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Showing posts with the label jesus

Christmas, 2020: I'm Glad to Be Here

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(My corner of small town America around noon, Christmas Eve.) It's Christmas Eve afternoon here in Sauk Centre, Minnesota. Weather, Wind Chill, Memory and Deciding Wednesday's blizzard became a wind chill advisory, which has since retreated to lands north and west of my home. ...What we do each year, and how we do it, matters. But it's not nearly as important as why we get together and celebrate.... More at A Catholic Citizen in America .

Joy and Shadow, Free Will and Something Silly

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Advent started November 29, a couple Sundays back. It's my faith's Christmas warmup. I'll get back to that. My culture's Christmas begins after Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade.... ...Today I'll be talking about Advent's serious side: a song that's been sung at funerals, a Nativity painting's crucifix, introspection and shortcomings. Also ♪ magi on Segways with Amazon cartons. ♪ (Try singing it to the tune of "My Favorite Things," from "Sound of Music:" The bit that goes "Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens....") Anyway, these are today's headings: "Oh Come, Oh Come, Emmanuel" — Plainsong, Burial Chant and Advent Hymn Heaven's Peace: a Work in Progress Advent: Ordinary Folks, Unique Events Something Odd O Hipster Night Illustrators and Illustrations Joy and Shadow Joseph's Options News: Not Entirely Bad; Unsettling; and Disbelieved Herod,

See Lent Through the Eyes of Mary

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Have you ever imagined what the Passion and death of Jesus looked like from Mary’s perspective? I had the opportunity a couple years back to attend a Stations of the Cross, using a booklet that presented each station through the eyes of Mary. It was an extremely powerful experience. (I’ve included a link to the Little Sisters of the Poor. Get a  free download  for yourself). Lent, Through the Eyes of Mary Talk about feeling helpless! Mary could only watch as the most horrific things were done to her Son. She saw Jesus bruised and bleeding, and like any good mother, she wanted to address His wounds. Yet, she could do nothing. Mary heard the crowd speak against Jesus, and she wanted to defend Him. Yet, she could do nothing. Her love for Jesus was so great, that she wanted to spare Him the pain, by carrying the cross herself. Yet, she could do nothing. How often have we seen loved ones suffer, and sometimes die, and we, too, felt helpless, like Mary? Mary understands ... Read mo

Find Quiet Time for Jesus This Lent

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In the hustle-bustle of our everyday lives, many find it difficult to find some quiet time for Jesus. We get caught up in our chores, events, family needs, etc. When we lay our heads down at night, we are exhausted. It’s at times like these, that finding quiet time for Jesus is a must. Why? Because, we cannot succeed at anything without Jesus. Saint Francis de Sales is famously known for having quipped: Half an hour’s meditation each day is essential, except when you are busy. Then a full hour is needed , So, if you want to get all the chores done, attend that basketball game for your eighth grader, and visit an elderly parent in a nursing home, then you need to find some quiet time to pray. Otherwise, it becomes difficult to make that all happen. When our focus is on Jesus, everything else falls into place. Find Quiet Time for Jesus Here are a few suggestions for how you can carve out quiet time for Jesus, to get life in order and accomplish all that is necessary: Read m

Embrace Lent and Grow Closer to Jesus

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Many people look at Lent as a season of punishment, denial, etc. (add your own negative words as a description). I say that Lent offers me an opportunity to grow closer to Jesus. I find that to be a very good thing! When I embrace Lent for all that it has to offer, I achieve the following: A new perspective on what I need to do to walk the journey Christ asks me to walk. The advantage of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, where I receive a clean soul, united to Christ. More time spent with Jesus, one-on-one, through visits to the Blessed Sacrament. It is here that He works on my soul, in the hospital of sinners. Increased insight to Christ’s salvific actions, performed for my benefit, by attending the Stations of the Cross. A greater awareness of the need for Christ’s unwavering love, forgiveness and mercy. Embrace Lent In what ways might you embrace Lent and glean the benefits of God’s Grace? How might you make this season a positive experience, removing all negative conn

What Would The Trade Unions Say About Jesus?

