Eyes on the King

Posted by Sharon Krause on Nov 27, 2023 6:00:00 AM

Sales! Sales! Sales! That’s all we are supposed to keep thinking about as we try to find wonderful Christmas gifts for the people we love. We see decorations displayed in stores and neighborhoods. Lights everywhere! Spend your money! Spend your time shopping! Keep looking! Give your attention to the holiday festivities! It is all exciting and colorful!

Yesterday, we celebrated the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus, King of the Universe. It would be spiritually beneficial for us to focus on our loving King, Jesus, who teaches us about a different kind of giving of gifts and attention. Certainly, we use material objects as gifts to show our love, but our personal talent—gifts of understanding, hospitality, sense of humor, and gentle solicitous listening—are valuable ways to show others we care about them. Jesus is our perfect example of gift-giver! Our eyes should be on him!

We might think of kings in the context of pageantry, wealth, and spectacle. Our Christ, the King, is a teacher, a loving chastiser, the Son of God who willingly gave his life for the redemption of all of us. His self-sacrificing love for us can sustain us even in the bleakest of times, but we have to keep our busy eyes on him. Every now and then, it is a good idea to check our priorities. Take time to visit his throne room.

One of the best things Jesus taught us is to trust in his Father’s will. At this busy time of the year, let’s be sure to take time to pray to our King, Jesus. Let’s ask for his help in following His Father’s will for us, even when it seems very difficult.


The Scarecrow

The rabbit approached the scarecrow:

“Won’t you teach me how to dance.

I watch you here in the cornfield.

Such moves cannot be by chance,”

The scarecrow replied quite modestly,

“Our Creator is my teacher.

He sends the songbirds with music,

And the winds to set the meter.

I’ve learned to rest upon this pole,

To stay ready day and night,

I trust in the Master’s direction,

In this Spirit-filled dance of life.”



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Topics: Christmas shopping, Jesus Christ the King, Sharon Krause

"Hear the Word!" by Bill Ayres: Solemnity of Jesus Christ, King

Posted by Bill Ayres on Nov 25, 2023 6:00:00 AM

A reading from the prophecy of Ezekiel

(Chapter 34: 11-12,15-17)

Here we are at the end of another liturgical year. Next Sunday, December 3, Advent begins.

Ancient Israel was a pastoral country with numerous herds of sheep and many shepherds to protect them from predators and bad weather. David, who became Israel’s greatest king, was a shepherd who took good care of his people. Every king was required to, in a sense, be a good shepherd, but not all did. In this passage, Ezekiel has God saying that he will take care of the people in every way. In one of the truly moving passages in the scriptures, God says he will rescue them, give them land and rest, seek out the strays, and bring them back, bind up the injured, and heal the sick.

That and more is what our God does for us every day. God lives within us and all around us. That is true even when God seems far away, and we may feel unworthy or lost in depression, addiction, loss of a loved one, or some combination of painful situations. As we seek God, God is already there. We need only to be open and not think of God’s love as having magical powers. We ask for something, and there it is. No! What we have with God is never magic but rather mystery in the best and deepest sense—the mystery of unconditional love, a true ongoing relationship beyond our deepest longings.

Responsorial Psalm

(Psalm 23:2-3, 3-4, 5-6)

“The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.” We truly want for nothing, at least not what we truly need, because Jesus, our shepherd, is always there for us. We have only to ask and wait patiently, something that is most difficult for us to do.

A reading from St. Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians

(Chapter 15:20-26, 28)

A paradox is not the same as a contradiction. Our faith is full of paradoxes that are not contradictions. Saint Paul is talking about the paradox of the Resurrection. Through the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, we share in new life. It is happening now, but the paradox is that it is not yet complete. As we have mentioned several times in these commentaries, Paul and most of the early Christians thought that the completion, the Second Coming of Christ, was coming in their lifetime. That did not happen, and so, over the centuries, we have learned to live in the paradox—the life of the Resurrection has already begun but is not complete. Let us focus on what already is and rejoice in it.

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Matthew

(Chapter 25:31-46)

Many people call themselves “Matthew 25 Christians” because they hear this part of the Gospel as a call from Jesus for social justice. The words are powerful and challenging.

