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Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. – Mt 6:33

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    • Saturday, April 19, 2014
      Reading 1Genesis 1:1--2:2Reading 2Genesis 22:1-18Responsorial PsalmPsalms 16:5, 8, 9-10, 11GospelMatthew 28:1-10
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    Fifth Sunday of Lent

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    Feast of the Baptism of the Lord

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    Christ the King Destruction of the temple = Facing fears and persevere filled with hope

    Not God of the Dead, God of the living Zacchaeus today salvation has come to this house

    Pharisee and the Tax Collector - The Lord Hears the Cry of the Poor

    Persistence and helping each other live faithfully

    Spiritual cleansing - ten were made clean only one came back - gratitude

    Big faith is found in the smallest of things

    Rich Man and Lazarus

    Unjust Steward - The person who is trustworthy in small matters will also be trustworthy in big ones

    God’s Concern for the Lost

    Cost of Discipleship

    Crosses to bear and Narrow Gate Assumption of Blessed Virgin Mary

    Mary, the Virgin Mother of God, was from the very beginning free from the taint of original sin, the minds of the faithful were filled with a stronger hope that the day might soon come when the dogma of the Virgin Mary's bodily Assumption into heaven would also be defined by the Church's supreme teaching authority.

    The Liturgy on the 19th Sunday of Ordinary Time prepares us in a certain way for the Solemnity of Mary's Assumption into Heaven, which we will be celebrating on 15 August. Indeed, it is fully oriented to the future, to Heaven, where the Blessed Virgin Mary has preceded us in the joy of Paradise.

    In particular, the Gospel passage, continuing last Sunday's message, asks Christians to detach themselves from material goods, which are for the most part illusory, and to do their duty faithfully, constantly aspiring to Heaven. May the believer remain alert and watchful to be ready to welcome Jesus when he comes in his glory.

    By means of examples taken from everyday life, the Lord exhorts his disciples, that is, us, to live with this inner disposition, like those servants in the parable who were waiting for their master's return. "Blessed are those servants", he said, "whom the master finds awake when he comes" (Lk 12: 37). We must therefore watch, praying and doing good.

    It is true, we are all travellers on earth, as the Second Reading of today's liturgy from the Letter to the Hebrews appropriately reminds us. It presents Abraham to us in the clothes of a pilgrim, as a nomad who lives in a tent and sojourns in a foreign land. He has faith to guide him.

    "By faith", the sacred author wrote, "Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place which he was to receive as an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was to go" (Heb 11: 8).

    Indeed, Abraham's true destination was "the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God" (11: 10). The city to which he was alluding is not in this world but is the heavenly Jerusalem, Paradise.

    This was well known to the primitive Christian community, which considered itself "alien" here below and called its populated nucleuses in the cities "parishes", which means, precisely, colonies of foreigners [in Greek, pároikoi] (cf. I Pt 2: 11). In this way, the first Christians expressed the most important characteristic of the Church, which is precisely the tension of living in this life in light of Heaven.

    Today's Liturgy of the Word, therefore, desires to invite us to think of "the life of the world to come", as we repeat every time we make our profession of faith with the Creed. It is an invitation to spend our life wisely and with foresight, to consider attentively our destiny, in other words, those realities which we call final: death, the last judgement, eternity, hell and Heaven. And it is exactly in this way that we assume responsibility for the world and build a better world.

    May the Virgin Mary, who watches over us from Heaven, help us not to forget that here on earth we are only passing through, and may she teach us to prepare ourselves to encounter Jesus, who is "seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead". source: vatican.va

    Be rich in what matters to God and don’t store up treasures for yourself.

    Seek and you will find knock and the door will be opened

    Previously... The Gospel episode of Jesus' visit to the house of Martha and Mary (cf. Lk 10: 38-42). While Martha is totally taken up with household tasks, Mary is seated at the Master's feet listening to his word. Christ affirms that Mary "has chosen the good portion, which shall not be taken away from her" (Lk 10: 42). Listening to the Word of God is the most important thing in our lives.

    Christ is always in our midst and desires to speak to our hearts. We can listen to him by meditating with faith on Sacred Scripture, by recollection in private and communal prayer, by silent meditation before the Tabernacle, from which he speaks to us of his love.

