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Saturday, March 28, 2020

Lent Week 5 Called to New Life

Come  Forth

“Take away the stone” 

“Lazarus come forth”

“Unbind him”

“Set him free”

John 11: 1-45

This story of the community of relatives and friends of Lazarus and Jesus calling for new life, reminds us that Jesus is about confronting the culture of death and inviting us into this new life.  He came to give sight to the blind, freedom to the captive, liberation to the oppressed, good news to the poor: a Mission of liberation and life.

Many of us today can easily Imagine ourselves, our society, our world calling out for New Life… calling forth, RIGHT NOW, liberation and freedom from what binds us, our society and our world, that we may live and not die.

During this Fifth Week of Lent let us reflect with this Gospel Story of Jesus Raising Lazarus to New Life.  Let us respond to the challenge before us NOW…  to  remove the stones, to come forth and be Disciples for a New World and the Mission of Jesus and bring forth New Life.

May we each, in the circumstances we find ourselves, unbind and set free our society, our world, and bring about freedom and liberation from all that keeps us from living fully this New Life!

Creator God,

We look to you during this time of illness, uncertainty, and physical distancing from others.
Be with us as we place our anxieties and fears in your hands.
Free us from the illusion of invincibility, so that we might remember our actions affect others, especially the most vulnerable.
Free us from the fear of scarcity, which leads to competition and hoarding.
Free us from painful anxiety, so that it can be transformed into caring actions for ourselves and others.

Jesus, our brother,

As your ministry of healing brought physical wellness and connection and restored community, help us remember that we are not alone.
As you mourned the death of your friend Lazarus, be with those who grieve the loss of loved ones. 
May they feel your presence and peace.
As you experienced death, be with those who have died from the coronavirus.
May they be in your eternal embrace.
As you challenged your disciples to act for the common good, be with national and local leaders who have the power to ensure that the “least of these” have their basic needs met. 
Inspire them to have a global vision of solidarity, a consciousness and priority to provide healthcare to all.

Spirit of God, breath of life,

Thank you for the countless nurses, custodial staff, doctors, receptionists, therapists, healthcare providers, and all others who are working to care for those who are sick and suffering. As they live their vocations, may they be sustained by your Spirit.

Open our eyes to see the devastating implications of economic and racial injustice during this crisis. Be with vulnerable populations who are unable to have “social distance” from others, thereby increasing their likelihood of contagion.

Inspire our actions for equitable access to testing, treatment, and financial support for all affected by the coronavirus.

We pray together during this Lenten season and current pandemic, that we can turn away from fear and be faithful to our sacred and civic responsibility for others. AMEN. 

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Lent Week 4

Darkness To Light
“I am the Light of the world”
John 8:12

Gospel of St. John 9:1-5; 35-41

Jesus Heals a Man Born Blind


As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth.  His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”
“Who is he, sir?” the man asked. “Tell me so that I may believe in him.”
Jesus said, “You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you.”
Then the man said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him.
Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.”
Some Pharisees who were with him heard him say this and asked, “What? Are we blind too?”
Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.

Are we blind too?
The story of the Blind Man highlights a community with turbulent social and religious issues focused on: blame, judgment, fear of neighbors and authorities, family separation, and ridicule by the powerful. This could be our reality today. 
The challenges of this divided community, the story moves from darkness to light. The blind beggar is washed clean and his eyes are opened. 

Moving from Darkness to Light
When we enter into awareness and enlightenment we too may find that like this blind beggar whose eyes are opened experience what he faced in the Gospel Story.
  • Harsh judgment of others
  • Subjected to inquisition
  • Abandoned by loved ones and friends;
  • Ridiculed
  • Thrown out and shunned by civil and religious groups

What has the light of the Gospel cost you? 
What would you risk to keep it alight?
How is Jesus’ way of seeing different from our culture’s way of seeing?
The blind man’s response is: “I do believe, Lord”.  Each of us is called to believe and transform our lives and our society through our discipleship and the following of Jesus’ Way.  We pray for courage and wisdom as we move from darkness into the light.

Litany of Light
V. Lord, have mercy on us.
R. Christ, have mercy on us.
V. Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, hear us.
R. Christ, graciously hear us.
V. God the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.

God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.

Christ, Light of the World, hear us.
Holy Mother of God, pray for us.
Mother of the New Dawn, pray for us.

Holy Trinity, source of all light, illuminate the darkness in our world:
To the minds of those dimmed by sin, bring your light.
To the hearts of those gripped by pornography, bring your light.
To those suffering depression or mental illness, bring your light.
To the souls enslaved by substance abuse, bring your light.
To those burdened by same-sex attraction, bring your light.
To those gripped by anxiety and fear, bring your light.
To the hearts of those who mourn, bring your light.
To the souls and bodies of abusers and the abused, bring your light.
To those with no place to call home, bring your light.
To those intent on killing in the name of God, bring your light.
To abortion clinics, bring your light.
To brothels and human-trafficking locations, bring your light.
To hospitals, pharmacies and nursing homes, bring your light.
To classrooms of despair, confusion and falsehood, bring your light.
To violent and drug-infested streets, bring your light.
To war-torn territories, bring your light.
To lands darkened, flooded, or destroyed by natural disasters, bring your light.

