- A Small White Cross in the Front Yard ("Helpful Hints of Life")
- Sunday Mass Readings along with reflections and questions at end of e-mail (NEW FEATURE)
- Incredible website and organization to reach out to Fallen Away Catholics (under computer)
Catholic Good News
Receiving the Gospel, Serving God and Neighbor
Small Things With Great Love
"Show the wonder of your great love, you who save by your right
hand those who take refuge in you from their foes."
We are often deceived that we can do little to nothing to change the world or situation of life that we find ourselves in. But the truth is that if we do the little that God gives us to the best of our ability, the big stuff will take care of itself.
And so what are the little things that God gives us? It is being faithful to our families, it is doing our schoolwork well and playing kindly in the school yard, it is putting in a full day's work to the best of our ability and reaching out to co-workers, it is doing household duties and yes even cleaning the toilet until it sparkles. :o)
Whether it is getting up, eating, cleaning, picking up a piece of trash, smiling, saying, "I love you," or whatever the next moment of life brings you, do it with great love FOR GOD, and for your neighbor, and in this you do it for yourself and change the world!
Peace and prayers in Jesus through Mary, loved by Saint Joseph,
P.S. This coming Sunday is 28th Sunday of Ordinary Time.
The readings can be found at: https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/101021.cfm
a) Jesus taught it to us
b) it dropped out of the sky from heaven
c) an angel taught it to the apostles
d) its organ’s ultimately come from a prophet of the Old Testament
579. What is the place of the Our Father in the Scriptures? (CCC 2761-2764, 2774)
a) it is found in the middle of the Sermon on the Mount
b) it is the perfect prayer
c) it is the summary of the whole Gospel
d) all of the above
580. Why is it called the “Lord’s Prayer”? (CCC 2765-2766, 2775)
a) it is the shortest title we could give it
b) it is a prayer Jesus said
c) it is a prayer Jesus taught us
d) all of the above
581. What place does the Our Father have in the prayer of the Church? (CCC 2767-2772, 2776)
a) it is optional, and not that important
b) it is secondary behind many other prayers
c) it is very important and is required to be said everyday
d) it is integral and the prayer of the Church par excellence
(Latin lubēre, libēre "to please, to be pleasing")
- to know, will, and do the good of another
-to seek the highest and best good for the other
(Truth of story is unknown, but idea for action is sound.)
When driving to, from, and through Frankenmuth, Michigan, my family was always intrigued with the many small simple crosses in the front yards of the homes we passed by. Then one day we learned that those crosses are a statement of support for Frankenmuth's Christian foundation. The men from St. Lorenze Lutheran Church were making the crosses for those who wanted one. As fast as they could make them, they flew out of the church!
Two years ago an atheist living there complained about two crosses on a bridge in town. He requested that they be removed and the town removed them. He then decided that, since he was so successful with that, the city shield should also be changed since it had on it, along with other symbols, a heart with a cross inside signifying the city's Lutheran beginnings.
At that point, the residents decided they had had enough. Hundreds of residents made their opinions known by placing small crosses in their front yards. Seeing this quiet but powerful statement from the community, the man removed his complaint. Those simple crosses remain in those front yards today.
After passing those crosses for two years, it finally hit me that a small cross in millions of front yards across our country could provide a powerful and inspiring message for all Americans passing them every day. I think it might be time to take this idea across America.
We have those who say, even high up, that "we are not a Christian nation" and everywhere you look others are trying to remove from our history and current lives any reference to God, prayer, or the fact that our country was founded on Judeo-Christian principles. The majority of Americans are Christians, why are we letting this happen to us? It's time to stand up and make a statement...a small, quiet, but powerful statement.
If you agree, place a small wooden cross in your front yard or garden for all to see that they are not alone. It would be a beautiful thing to see crosses all across America.
God has richly blessed America but America is falling short of returning thanks for it, and this is only one way that we can help to change that. Do not be afraid to unobtrusively let others know where you stand and what you believe.
P.S. It's not a bad idea to make this a worldwide effort.
