Shepherds of Christ  
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May 26, 2010

May 27th Holy Spirit Novena
Scripture selection is Day 6 Period I.

The Novena Rosary Mysteries  
for May 27th are Luminous.

 

The Lord gave an urgent message to print
Tell My People on April 10th.

Can you please help us?

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May 26, 2010

                This little piggy went to market
                This little piggy stayed home
                This little piggy had roast beef
                This little piggy had none

                All worked together
                All did their own job
                Members of the body working as one

 

                The Apostles worked together —
                We needed John —

                We needed Peter —> not perfect, but Peter loved Jesus
                                     Jesus made Peter head of the Church

                Judas betrayed Jesus — he had his own plan

                Catholic Church
                        one, holy, Catholic, Apostolic
 
 

 

    John 17: 1-8

    After saying this, Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said:

    Father, the hour has come:
    glorify your Son
    so that your Son may glorify you;
    so that, just as you have given him
       power over all humanity,
    he may give eternal life
       to all those you have entrusted to him.
    And eternal life is this:
    to know you,
    the only true God,
    and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.
    I have glorified you on earth
    by finishing the work
    that you gave me to do.
    Now, Father, glorify me
    with that glory I had with you
    before ever the world existed.
    I have revealed your name
    to those whom you took from the world
       to give me.
    They were yours
       and you gave them to me,
    and they have kept your word.
    Now at last they have recognised
    that all you have given me
       comes from you
    for I have given them
    the teaching you gave to me,
    and they have indeed accepted it
    and know for certain
       that I came from you,
    and have believed
       that it was you who sent me.

 

 

 

                The Apostles were together as one —

                Ready to bring the Good News to all the people that
                    followed —


 

 

 


                ONE BODY ———— PHYSICAL

                God gives us our body and we see how the parts
                    work as one

                God is teaching us about the spiritual body —
                    the Church —
                    Jesus is the head
                    We are the members
                    We are to be one
                    We are to be holy —> Holy Spirit makes us holy
                    We are to be Catholic —> universal
                    We are to be Apostolic —> founded on the Apostles

                The Apostles were a body — working as one — look
                    at the picture
                    Ascension — Jesus went to heaven
                    Pentecost — The Holy Spirit came to Apostles and Mary

                Sunday is the Feast of Holy Trinity
                The Trinity is the most perfect community
                There are 3 Persons in one God
                    God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit

 

 


 

Excerpt from Priestly Newsletter Book I by Fr. Edward J. Carter, S.J. pp. 27-28

                Fr. Carter says
                    "We are great because of what we are, and we are
                        to the extent that we love God and neighbor."

  • When love fails, it does not remain mired in discouragement. It resolves to learn from past mistakes and henceforth to love more selflessly, more deeply, more tenderly.

  • Why are we sometimes afraid of God’s love? We shy away from the white heat of His love, foolishly thinking He will ask too much of us. When has He ever asked for something too difficult? When has He ever asked anything without giving us abundant grace to accomplish His desire? When has His love ever asked that which has not brought us closer to Him, thus enhancing our happiness?

  • Jesus loves us with an overwhelming love. Why do we at times find it difficult to love ourselves? Jesus sees our failings, but also all the good we do with the help of His grace. He also sees our capacity for achieving ever greater good. Why do we at times become depressed at what we are not, rather than being encouraged at what God has helped us to be?

  • A number of years ago an educator wrote the following. Perhaps what he said then is even more applicable today: “I could not even begin to count the men and women whom I have met in my work who testify, with great sadness, that their formation/education both at home and at school was almost completely in terms of achievement, of doing, of performing according to standards, of accomplishing certain narrow goals, but hardly ever in terms of being, of growing, of loving.”2

  • When loving God and neighbor becomes difficult and painful, there is a temptation to turn in a non-love direction which deceptively appears to be free of pain and suffering. Pursuing such a path, however, is a dead-end street where one painfully suffocates in selfish self-enclosement.

  • Although love must be firm when necessary, it is also gentle. Love does not further crush the bruised personality, but helps the other to heal and grow through tenderness and affirmation.

  • Love can cause one to weep. Sometimes the tears are caused by joy, at other times by pain.

  • Love helps a person to be enthusiastic about life, sometimes ecstatically so, more often quietly so.

  • Jesus has told us to focus on love. Is it not strange that we Christians, who call ourselves His followers, can at times so easily allow other concerns to dominate our consciousness?

  • The bloated stomachs of starving children, the tragedies of broken homes, the rat-infected ghettoes, the drug scene with its dreadful number of ruined lives, city streets engraved with an alarmingly increasing list of murders, rapes, and muggings—when love sees all of this, it weeps. Love not only weeps, however. It also acts.

  • “If I have all the eloquence of men or of angels, but speak without love, I am simply a gong booming or a cymbal clashing. If I have the gift of prophecy, understanding all the mysteries there are, and knowing everything, and if I have faith in all its fullness, to move mountains, but without love, then I am nothing at all. If I give away all that I possess, piece by piece, and if I even let them take my body to burn it, but am without love, it will do me no good whatever” (1 Cor 13: 1-3).

  1. 2. Bonaventure, tr. by E. Cousens, Paulist Press, pp. 134-135.

 

Excerpt from Priestly Newsletter Book I by Fr. Edward J. Carter, S.J. pp. 148-149

The Heart of Christ

We have just reflected on how the Holy Spirit labors within us to deepen our love for Christ, how He wishes to give us a burning desire to give our all for our magnificent Savior, this Jesus Who died a brutal and agonizing death for you and for me, this Jesus from Whose pierced Heart the Church was born.

Oh, how glorious would be the Church's existence if many more of her members would be on fire with love for Christ! They would have a burning and all-consuming desire to help spread Christ's magnificent love in ever greater measure to the whole world.

Our task as priests is to help lead the members of the Church to this kind of deep love for Jesus Christ. Obviously, the deeper our own love for Jesus, the more able we are to help others grow in an enthusiastic love for Him, a love which helps to renew the Church and the world.

One of the great ways God has given us to aid us in developing a deep love relationship with Jesus is devotion to the Heart of Christ. In the preface of the Mass for the Feast of the Sacred Heart, a Feast which we have recently celebrated, the Church invites all her members to come to the pierced Heart of Jesus for life-giving graces:

"Lifted high on the cross,
Christ gave his life for us,
so much did he love us.
From his wounded side flowed blood and water,
the fountain of sacramental life in the Church.
To his open heart the Savior invites all men,
to draw water in joy from the springs of salvation."
12

St. Peter Canisius, doctor of the Church, is an outstanding example of one who drank deeply from the Heart of Christ. In doing so, this man of brilliant intellect, became a great saint. In the office for his feast, April 27, we are told:

"St. Peter Canisius is rightly known as the second apostle of Germany. On receiving the apostolic blessing before setting out for that country, he was favored with a mystical experience which he described as follows: 'Eternal High Priest, in your great goodness it pleases you that I should seek from your Apostles confirmation and success for the apostolic blessing I had received.

