Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time: Bulletin Column

Dear Believers in the Christ,
         I have never been much of a saver. Even though I do have archives of my published writings in the basement of our parish center at Sacred Heart, my possessions may not tell the story of my years in ministry. I have learned with ten moves across the country as a priest that I cannot carry my past worlds with me. Something has to give; something has to change in my perspective of what tells the story of my life, my priesthood and my past.
        In today’s gospel, Luke 12:13-21, we hear Jesus inviting us to explore the treasures of his life within us. We are challenged to store up our riches in God’s love and not to squander our life with passing things, riches that turn to dust.
        The riches I carry are the ways in which I have allowed my life to be broken open with God’s love and fidelity. Even though on some days I can’t hold that in my hand, I see it in my life of prayer. I view such reality in my willingness or not to serve people. Sometimes, it takes God a long time to open me up, to show me the place where my treasure is, to reveal to my rather shy self the gift of his animated presence.
        The storehouse of possession lies only in my heart. I see this treasure with greater insight as the years go by. This is the treasure I hope I can pass on someday. This is the treasure that I hope will be passed down to the men who professed vows at Sacred Heart Church this past Saturday. With their profession, the Congregation of Holy Cross has now professed these same vows from our Novitiate in Cascade for forty years. On August 11, 1979, my classmates and I professed our vows in Colorado. I can’t believe forty years have gone by. These are the moments in which I open the treasure house of my heart and understand the fleeting breath of life and the hope I cling to in the beauty of God’s presence among God’s people.
         When I was in South Bend earlier this summer, I ran into my Novice Director on his way to a Sunday Mass. Fr. Nick Ayo, CSC is now well into his 80’s and he continues to dive deeply into his faith and religious life. He is still one of our wisdom figures in Holy Cross. His life still points into the direction of God’s fidelity and goodness. He still teaches me by his example and honesty. He has stored much in his heart and his possessions are fewer and fewer.
         I saw him standing at a tree about to burst with blossoms just outside the church. I watched him as he held one of the tiny blossoms with his aging fingers. He pulled the blossom up to his nose to smell the fragrance. He thoroughly enjoyed the beauty of God’s gift and treasure in the springtime moment. This is exactly what he has stored up in his own life, the ability to recognize the treasures of God, the miracles of creation and the goodness of all life. How beautiful to watch him. I pray for such moments of being absorbed in grandeur.
         Life is meant to discover our place in God’s fidelity among his people. Such a rich gift! May we discover such bounty hidden among our earthly goods, talents, old artifacts and storehouses.
Peace,
Fr. Ron

Street Litany for the Murdered: For the beloved of El Paso and Dayton 2019

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Published in Save Us, Send Us, Praying with Litanies, from World Library 2013

When I served in our community of Saint Andre Bessette Church, we prayed this litany on the sidewalk after a murder in our neighborhood. At the end of this litany, I prayed that we would never have to sing this text again. In my years there, we processed and sang ten different times

Today, even though we are not together in the neighborhoods of El Paso or Dayton, we stand among those who suffer such loss and we pray this day for peace. May our prayers wash away the blood of our sisters and brothers and hatred within our nation. May we never have to pray this litany again. 

 

Response: SAVE US O GOD

From the brutality of murder and violence…..
From the hardship of poverty and loss…..
From the addiction of drugs and alcohol….

From the fear of isolation and hardship….
From the evil of war and hatred……….
From the corruption of sin and darkness….

From the terror of gunshots and stabbings…
From the suffering of illness and disease…..
From the coldness of loneliness and self-pity…

From the bitterness of homelessness and empty pockets…
From the need of prostitution and pornography….
From the snare of mental illness and all discrimination..

From the desperation of pride and jealousy….
From the silence of apathy and neglect….
From the wounds of sexual molestation and abuse…

From the deserts of ignorance and suffering…
From the arrogance of racism and greed…
From the burden of grief and despair…

From the torture of broken promises and empty commitments…
From the doubt of selfishness and insecurities…..
From the web of egoism and self-centeredness….
From the outrage of revenge and the death penalty…

From the seduction of materialism and gossip…
From the sin of gluttony and avarice……
From the cloud of sexism and ageism ….
From the trap of cynicism and refusal to forgive….