"Just as Jesus prays to the Father and gives thanks before receiving his gifts, so he teaches us filial boldness: "Whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you receive it, and you will." Such is the power of prayer and of faith that does not doubt: "all things are possible to him who believes." Jesus is as saddened by the "lack of faith" of his own neighbors and the "little faith" of his own disciples as he is struck with admiration at the great faith of the Roman centurion and the Canaanite woman."
Catechism of the Catholic Church #2610
Be Bold. Be Catholic. The Dynamic Catholic Institute was founded by writer Matthew Kelly to do its part in the rejuvenation of Catholicism in the English-speaking world. Eight years ago Kelly published his book Rediscovering Catholicism, and it is the mission of the Institute to place a copy of this book in the hands of every Catholic in the United States. You can help them acomplish this or obtain a copy free as well as check out other incredible resources.
SUPPORT MARRIAGE AND MARRIED COUPLES
There are many resources available for Married Couples at all stages of life and situations. But most couples do not have time to get or receive those resources. Try to make those available via the parish website, bulletin, etc.
Marriage is under attack from the inside and out. Any and all efforts to support and lift up Marriages especially at difficult times are a blessing.
Make websites and items available for Married couples via website and parish bulletin. Connect couples to parish and diocesan persons who can directly help if possible.
www.foryourmarriage.org USSCB website with many resources for all stages of Married Life
https://www.helpourmarriage.org/ A Marriage program that helps couples in struggling marriages restore and rebuild a healthy and loving relationship.
www.wwme.org Worldwide Marriage Encounter is the largest pro-marriage organization in the world and promotes Weekend experiences for couples.
Ibarra is the author of the book “Emilia, the Basket Maker, Martyr of the Rosary,” which tells of her life and death. He said that Emilia’s devotion to the rosary led her to love Jesus Christ more.
According to the historian, Emilia “died from her sufferings, for being faithful to her faith, for bringing a life into the world and did not give in to her jailer’s desire that she apostatize.”
For Ibarra, Emilia “teaches us with her life that God is at our side, especially in the midst of difficulties. Emilia went to prison hardly knowing the faith and when she died, she did so as a friend of God and a martyr of the rosary. That is beautiful.”
She was beatified in a group of martyrs from Almeria, Spain on March 25, 2017. The group included cathedral dean Father Jose Alvarez-Benavides y de la Torre and 114 companion martyrs: 95 priests, 20 laymen and two women, including Emilia.
Emilia is the first Romani woman to be beatified. The first male Gypsy blessed, Ceferino Giménez Malla, known as El Pelé, was beatified by Saint John Paul II in 1997. He died in the religious persecution of the Spanish Civil War for protecting a priest. Before his persecutors shot him, he held a rosary in his hand and cried out “Long live Christ the King!”
Ibarra characterized both Emilia and Ceferino as “martyrs of the rosary” because both of them refused to stop praying it.
“This demonstrates that the Virgin leads us to God. For those two martyrs, she was the Gate of Heaven,” he said.
“To be always united with Jesus, this is my life program,” Carlo Acutis wrote at the age of seven.
The young Italian computer whiz, who died of leukemia at 15 offering his suffering for the pope and the Church, was beatified Oct. 10 in a Mass at the Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi.
Born in 1991, Acutis is the first millennial to be beatified by the Catholic Church. The teen who had an aptitude for computer programming is now one step away from canonization.
“Since he was a child … he had his gaze turned to Jesus. Love for the Eucharist was the foundation that kept alive his relationship with God. He often said ‘The Eucharist is my highway to heaven,” Cardinal Agostino Vallini said in his homily for the beatification.
“Carlo felt a strong need to help people discover that God is close to us and that it is beautiful to be with him to enjoy his friendship and his grace,” Vallini said.
During the beatification Mass, Acutis’ parents processed behind a relic of their son's heart which was placed near the altar. An apostolic letter from Pope Francis was read aloud in which the pope declared that Carlo Acutis’ feast will take place each year on Oct. 12, the anniversary of his death in Milan in 2006.
Masked pilgrims spread out in front of the Basilica of St. Francis and throughout the different piazzas in Assisi to watch the Mass on large screens as only a limited number of people were allowed inside.