    Christians, especially on Sundays, are called to meet and listen to the Lord. This happens most completely through participation in Holy Mass, during which Christ prepares the banquet of the Word and of the Bread of Life for the faithful. But other moments of prayer and reflection, of rest and brotherhood, can also be profitably combined to make the Lord's Day holy.

    When, through the action of the Holy Spirit, God takes up his dwelling in the heart of the believer, it becomes easier for him/her to serve the brethren. This is what happened in a unique and perfect way in Mary Most Holy. To her we entrust this vacation period, to make the most of it as a favourable time to rediscover the primacy of the interior life.

    The Church is God's family in the world. In this family no one ought to go without the necessities of life. Yet at the same time caritas- agape extends beyond the frontiers of the Church. The parable of the Good Samaritan remains as a standard which imposes universal love towards the needy whom we encounter “by chance” (cf. Lk 10:31), whoever they may be. Without in any way detracting from this commandment of universal love, the Church also has a specific responsibility: within the ecclesial family no member should suffer through being in need. The teaching of the Letter to the Galatians is emphatic: “So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, and especially to those who are of the household of faith” (6:10). source:vatican.va In the sending of the seventy-two, Jesus confirms that through his disciples, and those who would come to believe in him through their word, his peace and the news that “the kingdom of God has come near to you” would be proclaimed to the world. At their joyful return, despite rejection, Jesus rejoices at their success in the submission of the evil spirits in his name: the message is never to cease, never to give up.

    God’s will is for his people to be one. Like the Christians in Thessalonika, we are urged to “rejoice always” and “pray without ceasing”, trusting that as we commit ourselves wholly to working with God, his purpose of unity will finally be fulfilled.



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    "Religion is not a Technology!" - There needs to be a personal relationship there. - Father Ted Tyler
    If the close relationship between the Last Supper and the mystery of Jesus' death on the Cross is emphasized on Holy Thursday, today, the Feast of Corpus Christi, with the procession and unanimous adoration of the Eucharist, attention is called to the fact that Christ sacrificed himself for all humanity. His passing among the houses and along the streets of our city will be for those who live there an offering of joy, eternal life, peace and love.

    In the Gospel passage, a second element catches one's eye: the miracle worked by the Lord contains an explicit invitation to each person to make his own contribution. The two fish and five loaves signify our contribution, poor but necessary, which he transforms into a gift of love for all.

    "Christ continues today" I wrote in the above-mentioned Post Synodal Exhortation, "to exhort his disciples to become personally engaged" (Sacramentum Caritatis, n. 88).

    Thus, the Eucharist is a call to holiness and to the gift of oneself to one's brethren: "Each of us is truly called, together with Jesus, to be bread broken for the life of the world".

    source: vatican.va


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  • Loving Means Acting Like The Good Samaritan

    Today, for example, the liturgy invites us to reflect on the famous Parable of the Good Samaritan (cf. Lk 10: 25-37), which introduces us into the heart of the Gospel message: love for God and love for neighbour. But the person speaking to Jesus asks: who is my neighbour? And the Lord answers by reversing the question and showing through the account of the Good Samaritan that each one of us must make himself close to every person he meets: "Go and do likewise" (Lk 10: 37).

    Loving, Jesus says, means acting like the Good Samaritan. And we know that he himself is the Good Samaritan par excellence; although he was God, he did not hesitate to humble himself to the point of becoming a man and giving his life for us.

    Love is therefore the "heart" of Christian life; indeed, love alone, awakened in us by the Holy Spirit, makes us Christ's witnesses.
    source:vatican.va


  • Texts of St. Josemaría:

    Our Lady was a guest at one of those noisy country weddings attended by people from many different villages. Mary was the only one who noticed the wine was running out. Don’t these scenes from Christ’s life seem familiar to us? The greatness of God lives at the level of ordinary things. It is natural for a woman, a homemaker, to notice an oversight, to look after the little things that make life pleasant. And that is how Mary acted.

    “Do whatever he tells you.” (John 2:5)

    If our faith is weak, we should turn to Mary. Because of the miracle at the marriage feast at Cana, which Christ performed at his Mother’s request, his disciples learned to believe in him (cf. John 2:11). Our Mother is always interceding with her Son so that he may attend to our needs and show himself to us, so that we can cry out, “You are the Son of God.”

