| Shepherds of Christ
June 2, 2009
June 23rd Holy Spirit
The Novena Rosary
Retreat in Florida
June 2nd - 5th
Sessions at 1:30pm &
6:20pm each day
Please tune in!
June 10th - 13th
Buying a Crucifix!
$820.00 with stand
The church needs to have the stucco replaced
and also the community building.
It is about $38,000 to repair it.
People pray in the church 24 hours a day.
We have prayed in there for 11 years.
The archdiocese gave the church to us
for this purpose for a small price.
Can you help us?
Available for $10.00 plus postage
Available for $10.00 plus postage
HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAN!
June 2, 2009
Deuteronomy 7: 6-11
For you are a people consecrated to Yahweh your God; of all the peoples on earth, you have been chosen by Yahweh your God to be his own people.
‘Yahweh set his heart on you and chose you not because you were the most numerous of all peoples—for indeed you were the smallest of all—but because he loved you and meant to keep the oath which he swore to your ancestors: that was why Yahweh brought you out with his mighty hand and redeemed you from the place of slave–labour, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. From this you can see that Yahweh your God is the true God, the faithful God who, though he is true to his covenant and his faithful love for a thousand generations as regards those who love him and keep his commandments, punishes in their own persons those that hate him. He destroys anyone who hates him, without delay; and it is in their own persons that he punishes them. Hence, you must keep and observe the commandments, laws and customs which I am laying down for you today.
1 John 4: 7-16
My dear friends, let us love one another, since love is from God and everyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. Whoever fails to love does not know God, because God is love. This is the revelation of God’s love for us, that God sent his only Son into the world that we might have life through him. Love consists in this: it is not we who loved God, but God loved us and sent his Son to expiate our sins. My dear friends, if God loved us so much, we too should love one another. No one has ever seen God, but as long as we love one another God remains in us and his love comes to its perfection in us. This is the proof that we remain in him and he in us, that he has given us a share in his Spirit. We ourselves have seen and testify that the Father sent his Son as Saviour of the world. Anyone who acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God remains in him and he in God. We have recognised for ourselves, and put our faith in, the love God has for us. God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him.
Matthew 11: 25-30
At that time Jesus exclaimed, ‘I bless you, Father, Lord of heaven and of earth, for hiding these things from the learned and the clever and revealing them to little children. Yes, Father, for that is what it pleased you to do. Everything has been entrusted to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, just as no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
‘Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest. Shoulder my yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Yes, my yoke is easy and my burden light.’
Today is the second day of the
month of the Sacred Heart —
Jesus loves us so much and He wants
this personal love —
We can't do what we want and think
we will be happy
Jesus gave Fr. Carter these prayers to pray
15 years ago
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)
These prayers when recited out loud
have such an impact on those
praying them —
Jesus promised to those who pray these
prayers He will take them deeply
into His Heart and Mary's heart —
God wants our love
God wants a personal relationship with
Jesus gave us His personal love letters
in God's Blue Book —
God is love and we are to be loving
When we are unloving we are not happy
It is like a fish out of water —
God created us to love
FIRST DAY of Retreat
Isaiah 63: 16-17, 19; 64: 2-7
After all, you are our Father.
If Abraham will not own us,
if Israel will not acknowledge us,
you, Yahweh, are our Father,
‘Our Redeemer’ is your name from of old.
Why, Yahweh, do you let us wander
from your ways
and let our hearts grow too hard
to fear you?
Return, for the sake of your servants,
the tribes of your heritage.
We have long been like those
you do not rule,
people who do not bear your name.
Oh, that you would tear the heavens open
and come down
—in your presence
the mountains would quake,
at the unexpected miracles you would do.
(Oh, that you would come down,
in your presence
the mountains would quake!)
Never has anyone heard,
no ear has heard, no eye has seen
any god but you act like this
for the sake of those who trust him.
You come to meet those
who are happy to act uprightly;
keeping your ways reminds them of you.
Yes, you have been angry
and we have been sinners;
now we persist in your ways
and we shall be saved.
We have all been like unclean things
and our upright deeds like filthy rags.
We wither, all of us, like leaves,
and all our misdeeds
carry us off like the wind.
There is no one to invoke your name,
to rouse himself to hold fast to you,
for you have hidden your face from us
and given us up
to the power of our misdeeds.
