Let Us Go Rejoicing / Vamos Regocijando

Every Sunday, Catholics are bound by obligation to go to the “house of the Lord” to attend Mass. Of course, many fail to meet this obligation. Others would never dream of missing Mass for any reason other than illness. But I wonder if many of us go every week, but fail to “go rejoicing.”

Weeks are long and weekends are short. Life is hard and we are so busy, so tired. Catching up on household chores, sleeping in, trying to have a little fun with family or friends—for many of us there is so much we want to do or need to do that a weekend never seems long enough.  Sunday Mass can begin to feel like just another weekend chore, and maybe even one that we resent having to do.

I spent an evening with some of my best high school friends recently. We have known each other for over 40 years, and we all attended Catholic schools together. We found ourselves reminiscing about morning Mass, which was strictly voluntary once we were in high school. I attended exceedingly rarely. I told my friends what I have often thought since—how I did not appreciate what an opportunity it was to have Mass available daily, how much I wish daily Mass could fit in my schedule right now, how I regret all those Masses I skipped so I could have a few extra minutes to chat with my friends before school.

I am not perfect. I have missed Mass before without a legitimate excuse. There are Sundays when I wish I could stay in bed, when the secular concept of a lazy Sunday morning seems compelling.

But one thing I know: I NEVER regret that I made it to Mass. There is nowhere I am happier and more at peace than in our favorite pew at the church I have attended since I was baptized there as an infant.

In today’s Gospel we hear the centurion speak to Jesus in the words we echo at every Mass: “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof.”  Every week we admit that we are not worthy to receive Jesus and yet he chooses to be present with us anyway. And it follows that we are much less worthy  to enter under HIS roof, the house of the Lord. Yet every week—every DAY if we wish—we have that honor.

Today is the second day of Advent, so therefore the second day of the liturgical year. New years are a good occasion for resolutions. Can we resolve to appreciate Sunday Mass as a privilege rather than looking at it as a chore? Can we resolve to “go rejoicing”?

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Todos los domingos, los católicos tienen la obligación de ir a la “casa del Señor” para asistir a Misa. Por supuesto, muchos no cumplen con esta obligación. Otros nunca pensarían faltar a misa por cualquier motivo que no sea una enfermedad. Pero me pregunto si muchos de nosotros vamos todas las semanas, pero fallamos en “irnos regocijando”.

Las semanas son largas y los fines de semana son cortos. La vida es dura y estamos tan ocupados, tan cansados. Ponerse al día con los quehaceres de la casa, dormir hasta tarde, tratar de divertirnos un poco con la familia o los amigos: para muchos de nosotros hay tanto que queremos o tenemos que hacer que un fin de semana nunca parece suficiente. La misa dominical puede comenzar a sentirse como una tarea más del fin de semana, y tal vez incluso una que nos molesta tener que hacer.

Recientemente pasé una noche con algunos de mis mejores amigos de la escuela secundaria. Nos conocemos desde hace más de 40 años y todos asistimos juntos a escuelas católicas. Nos encontramos recordando la Misa de la mañana, que era estrictamente voluntaria una vez que estábamos en la escuela secundaria. Asistí muy raramente. Les dije a mis amigos lo que he pensado a menudo desde entonces: cómo no apreciaba la oportunidad que era tener Misa disponible todos los días, cuánto desearía que la Misa diaria pudiera caber en mi horario en este momento, cuánto lamento todas esas Misas que me salté solamente para tener unos minutos extras para charlar con mis amigos antes de ir a clase.

No soy perfecta. He faltado a misa sin una excusa legítima. Hay domingos en los que desearía poder quedarme en la cama, cuando el concepto secular de una perezosa mañana de domingo parece convincente.

Pero una cosa sí sé: NUNCA me arrepiento de haber ido a Misa. No hay ningún lugar en el que me sienta más feliz y en paz que en nuestro banco favorito en la iglesia a la que he asistido desde que me bautizaron allí cuando era bebé.

