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Monday, January 31, 2022

Photo: January's blur


Prayer: Padraig O’Tuama, Daily Prayer with the Corrymeela Community

So let us pick up
the stones over which we stumble,
friends, and build altars…

Let us name the harsh light and
soft darkness that surround us.

Let’s claw ourselves out from the graves we’ve dug.

Let’s lick the earth from our fingers.

Let us look up and out and around.
The world is big and wide and wild and wonderful and wicked,
our lives are murky, magnificent, malleable, and full of meaning.

Let us pray.

Sunday, January 30, 2022

Photo: The reach


Prayer: "We are One with You" by Thomas Merton

O God, we are one with you. You have made us one with you.
You have taught us that if we are open to one another, you dwell in us.
Help us to preserve this openness and to fight for it with all our hearts. Help us to realize that
there can be no understanding where there is mutual rejection.

O God, in accepting one another wholeheartedly, fully, completely, we accept you, and we thank
you, and we adore you, and we love you with our whole being, because our being is your being,
our spirit is rooted in your spirit. Fill us then with love, and let us be bound together with love as
we go our diverse ways, united in this one spirit which makes you present in the world, and
which makes you witness to the ultimate reality that is love. Love has overcome. Love is victorious.

Saturday, January 29, 2022

Poem: Wendell Berry, "I know that I have life"

I know that I have life
only insofar as I have love.

I have no love
except it come from Thee.

Help me please to carry
this candle against the wind.

Friday, January 28, 2022

Prayer: John O’Donohue in To Bless The Space Between Us

A blessing is not a sentiment or a question; it is a gracious invocation where the human heart pleads with the divine heart. There is nothing more intimate in a life than the secret under-territory where it anchors…there is no heart that is without this inner divine reference.

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Poem: "Blessed be the Day" by John O'Donohue

 Blessed be the mind that dreamed the day

The blueprint of your life
Would begin to glow on earth,
Illuminating all the faces and voices
That would arrive to invite
Your soul to growth.

Praised be your father and mother,
Who loved you before you were,
And trusted to call you here
With no idea who you would be.

Blessed be those who have loved you
Into becoming who you were meant to be,
Blessed be those who have crossed your life
With dark gifts of hurt and loss
That have helped to school your mind
In the art of disappointment.

When desolation surrounded you,
Blessed be those who looked for you
And found you, their kind hands
Urgent to open a blue window
In the gray wall formed around you.

Blessed be the gifts you never notice,
Your health, eyes to behold the world,
Thoughts to countenance the unknown,
Memory to harvest vanished days,
Your heart to feel the world's waves,
Your breath to breathe the nourishment
Of distance made intimate by earth.

On this echoing-day of your birth,
May you open the gift of solitude
In order to receive your soul;
Enter the generosity of silence
To hear your hidden heart;
Know the serenity of stillness
To be enfolded anew

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

The Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time January 30, 2022

                                   The Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

January 30, 2022

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Jeremiah 1:4-5, 17-19; Psalm 71; 1 Corinthians 12:31-13:30; Luke 4:21-30


          This is really a wild Gospel scene in which, at the very start of the mission of Jesus, his own townspeople are in awe of the words that Jesus speaks, for he speaks as someone well trained and with great authority, but just a few minutes later, they realize he is just the carpenter’s son, and they take him to the top of a hill to throw him down and kill him. The man they knew was a carpenter, and not a man formally trained in Scripture or the Law, and yet he spoke dangerously. He did not graduate from scripture school; he does not have any degree. He spoke as one who was infused with his religious tradition and suddenly became an authority. His own villagers cannot comprehend it and want to kill what they fail to understand. What is in the human heart that drives a person to deliberately want to do away with another person? Also, why can we not see the goodness and the beauty in those who are closest to us?


          The words of Jesus were dangerous when he declared the Scripture fulfilled in their hearing. The people heard, and yet they did not listen. It all sounded good and then they started to doubt the good news they were hearing. The fact that he declared himself a near deity was too much for the people to hold. They knew this man too well. He had his faults and limitations, he was just like them, and who was he to think that he was more special than them.