"'For pilgrims come to pray to them in the Vatican, and there, by your power, they work miracles. I experienced there a great consolation and the same sense of the presence of your grace which was being offered to me through their intercession. They gave me their blessing too, confirmed my mission to Germany and seemed to be promising me their goodwill as apostle of Germany. You know, Lord, how urgently and how often that day you entrusted Germany to me, telling me ever after to have her good at heart, and to wish to live and die on her behalf.

"'Finally, my Saviour, I seemed to be gazing at the Heart of your Sacred Body with my own eyes. It was as if you opened to me and told me to drink from it as from a spring, inviting me to draw the waters of salvation from these springs of yours. I was filled with longing that the waters of faith, hope and charity should flow from your Heart into me. I thirsted for poverty, chastity and obedience; I begged you to wash me all over and dress me in fine clothing. Then I dared to touch your beloved Heart and bury my thirst in it; and you promised me a robe woven in three parts to cover my naked soul and help me greatly in my undertaking. Those three parts were peace, love and perseverance. Secure in the protection of this garment, I was confident that I would lack nothing, and that everything would turn out for your glory.'"13

                                        12. "Eucharistic Prayer IV," as in The Vatican II Weekday Missal, St. Paul Edition, p. 891.
                                        13. Supplement to the Divine Office for the Society of Jesus, published by the English Province of the Society of Jesus, pp. 21-22.

 

                Sing: Give Me Your Heart oh Jesus

                Sing: A Song from Jesus

 

John 17: 6-8

  I have revealed your name
to those whom you took from the world
   to give me.
They were yours
   and you gave them to me,
and they have kept your word.
Now at last they have recognised
that all you have given me
   comes from you
for I have given them
the teaching you gave to me,
and they have indeed accepted it
and know for certain
   that I came from you,
and have believed
   that it was you who sent me.

   

                Jesus was courageous —

                He did not modify His teaching
                    because the leaders didn't
                    like it —

                Many would close their ears and
                    hearts and remain in
                    darkness —

                Many would produce fruit
                    that lasts and carry His
                    message to the ends of the earth —

  

Mark 1: 14-15

After John had been arrested, Jesus went into Galilee. There he proclaimed the gospel from God saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is close at hand. Repent, and believe the gospel.’

 

Matthew 4: 23

He went round the whole of Galilee teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and curing all kinds of disease and illness among the people.

 

Matthew 5: 17

‘Do not imagine that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets. I have come not to abolish but to complete them.

    

                    Jesus gives us the Blue Books
                telling us of His infinite love —
                Jesus taught about this love —
                Jesus taught about the Trinity —
                Jesus taught us - the teachings
                    we have in the Catholic
                    Church
                Jesus taught in His Word —
                Jesus taught in parables —
                Jesus taught with authority
                Jesus worked miracles —
                Jesus taught us by example

                Jesus says to learn from Him —
                Jesus is the teacher
                Jesus is meek and humble of heart

                Song: Give Me Your Heart oh Jesus

 

Luke 13: 6-9

He told this parable, ‘A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came looking for fruit on it but found none. He said to his vinedresser, "For three years now I have been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and finding none. Cut it down: why should it be taking up the ground?" "Sir," the man replied, "leave it one more year and give me time to dig round it and manure it: it may bear fruit next year; if not, then you can cut it down." ’

   

                Jesus wants humility
                Jesus wants a contrite heart
                Jesus wants reparation
                Jesus wants us to acknowledge
                    our sin —
                Jesus wants us to forgive —
                    Don't come to the altar
                        when you are mad
                        at your brother —

                Jesus wants us to love God and neighbor
                Jesus is all loving and merciful
                God is love —
                If we are divided in our hearts
                    we aren't like Jesus —

                If we are angry in our hearts
                    we aren't like Jesus — 

 

                I see the sling shot being taken
                    back that destroyed Mary's
                    head 

 

                I see the angry person ready to act
                    out anger on others — pulling
                    back like the sling shot —
                    holding out with anger in their hearts —

                Giving into anger at our brothers is
                    giving into the tendencies
                    of our fallen human nature —

                7 deadly sins
                   
pride, greed, envy, wrath, lust, gluttony, sloth

                It's not like the Heart of Jesus
                    to control, hold out and
                    punish others for
                    growing anger — we have
                    in us

                We are in control of being
                    loving or hateful

                God is love

  

Matthew 5: 43-48

  ‘You have heard how it was said, You will love your neighbour and hate your enemy. But I say this to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you; so that you may be children of your Father in heaven, for he causes his sun to rise on the bad as well as the good, and sends down rain to fall on the upright and the wicked alike. For if you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Do not even the tax collectors do as much? And if you save your greetings for your brothers, are you doing anything exceptional? Do not even the gentiles do as much? You must therefore be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.’

 

John 15: 13

No one can have greater love 
than to lay down his life for his friends.

 

Luke 23: 34

Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them; they do not know what they are doing.’ Then they cast lots to share out his clothing.

   

                Jesus doesn't want anger and
                    hypocrisy in prayer —
                    Jesus wants a heart
                    that says 'yes' when they mean it and
                    that says 'no' when they mean it.

   

Matthew 5: 37

All you need say is "Yes" if you mean yes, "No" if you mean no; anything more than this comes from the Evil One.

   

                Our whole life is to be a life of love
                    in union with the Father at
                    every moment we live —
                    like God the Father's little girl —

  

Matthew 6: 25-34

‘That is why I am telling you not to worry about your life and what you are to eat, nor about your body and what you are to wear. Surely life is more than food, and the body more than clothing! Look at the birds in the sky. They do not sow or reap or gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they are? Can any of you, however much you worry, add one single cubit to your span of life? And why worry about clothing? Think of the flowers growing in the fields; they never have to work or spin; yet I assure you that not even Solomon in all his royal robes was clothed like one of these. Now if that is how God clothes the wild flowers growing in the field which are there today and thrown into the furnace tomorrow, will he not much more look after you, you who have so little faith? So do not worry; do not say, "What are we to eat? What are we to drink? What are we to wear?" It is the gentiles who set their hearts on all these things. Your heavenly Father knows you need them all. Set your hearts on his kingdom first, and on God’s saving justice, and all these other things will be given you as well. So do not worry about tomorrow: tomorrow will take care of itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.’

  

Matthew 6: 19-21

‘Do not store up treasures for yourselves on earth, where moth and woodworm destroy them and thieves can break in and steal. But store up treasures for yourselves in heaven, where neither moth nor woodworm destroys them and thieves cannot break in and steal. For wherever your treasure is, there will your heart be too.

