An Unfolding Soul

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An Unfolding Soul

Let me out of this fishing line tangle,

Of this knotted gut,

And this un-ironed selfishness which caused me to become this ball of paper;

Now both fragile and tense,

I curl up in my own self-interest.

So, let me unfold.

 

One corner at a time,

Stretching the scrunched up parts until all creases are smooth,

Revealing the parts of me which have become concealed to others,

Even myself.

 

Let me be open once more,

Willing to written on,

Seen,

Directed without agenda.

 

And see the face of God once more,

Merely by unfolding my resistance.

THE DAILY GOSPEL AND READINGS 25 FEBRUARY 2020

Tuesday of the Seventh Week of Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 342

Reading 1JAS 4:1-10

Beloved:
Where do the wars and where do the conflicts among you come from?
Is it not from your passions that make war within your members?
You covet but do not possess.
You kill and envy but you cannot obtain;
you fight and wage war.
You do not possess because you do not ask.
You ask but do not receive, because you ask wrongly,
to spend it on your passions.
Adulterers!
Do you not know that to be a lover of the world means enmity with God?
Therefore, whoever wants to be a lover of the world  
makes himself an enemy of God.
Or do you suppose that the Scripture speaks without meaning when it says,
The spirit that he has made to dwell in us tends toward jealousy?
But he bestows a greater grace; therefore, it says:
God resists the proud,
but gives grace to the humble.

So submit yourselves to God.
Resist the Devil, and he will flee from you.
Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.
Cleanse your hands, you sinners,
and purify your hearts, you of two minds.
Begin to lament, to mourn, to weep.
Let your laughter be turned into mourning
and your joy into dejection.
Humble yourselves before the Lord
and he will exalt you.

Responsorial Psalm55:7-8, 9-10A, 10B-11A, 23

R.    (23a)  Throw your cares on the Lord, and he will support you.
And I say, “Had I but wings like a dove,
I would fly away and be at rest.
Far away I would flee;
I would lodge in the wilderness.”
R.    Throw your cares on the Lord, and he will support you.
“I would wait for him who saves me
from the violent storm and the tempest.”
Engulf them, O Lord; divide their counsels.
R.    Throw your cares on the Lord, and he will support you.
In the city I see violence and strife,
day and night they prowl about upon its walls.
R.    Throw your cares on the Lord, and he will support you.
Cast your care upon the LORD,
and he will support you;
never will he permit the just man to be disturbed.
R.    Throw your cares on the Lord, and he will support you.

AlleluiaGAL 6:14

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
May I never boast except in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ,
through which the world has been crucified to me and I to the world.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMK 9:30-37

Jesus and his disciples left from there and began a journey through Galilee,
but he did not wish anyone to know about it.
He was teaching his disciples and telling them,
“The Son of Man is to be handed over to men
and they will kill him,
and three days after his death the Son of Man will rise.”
But they did not understand the saying,
and they were afraid to question him.

They came to Capernaum and, once inside the house,
he began to ask them,
“What were you arguing about on the way?”
But they remained silent.
For they had been discussing among themselves on the way
who was the greatest.
Then he sat down, called the Twelve, and said to them,
“If anyone wishes to be first,  
he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.”
Taking a child, he placed it in their midst,  
and putting his arms around it, he said to them,
“Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me;
and whoever receives me,
receives not me but the One who sent me.”


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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 DAILY GOSPEL AND READINGS 24 FEBRUARY 2020

Monday of the Seventh Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 341

Reading 1JAS 3:13-18

Beloved:
Who among you is wise and understanding?
Let him show his works by a good life  
in the humility that comes from wisdom.
But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts,
do not boast and be false to the truth.
Wisdom of this kind does not come down from above
but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.
For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist,
there is disorder and every foul practice.
But the wisdom from above is first of all pure,
then peaceable, gentle, compliant,
full of mercy and good fruits,
without inconstancy or insincerity.
And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace
for those who cultivate peace.

