Life_Giving Faith.pdf

Imitators of Christ: Witness happiness

Posted October 20, 2020 at 12:00 am

The Mass readings for the 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time remind us of the primary commandments: love of God and neighbor. The following Sunday we celebrate the great Solemnity of All Saints, witnesses of the Ten Commandments as well as the Eight Beatitudes.

Social laws

The 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time readings begin with Chapter 22 in the Book of Exodus. We hear details of guiding norms for social laws on how to treat foreigners, widows, orphans, as well as how to lend money without high demands and to return what was borrowed in good faith. Any compromise of good will provokes an outcry by the offended, who then turn to God. He responds with compassion and comfort to

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    New catechesis directory stresses evangelization

    By Debbie Shelley

    The Catholic Commentator 

    As changes in a fast-paced world are accelerated by digital media, the new Directory for Catechesis has been released to help people confidently proclaim the timeless Gospel message, say catechetical leaders in the Diocese of Baton Rouge. 

    The new Directory for Catechesis emphasizes that everyone is called to live a life of holiness and to proclaim the Gospel. 

     

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    The vineyard

    We welcome the beginning of the season of fall and pray, especially here in the Gulf South, that the climate enters a period of calm after a restless hurricane season atop an ever-present pandemic. Such natural occurrences cause ample anxiety, levels which require faith likened to steel: unbendable, resistant and rustproof. We ask why, in many cases, would God allow such natural disasters, only to be met with limitless answers? One dependable answer is God restores all brokenness into a new creation, transforms anxiety into peace

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    Mercy & generosity

    The sacred Mass readings for the 24th and 25th Sundays in Ordinary Time offer an invitation to forgiveness, mercy and an awakening to the generosity of God.

    Kind & merciful (Sirach 27:30-38)

    The author of the Book of Sirach describes the hateful nature of wrath and anger. Being one of the seven “capital” sins, this action opens a path of vengeance resulting in deep suffering.

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    Sacrifice of faith

    The word of God is foundational. Jesus, the word made flesh, said, “Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock” (Mt 7:24). Likewise, if we listen to the word of God and do not act, we will collapse. The Scriptures for the forthcoming 22nd and 23rd Sundays in Ordinary Time unveil the realities of acting when we hear the word of God. Open ears and hearts lead to deep faith, and

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    Fr. Johnson has plan for vocations

    By Richard Meek

    The Catholic Commentator  

    While immersed in prayer earlier this year, Father Joshua Johnson perceived what he said was an invitation from the Lord that he might one day become vocations director for the Diocese of Baton Rouge. </span id=”1″>

    Father Joshua Johnson

     

    Father Johnson admitted after that initial invitation the message was recurring.  

    So when Bishop Michael

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    True & faithful

    As disciples of Jesus Christ, we are called to be true and faithful to the mission of evangelization. The Sunday Mass readings of the 20th and 21st Sundays in Ordinary Time reveal the great witness of fidelity in Jesus Christ, as well as his fidelity to those who follow him.

    God’s promises

    The Opening Collect for the 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time is, “O, God, who have prepared for

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    Reynaud’s calling to diaconate formed at young age

    (Six new permanent deacons are scheduled to be ordained Aug. 8 at St. Joseph Cathedral in Baton Rouge. This is the final of a series on each of the deacon candidates.)  

    By Debbie Shelley

    The Catholic Commentator  

    As Mark Reynaud prepares for his ordination as a permanent deacon, his mind goes back to his fourth-grade year as an altar server at St. Agnes Church in Jefferson.  

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    Life never dies

    The Scripture readings for the eighth and ninth Sundays in Ordinary Time enlighten the mystery of salvation in Jesus Christ. We read two incredible miracles: The feeding of the 5,000 and the walking on water, which give us cause to ponder the saving power of God and eternal life. 

    The life of God 

    The Lord, through the prophet Isaiah, invites the Israelites to participate in his life; his grace. “Grace is favor, the free and

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    The kingdom of heaven

    The Mass readings during the 16th and 17th Sundays in Ordinary Time reveal the goodness of the Lord, as we seek the kingdom of heaven during our earthly life.  

    To be just  

    In the Book of Wisdom, we read of the great might of God, as perfect, just and lenient. He is the source of all creation who guides his people with justice and mercy that surpasses human comprehension but is possible to adhere. God

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    Oschwald measures success by heavenly standards

    (Six new permanent deacons are scheduled to be ordained Aug. 8 at St. Joseph Cathedral in Baton Rouge. This is the fourth of a series on each of the deacon candidates.)  