     

                Jesus TOTALLY OBEYED THE
                        WILL of THE FATHER —

                Jesus was united to the Father
                    with a burning love —
                    Always —

                Every action Jesus did was
                    because of His love
                    for God the Father —
   

Matthew 26: 39

And going on a little further he fell on his face and prayed. ‘My Father,’ he said, ‘if it is possible, let this cup pass me by. Nevertheless, let it be as you, not I, would have it.’

    

                Jesus was not attached inordinately
                    to nothing
                    He was pure

 

Matthew 8: 20

Jesus said, ‘Foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of man has nowhere to lay his head.’

    

                He chose His Apostles —

                Christ taught us —

                Now we are taught through the Church.

                Christ teaches us in His Word —
                    His priests —

 

John 16: 5-16

but now I am going to the one
   who sent me.
Not one of you asks, 
    ‘Where are you going?’
Yet you are sad at heart
     because I have told you this.
Still, I am telling you the truth:
it is for your own good that I am going,
because unless I go,
the Paraclete will not come to you;
but if I go,
I will send him to you.
And when he comes,
he will show the world how wrong it was,
about sin,
and about who was in the right,
and about judgement:
about sin:
in that they refuse to believe in me;
about who was in the right:
in that I am going to the Father
and you will see me no more;
about judgement:
in that the prince of this world
    is already condemned.
I still have many things to say to you
but they would be too much for you
    to bear now.
However, when the Spirit of truth comes
he will lead you to the complete truth,
since he will not be speaking
    of his own accord,
but will say only what he has been told;
and he will reveal to you
    the things to come.
He will glorify me,
since all he reveals to you
will be taken from what is mine.
Everything the Father has is mine;
that is why I said:
all he reveals to you
will be taken from what is mine.

In a short time you will no longer see me,
and then a short time later
    you will see me again.

   

                Jesus has revealed the secrets
                    of the Kingdom —

                Jesus has revealed the secrets
                    about Himself

                He tells us about the
                    inner life of God

  

   

Excerpt from Response to God's Love by Fr. Edward Carter, S.J.

The Mystery of Christ and Christian Existence

... In reference to Christianity, God himself is the ultimate mystery. Radically, God is completely other and transcendent, hidden from man in his inner life, unless he chooses to reveal himself. Let us briefly look at this inner life of God.

    The Father, in a perfect act of self-expression, in a perfect act of knowing, generates his son. The Son, the Word, is, then, the immanent expression of God's fullness, the reflection of the Father. Likewise, from all eternity, the Father and the Son bring forth the Holy Spirit in a perfect act of loving.

    At the destined moment in human history, God's self-expression, the Word, immersed himself into man's world. God's inner self-expression now had also become God's outer self-expression. Consequently, the mystery of God becomes the mystery of Christ. In Christ, God tells us about himself, about his inner life, about his plan of creation and redemption. He tells us how Father, Son, and Holy Spirit desire to dwell within us in the most intimate fashion, how they wish to share with us their own life through grace. All this he has accomplished and does accomplish through Christ.

  

                Jesus gives us insight into
                    the hidden mysteries —
                    the Mysteries of the Trinity 

                 

December 18, 1995

Excerpt from the Mass Book

IN THE DEEPEST RECESSES OF HIS HEART

    The place Jesus took me was into the deepest recesses of His Heart. I was enveloped in His burning love. It was a red room with heat and an intense glow. I was swept away in this embrace, and I only existed in Him. The power of the Almighty God enveloped me, and I only existed in Him. There was no fear, for I was existent in this Almighty Being. My heart was wrapped in the eternal embrace of this Supreme Being. The security, the power I know was His deep presence in which I existed.

    I knew the room was red and warm. I knew His immenseness, but I felt my own completeness in Him. I did not feel little, as a speck, but elevated and empowered for I existed then in Him in a most special way.

    I was overtaken by the love of God. The fire of the Holy Spirit filled me. I was absorbed by the love of the Father, and I existed IN Him and in the deepest recesses of the Heart of Jesus. Our heaven on earth is these inner chambers of His magnificent Heart - the Heart of the Almighty God, with all the power, with omnipotence, with the fire of the love of God. He took me to the deepest chamber of this fiery Heart, and in that moment, I touched eternity, for I knew what it was to be enveloped in the deep furnace of His love. I now want to exist in this chamber of His Heart, swept away in His burning love, absorbed in my every cell with His love.

    We do not understand the fire of His love. We do not understand what it is to be absorbed by love itself. He took me to the inner, deepest chamber of His Heart, and I felt the heat and knew the presence of love itself, and there was no fear, only a feeling of completeness, omnipotence, all-embracing, penetrating love - a power indescribable in words, a saturation of my being in the presence of God, and I was as I was created to be - living in Him!

    This is how I will forever live my life, saturated with His divine life and love deep within this inner chamber of His burning Heart, living in Him as He possesses my being, and I operate with His power in me.

    Little creatures though we are, we are His, His power, His life, flowing through us. In Him, we are as the Father intended: one in Him, each one of us, dwelling in this fiery furnace of His love. With our fears quieted and our hearts empowered by His life, we live forever in Him - in the Heart of Jesus.

    Let no man separate what God has joined together. I am wed in the deepest love with my beloved Spouse, wed to the Heart of Jesus. As I am, I am one in Him. I live and I breathe in Him. He, Who is love, He Who is our all, He Who is mighty and without limits, He Who is, He Who is God and as I live, He lives in me in this world.

    I am wed to Him, and I shall not fear for He is God - one, complete, loving, God. Heart of Jesus, I place my trust in Thee. As I live, I live in Your most adorable Heart, the furnace of God's love!

end of December 18, 1995 writing

    

God is 3 Persons in one God:
    Father, Son and Holy Spirit

                The truths of our faith are
                    mysteries — we don't understand

                The Trinity is the deepest mystery —

 

John 2: 17

Then his disciples remembered the words of scripture: I am eaten up with zeal for your house.

 

                Jesus taught us

  

John 15: 8-10

It is to the glory of my Father 
   that you should bear much fruit
and be my disciples.
I have loved you
just as the Father has loved me.
Remain in my love.
If you keep my commandments
you will remain in my love,
just as I have kept
   my Father’s commandments
and remain in his love.

    

                    Before the fall Adam and Eve were free of sickness and death —
                They were given tremendous gifts — knowledge
                and skills they did not have to acquire before the fall.

 

Genesis 3: 5

God knows in fact that the day you eat it your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods, knowing good from evil.'

   

                    Adam and Eve sinned by
                pride, they refused to acknowledge
                their complete dependence on God.

