burden

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

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!