And yet, Yahweh, you are our Father;
we the clay and you our potter,
all of us are the work of your hands.
This is a prayer to God to come
save His people
Fr. Joe says —
1st Sunday of Advent - November 27, 2005
(Isaiah 63, 16b-17. 19b; 64, 2-7) Today’s first reading is a desperate prayer for God to come to save his people. It is one of the most sublime prayers we find in Scripture. God’s people were suffering and they knew it was because of their pride and rebellion against their God. They ask for his help and forgiveness. It’s a good prayer for us as we begin Advent. We ask God to open our hearts to his coming.
Sing: Save Us Oh Lord
1 Corinthians 1: 3-9
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
I am continually thanking God about you, for the grace of God which you have been given in Christ Jesus; in him you have been richly endowed in every kind of utterance and knowledge; so firmly has witness to Christ taken root in you. And so you are not lacking in any gift as you wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed; he will continue to give you strength till the very end, so that you will be irreproachable on the Day of our Lord Jesus Christ. You can rely on God, who has called you to be partners with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
Mark 13: 33-37
‘Be on your guard, stay awake, because you never know when the time will come. It is like a man travelling abroad: he has gone from his home, and left his servants in charge, each with his own work to do; and he has told the doorkeeper to stay awake. So stay awake, because you do not know when the master of the house is coming, evening, midnight, cockcrow or dawn; if he comes unexpectedly, he must not find you asleep. And what I am saying to you I say to all: Stay awake!’
Be watchful you know not when the Lord
is coming —
Available for $10.00 plus shipping
May 31, 2009 - Pentecost
1st Sunday of Advent - November 27, 2005 -p. 44-47
(Mark 13, 33-37) You may have seen the sign “Jesus is coming. Look busy!” As we’ve heard so many times, the word “advent” means “coming” and the season of advent is a time to prepare for Christ’s coming. Jesus tells us emphatically to be alert for that coming. Too often we get overly involved in preparing to celebrate his coming in the past. Of course we are joyful that God has come to us as a little baby 2000 years ago, and it is appropriate that we prepare to celebrate such an awesome event. But that’s not all there is to advent and it’s not that coming that Jesus is referring to in today’s gospel when he tells us to be watchful and to be alert.
Advent is as much about the future as it is about the past. If we do not prepare for his future coming, his coming in the past will be of little value to us. The time for that future coming s unknown to any of us. There will be a time when he comes to each of us personally at the end of our life. None of us are going to be here forever. There will be a time when he comes at the end of the world. If we’re prepared for his coming at the end of our lives, we’ll be prepared for his other coming in glory at the end of time. Since we do not know when either of those future comings will be, we are inclined to busy ourselves with more pressing things, with more immediate wants and needs.
A few years ago I attended a time management workshop. One of the most useful insights I got out of the workshop is to make a distinction between what is urgent and what is important. They’re not always the same thing. For example, a friend calls this afternoon and invites us to a lecture on the sex life of the mosquito. It’s urgent. It has to be done right now if we’re going to do it. It may not be very important to us unless we’re a biologist. Making a will is something important, but it may not be urgent (unless we’re on our deathbed). What is important will eventually become urgent, but what is urgent is not always important. I stress this because there are so many things that we feel are urgent at this time of the year. Buy this, send this card, get ready for this event… Some of the urgent things we feel at this time might be important, but we have to be careful not to let them override the most important thing of all: preparing for Christ’s coming - an event that we often do not feel so urgent about!
With all the stuff that happens at this time of the year and the stuff we feel we must have, we cannot forget that the child whose birth we celebrate was born in poverty, lived in poverty, died in poverty and taught us not to make “things” too important in our lives. I’m not encouraging poverty, but sometimes we have to work hard not to equate Christmas with a lot of stuff.
Don’t think I’m too much of a Scrooge! I enjoy the lights and the music of Christmas. We even have a special Christmas music program here on the 9th of December. I enjoy poinsettias and wreaths and giving and receiving gifts and I enjoy parties. But it’s my responsibility to remind myself, and you as well, that this time of the year is first of all meant to enrich us spiritually. If all it does is wear us out and empty our wallets, we’ve missed the point. Be awake and aware. We are to prepare our hearts to become more the kind of person we know Christ wants us to be. We have Mass every morning, we have two holy hours during the week. After Mass each morning we have either morning prayer in the rectory or rosary in church. We will have a communal penance service in about a week. Even if you can get to church for some extra prayers, I would recommend taking quiet time each day. Quiet time helps us keep things in perspective and it is more important now than at any other time during the year. Our Catholic Update inserted in today’s bulletin lists the Scripture readings for each day and a brief reflection. You might also consider putting someone on your gift list who cannot do anything for you in return.
