THE UNBROKEN WORD

In recent weeks we have been preparing for the upcoming retreat season at Mater Dolorosa. Each year the retreat team meets for weeks to discuss what the theme for the year might be. This year, in particular, placed a vast challenge upon us, and resulted in the retreat named “Walking with God during difficult times.”

For those of us who have our faith challenged at these times, we fall back on scripture, lives of the saints, or other spiritual guidance provided by the Church and its abundance in the past 2000 years. However, these sources are not the only ones where we can find solace and assistance. While researching for materials, I returned to a popular song which always makes me very reflective. The song is Paul McCartney’s “Let it Be.”

When Paul McCartney wrote this song there were many interpretations of the meaning. Many interpretations occur when an artist places their heart out there in their art. They are willing to share it, and you become the co-creator. For many years, I, like many others, thought that Paul was referring to our Blessed Mother. Why wouldn’t I? The lyrics seem to talk directly to the soothing relationship we have with the mother of Jesus. Where she can be the intermediary between Christ and us to “Let it Be”. In this regard, as we with many bible verses, we become the co-creator, interpreting the words, images, or sounds into what is God saying to me.

However, in Paul’s case, the lyrics, at least for him, the author, were about his mother. His mother’s name was Mary, and he obviously loved her dearly. Despite the fact that she had died of cancer when Paul was just fourteen years old, he was still very close to her. Paul explains:

“I had a dream in the Sixties where my mum who died came to me in a dream and was reassuring me, saying: ‘It’s gonna be OK. Just let it be…”

I wonder if this way was Gods way of providing the peace Paul was seeking in his motherless desert wilderness? Could he have known how such sage advice was going to become an anthem to invite the peace of God into so many lives over the years?

Sometimes we feel that even though we are in community with others, we are still not prepared. We feel alone even though we are not. Just as in the photograph below, God’s gaze is always focused on us, even when we cannot see or feel it.

This week, perhaps we can notice where God is present in the lives of others, who don’t seem to appreciate His presence. Perhaps you can help them through gracefully showing them how God has not left them, but they may just not see Him as clearly as he sees them.

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Clearly noticed in a sea of Grasses

THE DAILY GOSPEL AND READINGS 27 SEPTEMBER 2020

Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 136

Reading 1

EZ 18:25-28

Thus says the LORD:
You say, “The LORD’s way is not fair!”
Hear now, house of Israel:
Is it my way that is unfair, or rather, are not your ways unfair?
When someone virtuous turns away from virtue to commit iniquity, and dies,
it is because of the iniquity he committed that he must die.
But if he turns from the wickedness he has committed,
he does what is right and just,
he shall preserve his life;
since he has turned away from all the sins that he has committed,
he shall surely live, he shall not die.

Responsorial Psalm

PS 25:4-5, 6-7, 8-9

R. (6a) Remember your mercies, O Lord.
Your ways, O LORD, make known to me;
teach me your paths,
guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my savior.
R. Remember your mercies, O Lord.
Remember that your compassion, O LORD,
and your love are from of old.
The sins of my youth and my frailties remember not;
in your kindness remember me,
because of your goodness, O LORD.
R. Remember your mercies, O Lord.
Good and upright is the LORD;
thus he shows sinners the way.
He guides the humble to justice,
and teaches the humble his way.
R. Remember your mercies, O Lord.

Reading 2

PHIL 2:1-11 OR 2:1-5

Brothers and sisters:
If there is any encouragement in Christ,
any solace in love,
any participation in the Spirit,
any compassion and mercy,
complete my joy by being of the same mind, with the same love,
united in heart, thinking one thing.
Do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory;
rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves,
each looking out not for his own interests,
but also for those of others.

Have in you the same attitude
that is also in Christ Jesus,
Who, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
something to be grasped.
Rather, he emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
coming in human likeness;
and found human in appearance,
he humbled himself,
becoming obedient to the point of death,
even death on a cross.
Because of this, God greatly exalted him
and bestowed on him the name
which is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend,
of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that
Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

or

Brothers and sisters:
If there is any encouragement in Christ,
any solace in love,
any participation in the Spirit,
any compassion and mercy,
complete my joy by being of the same mind, with the same love,
united in heart, thinking one thing.
Do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory;
rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves,
each looking out not for his own interests,
but also for those of others.

Have in you the same attitude
that is also in Christ Jesus.

Alleluia

JN 10:27

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord;
I know them, and they follow me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel

MT 21:28-32

Jesus said to the chief priests and elders of the people:
“What is your opinion?
A man had two sons.
He came to the first and said,
‘Son, go out and work in the vineyard today.’
He said in reply, ‘I will not, ‘
but afterwards changed his mind and went.
The man came to the other son and gave the same order.
He said in reply, ‘Yes, sir, ‘but did not go.
Which of the two did his father’s will?”
They answered, “The first.”
Jesus said to them, “Amen, I say to you,
tax collectors and prostitutes
are entering the kingdom of God before you.
When John came to you in the way of righteousness,
you did not believe him;
but tax collectors and prostitutes did.
Yet even when you saw that,
you did not later change your minds and believe him.”

THE DAILY GOSPEL AND READINGS 26 SEPTEMBER 2020

Saturday of the Twenty-Fifth Week in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 454

Reading 1

ECCL 11:9—12:8

Rejoice, O young man, while you are young
and let your heart be glad in the days of your youth.
Follow the ways of your heart,
the vision of your eyes;
Yet understand that as regards all this
God will bring you to judgment.
Ward off grief from your heart
and put away trouble from your presence,
though the dawn of youth is fleeting.

Remember your Creator in the days of your youth,
before the evil days come
And the years approach of which you will say,
I have no pleasure in them;
Before the sun is darkened,
and the light, and the moon, and the stars,
while the clouds return after the rain;
When the guardians of the house tremble,
and the strong men are bent,
And the grinders are idle because they are few,
and they who look through the windows grow blind;
When the doors to the street are shut,
and the sound of the mill is low;
When one waits for the chirp of a bird,
but all the daughters of song are suppressed;
And one fears heights,
and perils in the street;
When the almond tree blooms,
and the locust grows sluggish
and the caper berry is without effect,
Because man goes to his lasting home,
and mourners go about the streets;
Before the silver cord is snapped
and the golden bowl is broken,
And the pitcher is shattered at the spring,
and the broken pulley falls into the well,
And the dust returns to the earth as it once was,
and the life breath returns to God who gave it.

Vanity of vanities, says Qoheleth,
all things are vanity!

Responsorial Psalm

PS 90:3-4, 5-6, 12-13, 14 AND 17

R. (1) In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.
You turn man back to dust,
saying, “Return, O children of men.”
For a thousand years in your sight
are as yesterday, now that it is past,
or as a watch of the night.
R. In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.
You make an end of them in their sleep;
the next morning they are like the changing grass,
Which at dawn springs up anew,
but by evening wilts and fades.
R. In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.
Teach us to number our days aright,
that we may gain wisdom of heart.
Return, O LORD! How long?
Have pity on your servants!
R. In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.
Fill us at daybreak with your kindness,
that we may shout for joy and gladness all our days.
And may the gracious care of the LORD our God be ours;
prosper the work of our hands for us!
Prosper the work of our hands!
R. In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.

Alleluia

2 TIMOTHY 1:10

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

Gospel

LK 9:43B-45

While they were all amazed at his every deed,
Jesus said to his disciples,
“Pay attention to what I am telling you.
The Son of Man is to be handed over to men.”
But they did not understand this saying;
its meaning was hidden from them
so that they should not understand it,
and they were afraid to ask him about this saying.