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Province of St. Therese

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Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

1st Reading: Isaiah 66:10-14c
Resp. Psalm Psalm 66:1-3, 4-5, 6-7, 16, 20
2nd Reading: Galatians 6:14-18
Gospel: Luke 10:1-12, 17-20

The time to rejoice is now because God's missionaries are being sent throughout the whole world to preach the good news. This will be frightening at times because there are wolves that stand ready to attack and even worse, wolves in sheep's clothing. But Jesus's mission did not end until He fulfilled it because whenever the Father's Will is being done, we are protected. We might get roughed up along the way but this is part of the cost of discipleship.

We need to pray for protection for the whole Church. Remember that the Holy Spirit is called the Restrainer because evil is kept from devastating all of us on Earth. We could not last one minute without God's protection.

May our names be written in Heaven as Jesus says in today's Gospel. If anything good is accomplished through us, God does it. We are just useless servants whom the Lord considers precious.

Written by Fr. Jim Curiel, OCD


Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

1st Reading: 1 Kings 19:16b, 19-21
Resp. Psalm Psalm 16:1-2,5, 7-8, 9-10, 11
2nd Reading: Galatians 5:1, 13-18
Gospel: Luke 9:51-62

Times change but the truth doesn't change. If the truth did change it wouldn't be the truth! God only tells us what is true. He is incapable of telling any falsehood in any way shape or form. So, it follows that just because even though times change, the truth stays the same (though there can be better ways of expressing the truth).

In the first reading, Elijah allows Elisha to go back to tell his parents goodbye before Elisha begins his mission but in the Gospel Jesus tells the one whom He asked to follow Him: let the dead bury the dead and to the other one He said no one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the kingdom of God. The times changed from the Old Testament to the New Testament but the truth didn't - so why the different response?

Jesus is showing that His requirements exceed those of the Old Testament. Also, there can be no compromise between family and the decision to serve the Kingdom of God. Relationships with family and friends cannot enter the picture. Before the New Testament, there was only the Law. Now we have the Law and grace from God in light of Jesus's sacrifice on the Cross to fulfill the mission God gives each and every one of us.

The readings this Sunday have primarily to do with ministry in the Church. Despite the cost of the call, God can never be outdone in His generosity and aid. He does provide 30, 60 and 100+ fold.

Written by Fr. Jim Curiel, OCD


Corpus Christi Sunday

Image by James Chan from Pixabay
1st Reading: Genesis 14:18-20
Resp. Psalm Psalm 110:1, 2, 3, 4
2nd Reading: 1st Corinthians 11:23-26
Gospel: Luke 9:11b-17

The Feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ is very important because this is how Jesus chooses to sustain and nourish us spiritually and physically. Our bodies taste bread and wine but our spirits taste the Living God. This is what St Catherine of Siena said.

The Gospel recalls the miracle of the multiplication of loaves and fish. This is the only miracle that is in all four gospels. The Lord knows how important sustenance is and He makes sure that this need is met. Just like the Communion fast that we observe before Mass, our souls are fed first then the body.

St. Luke emphasizes in his gospel, that the Kingdom of God is a great feast. There are foreshadowings of this in the Old Testament, the feeding of the crowds in the New Testament which points towards the great messianic banquet in Heaven. The Last Supper is the first part of this banquet. We are so fortunate that we can participate at this banquet every Sunday and better yet everyday if we so choose. As Archbishop Sheen once said, our heaven or our hell begins here on earth. It is within our grasp to make a decision to keep as close to God as we can - today to ensure that we will be at the second part of the messianic banquet in Heaven.

Written by Fr. Jim Curiel, OCD

Trinity Sunday

1st Reading: Proverbs 8:22-31
Resp. Psalm Psalm 8:4-5, 6-7, 8-9
2nd Reading: Romans 5:1-5
Gospel: John 16:12-15

No one can explain the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity — our minds are too small. However, there are some things that we do know.

God is Love. True love, not just a sentiment or a mere feeling. St Paul explains what love is and is not. We hear this reading very much at weddings. God is the Author of love as it were, so the love we have is just a mirror but still is true. Love is sacrificial in nature, that is, love always seeks the best for others first, according to the Mind of God. We all have this love in us in potentiality and becomes activated when we do what God commands which is always what is best for us.

The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are madly in love with each other. There is no subordination. All are equal. Whenever the Father acts, so does the Son and the Holy Spirit. Whenever the Son acts, so does the Father and the Holy Spirit. Whenever the Holy Spirit acts, so does the Father and the Son.

The point is not to understand but to accept what we can as we continue to live our lives serving Him Who loves us so much.

Written by Fr. Jim Curiel, OCD


Pentecost Sunday

Image by Jeff Jacobs from Pixabay

1st Reading: Acts 2:1-11
Resp. Psalm Psalm 104:1, 24, 29-30, 31, 34
2nd Reading: Romans 8:8-17
Gospel: John 14:15-16, 23b-26

Come Holy Spirit Fill the hearts of your faithful and enkindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your spirit and they shall be created. And you shall renew the face of the earth.

God gives us abilities and things so that we can use them for good. In today's Gospel Jesus gives His Apostles the ability to forgive sins. This is the work of redemption. He died on the cross so that our sins can be forgiven. But this is only in potentiality. Our sins can only be forgiven when we go to the Sacrament of Reconciliation or Confession.

The stain and guilt of Original Sin is taken away when we are Baptized. If we sin afterwards, we must go to Confession. Why would the Lord give His Apostles and their successors this ability if He didn't mean for it to be used?

God does nothing frivolously. Everything He does is for a good purpose. Let us confess our sins regularly and often so that we may be able to accept every gift and grace from our loving Father, and His Son Jesus through the Holy Spirit.

Written by Fr. Jim Curiel, OCD

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