    By Debbie Shelley

    The Catholic Commentator  

    Ehren “Wheeler” Oschwald changed his measurement of success from earthly treasures to heavenly ones and now has a more enriched life that has also enriched his faith.  

    Bishop Michael G. Duca will ordain Oschwald a

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    Starlight shines bright

    The universe is vast, precise and infinite. The more we seek to find the endpoint, the more we realize the magnitude of space and time is something to behold. We know who created the universe. As Catholic Christians, we begin the Creed with these words, “I believe in one God, the father almighty, maker of heaven and earth … ” Thus, it makes sense to look to the sky as a compass for travel and time. Therefore, we begin the new calendar year (the Gregorian calendar year,

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    Advent founded on Mary’s faith

    By Debbie Shelley

    The Catholic Commentator
    (First of a series) 

     Imagine: You stop to pray in the middle of your day. There’s a stirring in the air … a glow … a powerful presence. What’s happening? Who is this?! Your heart pounds, you tremble as an angel stands before you.  

    “Do not be afraid, for you have found favor with God,” the angel tells you.  

    As we venture through Advent and anticipate God’s

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    A servant’s crown

    We celebrate the end of the liturgical year rejoicing in Christ, our true king, followed by the First Sunday of Advent, reminding us of the last judgment and preparing to celebrate the birth of Jesus.

    “You say I am a king” (Jn 18:37)

    Pilate is seeking truth in a trial he is forced into hearing. Instead of being swayed by Jesus’ accusers Pilate privately takes him aside and pointedly asks about his

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    Restoration and love

    There is something about the work of restoration. Many times the term is used in reference to construction, as seen in the aftermath of storms and floods. People restore dwellings to an original state, perhaps with some updating or remodeling, accomplished through an enormous amount of sacrifice, persistence and love. The 30th and 31st Sunday Mass readings in Ordinary Time (Year B) give insight into God’s restorative love through Jesus Christ for humanity.

    Restoration

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    Prudence & wisdom

    “Indeed the word of God is living and effective” (Heb 4:12). We begin the 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time with an awakening. The author of the Book of Wisdom, through prayer and pleading, receives prudence and wisdom, resulting in a preference for these rather than earthly riches. “Prudence guides the other virtues by setting rule and measure. It is prudence that immediately guides the judgment of conscience” (The Catechism of the Catholic Church #1806). This is the first of the cardinal virtues, that which instills shrewdness

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    Persecution for Christ a blessing

    By Debbie Shelley

    The Catholic Commentator  

    Catholics may consider Jesus’ final beatitude, “blessed are those persecuted for righteousness sake,” to also be the final challenge. But the glory of heaven waits on the other side of it, according to Father Charbel Jamhoury, pastor of St. Agnes Church in Baton Rouge.  

    “The beatitudes are revolutionary,” said Father Jamhoury “… as he (Jesus) is as a person. He presents a model of happiness completely contrary to the world, to what

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    Love is the foundation of peace

    By Debbie Shelley

    The Catholic Commentator 

    Peacemakers are God’s agents dispensing love, mercy, compassion and forgiveness to make the world as God intended it to be, according to Father Charles Atuah MSP, pastor of St. Catherine of Siena Church in Donalsonville, in speaking about the seventh beatitude given by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount.

    “God is full of love,” said Father Atuah. “You cannot speak about peace if there is no love. Love is the foundation

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    Satisfying spiritual thirst

    By Debbie Shelley

    The Catholic Commentator

    “What just happened?” people may ask when the Holy Spirit fans an initial spark of an idea into a roaring fire displaying God’s glory.

    The organizers of Women of the Well, a Catholic Women’s Ministry, asked this question as they watched the response to their invitation to women who are thirsting for more in their spiritual life to “come get a drink of living water.” 

    According to Becky

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    The movement of the Holy Spirit

    The Mass readings during the 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time focus on two movements of the heart: humility and preservation. The reading from the Book of Numbers is about the coming of the Spirit of God. Moses, in distress, cried out for help. God answers his plea as the Spirit of God descended into the meeting tent. There, the gathered elders, who were with Moses, stood in the glory cloud, received the Spirit of God and vocalized in praise. In addition, two others, on the list

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    Catechesis & the cross

    “Last one out the door, please turn out the lights!”

