- Ovulation Method: Achieving or Postponing Pregnancy the Natural Way (Catholic Website of the Week)
- Anglican Bishop Leaves Church of England to Enter Catholic Church (Diocesan News and BEYOND)
- Tips for Driving in the Fall (Helpful Hints for Life)
Receiving the Gospel, Serving God and Neighbor
Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum –INRI–Jesus of Nazareth King of the Jews
"Pilate also had an inscription written and put on the cross. It read,
"Jesus the Nazorean, the King of the Jews. …and it was written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek."
"What I have written, I have written," the words of Pontius Pilate to the chief priests who did not want to have Jesus called, "The King of the Jews." (John 19:22) Four little letters that represent so much.
From one perspective, INRI is the charge for which Jesus was killed as was the custom with crucifixion to place the charge above the criminal. From another perspective, it was Pilate's way of having his say after he was somewhat forced to give Jesus over to be crucified. A charge and declaration given for a King who saved and led his people not by an army and the sword, but by the Cross and forgiveness.
On most of our tombstones there will be the year we were born – the year we died (i.e. 1930 – 2016). They say the difference is what that "-" (dash) stands for. If we are accused and charged in this life, let us make sure that it is for doing the right things, and let us remember that the initials on our crucifixes in our homes and churches remind us of the King who first did it for us!
Peace and prayers in Jesus through Mary, loved by Saint Joseph,
P.S. Look under Catholic Term for more information regarding "INRI."
P.S.S. This coming Sunday is Twenty-third Sunday of Ordinary Time. Readings can be found at: https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/090521.cfm
a) to help us recall Christ
b) to teach us how to pray
c) to make prayer what prayer is inside the Church
d) all of the above
562. How is Christian prayer Marian? (CCC 2673-2679, 2682)
a) it cooperates with the Holy Spirit
b) Mary is the only way to Jesus
c) Christian Prayer is not Marian
d) none of the above
563. How does the Church pray to Mary? (CCC 2676-2678, 2682)
a) with the Hail Mary, because God Himself used these words through the Archangel Gabriel
b) we know that she prays for us as she prays
c) when asking her help, we are adhering with her to the plan of the Father
d) all of the above
GUIDES FOR PRAYER
564. How are the saints, guides for prayer? (CCC 2683-2684, 2692-2693)
a) they showed us you can do it yourself
b) they showed you have to be highly educated
c) they are our models of prayer
d) they did something no one else ever did
"INRI" (Latin for Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum - Iesous Nazareth Rex Judaeos)
- The initials of the Latin for Jesus the Nazareon, the King of the Jews
[The first letters of the Latin phrase that was put on the Cross when Jesus was crucified. There is no "J" in the Latin alphabet. Rex is Latin for "king" as Latin was the language of the Roman Empire, the authority which crucified Jesus. The sign was written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek (John 19:21) The Jews were awaiting a King, but most probably failed to think that he would be this sort of king.]
Tips for Driving in the Fall
- Never forget the Most Dangerous Ten Minutes on the road! According to Dr. Bill Tassel, manager of Driver Training for Triple-A, those are the first ten minutes of an autumn rain storm. That’s because the new rain mixes with all the oil, antifreeze and transmission gunk that’s built up over the summer, making the road super slick beneath your tires. So if you’re on the road when rain starts, reduce your speed about 40% – so you can keep 100% control of your car.
- Watch out for fallen leaves. This applies to both wet AND dry leaves, because they both have the same effect as rain. Drive fast through a pile of leaves, and you’ll end up swerving into a ditch!
- It’s also a good idea to run your defroster more in the fall because as it gets colder outside, your body heat in a car is enough to fog up all the windows. So you’ll be safer if you eliminate the windshield mist BEFORE you start moving. NOT as you’re speeding down the highway!
- If it’s foggy OUTSIDE the car, Give yourself more stopping time on the road. A normal rule of thumb is to drive three or four car lengths behind the car in front of you. In foggy weather, plan on at least six car lengths. That will give you extra time to stop, in case you need to suddenly slam on the brakes!