Our Advent wreath reminds us not only how fast the weeks are going before Christmas, but it also reminds us how fast time goes in general. And it reminds us that with each passing week, Christ’s light should shine more brightly in our lives. In other centuries Advent had a penitential character and was marked by long fasts. We see remnants of this penitential aspect in the violet vestments and no flowers at the altar and the elimination of the Gloria. It gives a hint that a little self-denial might help us celebrate Christmas with greater joy.
We might ask ourselves as we begin a new Church year, are we any better prepared to meet him today than we were a year ago? If we have backtracked or just stayed in the same place spiritually, we need to hear Jesus once again tells us “stay awake, be alert.”
We are here and are on a journey —
God has the Plan —
We meditate today in this retreat on
the Joyful Mysteries
We are on a journey to prepare ourselves
God has the plan —
if we follow His plan — we are
happy - even though we suffer
Some angels fell because they said we
won't serve God —
God created man to praise, reverence
and serve God (St. Ignatius 1st Principle and Foundation)
Adam and Eve disobeyed —
In effect Adam and Eve said we won't serve You, God
They ate the fruit —
I see the Gospel yesterday about the
vineyard — build right, Fr. Joe
but the vineyard is to produce
fruit — we are here to produce
fruit for building God's Kingdom
The Father is the vine - grower
Jesus is the vine and we are the
Adam and Eve were like the angels who
sinned — they turned inward —
in effect they said
we won't obey You God
That started the disorder in the human
Cain the son of Adam and Eve then killed
Abel because of jealousy
God said to Cain satan is lurking at your
door but you can be master
Cain killed Abel because he wanted
When we sin — we offend God
Think of how we are treating God
when we then lie about our
sin and tell ourselves we
didn't really do anything —
We are here to learn to obey the will of
God more and more — not give into the
tendencies of evil because of our fallen,
wounded human nature —
When we sin we offend God —
When we are unloving we are miserable —
As we meditate on the Annunciation —
think of the gift Mary is —
God the Father wants us to recognize
the gift of Mary and be grateful
for her —
Mary was made by God —
Mary was conceived without sin —
We the creatures were marked with
original sin at the moment of
Mary conceived by the power of
the Holy Spirit
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.
Meditate on Mary as pure gift —
Tell God the Father how you are sorry
for the sins of the human race and
our sins —
Thank Jesus for taking flesh and taking
on a human nature, of
being our Savior —
Ask the Holy Spirit to work in the pure
and holy Heart of Mary forming us
more and more in the image of Jesus —
We were created for this
to be holy
God Our Father gave His Son for our
Jesus gave me this song
Let's sing it —
A Song from Jesus —
Let's pray to Mary to be more and more like
the perfect disciple of Jesus
the handmaid of the Lord —
Mary lived to serve God —
Luke 1: 46-55
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.
Luke 1: 39-45
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.’
God is with us, Body, Blood, Soul and
Divinity in the Eucharist
Mary is the New Eve
Mary obeyed the will of God —
Sing: Holy is His Name
Isaiah 40: 1-5, 9-11
"Console my people, console them,"
says your God.
"Speak to the heart of Jerusalem
and cry to her
that her period of service is ended,
that her guilt has been atoned for,
that, from the hand of Yahweh,
she has received
double punishment for all her sins."
A voice cries, "Prepare in the desert
a way for Yahweh.
Make a straight highway for our God
across the wastelands.
Let every valley be filled in,
every mountain and hill be leveled,
every cliff become a plateau,
every escarpment a plain;
then the glory of Yahweh will be revealed
and all humanity will see it together,
for the mouth of Yahweh has spoken."
Go up on a high mountain,
messenger of Zion.
Shout as loud as you can,
messenger of Jerusalem!
say to the towns of Judah,
Here is your God.’
