THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK January 29-February 4, 2017


Blessings are a wonderful part of our Christian faith.  Blessings are received during all the sacraments and during special occasions, like birthdays, anniversaries and holidays (holy days). In the Hispanic cultures many parents bless their children when they go to school or go to bed.  Jesus gave us the best blessings of all in the Beatitudes. Matthew 5: 1-12

In 1 Corinthians 1: 26-31 St. Paul reminds us that we have nothing for which to boast of our own merits. We can only “boast in Christ Jesus who became… wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption” for us. We stand humbly before God and offer thanks for these free gifts. Much rejoicing can go on because we are so loved.  We can show the face of this love through our own lived and loving presence to others.

St. John Bosco, the founder of the Salesians in the nineteenth century Turin, Italy, was a priest of great humility with an abounding love of Mary and the Blessed Sacrament.  He lived his whole life in poverty, but spent millions on those he served, especially young boys, who needed food, clothing, housing, education and spiritual nourishment. Besides providing regular education, he established trade schools.

Then, girls began to beseech his help, thus the Sisters of Mary Help were founded. Laredo, Texas is proud of the presence of the Salesian men and women who serve here.

Though February 2 is the famous Groundhog Day, it has a much greater meaning in the Christian faith.

It is the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple. Forty days after the birth of a male child in the Jewish faith, the mother had to be purified and the ceremony for the redemption of the male child had to be performed.  Thus, being poor, Joseph and Mary offered two turtle doves, instead of a lamb.  Of course, we know that Jesus was the Lamb of God who would be sacrificed on the cross for our redemption. It is on this occasion that Anna predicted that a sword would pierce Mary’s heart.  Simeon gave praise that he was promised by God to not die until he saw the Christ.  This Jesus was the fulfillment. Luke 2: 22-35

St. Blasé was a physician and bishop in Armenia in the sixth century.  He was known as a healer of both people and beasts.  Throats are blessed on this day, because of the story of his saving a child, choking on a chicken bone. He was martyred for his faith.

The theme of Catholic Schools Week, January 29 to February 4, is “Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service.”  Let us pray for the parents who sacrifice so much to put their children in a Catholic school. Keep the teachers and other school personnel who strive to give these children a strong Christian foundation and academic education.  Bless the students in their goal to become the best possible person they are meant to be after the example of Jesus.

Carter G. Woodson (1875-1950) set the foundation for what would become the Black History Month in February in 1926. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard.  He said, “If a race has no history, it becomes a negligible factor in the thought of the world, and it stands in danger of being exterminated.” …In 1964 James A. Baldwin, a novelist, essayist, playwright, poet and social critic, reflected on the fact that his education was lacking because American history “was not cognizance if his existence.”

We have much for which to pray and a long road to travel to bring about justice and peace.

Sister Rosemarie Goins, Felician Franciscan

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