          We may all know a person who sees the negative side of everything. Nothing will ever satisfy the person or make her happy. Those who are balanced are tested by the one who always drags down the conversation and finds something to criticize. We may tire of it because it just is not interesting. The one who finds beauty and wonder, goodness and possibilities is the one who is interesting, but we have to bear with those who simply will not permit themselves to acknowledge the good in others. We know that we cannot do or say anything to help the person say something positive. Any change that will occur is when the person has her own change of heart. 


          When we have crowds of people sharing in their negativity, we end up with a situation like the Gospel, in which the crowd wants to kill its own neighbor. They do violence and destroy what they do not understand. They act out of their powerlessness and have no adequate means of articulating what they are feeling or experiencing. No intervention will turn matters around. It is only when each individual person allows his heart to be changed, to have his suffering understood, to hear and to understand what his words cannot speak, that real change is possible. Hearts are changed one at a time, by an act of love and acceptance. 


          We can choose how we want to see the world – full of evil, badness, and violence, or one that is filled with sacredness, goodness, and peace. Whichever lens we see from, that is the direction we will go. The Gospel is spread to one ear at a time. Will we allow God’s message to settle into our hearts so we can make it our own? If we do, we will see the world of promise and beauty, of wonder and opportunities. Life is hard. It is easier if we do this together, and we will help each other to see God’s promises and to celebrate what is good and right with the world. 


Scripture for Daily Mass


Monday: (2 Samuel 15) An informant came to David with the report, “The children of Israel have transferred their loyalty to Absalom.” At this, David said to all his servants who were with him in Jerusalem: “Up!  Let us take flight, or none of us will escape from Absalom. Leave quickly, lest he hurry and overtake us.


Tuesday: (2 Samuel 18) Absalom unexpectedly came up against David’s servants.
He was mounted on a mule, and, as the mule passed under the branches of a large terebinth, his hair caught fast in the tree. He hung between heaven and earth while the mule he had been riding ran off.


Wednesday: (Malachi 3) Lo, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me; and suddenly there will come to the temple the Lord whom you seek, And the messenger of the covenant whom you desire.


Thursday: (1 Kings 2) David rested with his ancestors and was buried in the City of David. The length of David’s reign over Israel was forty years: he reigned seven years in Hebron and thirty-three years in Jerusalem.


Friday (Sirach 47) He added beauty to the feasts and solemnized the seasons of each year So that when the Holy Name was praised, before daybreak the sanctuary would resound. The Lord forgave him his sins and exalted his strength forever; He conferred on him the rights of royalty and established his throne in Israel. 


Saturday (1 Kings 3) Give your servant, therefore, an understanding heart to judge your people and to distinguish right from wrong. For who is able to govern this vast people of yours?”



Monday: (Mark 5) Jesus and his disciples came to the other side of the sea,
to the territory of the Gerasenes. When he got out of the boat, at once a man from the tombs who had an unclean spirit met him.


Tuesday: (Mark 5) One of the synagogue officials, named Jairus, came forward.
Seeing him he fell at his feet and pleaded earnestly with him, saying, “My daughter is at the point of death. Please, come lay your hands on her that she may get well and live.”


Wednesday (Luke 2) When the days were completed for their purification according to the law of Moses, Mary and Joseph took Jesus up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord.


Thursday (Mark 6) Jesus summoned the Twelve and began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over unclean spirits. He instructed them to take nothing for the journey but a walking stick –no food, no sack, no money in their belts.


Friday (Mark 6) King Herod heard about Jesus, for his fame had become widespread, and people were saying, “John the Baptist has been raised from the dead;
that is why mighty powers are at work in him.” 


Saturday (Mark 6) “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” People were coming and going in great numbers, and they had no opportunity even to eat. So they went off in the boat by themselves to a deserted place.


Saints of the Week


January 31: John Bosco, priest (1815-1888), formed his Society to aid children who were imprisoned. He used Francis de Sales as his inspiration. He taught poor and working-class boys in the evenings wherever it was possible to meet them - in fields, factories, or homes. A sister community was set up to assist young girls who were sent to work. 