En el Evangelio de hoy escuchamos al centurión hablarle a Jesús con las palabras que repetimos en cada misa: “Señor, no soy digno de que entres a mi casa”. Cada semana admitimos que no somos dignos de recibir a Jesús y, sin embargo, él escoge estar presente con nosotros. Y se sigue que somos mucho menos dignos de entrar bajo SU techo, la casa del Señor. Sin embargo, todas las semanas, todos los DÍAS si lo deseamos, tenemos ese honor.

Hoy es el segundo día de Adviento, por lo tanto, el segundo día del año litúrgico. Los nuevos años son una buena ocasión para los propósitos. ¿Podemos decidir apreciar la misa dominical como un privilegio en lugar de verla como una tarea? ¿Podemos decidir “irnos regocijando”?

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Leslie Sholly is a Catholic, Southern wife and mother of five, living in her hometown, Knoxville, Tennessee. She graduated from Georgetown University with an English major and Theology minor. She blogs at Life in Every Limb, where for 11 years she has covered all kinds of topics, more recently focusing on the intersection of faith, politics, and social justice.

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St. Catherine Laboure: Saint of the Day for Monday, November 28, 2022

St. Catherine Labouré was born in France on May 2, 1806 as the ninth of 11 children to Pierre and Madeleine Labouré.

In 1815, Catherine’s mother passed away, leaving her 9-year-old daughter with the responsibility of caring for the household. After her mother’s funeral, Catherine returned home and picked up a statue of the Blessed Virgin. Holding it close, she said, “Now you will be my mother.”

Growing up, Catherine was known for being a quiet and practical child, though she was extremely …

The Salve Regina (Hail Holy Queen): Prayer of the Day for Monday, November 28, 2022

Hail Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy,
our life our sweetness and our hope.
To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve;
To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears.
Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us and after this our exile show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary!

V- Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God
R- That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

First Sunday of Advent

Reading 1 Is 2:1-5

This is what Isaiah, son of Amoz,
saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.
In days to come,
the mountain of the LORD’s house
shall be established as the highest mountain
and raised above the hills.
All nations shall stream toward it;
many peoples shall come and say:
“Come, let us climb the LORD’s mountain,
to the house of the God of Jacob,
that he may instruct us in his ways,
and we may walk in his paths.”
For from Zion shall go forth instruction,
and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
He shall judge between the nations,
and impose terms on many peoples.
They shall beat their swords into plowshares
and their spears into pruning hooks;
one nation shall not raise the sword against another,
nor shall they train for war again.
O house of Jacob, come,
let us walk in the light of the Lord!

Responsorial Psalm Ps 122: 1-2, 3-4, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9

R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
I rejoiced because they said to me,
“We will go up to the house of the LORD.”
And now we have set foot
within your gates, O Jerusalem.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
Jerusalem, built as a city
with compact unity.
To it the tribes go up,
the tribes of the LORD.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
According to the decree for Israel,
to give thanks to the name of the LORD.
In it are set up judgment seats,
seats for the house of David.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem!
May those who love you prosper!
May peace be within your walls,
prosperity in your buildings.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
Because of my brothers and friends
I will say, “Peace be within you!”
Because of the house of the LORD, our God,
I will pray for your good.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.

Reading 2 Rom 13:11-14

Brothers and sisters:
You know the time;
it is the hour now for you to awake from sleep.
For our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed;
the night is advanced, the day is at hand.
Let us then throw off the works of darkness
and put on the armor of light;
let us conduct ourselves properly as in the day,
not in orgies and drunkenness,
not in promiscuity and lust,
not in rivalry and jealousy.
But put on the Lord Jesus Christ,
and make no provision for the desires of the flesh.