- Give your eyes time to adjust. Over the next few weeks, our days will SHRINK an hour and a half in North America. Once Daylight Saving Time ends on the first Sunday in November, chances are you’ll be driving home from work IN THE DARK. So take an extra two to five minutes in the car, to let your eyes adapt, BEFORE you start driving.
"The Epiphany is the manifestation of Jesus as Messiah of Israel, Son of God and Savior of the world. The great feast of Epiphany celebrates the adoration of Jesus by the wise men (magi) from the East, together with his baptism in the Jordan and the wedding feast at Cana in Galilee. In the magi, representatives of the neighboring pagan religions, the Gospel sees the first-fruits of the nations, who welcome the good news of salvation through the Incarnation. The magi's coming to Jerusalem in order to pay homage to the king of the Jews shows that they seek in Israel, in the messianic light of the star of David, the one who will be king of the nations. Their coming means that pagans can discover Jesus and worship him as Son of God and Savior of the world only by turning towards the Jews and receiving from them the messianic promise as contained in the Old Testament. The Epiphany shows that "the full number of the nations" now takes its "place in the family of the patriarchs", and acquires Israelitica dignitas (is made "worthy of the heritage of Israel")."
Catechism of the Catholic Church #528
Achieving or Postponing Pregnancy Naturally
The Ovulation Method helps you find your window of fertility, greatly increasing your chance to achieve pregnancy sooner or allowing you to postpone a pregnancy with a 99% method effectiveness.
The Ovulation Method does this all naturally without drugs or devices and is absolutely free.
Watch the video, The Ovulation Method, Science at the Service of Family, use the Resources tab above to continue your education in this "best kept secret." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QNlQ2LOjB9k&t=11s
Reach Out To Those Who Are Struggling or Have Fallen Away
“You did not strengthen the weak nor heal the sick nor bind up the injured. You did not bring back the stray or seek the lost -Ezekiel 34:4
If you know someone who is struggling with the news from the Church or if you have not seen someone in church for awhile, please reach out to them and make sure they know that they are valued and listened to. Don’t worry if you don’t have all the answers to their questions, but do let them know that you will help them seek the answers they need. Even be willing to walk with them in the action they feel called to if you are able to, and it is right to do so. (With the pandemic, a good place to start is praying for them.)
The Lord sent out His disciples two by two. We need to be concerned with our family and parishioners who stop coming to church for one reason or another. In time of crisis, we need to make sure we all stay strong, so if we can be strong for someone now and care, they may be able to do so for another at another time even ourselves.
First pray, pray for by name people who have fallen away. Entrust them to Jesus through Mary, loved by St. Joseph. Call, send a note, ask someone close to them to find out what happened or what one is going through let them know you miss them. Affirm or encourage people that may not come that often.
You can look into programs that might help, and with your Parish Priest's permission, you might see if they can help in your parish:
Landings International – Paulist Fathers
Landings helps Catholics who have been away from the Church make a smooth landing as they return to the Faith and parish life.
Catholics Come Home | Welcome Home
Our apostolate is dedicated to helping people home to the Catholic Church. If you have a general question, please start by visiting our Q&A section.If your question isn't answered there, we also recommend visiting Catholic Answers.
It’s always been about the tears.’ — Jill Metz, sacred artist
The naming didn’t happen until Ascension Press contacted Metz earlier this year, requesting use of the image for What Would Monica Do?, the new book I co-wrote with Patti Armstrong addressing the heartache of loved ones who have left the faith.
Since the piece had yet to be named, Metz did what she always does in approaching her art. “I prayed, asking St. Monica to help,” she said. “I think I’m pretty docile to the will of God, and when I prayed, it was really about the tears. It’s always been about the tears.”