February 2: The Presentation of the Lord is the rite by which the firstborn male is presented in the Temple as an offering to God. It occurs 40 days after the birth while the new mother is considered ritually unclean. Two church elders, Simeon and Anna, who represent the old covenant, praise Jesus and warn his mother that her heart will be pierced as her son will bring the salvation of many.


February 3: Blase, bishop and martyr (d. 316), was an Armenian martyr of the persecution of Licinius. Legends hold that a boy, choking to death on a fishbone, was miraculously cured. Blase's intercession has been invoked for cures for throat afflictions. The candles presented at Candlemas the day earlier are used in the rite of the blessings of throats.


February 3: Angsar, bishop (815-865), became a monk to preach to pagans. He lived at the French Benedictine monastery of New Corbie and was sent to preach in Denmark and Sweden. He was made abbot and then became archbishop of Hamburg. He is known as the Apostle of the North because he restored Denmark to the faith and helped bolster the faith of other Scandinavians. 


February 4: John de Brito, S.J., priest, religious, and martyr (1647-1693), was a Portuguese Jesuit missionary who served in India and was named “The Portuguese Francis Xavier” to the Indians. De Brito was martyred because he counseled a Maravan prince during his conversion to give up all but one of his wives. One of the wives was a niece to the neighboring king, who set up a round of persecutions against priests and catechists. 


February 5: Agatha, martyr, (d. 251), died in Sicily during the Diocletian persecution after she refused to give up her faith when sent to a brothel for punishment. She was subsequently tortured. Sicilians believe her intercession stopped Mount Etna from erupting the year after her burial. She has been sought as a protector against fire and in mentioned in the First Eucharistic prayer. 


This Week in Jesuit History


  • January 30, 1633. At Avignon, Fr. John Pujol, a famous master of novices, died. He ordered one of them to water a dry stick, which miraculously sprouted. 
  • January 31, 1774. Fr. General Laurence Ricci, a prisoner in Castel S Angelo, claimed his liberty, since his innocence had been fully vindicated. He received from the Papal Congregation the reply that they would think about it. Pope Clement XIV was said at this time to be mentally afflicted. 
  • February 1, 1549. The first Jesuit missionaries to go to Brazil set sail from Lisbon, Portugal, under Fr. Emmanuel de Nobrega. 
  • February 2, 1528. Ignatius arrived in Paris to begin his program of studies at the University of Paris. 
  • February 3, 1571. In Florida, the martyrdom of Fr. Louis Quiros and two novices, shot with arrows by an apostate Indian. 
  • February 4, 1617. An imperial edict banished all missionaries from China. 
  • February 5, 1833. The first provincial of Maryland, Fr. William McSherry, was appointed.

El Cuarto Domingo del Tiempo Ordinario 30 de enero de 2022

                              El Cuarto Domingo del Tiempo Ordinario

30 de enero de 2022

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Jeremías 1:4-5, 17-19; Salmo 71; 1 Corintios 12:31-13:30; Lucas 4:21-30


Esta es realmente una escena evangélica salvaje en la que, al comienzo mismo de la misión de Jesús, la gente de su propio pueblo está asombrada de las palabras que pronuncia Jesús, porque habla como alguien bien entrenado y con gran autoridad, pero solo unos minutos. más tarde, se dan cuenta de que solo es el hijo del carpintero, y lo llevan a la cima de una colina para derribarlo y matarlo. El hombre que conocían era carpintero, y no un hombre formado formalmente en las Escrituras o la Ley, y sin embargo hablaba peligrosamente. No se graduó de la escuela de las escrituras; no tiene ningún título. Habló como alguien que estaba imbuido de su tradición religiosa y de repente se convirtió en una autoridad. Sus propios aldeanos no pueden comprenderlo y quieren matar lo que no logran comprender. ¿Qué hay en el corazón humano que impulsa a una persona a querer deliberadamente acabar con otra persona? Además, ¿por qué no podemos ver la bondad y la belleza en quienes están más cerca de nosotros?