Alleluia Cf. Ps 85:8

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Show us Lord, your love;
and grant us your salvation.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Mt 24:37-44

Jesus said to his disciples:
“As it was in the days of Noah,
so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.
In those days before the flood,
they were eating and drinking,
marrying and giving in marriage,
up to the day that Noah entered the ark.
They did not know until the flood came and carried them all away.
So will it be also at the coming of the Son of Man.
Two men will be out in the field;
one will be taken, and one will be left.
Two women will be grinding at the mill;
one will be taken, and one will be left.
Therefore, stay awake!
For you do not know on which day your Lord will come.
Be sure of this: if the master of the house
had known the hour of night when the thief was coming,
he would have stayed awake
and not let his house be broken into.
So too, you also must be prepared,
for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.”

– – –

Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it may be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium, including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Oh Happy Day….Or Not! / Qué Día Tan Feliz, o Capaz No Tan Feliz

Oh Happy Day… Oh Happy Day, when Jesus comes, oh when he comes..

You don’t have to be a Scripture expert to see in the last couple weeks’ readings, including today’s, that the writers are attempting to wake us up to what is coming. That it will be either very good or very bad. I am often reminded of that Scripture verse in the Old Testament that talks about that great and terrible day, how it will be great for believers and not so great for non believers.

When I think of today and the condition that our world is in I’m reminded of Noah. It seems as though everyone was partying down and having a great time doing whatever they wanted regardless of the consequences. Noah was the only one that listened. And what was the Lord telling him, to build an ark that would hold one pair of all the animals in the world. One of the things on my bucket list is to go to Kentucky and see the replica of this great ark. I have talked to people that have been there and they were pretty blown away. Can you imagine what a laughingstock Noah was as people walked by laughing and jeering at him for doing such a silly thing. Some say it took Noah many years to build the ark. Scripture says that it was built from gopherwood. Interesting, because gopherwood was not available where he lived. At least, that is what some historians say. Somehow it got there. Were the people still laughing when the rain didn’t stop? I really doubt it. It wouldn’t surprise me if they were begging Noah to get on board. Sorry, too late, the ramp has been shut. 

Scripture reminds us that the Lord will come back like a thief in the night. Kinda sounds like we should be ready at all times. And if we aren’t, then what? Scripture doesn’t beat around the bush about what will happen at that time. It will be a time of judgment. Jesus will separate the sheep from the goats as in Matthew 25. I have decided I want to be a sheep.

The world has become so secularized that many have decided that they do not need God anymore. Why? Perhaps, we have nothing to pray for anymore. How about a bigger house, a new car, new clothes, new gems, and so on. It doesn’t seem to matter what any of those things cost, as long as the monthly payment fits into our budget, then we can pay on it forever. We all should review Scripture and see what the Lord has to say about debt. I’ll give you a hint, he doesn’t like it!

If you have read some of the Saints stories then you know that they have at least two things in common. One is love and two is humility. Advent is a good time to prepare for our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. I mean really prepare! Set aside a little time each day to spend with the Lord. Most likely he will not ask you to build an ark, but I’m pretty sure he will ask you to help someone. When he told us to love our neighbor he wasn’t kidding, he really means it! So grab a spiritual book, pray your rosary, say a Divine Mercy Chaplet, or do something even more radical and sit in silence with the Lord.

Serving with joy!

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Oh Feliz Día… Oh Feliz Día, cuando venga Jesús, ay cuando venga…

No es necesario ser experto en las Escrituras para ver en las lecturas de las últimas dos semanas, incluso las de hoy, que los escritores están tratando de despertarnos para lo que es por venir. Será muy bueno o muy malo. A menudo recuerdo ese versículo de las Escrituras en el Antiguo Testamento que habla de ese día grande y terrible, cómo será grande para los creyentes y no tan grande para los no creyentes.