    Grant me, dear Jesus, the faith I truly desire. My Mother, sweet Lady, Mary most holy, make me really believe! (Holy Rosary–Appendix, Wedding Feast at Cana)

    The Christian apostolate — and I’m talking about an ordinary Christian living as just one more man or woman among equals — is a great work of teaching. Through real, personal, loyal friendship, you create in others a hunger for God and you help them to discover new horizons — naturally, simply. With the example of your faith lived to the full, with a loving word, which is full of the force of divine truth.

    Be daring. Count on the help of Mary, queen of apostles. Without ceasing to be a mother, Our Lady is able to get each of her children to face his own responsibilities. Mary always does the immense favor of bringing to the cross, of placing face to face with the example of the Son of God, those who come close to her and contemplate her life. It is in this confrontation that Christian life is decided. And here Mary intercedes for us so that our behavior may lead to a reconciliation of the younger brother — you and me — with the firstborn Son of the Father.

    Many conversions, many decisions to give oneself to the service of God have been preceded by an encounter with Mary. Our Lady has encouraged us to look for God, to desire to change, to lead a new life. And so the “Do whatever he tells you” has turned into real self-giving, into a Christian vocation, which from then on enlightens all our personal life. (Christ is Passing By, 149)

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    • Houston Mission - Wednesday Homily April 3, 2014
      Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Lent. This is from a special mission Father Dave preached in Houston, Texas. This is the fourth and final one of his homilies from there. (Preached on Tuesday, April 2, 2014, St. Vincent De Paul Catholic Church, Houston, Texas)   The Busted Halo Show with Father Dave Dwyer is on SiriusXM Satellite Radio, Channel 129, Monday th […]
    • Houston Mission - Tuesday Homily April 2, 2014
      Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Lent. This is from a special mission Father Dave preached in Houston, Texas. This is the third of his homilies from there. (Preached on Tuesday, April 1, 2014, St. Vincent De Paul Catholic Church, Houston, Texas)   The Busted Halo Show with Father Dave Dwyer is on SiriusXM Satellite Radio, Channel 129, Monday through Thursday, 7 […]
    • Houston Mission Monday April 1, 2014
      Monday of the Fourth Week of Lent. This is from a special mission Father Dave preached in Houston, Texas. This is the second of his homilies from there. (Preached on Monday, March 31, 2014, St. Vincent De Paul Catholic Church, Houston, Texas) The Busted Halo Show with Father Dave Dwyer is on SiriusXM Satellite Radio, Channel 129, Monday through Thursday, 7:0 […]
    • Can't Believe Their Eyes March 31, 2014
      Fourth Sunday of Lent. This is from a special mission Father Dave preached in Houston, Texas. This is the first of his homilies from there. (Preached on Sunday, March 30, 2014, St. Vincent De Paul Catholic Church, Houston, Texas)
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    • Exclusive Interview: Bishop Kevin Vann, Diocese of Orange March 19, 2014
      Bishop Kevin Vann   We are pleased to welcome our next guest, the bishop of Orange, Bishop Kevin Vann!  Previously a leader in the Texas Conference of Bishops, he’s now the bishop of the 10th largest Diocese in US. He was instrumental in the incorporation of Anglican groups into the Catholic Church of the United States. He is a member of the USCCB Committee […]
    • Saints of Our Lives, episode 1 March 12, 2014
      Saints of Our Lives is Team Busted Halo acting out the lives of the saints in soap opera fashion for your educational and entertainment pleasure. In our first episode of Saints of Our Lives, we dramatize the lives of Brother and sister duo of Saints Benedict and Scholastica.  The Busted Halo Show with Father Dave Dwyer is on SiriusXM Satellite Radio, Channel […]
    • Church and Mental Illness Discussion March 5, 2014
      Do you or someone you love suffer from or live with a mental illness? Has it been difficult or otherwise challenging in your life? How can our faith help with these situations? This is a powerful discussion with a caller and within the team to talk about these things. It is a follow-up to the guest Amy Simpson and the last podcast.  The Busted Halo Show with […]
    • "Mental Illness and the Church's Mission" February 26, 2014
      This is a powerful interview with Amy Simpson, author of the new book "Troubled Minds",about our faith response to those with mental illnesses (which is 1 in 4 adults by the way). This is followed up by a couple of calls by listners on the topic.   Do you or someone you love suffer from or live with a mental illness? Has it been difficult or otherw […]
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  • Ordinary Time Prayer