                    This sin is called original sin
                Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Paradise —
                Adam and Eve had received gifts. They
                had a harmony between body and soul.
                We now suffer disharmony in ourselves —
                We now have sickness, suffering and death.
                We have tendencies toward pride, greed, envy,
                wrath, lust, gluttony, sloth because of our
                fallen human nature —

 

Romans 7: 14-19

We are well aware that the Law is spiritual: but I am a creature of flesh and blood sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand my own behaviour; I do not act as I mean to, but I do things that I hate. While I am acting as I do not want to, I still acknowledge the Law as good, so it is not myself acting, but the sin which lives in me. And really, I know of nothing good living in me-in my natural self, that is-for though the will to do what is good is in me, the power to do it is not: the good thing I want to do, I never do; the evil thing which I do not want-that is what I do.

   

                    God's Son is our Redeemer

                    Jesus means Savior —
                Jesus gave me this song in minutes:
                A Song from Jesus

 

 

                    Jesus is the head of the Church — we
                are the members —

                God gives us a sharing in His Divine life
                in baptism 

                Read and pray the rosary Blue Book 6

 

                Jesus feeds us with His Body and Blood —
                We have the Word —

                We have the sacraments in which
                    God's grace flows to us

 

 

 

                Mary, Mother of God — Mother of the Church
                is our model — our spiritual Mother —
                conceived without sin —

                We have tendencies toward selfishness and
                pride because of original sin —
                our desire for good can be easily tainted
                by our impure motives, jealousies,
                control, power, affections — We are to discipline
                ourselves —

                    For we do not have power at all if we
                can not control ourselves —

 

Acts 13: 16-23

Paul stood up, raised his hand for silence and began to speak:

'Men of Israel, and fearers of God, listen! The God of our nation Israel chose our ancestors and made our people great when they were living in Egypt, a land not their own; then by divine power he led them out and for about forty years took care of them in the desert. When he had destroyed seven nations in Canaan, he put them in possession of their land for about four hundred and fifty years. After this he gave them judges, down to the prophet Samuel. Then they demanded a king, and God gave them Saul son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin. After forty years, he deposed him and raised up David to be king, whom he attested in these words, "I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart, who will perform my entire will." To keep his promise, God has raised up for Israel one of David’s descendants, Jesus, as Saviour,

   

                    Thousands of years passed before
                Jesus came — Men sinned more and more
                deeply

                    Cain killed his brother Abel.
                    Seth was born
                    Noah found favor with God —

                God told Noah of the flood —
                The earth was corrupt!

                God told Noah to make an ark —
                    Noah took his sons and their wives —
                    Noah's wife and the animals — sets of 2 —

                It rained on the earth 40 days —
                The dove finally returned carrying an
                    olive branch in its bill —

                God made a covenant with Noah —

   

Genesis 9: 11-17

And I shall maintain my covenant with you: that never again shall all living things be destroyed by the waters of a flood, nor shall there ever again be a flood to devastate the earth.’ 

    ‘And this’, God said, ‘is the sign of the covenant which I now make between myself and you and every living creature with you for all ages to come: I now set my bow in the clouds and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. When I gather the clouds over the earth and the bow appears in the clouds, I shall recall the covenant between myself and you and every living creature, in a word all living things, and never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all living things. When the bow is in the clouds I shall see it and call to mind the eternal covenant between God and every living creature on earth, that is, all living things.’ 

    ‘That’, God told Noah, ‘is the sign of the covenant I have established between myself and all living things on earth.’

      

                Abram was born at Ur —
                Sarah, wife of Abram —
                God made a Covenant with Abraham.

                Isaac was Abram and Sarah's son.
                Isaac marries Rebekah.

                Esau and Jacob (twins) born to Rebekah —
                Jacob deceived Esau —
                Isaac gave Jacob his blessing
                    believing he was Esau —

                Jacob marries Leah and Rachel —
                Joseph is son of Jacob and Rachel —

                Aaron is born —
                Pharaoh said to drown
                    infants —

                Moses is born - saved by waters
                Pharaoh's daughter adopts Moses
                    as her own

                The Lord appeared to Moses in the burning bush.

                The Angel of death slaughters Egyptian's
                    firstborn — except those with
                    blood on the door frames —

                Pharaoh's son is dead —
                Pharaoh follows Hebrews into Red Sea —

                God made a Covenant with Moses —
                God gave Moses the 10 Commandments —
                Moses dies 120

                The Israelites pass the River
                    Jordon under Joshua —

                The Israelites fall into idolatry —
                They are under Chushan, King.
                The Israelites slip into idolatry

                Samson slays 1,000 Philistines —
                Samson is betrayed by Delilah —

                Ruth was great-grandmother of David —
                The Philistines are defeated by Samuel.

                Saul is anointed King
                Saul disobeys

                David eliminates Philistines as a
                    rival —
                David is King

                Solomon is born

                David had lots of wives and children.
                Rehoboam son of Solomon born —
                Solomon builds the Temple

                Jeroboam king of Israel
                Rehoboam king of Judah

                Jeroboam worshipped golden calves —

                During the time many men fell
                    deeper and deeper into sin —

                A great part of the world worshipped
                    idols —
                    vice was sometimes considered virtue
                        by some —

                God promised a redeemer immediately
                    after Adam's sin —

                God made preparations for the
                    coming of His Son into the world.

                The Jews were God's people —
                God was their King —

                God sent prophets.
                    God exercised His authority by
                    prophets, judges and kings —

                God chastised the people, forgave
                    them and accepted them again
                    as His chosen people —

                He promised big families, harvest,
                    peace, and blessed them if
                    they were faithful —

                If unfaithful He let them suffer
                    war, famine, plagues —

                The Jews would turn away from
                    God frequently —

                The Old Testament tells the story
                    of the Jews and focuses on
                    Jesus coming —

   

Jeremiah 1: 4-7

The word of Yahweh came to me, saying:

 ‘Before I formed you in the womb
     I knew you;
  before you came to birth 
     I consecrated you; 
  I appointed you as prophet to the nations.’

  I then said, ‘Ah, ah, ah, Lord Yahweh;
you see, I do not know how to speak: I am only a child!’

  But Yahweh replied,
‘Do not say, "I am only a child,"
 for you must go to all to whom I send you
 and say whatever I command you.

