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All Souls’ Day Prayer

2 Nov
Photo via Catholic Relief Services Facebook page.

Photo via Catholic Relief Services Facebook page.


Today we remember and honor the memory of our loved ones who have passed on, as well as for those who have passed on around the world. Click here to view the full prayer from Catholic Relief Services.

Gospel Reflection for November 1, 2015, All Saints Day

26 Oct

Sunday Readings: Revelation 7.2-4, 9-14; 1 John 3.1-3; Matthew 5.1-12

“Blessed are the poor in spirit; the kingdom of God is theirs.”

(Matthew 5.3)

When people identify the central message of Christianity, they will say loving God and neighbor or following the ten commandments. Rarely does anyone’s first response refer to the beatitudes. The thou-shalts and shalt-nots of the commandments are familiar. These actions break and erode the relationships that bind us together as the people of God.

Discerning what it means to be poor in spirit, sorrowful, merciful, pure of heart, peacemaking require more reflection. The beatitudes expand what the commandments to love God and neighbor ask of us. They challenge us to saintly living, so it makes sense to hear them as the gospel on the feast of All Saints.

Whom do you bless with your loving actions? Who blesses you?

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Social Action Has Two Feet!

22 Oct


Gospel Reflection for October 25, 2015, 30th Sunday Ordinary Time

21 Oct

Sunday Readings: Jeremiah 31.7-9; Hebrews 5.1-6; Mark 10.46-52

Bartimaeus threw of his cloak, jumped up, and came to Jesus.  Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?”  “Teacher, I want to see again”.

(Mark 10.50-51)

Even before Jesus heals his blindness, Bartimaeus throws away his cloak, in which he probably collected the money passersby threw his way.  He accepts the call to discipleship before Jesus gives it.  His desire to see transforms Bartimaeus.  Their desire for status impedes the visions of James and John, over confident they can drink the cup Jesus drinks.  His desire for belonging keeps the rich young man from following Jesus.  The blind beggar who sees with eyes of faith becomes the model disciple.  Bartimaeus must have come to faith in Jesus through hearing others talk about him.  In that sense he is like all of us today who believe on the testimony of others.

What keeps you from throwing away your cloak?

If you enjoy this Gospel Reflection,
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19 Oct

Ask-the-BeastsWe have purchased several boxes of Sister Elizabeth Johnson’s latest books – Ask the Beasts and Abounding in Kindness.  We are offering them to you at a 15% shipping discount: $3.22 shipping for one book; $3.72 shipping for two books.

In Ask The Beasts Sr. Elizabeth Johnson presents Darwin’s exquisite observations of nature and how physical matter comes to life and to consciousness. She’s on the same page as Pope Francis in Laudato Si’, putting science and religion into dialogue. Sr. Elizabeth bets that if we behold the beauty of God’s creation, we will join in it’s care. “Ask the beasts and they will tell you…God’s hand is the life of every living thing” (Job 12.7, 10).  $25.00

Abounding-In-Kindness-No-FrameAbounding in Kindness is the short course in the inspiring work of theologian Elizabeth Johnson, CSJ. The titles of the four sections summarize the topics: Patterns of Faith in a Questioning Time, Great God of Heaven and Earth, Jesus the Living One, Kindle in Us the Fire of Divine Love: Church Matters. If you have read anything of Sr. Elizabeth’s you know a treat awaits you here. If you have not, this book is a great beginning.  $20.00

Our supply is limited, so first come, first serve.  Call Rosie or Lacy at 800.232.5533 to place your order.

World Food Day 2015

16 Oct
Photo from Facebook page of Catholic Relief Services

Photo from Facebook page of Catholic Relief Services

Today is World Food Day 2015!  This day marks the founding of the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations. This year’s theme is: “Social Protection and Agriculture: Breaking the Cycle of Rural Poverty”.  Join in solidarity against hunger, especially among the poorest people. Visit the websites of the Food and Agricultural Organization, Heifer International, and Catholic Relief Services to see how you can contribute and help make this generation a Zero Hunger Generation.

Gospel Reflection for October 18, 2015, 29th Sunday Ordinary Time

13 Oct

Sunday Readings: Isaiah 53.10-11; Hebrews 3.14-16; Mark 10.35-45

“Can you drink the cup that I drink?”

(Mark 10.38)

“We can,” James and John respond to Jesus’ question in Sunday’s gospel.  The irony of their brash response is that they do the opposite.  They forsake Jesus when he gets arrested and flee with all of Jesus’ men disciples except Peter, who denies knowing Jesus in the high priest’s courtyard.  When following becomes life-threatening, neither James or John nor the others stay the course.  Their commitment evaporates.  They shrink from drinking the cup of suffering Jesus is about to drink.  The gospel writer Mark wants us to recognize Jesus’ first disciples had to grow into their commitment as we can.

At every eucharist we drink the cup that Jesus drank.  We brashly say amen, agreeing this is the lifeblood of Christ poured out for us.  It becomes part of us, a commitment to live into each day.

To what do you commit when at Mass you drink the cup that Jesus drank?

If you enjoy this Gospel Reflection,
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Gospel Reflection for October 11, 2015, 28th Sunday Ordinary Time

6 Oct


Sunday Readings: Wisdom 7.7-11; Hebrews 4.12-13; Mark 19.17-27

“All things are possible with God.”

(Mark 10.27)

More than half the world people live on $2-$10 per day.  In our country we hear calls to keep our economy humming, to buy and consume.  Now the Catholic Church has a leader who comes from a continent where most people fit this low-income category.  In his new encyclical on climate change Pope Francis repeatedly gives voice to people who are poor and quotes the words of other bishops from the developing nations of the global south.

Pope Francis is calling us to protect our common home, to find ways to reduce climate change and its imperiling effects on Earth’s poorest people.  The pope urges peoples, nations, and multinational corporations beyond borders and self-interest to pursue the most basic of common goods — a home for future generations.

What have you experienced of how people live in developing countries or of living at a low-income level $2-$10 per day?  How has this affected your outlook on climate change?

If you enjoy this Gospel Reflection,
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Social Action Has Two Feet.

2 Oct



Visit  Read in Network Connection “Economic Inequality and the American Family” by Sarah Spengeman, which reports 4 of 10 kids who grow up poor stay poor and fewer men with only high school educations marry today (56%) than in 1960 (88%).



Gospel Reflection for October 4, 2015, 27th Sunday Ordinary Time

29 Sep
Photo via Flickr user RebeccaVC1

Photo via Flickr user RebeccaVC1

Sunday Readings: Genesis 2.18-24; Hebrews 2.9-11; Mark 10.2-12

“Tell us, does the Law allow a husband to divorce his wife?”

(Mark 10.2)

Marriage is the topic in Sunday’s gospel.  In Rome this Sunday the Synod on the Family begins.  Second marriages is one topic on the agenda.  Many people in the pews pray the Spirit will breathe the embers of Vatican II into flame again.

Church documents praise the family but not in the everyday language we might use.  The Church describes the family as —

  1. a domestic church.
  2. the living cell of society and church.
  3. a school for social virtues.
  4. the first school of faith.
  5. a cradle of life.
  6. a value and goal most people seek.
  7. an icon of the Trinity.

How does your family fit the Church’s descriptions?  Who do you consider family members?

If you enjoy this Gospel Reflection,
please visit the Sunday By Sunday page
to order a subscription or request a free sample.
Start a small bible study. Be a leader.

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