Thought for the week…

Aha! Do I get it? Did I see it? Hmmm

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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. 3-kings-dmdoherty-2017-jpgI 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

A Workout

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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 Heart with muscleman 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!

 

My little dove…

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The dove of peace I hold in my hands…doves-free-1250932

Today, on the Feast of the Mother of God and the World Day of Peace, Fr. Browning read the first Eucharistic Prayer as I knelt during Mass.  In it, he said, “he took it in his holy and venerable hands.”  Jesus blessed and broke the bread.  Jesus took the bread in his holy and venerable hands.  I could see him.  I could see his hands.  I was captivated by his holy and venerable hands as he raised the bread and gave it to those around him.
We receive Christ in our hands not long after this.  I thought how precious is this faith that I would hold in my hands.  I thought of this faith and saw a little bird in my hands.  Later when I reflected on this moment which seemed outside of time, I realized that this reminds me of my favorite Scripture and the song that I sang to my children:  Isaiah 49.  “Would a mother forget her baby or a woman the child within her womb, yet even if these forget, yes, even if these forget, I will never forget my own.”  God promised he would never forget me.  And I have the image of Mary holding her precious little baby in a lowly stable delighting in this miracle of life.
Parents hold there child’s heart and spirit in their hands like a little bird.
We hold our faith like that little bird, like a baby swaddled, tender and mild.
This year, why not have mercy on yourself and others.
Look to each person and even yourself as that little bird that needs food, a nest, and protection until it’s ready to fly.  This is faith.  It is trust in someone greater than ourselves.
We hold Christ in in our hands
He holds us in his hands
We hold others in our hands
And peace takes flight.
We all could use a little benefit of the doubt and another chance (maybe a hundred) to become the person we know we could be.
On this day, the World Day of Peace, in the wake of a baby born to change the world, resolve to think peace and be peace. This is a resolution you can keep!
Peace and good will to everyone!  Happy new year!

Give til it hurts?

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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!

Elijah and the Widow

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

1 KGS 17:10-16

MK 12:38-44

Blessed are the merciful

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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

Beatitudes 4

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!

Works of Mercy

The bucket

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My grace is sufficient for you and daily bread…
Sometimes I think that my bucket is almost too deep for God to fill with grace. Its not that he doesn’t want to give it to me but maybe I need too much!  How am I going to fill it?
Will God fill up the bucket no matter the size? Of course, He told me He would in Scripture (2Pt 1:3). I think that He tells me in so many other ways, too. My heart seems to know and understand that there is more to it then just the problem of the bucket.
I find it interesting that God would have a bucket list. Teresa Tomeo even wrote a book called God’s Bucket List.
 
Have you every thought about what God desires in his heart, not for Himself, but for you?  What are the things that will bring you happiness and peace?
So what about the bucket? What does your bucket look like? Is it a wooden pail reminiscent of the kind used for a deep well that you might find in the country. Or is it the bucket that is shiny and new, made of metal? Where did the bucket come from and who gave it to me anyway?
If God gave me the bucket wouldn’t it make sense then that He would also give me the desire to fill it up? If he promised that His grace would be sufficient, then He should fill it up! Are we born with a bucket the size the grand canyon? Some days, I am sure that it’s huge! And then I get impatient.  One more lesson in trust.  One more reminder to ask God for my daily bread.
God promised that He has just the right amount to fill all the needs in your bucket. Ask him to fill it up.
But don’t forget to ask him to help you carry it!  Is grace heavy?  I don’t think so.  Grace is a gift from God to make our burdens lighter.
beach_bucketIt’s the stuff I put in the bucket that is heavy.
What’s in your bucket?  What do you want to put in it?  What do you want to take out?
2 cor 12:9-10
Jesus, I trust in you!

Got life? Get the Bread of Life

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John 6 is as controversial today as it was when Jesus walked the Earth.  Did He mean it or didn’t He?  Was the bread really just a metaphor (Jn 6:51-58)?  In the verses that follow, Jesus assures us, as we grumble amongst ourselves, that He is quite serious.

Spoiler alert:  When Jesus asks the Twelve (Apostles) if they want to leave Him, too, Peter says, “To whom shall we go?” (Jn 6:60-69)  They stay.

 “Master, to whom shall we go? 

You have the words of eternal life.

We have come to believe

and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.”

Faith can be tough.  You have a choice.  Should I stay or should I go?  Do I believe?  I believe Jesus was serious.  I would not give up the opportunity to receive the Bread of Life.  Where in this world will you find eternal life?  Or receive the gifts God wants to give you?

bread

Want life?

Jesus says he is the Bread of Life.

How can you get this bread?

Jesus is waiting for you at Mass in the Eucharist.

Real food and drink.

Be fed by the Word and the Eucharist.

Don’t forget that He gave us this bread, Himself, so that we could have eternal life!

What are you waiting for?