In fact, after she had completed and even varnished the piece, she sensed God directing her to “go back and add a tear.” It was raised from the rest of the image and not discernable on the book-cover rendition. But Metz knows it’s there — just like Our Lord knows the intricacies of all hearts.
“The enemy wants us to believe this world should be filled with no tears,” she added, “but we see that’s not so through the work of the cross.”
Ascent to GodMetz grew up in a home of addiction and divorce. Without any foundational faith, she dipped into the occult, exploring tarot cards and astrology. “The enemy was always there, tempting me,” she recalled, and like St. Augustine’s, her heart was restless.
At 17, Metz felt a prompting and stopped at a small country church. “I went in and just poured out my heart to the Lord, singing (Amazing Grace) at the top of my lungs,” she recounted. “I think God marked me at that moment, and I really started pursuing religion.”
Metz eventually met and married her husband, Ken, a cradle Catholic, and readily agreed to raise their children Catholic. “That glance toward God had happened. I opened the door, and he came,” causing a yearning to be part of something bigger, she explained. But she wasn’t interested in Catholicism for herself.
“If I ever do become a saint, I would be the patron saint of stubbornness,” she admitted. Despite attending Mass with Ken, she did not believe in the Real Presence. “I just didn’t see that that could possibly be real from the way [people] were receiving and dressing. There was no witness that there was something different here.”
But in 2009, experiencing a time of spiritual aridity, Metz began “yearning for the comfort he had always given me.” God was indicating to her it was time to enter the Church, but in hearing this call, she said, “I slammed my fists down on the kitchen counter and said, ‘Anything but that!’”
She challenged God, saying that if he really wanted her in the Church, he would have to make it abundantly clear. That night, she went to tuck in her son, who was preparing for his first Communion.
“Only a mother can understand the way that a child seeks and speaks,” she said, noting that, when she threw back the covers, she saw him clutching a plastic rosary with heart-shaped beads. “His little hand went up, and he threw it at me, saying, ‘Here, Mom, I want you to have this.’”
That was all it took. “It was God using the lowliest one to strike down the strong,” she said. “I knew in that moment that, yes, I was being called into the Catholic Church.”
Her ascent helped inspire her husband’s reversion, and soon after her reception into the Church, she was coordinating then-called Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) at her parish.
Finding Sacred Art Metz chose Elizabeth Ann Seton as her confirmation saint, noting that the saint had once uttered that if people knew the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, they would be crawling on their hands and knees to receive him.
“This was all grace,” she said, noting that the priest who formed her was very Eucharistic, and she would spend every Friday in a Holy Hour with him. “He was a good teacher of the faith, and God sent me what I needed at the time.”
Metz consecrated herself to Mary and her children to the Blessed Mother, as well. “I had my conversion, and then our Blessed Mother chose me,” she said. “After that, I really did experience quite a miraculous freedom and liberty that I no longer had to be concerned with the welfare of my kids.”
They were young at the time, 9 and 10, she added, “so I had not experienced yet a lot of the worldly issues our young people face.”
Metz was enjoying her work as a mixed-media artist. When a friend requested she paint a saint for a Catholic-radio fundraiser, after some hesitation, she relented, ultimately producing a depiction of St. Lucy.
Soon thereafter, Metz discovered a dark blob in one of her eyes, causing partial blindness and requiring medical intervention. A friend suggested she pray to St. Lucy, and when, just days later, the blob disappeared, Metz was powerfully awakened to the intercession of saints.
Before the blob dissolved completely, however, it changed into the shape of a heart, Metz said. “Ever since then, I’ve done nothing [artistically] but paint the saints.”
Meeting St. MonicaFor each work, she appeals to God and seeks to know the saints through their intercession.
“With St. Lucy healing my eye, I was all-in with what they were there for: to teach and guide us,” she said. To create the right prayerful atmosphere as she paints, Metz incorporates sacramentals, “everything from having relics around me to using holy water. I also have an exorcised candle burning. I really try to create a sacred environment and enter into that.”
