Staying In

Staying in again.

Don’t really want to come out,

It’s cold,

I’m tired,

Not sure I want you as a friend (don’t say that one).

 

A myriad of excuses to stay put.

Meanwhile, the phobia of inertness creeps through the veins,

Like septicemia,

Without the physical effects,

On my body.

 

Meanwhile, my soul becomes changed a little more,

And sadness remains.

THE DAILY GOSPEL AND READINGS 18 FEBRUARY 2020

Tuesday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 336

Reading 1JAS 1:12-18

Blessed is he who perseveres in temptation,
for when he has been proven he will receive the crown of life
that he promised to those who love him.
No one experiencing temptation should say,
“I am being tempted by God”;
for God is not subject to temptation to evil,
and he himself tempts no one.
Rather, each person is tempted when lured and enticed by his desire.
Then desire conceives and brings forth sin,
and when sin reaches maturity it gives birth to death.

Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers and sisters:
all good giving and every perfect gift is from above,
coming down from the Father of lights,
with whom there is no alteration or shadow caused by change.
He willed to give us birth by the word of truth
that we may be a kind of first fruits of his creatures.

Responsorial Psalm94:12-13A, 14-15, 18-19

R.    (12a) Blessed the man you instruct, O Lord.
Blessed the man whom you instruct, O LORD,
whom by your law you teach,
Giving him rest from evil days.
R.    Blessed the man you instruct, O Lord.
For the LORD will not cast off his people,
nor abandon his inheritance;
But judgment shall again be with justice,
and all the upright of heart shall follow it.
R.    Blessed the man you instruct, O Lord.
When I say, “My foot is slipping,”
your mercy, O LORD, sustains me;
When cares abound within me,
your comfort gladdens my soul.
R.    Blessed the man you instruct, O Lord.

AlleluiaJN 14:23

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Whoever loves me will keep my word, says the Lord;
and my Father will love him
and we will come to him.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMK 8:14-21

The disciples had forgotten to bring bread,
and they had only one loaf with them in the boat.
Jesus enjoined them, “Watch out,
guard against the leaven of the Pharisees
and the leaven of Herod.”
They concluded among themselves that
it was because they had no bread.
When he became aware of this he said to them,
“Why do you conclude that it is because you have no bread?
Do you not yet understand or comprehend?
Are your hearts hardened?
Do you have eyes and not see, ears and not hear?
And do you not remember,
when I broke the five loaves for the five thousand,
how many wicker baskets full of fragments you picked up?”
They answered him, “Twelve.”
“When I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand,
how many full baskets of fragments did you pick up?”
They answered him, “Seven.”
He said to them, “Do you still not understand?”


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Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it may be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium, including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

ADVENTURE

Adventure is entering the unknowing,

It is excitement,

Trepidation,

Concern,

A willingness to respond.

 

To say Yes, when a maybe is all that is there.

To be open, when closed, seems safer.

To be vulnerable, when you might get hurt.

 

But most of all, adventure means hitting the Go button.

For none can begin without the first step.

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Reflection and Photograph © Michael J. Cunningham OFS

THE DAILY GOSPEL AND READINGS 17 FEBRUARY 2020

Monday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 335

Reading 1JAS 1:1-11

James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,
to the twelve tribes in the dispersion, greetings.

Consider it all joy, my brothers and sisters,
when you encounter various trials,
for you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.
And let perseverance be perfect,
so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
But if any of you lacks wisdom,
he should ask God who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly,
and he will be given it.
But he should ask in faith, not doubting,
for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea
that is driven and tossed about by the wind.
For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord,
since he is a man of two minds, unstable in all his ways.

The brother in lowly circumstances 
should take pride in high standing,
and the rich one in his lowliness, 
for he will pass away “like the flower of the field.”
For the sun comes up with its scorching heat and dries up the grass,
its flower droops, and the beauty of its appearance vanishes.
So will the rich person fade away in the midst of his pursuits.

Responsorial Psalm119:67, 68, 71, 72, 75, 76

R.    (77a)  Be kind to me, Lord, and I shall live.
Before I was afflicted I went astray,
but now I hold to your promise.
R.    Be kind to me, Lord, and I shall live.
You are good and bountiful;
teach me your statutes.
R.    Be kind to me, Lord, and I shall live.
It is good for me that I have been afflicted,
that I may learn your statutes.
R.    Be kind to me, Lord, and I shall live.
The law of your mouth is to me more precious
than thousands of gold and silver pieces.
R.    Be kind to me, Lord, and I shall live.
I know, O LORD, that your ordinances are just,
and in your faithfulness you have afflicted me.
R.    Be kind to me, Lord, and I shall live.
Let your kindness comfort me
according to your promise to your servants.
R.    Be kind to me, Lord, and I shall live.