Acutis’ beatification drew an estimated 3,000 people to Assisi, including people who personally knew Acutis and many other young people inspired by his witness.
Mattia Pastorelli, 28, was a childhood friend of Acutis, who first met him when they were both around the age of five. He remembers playing video games, including Halo, with Carlo. (Acutis’ mother also told CNA that Super Mario and Pokémon were Carlo’s favorites.)
“Having a friend who is about to become a saint is a very strange emotion,” Pastorelli told CNA Oct. 10. “I knew he was different from others, but now I realize just how special he was.”
“I watched him while he was programming websites … He was truly an incredible talent,” he added.
In his homily, Cardinal Vallini, the pontifical legate for the Basilica of St. Francis, hailed Acutis as a model of how young people can use technology at the service of the Gospel to “reach as many people as possible and help them know the beauty of friendship with the Lord.”
For Carlo, Jesus was “the strength of his life and the purpose of everything he did,” the cardinal said.
“He was convinced that to love people and do them good you need to draw energy from the Lord. In this spirit he was very devoted to Our Lady,” he added.
“His ardent desire was also that of attracting as many people to Jesus, making himself herald of the Gospel above all with the example of life.”
At a young age, Acutis taught himself how to program and went on to create websites cataloguing the world’s Eucharistic miracles and Marian apparitions.
“The Church rejoices, because in this very young Blessed the Lord's words are fulfilled: ‘I have chosen you and appointed you to go and bear much fruit.’ And Carlo ‘went’ and brought the fruit of holiness, showing it as a goal reachable by all and not as something abstract and reserved for a few,” the cardinal said.
“He was an ordinary boy, simple, spontaneous, likeable … he loved nature and animals, he played football, he had many friends of his age, he was attracted by modern means of social communication, passionate about computer science and, self-taught, he built websites to transmit the Gospel, to communicate values and beauty,” he said.
Assisi is celebrating the beatification of Carlo Acutis with more than two weeks of liturgies and events Oct. 1-17. During this time images of a young Acutis standing with a giant monstrance containing the Eucharist can be seen in front of churches all around the city of St. Francis and St. Clare.
People stood in line to pray before the tomb of Carlo Acutis, located in Assisi’s Sanctuary of the Spoliation in the Church of St. Mary Major. The church extended its hours until midnight throughout the beatification weekend to allow as many people as possible to venerate Acutis, with the social distancing measures in place to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Fr. Boniface Lopez, a Franciscan Capuchin based at the church, told CNA that he noted that many people who visited Acutis’ tomb also took advantage of the opportunity to go to confession, which is being offered in many languages throughout the 17 days when Acutis’ body is visible for venation.
“Many people are coming to see Carlo to ask for his blessing … also many young people; they come for confessions, they come because they want to change their lives and they want to come near God and really experience God,” Fr. Lopez said.
At a youth vigil the evening before the beatification, pilgrims gathered outside of the Assisi’s Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels while priests heard confessions inside.
Churches throughout Assisi also offered additional hours of Eucharistic Adoration to mark Acutis’ beatification.
Lopez said that he had also encountered many religious sisters and priests coming on pilgrimage to see Actutis. “Religious come here to ask his blessing to help them to cultivate a greater love for the Eucharist.”
As Acutis once said: “When we face the sun we get a tan ... but when we stand before Jesus in the Eucharist we become saints.”
When Melissa Villalobos first heard about Cardinal John Henry Newman, she had no idea the pivotal role he would play in her life, nor the pivotal role she would play in his cause for sainthood. The Catholic wife and mother from Chicago stumbled into a show about Newman on EWTN “just by accident” in 2000, while she was getting ready for work and ironing her clothes. She was struck by what the show had to say about him.
“These priests and scholars were talking about him and his life and what a holy man he was, and what a tremendous influence he had on the church and on other people in his life,” Villalobos told CNA.
“I was really taken by it and I thought, ‘This man is so amazing,’” she said. But it wasn’t until a year later, when her husband brought home two holy cards of Cardinal Newman, that Villalobos’ devotion to him really began.
