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October 6, 2009

October 7th Holy Spirit Novena
Scripture selection is Day 8 Period I.

The Novena Rosary Mysteries  
for October 7th are Joyful.


   

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27th Sunday in Ordinary Time

 

Genesis 2: 18-24

    Yahweh God said, "It is not right that the man should be alone. I shall make him a helper." So from the soil Yahweh God fashioned all the wild animals and all the birds of heaven. These he brought to the man to see what he would call them; each one was to bear the name the man would give it. The man gave names to all the cattle, all the birds of heaven and all the wild animals. But no helper suitable for the man was found for him. Then, Yahweh God made the man fall into a deep sleep. And, while he was asleep, he took one of his ribs and closed the flesh up again forthwith. Yahweh God fashioned the rib he had taken from the man into a woman, and brought her to the man. And the man said:

    This one at last is bone of my bones
        and flesh of my flesh!
    She is to be called Woman,
        because she was taken from Man.

    This is why a man leaves his father and mother and becomes attached to his wife, and they become one flesh.

 

Hebrews 2: 9-11

but we do see Jesus, who was for a short while made less than the angels, now crowned with glory and honour because he submitted to death; so that by God's grace his experience of death should benefit all humanity. It was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should, in bringing many sons to glory, make perfect through suffering the leader of their salvation. For consecrator and consecrated are all of the same stock; that is why he is not ashamed to call them brothers

 

Mark 10: 2-16

Some Pharisees approached him and asked, 'Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?' They were putting him to the test. He answered them, 'What did Moses command you?' They replied, 'Moses allowed us to draw up a writ of dismissal in cases of divorce.' Then Jesus said to them, 'It was because you were so hard hearted that he wrote this commandment for you. But from the beginning of creation he made them male and female. This is why a man leaves his father and mother, and the two become one flesh. They are no longer two, therefore, but one flesh. So then, what God has united, human beings must not divide.' Back in the house the disciples questioned him again about this, and he said to them, 'Whoever divorces his wife and marries another is guilty of adultery against her. And if a woman divorces her husband and marries another she is guilty of adultery too.'

People were bringing little children to him, for him to touch them. The disciples scolded them, but when Jesus saw this he was indignant and said to them, ‘Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. In truth I tell you, anyone who does not welcome the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.’ Then he embraced them, laid his hands on them and gave them his blessing.

 

October 8, 2006 

(Genesis 2, 18-24; Hebrews 2, 9-11; Mark 10, 2-16) The waiters and waitresses at Cinderella’s Castle in Disney World treat their customers like royalty – literally.  A man wrote in to Readers Digest that after lunch the waiter asked, “Is there anything else My Lord wishes?”  “Yes,” he said.  “I’d like my wife to treat me like this at home.”  Then the waiter bowed to the wife and said to her “My Lord desires to be treated like a king in his castle.  May I suggest a reply?”  “Sure,” his wife said.  “Tell him he’s spent too much time in Fantasyland.”

Marriage brings joys and laughter, but it can also bring pain and suffering.  Of course, life itself brings all these things, whether a person is married or not, but the pains and joys associated with our closest relationships touch us where we are most vulnerable.  Jesus is talking to us today about those times when the joy and laughter is gone and the wife or the husband, or perhaps both, decide to call it quits.

It’s always difficult to preach on this gospel without at the same time seeming to condemn those who have had to get a divorce.  Sometimes there is good reason for getting a divorce.  I have given my support to many people who needed to file for divorce for the legal protection it affords.  Notice, as our Lord teaches that no human being has the power to separate what God has joined, he does not mention the word sin until he talks about divorce and remarriage.  The Church has constantly taken Jesus’ words literally even in the face of ongoing criticism for not following the liberal spirit of society today.

