of the caves he found a canvas bag with a bunch of hardened clay balls. It was like someone had rolled clay balls and left them out in the sun to bake. They didn't look like much, but they intrigued the man, so he took the bag out of the cave with him. As he strolled along the beach, he would throw the clay balls one at a time out into the ocean as far as he could.


He thought little about it, until he dropped one of the clay balls and it cracked open on a rock. Inside was a beautiful, precious stone!Excited, the man started breaking open the remaining clay balls. Each contained a similar treasure. He found thousands of dollars worth of jewels in the 20 or so clay balls he had left.


Then it struck him.He had been on the beach a long time. He had thrown maybe 50 or 60 of the clay balls with their hidden treasure into the ocean waves. Instead of thousands of dollars in treasure, he could have taken home tens of thousands, but he had just thrown it away!


It's like that with people. We look at someone, maybe even ourselves, and we see the external clay vessel. It doesn't look like much from the outside. It isn't always beautiful or sparkling, so we discount it.We see that person as less important than someone more beautiful or stylish or well known or wealthy. But we have not taken the time to find the treasure hidden inside that person.


There is a treasure in each and every one of us. If we take the time to get to know that person, and if we ask God to show us that person the way He sees them, then the clay begins to peel away and the brilliant gem begins to shine forth.


May we not come to the end of our lives and find out that we have thrown away a fortune in friendships because the gems were hidden in bits of clay. May we see the people in our world as God sees them.

We are blessed by the gems of friendship we have with each other. Let us all be thankful that others take time to see what is inside our clay exteriors.

Submitted by M. Martini

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A Birthday Note

Mary K., though celebrating a birthday today, would never let you know that much else of her life was about her. As long as I have known her, she has given far more of her life to others so that they would have a life to enjoy... much like Jesus would want us to do.

For the last couple of years, she's done it without Tony, her husband, the man she has loved and raised her children with, as he began his eternal walk in God's Heavenly Kingdom in 2007.

Painful? Of course. Emptiness and heartache? Seemingly forever.

Yet she still believes and still loves and still knows God has His plans for her to see him again--and Him--someday.

Tony has forged and left his own legacy for his family and friends.

Thankfully, we still have Mary K. with us, still forging hers.

Happy Birthday, Mary K.

We are glad you were born.



Offer It Up June 1oth

Happy Birthday Elizabeth! Escobeda!


Psalms 39:4-7

Lord, let me know my end,
and what is the measure of my days;
let me know how fleeting my life is.
You have made my days a few handbreadths,
and my lifetime is as nothing in your sight.
Surely everyone stands as a mere breath.
Surely everyone goes about like a shadow.
Surely for nothing they are in turmoil;
they heap up, and do not know who will gather.
‘And now, O Lord, what do I wait for?
My hope is in you.

Don't you find it that people leave our lives far too often? Really, don't they?

For what ever reason or reasons, they sometimes come into our lives for a day of our life or a moment of theirs. And then they go on. Or we go on.

Sometimes by choice.

Sometimes not by choice-ours, or theirs.

And that departure or leaving is sometimes permanent. At least from our life here on earth it is.

God calls them home to His Kingdom.

He has them begin a life with Him. And if we are to believe and live and share our Christian faith, then we too can enjoy that life eternally ourselves on that day He brings us home.

Maybe then there will be folks left here that we made an impression on that will say... 'Don't you find it that people leave our lives far too often?' db


Offer It Up June 9th


Matthew 5:17-19

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Do not imagine that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets. I have come not to abolish but to complete them. In truth I tell you, till heaven and earth disappear, not one dot, not one little stroke, is to disappear from the Law until all its purpose is achieved.
‘Therefore, anyone who infringes even one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be considered the least in the kingdom of Heaven; but the person who keeps them and teaches them will be considered great in the kingdom of Heaven.’

How much time do we spend thinking about God and where He is? Or maybe a better question would be, do we spend any time thinking about Him and where He is as we pray and bring ourselves closer to Him? Is He way out in the universe, watching over the entirety of His creation while you give thanks? Or is He somewhere closer than that?

This is not the same question as trying to understand God—no need to even try—as He is beyond understanding, but it is a question of relationship.

We know we can bring Him closer into our lives with us through our prayer. But do we, when we pray, bring Him here with us, here in His earthly Kingdom as we do so?

Through our prayer life we get that closeness to Him and a fullness that leads us to a life more Christ-like. Following His example through word and deed, He teaches us how to live even more like Him in fulfillment of God’s plan for our lives. Placing our lives-our prayers and gift of free will-in His hands will not necessarily make our lives easier but it will certainly make it worth it. db

‘God is not what you imagine or think you understand. If you understand God, you have failed.'Saint Augustine


Offer It Up June 8th


John 7:16-18

Jesus answered them and said, "My teaching is not my own but is from the one who sent me.

Whoever chooses to do his will 7 shall know whether my teaching is from God or whether I speak on my own.

Whoever speaks on his own seeks his own glory, but whoever seeks the glory of the one who sent him is truthful, and there is no wrong in him.

