University of Notre Dame Summer Preaching Conference: “Mystic and Mystagogue: Preaching as Spiritual Leadership”

Marten Ad To Half

MORE INFORMATION: CLICK HERE

 

I will be offering one of the twenty workshops for this conference in June, 2019. The title of my worship is: Fr. Ron Raab, CSC – Bending toward the Light: Our Posture of Solidarity through Preaching.

My presentation will offer a discussion based on my experiences working with people on the margins and learning how to interpret the scriptures through relationship with people in poverty and powerlessness.

Christmas Day 2018: Prayers of the Faithful

Version 2

Sacred Heart Church, Colorado Springs, CO 2018

Christmas Day

December 25, 2018

Let us pray that the Word-Made Flesh may find a home in every human heart this Christmas Day. May our voices herald Good News for all nations and all peoples in the joy of our Savior.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us pray for Pope Francis and our Church leaders, that the Word of God may reveal compassion for all people surviving poverty and living in fear throughout the Church. May our leaders discover honesty and real concern for people.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us pray for people living on the margins of society. For people waiting for housing, healthcare, education and the essentials of human dignity. We pray that the Word of God becomes flesh in our service to people in need.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us pray for our families around our dinner tables this Christmas Day. For reconciliation among those we love. We pray for our children home from college and for our enthusiastic toddlers. We pray for our guests and strangers who dine with us this day.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us pray for all military families this Christmas Day. For all who serve our country, for all who serve far from home this year and for all who wait the return of loved ones.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us pray for all who have died since last Christmas Day. For our loved ones who rest in God’s Kingdom and who see firsthand the face of Christ Jesus. We pray for all who grieve on earth on Christmas Day. At this Mass…

We pray to the Lord.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Eve 2018: Prayers of the Faithful and Nativity Art

Version 2

Christmas Eve

December 24, 2018

Let us pray to be open to the miracles among us this Christmas Eve. May our restless hearts rejoice where faith is born. Give us new hope and genuine love in this silent night.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us pray for the healing mission of the Church. For people searching for healthy food, adequate shelter and comfort for their ailing bodies. May the lonely and tired be wrapped in swaddling clothes in this holy night. May forgiveness find a home on earth.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us pray for Pope Francis and all Church leaders, that they may discover the love of the Incarnation. That hope may be made flesh for all people, especially our children within the Church, no matter our race, language or circumstance.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us pray that children’s voices be heard on Christmas Eve. We pray for our own grandchildren far and near. For foster children, stepchildren, children at our country’s border and our children in jails. We pray for children trapped in cruelty and trafficking.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us pray for comforting peace on earth. We pray for people who face tragedies of violence, fires, floods and addictions. That Jesus-made-flesh may show us how to become people of loving service. That peacefulness may be made known in every human heart.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us pray for our beloved dead, especially for those who have died since last Christmas Eve. May our loved ones finally rest in the comfort of Jesus’ face, within his presence for all eternity. At this Mass we remember…

We pray to the Lord.

 

 

Prayers of the Faithful: Fourth Sunday of Advent, December 23, 2018

Fourth Sunday of Advent

December 23, 2018

Let us pray for our Church waiting for miracles this Advent. Let us pray for wise actions and loving responses for the needs of the world. Let us serve people with all our hearts.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us pray that we may receive love and acceptance in Advent. We pray for healing and forgiveness in our broken relationships and within every lonely heart. May love flourish on earth.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us pray that our hearts may leap for joy in recognition of Christ Jesus. For people searching for sobriety, for people who are healing from cancer, for couples seeking forgiveness in their marriage. May joy create a home in all people.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us pray for the dignity of family life. For students home from college and for our men and women home from deployment and for our children living far away. Let the face of Christ be revealed to us all.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us pray for those who grieve this Advent. For people displaced by sudden storms, violence and fires, may they find our support. For first responders, medical personnel, all caregivers and people who provide emotional support across our country. Help us encounter Christ this Advent.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us pray for our loved ones who have died. Let us remember their voices as we all sing God’s praise. In this Mass…

We pray to the Lord.

Fourth Sunday of Advent: Bulletin cover art and column

Dec. 23, 2018 Bulletin Cover

Painting and column text: Ronald Raab, CSC

CLICK HERE for full bulletin 

 

Dear Followers of the Messiah,

The prayer texts and scriptures for the Fourth Sunday of Advent take a dramatic turn. The great prophets of Isaiah and John the Baptist who have been heralding a message of repentance and hope for us are now silenced. We turn away from our preparation for the second coming of the Messiah at the end of time. Our attention now focuses on the birth of Jesus. This Fourth Sunday calms our souls and steadies our faith for it takes us back to the human longing for love and peace. Today’s gospel is charming and exquisite in its tenderness for the coming of Jesus to be born among us, to become the Word-Made-Flesh.

Today in Luke 1:39-45 we hear the simple story of Mary journeying to visit her cousin Elizabeth. There is such rejoicing between the two pregnant women. The rejoicing did not stop with the two adults for we hear that the infant in Elizabeth’s womb leapt for joy. This child of course is John, who will be called The Baptist. This gospel in the fourth week takes us back to the beginning of Advent when we heard about John as an adult calling us all to repentance and forgiveness. Today we ponder such beauty of a child and all of his potential.