AlleluiaJN 14:6

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the way and the truth and the life, says the Lord;
no one comes to the Father except through me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMK 8:11-13

The Pharisees came forward and began to argue with Jesus,
seeking from him a sign from heaven to test him.
He sighed from the depth of his spirit and said,
“Why does this generation seek a sign?
Amen, I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation.”
Then he left them, got into the boat again,
and went off to the other shore.


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Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it may be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium, including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

THE UNBROKEN WORD

Belonging and the Call to Action

Belonging is a huge topic. It is one studied by historians, psychologists, sociologists, and each and every one of us. While we may not be looking at the tribal character of belonging, or the intrinsic need to “belong” in our lives, we all know about belonging from how it feels.

If we are included, we understand what to be “home” feels like. It is hard to describe, but often that warm feeling we get in our core gives us the assurance that we are loved and attached. This might be very deep, such as in a marriage or family situation, or in the “families” we create in our lives, at work, play and in various groups. Sometimes the relationships with friends and colleagues seem like they go deeper than the ones with our blood relatives; perhaps that has something to do with the ability to chose your friends.

The need for belonging is built into our DNA, we know how important it is to belong, and we can tell the difference between being included and being loved and accepted. The acceptance in any relationship shows our openness to one another. Our ability to be loved is often very much related to our willingness to show love.

Our desire to belong is, therefore, something that binds us all together. Belonging is both a desire and a need. We all want it; otherwise, we would be spending our lives rejecting others, not letting them into the inner circle of our soul, where our heartbeats and where God resides within us. While we all have our moments in rejecting others, sometimes unknowingly, a state of continued rejection is one of exhaustion. It is too much work to spend time being ornery to others, at least all of the time!

So while we want to be on the receiving end of love, acceptance, invitations, and all the “incoming” benefits of belonging, there is more to it than this. To really belong, we have also to take action. We cannot remain inert, sitting there like a sponge waiting for others to invite us to join. Jesus’s mission in teaching had him on the road, explaining, teaching, inviting, disputing and clashing with those who taught hatred and self-promotion, replacing it with the guidelines of loving God and one another in what we now know as the body of Christ. That’s us!

So perhaps this week we can consider those guidelines, clearly delineated in the beatitudes and supported by the Gifts of the Holy Spirit showered on us during Pentecost, we can make the connection ourselves. Are we really using those gifts as well as we could? The Church says, “All are welcome,” am I practicing this in my life? I know for myself, there are always ways where my belonging to a certain group also, in a subtle way, excludes and differentiates me from others. This is not what Jesus intended. Remember what we do to the least of our brothers and sisters, we do to Christ?

If we remember Christ in our belonging, we will be both grateful and mindful in our treatment of others. This is something I will try and keep on my heart.

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THE UNBROKEN WORD

Belonging and the Call to Action

Belonging is a huge topic. It is one studied by historians, psychologists, sociologists, and each and every one of us. While we may not be looking at the tribal character of belonging, or the intrinsic need to “belong” in our lives, we all know about belonging from how it feels.

If we are included, we understand what to be “home” feels like. It is hard to describe, but often that warm feeling we get in our core gives us the assurance that we are loved and attached. This might be very deep, such as in a marriage or family situation, or in the “families” we create in our lives, at work, play and in various groups. Sometimes the relationships with friends and colleagues seem like they go deeper than the ones with our blood relatives; perhaps that has something to do with the ability to chose your friends.

The need for belonging is built into our DNA, we know how important it is to belong, and we can tell the difference between being included and being loved and accepted. The acceptance in any relationship shows our openness to one another. Our ability to be loved is often very much related to our willingness to show love.

Our desire to belong is, therefore, something that binds us all together. Belonging is both a desire and a need. We all want it; otherwise, we would be spending our lives rejecting others, not letting them into the inner circle of our soul, where our heartbeats and where God resides within us. While we all have our moments in rejecting others, sometimes unknowingly, a state of continued rejection is one of exhaustion. It is too much work to spend time being ornery to others, at least all of the time!

So while we want to be on the receiving end of love, acceptance, invitations, and all the “incoming” benefits of belonging, there is more to it than this. To really belong, we have also to take action. We cannot remain inert, sitting there like a sponge waiting for others to invite us to join. Jesus’s mission in teaching had him on the road, explaining, teaching, inviting, disputing and clashing with those who taught hatred and self-promotion, replacing it with the guidelines of loving God and one another in what we now know as the body of Christ. That’s us!

So perhaps this week we can consider those guidelines, clearly delineated in the beatitudes and supported by the Gifts of the Holy Spirit showered on us during Pentecost, we can make the connection ourselves. Are we really using those gifts as well as we could? The Church says, “All are welcome,” am I practicing this in my life? I know for myself, there are always ways where my belonging to a certain group also, in a subtle way, excludes and differentiates me from others. This is not what Jesus intended. Remember what we do to the least of our brothers and sisters, we do to Christ?