          Las palabras de Jesús fueron peligrosas cuando declaró cumplida la Escritura en sus oídos. El pueblo escuchó, y sin embargo no escuchó. Todo sonaba bien y luego comenzaron a dudar de las buenas noticias que estaban escuchando. El hecho de que se declarara a sí mismo una deidad cercana era demasiado para que la gente lo sostuviera. Conocían demasiado bien a este hombre. Tenía sus defectos y limitaciones, era como ellos, y quién era él para pensar que era más especial que ellos.


          Todos podemos conocer a una persona que ve el lado negativo de todo. Nada satisfará jamás a la persona ni la hará feliz. Los que son equilibrados son probados por el que siempre arrastra la conversación y encuentra algo que criticar. Podemos cansarnos de él porque simplemente no es interesante. El que encuentra la belleza y la maravilla, la bondad y las posibilidades es el que es interesante, pero tenemos que tener paciencia con aquellos que simplemente no se permiten reconocer lo bueno en los demás. Sabemos que no podemos hacer ni decir nada para ayudar a la persona a decir algo positivo. Cualquier cambio que ocurrirá es cuando la persona tiene su propio cambio de corazón.


          Cuando tenemos multitudes de personas compartiendo su negatividad, terminamos en una situación como la del Evangelio, en la que la multitud quiere matar a su propio prójimo. Hacen violencia y destruyen lo que no entienden. Actúan desde su impotencia y no tienen los medios adecuados para articular lo que sienten o experimentan. Ninguna intervención cambiará las cosas. Sólo cuando cada persona individual permite cambiar su corazón, hacer comprender su sufrimiento, escuchar y comprender lo que sus palabras no pueden decir, es posible un cambio real. Los corazones son cambiados uno a la vez, por un acto de amor y aceptación.


          Podemos elegir cómo queremos ver el mundo: lleno de maldad, maldad y violencia, o uno lleno de sacralidad, bondad y paz. Cualquiera que sea la lente desde la que veamos, esa es la dirección en la que iremos. El Evangelio se transmite a un oído a la vez. ¿Permitiremos que el mensaje de Dios se asiente en nuestros corazones para que podamos hacerlo nuestro? Si lo hacemos, veremos el mundo de la promesa y la belleza, de la maravilla y las oportunidades. La vida es dura. Es más fácil si hacemos esto juntos , y nos ayudaremos mutuamente a ver las promesas de Dios ya celebrar lo que es bueno y correcto con el mundo.


Escritura para la misa diaria


Lunes: (2 Samuel 15) Un informante vino a David con el informe: “Los hijos de Israel han transferido su lealtad a Absalón”. Ante esto, David dijo a todos sus siervos que estaban con él en Jerusalén: “¡Levántense! Huyamos, o ninguno de nosotros escapará de Absalón. Váyanse rápido, no sea que se apresure y nos alcance.


Martes: (2 Samuel 18) Absalón inesperadamente se encontró con los sirvientes de David. 
Iba montado en un mulo y, al pasar el mulo por debajo de las ramas de un gran encinar, se le enganchó el pelo en el árbol. Colgaba entre el cielo y la tierra mientras la mula que montaba se escapaba.


Miércoles: (Malaquías 3) He aquí, envío mi mensajero para que prepare el camino delante de mí; y de repente vendrá al templo el Señor a quien buscáis, y el mensajero del pacto a quien deseáis.


Jueves: (1 Reyes 2) David descansó con sus antepasados y fue sepultado en la Ciudad de David. La duración del reinado de David sobre Israel fue de cuarenta años: siete años reinó en Hebrón y treinta y tres años en Jerusalén.


Viernes (Eclesiástico 47) Agregó belleza a las fiestas y solemnizó las estaciones de cada año Para que cuando se alabara el Santo Nombre, antes del amanecer resonara el santuario. El Señor le perdonó sus pecados y exaltó su fuerza para siempre; Le confirió los derechos de realeza y estableció su trono en Israel.


Sábado (1 Reyes 3) Da, pues, a tu siervo un corazón entendido para juzgar a tu pueblo y para distinguir el bien del mal. Porque ¿quién podrá gobernar este vasto pueblo tuyo?



