Blessed are you…joy!

Response: Blessed are they who hope in the Lord. He is like a tree planted near running water, that yields its fruit in due season, and whose leaves never fade. Psalm 1 The BEATITUDES And raising his eyes toward his disciples he said, “Blessed are you…” Rejoice and leap for joy on that day!Behold, your reward will be great in heaven. Luke 6 We cherish these words of Jesus even today. The ‘Beatitudes,’ or blessings, that Christ gives us takes everything to the next level. We even see that the prophets have said this before! Their message might have been said with a “woe to you if you are satisfied” instead of blessed are you. The paradox of our faith shows itself in these blessings. How can we laugh when we feel like crying? This distinction can be hard to understand for us today.  You may have heard ‘happy are those’ in a different translation. We know that we can’t be happy all the time. Words for our blessings are satisfied, comforted and can experience the Kingdom of Heaven. It’s a different way of looking at the challenges we have in life. Interesting that the following verses in Luke Chapter 6 are love your enemies and the Golden rule. Check out the next posts! The Beatitudes are the way to live that goes beyond the 10 Commandments. Taking it up a notch! Why? What do we think? Then how do […]

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Transformation – Part 3

TRANSFORMATION Part 3 – You, only better! …Although in Holy Communion we are at once united with Christ, his power within us develops gradually. …Nor will the eucharistic God alone transform us. He requires our free, generous cooperation. Only by stimulating our higher faculties can we imitate Christ’s life. …Although Christ dwells in us with His Body, Blood, Soul and […]

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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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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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Just 2 Things

Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit when he entered the desert. He set aside his divinity but he didn’t go alone to face the devil. Jesus answered each question with a Scripture. Why should he command a stone to be bread? Scripture says that we don’t live on bread alone. 2nd test was to give him the entire world, power and glory if he worshiped the devil. Jesus only replies with the 1st Commandment to worship and serve God alone. 3rd test is his mortality. Being fully human, Jesus would die if he jumped off the top of the temple. Of course, he is not fooled by the devil to think that angels would catch him and break his fall. He only tells the devil that he shouldn’t put the Lord, your God, to the test. Jesus faced our human temptations of hunger, glory and mortality. We keep our eyes on Jesus and the promise of Eternal Life. Nothing on earth can beat that! We, too, face our demons and mortality every day. With Jesus, our Lord, and the Holy Spirit, we can face our temptations and overcome them! One does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God. Mt 4:4b 2 Things to Take With You to Fight the Devil Holy Spirit – Be filled with the Holy Spirit. You are never alone! Just ask! Scripture – Jesus quotes […]

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What is love anyway?

Love is patient; love is kind. Paul writes to the people of Corinth 1 COR 13:4-13 in today’s Second Reading. His list of what love looks like is quite challenging. How do you love? While this Scripture is often chosen for weddings, this call to love applies to everyone. Can we love like Jesus? Being human, we often fail at loving. How would you end the sentence “Love is…”? It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things…How can it endure all things? Today’s world and relationships are pretty complicated. Do you believe marriage can last a lifetime? Do you see that kind of love around you? Love is a decision and wills the good of another according to St. Thomas Aquinas. It takes a decision to love by both people in order to work out well or last…and forgiveness, understanding, listening and patience!  Agape – love without conditions or motivations. (Greek) Paul says that we should strive eagerly for the greatest of spiritual gifts but we shouldn’t stop there! Write Paul’s list in your own words and post it on your refrigerator or bathroom mirror. Use it for your examination of conscience and go to confession to receive God’s mercy, grace and supernatural strength to love like He does. Put your name in place of the word love. Paul is kind; Paul is patient. You, too, can be holy if you follow his advice! Don’t forget to pray and ask for help! Based on the Readings for the Sunday Mass – February 3, 2019. http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/020319.cfm

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Changing your mind, Changing your life

Changing your mind often gets a bad wrap in our modern world.  Changing your mind can mean you are flaky, indecisive or frustrating to deal with.  Jokes abound about how women are always changing their mind (especially when we can’t figure out what to wear! Lol). Metanoia is usually translated as repent or turn around.  Today’s translation could be to change your […]

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