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With the Eyes of Your Heart

Brothers and sisters:May the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory,give you a Spirit of wisdom and revelationresulting in knowledge of him.May the eyes of your hearts be enlightened,that you may know what is the hope that belongs to his call…for us who believe…the fullness of the one who fills all things in every way. St. Paul’s letter to the Church of Ephesus begins with the salutation to the saints (the holy ones who may be struggling) who are faithful to Jesus: Grace and peace to you! Isn’t God awesome? He blesses us with every spiritual blessing! We are in this family together! We who believe in the one who loves us. Jesus ascended into heaven and sent us the Spirit. What struck me most in this reading was that Paul’s wish for the holy ones of Ephesus was a gift of the Spirit of wisdom and revelation. Spirit is capital in the Mass Readings so I went on a Bible search (I have numerous versions) to see if this Spirit means Holy Spirit or the breath of life we all have. It’s probably all meant to be the same idea though. The Holy Spirit breathes life into every moment of every day. And the energy or the buoyancy we feel can depend on how open we are to this transcending peace it brings. Every day I try to keep my eyes open to the message or […]

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Not like the world

Does the Father live with you? If we love Jesus, we will do whatever he tells us (Mary gives such good advice at the wedding at Cana!). Jesus says that his words are the Father’s and we can live with him. At Mass, the Priest says, “Through him, with him and in him.” He sends us the best advocate, the Holy Spirit. Another meaning for Advocate is counselor defender or a legal advocate. Like a lawyer who will go to court to fight for you. If you used a sports analogy, maybe you could say that this is your defense and your offense helping you advance down the field. I don’t know about you but I am pretty stressed out! The Holy Spirit will teach us what we need to know and remind us what Jesus said. The end goal is life forever in heaven and peace. Jesus wants to give us HIS peace! Today we CAN have peace in the midst of the troubles of the world. This is a peace that is knowing that we are trying to live like him and with him. We try to turn away from mistakes and not to choose sin. We ask Jesus to walk with us. So we shouldn’t worry too much or be afraid. We have the Holy Spirit to help us. Just ask! He is just waiting to help! You are NOT alone. Peace be with you! Does the […]

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Gone fishing!

My Dad and brother love to fish. I ran across a YouTube tutorial so I gave it a try! I’ve been experimenting with watercolor and line drawing with archival markers. Would like to make this into a card for my Dad! I will need to get some photos of the area where my dad loves to fish in Ottawa, IL. I will keep you posted with the next try. Watercolor is tricky. I have been using Strathmore cold press watercolor paper. Found out that hot press, which is smoother, may be easier to work with.

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Disciples on the Way

How will they know you are a disciple? Jesus tells the Apostles they have a new commandment to love one another. It sounds so simple—just love. We would have no problem keeping the commandments or being the best version of ourselves if we could just love. Jesus’ love seems simple but it’s not easy. It’s easy to love the people you like but harder for those who try your patience. Even as I have loved you… A New Commandment Jn 13:34 Love like Jesus. He washed their feet, fed them, healed them and died for them. We are called to be like Jesus. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. We need to learn more about him and get to really know him. Then we can be a better disciple. Others will see how we speak and act. Will they be able to tell? Does your faith show? Next Sunday’s Gospel at Mass is the next chapter. Jesus sends us the Holy Spirit and gives us his peace. Jesus hasn’t given up on us or left us in the lurch. We have a holy helper. It’s not just kids that need to know we have help if we ask. The Holy Spirit is just waiting for you to ask for help! So today we must remember to love others well even if it’s hard to do. This is the best way of life and will make you happier […]

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Are you listening?

Sunday’s Scriptures asked, “Are you listening?” Have you heard? Paul and Barnabas run into opposition as they tell the Jews about the Good News of Jesus Christ and Eternal Life. So they’re not interested? Shake the dust off your feet and move on. That may even happen to you today if you talk about Jesus or God. We can try and then let it go if hearing about God is not welcome. But the Gentiles are so glad to hear the word! In the Book of Revelation, we hear about heaven. For those who persevere and make it to the throne of God, you will hunger and thirst no more! The Lamb of God will wipe away your tears. Peace. PEACE In the Gospel, Jesus tells us that the sheep know my voice and they follow me. Our reward is eternal life. We just need to stick close to Jesus so we know his voice. And follow him. What kind of sheep are you? Do you feel lost? Where are you going? Jesus is the Good Shepherd who will take care of us. Wondering what a Good Shepherd looks like? Read Psalm 23 again. What helps you stay close to Jesus? Do you recognize his voice? “Do you love me?“ From the Sunday Readings for May 12 – John 14:23-29 Kids love to play follow the leader. Give it a try! Then talk about how you can lead others to […]