Lunes: (Marcos 5) Jesús y sus discípulos llegaron al otro lado del mar, 
al territorio de los gerasenos . Cuando salió de la barca, en seguida le salió al encuentro un hombre de los sepulcros que tenía un espíritu inmundo.


Martes: (Marcos 5) Uno de los oficiales de la sinagoga, llamado Jairo, se adelantó. 
Al verlo, se postró a sus pies y le rogó encarecidamente, diciendo: “Mi hija está al borde de la muerte. Por favor, ven y pon tus manos sobre ella para que se mejore y viva”.


Miércoles (Lucas 2) Cuando se cumplieron los días para su purificación según la ley de Moisés, María y José llevaron a Jesús a Jerusalén para presentarlo al Señor.


Jueves (Marcos 6) Jesús llamó a los Doce y comenzó a enviarlos de dos en dos y les dio autoridad sobre los espíritus inmundos. Les ordenó que no llevaran para el camino nada más que un bastón, ni comida, ni alforja, ni dinero en el cinto.


Viernes (Marcos 6) El rey Herodes oyó hablar de Jesús, porque su fama se había generalizado, y la gente decía: “Juan el Bautista ha resucitado de entre los muertos; 
por eso grandes poderes obran en él.”


Sábado (Marcos 6) “Vengan solos a un lugar desierto y descansen un poco.” La gente iba y venía en gran número, y no tenían oportunidad ni siquiera de comer. Así que se fueron solos en la barca a un lugar desierto.


santos de la semana


31 de enero: Juan Bosco, presbítero (1815-1888), forma su Sociedad para ayudar a los niños encarcelados. Usó a Francisco de Sales como su inspiración. Enseñaba a niños pobres y de clase trabajadora por las noches dondequiera que fuera posible encontrarlos: en campos, fábricas u hogares. Se creó una comunidad hermana para ayudar a las jóvenes enviadas a trabajar.


2 de febrero: La Presentación del Señor es el rito por el cual se presenta en el Templo al primogénito varón como ofrenda a Dios. Ocurre 40 días después del nacimiento mientras que la nueva madre es considerada ritualmente impura. Dos ancianos de la iglesia, Simeón y Ana, que representan el antiguo pacto, alaban a Jesús y advierten a su madre que su corazón será traspasado cuando su hijo traerá la salvación de muchos.


3 de febrero: Blase , obispo y mártir (m. 316) , fue un mártir armenio de la persecución de Licinio . Cuentan las leyendas que un niño, que murió atragantado con una espina de pescado, se curó milagrosamente. Se ha invocado la intercesión de Blase para curar las dolencias de la garganta. Las velas presentadas en la Candelaria el día anterior se utilizan en el rito de las bendiciones de gargantas.


3 de febrero: Angsar , obispo (815-865), se hizo monje para predicar a los paganos. Vivió en el monasterio benedictino francés de New Corbie y fue enviado a predicar a Dinamarca y Suecia. Fue nombrado abad y luego arzobispo de Hamburgo. Se le conoce como el Apóstol del Norte porque restauró la fe en Dinamarca y ayudó a reforzar la fe de otros escandinavos.


4 de febrero: Juan de Brito, SJ, sacerdote, religioso y mártir (1647-1693), fue un misionero jesuita portugués que sirvió en la India y fue llamado “El portugués Francisco Javier” por los indios. De Brito fue martirizado porque aconsejó a un príncipe de Maravan durante su conversión que renunciara a todas menos una de sus esposas. Una de las esposas era sobrina del rey vecino, quien inició una serie de persecuciones contra sacerdotes y catequistas.


5 de febrero: Águeda, mártir (m. 251), muere en Sicilia durante la persecución de Diocleciano después de negarse a renunciar a su fe cuando fue enviada a un burdel para ser castigada. Posteriormente fue torturada. Los sicilianos creen que su intercesión impidió que el Monte Etna entrara en erupción un año después de su entierro. Ha sido buscada como protectora contra el fuego y mencionada en la Primera Plegaria Eucarística.