“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.” Jesus says that then the righteous will ask when did they do all of these things for him, and Jesus replies, “Whatever you did for one of the least brothers of mine, you did for me.”

The next section has Jesus being harsh with those who did not do any of these things to help “one of the least ones.” So, where do you and I stand in our generosity and justice for those on the bottom of society? What is our responsibility? Can we actually do all those things for all those in need?

The key in this is to remember that we are not only individuals but part of communities. We can help through our parish outreach, by contributing to the Catholic Campaign collection, one of the most effective anti-poverty programs in America. We can also let our leaders know that we want them to provide services for those truly in need, through federal, state, and local programs. There are so many ways that we can fulfill our responsibilities to “these least ones.” It is one of the strongest commands of Jesus.


Image: Stained glass window at the Melkite Catholic Annunciation Cathedral in Roslindale depicting Christ the King with the regalia of a Byzantine emperor. January Detail from photo by John Stephen Dwyer.  Boston at English Wikipedia. This file is licensed under the This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. 

Excerpts from the English translation of the Lectionary for Mass © 1969, 1981, 1997, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation (ICEL). All rights reserved. The passage regarding the wedding garment is from The New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved.

 Bill Ayres was a founder, with the late singer Harry Chapin, of WhyHunger. He has been a radio and TV broadcaster for 40 years and has two weekly Sunday-night shows on WPLJ, 95.5 FM in New York. He is a member of Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Church in Centerport, New York.

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Topics: Bill Ayres, Christ the King, Jesus Christ the King

Timely Sequence Reflections

Posted by Sharon Krause on Nov 20, 2023 6:00:00 AM

Pentecost Sunday was quite a long time ago, but the Pentecost Sunday Sequence prayer that is included in that liturgy is a favorite prayer of mine, and one that does not have to be stashed way until next year.

 In today’s liturgy, we hear the story from Luke’s Gospel (18:35-43) in which a blind man had his sight restored by Jesus. Maybe, with reviewing the Pentecost prayer, Jesus will give us some new ways to think and pray to the Holy Spirit.

 Come Holy Spirit, come.

And from your celestial home

Shed a ray of light divine.

Come, Father of the poor.

Come, source of all our store.

Come, within our bosoms shine.

 We should openly invite the Holy Spirit into our lives every day. The Spirit, the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity, does accept our invitation and is very active and helpful, even in small ways. We should pay attention, even if we have been slow to respond in the past.

          You, of comforters the best;

You, the soul’s most welcome guest;

Sweet refreshment here below;

 We all need comforting now and then, but in today’s very troubled world, divine comfort is needed and appreciated more than ever! One look at the news in the media tells us we are lacking in the kind of sweet refreshment only the Spirit can provide.


In our labor, rest most sweet;

Grateful coolness in the heat;

Solace in the midst of woe.


The Holy Spirit helps us in extreme times and situations. It is a blessing to rest in the Lord, to find a respite when life is demanding, when we are in the heat of anger or temptation, resentment, struggle, or great sadness. Maybe our labor is persistent praying for some urgent need of a loved one. The Spirit is there to help us.

         O most blessed Light divine,

Shine within these hearts of yours,

And our inmost being fill.


Where you are not, we have naught,

Nothing good in deed or thought,

Nothing free from taint of ill.

 Again, we do the inviting. By virtue of our baptism, we know the Spirit is ready to assist us right into the center of our hearts. This world is so full of distractions, perversions, temptations, and roads to emptiness. We are human, the Holy Spirit is divine! The Spirit will correct us and fill us!

 Heal our wounds, our strength renew;

On our dryness pour your dew;

Wash the stains of guilt away;


Bend the stubborn heart and will;

Melt the frozen, warm the chill;

Guide the steps that go astray.

 The Holy Spirit brings positivity and hope. Healing flows from the Spirit in a way that renews our strength and provides new life that is cleansed and redirected. The Spirit resets us and reboots us, if you want to think in computer-age terms. We can be reprogrammed.

 On the faithful, who adore

And confess you, evermore

In your sevenfold gift descend;


Give them virtue’s sure reward;

Give them your salvation, Lord;

Give them joys that never end.

 Amen. Alleluia.