Everyday observation tells us the value our society places on marriage declines year by year.  There are hundreds of statistics about marriage, but there are two that I think are of special significance.  One is that the percent of second marriages that end in divorce is considerably higher than the percent of first marriages. This statistic shows that simply changing partners doesn’t necessarily eliminate problems.  The people themselves so often haven’t really changed, and many of the same problems that caused the first marriage to fall apart are carried with people into a second or third relationship.  That’s what that statistic tells me.  The second statistic is significant in that couples who live together before marriage have a slightly higher rate of divorce than couples who are more conventional and who do not live together until after they are married.  This statistic destroys the assumption that it’s better to test it out before tying the knot.  Even those who find out what it’s like to live together before they get married cannot find out what it’s like to be committed to someone else until they really are committed to someone else.  You can’t try out the commitment of marriage until you’ve made the commitment.  One of the many   problems with society’s attitude about marriage is that too many people view marriage as their own private affair.  Jesus reminds us today in the quote from Genesis, that human beings didn’t invent marriage.  The origin of marriage is from God and God has some ideas about what marriage should be like.  It’s not just a private affair that allows two people to determine what the rules and regulations are.  In marriage two people make a promise to each other but at the same time their promise is called a vow because that promise is also made to God.  God made rules about marriage because he wants it to be a blessing for his people.  And although Moses allowed divorce (which Jesus said was allowed because of the hardness of their hearts) Jesus said it was not God’s plan.  God’s plan from the beginning was for marriage to be permanent, and although divorce is sometimes necessary, it’s usually not a blessing for anyone.  Evidence is building even in the scientific environment that divorce is not good either for adults or for kids. Marriage, which often is not easy, needs God’s help and God will be there to help if we ask.  Another item from modern day research shows that people who attend church weekly have greater marital happiness.

At a recent psychological meeting I attended, the speakers were pleading with the psychologists in the audience to get involved in helping people learn how to work out their differences and to relate with one another better, than just to break up and get a divorce.  They kept insisting that divorce is more than just a legal event.  It does considerable damage to all parties involved, especially the children.  Children do not just bounce back after divorce, and the effects are more destructive and long lasting than what people want to recognize.

I could go on and on about this.  I taught marriage in high school.  I did my master’s thesis in psychology on marital happiness.  One conclusion I have come to is that people confuse falling in love with real love.  Falling in love is wonderful, but it’s only a beginning.  Real love requires a certain amount of compatibility, taking time to get to know one another, it takes a lot of work, and a lot of sensitivity, understanding, forgiveness and unselfishness.  When Jesus tells us the most important commandment is love, we have in that word “commandment” that it’s not always going to be easy.  An article I read recently surveyed couples who were unhappy in their marriages but who decided to stick it out.  They reported that after five years their marriages had turned around and they were as happy as they had ever been or even happier.  Today’s gospel was about marriage, but whether we’re married or not, we all must learn how to love. That is our calling as followers of Christ and that will be our joy in eternity.

A pastor was called to a local nursing home to perform a wedding.  He was met by the anxious groom, and on meeting him the pastor started up a conversation.  He asked the old man: “Do you love her?”  The old man replied: “Nope.”  “Is she a good Christian woman?”  “I don’t know for sure,” was the old man’s answer.  “Well, does she have lots of money?” asked the pastor.  “I doubt it.”  “Then why are you marrying her?” the preacher asked.  “’Cause she can drive at night,” the old man said.

One of my favorite statements about marriage is this: The shortest sentence in the English language is “I am,” the longest is “I do.”  I asked a few of my friends if they had some statements they could make about marriage that would help me with my sermon.  One man said, “I better not say anything.  I’m a married man.”  One wife said, “It depends on the day whether I’m for it or against it.”  One widow said, “Enjoy it while you can.”   Giving up marriage was the major issue I had to deal with before being ordained; and it is the major reason most people do not go into religious life or enter the priesthood.