 

                God sent prophets to tell the people
                    His will —

                The prophet helped keep the people
                    faithful to God —

                They told them of His promises —

                Some prophets foretold the future —

                Christianity has its roots in the Old Testament —

  

Sixteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time

Jeremiah 23: 1-6

‘Disaster for the shepherds who lose and scatter the sheep of my pasture, Yahweh declares. This, therefore, is what Yahweh, God of Israel, says about the shepherds who shepherd my people, "You have scattered my flock, you have driven them away and have not taken care of them. Right, I shall take care of you for your misdeeds, Yahweh declares! But the remnant of my flock I myself shall gather from all the countries where I have driven them, and bring them back to their folds; they will be fruitful and increase in numbers. For them I shall raise up shepherds to shepherd them and pasture them. No fear, no terror for them any more; not one shall be lost, Yahweh declares!
                                                                                                                      

   Look, the days are coming,
      Yahweh declares,
   when I shall raise an upright Branch
      for David;
   he will reign as king and be wise, 
   doing what is just and upright
      in the country. 
   
In his days Judah will triumph
   and Israel live in safety.
  And this is the name he will be called,
  ‘Yahweh–is–our–Saving–Justice.’ "

 

Ephesians 2: 13-18

But now in Christ Jesus, you that used to be so far off have been brought close, by the blood of Christ. For he is the peace between us, and has made the two into one entity and broken down the barrier which used to keep them apart, by destroying in his own person the hostility, that is, the Law of commandments with its decrees. His purpose in this was, by restoring peace, to create a single New Man out of the two of them, and through the cross, to reconcile them both to God in one Body; in his own person he killed the hostility. He came to bring the good news of peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. Through him, then, we both in the one Spirit have free access to the Father.

 

     Mark 6: 30-34

The apostles rejoined Jesus and told him all they had done and taught. And he said to them, ‘Come away to some lonely place all by yourselves and rest for a while’; for there were so many coming and going that there was no time for them even to eat. So they went off in the boat to a lonely place where they could be by themselves. But people saw them going, and many recognised them; and from every town they all hurried to the place on foot and reached it before them. So as he stepped ashore he saw a large crowd; and he took pity on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd, and he set himself to teach them at some length.

 

   

July 19, 2009


HOMILY: There was a man who worked in a museum whose job it was to explain the different exhibits. On one occasion he pointed to the bones of a dinosaur saying the bones were 100 million and 9 years old. Someone asked how they could date those bones so accurately. He said “well, when I started working here, I was told these bones were 100 million years old and I’ve worked here for nine years.”

Today I want to give everyone a little history lesson. I’m not going back to the dinosaurs, but I am going back pretty far – to King David, 1000 years before Christ. When I was in school, I hated history. It wasn’t until we studied the history of the Old Testament in the seminary that I began to appreciate it. I cannot cram 1000 years of history into a couple of minutes. I just want to touch on the parts of Jewish history that are mentioned in today’s reading. If you want to learn more, read everything in the Old Testament, but be sure you have a commentary to help you. Otherwise, you’ll give up in despair because you won’t know what it’s all about - especially the prophets and the historical books.

When David was king 1000 years before Christ, David wanted to build a house for God, since there was no Temple for God at that time. God did not give David permission to do so, however God promised David through the prophet Nathan that he would bless him and build David a house in the sense that David’s kingdom would continue forever and one of his descendants would always rule. This blessing lasted through the reign of David’s son, Solomon; but we humans somehow have the ability to sabotage God’s blessings. Solomon turned to pagan gods and over-extended the country financially by elaborate building projects and exorbitant taxes, so when Solomon died there was a rebellion and most of Israel broke away from Solomon’s successor, David’s grandson, Rehoboam. Rehoboam continued to rule over the southern part of Israel, the area we know as Judaea . For 400 years (and this is amazing) the kings of Judaea were descendants of King David. The northern kingdom that rebelled against David’s successors suffered under a succession of kings and rebellions. In less than 300 years the northern kingdom was destroyed by the Assyrians, people from northern Iraq. About 100 years after that, the Babylonians from southern Iraq conquered the Assyrians and took control of the entire Middle East. The conquest of the Babylonians brings us up to Jeremiah whom we heard in today’s first reading. At the time of Jeremiah, here was the situation: the northern kingdom no longer existed. The southern kingdom, Judaea, was still being ruled by David’s descendants but they were not loyal to God or to God’s laws. Jeremiah spoke to these kings as they came into power, the last four being: Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jehoikin and Zedekiah. Zedikiah, the last reigning king, died in disgrace. After the Babylonians captured him, his sons were slaughtered before his eyes, he was then blinded and led off to Babylon in chains where he presumably died. You can read how Jeremiah spoke with them in great detail in the book of Jeremiah. He told them exactly what they needed to do to survive the invading forces of Babylon. His messages were ignored. He blames them and their leadership for the destruction that came upon God’s people. As we heard in today’s first reading, God speaks through Jeremiah: “Woe to the shepherds who mislead and scatter the flock of my pasture.” God said he would take over shepherding his people; he would bring them back from exile; he would appoint leaders over them who would serve them well and lead them to peace and security. It took 600 years before God thought the world was ready for this king who would reign and govern wisely, who would do what is just and right in the land.

But then he came, through the announcement of an angel to a virgin who was engaged to a man named Joseph of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel said to her “Do not be afraid Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his Kingdom there will be no end.”

In last week’s gospel, Jesus sent his apostles out to heal and cast out demons and to call people to repentance. In today’s gospel we are told of their return, excited over their experience and tired. Jesus wanted to some time off, but he couldn’t. The mission of Jesus and his apostles apparently was so successful that a great crowd caught up with them before they had chance to catch their breath. Mark describes Jesus taking compassion on them (his heart was moved with deep sympathy for them would probably be a better translation). He saw them as sheep without a shepherd, - people without leadership, and he began to teach them.

One of the important messages in today’s readings is that in love our Lord leads us, by teaching us and appointing others to teach us. But we need to listen, and we need to keep on listening. We’ll never be finished listening and learning as long as our world suffers from injustice, poverty, hunger, discrimination, war, hatred and killing of innocent people. Christ would be put to death before he would stop teaching. It is to our own great loss when we stop listening. That’s one of the reasons we are here each weekend, to listen and to learn. We call ourselves disciples. The word disciple means learner. When we’ve quit learning, we’ve quit being a disciple.

   

 

   

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                Christ is the head of the Church
                Christ is the center

 

John 6: 37-40

Everyone whom the Father gives me
   will come to me;
I will certainly not reject
anyone who comes to me,
because I have come from heaven,
not to do my own will,
but to do the will of him who sent me.
Now the will of him who sent me
is that I should lose nothing
of all that he has given to me,
but that I should raise it up
   on the last day.
It is my Father's will
that whoever sees the Son
   and believes in him
should have eternal life,
and that I should raise that person up
   on the last day.