Responsorial Psalm19:8, 9, 10, 15

R.    (9a)  The precepts of the Lord give joy to the heart.
The law of the LORD is perfect,
refreshing the soul;
The decree of the LORD is trustworthy,
giving wisdom to the simple.
R.    The precepts of the Lord give joy to the heart.
The precepts of the LORD are right,
rejoicing the heart;
The command of the LORD is clear,
enlightening the eye.
R.    The precepts of the Lord give joy to the heart.
The fear of the LORD is pure,
enduring forever;
The ordinances of the LORD are true,
all of them just.
R.    The precepts of the Lord give joy to the heart.
Let the words of my mouth and the thought of my heart
find favor before you,
O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.
R.    The precepts of the Lord give joy to the heart.

Alleluia2 TM 1:10

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Our Savior Jesus Christ has destroyed death
and brought life to light through the Gospel.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMK 9:14-29

As Jesus came down from the mountain with Peter, James, John
and approached the other disciples,
they saw a large crowd around them and scribes arguing with them.
Immediately on seeing him,
the whole crowd was utterly amazed.
They ran up to him and greeted him.
He asked them, “What are you arguing about with them?”
Someone from the crowd answered him,
“Teacher, I have brought to you my son possessed by a mute spirit.
Wherever it seizes him, it throws him down;
he foams at the mouth, grinds his teeth, and becomes rigid.
I asked your disciples to drive it out, but they were unable to do so.”
He said to them in reply,
“O faithless generation, how long will I be with you?
How long will I endure you?  Bring him to me.”
They brought the boy to him.
And when he saw him,
the spirit immediately threw the boy into convulsions.
As he fell to the ground, he began to roll around  
and foam at the mouth.
Then he questioned his father,
“How long has this been happening to him?”
He replied, “Since childhood.
It has often thrown him into fire and into water to kill him.
But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”
Jesus said to him,
“‘If you can!’ Everything is possible to one who has faith.”
Then the boy’s father cried out, “I do believe, help my unbelief!”
Jesus, on seeing a crowd rapidly gathering,
rebuked the unclean spirit and said to it,
“Mute and deaf spirit, I command you:
come out of him and never enter him again!”
Shouting and throwing the boy into convulsions, it came out.
He became like a corpse, which caused many to say, “He is dead!”
But Jesus took him by the hand, raised him, and he stood up.
When he entered the house, his disciples asked him in private,
“Why could we not drive the spirit out?”
He said to them, “This kind can only come out through prayer.”


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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

I recently had some discussions on the topic of adventure. When we say the word adventure, we often consider it as an event or activity that might break us out of our normal pattern of life. Whatever that is!

Adventure conjures up feelings of excitement, change, adrenalin, and activities that might be considered outside the norm for us. In many cases, what we once considered an adventurous activity is now part of the norm for us. For example, if you are not used to public speaking, then those first steps in grade school or high school can be considered adventurous. We put ourselves out there for all to see (and criticize) and rely on our skills and wit to get us through it. It often takes courage to even place ourselves in line for an adventure, such as getting on that roller coaster that the kids want to ride, but you really would prefer to avoid.

So adventure firstly requires a commitment and then the second stage, the follow-through. When I review my own life and this topic I often feel that adventure, or trying something new, can become a part of your journey. A willingness to take a risk, push your skill sets, explore where you don’t have a map or a guaranteed outcome all comprise of how the adventure is perceived and understood. So, this willingness can apply to our vocational and family life as well as our spiritual journey.

Rather like a child who often takes their lead in the taste of food from diets served and eaten by parents, we gradually build up a list of food types we are unwilling to try. Even when we know that food is good for us, tastes pleasant and looks great, we still refuse to try it out. This is a learned trait even in a two-year-old. When we add up our places of “don’t go there,” they become a massive list by the time we are adults.
Over time, this creates a list of places where our tastes, likes and dislikes come to govern our approach to the world based on a limited palate. This does not just affect food, relationships, social interaction but also our spiritual journey. We become judgmental on prayer types, worship venues, even who we are willing to socialize it.

This coming week perhaps we can reexamine our taste for adventure. Are we willing to try our a new prayer form? Engage in a new spiritual group? Listen to a new message? All these are signs that we have opened ourselves up to hearing what God is saying to us on the inside. Christ is with us always, but are we open for His next suggested adventure in our spiritual journey?

After all, this adventure may have been sitting there for a long time in our hearts and minds, but somehow we didn’t dare to say Yes to it. Perhaps the time to say Yes instead of No to God’s next adventure is here, all we need to do is answer it.