Do we pray what you believe? Do we believe what you pray?

Do we live what you pray? Do we pray what you live?

What brings us to do that, then—to pray, believe and live, and do so as models, as disciples?

Is it God’s grace? Is it His gift of free will?

How do we take this grace and gift and then mirror His love in our lives?

We do it through a life that is centered on Christ Jesus, driven by The Word, with a daily prayerful life, grown in a congregation of worship and faith, and enlightened by the Sacraments.

Step by step.

Gradually, but as much as you can.

Every day.

db

John 3:30

He must increase; I must decrease.


Offer It Up June 7th


Light's Out
============

I live in Atlanta, Georgia and we had a thunderstorm last night that knocked our power out. It went out around 12:30a.m. I was still awake, that's how I know what time it started. I went to bed soon after the storm began. All of the power was out.

When I woke up this morning the power was still out! My two oldest sons and myself had to get dressed and ready for school and work. When they awoke and tried to flip on the light switch it didn't work, when they looked up at the microwave to check the time it didn't work, when my oldest son tried to get
two minutes in on his play station it didn't work, when my youngest son tried to turn on The Disney channel it didn't work!

Nothing that required power (electricity) was in working order! This was a MountainWings Moment. In spite of all things that were not working, everything was still alright. I opened all of the blinds and doors and there was light. I could use my senses to find things that I could not physically see. I realized that God has given me all of the things that I need.

When storms come your way, know that God will make a way for you to see. He will provide light when all of man's techniques fail. So the next time a storm comes into your life, remember that after the storm the light of God will always shine through!
~A MountainWings Original by Veronica Williamson, Atlanta, GA

Submitted by R. Vossler


Offer It Up June 6th

In Memory of D-Day


Mark 10: 13-16

And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them.

Consider the following excerpt and how each present moment provides such opportunity

…I would always remind parents that according to Jesus, they have, above all the others, the greatest chance of salvation. Why? Because in the famous Mathew 25 passage, Jesus gives us the only measurements for salvation – and all of them “in the world!” They are what we call today the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. The beautiful part, I remind parents, it that they are built right into the secular, worldly, family life. You can’t escape them if you wanted to. Parents, in raising children, can’t avoid heaven. Feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, etc. They are all right there in the home (not the sanctuary). So, for example, in schematic form, it works like this:

- 2am bottle – giving drink to the thirsty
- Diapering – clothing the naked
- Cough medicine to the bedroom – visiting the sick
- Dad, can you help me with my homework? – instructing the ignorant
- Mom, what’ll I wear? – counseling the doubtful
- The cat died – burying the dead
- Hearing the kid’s prayer – praying for the living and the dead (endlessly)
- Are you still in the bathroom? – Visiting the imprisoned.

- Book Section – “Context for Collaboration”, Author unknown – Wisdom as read at a silent retreat --Borrowed from "Silent Insight".

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Offer It Up June 5th


Mark 12:35-37
While Jesus was teaching in the temple, he said, ‘How can the scribes say that the Messiahis the son of David? David himself, by the Holy Spirit, declared,
“The Lord said to my Lord,
‘Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet.’
David himself calls him Lord; so how can he be his son?’ And the large crowd was listening to him with delight.

Once an advertising campaign promised to “bring a mountain to Chicagoland.” The pledge excited the city’s children who never saw a mountain other than in books. It turned out, however, that the mountain was only a new brand of coffee being introduced into the Chicago market.

In today’s gospel Jesus refutes a kind of advertising campaign about the long-awaited Messiah. The people believe that the Messiah is to be a descendant of David, the mighty king whose military exploits established Israel as a regional powerhouse. Jesus notes, however, that one of the psalms refers to the Messiah as “my lord.” Since David is considered the author of all the psalms, Jesus asks how David can call a descendant “my lord.” He means that the expectation of the Messiah as a descendant of David is inadequate if he is to be David’s “lord.” Somehow, Jesus implies, the Messiah’s accomplishments have to transcend David’s military feats.

Jesus’ accomplishments comprise an achievement that would put David in awe. He dies a horrific death in complete submission to God’s will. He rises from the dead as indication of God’s approval for his sacrifice. And he sends his Holy Spirit upon his disciples to guide them to moral and spiritual heights. Yes, David and certainly we as well must acknowledge Jesus as “lord.”
Rev. Carmen Mele, O.P.


Offer It Up June 4th



Offer It Up June 3rd

Happy Birthday Linda!


She is all about faith in God. And in that faith you will find these things:

She is all about the truest definition of love.

She is beautiful and wonderful and kind.

She is a disciple, a faithful servant.

She is the loving heart and soul of our family.

She is intelligent and wise, and abundant in common sense.

She is the glue that has held us all together. And still does.

She is preeminent at bringing about family harmony… even with in-laws.

She has saved my life more than once.

She has all the makings of what God should qualify as a saint on earth.

She is tender and considerate, a caring, generous giver.

She is an encourager, a challenger, a defender, a champion.

She is an accountant, a scheduler, a mender, a chef, a painter, a cleaner.