 

                Sing: I am the Bread of Life

                Jesus is the way, the truth and the life —

       

Joyful Mysteries

 

                Annunciation

                (1) Luke 1: 26-38

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the House of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. He went in and said to her, ‘Rejoice, you who enjoy God’s favour! The Lord is with you.’ She was deeply disturbed by these words and asked herself what this greeting could mean, but the angel said to her, ‘Mary, do not be afraid; you have won God’s favour. Look! You are to conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you must name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David; he will rule over the House of Jacob for ever and his reign will have no end.’ Mary said to the angel, ‘But how can this come about, since I have no knowledge of man?’ The angel answered, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will cover you with its shadow. And so the child will be holy and will be called Son of God. And I tell you this too: your cousin Elizabeth also, in her old age, has conceived a son, and she whom people called barren is now in her sixth month, for nothing is impossible to God.’ Mary said, ‘You see before you the Lord’s servant, let it happen to me as you have said.’ And the angel left her. 

                (2) Mary is the Mother of Jesus.
                (3) Mary is full of grace.
                (4) Mary was conceived without original sin.
                (5) Mary was a Virgin.
                (6) The Holy Spirit is the Spouse of Mary —
                (7) Jesus was conceived through the
                        power of the Holy Spirit.
                (8) It was the will of the Father
                        Mary was conceived without
                        original sin.
                (9) Many of God's servants prepared the
                        way for Jesus' coming —
                    Abraham and Sarah had a son Isaac —
                    Elizabeth had John the Baptist —
                        Elizabeth and Sarah were thought barren —

                (10) St. Joseph was the husband of Mary.
                    St. Joseph was the foster father of Jesus —

 

 
                 Visitation

                (1) Luke 1: 39-56

Mary set out at that time and went as quickly as she could into the hill country to a town in Judah. She went into Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth. Now it happened that as soon as Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leapt in her womb and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. She gave a loud cry and said, ‘Of all women you are the most blessed, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. Why should I be honoured with a visit from the mother of my Lord? Look, the moment your greeting reached my ears, the child in my womb leapt for joy. Yes, blessed is she who believed that the promise made her by the Lord would be fulfilled.’ Yes, blessed is she who believed that the promise made her by the Lord would be fulfilled.’

And Mary said:

My soul proclaims
    the greatness of the Lord
and my spirit rejoices
    in God my Saviour;
because he has looked upon
    the humiliation of his servant.
Yes, from now onwards
    all generations will call me blessed,
for the Almighty
    has done great things for me.
Holy is his name,
and his faithful love extends age after age
    to those who fear him.
He has used the power of his arm,
he has routed the arrogant of heart.
He has pulled down princes
    from their thrones
        and raised high the lowly.
He has filled the starving with good things,
    sent the rich away empty.
He has come to the help
    of Israel his servant,
        mindful of his faithful love
—according to the promise
    he made to our ancestors—
of his mercy to Abraham
    and to his descendants for ever.

    Mary stayed with her some three months and then went home.

 

                (2) Jesus fled to Egypt.
                (3) Jesus then lived in Nazareth —
                    until He was 30 —
                (4) We are to imitate Christ —
                    Christ lived a quiet life in Nazareth —
                (5) Jesus was a baby —
                    Jesus was a little boy —
                    Jesus grew like other boys —
                (6) Jesus was tired and thirsty and hungry —

 

Luke 4: 2

for forty days being put to the test by the devil. During that time he ate nothing and at the end he was hungry.

 

John 4: 6

Jacob’s well was there and Jesus, tired by the journey, sat down by the well. It was about the sixth hour.

   

                (7) Jesus loved children
   

Mark 10: 13-16

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.

  

                (8) Jesus had sorrow, was lonely —
                    Jesus had friends 

John 14: 17

    the Spirit of truth
    whom the world can never accept
    since it neither sees nor know him;
    but you know him,
    because he is with you, he is in you.

                (9) Psalm 100: 3

Be sure that Yahweh is God, 
he made us, we belong to him, 
his people, the flock of his sheepfold.

                (10) Mother at My Side by Fr. Edward J. Carter, S.J. p. 2

   As the words of Vatican II tell us, Mary cooperated with Jesus in His redemptive effort. Throughout much of the time she was physically present to Him. At those times when she was not at His side, she was united with Him through a profound spiritual union. She was totally dedicated to Him and to His cause. She was His first and perfect disciple. She loved Him with a devotion and an intensity beyond our full comprehension.

 

   

                Birth of Jesus

                (1) Sing: Silent Night

Luke 2: 1-7

Now it happened that at this time Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be made of the whole inhabited world. This census—the first—took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria, and everyone went to be registered, each to his own town. So Joseph set out from the town of Nazareth in Galilee for Judaea, to David’s town called Bethlehem, since he was of David’s House and line, in order to be registered together with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. Now it happened that, while they were there, the time came for her to have her child, and she gave birth to a son, her first–born. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger because there was no room for them in the living–space.

 

                (2) Mother at My Side by Fr. Edward J. Carter, S.J. p. 1

   "The Blessed Virgin was eternally predestined, in conjunction with the Incarnation of the Divine Word, to be the Mother of God. By decree of divine Providence, she served on earth as the loving mother of the divine Redeemer, an associate of unique nobility, and the Lord's humble handmaid. She conceived, brought forth, and nourished Christ. She presented Him to the Father in the temple, and was united with Him in suffering as He died on the cross. In an utterly singular way she cooperated by her obedience, faith, hope, and burning charity in the Savior's work of restoring supernatural life to souls." (Vatican II).1

1. The Documents of Vatican II (New York: The America Press, 1966), Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, No. 61.

                (3) Mother at My Side by Fr. Edward J. Carter, S.J. p. 2

  All of Mary's other God-given gifts flow from her divine motherhood—from the fact that she is the Mother of Jesus. Her Immaculate Conception, her fullness of grace, her freedom from actual sin, her perpetual virginity, her bodily Assumption into Heaven—these and all her other gifts flow from her divine maternity.

                (4) Mother at My Side by Fr. Edward J. Carter, S.J. p. 3

   "In an utterly singular way she cooperated by her obedience, faith, hope, and burning charity in the Savior's work of restoring supernatural life to souls. For this reason she is a mother to us in the order of grace." (Vatican II).2

2. The Documents of Vatican II (New York: The America Press, 1966), Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, No. 62.

                (5) Mother at My Side by Fr. Edward J. Carter, S.J. p. 3

   Mary is the Mother of Jesus. She is also our Mother. The above words of Scripture and of the Second Vatican Council attest to this.

                (6) Mother at My Side by Fr. Edward J. Carter, S.J. pp. 3-4

   Jesus has given us Mary as our spiritual mother. As He hung upon the cross, Jesus told John to look upon Mary as his mother, this John who represents all of us. In His moment of deepest anguish and suffering, Jesus was thinking of us. As the indescribable physical pain racked His body from head to toe, as the unfathomable spiritual anguish penetrated to the depths of His Heart, Jesus was thinking of us. If we allow this scene to penetrate into our hearts, if we take the time to contemplate the depth of Jesus' and Mary's love for us as Their Hearts were pierced with grief, we are truly overwhelmed with the magnificent greatness and tenderness of the scene. Jesus was proclaiming Mary to be Mother of the Redemption. He was telling us that Mary is Mother to all peoples.

