Click here for daily readings. Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Nativity of John the Baptist and on August 29 the Memorial of his Passion, a requiem of sorts of his decapitation. Yes, as gory as that sounds we celebrate the day he was crowned with martyrdom through decapitation. These feasts always remind me of the day 21 years ago that I consecrated myself to Christ through a lay Movement.
After three and a half years, I realized this life was not my calling, despite my deep desire to serve God, His Church and His people. Looking back, I wondered if perhaps the fact that I was consecrated on this bloody memorial was some kind of ominous foreshadowing that my vocation would die. I can now look beyond his decapitation and remember his legacy, in the same way I can look back on my temporary vocation as a time of personal growth and service to the Church instead of a failure.
He was bold, unashamed, and straightforward. He did not beat around the bush.
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As Christians we are called to do the very same. By our actions, our words when necessary , our service and our prayer we are called to boldly proclaim the truth of Christ just as John the Baptist did. Our very lives should shine with the truth of the Gospel.
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He made us, we are His. There is no room for fear or embarrassment. The Spirt of Truth will guide the way. So get out there and preach it! Tami Urcia is wife and mother to her small army of boys. She works full time at Diocesan and is a freelance translator and blogger Blessedisshe. Her favorite things to do are spending time outside with the kiddos, quiet conversation with the hubby, and an occasional break from real life by getting a pedicure or a haircut. You can find out more about her here.
Grow Your Own Leaders: How to Identify, Develop, and Retain Leadership Talent
The same smartphones that keep us ridiculously connected also offer meditation and mindfulness apps. There are vitamins and supplements that claim to lower anxiety, exercises and yoga and gym memberships to counteract its effects, and promises that the next self-help bestseller will absolutely be the magic bullet to help us find wellness and calm.
As Catholics, we have a slightly different take on the whole question of stress. Oh, of course, we too should be eating more leafy greens and less sugar; we need to go for brisk walks and drag ourselves away from our computer screens like everybody else. Matthew could not be clearer; we are called to be different. Followers of Jesus think and behave differently from the pagans.
In particular this message can be boiled down to a few points:. The things that stress us out the most are generally the least important. What does that deadline have to do with your salvation? Will you get to heaven any faster by worrying about buying that new car? We live in our culture and it makes some demands on us that we must meet. We have to have a place to sleep. We need to have food to eat.
We should have one goal: to be united with God. Everything else is secondary. You cannot serve God and money at the same time. If you spend your time worrying about accumulating money—and all the things that go along with it—then, Jesus tells us, your faith is small. You can do better.
Take a deep breath, trust in God, and… let go.
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But store up treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor decay destroys, nor thieves break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be. I went to a minor league baseball game with one of the fellows I support the other day. I was looking forward to watching some baseball. Before the first pitch left the pitchers hand, five beach balls were served into the crowd for the kids to hit and play with during the game.
The organizers are smart; they know that these kids need to have a memorable time so that they will come back with their families and buy more tickets. It turned into two separate events: recess for kids in the stands and a minor league baseball game on the field. Stadium staff then strut on top of the dugout to throw out whatever toy or memorabilia that they are giving away. The kids stand in a chorus of pleas and waving arms to receive a Frisbee or bouncy ball that is stamped with the home team emblem. He caught a Frisbee that had a gift certificate to a seafood restaurant on the back.
And I have a hunch these kids might not either. To their credit, they are kids. But the principle that they are following is seen in some adults as well. Save up the treasures of heaven. During the week, Matthew Juliano is a mentor for individuals who have developmental and intellectual disabilities.
On the weekends, he is a drummer for Full Armor Band. You can find more content by Matt and his band at www. It starts at paragraph And in that final th paragraph, after paragraphs defining and describing what we believe as a community of faith, it seems appropriate that whole of the Catechism ends with our assent, our fiat to all that Jesus handed to us in this prayer. Psalm We pray for forgiveness of our debts, because we are called to be the merciful; to have already forgiven those who are in debt to us.
Despite our limitations, we want to love with the heart of God. Not having received the gift of having their own children, their home is filled with 2 large dogs and their hearts with the teens and youth with whom they work in their parish collaborative. Sheryl is the Director of Strong Families Programs for Holy Family Healthcare which means her job is doing whatever needs to be done to help parents build strong Catholic families. Inspired by the works of mercy, Holy Family Healthcare is a primary healthcare practice in West Michigan which seeks to honor the dignity of every individual as we would Christ.
How often have you, as I have, looked to human praise?
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How often have we manipulated someone, or some situation, looking for affirmation of our deeds? I am as guilty as the next person, doing or saying things that will cause someone to notice what I am doing. It points out to us that we must do our good deeds, as well as our prayer and fasting in secret. How that goes against our human nature! True humility. Because being humble can also turn into a prideful act if we are not careful. But we all do succumb to our human nature. We like to hear praise, no matter from where it comes. And I know that I, for one, can be manipulative in extorting praise.
Jesus tells us today to do our good deeds in secret; to fast in secret; to hide those things from the world even as we practice them. To let God alone be the judge of what we do.