God persists in looking for justice, honesty, and righteousness from the people he has created. God wants us to be fair in our dealings with each other. God wants us to never give up working for justice. God will not allow our consciences to be at peace while there is injustice in this world.
When we hear Sunday’s Gospel we hear it as a reminder that we are to give God thanks and praise for all the material blessings that we have received. We might hear it as a reminder to give thanks for the gift of faith that we share with the Samaritan and Naaman. Like them we have the faith that enables us to recognize the presence of God in our world and in our lives. For that, “Let us give thanks to our Lord our God!”
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We would never accept a position without a detailed job description, Jesus reminds us as Christians we too have a job description – We promised to love God and our neighbor, to resist temptation and sin, to care for the suffering, to let the words and example of Jesus guide our decisions, to work for justice and peace, to be unafraid to be known as a disciple of Jesus, to give time to prayer and worship, and to pass on our faith to a new generation.
Everyone saw images of the suffering caused by Hurricane Dorian, but not everyone acted. Seeing was not enough. It is seeing that touches the heart – that explains why some people are motivated to act.
Consider if we heard the words the steward heard in today’s parable, “Prepare a full account of your stewardship.” Certainly those words would make us look at our lives and force us to see the occasions when we acted like that dishonest steward. We did what benefited us rather than what benefited the coming of God’s kingdom. We followed our will rather than the will of our Divine Master.
Do you know Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior? As challenging as that question is, there is an even more important question to consider, one that comes from this Sunday’s Gospel.The more critical question is this: Does Jesus Christ know me as one of his disciples?
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As Christians we are involved in a movement, the “faith movement.” As members of that movement we share common convictions and beliefs. But faith cannot be only a matter of holding certain beliefs and convictions. Faith has to lead us to action; it has to motivate us to “move.”
What shall I do? That is the key question. How we answer that question determines how we live our lives. It determines how we relate to people and how people see us. It determines our happiness in this life and in the life to come. The wise person knows that “What shall I do? is the wrong question to ask. The right question is, “What would God have me do?”
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Children expect their parents to keep any promise they make, and so do adults. While we may be confused when our prayers are not answered the way we want, and when we want, God gives us what is most critical.
If we truly appreciated the gift of Holy Spirit, none of would ever complain to God about our unanswered requests. We would never say, “But you promised!”
Most of our to-do lists are filled with too many tasks, obligations, and responsibilities. Jesus might tell us what he told Martha, “You are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing.”
That one thing that should be first on our list of tasks is to listen to the Lord.
If we are to follow the example of the Good Samaritan, perhaps the first thing we need to do is to deepen our sense of compassion for those suffering. We need to recognize our obligation to the members of our human family. Such compassion will lead us to go toward our neighbor in need.
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In this Sunday’s Gospel Jesus gives a series of instructions to the 72 people that he sends to the places he intends to visit. He gives them specific directions.But they are not just for the 72, but also for each one of us. Tell people, “The Kingdom of God is at hand.” That is an instruction that demands our attention!
We Christians need to take a lesson from Home Shopping Network. Before people decide to buy anything, they first need to be convinced it will benefit their lives, only then will they be ready to pay the price.
We all have times in our lives when we feel we are wandering through a desert, when we feel we are in a deserted place even when surrounded by people. At those times, more than ever, we need the strength and encouragement the Lord offers us in his life-giving word and in the bread and wine of the Eucharist. The Lord who compassionately cared for the crowd of thousands is ready to care for us. When Jesus is in our lives, none of us is ever completely alone in a deserted place.
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Because of the Annunciation, Christ the Savior was born. Because of Pentecost, the Church was born. While we might not readily associate “annunciation” with “Pentecost,” there is a connection. Recognizing that association will help us to better appreciate what we celebrate this Sunday and better appreciate the importance of our responding to the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
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Jesus wants us to be united. He wants us to be a harmonious family of faith bound together by our common relationship with him and the Father. As he prays, “May all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you.”
https://www.stdom.co.za/storage/2019/06/Whatfirstname.lastname@example.org://www.stdom.co.za/storage/2019/04/St-Dominics-Catholic-Churchemail@example.com 13:53:022019-06-05 14:03:07Sunday Mass: What Kind of People?
https://www.stdom.co.za/storage/2019/06/Nofirstname.lastname@example.org://www.stdom.co.za/storage/2019/04/St-Dominics-Catholic-Churchemail@example.com 12:23:342019-06-05 14:05:21Sunday Mass: No Diplomas on the Wall
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All people do not view things in the same way. That is why we have divergent opinions, opposing political parties, and conflicting messages on social media.Thankfully, the Lord does not see our future determined by our past sins and failings.