                (7) Mother at My Side by Fr. Edward J. Carter, S.J. p. 4

   In saying that Mary is our spiritual mother, we are saying that Mary is the mother of our Christ-life. What is this life? Can we define it?

                (8) Mother at My Side by Fr. Edward J. Carter, S.J. pp. 4-5

   At Baptism the Persons of the Trinity communicate so intimately to us that, as a result, they leave their imprint or image upon us. This Trinitarian image is our life of sanctifying grace. This life of grace is a created participation in God's life, and since this gift of grace is mediated by Christ in His humanity, this Trinitarian image also has a Christic aspect. Christ as man has shown us how to live a God-like existence. He has shown us how to live the life of grace. This life of grace we possess allows us to enjoy the special presence of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Truly, the divine Persons dwell within us.

                (9) Mother at My Side by Fr. Edward J. Carter, S.J. p. 5

   Whether we refer to this life as the Christ-life, the life of grace, life in the Holy Spirit, or by other names, we are referring to one and the same reality. This reality, again, is the Christic, Trinitarian image given us through the Trinitarian communication.

                (10) Mother at My Side by Fr. Edward J. Carter, S.J. p. 5

   St. Paul speaks of our life of grace in terms of our being baptized into the death and resurrection of Jesus (Rom. 6:1-11). Again, Jesus mediates our life of grace. He has shown us how to live a Christ-like existence. Since Jesus' paschal mystery of death-resurrection sums up His own human existence, so it sums up our own. This is what St. Paul is telling us. Paul tells us that we live our life of Baptism, our life of grace, by continually dying and rising with Jesus—rising to a greater share in Christ's resurrection. Indeed, we live resurrection now and hereafter. Living death-resurrection involves all of our Christian activities. While not giving an all-inclusive list, we do include the following: the reading of Scripture, prayer, the performance of daily duties, the doing of penance, making sacrifices, our jobs, periods of rest and relaxation, sharing meals with loved ones, reception of the sacraments, and, especially, participation in the Eucharist which is both sacrifice and sacrament.

   


                Presentation

                (1) Mother at My Side by Fr. Edward J. Carter, S.J. p. 6

   Mary nourishes our growth in Christ with a very tender and specialized love for each of us. She regards each of us as a precious, unique individual. John Paul II again speaks to us:  

   "Of the essence of motherhood is the fact that it concerns the person. Motherhood always establishes a unique and unrepeatable relationship between two people: between mother and child and between child and mother. Even when the same woman is the mother of many children, her personal relationship with each one of them is of the very essence of motherhood. For each child is generated in a unique and unrepeatable way, and this is true both for the mother and for the child."4

4. Pope John Paul II, The Mother of the Redeemer (Redemptoris Mater) (Washington: United States Catholic Conference, 1987), No. 38.

                (2) Mother at My Side by Fr. Edward J. Carter, S.J. pp. 6-7

   The Holy Father then applies these ideas to Mary and us: 

   "It can be said that motherhood in the order of grace preserves the analogy with what in the order of nature characterizes the union between mother and child. In the light of this fact it becomes easier to understand why in Christ's testament on Golgotha, His Mother's new motherhood is expressed in the singular, in reference to one man. Behold, your son."5

5. Pope John Paul II, The Mother of the Redeemer (Redemptoris Mater) (Washington: United States Catholic Conference, 1987), No. 45.

                (3) Mother at My Side by Fr. Edward J. Carter, S.J. p. 7

   This is the awesome and consoling truth—you and I are very precious to Mary. She loves us much more than we can ever fathom. It is our great privilege and responsibility to love her in return. She asks for this love, she asks for our trust. As we give our love and trust to our mother, she wants us to come to her at all times and in all circumstances.

                (4) Mother at My Side by Fr. Edward J. Carter, S.J. p. 7

   Are we sorrowful, anxious, troubled? Let us go to Mary our mother and ask her to console us. Let us ask her for the grace to handle our sorrow, our anxieties, our troubles properly—according to God's will. In this way our suffering will bring us closer to Christ as it simultaneously allows us to contribute to the ongoing Christianization of the world. 

                (5) Mother at My Side by Fr. Edward J. Carter, S.J. p. 7

   Are we joyful, happy, basking in the glow of a goal successfully accomplished? Let us go to Mary and ask her to help us handle our joy, our happiness, our success as God intends. Let us petition her not to allow our joy to make us forgetful of God, our God Who is the source of all true joy, success, and happiness.

                (6) From Tell My People by Fr. Edward J. Carter, S.J.

Spiritual Childhood

Mary: "My beloved priest-son, how I love to enfold you in my arms as my little child! Enfolded in my arms in my maternal embrace, I press you against my Immaculate Heart. I draw you within my Heart. There, through my maternal intercession, I clothe you with Jesus' graces. As you dwell in my Heart, I place you ever more deeply within Jesus' Heart and there the Holy Spirit fashions you increasingly in the image of my Son. As you grow in the likeness of Jesus, He takes you ever closer to the Father.

"Thus, as you grow in the sense of your helplessness without God, the stronger you become in Jesus. Childlike thus becomes strength. The smaller you become in living out spiritual childhood, the taller you stand beside Jesus. Weakness becomes strength, your sense of helplessness becomes spiritual maturity!

"Tell all my children about the wonders of spiritual childhood! Tell them to come to me and I will school them in its ways. How I love all my children! Oh, how I love to exercise my motherhood toward them all!"

Reflection: In the Gospel, Jesus speaks emphatically to us about spiritual childhood: "At this time the disciples came to Jesus and said, 'Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?' So he called a little child to him and set the child in front of them. Then he said, 'I tell you solemnly, unless you change and become like little children you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. And so, the one who makes himself as little as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven'" (Matthew 18:1-4).

                (7) Mother at My Side by Fr. Edward J. Carter, S.J. p. 9

    "Of the essence of motherhood is the fact that it concerns the person. Motherhood always establishes a unique and unrepeatable relationship between two people: between mother and child and between child and mother. Even when the same woman is the mother of many children, her personal relationship with each one of them is of the very essence of motherhood. . .

    "It can be said that motherhood 'in the order of grace' preserves the analogy with what 'in the order of nature' characterizes the union between mother and child." (Pope John Paul II).6

                6. Pope John Paul II, The Mother of the Redeemer (Redemptoris Mater) (Washington: United States Catholic Conference, 1987), No. 45.

