Are you an OBSTACLE for others?

Are you comparing? Are you for or against? Are you an obstacle for others? In this Gospel, the disciple John questions Jesus about an unknown exorcist who was driving out demons in Jesus’ name. John’s question might have been motivated by jealousy. Previously in Mark’s Gospel, Jesus healed a boy whom the disciples had been unable to heal. John’s question is further evidence that the disciples have not yet grasped Jesus’ words to them. They continue to compare themselves to others who seem to have greater healing powers, and they do not want to share the power of Jesus’ name with others…The disciples observed that the unknown exorcist invoked Jesus’ name and was successful in his healing efforts. This unknown healer recognized the power of Jesus’ name, yet he was not a follower of Jesus.  Later in this Gospel, Jesus teaches us not to create obstacles for those who are just beginning to have faith but to encourage even the smallest signs of faith. The Greek word used here for sin also connotes “stumbling” or “causing scandal.” In vivid terms Jesus teaches his disciples the consequences to those who would put obstacles before people who are on the road to faith.  – Excerpt from the Sunday Connection by Loyola Press.  While the miracles that happen in these stories can be unbelievable, they are eyewitness accounts recorded for us in the Gospel. We learn that so much can happen in Jesus’ […]

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Hope is a Gift

I read the post linked below from Franciscan Media. They asked a good question. I took it a step farther. I agree that hope is difficult now. I am having a hard time taking the gift of hope out of the box so I can use it. I accept it, unwrap it, and take the lid off. The division and unrest I feel lately makes it hard to lift my arms to take hope out and use it. Like Moses, I need people to hold up my arms. (read Exodus 17! https://bible.usccb.org/bible/exodus/17) The Battle of Amalek: Moses said he would stand at the top of the mountain overlooking the battle with his staff. This is the staff that parted the Red Sea for the Israelites’ escape, and brought water and quail out of the desert landscape. Some say that this is the same staff that turned into a snake in front of the Pharaoh. This walking stick became the “rod of God.” (I digress – become the stick in the hand of God! interesting, transformation, hmmm) But Moses couldn’t hold his arms up for the whole battle. First they gave him a rock to sit on. Then Joshua and Hur held his arms up for him. Why? Because when he became weak, they started to lose the battle! With the inspiration of Moses, I need some people or something to hold my arms up. All of the division and negative […]

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Walking in Spirit and Peace

Readings for 12-13      Make straight the way of the Lord! All of the Readings for this Mass contain very important messages? 1st Reading from Isaiah IS 61:1-2A, 10-11—The Spirit of the Lord is upon me….bring glad tidings to the poor… 2nd Reading from 1 Thessalonians 1 THES 5:16-24—Are you all in? May the God of peace himself make you perfectly holy and may you entirely, spirit, soul, and body, be preserved blameless for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Are you ever discouraged? Gospel JN 1:6-8, 19-28—I am a voice crying out in the desert… We can only point to the Savior and remember it’s not “I.” We are not God. We don’t have all the answers. Paul’s wish for the Thessalonians echoes through the centuries to us today. May God make us perfectly holy in spirit, soul and body. That we may be preserved all the way to the end. Paul leaves out our mind in this Scripture. We don’t have to know all the answers. We need to trust that the God of peace himself will do all the work in us. Prepare:  Read those Scriptures again. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will accomplish it. Let the Lord in so he can work in your life. Surrender. You will be amazed at what God can do in your life if you let him! By the way, it’s Gaudete Sunday, rejoice! and repeat! Experience […]

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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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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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