Here is Lord Yahweh coming with power,
his arm maintains his authority,
his reward is with him
and his prize precedes him.
He is like a shepherd feeding his flock,
gathering lambs in his arms,
holding them against his breast
and leading to their rest the mother ewes.
From Guiding Light - Volume I
2nd Sunday of Advent - December 4, 2005 - p. 47
(Isaiah 40, 1-5.9-11; II Peter 3, 8-14; Mark 1, 1-8) Our first reading today introduces that part of Isaiah known as the “Book of Consolation.” It is a beautifully comforting message for God's people. For 50 years the Jews had been a captured and enslaved people in Babylon (Iraq today). Now God is about to set them free and allow them to return to their homeland. We’ll hear the words “the way of the Lord” frequently in today’s readings. It refers to the route by which the Lord would lead his people home. It would be a passage through mountains and desert, a passage that most likely passed through the modern day countries of Iraq and Syria and Lebanon. Isaiah announces this return by calling the people to prepare. Over five hundred years later, John the Baptist would use the same words to call the people of his own day to prepare for the Messiah. Today, Advent calls us to prepare not only for Christmas but also for the day when Christ will call us to leave this world and to be part of his eternal kingdom.
2 Peter 3: 8-14
But there is one thing, my dear friends, that you must never forget: that with the Lord, a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not being slow in carrying out his promises, as some people think he is; rather is he being patient with you, wanting nobody to be lost and everybody to be brought to repentance. The Day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then with a roar the sky will vanish, the elements will catch fire and melt away, the earth and all that it contains will be burned up.
Since everything is coming to an end like this, what holy and saintly lives you should be living while you wait for the Day of God to come, and try to hasten its coming: on that Day the sky will dissolve in flames and the elements melt in the heat. What we are waiting for, relying on his promises, is the new heavens and new earth, where uprightness will be at home. So then, my dear friends, while you are waiting, do your best to live blameless and unsullied lives so that he will find you at peace.
Mark 1: 1-8
The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God. It is written in the prophet Isaiah:
Look, I am going to send my messenger
in front of you,
to prepare your way before you.
A voice of one that cries in the desert:
Prepare a way for the Lord,
make his paths straight.
John the Baptist was in the desert, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. All Judaea and all the people of Jerusalem made their way to him, and as they were baptised by him in the river Jordan they confessed their sins. John wore a garment of camel-skin, and he lived on locusts and wild honey. In the course of his preaching he said, 'After me is coming someone who is more powerful than me, and I am not fit to kneel down and undo the strap of his sandals. I have baptised you with water, but he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit.'
From Guiding Light - Volume I
2nd Sunday of Advent - December 4, 2005 - p. 47-49
: Recently I read a letter from a pastor who said that while he was in the seminary, he taught a class on the history of the Old Testament to prisoners. One evening while he was waiting for a prison guard to come and check him in, he noticed a man waiting in line ahead of him who was fidgeting and constantly checking his watch. The young seminary student thought that man needed a tranquilizer. Finally the guard came. The man hastily scribbled his name in the visitors’ book and rushed inside. What does that man do, the seminary student asked. The guard answered: “he teaches a course on serenity through meditation.”
The story struck me as an image of many of us at this time of the year. We sing of silent night, peace on earth, joy to the world. At the same time we rush around frantically, doing ten things at once while we’re mentally trying to figure out how we’re going to do the next ten things on our list!
Last week our Lord told us to be watchful, to be alert, to be ready for his coming, not his coming as a baby, but his coming in glory at the end. After I made some suggestions last week of some spiritual things people might do during Advent, I thought perhaps I would see lot of new faces at morning Mass or Holy Hour! But that was not the case. I know not everyone can get to Mass or Holy Hour, but hopefully more people are spending some extra quiet time at home reading the scriptures or praying or maybe more people are doing some extra good works.
Today the scriptures give us a similar message: “prepare.” We all know we won’t be ready for anything important unless we prepare. Maybe we’re already ready to meet our Maker, I hope I am and I hope you are too, but maybe there’s a little room for improvement in a few of us.
One of the cartoons this week was very clever. Garfield the cat was listening to a Christmas carol and as he listened he said: “Ah, the first Christmas carol of the season. It hard to believe that in just three short weeks I’m gonna be sick of that sucker.” We don’t like to wait. We want to get to Christmas without having to wait.