She displayed one of the cards in the living room, the other in her bedroom, and “I would pass by his image every day, and I would look into his eyes and I would pray to him and I would just talk to him as a mother,” she said. “And I felt like his expression was matching my emotions at the time. If I felt sad for some reason he looked sympathetic, if I felt joy, he looked pleased, and I just felt like we were really living life together,” Villalobos recalled. She invoked Cardinal Newman often, and considered him one of her closes spiritual friends. Eventually she started looking up his writings online, and described the experience like “finding gold in the backyard.”
“He was every bit as holy and loving as I had suspected he was by looking at his face. He had such a tremendous affection for ordinary people, which I discovered by reading his letters, and I felt like I could be one of those ordinary people in his life.”
Born in 1801 in London, John Henry Newman was originally an Anglican priest before his conversion to Catholicism in 1845 at the age of 44. He would soon become a renowned Catholic priest, theologian, poet, homilist, and, in 1879, a cardinal. His works are considered among the most important contributions to the thought of the Church in recent centuries.
His conversion to Catholicism was controversial in the birthplace of Anglicanism, and he lost many friends as a result, including his own sister, who refused to speak to him again. Newman was also a devoted educator and founded the Oratory of St. Philip Neri in England in two locations. He died in Birmingham in 1890 at the age of 89. The Vatican announced his Oct. 13 canonization date in July. The more Villalobos learned about Newman, the closer she felt to him, and she would eventually come to rely on his intercession in a major way. In 2013, more than a decade after first hearing about Newman on EWTN, Villalobos was pregnant with her fifth child and was experiencing serious complications. In her first trimester, Villalobos started bleeding continuously, and she learned she had a condition called subchorionic hematoma, a blood clot between the placenta and the uterine wall that causes the placenta to be “partially ripped and detached from the uterine wall.” “It was a life-threatening problem because I could hemorrhage to death,” Villalobos recalled.
The prognosis was grim. There was no cure to be found in medicine or surgery. Villalobos was ordered to be on strict bed rest to give her baby the best possible chance. She did the best she could, but Villalobos was still caring for her other four young children in the meantime. On the morning of May 15, less than a week after being diagnosed with the condition, Villalobos woke up in a pool of her own blood.
With her husband away on a work trip, Villalobos debated when she should call 9-1-1. She decided to give her kids some breakfast first, and then she locked herself in the bathroom to figure out what to do. But by then, Villalobos had lost so much blood that she collapsed on the floor.
“Unfortunately though, somehow I did not have my cellphone with me,” she recalled. “I couldn’t believe it.”
She considered shouting for one of her kids to bring her phone, but worried that the shouting would cause more bleeding or a miscarriage. Desperate, she called out to her old friend, Cardinal Newman. “I said, ‘Please Cardinal Newman, make the bleeding stop.’ And just then, immediately it stopped. And I stood up and I smelled roses that filled the bathroom air.”
The smell of roses is often considered the “scent of holiness”, with many stories of saints leaving a rosy scent in places where they have intervened in prayer. “And I said, ‘Oh Cardinal Newman, did you just make the bleeding stop? Thank you!’ And then there was this second burst of roses. And I knew I was cured, and I knew Gemma my daughter was ok,” Villalobos said. Villalobos had an ultrasound scheduled for that afternoon, and the doctor found what Villalobos attributes to Cardinal Newman’s intercession: the bleeding had completely stopped.
“The doctor saw that there was no more bleeding and he was amazed, and he said, ‘the baby looks perfect.’”
It was vastly different than Villalobos’ previous experience in the pregnancy.
“The doctors (had) said you will probably miscarry if you’re lucky, the placenta could barely hold up to the third trimester, and she’ll be born but she’ll be really small and she’ll have medical problems,” Villalobos recalled. “Thanks be to Cardinal Newman and to God that I was cured and Gemma was born completely healthy.”