Esta semana en la historia jesuita


  • 30 de enero de 1633. En Avignon, el P. Muere John Pujol, un famoso maestro de novicios. Mandó a uno de ellos a regar un palo seco, que brotó milagrosamente.
  • 31 de enero de 1774. P. El general Laurence Ricci, preso en Castel S Angelo, reivindicó su libertad, ya que su inocencia había sido plenamente reivindicada. Recibió de la Congregación Papal la respuesta de que lo pensarían. Se dijo que el Papa Clemente XIV en este momento estaba mentalmente afligido.
  • 1 de febrero de 1549. Los primeros misioneros jesuitas en ir a Brasil zarparon de Lisboa, Portugal, al mando del P. Emmanuel de Nobrega .
  • 2 de febrero de 1528. Ignacio llega a París para iniciar su programa de estudios en la Universidad de París.
  • 3 de febrero de 1571. En Florida, el martirio del P. Luis Quirós y dos novicios, fusilados por un indio apóstata.
  • 4 de febrero de 1617. Un edicto imperial desterró a todos los misioneros de China.
  • 5 de febrero de 1833. El primer provincial de Maryland, fr. William McSherry, fue designado.

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Photo: Harbor in Maine


Prayer: A Prayer for Unity

One only Holy Spirit of Father and son
in whom all are baptized,
one giver of many gifts,
one tree of many fruits
one speaker of every tongue, renew in our day
the wonders of Pentecost,
grant that people of every race and nation
may understand one another, and as one, proclaim
the praises of God.
Grant that all may be one
as you, Spirit, with the Father and the Son
are one God, one Lord.
Grant unity to the Body of Christ;
grant unity to the human family.
Sole breath of every living thing,
may all be one who, in you,
live and move and have their being.

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Photo: Hearts full of love


Prayer: For Christian Unity

Loving God, 

as the Magi journeyed towards Bethlehem led by the star, 
so by your heavenly light, guide the Catholic Church 
to walk together with all Christians during this time of synod. 
As the Magi were united in their worship of Christ, 
lead us closer to your Son and so to one another, 
so that we become a sign of the unity that you desire 
for your Church and the whole creation. 

We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen

Saturday, January 22, 2022

Poem: Native American Prayer

                                                                       O Great Spirit

Whose Voice I hear in the Wind,

Whose Breath is Life to the world,

Hear me.

I am one of your many children.

I need your strength and wisdom.

May I walk in beauty,

May my eyes ever behold the red-purple sunset,

May my hands respect the things that you have made

And my ears be sharp to hear your Voice.

Teach me the lessons hidden in every leaf and rock.

Make me strong, but not stronger than my brother and sister,

But strong enough so that I can fight my greatest enemy.

And when my life fades away

Like the fading sunset,

May my Spirit go back to You without shame, but with great Love.

Friday, January 21, 2022

Photo: Sailboat and Starish


Spirituality: Parker J. Palmer in A Hidden Wholeness

The soul is like a wild animal — tough, resilient, savvy, self-sufficient and yet exceedingly shy. If we want to see a wild animal, the last thing we should do is to go crashing through the woods, shouting for the creature to come out. But if we are willing to walk quietly into the woods and sit silently for an hour or two at the base of a tree, the creature we are waiting for may well emerge, and out of the corner of an eye we will catch a glimpse of the precious wildness we seek.

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Photo: By the Seaside


Poem: "Looking, Walking, Being" by Denise Levertov

 I look and look.

Looking's a way of being: one becomes,
sometimes, a pair of eyes walking.
Walking wherever looking takes one.

The eyes
dig and burrow into the world.
They touch
fanfare, howl, madrigal, clamor.
World and the past of it,
not only
visible present, solid and shadow
that looks at one looking.

And language? Rhythms
of echo and interruption?
a way of breathing.

breathing to sustain
walking and looking,
through the world,
in it.

May we all be blessed in these difficult times.