But Advent is a time of waiting. It’s not passive waiting like when we were students in school and we kept looking at the clock waiting for the school bell to ring. It’s active waiting, like a recently married husband and wife expecting the birth of their first child, trying to get ready for the great event. St. Peter reminds us everything we know will disappear for us some day and since that is going to happen, “what sort of persons ought you to be?” Paul asks. He answers his own question: we should be the sort of person who conducts ourselves “in holiness and devotion…”
Christmas is a day we must prepare for in a spiritual manner if we want to experience the spiritual joy of God’s great love and be more ready to welcome his future coming. Otherwise when Christmas day ends we’ll be saying to ourselves: “Boy, am I glad that’s over.” Christmas will be for any of us only what we make of it. Amen.
Birth of Jesus
But Yahweh God called to the man. 'Where are you?' he asked. 'I heard the sound of you in the garden,' he replied. 'I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid.' 'Who told you that you were naked?' he asked. 'Have you been eating from the tree I forbade you to eat?' The man replied, 'It was the woman you put with me; she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.' Then Yahweh God said to the woman, 'Why did you do that?' The woman replied, 'The snake tempted me and I ate.'
Then Yahweh God said to the snake, 'Because you have done this,
Accursed be you
of all animals wild and tame!
On your belly you will go
and on dust you will feed
as long as you live.
I shall put enmity
between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and hers;
it will bruise your head
and you will strike its heel.'
The man named his wife 'Eve' because she was the mother of all those who live.
From Guiding Light - Volume I
Feast of the Immaculate Conception
December 8, 2005
(Gen. 3,9-15,20; Luke 1,26-38) The feast today is about Mary’s conception, that from the instant she began to exist on this earth, indeed from her very conception, she was holy, filled with God's grace and without sin. The gospel today can confuse us somewhat because it tells us about Jesus’ conception. It was read today, first of all, because there is no gospel telling us about the moment when Mary was conceived. And secondly today’s gospel does give us an important piece of information about Mary related to today’s feast. The angel greeted her as: “Full of grace.” Our feast celebrates what the angel stated. There was no moment in Mary’s life when God’s grace did not fill her. She was full of grace.
As we listen in on this conversation between Mary and the Angel, we learn not only about Mary but also about the child she is going to have. Mary’s son to be would be Son of the Most High and king forever. Her child will be called “holy, the Son of God.” In the midst of all our business, we pause on this Holy Day to think what it is we are happy about at this time of year.
This is why Mary was “full of grace,” so she could give birth to the source of all holiness and grace, God’s own Son. And why did he come to us? So that we too can become holy. This is what St. Paul tells us in today’s second reading: “God chose us in him to be holy and blameless in his sight.”
Holiness is something few people strive for. All of us want to get to heaven, but most of us would probably tend to say I just want to get inside the door. We should do more than just try to get inside the door. We are called to be holy. Most of us never think that becoming holy is our vocation. We usually think holiness is for someone else, like the saints or people in religious orders. That’s because we do not understand holiness. We think being holy means spending all day praying or wearing ourselves out doing good things for others and never having a chance to have any fun. I think holy people probably have as much fun as any of us, but there’s something greater than fun. It is joy and peace and love. To be holy means to be close to God. The closer we are to God, the more we will be filled with love and joy and peace - both in this life and throughout eternity.
Our vocation to holiness is illustrated by the two stories we heard today.
The first story was about our first parents who originally were very close to God and were very happy. That was the symbolism of the Garden of Eden. But that wasn’t good enough for them. They wanted to be like God himself. So they rebelled against God and they lost all they had.
The second story, the annunciation, illustrates Mary’s constant attitude of being willing to say “yes” to God. It was only through her openness that the Son of the Most High has come to us. St. Luke tells us Mary was not only holy and always ready to do whatever God wanted of her, but he also tells us she was joyful. Holiness and joy are connected. After the angel left Mary, St. Luke told us about Mary visiting her cousin and she was full of joy. She expressed her joy in the beautiful hymn “the Magnificat.” My soul gives glory to the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my savior.”