She is a daughter, a sister, a mother, an aunt, a niece, a friend--and I know

Whom to Fear

Matthew 10:26-33

‘Everyone therefore who acknowledges me before others, I also will acknowledge before my Father in heaven; but whoever denies me before others, I also will deny before my Father in heaven.

Life is like a bike ride with Jesus

At first, I saw God as my observer, my judge, keeping track of the things I did wrong, so as to know whether I merited heaven or hell when I die. He was out there sort of like a president. I recognized His picture when I saw it, but I really didn't know Him. But later on when I met Him, Jesus Christ, it seemed as though life were rather like a bike ride, but it was a tandem bike, and I noticed that Christ was in the back, helping me pedal. I don't know just when it was that He suggested we change places, but life has not been the same since.

When I had control, I knew the way. It was rather boring, but predictable it was the shortest distance between two points. But when He took the lead, He knew delightful long cuts, up mountains, and through rocky places at breakneck speeds. It was all I could do to hang on!

Even though it looked like madness, He said, "Pedal!" I worried and was anxious and asked, "Where are you taking me?" He laughed and didn't answer, and I started to learn to trust. I forgot my boring life and entered into the adventure, and when I'd say, "I'm scared," He'd lean back and touch my hand. I gained love, peace, acceptance and joy; gifts to take on my journey, My Lord's and mine. And we were off again.

He said, "Give the gifts away. They're extra baggage, too much weight." So I did, to the people we met, and I found that in giving I received, and still our burden was light.

I did not trust Him, at first, in control of my life. I thought He'd wreck it; but he knows bike secrets, knows how to make it bend to take sharp corners, knows how to jump to clear high rocks, knows how to fly to shorten, scary passages. And I am learning to shut up and pedal in the strangest places, and I'm beginning to enjoy the view and the cool breeze on my face with my delightful constant companion, Jesus Christ.

And when I'm sure I just can't do it anymore, He just smiles and says... "Pedal."

Submitted by M. Martini

‘So have no fear of them; for nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered, and nothing secret that will not become known. What I say to you in the dark, tell in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim from the housetops. Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.* Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground unperceived by your Father. And even the hairs of your head are all counted. So do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.

of no foes.

She is passionate and passion-full…

She is my wife, my love, my heart and soul, my friend.

God has blessed the world with you and there are no others more blessed

than me to have you here.

I love you, Linda.

Happy Birthday.

me

Philippians 4:8-9

Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.


Offer It Up June 2nd

Happy Birthday Jason!


The closer we get to God, the more we see our defects.

Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

Do you ever think that you are so far from God’s love that He can’t possibly find you?

Think again.

We were His thought way before we were anyone else’s, your Mom’s and Dad’s included.

Through all of our wrongs and all of our sins, we are never farther away than an act of contrition. Forgiveness of our sins is letting go of what keeps us from full communion with God. Forgiveness of others is to be like Christ. Forgiveness of ourselves is living His good, pleasing and perfect will (Romans 12.2). And we grow from what we experience in living His will and through these trials.

Our challenges and trials in life strengthen the foundation of our faith. The more we mature, the stronger the faith. Like an acorn, not only does it go through some darkness at first but it does eventually come out of the dirt and mud and grow. To survive, it needs deep roots to hold it in place and firmly in the ground. Like our faith, we also need to have our own sort of deep roots to hold us fast.

Jesus had His suffering, willingly. Let us pray for our trials and suffering to strengthen us—to shape us—so that His will can be better served through us for others. db

Luke 6:43-45

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘There is no sound tree that produces rotten fruit, nor again a rotten tree that produces sound fruit. Every tree can be told by its own fruit: people do not pick figs from thorns, nor gather grapes from brambles.
‘Good people draw what is good from the store of goodness in their hearts; bad people draw what is bad from the store of badness. For the words of the mouth flow out of what fills the heart.’


Our son Jason is celebrating a birthday and we celebrate with him as he continues to mature. It's easy to recognize him where ever he is; he's the one who never tires of doing good for others, persistient to doing the right thing, and is faithful to his family and friends.

Happy Birthday, Jason. God continues to bless us with your birth.


Offer It Up June 1st


St Paul teaches us: “God works with those who love him, those who have been called in accordance with his purpose, and turns everything to their good.” (Romans 8:28). While the doctrine is thus very clear, it can be quite difficult to see it in the reality of suffering. The Bible frequently turns to the mystery of suffering and seeks ways to show how God indeed does bring good out of suffering and other forms of evil.

The book of Tobit, which we read during this ninth week in Ordinary time, begins with the story of a good man mocked for doing a good deed. The story continues with suffering arising in the course of the ordinary things of life and comes to an account of extraordinary suffering in a series of multiple deaths.

In ordinary or extraordinary circumstances, most of us sooner or later have to face up to the mystery of suffering and, finally, its climax in death. As we reflect in prayer on the meaning of our lives on earth, we can scarcely do better than to try to assimilate Paul's confident trust that God is with us, continually working for our good.

Father, we trust that You love us for You have called us in Christ to be Your children, deepen our faith that we see how You turn everything to our good. www.jesuit.org.sg