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WHAT WOULD THE TRADE UNIONS SAY ABOUT JESUS? CLICK HERE

Jesus Didn’t Stay Dead

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We relive events from Maundy Thursday to Easter Sunday in close to real time. Our Lord was arrested Thursday night. The Sanhedrin, Pilate and Herod had questioned Jesus by Friday morning.... ...By Friday evening, Jesus was dead.... (More at A Catholic Citizen in America )

Good Friday

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Our Lord's triumphal entry into Jerusalem was like a ticker tape parade. The original one, in 1886, an impromptu celebration. Jesus had grassroots support that few celebrities or politicos achieve. Our Lord could have written his own ticket. All he had to do was keep that enthusiasm going. (More at A Catholic Citizen in America )

Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem

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Seeing Jesus as a charismatic wannabe revolutionary is possible. So is assuming that he was politically inept or stark raving mad. Maybe both. Another option is seeing Jesus as a great teacher, one of the world's best: in the same league as Socrates, Kapila and Confucius. The 'up' side of the 'great teacher' view is that it acknowledges our Lord as someone who talked about ethics and made sense. The 'down' side, and it's a big one, is that Jesus of Nazareth said this.... (More, at A Catholic Citizen in America> )

Epiphany: Still Shining

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While writing about Epiphany, I meandered past Gothic cathedrals, kings and chancellors, and some of what's happened over the last two millennia. The magi, too: the first of many from all nations who recognized and welcomed the good news our Lord brings. That's in the day's Gospel reading this year, Matthew 2:1 - 12 . (More at A Catholic Citizen in America )

Transfiguration of Our Lord

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Today, we celebrate the Transfiguration of Our Lord. In Mark 9:2-10 we read about Jesus going up the high mountain to converse with Elijah and Moses. During this conversation, Jesus’ clothes became dazzlingly white, evidence of Jesus’ divinity and glory. The fact that He is having a conversation with Elijah and Moses is evidence of the fact that death, as we know it, is not the end of life. For, here are two souls of ancient history conversing with Jesus!  This should give us all hope in Christ’s promises of salvation and eternal life with Him in Heaven! What I find fascinating about this Gospel passage is that, as with Jesus’ Baptism, we once again, hear the voice of God. At Jesus’ Baptism, God says, “You are my Beloved Son, with you I am well pleased” (Mark 1:11). At the Transfiguration of Jesus, God, the Father, says, “This is my Beloved Son. Listen to Him” (Mark 9:7). Both assertions clearly articulate the relationship between Father and Son, as in both instances God, the Fat

Is Jesus Your Cornerstone?

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In today’s Gospel reading from Mark 12:10-11, Jesus asks this question:  Have you not read this scripture passage: ‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; by the Lord has this been done, and it is wonderful in our eyes?’ Jesus refers to Psalm 118:22-23, where we learn that what is deemed “ insignificant to human beings has become great through divine election .” 1  This Psalm is a hymn of thanksgiving; praising God for His wondrous deeds. When Jesus references this passage from Psalm 118, He  foreshadows that He is the cornerstone for His Church. For it will be through His death and resurrection that His Church will be built. He will be that rejected stone that becomes the cornerstone. Is Jesus Your Cornerstone? Throughout your life, what place does Jesus hold? Is He your every reason, for every action, that you take? Or, does He barely register on your awareness meter? Perhaps He falls somewhere in between. With Jesus, as the cornerstone... Read mor

Jesus Asks: Why Do You Call Me Good?

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In today’s Gospel, Jesus asks, why do you call me good (Mark 10:18)? In the Gospel reading, we hear the story of the rich young man who seeks information from Jesus about what is required to enter Heaven. The rich young man refers to Jesus as “Good Teacher.” It is an interesting, brief exchange between the rich young man and Jesus. The reference to the goodness of Jesus might easily be overlooked, when reading the passage, simply because Jesus gives a quick retort. “ No one is good but God alone ” (Mark 10:18). He then moves on to the gist of the story, that has nothing to do with His goodness. Yet, I find it to be a very intriguing question. The rich young man knew of Jesus’s work. That is why he approached Jesus in the first place. He must have had some personal experience to draw upon, and for that, chose to call Jesus good. With two thousand years of history, this question might be easier for us to answer in the 21 st  century, as hindsight is 20/20. We have the luxury of stu