    Heavenly Father You are the One from Whom every family derives its origin. Grant that, in keeping with Your glorious riches we may be strengthened with power through the Spirit for the development of our inner selves. Help us to develop our natural potentialities to the full while at the same time growing in Your likeness to Your Son Jesus Christ. Amen Lord Jesus I know that all human relations take time if they are to grow and deepen. This is also true of my relations with You, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, which must grow over the course of my life. However, this growth is not automatic; time alone means nothing unless I add earnest efforts to it. You have inspired Your Church to set aside special times when this growth can develop more intensely - the special seasons of the Church Year. If I fail to move toward You during these times, I waste precious opportunities and endanger my spiritual life. Help me to take them seriously and make a real attempt to use them well, so that I may grow into the person You want me to be. New Saint Joseph People's Prayer Book Lenten Prayer Almighty and Everlasting God,
    You have given the human race
    Jesus Christ our Savior as a model of humility.
    He fulfilled Your Will by becoming Man
    And giving His life on the Cross.
    Help us to bear witness to You
    By following His example of suffering
    And make us worthy to share in His Resurrection.
    We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son.

    Amen.
    Our Father...
    MARY, Mother of Jesus,
    you were Jesus’ gift for us from the Cross.
    He gave you to us as our mother.
    Intercede for all our needs.
    Hail Mary...
    Glory Be...


  • Advent Prayer

    This Advent season, as you celebrate the season of waiting for the Lord, use this prayer each week as you light the candles of your Advent wreath. Lord, our God, we praise you for your Son, Jesus Christ: He is Emmanuel, the hope of all people, He is the wisdom that teaches and guides us, He is the Savior of every nation. Lord God, let your blessing come upon us as we light the candles of this Advent wreath. May the wreath and its light be a sign of Christ’s promise to bring us salvation. We ask this through Christ, our Lord. Amen. -www.catholicmom.com
  • The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light

    pope benedict address to diplomatic core - vatican.va As a new year begins, our own hearts and the entire world continue to echo the joyful message proclaimed twenty centuries ago in the night of Bethlehem, a night which symbolizes humanity’s deep need for light, love and peace. To the men and women of that time, as to those of our own day, the heavenly hosts brought the good news of the coming of the Saviour: “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined” (Is 9:1). The mystery of the Son of God who became the son of man truly surpasses all human expectations. In its absolute gratuitousness this saving event is the authentic and full response to the deep desire of every heart. The truth, goodness, happiness and abundant life which each man and woman consciously or unconsciously seeks are given to us by God. In longing for these gifts, each person is seeking his Creator, for “God alone responds to the yearning present in the heart of every man and woman” (Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Verbum Domini, 23). Humanity throughout history, in its beliefs and rituals, demonstrates a constant search for God and “these forms of religious expression are so universal that one may well call man a religious being” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 28). The religious dimension is an undeniable and irrepressible feature of man’s being and acting, the measure of the fulfilment of his destiny and of the building up of the community to which he belongs. Consequently, when the individual himself or those around him neglect or deny this fundamental dimension, imbalances and conflicts arise at all levels, both personal and interpersonal.
  • Each of us has dignity

    The Parables of the Lost Sheep, the Lost Coin, and the Prodigal Son are reminders that each one of us has dignity and are worth everything to God who wants a relationship with us and for us to be happy forever.
  • The Multitudes Were Following After Him

    The crowds were following Jesus when he turned around and made them think about something. Easy is it to follow him when it is convenient. Hard is it to follow him when doing so will cause us discomfort. Sometimes doing the right thing will cause us some discomfort but it is the cross that we are asked to bear.
  • Narrow Gate

    There is a question that has always nagged believers: Will there be many or few people saved? During certain periods this problem became so acute as to cause some people terrible anxiety.

    This Sunday's Gospel informs us that Jesus himself was once asked this question. "Jesus passed through towns and villages, teaching as he went and making his way to Jerusalem. Someone asked him, 'Lord, will only a few people be saved?'"

    The question, as we see, focuses on the number -- How many will be saved? Will it be many or few? In answering the question, Jesus shifts the focus from "how many" to "how" to be saved, that is, by entering "through the narrow gate."

    We see this same attitude in regard to Jesus' second coming. The disciples ask "when" the return of the Son of Man will happen and Jesus answers indicating "how" we should prepare ourselves for that return, and what to do during the time of waiting (cf. Matthew 24:3-4).