She also invites the Holy Spirit to join her. “It has really taught me to trust the Lord. I’ve learned how to distinguish God’s voice from other voices. It’s a great gift that I cannot take any credit for, to be honest.”
Metz did not know a lot about St. Monica as she set about praying, but she felt her presence and “a real love” as she asked her intercession. “We know these saints choose us,” she said, noting that she also was inspired to make her eyes blue. “I wanted her eyes reflective of being sorrowful. For whatever reason, blue represented to me the color of sorrow.”
In St. Monica, Metz sees “persevering in our suffering, our disappointments, and hoping for the goodness of the Lord. I’m still in awe of her. I just think she’s a powerful saint for this time, as so many of our kids are so lost.”
Ultimately, Metz returns to the most divine element of her Monica art: the tear. “That’s what I would hope women especially would see [in this image]; to never deprive the Lord of your tears, your dreams, your wants — and to know how he delights in giving you an answer in those tears.”
Find more of Metz’s work at her website, TruOriginal.com.
In 1996, I was diagnosed with “angioid stripes,” a disease affecting my vision. By 2000, I had only a small amount of central vision remaining in one eye. No longer could I jump in the car, read a book or look to the rear of our church and recognize my parishioners.
The call went out for help. To date, I have had nearly 300 drivers who have driven me everywhere from a quick hop to the grocery store to destinations hours away from Victoria. What a wonderful way to get to know people, and, I think, I offer wives of newly retired husbands a great respite!
There are 60 people on the “drop-off dinner” list and I can’t count the number of invitations to parishioners’ homes. Since my culinary skills were always in question, this is nothing short of fabulous.
Countless people read for me, tape-record books and materials, and a faithful volunteer puts everything in large type that I need for my liturgies. Along with a great staff and adaptive equipment, I’m able to do all that is expected of a priest with a growing parish — one that has nearly tripled in size since 1996, and during that time, we built a new church.
And, lest I forget, there’s my faithful dog, Miss Betsy White. No, she’s not a seeing eye dog, but she is a dog that sees a need to be a loving and faithful companion.
Sure, there are days I would like to jump in the car or pick up a book, but then I stop and think of all my blessings and thank God.
Father Bob White is pastor of St. Victoria in Victoria.
The letter is hosted on the website “Catholic Men United for Christ,” but it is not sponsored by any group or organization. The signatories of the letter pledge to do some form of fasting on each Friday starting Sept. 7, and continuing through 2018.
Signatories include popular Catholic author Scott Hahn, radio host Al Kresta, along with other notable Catholic leaders.
“Holy Father, we come to you for answers. You personally have been faced with allegations. These allegations have been leveled by a high-ranking church official, Archbishop Viganò. Further, many bishops in the United States have publicly stated that they believe these allegations should be investigated. We implore you to address them,” reads the letter.
“Moreover, regardless of the veracity of Archbishop Viganò’s allegations, our concerns about corruption remain.”
“Your Holiness, Your Eminences, and Your Excellencies: Amidst widespread global abuse, coverups, and hierarchical failure, what are you doing and what will you do to protect the people of God? We urge you to answer this simple question because the cost of the episcopal corruption is catastrophic.”
The letter requests that an investigation into Church hierarchy be carried out by “faithful lay men and women.”
The signatories “reiterate and support” last week’s letter from Catholic lay women, signatory Mark DeYoung told CNA, "but even more so, we're looking at the bigger picture at what has happened in various countries [...] in just saying that there is certainly established fact there is a problem with abuse."
Letter to Pope Francis from Catholic Women (you can sign if you feel so called there)
DeYoung, a theology graduate student, said that fathers have expressed concern about potentially sending their sons to seminary, and have even said that they "will not have their kids involved in the liturgy as altar servers” out of fear of sexual abuse.
This could result in "potentially the death of vocations and young people being active in the Church,” said DeYoung. He also said it was “heartbreaking” to read testimony from some of the Pennsylvania abuse victims who said that their abuse caused them to lose their religious faith entirely.