Trust and Mercy

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Divine Mercy Sunday: Acts 4:32 - 35 1 John 5:1 - 6 John 20:19 - 31 (April 8, 2018; this homily is from April 7, 2002) Divine Mercy Sunday, 2018 By Deacon Lawrence N. Kaas April 8, 2018 (originally April 7, 2002) 20 years ago we wanted to dedicate our community to the Mercy of God. The story of which is far too long to share with you this morning. But you need to know that we asked our Bishop Speltz to conduct the dedication but were told, 'no he can't come because of confirmations.. Just days before the dedication, he personally called and said that it was too important for him not to be here and so changed appointments to be with us. At one point he said, he saw this as a way to get the Sacred Heart enthroned in every home and saw this was a means to fulfill that because The Divine Mercy image fits perfectly with the Sacred Heart - as well it should. Now what does he do? Not only does he dedicate our community, but dedicates the whole Diocese to The Mercy of God: t

The Best News Ever

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We remembered our Lord's execution on Friday. After Jesus was dead, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body. He and another man wrapped the body of Jesus in a burial cloth and spices, placing it in a nearby tomb. The next day was a solemn sabbath, so they were pressed for time.... More at A Catholic Citizen in America .

Holy Week is Upon Us! When Have You Failed Jesus?

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We begin Holy Week, with Palm Sunday, where we remember Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem. At Palm Sunday Mass, we hear the Passion of Our Lord and receive blessed palms. Then, we place those blessed palms in cherished places of honor within our homes. We spend Holy Week in quiet reflection of Jesus and His sacrifice, as it is the holiest week of the Christian year. We remember Christ’s passion, death and resurrection; His sacrifice for our sins. We also scurry around in preparation for our Easter Feast, just as our ancestors scurried to prepare the Passover Feast. Yet, let’s stop for a moment and bring ourselves back in time 2,000+ years: It’s time to sacrifice the Passover lamb. We need to make plans to use the Upper Room for the feast. We must prepare the food for the occasion, and Judas Iscariot must make plans as well. Satan enters Judas (Luke 22:3), who meets with the chief priests to plot a plan for Jesus’ arrest. By handing Jesus over to the chief priests, Judas assures paym

Choosing Light or Darkness

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I will live forever. Whether that's good news or bad news is up to me. I'd say 'it depends on me,' but that's not quite true. What I decide and do matters. But having an unending life in God's presence isn't something I achieve. Today's Gospel reading, John 3:14 - 21 , got me started. That's part of our Lord's conversation with Nicodemus. The fourth Sunday of Lent scrutinies Gospel for this year, John 9:1 - 41 , is the "a man blind from birth" account. It's got a similar theme. I'll be talking about believing, doing and sinning. That last may need explaining.... More at A Catholic Citizen in America .

Being Evangelical

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I'm a Christian. I take my faith seriously. That's why I think part of my job is evangelizing. Which doesn't necessarily mean I'm an evangelist. For some folks, an evangelist is someone like Saints Mark , Luke and John . "The Evangelist" often gets added to their name. Saint Matthew is an evangelist, too. So are Saints like Augustine of Hippo , Francis of Assisi , Francis Xavier and Thérèse of Lisieux . 1 "Evangelist" has quite a few meanings. Merriam-Webster says it's a Protestant minister or someone who enthusiastically advocates something. Oxforddictionaries.com adds "...the writer of one of the four Gospels...." I don't know about the 'enthusiastic' part, but I think sharing what I believe is a good idea. More at A Catholic Citizen in America .

God Doesn't Make Junk

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We live in a material world. I like it, a lot. Quite a few folks have felt the same way. "You adorn the year with your bounty; your paths drip with fruitful rain. "The meadows of the wilderness also drip; the hills are robed with joy." ( Psalms 65:12 - 13 ) Some get overly impressed. Others apparently think it's icky. Earnest folks have celebrated and condemned it. Not necessarily the same folks, and probably not at the same time. Not usually. That'd be a problem by itself. Plato thought about the reality we live in, artists have been inspired by it. That's given us a theory of forms, George Harrison's "Living in the Material World" and Madonna's "Like a Virgin" albums, and the "Material World" 1990s sitcom. More at A Catholic Citizen in America .

"Do Not be Afraid"

4th Sunday of Advent, 2017 By Deacon Lawrence N. Kaas December 24, 2017 Good! Now try to imagine yourself describing the scene in which the Angel Gabriel seeks and speaks to Mary as one that could be played out spectacularly on film or a TV program, it would begin with the panoramic vision or an overall view of the world that solemnly zooms in and spotlights in one tiny little place. We could imagine the overview from the film score to the mission behind Google Earth.... More at A Catholic Citizen in America .