Nothing leads to something

kingsizehomer10(This was published on my personal blog, a place where I write – or try to, anyway  – more regularly.)

Whoops… once again days go by before I post. Where do I begin? Not that I think that everyone (or anyone!) is hanging on my every word, but I do like to be faithful to this little blog and blogging community. There are many times a lack of posting indicates that I am in the midst of some busy-making, which in all honesty, I dislike. That said, I have my day job, and I do a bunch of other things on the side. Aside from needing the extra cash, I am given the gift of doing things that I really love.

Don’t get me wrong, there are many things I love about my day job, but the things I really love… teaching, public speaking, directing retreats, and even my marketing consulting get my blood flowing. It is all ministry oriented work, which is a great privilege. (For the record, I seriously dislike the use of the word “busy” as some red badge of courage!)

That said, I do find that Continue reading

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Mercy – by Phyllis Cardona

21449-mercy

 

 

 

 

Today’s reflection is offered by guest, Phyllis Cardona.

Mercy – by Phyllis Cardona

I would like to think
that I would follow you anywhere, Lord.
That just knowing you were near
would still the storm that rages
in my mind and batters my heart,
and lead me beyond the place where
mistrust blocks access to mercy,
and forgiveness and exile go hand in hand.

I would like to think
that I could endorse your blatant
acceptance of sinners,
and join with gusto
at Zacchaeus’ ill-gotten banquet
and not stand scowling at the gate
leaving the work of forgiveness
to you alone.

Help me lay down
the stones of disappointment,
anxiety and fear
so that the mercy
of your eternal second chance
can take root deep within
and burst out
healing all that is damaged,
broken and dead.

Help me find
the jar of precious nard
buried long ago
deep within the heart
you fashioned in innocence
and nurtured in times of trial.

Give me the strength and the grace
to break the jar, and to allow
the sweet scent of forgiveness
to mingle with my hesitation –
an offering of hope and relief.

(Phyllis Cardona lives in Albany; she is a poet, writer, and retired catechist. We thank her for her contribution to the blog.)

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Bless the Lord – a reflection by Bill Thornton

The Prophet Jeremiah

The Prophet Jeremiah

Today’s post comes courtesy of parishioner Bill Thornton.

In today’s first reading, Jeremiah says in part:

Cursed is the man or woman who trusts in human beings,
who seeks his or her strength in flesh, … but

Blessed is the man or woman who trusts in the LORD,
whose hope is the LORD.

This probably reminds you of Psalm 1, that we talked about on the Thursday after Ash Wednesday, and indeed the lesson of the two readings is about the same. However, there is a nuance that I would like to highlight in the today’s reading.

The prophet tells us today the one who trusts in the world, “is like a barren bush in the desert
that enjoys no change of season, but stands in a lava waste, a salt and empty earth.” On the other hand, the one who trusts in the Lord “is like a tree planted beside the waters that stretches out its roots to the stream. It fears not the heat when it comes, its leaves stay green; in the year of drought it shows no distress, but still bears fruit.Continue reading

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Taking the cup – a Lenten reflection

'Interesting. . . I see you have a degree in 'Under Achieving'. . .'Another day in Lent, another Gospel challenge. Today – underachieving by design! Yes, you are thinking, “what is she on about now?” You know me, sometimes I like to kid – even, perhaps especially, during Lent.

Achievement. Our world seems pretty much built around it. I worked in the media business for 27 years. My first job was as what was then called (does it even exist now?) “sales assistant.” What did I do? I was a glorified secretary, working for a salesperson. In 1980, this was more likely a man than a woman. If you did your job really well, you would be promoted to – wow, I can’t even remember the title. In was the over-glorified secretary I guess, because you worked for the sales manager, and you supervised the other sales assistants. Yes, I did get this job and I was an incredible disaster at it. At that age I did not have a clue about servant leadership, or that such a thing existed – I was just not ready for any of it.