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time January 23, 2022

                                          Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

January 23, 2022

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Nehemiah 8:2-10; Psalm 19; 1 Corinthians 12:12-30; Luke 1:1-4, 12-21


          Today is called World Religion Day on the Catholic Calendar, and it falls within the week of Christian Unity, a feast that originated from the Second Vatican Council. Prior to 1965, the Church defined itself in opposition to the Protestant churches for 400 years. Church teaching did not permit Catholics to associate with, to marry, or even to be present in Protestant Churches, but during Vatican II, the Church lifted its head and shifted its gaze away from seeing other Christians as adversaries, and it took its place in the world as custodians of religious tolerance and religious liberty. Church councils shifted from speaking about internal governance and it faced the world to speak to all people of goodwill. The church grew up and took its place as one who fosters dialogue and tries to understand the faith experiences of others.


         In the first reading, when Ezra the priest assembled the people after the return from exile and the re-establishment of the Temple, he stood at the podium, read from Scriptures, and announced a day of happiness because God’s word could be proclaimed in freedom. Jesus does something similar when he enters the Synagogue in his hometown of Nazareth. Word spread about the itinerant teaching of Jesus and now he returned home where he opened the Hebrew Scripture, read from Isaiah, and proclaimed that God’s news is available to all people.


         On this Day of World Religion, the Church professes a similar statement as it finds its place in the world of multiple religions and secularization. In the 1960s, the church realized it needed to begin dialogue with separated Christians in the Protestant and Eastern Churches, but it also had to reconcile with its two-millennial mal-treatment of the Jews. Much reconciliation and dialogue were essential aspects of the Catholic faith, and the church took a leading role of initiating processes of understanding with world religions. The church began to see itself as a mediator and partner with other faith traditions, that also included Shintoism, Buddhism, Islam, and Hinduism.


The Church also looked at other people of goodwill who are seeking God, such as atheists and agnostics, and the Church is engaged with meeting them where they are. I have a quote from the Jesuit Superior General in his book “Walking with Ignatius of Loyola” about the Church’s engagement with secular society during the pandemic:


 “The Church is not opposed to secular society. We should open our doors and find ways to dialogue with the secular world. I believe that, more than a spike in religiosity, what is happening with the pandemic is that our experience of God is going deeper. Out of that, the meaning of community and communion could undergo a revival. We're moving away from a vision of the Church that could be called clerical, in which the visibility of churches or symbols like priests are paramount, towards one in which various forms of lived experience prevail. This should lead to a lessening of clericalism, which is an attempt to control and manipulate religion. This is where the pandemic is having a positive effect because it's making us ask questions that many of us were not asking before it.”


The church has an enormous task of proclaiming the Word of God to many groups of people, and at the same time, learning how to dialogue in a world of many beliefs. The dialogue will enrich our understanding of God’s presence in the world and will strengthen our faith. Our proclamation of God’s power will be seen in our maturity, our ability to welcome and to be compassionate, and through our good example of embracing the goodness of the world in which we live.


Scripture for Daily Mass


Monday: (2 Samuel 5) All the tribes of Israel came to David in Hebron and said:
“Here we are, your bone and your flesh. In days past, when Saul was our king, it was you who led the children of Israel out and brought them back.


Tuesday: (Acts 2) Paul addressed the people in these words: “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus in Cilicia, but brought up in this city. At the feet of Gamaliel I was educated strictly in our ancestral law and was zealous for God, just as all of you are today.


Wednesday: (2 Timothy 1) I am grateful to God, whom I worship with a clear conscience as my ancestors did, as I remember you constantly in my prayers, night and day. I yearn to see you again, recalling your tears, so that I may be filled with joy, 
as I recall your sincere faith.


Thursday: (2 Samuel 7) After Nathan had spoken to King David, the king went in and sat before the LORD and said, “Who am I, Lord GOD, and who are the members of my house, that you have brought me to this point? Yet even this you see as too little, Lord GOD.


Friday (2 Samuel 11) At the turn of the year, when kings go out on campaign,
David sent out Joab along with his officers and the army of Israel, and they ravaged the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. David, however, remained in Jerusalem.


Saturday (2 Samuel 12) The LORD sent Nathan to David, and when he came to him, Nathan said: “Judge this case for me! In a certain town there were two men, one rich, the other poor. The rich man had flocks and herds in great numbers. But the poor man had nothing at all except one little ewe lamb that he had bought. He nourished her, and she grew up with him and his children.



