Second Sunday of Lent
March 17, 2019
Father El Schwab
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First Sunday of Lent
March 10, 2019
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Today’s Gospel contains perhaps the most obvious, if not altogether profound, truth in all of Scripture. No, I’m not referring to “One does not live on bread alone”, for that is profound and I’ll get to that in a second. I’m referring to the line, “He ate nothing during those days, and when they were over . . . he was hungry.” Uh, yeah think?
Every so often the Bible nails the obvious, point blank.
March 3, 2019
“From the fullness of the heart the mouths speaks.”
Today, Jesus gives us two ways to act. The first is self-knowledge, the second is to discern right from wrong, evil from good, and act to get rid of the evil and strengthen the good.
There was time when I did not talk to my older brother about religion or politics because he knew what was right and wrong. He didn’t listen to what you said, but was very willing to tell you if you were right or wrong. I really didn’t like that in my brother and was glad that as he grew older he mellowed a bit.
Then one day it hit me – I was just like my brother. I knew right from wrong so didn’t have to listen to anyone else’s side. The only difference was I was quieter than my brother and didn’t talk much. This wooden beam in my eye was blinding me.
It is a bit sobering to discover these kinds of truths about ourselves. It is also a bit freeing, for then we can begin to change, to begin to listen more in depth to what people are really saying. When I realized this blindness, I did begin to try to change, listen more, judge less, enter into dialogue, so what I said would be more thoughtful and considerate. Then any response I might give would be more helpful.
This is what Jesus is trying to get people to do in this gospel story. Become much more aware of who we are, how we act, the biases we hold, the judgments we make. If we can grow into this self-knowledge, then we can see our and others’ faults and in respect and dialogue help the other person, as well as ourselves, grow into greater maturity.
Jesus also advises us that we need to be able to recognize and to discern good from evil. Once we can do this, then we have to act to move against evil and change it or get rid of it, in non-violent ways with respect and compassion. We also need to strengthen the good.
Our country and our church could use more self-aware people working for the common good. For when people become self-aware, they can more easily and with greater depth put others needs first and make sure that all people – especially those who are poorest, most marginalized, most in need – can benefit from the gifts God has given to everyone to use.
All of this – rooting out evil and strengthening the good – takes prayer, work, good judgment, and the ability to work with others. Then the beam in our own eye becomes less and less, and we can see more clearly what we need to do to make things better.
We are encouraged today to come to a deeper self-knowledge, and a deeper discernment of right and wrong, good and evil. Lent begins this Wednesday, a good time to perhaps come to know ourselves better, and strengthen our discernment abilities so as to act responsibly, compassionately, and for the common good.
Jesus is here to help, as he went through these periods of growth himself, and can show us the way. Let us, then, follow Christ this Lent and fill our hearts with love. As Jesus says, “For from the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks.”
Fr. El Schwab
February 17, 2019
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February 10, 2019
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Imagine you were to head up an extremely important mission that has the potential to change the world and improve the lives of everyone on the planet. And imagine that you had the resources to attract the best talent from around the globe to join your team to fulfill this mission. Would you choose:
Today’s readings show us once again how God’s ways are not our ways. And they also show us that in our call to align our work in the world with God’s work in the world, we need a radical shift in the way we think and act.
Sr Phyllis Jaszkowiak
February 3, 2019
In today’s second reading Paul tells us that without love we are nothing and anything we do without love is nothing. “There are three things that last, Faith, Hope and Love, and the greatest of these is Love.”
January 1, 2018
Sr. Phyllis Jaszkowiak
Today we celebrate Mary as Mother of God, and the World Day of Peace. Peace is that inner quality, that force, that resists evil in such a way that good comes about and not further evil. The old adage says, “Peace is not the end, peace is the way.” Mary is peaceful because she was in touch with God in her everyday life. “Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.”
She did not know what really was ahead for her, so she just went about being a mother and waiting for the “fullness of time,” as St. Paul says.
December 23, 2018
There are certain people in our lives, who, when we see them or hear their voices, make our hearts leap with joy. Who is such a person in your life? I think of my mother.
These are the people in your life who have strong arms and soft hearts. These are the wise ones who have weathered many storms, and assure us that all will be well. These are the people in your life whom you trust absolutely.
This is the encounter between Mary and Elizabeth.
December 9, 2018
Sr. Phyllis Jaszkowiak
This weekend we celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Mary appears in 1531 to Juan Diego a poor peasant, oppressed by the conquerors, and is told to go tell the Bishop to build a church here in this place.
December 2, 2018
There are two beginnings that occur today.
First, it’s the start of Advent, and our readings fit well under the adage of begin with the end in mind. While they point to end times, they fill us with anticipation, preparation, and even warning of the coming of the Christ child.