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Priceless

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Remember those Mastercard commercials? “Airline tickets, $600… designer luggage, $175… spending a tropical vacation with the family, priceless! There are some things in life that money can’t buy…. for everything else there is Mastercard.”

Today’s Gospel calls us to consider what is truly valuable, as we hear familiar parables about hidden treasure, a pearl of great price, and the priceless nature of the kingdom of God.

Jesus invites us to transform our thinking. He doesn’t want us to imagine God’s kingdom in ways that make us passive subjects. It’s dynamic. The coming of God’s kingdom is personal. It speaks of God’s passionate desire for us.

God sees us, even in our sin, as treasures, pearls of great price, and doesn’t hesitate to sacrifice His only Son so that we might be redeemed and become His own … It’s all about the gift!

And what of our response in recognizing that gift; that pearl of great price that each of us are in God’s eyes? We are commissioned to go and do likewise, by giving ourselves away for others… become that gift to one another. St Paul called it: “being conformed to the image of the Son.” Our St. Dominic mission statement doesn’t say it any better: “...become Christ, each one for the sake of all.”

Sacred Heart of Jesus

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June celebrates a lot of fun things like National dairy month, National candy month, National fruits and vegetables month, and even National Turkey Month.  June is also the month for us to pay attention to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

As with nearly all religious art, symbolism is very important, because faith was shared through images rather than words since many could not read until recent history. Pictures truly meant a thousand words. The imagery of the Sacred Heart speaks to Jesus’ redeeming love as characterized by his heart. It demonstrates the love of God for humankind. “The human heart, a person’s deepest self, is where God has written his covenant as demonstrated in the gospels” (The Catholic Sourcebook, 2007, p357).

The image itself resulted from a series of apparitions to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque from 1673-1675 where Jesus spoke of his concern about the indifference and coldness in the world in response to his love. He asked her to promote the devotions to his heart to bring an end to the coldness and indifference. This sounds like something we could certainly benefit from now, too.

Those who have a devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus are the recipients of twelve promises as part of the apparitions to St. Margaret Mary. Jesus promises:

  1.  I will give them all the graces necessary for their state of life.
  2. I will give peace in their families. 
  3. I will console them in all their troubles. 
  4. I will be their refuge in life and especially in death.
  5. I will abundantly bless all their undertakings.
  6. Sinners shall find in my Heart the source and infinite ocean of mercy.
  7. Tepid souls shall become fervent.
  8. Fervent souls shall rise speedily to great perfection.
  9. I will bless those places wherein the image of My Sacred Heart shall be exposed and venerated.
  10. I will give to priests the power to touch the most hardened hearts.
  11. Persons who propagate this devotion shall have their names eternally written in my Heart.
  12. In the excess of the mercy of my Heart, I promise you that my all powerful love will grant to all those who will receive Communion on the First Fridays, for nine consecutive months, the grace of final repentance: they will not die in my displeasure, nor without
    receiving the sacraments; and my Heart will be their secure refuge in that last hour.

How can you begin a devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus to receive these promises? It is very simple. You need only begin to pray. Here are the words to include in your daily prayers.

O most holy Heart of Jesus, fountain of every blessing,
I adore you, I love you and will a lively sorrow for my sins.
I offer you this poor heart of mine.
Make me humble, patient, pure, and wholly obedient to your will.
Grant, good Jesus, that I may live in you and for you.
Protect me in the midst of danger; comfort me in my afflictions;
give me health of body, assistance in my temporal needs,
your blessings on all that I do, and the grace of a holy death.
Within your heart I place my every care.
In every need let me come to you with humble trust saying,
Heart of Jesus, help me.
Amen.

Posted by Jill Fischer

The Need to See Some Skin

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There is this delightful story about a four year old child who awoke one night frightened by a dream. She could not fall back asleep, and her mind convinced her that there in the darkness of her room, lay in waiting, an assortment of monsters and ghosts.

Alone, she ran to her parent’s bedroom. Her mother calmed her down and taking her by the hand, led her back to her own room. Her mother put on the light to dispel the demons and reassured her child with these words, “You needn’t be afraid, you are not alone here. God is in the room with you.”

The girl replied “I know that God is here, but I need someone in this room who has some skin!”

This is what the apostle Thomas is, in essence, asking of the resurrected Jesus. He’s saying,” I need to see some skin.” This is the best explanation for our whole experience with Jesus, since his announcement to Mary by the angel Gabriel - until this moment.

This Easter is unlike any I have ever had. How about you? I long to celebrate with someone who has some skin. Maybe this Easter we can celebrate knowing Jesus came in the flesh, died, and then rose again. He sits at the right hand of the Father and is with us here on earth. We have been accustomed to our relationship with Jesus without some skin, and today, I ask you to unite with our entire St. Dominic Catholic Parish family…unite in love. Unite in the power of God’s love.

I ask you to close your eyes and think about being with people you enjoy, family, friends…Now open your eyes. How do you feel when you think about spending time with them? Now close your eyes again and think about stuff you have. Now think about spending time with the stuff…How does that make you feel? Which of the two feelings would you like to experience more often? That’s the power of God’s love.

This Lenten season, you were to tame your desires for stuff, to strengthen your will against things you thought you needed. This at-home experience is showing us what we really need, and to see the power of God’s love, the same love which raised Jesus from the dead…for us. To see again with new eyes. To see with the eyes of Jesus. His eyes see the value in relationships.

Have a blessed Easter. Until we can see each other in the flesh.

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