 That sevenfold gift—remember what the “seven” are? The gifts are wisdom, understanding, counsel, knowledge, fortitude, piety, and fear of the Lord. Wow! What a package of gifts from a very generous Lord! Let us adore and confess the Lord, and be very thankful for his loving generosity, those “joys that never end!”


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Topics: Sharon Krause, Gifts of the Holy Spirit, open to the Holy Spirit

"Hear the Word!" by Bill Ayres: Thirty-third Sunday of the Year

Posted by Bill Ayres on Nov 18, 2023 6:00:00 AM

A reading from the Book of Proverbs

(Chapter 31:10-13, 19-20, 30-31)

“When one finds a worthy wife, her value is far beyond pearls. Her husband, entrusting his heart to her, has an unfailing prize. She brings him good, and not evil all the days of her life.”

This was written thousands of years ago when women were usually seen as subordinate and undervalued. So, the author calls her a “prize” which we would see as an inappropriate term at best. Yet, he also says that her husband is “entrusting his heart to her.” That is amazing, to entrust your heart to your wife or husband. If you are married, reflect on that most powerful bond that you have with another person, the one to whom you have entrusted your heart. It is not always smooth sailing, but you have found the person who is sharing your lifelong journey. Rejoice!

Responsorial Psalm

(Psalm 138: 1-2,3, 4-5)

“Blessed are those who fear the Lord.” This is one of the most misunderstood lines in the scriptures. Over the centuries, people in power have used this expression, “fear of the Lord,” to bully and control and even enslave people. The Psalmist uses the word to mean reverencing and honoring the Lord. If we do that, it frees us to have a healthy and loving relationship with our Creator.

A reading from St. Paul's First Letter to the Thessalonians

(Chapter 5:1-6)

“For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief at night…. But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness, for that day to overtake you like a thief. For all of you are children of the light and children of the day. We are not of the night or of darkness. Therefore, let us not sleep as the rest do, but let us stay alert and sober.”

Paul wants the Thessalonians to know that the false security that the Roman Empire offers to its neighbors will not save them. It is darkness, but Jesus brings light.

We also need to beware of so many modern kinds of darkness: materialism, greed, disrespect for life, racism, economic injustice, and a false sense of security that can come from our own power, prestige, and possessions. Instead, we need to live in the light of the Holy Spirit who lives within each of us and among us.

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Matthew

(Chapter 25: 14-30)

The parable Jesus tells in this passage is difficult for us, because it comes from a very different world of servants and a master which we have grown beyond in our democracy:

“A man going on a journey called his servants and entrusted his possessions to them. To one he gave five talents; to another, two; and a third, one—to each according to his ability. Then he went away. Immediately, the one who received the five talents went and traded with them and made another five. Likewise, the one who received two made another two. But the man who received one went off and dug a hole in the ground and buried his master’s money. After a long time the master of those servants came back and settled accounts with them. The one who had received five talents came forward bringing the additional five. He said, ‘Master, you gave me five talents. See, I have made five more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come share your master’s joy.’”

The man who had two talents and made two more also was rewarded. But the man who received only one talent said, “Master, I knew you were a demanding person, harvesting where you did not plant and gathering where you did not scatter; so out of fear I went off and buried your talent in the ground. Here it is back.” The master was angry and told the man that he could have at least put the money in a bank so that it would earn interest. The master ordered that the one talent be given to the servant who had ten and added, “And throw this useless servant into the darkness outside….”

This does not sound like the God of mercy and love that Jesus preached. However, Jesus was making a different point here. The man with the one talent became fearful and passive instead of making the most of what had been entrusted to him. Let us not be fearful or lazy in using our gifts for good in service of our sisters and brothers.


Painting: Parable of the Talents., Andrey Mironov, 2013. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license. 

Excerpts from the English translation of the Lectionary for Mass © 1969, 1981, 1997, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation (ICEL). All rights reserved. The passage regarding the wedding garment is from The New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved.

 Bill Ayres was a founder, with the late singer Harry Chapin, of WhyHunger. He has been a radio and TV broadcaster for 40 years and has two weekly Sunday-night shows on WPLJ, 95.5 FM in New York. He is a member of Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Church in Centerport, New York.