In reflecting on the holiness of Mary, we may feel as if we were treated unfairly. We were born with original sin. The deck was stacked against us from the beginning. But we forget that when we were baptized we were filled with God’s life. The very same grace that filled Mary at the moment of her conception, filled us when we were baptized. So holiness is possible for us too. Our two stories can show us there are two ways each of us can go in life. We can follow the example of our first parents, Adam and Eve, or we can follow the example of Mary. The first will lead to sorrow, the other to joy. To imitate Mary, all we have to do is say “yes” to whatever God asks of us.
3rd Sunday of Advent - December 11, 2005
INTRODUCTION: (Isaiah 61, 1-2a. 10-11; I Thessalonians 5, 16-24; John 1, 6-8. 19-28) As the celebration of Christ’s birth draws near, joy is in the air. It’s also reflected in today’s liturgy. The prophet speaking to us in our first reading tells us he was sent to bring glad tidings to the poor, that he rejoices in the Lord, and in God is the joy of his soul. The response, which is almost always from the Book of Psalms, is today taken from St. Luke’s gospel. It is Mary’s hymn of joy which she enthusiastically proclaimed when she visited her cousin Elizabeth after the annunciation. St. Paul in the second reading tells us to rejoice always. His instruction “rejoice” implies that rejoicing is more of a choice in attitude rather than a feeling that spontaneously comes over us. John the Baptist, whom we meet in the gospel, was an austere person, but his message was a joyful one, joyful because the Lord was coming. John was honored to have been chosen by God to point him out and to prepare the people for that coming.
Sing: He Has Anointed Me
Isaiah 61: 1-2, 10-11
The spirit of Lord Yahweh
is on me
for Yahweh has anointed me.
He has sent me to bring the news
to the afflicted,
to soothe the broken–hearted,
to proclaim liberty to captives,
release to those in prison,
to proclaim a year of favour from Yahweh
and a day of vengeance for our God,
to comfort all who mourn
I exult for joy in Yahweh,
my soul rejoices in my God,
for he has clothed me
in garments of salvation,
he has wrapped me in a cloak
of saving justice,
like a bridegroom wearing his garland,
like a bride adorned in her jewels.
For as the earth sends up its shoots
and a garden makes seeds sprout,
so Lord Yahweh makes saving justice
spring up in the sight of all nations.
Always be joyful; pray constantly; and for all things give thanks; this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus. Do not stifle the Spirit or despise the gift of prophecy with contempt; test everything and hold on to what is good and shun every form of evil. May the God of peace make you perfect and holy; and may your spirit, life and body be kept blameless for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who has called you is trustworthy and will carry it out.
John 1: 6-8, 19-28
A man came, sent by God.
His name was John.
He came as a witness,
To bear witness to the light,
So that everyone might believe through him.
He was not the light,
He was to bear witness to the light.
This was the witness of John, when the Jews sent to him priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, ‘Who are you?’ He declared, he did not deny but declared, ‘I am not the Christ.’ So they asked, ‘Then are you Elijah?’ He replied, ‘I am not.’ ‘Are you the Prophet?’ He answered, ‘No.’ So they said to him, ‘Who are you? We must take back an answer to those who sent us. What have you to say about yourself?’ So he said, ‘I am, as Isaiah prophesied:
A voice of one that cries in the desert:
Prepare a way for the Lord.
Make his paths straight!’
Now those who had been sent were Pharisees, and they put this question to him, ‘Why are you baptising if you are not the Christ, and not Elijah, and not the Prophet?’ John answered them, ‘I baptise with water; but standing among you—unknown to you— is the one who is coming after me; and I am not fit to undo the strap of his sandal.’ This happened at Bethany, on the far side of the Jordan, where John was baptising.
From Blue Book IV - September 27, 1994 - Birth of Jesus
Joseph was filled with joy to see the splendor of the night, but with sorrow to see Jesus born in such poverty.
Not a place for Jesus to lay His head-in a manger at birth, His head on a cross at His death-both bare wood.
He showed us the way, in total submission to the will of the Father. He loved us so much that He was born a human, God-made-man.
What the birth of this baby, the Child Jesus, did to change the world for all time!
This is Jesus, the Son of God, come to free the world of its sins.
He came as a little baby. He was born of Mary in the little town of Bethlehem.
This is how it is with Jesus today: there is no blare of trumpets, no roll of drums. Jesus comes quietly at every Mass.
The only blare of trumpets and roll of drums are in our hearts.
If you are not aware of Christ truly present in the Eucharist, you miss the big event.