“We’re really fighting for these people, (and) we're also saying that as Catholic men that we're going to take responsibility for our own lives as well,” noting that not every Catholic man is faithful or properly follows Church teaching.
DeYoung told CNA that the letter came from the fact that many Catholic men are “angry, heartbroken, and really shocked at the state of the Church at the moment,” in terms of the abuse of minors as well as “the clergy members who are disobeying their vows and living and against the call to chastity and purity.”
In addition to the investigation into abuse and misconduct, DeYoung says that the signatories are also looking to the bishops for spiritual leadership during this chaotic time.
"We are men who love the Church, we love our bishops, we support our Holy Father, and we want to see the truth come out here," he said.
At press time, the letter had been signed by over 3,000 people. (8,000 as of Saturday evening)
IF YOU FEEL CALLED TO SIGN THIS LETTER, YOU CAN AT, AS WELL AS SEE ALL WHO HAVE SIGNED IT:
Letter to Pope Francis from Catholic Men
A group of Catholic Men throughout the country have worked to put together a letter to Pope Francis and the Bishops of the United States.
5 Quick Facts: Pope Francis, Abortion and the Year of Mercyhttp://www.patheos.com/blogs/pursuedbytruth/2015/09/5-quick-facts-pope-francis-abortion-and-the-year-of-mercy.html
Photo credit: / Foter / CC BY-SA
After the pope’s statement about forgiving abortion, some media reports have made it sound like the Catholic Church doesn’t forgive abortion. People are asking, “Why can abortion only be forgiven during the Year of Mercy?”
Here’s a few facts to help clear up the confusion:
1. Abortion can always be forgiven in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. In fact, the Church makes every effort to encourage people involved in it to find healing and forgiveness. A wonderful example is Project Rachel. It is not the case that abortions will only be forgiven in the Year of Mercy. They can and are forgiven at any time when a person repents and confesses.
2. Abortion is a sin. Because it is a grave matter and the Church hopes to discourage people from them, canon law says that procuring an abortion also incurs the penalty of automatic excommunication.
3. Forgiving the sin is one thing, and remitting the penalty of excommunication is another. Usually the penalty can only be remitted by the bishop. However, in the United States the bishops have given to all priests the faculty to not only forgive the sin when it is confessed in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, but also to remit the penalty. This is to encourage people to have easier access to forgiveness and healing.
4. Bishops in other countries, however, may have decided to handle it differently. So in brief, the pope is saying that any priest all over the world will be able not only to forgive the sin in confession but also to remit the penalty. While the pope didn’t mention the penalty in his statement, presumably that’s what he meant. Most likely an official text will be issued to clarify the canonical aspects.
Pope Francis said:
For this reason too, I have decided, notwithstanding anything to the contrary, to concede to all priests for the Jubilee Year the discretion to absolve of the sin of abortion those who have procured it and who, with contrite heart, seek forgiveness for it. May priests fulfill this great task by expressing words of genuine welcome combined with a reflection that explains the gravity of the sin committed, besides indicating a path of authentic conversion by which to obtain the true and generous forgiveness of the Father who renews all with his presence.
5. Also, the automatic penalty of excommunication for abortion doesn’t apply if:
a) the person did not know about it (that would probably exclude about 99% of all Catholic women who have had abortions from incurring the penalty)
b) the person was under the age of 17
c) the person acted out of force or fear
d) the person had an imperfect use of reason
(See this for more info on canonical penalties)
Bottom line: when you see headlines about what the pope said, realize that the journalist writing the story probably knows very little about the Catholic faith and is not getting it right. The best thing is to go directly to the source (Vatican website) and read what the pope actually said.
Finally, God is so merciful. Jesus said, “No one who comes to me will I ever reject.” (Jn 6) His heart is overflowing with love and mercy, that heart pierced on the cross from which blood and water flowed out, the source of sacramental life in the Church.