Monday: (Mark 3) The scribes who had come from Jerusalem said of Jesus, “He is possessed by Beelzebul,” and “By the prince of demons he drives out demons.”

Tuesday: (Mark 16) Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned.


Wednesday (Mark 4) “Hear this! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Other seed fell on rocky ground where it had little soil. It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep.


Thursday (Mark 4) Is a lamp brought in to be placed under a bushel basket
or under a bed, and not to be placed on a lampstand? For there is nothing hidden except to be made visible; nothing is secret except to come to light.


Friday (Mark 4) This is how it is with the Kingdom of God; it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land and would sleep and rise night and day and the seed would sprout and grow, he knows not how.


Saturday (Mark 4) Leaving the crowd, they took Jesus with them in the boat just as he was. And other boats were with him. A violent squall came up and waves were breaking over the boat, so that it was already filling up. Jesus was in the stern, asleep on a cushion. They woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”


Saints of the Week


January 23: Marianne Cope (1838-1918), was a German-born woman who settled with her family in New York. She entered the Franciscans and worked in the school systems as a teacher and principal and she helped to establish the first two Catholic hospitals. She went to Honolulu, then Molokai, to aid those with leprosy.


January 24: Francis de Sales, bishop and doctor (1567-1622), practiced both civil and canon law before entering religious life. He became bishop of Geneva in 1602 and was prominent in the Catholic Reformation. He reorganized his diocese, set up a seminary, overhauled religious education, and found several schools. With Jane Frances de Chantal, he founded the Order of the Visitation of Mary.


January 25: The Conversion of Paul, the Apostle, was a pivotal point in the life of the early church. Scripture contains three accounts of his call and the change of behavior and attitudes that followed. Paul's story is worth knowing as it took him 14 years of prayer and study to find meaning in what happened to him on the road to Damascus.


January 26: Timothy and Titus, bishops (1st century), were disciples of Paul who later became what we know of as bishops. Timothy watched over the people of Ephesus and Titus looked after Crete. Both men worked with Paul and became a community leader. Timothy was martyred while Titus died of old age.


January 27: Angela Merici (1474-1540), was the founder of the Ursuline nuns. Relatives raised her when her parents died when she was 10. As an adult, she tended to the needs of the poor and with some friends, she taught young girls at their home. These friends joined an association that later became a religious order. Ursula was the patron of medieval universities.


January 28: Thomas Aquinas, priest and Doctor (1225-1274), studied in a Benedictine monastery at Monte Cassino as a boy. He joined the newly formed Dominicans where he studied in France and Italy. He is a giant scholar. He wrote much on Scripture and theology, including his summation of theology (Summa Theologiae). He wrote several songs for liturgy, such as the Tantum Ergo, Pange Lingua, and Adoro Te Devote.


This Week in Jesuit History


·      January 23, 1789. John Carroll gained the deed of land for the site that was to become Georgetown University.

·      January 24, 1645. Fr. Henry Morse was led as a prisoner from Durham to Newgate, London. On hearing his execution was fixed for February 1, he exclaimed: "Welcome ropes, hurdles, gibbets, knives, butchery of an infamous death! Welcome for the love of Jesus, my Savior."

·      January 25, 1707. Cardinal Tournon, Apostolic Visitor of the missions in China, forbade the use of the words 'Tien' or 'Xant' for God and ordered the discontinuance by the Christians of the Chinese Rites.

·      January 26, 1611. The first Jesuit missionaries sailed from Europe for New France (Canada).

·      January 27, 1870. The Austrian government endeavored to suppress the annual grant of 8,000 florins to the theological faculty of Innsbruck and to drive the Jesuit professors from the university, because of their support of the Papal Syllabus.

·      January 28, 1853. Fr. General John Roothaan, wishing to resign his office, summoned a General Congregation, but died on May 8, before it assembled.

·      January 29, 1923. Woodstock scholastics kept a fire vigil for several months to prevent the Ku Klux Klan from setting the college on fire.