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Parents are protective of their children. Most parents do all they can to prevent their sons and daughters from making bad decisions. And when they do make bad decisions, those parents will often do all they can to keep their children from suffering the consequences.
Whenever there is a construction accident that causes injury or death, investigators from the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, as well as state and local officials, quickly appear at the site. They start searching for the cause of the accident. They want to discover what went wrong and how future problems can be prevented.
https://www.stdom.co.za/storage/2019/04/Sunday-Mass-Within-our-Control.firstname.lastname@example.org://www.stdom.co.za/storage/2019/04/St-Dominics-Catholic-Churchemail@example.com 15:44:142019-05-30 16:59:24Sunday Mass: Within our Control
WHAT DID HE PRAY FOR?
Who was your best friend in high school?
What is your favorite movie?
What place do you most enjoy visiting?
Those are easy questions to answer. But some questions are far harder, more personal, and more revealing.
https://www.stdom.co.za/storage/2019/04/Sunday-Mass-What-did-He-Pray-For.firstname.lastname@example.org://www.stdom.co.za/storage/2019/04/St-Dominics-Catholic-Churchemail@example.com 15:48:492019-05-30 17:00:41Sunday Mass: What did He Pray For
During a job interview, an interviewer is restricted by law from asking candidates certain questions. Candidates, for example, cannot be asked about their national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, age, citizenship, or marital status.
https://www.stdom.co.za/storage/2019/04/Sunday-Mass-On-the-Final.firstname.lastname@example.org://www.stdom.co.za/storage/2019/04/St-Dominics-Catholic-Churchemail@example.com 15:56:342019-05-30 17:02:18Sunday Mass: On the Final
“For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth.” With those words, spoken in this Sunday’s Gospel (John 18:33-37) Jesus tells Pilate the reason for his ministry and preaching. He came to testify to the truth.
When have you most felt the presence of God in your life?
If we were asked that question, we might respond by mentioning a certain moment of personal prayer, a particularly inspiring liturgy, a time of retreat, the birth of a child, an instance of creativity, or the sight of an amazing part of God’s creation.
https://www.stdom.co.za/storage/2019/05/Most-Near-Us.jpg256466Eloise Deschampshttps://www.stdom.co.za/storage/2019/04/St-Dominics-Catholic-Church-logo.pngEloise Deschamps2018-11-16 09:33:542019-05-30 17:05:41Sunday Mass: Most Near Us
We often judge the state of our health by how we are feeling at the moment. Do I feel well? Do I feel sick?
However, that is not always the best indicator of our health, for we can feel perfectly fine, and yet have an underlying health problem.
https://www.stdom.co.za/storage/2019/05/More-than-by-Feelings.jpg256466Eloise Deschampshttps://www.stdom.co.za/storage/2019/04/St-Dominics-Catholic-Church-logo.pngEloise Deschamps2018-11-02 09:23:082019-05-30 17:06:54Sunday Mass: More than by Feelings
https://www.stdom.co.za/storage/2019/05/Whats-in-a-Name.jpg256466Eloise Deschampshttps://www.stdom.co.za/storage/2019/04/St-Dominics-Catholic-Church-logo.pngEloise Deschamps2018-10-26 09:19:562019-05-30 17:07:37Sunday Mass: What's in a Name?
https://www.stdom.co.za/storage/2019/05/Seeking-Power-and-Position.jpg256466Eloise Deschampshttps://www.stdom.co.za/storage/2019/04/St-Dominics-Catholic-Church-logo.pngEloise Deschamps2018-10-19 09:00:242019-05-30 17:08:35Sunday Mass: Seeking Power and Position
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What people hold positions of power in government?
If we were asked that question, we would probably answer that the president, senators, congressional representatives, and Supreme Court justices hold power in the federal government.
https://www.stdom.co.za/storage/2019/05/Copy-of-More-Than-The-Few.jpg256466Eloise Deschampshttps://www.stdom.co.za/storage/2019/04/St-Dominics-Catholic-Church-logo.pngEloise Deschamps2018-09-27 08:38:482019-05-30 17:10:10Sunday Mass: More Than The Few
Is ambition a good thing or a bad thing?
Is it a compliment or a criticism to be described as being ambitious?
After listening to this Sunday’s scripture readings we might conclude that ambition is not a good thing and being seen as ambitious is incompatible with being a Christian.