Sr. Marianne Lorraine Trouvé, FSP is a Daughter of St. Paul who currently works on the editorial staff of Pauline Books and Media. She has a master’s degree in theology from the University of Dayton, with a concentration in Marian studies (The Marian Research Institute at UD). She has also edited several books on Theology of the Body, including the new translation of Pope John Paul’s talks that was done by Michael Waldstein. She is also very interested in Saint Thomas Aquinas and has been working her way through the Summa for several years now, one article at a time. Besides prayer and work, she likes to write, garden, do logic puzzles and take walks with friends. She blogs at Thomas for Today.
Catechism of the Catholic Church #1235
Some Thoughts: ---In a shoe shop: These shoes might be tight for the next two weeks. : Don’t worry. I’ll start wearing them on the third week.
--- At an interview: “In the beginning, you’ll be earning 20 000, later on it can go up to 40 000.” “OK, I’ll come again later then.”
--- I made a beginner’s mistake and went shopping on an empty stomach. I am now the happy owner of aisle 7.
A woman was taking an afternoon nap. When she woke up, she told her husband, "I just dreamed that you gave me a pearl necklace. What do you think it means?" "You'll know tonight," he said. That evening, the man came home with a small package and gave it to his wife. Delighted, she opened it to find a book entitled "The Meaning of Dreams."
Forest Gump and St. Peter
When Forest Gump died, he stood in front of St. Peter at the Pearly Gates. St. Peter said, "Welcome, Forest. We've heard a lot about you." He continued, "Unfortunately, it's getting pretty crowded up here and we find that we now have to give people an entrance examination before we let them in.""Okay," said Forest. "I hope it's not too hard. I've already been through a test. My momma used to say, 'Life is like a final exam. It's hard.' "
"Yes, Forest, I know. But this test is only three questions. Here they are."
1) Which two days of the week begin with the letter 'T'?"
2) How many seconds are in a year?
3) What is God's first name?
"Well, sir," said Forest, "The first one is easy. Which two days of the week begin with the letter 'T'? Today and Tomorrow."
St. Peter looked surprised and said, "Well, that wasn't the answer I was looking for, but you have a point. I give you credit for that answer."
"The next question," said Forest, "How many seconds are in a year? Twelve."
"Twelve?" said St. Peter, surprised and confused.
"Yes, sir. January 2nd, February 2nd, March 2nd …"
St. Peter interrupted him. "I see what you mean. I'll have to give you credit for that one, too."
"And the last question," said Forest, "What is God's first name? It's Andy."
"Andy?" said St. Peter, in shock. "How did you come up with 'Andy'?"
"I learned it in church. We used to sing about it." Forest broke into song, "Andy walks with me, Andy talks with me, Andy tells me I am His own."
St. Peter opened the gate to heaven and said, "Run, Forest, Run!"
Kids in Church
One Sunday in a Midwest City, a young child was "acting up" during the morning worship hour. The parents did their best to maintain some sense of order in the pew, but, were losing the battle. Finally, the father picked the little fellow up and walked sternly up the aisle on his way out. Just before reaching the safety of the foyer, the little one called loudly to the congregation, "Pray for me! Pray for me!"
The preacher was holding a microphone attached to a cord, and as he preached, he moved briskly about the platform, jerking the mike cord as he went. Then he moved to one side, getting wound up in the cord and nearly tripping before jerking it again. After several circles and jerks, a little girl in the third pew leaned toward her mother and whispered, "If he gets loose, will he hurt us?"
The Best Way To Pray
A priest, a minister and a guru sat discussing the best positions for prayer, while a telephone repairman worked nearby.
"Kneeling is definitely the best way to pray," the priest said.
"No," said the minister. "I get the best results standing with my hands outstretched to Heaven."
"You're both wrong," the guru said. "The most effective prayer position is lying down on the floor."
The repairman could contain himself no longer. "Hey, fellas," he interrupted. "The best prayin' I ever did was when I was hangin' upside down from a telephone pole."