You know, one of the things the people of Jesus’ day admired most about Jesus was that he spoke with authority.  He didn’t have to quote other rabbis or give other people’s opinions when giving the answer to a question.  And his authority went beyond what he taught.  He spoke with authority too when he healed diseases and cast out demons.  One of the things modern people like least about him is that he spoke with authority.  They would rather look upon Christ’s teachings as opinions or suggestions.  Especially this is true with regard to marriage.  The attitude of Catholics toward marriage, divorce, sex outside of marriage, cohabitation, homosexuality, etc. is not for the most part formed by what Jesus tells us.  It’s pretty much formed by the attitude of society.  Instead of us being a light for the world as we should be, too many of us take our light and direction from society and overlook the teachings of Christ.

One of the most difficult parts of my job is trying to convince people I have to uphold the rules the Church has about marriage.  For one reason or another people often complain: “Why does the Church have all these rules?  It looks like the Church is trying to make it hard for people to stay in the Church?”  I have to say “I’m sorry; the Church is not trying to make it hard for people.  The Church is just trying to be faithful to the teachings of Jesus about marriage.”  If it’s meant to be permanent, why shouldn’t the couple put some time into trying to prepare for it properly?  If a person was married before and they don’t want to bother with an annulment, they expect the Church to just throw Jesus’ teaching on marriage out the window because it’s too much trouble for them to follow.  The Church would not be doing its job if it didn’t treat marriage seriously.

When the Jews asked Jesus if it were lawful for a man to divorce his wife, they already believed they knew the answer.  Divorce was permitted by Jewish law.  But Jesus surprised them.  He referred to the original intention God had in creating men and women.  They were to provide companionship and love for one another and keep the human race going.  And this drive God put in us to procreate is to be exercised in the exclusive, permanent relationship of marriage.  As the Scriptures tell us, they become two in one flesh.  It is based on this unique kind of union that the Church teaches and has always taught that the only appropriate expression of physical love is in marriage.  Sexuality is sacred.  It has to have boundaries or it will become little more than pure animal behavior.  And without adequate boundaries human society will suffer and we would not be faithful to the teachings of the Scriptures.

One of the things that confuses people is the difference between annulments and divorces.  A divorce is a legal matter.  It is the declaration by the state that the marriage is ended.  Sometimes it is necessary.  Sometimes a spouse has to protect himself or herself from serious harm.  But I’ve seen too many that were not necessary, simply because one or the other gave up too soon, or thought someone else looked more interesting.  If a couple are not relating well, they can learn.  I think too many people expect heaven on earth from their marriage and when it doesn’t happen they look elsewhere.  The Church does not grant divorces to end a marriage.  The Church may grant an annulment after a marriage has broken up.   An annulment is a statement that after serious investigation by Church authorities a couple are not obligated to each other under God because there was something seriously lacking in their commitment from the beginning.  So often it was that one or the other person was unable or not ready at the time to make the kind of serious commitment marriage requires.  It can be a very complicated process and it’s best not to make rash judgments about people who could or could not get an annulment.

Part of the problem with marriage today is that it is seen by many people as a private arrangement.  Its origin is from God as we heard in the first reading.  In marriage two people promise God as well as each other to take each other as husband and wife “for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health until death.”

I could go on talking a long time about marriage.  I’ve worked with people before marriage.  I’ve counseled couples who were having problems.  Marital happiness was the basis for my thesis when I got my degree in psychology.  In my own personal struggle with not being able to be married because of the priesthood, I’ve mellowed a lot.  I guess that’s old age.  I learned that every way of life has its joys and its difficulties.   Whether we’re married or not, our major task in life is learning how to grow in love.  That’s what its all about and that will be our joy in this life and in heaven.

  

 

28th Sunday in Ordinary Time

 

Wisdom 7: 7-11

And so I prayed, and understanding was given me; I entreated, and the spirit of Wisdom came to me. I esteemed her more than sceptres and thrones; compared with her, I held riches as nothing. I reckoned no precious stone to be her equal, for compared with her, all gold is a pinch of sand, and beside her, silver ranks as mud. I loved her more than health or beauty, preferred her to the light, since her radiance never sleeps. In her company all good things came to me, and at her hands incalculable wealth.