Today’s Gospel is very clear, if you seek greatness, be willing to serve, not lord your greatness over people. In this passage from Matthew, the mother of the sons of Zebedee approaches Jesus and Continue reading

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A Lenten Reflection by Don Wilson

341px-Carl_Heinrich_Bloch_-_Jesus_TemptedThis reflection was offered by Don Wilson at a Communion Service On Saturday, February 21, 2015, for the 1st Sunday of Lent, at the Coxsackie DOC. Don is part of the REC (Residents Encounter Christ) prison ministry . It is timely wisdom for us at any time during Lent!

Tomorrow is the first Sunday of Lent. Jesus is almost ready to begin his public ministry, but first He must go through some things as final preparation. He had to identify himself with sinful humanity at the outset of His ministry, and He did this by submitting to baptism. Then He had to face temptation. Mark’s gospel doesn’t list any specific temptations as you will find in the gospel of Matthew or Luke. Perhaps it is because each of us faces slightly different temptations, yet we do not have to give in to any of them because Jesus is SUFFICIENT to handle whatever life brings our way.

There are three things I got out of Mark’s account of the temptations Jesus encountered:
1. We all find ourselves wandering in the Wilderness
A wilderness is any place we don’t want to be. This wilderness was a place where Jesus found himself alone. His friends were not there. He had no support team to encourage him.

Now I don’t think I have to convince anyone here that times Continue reading

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The loving father – by Madeline Longacker

MGK5000A“Ask and you shall receive, seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you…As bad as you are, you know how to give good things to your children. How much more, then will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask Him.” Mt 7:7-11

I was trying to imagine how I would react to this scripture if I heard these words from Jesus spoken to me for the first time. I think I would be grateful and relieved that I had a loving Father who wanted to be in a close relationship with me. I would be amazed that He wanted me to ask, seek and knock with all my needs and to persevere in the requests. I would also have been encouraged by the reminder that God is good and is always giving good gifts to His family.

I had received a holy picture card when I was in school that had this scripture on it. The words were so exciting because I could ask God for anything. The scripture remains powerful today because a relationship with the Father has grown through a very simple, childlike conversation with Him. He already knows all my needs, but He desires my expression of them. Turning to Him shows my love and trust in Him.

This conversation over time shows me how God responds Continue reading

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Want peace? Start with yourself… by Anne Wasielewski

Advent Reflections - December 16, 2009 by Charles BurreGod is love. Sure, it is comforting to know that God loves us, but it is a challenge to really believe that God loves the non-believer, the person who may have hurt you intentionally, or worse, simply ignored you out of complete indifference. But God is love, and God loves everyone including our enemies, people of different faiths or no faith at all.

It is very easy for one to say that one loves their neighbor as in Matthew 5: 43-48. Often, that “neighbor” is an abstract concept/person, not your co-worker, fellow commuter or relative. God continually invites all of us into a loving and committed relationship with Him. It is not enough to merely accept His invitation and then move on. To really know and love God our Father, one must become a true follower of Jesus, and not just an admirer of Him. One must enter into a deeply intimate relationship with God based on complete trust, love and receptivity.

At first, this was downright terrifying that in order to enter deeply into a real relationship with God, I must reveal my inner thoughts and weaknesses to God. Do I even know my inner thoughts and weaknesses? Would both God and I be horrified as to what was unearthed? What if God rescinds His invitation to me to be His disciple? And if that is not bad enough, what if I discovered the same displeasing traits in me and the same people I struggle to accept?

I continuously asked myself, “Why should I delve into my most inner thoughts?” I read and re-read Psalm 139, which tells of the all-knowing and ever-present God. A God who loves us sinners unconditionally. I reasoned that I am basically a good enough person. I try to live a good Catholic Christian live by attending Mass regularly, going to Reconciliation and volunteering to serve Christ through faith based ministries. I have complete trust in God, and know that He will Continue reading

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