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, shower plentifully blessings on Your holy Church, on the Supreme Pontiff, and on all the clergy; grant perseverance to the just, convert sinners, enlighten the unfaithful, bless our parents, friends, and benefactors, assist the dying, liberate the souls of purgatory, and extend over all hearts the sweet empire of Your love. Amen.
The sign of the cross makes kings of all those reborn in Christ and the anointing of the Holy Spirit consecrates them as priests, so that, apart from the particular service of our ministry, all spiritual and rational Christians are recognized as members of this royal race and sharers in Christ's priestly office. What, indeed, is as royal for a soul as to govern the body in obedience to God? And what is as priestly as to dedicate a pure conscience to the Lord and to offer the spotless offerings of devotion on the altar of the heart?"
-Catechism of the Catholic Church #786
SUNDAY MASS READINGS AND QUESTIONS
for Self-Reflection, Couples or Family Discussion
23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time – Sunday, September 4th, 2022
The First Reading- Wis. 9:13-18b
Who can know God’s counsel, or who can conceive what the LORD intends? For the deliberations of mortals are timid, and unsure are our plans. For the corruptible body burdens the soul and the earthen shelter weighs down the mind that has many concerns. And scarce do we guess the things on earth, and what is within our grasp we find with difficulty; but when things are in heaven, who can search them out? Or who ever knew your counsel, except you had given wisdom and sent your holy spirit from on high? And thus were the paths of those on earth made straight.
Jesus brings us the saving wisdom we are promised in today’s First Reading. He is that saving Wisdom. Weighed down by many earthly concerns, the burdens of our body and its needs, we could never see beyond the things of this world; we could never detect God’s heavenly design and intention. So in His mercy He sent us His Spirit, His Wisdom from on high, to make straight our path to Him.
Adults - Meditate on a time in your life where God has worked a miracle - either an everyday miracle, or a big life changing miracle.
Teens -This reading tells of God’s amazing wisdom and power. Don’t be afraid to ask God to help you with the hard things in your life!
Kids - Why is God able to work miracles?
Responsorial- Ps 90:3-4, 5-6, 12-13, 14 and 17
R.In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.
You turn man back to dust,
saying, “Return, O children of men.”
For a thousand years in your sight
are as yesterday, now that it is past,
or as a watch of the night.
R. In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.
You make an end of them in their sleep;
the next morning they are like the changing grass,
Which at dawn springs up anew,
but by evening wilts and fades.
R. In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.
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. In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.
Fill us at daybreak with your kindness,
that we may shout for joy and gladness all our days.
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. In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.
-Jesus Himself paid the price to free us from the sentence imposed on Adam, which we recall in today’s Psalm (see Genesis 2:7; 2:19). No more will the work of our hands be an affliction; no more are we destined to turn back to dust.
The Second Reading- Phlmn 9-10, 12-17
I, Paul, an old man, and now also a prisoner for Christ Jesus, urge you on behalf of my child Onesimus, whose father I have become in my imprisonment; I am sending him, that is, my own heart, back to you. I should have liked to retain him for myself, so that he might serve me on your behalf in my imprisonment for the gospel, but I did not want to do anything without your consent, so that the good you do might not be forced but voluntary. Perhaps this is why he was away from you for a while, that you might have him back forever, no longer as a slave but more than a slave, a brother, beloved especially to me, but even more so to you, as a man and in the Lord. So if you regard me as a partner, welcome him as you would me.
Like Onesimus in today’s Epistle, we have been redeemed. We have been given a new family and a new inheritance, made children of the Father, brothers and sisters in the Lord.
We are free now to come after Him, to serve Him—no longer slaves to the ties of our past lives.
Do you truly see yourself as a child of God? What does that look like according to Scripture?