Jesus, the same Jesus who was born in Bethlehem, comes to us in our hearts.
Sing: See the Eyes that Look at Mary
Prayer from St. Ignatius
Lord, teach me to be generous.
Teach me to serve you as you deserve;
To give and not to count the cost;
To fight and not to heed the wounds;
To toil and not to seek for rest;
To labor and not to ask for any reward,
Save that of knowing
that I am doing your will.
Prayer of St Ignatius
Soul of Christ, sanctify me
Body of Christ, save me
Blood of Christ, inebriate me
Water from the side of Christ wash me
Passion of Christ, strengthen me
O good Jesus, hear me
Within Thy wounds hide me
Permit me not to be separated from Thee
From the wicked foe defend me
at the hour of my death call me
and bid me come to Thee
That with Thy saints I may praise Thee
For ever and ever. Amen.
Sing: Take Lord Receive
Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius,
by Louis J. Puhl, S.J. p. 25
46. PRAYER. In the preparatory prayer I will beg God
our Lord for grace that all my intentions, actions,
and operations may be directed purely to the
praise and service of His Divine Majesty.
Tell God the Father — thanks for sending
Jesus as our Savior —
think about that —
God made man
Thank Jesus for taking on a little baby
Thank Jesus for taking on a human
Thank the Holy Spirit for giving us
Ask Mary to help us to become like
telling the truth and being humble —
telling lies can become a bad habit —
The devil is the father of lies —
If we are like Jesus — we pray for
holiness — to be like Mary and
never even tell a little white
lie to those who are over us.
Presentation in the Temple
Luke 2: 25-35
Now in Jerusalem there was a man named Simeon. He was an upright and devout man; he looked forward to the restoration of Israel and the Holy Spirit rested on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death until he had set eyes on the Christ of the Lord. Prompted by the Spirit he came to the Temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the Law required, he took him into his arms and blessed God; and he said:
Now, Master, you are letting
your servant go in peace
as you promised;
for my eyes have seen the salvation
which you have made ready
in the sight of the nations;
a light of revelation for the gentiles
and glory for your people Israel.
As the child’s father and mother were wondering at the things that were being said about him, Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, ‘Look, he is destined for the fall and for the rise of many in Israel, destined to be a sign that is opposed—and a sword will pierce your soul too—so that the secret thoughts of many may be laid bare.’
From Blue Book IV - September 27, 1994
Mary took Jesus to the Temple to be presented to the Father.
Simeon told Mary of the future sufferings of Jesus and Mary.
Joseph, in his sorrow at hearing of the sufferings, was comforted by the joy that so many souls would be redeemed.
They returned to Galilee to the town of Nazareth and Jesus grew in wisdom and strength.
Mary, with such love, beheld her precious Son!
She gazed into His precious baby eyes.
Simeon predicted that her heart would be pierced with a sword.
Her heart would be pierced with a sword for, just as she held His baby body at birth, she would hold his lifeless body under the cross.
How well Mary would know the Heart of Jesus! She would ponder all the events of His life in her heart.
It is through her most loving heart that we grow in fervent love for His Heart.
The Finding in the Temple
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.
From Blue Book IV - September 27, 1994
When Jesus was twelve years old, the Holy Family went to Jerusalem for Passover.
When it was over Mary and Joseph had traveled a day's journey before they realized Jesus was not with them.
With sorrow in their hearts they returned to Jerusalem to find Him.
After searching for Him for three days, they found Him in the Temple talking to the doctors.
The doctors were astounded at His wisdom.
He said He had to be about His Father's business.
Jesus teaches us today through His Word.
"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." (Lk. 2:51-52)
Mary, if we ever lose Jesus, lead us back to His tender Heart.
Jesus, help us to love Mary more.
Song: The Rosary Song
God gives to us such
an honor —
We are to be grateful
for our gifts
Luke 10: 21
‘I bless you, Father, Lord of heaven and of earth, for hiding these things from the learned and the clever and revealing them to little children'
Betty is a handmaid who has prayed in the
China Church for 11 years. To get from her
house to the church she uses a walker and
must go over a creek and a little bridge.
We wanted a little place she could rest
by the Church. We need about $1,000 to
make this happen. Can you help us?
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:
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
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
Call Kathleen to Order any of the items below