                (8) Mother at My Side by Fr. Edward J. Carter, S.J. p. 9

    We have already used these words in the previous chapter. We repeat them here for the purpose of discussing the concept of personal uniqueness. Each of us is unique—a unique reflection of God. Out of each one's uniqueness flows a special God-given mission. Cardinal Newman observes: "Everyone who breathes, high and low, educated and ignorant, young and old, man and woman, has a mission, has a work. We are not sent into this world for nothing; we are not born at random. . . God sees every one of us; He creates every soul, He lodges it in a body, one by one, for a purpose."7

                        7. John Cardinal Newman, Discourses Addressed to Mixed Congregations (London: Longmans, Green and Co., 1906), pp. 111-12.

                (9) Mother at My Side by Fr. Edward J. Carter, S.J. pp. 9-10

    And as Pope John Paul tells us, we each have a unique relationship with Mary. She loves each one of us very dearly, each in his or her own uniqueness. She knows each of us has the awesome privilege and responsibility of allowing Christ to live in and through this personal uniqueness. As Mary cooperates with the Holy Spirit in forming Christ in us, she works with the Spirit in assisting us to accomplish our personal mission in life.

                (10) Mother at My Side by Fr. Edward J. Carter, S.J. p. 10

    Each day we can strive to accomplish our mission under Mary's maternal mantle. Let us each day entrust ourselves to Mary's Immaculate Heart and dwell within this most pure haven. Here we feel loved, safe, confident, courageous in our efforts to act that day as the Father wills. Dwelling within Mary's Heart, we face our daily challenge of working with Christ to lessen the world's evil and to promote its goodness. Aware of Mary's special and unique love for each of us, we are strengthened in our attempt to accomplish our God-given mission in all the various circumstances of life within the human condition. Amidst joy and sorrow, success and failure, acceptance and rejection, laughter and tears—amidst whatever comprises each day's existence—we should rest secure knowing Mary is Mother at our side. 

    We should not waste time bemoaning the fact that we do not possess this or that gift which another has in abundance. We have the gifts God intends for us. We have the gifts we need to accomplish our mission in life. Concentrate to develop these gifts for love of God and neighbor because how we use these gifts is what we will be judged on—not on the fact that we lacked this or that talent.

 

  


               Finding in the Temple

                (1) Luke 2: 41-52

Every year his parents used to go to Jerusalem for the feast of the Passover. When he was twelve years old, they went up for the feast as usual. When the days of the feast were over and they set off home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem without his parents knowing it. They assumed he was somewhere in the party, and it was only after a day’s journey that they went to look for him among their relations and acquaintances. When they failed to find him they went back to Jerusalem looking for him everywhere. 

    It happened that, three days later, they found him in the Temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them, and asking them questions; and all those who heard him were astounded at his intelligence and his replies. They were overcome when they saw him, and his mother said to him, ‘My child, why have you done this to us? See how worried your father and I have been, looking for you.’ He replied, ‘Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?’ But they did not understand what he meant. He went down with them then and came to Nazareth and lived under their authority. His mother stored up all these things in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom, in stature, and in favour with God and with people.

                (2) Mother at My Side by Fr. Edward J. Carter, S.J. pp. 10-11

    I cannot accomplish your mission in life. You cannot accomplish mine. Each of us has something to give to Christ, His Church, and His world which no other can contribute. Again, this is an awesome privilege and responsibility.

    God has given us Mary so that she may assist us in living out this privilege and responsibility and we should daily ask her for wisdom to grow in the understanding of all that our mission involves. We should also petition her for the courage not to shirk the responsibility, but joyously to embrace it for the greater glory of God. With her mother's sense of pride, she wants us to succeed in fulfilling God's plan for us. The more we entrust ourselves to her, the more she places us with Christ so that He may live in and through us to further Christianize the world.

    Yes, the more we entrust ourselves to Mary our Mother, the more we will be able to live out the truth Cardinal Newman puts before us: "We are not sent into this world for nothing; we are not born at random. . . God sees every one of us; He creates every soul, He lodges it in a body, one by one, for a purpose."

                (3) Mother at My Side by Fr. Edward J. Carter, S.J. p. 12

The above scene describes how Mary and Joseph found Jesus in the temple after having been separated from Him. As they were returning home after the Passover celebration, they realized Jesus was not with them, and returned to Jerusalem to search for Him. The scene has various lessons for us concerning God's will.

                (4) Mother at My Side by Fr. Edward J. Carter, S.J. p. 12

With the Holy Family traveling in two separate groups (Mary with one, Joseph with the other, and Jesus with either from time to time), we understand how Mary and Joseph could have received conflicting stories regarding their Son's whereabouts. The Father's will may have been made known to Jesus in such a way that the timing of His response precluded alerting His parents to the change in His plan.

                (5) Mother at My Side by Fr. Edward J. Carter, S.J. pp. 12-13

Whatever the details were, we can be assured that there was no error made on the parts of Jesus, Mary, or Joseph. We can base our trust in this on what we know through faith—that Jesus would never have been disobedient or thoughtless toward His parents, and that Mary and Joseph could not possibly have been inept parents.

                (6) Mother at My Side by Fr. Edward J. Carter, S.J. p. 13

Even so, as people who expect certain behaviors of children and parents, we can be unsettled by some unanswered questions presented. Yet, since this event is included in Sacred Scripture, we know it has tremendous value for us as the Word of God. We also know that obedience to God's will always works in the best interests of everyone concerned, even when it is not obvious, even for quite some time.

                (7) Mother at My Side by Fr. Edward J. Carter, S.J. p. 13

The scene reminds us of the guiding principle of Jesus' life—loving conformity to His Father's will. Although Mary and Joseph were returning home, in some way Jesus knew He was supposed to remain in the temple at this particular time.

                (8) Mother at My Side by Fr. Edward J. Carter, S.J. p. 13

His course of action was no different in this instance than it had been in the past and would be in the future. His Father's will was made manifest, and He obeyed; His Father showed the way, and He followed. The Father's will was always Jesus' way, every day, in all matters. As followers of Jesus, His guiding principle must also be ours.

                (9) Mother at My Side by Fr. Edward J. Carter, S.J. p. 13

This event in Christ's life also demonstrates that conformity to God's will sometimes brings hurt or sorrow to loved ones. Jesus knew that His remaining behind would cause suffering for Mary and Joseph—we can well imagine their anxiety. Jesus was sorry this had to be. He certainly was not insensitive to His parent's feelings, yet He had to do what He did. There can be similar situations in our own lives. Precisely because we are striving to seek out and do God's will, we may be causing hurt to loved ones. We know, however, there is no other course of action if we are to be open to God's designs for us.

                (10) Sing: Hail Holy Queen

                    Sing: Immaculate Mary

 

 

 

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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)

 

  

 

  


 

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