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How many strangers would entrust their life to us simply because they knew we were Christians? Sunday Reflections, The Ascension, Year B

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    Ascension Andrea della Robia [ Web Gallery of Art ] The Ascension, Year B   The Ascension is celebrated on Ascension Thursday, 13 May, in England & Wales and in Scotland. In the USA it is celebrated on Ascension Thursday in the Ecclesiastical Provinces of Boston, Hartford, New York, Newark, Omaha, Philadelphia, elsewhere on Sunday 2 June. In all of these areas Ascension Thursday is a Holyday of Obligation. The Ascension is observed on Sunday, 16 May, in Aotearoa-New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Ireland, Philippines.   Readings   (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland) Readings   (New American Bible: Philippines, USA) Gospel    Mark 16:15-20     (English Standard Version, Anglicised) Jesus said to his disciples: “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: in m

Florida Indoor Fish Farm: An Aquaculture Alternative

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A few groceries have been offering delicacies like elk steaks for decades, at least. But the odds are that hunters aren't supplying your grocery's meat department with wild game. That's not surprising, or shouldn't be. I'll be talking about an indoor Florida fish farm, wild rasberries, chickens, and why genetically modified foods don't fill me with fear and foreboding. More at A Catholic Citizen in America .

Don't Give Up

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  I was reflecting on the vine and branches as set out in scripture.   We always read about the importance of being connected to Jesus, the vine, and how we cannot produce any fruit if we are separated from him. This is very true.   I do not dispute that at all, but another thought came to me. I remember that when we were camping, if we wanted a roaring fire, we would need to use dead wood.   The spindly branches would make great kindling and the bigger, dead logs would keep our fire going. This might be a useful image to apply to those who have been away from God.   If you are racked by sin, you need to know that God is not done with you. If you are as dried out as those sticks, there is still potential for you to be filled with the Holy Spirit and set ablaze with the power of God.   Who better than you—who knows what it is to live without God, who recognizes your need for God and who appreciates what he has done in your life—to carry the message forward? You may be just t

'Father, are you angry with God?' Sunday Reflections, 6th Sunday of Easter, Year B

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    The Little Fruit Seller Murillo [ Web Gallery of Art ] Readings   (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland) Readings   (New American Bible: Philippines, USA) Gospel    John 15:9-17     (English Standard Version, Anglicised) Jesus said to his disciples: As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.   If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love.     These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.   Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.   You are my friends if you do what I command you.   No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.  

Is This Okay With You?

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  I don’t know, I guess I have a bit of a critical eye when it comes to ethics. We received an advertisement in the mail the other day from a local realtor.   She was advertising before and after pictures of a house.   Now we all know that when you go to sell your house, you want it to look the best it can.   It is not uncommon to make improvements so it has “curb appeal.”   I’ve even heard of someone who spray painted a sink so it didn’t show the rust (which I think is a bit sneaky). There are some things that are acceptable, of course, like the curb appeal approach, but, this advertisement went to far, I think.   It crossed a line into deception. The picture of the house on the left has a brown front yard.   The same house on the right has a full, beautiful, green front lawn.   Here’s my problem . . . the green lawn was photo-shopped into the picture. The advertisement boasts of their in-house photographer who can make “brown grass green and grey skies blue.”   They brag ab

Enjoying Our Annual Renewal of Baptismal Vows

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Life isn't back to normal, here in Sauk Centre, and won't be. Not if I see "back to normal" as "being just exactly the way it was two years ago." Time and reality don't work that way. At any, life may not be back to normal; but this fifth Sunday of Easter is less not-normal than last year's. The COVID-19 pandemic is still in progress, but regional rules — state and church — are relaxing a tad. Partly, maybe mostly, because mRNA COVID-19 vaccines are not just in the pipeline. They're here. And that's another topic. Topics. At any rate, life and my routines are less not-normal than they were at this time last year. More at A Catholic Citizen in America .

Do you know God?

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  . DO YOU KNOW GOD? FIND OUT HERE

Are You Controlling?

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Do you have a problem with being a bit controlling?   Maybe you are tempted to control your adult children, or perhaps your controlling is more related to always correcting the errors of others? There are people who, out of the need for control, desperately pay too much attention to detail and try to make sure that their ducks (and the ducks of others) are not only lined up in a neat row, but that they quack at the same time, and on key. I should correct myself.   I’m not so sure anyone actually has a “need” to control others.   I think this—can I call it a character flaw?—is often just part of one’s personality.   Sometimes it comes from cultural circumstances like family or the way they have been treated.   Adult children of alcoholics, for instance, may tend to try to control their situations (and others) because living with an alcoholic can be chaotic and the very definition of being out-of-control.   Circumstances themselves may create “control freaks”—an unkind, overly ne

'Discover ever more deeply the joy of being united with Christ in the Church.' Sunday Reflections, 5th Sunday of Easter, Year B

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The Red Vineyard Vincent van Gogh [ Web Gallery of Art ] Readings   (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland) Readings   (New American Bible: Philippines, USA) Gospel   John 15:1-8     (English Standard Version, Anglicised) Jesus said to his disciples: “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine dresser.   Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.   Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you.   Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.   I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.   If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.  

You're not as bad as all that

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The safest way to ride all history storms. ( Spanish) La vida en Dios es paz en las actuales tormentas del mundo.

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         El evento de la Pandemia y de la nueva dinámica que parece haber traído no parece tener lógica ni sitio en nuestro vivir, todo se ve gris y ya hasta se habla del "Gran Reinicio" . Por eso debemos verlas en un horizonte más amplio de nuestro mundo y nuestro tiempo y esta entrevista de López Dóriga hace eso: una evaluación muy real de lo que está sucediendo y que nos deja ver que seguimos esperando que algún invento, sistema o evento nos salve. Nos hace ver lo que Jesús en la fe católica nos ha dicho por siglos: que la felicidad y el bienestar lo tenemos que construir desde nuestro interior, en el alma, en el corazón. En ese lugar donde está Dios esperándodnos desde siempre para ayudarnos a construir una vida plena a prueba de las mareas de la historia y el mundo, junto a los demás.   Vale la pena escucharlo y aplicar varias de las recomendaciones que nos da para esta época:     Por:  Dr. José Antonio Lozano Díez, Presidente de la Junta de Gobierno de la Un