If we remember Christ in our belonging, we will be both grateful and mindful in our treatment of others. This is something I will try and keep on my heart.

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THE DAILY GOSPEL AND READINGS 16 FEBRUARY 2020

Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 76

Reading 1SIR 15:15-20

If you choose you can keep the commandments, they will save you;
if you trust in God, you too shall live;
he has set before you fire and water
to whichever you choose, stretch forth your hand.
Before man are life and death, good and evil,
whichever he chooses shall be given him.
Immense is the wisdom of the Lord;
he is mighty in power, and all-seeing.
The eyes of God are on those who fear him;
he understands man’s every deed.
No one does he command to act unjustly,
to none does he give license to sin.

Responsorial PsalmPS 119:1-2, 4-5, 17-18, 33-34

R. (1b) Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
Blessed are they whose way is blameless,
who walk in the law of the LORD.
Blessed are they who observe his decrees,
who seek him with all their heart.
R. Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
You have commanded that your precepts
be diligently kept.
Oh, that I might be firm in the ways
of keeping your statutes!
R. Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
Be good to your servant, that I may live
and keep your words.
Open my eyes, that I may consider
the wonders of your law.
R. Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
Instruct me, O LORD, in the way of your statutes,
that I may exactly observe them.
Give me discernment, that I may observe your law
and keep it with all my heart.
R. Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!

Reading 21 COR 2:6-10

Brothers and sisters:
We speak a wisdom to those who are mature,
not a wisdom of this age,
nor of the rulers of this age who are passing away.
Rather, we speak God’s wisdom, mysterious, hidden,
which God predetermined before the ages for our glory,
and which none of the rulers of this age knew;
for, if they had known it,
they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
But as it is written:
What eye has not seen, and ear has not heard,
and what has not entered the human heart,
what God has prepared for those who love him,

this God has revealed to us through the Spirit.

For the Spirit scrutinizes everything, even the depths of God.

AlleluiaMT 11:25

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth;
you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the kingdom.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 5:17-37 OR 5:20-22A, 27-28, 33-34A, 37

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets.
I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.
Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away,
not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter
will pass from the law,
until all things have taken place.
Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments
and teaches others to do so
will be called least in the kingdom of heaven.
But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments
will be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses
that of the scribes and Pharisees,
you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.

“You have heard that it was said to your ancestors,
You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment.
But I say to you,
whoever is angry with his brother
will be liable to judgment;
and whoever says to his brother, ‘Raqa,’
will be answerable to the Sanhedrin;
and whoever says, ‘You fool,’
will be liable to fiery Gehenna.
Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar,
and there recall that your brother
has anything against you,
leave your gift there at the altar,
go first and be reconciled with your brother,
and then come and offer your gift.
Settle with your opponent quickly while on the way to court.
Otherwise your opponent will hand you over to the judge,
and the judge will hand you over to the guard,
and you will be thrown into prison.
Amen, I say to you,
you will not be released until you have paid the last penny.

“You have heard that it was said,
You shall not commit adultery.
But I say to you,
everyone who looks at a woman with lust
has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
If your right eye causes you to sin,
tear it out and throw it away.
It is better for you to lose one of your members
than to have your whole body thrown into Gehenna.
And if your right hand causes you to sin,
cut it off and throw it away.
It is better for you to lose one of your members
than to have your whole body go into Gehenna.

“It was also said,
Whoever divorces his wife must give her a bill of divorce.
But I say to you,
whoever divorces his wife –  unless the marriage is unlawful –
causes her to commit adultery,
and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

“Again you have heard that it was said to your ancestors,
Do not take a false oath,
but make good to the Lord all that you vow.
But I say to you, do not swear at all;
not by heaven, for it is God’s throne;
nor by the earth, for it is his footstool;
nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King.
Do not swear by your head,
for you cannot make a single hair white or black.
Let your ‘Yes’ mean ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No’ mean ‘No.’
Anything more is from the evil one.”

or

Jesus said to his disciples:
“I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses
that of the scribes and Pharisees,
you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.

“You have heard that it was said to your ancestors,
You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment.
But I say to you,
whoever is angry with brother
will be liable to judgment.

“You have heard that it was said, You shall not commit adultery.
But I say to you,
everyone who looks at a woman with lust
has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

“Again you have heard that it was said to your ancestors,
Do not take a false oath,
but make good to the Lord all that you vow.

But I say to you, do not swear at all.
Let your ‘Yes’ mean ‘Yes,’and your ‘No’ mean ‘No.’
Anything more is from the evil one.”


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Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it may be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium, including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.