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Room for Jesus

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May 6, 2023 was a significant life marker for me. it was the 50th anniversary of my First Holy Communion. (And yes, that makes makes me feel old!) I remember the solemnity of the long procession from our classrooms where we gathered before Mass to the church. It seemed we would never get in. It took forever in the mind of this second grader. I don't remember much about the Mass, what music we sang, or even remember where my parents were sitting. (We were seated in front as a class.) I remember receiving my First Communion from the pastor, which was by intinction back in those times. I do remember part of the homily given, probably because the priest said it repeatedly. I paraphrase, "Did you prepare a room for Jesus?" Back then, I didn't know what those words could mean other than knowing that as I received communion that Jesus would dwell in me. As years passed that questions became clearer. Now I ask myself, do I make room for Jesus? Do I make room for him in my day, my life? 

Let us all ask ourselves, "Did I prepare a room for Jesus?" And, if Jesus has that dwelling place in my heart, how am I doing at letting him change that heart? The Eucharist gives us the ability to change and the strength to fulfill the mission of Christ.  Let us ask ourselves, "Do I recognize the strength  I receive from the Eucharist?" 

Posted by Paul Burzynski

Trust in the Mission

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Living in the age we do, with all its technology and modern convenience, Jesus’ summoning the twelve, at least for me, is a little hard to swallow. It’s hardly the alluring advertisement for evangelization and disciple-making candidates! No food, no money, just a walking stick and sandals! Not even a second shirt! But if you dig a bit deeper, you hear that “Jesus gave them authority…” Read: Jesus gave them the tools they needed. There was nothing out of the ordinary about the first disciples—fishermen, tax collectors—all ordinary folks. We are all called to be disciple-makers. What the gospel tells us is in order to become that, we need to divest ourselves of what keeps us from sharing the Good News. When we do that, the Lord equips us with what we need, just like Amos, again an ordinary person—a shepherd and arborist—who the Lord sent forward to ministry. And just like the apostles, God meets us where we are, gives us the tools we need, and sends us to be his hands and feet and voice. “Christ has no body now but yours. No hands, no feet, but yours.” (Teresa of Avila) As we walk with our walking stick and sandals, let us pay particular attention to how we can be Christ visible in the world. How will we let the Lord meet us where we are? Where will we be his hands, his feet, his eyes, his compassion in the world?

Our Blessed Mother

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Hail Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, Hail, Our Life, Our Sweetness and Our Hope!

My parents had a routine during their retirement to pray the Rosary daily. Sometimes they’d pray together and sometimes not, but they did almost every day. My mother had a very strong devotion to the Blessed Mother, probably because she lost her own mother at a very young age. As the mother of 6 boys, she probably figured she needed all the help she could get! We see Mary as the model disciple. Though we find it difficult at times to follow her example of “fiat” unconditionally, she is the ultimate goal of discipleship. Mary had difficulties in her life, but she carried her daily crosses without bitterness or anger, and she carried them, as did her Son, with great faith in the Father. Let our focus be to become just a little bit more like Mary, to say yes to the will of the Father in our lives, and model her discipleship, even if it is in the smallest of ways. 

O clemens, O pia, O dulcis Virgo Maria, pray for us!