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The Rolling Stone

In today’s story from the Book of John, Mary Magdalene goes to the tomb of Jesus early in the morning. In the dark, she sees that the stone has been moved away from the tomb. It’s open! She runs to get Peter and the beloved disciple (John) and tell them about what she has found.  John runs faster than Peter so he gets their first. He looks in and can see the burial cloths! Peter goes in first to see that the cloths that Jesus was wrapped in for burial are there but the tomb is empty! Then John went in, saw and believed. Somehow, even after all the things that Jesus said, they didn’t understand that Jesus had risen from the dead. On Easter, we celebrate Jesus victory over death. We get to sing the Gloria and Alleluia again! We thank God for the gift he gives us. He has born our sins and purchased for us Eternal Life. We enter the season of Easter. Over the next weeks of Easter Season, we learn about the times that Jesus appeared to the disciples. He really rose from the dead! We hear about the signs and wonders of the Apostles in the Acts of the Apostles. Easter Sunday Readings for April 21, 2019 – John 20:1-9http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/042119.cfm Next week, we celebrate the Feast of Divine Mercy. See the bulletin for more details!

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The Triumphant Passion Play

This journey doesn’t end well. Or does it? At Masses in the Catholic Church, we get to participate in Jesus’ life in a special way. It’s Palm Sunday! We get real palms that are blessed. We ‘welcome’ Jesus like they did on the road. Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord. Peace in heaven and glory in the highest. It doesn’t take long for us to enter into the worst part of the story. We hear the words of Jesus from the cross as he prays Psalm 22: My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? Have you ever felt that way? At the worst or most painful moments, we can fear that God is not with us. Today, we participate in this drama with parts of our own: Crucify him! Pilate washes his hands of Jesus fate. We will free Barabbas instead. You see, like us, Pilate is able to decide what the truth is. He doesn’t stand for what is right. He gives in to public opinion as he sends Jesus to a horrible death. We stand by as Peter, overcome with fear, denies knowing Jesus and being his follower three times. You are not one of his disciples, are you? If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself! Jesus is crucified but only one thief asks forgiveness as he tells Jesus to remember him when he comes into his […]

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If only you were here…

If only you were here, our brother would not have died! Those words were from Martha to Jesus about her brother Lazarus. This story from the Book of John is quite famous. Martha and Mary are sisters with different ideas. When Jesus came to visit, Martha thought she was doing all the work to prepare and feed everyone. Mary was just sitting at Jesus feet! We may have a lot to do but we need to sit at the feet of Jesus, too. We continue the story today with Martha very upset about Larazus’ death. They had sent word to Jesus but he didn’t come! Jesus tells Martha that Lazarus will rise again. Martha is grieving her loss. She knows that he will rise again on the last day! Jesus tells her that he is the Resurrection and the life. She knows that! It didn’t help her loss today. She knew he was the Messiah. That’s why they sent for him. He could have cured Lazarus! Jesus saw Mary and others weeping. Jesus asks them to take him to the tomb and roll away the stone. They tell Jesus it will smell bad, as if he didn’t know! Jesus says, Did I not tell you that you would see the glory of God? Jesus prays asking the Father to help him show everyone so that they will believe. He tells Lazarus to come out of the tomb. And he did! […]

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Freedom and Rejection

The parable of the prodigal son is not just a story of a son rejecting a father or wasting money. One son wants to decide his own life. He doesn’t want to wait for his inheritance when his father dies to be on his own. He is telling his father that he doesn’t need or want him any more. His father must have been very sad to give him money and watch him go. Maybe the son didn’t want to go into the family business and wanted his freedom. God, the Father, gives us this freedom, too. He gives us gifts and a place to live. We must choose what to do with them. Do we reject him and live the way we want and squander his gifts? The son who is loyal and stays with the father is pretty angry when his brother returns with empty pockets and asks forgiveness. We can be the unforgiving son, too, not welcoming back someone who has hurt us and not letting it go. All of us are called to be the father in this story. He is the one who is faithful, loyal and forgiving. He is even waiting in the road to welcome him back! He gives the lost son his position in the family again with shoes, the family ring and the finest robe. He throws him a party! Which character in the story are you today? What gifts will […]

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All is Well

Give me a drink. 4 simple words that changed a woman’s life forever. The woman from Samaria, not a Jewish place, receives a gift from Jesus. Not only does he meet her at the well at midday, he speaks to her, reads her heart and gives her the prescription she needs for healing. Forgiveness and a new start. It’s not too late. She seems to have given up when Jesus meets her at the well and offers life-giving water. Not water just for today but forever. She recognizes that he is a prophet. Jesus explains that he is the Messiah that she has heard about. The encounter with Christ changes her life and she goes back to town and tells everyone. She even leaves her water jar! She brings others to Christ. We may have fallen short but Jesus continues to meet us right where we are. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. We hope to say, just like the Samaritans, We no longer believe in him because of your word, we have heard for ourselves and we know this is truly the savior of the world. They have met him. Where will he meet you? Readings for March 24 John 4:5-42

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