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The Holy Spirit - Look to and rely on for your next steps

06/28/2018 11:36 AM
Reflecting on St. Paul and Conversion
The conversion of Saul on the road to Damascus should inspire us no matter where we currently stand in our Christian life. Saul was a man, passionate, scholarly, protective of strict religious norms, who persecuted “this Way;” a fledgling group founded on the belief that Jesus is the promised Messiah. Needless to say, Saul believed otherwise and took active steps imprisoning them, and consenting to having these supposed heretics put to death. He set out on a journey to imprison and snuff out this spark of rebellion. But Jesus revealed himself to Saul on that road to Damascus, and it entirely turned Saul’s life around, so much so that his name was changed to Paul, the Saint whose feast we recently celebrated.

So now consider, what does conversion constitute for you and me? Is it an Initial belief in Jesus as the person who is God among us, showing the way, as with Paul, or does it involve making on-going decisions to more actively live our life as a disciple of Jesus? Though we may not be a murderer like Saul, does our conversion make us passionate to live as Jesus leads us, no matter where it may take us?

How do we respond to Jesus’ call? Do we respond like Paul, “Who are you, sir?” and “What shall I do, sir?” When called to interact with someone who is antagonistic and threatening, do we avoid them and rationalize, or do we respond like Ananias who overcame his reluctance and said “Saul, my brother, regain your sight … Now, why delay? Get up and have yourself baptized and your sins washed away, calling upon his name.” (Acts 22:3-16, Lectionary 519)

Throughout the year there are opportunities for each of us to renew our baptismal vows, to examine ourselves, to listen to Jesus voice of direction, to receive a washing away of our sins as we set out without delay to follow Jesus and to be his hands and feet in our world today. We can take heart from the conversion of Saul, to Paul – the person who Jesus called to a radically new purpose beyond Saul’s previous understanding, Saint Paul whose whole life was set on a dramatically different path by his encounter with Jesus. He went from murderer, to an apostle to the gentiles whose inspired writings impact us to this day. From a man with “blood on his hands” to a person sold out and passionate about carrying the Gospel message to all through the experiences of his own life. May we each respond to Jesus’ call as Paul did, completely turning over our lives to the author and creator of all life and purpose.

06/27/2017 01:35 PM
Judging Rightly - St. Augustine
"Rather, whenever necessity compels one to reprove or rebuke another, we ought to proceed with godly discernment and caution. First of all, let us consider whether the other fault is such as we ourselves have never had or whether it is one that we have overcome. Then, if we have never had such a fault, let us remember that we are human and could have had it. But if we have had it and are rid of it now, let us remember our common frailty, in order that mercy, not hatred, may lead us to the giving of correction and admonition. In this way, whether the admonition occasions the amendment or the worsening of the one for whose sake we are offering it (for the result cannot be foreseen), we ourselves shall be made safe through singleness of eye. But if on reflection we find that we ourselves have the same fault as the one we are about to reprove, let us neither correct nor rebuke that one. Rather, let us bemoan the fault ourselves and induce that person to a similar concern, without asking him to submit to our correction." Sermon on the Mount 2.19.64 excerpt

04/26/2016 04:41 PM
Reflections on the Extraordinary Year of Mercy
Our Parish, Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Catholic Community, recently completed a Lenten reflection titled The Holy Year of Mercy, A Faith-Sharing Guide With Reflections by Pope Francis. Here are a few of the outcomes:

  • The community as a whole participated through existing and newly formed Small Christian Communities;
  • The Parish undertook the translation of the material into Spanish so that the entire community could participate;
  • Over 750 people participated during the Lenten season and additional Small Christian Communities continue their study through the Easter season;
  • Many participants reported experiencing different dimensions of God's mercy through the reflections by Pope Francis and through their own study of the Holy Scriptures;
  • Many in the community expressed experiencing deeper "conversion" as they encounter Jesus through His Mercy and looked forward to renewal in living out their faith;

As Pope Francis says; "In this Jubilee Year; let us allow God to surprise us."

Henry Abeyta, President

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