Reflections on Sunday’s Readings: August 21, 2016

God is for All

This is the 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time. In a world divided by wars, violence, dishonesty, economic inequality, discrimination and ethnic distrust, it is fitting that the scriptures should remind us of the all-inclusive nature of God’s plan for the world. The images of the second reading also remind us of God’s desire that “what is lame may not be disjointed but healed.” The Spirit of Jesus invites us to put an end to what separates us by race, gender, class or any other category. The Spirit invites our world into a process of healing – the healing of racial, religious and ethnic divisions – the healing of everything that divides us. May we be strengthened to follow the way of Christ!

“All people are endowed with a rational soul and are created in God’s image; they have the same nature and origin and, being redeemed by Christ, they enjoy the same divine calling and destiny; there is here a basic equality between all people and it must be given ever greater recognition.… forms of social or cultural discrimination in basic personal rights on the grounds of sex, race, color, social conditions, language or religion, must be curbed and eradicated as incompatible with God's design.” (Vatican Council II, Gaudium et Spes, No. 29)

Volunteer Spotlight: Don Weckman

Don WeckmanThe following story appeared in the August 2016 issue of the Catholic Charities Newsletter. Volunteering at Catholic Charities is a wonderful way to express a response to Pope Francis’ appeal to live more mercifully.

Volunteers are the lifeblood of non-profit organizations and that is true for us here at Catholic Charities of Louisville. Not only are volunteers the lifeblood of a nonprofit organization, the experience of volunteering is oftentimes the lifeblood of the individual. This month we would like to take a moment to highlight one of our volunteers, Don Weckman, who volunteers with both the Migration and Refugee Services department and the Common Table Program.

Don’s relationship with Catholic Charities began long before his time as a volunteer. Don and his wife adopted their first son through Catholic Charities; because of this Don knew he wanted to find a way that he could give back to the agency that had helped his family. The call to volunteer came to Don during Mass at the Church of the Epiphany, where Deacon Lucio Caruso, Director of Mission Integration at Catholic Charities, mentioned we were looking for volunteers.

Moments of Mercy for August 2016

Mercy in MotionThe following reflections are from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Each month our Moments of Mercy offer brief reflections on mercy and concrete suggestions of how we can live out the mercy that God offers us all.  These are perfect for busy days since they help us to slow down for just a few minutes and think about the gifts God has blessed us with and how we can share them.

Moments of Mercy

Mercy is more than just forgiving people; it is about considering the needs of others and responding to them in a loving and compassionate manner. It is a call to look beyond ourselves to the way in which we interact with the world as Christians. Pope Francis encourages us to "return to the basics and to bear the weaknesses and struggles of our brothers and sisters. Mercy is the force that reawakens us to new life and instills in us the courage to look to the future with hope" (MV, no. 10). We have hope in our salvation by our faith in Christ. However, not everyone shares in this hope, so we need to spread this hope by becoming "merciful like the Father" (MV, no. 13).

The Weekly Work of Mercy – Submit your Photos

Year of MercyFor the next 14 weeks, August 14-November 18, 2016, we will be focusing on one of the Corporal or Spiritual Works of Mercy. Slides showing examples of one work of mercy will be shown in the Narthex/Gathering Area each week, and we’d love to have photos of you and your family or ministry group to help bring these works into our lives. Please send digital photos to Linda.

Some are obvious, but some take a little thought… For example, photos of “feeding the hungry” could include volunteering at a soup kitchen or EACM, bringing food for our grocery cart, delivering Meals on Wheels, participating in the Hunger Walk, taking a meal to a sick friend, etc.

Photos for “instruct the ignorant” could include parish catechists teaching classes or facilitating groups, teaching English as a second language - or Spanish, or ASL, or witnessing about your faith life at liturgies or workshops, tutoring a friend, etc.

A Mercy Passport for the Year of Mercy

Mercy - Pope FrancisThis week we begin to wrap up this Jubilee Year with the “Mercy Passport” and an ongoing liturgical focus on the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy.

