Above was an angry sky, from which rain fell and in which lightning played. Down the side of the mountain tumbled a foaming waterfall. This did not look peaceful at all. But when the king looked closely, he saw behind the waterfall a tiny bush growing in a crack in the rock. In the bush a mother bird had built her nest. There, in the midst of the rush of angry water, sat the mother bird on her nest — in perfect peace. Which picture do you think won the prize? The king chose the second picture. Do you know why? Peace means to be in the midst of all those things and still be calm in your heart.
This is the real meaning of peace. The peace that they are sent forth to bring comes from the sacrificial love of Christ, and it is the true peace welling up from within. Harold Buetow adds a depth of meaning to the number seventy-two symbolism. The plentiful harvest refers to the extensive missionary work that the followers of Christ need to carry out on behalf of the entire human race.
According to the commands of Jesus, the disciples are to travel light, salute no one along the road, and not be deterred by those who refuse to welcome them. There is an impelling quality and resoluteness in the task of proclaiming the Reign of God and in spreading the message of peace. Indeed, the time of salvation has come. The kingdom of God is at hand. Circulated on the Internet, the following article helps us understand what it means to proclaim that the kingdom is at hand.
Poverty was so central to his character that in his last written work, the Testament, he said that absolute personal and corporate poverty was the essential lifestyle for the members of his order … He believed that nature itself was the mirror of God. Francis preached the teaching of the Catholic Church that the world was created good and beautiful by God but suffers a need for redemption because of the primordial sin of man.
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He preached to man and beast the universal ability and duty of all creatures to praise God a common theme in the Psalms and the duty of men to protect and enjoy nature as both the stewards of God's creation and as creatures ourselves … Legend has it that on his deathbed, St. Two of our postulants who were teaching catechism at the San Jose Elementary School in Antipolo Philippines prepared their class to celebrate the Rite of Penance.
They engaged the children actively and creatively. Some brought flowers and candles. Others were trained to proclaim the bible readings and to offer the prayer intentions. The whole class learned some easy and delightful sung responses. The priest proclaimed the Parable of the Prodigal Son in the vernacular and, in simple terms, explained to the children the meaning of the Gospel reading.
During the celebration of the Word, the class was unusually attentive and focused. Some were shedding tears. They have recognized the special character of the word proclaimed, producing a remarkable effect in their lives. Indeed, the community that actively seeks the Law, not only hears it, but also understands its vital significance. The reading from the Law, constituted by the Pentateuch or the first five books of the Bible, has shed light on their fragile and feckless inner core and they respond with tears.
The liturgical reading from the Law is not meant, however, to condemn, but to be a font of joy and strength for that assembly who hungers for the life-giving Word of God. Moreover, the divine Word moves them to vital social action and impels them to share compassionately their resources with the needy. The people assemble, hear the Word of God, receive explanatory instruction and encouragement and then respond in worship and prayer. The framework of our own liturgy is not very different. Ezra reads the law to people who are very much in need of hearing it.
The combination of sorrow for sin and the joy of being forgiven always produces healing tears.
The occasion presented here is certainly a high holy day, perhaps Yom Kippur, the New Year. Notice that the long and arduous ceremony from daybreak till midday is followed by a feast celebrated in the classic way: rich food, good drink and special provisions for the poor. It is a tradition that we would do well to follow.
As disciples of Christ in mission are we resolute and decisive in proclaiming the Reign of God and its message of peace? Do we travel light or are we are encumbered with a heavy load? Are we distracted or do we have focus? Are we truly bearers of peace? Does our evangelical mission beget tranquility in others? Do we experience the importance of the proclamation of the Word of God in the liturgy? Do we try to hear and understand the Word, both personally and as members of the faith community?
My Divine Teacher,. I want to listen to you …. I intend to set aside every preoccupation of mine,. I want to bring silence within myself.
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I am waiting that you open the Scroll. If you are the one reading for me,. If my heart is filled with you,. I immediately find the Word meant for me. You are the Word of Life. Pray for an increase of priestly and religious vocations in the Church. Pray for peace in the world and those called to be special peace-bearers in today's situations of violence and conflict. The lakeside towns of Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum have received so much in terms of divine grace, but fail to bear fruits of conversion. They do not surrender themselves to Jesus and are deaf to his word.
Jesus works miracles in their midst and proclaims the Good News to them, but they refuse to accept him as the Messiah. Because of their resistance to grace, they merit judgment more severe than the people of Tyre and Sidon, ancient cities notorious for wickedness and impiety. The life-giving Gospel that Jesus preaches cannot be ignored. There are unfortunate and death-dealing consequences in rejecting his divine offer of salvation.
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To reject Jesus is thus to opt for self-destruction. Like Jesus, his disciples of today will meet hostility and rejection as the following article shows cf. He was referring to the two British citizens fired for their refusal to remove the crosses around their necks in the workplace. The cases of Nadia Eweida, an employee of British Airways at Heathrow Airport, and Shirley Chaplin, a nurse, will soon be examined by the European Court of Human Rights and Orthodox representatives, together with Russian lawyers, have already guaranteed their support.
The two women have appealed to the Court to recognize that the freedom of religion has been violated and that they have been discriminated against because of their religious ties. British authorities — the Voice of Russia says — did not expect the case to be brought before the Strasbourg Court and has proposed a law that allows employers to dismiss employees who refuse to hide their religious confession. Philip says. Today and tomorrow we shall hear from the prophet Baruch. In the summer of , a retired priest filled in for a month at the northern Arizona parish where I was living. That same week I received an e-mail from someone in my Medjugorje prayer group which spoke about confession and gave a very long list of common and often grave sins.
Reading that list, I recognized a large number that I had committed as a teen or young adult. It nagged at me that there were so many un-confessed big sins in my life. The problem, however, was recognizing what had or had not been confessed. So, just to be on the safe side, I brought the whole list with me, unaware that the new priest had already arrived and was handling confession that night. I was dismayed, how does one explain such things to someone who has no past experience or connection with me?
The desire to chicken out was strong. It would have been very easy to make a simple confession of the usual sins, yet something held me to my resolve. I chose to be honest and explain my intention, and why this was important to me. I asked if he had the time that night to hear this confession as it was a long list. He looked a little nervous, but agreed to hear the whole thing. While difficult and embarrassing, I was surprised to discover in this priest a wonderful spiritual advisor.
During the time he was there, my spiritual life blossomed. Thinking about the change, I believe it was due to Father hearing my complete confession.