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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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  • This Week’s Gospel

    Mark 1:40-45

    40 And a leper came to him beseeching him, and kneeling said to him, "If you will, you can make me clean."

    41 Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him, and said to him, "I will; be clean."

    42 And immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean.

    43 And he sternly charged him, and sent him away at once,

    44 and said to him, "See that you say nothing to any one; but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, for a proof to the people."

    45 But he went out and began to talk freely about it, and to spread the news, so that Jesus could no longer openly enter a town, but was out in the country; and people came to him from every quarter.

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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".


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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.

  • 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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  • February 2009
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  • The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light

    pope benedict address to diplomatic core - 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:

    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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Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Posted by prepareformass on February 8, 2009

heal_leperPrepare for Mass – February 15, 2009 – (2/15/2009)

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Sunday, February 15, is the Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time on the Church’s calendar. This Sunday we reflect on the cleansing of the leper.

The book of Leviticus gives instructions for people living with leprosy in the days of the old law.  The instructions were for them to rend their garments, to be brought to the priest who would declare them unclean, and to rend their garments.  Those living with that terrible skin disease lived outside the camp and they were to declare themselves as “unclean”.

Jesus gave us a new example to follow.  He himself went outside the camp and gave healing to those who were in need and who asked him to be healed.

Jesus touches us as he touched that leper. He wants to heal us from all that keeps us from his love.

We may not suffer from leprosy or anything like it. But, we all have sins that need forgiveness.  All who are oppressed may come to him. He is refuge for us in our times of trouble.  The responsorial psalm this week…”I turn to you, Lord, in time of trouble, and you fill me with the joy of salvation.”

Father Jim Chern – – shares a remarkable personal story and asks a valuable question. “Can we embrace the leper’s faith and say to Jesus, If you wish, you can cure me?”
Jesus Help Me

Father Dave Dwyer – Busted Halo Show on Satellite Radio Sirius 159 and XM 117
Three Lessons from a Leper

Father Ted Tyler reflects on another most important message from this week’s Gospel reading. That is the importance of legitimate authority in society and how it should be respected. After healing the leper, Jesus said for him to go and show himself to the priest and offer sacrifice that the law of Moses commanded. Sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time B

Jesus challenges us to touch the lepers in our lives. Those who live outside the camp.

Would you touch a leper?

In thanksgiving we praise Him

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