Branching-Out

'Hear the Word!' by Bill Ayres: The Most Holy Trinity

Posted by Bill Ayres on May 29, 2021 6:00:00 AM

A reading from the book of Deuteronomy 

(Chapter 4:32-34, 39-40)

At the time of this writing, about 1200 B.C., virtually all the nations and tribes that surrounded the Hebrews believed in more than one god, in some cases many gods. Moses was telling his people once again that there was only one God, and that it was the one God who had given them a new homeland. The Hebrews had been in the desert for 40 years, and now the day had arrived for them to enter the Promised Land. But, there were two conditions. They must worship only the one God, no false gods, and they must keep God’s commandments. Of course, the people said yes, but they were often seduced by false gods that led them to disaster.

We can all think of celebrities and millionaires that have given into money, power, and prestige. But about us? What false gods can take the place of the one God in our lives?

Responsorial Psalm

(Psalm 33)

“Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.” We are that people, and we are blessed.” That is quite a gift and quite a responsibility. It does not call for passivity or false pride but rather for joyful thanks.

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Topics: Reflections on the coming Sunday's Gospel, Holy Trinity, RENEW International, Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, Abba

'Hear the Word!' by Bill Ayres: The Baptism of the Lord

Posted by Bill Ayres on Jan 9, 2021 6:00:00 AM

A reading from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah

(Chapter 55:1-15)

This reading begins, “Thus says the Lord: all who are thirsty, come to the water.” The Middle East was and is a thirsty place, a desert area. We tend to take water for granted today, but for the Jews it was life itself. Isaiah portrays a loving, bountiful God who promises to give plentiful water and food to the people and offers to “renew with you the everlasting covenant, the benefits assured to David.”

Throughout the Hebrew scriptures, God seeks out the people even after they have betrayed him and suffered because of their sins. Our God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is never far from us and actively seeks us out. Isn’t that amazing, God pursuing us? Sometimes the Jewish people felt that God had abandoned them. That was never the case and is not now with us. God pursues us in so many ways that we are not even aware of. Do you think that God is pursuing you now in your life? How? What is God calling you to do? The Holy Spirit who lives within you will guide you discern how God is calling you.

Responsorial Psalm from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah

(Chapter 12:2-3,4, 5-6)

“You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.” This is not just any water; it is from the spring of salvation. Throughout history, people have sought a fountain of youth and even risked their lives for it. There is no fountain of youth, but there are the “springs of salvation.” They will renew us if we will drink from this never-ending spring.

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Topics: catholic renew progam, Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, Holy Trinity, Jesus Christ, receive the Holy Spirit, RENEW International, savior, Sunday readings

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