This gospel forms our short Fourth Week of Advent. Christmas is in two days. I pray that we may sink our hearts into this story and find the joy and wonder of Jesus resting in our hearts, lives and relationships. We are called in this great feast of Christmas this week to sort through our exhaustion, fear and uncertainties to find joy again. Our joy fills the empty spaces of our lives if we take the time to sit in silence, reflect and pray. Within Christmas, we are called to discover such hope among our bewilderment, peace among the obstacles that keep us apart and love even among our fragile relationships.

The four weeks of Advent have challenged us to recognize Christ in the deepest and darkest places of our human lives. This year, most especially, we lift up a child to be our hope amid the crimes of our clergy and the neglect of so many. We center on the child Jesus to become in our day a radical reminder that powerlessness will be the place of grace, hope and healing. We are called into becoming poor and powerless so that we may discover the miracles of life and receive the forgiveness for which we ache.

No matter what is going on in your life this Christmas, I pray that you may discover the joy nested in your heart as you recognize Jesus. I pray as you feed an aging parent in a nursing home, that you might be grateful for all that has been in your life. I pray as you hold a newborn in the family that you may come to a new awareness of miracles and love. I pray as you listen to your teen fidget about what to do with his future that you may welcome all the possibilities of his talent.

Thank you for all of your creative efforts to build our three communities of worship. Thank you so much for feeding our poor on weekdays and on Sunday evenings. Thank you for educating your children here and worshipping in good times and in bad. Peace to all who enter our churches this week to find the new places in which Jesus is born.

Christmas peace,

Fr. Ron

 

Prayers of the Faithful: Third Sunday of Advent 2018

Third Sunday of Advent

December 16, 2018

Let us pray to use our possessions wisely and that we may learn to serve others by sharing our earthly goods during this Advent season. Let us live and love in deep gratitude.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us pray that Pope Francis and our bishops may live and teach with integrity this Advent. For our Universal Church as we learn gratitude in the midst of struggle, conflict and uncertainty.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us rejoice in the Lord and work for justice in this season of preparation. We pray for the end of racism, violence, hunger and discrimination. We pray that peace will guard our hearts.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us be confident and unafraid in prayer as we raise our families and model hope to those we love. We pray for the wellbeing of our children and our grandchildren, especially our loved ones far from home.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us live with no anxiety or worry even in the midst of our grief. We pray that consolation may find a home within us no matter our loss. We pray that our emptiness may lead us to joy in Christ Jesus.

We pray to the Lord.

Let us pray for our loved ones and strangers who have journeyed through death to a new presence with Christ Jesus. We pray for all who have died…

We pray to the Lord.

 

 

 

 

Third Sunday of Advent: Cover art and column

Dec. 16, 2018 Bulletin Cover

Dear Believers in Miracles,

John the Baptist is back in action this week in Luke 3:10- 18. On this Third Sunday of Advent, John is in the desert to baptize. John is very clear about how to prepare for the Savior. Whoever has two cloaks should give one to a person who has none. Whoever is collecting more than the required amount of taxes should cut it out. We should not practice extortion and we should not falsely accuse anyone. We should be satisfied with our wage. I love the fact that John calls people into direct service as we wait for our own salvation. Salvation rests in how we treat one another. This message is often far from our daily lives. John rocks this message of hope!

Remember that Luke as a gospel writer always speaks on behalf of the poor. John is in the thick of things as he admits that he is not worthy to loosen the thongs of his cousin’s sandals. He prepares us with unbelievable images of salvation and the clearing of sin and division in the world. John has a strong and vigorous voice in his longing for mercy and forgiveness by God. Luke puts into the mouth of John these incredible words of justice and peace for people on earth. This is the real preparation for Christmas.

This Third Week of Advent has traditionally been called, “Gaudete Sunday.” This means that we are more than half way to Christmas and our lives and hearts are called to rejoice!

Rejoice! This is quite the promise John is longing for in the middle of the hot desert. He understands that in the life of Jesus and his presence and ministry, lays the golden revelation of salvation. Rejoicing is key to our lives as we enter such a mystery. We are almost there, but not yet. However, we understand that what we wait for is the coming of the Kingdom in the end of time. We wait for more than the baby, since we already did that many years ago. Salvation is in our hearts waiting to bear fruit in our day and age.

The reading from Philippians 4:4-7 gives us this message of hope. “Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again: rejoice! Your kindness should be known to all. The Lord is near….” I hope that we all hear that God’s presence and his gift of redemption are truly for us even when we think we are knee deep in the weeds. We are called to rely on God even when our marriages are on the rocks and our children don’t seem to care about us anymore. We are called to fill our hearts with gratitude even on the days when we don’t get our way or when the Church is filled with controversy and darkness. Rejoicing comes to us when we give over our very lives to God in Advent.

John boldly expresses that Jesus’ winnowing fan will clear the threshing floor. John tells us that there is nothing in our hearts that will not be made clean and refreshed. I thank God for John’s voice in our lives. Gosh, let’s rejoice above all!

Advent peace,

Fr. Ron