    Jesus' way of responding to these questions is not strange or discourteous. He is just acting in the way of one who wants to teach his disciples how to move from a life of curiosity to one of true wisdom; from the allure of idle questions to the real problems we need to grapple with in life.

    From this we already see the absurdity of those who, like the Jehovah Witnesses, believe they know the precise number of the saved: 144,000.

    This number, which recurs in the Book of Revelations has a purely symbolic value (the square of 12 -- the number of the tribes of Israel -- multiplied by 1,000) and is explained by the expression that immediately follows: "A great multitude that no man could number" (Revelations 7:4, 9).

    Above all, if 144,000 is really the number, then we can both close up shop. Above the gate to heaven there must be a sign like the ones parking lots put up: "Full."

    If, therefore, Jesus is not so much interested in revealing to us the number of the saved as he is in telling us how to be saved, we can understand what he is trying to tell us here. In substance, there are two things: one negative and the other positive.

    It is useless, or rather it is not enough, to belong to a certain ethnic group, race, tradition, or institution, not even the chosen people from whom the Savior himself comes. What puts us on the road to salvation is not a title of ownership ("We ate and drank in your presence..."), but a personal decision, followed by a consistent way of life. This is even more clear in Matthew's text which contrasts two ways and two gates, one narrow and the other wide (cf. Matthew 7:13-14).

    Why are these ways respectively called "narrow" and "wide"? Is it perhaps that the way of evil is always easy and pleasant to follow and the way of goodness always hard and tiresome?

    Here we must be careful not to cede to the usual temptation of believing that here below everything goes magnificently well for the wicked and everything goes terribly for the good.

    The way of the wicked is wide, but only at the beginning. As one goes down this way it gradually becomes narrow and bitter. In any case, it becomes very narrow at the end because it finishes in a blind alley.

    The joy that is experienced in it has the characteristic of diminishing more and more as one tastes it, and it finally causes nausea and sadness. We see this in certain forms of intoxication experienced in drugs, alcohol and sex. A larger dose or stronger stimulation is needed each time to produce pleasure of the same intensity.

    Finally the organism no longer responds and it begins to break down, even physically.

    The way of the just is instead narrow at the beginning, when one starts off on it, but it then becomes a spacious boulevard because hope, joy and peace of heart are found in it.

    Father Cantalamessa

  • Faithfully Waiting

    Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

    Be watchful for you know not the day nor the hour

    You also must be ready for the Son of man is coming at an unexpected hour

    To whom much is given much will be expected

    Keep your lamps burning

    Watchful Servants/Faithful or Unfaithful Servant

    Are you faithful to God?

  • Thoughts on Greed

    Greed and envy focus a person on self. Those who pursue wealth seek security and safety. They use their riches to shield themselves from life's vicissitudes and to find comfort and confidence in material things. In the pursuit of wealth they lose sight of the real meaning of life because they are seduced by the illusion that with their fortune they can control their lives. Yet one day everyone will die - possessions cannot protect against that day. source: Catholic-Bible-School.org

    Novena Prayer to St Martha "St. Martha, I resort to thy protection and aid and as a proof of my affection and faith I offer this light which I shall burn every Tuesday. Comfort me in all my difficulties and through the great favor thou didst enjoy when the Savior was lodged in thy house,. Intercede for my family that we may always hold God in our hearts, and that we may be provided for in all our necessities, I ask, St. Martha, to overcome all difficulties as thou didst overcome the dragon at thy feet."

  • Pope Benedict XVI on the sinful woman redeemed by love

    The manner in which she chose to come before Jesus, bathing his feet with tears and drying them with her hair, kissing them and sprinkling scented oil upon them, was done to shock those who viewed people in her condition with the merciless eye of the judge. What is striking, on the other hand, is the tenderness with which Jesus treated this woman, exploited and judged by so many. In Jesus she found at last a pure eye, a heart capable of loving without exploiting. In the gaze and heart of Jesus she received the revelation of God-Love!

    To avoid any misunderstanding, it should be noted that Jesus' mercy was not expressed by putting moral law in parentheses. For Jesus, good is good and evil is evil. Mercy does not change the connotations of sin but consumes it in a fire of love.