And from all evil….
And from all evil….
And from all evil……

Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time: Prayers of the Faithful

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Prayers of the Faithful

August 4, 2019

Let us strive to let go of actions that destroy the human heart and live instead in vitality, faithfulness and kindness. May these possessions lead us into eternal life.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us strive to work for justice even when we feel we are alone. May our efforts to feed the hungry, shelter the lost and protect the grieving lead us into new lands of gratitude.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us strive to invigorate the Church even when we feel discouraged and unappreciated. May our lives of prayer light a new candle for those who seek God.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us pray for the men in the Congregation of Holy Cross who professed First Vows yesterday in Sacred Heart Church. May their education, formation and prayer in these years to come offer them a true vocation within the Church.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us strive to resist disharmony among us. May we accumulate only possessions of mercy, forgiveness and love.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us strive to remember our dead and support those who grieve on earth.

In this Mass…

We pray to the Lord.

The Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time: Prayers of the Faithful

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July 28, 2019

17th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Let us pray for our daily bread, for God’s mercy toward us, for forgiveness in our relationships each day.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us pray to treat the stranger with justice and kindness. May we offer bread, peace and comfort to those who ask of us something for their survival.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us pray for persistence within our prayer and continued efforts in our service for people who struggle the most.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us seek God who sustains us in our lives. May we knock on the door of the Kingdom for love, forgiveness and peace for all people on earth.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us pray for the Congregation of Holy Cross, for the men who will profess their first vows on Saturday at Sacred Heart Church. May they be faithful to their vocation and call to pray and serve.

We pray

Let us pray for people who are ill and who suffer greatly. Let us pray for our beloved dead, for our ancestors in faith. In this Mass…

We pray to the Lord.

 

 

Mary Magdalene, Feast 2019

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“Mary of Magdalene” Painting by: Ronald Raab, CSC. Image originally published in AIM Magazine, Chicago, IL. 2018  (Upper left: 7 demons cast from her. Lower left: Redemption from 7 demons. Lower right: Red egg sign of her witness to Jesus’ resurrection. Lower right: Lilies image of Christ’s resurrection 

Gospel  Jn 20:1-2, 11-18

On the first day of the week,
Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early in the morning,
while it was still dark,
and saw the stone removed from the tomb.
So she ran and went to Simon Peter
and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them,
“They have taken the Lord from the tomb,
and we don’t know where they put him.”

Mary stayed outside the tomb weeping.
And as she wept, she bent over into the tomb
and saw two angels in white sitting there,
one at the head and one at the feet
where the Body of Jesus had been.
And they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?”
She said to them, “They have taken my Lord,
and I don’t know where they laid him.”
When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus there,
but did not know it was Jesus.
Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?
Whom are you looking for?”
She thought it was the gardener and said to him,
“Sir, if you carried him away,
tell me where you laid him,
and I will take him.”
Jesus said to her, “Mary!”
She turned and said to him in Hebrew,
“Rabbouni,” which means Teacher.
Jesus said to her,
“Stop holding on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father.
But go to my brothers and tell them,
‘I am going to my Father and your Father,
to my God and your God.'”
Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples,
“I have seen the Lord,”
and then reported what he told her.

– – –

Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time: Link to bulletin column and Prayers of the Faithful

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Click here for this weekend’s parish bulletin and my column

 

Prayers of the Faithful

July 21, 2019

16th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Let us learn to pray as Mary did in the gospel, peering into the life and face of Jesus Christ. May we all bring our needs to the feet of our Savior.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us learn to serve as Martha did, may we not fret or be discouraged as we give of ourselves to people most in need. Let us create communities of hospitality and freedom.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us pray for people who struggle with faith and who cannot worship within the Church because of the issues of clerical abuse and cover-ups.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us pray for our children and grandchildren, the integrity of our families and the hope of our nation. May our inner lives of prayer become the source of justice and peace.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us pray for all monks, hermits and all contemplatives within the Church. May they learn a genuine prayer for every person on earth. May their hearts be aflame with love for people’s needs.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us pray for our dying and for those who have died in these past weeks. In this Mass…

We pray to the Lord.