There is a popular Christian televangelist who delivers his message on a stage adorned with a large, stylized globe that continually revolves during the service.
The only other object on the stage is a podium. There is no cross anywhere in sight.
https://www.stdom.co.za/storage/2019/05/Copy-of-A-Globe-Not-A-Cross.jpg256466Eloise Deschampshttps://www.stdom.co.za/storage/2019/04/St-Dominics-Catholic-Church-logo.pngEloise Deschamps2018-09-14 08:34:042019-05-30 17:11:11Sunday Mass: A Globe not a Cross
In our Second Reading (Ephesians 5:21-32), Paul speaks about the major decision a man and woman make when they decide to marry. They decide to “be subordinate to one another out of reverence for Christ.”
https://www.stdom.co.za/storage/2019/05/Major-needs-Minor.jpg256466Eloise Deschampshttps://www.stdom.co.za/storage/2019/04/St-Dominics-Catholic-Church-logo.pngEloise Deschamps2018-08-24 18:22:232019-05-30 17:12:47Sunday Mass: Major needs Minor
We know a great deal about our close friends. We know where they grew up, the schools they attended, their likes and dislikes, their political views, their families, their social lives, their religious beliefs, their hopes and dreams, their favorite restaurants, movies, and sports teams, and much more.
Who? What? When? Where? Why? How? Those six questions are the ones that reporters are taught to ask as they gather information for a story. They are also the questions that detectives ask as they investigate a crime.
During the summer, some companies hire temporary workers to fill in for employees who are on vacation. Other companies transfer workers to staff departments that are shorthanded during the vacation season.
Think of the people who are your close friends.
How did you meet them? How did those relationships begin?
Some friendships start when two people are assigned to work together on a project at school or at work.
Throughout the Gospels we hear Jesus instructing his disciples. He commands them to love God and to love their neighbor. He tells them to forgive their enemies and to pray for their persecutors. He directs them to care for the poor and the suffering. He warns them not to let a desire for money, possessions, or power rule their lives.
https://www.stdom.co.za/storage/2019/05/Doing-the-More-Important.jpg256466Eloise Deschampshttps://www.stdom.co.za/storage/2019/04/St-Dominics-Catholic-Church-logo.pngEloise Deschamps2018-07-13 18:11:552019-05-30 17:16:49Sunday Mass: Doing the More Important
Those who call us on our phones trying to sell some product or service or come to our doors soliciting our support for a charity or cause need to have a “thick skin!” They need to be able to endure rejection. A sensitive person could never deal with the criticism, insults and countless refusals that come with such work.
“Priests are always talking about money!” Everyone has heard that criticism at one time or another. And surprisingly it is a complaint often made by people who rarely are at Mass to hear what is being said from the pulpit.
Only three birthdays have a place on the Church’s calendar. The birthday of Jesus on December 25, the birthday of Mary, September 8, and the birthday of John the Baptist, which we commemorate this Sunday, June 24.
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Before and after photos are often used by companies to show the effectiveness of their products.
There will be a picture of an obviously overweight and unhappy looking individual and then next to it there will be a picture of the same person physically fit, thinner, and self-confident.
https://www.stdom.co.za/storage/2019/05/Before-and-After.jpg256466Eloise Deschampshttps://www.stdom.co.za/storage/2019/04/St-Dominics-Catholic-Church-logo.pngEloise Deschamps2018-06-15 18:04:062019-05-30 17:19:55Sunday Mass: Before and After
We live at a time when many people who hold conflicting opinions, support rival political parties, arrive at different solutions to social problems, or embrace divergent philosophies of life no longer politely and respectfully discuss their differences.
Imagine going to church for the wedding of some dear friends, and immediately after the ceremony the invited guests simply went back to their own homes. There was no wedding reception, no dinner, no party, no nothing. We certainly would think it strange. (And I suppose, a little cheap!)
The doctrine of the Holy Trinity, which the Church places before us this coming Sunday, proclaims our belief that the One God we worship is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – Three Divine Persons, One God.
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Certain Gospel passages are associated with certain sacraments.
For example, Jesus being baptized by John in the River Jordan relates to the Sacrament of Baptism.
Jesus changing water into wine at the wedding feast of Cana is associated with the Sacrament of Marriage.
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This Sunday, Mother’s Day, we lovingly honor the women who gave us birth, fed us, changed us, dressed us, raised us, comforted us in moments of sadness, encouraged us, cheered our successes, and along with our fathers were our protectors and guides as we grew to maturity.