  • Life is not just a succession of events or experiences; it is a search for the true, the good, and the beautiful. It is to this end that we make our choices; it is for this that we exercise our freedom; it is in this - in truth, in goodness, and in beauty - that we find happiness and joy. -PB16 Message for the 43rd World Communications Day May 24, 2009


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      Well, we made it! All the way through Lent, through the cross and now onto the celebration of the Resurrection of the Lord. Praise God! Every year on Easter one of my most fervent prayers is for the people who only go to church once or twice a year. As I have said before, I […]
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    • Daily Catholic Mass Readings for Thursday 17 April 2014
      Exodus 12: 1 - 8, 11 - 14 1 The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, 2 "This month shall be for you the beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year for you. 3 Tell all ...
    • Daily Catholic Mass Readings for Wednesday 16 April 2014
      Isaiah 50: 4 - 9 4 The Lord GOD has given me the tongue of those who are taught, that I may know how to sustain with a word him that is weary. Morning by morning he wakens, he wakens my ear to hear as those who are taught. ...
    • Daily Catholic Mass Readings for Tuesday 15 April 2014
      Isaiah 49: 1 - 6 1 Listen to me, O coastlands, and hearken, you peoples from afar. The LORD called me from the womb, from the body of my mother he named my name. 2 He made my mouth like a sharp sword, in the shadow of his ...
    • Daily Catholic Mass Readings for Monday 14 April 2014
      Isaiah 42: 1 - 7 1 Behold my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; I have put my Spirit upon him, he will bring forth justice to the nations. 2 He will not cry or lift up his voice, or make it heard ...
    • Daily Catholic Mass Readings for Sunday 13 April 2014
      Matthew 21: 1 - 11 1 And when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Beth'phage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, "Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find an ass tied, and a ...
    • Daily Catholic Mass Readings for Saturday 12 April 2014
      Ezekiel 37: 21 - 28 21 then say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I will take the people of Israel from the nations among which they have gone, and will gather them from all sides, and bring them to their own land; 22 and I ...
    • Daily Catholic Mass Readings for Thursday 10 April 2014
      Genesis 17: 3 - 9 3 Then Abram fell on his face; and God said to him, 4 "Behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations. 5 No longer shall your name be Abram, but your ...
    • Daily Catholic Mass Readings for Wednesday 09 April 2014
      Daniel 3: 14 - 20, 91 - 92, 95 14 King Nebuchadnezzar questioned them: "Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you will not serve my god, or worship the golden statue that I set up? 15 Be ready now to fall down and worship the statue ...
    • Daily Catholic Mass Readings for Tuesday 08 April 2014
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Parable of the laborers in the vineyard

Posted by prepareformass on September 14, 2008

Prepare for Mass – 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Todays Readings

The Lord is near to all who call upon him in truth – Ps 145:18. 
Seek the LORD while he may be found, call him while he is near – Is 55:6
and turn away from things that are bad for us and cling to his mercy and compassion. His ways are far above our ways.  

Is 55: 6-9
Seek the LORD while he may be found, call him while he is near.
Let the scoundrel forsake his way, and the wicked man his thoughts; Let him turn to the LORD for mercy; to our God, who is generous in forgiving.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the LORD.
As high as the heavens are above the earth, so high are my ways above your ways and my thoughts above your thoughts.

Paul in Phil 1:20-24 discusses living in Christ and dying with Christ.  “Christ will be magnified in my body whether by life or by death” Phil 1:20c.  He speaks about living in the flesh as fruitful labor.

Jesus tells a parable of the landowner who hires people to labor in the field.  The ones who start late are treated with the same compassion as those who labor all day.  This shows the tremendous compassion God has for all people.  In this parable we are reminded by the landowner searching for laborers throughout the day of how God searches for us throughout our lives.  As we work and labor throughout life doing good deeds are we compassionate for people who in the eleventh hour are called into labor or are we upset with envy by God’s generosity?

Laborers in the vineyard – Justin Allard

Homily – Fr Bonaventure – The Parable of the Vineyard

Pope Benedict General Intentions February 2008 – Kristy Linnhoff

Marie Bellet – Ordinary Time

Psalm 145
Photographic depiction of Psalm 145 from YouTube user marghut

More Psalm 145 videos…


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One Response to “Parable of the laborers in the vineyard”

  1. deaconkranz said

    Nice site. Glad I found it.