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Topics: Bill Ayres, Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

It's Amazing!

Posted by Sharon Krause on Nov 13, 2023 6:00:00 AM

There are so many terrible things happening in this world right now! It has been suggested that much of our troubles come from excluding God from our lives, our country, and our schools. We get so busy with our personal goals and desires that God may not come first, if we see him there at all. God sent his Son to teach us and redeem us. Let’s take a walk today through the Gospel of Mark and let us be amazed and astounded at the wonders of God’s love.

Mark 1:21-22: Then they came to Capernaum and on the sabbath he entered the synagogue and taught. The people were astonished at his teaching for he taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes.

Mark 1:26-27: The unclean Spirit convulsed him and with a loud cry came out of him. All were amazed and asked one another, “What is this? A new teaching with authority. He commands even the unclean spirits and they obey him.”

Mark 2:12: He rose, picked up his mat at once, and went away in the sight of everyone. They were all astounded and glorified God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this.”

Mark 4:39, 41: He woke up, rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Quiet! Be still!” The wind ceased and there was great calm….They were filled with great awe and said to one another, “Who then is this whom even wind and sea obey?”

Mark 5:20: Then the man went off and began to proclaim in the Decapolis what Jesus had done for him; and all were amazed.

Mark 5:42: The girl, a child of 12, arose immediately and walked around. At that they were utterly astounded.

Mark 6:2a: when the sabbath came he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astonished.

Mark 6:51: He got into the boat with them and the wind died down. They were completely astounded.

 Mark 7:37: They were exceedingly astonished and they said, “He has done all things well. He makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”

 Mark 9:15: Immediately on seeing him, the whole crowd was utterly amazed.

 Mark 10:32: They we’re on the way, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus went ahead of them. They were amazed….

 Mark 12:17: So Jesus said to them, “Repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.” They were utterly amazed at him.

 Mark 15:4-5: Again Pilate questioned him, “Have you no answer? See how many things they accuse you of.” Jesus gave him no further answer, so that Pilate was amazed.

 Mark 16:5: On entering the tomb they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a white robe. They were utterly amazed.


Lord Jesus, your words, your deeds, your teachings and your love are truly amazing. We are astounded by the wonders of your saving love every day of our lives. Increase our awareness and help us to share our amazement with others so they will come to know you more and more. We thank you, amazing Lord, for suffering, dying, and rising for us. Praise be to you, Son of God, Messiah and King!

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Topics: forgiveness, Sharon Krause

"Hear the Word!" by Bill Ayres: Thirty-second Sunday of the Year

Posted by Bill Ayres on Nov 11, 2023 6:00:00 AM

A reading from the Book of Wisdom

(Chapter 6:12-16)

No one knows who the author of the Book of Wisdom was or if there were several authors. We do know that it was written in Greek, only about 50 years before the birth of Jesus, for the Jewish community in Alexandria to give them hope in the midst of persecution.

Wisdom is portrayed as a woman, a God-like figure giving advice and comfort to the people. “Resplendent and unfading is wisdom, and she is readily perceived by those who love her, and found by those who seek her.”

We all need wisdom that goes beyond mere knowledge of facts into a deeper level of knowing. We often refer to this special level of wisdom when we say, “She was very wise for her age.” “He is a wise old soul.” Wisdom is a gift that comes to us at different times and from many sources. Do you believe in your own wisdom? How does it help you at important times in your life? From whom do you seek wisdom? Who are your go-to wisdom sources, not necessarily the most knowledgeable people, but folks who have life-teaching wisdom? Do you pray for wisdom, especially during difficult times or in situations that call for you to make hard decisions? The Holy Spirit within you will answer those prayers. Wisdom is never far away if you seek it with an open heart.

Responsorial Psalm

(Psalm 63:2, 3-4,, 5-6, 7-8)

“My soul is thirsting for you my God…. For you my flesh pines and my soul thirsts like the earth, parched, lifeless and without water.” The author of the psalm lived in a desert area where water was both a necessity and a gift. Thirsting for God was an expression that every desert person could identify with.

Think of a time when you were really thirsty. How did it feel, and how did it feel when you finally had that drink of water? Your soul and mine thirst for God, but we don’t always realize it until we are in need or when we are struck by the awesomeness of creation or the challenges of our lives.