Villalobos said she waited until after Gemma was born to report the miracle to Fr. Ignatius Harrison, the postulator for Newman’s cause for canonization. After receiving her letter, Fr. Harrison came to Chicago to meet with Villalobos, her husband, Gemma, and the doctors. He examined medical records and conducted interviews, and told Villalobos to keep the potential miracle a secret until it could be investigated by the Vatican. She got brief updates about twice a year, she said, but for the most part, she did not really know how the cause was advancing, she just prayed with her family that Newman would soon be canonized.
“There was really no one to ask to say, ‘Well how does this usually work?’ You know sometimes if you’re going through something in your life you say ‘Oh, well how did it work for you?’ But there was no one to ask to say ‘Well, when you were miraculously cured, how long did it take to hear from the postulator?’” she said.
Then in February 2019, Villalobos received the news that Pope Francis signed the degree recognizing the miracle.
“I’m surprised at how many people tell me that they’re happy to know that God still performs miracles,” Villalobos said, “I’m glad they know that. I feel like I’ve known that, and I want other people to know that God has never abandoned us. I know it’s hard to believe in miracles because we don’t always get what we want, but we know that God the Father in his love always gives us what’s best for us.” Villalobos, Gemma, and the rest of the family traveled to Rome to be there for Newman’s canonization, which will take place this Sunday.
“I just love him dearly and I hope that anybody who needs help, whether you’re a mother, or a student...or a convert, he can really touch the lives of so many people. I just hope they’ll reach out to him and see a friend in him. He’s so loving and amazing.”
Kate Veik contributed to this report.
By Elise Harris
Fatima, Portugal, Oct 12 (EWTN News/CNA)
On “the day the sun danced,” thousands of people bore witness to a miracle that not only proved the validity of the Fatima Marian apparitions, but also shattered the prevalent belief at the time that God was no longer relevant, according to one theologian.
What crowds witnessed the day of the miracle was “the news that God, in the end, contrary to what was said in the philosophy books at that time, was alive and acting in the midst of men,” Dr. Marco Daniel Duarte told EWTN News.
If one were to open philosophy books during that period, they would likely read something akin to the concept conceived by German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, who boldly asserted in the late 1800s that “God is dead.”
Yet as this and other philosophies like it were gaining steam in the life and thought of society, the Virgin Mary appears and tells three small shepherds that “God is alive and still attentive to humanity, even though humanity is waging war with one another.”
Duarte, a theologian and director of the Fatima shrine museums, spoke about the cultural significance of the Miracle of the Sun given the atheistic thought prevalent in Portuguese society at the time.
In 1917, Portugal, like the majority of the world, was embroiled in war. As World War I raged throughout Europe, Portugal found itself unable to maintain its initial neutrality and joined forces with the Allies, in order to protect colonies in Africa and to defend their trade with Britain. About 220,000 Portuguese civilians died during the war; thousands due to food shortages, thousands more from the Spanish flu.
Compounding the problem, government stability in the country had been rocky at best following the revolution and coup d’état that led to the overthrow of the monarchy and subsequent establishment of the First Portuguese Republic in 1910.
A new liberal constitution separating Church and state was drafted under the influence of Freemasonry, which sought to omit the faith – which for many was the backbone of Portuguese culture and society – from public life.
Anti-Catholicism in Portugal had initially begun in the 18th century during the term of statesman Marquês de Pombal, and flared up again after the drafting of the new constitution.
Catholic churches and schools were seized by the government, and the wearing of clerics in public, the ringing of church bells, and the celebrating of popular religious festivals were banned. Between 1911-1916, nearly 2,000 priests, monks and nuns were killed by anti-Christian groups.
This was the backdrop against which Mary, in 1917, appeared to three shepherd children – Lucia dos Santos, 10, and her cousins Francisco and Jacinta Marto, 9 and 7 – in a field in Fatima, Portugal, bringing with her requests for the recitation of the rosary, for sacrifices on behalf of sinners, and a secret regarding the fate of the world.
To prove that the apparitions were true, Mary promised the children that during the last of her six appearances she would provide a “sign” so people would believe in the apparitions and in her message.
What happened on that day – Oct. 13, 1917 – has come to be known as the “Miracle of the Sun,” or “the day the sun danced.”