Cuando pienso en el día de hoy y en la condición de nuestro mundo, me acuerdo de Noé. Parecía como si todos estuvieran de fiesta y pasando un buen rato haciendo lo que quisieran sin importar las consecuencias. Noé fue el único que escuchó. ¿Y qué le estaba diciendo el Señor, que construyera un arca que pudiera contener una pareja de todos los animales del mundo? Una de las cosas en mi lista de deseos es ir a Kentucky y ver la réplica de esta gran arca. He hablado con gente que ha estado allí y se han quedado bastante impresionados. ¿Te imaginas el hazmerreír de Noé cuando la gente pasaba riéndose y burlándose de él por hacer una cosa tan tonta? Algunos dicen que demoró muchos años construir el arca. Las Escrituras dicen que fue construido con madera de gofer. Interesante, porque la madera de gofer no estaba disponible donde él vivía. Al menos, eso es lo que dicen algunos historiadores. De alguna manera llegó allí. ¿Seguía riendo la gente cuando la lluvia no paraba? Realmente lo dudo. No me sorprendería si le estuvieran rogando a Noah que subiera a bordo. Lo siento, demasiado tarde, la rampa ya está cerrada.

Las Escrituras nos recuerdan que el Señor volverá como ladrón en la noche. Parece que deberíamos estar listos en todo momento. Y si no lo somos, ¿entonces qué? Las Escrituras no se andan con rodeos acerca de lo que sucederá en ese momento. Será un tiempo de juicio. Jesús separará las ovejas de las cabras como en Mateo 25. He decidido que quiero ser una oveja.

El mundo se ha vuelto tan secularizado que muchos han decidido que ya no necesitan a Dios. ¿Por qué? Tal vez, ya no tenemos nada por qué orar. ¿Qué tal una casa más grande, un auto nuevo, ropa nueva, joyas nuevas, etc.? No parece importar lo que cueste cualquiera de esas cosas, con que el pago mensual se ajuste a nuestro presupuesto, entonces podemos pagarlo para una eternidad. Todos deberíamos revisar las Escrituras y ver lo que el Señor tiene que decir acerca de las deudas. Te daré una pista, ¡a él no le gusta!

Si ha leído algunas de las historias de los santos y tienen al menos dos cosas en común. Uno es amor y dos es humildad. El Adviento es un buen momento para prepararse para nuestro Señor y salvador Jesucristo. Me refiero a ¡prepararse de verdad! Aparta un poco de tiempo cada día para pasarlo con el Señor. Lo más probable es que no te pida que construyas una arca, pero estoy bastante seguro de que te pedirá que ayudes a alguien. Cuando nos dijo que amáramos a nuestro prójimo, no estaba bromeando, ¡realmente lo decía en serio! Así que toma un libro espiritual, reza tu rosario, reza una Coronilla a la Divina Misericordia o haz algo aún más radical y siéntate en silencio con el Señor.

¡Sirviendo con alegría!

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Deacon Dan Schneider is a retired general manager of industrial distributors. He and his wife Vicki have been married for over 50 years. They are the parents of eight children and thirty grandchildren. He has a degree in Family Life Education from Spring Arbor University. He was ordained a Permanent Deacon in 2002.  He has a passion for working with engaged and married couples and his main ministry has been preparing couples for marriage.

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Prayer to Saint Anthony of Padua: Prayer of the Day for Sunday, November 27, 2022

“Blessed be God in His Angels and in His Saints”
O Holy Saint Anthony, gentlest of Saints, your love for God and Charity for His creatures, made you worthy, when on earth, to possess miraculous powers. Encouraged by this thought, I implore you to obtain for me [request]. O gentle and loving Saint Anthony, whose heart was ever full of human sympathy, whisper my petition into the ears of the sweet Infant Jesus, who loved to be folded in your arms; and the gratitude of my heart will ever be …

Saturday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 RV 22:1-7

John said:
An angel showed me the river of life-giving water,
sparkling like crystal, flowing from the throne of God
and of the Lamb down the middle of the street,
On either side of the river grew the tree of life
that produces fruit twelve times a year, once each month;
the leaves of the trees serve as medicine for the nations.
Nothing accursed will be found anymore.
The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it,
and his servants will worship him.
They will look upon his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.
Night will be no more, nor will they need light from lamp or sun,
for the Lord God shall give them light,
and they shall reign forever and ever.