As explained in the Church document Misericordiae Vultus that announced this Year of Mercy, Pope Francis is focusing on mercy because “We constantly need to contemplate the mystery of mercy. It is a wellspring of joy, serenity, and peace. Our salvation depends upon it” (2). In short, “we are called to show mercy because mercy has first been shown to us” (9). And he challenges us: “Mercy is the very foundation of the Church’s life. All of her pastoral activity should be caught up in the tenderness she makes present to believers…The Church has an endless desire to show mercy” (10).

Reflections on Sunday’s Readings: August 14, 2016

Set world on fireThis is the 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time. Religious faith should be something that is exciting and energizing. It puts us on fire and sets us free. People become aware of life, aware of others, aware of God, aware of the poor, aware of injustice, aware of the problems, aware of the possibilities, aware of a new vision. Discipleship leads people to awareness, and puts them on fire – on fire with love, filled with life, energized for service and solidarity.

The peace that Jesus gives is not an absence of conflict. Like a sword, the truth of Jesus’ message can cause great division. Not all are able to accept it – even within the same family. Each of us may struggle and resist it from time to time; discipleship is a costly commitment. Ultimately, it should lead us to freedom and life. Ultimately, we should end up on fire even in the midst of opposition. The message has power. It is worth the risk.

Feast of the Assumption of Mary Celebrated here on August 15, 2015

Assumption of MaryWhat: Mass for the feast of the Assumption of Mary

When: Monday, August 15, 2016, 8:30 AM

Where: Worship Center

The Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary commemorates the day of Mary’s death and the fact that her body was received into heaven, like the resurrected body of Jesus, which is celebrated on the feast of the Ascension of the Lord (the 7th Sunday after Easter). This feast reminds us that we too, who believe in “the resurrection of the body,” anticipate to experience this same resurrected life as promised in our baptism.

Obituary for Larry Miller, Jr

Cross and lightLawrence “Larry” Bernard Miller, Jr., 78, of Louisville, Kentucky passed away on August 4, 2016.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Lawrence B. Miller, Sr. and Bertha Stocker Miller. He is survived by his beloved wife of 46 years, Carolyn Skees Miller of Cecilia, Kentucky; his children, Lisa C. Williams (Russell), Gregory T. Miller (Cathryne Callaway), and Adam J. Miller (Allison); his brother, Dennis M. Miller; and sister, Judy Abel; as well as his grandchildren, Savannah and Myah Williams, and Henry and George Miller.

Reflections on Sunday’s Readings: August 7, 2016

Treasure - HeartThis is the 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time. Today’s scriptures remind us that our ancestors walked by faith, and that our hearts abide where our treasure is. We pray that the Spirit will kindle in us the faith that inspired Abraham and Sarah, that we will value what is most important, and find our heart’s home in the love and mercy of God.

One of the treasures of our faith is the inexhaustible mercy of God. As explained in the Church document Misericordiae Vultus that announced this Year of Mercy, Pope Francis is focusing on mercy because “We constantly need to contemplate the mystery of mercy. It is a wellspring of joy, serenity, and peace. Our salvation depends upon it” (2). In short, “we are called to show mercy because mercy has first been shown to us” (9). And he challenges us: “Mercy is the very foundation of the Church’s life. All of her pastoral activity should be caught up in the tenderness she makes present to believers…The Church has an endless desire to show mercy” (10). This week we begin a focus on the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy.

Come and Pray

Power of PrayerPrayer is the soul’s breathing,” St. Augustine tells us, “the affectionate reaching out of the mind for God.”

  • How are you nurturing your prayer life? Your faith?
  • What has God been about in your life?
  • How is the Spirit nudging you to be attentive to God individually and with others?
  • Have you ever considered spiritual direction, sharing your life experience with a guiding mentor to unpack the presence of God and movement of the Spirit?

Two sides of a coin: “Without community, individual prayer easily degenerates into egocentric and eccentric behavior, but without individual prayer, the prayer of the community quickly becomes a meaningless routine.” (Henri Nouwen)

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