According to various accounts, a crowd of some 70,000 people – believers and skeptics alike – gathered to see the miracle that Mary had promised. After appearing and speaking to the children for some time, Mary then “cast her own light upon the sun.”
The previously rainy sky cleared up, the clouds dispersed and the ground, which had been wet and muddy from the rain, was dried. A transparent veil came over the sun, making it easy to look at, and multi-colored lights were strewn across the landscape.
The sun then began to spin, twirling in the sky, and at one point appeared to veer toward earth before jumping back to its place in the sky.
Duarte said the miracle was a direct, and very convincing contradiction to the atheistic regimes at the time, which is evidenced by the fact that the first newspaper to report on the miracle was an anti-Catholic, Masonic newspaper in Lisbon called O Seculo.
The Miracle of the Sun, he said, was understood by the people to be “the seal, the guarantee that in fact those three children were telling the truth.”
Even today, “Fatima makes people change their perception of God,” he said, explaining that for him, one of the most important messages of the apparitions is that “even if man has separated God from his existence, God is present in human history and doesn’t abandon humanity.”
With World War I raging, a war the likes of which the world had never seen, Mary appeared to tell the children that “that story can have another ending, when the power of prayer is stronger than the power of bullets.”
The Miracle of the Sun is also the heart of a special exhibition called “The Colors of the Sun” the shrine is offering for the duration of the centenary year of the apparitions, which focuses on the symbolic nature of the miracle and its cultural significance.
Displayed are “various objects, some older, others more contemporary, some more modern, some made of textile, others of organic materials, paintings, sculptures,” but which are all “placed with a narrative,” he said.
Beginning with a set of black umbrellas used by people who had gathered at the Cova de Iria (Cave of Iria) where Mary appeared Oct. 13, the exhibit aims to build a narrative of what people saw that day, and is supplemented with different works that express the various elements of Mary’s message to the children.
It also shows developments of how the shrine developed over the years, showing the transformation of what used to be a small, simple chapel into what is now two basilicas: the Basilica of Nossa Senhora do Rosario (Our Lady of the Rosary) and Basilica da Santissima Trindade (Basilica of the Holy Trinity), with an open chapel in between where the statue of Our Lady of Fatima resides.
Pieces come from all over the world – some from the Fatima shrine, some from the State of Portugal, and some even hail from Germany and France.
One of the highlight pieces is a giant heart made by Joana Vasconcelos, a well-known Portuguese artist who crafted the piece entirely out of red plastic ware, such as spoons and forks.
“It’s material that isn’t important for anyone, but which after everything is united, forms the image of a heart and can be the image of reparation,” Duarte said.
The exhibit closes with white parasols, rather than umbrellas, in order to show the fruit of the miracle, Duarte said, adding that it can also signify “the presence of God, the Eucharistic Christ.”
In this sense, the parasols “can be for us a symbol that also we can be God’s tabernacles and can be the place where God dwells,” he said. “This is the true shrine that God wants. The shrine of Fatima is precisely the image of what God wants: to dwell among men.”
The Eastern churches that are not in full communion with the Catholic Church celebrate the Eucharist with great love. "These Churches, although separated from us, yet possess true sacraments, above all - by apostolic succession - the priesthood and the Eucharist, whereby they are still joined to us in closest intimacy." A certain communion in sacris, and so in the Eucharist, "given suitable circumstances and the approval of Church authority, is not merely possible but is encouraged."
Catechism of the Catholic Church #1399
--Little Johnny complains to mom at home, “Mom, our teacher really doesn’t know anything. He keeps asking us!”
--"And, Johnny? How did your school report turn out?” asks mother. “Come on mom, the most important thing is that I’m healthy!”
--I hope the children will never find out why I say ‘oooops….” so often when I vacuum their rooms.
--What an amazing, clever dog we have, darling. - He brings in the newspaper every day, and we’ve never even subscribed to any!
THE OUR FATHER
A mother was teaching her 3-year-old the Our Father. For several evenings at bedtime she repeated it after her mother. One night she said she was ready to solo. The mother listened with pride as she carefully enunciated each word, right up to the end of the prayer.
