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SJ-Seal

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Daily Reflections


Surely, there is a diversity of vocations among the baptized. However that diversity lies not on the side of the expected response, but on the side of the calling itself, on the side of what we already desire to respond to wholeheartedly. Baptism is a calling to the wholeheartedness of the Shemá. But through prayerful reflection on our life experience we try to recognize the path the Lord is inviting us to follow and then our response, which we already desired to be wholehearted, leads us to marriage, priesthood, religious life... medicine, law, nursing, teaching...

Thursday of the Ninth Week in Ordinary Time


When I read passages such as this, I find it helpful to put myself in the position of others present in the Gospel reading – the Sadducees in this case.  But the most notable take-away for me from today’s reading is the mental gymnastics in which we tend to engage to avoid the truth of the Gospel.  The truth is easy to read but difficult to commit to.  So, as we reflect on today’s readings, let us focus our lived faith on accepting these truths, so that we too may achieve the eternal reward that is revealed to us in scripture and in Jesus’ words today.

Memorial of Saint Charles Lwanga and Companions, Martyrs

 


As my wife and I lean into the grand “Yes!” of our vocation to marriage with the multiple, smaller, daily “yeses,” we are embracing the stance that Fr. Anthony deMello, S.J. recommends we take with God:  “Behold the One beholding you, smiling.”  As our dog pursues us with unapologetic love, affection and acceptance, I witness Thompson’s depiction of the Divine as a “hound of heaven.”  As I watch the four locust trees planted by the original owner of this home standing like sturdy sentinels through multiple human lifespans, the cardinals and bluejays flit and flurry in feathery exuberance, and the seasons break through on the heels of one another in some sacred square dance, I am humbled by God’s creative composition.  And as I gaze with gentle eyes at the ways in which I live out this human adventure (some days better than others), I see the Divine author continuing to pen the story of my life.  

Tuesday of the Ninth Week in Ordinary Time


Woman, behold, your son.
Behold, your mother.

Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church

 

 



In our contemporary surroundings we are inheritors of the Spirit’s life and love and are blessed to discover the Spirit made manifest to our senses each.  It is as if the Holy Spirit lusts to show us physically who he is and how he loves and cares for us, in our own language, our senses.  Can I open myself to see, hear and touch the Spirit’s blessings?  Can I be open to the call to notice and respond?

Lord, especially these days as we endure the violence of Covid19, send us your Spirit.  Grace us with wisdom and discernment, courage to be strong of faith, and keenly aware of your care and comfort.  Teach us to recognize you in these gifts of your Spirit and to accept gratefully your desire for our constant growth as your people.

Pentecost Sunday - Mass during the Day

 

Weekly Guide


When asked which is the first commandment, Jesus gives two - highlighting the equal importance of love of God and neighbor. Jesus is both Son of David and Messiah and Lord. Jesus warns of those who abuse widows on spiritual pretexts and tells his disciples to notice the widow who gave from her poverty.

Pentecost and the Ninth Week of Ordinary Time

 

 

 


These exercises of trust and renwal will re-fresh us in the times which tempt us to give into what is cold and hard and dark. We can acknowlege the presence of the Spirit, the moment I turn for help and light and direction. And, in those moments, we can give thanks and embrace the gift.

Pentecost and the Ninth Week of Ordinary Time

 

 

 


We can continue to ask that we be able to join the Spirit in our taking up our role in renewing the face of the earth. It is so appropriate that this takes us to remembering that Mary is the Mother of the Church, our mother in this Spirit-filled process of being Church together. We can ask Mary to place us with her Son this week.

Pentecost and the Ninth Week of Ordinary Time

 

 

 

 

 


Pentecost, and our being renewed with the gifts of the Holy Spirt, comes at the end of the Easter Season, but as the birthday of the Church, it is a fitting beginning to our return to Ordinary Time. We can continue to ask that the Holy Spirit come into our hearts, to enkindle within us the fire of the Spirit's Love.

Pentecost and the Ninth Week of Ordinary Time

 


Sunday is Pentecost Sunday, as the readings and the whole Church celebrate the coming and ongoing presence of the Holy Spirit among us. Jesus breathes on his jittery followers and tells them, "Peace be with you" and fills them with courage.

Pentecost and the Ninth Week of Ordinary Time

 

Pope Francis


The Pope concluded his remarks with an invitation to prayer.

“Let us pray for the consolation of their grieving families and friends and let us implore the national reconciliation and peace for which we yearn,” he said. “May Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mother of America, intercede for all those who work for peace and justice in your land and throughout the world.”

Pope Francis: No tolerance for racism, but without violence

 


Finally, Bishop Fabre stresses that the Catholic Church in the United States does “not condone violence” but rather calls for peaceful protest.

“A lot of attention is being given right now to a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King”, says Bishop Fabre. It says that a riot is the language of the unheard.

“While we certainly condemn the violence of riots”, concludes Bishop Fabre, “we understand the frustration and the outrage of people who are also engaging in peaceful protest to attempt to get people to hear them."

Systematic racism led to the death of George Floyd

Pope Francis delivered a homily pointing out that despite the diversity of backgrounds and ethnicities among Christ’s followers in the early Church, the Holy Spirit brings about unity by making them realize that they are primarily the children of God. 

Saint Paul in his First Letter to the Corinthians attests to this fact when he says, “There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit.”  

Coming to our times, Pope Francis said that we too have our differences, such as opinions, choices, sensibilities. But the temptation to fiercely defend our ideas as good for everybody, the Pope warned, is “a faith created in our own image”, “not what the Spirit wants”.

Holy Spirit unites Christians as God’s children in self-giving

In his reflections on Sunday, Pope Francis noted that the Solemnity of Pentecost commemorates the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. The Gospel of the day “takes us back to the evening of Easter”, when Jesus appeared to the disciples in the Upper Room. The Lord’s greeting, “Peace be with you”, was an expression of reconciliation and forgiveness for the disciples who had abandoned Him in His Passion.

Church is reconciled community ready for mission

Saying they are “broken-hearted, sickened, and outraged to watch another video of an African American man being killed before our very eyes”, leaders of the USCCB call for the “real and present danger” of racism to be met head on.

“We are broken-hearted, sickened, and outraged to watch another video of an African American man being killed before our very eyes”, writes a group of US Bishops in a statement released on Friday, following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis (USA) and the subsequent unrest that has broken out across the country.

US Bishops: Racism not a thing of the past

 

 

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