    Homily for the Twenty-Fifth Sunday Year A
    By Deacon John Kranz

    I believe we are all laborers in the field of our Lord. As we labor, our first concern is for fairness, justice, and impartiality ~ as it applies to the one doing the labor ~ just as it was for those who were sent into the field first and were paid the same as the last. But our understanding of this ideal is not the same as the Lord’s. To Christ, justice is allowing for a man the means by which to provide for his family, a means to clothe the naked, to feed the less fortunate. For our Lord, laboring has so much more to do with others rather than self. In fact, self has nothing to do with it at all. Laboring to rid the person of “SELF” prepares the divine landscape within each of us. And that’s difficult. It’s true spiritual labor. But with this labor comes a two-fold ideal of mercy, individual and communal, and what follows is potentially heaven on earth.
    Before we can labor in the spiritual garden the Lord wants to prepare within our souls, it is useful to understand that laboring in this garden begins with routing out all sense of “SELF”. In routing out this lesser ideal, we labor to prepare for a higher state of being that enables us to offer acts of mercy that are in perfect harmony with the Divine Will of our Heavenly Father, not tainted with self-interest. Again, this is difficult. It requires time, practice and patience ~ not to mention tremendous grace. SELF-interest can rear its ugly head without us even being aware of it. For example, I might go to a prayer meeting more so that others might see that I am a holy deacon rather than for more understanding and inspiration to live according to the Divine Will. To our Lord this gift is really no gift at all, because it is polluted with self-interest rather than unadulterated love for God. Hence you can see from this example that ridding the individual of SELF has much to do with one’s intention. Again, the intention to receive communion from a deep longing for an intimate relationship with God rather than coming to the Lord’s table out of habit. Perhaps it’s the intention to assist those suffering from natural disasters because we truly see the face of Christ in each of his suffering sons and daughters, rather than out of concern that we should do “at least something” so that we make it through the pearly gates. Or maybe it’s the intention to offer a strong shoulder for someone to lean on who has just been laid-off work because of this economy. I could go on. Needless to say, laboring in this garden has nothing to do with SELF and everything to do with the larger Body of Christ. And the more one becomes perfected in this way of life, the irony is, the more perfected their acts of mercy become as an affect on The Body of Christ.
    The individual mercy I am referring to is that mercy we allow for ourselves. By doing away with self-interest, pride, ego, and all the rest, we open the door widely so that Christ might come and dwell within our hearts and within our souls. This is, in itself, a great act of individual mercy. Why? Because we have cleaned out the old, weeded out the unnecessary, and made it new again, so that our Thrice Holy God may dwell within us and enable us to bare fruit according to his Divine Will. It’s like a light shining in a closet but the is door closed. This individual mercy is an act that we can initiate, like turning on a light so that we might become so much more radiant than we really are ~ when left to our own devices. And the more perfected we become, the more freely Christ can flow through us and affect His entire Body.
    This is the communal mercy we offer for others. At this point our labor becomes like a light shining in a closet and the door has been opened. This light shines outside the closet and now illuminates the next room. You know these corporal acts by now that make up this light: Feed the hungry. Clothe the naked. Heal the sick. But what you may not have known is that the intention of our heart is very much taken into account. And it begins with laboring to rid the individual of SELF.
    The easiest thing in the world to do is to let loose of SELF and allow it to run freely. There is no labor in that at all. SELF is totally consumed by flesh and all that goes with it: lust, pride, ego, licentiousness, decadence, self-indulgence and all the rest. The flesh is weak and therefore very lazy. It will stay out all night long and party for hours on end ~ with no prompting at all. The laboring on our part comes into play when we work to control the flesh, and the lesser sense of SELF, so that we might prepare a place that our Lord loves to dwell. With time, practice and patience we might come to realize that this is truly the greatest act of mercy we can offer our own souls. The more we die to self the more we are resurrected in Christ, and the greater impact we have on the community which makes up his Body.
    This is why Jesus says that the first will be last and the last will be first. In giving us equal opportunity to labor in the fertile fields that lay within each of us, the first will be last because they are the first to route out all sense of SELF, and by grace have placed themselves last before all others. In fact, Jesus said, “If you wish to be the greatest in heaven be the servant of all.” Again, he said, “Even the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than John the Baptist.” Those who have labored well have learned the exalted position that being last commands. And being last, they hold first place in the heavenly kingdom. Hence, the first will be last and the last first.
    The good news is, at the end of this day’s labor we will receive the same compensation, becoming more fully participants in His sacrifice and His glory. We bring the gift of SELF to this alter with the intention of offering it in complete union with Christ to our Father for the fulfillment of His divine plan and the gift of eternal salvation for all humankind.

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