A reading from St. Paul's First Letter to the Thessalonians

(Chapter 4:13-18)

We Christians believe in a life after death. Paul did, and here he wants to say it clearly to his beloved people, the Thessalonians. “We do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, about those who have fallen asleep, so that you may not grieve, like the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose, so too will God, through Jesus, bring with him those who have fallen asleep.”

It is a great blessing to believe that our loved ones are alive in the peace and loving embrace of God, that they have been forgiven, healed, and now live again. Do you believe that for them and for yourself? Do you truly believe that heaven is not some dream or something made up but rather a new level of reality for all of us, no matter who we are? We cannot gain heaven by our deeds alone. It is a gift that God offers to us and, like all gifts, we need to accept it and live our life here in gratitude for it.

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Matthew

(Chapter 25:1-13)

There are many and varied views as to who these foolish and wise virgins are supposed to represent. The theme that most scholars agree on is the need to be vigilant, not to take anything for granted, to stay on the right course, to keep faith in the midst of challenges to health, loss of loved ones, and declining power. We never know when we will be called, but we do know that the call is from our loving God who will embrace us if we have been faithful to him.



Painting: Wise and Foolish Virgins, William Blake. c. 1826. Tate Collection, London. Public domain.

Excerpts from the English translation of the Lectionary for Mass © 1969, 1981, 1997, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation (ICEL). All rights reserved. The passage regarding the wedding garment is from The New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved.

Bill Ayres was a founder, with the late singer Harry Chapin, of WhyHunger. He has been a radio and TV broadcaster for 40 years and has two weekly Sunday-night shows on WPLJ, 95.5 FM in New York. He is a member of Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Church in Centerport, New York.

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Topics: Bill Ayres, Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Be awake

The Everyday Gospel: The Holy Name

Posted by Charles Paolino on Nov 8, 2023 6:00:00 AM

A parishioner once asked me why I frequently nod my head during a liturgy. For a second or two, I didn’t know what she meant, but then I realized she was referring to a slight bow any time the name of Jesus was mentioned.

This is a gesture that was engrained in me during religious education in the 1940s and 1950s. It was so engrained, in fact, that I am only sometimes conscious that I am doing it.

Perhaps because it was presented to me in this context, I have always associated that gesture with St. Paul’s admonition to the Christian community in Philippi that God had bestowed on Jesus “the name that is above every name” and that, at the mention of that name, “every knee should bend, of those on earth and under the earth….”

I was thinking about this recently, prompted by the Diane Keaton movie Pom in which, before I fell asleep, I heard—at least twice—characters casually respond to some situation by blurting, “Jesus Christ!” I’m old enough to remember when that would not occur in a movie or television show; now, it is commonplace and, thanks to cable channels and streaming, that includes television.

I also remember the often-told story in our family that my grandmother went to see Gone with the Wind in 1939 and, because she heard the word “damn” twice in that film, never went to a movie again. In fact, there was a kerfuffle in the movie industry over the use of that word. The censors objected to it, but the movie code was amended before Gone with the Wind was released. “Damn” was allowed because it had been used in the original work—Margaret Mitchell’s novel.

From our point of view in 2023, banning the word “damn” might seem like overkill. In fact, banning words at all—whether in movies, television, or song lyrics—is no longer in vogue.

The name of Jesus and “damn,” however, are in different categories. In a perfect world, movie makers would recognize that the Holy Name is just that, “holy,” to billions of Christians who regard Jesus as divine and their Savior. In a perfect world, something—let’s say charity, respect, cultural civility, good manners—would mitigate against the use of that name, in entertainment media, as a curse.

However, not only do we not live in a perfect world, but we live in a world that in some ways is increasingly vulgar and indifferent to, when not antagonistic toward, religious ideas. Figures such as Jesus are not only disrespected in many quarters, but they are often ridiculed. So, it would be idle for us to expect more sensitivity from producers or script writers.

We also live in a world in which the profane use of Jesus’ name in everyday speech has been commonplace for many years, which is why it found its way into movie scripts in the first place. In that environment, our best response is to continue being respectful of the Holy Name ourselves and avoid entertainment properties that routinely profane that name.

