THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK March 19-25, 2017



March 19-25, 2017

varia signed pic-2Water is essential both for the physical, as well as, spiritual well being.  This Sunday’s Scripture uses this image to illustrate the importance of “life giving water.”  Even, World Water Day, March 24, falls this week.  In Exodus 17: 3-7 the Israelites grumbled against Moses and God. In their escape from Egypt it seemed to them that they had come to a worse place – no water.  “Is the Lord in our midst or not?”  This lament is heard today; even we ourselves have uttered it sometime in our lives. God stood on the rock, as Moses struck it with his staff. Water gushed forth.  God stands in the midst of our rocky places, too.  He will provide what we need, though, at times, we don’t think so.

“God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.” Romans 5: 1-2, 5-8 The Lenten question we can ask ourselves this week is – “Are we willing to ‘die’ for those who hurt us, do us wrong or attack us (terrorism) through our prayers, sacrifices and forgiveness?”  What greater terror, than that of Jesus on the Cross?

The great theological discussion on “living water” in the Gospels is that of Jesus with the Samaritan woman at the well.  The Jews and the Samaritans of Jesus’ time were not friends, more like despised neighbors.  Yet, Jesus chooses to have this wonderful sharing with a Samaritan woman – two groups who were not of high esteem. This sounds like the present situation in the world today.

Jesus debated with her the essence of earthly water and the water of eternal life. In the process he declares himself the Messiah, the Christ. “I am he, the one who is speaking with you.”  The converted woman brings all the villagers to finally proclaim, “…we know that this is truly the savior of the world.” John 4:5-42

A man of great faith in the face of insurmountable circumstances is honored on Monday – St. Joseph – the protector of Mary and Jesus.  He was the one chosen by God to witness the Incarnation – truly, the one blessed among all people.  He had the courage to take the child and his mother into a foreign land for safe keeping and to return home when the time was right.  Many a father can follow the example of this just man.

The week is rounded out with the Feast of the Annunciation – the day chosen to remember the announcement of the Angel Gabriel to Mary, a humble, teenaged Jewish girl of Nazareth.  “Blessed among women…” Down through the ages this proclamation has echoed.  Truly, what a privilege to carry the heart of God beneath her own heart.  We, too, are privileged to be cradles of this same Jesus in our hearts through his Word and deed – the Eucharist.

Again, we can send up a sigh of gratitude to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit for “life giving waters.”

March 21 is International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. This is but another reflection we can contemplate in our hearts.  Are we part of the problem or the answer?

Sister Rosemarie Goins, a Franciscan Felician



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Save me, O Lord, in your kindness.

8223f7a5ea0f8eb1d73e022aba034c9fReading 1 Jer 18:18-20

The people of Judah and the citizens of Jerusalem said,
“Come, let us contrive a plot against Jeremiah.
It will not mean the loss of instruction from the priests,
nor of counsel from the wise, nor of messages from the prophets.
And so, let us destroy him by his own tongue;
let us carefully note his every word.”

Heed me, O LORD,
and listen to what my adversaries say.
Must good be repaid with evil
that they should dig a pit to take my life?
Remember that I stood before you
to speak in their behalf,
to turn away your wrath from them.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 31:5-6, 14, 15-16

  1. (17b) Save me, O Lord, in your kindness.
    You will free me from the snare they set for me,
    for you are my refuge.
    Into your hands I commend my spirit;
    you will redeem me, O LORD, O faithful God.
    R. Save me, O Lord, in your kindness.
    I hear the whispers of the crowd, that frighten me from every side,
    as they consult together against me, plotting to take my life.
    R. Save me, O Lord, in your kindness.
    But my trust is in you, O LORD;
    I say, “You are my God.”
    In your hands is my destiny; rescue me
    from the clutches of my enemies and my persecutors.
    R. Save me, O Lord, in your kindness.

Verse Before the Gospel Jn 8:12

I am the light of the world, says the Lord;
whoever follows me will have the light of life.

Gospel Mt 20:17-28

As Jesus was going up to Jerusalem,
he took the Twelve disciples aside by themselves,
and said to them on the way,
“Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem,
and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests
and the scribes,
and they will condemn him to death,
and hand him over to the Gentiles
to be mocked and scourged and crucified,
and he will be raised on the third day.”

Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee approached Jesus with her sons
and did him homage, wishing to ask him for something.
He said to her, “What do you wish?”
She answered him,
“Command that these two sons of mine sit,
one at your right and the other at your left, in your kingdom.”
Jesus said in reply,
“You do not know what you are asking.
Can you drink the chalice that I am going to drink?”
They said to him, “We can.”
He replied,
“My chalice you will indeed drink,
but to sit at my right and at my left,
this is not mine to give
but is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.”
When the ten heard this,
they became indignant at the two brothers.
But Jesus summoned them and said,
“You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them,
and the great ones make their authority over them felt.
But it shall not be so among you.
Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant;
whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave.
Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve
and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

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Two saints – possible cure for …

Here is a reflection written by the vice president of mission for Catholic Extension, a national Catholic fundraising organization based in Chicago that builds churches and aids the Catholic Church in America’s poorest places. Looking ahead to two important feast days this month, he looks at five timely lessons from our nation’s immigration history. By […]

via Two saints’ feasts ‘can cure our amnesia’ on immigration — CNS Blog

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Live in the PRESENT moment!


“God wants you to be fully aware of every breath of air you take, every bite of food, every smile from a baby, every word you read, every song you hear, every kiss on the lips. God loves ordinary things.”

Matthew Kelly, Resisting Happiness


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Shorter is Not Always Better

Shorter is Not Always Better

In a long Sunday Gospel, segments within brackets can often be omitted. Why is this?  Because they are less important? Because of an assumed short attention span of the congregation? For whatever reason, the longer narrative of Jesus’ conversation with the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well in this week’s Gospel is seen as the richer conversation. The primary lesson of the passage is that Jesus provides living water, “a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” Because of his teaching, the Samaritans of the town say, “We know that this is truly the savior of the world.” And we are invited to drink deep of this living water.

2012-08-23 07.33.33There is, however, a compelling sub-story that is missed in the shorter version. First, when the disciples returned from their food shopping in town, they “were amazed that he was talking with a woman.” Jesus breaks two taboos: not only conversing with a woman he did not know, but conversing with a Samaritan, and Jews and Samaritans did not mix company. Second, the woman was so excited by her conversation with Jesus she “left her water jar” to rush into town to share her news; not an insignificant detail because the water jar was a needed possession which was left out of the shorter version, and became unimportant. Jesus, in turn, is energized by this dialogue. Both the Samaritan woman and Jesus stepped out of their comfort zones and took a risk for mutual engagement.

Finally, why omit the short phrase that many of the townspeople began to believe in Jesus “because of the word of the woman…?” The word of women is still marginalized today, not only in government and workplaces, but also in our Church. The work of women is essential and valued, but our voices are not. Women are not even permitted to read the Gospel during Mass or preach from the pulpit.

This Lent, may we be attuned to marginalized voices: immigrants facing deportation, refugees refused entry, citizens experiencing poverty, racism, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, LGBT discrimination – and, especially in our Church, women.

Sr. Marie Lucey
FAN Associate Director

Suggested Action:
Spend time this week in reflection of one or all of the following:
1.  How can I drink deeper of the living water that Jesus provides?
2.  To what marginalized voices do I need to pay greater attention?
3.  In what ways do I step out of my comfort zone?

Suggested Petitions:
May all those who feel they have no voice find strength, courage and support in our heavenly father, we pray…
May we take time to humbly examine our conscious and confess our sins so we can graciously receive God’s gift of bountiful mercy, we pray…

Prayer: St. Patrick, March 17


May Christ be with us!  May Christ be before us!

May Christ be in us, Christ be over all!

May your grace, Lord, always be ours, this day,

O Lord, and forever.   



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Need, Trust, Faith

Picture1-41Thursday of the First Week in Lent  Practice for today or maybe forever –   “Do to others whatever you would have them do to you.  This is the law and the prophets.”  Even trees bend to the direction of the wind … May the Holy Spirit be your “Wind” today.

