Thought for the week…
Happy new year! We just celebrated some awesome days in the Church: The Nativity of the Lord (Christmas), New Year’s Day/Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord, and the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. Listen to Fr. DiTomo’s homily for the Feast of the Epiphany by clicking here: http://tinyurl.com/zuu9tro. Become a follower on Sound Cloud!
It’s officially Ordinary Time, but there is nothing ordinary about it! This is the time of regular watering of our faith as we journey toward Lent and the Resurrection.
Our Faith Formation students have been asked to decide on their faith projects, keep coming to classes, complete their lessons, serve at the Family Mass and Dinner, challenged to pray every day during Advent and now look for the ‘sign’ or ‘Epiphany’ in their lives like the star that the Magi followed to find Jesus. Opening the Word has been about the gifts we bring to Jesus and offer the Church community as well as the ‘ordinary’ gifts we bring to the altar during Mass. I used my Morning Prayer to discuss what my ‘offerings’ are every day regardless of the season. I had a gift bag with ‘signs and sayings’ as props.
O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
I offer You my prayers, works, joys, and sufferings of this day in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world. I offer them for all the intentions of Your Sacred Heart: the salvation of souls, reparation for sin, and the reunion of all Christians. I offer them for the intentions of our bishops and of all Apostles of Prayer, and especially those of the Holy Father this month. Amen.
Donna’s Morning Prayer
(adapted from the Daily Offering of the Apostleship of Prayer)
We talked about what we can offer Jesus as a gift even if we don’t have gold (king), frankincense (God) or myrrh (man). We offer our big and little prayers, works, joys and even our sufferings and tears to Jesus. Just like the bread and wine we bring to the altar during Mass, Jesus takes them and transforms them into something good, better, beautiful and extraordinary. We ask the Holy Spirit to transform US. I ask that you remind your children that we come bearing gifts following the Light of the World who came to save us. We find him in the Mass!
We talked about the difference between the baptism in the Jordan by John the Baptist and the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. How we may have gone swimming and tried to see how long we could hold our breath. The people who came to John the Baptist to be baptized were only baptized with water. They went under and came back up breathing in new life. They made confessions of their sins and shortcomings and committed to do better and be better.
John the Baptist warned them that someone was coming ‘greater than I’. Jesus would baptize with the Holy Spirit. There was a sign of the dove who descended upon Jesus and the words of God, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” And this is echoed during the Transfiguration when God adds, “Listen to Him.”
During the past season and through these Feasts and Solemnities, we ‘see’ there were many signs: Angels, dreams, stars, and then the dove. How does God appear or reveal (epiphany) Himself in our lives? It’s a great discussion and can change the way you see others and the world.
Every week during Opening the Word in Church at the beginning of class they are asked to practice the 4-step prayer. (Say hi, talk about your day, ask for help and say thank you!) Ask them if they remember it! Prayer is a conversation. A student asked why we would tell Jesus about our day or week if he already knows. I said that we often talk to our friends about something that we were both at. Our friends already know what we did and what happened but we talk about it anyway. Reminisce about the meaningful parts, laugh at the silly parts and tear up at the sad ones. Jesus wants us to talk with him and help us carry our burdens. That’s what friends are for. That’s what a Savior is for. Jesus said he would make our burdens light!
Many blessings in the new year, Donna
This is the greatest Commandment according to Luke!
“You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” “But who is my neighbor?” (Lk 10:25-37)
Jesus tells the story of the Good Samaritan. The Good Samaritan didn’t know the injured man on the road. He wasn’t from the same country or tribe. He wasn’t from the same faith. But he still helped him. So who was a good neighbor? The one who treated the injured man with mercy. He cleaned his wounds, picked him up and took him to a place that would help him. He even paid for his healthcare.
A good parable to talk about during the Year of Mercy!
How will you get your spiritual workout? We all could use a little help and a little mercy! So be a neighbor to everyone around you! Stay strong!
The dove of peace I hold in my hands…
We hold our faith like that little bird, like a baby swaddled, tender and mild.
He holds us in his hands
We hold others in our hands
What do you have?
Sometimes God is asking so much of us. It might be like the widow who uses the last of her flour and oil to feed Elijah. Or the widow who puts her last 2 cents in the collection basket. It is really hard to put that much trust in God. We need to trust that God will give us everything we need. That happened for the widow Elijah met. She had enough flour and oil to eat for a year!
Think about the Our Father the next time you say it. Do you trust that you will have daily bread? What can you donate that someone else really needs?
Based on Scriptures for Sunday, November 8, 2015
“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” Mt 5:1-12
Pope Francis asks us to concentrate on being merciful as we begin the Year of Mercy on December 8, 2015, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception .
Take the challenge to do one of the Corporal Works of Mercy every week! You can probably start at
home and then branch out! I bet you could do one of these a day. Visiting someone in prison or burying the dead is probably not one that you can do. You could pray for someone who has died. You could even send a card to someone you know is sick or check on people who live alone. Check with your parents if you are under 18. They probably have a few ideas! The point is: Think about it and then do SOMETHING!