 

  Hebrews 4: 12-13

    The word of God is something alive and active: it cuts more incisively than any two–edged sword: it can seek out the place where soul is divided from spirit, or joints from marrow; it can pass judgement on secret emotions and thoughts. No created thing is hidden from him; everything is uncovered and stretched fully open to the eyes of the one to whom we must give account of ourselves.

 

Mark 10: 17-30

He was setting out on a journey when a man ran up, knelt before him and put this question to him, ‘Good master, what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ Jesus said to 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 give false witness; You shall not defraud; Honour your father and mother.’ And he said to him, ‘Master, I have kept all these since my earliest days.’ Jesus looked steadily at him and he was filled with love for him, and he said, ‘You need to do one thing more. Go and sell what you own and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.’ But his face fell at these words and he went away sad, for he was a man of great wealth.

Jesus looked round and said to his disciples, ‘How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!’ The disciples were astounded by these words, but Jesus insisted, ‘My children,’ he said to them, ‘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 someone rich to enter the kingdom of God.’ They were more astonished than ever, saying to one another, ‘In that case, who can be saved?’ Jesus gazed at them and said, ‘By human resources it is impossible, but not for God: because for God everything is possible.’

Peter took this up. ‘Look,’ he said to him, ‘we have left everything and followed you.’ Jesus said, ‘In truth I tell you, there is no one who has left house, brothers, sisters, mother, father, children or land for my sake and for the sake of the gospel who will not receive a hundred times as much, houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and land -- and persecutions too -- now in this present time and, in the world to come, eternal life.

  


October 15, 2006
 

(Wisdom 7, 7-11; Hebrews 4, 12-13; Mark 10, 17-30) “I want to tithe,” a man told his pastor one day.  “I want to give 10 percent of my income to church.  When my income was $50 a week, I gave $5 to church every Sunday.  When I was successful in business and my weekly income rose to $500 a week, I gave $50 a week.  Now my income has gone to $5,000 a week, but I just can’t bring myself to give $500 to the church every week.”  So his pastor said “why don’t we pray over this?”  Then the man’s pastor began to pray, “Dear God, please make this man’s weekly income go back down to $500 a week so he can begin to tithe again.” 

Tithing was a strict part of the Jewish law.  It’s taken for granted that the man in today’s gospel was tithing faithfully, as well as conscientiously keeping all the other Jewish laws too, but he wanted to do more.  Jesus offered him that opportunity.  Jesus offered him the opportunity to give up everything he had for the sake of the Kingdom of God.  This was an invitation that was not offered to everyone.  Jesus had good friends who supported him, who must have been pretty well off to be able to do so, and he did not ask them to give up everything.  The young man could not accept the invitation.  It required too much of him.  He wanted to do more but not that much more.  What Jesus was asking wasn’t impossible.  Jesus himself lived a life of total poverty and his twelve apostles gave up everything in order to follow him.  Though Judas, as we know, later cheated on his commitment and did not live up to it. 

As we hear today’s gospel, there’s a temptation to think it’s all about money.  It is and it isn’t.  Money is a symbol of our lives, it represents our sweat and labor.  It represents food on our table and a roof over our heads.  It represents fun times.  When we give money to the Church, when we give money to the poor or the missions, we are giving away part of ourselves to help someone or for some other noble purpose.  It’s more than just helping out where needed, it’s giving back to our Lord in gratitude, in sacrifice, in humble acknowledgement of where all our blessings come from, something of ourselves.  It’s an innate desire built into all of us to give something of ourselves to our Creator for all that he has given to us.  We call that sacrifice, and people have been doing it since human beings began to walk the face of the earth. 