"Lead us not into temptation," she prayed, "but deliver us some e-mail, Amen."
After the Baptism of his baby brother in church, little Johnny sobbed all the way home in the back seat of the car. His father asked him three times what was wrong. Finally, the boy replied, "That priest said he wanted us brought up in a Christian home, but I want to stay with you guys."
Love Your Sibling As You Love Yourself.A PSR teacher was discussing the Ten Commandments with her five and six year olds. After explaining the commandment to 'honor thy father and thy mother', she asked, "Is there a commandment that teaches us how to treat our brothers and sisters?" Without missing a beat, one little boy answered, "Thou shall not kill."
It was raining hard and a big puddle had formed in front of an Irish pub.
An old man stood beside the puddle holding a stick with a string on the end and jiggled it up and down in the water.
A curious gentleman asked what he was doing.
'Fishing,' replied the old man.
'Poor old fool' thought the gentleman, so he invited the old man to have a drink in the pub.
Feeling he should start some conversation while they were sipping their whisky, the gentleman asked, And how many have you caught?'
'You're the eighth".
I hope the children will never find out why I say ‘oooops….” so often when I vacuum their rooms.
What an amazing, clever dog we have, darling.
He brings in the newspaper every day, and we’ve never even subscribed to any!
Lord, grant that I may always allow myself
to be guided by You,
always follow Your plans,
and perfectly accomplish Your Holy Will.
Grant that in all things,
great and small,
today and all the days of my life,
I may do whatever You require of me.
Help me respond to the slightest prompting of Your Grace,
so that I may be Your trustworthy instrument for Your honour.
May Your Will be done in time
and in eternity by me, in me, and through me. Amen.
Catechism of the Catholic Church #1073
SUNDAY MASS READINGS AND QUESTIONS
for Self-Reflection, Couples or Family Discussion
28th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Sunday, October 10th, 2021
First Reading- Wisdom 7:7-11
I prayed, and prudence was given me; I pleaded, and the spirit of wisdom came to me. I preferred her to scepter and throne, and deemed riches nothing in comparison with her, nor did I liken any priceless gem to her; because all gold, in view of her, is a little sand, and before her, silver is to be accounted mire. Beyond health and comeliness I loved her, and I chose to have her rather than the light, because the splendor of her never yields to sleep. Yet all good things together came to me in her company, and countless riches at her hands.
Our first two readings today set the stage for the story we hear in the Gospel. Wisdom, which is also often a name given to the Holy Spirit, is the most valuable gift God can give us. If we have wisdom — if we allow ourselves to be guided by the Holy Spirit — our lives will always be in union with God’s plan for us.
Adults - What are some concrete ways to grow in wisdom?
Teens -What qualities tell you that someone is wise?
Kids - Who is the wisest person you know? Why do you think they are wise?
Responsorial- Psalm 90: 12-13, 14-15, 16-17
R.Fill us with your love, O Lord, and we will sing for joy!
Teach us to number our days aright,
that we may gain wisdom of heart.
Return, O LORD! How long?
Have pity on your servants!
R. Fill us with your love, O Lord, and we will sing for joy!
Fill us at daybreak with your kindness,
that we may shout for joy and gladness all our days.
Make us glad, for the days when you afflicted us,
for the years when we saw evil.
R. Fill us with your love, O Lord, and we will sing for joy!
Let your work be seen by your servants
and your glory by their children;
and may the gracious care of the LORD our God be ours;
prosper the work of our hands for us!
Prosper the work of our hands!
R. Fill us with your love, O Lord, and we will sing for joy!
-Do an extra act of kindness this week in honor of God’s love.
Second Reading- Hebrews 4:12-13
Brothers and sisters: Indeed the word of God is living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating even between soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart. No creature is concealed from him, but everything is naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must render an account.
The letter to the Hebrews tells us that the word of God, also a title for Jesus, is “living and effective.” God’s word works its way into the tiniest places in our hearts and can fill the gaps in our lives. It knows us intimately and spurs us on to be whole.
How do you experience God’s word as living and effective?