And he said to me,
“These words are trustworthy and true, 
and the Lord, the God of prophetic spirits,
sent his angel to show his servants what must happen soon.”
“Behold, I am coming soon.”
Blessed is the one who keeps the prophetic message of this book.

Responsorial Psalm PS 95:1-2, 3-5, 6-7AB

R. (1 Cor 16: 22b, see Rev. 22: 20c) Marana tha! Come, Lord Jesus!
Come, let us sing joyfully to the LORD;
let us acclaim the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
let us joyfully sing psalms to him.
R. Marana tha! Come, Lord Jesus!
For the LORD is a great God,
and a great king above all gods;
In his hands are the depths of the earth,
and the tops of the mountains are his.
His is the sea, for he has made it,
and the dry land, which his hands have formed.
R. Marana tha! Come, Lord Jesus!
Come, let us bow down in worship;
let us kneel before the LORD who made us.
For he is our God,
and we are the people he shepherds, the flock he guides.
R. Marana tha! Come, Lord Jesus!



Alleluia LK 21:36

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Be vigilant at all times and pray
that you may have the strength to stand before the Son of Man.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel LK 21:34-36

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy
from carousing and drunkenness
and the anxieties of daily life,
and that day catch you by surprise like a trap.
For that day will assault everyone
who lives on the face of the earth.
Be vigilant at all times
and pray that you have the strength
to escape the tribulations that are imminent
and to stand before the Son of Man.”

– – –

Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it may be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium, including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Fix Your Gaze / Enfocar tu Mirada

It’s the last day of the liturgical year. It’s hard to believe, time flies so fast. Perhaps on this day, more so than on other days, it might be good to slow down and consider why time appears to fly so fast. 

Jesus warns us not to get caught up in the pleasures of life, nor the anxieties. When Jesus walked the earth there were many tugs and pulls on people’s time. Even without any modern technology or access to global affairs, the everyday distractions were enough that Jesus had to strongly warn His followers against their lure. If those early Christians felt the pressure of distractions which would pull them away from Christ, we are certainly not immune.

As we cannot tell the future, we do not know when certain events will happen. We don’t know when we will die. Depending on the type of planner we are, we might not even know what’s for dinner tomorrow night. We don’t know when the economy will collapse or boom. We don’t know if our country will go to war, or how the next elections will turn out. We don’t know when Jesus will come back at the end of time. Given the uncertainties facing all of us, big and small, it is easy to get wrapped up in what we don’t know. 

Jesus intimately knows the human heart. He knows what it feels like to stare down the unknown, to be unsure of how things will come to pass. He speaks from His own experience when He tells the disciples to “Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man” (Luke 21:36). 

How are we vigilant? Through prayer. What does prayer do? It pulls us away from the distractions that surround us and draws our gaze back to Christ. We can share our anxieties with our Lord and, if we take His instruction to heart, we lay them at His feet. None of us can escape the lure of the unknown without a heavenly strength. 

As the liturgical year comes to a close, take some time today to consider how often you have been wrapped up in daily anxieties rather than letting them fall through your fingers. Think about what you can do this Advent season to set the tone for the year to come. What practice might you incorporate into your day which will remind you to keep your gaze fixed on Christ, instead of on the unknown.

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Es el último día del año litúrgico. Es difícil de creerlo, el tiempo vuela tan rápido. Tal vez en este día, más que en otros días, sería bueno reducir la velocidad y considerar por qué el tiempo parece volar tan rápido.