Wherever there is confusion, despair, loneliness and anger, bring your light.
St. Joseph, pray for us.
St. Mary Magdalene, pray for us.
St. Lucy, pray for us.
St. Augustine, pray for us.
St. Hildegard of Bingen, pray for us.
St. Claire, pray for us.
St. Albert the Great, pray for us.
St. Thomas Aquinas, pray for us.
St. Bonaventure, pray for us.
All the Choirs of Angels, pray for us.
Mary, Light in the Darkness, pray for us.

V. Light of the World, who take away the sins of the world,
R. spare us, O Lord.
V. Light of the World, who take away the sins of the world,
R. graciously hear us, O Lord.
V. Light of the World, who take away the sins of the world,
R. have mercy on us.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Feast of St. Joseph, March 19th

Keeping Dreams Alive

“… behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said,
‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home.
For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her.
She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus,
because he will save his people from their sins.’”

Luke 2: 41-51

Happy Feast Day Cluny Sisters

Cluny Sisters, 2,600, around the world, today honor St. Joseph, their Patron and the dream and vision of their foundress, Blessed Anne Marie Javouhey that fueled her passion and zeal to go everywhere doing good.  Her love, compassion and respect for the dignity of all peoples gave birth in 1807 to the International Missionary Congregation,
Sisters of St. Joseph of Cluny. unite with one heart and one mind as we celebrate the feast of our congregational patron, St. Joseph.

Learn more about the Sisters of St. Joseph of Cluny

Cluny Sisters Congregational Website

Province of USA & Canada Website

Dreams often leave us wondering and questioning, while at the same time confirming our call to live the Will of God in our lives.  On this feast day of St. Joseph, let us ask him to intercede for us that our dreams and visions will give birth to the Son of God in our midst.

St. Joseph, our Protector,
Protect our Dreamers

Sign and share the #Faith4DACA Petition calling on the Senate
to protect DACA recipients, if you haven't yet.
Add your name to the #Faith4DACA petition here:

Prayer for All Dreamers

God of our waking and our sleeping, in every age, you have spoken to your prophets in dreams and visions and have promised that our sons and daughters shall prophesy through your Spirit.

Because of dreams, Joseph acted quickly to protect your only Son from harm. 

And through the revelation announced to Mary, you brought forth a new dream for the world.

Bless those who continue to seek you in dreams.  Open their ears to hear you in their visions, loosen their tongues to speak your word, strengthen their hands to respond swiftly in action, and embolden their hearts that what they hear in the dark they may proclaim in the light.

Make us all dreamers who tirelessly pursue the vision of your Kingdom.  We ask this through Christ our Lord.  AMEN.

- Adapted from Diana Macalintal, ‘The Work of Your Hands’

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Transfiguration Lent II

Listen to the Beloved

Mount Tabor  - "the Mount of Transfiguration"

The Transfiguration of Jesus
Matthew 17: 1 - 9

After six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them; his face shone like the sun and his clothes became as light.

And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, conversing with him. Then Peter said to Jesus in reply, “Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”

While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud cast a shadow over them, then from the cloud came a voice that said,
“This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.

When the disciples heard this, they fell prostrate and were very much afraid.
Jesus came and touched them, saying, 
"Rise, and do not be afraid.”
And when the disciples raised their eyes, they saw no one else but Jesus alone.

Go up the Mountain, Listen, Be Touched, Rise Up, Become Disciples

We follow Jesus with Peter, James and John up the mountain of transfiguration.  It is good for us too to experience mystical moments with Jesus.  To recognize and listen to the ‘Beloved’ sent by the Father and revealed today in the people, events and circumstances of our lives.  We are called this week to  ‘listen to him’,  be “touched” by him, let go of our fears in his presence, be “transfigured” with him and “rise up”!

This Week we ask ourselves, is this the moment when we rise from the dead?  As community we rise? … family, neighborhood, workplace, nation? If not NOW, then when?  Is this a time to rise up? A time of liberation and transformation? A time that make all things New?

Listening to the Beloved, sends us beyond ourselves to pray, fast, and do good.  As Disciples of Jesus, we go beyond the mountain mystical experience to the ‘cries of the poor’ and touch our world with the non-violent peace-filled presence of God, revealed in Jesus. Together we Rise Up!

Litany of Transfiguration

RLet me see only Jesus
When I’m tempted to look at only my faults.  R
When troubled by the specter of doubt and defeat.  R
When I can’t see beyond the frustrations of the moment.  R
When the horizon seems distant and dark.  R
When I can’t see the point of pursuing what’s good. R
When complaining and cynicism invade my peace.  R
When I can’t face my problems.  R
When the world looks bleak.  R
When others measure and judge me.  R
When beset by depression. R
When friendship is far from me. R
When overshadowed by sorrow. R
When it’s hard to forgive. R
When things don’t make sense. R
When I think I can’t change. R
When confronted by suffering. R
When stress gets me down. R
When it’s hard to go on. R
When blinded by sin. R
When the hardness of life overwhelms me. R
When hope begins to fade. R

Fr. Peter John Cameron, O.P.