The Holy Gospel according to Lk 14:25-33
Great crowds were traveling with Jesus, and he turned and addressed them, “If anyone comes to me without hating his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. Which of you wishing to construct a tower does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if there is enough for its completion? Otherwise, after laying the foundation and finding himself unable to finish the work the onlookers should laugh at him and say, ‘This one began to build but did not have the resources to finish.’ Or what king marching into battle would not first sit down and decide whether with ten thousand troops he can successfully oppose another king advancing upon him with twenty thousand troops? But if not, while he is still far away, he will send a delegation to ask for peace terms. In the same way, anyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple.”
Like a king making ready for battle or a contractor about to build a tower, we have to count the cost as we set out to follow Jesus. Our Lord today is telling us up front the sacrifice it will take. His words aren’t addressed to His chosen few, the Twelve, but rather to the “great crowds”—to anyone, to whoever wishes to be His disciple. That only makes His call all the more stark and uncompromising. We are to “hate” our old lives, to renounce all the earthly things we rely upon, to choose Him above every person and possession. Again He tells us that the things we have—even our family ties and obligations—can become an excuse, an obstacle that keeps us from giving ourselves completely to Him (see Luke 9:23–26, 57–62). In Christ, all our yesterdays have passed. We live in what the Psalm today beautifully describes as the daybreak, ready to be filled with His kindness. For He has given us wisdom of heart and taught us to number our days aright.
Adults – Do you put Christ first in your life and let all things flow from that?
Teens -How can you work toward making God the center of your life, from which all other things flow?
Kids -Do you involve God in all parts of your life? Do you talk to him about them?
LIVING THE WORD OF GOD THIS WEEK!
“Following Christ means making our way to heaven. It is a life-journey. We have a limited time in which to complete this journey. Therefore, we must travel a certain distance each day. This does not mean that we must spend every day in prayer and meditation. There are other tasks to be done, but we must Christianize these other tasks. Even the members of religious orders who "leave the world," that is, who are set free from the family and financial cares of this world by their vows of chastity and poverty, have to busy themselves with other cares like teaching, nursing, tilling the soil perhaps, house-keeping, writing and many such activities. They cannot and do not spend all their day and every day in prayer and meditation. Nor does Christ demand this of them.
Much less, therefore, does He demand this of the ninety-nine percent of His followers who have to take on themselves financial and family cares. It is by fulfilling these worldly duties in a Christian way that they are dedicating themselves to His service. This is their total commitment to Christ. The married man or woman who is loyal to his or her life-partner and to the family, if there is one, and who provides diligently and honestly for his own and the family's spiritual and temporal welfare, and who always does this with the intention of pleasing God, is following Christ and is moving steadily day by day towards heaven.” — Excerpted from The Sunday Readings Cycle C, Fr. Kevin O' Sullivan, O.F.M.
CATHOLIC QUESTIONS AND CATHOLIC ANSWERS
561. What is the role of the Holy Spirit in prayer? d) all of the above
Since the Holy Spirit is the interior Master of Christian prayer and “we do not know how to pray as we ought” (Romans 8:26), the Church exhorts us to invoke him and implore him on every occasion: “Come, Holy Spirit!”
562. How is Christian prayer Marian? a) it cooperates with the Holy Spirit
Because of her singular cooperation with the action of the Holy Spirit, the Church loves to pray to Mary and with Mary, the perfect ‘pray-er’, and to “magnify” and invoke the Lord with her. Mary in effect shows us the “Way” who is her Son, the one and only Mediator.
563. How does the Church pray to Mary? d) all of the above
Above all with the Hail Mary, the prayer with which the Church asks the intercession of the Virgin. Other Marian prayers are the Rosary, the Akathistos hymn, the Paraclesis, and the hymns and canticles of diverse Christian traditions.
GUIDES FOR PRAYER
564. How are the saints, guides for prayer? c) they are our models of prayer
The saints are our models of prayer. We also ask them to intercede before the Holy Trinity for us and for the whole world. Their intercession is their most exalted service to God’s plan. In the communion of saints, throughout the history of the Church, there have developed different types of spiritualities that teach us how to live and to practice the way of prayer.