Jesús nos advierte que no nos dejemos atrapar por los placeres de la vida, ni por las ansiedades. Cuando Jesús caminó sobre la tierra hubo muchos tirones y jalones para el tiempo de las personas. Incluso sin ninguna tecnología moderna o acceso a los asuntos globales, las distracciones cotidianas fueron suficientes para que Jesús tuviera que advertir enfáticamente a sus seguidores contra su señuelo. Si esos primeros cristianos sintieron la presión de las distracciones que los alejarían de Cristo, ciertamente nosotros no somos inmunes.

Como no podemos predecir el futuro, no sabemos cuándo sucederán ciertos eventos. No sabemos cuándo moriremos. Dependiendo del tipo de planificador que seamos, es posible que ni siquiera sepamos qué vamos a cenar mañana. No sabemos cuándo colapsará o prosperará la economía. No sabemos si nuestro país irá a la guerra, o cómo resultarán las próximas elecciones. No sabemos cuándo volverá Jesús al final de los tiempos. Dadas las incertidumbres que enfrentamos todos, grandes y pequeñas, es fácil quedar envuelto en lo que no sabemos.

Jesús conoce íntimamente el corazón humano. Sabe lo que se siente mirar fijamente lo desconocido, no estar seguro de cómo sucederán las cosas. Habla desde Su propia experiencia cuando les dice a los discípulos: “Velen, pues, y hagan oración continuamente, para que puedan escapar de todo lo que ha de suceder y comparecer seguros ante el Hijo del hombre” (Lucas 21,36).

¿Cómo estamos vigilantes? A través de la oración. ¿Qué hace la oración? Nos aleja de las distracciones que nos rodean y atrae nuestra mirada hacia Cristo. Podemos compartir nuestras ansiedades con nuestro Señor y, si tomamos en serio sus instrucciones, las ponemos a sus pies. Ninguno de nosotros puede escapar del atractivo de lo desconocido sin una fuerza celestial.

A medida que el año litúrgico llega a su fin, tómate un tiempo hoy para considerar la frecuencia con la que has estado envuelto en las ansiedades diarias en lugar de dejarlas en las manos de Dios. Piense en lo que puede hacer en esta temporada de Adviento para marcar la pauta para el año que viene. ¿Qué práctica podrías incorporar en tu día que te recuerde mantener tu mirada fija en Cristo, en lugar de en lo desconocido?

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Kate Taliaferro is an Air Force wife and mother. She is blessed to be able to homeschool, bake bread and fold endless piles of laundry. When not planning a school day, writing a blog post or cooking pasta, Kate can be found curled up with a book or working with some kind of fiber craft. Kate blogs at DailyGraces.net.

Feature Image Credit: Anete Lusina, www.pexels.com/photo/crop-woman-taking-notes-in-calendar-5239917/

Giving Thanks First / Dar las Gracias Primero

Leprosy during Jesus’s time essentially meant your entire life was taken from you. You couldn’t be near your family and friends. You couldn’t be part of the community. You were even expected to warn people not to come close to you. It was, in many ways, a miserable existence.

So if the necessity to isolate suddenly came to an end, it seems natural that the first thing a person would do would be to go to the priest and get official approval to join the community again. Giving thanks could come later, after all. God doesn’t need our thanks, anyway. God is complete and perfect whether or not we give thanks right away.

In a very real sense, giving thanks is ultimately for our benefit. It helps us to remember our place and be humble. We must not forget that the good things in our lives would not be ours without God permitting them, no matter how hard we work for them. What’s more, secular science confirms that gratitude is good for our mental and even physical health. Those who give thanks daily tend to be healthier and happier.

So, while it is natural to be caught up with the joy of the gift and put gratitude on the back burner, Jesus calls us to rise above our natural inclinations. Let us pray today for the grace to be thankful, first and foremost.

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La lepra durante el tiempo de Jesús esencialmente significaba que te quitaban toda la vida. No podías estar cerca de tu familia ni a tus amigos. No podías ser parte de la comunidad. Incluso se esperaba que advirtieras a la gente que no se te acercara. Era, en muchos sentidos, una existencia miserable.