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THE DAILY GOSPEL AND READINGS 23 FEBRUARY 2020

Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter, Apostle
Lectionary: 535

Reading 11 PT 5:1-4

Beloved:
I exhort the presbyters among you,
as a fellow presbyter and witness to the sufferings of Christ
and one who has a share in the glory to be revealed.
Tend the flock of God in your midst,
overseeing not by constraint but willingly,
as God would have it, not for shameful profit but eagerly.
Do not lord it over those assigned to you,
but be examples to the flock.
And when the chief Shepherd is revealed,
you will receive the unfading crown of glory.

Responsorial Psalm23:1-3A, 4, 5, 6

R.    (1)  The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
In verdant pastures he gives me repose;
Beside restful waters he leads me;
he refreshes my soul.
R.    The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
Even though I walk in the dark valley
I fear no evil; for you are at my side
With your rod and your staff
that give me courage.
R.    The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
You spread the table before me
in the sight of my foes;
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
R.    The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
Only goodness and kindness follow me
all the days of my life;
And I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
for years to come.
R.    The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

AlleluiaMT 16:18

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church;
the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 16:13-19

When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi
he asked his disciples,
“Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”
They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah,
still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
Simon Peter said in reply,
“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah.
For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.
And so I say to you, you are Peter,
and upon this rock I will build my Church,
and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.
I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven.
Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven;
and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

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Friends Indeed

What are friends today?

Friends are bonded by a love of God,

Love of each other,

Love of all which is love.

 

Love of God.

 

For friends meet in grace,

Where love collides with opinions, treatises, projects, families, calamities;

Finally gathering like uncollected children toys at the foot of the cross,

As the God who never dies, watches us with amusement; His children playing clumsily together with words.

 

Finally, they agree, the mystery cannot be unraveled, but recognize their part in the play.

 

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THE DAILY GOSPEL AND READINGS 21 FEBRUARY 2020

Friday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 339

Reading 1JAS 2:14-24, 26

What good is it, my brothers and sisters,
if someone says he has faith but does not have works?  
Can that faith save him?
If a brother or sister has nothing to wear
and has no food for the day,
and one of you says to them,
“Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well,”
but you do not give them the necessities of the body,
what good is it?
So also faith of itself,
if it does not have works, is dead.

Indeed someone might say,  
“You have faith and I have works.”
Demonstrate your faith to me without works,
and I will demonstrate my faith to you from my works.
You believe that God is one.
You do well.
Even the demons believe that and tremble.
Do you want proof, you ignoramus,
that faith without works is useless?
Was not Abraham our father justified by works
when he offered his son Isaac upon the altar?
You see that faith was active along with his works,
and faith was completed by the works.
Thus the Scripture was fulfilled that says,
Abraham believed God,
and it was credited to him as righteousness,

and he was called the friend of God.
See how a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.
For just as a body without a spirit is dead,
so also faith without works is dead.

Responsorial Psalm112:1-2, 3-4, 5-6

R.    (see 1b)  Blessed the man who greatly delights in the Lord’s commands.
Blessed the man who fears the LORD,
who greatly delights in his commands.
His posterity shall be mighty upon the earth;
the upright generation shall be blessed.
R.    Blessed the man who greatly delights in the Lord’s commands.
Wealth and riches shall be in his house;
his generosity shall endure forever.
Light shines through the darkness for the upright;
he is gracious and merciful and just.
R.    Blessed the man who greatly delights in the Lord’s commands.
Well for the man who is gracious and lends,
who conducts his affairs with justice;
He shall never be moved;
the just man shall be in everlasting remembrance.
R.    Blessed the man who greatly delights in the Lord’s commands.

AlleluiaJN 15:15B

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
I call you my friends, says the Lord,
for I have made known to you all that the Father has told me.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMK 8:34–9:1

Jesus summoned the crowd with his disciples and said to them,
“Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself,
take up his cross, and follow me.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake
and that of the Gospel will save it.
What profit is there for one to gain the whole world
and forfeit his life?
What could one give in exchange for his life?
Whoever is ashamed of me and of my words
in this faithless and sinful generation,
the Son of Man will be ashamed of
when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”

He also said to them,
“Amen, I say to you,
there are some standing here who will not taste death
until they see that the Kingdom of God has come in power.”


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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.