    This phase was common during the energy crisis of the 1970s. The awareness to conserve gas and electricity instilled a habit remaining with some today to turn out the lights each time one leaves the room. It is common in church parishes for a catechist, namely the Director of Religious Education (at schools and parish halls), to switch the lights on and off since they arrive early and leave

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    Finding spiritual joy at work

    By Debbie Shelley

    The Catholic Commentator  

    “If Adam and Eve had never eaten that apple, I wouldn’t have to go to school,” a student at St. Elizabeth School in Paincourtville said at the beginning of the school year to Father Matthew Graham, pastor of St. Elizabeth Church and St. Jules Church in Belle Rose. He mused that the student grasped and expressed the “inward groaning” of what it takes to prepare for a future in the workplace, which is also the groaning from many

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    Being merciful is passing on God’s love

    By Debbie Shelley

    The Catholic Commentator  

    Being merciful is remembering, celebrating and passing on God’s lavish love and compassion, according to Father Charlie Landry, pastor of St. Gabriel Church in St. Gabriel.  

    Father Landry, who grew up in Napoleonville and whose family was actively involved in St. Anne Church, learned lessons early on about mercy.  

    He vividly remembers his grandfather’s advice when his family bid him farewell before he boarded a train in New

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    Hear with our hearts

    Ephphatha: Be opened (Mk 7:34).

    A disheartened friend recently told me “I don’t hear God talking to me. He is ignoring me.” I chuckled and said, “God is not ignoring you. He loves you. Be open to him. Sit still for a few minutes, open your mind to him, together with your heart, ears and hands. Close the door to the world and be opened by God.”

    The 22nd and 23rd Sundays

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    Panis de Caelo: Bread from Heaven

    By Dina Dow

    The liturgical readings for the upcoming 18th and 19th Sundays in Ordinary Time (Year B) inspire us to a deeper faith in God through Jesus Christ. The words we will hear are those that will serve as the invitation to everlasting life. The act of believing will open hearts to conversion and transformation, and thus answer God’s call to holiness.

    “It is enough, now O LORD … ”
    (1 Kgs 19: 4)

    Both Old Testament readings begin with people in flight. The Israelites are fleeing from slavery in Egypt with Moses guiding them

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    Buying into first Beatitude investment in spiritual future

    This article will focus on the first of the Eight Beatitudes: Blessed are the poor in spirit, for the kingdom of heaven
    is theirs.

    By Debbie Shelley

    The Catholic Commentator

    Whether one has millions or only a few dollars to spend, they can invest their future in the kingdom of heaven by living the first of the Eight Beatitudes: Blessed are the poor in spirit, for the kingdom of heavens is theirs, said Father Howard Adkins, pastor of Mater Dolorosa Church in Independence.

    “Every time I read that (first beatitude) I think of individuals, who

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    Sufficient Grace

    By Dina Dow

    The call of the faithful is to proclaim the message of God to all people. Sometimes this is easy. Other times this is difficult. God’s grace provides strength for this task, as we hear in the Sunday Mass readings for the 14th and 15th Sundays in Ordinary Time. His grace is sufficient, for it provides humility, endurance and holiness.  

    The prophets: Just doing my job  

    Ezekiel and Amos, prophets of the Lord, were just doing their

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    Prepare the way

    To prepare means to get ready. Most prepare for something every day, including dinner, celebrations, school, projects, vacations, presentations, budgets, construction, conversations, meetings, competitions, assignments, to read a book, to pray, etc. The upcoming Sunday Mass Readings offer inspirations revealing those whom God sent to prepare the way and the call to arise and follow the way.

    Prepared to be a witness

    The Solemnity of the Nativity of John the Baptist

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    Beatitudes offers journey for life

    Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of articles focusing on the eight Beatitudes in the Sermon on the Mount as recorded in the Gospel of Matthew 

    By Debbie Shelley

    The Catholic Commentator  

    Keeping the “dos” and “don’ts” of the Ten Commandments is a good way to stay clear of the sins that can keep one from entering heaven. But to better understand God’s divine purpose behind these biblical laws and achieve the communion with him that they ultimately

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    Sowing the word of God

    By Dina Dow

    The Sunday Mass readings for the upcoming weeks begin with a “fall” and end with an agricultural lesson. The messages from each yield insight into reasons for redemption, reasons for hope and reasons for courage.

    You can hide, but not for long

    The account from the Book of Genesis begins with the effects of original sin. Adam and Eve, knowing what evil is, experience the brokenness of inner harmony with God so much so they attempt to hide from him. To us this sounds ridiculous. Yet, think of a time when you made a

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