With regard to others, if they are close to us and especially if they are young, we can gently call their attention to what might have become a habit rather than deliberate blasphemy. And, being Christians and therefore confident in God’s grace, we can pray for those who abuse the Holy Name and for the day when the world be renewed and, as Paul wrote to the Philippians, “every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”


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Topics: RENEW International, The Everyday Gospel: Deacon Charles Paolino, The holy name

Football Lesson

Posted by Sharon Krause on Nov 6, 2023 6:00:00 AM

There it is! The football is still there! It has been lying on that lonely, small patch of grass for almost a year. Whoever takes care of mowing that area has mowed around that object and left it undisturbed. The football has started to come apart after weathering numerous Florida rainstorms. No one has decided to throw it into the trash bin, despite the fact that there is a nearby town sign discouraging littering. The football sits there day and night, seemingly as a monument to procrastination or stubborn littering. Whoever first put it there will undoubtedly not come back for it.

That football brings to mind certain things about our human condition. Any of us could have a prejudice or grudge against another person, and that impediment could hang around for a very long time. We might not even remember what started the problem. Other life experiences and relationships could be running along very smoothly and seem very happy. That tainted feeling that we feel for a particular person could actually be wearing out, but we are not paying attention.

In the Lord’s Prayer, we ask God to “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” Maybe we should think about those little parentheses we put around certain people and start the business of forgiving those who have trespassed. Our football may be a little apology or attitude adjustment we should make to someone else.

I have heard of long-standing grudges in families. Sometimes a grudge can be almost a legacy that is perpetuated as a “family thing.” Other times, we might have a falling out with another person who has moved away. We may not see the person, so the bad feeling has never been resolved. That little football on the green does not take up much space, but it is still there!

Whatever our own little football may be, it is probably time to throw it away. It may be helpful to pray with Colossians 3:12-15:


   Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion,

   kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and

   forgiving one another, if one has a grievance against another; as the Lord

   has forgiven you, so you must also do. And over all these put on love, that

   is, the bond of perfection. And let the peace of Christ control your hearts, the

   peace into which you were also called in one body. And be thankful.

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Topics: forgiveness, spiritual renewal, Sharon Krause

"Hear the Word!" by Deacon Charles Paolino: Thirty-first Sunday of the Year

Posted by Charles Paolino on Nov 4, 2023 6:30:00 AM

A reading from the prophecy of Malachi

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Topics: minister with humility, humility, Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time

Think Again

Posted by Sharon Krause on Oct 30, 2023 6:00:00 AM

Ouch! I cut my finger on the lid of a can of tuna. Sharp edge! I proceeded to the medicine cabinet for some peroxide and a Band-Aid. It was just an easy, normal thing to do—something I just take for granted. Then I heard on the television news how, in the war-torn Middle East, doctors are operating on children by the light of multiple cell phones and are using vinegar as the only available antiseptic.

We all take many things for granted. There are so many daily blessings that we are accustomed to that we don’t even think of them as blessings. Maybe it is time to think again.

In the gospel reading in today’s Mass, (Luke 13:10-17) the woman whom Jesus cured of an 18-year infirmity was able to stand up tall and think again about her life possibilities. Scripture says the first thing she did was glorify God.

We go to Mass weekly, or even daily, and receive the precious Body of Jesus in the Eucharist. Do we really understand what a blessing that is? What an encounter! Do we just take that grace for granted? Do we savor the experience of meeting God’s Son in a truly physical way?

As we pray for peace in this troubled world, let us try to pay attention to all the blessings we experience each day of our lives. It is easy to take everyday gifts for granted.

Let us pray.

How can I truly praise you, Lord?

The best I can do is to pay attention,

   and acknowledge your wonderous actions,

   to find you in all things—-somehow, somewhere, everywhere;

   to call it out: credit where credit is due!

My praise words help to remind me joyfully of who is in charge.

My praise is bursting with thanksgiving.

My heart’s desire should be only what your will sanctions.

I find it hard to understand sometimes,

   but you know that, and you have patience with me.

You are merciful.

Teach me to praise you better and to give you glory in the highest!



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Topics: give thanks to God, gratefulness, gratitude, Sharon Krause, thanking God

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