Hmm, the Old Testament and the New Testament are both saying the same thing.  Ask, trust and God will answer your need.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

I have a problem or I did have a problem with this because I asked for very specific things and God did not answer.  It wasn’t until after that I realized that had I gotten what I asked for, it may not have been for my good.  There is a reason why God does not give us what we think we need.  HE knows what we need.  He does answer, but it not the answer we expect.  Here is only one example:  I prayed for healing for a friend of mine who was diagnosed with cancer.  After years of prayer for her, God had decided it was time for her to rest from her pain and called her to Himself.  How could this happen?  She was so good, etc.  It wasn’t until two years later that I found out that even though she never spoke about it, hr family was torn apart for one reason or another.  He death had a major impact on the lives of her family and they have resolved their differences and have come together

.I will give thanks to you, O LORD, with all my heart, for you have heard the words of my mouth;
in the presence of the angels I will sing your praise; I will worship at your holy temple
and give thanks to your name.

Reading 1 Est C:12, 14-16, 23-25

Queen Esther, seized with mortal anguish,
had recourse to the LORD.
She lay prostrate upon the ground, together with her handmaids,
from morning until evening, and said:
“God of Abraham, God of Isaac, and God of Jacob, blessed are you.
Help me, who am alone and have no help but you,
for I am taking my life in my hand.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 138:1-2ab, 2cde-3, 7c-8

  1. (3a) Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.
    I will give thanks to you, O LORD, with all my heart,
    for you have heard the words of my mouth;
    in the presence of the angels I will sing your praise;
    I will worship at your holy temple
    and give thanks to your name.
    R. Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.

    When I called, you answered me;
    you built up strength within me.

Gospel Mt 7:7-12

Jesus said to his disciples:

“Ask and it will be given to you;
seek and you will find;
knock and the door will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds;
and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

“Do to others whatever you would have them do to you.
This is the law and the prophets.”

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Wednesday – 1st Lent

Reading 1 Jon 3:1-10

The word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time:
“Set out for the great city of Nineveh,
and announce to it the message that I will tell you.”
So Jonah made ready and went to Nineveh,
according to the LORD’s bidding.
Now Nineveh was an enormously large city;
it took three days to go through it.
Jonah began his journey through the city,
and had gone but a single day’s walk announcing,
“Forty days more and Nineveh shall be destroyed,”
when the people of Nineveh believed God;
they proclaimed a fast
and all of them, great and small, put on sackcloth.

Forty days … proclaim a fast … isn’t this what Lent is all about today.  We have 40 days to try to make our lives right again.  To do a little sacrifice, to prepare for Easter.

When the news reached the king of Nineveh,
he rose from his throne, laid aside his robe,
covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in the ashes.  Again a reminder of Ash Wednesday
Then he had this proclaimed throughout Nineveh,
by decree of the king and his nobles:
“Neither man nor beast, neither cattle nor sheep,
shall taste anything;
they shall not eat, nor shall they drink water.
Man and beast shall be covered with sackcloth and call loudly to God;
every man shall turn from his evil way
and from the violence he has in hand.
Who knows, God may relent and forgive, and withhold his blazing wrath,
so that we shall not perish.”
When God saw by their actions how they turned from their evil way,
he repented of the evil that he had threatened to do to them;
he did not carry it out.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 51:3-4, 12-13, 18-19

(19b) A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness;
in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense.
Thoroughly wash me from my guilt
and of my sin cleanse me.

Time to make right with God through the sacrament of Reconciliation.

R. A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
A clean heart create for me, O God,
and a steadfast spirit renew within me.
Cast me not out from your presence,
and your Holy Spirit take not from me.
R. A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
For you are not pleased with sacrifices;
should I offer a burnt offering, you would not accept it.
My sacrifice, O God, is a contrite spirit;
a heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
R. A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.

Verse Before the Gospel Jl 2:12-13

Even now, says the LORD,
return to me with your whole heart
for I am gracious and merciful.  Now is not the time to hold anything back from the Lord.

Gospel Lk 11:29-32

While still more people gathered in the crowd, Jesus said to them,
“This generation is an evil generation;
it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it,
except the sign of Jonah.
Just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites,
so will the Son of Man be to this generation.
At the judgment
the queen of the south will rise with the men of this generation
and she will condemn them,
because she came from the ends of the earth
to hear the wisdom of Solomon,
and there is something greater than Solomon here.
At the judgment the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation
and condemn it,
because at the preaching of Jonah they repented,
and there is something greater than Jonah here.”

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