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Students are graded by their professors. The professors are the ones who set the requirements of the course, teach the material, prepare the tests, score the examinations, and then determine what grade each student will receive.
https://www.stdom.co.za/storage/2019/05/What-is-Your-Grade.jpg256466Eloise Deschampshttps://www.stdom.co.za/storage/2019/04/St-Dominics-Catholic-Church-logo.pngEloise Deschamps2018-05-04 17:43:242019-05-30 17:24:10Sunday Mass: What is Your Grade
In most cases, success only comes with consistent and constant effort.
Musicians need to practice on a regular basis if they hope to succeed. They cannot devote just an hour a week to developing their talent and hope to become accomplished artists.
We live in a time in which diversity is highly valued. Laws and regulations mandate certain levels of diversity. Businesses and educational institutions try to ensure that their populations reflect the many categories of diversity proposed by society.
If we were told that something absolutely extraordinary had happened, something that had never occurred before, we would be skeptical. We would look for some sort of proof, some confirmation before we believed what we were told. We would be like Thomas in this Sunday’s Gospel (John 20:19-31).
This year of 2018 has some remarkable coincidences when it comes to the dates of two religious and two secular observances.
If you remember, Ash Wednesday, the first day of the season of Lent, fell on February 14, Valentine’s Day. That has not happened since 1945.
https://www.stdom.co.za/storage/2019/05/Easter-and-April-fools.jpg256466Eloise Deschampshttps://www.stdom.co.za/storage/2019/04/St-Dominics-Catholic-Church-logo.pngEloise Deschamps2018-03-29 17:28:072019-05-30 17:26:58Sunday Mass: Easter and April Fools
Sometimes when we are looking for an answer, we ask the wrong question.
For example, if a co-worker, who obviously enjoys his or her job and is very happy at the company, suddenly leaves, we might ask, “Why did you quit?”
https://www.stdom.co.za/storage/2019/05/The-Right-Question.jpg256466Eloise Deschampshttps://www.stdom.co.za/storage/2019/04/St-Dominics-Catholic-Church-logo.pngEloise Deschamps2018-03-23 17:25:432019-05-30 17:28:33Sunday Mass: The Right Question
https://www.stdom.co.za/storage/2019/05/To-know-or-not-to-know-1.jpg256466Eloise Deschampshttps://www.stdom.co.za/storage/2019/04/St-Dominics-Catholic-Church-logo.pngEloise Deschamps2018-03-15 17:21:592019-05-30 17:28:55Sunday Mass: To know or not to know
Just because people hear what someone is saying does not mean they understand what is being said.
For example, if someone on a buffet line in the company cafeteria turns to her employer and says, “I can’t put another thing on my plate,”
When we begin reading a story, we usually open to the first page. We start at the beginning and as we read page after page we come to know the setting, the situation, and the characters involved. The story gradually comes to life as we turn the pages.
We all have had the experience of hearing something and then thinking, I’ve heard that somewhere before.
We may have such an experience as we listen to this Sunday’s Gospel. (Mark 1:12-15) There Jesus proclaims, “Repent, and believe in the Gospel.”
What is the number one disease in the United States?
If we were asked that question, we might respond cancer, heart disease, diabetes, stroke, Alzheimer’s, chronic respiratory disease, or some other serious illness. The correct answer is heart disease.
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Exorcisms and miracles caught the attention of people at the time of Jesus, and they still do! A report of an exorcism or miracle will draw a crowd, become a trending topic on Twitter, and attract the interest of the local and national media.
Imagine if someone you just met at a party said, “Marry me!”
Or if the person who happened to be sitting next to you at a concert turned to you and said, “Be my best friend.”
Or if a stranger you met as you arrived at work told you, “Quit your job. Come work for me.”
At this time in January all that is left of the Christmas Season are credit cards bills waiting to be paid, unwanted gifts that have yet to be returned or exchanged, leftover holiday cookies, and evergreen needles that continue to avoid the vacuum cleaner.
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Said the night wind to the little lamb,
“Do you see what I see?
Way up in the sky, little lamb,
Do you see what I see?
A star, a star, dancing in the night
With a tail as big as a kite,
With a tail as big as a kite.”
https://www.stdom.co.za/storage/2019/05/3-wise-men.jpg256466Eloise Deschampshttps://www.stdom.co.za/storage/2019/04/St-Dominics-Catholic-Church-logo.pngEloise Deschamps2018-01-08 12:58:312019-05-30 17:33:04Sunday Mass: Do You See It