At the same time, the gospel is about other things than money.   It’s about anything that might get in the way of our giving ourselves totally to Christ.  Think of all the wonderful things we have.  Are they helping us on our way to God or are they getting in the way?  Our ultimate purpose in life, yes, our eternal happiness, is to be with God.  Are all of the things we treasure leading us there?  Do we take time to thank God for them?  Gratitude may lead us to be generous with our charity, but it should also lead us to be generous with our time.  How much time do we make for God?  Think, for example, of Sunday Mass or daily prayer.  For too many people, taking time for God takes last place in their lives because they’re too busy.  When we’re too busy for God, we really are too busy.  A lot of the time, though, we’re not too busy; we just don’t want to put out the effort to give God some of our time.  If we were to ask “what more do I need to do,” Our Lord could ask us to give up some bad habit, or to let go of some grudge we keep holding onto.  Maybe that’s why we seldom come to him with that kind of question. 

Today’s first reading tells us about a person who sought wisdom before anything else.  In attaining wisdom, the author of this piece from the Book of Wisdom said he acquired all things besides.  St. Paul tells us Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God.  (1 Cor. 1, 24)  As Jesus answered Peter in the gospel, no one who has given up everything to follow Christ will lose their reward.  Indeed, they will be rewarded 100 times over.  That is a fantastic return and it has been guaranteed by one who will not fail us.  But he warns us that when we follow him, when we give ourselves over to him to the extent that he asks us to, life will not always go easy.  One part of this process that is not always easy is simply trusting and waiting.  We like immediate results but God doesn’t always give them.  We have to trust in God's wisdom and rely on God's timetable, but if we do, we will surely find out God will not fail us and he is not going to let us outdo him in generosity.


 

                   

 

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Please call Kathleen 1-888-211-3041

   

 

 

Prayer Cards

size 5 1/2" x 8 1/2"
$1.00 plus postage

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prayer Card  4" x 6"

.50 each plus postage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

  

Holy Cards available

2" x 3"

     
Holy Spirit Prayer Act of Consecration to
Immaculate Heart of Mary
Act of Consecration to
Sacred Heart of Jesus
Prayer for Priests

 

Prayer before the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
 

Prayer for Union with Jesus

Available for .25 each plus postage

Call Kathleen

1-888-211-3041

  

     

 

We are trying to get

Response to God's Love

and the Mass Book out.
 

Anybody who wants to help us

with a donation to get these 2 books

out in the Priestly/hierarchy mailing —

Please call Kathleen 1-888-211-3041

 

 

July 31, 1994

Words of Jesus to Members of
Shepherds of Christ Associates:

"My beloved priest-companion, I intend to use the priestly newsletter, Shepherds of Christ, and the movement, Shepherds of Christ Associates, in a powerful way for the renewal of My Church and the world.

"I will use the newsletter and the chapters of Shepherds of Christ Associates as a powerful instrument for spreading devotion to My Heart and My Mother's Heart.

"I am calling many to become members of Shepherds of Christ Associates. To all of them I will give great blessings. I will use them as instruments to help bring about the triumph of the Immaculate Heart and the reign of My Sacred Heart. I will give great graces to the members of Shepherds of Christ Associates. I will call them to be deeply united to My Heart and to Mary's Heart as I lead them ever closer to My Father in the Holy Spirit."

- Message from Jesus to Father Edward J. Carter, S.J., Founder, as given on July 31, 1994,
feast of Saint Ignatius Loyola, Founder of the Society of Jesus (The Jesuits)

 

  

 

  


 

The China Church is over 140 years old

and we pray in there 24 hours a day.

It needs stucco and so does

the community building.

Can you please help us?

Call Kathleen 1-888-211-3041

 

Likewise the priest house

is 150 years old.

Jesus told us to repair it

which we have been doing.

We need $13,000.00 for this work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can help put the Blue Book V

in the hands of 1,000 people

we need $1,200 postage for this

It is ready to go

Call Kathleen

1-888-211-3041

  

You can help put Fr. Joe's homily

book in the hands of

1,000 priests — it costs $1,100

This can help 1,000 parish priests

talk about Covenant for Lent 

Please help us

It is ready to go

Call Kathleen  1-888-211-3041

1-888-321-7671
1-727-725-9312

 

Crucifix — hand carved by Felix

   

Available for $750.00

 

 

 

Brand New Internet Store

 

 

Click picture

   

 


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