Entonces, si la necesidad de aislarse de repente llegara a su fin, parece natural que lo primero que hiciera una persona sería acudir al sacerdote para obtener la aprobación oficial de unirse nuevamente a la comunidad. Uno podría dar las gracias después. Porque al fin de cuentas, Dios no necesita nuestro agradecimiento. Dios es completo y perfecto aunque le demos las gracias o no.

En un sentido muy real, dar las gracias es ultimadamente para beneficio nuestro. Nos ayuda a recordar nuestro lugar y a ser humildes. No debemos olvidar que las cosas buenas de nuestra vida no serían nuestras sin el permiso de Dios, por mucho que trabajemos por ellas. Además, la ciencia secular confirma que la gratitud es buena para nuestra salud mental e incluso física. Los que dan gracias a diario tienden a ser más sanos y felices.

Entonces, si bien es natural dejarse atrapar por el gozo del regalo y poner la gratitud en un segundo plano, Jesús nos llama a elevarnos por encima de nuestras inclinaciones naturales. Oremos hoy por la gracia de ser agradecidos, ante todo.

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J.M. Pallas has had a lifelong love of Scriptures. When she is not busy with her vocation as a wife and mother to her “1 Samuel 1” son, or her vocation as a public health educator, you may find her at her parish women’s bible study, affectionately known as “The Bible Chicks.”

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Friday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 RV 20:1-4, 11—21:2

I, John, saw an angel come down from heaven,
holding in his hand the key to the abyss and a heavy chain.
He seized the dragon, the ancient serpent,
which is the Devil or Satan,
and tied it up for a thousand years and threw it into the abyss,
which he locked over it and sealed,
so that it could no longer lead the nations astray
until the thousand years are completed.
After this, it is to be released for a short time.

Then I saw thrones; those who sat on them were entrusted with judgment.
I also saw the souls of those who had been beheaded
for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God,
and who had not worshiped the beast or its image
nor had accepted its mark on their foreheads or hands.
They came to life and they reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

Next I saw a large white throne and the one who was sitting on it.
The earth and the sky fled from his presence
and there was no place for them.
I saw the dead, the great and the lowly, standing before the throne,
and scrolls were opened.
Then another scroll was opened, the book of life.
The dead were judged according to their deeds,
by what was written in the scrolls.
The sea gave up its dead;
then Death and Hades gave up their dead.
All the dead were judged according to their deeds.
Then Death and Hades were thrown into the pool of fire.
(This pool of fire is the second death.)
Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life
was thrown into the pool of fire.

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth.
The former heaven and the former earth had passed away,
and the sea was no more.
I also saw the holy city, a new Jerusalem,
coming down out of heaven from God,
prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

Responsorial Psalm PS 84:3, 4, 5-6A AND 8A

R. (Rev. 21:3b) Here God lives among his people.
My soul yearns and pines 
for the courts of the LORD.
My heart and my flesh
cry out for the living God.
R. Here God lives among his people.
Even the sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow a nest
in which she puts her young–
Your altars, O LORD of hosts,
my king and my God!
R. Here God lives among his people.
Blessed they who dwell in your house!
continually they praise you.
Blessed the men whose strength you are!
They go from strength to strength.
R. Here God lives among his people.



Alleluia LUKE 21:28

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Stand erect and raise your heads
because your redemption is at hand.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel LK 21:29-33

Jesus told his disciples a parable.
“Consider the fig tree and all the other trees.
When their buds burst open,
you see for yourselves and know that summer is now near;
in the same way, when you see these things happening,
know that the Kingdom of God is near.
Amen, I say to you, this generation will not pass away
until all these things have taken place.
Heaven and earth will pass away, 
but my words will not pass away.”

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Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it may be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium, including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.