The Holy Gospel according to Mark 10:17-30
As Jesus was setting out on a journey, a man ran up, knelt down before him, and asked him, "Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" Jesus answered him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: You shall not kill; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness; you shall not defraud; honor your father and your mother." He replied and said to him, "Teacher, all of these I have observed from my youth." Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him, "You are lacking in one thing. Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me." At that statement his face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions. Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, "How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!" The disciples were amazed at his words. So Jesus again said to them in reply, "Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God." They were exceedingly astonished and said among themselves, "Then who can be saved?" Jesus looked at them and said, "For human beings it is impossible, but not for God. All things are possible for God." Peter began to say to him, "We have given up everything and followed you." Jesus said, "Amen, I say to you, there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands for my sake and for the sake of the gospel who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age: houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and eternal life in the age to come."
The Gospel warns us (as our second reading two weeks ago did) against the comfort of material wealth. Comfort can make us apathetic, and like the young man in the story, we want an easy way to be “good enough” for God. We can get the sense that the young man was disingenuous in his question — it seems he was expecting to be told that he was doing just fine and to go about his business as usual. But, with Jesus, it’s never business as usual. God calls us to more. God calls us to make sacrifices, to be detached from material wealth. People who aren’t attached to material wealth have no trouble giving it up and won’t be burdened with it when it’s time to leave it behind. And, of course, we have the promise that whatever we give up, we’ll receive a hundredfold. It’s important to remember that, even if we’re doing everything right, and have the best attitude, bad stuff can still happen. We must have faith that God can do good, even when bad things happen.
Adults - In what ways can wealth have a negative effect in our lives? In what ways can it do good?
Teens - How hard is it for you to let go of material things? What are you willing to give up? What aren’t you willing to give up?
Kids -Why do you think the young man was sad when he left?
LIVING THE WORD OF GOD THIS WEEK! – “The price to pay for this privilege, however, seemed too high to this "good man." "He had great possessions" and he was too attached to them so he could not accept Christ's offer, "his countenance fell and he went away sorrowful." Although his case was exceptional, Christ saw in him the makings of a saint and he asked him to make an exceptional sacrifice, one which he did not and does not ask of all his followers; his remark to the disciples later: "how hard it will be for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God" holds for all time and for all mankind… Remember that Christ praised the widow who put a mite (a cent) into the collection-box for the poor in the temple area, and he also said that a cup of cold water given in his name would not go without reward. We need not be rich in order to be charitable; often our own exaggerated sense of our poverty can make us hard-hearted and mean toward our fellowmen who look to us for help. The true Christian, whose principal purpose in life is to serve God, will not overburden himself with unnecessary pieces of luggage; instead he will travel light and be ever ready to help others also to carry their burdens.” --Excerpted from The Sunday Readings by Fr. Kevin O'Sullivan, O.F.M.
578. What is the origin of the Our Father? a) Jesus taught it to us; Jesus taught us this Christian prayer for which there is no substitute, the Our Father, on the day on which one of his disciples saw him praying and asked him, “Lord, teach us to pray” (Luke 11:1). The Church’s liturgical tradition has always used the text of Saint Matthew (6:9-13).
579. What is the place of the Our Father in the Scriptures? d) all of the above; The Our Father is the “summary of the whole Gospel” (Tertullian), “the perfect prayer” (Saint Thomas Aquinas). Found in the middle of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7), it presents in the form of prayer the essential content of the Gospel.
580. Why is it called the “Lord’s Prayer”? c) it is a prayer Jesus taught us; The Our Father is called the “Oratio Dominica”, that is, the Lord’s Prayer because it was taught to us by the Lord Jesus himself.
581. What place does the Our Father have in the prayer of the Church? d) it is integral and the prayer of the Church par excellence; The Lord’s Prayer is the prayer of the Church par excellence. It is “handed on” in Baptism to signify the new birth of the children of God into the divine life. The full meaning of the Our Father is revealed in the eucharist since its petitions are based on the mystery of salvation already accomplished, petitions that will be fully heard at the coming of the Lord. The Our Father is an integral part of the Liturgy of the Hours.