Discalced Carmelite Friars

Province of St. Therese

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Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time


Image by kamal dharshan from Pixabay
Readings:
1st Reading: Wisdom 18:6-9
Resp. Psalm Psalm 33: 1, 12, 18-19, 20-22
2nd Reading: Hebrews 11:1-2, 8-19
Gospel: Luke 12:32-48

Today's readings have to do with how we can be blessed. It may not seem apparent at first in the Gospel but a warning is a sign of compassion. If you do this you may end up in a worse state than you are in now or even end up dead; dead in your sins. Jesus tells us how to avoid this.

Jesus gives a few examples but basically He is saying if you know judgement is coming at the end of your life then behave yourself because how you live your life will determine your place for eternity.

Why the difference in the intensity of the beatings? This would seem to be a reference to purgatory and hell. Purgatory being the lighter beating since it is temporary with Heaven coming at the end and hell being the severe beating.

The ones who have been given much are those who call themselves Christian while those of us who have been given even more are those who receive the Sacraments regularly.

Written by Fr. Jim Curiel, OCD

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Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time


Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
Readings:
1st Reading: Ecclesiastes 1:2, 2:21-23
Resp. Psalm Psalm 90:3-4, 5-6, 12-13, 14, 17
2nd Reading: Colossians 3:1-5, 9-11
Gospel: Luke 12:13-21

The theme of this Sunday's reading is clear: live for God and for Heaven. The things of the earth are passing.

In the first reading Qoheleth tells us that all things are vanity. He means that if you put all your effort for what you see around you and live for your feelings you will not end up in a good place because at the end of the world, those things will no longer exist. Remember that this earth is a place of testing for us: where do you want to spend eternity? By doing the Lord's will on earth to the best of your ability with Heaven as the ultimate goal; or, to do your own thing ignoring God, living for your own selfish desires, spending eternity in hell? We are free to choose. God does not want us to choose against Him. But, He gives us this ability. This is why He asks us to be responsible for each other to help those who do not truly believe to allow Him into their hearts.

The rich man in today's Gospel found out that our lives can end when we do not expect. If we are close to God we will be ready and prepared whenever that day will be. May we always strive to be ready.

Written by Fr. Jim Curiel, OCD
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Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

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Readings:
1st Reading: Genesis 18:20-32
Resp. Psalm Psalm 138:1-2, 2-3, 6-7, 7-8
2nd Reading: Colossians 2:12-14
Gospel: Luke 11:1-13

Now is the time for mercy. In all righteousness God is both just and merciful. Just, because all wrongdoing and sin must be corrected otherwise there is no justice and merciful, because He chooses to forgive us if we ask Him. Once the period of Divine Mercy has ended, Divine Justice will prevail. Mercy precedes justice.

In the first reading, Abraham asked the Lord if he will spare Sodom and Gomorrah if there are only 10 innocent people. The Lord agreed. This tells us that there weren't even that many since the cities were destroyed. In the Gospel Jesus demonstrated how someone who is reluctant will eventually help. And, even we, evil as we are, do know how to give good things. Therefore, when God acts, He must be trusted! He loves us so much more than we can possibly fathom. He is the Author of all goodness.

Written by Fr. Jim Curiel, OCD
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Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Image by Michael Gaida from Pixabay

Readings:

1st Reading: Genesis 18:1-10a
Resp. Psalm Psalm 15:2-3, 3-4, 5
2nd Reading: Colossians 1:24-28
Gospel: Luke 10:38-42

It sounds strange that St Paul would say that in his flesh he is filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his body which is the Church. It sounds like he is saying that Jesus did not do enough by dying on the Cross for us. This is one of the reasons that the Church must be the interpreter of Scripture and not just anything we ourselves might think or feel. This passage means that Jesus's sacrifice for us was so great, so magnanimous that he lets us share in his sufferings even though our suffering is not needed to redeem His Church. Our sufferings are wanted by God, as Archbishop Sheen would say, to pay for, as it were, the conversion of souls. As an example, St Therese suffered interior, spiritual darkness so that other hearts who would not ask for this grace, could be pierced with God's marvelous light.

Jesus asks us to suffer with and for His Church to bolster us in imitation of Him. He does ask us to carry the cross to the end. To me, it's like a father who is painting his house and his young son asks if he can help, so he lets him hold the paint can. The father doesn't need his help and he knows that his son will probably spill the paint and get distracted. He appreciates his son's offer and welcomes his gesture to work with him and be a part of the task at hand.

In the Gospel, Mary has chosen the better part - listening to Jesus. We need to listen to God first before we act, or else our actions will not produce good results. Sometimes we might think that God tells us to do impossible things. They are only impossible if we don't believe or trust Him.

Written by Fr. Jim Curiel, OCD
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Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time


Readings:
1st Reading: Deuteronomy 30:10-14
Resp. Psalm Psalm 69:14,17,30-31,33-34, 36, 37
2nd Reading: Colossians 1:15-20
Gospel: Luke 10:25-37

The theme of the readings today is very simple. Do unto others as you would have God do for you. Follow the commandments. Put God first and love your neighbor as yourself. In stating this there tends to be one person we are apt to forget. We must also love ourselves. To love ourselves means to treat ourselves as God would treat us.

It is interesting to note that the scholar gave Jesus the correct answer but additionally, he wanted to justify himself or to test Jesus. Jesus accepts the challenge and demonstrated that love of neighbor goes beyond human laws of ritual purity and even extends to those who do not believe they way we do. The priest and the Levite avoided him observing ritual purity but did not treat him with mercy as did the Samaritan. We are called to be merciful despite our differences. This does not mean we become permissive- anything goes, as in relativism. We imitate Jesus.

Written by Fr. Jim Curiel, OCD
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